Wearing AirPods Pro While Sleeping: Can It Damage Your Ears?

AirPods Pro are so comfortable to wear that you might consider using them even while sleeping. After all, the wires of traditional headphones can easily get tangled as you sleep. But is it safe to sleep with your AirPods in?

Wearing AirPods Pro while sleeping is a good way to block out noise or play a white-noise for yourself. Add silicone ear hooks to help them stay in your ears as you move around at night. While high volumes can damage your ears anytime, sleeping in AirPods won’t effect more than sleep quality.

Let’s take a closer look at whether it’s safe to wear AirPods Pro while sleeping and what the associated risks are.

Is It OK to Wear AirPods Pro While Sleeping?

Bluetooth headphones isolated on black background

There are advantages and disadvantages to wearing your AirPods Pro (on Amazon) while sleeping. The results will depend on your style and sleeping habits, how you feel using AirPods, and how you utilize them.

You may find that there are more drawbacks than benefits. However, most of the downsides have simple solutions that will allow you to sleep comfortably with AirPods in.

It’s possible that falling asleep with headphones made of hard plastic in your ears won’t be painful right now, but it could become uncomfortable in the future. Additionally, in-ear earbuds can trap moisture in the ear canal, especially if you go to bed immediately after a shower.

This can lead to the growth of bacteria and external ear infections over time. If you use your in-ear earphones for an extended period, you may accumulate a buildup of earwax.

Why Wear AirPods Pro While sleeping?

The following are some reasons why you might sleep with earphones in:

Noise Cancellation

AirPods Pro can be used as earplugs to block out ambient sounds. If you live on a busy street or in an area with lively nightlife, AirPods may be the perfect solution.

Having a snoring sleep companion is yet another possible reason you might want to filter out external sounds.

By listening to music or using a white noise app, it’s possible to filter out loud and irritating sounds such as traffic, construction, neighbors playing loud music, or a noisy companion. You can do this with your AirPods Pro (check out our review).


If you’re looking for a good night’s rest, you can listen to some soothing music. Some people find white noise very beneficial.

White noise is the sound heard when a television signal is lost. It’s the sum of all sound frequencies. It’s also used to assist children in falling asleep more quickly.

Boosts Happy Brain Chemicals

Music is a beautiful strategy to increase dopamine release and encourage serotonin production. Both of these neurotransmitters are related to happiness and relaxation.

With AirPods in your ears and soothing music playing, your body’s natural chemicals are activated, making it easier than ever to fall asleep.

Easier to Sleep

You may find that listening to music in the background while you sleep might make you relax and clear your mind. It can result in a more comfortable night’s sleep and a more aware morning.

Listening to music could make you feel better if you went to bed in a poor mood. That’s why many people habitually sleep with their AirPods in.

Potential Risks of Sleeping With AirPods in

AirPods can get stuck in your ears if you move around a lot while trying to sleep, causing them to press on your pillow and dig into your ear canal. It is challenging to forecast the complications of having anything that shouldn’t be in your ear for a lengthy period.

An AirPod that’s too deep in the ear will transmit vibrations close to the eardrum, increasing the likelihood of headaches, earaches, and infections. In the worst-case scenario, AirPods placed too hard on the skin for too long might cause necrosis and even skin death.

Fortunately, these types of ear infections are rarely life-threatening, and they may be avoided by routinely cleaning your AirPods and limiting their use to a few hours at a time.

The risk posed by earwax is significantly less alarming. AirPods may force earwax deposits deep into the ear canal, making it more difficult to remove and prone to buildup. Fortunately, this is a reasonably simple issue to resolve, although not without some unpleasantness.

Does Sleeping With AirPods Pro Damage Your Ears?

Various short- and long-term dangers are associated with sleeping with AirPods in, including the possibility of ear infections, wax buildup, discomfort, loss of hearing, sleep disorders, and losing or ingesting the earbuds. However, the risk of developing cancer from AirPods is extremely low.

While the likelihood of some of these dangers materializing is extremely low, others are actually highly probable, with results ranging from moderate annoyance to potentially serious consequences.

Build Up Ear Wax

The first relatively insignificant drawback of sleeping with AirPods Pro is an increase in the development of ear wax. This occurs because AirPods are not intended to clean your ears as you sleep.

If you already have a significant amount of earwax, sleeping with AirPods may exacerbate the problem. You should use them for a week to determine if they reduce the amount of earwax you create. If the symptoms increase, discontinue their use!

If you insist on sleeping with AirPods, you might try cleaning your ears before night and cleaning them frequently. This leads us to the following point.

