There are many reasons why you may want to invest in earplugs for swimming, particularly if you spend a lot of time in the water for recreational or professional reasons.
Primarily, earplugs can provide comfort and protection against potential damage your eardrums. Damage that can cause infections to develop, which in turn causes you lots of pain and ruin your time in the water. Anyone who has suffered from swimmer’s ear can testify to that.
If you’ve decided you need a pair of earplugs for swimming, whether it’s your first pair or a replacement or upgrade to your current pair, we’re here to help.
The best place to buy earplugs, like most products, is online. However, there is such a huge variety to choose from right now that you may feel a little out of your depth (pardon the pun!). That’s why in the following guide we have gathered together a list of the 10 earplugs for swimming available in the UK that we think are the best of the best.
To further help you make the right decision, you’ll find an insightful buying guide covering the different aspects of earplugs you need to consider.
First, though, let’s dive in and look at some great earplugs.
Best Ear Plugs For Swimming
First, in our guide we have the mid-range priced, but incredibly comfortable Aqua Plugz from popular manufacturer Zoggs. Available in two different sizes, adult and junior, and three different colours, blue, green and orange, these have been ergonomically designed to fit your outer ear.
The fit helps to ensure you have a watertight closure that keeps all water out of your ears, in theory, while they are inserted into place. Inserting them is easy enough, thanks to the cleverly designed insertion stem and placing the appropriate plug for each ear into the outer part of the are pushing it in until it is secure.
They are made from 100% silicone so are completely hypoallergenic and are marked with an L and R on the plugs made for your left and right ears respectively. Cleaning them is a simple enough task between uses and involves rinsing them thoroughly in cold water and allowing them to dry.
To make it easy to transport them and keep them safe when you are not using them, the Air Plugz come with their own handy little carry case.
If you are the sort who likes to be sociable while in the pool, these are perfect as they protect your ears and plug them without blocking out all noise.
This next set, containing three pairs of silicone-made earplugs, is a bit more expensive, but judging by the rating and rave reviews it has received on Amazon, it’s money well spent. Comfortable and safe, two words you won’t hear associated with ear plugs and that’s the first two words that are mentioned concerning this set. Designed to be reused, they have a very durable and comfortable design that has a real air of professionalism about it.
Placing them into your ears to plug them up is easy enough, as each pair consists of one marked with an L for the left ear and one with an R for the right ear.
Similarly, to the first pack in our list, the design is ergonomically shaped to snugly fir inside your ear and lay flat against the outer part of your ear. This is another set that comes with a smart, sturdy and compact carry case to keep them in when you are on the move or they are not in use.
What’s more, as there are three pairs, each in a different attractive colour, there is enough for different members of your family or circle of friends if you swim and participate in aquatic activities together.
Next up we have this great money-saving set from Airsun. We think these are a really nice bargain as you get 6 high-quality ear plugs for the same price you would pay for a single pair. Again, these are made from 100% silicone, so are soft and comfortable on the inside of your ear and unlikely to cause any allergic reactions or other sensitivity.
Not only are they safe to use, but they are easy to use too. You simply need to push them into your ears and hey presto, your ears are blocked from water. Although they do block out a lot of annoying noise and can be used if you suffer from tympanitis, they don’t block all sound out so you can still listen to music and hold conversations with them in.
Unlike the first model, each pair is designed with two the same shape so can be used in either your right or left ears. If you are looking to buy a set for your whole family, this set is a good choice as there are 6 different colours, meaning everyone can have their own. The only issue you will have will be over who gets what colour.
Admittedly, most of these ear plugs look like one another. That’s not to say they don’t have their own unique traits, though. Take these Shayson silicone gel earplugs for instance. Who hasn’t had to deal with the frustration that comes from losing one or both ear plugs? They are just so small and can fall out of bags or slip off into places that are too hard to reach.
With that in mind, though, Shayson came up with something exceptionally clever when designing these ear plugs. The ingenious feature that is quite visible from the images is the little piece of cord that runs between pairs of the ear plugs. The idea is that they will be a lot harder to lose.
As a nice bonus, the earplugs also come with a nose clip made from the same durable and comfortable soft silicone. To keep the ear plugs safe when they are not in use, the set comes with a clear plastic box for each set. So, there is even less chance of losing them.
