Written by Alfie Bektas on June 30th 2023.
Scientifically fact checked by Kokoon.
Looking for the best headphones for sleeping? You’ve come to the right place.
Many people find it difficult sleeping with external disturbances like a snoring partner, noisy room-mates, loud neighbours or the hum of traffic. Some struggle with racing thoughts, anxiety and calming down before bedtime. And others just need audio to help them fall asleep.
So a great option is to opt for headphones that can help them wind down before bed, fall asleep easily and stay asleep soundly.
However, with so many sleep and relaxation headphones on the market, it can be hard to know which pair best suits you and your bedtime routine.
That’s why we’ve made it a little easier and handpicked our top sleep headphone picks based on quality, comfort and technology, enabling you to select the best headphones for your sleep and relaxation.
What are the best headphone materials for comfort?
The fabric your headphones are made from need to be:
- Natural, if possible
You’ll be wearing your headphones for either winding down before bed and/or during sleep, so they need to feel as comfortable and weightless as possible. Having headphones made from natural fabrics is better for not only your comfort but also the environment. With natural fabrics, your ears and head should sweat less and comfort levels will be far greater, especially as you’ll be wearing them for long periods of time.
Take for example Kokoon’s Nightbud headphones for sleep. They were designed with comfort in mind, so coupled with a sleek design, we only use natural fabrics with it's ergonomic design providing comfort throughout the day and night.
Noise cancelling or non-noise cancelling headphones for sleep?
It depends what you’re looking for. If you want to use your headphones for sleep and relaxation then noise-cancelling headphones are the way forward. Choosing noise cancelling headphones allows external disturbances to be masked and ‘cancelled’, depending on the design of the headphones.
Kokoon’s Nightbuds use noise masking technology to enable you to remain undisturbed whilst you’re using the headphones. They react to the sounds around you and prevent those noises from disturbing you by emitting the opposite signal to basically ‘cancel’ the sounds, once they collide. This is a useful feature if you’re avoiding noisy neighbours or disruptive traffic.
Smart sleep headphones or ordinary headphones?
So what’s the difference between smart sleep headphones and ordinary headphones?
Ordinary headphones are usually designed just for their audio functionality and (hopefully) comfort. Their purpose is to be used for listening to music, taking calls or watching movies. Whereas smart sleep headphones are designed to help you wind down and drift off to sleep comfortably and effortlessly using smart technology.
Smart sleep headphones like Kokoon’s science-backed Nightbuds, use sleep-monitoring technology such as EEG and motion-sensing to monitor your sleep so you can gain insights into your sleep such as:
- Your sleep efficiency score
- The time it took you to fall asleep
- The time you spent asleep
By working with the MyKokoon app (which also offers audio for sleep), you can view these insights every time you wear them after a night in bed.
You need to decide whether you want a pair of headphones designed for just listening to audio, or a pair designed for improving your sleep quality with great quality audio as well.
Other criteria you should consider
- Your budget - do you want to spend a little or a lot?
- Whether you want in-ear or over-ear - which do you prefer? (Kokoon do both)
- The brand you’re buying from - are they a reputable, quality brand?
- Online reviews - have you read feedback from other users?
Best sleep headphones on the market today
1. Kokoon Nightbuds
We’ve kicked off with Kokoon Headphones as we think we’re the best in the biz when it comes to quality, technology and price point.
Kokoon’s Nightbud Headphones are sleep-monitoring, noise-masking headphones for chill and travel and work with the app to adapt your audio to your sleep.
Kokoon’s Nightbud Headphones are the perfect solution to your relaxation and sleep troubles. They’ve been designed to help you wind down and relax before bed or whilst travelling and they offer a quality noise-cancelling solution for back sleepers.
- Sleep-monitoring sensors
- Noise-Masking technology
- Work in tandem with the MyKokoon app to monitor your sleep
- Made for home or travelling
- Designed for comfort and breathability
- Perfect for side sleepers
- Work with the MyKokoon app for sleep audio and sleep-monitoring feedback
Nightbuds offer all-day comfort for whenever you need a moment of relaxation. Whether you’re at work or at home, you can nestle away in your kokoon by putting them on and tuning in to MyKokoon’s calming audio. The earbuds are the thinnest in the world (notably thinner than Apple AirPods) making them perfect for all sleep positions - especially side sleepers.
With the MyKokoon app, they monitor your sleep to help you understand what works best for you as you’re drifting off to sleep and whilst you’re asleep.
The adaptive audio features enable you to access an audio-fade feature as you’re drifting off to sleep, plus noise-masking white noise to stop your sleep from being disturbed. So long noisy neighbours and snoring partners!
With a focus on comfort, style and technology, the Nightbuds come up trumps for those looking for the best headphones for sleep and relaxation.
The unit is also absolutely tiny at just 7cm wide x 3cm tall so you'll barely notice they're there!
SleepPhones are headphones designed for sleeping in. SleepPhones aim was to focus on comfort, especially when worn in bed by side sleepers who want to listen to audio.
