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Earplugs for Small Ears – Best Options for Small Ear Canals

Earplugs for small ears?

There are many brands of ear plugs that will accommodate smaller ears. However, the best choice depends on the application.

People with small ears can hear well. People with big ears should not be afraid to use earplugs. This article is about the differences in ear size between the two.

Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to protect your ears.

Earplugs For Small Ears

People have different sized parts of their body’s, some have big noses, some small feet. In this article, I will discuss small ears, and mainly focusing on earplugs for small ears. After all, just because your ears are small, it doesn’t mean that you do not have the same problems as other people at bedtime, or in noisy environments!

There is no universal measurement for ear size, like there is for things like feet. People do not need to know the size of their ear often. The proportions of the ear canal doesn’t vary by as much, so Small, Medium and Large sizes will usually suffice.

If you have small ears, you can hear well, and people with big ears and need to protect them as the same. Ear size is never really discussed.

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Can Earplugs Be Too Big Or Too Small?

Yes, of course, some types of earplugs can be too big for small ears. But as long as you consider all the options, you can easily find ear plugs for small ear canals, like yours. If you have earplugs and they go too far into the ear hole, tickling the skin inside, they are too small, and consider a larger size.

If you have trouble fitting the earplugs, and they stick out a long way or feel wobbly in the ears, then they are too big, and you need smaller plugs. When you have the right-sized earplugs, to test them you need to:

  • Listen to something loud, and check that the plugs block out enough of the sound
  • Wear them for 10 minutes and see if they are still comfortable

When they pass these tests, then you have earplugs of the right size.

Can You Get Earplugs For Small Ears

Are there different sizes of earplugs, suited to small ears? Yes! If you have smaller ears, or ears of any size, then there are still lots of options for ear protection. For example.

  • Moldable Earplugs. Soft wax or silicone in a ball is molded into your ear.

  • Over-ear Muffs. These cover the ear, so the size of the ear is not important.

  • Small Foam Earplugs. Standard foam earplugs, only slimmer!

  • Small Sized Plugs. Several manufacturers make plugs in the sizes-small, medium and large.

Moldable Earplugs.

Moldable earplugs are balls of soft wax or silicone that go into the ear. The ball is softly pressed into the ear to form the exact shape and keep out sound and water. These are ideal if you need extra small earplugs as they come in different sizes.

If you have this type of plug, and it is still too big, you can simply break off a piece of the putty to make it smaller. The moldable wax earplugs are great for sleeping, as they are very comfortable, and do not protrude. The silicone variety is suitable for swimming and bathing as they are very waterproof.

If noise is loud or will be experienced for extended lengths of time, then these can be used with a second type of ear defender for greater protection. (Put in the moldable plugs then place muff ear defenders over the top of these)

1. Over-Ear Muffs

These are defenders that go over the top of the ears to block out sounds. As they just cover the ears, they will fit any size (Or maybe they will not work if you have huge ears).

So any standard set of earmuffs should work for you. These are best suited for industrial work and yard work. They are very obvious (So people realize you can’t hear them) and protect the ears well.

2. Small Foam Earplugs

These are your standard foam earplugs but made slimmer to fit the narrower ear. Cheap and disposable.

Small Sized Plugs

The earplugs described above will cover you in most situations where you need hearing protection. However, some of the most useful plugs are the reusable in-ear plugs.

These are best for things like flying, as some keep the pressure equalized. Also, some of these have small holes that allow some sounds in, or there are electronic varieties that take the outside noise and equalize it.

This means that deafening noises are reduced so that they do not damage your hearing, and the quiet sounds are increased so that you can hear them. This is the best option if you are in a noisy environment and still need to hear and speak.

This type of earplug are more expensive, and they are made of rubbers and plastics, so are definitely not a one size fits all solution. Most of the better manufacturers make these plugs in different sizes (small, medium and large) so be able to find a pair that fit your ears.

The plugs below come in both small and x-small sizes, these are probably the best earbuds for small ear canals (so if you need extra small ear plugs, they are here!)

Children’s Earplugs

Another thing that you can try when you have small ears, is to buy children’s earplugs. (Just throw the box away – No one is going to find out!)

Earplugs for children are the same in every way to the full-sized version, other than they are designed for smaller ears. If all else fails try these. Protecting your hearing is more important than your ego!

Can Earplugs Get Stuck When I Have Small Ears?

