Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

Silent Starter

Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

Bought the Sleep Buds at the weekend and have the ‘small’ size ear bud on them. They’re definitely helping from a sleep perspective but my ears feel bruised as the days go on.
How can I prevent this?
Wistful Whisperer

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

I'm having the same problem - except that my sore ears actually progressed to real sores in my ears! 


I haven't returned the Sleepbuds because aside from that, I've been sleeping better than ever. My boyfriend is an epic snorer and I have narcolepsy, which most people don't realize isn't really characterized by falling asleep in your soup, but is a lack of slow-wave sleep at night. My brain spontaneously wakes to even the smallest disruption, but I seem to be staying asleep and feeling more refreshed with the Sleepbuds. (Of course, without a sleep study I don't know if they're really changing my sleep stages, but it sure feels like they're helping.) 


I've tossed the tips that came with the Sleepbuds aside and am in the process of trying others, which seems to help a little. I haven't landed on the perfect solution yet though. I ordered a variety of XS tips to try.


The black memory foam tips below are better and block ambient noise nicely, but they still hurt (although they aren't causing sores, so...).


The white tips are SUPER comfortable, so I assume they mimic what people with bigger ears are talking about when they say they hardly feel them at all. However, they don't block ambient noise very well and even with the sound at full blast, I can still hear everything around me. 


Bose - is anyone working on smaller tips for people with smaller ears? These are a great product, but not if they're causing some of us actual physical injury!


Ear sores Bose-2.jpgSores after a few days of Sleepbud useIMG_6669.JPGXS tips I tried - black is memory foamBose small tips-2.jpgThis is how the small tips fit in my ear. The medium won't even go in.


Silent Starter

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

I bought these two days ago after finally reaching my breaking point at a noisy hotel.

The relief from the elephants above me and the partners in the hall was incredible, but I, too, had sore ears after the first night & actual sores in my left ear after the second. I find myself wondering if it’s the metal of the charging node that is rubbing & causing this? My sores are in the same spot as yours. I am a side sleeper & felt no discomfort before I put my head on the pillow & the bud was pushed firmly against my ear.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how to stop the rubbing, if that truly is the problem.

I’d love to hear if anyone has a possible solution as I’m not quite ready to give up on the blissful quiet these provide on the road!

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

Hello jennl,


Thanks for taking the time to post your comments. Properly fitting the earbuds is important. Unfortuantely, we don't all come with the same shape so there may be some variability in every case. Feedback like yours helps us know which features to improve. I have sent your thoughts to our development teams. Perhaps another member on the forum has some suggestions that you may find helpful. 


@Julip P  - I am sorry to hear about your situation as well. While I applaud your willingness to find a different solution, we are not able to recommend using the Sleepbuds without the provided eartips as they are extremely small and may be a hazard if used alone.


Thank you for sharing your feedback.


Best Regards,


Greg - Community Support



Quiet Contributor

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

I'm a side sleeper and the Bose Sleepbuds hurt my ears as well, but I found a solution.  There are two side sleeper pillows I tried that have cutouts for the ears.


PureComfort - Side Sleeping Pillow:

The Womfy:


I did a comparison video here.


They're both great pillows, but I decided on the PureComfort pillow due to the bigger ear cutouts.

Comparing the Womfy and Pure Comfort pillows with ear cutouts for side sleepers. I use these with my Bose Sleepbuds.
Silent Starter

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

I'm a very light sleeper and i get woken up by even the slightest noise. I finally shelled out the $260 in desperation to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. I fell in love with these sleepbuds immediately! When i put the earbuds in, I felt like they just didn't fit as comfortably as they should. I was experimenting eith both the small and large wingtips to see if it eas a fit issue. But, it always felt like there was some sort of pressure on the cartilage where the tips rested. After a couple weeks of use, my right ear became very inflamed and my skin was also breaking. I was reluctantly considering returning them today. They've helped my sleep so well, I decided to research if others were experiencing the same issue. Now, this may not help your particular situation, but I wanted to share how crucial it is to match the left and right wingtips to the corresponding earbuds. I decided to change my wingtips once again tonight and loe and behold I noticed that I had the right wing tip on the left bud and vica versa. As soon as i matched them to the right tips and put them in my ears they fit perfectly! As a side note, whenever I would put them back in the charging case I would have to give them a little wiggle for the magnets to attach. This should have been a warning sign. Now, they automatically align with no issue. I'm only wearing the left earbud until my right ear heals, but I will try to give an update and let you know if I'm experiencing any irritation in the next couple of weeks. I truly hope that you are able to find a remedy to your situation.
Silent Starter

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

Hi Greg,

I tested my theory, and sure enough, it was the metal nodes for charging that were rubbing my ear to the point of causing sores.

I cut rectangles off of a spare eartip that came with my sleep buds and placed those under the eartips I was using - between the eartip and the bud - to cover the metal & it worked like a charm! It’s a bit of a process to put the rectangles under the eartips at night & remove them in the morning so the buds can charge, but since I only use these when I’m at hotels, not every night, it’s totally worth it.

Maybe the next generation of sleep buds could come with a built-in way to cover the nodes while wearing & easily expose them for charging when not?


Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

Thanks all for sharing your feedback and experiences here! Really glad to hear that the Sleepbuds are working out for you one way or another. We'll take this information and bring it up to the team. 


If anyone needs anything else, please do not hesitate to reach out to us again. 


Thank you again,



Quiet Contributor

Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

While I'm loving how well I sleep using my Sleepbuds, I too have an actual wound in my left ear that appears to be caused by the charging nodes on the sleepbud touching my ear.  After a few days of using the sleepbuds I noticed my left ear felt sore and I thought it was just due to my small ears.  However in less than a week I realized and my boyfriend could see that it was more than just an irritation but open skin.  The sore/wound looks just like the photo another user shared in this community thread and you can see the sore pattern matches the pattern of the charging nodes on the sleepbud.


I'm hoping Bose or someone in the community has found a way to solve this!  At this point I'm going to have to try only the right ear sleepbud at night so my left ear can heal.  We'll see where it goes from there.  I really don't want to return these but I may have no choice.  


Hoping for some help!





Re: Sleep Buds are making my ears sore

Hi Tammi,


Welcome to Bose Community and thank you for posting.


We're sorry to hear that you are experiencing discomfort with the Sleepbuds and this certainly concerns us. 


Can you please reach out to our Sleepbuds team by phone and let us know what is happening so we can assist you further?


Kind Regards,

Joel - Community Support