12 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping in 2017

Getting a good night’s sleep is tricky business, especially if your partner snores or flails about in the sack all night. There isn’t much you can do about the latter, but our list of the best noise cancelling headphones for sleeping can certainly help you combat any snorers in your life.

Sleeping with headphones is not going to be ideal for everyone and may sound downright uncomfortable. We assure you, slumber is possible with the right headset, and we’ve scoured the web to find the best of the bunch. Our table below offers up 12 of the top noise cancelling headsets for sleeping around, and our guide below will help make your buying decision simple.

Top 12 Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping Chart

DesignNameNoise Reduction LevelBluetoothRating (1-5)
  1. Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones Active Yes 4.5
  2. CozyPhones Sleep Headphones Light No 4.2
  3. Panasonic RP-HS46E-K Slim Clip-on Earphone Light No 4.2
  4. Sony H.ear on Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone Active Yes 4.1
  5. Sennheiser RS 165 RF Wireless Headphone System High Yes 4.1
6. BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Over Ear Cushioned Headphones Active Yes 4.1
7. ISOtunes Noise Isolating Bluetooth Earbuds Medium No 4.0
8. MAXROCK (TM) Unique Total Soft Silicon Super Comfortable Sleeping Headphones Light – Medium No 3.9
  9. AGPtEK Ultra Soft Comfortable Wired Sleep Headphones Eye Mask Light No 3.7
  10. Hibermate Sleep Headphones & Sleeping Mask Light No 3.7
  11. Sleepphones SB5BM Wireless Headphones Light Yes 3.5
  12. Panasonic Noise Cancelling In-Ear Ear-Bud Headphones RP-HC56-K Active No 3.5

Buying Guide for Sleep Headphones

It doesn’t matter if it’s snoring, traffic or a TV set, sometimes you need to drown out the world to sleep. Headphones help but only if you choose the right set to suit your sleeping habits and needs.

Noise Reduction Level

Noise cancellation tech can be quite confusing to consumers new to the audio scene. All headphones are “noise cancelling” to a degree by the way they are designed to cover your ears. Some are passive while active noise cancellation involves special tech that requires power. For our purposes, we broke things down by the level of reduction offered.

  • Low – This tier includes “sleep bands” that wrap around your head or eyes and have headphones built-in. Some Over-Ear headphones also fall into this class if they do not have ANC.
  • Medium to High – Earbuds and Over-Ear headphones are great for blocking out most of the noise around you and can sometimes take care of it all. They are still passive, but a large step up from the aforementioned sleep wraps.
  • Active – This is where you’ll want to be if you need top-tier noise cancellation. All styles have this type of tech, but you will want to consider battery life as those active noise cancellation properties stop working when the battery dies.

Sleeping Position

Regardless of how much sound your new headphones block out, it is all for nought if they are uncomfortable while you slumber. That means you need to consider your eardrums and how sensitive they are to in-ear headphones. If they bother you during the day at all, they are not going to work at night. That means you need to look for Over-Ear or On-Ear headphones along with sleep bands.

If you decide to choose headphones that fit over your ears or sit on them, you may want to consider your hair. Hair can catch in a headphone band on a good day and can tangle if you are a restless sleeper. Over-Ear headphones may be too hot for some as well due to their cup-like nature. That said, some of the best noise cancelling headphones for sleeping will use lightweight materials in the cup which can help with the heat.

Usage

How and where do you plan on using your headphones? If you just need a set for use on a noisy airplane or train, you can go ahead and check out our choices for with ANC or the Over-Ear style. Those are best suited for high levels of noise and will allow you to lounge or doze upright with ease.

For bed usage, consider how you sleep. A side sleeper is going to want to look for earbuds as you only have to use one – the pillow will handle the other. Folks that sleep on their back or stomach can go with a wider variety of styles as long as you don’t toss and turn too much. It’s also wise to consider the person sleeping next to you, especially if cords are involved.

Top 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping Reviews

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose makes some of the best sounding headphones on the planet, and the Bose QuietComfort series has been a fan favorite for years. Due to their design, they are not going to be something most side sleepers will want to tackle, but the cups are quite comfortable whether you’re sleeping lying down or upright on a flight across the country.

