The Best Earplugs for Sleeping

Take Back Your Sleep & Your Health with Custom Molded Earplugs

When was the last time you had a GREAT night’s sleep?

According to sleep research, roughly 40% of Canadians suffer from some kind of sleeping disorder during their lifetime. In other words, if it’s not you… it could easily be your partner.

Interrupted sleep can take a serious toll on your health, productivity, and emotions during the day. Studies show that interrupted sleep can lead to 31% reduction in positive mood.

If you’re a light sleeper, we have good news: you don’t have to sacrifice your sleep anymore.

foam vs custom silicone plugs are worth it
Custom Molded Drifters™ vs. Classic Foam Earplugs

Custom Molded Sleep Plugs

  • The only custom sleep earplugs in the world designed specifically for side sleeping comfort
  • Maximum sound blockage (up to 33dB NRR)
  • Reusable, Washable – more hygienic & healthy
  • Easy to put in and remove
  • Don’t fall out of your ears
  • Soft and comfortable for side sleepers

VS.

Disposable Foam Earplugs

  • Maximum sound blockage (up to 33dB NRR)
  • Painful for some to wear for long periods
  • Not washable – can harbor bacteria etc.
  • Pop out of ears in the night
  • Hard to roll up and get in ears

Never had this done before. Very cool experience – nothing compares to custom fit ears!

Jensen Ackles
image of jensen ackles getting ear impressions taken by our audiologist at vancouver custom earplugs
Taking impressions on the set of Supernatural

Eat, Sleep, and Breathe

You need sleep as much as you need to breathe and eat. While you’re sleeping, your body is busy tending to your physical and mental health and getting you ready for another day.

When you’re deprived of sleep, your brain can’t function properly. It affects your cognitive abilities and emotional state. If it continues long enough, it can lower your body’s defenses, putting you at risk of developing chronic illness.

The more obvious signs of sleep deprivation are excessive sleepiness, yawning, and irritability. Chronic sleep deprivation can interfere with balance, coordination, and decision-making abilities. You are more at risk for falling asleep during the day, even if you fight it.

Sleep deprivation prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat, promoting fat storage and increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Sleeping With Snoring Noise

The majority of people we meet complain of a snoring partner – and it’s not always men who are the culprits (surprising… I know)

Losing sleep because of a snoring partner puts a real strain on your relationship. Whether it’s sleeping in separate rooms, punching (or smothering) your partner to make them shut up, or developing a deep disdain for their existence – it can wreak havoc on so many levels.

Then there’s noisy neighbors, barking dogs, nearby trains or traffic, the on-off sounds of appliances, crying babies… the list goes on.

The solution seems obvious: Block out as much noise as possible so you don’t hear it.

While some people find white noise and sleep gadgets helpful for drifting off… sometimes, you’ve just got to turn off the noise and get the hell to sleep! You can try changing up your diet, checking in with a sleep coach, or counting sheep, but none of these solutions will quiet noise like a good pair of earplugs can.

The Problem with Most Earplugs for Sleep

If noise is keeping you up at night, you know that there are a lot of different products on the market that you can plug into your ears to reduce the noise. For some people it’s as easy as buying disposable earplugs at the store and stuffing them in your ears before bed.

For others, it’s more complicated.

No matter which “off the shelf” earplugs you try, there’s always something that makes them impossible to use. Some of them are difficult to get in properly (that’s right Foamies, we’re talking about you).

With disposable foam earplugs, you have to roll them up and race to get them deep enough into your ear to be effective and not fall out. If you get that far and are able to block out some noise, you might find them painful in the morning or worse – in the middle of the night.

That’s because foam earplugs start to expand from the moment you stop crushing them. And they continue to put pressure on your ear canal until you remove them. That’s just how they work.

Some people get irritated skin from foam earplugs. It might be caused by the rough surface, sensitivity to the chemicals they’re made of, or a buildup of bacteria from extended reuse.

Side sleepers (the majority of clients we see) enjoy the added discomfort of earplugs putting pressure on the inside and outside of their ears. So, if your earplugs are not specially designed to avoid sticking out, you can forget about sleeping like you’re used to.

Our Custom Molded Drifters™ Earplugs Are Designed Specifically for Side Sleepers.

Image of custom made musician filtered earplugs
Silver White Custom Drifters™ Earplugs are made of Pillowsoft™ Silicone

Custom Drifters™ are made from our softest medical grade Pillowsoft™ Silicone and molded to fit your ears perfectly so you don’t feel the pressure of expansion like happens with foam earplugs.

They are customized and tailored to fit discreetly and not stick out from your ear. This allows you to sleep on your side pain-free while wearing them.

Just like our other custom molded earplugs, Custom Drifters™ boast a NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) of 26 dB – 30 dB and will reduce noise from snoring, flying, or other background sounds.

Custom Drifters™ are also washable so you don’t risk reintroducing any bacteria, viruses, or other nasty creatures into your ear like you do with disposable foam plugs.

