The 9 best baby ear defenders and protectors

best baby ear defenders and protectors

by Samantha Ball |
Updated on

If you're going somewhere with your baby and expect high noise levels, such as a fireworks display or where there's a lot of construction noise, it's wise to invest in a pair of the best noise cancelling headphones for your baby's comfort and safety.

We take precautions to protect little ones from the sunlight, so why not protect their ears from loud sounds? 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.

Children with sensory processing disorders or autism might also prefer to wear ear defenders when in busy environments.

Best baby ear defenders 2024 at a glance:

Best overall baby ear defender: Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection - Buy now on Amazon UK, £25.95

Best long-lasting baby ear defenders: Snug Kids Ear Defenders - Buy now on Amazon UK, £19.99

Best snug-fitting ear defenders: Banz Bubzee Baby Ear Defenders - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best baby ear defenders for on-the-go: Reer Baby Capsule Ear Protectors - Buy now on Amazon UK

It's important to remember when buying baby ear defenders, is that you choose the right fit. 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.

Your children also need to be able to move their heads when using them without the protectors slipping or falling off. You also want to make sure that they don't put too much pressure on their heads.

The Best Baby Ear Defenders 2024

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 of time.

Best overall baby ear defenders

Expert rating:
5.0
Alpine Muffy Baby Ear ProtectionMother&Baby Senior Writer, Samantha

Rrp: $39.99

Price: $29.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$29.99View offer

​The Alpine Muffy baby ear defenders are designed to avoid putting any pressure on the sensitive part of baby's head. They have a Velcro strap that is easy to readjust to fit your baby comfortably and to make sure that the ear part stay firmly in place. Our Mother and baby Senior Writer Samantha found the overall design of the ear defenders to be really good, and she liked that they didn't look too chunky or uncomfortable on her daughter's head. She said the shells were a little bit tricky to adjust but found that it was actually reassuring to know that the shells were not going to move around on the headband and fall out of place.

The ear defenders are made without any metal or hard parts too, making them extremely soft to use and comfortable for your baby wear. Samantha said: "My daughter is 18 months old and doesn't like anything on her head, but surprisingly she actually keeps these on". They took the ear defenders with them when travelling in noisy cities because they saw their daughter covering her ears previously, and she was a lot happier when wearing them. Samantha says her daughter even wore them to the Formula One and wasn't bothered about the noises in the slightest. She says "she actually loved wearing them too." Another thing Samantha loved were the soft shells. "They cupped my daughter's ears so they fit inside the shell, rather than them squishing them and it hurting." she says.

They're described as anti-slip, but some parents found they didn't always stay in place. Samantha found that one issue initially was that the band itself rubbed her daughter's hair underneath, which sometimes irritated her. They easily solved this, however, by making sure her hair was pushed back and tucked out of the way. After they found what worked, their daughter was more than happy to wear the ear defenders again. We like that the product also comes with a handy spare headband, plus a matching carry bag to keep them safe and clean while storing or travelling.

Read our full Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Protection review

Pros

  • The soft, elastic headband means there's no pressure on the fontanelle
  • They're easy to adjust with their safe and practical design
  • The ear caps are made with multiple layers of noise reducing foam and soft padding for good closure
  • They're proven to achieve a noise reduction of 23 dB SNR
  • The handy carry pouch means you can keep them safely in your bag, free from exposure to dirt, dust and germs

Cons

  • They're described as anti-slip, but some parents found they didn't always stay in place
  • Comfort:
    5.0
  • Fit:
    4.5
  • Durability:
    5.0
  • Design:
    5.0
Noise reduction:23dB SNR
Suitable for ages:3 months up to 3 years
Weight:N/A
  • Soft elastic headband
  • Easily adjustable
  • Anti-slip design
  • Ultra soft ear cushion
  • Flexible headband
  • Tested and certified
  • Suitable for children aged 12-36 months.
  • Hypoallergenic
  • silicone-free, BPA-free
  • Includes carrying pouch

Expert rating:
5.0
Snug Kids Ear DefendersMother&Baby Senor Writer, Samantha
Price: $17.99

Perfect for any noisy environment, the Snug Kids ear defenders will keep your little one's ears protected - and they won't mind wearing them either. With so many cool and colourful designs that feed into your child's passions, they can proudly wear these muffs when needed.

Our Senior Writer, Samantha, took these for her son when they went to watch the Formula One. She found them easy to fold and store away, although her son did struggle to open it up himself. She found that he was happy to wear them and didn't complain about the noise once he was wearing them.

These ear defenders have an adjustable headband to fit most from six months and over, they're lightweight, foldable, and padded for maximum comfort.

