The All New Flare Sleeep will be available on Monday the 24th of May. To join the waiting list, head over to the product page now

In this review, we’re going toe to toe with the all-new Flare Sleeep®, a brand new sleeping ear plug that combines the best features of Flare’s previous sleep range into one single unit. 

Key Features

  • New design incorporates Flare’s noise blocking foam tips with the flexibility of the old Sleeeps body.
  • Two models: aluminium ($39.95) and the Pro which is thinner with a Titanium body ($59.95)
  • Includes mesh carry-case and four pairs of tips (two in each size).


Unboxing and First Impressions

We love Flare, but let’s face it: they have a lot of products, all with different tip sizes, materials, and sometimes even different colours. As such, it’s pleasing to open the new Flare Sleeep® and find a pretty simple set-up. You receive:

  • A neat mesh carry case, great for keeping your plugs clean between wears. 
  • Two aluminium (or titanium with the pro model) stems. 
  • Four pairs of super soft memory foam tips: two pairs in ‘standard’ size and two in ‘large’. 

Assembly is simple: you take the tip and press it onto the stem until it clicks in. Do the same for the other side and voila, you’re ready to go. For my test, I placed the standard sized tip on one side and the large on the other, allowing me to size my ears accurately. 

If you’ve worn Flare’s plugs in the past, the ‘standard’ tip will be effective for XS and S sized ears, while the ‘large’ tip is closer to that of the M and L. The tips are very soft and springy, they press down when squeezed in the fingers and gently expand to fill the ear. 

Okay, but how is this different to Flare’s old sleeping range?

For those who don’t know, Flare previously released a variety of sleeping ear plugs: one was called the Sleeep, which was a dense metal core with a memory foam tip, and one was called the SleeepS, which was a softer tipped unit without metal. 

Consolidating the range, the all new Flare Sleeep is a hybrid of these two units. Substantially less bulky than the original Sleeep, with the same soft, pliable, wipe-clean memory foam tips from the Sleeeps, it should be considered a best of both worlds solution. 

But is it comfy? 

The central criticism of Flare’s original sleep range was that the size and density of the metal core could cause irritation, particularly for individuals with narrow or shallow ears, or for individuals who sleep on their side. This has been the central point of development and I’m glad to say, the new Flare Sleeep is a much softer, much more flexible plug, with an ultra thin aluminium stem that grants the physical benefits of the original without causing pain or irritation. 

I tried sleeping with these on my side and found they remained soft and effective, without causing undue pressure on the sensitive ear canal. The stem for the plugs is substantially thinner than that of all previous Flare models. Weighing only 2.17 grams, it’s incredibly light for a metal plug and unlikely to be registered when worn. It’s available in two models: the regular aluminium, or a slightly more expensive ‘Pro’ version, which is made with titanium. Because the titanium is a stronger and denser metal, the Pro’s stem design is substantially thinner, almost hour-glass shaped (it’s 1mm thin at its thinnest point) and would be suitable for individuals wanting the smallest physical profile for a plug when worn. 

Sound blocking and dampening

In terms of evaluating the sound blocking potential of a sleeping ear plug, there’s a few things you have to consider. Firstly, how much sound it blocks, but then also how comfortable it is and how likely it is to facilitate a smooth night’s sleep. In the past, Flare’s plugs have blocked a huge amount of sound, at the cost of comfort, with some of the rigid metal bodies actually causing irritation when worn. The new Flare Sleeep has solved this. It’s going to dampen less sound than the original model, anecdotally it sounds to me akin to a medium strength foam tip, but there are significant improvements in terms of ergonomics, fit, and comfort. 

This may seem like a trade-off, but we always say the same thing with sleeping plugs: you may be able to find a stronger level of sound blocking, but it will come at a cost of comfort. An uncomfortable pair of ear plugs can be as bad or worse than noise, in terms of disrupting sleep. In this case, the new Flare Sleep is the most comfortable ear plug they have ever produced: a huge advantage when it comes to ensuring rest, with a solid level of sound dampening too. 

Care and Maintenance 

Flare recommends changing the tips about once a month. As such, once you’ve properly sized your ears, you have two months of tips available. If you don’t wear plugs every night (or, if you’re a side sleeper who only wears one ear plug when they sleep) these will obviously last longer. 

The tips have a smooth ‘wipe-clean’ skin that allows you to keep them fresh without relying on cleaning agents. Just give them a gentle wipe with a damp lint-free cloth or flannel. Avoid overly wetting the tips; they should be dried with the cloth as opposed to being left damp. 

Conclusion

The new Flare Sleeep® marks a significant challenge to the mainstays of the reusable sleeping plug market. It feels like Flare have finally developed a maximally comfortable design without sacrificing the metal plug approach that has been their trademark. The plugs are comfortable, hard wearing, with nicely sized tips suitable for all ear types. If you were a fan of the original Sleeeps or just are looking for a foam tipped reusable, the new Flare Sleeep should be your go to. 

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