What Are The Best Earplugs For Hearing Protection?

three sets of ear protectors

Today there are many types of earplugs on the market for hearing protection In fact there are so many that you might wonder which is best Some are expensive some are cheap and some come in giant bulkbuy boxes 

Earplugs tend to be made of one of four materials: wax foam silicone or thermoplastic Some are reusable while others are single use Many are generic while you can have others made to fit the shape of your ear canal Below we discuss some of the best earplugs for hearing protection and which you should choose depending on your individual needs 

Foam Earplugs

Foam earplugs are the most common on the market right now You typically find these in hardware stores for people who work with noisy machine tools Some pharmacists also sell them as sleeping aids 

Foam earplug material feels a bit like memory foam They typically come in different grades Manufacturers give some of them large soundcancelling voids while others opt for smaller internal structures Generally the higher the quality the earplugs the finer the voids are Larger void versions may make crackling noises as they expand in your ear while smaller ones do not 

Using foam earplugs is incredibly simple You start by squeezing and rolling up the tip of the plug and then insert it into your ear After insertion it will begin to expand creating a snug seal in your ear canal This seal then reduces the energy of incoming sound waves 

Foam earplugs are mostly generic coneshaped objects Some users may find that foam irritates the inside of their ears or makes them itchy upon waking However some brands now offer ergonomic varieties designs to fit ears more comfortably 

Lastly most foam earplugs are disposable Once you finish using them you throw them away However they are not always single use as commonly assumed You can actually use the same foam earplugs multiple times until the material loses its shape

Silicone Earplugs

Silicone is another popular earplug option Silicone is a great material because it is hypoallergenic and does not tend to irritate the lining of the inner ear Furthermore because it is also waterproof it is a great option for swimmers looking to keep their ear canals waterfree 

Manufacturers often make silicone earplugs bespoke for individual users Generic versions feature ergonomic designs that fit inside your ears more snugly Silicone earplugs are popular because they are nearly infinitely reusable Many people keep their plugs for years reducing waste and avoiding further expenses 

Wax Earplugs

Wax earplugs are a mixture of blended wax and cotton fibers Unlike other earplug varieties discussed so far this option doesn’t sit inside the ear canal Instead it forms a seal over the top of it This makes them extremely comfortable to wear and ensures that they do not interfere with the ear’s wax secretion 

Wax earplugs have been around for a long time Some companies first started making them all the way back in 1918 What’s more they offer a high level of noise reduction – on a par with some of the best foam and silicone versions 

You apply them by pushing against your ear opening The wax will then naturally conform to the shape of your outer ear forming a seal Many people who wear wax earplugs find them so comfortable they forget that they are wearing them This makes them an excellent option for sleeping 

Thermoplastic Earplugs

Thermoplastic earplugs are a final option These look similar to foam plugs and sometimes have flanged ends for easier insertion and extraction Products in this category tend to be hypoallergenic latex free and do not contain any allergic ingredients They are also relatively cheap and depending on the manufacturer devoid of potentially harmful and unnecessary colorants 

How to Choose the Best Earplugs for Hearing Protection

All of the options discussed above provide good hearing protection However if you are using earplugs for hearing protection make sure that they block sufficient sound for your application For example if you need earplugs for operating heavy machinery ensure that their hearing protection rating is sufficient to bring the total noise level down to 85 decibels Going above this for long stretches of time could potentially lead to hearing loss 

Choosing the best earplugs for hearing protection isn’t always straightforward However with professional help from a hearing instrument specialist it is much easier If you’d like to learn more about which earplugs to choose please call Beltone Hearing Center Lethbridge at 4039424327 for more information