Protective earmuffs are a type of hearing protection that typically consist of hard plastic cups with soft cushions that create a seal around the ears to block out noise. No earmuffs can completely eliminate noise, but they can reduce volume, especially at higher frequencies.


Earmuffs are assigned a noise reduction rating (NRR), indicating their potential to reduce noise levels. Generally, earmuffs with higher NRRs are larger, featuring bigger cups with more sound-absorbing foam compared to earmuffs with lower NRRs. 

PK Safety offers two earmuff designs: over-the-head and cap-mounted. The cap-mounted earmuffs fit directly on most hard hats with side accessory slots. In addition to earmuffs, PK Safety offers disposable ear plugs and other safety equipment when working on the job.

Which Are Better, Ear Plugs or Earmuffs?

Ear plugs and hearing protection earmuffs both have pros and cons. Choosing between the two depends on the requirements of the job, individual comfort, and how long or often the individual needs to use this equipment.

Earmuffs are reusable and extremely durable, providing long-lasting protection without compromising hearing. They will stay securely attached to the head even when bending over or leaning down. However, earmuffs can interfere with other personal protective equipment, such as face masks, respirators, and hoods that fit over the ears. In these cases, earplugs may be necessary instead. When reusing earmuffs, wipe them down regularly to keep them clean and inspect them for damage to ensure they are safe to use. 

Ear plugs can either be disposable or reusable, depending on personal preference. They are convenient to carry because they easily fit into a pocket and are readily available on the job. Overall, disposable ear plugs are inexpensive and great for blocking out noise for short periods of time. 

In some cases, double hearing protection will be necessary. In work environments with noises that exceed 100 decibels on average over an eight-hour shift, workers will need to wear ear plugs underneath their protective earmuffs to stay safe in these situations.

What is the best form of ear protection?

Amusing as it may sound, the best hearing protector is the one your employees will wear! Almost any reduction in harmful levels of noise is a positive thing. From there it is a matter of making sure the ear protection matches the hazard.

Preventing hearing loss depends on the situation and the worker’s comfort level. Exposure to noises above 85 decibels during an eight-hour time working average can result in permanent hearing loss and other hearing issues like tinnitus. The hearing protection should have a high enough NRR to keep the worker under the 85-decibel threshold. If the noise is still too loud with the item attached, the worker should use double hearing protection by wearing earmuffs and earplugs at the same time.