They come in a pack of 6 pairs for adults only.
Okay, so the next product isn’t exactly ear plugs, but rather is ear drops. Hear us out, though, as these drops might just mean you never need to invest in any earplugs for swimming again. Suitable for anyone over the age of 6 months, they come in an easy to use and compact bottle containing over 100 applications. You just need to apply 2 to 3 drops of the specially formulated solution into your ear before you do anything involving water, whether it is swimming, diving, surfing or even just taking a shower, bath or washing your hair.
How does it work? The ear drops line the canals of your ears with an ingenious water-repellent coating. To be clear, the formula does not contain any alcohol and won’t cause any damage, irritation or even a stinging sensation. There is no build-up or residue left behind and in stark contrast to many earplugs, they won’t cause any balance or hearing issues.
The product was devised and developed by qualified and experienced Ear, Nose and Throat specialists and is fully patented and passed clinical trials to back up the company’s claims. If you have real problems with earplugs, we would highly recommend you buy a bottle of these drops and stick it in your swimming bag or in your toilet, so they are always close to hand.
Mpow is a manufacturer that is highly regarded but better known for another ear-related accessory – headphones and earphones. However, their experience in this area of the body has meant that these silicone earplugs are made to a professional standard.
Made from top-quality soft silicone, these are BPA-free, mouldable and reusable. All great qualities for ear plugs. One of the things we really like about this particular set is that it features 10 pairs, so there is more than enough for everyone to have a pair in your household, even if you have a large family. What’s more, they come with a large and spacious carry case, with room for all 20 individual ear plugs and an individual, smaller case for you to keep the pair you are currently using in.
Mpow has ensured that the design and materials used in the construction of these ear plugs meet both CE and ANSI standards, so you know you are getting a safe, comfortable and durable product.
We thought that their design actually made them look more like the kind of ear plugs you would normally associate for use in bed. Very small with a low profile, they can be easily moulded to fit into place to provide that watertight seal you are looking for.
If many of the manufacturer names in this guide sound a little unfamiliar, you will be pleased to note that the next product we’ve picked out is from the world-renowned and professionally respected, Speedo. The Australian swimwear and swim-related company is actually based in Nottingham now and is synonymous with professional athlete quality accessories and clothing.
It’s unsurprising therefore, that despite their comparatively lower price than some of the products in our list, that these are made to a very high standard indeed. Relying on its own specialist BioFuse technology, they have been made with a multi-flange construction that provides greater protection against water reaching the inside of your ears and into your eardrums.
Unlike many of the models that feature designs that stick out somewhat from the ears, when you insert these ear plugs inside your ears, they sit flush with the outer ear, for a more dynamic and compact fit. As is the case with most in our guide, they also come with a tough and reusable carry case to store them in when they are not in use.
Another similarity these share with the others we’ve featured so far as that they are reusable and just require a quick wash and dry between uses.
8. WiMaker Soft Liquid Silicone Swimming Ear Plugs, 2 Pack
Although it would be a bit of a push to refer to something as run-of-the-mill as ear plugs as awesome, if there is any that deserves that descriptor it may is probably these from WiMaker.
Made from premium quality liquid silicone, they are reportedly much softer and in turn more comfortable than moulded silicone and rubber offerings from other companies. This makes them especially good for wearing them for long periods.
They are designed with a triple-flange shape, that means they can be easily adjusted to the optimum position for great fit and comfort and will keep them in place. The watertight seal they provide also ensures they keep the water out of their eardrum.
Between the two sizes, standard and small, they fit over 90% of people’s ears and fit nicely inside a very tough, durable and trendy bottle, which is very convenient and inconspicuous. These are definitely more expensive than a lot, considering how many pairs you get, but in addition to the metallic carry case and soft liquid soft silicone, they are backed up by a 30 days money-back guarantee and 12 month’s warranty that covers you for replacements.
9. SwimCell Reusable Adult Silicone Swimming Ear Plugs
Another British company are behind the penultimate set of ear plugs in our guide. SwimCell makes a point of not only being fiercely British but also note that employees love wearing and using the accessories, like these travel-friendly ear plugs, themselves.
We’ve already discussed in other reviews how easy it can be to lose ear plugs. They are not the biggest items in the world and often they are made in very subtle colours. Not these reusable silicone ear plugs from SwimCell, that are available in very bright colours, including orange and pink, yellow, black and many others. This makes them easier to spot even if you’ve dropped them down the side of the sofa or bed.
