I carry earplugs and use them even when it’s quiet.”

Max Apple, Writer

Pros and Cons of Earplugs

advantages and disadvantages of earplugs

Earplugs can be quite an effective tool to protect yourself from noises of several sorts.

Yet, there are also some problems related to the use of earplugs.

In this article, the pros and cons of earplugs are examined in detail.

Audio Lesson

Advantages of Earplugs

  1. Good to improve your sleeping quality
  2. May be beneficial to maintain relationships
  3. Earplugs are cheap
  4. Different sorts of earplugs
  5. Easy measure to protect yourself against noise
  6. Can be good for traveling
  7. Lightweight
  8. Earplugs are small
  9. Easy to store
  10. Can fit several ear canal forms
  11. Health improvements

Good to improve your sleeping quality

One important advantage of earplugs is that they can greatly improve our sleeping quality. Especially if you live near a main street or in a rather noisy area, your sleep might significantly suffer since you will often wake up in the middle of the night and may not be able to fall asleep anymore.

In such a case, earplugs are a great way to help you stay asleep at night since they can effectively protect you against a certain noise level.

Since good sleep is quite important for us in order to function in all parts of our daily life, small measures like earplugs can have huge effects on our overall quality of life.

May be beneficial to maintain relationships

Let’s be honest. Even though we love our partners, we get quite annoyed from time to time due to snoring or other noises. Your partner may also move in bed quite frequently, which may further increase the noise level in your bedroom and may prevent yourself from falling or staying asleep.

In order to shield yourself against those noises, earplugs can be a great and easy way to improve your sleeping quality significantly. In the long run, this will also be crucial to maintain your relationship since your spouse and also you will be less stressed during the day thanks to good sleep and the chances for conflicts in your relationship will be much lower.

Earplugs are cheap

Another benefit of earplugs is that they are rather cheap. You can buy a pair of earplugs for less than one dollar online. If you want to use reusable earplugs, you may have to spend a little bit more.

Yet, they are still rather affordable and spending a few dollars for many months or even years of good sleep should be well worth it, shouldn’t it?! Thus, earplugs are a cheap but yet effective way to improve your quality of sleep.

Different sorts of earplugs

There are also many different sorts of earplugs on the market right now. While it may make it difficult for you to choose one, it also gives you the great opportunity to choose the model that best fits your preferences.

While some people prefer softer models, others prefer more compact ones. Hence, you may want to try out different models of earplugs in order to find the one that fits you best to optimize your sleeping quality in the long run.

Easy measure to protect yourself against noise

Earplugs are also quite simple to use. In fact, you just have to put them inside your ears and are ready for good sleep. Thus, since earplugs are so easy to use, they have become quite popular over the years.

However, also note that incorrect use of earplugs may do more harm than good and you should still follow the instructions on earplugs in order to avoid any damage to your ears.

Can be good for traveling

Earplugs are also quite convenient when it comes to traveling. During my travels, especially while I stayed in dorms, I used those earplugs on a frequent basis since when you sleep with many people in a single room, you will be distracted by plenty of noises during the night and your sleeping quality tends to be quite poor due to that.

Therefore, make sure to get some earplugs for your travels so you can enjoy a good sleep and wake up in the morning full of motivation to start the next day.

Lightweight

Another benefit of earplugs is that they are quite light. You can carry them around whenever you like in your handbag or your backpack and you will not even feel that they are there since they only weigh a few grams.

Hence, if you are not sure whether you will need earplugs or not, it is a good idea to take them with you since they are so light that you will not suffer from any negative effects at all if you carry them around with you.

Earplugs are small

Another convenient feature of earplugs is that they are quite small and fit in every case or bag. This makes it quite easy to bring them with you wherever you go. It doesn’t matter if you want to use your earplugs for your travels or for festivals.

Earplugs will be there for you once you need them and you can carry them with you all the time since they are so small.

Easy to store

Due to their small size, earplugs are also quite easy to store wherever you want. You can even carry them with you in your pockets if you want to and do not even need a bag.

This makes it quite convenient for you since you can also store earplugs at various different places and will always have access to them once you want to use those earplugs.

Can fit several ear canal forms

Soft earplugs are quite flexible and can therefore fit several different ear canal forms. Thus, you don’t have to worry too much whether earplugs will fit you or not since they will automatically adapt to your ear canal form.

Hence, buying earplugs is quite easy due to this fact since you can simply order those soft ear plugs online and do not have to buy them in a shop since you can be sure that they will fit you anyway.

Health improvements

Since your overall quality of sleep tends to improve significantly when you use earplugs, chances are that also your overall health level will improve as well. Good sleep is quite important for us since plenty of harmful substances are processed and decomposed in our bodies while we sleep.

Moreover, sleeping is also crucial in order to reload our batteries. It had been shown by several studies that good sleep can vastly improve our cognitive abilities.

Additionally, good sleep can also help to improve our physical performance. It makes it also less likely that we suffer from serious health conditions in the long run.

Therefore, if you want to do your health a favor, you might want to use earplugs in case you currently suffer from poor sleeping quality.

Disadvantages of Earplugs

  1. You can lose your earplugs
  2. May not be comfortable
  3. Disposable earplugs are harmful to our environment
  4. Earplugs are not suitable to protect against loud noise
  5. People may get dependent on earplugs
  6. May adversely affect your sleeping quality
  7. Hygiene problems
  8. Some people don’t like the feeling
  9. May not fit properly
  10. Incorrect use of earplugs
  11. May give people a wrong feeling of protection
  12. You may not hear your alarm clock
  13. Potential damage to your ear
  14. Infections

You can lose your earplugs

Although the use of earplugs has many upsides, there are also some downsides related to it. One problem with earplugs is that it is quite easy to lose them since they are so small.

