The 6 Best Reusable Earplugs for Sustainable Hearing Protection

Learn why Vibes High Fidelity is our top pick for reusable earplugs.

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Reusable Ear Plugs

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Whether you’re trying to get a peaceful night’s sleep, need of quiet for working or studying, or are protecting your hearing from the high decibels of a music concert, earplugs are an effective way to lower sound levels. Although often beneficial for your hearing, many single-use earplugs are not biodegradable and end up in landfills or polluting waterways

Reusable earplugs are a popular alternative used by musicians, festival goers, hunters, construction workers, or anyone who is frequently in a noisy environment. When shopping for reusable earplugs, keep in mind that different products have varying noise reduction ratings (NRR). The higher the NRR rating, the greater the noise reduction (with around 33 decibels being excellent for sleep). 

After careful research and consideration, here are the best reusable earplugs.

Best Overall: Vibes High Fidelity Earplugs

5
Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

Amazon

Featured on the television show, Shark Tank, Vibes noise-canceling earplugs can reduce sound by 22 decibels on average, and are virtually invisible with a clear outer shell. Three different sizes are available to ensure a proper fit, and the tip that fits into your ear is made from a soft, flexible silicone. They're durable and smartly designed, making them our top overall pick.

While traditional foam earplugs only decrease the volume of treble sounds, they don’t lower bass, resulting in a muffled sound. Vibes focuses on sound clarity, by reducing both the high frequency and low frequency evenly. Although designed for concerts, Vibes earplugs also work well for bartenders and nightclub staff, sporting events, motorcyclists, and individuals with sensory sensitivities.

Vibes also partners with Hear the World Foundation, to help fund projects for those in need of hearing aids.

Best Overall Runner Up: Eargasm High Fidelity Ear Plugs

4.6
Eargasm Earplugs

Courtesy of Amazon

Eargasm High-Fidelity earplugs can be used to reduce sound at concerts, when riding motorcycles, and in other loud settings. With an NRR of 16dB, these reusable silicon earplugs are designed for day use, although they can be used for sleeping in light background noise as well. The attenuation filter lowers the volume of sound but preserves quality so you can still hear people speaking.

With a discreet, clear exterior, the earplugs have a convenient pull tab that makes it easy to insert and remove. Two different sizes are included, as well as a waterproof, aluminum storage container. Connecting cords are sold separately.

Best for Loud Projects: DeciBullz Custom Molded Earplugs Pro Pack

DeciBullz Pro Earplug

Amazon

Decibullz Pro earplugs have a unique, custom-molded design the completely covers the outside and opening of the ear canal, ensuring a restful nights’ sleep. With a NRR of 31dB, the earplugs offer the highest sound reduction for hunting, construction, and other loud environments, and the custom fit and lanyard means the plugs stay put throughout the day.

Before use, they must be softened in boiling water (then cooled) and reshaped to fit into the ear (but are re-moldable if you don’t get it quite right the first time). The earplugs are made in the United State, are available in five bright color options and include a rugged carry case.

Best for Study: Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

4.8
Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you’re studying in a coffee shop, working from home or the office, or reading on the airplane, background noise is difficult to avoid. Loop Earplugs designed “Loop Quiet” specifically to help with focus, and these sound-blocking reusable earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 27 dB to alleviate the distractions (significantly higher than the company’s concert earplugs, Loop Experience).

The soft earplugs include six different tips to find the right fit and are also available in six different colors ranging from traditional black or white to pale pink or mint. The set also comes with a convenient travel container.

Best for Sleeping: Hearprotek Ultra Soft Noise Reduction Sleeping Earplugs

Hearprotek Sleeping Earplugs

Hearprotek

If you’re a light sleeper or live in a location with a lot of background noise, the Hearprotek earplugs can help you get a good night’s rest. With one of the highest sound reduction ratings available, the plugs block background noise and are comfortable in the ears. The kit comes with two earplugs, standard for adults (32dB) or a second pair for smaller ear canals and children (30dB).

The earplugs come with a handy key-chain case to bring with you on the airplane, bus, or train, and also includes a detachable cord, so they don’t get lost in transit.

Best Budget: FBFL Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

 FBFL Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

Amazon

For a very inexpensive pair of reusable ear plugs, this silicone FBFL option is less than $6 per pair. They have an NRR of 33 decibels, and are available in two colors. Some users don’t find them comfortable enough to sleep in, particularly if you’re a side sleeper. However, they work well for lowering the sound of noisy workplaces and loud equipment. They’re quite visible while you’re wearing them, so they’re not ideal if you want something with a low-profile. But it’s hard to beat this for the price point.

Final Verdict

Vibes High Fidelity is our top pick for reusable earplugs, thanks to a comfortable design, reasonable price, and versatility. For loud projects, we suggest the custom-molded Decibullz Pro.

What to Look for in Reusable Earplugs

Noise Reduction

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) and identified by a noise reduction rating (NRR). The higher the NRR, the more noise reduction, so a rating of 33NRR would be extremely efficient at reducing noise (ideal for sleeping). When purchasing earplugs, keep in mind what activity you will be participating in when wearing them. For example, concert goers want to hear the music (just not at a maximum volume), so a lower NRR would be more appropriate.

Size Options

Many reusable earplugs come in different sizes, so it is important to know what size fits best in your ear. If you aren’t sure, start with earplugs that include more than one size in a kit to see what feels comfortable and is the most efficient for you.

If other shapes have been an issue for you, the Decibullz Custom Moulded earplugs has a different approach for getting a better fit. You heat them to mould to the shape of your ear.

Additional Features

Some earplugs include corded attachments to prevent loss, while others come with storage containers or add-ons to customize the earplugs depending on the intended environmental use.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you clean reusable earplugs?

    For hygienic reasons, it is important to clean reusable earplugs as well as your ears. The earplugs can be inserted into a bowl of soapy warm water, then brushed with a soft bristle to remove any wax build up. After drying them, you can use a spray bottle of alcohol solution to disinfect. Be sure to wash your hands before inserting (fully dry) earplugs to prevent contamination.

  • How often should you clean reusable earplugs?

    Reusable earplugs should be cleaned regularly, and how frequently you do this depends on how often you use them. If earplugs are regularly used, they should be cleaned every few days (with a maximum of five), or any time they appear dirty. If you don’t use them frequently, you’ll want to clean them before and after use to help prevent bacterial growth.

  • How do you recycle earplugs?

    Reusable earplugs made of silicon can be difficult to recycle, but the non-profit organization Terra Cycle offers a zero-waste recycling program for both silicon and foam (polyurethane) earplugs.

Why Trust Treehugger

Living in close proximity to both a hospital and an airport, the author, Amber Nolan, struggled to find a quiet place to work. She researched and tested numerous types of disposable earplugs before making the switch to reusable.

In choosing her selections for the best reusable earplugs for this article, she considered several real-life scenarios, and factored in comfort, quality, and sound reduction in addition to other considerations.