Which Ear Plugs are right for me?

Earplugs come in many different styles (expandable foam, shaped silicone, musician style, custom fitted and even electronic earplugs). Each style of ear plug has been designed to filter out a certain level of noise/sound, this level is measured in decibels.

When choosing a pair of earplugs it is important that you take particular notice of the NRR. (Noise Reduction Rating) The NRR is an indication of the amount of hearing protection that it will give.

Quite simply, when choosing ear plugs, we suggest you go for quality, comfort and effectiveness. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to work out which ear plugs best suit you and your needs.

We offer a large variety of ear plugs to suit all people and all applications. There ear plugs for sleeping, swimming, studying, flying, dentists, shootingworking, musicians, children and more.

Our Dreamgirl and Slimfit are ideal for people with smaller ear canals (men and women alike). Although this is not always 100% of the time, we mostly find the the Dreamgirls and Slimfit are the most popular and comfortable amongst women.

Macks Silicone Ear Plugs are our number one best seller for swimming and watersports. Made of a soft silcone putty, they are favoured by both men and women of all ages for their extreme comfort. They sit securely in the ear as they easily mold to the shape of the ear canal and opening. They are aptly named “pillow Soft” and frequently double as an alternative to soft foam ear plugs and worn commonly for sleeping and other sound blocking events. Our customers have told us that the cheaper, wax type ear plugs, that they have tried in the past are no comparison to Macks Pillow Soft Silicone Ear Plugs.

The Aquablocks are the most wanted reusable ear plug for swimming, surfing, boating and any occasion where you require water being blocked from your ears.

Ultra and Originals are favoured by the gents looking to block out noise for a wide range of applications.

We offer a sample pack for those who are not quite sure which ear plug would best suit them. You can try a variety of different ear plugs to help you decide which ones are your favourite. See here for more information.

What is NRR?

NRR stands for Noise Reduction Rating. NRR is the amount of sound, measured in decibels, that a pair of ear plugs will block out.

To better understand this, a persons hearing threshold is defined as 0db (decibels). Someone with normal/good hearing can hear sounds at 15db. A watch ticking would have a level around 20db, whilst whispering rates at approximately 30db, the average conversation is around 50 – 60db.

The highest noise reduction rating (NRR) currently offered by an earplug is around 32 decibels. Decibel levels up to the earplug’s NRR rating will be blocked out entirely. Any noise over the earplug’s NRR may be heard. Another important factor to note is that the body absorbs sound; so short of encapsulating oneself in a sound proof chamber, it is seemingly impossible to block out all noise. Earplugs and other types of hearing protection devices are designed to lessen the harshness of the noise and bring it down to a safer, more tolerable level.

Snoring, NRR and Ear Plugs

Earplugs are very commonly used to block out the sound of a partners snoring.

A person snoring generally produces a sound level between 50db (being for a light snorer) to 80db (for a heavy snorer). Most snorers register between 50 – 70 db. The sound of a petrol lawnmower would be equivalent to 80 – 90db. With this in mind, it is no wonder we find it difficult to sleep soundly with a snoring partner.

When you wear a pair of 32 NRR Ear Plugs such as Macks Snore Blockers, the sound level of snoring, based on the above levels is reduced between 18db to 48db. Ear plugs are designed to successfully reduce the amount of harmful noise to enter your ears, this making your surroundings more tolerable to help promoting a good nights sleep.

Are there Ear Plugs that totally block out 100% of noise?

Currently the highest Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) being offered by an earplug is around 32dB. This means that any noise up to that ear plugs NRR will be blocked completely and any noise over this level may still be heard.

An interesting fact is that the “whole body” actually absorbs sound, so short of finding yourself a comfortable sound proof chamber to call home, there is no way to totally block all noise. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for all parents out there who have children 😉

Earplugs are designed to lessen the severity of noise and bring it down to a more tolerable and safer level.

What are the most effective earplugs for Noise Reduction?