We chose the QuietComfort 35’s due to their top-notch active noise cancellation which ensures you won’t hear that chainsaw like snorting coming from the other side of the bed. The battery life is outstanding at 20 hours on a charge, so you are covered for several nights of sound sleep in case you forget to juice them back up. There is a cable included if you decide to go wired and Bluetooth connectivity will allow you to connect to your handset, music players, and even some alarm clocks.

Whether the Bose QuietComfort headset is right for you depends on how you sleep and how you feel about over-ear headphones. Alternatively, these are the only way to go if you need to sleep in a noisy environment including trains and airplanes.

2. CozyPhones Counter Series Sleep Headphones

Sometimes you don’t need to move mountains when it comes to blocking out ambient noise; you just need to tone things down a bit. That means you may be able to step down to a headset that doesn’t have ANC but still offers up a measure of passive noise reduction. You’ll get that with the CozyPhones Sleep Headphones, just don’t expect them to stop anything too loud.

CozyPhones are what we would consider a true pair of sleep headphones as it is a simple band that slips over your head with two speakers built in. The speakers themselves are round and soft so they will not be tough on the skull if you are a side sleeper. They are not wireless but come with a 52” cable with a 3.5mm plug on the end. The band is washable, comfortable and made to stay in place while you slumber.

As for the size, the CozyPhones are listed from a child’s size at 46cm up to adult contour and lycra bands at 56cm. The corded models are only available in black, grey and violet while the Bluetooth version comes in violet and grey.

3. Panasonic RP-HS46E-K Slim Clip-On Earphone

The Panasonic RP-HS46E is a unique headphone that can be used for a variety of purposes including sleeping. While certainly not built for that, they qualify for our best noise cancelling headphones for sleeping list as they are clip-on earphones. If you aren’t familiar with the style, they are an amazing option for consumers that sleep on one side or don’t want to be fully cut off from their surroundings.

Panasonic’s headset is simple by design and lightweight with a slim housing measuring only 9.9mm. The drivers clock in at 30mm which is impressive for its size and width. The frequency response is sound as well at 20Hz to 20kHz. They are wired with a 3.5mm connector but can be worn in a single ear or as a set while you sleep. Unfortunately, there is one glaring drawback with the RP-HS46E headset.

These headphones use ear hooks to keep them in place which may be uncomfortable for some; it just depends on your comfort level and the type of headphones you prefer. You will also want to consider sound leakage as people around you will be able to hear what you’re listening to at medium to high volume.

4. Sony H.ear on Noise Cancelling Headphone

We didn’t put a tape measure to the task, but promise you that the Sony H.ear Headphones are some of the slimmest on our list. They are over-ear or on-ear depending on your head size and are wireless to boot. The battery life is rated at around 20 hours although you can pop the included cable in if you want to go wired or run out of juice.

We didn’t put a tape measure to the task, but promise you that the Sony H.ear Headphones are some of the slimmest on our list. They are over-ear or on-ear depending on your head size and are wireless to boot. The battery life is rated at around 20 hours although you can pop the included cable in if you want to go wired or run out of juice.

We didn’t put a tape measure to the task, but promise you that the Sony H.ear Headphones are some of the slimmest on our list. They are over-ear or on-ear depending on your head size and are wireless to boot. The battery life is rated at around 20 hours although you can pop the included cable in if you want to go wired or run out of juice.

5. Sennheiser RS 165 RF Headphone System

Rounding out our list of the top headphones for sleep are the Sennheiser RS 165 headphones. The RS 165’s are a headphone system that is built for home audio use but also outstanding in bed if you sleep on your back or stomach. Side sleepers will fear these however due to their size and the frame.

They may be bulky, but these are great headphones for globetrotters that need a sleeping solution as it comes with four types of wall adapters for different locales. It has a “base station” that gives you a range of 100 feet so you can hook it up in the living room and use them in the bedroom. The station also recharges your headphones and acts as a storage rack when they are not in use. There are quick controls on the side of the headset and a regular cable if you need to go wired or run low on power.

They may be bulky, but these are great headphones for globetrotters that need a sleeping solution as it comes with four types of wall adapters for different locales. It has a “base station” that gives you a range of 100 feet so you can hook it up in the living room and use them in the bedroom. The station also recharges your headphones and acts as a storage rack when they are not in use. There are quick controls on the side of the headset and a regular cable if you need to go wired or run low on power.