I'm autistic, and I have sensory processing disorder, which means I don't process touch, sound, or lights the same ways as most people. I'm easily overstimulated by loud noises and need hearing protection to help reduce outside input to my senses. Sound sensitivity is one of the biggest autism issues I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Here are my top contenders for the best earplugs for autism (or other neurodivergent folks).
My Favorite Ear Plugs for Neurodivergent People
My Choice for Daily Wear: Vibes High Fidelity Earplugs
Okay, I know everyone is into Vibes earplugs, and it looks like a huge marketing scheme, but Vibes really are the ear plugs I wear on most day-to-day occasions around the house, and I am not being paid by anyone to say that.
The Hi Fidelity earplugs filter out most loud sound: my kids' more annoying electronic toys, the loud noise their indoor hammock swing makes, and most outside noise from cars driving by or people doing yard work. They reduce a loud environment. But, I can still hear the oven timer when it goes off, a child asking for help, or that someone left the upstairs bathroom faucet on … again.
I've owned my Vibes Hi Fidelity Earplugs for years and wear them three times a week, easy.
They fit well in my ears, stay in without budging, and are easy to clean. And I do like that they're clear, because I can take them to everyday activities, to the grocery store or the mall (pre-pandemic), and not feel self-conscious about wearing ear plugs. I've had zero issues with them. I really love them, and recommend them thoroughly. They really are the best earplugs for autism!
My Choice for Sleep: Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair
But when my children were babies, I had postpartum anxiety, and I would wake up at every. little. sniffle.
I became a zombie nightmare… …until I started wearing Mack's soft ear plugs every night to bed.
These foam earplugs are supremely comfy, easy to fit in the ear, don't fall out, and don't poke me. They help me block out anything less than a full-on crying child, and let me tell you, they saved my sanity.
Also, they are super affordable, and it's nice to always have extra pairs around to offer to friends when they're visiting (post-pandemic, that is).
My Choice for (Almost) Total Silence: Decibel Defense Ear Muffs
I love my Vibes, but sometimes, I need some heavy-duty noise blocking muffs. That's where these Decibel Defense Ear Muffs come in.
These block almost all noise so well that I don't wear them in the house except during sensory emergencies (If you're neurodivergent, you know)!
They're perfect for when I need to work and the kids have the TV on, when the Roomba's running and making me grind my teeth, or on the rare occasions I'm outside to mow the lawn.
They're comfortable and adjustable – even my kids borrow them sometimes. And they're really, really great at blocking out noise!