For optimum noise reduction, we typically recommend you try soft foam earplugs.

You will only find a high decible noise rating such as 32db NRR in a soft foam, disposable earplug. All reusable earplugs are made of a soft (medical grade) silicone but unfortunately do not offer as high a NRR as a foam earplug.

Soft foam earplugs are fantastic for blocking all noise. Two of our most popular earplugs for blocking the most amount of noise are our Macks Ultra Ear Plugs and our Macks Orginal Soft Foam Earplugs.

What are the Benefits of Silicone Reusable Ear Plugs

  • They are reusable!
  • Easy to insert/wear
  • Comfortable
  • Can be used to block Noise AND Water!
  • Cheap!
  • Similar to Custom Made Earplugs without the “cutom price tag”
  • They are avaialbe with special filters – which means you can block harmful noise that causing hearing loss but still be able to hear conversations, music, alarms, etc.
  • They specifically offer Specialised Hearing Protection for:

Motorcycle Riding
Musicians, Dentists
Night Club Staff
Workmen (women) Tradespeople & Handymen

Is there a wrong and right way to insert ear plugs?


I can not stress enough the importance of properly inserted ear plug.

If foam earplugs are inserted only half way you are receiving only half of the benefit and this may be a good reason. Often people tell us they have not had success with noise blocking in the past with other brands…and bad fitting. I personally count 5-10 seconds when”anchoring” a foam earplug into the ear canal to make sure the expansion of the foam earplug is securely in place inside the canal.

After rolling the foam earplug and inserting it inside the ear canal, use your finger to keep the earplug in place so it expands completely inside of the canal.

Please feel free to watch this very short video for additional instructions and tips.


My son has recently had grommets put in both ears. Which ear plugs would recommend for swimming?

I would recommend our Macks Kids Size Soft Moldable SilIcone Putty Ear Plugs (6 pair) /macks-pillow-soft-silicone-putty-childrens-waterproof-ear-plugs-kids-size-6-pair/ or our Alpine Pluggies 1 pair /alpine-pluggies-kids-reusable-earplugs-new-line-free-stickers/

Aside from quality, ear plugs come down to personal preference/comfort. Both the above mentioned ear plugs do a great job at making the ear canal water tight.

The Soft Silicone are moldable to the shape of your little ones out ear canal and are a disposable ear plug – although you can get around 5 wears per pair and there are 6 pairs per package. The Alpine Pluggies are reusable.

Some parents prefer the Alpine Pluggies if they are not going to be around to help their child insert and or remove the ear plugs. Often kids find the Alpine a lot easier when it comes time for this.

Both have a little carry case to keep them safe after use and stored safely in his swim bag.

Your son can wear either ear plug for hearing protection also for where he may be subject to loud surrounds/noise like such as fireworks, motorcycle and car racing events, music festivals etc.

Ear Plugs still not enough? Is there a solution to help me sleep naturally?

Ear Plugs are life savers (and often marriage savers) for many! Sometimes it still may not be enough to reach a good night sleep.

Daily (nightly) we are subject to distracting noise that invariably causes us to lay awake at night disturbing our much needed sleep. Whether it be the sound of traffic outside your bedroom window, drunken revelers celebrating into the night, a snoring partner, noisy neighbours or dogs barking, we could go on but I’m sure you get the picture, it is disruptive to our well being.

Even with the best ear plugs available, snoring can still be too loud for a partner to happily sleep. An ear plug with a NRR of 32db will reduce the level of sound of someone who snores at 80db to 48db, this is about the same level of sound as someone speaking quietly. Sadly, there is no ear plug in the world that could do the job to block out noise when it comes to very loud snoring.

For decades we have been (and will continue to) attempting to block noise, ear plugs are often the perfect solution but sometimes they are still not enough. When noise is troubling you and ear plugs are not enough, We have found that by using a combination of ear plugs and a sound masking device to be the best the most effective solution.