Read our full Snug Kids Ear Defender review here.

Pros

  • The headband is fully adjustable to fit all head sizes
  • These are lightweight ear muffs, weighing just 180g
  • These ear defenders are easy to store and to take on the go
  • Can be worn for long periods of time without being uncomfortable

Cons

  • Bit stiff for a young child to open up themselves
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Fit:
    5.0
  • Durability:
    4.0
  • Design:
    5.0
Noise reduction:25dB NRR
Suitable for ages:From 6 months to adult
Weight:180g
  • Adjustable headband fits all head sizes
  • Light weight (only 180g)
  • Different colours available
  • Fully adjustable
  • Foldable design
  • Padded ear-cups and headband
  • Slim shell design
  • Durable materials

Best snug-fitting ear defenders

Baby-ear-defender
Price: $29.96
Alternative retailers
Target$29.99View offer
Walmart$30.00View offer
Best Buy$30.00View offer

Whether you're attending a family party with fireworks or taking your mini-me to their first festival, the Banz Bubzee ear defenders are essential for keeping loud noises at a manageable level. One reviewer who thought these were well worth it said that they've used these since their baby was just four weeks old for several weddings, tube trips and airplane journeys. Their little one falls asleep with ease when wearing them and they've received plenty of compliments too.

They offer a comfortable snug pressure-free fit, made from soft plush foam, with the cushioned cups protecting your child's ears nicely. The soft headband is also fully adjustable so that you can achieve the best fit for your child's head to keep the ear muffs in place. You should get plenty of use out of these. One reviewer says the ear defenders seem like they will last a long time.They say that although the product is suitable up to three years, they 3 think they will last quite a bit longer as they nearly fit over their own adult ears! Our favourite thing about these defenders is that they look cool (lots of parents in reviews say their child has received compliments when wearing them) yet they are also robust - in fact, they're said to be virtually indestructible!

Pros

  • These compact earmuffs are easy to take with you on-the-go because they're foldable, taking up less space in a bag
  • The ear defenders are made from soft plush foam for a gentle, pressure-free fit around ears, maximising comfort and minimising complaints from little one
  • They are easy to wear and easy to carry when not in use because they are super lightweight at just 135g
  • The soft headband cover is fully adjustable so that you can achieve the perfect fit for comfort and function, ensuring the muffs stay in place when they're on your child's head
  • The cushioned cups protect your child's ears and avoid any discomfort
  • Feel extra confident with the UV-guarded shell for added safety
  • Thes muffs are suitable from Newborn to 36 months
  • Easy to clean
  • They are sturdy and robust, so they should last long enough for your little one to grow out of needing to wear them
  • There is a variety of fun colours and designs to suit your little one's personality

Cons

  • Could be even more lightweight
Noise reduction:21dB SNR
Suitable for ages:3 months up to 3 years
Weight:132g
  • Compact, foldable earmuffs
  • Plush foam for a gentle, pressure-free fit around ears
  • Lightweight at 135g
  • Soft, adjustable headband cover
  • Cushioned cups
  • UV-guarded shell for added safety
  • Newborns to 36 months
  • Global safety standards

Best baby ear defenders for on-the-go

Reducing sound by up to 45 decibels, these ear protectors are great for loud events or neurodiverse children. Best suitable for 12-24 months, the stretchy headband evenly distributes pressure for a comfy fit. One reviewer who bought these for their five-month-old twins noticed that sometimes the ear muffs had slipped down to the child's eye level, so they felt they had to watch out. The velcro should allow you to adjust the headband so that it doesn't slip though.

They said that once their babies got used to them, the found they were really good, and a month later when they were at a wedding and the babies were six months old, they were able to sleep, allowing the parents to stay at the party for longer. They recommended to practice with babies at home first though, so they can practice wearing them without trying to take them off. The Reer Baby Capsule defenders are compact and can also be neatly folded, perfect for whipping out at a moment's notice.

Pros

  • These ear muffs offer good noise reduction designed specially for babies and Insulating sound by up to 45 dB
  • Specially designed to be soft with lightweight padding for sensitive ears
  • Designed for limited pressure on your babies delicate soft skull 
  • the adjustable headband with Velcro fastening allows you to get the right fit for your babies head
  • A soft headband and ear cups provide maximum comfort for longer periods of time
  • Compact and foldable for taking with you on-the-go

Cons

  • Can slip down with little movers
Noise reduction:25dB SNR (up to 45 dB)
Suitable for ages:12 months to 24 months
Weight:N/A
  • Insulates sound by up to 45 dB
  • Noise protection specially developed for babies
  • Soft and lightweight padding for sensitive ears
  • designed for limited pressure on the skull 
  • Adjustable headband with Velcro fastening
  • Soft headband and ear cups

Best eco-friendly baby ear defenders

These Iwinna Baby ear defenders are soft and lightweight, making them great for young, sensitive ears and heads. The ear muffs are adjustable, but they say that one size fits most, not all. one reviewer said they fit perfectly on their six month old baby at the tightest setting and felt they should fit for at least a year. They're designed to be eco-friendly and durable, so they can withstand being accidentally dropped. Each pair is also made from skin-friendly ABS cups, foam-filled ear cushions, and a cloth headband to provide comfort.