They don’t shrink or crack over time and with some very simple care you can expect the material to last upwards of 5 years. Keep in mind that if your ear canal shape and size changes over time enough to affect the fit – you’d likely want to replace them.

They Fit Into Your Life Perfectly

Custom Drifters™ are perfect for you if you enjoy silence for meditation, focus for work, and help sleeping.

Picture of testimonial from client for snoring partner sleep plugs

DALLAS PRINZ

I sleep lightly, noise is an issue. I have a snoring partner and I needed to block this snoring before it wrecked our marriage, we also have other exterior noises. I really love how these plugs block out so much noise.

Picture of Liz in testimonial for custom sleeping earplugs and snoring noise

Liz StowE

I get an irritation from the foam ear plugs in the drug store. These ear plugs are soft material and I have no problem with allergies to the material. I have sensitive skin.

Image of Client testimonial for custom music earplugs

roselle thomas

I’m a music teacher and I teach in a loud echoing drama space. I needed to get some hearing protection as the noise level really bothers me. I’m also a brass player and I often play in front of the percussion so these fitted music plugs are perfect for both situations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it ok to sleep with earplugs every night?

Assuming you don’t have any injuries or abnormalities with your ears, experts in the hearing health field consider it safe to sleep with earplugs in your ears all night, every night.

Bear in mind: This is assuming you are using a clean and fresh pair of earplugs each time.

Doctors don’t recommend reusing disposable earplugs frequently because it is possible to cause an ear infection.

Do earplugs block out the sound of snoring?

When worn correctly, earplugs should block or significantly reduce how much you hear the sound of snoring. Keep in mind, if your partner snores loudly and/or your earplugs have a lower NRR, you may still hear some sounds.

It’s physically impossible to block all sounds as a good deal of sound is picked up by your inner ear through the conduction of sound through your bones. Our ears don’t have an “off” button. Now, that would be a nice invention.

Do I need to make an appointment?

YES. You need to arrange an appointment because the ear impressions must be taken in a qualified audiology clinic by a qualified professional.

How long do custom earplugs last?

The lifespan of silicone custom earplugs is 5 years. With proper care and use, the material won’t shrink or crack and will maintain it’s softness.

Do you work with insurance companies?

Yes, we work with insurance companies frequently. If you have insurance coverage, be sure to bring your insurance card to your appointment.

What is NRR?

NRR (Noise Reduction Rating) is a loudness measure of how many decibels (dB) earplugs and other hearing protection devices can block out when used as recommended by the manufacturer. A higher NRR indicates a greater amount of noise attenuation (or noise blocking). Ratings typically range from 22 dB to 33 dB for earplugs.

Is there warranty in case I’m not satisfied?

Yes, custom silicone earplugs come with a 1 year warranty against material manufacturing defects. We commit to working to make them perfect for you.

If necessary, your plugs can be remade and/or fine-tuned within 3 months to guarantee your satisfaction.

What is the process of getting custom earplugs?

Once your ear impressions are taken, they are sent away to a manufacturer and the earplugs are custom made to perfectly match the shape of your ear canal. Within 10–‐14 days your custom earplugs will be received at our office. Then, we’ll ship them to you and contact you to confirm shipment.

You’ll be provided with a carry case, cleaning tool and online support if needed.

What else can I do to reduce night time noise?

While earplugs help to reduce night time noise, you have several additional options, including headphones, sound generating apps, fans, white noise machines, and room modifications.

Several sleep headphone designs are available, but they tend to be cumbersome if they are wired. If they are wireless, they tend to be too bulky to allow for side sleeping

You can buy sleep masks and pillows that have built-in speakers to add sound into the mix but, again, they can be awkward and uncomfortable.

Sound apps can be found on your phone and/or in conjunction with headphones. You can even find great sound libraries of music, meditations, nature sounds, and sleep stories on Youtube.

White noise machines produce a consistent noise that sounds like falling water or radio hum. This can help drown out other sounds. You can get the same effect with a fan.

You might even consider modifying your room. Soft absorbent materials, like curtains and carpet, will help deaden the sound and quiet the room. If outside noise are to blame, you can get sound isolating curtains.

Encouraging Story From A Happy Client

Customized Earplugs For The
Lover Of A Person Who Snores

By Anonymous (a writer who came to us for custom sleep plugs)

Sleep-Deprived Love

I’m a writer who’s happily married – that is, until my husband falls asleep. He snores, and loudly!

It’s hard not to feel cranky when the snoring wakes me up (or stops me from falling asleep in the first place), and horrible for expressing my sleep-deprived frustration at all.

I know it’s not his fault, and I actually feel bad for him because he regrets causing me hardship. We’ve consulted specialists, but have yet to find a workable solution for him.

So I’ve sought help for me. Over the years I’ve discovered all of the things that don’t work. Asking him to sleep on his side? The snoring continues. Covering my ears with pillows is useless. Buying a king-sized bed has allowed me to put my head at the other end of the bed, but it’s not enough. I’ve tried every type of commercial earplug out there. Some stay in my ears and some don’t, and some dull the sound slightly – but none have really worked.

