Although the beeping you hear every morning to wake up is a dreaded moment of your day, without it, you would sleep through your responsibilities. Some of the best alarm clocks are trusted to give you a wakeup call each and every morning to start your day. We’ve found the top five you should consider putting on your nightstand to make waking up on time a sure thing and a more enjoyable experience.
What’s the first thing you do after your alarm goes off? Begrudgingly get out of bed? Take a shower? Make some coffee? For some, the answer is probably to hit the snooze button. A new study finds that many people deal with “sleep inertia,” the feeling of grogginess and lack of alertness from simply not being ready to wake up. To beat this, Australian researchers say the answer may be as simple as changing the sound of your alarm clock. Waking up to your favorite song can make you feel more alert and less groggy.
Many think that hitting the snooze button makes you lazy, but it doesn’t. Instead, it may help your social life. In a poll of 2,000 adults, one-quarter (24%) typically sleep in a bit because they believe it helps their relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. A study reveals the average American sets four different alarms to wake up! Six in 10 claims hitting the snooze and getting more sleep helps them have a better relationship with their partner. Furthermore, 71 percent think the amount of sleep they get directly impacts their social health.
Whether you like to be up with the sun or hit snooze a few times, there are plenty of alarm clocks available on the market. Some of them offer soothing sounds, and others offer high-tech displays. Choosing the right one to suit your lifestyle can be a tiring task. So, StudyFinds did the job for you, selecting the top five best alarm clocks from 10 expert websites and reviews. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know your suggestions in the comments below!
The List: Best Alarm Clocks, According to Experts
1. Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520
Mind Body Green Lifestyle says while you can also get anything from basic to high-tech versions of this model, “we’re a fan of the middle-of-the-road HF3520 model for its ability to simulate both sunrise and sunset through 20 light settings. But what really sets this sunrise alarm clock apart from others on the market is its color quality. While many brands use a cool white light, this clock starts with a red-tinted hue that slowly builds into a gentle orange and then to a warm white. The natural light progression makes this one of the most convincing sunrise simulators of all the clocks we considered. Oh, and the cherry on top? It includes a radio with five natural wake-up sounds—so if you do want to add some sound to your wake-up, you can choose from options like ocean waves or classical music.”
“If you want a more soothing and gradual wake-up experience than the standard beep of an alarm clock, the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is the alarm clock for you. Its bulbous display slowly brightens to mimic the morning sun and then plays gentle noises, such as chirping birds, to ease you awake,” says CNN Underscored. “This sunrise alarm clock gave us one of the most pleasant mornings out of all the clocks we tested, and at $79.95 (cheaper than other sunrise options we tested), it’s a great balance between luxury and price.”
“Why is this so heavy? And big? Those were my first thoughts when I took Philips’ alarm out of the box. It reminded me of my college job at a hot rod shop, lugging around headlights from old 1950s Mercurys and Chevys. That’s a good thing. The Philips HF3520 oozes build quality and is easily the nicest alarm in this guide. It has the usual features, such as an audible alarm, five natural wake-up sounds, and an FM radio,” mentions Wired.
2. Loftie Alarm Clock
Insider loves this design’s two-phase alarm system: “The first alarm is a gentle tone that helps my body and mind wake up slowly. The second is a louder melody that gets me out of bed. This method is effective in reducing sleep inertia (morning grogginess). Since its launch, Loftie has added more sounds, alarms, and new features. It works as a white noise machine, Bluetooth speaker, and sleep timer. You can set multiple alarms from the device and choose the type of sounds you want to wake up to. With only three buttons at the top, it’s simple to use.”
“The Loftie can fool you into thinking you’re waking up of your own accord every morning, rather than being forcibly annoyed out of bed. Of all the alarm clocks we tested, the clock’s selection of five ambient compositions best induced the sensation of arising alongside the natural cues of the morning—sounds of birds, ambient tones, morning temple bells,” writes Wirecutter. “There’s the option to set different alarms scheduled for different days of the week, as well as a multitude of alarms you could set as reminders throughout the day—to get up occasionally, exercise, or walk the dog, among other everyday tasks.”
“The Loftie Clock has been making waves with its sleek, minimalist design and ample features that go way beyond a traditional alarm clock. The smart clock comes with a compatible smart phone app that lets you easily set alarms, as well as link your favorite wind down music, meditation cycles, breathwork exercises and sound baths. Equipped with a dimmable display, the Loftie Clock is programmed to complement natural sleep patterns with its gentle two-phase alarm system,” states Forbes.
