How to Keep Earbuds In While Sleeping: 5 Tips

You may enjoy falling asleep to music or audiobooks. But every morning, you waste time searching your bedroom for the earbuds that fell out during the night. How do you keep earbuds in when you’re sleeping?

Here’s how to keep earbuds in while sleeping:

  • Your earbuds should fit correctly
  • Properly place your earbuds
  • Check your ear tips
  • Clean your earbuds and ears regularly
  • Consider custom in-ear-monitors

Earbuds are comfortable and convenient, but they can also cause problems if used too frequently. When you’re done with this article, you’ll know how to keep your earbuds in when you are resting, and when it’s time to give your earbuds a rest. Read on for more.

1. Your Earbuds Should Fit Correctly

Earbuds sit on your outer ear just outside your ear canal. All ears come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. But most earbuds come in a single size which the earbud designer considers a “standard” size.

If your ear canal is bigger than your earbud maker’s standard, the earbud will fit loosely and fall out every time you roll over. And if your earbud canal is smaller, the earbud is liable to pop out as it cannot go in deep enough. Whatever the reason, if your earbuds regularly fall out of your ears when listening, you have a size issue.

Some other warning signs of ill-fitting earbuds include:

  • Tinny, hollow sound
  • Lack of bass
  • Discomfort or soreness after extended listening sessions.

2. Properly Place Your Earbuds

To ensure your earbuds are firmly placed in your ears, stretch your earlobe gently toward the back of your head as you insert the earbud, which widens your inner ear canal. When you let go of your earlobe, your inner ear should tighten and form a proper seal.

If this placement causes you any discomfort whatsoever, you should remove the earbud immediately. Your ear may be sensitive to that placement, or you may have an ear infection or some other issue.

The ear pain should never be ignored, and what may be mild annoyance now may be screaming anguish when you wake up in the morning.

3. Check Your Ear Tips

Most earbuds come with a single set of silicone ear tips. More expensive models may have ear tips in small, medium, and large sizes, which help produce a seal that blocks background noise and gives you better sound reproduction.

But just as no one size of earbud fits all ears, no three sizes of earbud tip can fit every ear.

If one of your earbuds regularly falls out when you are sleeping, you might have slightly asymmetrical ear canals and need a larger ear tip for that ear. And if the larger ear tip feels uncomfortably big, you may need different ear tips.

The Earphones Plus Triple Flange Replacement Tips (available on come with three flanges that ensure a snug but comfortable seal and may help keep your earbuds in place while you sleep. You may want to have replacement ear tips on hand, as they tend to wear out, which can impact your listening experience.

Finding ear tip replacements will be easy if you own popular earbuds from well-known brands.

If your earbud comes from a lesser-known company or has an oddly shaped sound bud, you may have to contact the manufacturer and see if they offer other ear tip sizes. 

Try Foam Ear Tips

While most earbuds come with silicone tips, you may find that foam ear tips work better for you.

Foam tips are softer, and many listeners find them more comfortable. They also do a better job of forming an ear seal. But foam tips are also less durable and will need to be replaced more frequently than silicone. 

Comply Isolation Plus Memory Foam Earphone Tips come in several styles to fit different earbuds and several sizes to fit your ears. They may help you have a more comfortable musical journey to Slumberland.

4. Clean Your Earbuds and Ears Regularly

Keeping your earbuds and ears clean will not only provide a better listening experience but can also save your hearing. While many people never think to clean their earbuds, dirty earbuds can have consequences. Let’s take a look at them now.

Earwax Buildup

Earwax is gross, but it serves several useful purposes. As earwax naturally moves out of your ear through cell growth and jaw movement, it carries dirt with it. It also helps protect your inner ear canal from bacteria.

But if you wear earbuds too long or if your earbuds don’t fit, the pressure can trigger your ears to produce more earwax. And because the buds seal your ear canal, the wax can build up until it clogs your inner ear.

If your earbuds are regularly covered with earwax, they may be irritating your ears. You may want to try different earbuds or ear tips, or you may want to cut back on your earbud usage.

Fungal and Yeast Infections

Earbuds seal the inner ear from the outside world, which can lead to a buildup of moisture, increasing fungal or yeast infections. If you also use your earbuds to work out or put them in immediately after a shower, the chance of unwanted dampness rises dramatically.

Symptoms of a fungal infection include itchiness, redness, pain, and a feeling of fullness in your ears. If you have eczema, a compromised immune system, or a history of prior ear injury or trauma, you may be particularly susceptible to fungal ear infections.

Keeping Earbuds Clean

To keep your earbuds clean, you should wipe them down after every listening session with a rubbing alcohol wipe and use a cotton swab to remove any debris. Keep your ears clean with a damp, warm washcloth along with your outer ear, and do not try removing earwax from your ear with cotton swabs.

Cotton swabs pick up a small bit of the wax near the top of your ear canal but push the rest further in. Cleaning with a cotton swab can cause abrasions to the skin of your inner ear or even perforate your eardrum.

Keeping your ears and earbuds clean will help protect you from many infections and allow you to use your earbuds for longer periods without issues.

5. Consider Custom In-Ear Monitors

Custom IEMs start with a silicone model of your ear canal. An audiologist can make this model, or some companies will send you a kit to create the casting yourself.

After receiving the silicone casting, IEM manufacturers mold the earbuds to match the shape of your ear canal. You get a set of earbuds that will give you great sound and fit perfectly in your inner ear.

You needn’t worry about them falling out while you are sleeping or at any other time. 

Custom IEMs are generally wired, which may not be ideal if you wear them to bed. But there are a few wireless custom IEMs available. They are expensive, but you don’t want to cut corners on your hearing health.

ADV’s M5-TWS wireless custom IEMs will set you back almost $500, and that’s not counting the cost of an audiologist visit.

Key Takeaways

While earbuds can help you fall asleep to soothing music or white noise, leaving your earbuds in too long can lead to medical issues. If you must sleep with earbuds in, be certain to keep them clean. If you notice excessive earwax buildup or ear infections, take an earbud break until things clear up.

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