How to Use Sleep Headphones: Types, Use, Connectivity, Advice

Updated July 15, 2022. 

If you’re wondering how to use sleep headphones or considering buying some and looking to understand more beforehand, then here’s the article for you. We’ll outline how different headphones work, compared to sleep headphones, and more information.

So let’s compare sleep headphones first. Because it depends on the type of headphones you are using for sleeping with; wired, wireless, earbuds, or sleep headbands. Let’s start with a quick summary.

Using sleep headphones is similar to using standard headphones. Sleep headbands come with simple use and maintenance instructions. Main features include built-in-mic for hands-free calling, wireless connectivity, 10-hour battery life, and Bluetooth-enabled connection.

That’s the quick go-to answer, but there are other factors to consider. So let’s now get into more details on how sleep headbands work, and then compare that to other types of headphones for sleeping with. 

So to get you started here’s a list of commonly used types of headphones for sleeping in, how to use them, and what things you need to look into. We’ll focus on three main types of headphones people use for sleeping in: Headbands, wired, and earbuds/wireless. Starting with headbands.

How to use sleep headbands

Sleep headbands are the easiest to use. They don't require regular maintenance or specialty care. You don’t even need to compromise on sleeping positions or worry about them falling off while sleeping.

What’s more, you won’t need any special fitting accessories to keep the headphones in place as you sleep.

All you have to do is wear them like any regular headband with the speaker positioned over the ears. 

In terms of how to operate them, you do need to charge them to provide the 10-hour battery life and you will need to connect it to Bluetooth if you want to listen to something from a local device – similar to how you connect wireless sleep headphones. Here are step-by-step basic sleep headphone instructions...

Each set of Dormi Headphones includes an instruction manual that explains how to pair the headphones with your device, adjust volume, change track, and more. To pair the headphones with your device, take the following steps:


  1. Fully charge your Dormi Headphones and disconnect them from the charger.
  2. When your headphones are ready to pair, they will rapidly flash red/blue.
  3. Open the "Bluetooth" options on your device and wait for it to locate the headband.
  4. Select the option called "Bluetooth Headband" on your device.
  5. When the headband is successfully paired, the light will change to a slowly flashing blue.
  6. Hit play to listen, and enjoy, or make a phone call!

There’s more help available on other sleep headphones topics on our FAQ page.

One great aspect of Dormiphones sleep headbands is that you can wash them regularly. Either hand-washed or machine-washed on a gentle cycle works. You can remove the speakers quite easily prior to washing.

Here’s a quick 20 second tutorial on how to remove the headphones, it’s so easy...

Dormi Original Headphones - Removing Speakers from Dormi Headphones on Vimeo

Once washed, let them dry and simply re-insert the speakers.

If you’re not using sleep headbands, then other standard headphones have a number of challenges you need to overcome if you’re using them while sleeping. Check out our article on how to sleep with headphones without breaking them [Link to the previous article] for more guidance.

To avoid the need for compromise and risk breaking your favorite headphones, simply go ahead and get yourself a sleep headband now and start using them!

So now, let’s discuss wired sleep headphones.

How to use wired sleep headphones

If you take standard wired sleep headphones, using them is pretty straightforward; they are worn over the head as usual, with the cable hanging on the front or back – whichever is suitable to your sleeping position.

However, when you use them you will need to insert the ear tips correctly to seal them properly inside the ear canal. This way the headphones won’t come off as you move when sleeping. 

To use wired sleep headphones follow these steps:

  • Figure out the left and right sides of your headphones. Usually, these are marked as “R” and “L. 
  • Next, put on the headphones on the appropriate sides of your ears. For this, you may need to pull down the earlobe gently to create space for the ear tip to enter inside your ear canal. 
  • Depending on your personal preference or comfort level, position the wire in front or behind you.

While using wired sleep headphones:

While the wired sleep headphones are in use, be mindful of the following factors:

  • Don’t dangle the wires 
  • Limit tangled wires for better performance and longevity 
  • Keep them away from moisture 
  • Store them properly 
  • Sanitize them regularly to avoid ear infections 
  • Don’t roll them up and put them in bags or pockets 
  • Change the ear pads regularly

How to use over-the-ear headphones

This is another common wired/wireless option for sleep headphones. Mainly chosen by people who like bulkier and compact styles and are most beneficial for noise cancellation while sleeping. 

As they stay over your ears, it offers padding to protect your ears and create a secure seal. Here is how to use them:

  • Locate the right and left ears sides of over-the-ear sleep headphones. Usually, “L” and “R” markings indicate which side you to position them on. 
  • Once you have the correct orientation, place the headband over the top of your head in a way that will minimize disturbance to your sleeping position. 
  • Where required, adjust headphones to ensure they are right in the middle of the ears and properly sealed, to prevent them loosening up or coming off while sleeping. 
  • With this type, you can also adjust the height and clamping strength to suit your comfort needs. 

While using over the ear sleep headphones:

Try keeping the following factors in mind when using sleep headphones

  • Use a case to store them properly 
  • Wrap them correctly if they are wired 
  • If they are wireless you have to charge them before using them and connect them to Bluetooth if you want to listen to music while sleeping. 
  • Like with any headphones you also have to keep them away from moisture and heat 

Cleaning is critical

To clean this type of sleep headphones you may be able to remove the earpads (the fabric) and then wipe the exterior part/structure of the earpad and wipe clean using an anti-bacterial solution.

You can use some soap and warm water if that’s all you have access to and provided you keep clear of electrical/electronic connections on the device. After cleaning, wipe dry with some paper towels and be sure to air dry them completely. 

How to use earbuds during sleep

Earbuds are designed to fit perfectly inside your ears in the concha space outside your ear canal.

Usually, earbuds are made using soft materials that will help them fit comfortably inside the ear and remain in place for optimum use/performance.

Using earbuds is somewhat similar to other types of sleep headphones, but you do need to make sure they’re securely placed in your ear.

If you have problems in fitting the earbuds correctly on your ears and become disturbed while you sleep, then you might need additional accessories to secure them in place.

You can try ear hooks and wingtips ...whichever suits your sleeping position and comfort. 

As with many wireless sleep headphones, you will need to charge them before use and connect to Bluetooth if you want to listen to something while sleeping.

Besides that, you should keep your earbuds away from moisture and heat, and clean them regularly. 

Cleaning earbuds

To clean them you may need to remove the earbuds and wipe them with a damp antibacterial cloth. Then with the use of a toothpick dipped into water, you can remove all the wax, dust, and dead skins lodged into the holes/inner areas of the earbuds. This practice should be adopted for similar headphones/earphones that have tiny speaker holes, like in-the-ear sleep headphones.

You should also practice safe storage when your earbuds are not in use.

More sleep headphones help...

No matter how unbiased we try to remain, we can’t help but speak highly of sleep headbands when looking at how to use sleep headphones. We have to remember that sleep headbands were made specifically for occasions like listening while sleeping. So the features for this are bound to stack up better.

But let’s not forget, sleep headbands are not only useful when sleeping. There are other occasions where sleep headbands are beneficial. Such as when out running or walking, or when working around the house. So given how useful they are, all you have to do is choose which color you want!



  • Dormi Headphones

    Hi Deborah! Please press the play/pause button for 5 seconds to turn the headphones on or off :)

  • Deborah

    How do I turn the headband off?

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