Everyday gardening chores like mowing, strimming, or blowing leaves or snow could damage your hearing.
It’s easy to overlook ear protection while gardening, but prolonged exposure to loud garden tools like mowers and chainsaws is harmful, even when the exposure is not part of your work.
Protecting your ears with a gardening ear defender is a wise move for long-term hearing health.
What to Expect? In this guide, we share 10 great value gardening ear defenders to keep you comfortable and safe while working in your yard.
Noisy Garden tools can damage your hearing
Unfortunately, you cannot escape the noise inherent to using powered garden tools.
But these useful machines often have a sound output that exceeds 100 decibels, putting them in the zone where hearing damage can occur.
And even short amounts of usage can harm your hearing.
Hearing damage from gardening and landscaping tools such as lawnmowers, weedwhackers, hedge trimmers, backhoes, and tractors can be permanent and disabling with debilitating symptoms like ringing, humming, whistling, and buzzing in the ears.
Protect your ears with gardening ear defenders
In working environments, organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) expect ear protection to be worn when workers are exposed to sounds above 85 decibels.
The same should apply to yard work as ear defenders are one of the most effective hearing protection devices you can buy.
Buyers guide for gardening ear defenders
Protecting your hearing requires ear defenders that are going to fit you properly and have competent, noise-dampening performance.
Here are the five key features you need to look for when buying ear defenders for garden work.
1. Noise reduction rating (NRR)
Noise reduction rating (NRR), measured in decibels expresses the level of noise reduction provided by your ear defender.
The ratings commonly span 0 to just over 30 decibels.
The higher the NRR value, the more effective the earmuffs will be at dampening noise and protecting your ears.
2. Quality acoustic foam
Most quality garden ear defenders will use at least 2 layers of high-density noise-dampening foam to block out your noisy garden tools.
The foam is secured within the plastic ear cup of the earmuffs that enclose your ears.
3. Adjustable Headband
Most ear defenders are a close fit to ensure a good seal on the ear.
For correct, safe fitting, look for earmuffs with a retractable headband and adjustable, swiveling cups for your ears.
If you are outside with your ride-on mower or weed whacker for hours, you want your ear defenders to be as comfortable as possible.
A foam-cushioned headband and ear cups with synthetic leather lining make wearing ear protectors for a prolonged period much more tolerable.
5. Compact and portable design
You want your ear defenders to portable and lightweight.
After all, you’re wearing them on your head.
Many earmuffs will fold down to minimize bulk and store and travel well.
Remember, you may want to use your ear defenders for travel or study too.
10 of the best gardening ear defenders
Protect your ears while working in your backyard with our selection of 10 high-quality gardening ear defenders that you can buy right now.
1. ProCase Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs in Black
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 35 decibels
- Materials: ABS plastic, noise-dampening foam, and rayon
- Color: Black
- Weight: 9 ounces (255 grams)
- Dimensions: 6.1 in x 4.5 in x 0.6 in (16.9 cm x 11.4 cm x 1.5 cm)
Despite being ultrathin, these American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certified, noise-dampening earmuffs deliver an NRR of 35dB.
These gardening ea defenders are effective at blocking out noise from woodworking projects, lawn care, or operating heavy machinery.
Long sessions of yard work are a breeze as the generous, 360° rotatable ear cups make wear comfortable while providing the sound-proof seal you need.
- 360° rotatable ear cups mean it’s quick and easy to down tools and have a conversation with someone before starting up again.
- The headband is padded for comfort.
- Some people have found the fit of these ear defenders too tight.
- They size down enough for children.
The durable stainless steel headband can be adjusted fit adults and children.
2. Pro For Sho 34dB Ear Protection
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 34 decibels
- Material: High impact polystyrene (HIPS) and High Protection Foam
- Color: Black
- Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
Protect your ears while doing yard work with these solid but lightweight earmuffs.
They have a high 34-decibel hearing protection ratio rating.
These ear defenders are designed to fold down in between uses and be carried easily.
Pop on your Pro Fo Sho ear defenders while using the ride-on mower or snow blower.
- These ear defenders are highly adjustable at the headband and ear cup.
- The padded headband provides a comfortable fit.
- Purchasers report that these ear defenders are extremely comfortable
- Some reviewers found that the level of sound blocking was less than they expected for the NRR.
