Kokoon headphones review: can these headphones help you sleep better?

Read our Kokoon headphones review to see whether these state-of-the-art headphones – which claim to aid sleep – live up to expectations

Kokoon headphones
(Image credit: Kokoon)
Real Homes Verdict

The Kokoon headphones might just be the most comfortable headphones we've ever tried, and they're extremely handy if you travel frequently. But they're only really suitable for use as a sleep aid if you're comfortable sleeping on your back.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Extremely comfortable set of headphones

  • +

    Noise cancelling capability is seriously impressive

  • +

    Great travel accessory

  • +

    Super stylish design

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Quite difficult to sleep in if you're a side or front sleeper

  • -


Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Our Kokoon headphones review is a must-read if you've heard about these state-of-the-art headphones and if you want to know if they can really improve your sleep quality, whether you're struggling with insomnia and want to know if technology can help, or if you're simply looking for some seriously comfortable headphones.

In principle, we love the idea of just popping on a pair of headphones, connecting to an app and letting this brand new technology – and the research that underpins it – help us drift off. But, did they stand up to the test? We reveal all...

Find more great wearables and home tech on The Hub, our dedicated, jargon-free page.

What are Kokoon headphones?

Having worked closely with sleep scientists, Kokoon developed – and recently released – a pair of innovative, state-of-the-art headphones, along with the accompanying Kokoon Relax app, in order to make it easier to fall asleep. But how?

Well, Kokoon headphones come equipped with EEG (Electroencephalography) sensors designed to measure your brainwaves. This is far less scary than it may sound, we promise. In principle, this technology makes it possible to monitor your sleep cycle – from light sleep to R.E.M and deep sleep – and identify any sleep patterns off the back of it.

Going into more detail, Chief Executive Officer of Kokoon, Tim Antos, explains: 'The first few moments of a person falling asleep are very fragile. By using the sensor data that’s sent from the headphones to the app, the app can control the audio to match the person’s sleep stage. So it could turn down the audio they’ve been listening to and bring in some white noise, that will protect them while they sleep, for example.'

Aside from functioning as a sleep aid, Kokoon headphones are also a super comfortable pair of headphones in their own right. This is, in part, due to low-profile earcups which don't stick out as the average pair of over-ear headphones might. This minimises pillow displacement – perfect if you're planning on sleeping in your headphones – and disperses pressure. 

Kokoon headphones

(Image credit: Kokoon)

How easy are they to use?

As you might imagine, Kokoon headphones – much like other headphones – are pretty easy to use. Simple charge them up, connect to the Kokoon Relax app, pop them on and you're good to go.

They're super simple to use while out and about, as well as in bed. Though it's worth noting that they're slightly more challenging to sleep in if you're a side or front sleeper.

How good is the Kokoon Relax app?

The Kokoon relax app offers access to a wide range of audio files, each of which are designed – with the help of sleep experts – to make the process of unwinding easier. And with the ultimate aim of helping you drift off to sleep. 

From nature sounds – think ocean waves, crackling campfire and trickling streams – to white noise, there's something for everyone. Kokoon recommend you start with their basics programme, to get used to the technology, before moving onto their wider range of options.

Kokoon headphones review

(Image credit: Kokoon)

You can also track your sleep using the Kokoon Relax app, which is a great way of improving your understanding of how well you currently sleep and which stages of sleep could use some improvement.

A post shared by Kokoon (@sleepkokoon)

A photo posted by on on Nov 26, 2019 at 12:00pm PST

How will you use the Kokoon headphones?

Offering additional features, compared to the average set of headphones, here's everything you can expect from Kokoon:

Use specially designed audio to help you sleep

The Kokoon Headphones were designed to be used alongside the Kokoon Relax app, which features a range of research-led audio files. Using built-in EEG sensors, these handy headphones use sensor data to the control audio, with the aim of matching it to your individual sleep stage. 

If you struggle to sleep, trials have shown that Kokoon's sleep programme can help you unwind and reach a state of sleep more quickly than you might usually.

Track your sleep cycle

If you're anything like us, you're probably quite fascinated by the idea of tracking your sleep cycle and seeking to understand how well you're sleeping (or not). With Kokoon this is easier than ever.

Wake up – after a night spent wearing your Kokoon headphones – open up the app and find all of your sleep data from the night before. Knowledge is power, right? And if you're serious about improving your sleep quality, knowing how well you sleep to begin with is a great starting point.

Enjoy music, audiobooks and more on the go

As well as fulfilling their role as a sleep aid, they're also headphones in their own right. So, you can expect to enjoy your favourite music, audiobooks, podcasts and more, while on the go. Bluetooth connection means that you won't have to worry about wires getting in your way, while truly innovative design means that they're amongst the most comfortable headphones you'll ever wear.

A post shared by Kokoon (@sleepkokoon)

A photo posted by on on Dec 18, 2019 at 8:00am PST

What did I like about the Kokoon headphones?

The Kokoon headphones are, without doubt, the most comfortable headphones I have ever used. I've previously found that over ear headphones can give me a pretty significant headache, but that didn't happen with the Kokoon headphones. So, from that perspective, they were a great addition to my life. 

The audio quality is also super impressive. This, combined with the noise cancelling technology, meant that I found they were great for helping me concentrate at work – ultimately increasing productivity – and also helping me to relax and 'zone out' while traveling.

I did find the Kokoon headphones useful for helping me fall asleep, initially. The sleep aids are great for helping you unwind and with so many options available you're sure to find something that suits your preferences.

I also found the sleep tracking capabilities seriously fascinating. If you're serious about improving your sleep quality, you need to know where you're starting from.

What didn't I like about the Kokoon headphones?

Why am I struggling to sleep?

It's worth thinking about why you're struggling to sleep, before looking for ways to 'cure' the problem. Are you feeling stressed or anxious? Are you working too hard and not taking enough time to unwind? Are you getting regular exercise? Are you taking medication for which insomnia is a side effect? You'll find plenty of useful tips in our guide to how to sleep well. And it's always worth talking to your doctor if the issue is becoming too great for you to handle. 

As I mentioned above, the Kokoon headphones were useful in helping me fall asleep initially. However, I found them nowhere near as effective in tackling insomnia. While I tried, multiple times, to use the headphones to help me fall back to sleep, I often found myself removing the headphones – probably out of frustration – and relying on other tried and tested methods. 

While my experience, in this context, was not overwhelmingly positive, for those who don't suffer from insomnia – and perhaps even for those who do – this may not be the case. After all, we are all different and the causes of insomnia and other sleep disorders are so varied that it's hard to say that any one thing might (or might not) work for everyone.

It's also worth considering how you sleep, before purchasing these headphones. If you sleep on your back and move around very little during the night, the Kokoon headphones will work a treat. However, if you're a side or front sleeper; or someone who tends to toss and turn a lot (guilty), you may find them difficult to truly relax in – as comfortable as they are.

I also think it's important to acknowledge the fact that, for many of us, these headphones sit at a pretty high price point. And while there's no doubt that they're a nice addition to your life – as a super comfortable pair of headphones if nothing else – if you're investing in these headphones as a sleep aid, I might suggest trying a few other methods first.

Where to buy the Kokoon headphones

Create the perfect sleep environment

Emily Shaw

Emily first (temporarily) joined the Real Homes team while interning on her summer break from university. After graduating, she worked on several publications before joining Real Homes as Staff Writer full time in mid-2018. She left the brand in 2020 to pursue another career, but still loves a second-hand bargain and sourcing unique finds to make her rented flat reflect her personality.