Ear Infections

It’s more probable that you may acquire ear infections if you use your AirPods Pro for an extended period and allow earwax to build in your ears (especially if you don’t clean them), as this increases the risk of earwax buildup. Ear infections are typically quite painful and need antibiotics to treat.

Our ears have the innate ability to clean themselves. When you insert earphones for extended periods, your ears can’t perform their normal cleansing function.

All types of dust, waste, dead skin, and — worst of all — bacteria can’t escape the ear canal and become stuck inside. It allows them to traverse your ears freely.

Otitis Externa

Otitis externa, or “outer ear infection,” is a bacterial condition that is relatively prevalent among swimmers and affects the ear canal; earphone users have also been reported with this condition.

Not only is it exceedingly unpleasant, with symptoms such as pain, hearing problems, and a sense of fullness (or fat/puffiness) in the ear, but allowing it to worsen could lead to long-term complications. Clean your AirPods regularly to avoid this problem.


There is technically a risk connected with sleeping with AirPods in your ears; however, it is unlikely. Necrosis is the death of cells, tissues, or organs due to inadequate blood supply.

In this case, the lack of blood flow could be due to improperly fitting AirPods, and extended use could result in pain and damage.

The Loss of Hearing Ability

If you don’t exercise extreme caution, you run the very real chance of experiencing quite serious consequences. Hearing loss may result if the auditory canal is subject to deafening sounds.

AirPods Pro includes a built-in limiter that restricts the maximum volume to 85 dB. Therefore, if you listen to AirPods at their full volume for an extended period of time, your hearing may be affected.

It’s not advised to fall asleep at these extended loudness settings. If you wish to listen to music while lying in bed, the maximum volume should be at or below 50 percent. Because there is less street noise at night, you should have no trouble listening to music at a lower level. 

Physical Damage to Your Ear

As you move about during the night, your earpieces may press against your ear skin, resulting in greater forces that might cause harm.

In the majority of cases, this simply causes mild itching or pain; however, in other instances, it can lead to serious issues.

Cancer Concern

This is a very low-risk scenario. You need to be aware that your home is already flooded with electromagnetic radiation, and the addition of Bluetooth radiation from your AirPods Pro will have little effect.

However, your thoughts can generate genuine difficulties if you’re overly concerned about these future problems. Furthermore, the exact effects of electromagnetic fields on human cells are still somewhat unknown, and it would be unethical to reject all potential concerns.

How Do You Keep Your AirPods Pro in While Sleeping?

A young woman takes notes in her diary and communicates via a wireless headset

When you sleep with your AirPods Pro in, they tend to fall out of your ear canals.

Does this indicate that you must return your AirPods? Well, that depends on you. But don’t quit just yet.

A few do-it-yourself techniques and various add-on gadgets can help keep your AirPods in your ears. Let’s investigate them.

Switch to Memory Foam Tips

As Apple designed the silicone tips for the AirPods Pro to enhance overall fit, they ended up re-creating the same issues that AirPod users had. Try a different type of ear tip produced from a separate substance as a solution.

Memory foam is a great option to try after silicone tips. Memory foam effortlessly conforms to the curvature of the ear canal, resulting in a superior seal.

A growing number of users have switched to memory foam ear tips, and one of the most recommended is COMPLY T-500 Memory Foam (on Amazon).

Use Waterproof Tape

If your Airpods Pro come loose while you’re working out, you can fix them yourself with waterproof tape because it has a strong stickiness and a long lifespan; the Nexcare Absolute Waterproof Tape (on Amazon) is often recommended.

If you want to cut out circular pieces of tape, you’ll need a regular hole punch, and if you’re going to cut out rectangular strips of tape, you’ll need scissors. Apply a strip of tape to the top of each earbud and a second piece to the bottom, near where the AirPods will be placed.

Put the AirPods in your ears and then go for a stroll, engage in some exercise, or jog to get your blood pumping. Due to the raised surface of the tape, the AirPods should always remain in the ear. 

Use Ear Hooks

Apple AirPods-specific covers with ear hooks can be put on your AirPods Pro, making them comfortable and safe to use. Ensure that the hooks’ cover speaker holes align with your AirPods’.

Insert the AirPods and put the hooks over your ears to secure them and prevent them from falling out.

You can get AirPods ear hooks that last a long time and work perfectly with your headphones, such as elago Ear Hooks (on Amazon). Using these ear hooks while you’re sleeping with AirPods Pro can be a good idea to keep them from falling out.

The Final Word

When it comes to wearing your AirPods Pro while you sleep, you can do a few things to limit the risks.

Sleeping with AirPods on is perfectly safe if you take the proper steps. A good night’s sleep is a need, so we should strive to make it as pleasant as possible.