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Swimmers ear can be extremely painful. Those of you that have had a swimmers ear infection will probably do anything you can to prevent it from reoccurring. If you are a parent with a small child that is prone to ear infections or has had tubes placed in their ears, then you’ll want to prevent it from ever occurring in the first place.

Swimmers ear is an infection caused by water becoming trapped in the outer ear and irritating it, eventually leading to an infection, swelling and puss. In the worst cases it can lead to extreme pain. Prevention is key with swimmers ear. The best water ear plugs will completely block water from entering the ear canal. By stopping the source of the irritation you avoid the infection from ever occurring. So let’s take a look at some of the best swimming ear plugs on the market. No matter who in your family needs earplugs for swimming, you’ll find a product on this list that will meet your needs, and keep you healthy and in the water.

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Our Top Picks for Swimming Earplugs:

PQ Earplugs for Swimming


PQ swimming earplugs are made from soft silicone with a conical shape and a three-flange system that keeps water out. The major advantage of the silicone compared to some of the other moldable solutions we’ll look at below in the best swimming ear plugs reviews is that they tend to stay in place better.

This means you don’t have to worry about readjusting them constantly, or if you are a parent, worry about them falling out and leaving your child unprotected. These also come with a handy carrying case that can be attached to a beach or pool bag or a set of boat keys, so you always have them handy whenever you need them. This is good because they are made from a reusable material, which means you should be able to keep them on hand for a long time.

PuttyBuddies Floating Ear Plugs

PuttyBuddies aren’t really the best swimming earplugs for adults, but they are perfect for your child. They come in bright colors that are appealing to children and have a tacky texture that should hold them in place no matter how active your little one is. One unique feature between PuttyBuddies and the other products on our best swimmers ear plugs list is that these float.

This comes in especially handy if you have your own pool and are worried about the earplugs falling out and clogging a filter, or if you have a limited supply and don’t want a lost earplug to ruin a day of fun. These were invented by an Ear, Nose and Throat physician so you can feel comfortable that they will work well for your child no matter what water environment they will be in.

Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs

These are the best selling silicone earplugs in America and one of the highest ratings on Amazon. These are the most basic silicone earplugs on the market, but basic doesn’t mean ineffective. They mold well to the outer ear and for those of us concerned about the noise reduction effectiveness as well as the waterproofing, these come with an NRR of 22 making them effective hearing protection as well.

The downside is that these are very tacky and will tend to pick up dust and dirt, so they are not reusable over the long term, but you should be able to get at least a couple of uses out of each pair.

Alpine Swim Safe Earplugs

When it comes to swimmers earplugs the best do one thing well, keep water out. What about if you still want to be able to hear conversations well and interact with those around you though? Alpine has solved that problem with their Swim Safe earplugs. The earplugs prevent water from entering the ear canal, while at the same time having a unique sound filtering technology that allows sound through.

This is a technology that is normally used for earplugs designed for musicians, and this is a very cool application for it that I think most swimmers will appreciate.

Quies Pure Wax Earplugs

One common feature among the best waterproof earplugs is moldability. The ability to customize the shape of the earplug to the shape of the outer ear to form a watertight bond is critical to the best swimmer ear plugs. Most other earplugs in this swimming earplugs review use silicone as the base ingredient to achieve this functionality.

What about if you are looking for an all-natural solution though? That is where Quies Pure Wax earplugs come in. They are made from a mix of hypoallergenic beeswax and cotton that forms to your inner ear when heated by your body for a snug fit. The result is an ear plug that is just as effective as silicone, but with all natural materials.  

Mack’s Ear Band Swimming Headband

The big difference you’ll notice between the other items on our best waterproof ear plugs list and this one, is that the Mack’s Ear Band isn’t actually a pair of earplugs. Given that this is a unique product that works with your earplugs to help in waterproofing, I thought it would be great to go ahead and give it a mention. Even the best ear plugs for swimming will fall out some times, or allow a small amount of water in.

If swimmers ear is a major concern for you then you may want to double your protection by purchasing a Mack’s Ear Band. The band covers the ears preventing water from directly impacting your hearing protection, giving you one more layer between your ears and the water. If you are concerned about your child in the bathtub, or they just can’t keep ear plugs in for some reason, this band may be all the protection you need. So if you need some extra protection or ear plugs just haven’t worked for you for some reason definitely take a look at the Ear Band.


You have a few different style options when looking for the best swim ear plugs for you. Moldable in silicone or wax are definitely the most popular option, but don’t work for everyone. If moldable earplugs don’t work for you then take a look at inner ear protection, and if still hearing conversations will be critical then the Alpine’s may be your best option. If you find that the even the best earplugs for swimming just aren’t enough protection, then take a look at adding on a Mack’s Ear Band for an additional layer. No matter how much protection you need to get yourself out and having fun in the water, I think you’ll find a solution on this list that will allow you to get your body wet, while keeping your ears dry.