White Noise Machines vs. Earplugs: Which Is Better?

Should you be drowning out the noise or blocking it altogether? Find out what the experts say about white noise machines vs. earplugs.

White Noise Machines vs. Earplugs: Which Is Better?

When it comes to getting sleep, sometimes it can be difficult, especially if you have a noisy household. Televisions, teenagers, and pets can all make their fair share of noise, and when you’re trying to get a good night’s rest, they can also be your biggest inhibitors. Fortunately, there are a couple of solutions.

Finding the right product that will help you block out noise and enjoy a decent night’s rest can be a challenge. That’s why we’re here. White noise machines and earplugs are two ways that many people today keep from being disturbed when they’re trying to sleep in a noisy environment. Here, we’ll explain what makes them different and which might be the best option if you’re considering buying a noise-reduction product for your bedroom.

White Noise

White noise machines are speaker systems that emit multiple frequencies at equal intensities, ultimately making a noise that helps block out more distracting sounds, and ideally, helps a person fall asleep.

White noise machines have a plethora of benefits. In addition to helping your bedroom feel quiet, they also assist in creating a bedtime ritual. This can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to set up a sleeping routine for yourself or your children.

White noise machines also work to slow down the thinking in your brain. Instead of absolute quiet, they offer a replacement sound, so your mind becomes distracted from ruminating on whatever thoughts or memories are keeping you up at night.

In addition to all this, white noise helps you stay asleep once you’ve fallen asleep, by covering up any sudden noises that might occur while you’re catching your Zs. For this reason, white noise machines often lead to a more sound sleep, something that we could probably all use a little more of.

Finally, many white noise machines are portable, so you can bring them with you when you’re traveling. Some run on batteries, while others require an electrical outlet for power.


While some earplugs can play white noise, conventional earplugs do not. However, just because they cannot provide white noise doesn’t mean that they don’t have their benefits.

The most common type of earplugs are made out of memory foam, reshaping themselves to fit into your ear cavity with no pain or discomfort. In fact, foam earplugs are so lightweight and durable that many people often forget they are wearing them!

Earplugs are much more affordable than white noise machines, often coming in disposable packs that you can pick up at any local drug store. Aside from memory foam, they come in an array of other materials, such as wax, silicone, and even plastic. High-tech earplugs offer additional features such as playing music, amplifying certain sounds, and undergoing a custom-fit process to make sure that they perfectly adhere to your ear canal.

When it comes to downsides, earplugs can sometimes push ear wax into the user’s ear, ultimately causing a buildup that can potentially lead to larger health problems. However, when moderated, this shouldn’t be an issue for most users.

Finally, because of their size, earplugs are much more portable than white noise machines, making them ideal for those who are constantly on the go and want a no-nonsense noise reducer.

What’s the Best Choice?

If you’re somebody who’s looking to get some solid sleep, relax and shut down your brain in the evenings, and set up a reliable bedtime routine for your body, then white noise may be the way to go. If you’re not sure yet whether or not you want to invest in a white noise machine, search online to find a free trial application that you can use with your phone. If you like it, and you find yourself getting better sleep, then purchasing a white noise machine is your next step.

On the flip side, if you’re less interested in creating a routine and more interested in having a ready and accessible tool to help you block out loud and distracting sounds no matter where you are, then earplugs are a great place to start.

Remember, sleep is one of the most important activities a human can partake in, and it’s something that we do every single day. That being said, isn’t it worth it to find the best sleeping tool that will help you get a long, uninterrupted sleep? We sure think so!

Resources— Yogasleep, Healthline, Hearing Choices