Do you have your exams in a week or a few days, and can’t focus on your studies due to disturbing noise in the surrounding area? Or, do you have a presentation or seminar in the office and are unable to prepare for it due to traffic, a party in the upstairs flat, or any other noise? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, earplugs are can be your best solution. 

Earplugs are devices that block out unwanted noise and allow you to study for exams or prepare for seminars and presentations in a quiet environment.

best earplugs for studying

A quiet study environment is beneficial, as it helps you concentrate more and reduce distractions or interruptions, allowing you to grasp concepts more quickly. Though your home has a quiet environment for studying, you may get unwanted noise or distractions from outside. In addition, if you are sensitive to even a very low-frequency sound, you get distracted while studying. 

In such scenarios, earplugs can help by blocking out unwanted background sounds. This article aims to guide you in choosing the best earplugs for studying. We have listed some of the best earplugs for studying with their unique features and pros and cons. 

But first, let us begin by diving into the use of earplugs for studying.

Why Use Earplugs for Studying?

Many studies suggest that silence is key to achieving any task requiring high precision, focus, and brainpower. Studies also require high concentration and brainpower. Hence, a quiet environment is a must. 

Scientific American stated that noise affects brain activity, learning, memory, and concentration levels. Prolonged exposure to noise even worsens the condition, resulting in reduced performance at work or studies, poor memory, and difficulty learning. 

Any noise, even ambient noise, affects concentration levels because of the way a human brain processes sound. Even while sleeping, our brain does not rest, and our ears are always open and susceptible to noise. Hence, our ears constantly pick sounds from the surrounding environment and feed them to the brain. 

However, it is important to remember that every individual is affected by different sound levels. For instance, a person can get irritated with the sound of 60 dB, while another person can get disturbed by the sound level even lower than the normal one. There are certain factors in how ambient noise affects concentration and the brain. They are an individual’s state of mind, personality, and work, the type of noise, and the content of noise. 

Benefits of Using Earplugs for Studying

best earplugs for studying

Here are some potential benefits of using earplugs for studying:  

  • Improves Concentration: The foremost advantage of using earplugs is reducing background noise by blocking the outer ears, allowing you to focus on studying and retaining information. 
  • Better Exam Outcomes: When you study with high concentration, there is a high chance that you retain information for a long time. This helps you in getting better outcomes in exams. 
  • Saves Time: If you have read anything in a noisy environment, you might have to re-read the same page for better understanding. This requires you to spend more time. However, reading in a quiet environment lets you grasp concepts quickly without requiring you to re-read multiple times, significantly saving time. 

Types of Earplugs

Let us now discuss some of the major types of earplugs:

  1. Foam Earplugs

    Foam earplugs are the most effective types of earplugs for noise reduction. They are made of soft foam, are flexible, and are available in different sizes and shapes. Generally, foam earplugs’ noise reduction rating (NRR) ranges between 28 to 33.

    To insert foam earplugs into ears, roll them into a cylinder, compress them, and insert them inside the ear canal. They slowly expand to conform to the shape of your ear canal. This ensures a snug and secure fit. 
  2. Wax Earplugs

    The first commercially available earplugs were wax earplugs, which used paraffin wax. To insert these earplugs into ears, remove the surrounding cotton wool, warm the wax in hand, and roll it into a ball. Place the ball in the outer ear such that it covers the ear canal’s entrance. 

    However, it is essential to note that wax earplugs are designed only to cover the ear canal entrance. Do not insert them inside your ear canals. 

    The noise reduction rating (NRR) of wax earplugs is typically around 22 and 23.   

    As wax earplugs do not sit deep inside the ear canal, they are less effective in reducing noise. 
  3. Silicone Putty Earplugs 

    Silicone putty earplugs are similar to wax earplugs in terms of insertion into ears, noise reduction, and use cases. You can mold these earplugs into small balls, insert them into your outer ears, and flatten them over the ear canal opening. They simply cover the ear canal entrance. 

    Besides noise reduction, these earplugs are effective in preventing water from entering the ears while swimming. They have a noise reduction rating of around 22. 
  4. Reusable (Pre-Molded) Earplugs 

    Reusable earplugs, also called pre-molded earplugs, are designed to fit nicely inside the ear canal and offer significant noise reduction. Generally, they have a stem and three to four soft flanges on the top to insert easily into the ears. 

    Pull your ear up and outwards to insert reusable earplugs, gently place the earplug in, and release your ear. Ensure that all flanges are placed inside the ears. 

