7 Best Earplugs for Swimming with Tubes of 2021 (Buyers Guide!)

Swimming is a great activity to get some exercise while having fun. But there’s nothing fun about common issues that come from swimming, such as swimmer’s ear—water trapped in the ear—or ear infections. Once you get an ear ache, you may have to stay out of the water until your ear is better.

Wearing earplugs when swimming is the best way to protect your ears and reduce adverse side effects. For swimmers with tubes in their ears, doctors recommend that you should always protect your ears in the water. We’ve found the best earplugs for swimming with tubes. Each of these earplugs will block water from your ears but some will do the job better. 

In this buyer’s guide of the top earplugs to protect swimmers with tubes review, we’ll review the best products, offer our pros and cons, and then talk about the various materials, types, styles, and other shopping criteria to know about shopping for earplugs. 

The Best Earplugs for Swimming with Tubes Reviews (Top Picks) 

The following reviews have numbers for easier viewing, but these numbers do not reflect a ranking. Each of these earplugs are suitable for swimmers who have tubes in their ears.

1. Alpine SwimSafe

The Alpine SwimSafe earplugs come in children or adult sizes. These molded thermoplastic earplugs are flexible and reusable, with a convenient storage case when you’re not using them. Be sure to clean them after each use before putting them up for storage.

The unique double design doesn’t just prevent water from getting into your ears, but it also helps reduce ear infections and swimmer’s ear. But these earplugs aren’t just for swimming. You can use them when taking a shower, playing water sports, or going to a concert.

The unique design means you can still hear everything going on around you due to the Acoustic Filters that prevent noise from becoming muffled and distorted. 

So parents won’t have to worry about their children not hearing warnings. And adults can still have a conversation with each other while swimming. Most ear plugs will not have this feature so it really makes the Alpine SwimSafe earplugs stand out.

Pros 

  • Reusable thermoplastic material
  • Comes with a carrying case, so they don’t get dirty or lost
  • Flexible and comfortable to fit in any ear
  • Acoustic Filters keep sounds clear
  • Multi-use 

Cons 

  • It might not fit all ear sizes
  • The ridged design might be uncomfortable for some
  • Limited color options

2. Mack’s AquaBlock Earplugs

Mack’s AquaBlock Earplugs is one of the most comfortable pairs of pre-formed earplugs you can wear for swimming with tubes. 

These pre-formed silicone plugs are reusable; all you need is a good wash before putting them in each time. When not using, store these plugs in the included storage case.

The tapered, three-tiered design blocks water from getting into your ears. And there’s a long extension stem for easy removal. However, this three-tiered design may not be comfortable for all people. Some users may prefer an unmolded ear plug instead.

The slide and twist design make it easy to get these plugs into place. Insert the flanged end into the ear canal and twist slightly to form a seal that blocks water. 

Although you can get these plugs in two different colors, they do not come in different sizes. The color choices are clear or purple. You can buy these in a one pack, or in a pair of two. These plugs would fit most adults and teenagers, but they may be too large for younger children.

Pros 

  • Three-tiered flange design with extended stem
  • Creates a waterproof seal to prevent swimmer’s ear and ear infections
  • Reusable with a durable storage case
  • #1 doctor recommended; official plug of USA Swimming 
  • Silicone material lasts longer than other materials

Cons 

  • Only for adult sizes; it might not fit some children’s ears
  • Blocks most sound, so everything sounds muffled
  • Limited color options

3. Putty Buddies Floating Earplugs

The Putty Buddies Earplugs were designed by Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists specifically to block water from the ears and to prevent swimmer’s ear and other ear conditions. 

The unmolded design of these plugs is perfect for perforated eardrums or people with tubes. And they float, so you don’t end up having to replace the earplugs if they come out while swimming. 

These plugs are a one size fits all, so they’re great for both kids and adults. Kids are sure to love the fun colors and the helpful carrying case. They’re even compatible with the Ear Band-It headband or ear band.

We do need to note that these earplugs are unmolded. This unshaped cylinder allows the plugs to mold precisely to the individual ear shape. But this design can also block out all sound. And they may not stay in some ears adequately enough to form a waterproof seal.

Pros 

  • Floats so they don’t get lost if they fall out
  • A convenient case so you can store them and reuse
  • Designed by ENT doctors 
  • Prevents ear infections and swimmer’s ear
  • Compatible with ear bands and headbands

Cons

  • One size might not fit all ears
  • Unmolded design might be uncomfortable for some
  • Blocks out a lot of sound

4. Start Smart Silicone Ear Plugs

These clear silicone moldable earplugs by Start Smart are a one size fits all and are especially ideal for toddler use. You can reuse them after a wash in warm, soapy water and store them in the hard plastic case when not in use. 

