The best festival earplugs for sleeping or loud music

by Sam Warrenger
Sleeping in a festival campsite with earplugs

There are two main types of earplugs you might want to bring to a festival, standard earplugs which block as much noise as possible to help you sleep while camping, and ‘high fidelity’ earplugs which protect your ears while listening to loud music – these only block certain frequencies, so you can hear crisp, clear sound without risking damage to your hearing.

Some people can sleep for hours in the rowdiest of campsites without any earplugs while others consider them an essential just to get through some distant snoring. If you’re a deep sleeper off to your first festival, don’t panic if you’re going without some. Chances are you’ll be more than tired enough to be straight out within minutes of your head hitting the pillow.

But if you’ve had more than a couple of sleepless nights in the campsites, it might be worth investing in a comfortable, reusable set of earplugs before your next festival. If you’ve tried disposable earplugs but not been impressed with the results, you might do better with a decent silicone, washable pair.

Regardless of how well you sleep, you’ll almost definitely be spending a lot of time around loud music through a weekend at a festival, so get hold of a separate set of ‘high-fidelity’ earplugs too. These stop your ears from ringing after a gig, so if you also find that ringing keeping you awake, wearing them while you’re partying could even help you sleep when you’re not wearing them.

Best earplugs for sleeping

Pretty much every festival packing list suggests bringing some earplugs to help you sleep in a noisy campsite, and the first ones you picture are probably those yellow foamy things you’ll find in any pound shop. These aren’t bad, and if you’re not sure if you’ll even need any, they might be a good place to start.

Unfortunately, they’re generally disposable and made from non-recyclable single-use plastic, so if earplugs become one of your festival essentials, it might be worth spending a few quid on some higher quality, reusable earbuds. Better for the environment, probably better for your wallet long term and hopefully they’ll give you a better night in your tent.

We’ve linked some sets of reusable earplugs like we use ourselves below. They all come with a travel case and can be washed in warm soapy water when you get home – and they’re also safe to clean with alcohol gel (like your hand sanitiser!) in a pinch while you’re camping!

I’ve found these to be much more comfortable than disposable earplugs, which never really helped me a get a decent nights sleep. These form a seal over your ear canal and are much less likely to wake you up when you roll over on your pillow.

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Best earplugs for loud music

For years, I didn’t even know special ‘high-fidelity’ earplugs for music existed, but they’re an absolute godsend if you’re fed up of your ears ringing the day after a gig or perhaps even the week after a festival. They only block damaging sound frequencies, so you can still hear the music clearly without risking damage to your eardrums – and of course, they’re washable and reusable.

The EarPeace High Fidelity earplugs come with interchangeable medium, high and max filters, so you can adjust your level of protection depending on the volume and your personal sensitivity. The manufacturer claims they’re even used by Metallica for their concert hearing protection!

As a budget alternative, the Alpine PartyPlug earplugs don’t come with interchangeable filters in the box but still provide clear music and conversation while comfortably protecting your ears from damaging frequencies – and they come with a carry case you can link to your belt or key chain.

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Image credits:
Featured: Edward Paterson on Unsplash
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