How does a Sound Masking Device help me sleep?

Dohm DS White Noise Machines are designed to mask sound from a wide range of frequencies. Additionally a white noise machine will help disguise background noise keeping the ambient sound of noise in a room at an even level. In effect it will help detune your mind and your hearing by drowning out sudden changes in the level of sound or noises, in an ordinarily quiet room, that may cause you to wake. This is why for years many people have be using fans, air conditioners, radios and air purifiers to create noise to help muffle other sound allowing a restful sleep. Fans and air conditioners are not so ideal in cooler temperatures.

How often should I change my earplugs?

We suggest that you change your ear plugs when they become soiled or when they no longer retain their form or shape when you remove them from your ear. In the case of silicone ear plugs, it is recommended that they be replaced when they become dirty or when they lose their “tackiness” and become less effective. The timeframe to change ear plugs will vary from person to person, depending how often you wear them, how you keep them stored (ideally they should be stored in a carry case or the like away from dust etc) and if you insert & remove them with clean hands, the can typically last anywhere from 3 – 7 days.

Snoring… Spoken with your Doctor?

We are frequently contacted by people asking for ear plugs to help block the sound of a snoring partner. One question we like to ask when people contact us for help is firstly, has your partner discussed their snoring problem with their doctor? We recommend this to rule out any medical issues as it may be an indicator of a more serious condition such as sleep apnea and shouldn’t be ignored.

The reality is that it’s much better to address the source of the sound, which in this case is your partner. The fact is, using a simple device such as an Airmax breathing device (which is a very soft silicone splint to help open the nasal passages to improve breathing) could reduce your partners snoring.

How can I tell when noise is potentially damaging to my hearing?

People differ in their sensitivity to noise. However, as a general rule, if you have to shout to communicate with someone at a distance of about three feet, the surrounding noise is potentially harmful.
Other signs to watch for are if the noise hurts your ears, causes your ears to ring, or causes temporary hearing loss for up to several hours after exposure. The start of unsafe levels begins at approximately 85 decibels.

Can I pay with credit card?

Absolutely! Simply choose the Credit Card option during at the checkout. SSL certificatied encryption to ensure credit card information is safely transmitted to our payment gateway. eWAY® secure and protect your credit card data with military-grade software and servers. Data is encrypted with devices that offer the highest level of protection available. eWAY® is externally audited by Stratsec (QSA) every year, who have verified us as tier-one PCI DSS compliant. This means we adhere to the highest security standards set by Visa and MasterCard and your payments are in good hands.


When it comes to getting quality sleep, a darker surrounding is better. Street lights, outside light sources, and even the sun for shift workers, can prevent natural body mechanisms from triggering the sleep phase.

A sleep mask is a simple, yet highly-effective way of blocking out light whenever and wherever you are in need of sleep.

Our sister company Sleep Buddy http://www.sleepbuddy.com.au/shop/sleep-masks/ offers a variety of sleep masks for a cost-effective and convenient solution to sleep deprivation.

We can arrange combined shipping for your orders so you don’t have to pay postage twice.

Can you please tell me if your earplugs contain phthalate?

No they do not. This is why Ear Store only stick with reputable, well-known, quality manufacturers of ear & hearing protection.

We pride ourselves on the affiliation with the companies that we have chosen to align ourselves with, organisations that have been around for many, many years! Their products are tried and tested and doctor approved. Their products are not manufactured in Asian countries where you often find cheaper and inferior products. Our Earplugs contain non-toxic & hypoallergenic materials.

Do your earplugs contain latex?

All of our Macks Soft Foam earplugs are made of urethane foam. The “latex” in these foam earplugs is not natural latex, it is a synthetic latex technically called an emulsion polymer. It has the same properties as latex (water based, adhesive, etc.) but does not have the enzyme problem associated with natural latex which tends to cause skin irritations for most people.