To wear these earplugs, you mold them into shape and insert them into the ear canal. Then press on the plug to finish putting it into place. You’ll get a secure, watertight fit.

These plugs cover the whole inner ear, so they’re great for preventing swimmer’s ears. And the design is perfect for swimmers with tubes, holes in the eardrum, and other ear conditions.

However, some users did find that these earplugs can be difficult to remove due to the lack of a stem. And for some people, the plugs don’t mold properly enough to the inside of the ear to create a watertight seal that blocks water. 

Pros 

  • The silicone material is hypoallergenic and easy to clean
  • Unmolded design provides a waterproof seal
  • Universal shape and size for all users
  • Ideal for ears with tubes, damaged eardrums, and other ear issues
  • Easy to mold specifically to wearer’s unique ear shape

Cons 

  • Unmolded design might be difficult to get out
  • It might not fit in all ears
  • Limited color options

5. Docs Medical Grade Ear Plugs

If you’re looking for a medical grade, doctor-approved earplug, you can’t do better than Docs Medical Grade earplugs. These medical grade plugs are Kraton, a synthetic polymer similar to rubber. 

Not many people have heard of this material but it’s a wonderful and viable alternative to silicone, plastic, and other common earplug materials. They’re ideal for swimming, surfing, water sports, and even deep-sea diving, something that most earplugs can’t handle. 

The Docs earplugs are flexible enough to be comfortable while sealing out water and staying in place. So they don’t drag or come out while swimming. 

The unique shape makes it easy to figure out what way these plugs go in. There’s a funnel that inserts into your ear canal and the rest of the plug covers the area around your ears.

You can get these medical-grade plugs in various sizes, including tiny or small for young children. But they only come in one color—blue. They’re so lightweight you won’t even know you’re wearing them. But the design makes them easy to insert and remove.

Pros 

  • Designed by ENT doctors—medically approved
  • Made of Kraton material
  • Flexible, lightweight, and watertight
  • It comes in various sizes
  • Easy to put in and remove

Cons 

  • It only comes in one color
  • It might not fit all ear shapes
  • Made of synthetic polymer

6. Every Cares Earplugs

Every Cares Silicon swimming earplugs are a silicone earplug with three tiers and a long stem for easy inserting and removing. They also have a small carrying case to keep your plugs clean. Clean them before putting them up each use to keep them clean and free of bacteria.

These plugs are best for swimmers with smaller ear canals or those who have sensitive ears that commonly have trouble finding earplugs that fit securely and produce a waterproof seal. But that means that these earplugs are not going to be ideal for all users. 

Using Every Cares swimming earplugs can block water and prevent ear infections, swimmer’s ear, and other ear problems while swimming, bathing, or other watersports. 

When you buy a set of Every Cares Silicone ear plugs, it comes with six pairs of earplugs with individual cases. There are five colors to choose—blue, light blue, black, multicolor, and orange.

Pros 

  • Designed for smaller ear canals
  • Unique three-tiered design blocks water
  • Long stem makes it easy to insert and remove
  • Silicone design is hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and reusable
  • Blocks ear infections 

Cons

  • Soft construction may make plugs to fall out
  • May not block all water
  • Better for smaller ear canals

7. Speedo Silicone Ear Plugs

Speedo is a well-known brand, so when we saw they make ear plugs, we had to feature them on our list of the best earplugs for swimming with tubes. These silicone plugs come in a plastic case for convenient storage.

They come unmolded so that you can shape them to your ear’s shape. Once in place, they seal tight to prevent water from getting into your ears. However, due to their shape, it can be difficult to get them out. 

You can only use these so many times before they become grimy looking due to the transparent color, despite thorough cleaning. And unfortunately, they don’t come in any other shades.

And some people commented that the stickiness of the plugs could cause them to stick in your hair, causing them to pull out. These plugs do not float like some other plugs so if they fall out, chances are you’ll lose them completely. 

