About to Murder a Chronic Snorer? Read Our Lowdown On The Best Earplugs & Finally Get Some Sleep

By Beaut.ie | February 6 2012 | 42 Comments

crap earplugs

Crappy earplugs I definitely do not recommend

I live with a man who snores. And OH GOD DOES HE SNORE. When it first started bugging me a few years ago it was hard to keep sight of the fact at 4am, with murderous intent in my heart, that he wasn’t doing it on purpose.  As he peacefully – and extremely noisily – slumbered while I watched another dawn break with rage building and fists clenched, I knew I had to do something about it.

You know, like trade him in for a younger model, or get some earplugs.

I’m kind of fond of him as it happens, so earplugs it was.

That sounds easy, except it’s not, because fragrant readers, the vast majority of earplugs on the market are quite frankly shite. You may as well be stuffing packing peanuts or thin air into your ears for all the noise-reduction they’ll give. In the course of a lengthy and sleep-deprived investigation, I’d say I’m pretty well qualified now to say what are the best out there.

And I’ve tried a lot. Here’s what I don’t recommend for blocking out snoring – these might be fine for other noise reduction, like preventing you from hearing the sound of kittens gamboling and ladybugs whispering, but I didn’t find them any good at all for getting a daycent night’s kip.

  1. Superdrug Foam Ear Plugs – I prefer this type of plug, which you can compress and place right into the ear canal, where it expands and fills the gap entirely, but these just don’t block out enough sound. Or, er, any sound
  2. Bio Ears – Firstly, TERRIFYING name. Bio Ears! Jesus Christ, I thought these feckers were going to clone me. Now, first problem with these is that you don’t push these into the ear canal and I think that’s vital for optimum noise reduction. They are just meant to be used to seal off the opening into the ear. This means they don’t really reduce enough sound, as it enters from more than just the ears – the facial bones, for example let in sound. In addition, as you’re sleeping, because they’re not inside the ear and protected from movement, you’re constantly aware of them and knocking them out of place. Pain in the ass  – much better for something like swimming or for protecting the ear canal from infection
  3. Mack’s Silicone Earplugs – these come in a few different varieties but they’re basically Bio Ears US style. I ordered them off Amazon after reading breathy testimonials about their marriage-saving capabilities. Crap. Save your money
  4. Other crap plugs include the yellow round ones with flat tops – don’t bother with these, they’re not powerful enough to block out snoring

And here’s what I do rate. Quies. These mothers are the bomb.

quies earplugs

Love U. Love U oh so very much

  1. Quies Foam Earplugs are the Rolls Royce of earplugs if you ask me. They block out the very most sound of any over-the-counter plugs I’ve ever been able to find both home and abroad (35db), they’re very comfortable to insert and wear, they adapt to the precise shape of your ears so block out the maximum amount of sound, they’re reusable, you can wash them a couple of times and they’re not expensive. A pack of three pairs is about €5 or €6 usually and I’d get about a three weeks to a month’s usage out of each pair. And oh god it’s so well worth it. I have to point out that you can still hear sound – but it is sufficiently muffled that it’s not taking over your life, dreams and sanity.  You will still hear the sound of the snoring, but so far down the register that you’ll be able to drop off no bother. They really did save my sleep. I love them – but these particular ones are hard to find. I just bought two packs at Hickey’s Chemist on Grafton Street, where they keep them behind the counter, like some sort of crack us earplug junkies have to be in the know about. Tell them I sent you!
  2. Quies Pure Wax Earplugs are my second choice and a good pick if you don’t like or are allergic to silicone. They can be moulded and inserted into the ears and they block out about 27db of sound, so a good bit less than the silicone foam ones. Also, they don’t automatically adjust as they’re wax, they kind of move a bit which is annoying and they look like horrid scary slugs under your pillow, which is not so nice. But they do work, and I am happy to use them if I can’t get the foam ones. Again, they’re about €5 and you get seven pairs in the box

earplugs - quies

Lovely squishy foamy colourdey sound-blocking Quies

 Tips on placement

Lots of people complain that they find earplugs uncomfortable to wear, but they won’t be if you’re using the right ones and placing them in the ear correctly.

  • If they’re very hard they will hurt so try rolling them between the fingers, squashing them up and down a few times to soften them up
  • The trick with silicone and foam earplugs is to roll and compress them into a thin ‘cigar’ shape before insertion – they won’t go in in their puffed up state or provide any noise-reduction, so roll each plug up nice and tight, then immediately place it into the ear canal
  • Place it all the way in, and then hold your finger against the opening of ear so it can’t pop back out. That gives the plug a chance to stay in place and expand back to its full size, which keeps it in place and blocks out the noise
  • If it’s a bit uncomfortable at that point pull it out a little – a couple of millimetres ought to do it
  • Don’t have them sticking out past the opening of the ear canal – they’ll catch when you turn and drive you mad

So – that’s my earplug experience. Anyone got anything to add?

