Bottom line: For anyone who struggles to fall asleep or wakes too easily, Kokoon Nightbuds could be the key to better sleep, with tracking sensors, a comfortable design, and a companion app that's packed with sleep-enhancing features.
Small design with comfortable fit
Equipped with sensors to track sleep
Companion app with sleep-enhancing features
Automatically adapts playback as you fall asleep
Feels uncomfortable after hours of sleeping on one side
May not be consistent for nighttime wakers
You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.
Kokoon is revolutionizing sleep technology one product at a time. First, they came out with Relax Headphones and the Nest Pillow, and now they've introduced a pair of small, sleep-monitoring earbuds that come with an entire suite of sleep-enhancing features. The earbuds are connected by a thin wire that houses a sleep sensor that rests on the back of your neck. This sensor monitors your sleep and creates reports that you can analyze using the Kokoon app.
Within the Kokoon app, you'll find a range of features like sleep meditations, white noise, and relaxing music settings. These can be adjusted to your sleep cycles so that they turn on or off automatically when you fall asleep. Although I've used sleep trackers before, this is the first time I've come across a product so immersive. It's truly a sleep experience.
Kokoon Nightbuds: Price and availability
Although Kokoon's over-ear headphones have been out for a while, the NightBuds edition is a relatively new product. For now, these earbuds are only available on the Kokoon official website and Amazon. On the official website, you can buy them without the app subscription package for $136. If you purchase them on Amazon, however, you will need to purchase the package that includes a two-year subscription to the Kokoon app. Altogether that's $284, but it's a pretty good deal in my opinion. I'll go into why below.
Kokoon Nightbuds: Smart sleep support
As a package, the Kokoon Nightbuds combined with the Kokoon app create a stellar system for anyone who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep. The app includes meditations, white noise, relaxing music, stories, and sleep coaching. What's really neat about the app is how it works with the sensors on the earbuds to adapt to your sleep cycle.
Sleep sensors are built into the Nightbuds so that the app can track exactly when your body relaxes into sleep. At this point, you can set the app to slowly fade out playback or to slowly switch to white noise to block out sleep-disrupting sounds. Not only does this work with the app's audio programs, but it will also work to fade out other audio inputs like podcasts or music streaming, as long as the Kokoon app remains running in the background.
Although the Nightbuds are not noise-canceling by design, they provide the same function by playing quiet white noise as you sleep. This works to effectively block out ambient noise that might otherwise disrupt your sleep. The white noise definitely works! I now remain blissfully unaware when my kids wake up at night and start calling me. Nighttime duty generally goes to the parent that hears the kid first, which is now a duty that belongs to my husband who, sadly, does not own a pair of Nightbuds.
Another great feature of the Nightbuds is their small, slim shape that fits easily into the ear without causing ear fatigue. Unlike most earbuds, they don't create soreness or discomfort in the ear even after many hours of wearing them. I will say that it has caused me some discomfort when I sleep on my side and lay directly on top of one, which brings me to the next section.
Kokoon Nightbuds: Don't lay on the bud
The only time I find the Nightbuds a bit uncomfortable is when I sleep on my side. Occasionally I sleep on one side which leaves me laying directly on top of one of the earbuds. This creates pressure in the ear and I have woken up a couple of times with soreness in my ear where the earbud presses against it. This is only when I turn on my side, so there's no discomfort when I sleep on my back or stomach.
I have also found that my own sleep habits are not consistent enough to allow the Nightbuds to properly track my sleep. They work beautifully for falling asleep, but I always wake up once in the night to run to the bathroom, drink water, and check on my kids. Maybe this is a weird habit but I can't help it. Usually, when I do this, I take the earbuds off and forget to put them back in when I fall back into the bed and resume sleep. Because of this, the Nightbuds stop tracking my sleep at about 2 or 3 a.m. every night. For this reason, my best Apple Watch, which stays on my wrist at all times, is still the more reliable sleep tracker, but it's the Nightbuds that work to put me to sleep in the first place.
Kokoon Nightbuds: Competition
After some significant searching, I haven't found another product that provides all of the sleep-enhancing features as the Kokoon Nightbuds. The most similar product is the Bose Sleepbuds II, which we've reviewed in the past. This is a pair of earbuds that are also slim and comfortable to sleep in. Like the Kokoon Nightbuds, the Sleepbuds come with a companion app that offers meditations, nature sounds, and white noise to support sleep. The Bose Sleepbuds, however, are not equipped with smart body sensors, so they cannot track sleep or fade out automatically when the user falls asleep. They are available at about the same price point as the Kokoon buds.
One other product I was able to find that could qualify as a competitor is Moonbow's Bedphones, which are on-ear hands-free headphones that boast a comfortable fit and great sound. However, they don't offer ANC, aren't wireless, and don't offer an app with sounds to help induce sleep.
Kokoon Nightbuds: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You have a hard time falling asleep
- You find standard earbuds uncomfortable to sleep in
- You enjoy sleeping to white noise
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You only sleep on your side
- You want the Nightbuds primarily for sleep tracking
If you've ever tried to sleep using standard earbuds, you've probably woken up in the night with unpleasant ear pain. That's not the case with the tiny, silicone Nightbuds from Kokoon. They are made with a slim form factor and come with unique sleep sensors to track your sleep. That's how the smart earbuds know when you fall asleep, so they can slowly fade out or switch to white noise to keep you sleeping deeply without disruption. These are a great solution if you sleep lightly, or if you have trouble falling asleep in the first place. Additionally, the sleep-enhancing features like the available meditations, sounds, and white noise are a nice touch, allowing you to peacefully fall to sleep.
However, if you primarily sleep on your side, you may find these earbuds to be a bit uncomfortable. They may cause sore ears or ear pain after wearing them all night. Also, if you're buying this mostly to track your sleep, you're probably better off buying something that you can wear at all times like an Apple Watch or Oura ring. Overall though, these Nightbuds do what they're supposed to do perfectly by providing soothing sounds and a mostly-comfy fit to lull you to sleep.
Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.