They come in small or large sizes meaning you can buy ear protection for the whole family.
3. ISOtunes PRO Aware Bluetooth Earbuds: Audio Passthrough Hearing Protection
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 26 decibels
- Material: Plastic
- Color: Green
- Weight: 7.8 ounces (221 grams)
- Dimensions: 5.24 x 4.45 x 2.13 inches
These evolutionary ear defenders harness the power of technology to provide targeted and responsive noise cancelation via a discrete pair of earbuds.
They contain omnidirectional microphones and novel audio passthrough technology which enables you to hear your surroundings while keeping your ears safe from impact noises.
ISO tunes tech ear defenders are battery operated and include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to 10 hours of battery life when fully charged.
- Fully resistant to the ingress of dust and water.
- Popular with tractor and land management influencers like Tractor Time with Tim.
- The noise suppression function can be toggled on and off.
- Some reviewers had problems getting the earbuds to fit properly or comfortably.
They also have Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity that allows you to connect to phone calls while using that leaf blower or ride-on.
4. Vanderfields Store Adult Noise Canceling Ear Defenders
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 32 decibels
- Material: plastic, foam cushions, synthetic leather
- Color: Black
- Warranty: 30-day warranty included
The Vandefields ear defenders are an ideal choice for using heavy machinery in your garden or undertaking extensive landscaping work.
They are recommended for environments where you will have noise greater than 85 decibels and perform in even the harshest environments.
You can be assured that your ears a properly protected due to its 32-decibel noise reduction rating and certifications from the American National Standards Institute and European Standards.
- Two layers of the proprietary noise-dampening foam improve the performance and comfort of these ear defenders.
- These ear defenders are highly adjustable with swivels and pins for a custom fit.
- The earmuffs fold down for compact storage
- Some customers report that the decibel reduction rating for this product is actually 26 decibels rather than the 32 decibels advertised.
- Several reviewers find that these ear defenders are extremely tight.
The industrial-grade foam is superbly insulating while synthetic leather on the headband and ear muffs makes the ear defenders easy to clean.
5. ALPINE HEARING PROTECTION Muffy Earmuffs for Kids 3-16
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 21 to 28 decibels
- Material: BPA free plastic, fabric, PVC, and polyurethane
- Color: Pink, yellow, gray, blue
- Weight: 6.2 ounces (175 grams)
- Dimensions: 6.69 x 3.54 x 4.33 in (17 cm x 9 cm x 11 cm)
These CE and ANSI-certified ear defenders for kids are perfect for your little garden helpers.
Protect their developing hearing with these cute ear protectors that are soft, lightweight, and silicone-free.
These award-winning gardening ear defenders for children are effective noise dampeners taking sounds down by up to 26 decibels.
They are highly flexible and easy to adjust meaning that even the smallest heads can be safely and comfortably accommodated.
- The handy storage bag will keep these ear protectors in good condition when they are not being worn.
- These ear defenders will grow with your child and size up to age 16 with an adjustable headband.
- A double layer of noise-reducing foam keeps little ears safe.
- These ear protectors are not waterproof.
All parts are wipe-down so muddy hands don’t need to be a problem.
6. 3M Kids Hearing Protection with Adjustable Headband
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 23 decibels
- Material: plastic and layers of noise-dampening foam
- Color: blue or purple
- Weight: 14.9 ounces (422 grams)
- Dimensions: 4.75 in x 4 in x 5.81 in (12 cm x 10 cm x 14.7 cm)
Don’t overlook ear protection for children in your garden while you operate heavy machinery.
These cost-effective ear protectors from 3M help to protect kids’ developing ears with up to 23 decibels of noise reduction.
These garden ear defenders are ANSI-rated and manufactured with attention to their comfort and fit.
- Great value for money
- 3M is a trusted brand for personal protection
- Generously sized and comfortable
- Some parents are concerned that this garden ear defender does not reduce as much noise as specified.
The flexible reinforced and padded headphones ensure a comfortable fit for children between the age of 3 and 12.
7. ANTENG Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 28 decibels
- Material: ABS plastic and noise-dampening foam
- Color: Black and yellow
- Weight: 6 ounces (170 grams)
- Dimensions: 7.48 in x 4.53 in x 7.48 in (19 cm x 11.5 cm x 19 cm)
These ANTENG safety ear muffs are a practical choice for ea protection when doing noisy garden work like trimming hedges or leaf blowing.