They only seem to be available in two colours, pink and blue, and these are not collapsible. They don't seem to be entirely effective in cancelling out noise either. One reviewer says, "We bought these when our son was newborn because of our building's monthly fire alarms and now for a second son when he has to naps in the carrier. I can tell it doesn't cancel all noise because very loud noises will wake up my second but it does the trick.

Pros

  • These ear defenders are soft and lightweight (just 193g) for a comfortable fit
  • With plenty of space inside the shells is zero pressure on your baby's ears
  • The headband is adjustable to help you get a better fit for your baby's head
  • You can choose from blue or pink to suit your baby's personality

Cons

  • Limited colour options
  • Not collapsible
  • One side fits "most" but not all
Noise reduction:31dB SNR / 26dB NRR
Suitable for ages:0 to 24 months
Weight:103g
  • Adjustable headband
  • Two colour options
  • Lightweight and soft shells
  • Eco-friendly

Best ear defenders for crowd visibility

Expert rating:
3.0
3M Peltor Kids Ear MuffsMother&Baby Senior Writer, Samantha

Coming in two brightly coloured designs, the 3M Peltor ear defenders are durable and well-made, with low-profile ear cups and no protruding parts. The ear muffs are thin so that they don't feel too heavy on little ears, and you can also replace the cushions and inserts of the ear muffs, so if they become dirty or worn, you can keep them refreshed, which is also healthier for your child's ears.

Overall customers have found these to be good value for money, working well to reduce sound sounds like drilling and power tools when being used around the house, or at loud outdoor events. One reviewer said, "We bought these for our son who likes airshows. They are very effective at cutting out noise. They are quite tight-fitting but the cushioned edges make them easily wearable for long periods." Most kids seem happy to wear them, but they may not be suitable for babies as parents weren't fans of the bare wire in the design.

Pros

  • These are designed with bright vibrant colours for high visibility so children are easily spotted in busy places and crowds, making them ideal for taking to music festivals, sporting events or firework displays at night
  • The ear defenders are soft and comfortable on the ears so your child will enjoy wearing them, especially because the neon colours make them look cool
  • They also offer good protection with an average noise reduction of SNR 27 to shutdown ambient sound

Cons

  • Some parents weren't fans of the bare wire
  • Comfort:
    4.5
  • Fit:
    5.0
  • Durability:
    3.0
  • Design:
    3.0
Noise reduction:27dB SNR
Suitable for ages:Up to 7 years old
Weight:180g
  • specially for young wearers up to age seven
  • Slim cup design
  • Large space to reduce moisture and heat build-up
  • Easily replaceable cushions and inserts
  • Soft inserts in the cushion reduces pressure on the ears 
  • Vibrant coloured design for high visibility
  • Average noise reduction of SNR 27 to shutdown ambient sound

Best baby ear defender for adjustability

Best-baby-ear-defenders

Rrp: $19.99

Price: $16.99

Adjustable and with comfortable padding on the headband, these should provide a comfy fit for little ones. The BBTKCare Kids ear cups have thick oval sponges to dampen sound whilst still being breathable. They're soft as well to reduce pressure on the ears and built to support the younger age range with maximum comfort and sealing.

One reviewer bought these for their five month old to wear at a truck race, which is quite noisy. They said the ear muffs did a good job and that their little one actually slept through the races despite them being quite close to the track at some points. They definitely recommend them, saying they are easy to adjust too, with plenty of room for growth. Another reviewer bought the product for their four month baby and used them at weddings to help them sleep through loud DJ music. "They aren't noise cancelling but they do help" they said, and would recommend the product.

