If you're going somewhere with your baby and expect high noise levels - such as Fireworks night, a party, or a festival - it's wise to invest in a pair of baby ear defenders for your baby's comfort and safety.
Even as adults, extreme noise can be really uncomfortable so you don't want your little one getting scared or upset, or even experience ear damage, by loud noises. You'll be able to use them at family parties, fireworks displays, summer festivals, concerts or cinema trips.
Baby ear defenders in this article
How to choose baby ear defenders
Ear defenders for babies need to be designed specifically for them – you can’t use adult earplugs or any other ear protection designed for adults. When buying baby ear defenders, one of the most important factors is the fit. Your children need to able to move their heads when using them without the protectors slipping or falling off. Also, you should make sure that they don't put too much pressure on their heads.
Before using baby ear defenders and protectors make sure you read all the instructions and recommendations and bear in mind that most of these products are not supposed to be used for long periods at a time.
The best ear defenders for babies and kids
With a variety of choices currently on the market, finding the right ear defenders might seem like a chore but that's where we come in. Here are the best baby ear defenders that we've found for you to choose from.
The best metal free baby ear defenders
These baby ear defenders are designed not to put any pressure on baby's head; they're made without any metal or hard parts, so they're extremely soft to use. They come with a spare headband, plus a matching carry bag to keep them safe while storing or travelling.
- Can be used from 3 months to 3 years
- Are really comfy because of their elastic headband, which is available in either pink or blue
- Come with two bands, plus a carry bag
- Don't contain any metal
Real parent review: "Purchased for my 3 month old daughter to attend her first British superbikes race. I was concerned as wanted to be sure to protect her hearing and lots of other listings didn't state decibel protection. I was glad I spent the little extra as she slept soundly throughout the day with no issues from very loud motorbikes."
The best baby ear defenders for comfort
These Banz earmuffs are virtually indestructible, apparently (we'd like to test that claim). They feature soft cushioned ear cups. We've linked to the pink version, but they do come in a range of bright colours.
- Available in a range of bright colours
- Suitable up to 3 years old
Real parent review: "I didn’t have high hopes for this product. I thought they’d frustrate my then 10 month old and thought she’d rip them off. We tried them on her and to my surprise she left them on for ages, so we went ahead with our plans to go to the cinema. (Until she was feeding and knocked them off and realised she didn’t need them anymore). I think if we hadn’t have eased her in to the noise with the ear defenders, she wouldn’t have coped and we would have ended up leaving, so I’m pleased we bought them. They appear light weight and comfortable. I couldn’t fit them on my head but when placed over one ear, they seem to significantly reduce sound. A great product."
The best budget baby ear defenders
These ear defenders are sturdy and durable; they're available in a wide range of colours - if your little one is old enough, it'll be fun to let them choose which colour they'd like. They're adjustable so they can grow with your tot and are also lightweight, folding up easily and making them great for taking out and about.
- Suitable from 6 months
- Available in 9 colour options
- Can be used for older kids as well
- Comes as a customizable set with carrying bags, replacement pads, and mix and match end caps
Real parent review: "Bought for my autistic 8yr old son. Why I didn't know about this before is mind boggling. He really struggles with noise and theses block 90 percent out. He loves them. He puts them on in the car, supermarket etc. He will even just go lay on his bed and chill out. Very very impressed and have made a huge difference to his life."
The best baby ear defenders for newborns
These baby ear defenders claim to be the smallest in the world - not that it matters, as long as they are effective. They've been Certified by the American National Standards Institute for ear protection. Being small, they're suitable for babies from birth to about 18 months old - unlike others in our list, which can be used by older kids too - worth thinking about as their lifespan is shorter than others.
- Can be used from newborn to 18 months old
- Exclusively designed for babies
- Has adjustable head straps in a variety of prints and designs
Real parent review: "Used these on my 5 week old for her first ice hockey game, she slept the whole way through without a jump even sat a few stands away from a loud drum! The band does fall down sometimes but I found it's all about trial and error. Once I'd got the head band on the right spot for my babies head, the head band no longer fell over her eyes."
The best baby ear defenders for visibility
Coming in four brightly coloured designs, these baby ear defenders are durable and well-made with low profile ear cups and no protruding parts. The ear muffs are thin, plus it's great that you can replace the cushions and inserts should they become dirty.
- They have high SNR value (27dB)
- Fit children up to 7 years old
- Four bright colours
Real parent review: "Little boy loves these, blocks out just enough noise so his ears don't hurt when I'm doing DIY and using power tools. Also good for fireworks as they scare him, he's only 2 (although was 1.5 when these were purchased). They seems to be very comfy for him and he can still hear us parents when we need to talk to him."
The best adjustable baby ear defenders
Available in four colourful designs, the flexible headband of these defenders suit different head sizes. They also come with a carry bag for easy storage.
- Four fun designs
- Comes with a carry bag
- Adjustable headband
Real parent review: "I bought these for my 14 year old daughter who suffers from anxiety and was finding the noise of her friendship groups and school environment difficult to deal with. She loves them already, says she's felt a lot less stressed, they fit her fine and she loves the design. Altogether a fantastic buy for her specific needs. Cuts out a lot of background noise and takes the edge off the volume, but she can still hear her teachers and friends talk to her."
The best lightweight baby ear defenders
These colourful ear defenders are made from high-quality skin-sensitive ABS ear cups and foam filled cushions to ensure safety and durability while enhancing sound blocking ability. Weighing just 103g, they come in pink or blue - it's a shame other colours aren't available. They're suitable from birth to 18 months - again, not as long-lasting as some others on our list that are suitable for older children too.
- Soft foam cushions
- Come in pink or blue
- Suitable from birth to 18 months
- Come with a carry bag
Real parent review: "My nearly 9 week old baby wore these whilst we where in Butlins. The shows where very loud & one even included a very loud fire work bang which she didn’t seem bothered by with these on. They aren’t too tight so no indent marks on baby but they are still snug to cancel out some of the noise. They extend & also fitted my 5 year old fine. I would recommend these."
What decibels are safe for children?
Your baby is more sensitive to loud noises compared to you because their ear canal is smaller so the sound pressure that is generated in the ears is much more. According to babyhearing.org, "noises softer than 80 dB will not damage hearing unless the exposure lasts for several hours."
How Mother&Baby selected the best baby ear defenders
Our product recommendations are based on a combination of real-world testing from our burgeoning army of mum testers, and the extensive knowledge of our experienced editorial team and product specialists. Where we can, we also consult experts who specialise in that field to ensure you get the right advice along with the right product, and we listen to what you say as well. Our thriving mum community on our Facebook group #mumtribe also often hold great insights as to which products mums really like best and why helping us highlight the products that meet what you really want.
For the essential products, our annual Mother&Baby Awards shortlist the top products tested, and you can find full reviews from our mum testers provided on the product page. The winners and runners up for each category then will appear in our top picks article for that product, along with other products that were rated highly by our team.
Digital Editor Maria Martin's son Parker in his Iwinna ear defenders:
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