As a young professional I often find I have trouble turning off my mind and falling asleep, that is unless I can listen to music.
Now, unless you have dedicated sleep headphones, that in itself presents several problems because it means I either have to play music on my speakers and keep everyone else awake or put on a set of earphones/buds which are usually uncomfortable.
I’m constantly searching for solutions to this problem and that is how I landed on headphones designed for sleeping. That’s why the past year I’ve spent a fair amount of time testing out several products. Some specialised but also a few non-sleep headphones.
So let’s take a look at the ones I found to be the most comfortable best headphones for sleeping!
Click on each product to go straight to the review on this page.
|Bose QuietComfort 20||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
3rd Gen Bedphones Review
To be honest the name is kind of what captured my interest at first, which I guess is what the manufacturer intended. After doing a bit of research before buying the product I discovered that the designer/inventor actually suffers from the same problem I do (bonus points for understanding the struggle).
Comfort and Design
The first thing I noticed when I finally got mine is that they completely solved my biggest problem when it comes to sleeping with a pair of earphones/buds, comfort. They are covered with very soft foam and are just about as big as a quarter, so they don’t press against my ear canal and the design fits perfectly into my ear. Being quite flat/thin they also don’t press against my pillow as I sleep, hence the maximum points for comfort. The earhooks enhance that quality as well as they are made from memory-wire that bends around your ear to the exact shape you want.
There is one slight flaw to the design though, they are still attached to a cable, that is to say, they are not wireless. As a result, I sometimes wake up to find them wrapped around my throat or weirdly enough, my hand. And sometimes I fear finding my beloved cellphone flat on the floor. Being a restless sleeper, that is the only worry I have against this otherwise solid aid to my sleep.
The cable also messes with the durability of the product a bit because I’ve had to replace my first set due to the wires in the cable breaking, although after a solid four months of usage which I guess is not bad. Also, the one year warranty meant I got the new ones free, another plus.
In terms of quality of sound, the Bedphones aren’t quite the highest quality earphones out there, although they’re not poor either. They are actually good enough for you to hear the distinctions in the beat, good bass, solid mid and treble. If they fit into your ear as they did mine then you probably won’t hear that big a difference between these and your regular buds. All in all the quality of sound didn’t disappoint, although it didn’t wow me either, which I guess for a set of “sleep earphones” is good enough.
The fact that they have an in-line microphone and remote is an added bonus when you want to skip or otherwise control your playlist, and maybe even answer a call if you get phones calls in the middle of the night that is.
Conceptually this is a brilliant product and would be useful to anyone who needs music/sound to sleep or even those who just enjoy falling asleep to the sound of good music.
The really big winning feature and I suspect end goal of the Bedphones is to make sleeping with a set of earphones more comfortable without sacrificing too much sound quality and this they have achieved quite well. All in all, I have enjoyed using mine and probably will for a while to come.
AcousticSheep SleepPhones Wireless Review
I was initially a bit hesitant when I saw the price tag ($99, 95), mostly because I didn’t know the brand well enough. What finally made up my mind is the fact that they are wireless, the holy grail for designed-for-sleep headphones.
The SleepPhones are designed to look like you’re just wearing a headband and they certainly feel like that too. The headphones themselves are in-fact flat padded speakers which come fitted into the headband. They aren’t sewed in or otherwise attached to the headband so that means you can adjust them to whatever position suits you best or remove them completely.
The battery pack is small, flat and fitted with rubber to reduce the impact of having a battery pack stuck to your head. There is a small control on the battery pack to switch the headphones on and you can easily feel it even with the battery inside the headband. Just press and hold for a few seconds and they switch on.
All you have to do to use them is connect via your phone or whatever Bluetooth enabled device you will be playing from. Charging the battery is a bit of a hassle though because you have to remove the battery pack from the back and disconnecting it and connecting it back can get annoying.
Comfort and Sound Quality
Coming to the actual usability, the SleepPhones are pretty damn good in terms of comfort, they really just feel like you’re wearing a normal headband (Pro tip – I found that they were slightly uncomfortable at first because the battery pack stuck into the back of my neck until I finally figured out you actually have to shift the pack to the front of your head. Problem solved, that is unless you actually sleep on your face).
One thing to note though is they come in different sizes and the headband is not stretch although it is elastic. So choose your size carefully before you order because that could end up messing with your comfort levels, especially if they are too tight.
Also the headband is machine washable so you can pop it into the washing machine if you feel it’s become dirty or sweaty. Just remember to remove everything inside first.
The sound quality is pretty good, not exceptional but I haven’t found any headphones/earphones for bedtime that actually are, so goes with the territory is my guess. I use mine at 40% as I find the full volume to be pretty loud for sleeping.