They are made up of an ABS shell that houses high-density acoustic foam, an outer shell, soft foam padding, and a synthetic leather-lined ear cushion.
These ear defenders are lightweight, foldable, and portable with a flexible and highly adjustable headband that makes them easy to carry.
- Because these earmuffs are lightweight and easily packed you can also use them for travel.
- Reviewers find these ear defenders comfortable when wearing glasses or goggles.
- These ear defenders are a great purchase but do not offer the greatest noise reduction in this selection.
The ear cups also rotate through 360 degrees making it easy to achieve a comfortable fit while you are hard at work in your yard.
8. SureFire EP5 Sonic Defenders Max Full-Block Earplugs
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 26 decibels
- Material: Plastic, medical-grade, hypoallergenic polymer
- Color: Black
- Weight: 0.16 ounces (4.53 grams)
- Dimensions: 4.25 in x 1 in x 5 in (10.79 cm x 2.5 cm x 12.7 cm)
These are industry and military-grade sonic ear defenders that deliver full block sound protection.
The hypoallergenic, triple-flanged stem is soft and adjustable and seals the ea canal for an impressive sound block.
These reusable ear defenders have an NRR of 26 decibels, which is suitable for all most all noisy garden and landscaping work.
Don’t expect to hear anyone shouting at you as they are designed to block out all sound.
- Made in the USA
- A reusable alternative to earplugs with six-month product life
- Discrete and low-profile
- Because these ear defenders sit in the ear they need to be replaced every six months.
This pair of sonic defenders is reusable and comes in three sizes for maximum comfort.
9. FRIEQ 37 dB NRR Sound Technology Safety Ear Muffs
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 37 decibels
- Material: Stainless steel, LRPu) foam, plastic ear cups
- Color: Green
These ear defenders have one of the highest NR at 37 decibels for an exemplary level of protection.
You will be able to get the ideal fit with the retractable stainless steel connections on the headband and fully rotatable ear cups, which are adjustable to fit any size of head.
Despite their high level of performance and dense LRPu foam, these safety earmuffs are also lightweight, meaning you will tolerate wearing them for a prolonged period.
- These ear defenders are effective at dampening noise.
- The comfortable padded ear cups and padded headband will keep you comfortable for hours as you mow or use the weedwhacker.
- Reviewers report that these ear defenders are extremely snug and the level of sound insulation drops if they are loosened.
When you’re done, these earmuffs are easy to fold up and store.
10. 3M TEKK Protection Basic Earmuff
- Noise reduction rating (NRR): 20 decibels
- Material: Plastic, foam
- Color: Black
- Weight: 9.6 ounces (272 grams)
Dimensions: 2.8 in x 8 in x 8 in (7.1 cm x 23 cm x 23 cm)
The great-value earmuffs from 3M are a cheap choice for reliable ear protection when doing your yard work.
They have an NRR of 20 decibels, the lowest in this selection of ear defenders, but provide a safe reduction of noises that are 85 decibels and above.
Despite the low cost, you get some useful features including soft foam ear cushions, fully adjustable earmuffs, and roomy cups that make wearing these ear defenders easy.
- These earmuffs are low cost but they compete with more expensive ear defenders for performance and customer satisfaction.
- Can be adjusted to fit children.
- Suitable for tasks like mowing or using a chainsaw.
- The NRR is lower than many competitor products.
Frequently asked questions for gardening ear defenders
What are the different types of ear defenders?
There are several options for effective gardening ear defenders. Your choice depends on what you are comfortable wearing.
Apart from individual earplugs, the options include:
- Earplugs on a wire or band that is worn behind the head
- Cup ear defenders with headband
- Digital ear defenders that use radio and Bluetooth
What else can I do to prevent being exposed to excessive noise in the yard?
Here are some quick tips for protecting your hearing when handing yard tools and machinery:
- Consider buying electric, rather than noisier petrol tools.
- Undertake regular maintenance of your tools. Lubricating the mechanical parts of your tools makes their movements smoother or less noisy.
- Vary your yard work schedule. Prolonged exposure to loud noise while mowing a lawn, can be reduced by breaking up the task into multiple shorter periods of work.
Gardening ear defenders are essential for using gardening tools safely. They are easy to overlook, but your ears will thank you for the TLC!