    The noise reduction rating (NRR) offered by reusable earplugs ranges between 20 to 28.  
  5. Custom-Molded Earplugs 

    Custom-molded earplugs are formulated according to the shape, length, and diameter of an individual’s ear canal. They are designed by taking the impressions of the ear canal so that they conform to the exact shape of the individual’s ear canal. The noise reduction rating (NRR) varies based on the type and purpose of earplugs. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Earplug

  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR): It is a metric that measures the effectiveness of noise reduction. The higher the NRR, the better the noise reduction. Hence, choose earplugs with higher NRR. 
  • Type: As discussed above, different types of earplugs are available in the market. Initially, determine your needs and choose the type that meets your preferences and requirements. 
  • Comfort: It is the primary factor to consider. Select earplugs that offer a snug fit and comfort, as you will wear them for a long time. If the earplugs do not fit properly in the ear canals, they may cause discomfort. 
  • Price: Earplugs are available in a wide range of prices, from low to expensive. Consider your budget and pick one that has all the features you desire. 
  • Versatility: Check whether the earplugs you choose are ideal for situations other than studying, such as sleeping, listening to music, etc. 
  • Durability: Verify that the earplugs you choose are made of durable material and are resistant to dust, humidity, and other external factors. 
  • Ease of Use: Earplugs should be easy to handle. You must be able to easily insert them into your ears and remove them quickly as and when required. 
best earplugs for studying

5 Best Earplugs for Studying and Boosting Concentration 

Now, let us dive deeper into our list of the best earplugs for studying.

Loop Quiet Earplugs 

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02/18/2024 11:12 am GMT

Loop Quiet Earplugs are reusable silicone earplugs designed to provide a snug and secure fit and day and night comfort. These earplugs for studying offer a noise reduction rating (NRR) of up to 26 dB (SNR), which is considerably higher. 

Besides studying, they are ideal to use for sleeping, as they block out sounds and let you fall asleep without any disturbances. They help reduce anxiety and stress by reducing triggering noises. 

If you are seeking a long-term option, we recommend you go with Loop Quiet earplugs, as they are made of durable materials. They are a great option for improving sleep, enhancing focus, boosting productivity, and general noise sensitivity. 



  • Stylish and classy look
  • Flexible soft silicone provides maximum comfort
  • A 100-day risk-free and hassle-free return
  • 2 years of warranty
  • 4 changeable ear tips with different sizes
  • Ideal for studying, sleeping, and other tasks


  • Not suitable for all types of ears
  • More expensive compared to its counterparts

Flents Protech Foam Earplugs

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Are you looking for earplugs to create silence in any loud environment? We recommend you consider Flents Protech foam earplugs. They are perfect for studying, sleeping, protecting your hearing from loud noises, and trying to focus or concentrate. They are designed from soft and flexible foam, so you can easily compress and insert them into your ear canals.

More interestingly, you receive 18 pairs in a single pack, which are easy to carry while traveling. They block impulse sounds and fit comfortably such that they prevent the feeling of being plugged up. The noise reduction rating (NRR) is up to 31 dB. 


  • Soft and flexible material provides a snug and comfortable fit
  • Offers 18 pairs of earplugs
  • A higher noise reduction rating


  • May not block extremely loud sounds

Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

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02/19/2024 10:02 am GMT

These earplugs for studying are among the most preferred choices, as they offer a noise reduction rating (NRR) of up to 33 dB. They are made of super low-pressure, Comfy Cush Comfort (Polyurethane) foam that provides a high degree of comfort and does not cause any irritation. 

Moreover, these earplugs are hypoallergenic and ideal for individuals with sensitive skin. Whether you are studying, sleeping, traveling, attending concerts, or trying to focus or concentrate on work, Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs help you create a silent environment. 


  • A higher noise reduction rating
  • Ultra-soft and flexible foam
  • Hypoallergenic and latex-free
  • Available in multiple pairs


  • May not fit well for people with small ear canals

Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite

Are you willing to use disposable earplugs for studying? Look no further! Howard Leight earplugs are the best choice. They are one-size-fits-all earplugs with a noise reduction rating of up to 32 dB. 

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02/19/2024 09:52 am GMT

Howard Leight earplugs are made of low-pressure foam and conform to your ear canal’s shape perfectly. Their contoured T-shape makes it easy for you to insert and wear. Moreover, smooth, soil-resistant closed-cell foam skin prevents dirt build-up. 

However, you must remember to discard these earplugs after use. Use clean hands to insert the earplugs into the ears.  


