Things You Didn’t Know You Needed: Edition 1

mpow earplugs

Not that I’m becoming an expert on earplugs or anything (I am) but I have discovered some foam ones with quite a useful feature. The official, technical term for this feature is “slow rebound” but to you and I, it’s “foam that takes a while to bounce back”.

I realise how niche this post is and I do apologise, but slow rebound earplugs are possibly something you’ll require at some point in your life. Imagine this: you decide to make a monumental career leap and start your own business. You have no money for an office so you will either a) work from home or b) work from a cafe. Both locations will offer up their own particular noise problems, whether it’s the constant clinking of coffee cups and whooshing of the bean machine or your kids using all of the pans in the kitchen to create the world’s most annoying percussion instrument.

Perhaps you’ve never needed earplugs yet, but you may also not have reached the point in your life when you turn into Victor Meldrew, finding everyone and everything excruciatingly irritating. Maybe you’ve never had to travel by train in London, where 98% of the population insist on listening to their music so loudly the whole carriage is enveloped in a sound cloud of hissing, ticking beats.

It’s possible you’ve never had to endure a night in a hotel room where the walls are paper thin and the person next door enjoys entertaining prostitutes (2006, Milan) or playing drinking games until 4am (2012, LA) or shouting through a Skype call for three hours (2004, Paris).

mpow earplugs

It’s also very likely that you’re simply not as highly strung as I am and so have never felt the need to block out the world in a sensory-deprivation kind of way, but what I’m trying to say is that there’s always time to change. Today you’re normal, tomorrow you could be just like me.

In other words: carry on reading, because slow rebound foam might one day be your jam.

Where was I? Yes. MPOW earplugs. I’ve tried many brands, now, but never “MPOW” and I liked that they sold 60 pairs of foamy ear delights in a huge plastic jar. Some people like to keep sweets in a jar on their desk, some have little collections of matchbooks or stamps or rubber erasers that they’ve picked up from various business meetings. Others have a succulent plant, or one of those weird spiky ones that lives in stones and that needs no watering. I have none of these desk displays, but I am now the person who displays earplugs. If only they were all different colours and not just yellowy green, I’d feel a lot happier about this new personality development, but hey ho.

Foam earplugs are not all made the same, by the way – they have different densities, blocking out different levels of sound, and some are larger or smaller to cater for particularly gargantuan or petite ear canals. The ones I’ve bought are self-adjusting to many sizes, apparently, but I would have thought that is just the nature of the beast when you’re talking about shape-shifting foam that moulds to its surroundings…

mpow earplugs review

(links marked * are affiliate links, for more info see disclaimer below post)

Anyway the real feature here is – as I may have mentioned – the slow rebound foam. If you’ve ever tried to roll an earplug to get it into the long, skinny shape it needs to be before you can insert it into your earhole then you’ll know the significance of the rebound speed. Too snappy and you have no chance – the little worm of foam has expanded before you’ve even reached your entry point. You become demented trying to roll and insert, roll and insert, never quite getting it right, always feeling the foam expand prematurely whilst its still in the outer cavern of your ear. Which isn’t good – you need it to fill the tunnel, not block the entrance. Hoho.

The MPOW ones give you so much time to roll and insert that you could probably conduct a symphony whilst you’re waiting for the silence to descend; you roll, you push in, you have the peculiar experience of feeling the little twist of foam unrolling in the ear canal like a slowly-awakening maggot. If that image hasn’t completely put you off then let me tell you that the rebound time is – God, someone kill me! This is so boring! – forty-five seconds. Forty-five seconds! Enough time to run down stairs, bolt the front door (the only thing about wearing earplugs is that it makes you very paranoid about people creeping up on you), grab the baseball bat (the only thing about wearing earplugs is that it makes you very par – oh) and get back into your bed/chair before total silence is achieved.

Ah, bliss.

So far today I’ve missed three parcels, eight phone calls and successfully ignored a very annoying fly that’s trapped behind my Velux blackout blind. I even ate my lunch with my earplugs in, which admittedly is slightly disconcerting – you can hear your own jaw muscles working and your teeth crunching together. But who needs telly when you have your own body sounds? It’s like the ultimate “go within” meditation!

You can find the bumper MPOW jars of earplugs at Amazon*- I bought these ones* and they were just under a tenner.

If you don’t want to have to “roll and insert” then I take a look at some other favourite earplugs.

DISCLOSURE POLICY. Posts published after 24th January 2019: if the post contains gifted items or affiliate links then it is indicated clearly beneath the title. Posts published prior to this will have a disclosure within the body of the post and then an asterisk * marking all affiliate links. If the content is a paid-for AD then it is marked as an AD in the title. For more information on disclosure please read here. 