The fact that they are wireless is a huge bonus as anyone who has tried to sleep with wired earphones/headphones will tell you. No tangled wires here, and most importantly you won’t choke yourself to death while sleeping. Although if that is your thing, AcousticSheep does offer starter SleepPhones with a cable connected for a cheaper price (Classic SleepPhones).
Are they Worth It?
The biggest draw for the Wireless SleepPhones is ultimately a great design concept and comfort. They’re so comfortable I often found myself forgetting I even had them on. And that you don’t have to worry about them falling out of your ears cannot be underestimated.
They are indeed a little on the pricey side but I haven’t regretted buying them at all. The wireless part means they are really durable because no worries about cables accidentally breaking etc. I also just recently discovered I can actually wear them outside when it’s cold, protecting my ears and listening to good music at the same time.
After all is said and done, they are absolutely worth it. If you know any fussy sleepers or indeed are one yourself then this could be the cure you’ve been searching for.
Shure SE215-K Review
In the search for great sleep earphones I have considered some fairly out of the box options and the Shure SE215-K earphones fall into that category. And as much as they are not designed specifically for sleep and at a glance seem like they wouldn’t be much help in that area, I actually found them to be surprisingly good.
Design and Fit
What initially attracted me to the Shure SE215-K earphones was the design, specifically the over-the-ear Wireform Fit. Something about it appealed to me and for some reason I was sure they would be comfortable for me to sleep with, probably because they seemed like they wouldn’t pop out of my ears continuously while I tried to fall asleep. I was right. Well half right anyway.
I’ll explain. The SE215-K’s did indeed stick in my ears the whole time I slept but they were just slightly lacking in comfort once I decided to turn and sleep on my side. Although the discomfort wasn’t immediately noticeable and I did fall asleep with no trouble, once I woke up I noticed my ear was slightly sore from being pressed between the pillow and the cable behind it.
I found the problem was almost non-existent once I switched to one of my softer pillows (I normally prefer harder pillows. Don’t ask why). The rest of the design is ultra-slick and definitely worth buying just for that alone. After all in an age where there’s so much competition in every market, design should definitely stand out.
The cable at the back of your ear is detachable, meaning you can remove the earpiece itself and customise it as suits you or otherwise replace it. The cable itself is thick, a slight negative in the comfort area again but once the reason why becomes apparent you won’t begrudge them that quality. Reinforced with Kevlar, it means you won’t have any problems with broken cables or wires and thus the slight discomfort from the maybe too thick cable is made up for in durability. You won’t have to worry about replacing these for a very long time.
When it comes to sound quality, the SE215-K’s blow the competition out of the water in this respect, probably because they were designed for on-stage use by musicians and for use by hardcore sound fanatics. Shure has never disappointed when it comes to sound quality, the high’s are high, mid’s crisp and clean and the bass is unrivalled for this price range. In fact to find something with better sound quality you’d probably have to fork out at least twice as much as these babies are worth. To be fair I have to mention again that these weren’t specifically designed with sleep in mind so we’re probably being unfair to the rest of the sleep-earphones out there in this regard.
The earphones are noise-cancelling (not Active though) and prevent sound leakage at the same time so you won’t have to worry about waking up the person next to you, even at very high volumes, and you certainly won’t hear them snore either. They also come with six rubber and foam tips, varying in comfort and size so you can try out which one works best for your ears. A feature that speaks both to comfort and sound quality really.
To Buy or Not to Buy
What the Shure SE215-K’s lack in comfort they more than make up for in sound quality and design quality. The fact that they aren’t specifically for sleep is a plus not a disadvantage in my view because you don’t have to worry about getting two sets of earphones for different purposes. Their durability also means you can use them both for sleeping and when you’re out and about without fearing for their life expectancy. If you’re on a budget and looking for a one size fits all option, then this is what you need. You will enjoy them.
Bose QuietComfort 20 Review
Looking further into earphones that are comfortable for wearing in bed, Bose’s QuietComfort 20 noise cancelling in-ear headphones may look strange if you have never seen this particular design before. They look like regular earbuds with little pointy things sticking out of the buds and no one would blame you for thinking they wouldn’t be the slightest bit comfortable to wear, let alone sleep with. You would however be wrong, very wrong.
Design and Comfort
The pointy looking things sticking out of the earbuds are in fact wings and together with the earbuds are called Stay Hear+ tips. The wings are there to brace against the cup of your outer ear to ensure your buds don’t fall out and also to help with the noise cancellation side of things. The wings mean the QuietComfort 20s can afford to use smaller, less intrusive earbuds for your ears which feel very comfortable in use. They don’t press against your ear canal like most other in-ear headphones, and I can safely say I have not experienced any pain from prolonged use of these earphones even while sleeping on my side.
