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Hearing Protection for Lawn Mowing – Best Options & Tips

Mowing season is almost here. Make sure you know how to protect your hearing!

There are lots of ways to protect yourself against loud noise.

Mowing your lawn or listening to music while mowing can harm your hearing. And that’s why these ear muffs are designed to shield your ears from damaging levels of noise. Protect your hearing, and your lawn.

Read this article to find out more!

Protecting yourself from Lawnmower noise

It’s mowing season again soon, and it seems like every week you mow that lawn. Or possibly you mow lawns as part of your job, and want to protect your hearing? and maybe listen to music, or take calls when mowing those lawns.

This article will recommend best hearing protection for lawn mowing, inform you about the ear muffs for mowing lawns. How loud different mowers are, and the damage they can do to hearing.

Recommended Ear Protection For Lawn Mowing.

This section will summarise the results of the article and give you my recommended plugs.

Many people are busy and just want to make a purchase and not read the reasoning behind the choices given. The recommended lawn mower ear muffs are below, in four categories :

  • Budget Ear Muffs (Standard)
  • High-End Ear Muffs (Standard)
  • Bluetooth Ear Muffs. Includes microphone so you can take calls and listen to music.
  • Pair that allows talking but still reduces the loudest noises

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In A Hurry?
If you require the best hearing protection and do not want to read the entire article, below are my recommended products.

Do You Need Ear Protection For Mowing?

This depends on two things, how long you use the mower for, and how loud the mower is. Hearing damage is caused by the loudness of the noise, multiplied by the time that you are using the mower.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) say that once a sound reaches over 85dB, this is the point when hearing protection should be considered. Maybe this is lower than the noise made by the average mower, so some form of hearing protection probably should be worn. But this depends on how long you work, and how loud your mower is.

How Loud Is My Mower?

As a base point, the average mower makes about 90dB in noise, and this may go up to over 100-110dB for the noisier models.

If you are unsure about the approximate volume of your mower, then a rough estimate can be taken using a decibel meter on a smartphone. Just download the app and take an average reading of the volume when you mow. You can use this figure to see what hearing protection for mowing you will need.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) gives the following figures for how long you can be exposed to sounds before your hearing may become damaged.

  • 88 dB – 4 hours
  • 91 dB – 2 hours
  • 97 dB – 30 min
  • 103 dB- 7.5 min

(For every 3dB increase, the time is cut in half. So if your mower is 109dB, the time would be under 2 minutes!)

Ear Protection And Employment.

If you employ people that work in noisy environments, you look after their hearing. Do not neglect this often overlooked responsibility. It is estimated that over $240 million is spent annually on compensation for hearing loss. (2019 – U.S. Department of Labor)

Types Of Mower.

There are really two types of lawn-mower, electric and gas-powered. (If you are using a push model, you do not need to be wearing hearing protection – Are there any of these still being used?)

The amount of noise made by lawn mowers is usually high. However, electric mowers are a lot quieter than the gas models.

Electric Lawn Mower Noise.

The quieter electric lawn mowers will not need you to wear and earmuffs or earplugs. They will usually be below the noise levels that require protecting your hearing, or you will need to wear muffs if you are going to be using them for many hours.

As a general rule, the more powerful (the higher the voltage output) the lawn-mower, the louder it will be. There are now labels that tell you how much noise that mowers output on a lot of models. However, as noise labels are voluntary, some manufacturers will not have them.

If you are concerned, choose a mower that has these a volume label, use a decibel meter, or just use some ear muffs when mowing your lawn. They are not expensive and may save you or your child’s hearing in later life.

Gas Lawn Mower Noise.

Gas mowers, as you are probably aware, are much louder than the electric models. They cut larger areas of grass much quicker, so they are more powerful, and more power means more sound. For this type of mower, you will probably will some hearing protection.

These may have voluntary noise labels on them, but it is less likely. The manual mentions something about hearing protection, and if it says that it is needed, then you must wear ear plugs while mowing! Unless it states explicitly that ear muffs are not required, you should use them.

Best Hearing Protection For Lawn Mowing.

Below are my four recommendations for hearing protection when on a mower.

Standard Budget Ear Muff – These are inexpensive ear muffs that will protect your hearing while mowing the lawn, best suited to someone who will mow their garden at home / using these muffs relatively infrequently.

Standard High-End Ear Muffs – These are slightly more expensive than the muffs above – but still very reasonable in price. They will block out the noise marginally better, and will probably be better made and more comfortable to wear for extended periods. May suit someone who needs to wear hearing protection frequently, or just wants better quality.

Bluetooth Ear Muffs with a microphone. These earmuffs are like the standard ear muffs above. They do, however, have speakers built in so you can listen to music from any of your Bluetooth-enabled devices. (E.g. Smartphone).
If you get a call on your smartphone while it is paired, it will ring in your headset, and if you answer the call, there is a built-in microphone. Would suit someone who needs to be available for calls 24/7, or someone who likes to listen to music while they work. (If you get a phone call, the music automatically shuts off)

Pair that allows talking but still reduces the loudest noises. These ear muffs do not block out as much of the sounds as the earplugs above. What they do is reduce the volume of the loud sounds around you, so that you can still listen and talk. These would suit someone who works with other people and needs to communicate with them.