  1. November 8, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    Oh, these are very useful things! I use them on trips and in the summer when the windows are open and a lot of noise. Only with earplugs can I sleep well xx

  2. October 31, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    Thank you so much for that Ruth. We’ve had nocturnal car/motorbike rodeos almost every night here in Kent and I’m at the end if my tether. Merci!!

    • October 31, 2018 / 4:47 pm

      Oh God really? Where are you? Rural or town? x

  3. Voula
    October 31, 2018 / 9:37 am

    I’m also an avid earplugs user and it’s the first thing I packed for my hospital bag when I had my little girl!! I’m addicted to them…started using them about 4 years ago because my neighbours were really into backgammon at the time (HELL ON EARTH) so after a month of sleeplessness I have in and got some bioears ones (siliconey ones -very similar to blue tack). Since then there hasn’t been a single night that I slept without them!! But now I’m intrigued-the ones you talk about are 45db while the bioears are 22db! Is my life about to change for the better ?? Amazon primed and waiting for my mind to be blown away ! Xx

  4. Fleur
    October 31, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Ha…this made me laugh. I suffer from misophonia (it’s actually a thing….) and I wear noise* cancelling headphones as often as possible.

    *autocorrect changed this to noose…..which made me laugh …and is probably equally as apt.

  5. Claire N
    October 31, 2018 / 6:08 am

    Haha love your random blog posts! One of the advantages of being profoundly deaf is that I sleep through everything and anything unless it’s a thump or someone pushing me to the end of the bed (I’m looking at you, hubby or 4.5yo!). Which is why I refuse to share the bed with more than 1 person at a time!

  6. Rach
    October 30, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    I have weird ears that ear plugs sndin ear headphones never fit i’ve Had list success with hideous waxy plugs that are basically like giant globs of earwax. Lush

  7. Adriana
    October 30, 2018 / 4:06 pm

    10 years ago, when I started college, and moved to a dorm, my love afair with earplugs began. Since then, I was in search of the perfect one. I hate background noise when I am sleeping, or travelling, so I always have my earplugs with me. Last year I found some great one, they are from silicone, and they are washable. I never leave in a trip without them

  8. Jana
    October 30, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    So funny, and so relatable, and very reassuring :-D

  9. October 30, 2018 / 12:59 pm

    I am so sensitive to sound that I never travel without foam earplugs, but to be honest I haven´t found a specific brand to be superior yet. I have to measure the unfold-time of mine when I get home.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    • October 30, 2018 / 10:05 pm

      Please do and then report back. x

  10. Soph
    October 30, 2018 / 10:07 am

    Hi Ruth,
    This made me laugh loudly, so my boyfriend asked why i was laughing, and then he read it and laughed also.
    Before we go away we always have the “have you packed your plugs” conversation.
    Anyway I will actually go and buy these but also; you have the most beautiful writing style and I hope you write a fiction novel one day.

  11. Katy
    October 30, 2018 / 9:57 am

    Oh you’ve tapped into something again here Ruth! I’d like to spend my entire life wearing a pair of noise cancelling headphones if I could so I *definitely* need some of these as next best option. Currently using weird silicone ones which you sort of mould like blue tack.. but they get hair caught into them and always seem to end up falling out. I woke up and realised I had one in my mouth once… ugh! X

  12. Cecilie
    October 30, 2018 / 9:19 am

    I sympathise! I can’t deal with foam earplugs, though, too much noise seeping through. The wax earplugs from Boots are the only ones for me. :-)

    • October 30, 2018 / 10:06 pm

      Ooh, now the waxy ones are a different matter altogether! I’ve never quite managed to work them out properly!

  13. Jane F
    October 30, 2018 / 8:54 am

    I don’t know how you can write such a witty piece on the topic of ear plugs but you had me hooked til the end! :)
    Also a requirement for night duty workers who are desperate for a good night’s (day’s) sleep. There’s nothing worse than trying to drift off when the rest of the world is going about their business – noisily!

  14. October 30, 2018 / 8:37 am

    Hilarious post! I never considered buying ear plugs but now I am tempted :D

  15. October 29, 2018 / 10:39 pm

    Ahhhhh Ruth, it is down to you that I have a serious repeat-buy habit of Macks Dreamgirl and I can see that the slow rebound promise of these will be too good to resist . I also need womb-like sleep conditions and am sad to say my sleep…eccentricities (sprays, plugs, salt lamps etc) are becoming worse as I get older!