While comfort is a big thing for me and the QC20s deliver very well in that regard, that is not their best feature at all. The best thing about these is actually the root cause in their biggest negative (more about that later).
The Active Noise Cancellation technology on these earphones is quite simply superb. To say they are the best NC earphones I have ever used is an understatement. I log up a fair amount miles travelling and I’ll tell you right now, these earphones are unbeatable when it comes to shutting out the drone of an airplane, the noise from a train/train stations or even the incessant drone of an air-conditioning unit.
Within the design itself though is a slight problem because near the audio jack is a battery pack, it is a small rectangular thing but it’s there (a feature all NC headphones have in varying positions by the way). Bose actually provides a solution to this unavoidable problem by making it so you can fold the battery pack into your pocket with whatever music source you’re using.
Sound Quality and The Big Negative
There’s no getting around this and no easy way to say it, the QC20s are an expensive set of earphones. When I first decided to check these out I had to double check I’d seen the price correctly, and I had. At $250, these earphones are not cheap and will probably turn a lot of people off just by that alone.
This is compounded by that at such a price the sound quality simply doesn’t hold up, in fact you can easily find cheaper earphones with better sound quality. That is not to say the sound quality is bad, far from it. The QC20s have good sound quality in and off themselves, the various sound spectra are all crisp and clear (except for the mid which does sound slightly tinny when the NC function is off), the NC function means you get to hear all your audio without having to turn the volume to high levels.
All that said they still don’t quite stack up against a lot of the non-NC earphones out there that come at a cheaper price. To be fair they do quite well against other NC headphones in the same price range.
The price will put most people off buying but as far as active noise cancelling headphones for sleeping concerns, you won’t find earphones better than these.
They are comfortable when sleeping and you won’t hear the fan/AC with them on.You can use them when travelling, at the office and just about anywhere you want.
If however you are just looking for headphones to use while sleeping then you could probably do yourself a favor by looking at other options.
Also read my review on the Bose QuietControl 30 as it is a wireless version (with a nifty extra) of the QC20.
CozyPhones Sleep Headphones Review
The ultimate goal for sleep headphones is providing comfort for the wearer without sacrificing too much sound quality in the process, finding the right balance between the two is something very few headphones have managed to do. The CozyPhones are one of the few that I found to come close to that goal.
Design and Comfort
The headphones are made from a material called Lycra and designed to wear around the head like a headband. They are very comfortable and the material ensures that they stay cool on your head. A useful quality, especially during those hot summer nights when even the slightest bit of extra heat can make falling asleep feel like a dreadful chore.
The speakers themselves are flat round discs, padded for extra comfort, and when I found myself sleeping on my side (like I do so often) I could barely feel them. There is one slight drawback with the design though and it’s that the CozyPhones come in one size, and as they are not very stretchy, that can become a problem if you have a big head or a very small one for that matter (they give just over an inch when stretched).
The speakers are removable so you can adjust them to whatever position suits you best or just remove them to wash your headband if the need so arises. I don’t particularly like cables when it comes to sleep headphones but if there is a cable worthy of some admiration then it’s this one. The cable is braided making it tangle-free and extra durable as a result, so you won’t have to worry about broken cables with this product (or getting tangled in bed for that matter).
Most headphones in this niche don’t really stand out in this category and the sound quality is usually just above average when compared to regular headphones.
The CozyPhones are one of the few I have used that actually have good sound quality (from those made exclusively as sleep headphones). They are good enough that I could actually tell the different sound classes without any sort of distortion, something that surprised me even more given their pricing. A pleasant surprise I must say. For this price, it would be unfair to expect a better quality of sound than what is offered here.
Also, there really isn’t any noise bleeding so whoever might be sleeping next to you will not have any complaints. The only problem with the sound would be they definitely aren’t the loudest headphones I’ve ever used.
Should You Buy Them?
Given their price range, these headphones are very good value for money. They are an affordable budget option for anyone who might not be willing to shell out a lot of money for sleep headphones, without sacrificing quality and comfort as well. If you value sleeping in comfort while listening to music then this might be the ones you want to get.
Bonus points in the comfort area, the headband is wide enough that you can pull it over your ears and use your CozyPhones as a sleep mask too. So if you travel a lot, live in a dorm room, even have roommate/partner who likes the light on at night then this could be the one stop solution to your problems.
Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie Review
Sleep headphones have become a major thing in recent years as more and more people have found them to be especially useful in combating insomnia ranging from the mild once-in-a-while case to severe falling-asleep-at-2am-is-the-norm. The subject has come such a long way that it’s increasingly becoming normal to find everyday headphones drawing influence from sleep headphones.
Some of these headphones have been so readily designed to meet sleep headphone standards that they’re slowly but surely shifting the niche towards more multipurpose designs and the Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie is one of those leading the way.