Best Bluetooth Hearing Protection For Mowing.


Top Pick – 3M WorkTunes With Bluetooth Technology.

  • Noise Reduction Rating 24 to help protect your hearing.
  • Integrated Microphone Make and take phone calls without having to remove the headset.
  • Hi-Fi Sound 40 mm high-fidelity speakers for premium sound quality.
  • Bluetooth Technology stream music from mobile phones or other Bluetooth devices.


Conclusion – Best Hearing Protection For Lawn Mowing.

Hearing is loss very slow, each time you damage your hearing, your hearing gets worse. The damage will be unnoticeable, but it accumulates and is irreversible.

Most people in their youth do not think about their ears; that’s why there are so many middle-aged people who cannot hear well (I am one of these people). Ear protection when lawn mowing is not expensive, and you will not regret doing it.

Once you have ear muffs, they can be you for many activities that are also noisy.

Please Note: Just because an ear defender is marked, for example, "Gunshot" - it will still cover other things, like "explosions"

Peltor Sport Ultimate Hearing Protector, Black/Gray Earmuff, NRR 30 dB,Grey
  • Peltor Sport's highest noise reducing earmuff at NRR of 30 dB
  • Adjustable, vented headband design reduces heat build and improves comfort when worn with caps & hats
  • Lightweight design for comfort and extended wear
  • Comfortable foam ear cushions
  • Improved comfort
MSA Sordin Supreme Pro X with green cups - Neckband - Electronic Earmuff equipped with comfortable...
  • slim design
  • especially for using under military-helmets
  • Compresses harmful noise to 82dB. Amplifies safe noise x 4 times
  • AUX input and AUX-cable for connection to external radios, mp3, phone etc.
  • equipped with the MSA Sordin Supreme Gel Comfort Earseals
3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Wireless Technology, 24 dB NRR, Hearing...
  • NRR of 24 dB (Noise Reduction Rating)*
  • BLUETOOTH WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY lets you seamlessly stream entertainment from your mobile phone and any other Bluetooth enabled device
  • HIGH-FIDELITY SPEAKERS provide premium sound quality
  • INTEGRATED MICROPHONE lets you make and take phone calls without removing the hearing protection
  • CORD AND ANTENNA-FREE design lets you move easily on the job

Last update on 2023-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions.

What Decibel Is Too Loud For Neighbours?

Having a party at home, vacuuming your home, having barking dogs, or mowing your lawn might disturb your neighbours and because of how sound travels, these activities are noisy. A normal conversation is around 55dB and a standard brick wall blocks 40dB, leaving the remaining 15dB to be blocked.

So anything above 40dB or 50dB will travel through the wall and can be heard by the neighbours, if your homes are situated closely. A lawnmower is 90dB, anything above 85dB is too loud and dangerous and your neighbours will be disturbed.

What Is The Acceptable Noise Level?

Sound, when played at a higher level, can be very dangerous. According to the law, acceptable sound level is 55dB during daytime (6 am to 9 pm) and 45dB during nighttime (9 pm to 6 am) in residential areas. All sounds below 70dBA are safe and any sound above 85dBA can prove dangerous and damage the hearing.

Research has also shown that if you are constantly exposed to noise level higher than 85dB, you can even suffer permanent hearing loss. This can be avoided by using good quality ear protection, such as earplugs. Earplugs will significantly lower the intensity of the noise, bringing it down to an acceptable level.

What Are The Three Warning Signs Of Hearing Loss?

There are three types of hearing loss which can be caused because of either aging or chronic exposure to loud noises. However, sometimes, people can avoid that if they detect the warning sign early and get relevant treatment. If you work at some place where you are regularly exposed to loud sound, then you should look for these three warning signs.

The first symptom is that you won’t be able to follow the conversation when you are in a noisy place because all the noises get jumbled up. Second, some voices can become muffled for you because cells that detect high-pitched sounds fade. Last, you can start feeling ringing in your ears, which may show hearing loss.

How Far Away Can You Hear 85 Decibels?

Irrespective of the fact that you’re mowing your lawn for commercial use, protecting your ear is very paramount. This is because of the loud sound that accompanies the machine you use. The continuous sound of the device as high as 85 decibels is alarming and hazardous.

How to know it’s up to 85 decibels?

If you have to scream to be heard by someone as far as 3 feet, then the noise level is something. So it is safe to safe. You can be as far away as 3 or 4 feet and still be able to hear 85 decibels.



If you require more information, please check these references

Prevention of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss , article, “www.sciencedirect.com”, retrieved on, Thu 07-May-2020

Inside The Ear , article, “books.google.co.uk”, retrieved on, Thu 07-May-2020

Noise‐induced hearing loss in children , article, “onlinelibrary.wiley.com”, retrieved on, Thu 07-May-2020


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Nick Le Page

Experience : Hi, I am Nick, and I have suffered with ear problems my whole life, mainly tinnitus. I have tried a lot of products to help protect my ears over this period, and several devices to block out the constant ringing

“Are you having problems hearing? If so, those around you already know it. Hearing loss is no laughing matter, so don’t be a punchline.”

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