Wearing earbuds that mask the sound of snoring with white noise or tranquil music is a non-starter, as I need quiet. Noise-cancelling headphones don’t work for side-sleepers like me. I’ve thought about knock-out sedatives – but who wants to sleep-walk into drug dependency and put the long-term health of one’s kidneys at risk?

We hate the idea of having to sleep separately, and in a small urban apartment, don’t even have many options for that. I ruled out sleeping in our second (and only other) bedroom, because it serves as my office and I’d go mad if I had to work and sleep in the same room.

So several years ago, I began setting up a temporary bed each night in our living room.

I’d start most nights in bed with my husband, have my sleep predictably shattered as the snoring got going, and end up trudging blearily to my living-room bed once again – where I would struggle to get back to sleep. Crappy earplugs helped reduce the sound of his snoring that was still audible from our bedroom!

Guests, Vacations: It’s Complicated

Other situations were problematic. We love hosting out-of-town friends, but that meant my choices were: share the living room with our guests (having to explain our private dilemma, and hoping that they too are not snorers!), sleep in my office, go without sleep in our own bedroom or… just send me, or our visitors, to a hotel.

Staying at friends’ places, or together at a hotel, was similarly complicated, because one room never works.

And while we love camping, it’s way less fun when you have to bring two tents, space them as far apart as possible (not easy on some campsites!), bring extra sleeping bags and mattresses (bulky!), and ultimately, each sleep alone in the great outdoors.

Nowhere To Go But Up

Two years ago, a friend told me about an acquaintance who’d solved her snoring-partner problem with custom-made earplugs. As a veteran of every commercial earplug available, I couldn’t imagine how they could work. But I looked into it, and found Vancouver Custom Earplugs online. The price gave me pause – several months’ pause, in fact. But as it sunk in that there was nowhere for my sleep-deprived life to go but up, I decided to try it.

Jamie Larsen, the owner of Vancouver Custom Earplugs, was sympathetic. After conducting a brief ear examination and hearing test, he made an impression of my ear canal. This involved squirting a cool gelatinous substance (a silicone ear-impression compound, which Jamie likes to call “pink goop”!) into my ears. What a strange feeling! I was asked to just sit there for about 3 minutes while the compound solidified into a semi-flexible state.

When it did, Jamie easily removed it from my ears – with absolutely no pain or unpleasantness. I was asked to select a colour for my earplugs, and then wait for a couple of weeks while the impressions were used to create my personalized earplugs.

When I picked up my new earplugs, which came with a discreet little leather case, I was surprised by how they looked. They’re made of high-grade silicon, are completely unlike the uniform, cylinder-shaped mass-produced earplugs, and looked quite different from each other.

I suppose I’d expected that the right- and left-side earplugs would be mirror images of each other. It turns out ear-canal shapes are not only unique to each human—they unique to each person’s ear!

Jamie’s assistant showed me how to slip them in, and told me it might take a few nights to get used to them. She also told me that if there were any problems with them during the next 60 days, the earplugs could be adjusted or re-made—and that they are guaranteed against defect or breakage for a year.

I was excited to try them, but to be honest, that was tempered with wariness of disappointment after having tried just about everything in our range of possibilities. On my way home, I wondered if I’d just thrown out good money for two colorful little bits of silicone.

That night I set up my living-room bed as usual, crawled into bed with my husband, and put in my new earplugs. They felt fine, but wearing them did not make the room silent. I could still hear my husband when he spoke directly at me in a conversational tone of voice.

But they did seem to take the edge off all ambient sound – as if you’re listening from underwater. I managed to drift off before the snoring started.

My New Life

Here’s the astonishing part: I woke up the next morning refreshed – and in the same bed as my husband. Ever the skeptic, I wondered: Was this a fluke – perhaps one of those rare nights when I’ve been so exhausted that I somehow slept through the storm?

But then I passed another restful night beside him, and another, and another. After about a week, I had to conclude the obvious: They work!

We now sleep together all night, every night, and comfortably share one bed – at home, at friends’ places, and at hotels. Our out-of-town guests get our living room to themselves, and no one needs to hear about our snoring/sleep woes! Best of all, that whole source of tension in our relationship is gone.

As a self-employed writer, I’ve come to cherish these earplugs for other reasons. I sometimes crave the presence of others, or just a change of scene, while I work, but in cafes and libraries I always wrestle with the distractions of nearby conversations.

Thanks to Vancouver Custom Earplugs I can now be productive in a wider range of environments, even long-distance buses and planes (where, with a sleep mask, I can even catch some sleep).

Last year I did a contract that required me to spend many hours writing in a shared, busy office – ugh! These earplugs saved my sanity. They seem to flatten nearby conversations to an indistinguishable murmur, and they’re so comfortable that I often forget I’m wearing them when I step away from my work!

Seriously, these customized earplugs are the best investment I’ve made in my health, my relationship, and my mobility as a writer in years. I’m planning to get a second pair to ensure I’m never without them, and my only regret is that I didn’t find out about Vancouver Custom Earplugs sooner.