Otherwise you could try our Pillow Soft earplugs. These earplugs are made of moldable, non-irritating silicone rubber and do not contain any latex. macks-pillow-soft-adult-silicone-ear-plugs-value-pack-6-pair/

Unlike other earplugs that you insert down and directly into the ear canal, the soft silicone like putty moulds easily to the unique contour of your ear. They sit across the ear opening to block out all harmful noise and water.


The Sleepsoft are a reusable earplug and are HYPOALLERGENIC – Totally Latex FREE – perfect for people with latex allergies who are in need of ear plugs alpine-sleepsoft-reusable-ear-plugs/

If, in the extremely rare instance you should experience any type of rash or skin irritation while using any earplugs, discontinue use immediately.

Is it normal for your ears to ache/ be sore after wearing earplugs for sleeping? They are also like “weeping!” In the morning for a while now is this weird?!

It is not normal to have sore ears from wearing earplugs, nor is it normal for your ears to have any unusual discharge other than ear wax. I would recommend that you discuss this with your GP as soon as possible.

All of our soft foam ear plugs are recommended by doctors,and are made of non toxic hypo allergenic material.

Often when you wear an ear plug that is too large for your ear canal it can cause pressure and discomfort. The slim fit ear plugs are specifically manufactured for people with smaller ear canals.

How long should you wear a pair of earplugs?

This can differ fro person to person depending on how much wax each persons ear makes and if you insert and remove the earplugs with clean, dry hands/fingers each time. We recommend you change your earplugs as soon as they become dirty, or when they stop returning to their normal shape when removed from your ear canal, whichever comes first.

I’ve been using macks snore blockers , they keep falling out overnite , maybe they are to big for my ears , what other ear plugs would you recommend for me , thanks

Firstly you need to know that you are inserting them correctly.

Before inserting soft foam ear plugs you need to ensure that you ‘roll’ them first before putting it in. Basically, this involves twisting the ear plug (rolling it between your thumb until it gets thinner and more elongated. Then put it straight into the ear canal. Press your finger against the base of the ear and you will feel the foam expanding in the ear canal creating a seal.

If you don’t complete this procedure properly, the ear plugs will probably fall out in your sleep as you move around.

If the ear plugs are being inserted correctly, ear plugs can fall out if they are either too big or too small.

Macks Hearing have designed the Dreamgirl Soft Foam Ear Plugs & the Slimfit Soft Foam Ear Plugs especially for people with smaller ear canals in mind.

Alternatively, one of our best sellers are our Macks Pillow Soft Silicone Ear Plugs – these do not offer as much sound protection as the soft foam, however people find them very comfortable and the mold to the shape of the ear. They are a disposable ear plug but reusable 3-5 times per pair. /macks-pillow-soft-adult-silicone-ear-plugs-value-pack-6-pair/

You could purchase our Variety Pack which gives you a great selection of 4 different ear plugs to try – You can request the Dreamgirls, Slimfits and Pillow Soft in the messages section of your order.

Do you ship to New Zealand?

Yes we can ship to New Zealand.

We offer shipping through Australia Post with the following services:

  • Economy Air $12.00 – Up to 7 business days for small parcels under 2kgs
  • Standard $19.80 – Up 5 business days for small parcels up to 500g
  • Standard $31.90 – Up 5 business days for medium parcels up to 1kg
  • Standard $41.90 – Up 5 business days for small parcels up to 2kg

Larger items we are happy to provide you with a quote. Please email one of our staff at info@earstore.com.au

What is your return policy?

At Ear Store, our goal is to ensure 100% complete satisfaction with your purchase. If, for whatever reason, you are not happy with your purchase, you can return it to Ear Store within 30 days of receipt of item.

Please email us at sales@earstore.com.au and we will guide you through the process.

For all other questions please feel free to contact us here or at info@earstore.com.au with any queries you may have, we are here to help!

& have rebranded and have now become Sleep and Sound!