The Best Earplugs for Swimming

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Professional swimmers know the importance of having the proper swimming equipment at all times. In addition, it is often vital to find swimming equipment that provides a custom fit and comfort so that you can have the best experience possible while you swim and perform your best in the pool. 

Aside from Speedo suits and goggles, one of the most critical factors that swimmers should consider is swimming earplugs. When you put your swimming gear in your gym bag, along with your nose clip and swim cap, you’ll always carry your earplugs for swimming too.

To provide people with more information about choosing the best earplugs, we have compiled a list of the best earplugs for swimming on the market based on features such as material, high quality, custom fit, soft design, use, water tight seal, price and more.

Check out our list of the best swimming earplugs and some of the features you should keep an eye on before you buy earplugs for swimming.

The Best Swimming Earplugs

Not all swimmers choose to wear swimming earplugs, which can be acceptable. However, if you find that water gets into your ear canal a lot when you swim, that could be reason enough to consider getting a pair. 

Swimmer’s ear is an infection caused by the water becoming trapped in the outer ear and irritating it, eventually leading to an infection, swelling, and pus. In the worst cases, it can lead to extreme pain. Having any water stuck in the ear canal can become painful and annoying.

Prevention is vital with swimmer’s ear. The best water sports earplugs will completely block water from entering the ear canal by stopping the source of the irritation. As a result, you are preventing ear infections from ever occurring.

So, let’s 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 while letting you relax and swim in the pool this summer.

Read about all earplugs here:

Top Picks for Swimmers Earplugs:

The Speedo swimming earplugs have an ergonomic design with a dual flange system that keeps water out. The major advantage of these 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 since they are designed to have the closest, most secure fit possible.

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.

You can easily wash the reusable earplugs with mild soap and warm water, ready for your next swim session.

PuttyBuddies aren’t the best swimming earplugs for adults, but they are perfect for your kids. They come in bright colors that appeal 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 Putty Buddies and the other products on our best swimmers earplugs list is that they float.

The Putty Buddies silicone earplugs are suitable for anyone with smaller ears looking to get a custom fit out of their swimming earplugs to make the user feel comfortable while simultaneously keeping water out of their ears. These are the best for kids due to their small size, but an adult should put them in; they can become lodged in the child’s ear if not done correctly. Many people thought they were great because they provided a seal that prevented water from getting in.

At the same time, with these swimming earplugs, you can still hear what’s happening around you because they still let the noise get in, making them a good option for kids when they want to have some fun by the pool. This especially comes in handy if you have your 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 fun day.

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. In addition, the earplugs come in a bright orange color as a set of six, giving you three pairs to work with in case one of them gets lost.

Mack’s is one of the best brands on the market for earplugs. Many people like what the brand offers, primarily because it produces soft earplugs at a fraction of the high quality and durable materials. In addition, Mack’s can assure people that they will protect their hearing and prevent swimmer’s ear infection because of how well the brand makes all the earplugs.

Therefore, it is no surprise that Mack’s earplugs also made our list of the best earplugs for swimming. In addition, these are the best-selling silicone earplugs in America and have one of the highest ratings on Amazon.

These are the most basic silicone earplugs on the market, but they don’t mean they are ineffective. On the contrary, they mold well to the outer ear for those concerned about noise reduction effectiveness and waterproofing. They reduce noise and fit snugly in the ears as well, with a noise reduction rating of 22dB.

They come with an NRR of 22, making them effective hearing protection. These are also great earplugs for sleeping and will block out any noise from a snoring partner. 

The downside is that these do not come with a carrying case and 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. In addition, these might not be the best choice for kids since we all know that kids are good at getting dirt and dust everywhere.

However, with that being said, you can still rely on these earplugs because of their ability to keep water out of your ears, and they are an excellent option for anyone looking for a comfortable design. In addition, the set comes in eight pairs, making it a great value pack for the price.

