Wondering whether to buy the Kokoon Nightbuds or Kokoon Relax Headphones (aka Kokoon Sleep Headphones)? We've tested both out and are here to help you make the right decision for you.
A good night's sleep is often the thing that makes the difference between a decent day and an exhausting day that feels like a slog. There are plenty of different methods you can try to sleep better, from meditation sessions to breathing exercises. One of the more modern alternatives is through using headphones specially designed for wearing at night. There are a handful of decent examples on the market, but the brand that currently dominates our best sleep headphones guide is Kokoon.
This brand has two options in its range: a pair of over-ears, released in summer 2019 (head to our Kokoon Relax Sleep headphones review for more on those) and some in-ears, which hit the market in January 2022 (check out our Kokoon Nightbuds review for the full low-down there).
Both offer very similar features thanks to their ability to track your sleeping habits, sync up to the MyKokoon app, and isolate you from environmental noises. However, they both also offer some key differences too. In both cases, you get the MyKokoon app included with the headphones or earbuds. The Kokoon Relax Headphones are priced at $350 / £310 while the Kokoon Nightbuds are $250 / £230. The Nightbuds are cheaper then, but we'll get into why that's the case shortly.
Read on while we take you through what you need to know about the Kokoon Nightbuds vs Kokoon Relax sleep headphones.
Kokoon Nightbuds vs Kokoon Relax sleep headphones: comfort
How comfortable you'll find either headphones depends on how you sleep. The Kokoon Relax headphones are some of the comfiest headphones we've ever used. They're bulky with oversized ear cups, but these cocoon your ears nicely. Inside, you get flexible silicone linings that mould around your ears comfortably. Somehow, they never feel too hot either, even when snoozing.
However, if you're a side sleeper, there's still only so much comfort you can gain from the Kokoon Sleep Headphones. Ultimately, you need a fairly plush pillow to feel comfortable and moving in your sleep can make them feel awkward. Basically, sleeping at a half-side angle works best for side-sleepers, but isn't strictly ideal.
Instead, side-sleepers are likely to feel better with the Kokoon Nightbuds. They're in-ear headphones that use a curly cable design to wrap neatly around you ears and the back of your head as you sleep. You'll need to fit them quite tightly in your ears to stay firm all night long – something that may not suit everyone – but they take less time to acclimatise yourself to, compared to the Sleep Headphones.
Kokoon Nightbuds vs Kokoon Relax sleep headphones: sound quality
Neither the Kokoon Relax sleep headphones or Kokoon Nightbuds are designed with regular music listening in mind – if that's your priority, you'll find plenty of recommendations in our best wireless earbuds and best noise-cancelling headphones rankings – but that doesn't mean they're useless when it comes to audio performance.
The Kokoon Relax headphones are the strongest. They offer excellent active noise cancellation so you can easily escape the environmental sounds around you. Alongside that, they offer a reasonably strong soundstage providing you're not listening to anything too bass-heavy. Crisp mids are the order of the day here at least which ties in nicely with a lot of what you'll be listening to on the MyKokoon app.
The Kokoon Nightbuds are cheaper which means only passive noise cancellation. They still do a decent job of muffling out your partner's snores though. However, don't count on the sound quality being as rich. It's all a little quiet and subdued but well suited for calming meditation.
Kokoon Nightbuds vs Kokoon Relax headphones: extra features
The pricier Kokoon Relax sleep headphones are the ones to go for if advanced features are everything for you, because these double up as some of the best sleep trackers around. They have EEG brainwave sensors built into the ear cups. These come into contact with your ears as you sleep, so they can figure out how well you're resting or sleeping. By doing so, it then works with the app to find the best programmes for your needs. Sleep tracking is also fairly effective using this method.
In contrast, the Kokoon Nightbuds aren't quite as smart. They lack the extra special sensors but the MyKokoon app still works very well. They also have some sensors that shine a light on your skin, tracking your sleep this way. It works fairly well too although ww've found the Sleep Headphones to be a bit more on top of things, especially where naps are concerned.
Kokoon Nightbuds vs Kokoon Relax sleep headphones: verdict
The Kokoon Nightbuds and Kokoon Relax sleep headphones are remarkably similar in many ways, but the big thing you need to consider is how you wear them. The Kokoon Nightbuds need a fairly snug fit into your ear so that they don't fall out while you sleep. For side-sleepers, they feel fantastic… but not if you feel awkward about having something effectively inside your ears all night.
However, the Kokoon Relax sleep Headphones feel comfortable around your head… providing you don't want to sleep on your side, that is.
Features wise, both are similar enough that you won't really miss out on much other than slightly better sleep tracking tools on the Kokoon Relax sleep headphones and active noise cancellation. For many, the price difference won't make these worthwhile. How you sleep though could be the deal-breaker as they both fit very different people.