You only get one sense of hearing and it has to last you your whole life. So it’s important to look after it and protect your ears from loud noises. Damage to your hearing can’t be healed and long-term harm could become evident in the future if you have consistent exposure to sounds over 95 decibels (dB).

A good pair of earplugs can always be easily carried and quickly put in. If you’re at a loud concert, a noisy construction site, mowing the lawn, practising the drums or enjoying the sport of shooting, it’s essential that you have some earplugs to hand. They are also great for blocking out sounds when you want to sleep or study. There can’t be an easier fix for noisy neighbours. Here are the earplugs we recommend.

Decibullz - Custom Molded Earplugs

Best overall

Easily fitted to the exact shape of your ear, these provide comfortable hearing protection for shooting, work and concerts. You mould them by immersing them in boiling water and shaping them to your ear for a perfect fit. They come with three sets of triple-flanged tips, one set of foam tips and a carrying pouch.

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Mpow HP055A 055A, 34dB SNR Soft Foam, 60 Pairs EarPlugs

Best value

Made from non-toxic PU material these noise blockers will gently expand to fit any ear. You get 60 pairs and a small aluminium carrying case. Skin-friendly and comfortable for long-term wear, these bright green closed cell earplugs will protect your hearing in loud environments or reduce noise for sleeping.

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Reusable Silicone Ear Plugs

Best for travel

Ultra-soft silicone material makes these reusable earplugs easy to fit and comfortable to wear. They will cancel up to 32dB of noise and are ideal for any noisy environment from concerts to field sports or to block out sound when sleeping. Can be cut into multiple parts to fit your ears, each set comes with a travel box.

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Surefire EP4 Sonic Ear Defenders

Best for sport

With a 24dB Noise Reduction Rating, these ear defenders lower potentially dangerous noise levels when shooting, hunting or working in construction. Ear lock retention tings lock them in place and the low profile design means you can wear then with headgear or as an earpiece. Made from hypoallergenic, medical-grade polymer they are durable and long-lasting.

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The best earplugs can be carried anywhere and inserted easily when you need them. Fit is all-important to block out sound but human ears come in many shapes and sizes. So it’s worth checking your earplugs work in your ears. Study the instructions and practising putting them on before you’re in a noisy environment. The earplugs we recommend are Decibullz - Custom Molded Earplugs. The fitting method works well and gives a good seal and high levels of noise reduction that you don’t always get with more disposable designs.

If you want earplugs that are more like low profile, more portable ear defenders, the Surefire EP4 Sonic Ear Defenders should be on your list. They give very solid protection and are comfortable to wear for extended periods.