Read about how Mack’s earplugs compare against Hearos earplugs:

4. Alpine Swim Safe Earplugs

These next soft silicone earplugs are designed to keep water out of your ears while still being comfortable enough to wear for long periods as you swim. The soft material makes these among the best products on the market. People especially prefer soft silicone material because it is strong and durable without losing its comfortable qualities.

What if you still want to hear conversations well and interact with those around you? Alpine has solved that problem with its 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. In addition, they have special water filters that make them easy to use and help you still hear noise and sound when you get in the pool.

This technology is typically used for earplugs designed for musicians, and this is a very cool application that I think most swimmers will appreciate. It is very different compared to many competing options, and many people like the design of this silicone product.

Another great feature of these earplugs is that they come with a case, making them easier to find every time you want to go for a swim without having to worry about them getting lost.

We’ve said before that soft Putty earplugs are among the most popular on the market. People like having the ability to have the earplugs mold to their ear canal because not everyone comes with the same size ears and may have smaller ear canals.

In addition, it is good to have a high-quality pair of moldable earplugs because they are comfortable enough for all swimmers to wear. While swimming, you don’t want to feel limited or held back because of how uncomfortable your earplugs are, which is why many people like these in particular.

One common feature among the best waterproof earplugs is moldability. The ability to customize the earplug’s shape to the outer ear’s shape to form a watertight bond is critical to the best swimmer earplugs.

What about if you are looking for an all-natural solution, though? That is where Quies Pure Wax earplugs come in. Unlike other earplugs, 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. These dual purpose earplugs are so comfortable that you can also sleep with them, and they’ll block out any noise from a snoring partner with a considerable noise reduction rating of 27dB.

The result is an earplug that is just as effective as pre-molded silicone but with all-natural materials. Quies is one of the few brands on the market with earplugs made of all-natural materials.

TYR Silicone Pre-Molded Earplugs

These perfect earplugs which pre molded and have hollowed inside so you can hear instructions from your coach or lifeguard. They come with a plastic carry case and are a good upgrade from silicone putty earplugs.

It’s no surprise TYR has made one of the best earplugs for swimming as they are a popular brand for swimming gear. The pre-molded aspect helps them stay in place and provides a small amount of noise reduction.

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

If swimmers’ ear is a significant concern, you may want to double your protection by purchasing 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. It’s like a swim cap without the top, keeping your ears covered.

These are also great for small ears; if you are concerned about your child in the bathtub or they can’t keep earplugs in for some reason, this band may be all the protection you need. So if you need extra protection or earplugs haven’t worked for you for some reason, look at the Ear Band.

Swimming Earplug FAQ

Although using swimming earplugs is pretty straightforward, there are still some features you should keep an eye on and some questions that might come up for people choosing the best swimming earplugs.

The fact is that getting water in your ears can cause problems, even though it happens to virtually all of us whenever we get into the pool. One of the biggest problems that can occur to both kids and adults is swimmer’s ear.

Swimmers ear can be extremely painful. Those of you that have had a swimmer’s ear infection will probably do anything you can to prevent it from recurring. In addition, if you are a parent with small kids prone to ear infections, you’ll want to avoid it from ever occurring in the first place. 

That is why it is a good idea to consider getting a set of swimming earplugs, which are meant to keep water from getting into your ears while keeping the swimmer comfortable at the same time.

How do I stop water from getting in my ear canal when swimming?

You can wear earplugs to prevent water from getting into your ears while swimming. When you are done swimming, use a towel to dry your ears and hair, this is important.

When you have water on your ears, putting it on can protect your ears from infection.

Swim caps don’t entirely block out water but can be helpful. If you are water skiing it’s not gauranteed they product will stay put.

Do I have to wear earplugs when I swim?

The short answer is no; you don’t. But unfortunately, many people, especially those who only enjoy swimming for fun and not as a professional career or team sport, find that wearing earplugs is a nuisance and just one more thing they need to worry about when they go to the pool. 

However, many people, including professional swimmers, prefer to do so because it helps to prevent water from getting into your ears. For example, Mack’s earplugs are the Official Earplugs of USA Swimming.