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42 Replies to "About to Murder a Chronic Snorer? Read Our Lowdown On The Best Earplugs & Finally Get Some Sleep"

  • xgirl says:

    Let me tell you that a snoring husband is exponentially more annoying when you come back to bed having been up with a toddler for 20 minutes at 5:30 and know that you only have another hour to go before getting up for the day and the noise stops you from falling asleep… I fear me wearing earplugs might lead to accusations of child neglect when neither of us hears her crying, however.

    In fairness, he is usually good at doing his share of getting up to go to her, though the other night I asked him to go and he said yes, only to turn over, pull the blanket up and immediately start snoring again. Which I didn’t let him away with, needless to say.

  • This is great! My boyfriend snores like a walrus!

  • Kirstie says:

    xgirl – I was actually thinking as I was writing this that it must be godawful if you have a baby and a snorer to cope with because you can’t use them then – separate bedrooms what!

  • Would you hear the alarm clock with these? I’d be afraid of sleeping in cos I am a deep sleeper when I manage to drop off.

  • MsSitting says:

    Jaysus Beaut.ie – Are ye telepathic or what? Until I met Quies I thought I was going to kill my husband in my sleep. It was the first earplug to give proper instructions on how to insert them. Add to the ‘Tip on Placement’ – pull back ear a bit so the earplug easily inserts.

    He told me that once I punched him very hard in the back when I was sound asleep. I was trying to wake him up. If he goes out on the beer he can forget about sharing a bed. He has his room and I have mine.

    Before I met Quies. I went two nights without sleep. On the third day of this torture I burst out crying at my desk. I could tell my poor boss felt so sorry for me as he admitted he drove his wife insane with his snoring.

    It was so bad that on our wedding night I kicked him onto the couch.

    We’ve investigated surgery as well, but there is a small percentage of death. He’s put it on the long finger but I’m saving up. ;)

  • thefrog says:

    Quies foam really are the best. Back at university I used to sleep over at my best friend’s from time to time. And he snores something dreadful. These lovely little plugs are the reason we’re still friends 10 years later. Otherwise I would be writing this from a prison cell, guilty of murder.

    I also recommend them for concert. Same friend obliges me to put them in my ears before a show and I have to say that your ears will be thankful to you if you do this. It does not spoil the music at all but ensure that you won’t turn deaf after the show.

  • MsSitting says:

    Karen (Beating Myself Into a Dress) – I can still hear my alarm. The first few times I used them I couldn’t hear a thing though.

    Quies earplugs make even the crapiest hotel room fairly soundproof though.

  • Ruth says:

    these ones are great.. got them in Walgreens when i was in the US


    had been using the crappy yellow foam ones and the difference is incredible, they are wayyyyy more comfortable in the ears too.. only sorry i didnt pick up a few more boxes.. and Karen, i have never slept through an alarm, no matter how unconsious i was.. they tend to come loose in your ears towards the morning, in time for you to hear your alarms etc..

  • artdeco says:

    Com’ere to me….separate rooms is yer only man!

    When I first got married 37 years ago and realised that I’d married a snorer louder than World War 3, I’d say to myself….ah… he’s tired. After about a year it changed to, which knife in the kitchen drawer would do the job!

    I’ve gone through the whole gambit of waking for crying children and not getting back to sleep because of the racket, waiting for dawn and the lonely misery of it; being too tired for work.

    Earplugs of any description never worked for me. I coped by going to bed early and getting in some zzzz before the onslaught.

    A cunning plan emerged two years ago and now we have separate rooms and I’m getting the best sleeps ever!

  • Sjp's Missing Mole says:

    This is a subject close to my heart. When I first moved in with Himself, I didn’t sleep for a month. A WHOLE MONTH!!!

    I got seriously worried about our future together. And needless to say I was like an Antichrist with the sleep deprivation.

    I tried all the earplugs the chemist had to offer – the best were the Quies above, but they still didn’t cancel out the turbo-jet engine beside me. Then a girl in work gave me some her fella used on the building sites and they were amazing. Saved our relationship!

    Now I buy them in bulk off Ebay for damn all about once a year. They’re called Howard
    Leight Laser Lites, and you probably know them to see – they’re the neon pink and yellow ones. So if nothing else is working, try them, they really do cancel everything. (I do still hear the alarm, cos its so shrill – but distantly, like)

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