Ears are important little things (or not so little in some cases), and with everything we put them through, it’s crucial we protect them whenever we can. Whether its headphones
, powerful speakers
or a building site, loud noises can damage your ears and leave you with poor hearing later on in life. If you work in a loud environment or are partial to the odd rock concert or two then you may have considered investing in some hearing protection. Many people, however, don’t find standard hearing protection such as earmuffs
comfortable (or discreet for that matter), so this is where earplugs come in!
Earplugs are a fantastic way to protect your ears safely, comfortably and discreetly, and they aren’t just for loud environments either; earplugs are perfect for hunters, swimmers, wives of snoring husbands, and transcontinental flyers too! When choosing the best earplugs for you it’s important to select a pair that fit properly to ensure effectiveness and comfort. Selecting earplugs that are of poor fit can actually cause more damage than good so make sure you have an idea of the size you need before making a purchase. Earplugs are available in a variety of sizes so you should have no problems finding the perfect pair for you!
Another thing you may want to consider is the level of protection you need in your new earplugs. The effectiveness of earplugs is specified by the Noise Reduction Rating and is measured through decibels. Most earplug protection ranges from 15-35 decibels - the higher the decibel then the higher the level of protection. If you work on a loud construction site then you may want a higher level of protection than those who need earplugs to drown out the noise of a snoring spouse. Or maybe not if you have a particularly noisy partner…
There are two main types of earplugs available for you to choose from, disposable and non-disposable. Here’s a bit more information about both to help you choose the best earplugs for you!
- Disposable - Disposable earplugs tend to be made from a foam material and therefore mold perfectly to the inside of your ear. Their soft design is also more sensitive and tend to come in large quantities too. If you’re a swimmer or using earplugs for sleep or flight purposes then these may be the best product for you.
- Moldable/ Reusable - Unlike disposable earplugs, moldable earplugs are designed for repeated use. This means they’re normally made from more expensive materials such as polyurethane. Moldable earplugs also tend to have more features and include a cord or box to prevent loss. Due to their higher-end design, moldable earplugs tend to be more expensive and are more suited to those working in loud environments such as stadiums or construction sites.
When it comes to the cost of your new earplugs, this is going to depend on a variety of factors. Firstly, the type of earplug you choose is going to have a dramatic effect on price. Moldable or reusable earplugs tend to be more costly as they’re made from higher-end materials and include more features. Disposable earplugs can range from $15-$55 depending on how many features the product contains.
Disposable earplugs are often cheaper than reusable products due to the fact they’re made of cheaper materials such as foam. Some disposable earplugs, however, are only available in large quantities and therefore can seem more costly. You can expect to pay anywhere between $5 and $200 for disposable earplugs depending on how many earplugs each set contains. More expensive disposable earplug sets can include over 200 pairs, therefore larger sets can end up costing you less in the long term. Cheap earplugs are available ($3 or less for disposable and $10 or less for reusable) but be aware that these products may not be as effective or made from high-quality materials.
The earplugs you eventually choose are going to come town to your own personal preferences as well as what you’ll be using the earplugs for. There are a few features, however, that we recommend keeping an eye out for to ensure you choose the best possible product for you!
Here are some important features to look out for:
- Cord/ box (reusable only)
- Low-profile design
- High-Visibility (disposable only)
Construction and Design
When it comes to reusable earplugs, we recommend selecting a product that includes either a cord or a box. This will prevent you from losing the earplugs and keep them clean too. This will also prevent the likelihood or ear-infection and will allow you to travel with your earplugs easily.
Another feature we suggest keeping an eye out for is a product with a low-profile design. This is more relevant to reusable products and means that you can wear ear-muffs, masks and hard hats over the earplugs without effecting their quality. Earplugs with a low-profile design are also specifically designed to be comfortable under other nose reducing products too, making them ideal for construction sites.
If you’re a fan of disposable earplugs then we suggest looking for a product with high-visibility. This means that the product’s bright in color (usually pink or yellow) and makes it apparent to those around you that you’re wearing earplugs. This prevents people from thinking you’re just being rude, meaning they’re ideal for flights or other social situations.
Finally, we recommend choosing a product with a flanged-design. This is only relevant in reusable earplugs and means that the product molds to the inner shape of your ear for comfort and ultimate sound control. These earplugs are perfect for those working in stadiums and on construction sites due to their ability to block out louder noises.
Performance and Ease of Use
When it comes to caring for your new earplugs this is going to depend on the type of product you’ve chosen. For those who prefer reusable products, these earplugs should be replaced every 4-6 months to ensure they work correctly and won’t damage your ears. After use we recommend giving the earplugs a quick wipe over to prevent any infections from occurring. For ultimate ease-of-use we suggest selecting a reusable earplug product with a cord or box to prevent loss and to keep the product clean.
If, however, you prefer a disposable earplug product then caring for your product isn’t really much of an issue; simply throw the product away after use, easy! Just ensure you keep the pack of earplugs in a clean, dry area to prevent infection or damage.
If you’re after a particularly high-end product then we suggest choosing a reusable earplug that’s made from polyurethane or similar materials. These types of earplugs are healthier for your sensitive little ears, are hypo-allergenic and work brilliantly too!
We’re hoping that after reading our handy little buying guide you now have a better understanding about what type of earplugs are most suitable for you as well as the different features that are most important to you too! This will make it a whole lot easier when it comes to narrowing down your options and selecting the best earplugs for work or play. So, let’s not waste any time and get nosing through our top 5 picks!
SureFire is a U.S brand that creates a variety of products which include sound suppressors, protective ear-plugs, rifle magazines, batteries and pens. All of SureFire’s products are designed by American engineers in the brand’s headquarters in California. Surefire’s materials are also sourced from the U.S for high-quality at a great price.
We decided to feature SureFire’s Reusable Earplugs due to their reusable design and the fact they come in three different colors too! These 24dB noise reduction earplugs come with filter caps for safe sound levels. Their soft, adjustable design will make you feel like you aren’t wearing earplugs at all, with triple-flanged stems for all day comfort. These earplugs are also designed with a low-profile design that allows you to wear masks, helmets, hats or ear muffs at the same time, making them ideal for work environments. Made from hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer, these earplugs are long lasting, durable AND soft.
Founded in 1962 by Raymond Benner, Mack’s specializes in creating ear-plug products made from easy-to use, comfortable materials. Benner himself was a musician and understood how important protecting your ears in loud environments was. Benner’s aim was to create wearable products made from malleable substances that would also seal out water making them suitable during swimming too. Today, Mack’s is one of the most popular and successful earplug brands in the world.
We wanted to feature Mack’s Silicone Earplugs due to the brand’s overall popularity and the fact they can be used by swimmers too. This value pack of earplugs are America’s No. 1 selling silicone earplugs and mold comfortably to the contours of any ear. Not only this, these doctor-approved earplugs reduce noise at 22dB and are suitable for swimming, studying, travel, flying and loud events too! They’re also made from non-toxic, non-allergenic materials and even come with a carry case as well!
Fingers crossed, by now you’ve found your ideal earplugs and are now blasting your heavy metal whilst protecting those important little ears of yours! If, however, this isn’t the case then don’t panic, we have you covered! We have purposely selected brands that not only sell the best earplugs around but sell a variety of them too! Simply browse through their other products to find the best earplugs for you!