It can easily happen... sometimes we just drift off to sleep with our headphones still on our heads. And that’s fine until we awake to find our headphones bent out of shape or broken. So how do you sleep with headphones without breaking them? Is sleeping with earbuds even possible without damaging them?
Well, we’re going to get into that here, so below are the methods you can use to sleep without breaking your headphones. Plus we’ll offer a much more appropriate solution too.
- Use headphones that fit correctly
- Try different sleep positions
- Get the right pillow
- Switch to wireless headphones
- Use specially made sleep headphones
That’s the simple list, but we probably should expand further, as these methods pose several challenges in terms of safety, health, and comfort, so let’s get into more detail on how to sleep with headphones without breaking them...
Use headphones that fit correctly
Probably the most basic thing you can do to avoid breaking your earphones while sleeping is to get the right fit.
If your headphones don’t fit correctly, they can more easily fall off while you sleep. You could accidentally move onto them while asleep, exerting pressure.
For most headphones, sleeping on them will likely cause them to break, bend, or create stress points in the joints and connections.
Aside from this, getting a headphone that fits right is also important for the safety of your ears. Make sure to invest in comfortable earbuds for sleeping and some of the best sleep earbuds to avoid damaging your earbuds (and your ears).
Try different sleep positions
Your sleeping position might also increase the possibility of breaking your headphones – especially if you’re a stomach or side sleeper. So the question of how to sleep with headphones without breaking them becomes a difficult question to answer, as you simply have very little control over this while you’re asleep.
While most people are reluctant to change a sleeping position that they’ve adopted for a long time, it's one of the best alternatives you can opt for. Especially if you don’t want to buy a new headphone set each month!
Sleeping on your back is the best position to prevent your headphones from breaking. When you sleep on your back there are fewer chances of your headphones falling off, and it also releases pressure from your ears.
However, this is likely to be less effective if you’re someone who constantly changes the sleeping position throughout the night, which in truth, most of us do. Dormi Headphones offer some of the best headphones for sleeping on side, and over half of our users are side-sleepers. Many side sleepers have asked "can you sleep with headphones on?", knowing that it's hard to find comfortable sleep earbuds as a side sleeper. Our answer is a resounding "YES!" and our headphones were even designed with side-sleepers in mind.
Get the right pillows for headphones
Originally, pillows in their basic form are not designed or made to support headphones. Pillows primarily focus on comfort during sleep.
So when you sleep on a standard pillow, the probability of your headphones breaking is higher. Especially as the pillow will become pressed against the headphones and when you move around, they can come off.
Considering these issues, some pillows have been specifically designed with a hole, or indent, to accommodate the cup of most headphones. This is known as a "headphone pillow" but is not always feasible for someone who might already have a favorite pillow, or who doesn't want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a specially designed headphone pillow.
The purpose of this is to relieve the downward pressure of the headphone on the pillow that causes it to break, and also to prevent pressure on the ear which can cause you to wake up in some discomfort.
Generally speaking, this may require you to compromise on the comfort levels ...as it will not be even for you to sleep on unless wearing headphones.
It may also be uncomfortable when you’re trying to move around or sleeping on your back, as it's mostly aimed at side sleepers.
Other pillow solutions
Another solution includes the use of two pillows. If you tend to sleep in a wide bed, then using the gap between the two pillows can provide roughly the same purpose.
A further solution could be a travel pillow to keep your headphones from breaking. Travel pillows are horseshoe-shaped and are designed to provide neck support while sleeping when traveling.
These are ideal if you tend to fall asleep upright in a chair and to keep your headphones in the right position. Thereby preventing them from coming off or breaking and providing adequate comfort.
Switch to wireless headphones
Aside from this, if you take standard headphones with a wire, they pose a risk of safety as well. If you're looking for the best wireless earbuds for sleeping, take a look at Dormi Headphones selection of sleep headphones.
Normally when we sleep we have limited control of our movements. We turn and twist, so the chances of tightening a wire noose around our neck, or snagging the cord are extremely risky. So headphones with wires attached can be a greater risk to safety.
To potentially solve this problem, wireless headphones could at least be a safer option. No more Googling "how to use earphones without damaging ears", simply switch to a pair of headphones designed for sleeping to avoid damage to your ears.
Like many other options mentioned here though, even wireless headphones (although better than most other options) pose certain other challenges. Some of these risks and challenges encompass the use of earbuds too, which we’ll go on to next.
Wireless earbuds can become pressed against your earlobe and remain there throughout the night. It may protect the earbuds from damage, but it does present several health risks. Some of these risks include:
Ear wax accumulation
Earbuds sit more deeply in your ears preventing airflow, and earwax discharge. This creates a build-up of ear wax over time.
Headphones prevent airflow to some degree too, but earbuds can completely block air circulation in your ears throughout the night, causing ear wax to be compressed into your ears and towards the eardrum.
When a lot of earwax accumulates, it becomes difficult to remove without potentially causing damage to your ears, even if it may not break your headphones.
Can headphones change the shape of your head?
Otitis externa is a condition where you might suffer from irritation around your ear canal. This could be as a result of poor air circulation around your ears, allergies from the material of the earbuds sitting in your earlobe all night, or even because of the sweat and pressure exerted from the earbuds around your earlobes.
Even opting for a wireless version of over-the-ear headphones, it still applies too much stress on the head and especially on your ears. It is true that ill-fitting headphones can change the shape of your head, so it's important to get a pair of headphones that fits you well and won't cause headaches, earwax buildup, and more.
And finally, even with wireless headphones that might fall off the ears and relieve any pressure, you still would not solve the problem of causing damage to the headphones as they become bent and contorted under your body weight during the night.
Opt for sleep headbands
Even if most of the options mentioned above allow you to sleep with headphones without breaking them, they either pose a risk for comfort, safety, or health.
If you’re looking for the ideal option that can overcome almost all the other problems mentioned above and avoid breaking your headphones while sleeping, then headband headphones – also called sleep headphones, or Dormi Headphones, are your best option.
Sleep headphones are safer and more comfortable
Sleep headphones are designed to fit like a normal headband around your head. They overcome all the risks discussed above and most importantly are the best way to sleep with headphones without breaking them.
The speaker is embedded in a headband that sits comfortably around your head all night. And if something goes wrong, then you can easily get replaceable speakers for them.
Sleep headphones also handle sweat-wicking and negate any electrical risks. They don’t exert pressure on your ears, nor do they require special pillows – or any other accessories that could also potentially be uncomfortable, or break. They also have a long battery life so you can snooze along with your favorite tunes all night long!
You can just sleep as you do regularly “In any position” while the headphones sit on your head. You can comfortably listen to whatever you want – throughout the night – without the risk of damaging your headphones.
Additional benefits of sleep headphones
Not only are they safer, more comfortable, and prevent damage to your headphones, they also come with built-in features that go way beyond just comfort and safety...
- Built-in-mic for handsfree calling
- Wireless connectivity up to 45 feet (14m)
- Impressive 10-hour battery life
- Connect to any Bluetooth enabled device
- Crisp and clear sound quality