- Removable speakers
- Luxuriously soft headband
- Wired or bluetooth versions available
- Eco-friendly electricals
- Hypoallergenic fabrics
SleepPhones have removable speakers so you can use them with or without audio. Their speakers are thin and can be connected to any type of audio such as Spotify or YouTube.
There are two options to choose from, either a Bluetooth version where you can stream audio via Bluetooth or a standard wired 3.5mm audio jack version, which allows you to connect the speakers to a smartphone.
SleepPhones can be used whilst in bed, doing yoga or whenever you’re relaxing as they’re designed to be worn as a headband. When worn in bed, they can help to reduce noise such as traffic and a snoring partner. They sit on the ear rather than in the ear, for those who prefer that style of headphone.
They offer two styles to choose from:
- A fleece headband for sleeping and low-key activities like meditation
- A breeze headband for runners and hot sleepers
SleepPhones vs. Kokoon
Both products have their similarities in that they are designed for comfort, to help the wearer relax and to encourage a good night’s sleep. So which style is best for what you’re after?
Choose SleepPhones if…
- You’re looking for a pair of sleep headphones you can also run in. SleepPhones have a sweat-wicking option for working out which make a great 2-in-1 solution.
- You don’t like the feel of an over-ear headphone, as their speakers are flat and designed to sit very tightly within the headband.
Choose Kokoon Nightbuds if…
- You want a noise-blocking solution that will block external noises significantly.
- You’re a side sleeper. Although you can sleep on your side with sleephones, Nightbuds slim design are better for those who sleep on their side.
- You want a headphone that uses sleep-monitoring technology to help you to sleep better now and in the future.
- You want a pair of headphones backed by science and developed to significantly improve your sleep.
3. Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Studio Headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Studio headphones are over-ear and an ideal choice for back sleepers. They’re very sturdy in design and aim to deliver great sounding audio in the studio or in the bedroom. Both the 32 and the 80 Ohm can be used for sleep.
- Great for back sleepers who need audio to fall asleep
- Soft, velour earpads for ultimate comfort
- Flexible headband to adjust to different head sizes
- Strong noise isolation
- Excellent sound quality
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Studio Headphones are a great choice for back sleepers thanks to their strong noise isolation abilities. By creating a secure seal around your ears, this style of headphone can block external disturbances so you can drift off to sleep or completely relax in busy places.
Their soft style has been designed to wear in the studio for hours and are great to wear all night in bed, with cushioning and padding so you can totally relax.
Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Studio Headphones vs. Kokoon Relax Headphones
Both products have a similar look to them, but it’s the detail in the technology used that makes them different. So which style is best for what you’re after?
Choose the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro Studio Headphones if…
- You want a pair of headphones for high-quality sound for both inside and outside the bedroom.
- You want to sleep on your back and enjoy noise isolation for a less disturbed night’s sleep.
- You’re looking for a comfortable pair of headphones you can wear for hours.
Choose Kokoon Nightbuds if…
- You want a pair of headphones you can wear for hours for relaxing or sleeping on your back that are also breathable and keep you cool whilst wearing them.
- You’re looking for noise-blocking headphones that actually block external noises such as traffic, snoring and noisy neighbours.
- You want a product that has been meticulously designed solely for the purpose of sleep and relaxation, with sleep-monitoring tech.
Hoomband is another headband-style headphone for sleep. They’re wireless and designed for side sleepers who don’t mind sleeping with a headband on.
- Very flat earphones side sleepers can sleep on
- Ventilated fabric that’s washable too
- Elasticated fit
- Can be used for travel, meditation and sleep
- Wireless with Bluetooth
The Hoomband has been designed to feel comfortable whilst listening to audio as you fall asleep, during meditation and also if you’re travelling.
The headphones are ultra-thin so you aren’t disturbed by the feel of the headphones when nodding off. They also use thermoformed foam which ‘encloses’ the headphones for extra comfort.
You can listen to Hoomband’s own app and discover audio for sleep and relaxation or connect with your own favourite audio apps.
Hoomband vs. Kokoon Relax Headphones
So how does Hoomband compare against Kokoon Relax Headphones? Which one is right for your needs?
Choose the Hoomband if…
- You’re looking for a headband-style headphone.
- You’re a side sleeper and want something that feels discreet.
- You’re looking for a sleep app to use for audio made by Hoomband.
Choose Kokoon Nightbuds if…
- You prefer a traditional-looking style of over-ear headphones.
- You want to monitor your sleep to improve it each night.
- You want a sleep headphone that’s science-backed and at the forefront of headphone innovation.
- You want a headphone that blocks noise and external disturbances.
Get started with sleep headphones today
If you’re looking for sleep headphones that are:
- Designed for sleep and relaxation
Then Kokoon Nightbuds are the perfect pair for you. If, however, you want headphones for more than sleep and relaxation improvement (for example to use in the music studio as well), then you may need to look at the other options highlighted in this article.
Which pair of sleep headphones will you choose? Over to you.