Pros 

  • A well-known brand so they’re high-quality
  • Unmolded design lets you sculpt to individual ear shape
  • The silicone material is durable, safe, and protective
  • Blocks water from entering ear during swimming or water sports
  • Ideal for all ages and ear sizes

Cons 

  • May look dirty after multiple uses
  • Can stick to hair and pull out while using
  • Do not float in water

(We have other recommendations that are without tubes on Best Swimming Earplug)

Best Earplugs for Swimming with Tubes Buyers Guide—(Knowing What to Look For)

Now that we’ve covered the seven best earplugs for swimming with tubes, let’s look at some criteria you need to consider before selecting. It helps to know what you need before buying a product, as not all earplugs are equal.

Types

There are different types of earplugs out there. Here are a few different kinds and their uses.

Custom Plastic

Custom plastic earplugs are made specifically for your ears, and each pair is unique. These plugs are a more expensive design. 

But they’re also the worst kind to use for swimming. These are comfortable to wear but don’t fit tight enough to keep water from getting in the ear. 

Foam

Foam earplugs are cheap, but they also aren’t the best type to use for watersports. We recommend these for many activities like sleeping or blocking out music or loud noises. But they don’t block out water so you shouldn’t wear them for swimming.

Silicone

Silicone earplugs are the best type to use for swimming. These can be molded into a specific shape to fit into your ears. Or, when unmolded, you can set them into a unique shape. Both kinds will block water and are reusable.

Materials

Earplugs come in various materials, shapes, and sizes. Here are some of the best materials to use for swimming earplugs.

Plastic/Polymer

Plastic and polymer are some of the best earplugs to use for swimming. These materials mold to the ear to provide a waterproof seal. 

Rubber

Rubber is a flexible material that’s comfortable to wear and provides a waterproof seal so you can’t get water in your ears. 

Silicone

Many of the plugs we’ve listed are silicone, which is more durable than plastic and polymers. Silicone does great at blocking water from getting into the ear, and it’s hypoallergenic, so it’s safe for people with sensitive skin. 

Disposable or Reusable

Another factor you’ll want to consider is if you’re going to use reusable or disposable earplugs. 

Reusable plugs are a durable material that you can clean and reuse multiple times. With disposable earplugs, you use them once then toss them away. 

Styles

Earplugs come in various styles. Which one you use will depend on your individual needs and comforts. Some of these will not appeal to users due to the design.

Moldable

Moldable earplugs are silicone putty. These come in a round disc, and you insert them into your ears and mold them to your shape. The downside is that these plugs can be difficult to get out and don’t always seal properly. They’re also sticky.

Flanged

Flanged earplugs have a cone or tree shape design with multiple flanges or levels that form barriers to block out water. These usually have a stem for easy inserting and sealing. But they may be uncomfortable for some users due to their unique shape.

Ergonomic

Ergonomic ear plugs fit tight inside the ear while resting flat on the outside. Some users find these uncomfortable to wear at first. These plugs are for only one side of the ear, so you have to pay attention to put the right side plug into the right ear and vice versa. It’s labeled, so you don’t get confused.

Maintenance

When using earplugs, you may think there’s no maintenance needed. But quite the contrary, with reusable plugs, you need to clean them properly after each use.

Reusing uncleaned plugs can cause bacterial growth that can lead to infections. You can clean the majority of earplugs using warm water and mild soap. And store them in an airtight container, so they don’t dry out or get dirty between uses. 

Best Earplugs for Swimming with Tubes Comparison Chart

ProductPriceSizeMaterialUnique Features
Alpine SwimSafe$For all agesPlasticComes with a carrying case, so they don't get dirty or lost
Mack's AquaBlock Earplugs$AdultPlasticReusable with a durable storage case
Putty Buddies Floating Earplugs$4 yearsSiliconeFloats so they don't get lost if they fall out
A convenient case so you can store them and reuse
Start Smart Silicone Ear Plugs$Adults, KidsSiliconeUnmolded design provides a waterproof seal
Universal shape and size for all users
Docs Medical Grade Ear Plugs$SmallHypo-allergenic KratonMade of Kraton material
Flexible, lightweight, and watertight
Every Cares Earplugs$For all agesMedical Grade SiliconDesigned for smaller ear canals
Unique three-tiered design blocks water
Speedo Silicone Ear Plugs$For all agesSiliconeA well-known brand so they're high-quality
Unmolded design lets you sculpt to individual ear shape

Wrap Up

We hope you enjoyed our detailed buyer’s guide featuring the best earplugs for swimming with tubes. Each of the products in this review has pros and cons that earned them a spot on our list. We’ve also given you a helpful buyer’s guide explaining everything about earplugs. 

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