To get a decent sleep I nearly always use foam ear plugs when I travel, as I wake up to easily from any noise. I have a preferred brand and they work pretty well. You roll them between your fingers to press them into a stiff narrow cone shape that you can insert into your ear where they expand again. I have noticed recently that when I am in a hot and humid climate, I can roll however long I like I can't get them 'stiff' and can't get them deep into the ear. When I use the same plugs in a cooler less humid climate, they work fine again.

What can I do here? I keep them in a sealed plastic bag but that doesn't help. I though about putting them into a fridge for a while, but most places I am staying don't have one.

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    "I can't get them 'stiff' and can't get them deep into the ear" - horrible mental image – Ankur Banerjee Mar 19 '12 at 15:30

If the foam ones expand too quickly (presumably either because they're springier when warm, or somehow affected by humidity), have you tried silicone ones?

Otherwise you'll just have to practise getting the foam plugs in your ear quickly while still pinching them, and twist them in a little.


Macks makes a wax/parafin type rated at 22db, that are really "covers" of the ear canal. In really noisy hotels I have used the 3m (yellow rollup) type with the Mack covers.

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