You just need to find the right earplug for you.

Is it safe to wear earplugs while swimming?

It is safe to wear earplugs when swimming, they allow you to hear sounds and background noise while stopping water. Being underwater causes and increase in pressure, which can cause water to enter the ear. Some people’s ears tend to get more water than others. However, it is advisable if you are on a swimming team or are an adult who gets water inside, to use earplugs.

It’s important to get the right earplugs that fit so they don’t irritate your ears.

Do earplugs for swimming work?

Despite being less frequently used than goggles on swimming, they are equally effective and may be used to protect against infections. Usually, swimmers are infected by water in their inner ear canals. The moisture provides an ideal environment to encourage bacteria growth and thereby cause painful infections and irritating rashes.

Although treatable, the illness can cause hearing impairment and some problems. A properly placed earplug will prevent water from entering your ear.

What ear plugs do professional swimmers use?

Macks are the most used earplugs by professional, they sell the highest, and doctors advise to wear these earplug. They’re the USA Swimming team’s official earplugs! Mack Silicon Putty Ear Plugs are proven to float in the water. These are the earplugs that most swimmers use in swimming pools.

As we mentioned, getting too much water in your ears could lead to an ear infection and swimmer’s ear, which is not a pleasant experience for anyone and could lead to problems.

So, to prevent this, many swimmers opt to use swimming earplugs. But, contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of comfortable options on the market that everyone will like.

What material is best for swimming earplugs?

Many popular options are made of all different materials. The most popular are foam earplugs, silicone, and putty (wax). These will protect your ears and prevent water from getting into your ear canals.

One of the most popular materials is silicone because they are comfortable and stay in your ear and lasts a long time compared to some other types.

However, some people also prefer foam earplugs because of their soft material. Putty Earplugs are another popular option because they fit well and conform to the shape of your ear, making them a good choice for adults and children.

However, you can use any of them to keep water out of your ears. Just be sure to check if you have any allergies.

Can I Swim with Foam Earplugs?

You can’t swim with foam plugs, standard earplugs like foam absorb water and will make matters worse.

How do Silicone Putty Earplugs Work?

Silicone putty earplugs work by molding to your ear size, most earplugs expand into the ear. This makes them good for small ears. They offer noise reduction and come in bright colors. They often have a storage case and are high quality earplugs.

What are some other features to consider?

For the most part, swimming earplugs are pretty straightforward, and there is not too much that you should worry about. For example, these are not noise canceling earplugs where you need to worry about factors such as the NRR, some of the options on our list did have an NRR rating if you also want to protect your hearing.

However, you will still hear using any of these. Aside from material, when buy earplugs you may want to consider how well they seal out water, how many pairs you will get per set, and whether or not they come with a carrying case (this is incredibly convenient for people who are on the swim team because you won’t have to worry about the earplugs getting lost in your bag), if they include a detachable cord, are they pre-molded, price, and how well they fit.

How long do they last?

This will depend on the material and the brand. You don’t want to use them more than five times for hygienic reasons unless they are silicone, which you might get away with using a little more. A storage case and cleaning will make them last longer.

Keep in mind that these do go in your ears, and they get chlorine water on them. The water, sun, and material will affect how long the earplugs will last. Many of these options come in multiple pairs, so you don’t have to buy new ones constantly.

Can you wear ear plugs with swimmers ear?

While you have swimmer’s ear, you must keep your ears dry, and also avoid water or getting your ears wet while bathing or showering. Cover your left and right ears with cotton balls and Vaseline to plug the eardrums in the shower.


You have a few different style options when looking for the best swim earplugs for you. Moldable, silicone or wax are the most popular options.

After careful research, our number one recommendation is the Speedo Unisex-Adult Swim Training Ergo Ear Plugs. They have an ergonomic design and provide the closest, most secure fit possible. In addition, they are made from soft TPR material, which is comfortable and lightweight. 

No matter how much protection you need to get yourself out and have fun in the water, I think you’ll find a solution on this list that will allow you to get your body active while keeping your ears dry.