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Quick Guide to Sleeping With Headphones On (from Comfortable Pillows to Special Headphones)

Have you found that you can relax and fall asleep better when you are listening to music rather than being in complete silence? Yet, do you have a partner that prefers her silence?

One way to reconcile this is to wear headphones while you sleep. This is a lot easier said than done, but this article will give you tips on how to sleep more comfortably with headphones on.

First a Word of Caution

For several reasons, doctors warn against sleeping with headphones on. First of all, if you are wearing headphones with wires, there is the slim yet distinct possibility that you could accidentally choke yourself.

Even if you find a good set of wireless headphones, and they are out there, when you move during your sleep, they will interfere with your ability to have a good sound sleep. In addition, if you live on your own, you may not be able to hear a smoke detector going off when your place is on fire.

Special Pillows

Special pillows can make sleeping with headphones more comfortable. Although finding pillows that are marketed for this purpose might be quite difficult, you can find a lot of ergonomic pillows that will help you sleep in the correct position. For instance, if you are a back or a stomach sleeper, you can opt for this slim foam pillow, or, if you are a side sleeper, you can try this shredded memory foam pillow. If you want to be even more comfortable, you can also try this leg pillow that will relieve your back pain and provide long-lasting comfort.

The Headphones Are Key

If you are willing to live with the above risks in order to sleep with headphones on, you should consider purchasing ones that are specifically designed for sleeping. You generally have two main choices of special headphones you can wear in bed based on your budget and needs.

Rob J. Our Expert

You can either use high-tech noise-cancelling headphones or padded fabric headphones. The main differences between these options are their cost and their ability to block out external sounds.

For instance, the fabric headphones are relatively affordable and comfortable but they do not do so well at blocking out loud snoring. On the other hand, noise-cancelling headphones are expensive, but they have superior sound quality and will effectively mask any annoying sounds.

So, essentially, when you are figuring out how to sleep on your side with headphones, you need to find headphones that are comfortable for you and fit your purposes and price point. I have tried a broad array of headphones for sleeping over the years, below are some of the better options I have found.

The Tooks Sportec Band

There are two main uses for the Tooks Sportec Band: sports and sleep. They are comfortable headphones to wear in bed made from a choice of dryfit or soft micro-fleece material.

Based on the design and softness of your pillow, you may find you need to adjust the headphones a little when you are sleeping on your side. However, they should lead to a comfortable sleep.

There is a chance you will feel the speaker on your ear if you sleep on a hard or thin pillow. However, the speakers are buried deep in the fabric.

Acousticsheep SleepPhones

As a side sleeper, you might consider Acousticsheep SleepPhones. When you sleep on your side, your ears will not be bothered by the speakers since they are made from a comfortable and soft padded fabric.

Without feeling too loose or too tight, the headband fits snugly. And, on cold nights, you can get a little extra warmth from it. There is no noise-cancelling technology built in, yet the sound quality is good. Low to mid-range noise will be at least partially blocked out.

Rob J. Our Expert


Bedphones are thin, small headphones that are comfortable enough to sleep with, yet they do not quite disappear while laying your head on a pillow. You are able to keep your music-playing device on a nightstand thanks to the long cord.

My phone has yet to be pulled off the nightstand, and I do not get tangled up in the wire. The earhooks are quite comfortable and ensure they headphones stay in place while you sleep.

If you have a large budget, Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones may be a good choice. They cost hundreds of dollars, but as the name suggests, they have excellent noise cancelling abilities.

Essentially, the key to how to sleep on your side with headphones is to have the right headphones. Though it is dangerous to sleep with headphones in, if you are willing to live with the risk, the above options should serve you well.

However, it is worth your time to research what is best for your purposes. Sweet dreams!