    • October 29, 2018 / 10:53 pm

      Oh they are excellent too! x

  16. Farah
    October 29, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Loved this post! I have a very loud bear for a husband and am also very high strung so I have put them in my Amazon cart. I rather like this lime green and see-through canister as well….reminds me of tennis balls. I am singularly unathletic so i like the vaguely sporty vibe these impart without requiring me to do any actual sport! Perfect. (Also, I saw in the description they are good for five uses.)

    • October 29, 2018 / 10:53 pm

      Yes, I put that in my original post draft (tennis balls) and the sentence got cut! Great minds… : )

  17. Jo.C.
    October 29, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    If I didn’t have my ear plugs I would be serving life for murder. Hubby snoring, kids hicupping in the night and the neighbours dog barking all hours (the dog is in the garden behind mine and there is at least 300ft of garden between our houses). My husband reckons I can hear a fly fart from the bottom of the garden lol.

    • October 29, 2018 / 10:54 pm

      Hahahaha!!!! SAME. People drive me mad. So do dogs. I don’t know why I have one. x

  18. Hannah
    October 29, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    I have worn foam earplugs every night for the last 23 years – ever since I started sharing a bed. Rather disgustingly, my toy poodle likes to steal and eat used ones (I change them weekly) so I now have to store them in a heavy crystal pot to foil her.

      • Amanda
        October 30, 2018 / 5:45 am

        My long haired Chihuahua ALSO likes to snack on my ear plugs. Repulsive.

  19. Natalie
    October 29, 2018 / 8:08 pm

    I love earplugs!!!! And also need the sensory deprivation that some of them manage to bring. I had some amazing yellow ones but then went for some ‘snazzier’ (god, I sound like my mum) ones when they ran out. They were awful. Argh! Just ordered these I *may* have also started a beauty wishlist of products you’ve recommended . Loving the blog, your channel and IG- keep up the great work! Xx

    • October 29, 2018 / 10:54 pm

      Great use of the word snazzy there.

  20. Lisa
    October 29, 2018 / 7:44 pm

    Haha this is brilliant and had me giggling lots! I love a good ear plug and currently working my way through my husband’s stash that he bought when he had a motorbike. Lovely neon pink and yellow foam and are fabulous…fit nice and snug and block out noise perfectly xxx

    • October 29, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      Oooh, love a neon pink! : )

  21. Julia
    October 29, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    I always prefer the “flanged” ones (at least that’s how I see them called at Amazon). WAY more comfortable than the foam ones.

    • October 29, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      “Best use of the word flanged” award.

  22. Denise
    October 29, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    I might have a look at these.i use a French brand called quies that block out 35db. My lovely hubby snores and 35db just about blocks the noise but i can still feel the vibration through he memory foam mattress. Big lol. I’m one of those that has to have a pitch black room and no noise for the perfect nights shut eye.

    • October 29, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Oh my God, snoring – it drives me MAD! Luckily it’s not often but it makes me murderous. x

  23. Liz
    October 29, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    Are these single use plastic?

    • October 29, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Personally I would use them more. They’re not eco friendly by any means, unfortunately, but I’m not sure how they WOULD make them eco friendly. Perhaps there’s a gap in the market there..

  24. Ripleyvir
    October 29, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    Mouhahaha !
    I hate earplugs but I read your story till the end. Thank you for the pleasure you give me . Hoho

  25. October 29, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    The real question is: do they drown out the low level buzz saw snoring of one’s beloved. The level of sound that works its way into your bones and makes you contemplate doing horrible things to your sweet? Because if they do I will buy the whole company.

    • October 29, 2018 / 7:50 pm

      Hahaha!!! They do 45dB so probably JUST about. x

    • Rachael
      October 30, 2018 / 10:18 am

      I’m an expert on this matter…..yes, they do! I am never without a bottle of these gems. Mine are orange but maybe that’s just a transatlantic thing (I’m in Australia). I go into a slight panic attack if we run out haha! With these in, the bloody roof could blow off in the middle of the night and would I notice?

  26. Lisa
    October 29, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Great post Ruth…had me giggling. I’m also a big fan of ear plugs and use very similar ones to yours albeit mine are neon pink and yellow! My husband had so many pairs left over from when he had a motorbike! They’re foamy and fantastic and shape themselves well to the ear canal…can’t live without them xx

    • Maisy C
      October 31, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Yours sound like Laser Lite, those are the best have tried, but I am willing to try MPOW next, anyone know how they compare?

  27. October 29, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    As an avid user of ear plugs, you also don’t realize how beneficial these are until you have a partner that snores like a freight train.

    Ear Plugs: Keeping marriages happy and together.

      • Abigail
        October 31, 2018 / 3:12 pm

        I’ve never found an earplug strong enough to block that racket out sadly, so I had to couch him permanently. He sleeps with our old dogs now…..Not me I hasten to add!

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