  • Closed-cell, soil-resistant foam prevents dirt build-up
  • Reduce noise to a greater extent
  • Available in uncorded and corded versions
  • Ideal for individuals working in various industries where they are expose to loud noises
  • Suitable for all type of ears


  • Not reusable

Etymotic Research ER20XS High-Fidelity Earplugs

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02/19/2024 10:48 am GMT

These next-generation high-fidelity earplugs are re-engineered to fit in an extra small, compact form factor. Though designed by keeping concert-goers and musicians in mind, these earplugs are most preferred among students for studying due to their out-of-the-box noise cancelation ability. 

The low-profile, stem-less design allows earplugs to fit snugly in the outer ear. A small pull tab makes it easy to remove from ears. 

These earplugs are discreet and comfortable to wear under hats, helmets, and other headgear. They reduce sounds across all frequency ranges and offer a noise reduction rating of up to 20 dB.  


  • Comes with a carrying case and a cord
  • Exceptional sound or speech clarity


  • A bit lower NRR than other contenders on the list

How to Properly Use and Care for Your Earplugs

Now you have a list of some of the best earplugs for studying. However, using them with proper care is essential to enhance your studying experience and elongate their durability. 

Here are some tips to care for and use your reusable earplugs properly: 

  • Insert them Properly: Every type of earplug has a different method of inserting in the ear canal. As a result, it is essential to follow the instructions provided on the packaging to ensure that you insert earplugs correctly and have a snug fit. 
  • Clean them Regularly: After every use of earplugs, make sure to clean them properly. Disinfect them with a small amount of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol after every few uses. If you use reusable earplugs, wash them when they seem dirty.  
  • Regular Maintenance: Always place earplugs inside the case to prevent them from getting damaged and keep them away from bacteria. Use them only when it is needed. Finally, clean your ears before inserting earplugs into your ear canals. 

How to Maintain Ear Hygiene When Using Earplugs? 

best earplugs for studying

Follow the below tips to maintain ear hygiene while using earplugs: 

  • Wash Hands Properly: Always wash your hands before touching earplugs to prevent dirt or bacteria from entering your ears. 
  • Use For Recommended Time: If you use disposable earplugs, use them only for the recommended duration. Do not use them after the recommended duration to avoid potential ear infections. 
  • Choose Hypoallergenic Materials: Use earplugs made of hypoallergenic materials if you are allergic or have sensitive skin. These earplugs reduce the irritation of the skin. 
  • Take Breaks from Earplugs: Do not use earplugs for extended periods of time. This allows ventilation to your ears and prevents moisture buildup, reducing the risks of ear infections. 


This was our list of some highly recommended earplugs for studying. Using earplugs while studying helps block unwanted noises, boosting concentration and grasping concepts quickly. Plus, earplugs save you time re-reading the same page and help you score better in exams. 

As a plethora of earplugs for studying are available, choose the right ones that perfectly fit inside your ear and do not cause discomfort even if you wear them for a long time. We have created the above list of earplugs based on the factors we mentioned. So, you can select any one that meets your preferences and needs.  


How do I choose the right size of earplugs for me?

Earplugs are available in multiple sizes, and some even offer various ear tips of different sizes. However, foam earplugs can fit snugly inside your ears, as they can be compressed and expanded. Other options include silicone or wax earplugs. 

Can I still hear important sounds like alarms or notifications while wearing earplugs?

If you want to stay alert to very low-frequency sounds after wearing earplugs, we recommend you choose high-fidelity earplugs. They aim to reduce the overall volume without sacrificing sound quality and clarity. 

How often should I replace my earplugs?

There is no specific answer to this question. The lifespan of every kind of earplug is different and entirely depends on the material used and the care you take. If you use disposable foam earplugs, ensure to replace them every few weeks to a month. This is because they wear out quickly and lose their noise reduction effectiveness

Can I use earplugs for studying in noisy public places, like libraries or cafes?

If you want earplugs for studying in noisy public places, be sure to choose one with a higher noise reduction rating (NRR). However, it is important to note that earplugs do not completely block out all sounds. You can try out different earplugs and select the most comfortable one. 

Head Hearing Health Clinician at Florida Hearing Institute | + posts

Florida License: AS-2471 – NPI: 1992749147

Ivonne Baixeras is a Florida-Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist with a track record of almost three decades treating hearing problems in Miami-Dade County and serving the needs of thousands of satisfied patients. Ivonne is a graduate of both Miami-Dade College & Florida International University and worked for many years at the largest national chain of hearing clinics in the US where she's received multiple awards.

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