Rotibox has designed the Beanie in such a way that although it’s not strictly for sleeping it does meet quite a lot of the standards necessary to qualify as one.
Design and Comfort
As the name spells out, the Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie is actually a beanie fitted with a set of Bluetooth headphones. The design is not new by any means, however the Rotibox Beanie has managed to distinguish itself from the many similar designs by some clever maneuvering on the part of the manufacturer.
One of my biggest annoyances with most beanie headphones is they are always generic one-for-all designs (I’m sure I’m not alone on this). And while those are okay when you’re just going to be sleeping in said headphones it means they’re useless in any other role you might want to use them.
Rotibox’s stroke of genius lays in the realization that what is comfortable for sleep will most surely be comfortable and useful for other activities too, hence why the Rotibox Beanie comes in so many different sleek and stylish designs. And by design I don’t just mean different colors. Nope! There are Pom Pom beanies, Hat Cap Braid beanies, Hat Cap Ear-cover beanies, and just about any style of beanie you can think of really and they all come in a wide variety of colors, you just have to pick whatever version you like best with whatever color interests you most.
The beanies are double-knit acrylic that feels comfortable against the skin even after hours of use. The inner lining is both a gift and a curse really, and while some will love it, there will undoubtedly be those who won’t appreciate it’s presence. Personally I really liked it and how snugly it left everything to fit onto my head, it’s comfortable and it’s presence means the beanie doesn’t stretch much (and by much I mean at all) and it retains it’s shape and size even after washing.
Now this becomes a bad thing because for some reason Rotibox decided to make all their Beanies one size fits all, and while with beanies that wouldn’t normally be a problem given the stretch room they have (normally), it’s counter-intuitive in this case because of the inner lining that stops said stretching. So while the beanie fit me quite well and should fit the majority of people out there, those with large heads will find this a problem.
The headphones fitted into the inside of the beanie are removable and are quite comfortable given the acrylic layer that lies between them and the wearer. The in-line remote is visible on the left side and the controls are easy to find and use.
Sound Quality and Wireless
Because the Rotibox Beanie is made for more than just sleeping, it features a sound quality that is above the norm for sleep headphones.
While it’s not by any means the best sounding headphone set in the world, it does do a good job of providing a quality listening experience with the bass coming off quite strong and the mids and highs crisp and solid.
The volume is sufficiently high that I haven’t had to use them at full blast. Now this factor is all the more important because of the acrylic layer mentioned above that sits between the ears and the headphones as this means the sound does come off as more than a little muffled so I have had to have my volume really loud in order to get the full use of the headphones, especially when I’m using them in outdoor activities.
The in-line remote has a built-in mic that helps when you want to take calls or otherwise control playback. While the sound quality is good over a call you will however have to speak up when using the Rotibox because the mic is far up and inside the beanie.
The Bluetooth technology used is quick to pair and has a pretty good range at nearly 33 feet, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
The battery life is stated at 6 hours but I’ve found mine to last just over 4 hours, probably because of the high levels of volume I have to use most times.
The biggest selling point of the Rotibox Bluetooth Beanie is how truly versatile it is, you can use it as a sleep headphone, use it for outdoor activities such as skating, running, hiking, skiing, camping trips or just out and about during the cold winter months.
The design is great and the concept truly well thought out but Rotibox should either have gotten rid of the inner lining or made the beanies available in a couple of different sizes.
The sound quality is solid and you will have very few complaints in that regard but comfort is where the Rotibox excels and should you have the need for comfortable sleep headphones that can double up in many other areas as well, this is exactly what you need.
Not to mention that the multi-functional features make these a great gift for any occasion, from birthdays to Christmas.
|Bose QuietComfort 20||⭐⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐⭐||High|
When you look at price value, the CozyPhones are absolute winners. Super comfortable and – in my opinion – slightly better audio quality than the AcousticSheep and Bedphones. On the other hand, the AcousticSheep are completely wireless, which always adds to the overall comfort level.
When it comes to audio quality, the specialised sleep headphones are easily outperformed by the SE215-K and QC20. The Shure SE215-K’s are an audiophile heaven in bed, although you’ll probably sacrifice a bit of comfort with them. While the Bose QC20 has the advantage with its superb Active Noise Cancellation.
A special mention goes to the versatility of the Rotibox Beanies as they provide so many aesthetic options that it’s nearly impossible not to find one to your liking. And all that while still maintaining great comfort levels and good sound quality (on par with the Cozyphones). On top of that they’re completely wireless for an unexpectedly low price.
In the end, it will all come down to your preference and budget.
Do you use a particular headphone for sleeping? If so, shoot me a comment and tell me what you think of them. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.