Especially during my travels, I lost many of my earplugs since I traveled around quite frequently and slept in so many different beds. However, quite often, I left a hostel in the early morning and just forgot to take my earplugs with me.

Thus, make sure that you bring several pairs of earplugs with you for your travels so that you have a backup in case you lose your first pair.

May not be comfortable

Earplugs may also be rather uncomfortable. While soft disposable earplugs are usually not too problematic, inflexible reusable earplugs may be less comfortable and if you are sensitive to the strange feeling that those earplugs may imply, you might rather want to refrain from using those earplugs.

However, make sure to try different models. While one sort of earplugs may not be suitable for you, other models might be the perfect fit. Thus, make sure not to give up too early.

Disposable earplugs are harmful to our environment

Another issue with earplugs is that they can be quite harmful to our environment. If you use disposable earplugs only a single time and then dispose them into the garbage, you will produce plenty of unnecessary waste over time.

Therefore, make sure to use your earplugs many times before disposing them into the trash or make sure to go for reusable earplugs instead of disposable ones in order to reduce the amount of trash that is produced related to the use of those earplugs.

Earplugs are not suitable to protect against loud noise

While earplugs are meant to protect you against moderate levels of noise, they are not suitable to protect you against quite loud noises. For instance, if you live at a quite noisy main street or near the freeway, chances are that earplugs will not be enough to protect you against those levels of noise. Instead, going for earmuffs or other sorts of noise protection may be better in such an extreme case.

People may get dependent on earplugs

There is also the problem that you might get quite used to your earplugs. This may not sound like a big problem at first. However, if you become too used to earplugs, you may no longer be able to sleep without them and in case you run out of earplugs for several possible reasons, you may not be able to get proper sleep anymore since your brain is so used to earplugs and doesn’t know exactly what’s going on.

May adversely affect your sleeping quality

Even though earplugs are meant to improve your sleeping quality, they might even have the opposite effect. Especially if you are a rather sensitive person and you don’t like the feeling of earplugs at all, your mind might tell you that sleeping with earplugs is not possible and therefore, your quality of sleep might even get worse compared to a state where you don’t use earplugs at all.

Hygiene problems

There may also be some hygiene problems with earplugs. If you want to reuse your earplugs, make sure to clean them on a frequent basis in order to avoid that bacteria or other unwanted microorganisms will develop on your earplugs.

Also make sure to carry them around in a closed box in order to avoid that your earplugs come in contact with unwanted germs.

Some people don’t like the feeling

Earplugs may also feel kind of strange to many people. If you are one of those people who don’t like the feeling of earplugs at all, you might not want to use them since those earplugs may even do more harm than good in such a case.

May not fit properly

Even though disposable soft earplugs will be quite flexible and adapt to your ear canal, reusable earplugs are often rather stiff and there is a change that those kinds of earplugs may not fit you too well.

Therefore, make sure to try different types of earplugs so that you can make sure you find the right one for you.

Incorrect use of earplugs

Some people also use their earplugs in an incorrect manner. While in theory, it is quite easy to use earplugs, there might actually be some problems related to the use of them.

For instance, when you use earplugs, make sure not to put them too far in your ear canal in order to avoid any damage to your ears. Moreover, make sure to clean them on a regular basis in order to ensure a high hygiene standard.

May give people a wrong feeling of protection

Some people also think that by using earplugs, they can protect themselves in a proper manner against all kinds of noises. While earplugs are good to protect you against low or medium noise levels, they are not suitable at all when it comes to loud noises.

Therefore, if you work in construction and operate heavy machines that produce loud noises, make sure to wear proper protection instead of earplugs in order to protect your hearing ability.

You may not hear your alarm clock

Another downside of using earplugs is that you may also not be able to hear your alarm clock. This may lead to serious issues, especially if you have important meetings at work or other important appointments and you have to get up early in the morning in order to be on time.

If you don’t hear your alarm clock ringing due to the use of earplugs, you may get into serious trouble and earplugs may do more harm than good in such a case. Thus, make sure that your alarm clock is loud enough to still wake up, even if you use earplugs at nighttime.

Potential damage to your ear

If you don’t use your earplugs in a correct manner, you may also suffer from potential damages to your ear. In the worst case, this might even translate into serious permanent hearing problems.

Thus, if you want to use earplugs, make sure to read the instructions in order to avoid any damages to your health.

Infections

If you use your earplugs on a frequent basis, you might also experience some problems related to ear infections. Over time, large numbers of bacteria will develop on your earplugs, especially if you don’t clean them on a regular basis.

Therefore, if you want to use your earplugs on a constant basis, make sure to clean them properly in order to avoid infections or other unpleasant health conditions.

Top 10 Earplugs Pros & Cons – Summary List

Earplugs ProsEarplugs Cons
Can vastly improve your sleeping qualityYou may lose your earplugs
Good for your travelsYou may hurt your ears
Earplugs are lightweightSome people don’t like earplugs
Easy to carry aroundCan be uncomfortable
Important to maintain relationshipsNot good for the environment
Storage is easyMay not fit properly
Earplugs are cheapMay do more harm than good
Can fit a variety of ear canal formsPotential infections
Might improve your overall healthAlarm clock may not wake you up
Selection of many different earplugsWrong feeling of protection

Should You Use Earplugs?

As we have seen before, there are several pros and cons related to the use of earplugs.

You should try by yourself whether earplugs are the way to go for you or not.

If you don’t like using earplugs, you can go for suitable alternatives like earmuffs or custom hearing protection instead.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earplug

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27054284/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160407115910.htm

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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