Like many others, they feature the almost obligatory left and right markings so that you are never unsure about which ear which goes into. Unlike some, especially the more elaborately designed, these do not stick out from the ear and sit flush with the rest of your ear, offering that watertight fit while fitting perfectly under a swimming cap.
Another nifty thing we really love about this set of ear plugs is the storage case they come in. Transparent and sturdy, so you can always make sure they are both in there. More impressively, it will actually float on water, meaning you can take a break from wearing them without worrying about them getting lost underwater.
10. Mack’s Aqua Block Ear Plugs
Finally, we round out our guide with a set of ear plugs for swimming designed and manufactured by the extremely popular brand Mack’s, that are available for an amazingly low price. Made from pre-moulded soft silicone, these ear plugs will not break down or deteriorate like plastic alternatives.
Similarly, to others in our guide, they feature the triple-flange design and a flexible stem to make insertion and wearing them a whole lot simpler and more comfortable. If you have heard of Mack’s before reading this guide, we’re not surprised as not only are they the official ear plug of USA Swimming but have been voted as the Number 1 doctor recommended earplug brand in the USA. What better stamps of approval could ear plugs need?
Like the others, they are completely reusable and can be easily washed between uses to stop infections and bacteria collecting up in your ears.
Best Earplugs for Swimming – Buyer’s Guide
We understand that even with 10 products to choose from, the decision may still be difficult. That’s why we’ve included this handy buying guide to give you some more food for thought when browsing the available options. In it, we have tried to cover all the most important aspects of ear plugs for swimming that you need to consider when trying to buy the product that’s right for you.
The material ear plugs are made from is hugely important. Particularly if you suffer from any allergies, as the last thing you want is to go to the beach, swimming pool or do anything related to the water, to find after a while that the ear plugs you chose have caused an allergic reaction.
In general, you will find that most ear plugs are made from one of two materials – foam or silicone. As well as being highly hypoallergenic, both these materials are mouldable so they will fit the specific shape and size of your ear snugly, and waterproof so they can provide you with the water barrier you need.
Disposable or Reusable?
This is a big question that comes up time and time again with regards to ear plugs for swimming. You may be thinking that disposable ear plugs sound like a lot less hassle to deal with. After all, once you’ve worn them once, you can just put them in the bin and don’t need to do anything else.
However, we recommend you consider reusable. The compromise you make for disposable ear plugs being cheaper than reusable alternatives is that they are not made to quite as high a standard. So, they are unlikely to work as well as a water barrier than products that cost only a few quid more.
That’s why all the earplugs we picked out in our guide are reusable. Yes, you do have to give them a wash and let them dry between uses, but not only does that take a matter of minutes, in general, but they also offer much better protection.
How They Fit
Aside from deciding which ear plugs are right based on the material they are made from and whether they are reusable or not, another key aspect you need to consider is how well they fit. This is one of the main reasons why silicone and foam ear plugs are so popular – they will fit just about any ear nice and easily.
That is if they are made from soft silicone. With harder silicone ear plugs, you may need to look at the specific sizes offered to find the best fit, but even this is not too much hassle.
Do You Need Noise Reduction?
All ear plugs offer some degree of noise reduction. However, you need to be careful to choose a pair that don’t block out too many sounds. While it might make it more comfortable to enjoy a nice dip in the pool or concentrate on your workout, having all outside blocked out can be a real safety hazard. Therefore, we would recommend that you look for a pair that offers a minimal amount of noise reduction unless you have a hearing condition that will benefit from it.
Getting water trapped in your ears after you’ve been in the pool, swimming in the sea, or even just had a shower or bath, is never pleasant. When it hangs around, infections can develop and swimmer’s ear is not something you really want to suffer from, and thankfully with the right earplugs for swimming, it’s easy to avoid. Although you may have been hesitant or even overwhelmed by the prospect of having to choose a good pair of earplugs, we hope our comprehensive guide above has helped to make things a little easier.
Depending on your budget, we have tried to cover all bases. There are even great sets for families, so if you are buying earplugs for our next trip to the seaside, the swimming pool or that sunny beach holiday, there is something for everyone in our list.