Mighty Plugs vs El Cheapo Foam plugs: A Long Term Review

I used Mighty Plugs for a few weeks before and after writing that review to get a feel for them and then I decided to try out the Howard Leight Laser Lite earplugs from Amazon. I am a light sleeper and I use earplugs at night to block out traffic and noise from my neighbors.  Amazingly, I’m still on my original case of 200 earplugs about 2 1/2 years later with many more still left in the box.

As someone who as used both Mighty Plugs and the El-Cheapo Foam Howard Leight Lite plugs - here is my ultimate throw down.

El-Cheapo Foam Plugs


  • Near-infinite shelf-life (estimate).
  • Easy to store and carry single use packages.
  • Can extend single use to 3-5 days.
  • Cheap. About $20 for 200. Are they icky? Just throw them away and get a new set.
  • 2-second insertion. No kneading required. Just squeeze, insert, hold for a moment.
  • Have a small ear canal or want more noise blocking? They also come in lite MAX for smaller ear canals and MAX for maximum blocking powers.


  • Insertion requires going deep into ear canal.
  • Getting rid of plastic packaging is sometimes annoying.
  • No nasty build up so its hard to tell which ones are newer.

Mighty Plugs


  • Don’t go too far into the ear canal.
  • 20 year shelf-life (so they say).
  • Last 40-50 uses. Gets icky after a while.


  • Sticky lanolin leaves a tacky residue on fingers and on ears.
  • Hard to wear in bed due to sticky residue and tendency to pop out.
  • Seal can break if you yawn or move too rapidly.
  • Requires special handling to carry around.
  • Earplugs are sticky so they pick up dust, stuff from your fingers, and earwax from your ears. Re-use means you are pushing this stuff into your ears regularly. You also have to ensure you have clean hands before you start or you’ll contaminate the Mighty Plugs for the rest of your uses.
  • Need to knead them for 30-40 seconds before first use and then 15-20 seconds for each subsequent use.
  • Very expensive – 6 pairs for $35 including shipping.
  • Cost is padded by $2 when ordering from Amazon.com.

Overall I’d recommend using the Howard Leight Laser Lite earplugs or similar foam ones over Mighty Plugs. They are much cheaper, cleaner, safer, and easier to use.  They also don’t leave a sticky residue or accrue gunk.

Have something to add? Please leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list.

Laser Lite earplugs

See also