Can the earplugs get stuck in my ears? As long as you do not force in earplugs that are too big for your ears, they will not get stuck. Always insert any type of plug according to the instructions provided, any earplugs will be simple to remove and will not get stuck in your ears.

Do not be tempted to push them in a little harder, if some noise is still irritating you! Earplugs for small ear canals are made from safe and hygienic materials which are easy to remove.

Other Problems With Small Ears

Getting extra small earplugs may not be the only problem when you have little ears. A small ear may be considered an attractive feature in many cultures, but they can lead to other issues in life.

People with small ears have smaller ear canals that can become blocked quicker than the larger canals. This means that it is more likely that and infection or swimmer's ear could occur. These problems can be overcome just by keeping your ear dry and clean.

Small canals also mean the eczema of the ear is more likely. George Murty of ear, nose, and throat at University Hospital in Leicester said. “Your ear canals are lined with skin and, just like skin on the outside of the body, it flakes off.”


You only get one pair of ears - take care of them!

The best way to protect your hearing is to wear earplugs. There is no getting around this, you will need to do it. Wearing earplugs every day in noisy environments will only take a few seconds out of your day and it will be well worth the protection they provide. It is an easy habit to pick up and soon enough you won't even think about doing it anymore.

If you have small ears , it is particularly important to wear earplugs. No matter how much more you have, no matter how much bigger your ear canal is, small ears will not be able to accomodate big earplugs. The holes are too small and the base too big.

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

TOZO T6 True Wireless Earbuds Bluetooth 5.3 Headphones Touch Control with Wireless Charging Case...
  • [Smart Touch Control] Specific touch control function makes it more convenient, tap once to play/pause music and answer calls, double tap to skip forward/backward, hold to adjust the volume. You can easily control it without operating the phone.
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Shure SE215 PRO Wired Earbuds - Professional Sound Isolating Earphones, Clear Sound & Deep Bass,...
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Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earbuds (Wireless Charging Case included), Black – US Version
  • Power up to power on get up to six hours of battery life with an additional seven hours from the case that doubles as a wireless charger
  • Premium sound tuned by AKG, an optimized driver offers substantial bass, while a volume driver gives you a wider range of sound
  • Just what you want to hear control how much surrounding noise you want with ambient aware. Quick ambient mode lets you hear traffic, flight annozments and coworkers calling out to you
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3M PELTOR Optime 105 Earmuffs H10A, Over-the-Head, Black/Red
  • Effective hearing protection for noise exposures up to 105dBA
  • Double-shell technology boosts its noise blocking ability
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  • Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 30 dB, highest available in over-the-head style earmuffs

Last update on 2023-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Other Questions

Why don’t earplugs stay in my ears?

The reason earplugs don’t stay in your ears, is because either you don’t have the right size or you are not inserting them properly. An earplug that is too big or too small will not give you the desired result and will keep on falling out. They should be airtight in your ear canal.

Earplugs come in different sizes and shapes, so getting the right one is important. If you are not sure which size to get, go for wax earplugs because they can be molded into any size. Foam earplugs are also a good and inexpensive option. To properly insert the earplugs, roll the earplug, gently pull your ear to open up the ear canal, and then insert it.

Why do my ears hurt after wearing earplugs?

Your ears can hurt after wearing earplugs because of a few reasons. First, the quality of earplugs matters a lot. If you are using inferior quality, hard and rigid earplugs, they can be a cause of pain. So make sure never to compromise on quality and get high-quality and comfortable earplugs.

Second, the size of the earplugs is also important. If your earplugs are too small, they will feel tight causing you pain, and sometimes, they can even give you a bruised sensation. Similarly, if they are too big, and if you try to keep stuffing them in, you will end up having pain in your ears. Last, make sure you are inserting them properly, do not push them too deep otherwise it will cause pain.

What is the highest DB for earplugs?

Earplugs do not block out 100% of the noise. They just take off the harshness and make the noise more tolerable and safer for you.

The highest NRR (noise reduction rate) offered by any earplug is almost 39dB, anything up to this level will be blocked but you will hear any sound that is above 39dB.


If you require more information, please check these references

Noise Attenuation and Proper Insertion of Earplugs into Ear Canals , article,“academic.oup.com”, retrieved on, Mon 11-May-2020

Speech Intelligibility and Passive, Level-Dependent Earplugs , article, “journals.lww.com”, retrieved on, Mon 11-May-2020

Hearing protection for clubbers is music to their ears , article, “www.publish.csiro.au”, retrieved on, Mon 11-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

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