Swimming costume? Tick. Goggles? Tick. Towel? Tick. This was the standard checklist when we left the house to hit the pool. But whether you’re a pool swimmer or prefer a dip in the wild, there’s one product that will make your swim even better: earplugs.
Rewind a couple of years and we had no idea of the importance of earplugs. But they are arguably a key swimming accessory, helping to prevent water and bacteria from entering the ear canal, and reducing the chances of infection and “swimmer’s ear”. They can also help to tune out background noise.
When looking to purchase swimming earplugs, you’ll want to find a pair that fits comfortably and (obviously) doesn’t let water in.
To do this, you should consider whether a unisex “one size fits all” model suits you, or whether you’d prefer a different, tailored bud size. This could include choosing a brand with different size earplugs or one that allows you to customise your own self-moulding pair.
You should also consider whether you would benefit from any extras, such as a case or straps to keep them attached to goggles. Finally, we’d recommend buying a colourful pair – there’s nothing worse than trying to spot blue earplugs at the bottom of a pool mid-swim (or in a river, mid-triathlon).
How we tested
We have tested swimming earplugs for the last couple of years, dipping back into the market this summer to test new entrants. We used them during sessions in our local pool and swimming pond, concentrating on design, effectiveness and comfort. We’ve rounded up the best below – so whether you’re a fair weather swimmer, a hardened triathlete or a regular pool goer, we can guarantee there’s a pair for you.
The best swimming earplugs for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Bollsen watersafe+ earplugs: £24.95, Bollsen-hearingprotection.com
- Best for pool swimmers – Happy Ears ocean plastics discovery pack: £25.50, Happyearsearplugs.com
- Best for outdoor swimming – SurfEars 3.0: £49.95, Surfears.com
- Best for regular swimmers – Auritech water sports earplugs: £19.95, Auritech.co.uk
- Best for a tight budget – Boots swimming earplugs: £4.70, Boots.com
- Best value – View 2 way silicone ear plugs: £6.50, Mailsports.co.uk
- Best multi-use earplugs – Mack’s ear seals dual purpose earplugs: £6.95, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for attractive design – Nike training aids ear plugs: £7.20, Wiggle.co.uk
- Best for custom moulding – ZenPlugs swim custom Moulded ear plug Kit: £18.74, Zenplugs.com
- Best unisex earplugs – Speedo biofuse aquatic earplug: £7.50, Speedo.com
- Best for easy use – Zoggs silicone earplugs: £7, Zoggs.com