Alpine SleepDeep ($33.95)
It’s the question on everyone’s sleep deprived lips: what is the best ear plug for sleeping with a snorer? While there is no such thing as an ear plug that blocks all sound, the newest model sleep plugs are more comfortable and more soundproof than the disposable foam plugs we remember from hotels and planes. In this guide, we are looking at the Alpine SleepDeep ($33.95), a new model reusable sleeping plug that promises high noise reduction and comfort all night long.
- Special gel for noise reduction provides higher blocking than the popular Alpine SleepSoft.
- Oval shaped plugs are ergonomic for the ear canal, sealing comfortably and not shifting during the night.
- Entire body is soft, great for side sleepers.
Unboxing and First Impressions
The most striking feature when unboxing the Alpine SleepDeep is the oval shape of the plugs. They’re slightly flatter, with a dense little core of noise reducing gel. It’s designed to target snoring, and the plugs themselves look comfortable, with soft tips reminiscent of the new bud shaped ear phones that are popular among audiophiles.
Alpine’s brand comes in a minimalist packaging, mostly cardboard with limited plastic. It demonstrates their eco-conscious attitude while at the same time being dense with information. A quick read of the back of the box shows all of the hearing science you could ever need to learn.
A major selling point for this model is, compared to most silicone sleeping plugs, these are rated to 27 SNR. This is substantially higher than comparison silicone plugs (which range between 22 and 25 SNR). Just like a work plug, the SleepDeep when properly fitted will block approximately 27 decibels of noise — making these a strong contender for the best sleep plug for dealing with a snorer.
Each set comes with a small travel case. It’s made of a soft plastic which has a little give, making it relatively robust particularly if it’s travelling in your backpack or case. A small loop attaches to a keyring but for the next model, I’d like to see Alpine include a hardier aluminium case. Not only are these stronger, but they’re also more easily recycled. We’ve even heard of some users mixing and matching, storing their Alpines in an aluminium case branded by rivals Flare!
Minimalist, recyclable packaging is a nice touch, though we would like a stronger case.
Comfort and Noise Reduction
For me, testing the SleepDeep involves two questions:
- How does it deal with snoring?
- How does it feel for side sleepers?
Inserting the plugs was extremely easy for me once I rotated them to suit the natural shape of the ear. The tail of the plug should be a horizontal line with your head (as shown in the attached guide). Because of the oval shape, they fit in without need to squish up or twist, making these easy to operate even for first time users.
Once set, they’re a forgettable plug (in a good way!). The tips are hypoallergenic and soft and, even for narrow ears (like mine!) I found they were low pressure and light even over long periods. These are a great sleep-in plug, they remain comfy and flexible all night even for 8+ hour sessions.
For sound blocking, the SleepDeep is the best performing silicone sleep plug I’ve trialled. It blocked a higher amount of sound than the SleepSoft and I felt that the noise reducing gel did a good job targeting the most common interruptions: snoring, wind and rattling windows. Unlike the SleepSoft, these are a filterless plug. While the SleepSoft is designed to let you easily hear alarms, door knocks, and other important interruptions, the SleepDeep is for suppressing as much noise as possible. Whether this is a pro or a con depends on your own personal situation but, for me anyway, I found them an upgrade.
For cleaning, there’s a quick guide in the included instruction book. It’s safe to use a mild soap on these, and lukewarm water. The plugs can be carefully dried with a towel or left to dry in the air but do not put them in direct sunlight or heat. Probably cared for, the SleepDeep should last around 100 wears, though this can vary depending on your ears.
A new oval shape is super comfortable in ear, while the gel core blocks even more sound.
Should I upgrade?
As mentioned, the major competitor to the SleepDeep is another Alpine product, the SleepSoft. The SleepSoft was notable for being the first reusable plug to really benefit side sleepers. The flexible material and stem made for a really comfortable sleep, no matter how much pressure you put on them. The major criticism of the SleepSoft, however, was that (particularly compared to foam or some metal plugs) they blocked a lower amount of sound — only 25 SNR.
Alpine have very clearly taken this feedback on board with the new SleepDeep. No more rigid plastic stem means an overall softer experience in-ear, removing the one possible point of discomfort for side sleepers. The new shape for the plugs is similarly comfy, I didn’t notice these sleeping on my back, face and both sides. It’s clear from this trial that Alpine remain committed to producing the best ear plugs for side sleepers.
Similarly, the upgrades related to the gel core mean a substantial improvement in sound blocking. The gel core noticeably reduces more sound than the filtered SleepSoft. For individuals who like the SleepSoft, it’s worth taking a gamble on the SleepDeep when it’s time to replace. The plug is on the whole softer/less rigid and the gain in SNR means a significant reduction in disruption.
For side sleepers especially, comfort is paramount. Alpine continues to push the limits of what’s achievable with a flexible, comfortable sleep plug with the new SleepDeep. It’s the strongest sleep plug we’ve tested without any of the discomfort or pressure we see in metal or rigid plastic plugs. If you’re looking for a new reusable sleep plug, the SleepDeep is an excellent choice.