Pros

  • These ear defenders are lightweight and easy to wear
  • We love the zero-pressure cup design
  • The headband is adjustable for a better fit
  • The sturdy design makes this product durable

Cons

  • Not suitable for newborns
  • Bulky, might be difficult to sleep with
Noise reduction:N/A
Suitable for ages:3 to 24 months
Weight:N/A
  • Zero- pressure cup design
  • Headband can flexibly adjusted to different sizes
  • For Babies / Toddlers Age 3-24 Months
  • UKCA certified in the UK
  • Durable design

Best baby ear defenders for longevity

Expert rating:
3.0
Zohan Kids Ear DefendersMother&Baby Senior Writer, Samantha

Available in seven colourful designs, the flexible headband of these Zohan Kids ear defenders suits different head sizes, from as small as 6-month-old babies, to almost adult head sizes. This makes them perfect as long-lasting ear defenders for toddlers, kids, and even teens. Many reviewers comment on how this kids love the different designs and are more than happy to wear them because of this. They come with lightweight yet thick ear cups and cushions for great comfort, and also come with a carry bag for easy storage. These ear defenders are great value for money. One reviewer even bought two sets to leave one in the car or at school and have a pair at home.

Pros

  • We like these for the attractive patterns and designs and think kids will love the way they look and be more likely to want to wear them because of this
  • Unlike some other ear defenders on the market, these ones do not have any exposed metal parts, making them suitable and safer for younger kids
  • These ear defenders are designed not only to protect hearing, but also take into account the healthy growth of your children
  • The thick padded headband makes these even more comfortable for your little one to wear
  • They provide a handy cart to help you find the right fit for your child
  • Great value for money as they won't break the bank and should last
  • Carry bag included, which is always going to be a plus

Cons

  • Described as having Active Noise Cancelling - they won't block out noise, but they will reduce it
Noise reduction:26dB SNR / 22dB NRR
Suitable for ages:6 months - 18 years old
Weight:180g
  • Multiple designs available
  • Adjustable headband
  • No metal parts

Best compact baby ear defender

Described as the 'original baby ear defenders', these will provide support and protection - they're even newborn-safe. The Ems For Kids includes two ear defender cups and an adjustable headband that's interchangeable and easy to wash. It should relieve pressure and is nice and compact to carry around. One reviewer thought these were a great fit for her six-week-old baby who wore them on bonfire night and slept happily through the entire display. While these ear defenders are targeted at young babies, this reviewer thought they also look big enough to fit their little one for a few years to come – so get ready to dip into your pockets to invest in a few fun headband designs to mix and match with your child's outfits!

Pros

  • We love that these are newborn-safe, designed specifically for babies from 0 to 18 months
  • They provide excellent quality and are described as providing "industrial grade hearing protection"
  • The pressure-reducing headband design makes these ear defenders super compact and lightweight (120g) to pack in a bag and take with you, so you have them whenever your baby needs them
  • The headbands are interchangeable, making it easy to wash or replace
  • We adore the huge variety of fun colourful headband designs to choose from, your baby will look so cute and trendy in these

Cons

  • More for babies than toddlers
Noise reduction:27dB NRR
Suitable for ages:0 to 18 months
Weight: 120g
  •  industrial grade hearing protection
  • Compact pressure-reducing headband design
  • Size Adjustable
  • Interchangeable & Easy to Wash Headband
  • Compact & Lightweight (120 grams)
  • Designed specifically for babies from 0 to 18 months
  • 27 Decibel (dB) Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
  • Tested to U.S. (ANSI S3.19) and European (EN352-1:2002) Safety Standards
  • Product includes 2 ear defender cups with 1 adjustable, velcro headband

Choosing the right ear defenders for your baby

When buying ear defenders for your baby, there are many factors that you need to consider before purchasing. Ensuring that they are the right size and weight to sit comfortably on your baby's head is incredibly important, and also factoring in whether the material will be comfortable.

Padded ear defenders will be a lot more comfortable than ones without padding and also be gentle on their little ears and soft spot.

Another thing to consider is ease of transport. You already have lots of things to take on the go with you in your baby changing bag, so consider how easy the baby ear defenders are to store - bonus points if it comes with a case!

What level of noise is too loud for a baby?

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. If you're travelling by plane with your baby, it would be worth investing in some ear defenders.

Even toys that make loud sounds might be too loud for babies as they play with them closer to their heads. It's important to check noise levels from toys before your child plays with it.

When do babies need ear defenders?

There are many environments where your baby might need to use ear defenders, in particular, fireworks displays at festivals and some parties where loud music is playing.

Even if you don't anticipate a place having loud noises, it's good practice to keep a pair in your baby changing bag just in case.

Digital Editor Maria Martin's son Parker in his ear defenders:

Can babies go deaf from loud noises?

According to babyhearing.org, "noises softer than 80 dB will not damage hearing unless the exposure lasts for several hours."

Samantha Ball is a Senior Writer for Mother&Baby, having written for the brand since 2018. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best and current trending products for little ones and for cute seasonal outfits.

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