3. Sonic Bomb Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock
Heavy sleepers, this one’s for you! GQ writes: “For practically comatose sleepers who could probably snooze through an earthquake, the Sonic Bomb is a genuine gamechanger. At its loudest and most invasive, an extra loud sonic bomb-type alarm—aptly called the ’12 volt super shaker’—booms, vibrates, and even strobes (hell yeah) to truly drop a wrecking ball on your sweet slumber. While the alarm can be set for as loud as you need it, it generally starts off on the quieter, more docile side and then dials up the intensity for as long as you stay under the covers. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart, and might not start you off on your day in the best mood, but this straightforward, aggressive little machine certainly understands and executes the assignment: getting you of bed any way it possibly can.”
“We were terrified of the Sonic Bomb Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock. Meant for heavy sleepers who aren’t awakened by average alarm clocks, not only is the Sonic Bomb’s alarm tone incredibly loud and unpleasant — it’s one of the most abrasive we tested — but the device drives the point home with a set of flashing red strobes, and it augments this sensory assault with a ‘bed shaker,’ a vibrating puck that you place under your pillow,” explains CNN Underscored. “When we tested the alarm for the first time on a table, we were shocked to see how violent the buzzing bed shaker actually was. And the manufacturer underscores the clock’s seriousness by offering it in a range of intense designs, including a camo version and one adorned with skulls in addition to a more typical palette of sedate and bright colors.”
“This super-loud alarm clock has a volume up to 113dB (that’s almost as loud as a rock concert!) and features super-bright red flashing strobe lights. (Although you can use the dimmer to control the brightness if you like.),” adds HGTV.
4. Hatch Restore
Popular Science notes this clock is perfect for everyone. “Whether you feel like reading in bed or drifting off to sleep, 22 selectable colors (controlled, along with brightness and volume, via soft-touch buttons or connected smart device) mean you can always get the right soft glow from this tabletop alarm, avoiding harsh, eye-straining blue hues. Through the app (available for iOS and Android), you can connect this best sunrise alarm clock to Wi-Fi and then create a customizable sleep routine that emits the right lights and sounds to help you drift off and reach a deep slumber.”
“You can set a routine for unwinding (this is much more effective than zoning out in front of a smart TV all night), sleeping or waking, or use your device as a custom sunrise alarm clock,” writes Reader’s Digest. “It works to enhance your sleep with soothing sounds and white noise, and if you sign up for the Hatch Sleep Membership (via an app), you’ll have even more sounds, meditations and restfulness exercises to lull you to sleep and help you wake up rested.”
“The Hatch Restore is a great sunrise alarm clock that gives a gentle and gradual wake-up much like our favorite sunrise alarm, the Philips Wake-Up Light. However, the Restore’s light is smaller, which gave a less immersive feeling than the Philips Wake-Up. While the Hatch couldn’t beat out the Philips Wake-Up Light in our testing, it really shines as a white noise machine. In fact, it was our upgrade pick for the best white noise machine,” CNN Underscored mentions in their review.
5. DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock
Wirecutter likes this budget-friendly device: “If you’re looking for an alarm clock that does a lot on the cheap, the DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock is both an alarm clock and a USB charging station. Something that really stood out with this model, versus other clocks we tested: The DreamSky has an enormous digital display (each number is 2 inches tall) that stretches across the entire front of the clock. Although I’m nearsighted, with basically mole-like eyesight, I could read this clock clearly from a distance—without wearing glasses or contacts.”
“The DreamSky scored extremely well in nearly all of our tests, including durability, appearance and wake-up experience, but what made it one of the top contenders was its big and bright display,” adds CNN Underscored. “The numbers occupy basically the entire display of the DreamSky instead of just being in a small window like some other clocks we tested. It’s easy to tell what time it is with the DreamSky, even if it’s the middle of the night and you’re as blind as a bat.”
“The DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock with its impressive 2-inch tall time display has amassed nearly 14,000 5-star reviews. From a looks stance, it’s sold in five display color options, as well as two device colorways (black and white). On top of the alarm, there’s a large snooze button that’s pretty much impossible to miss while reaching out in the dark, and on the back, all of the controls are clearly labeled for easy operation. There, you can set the time and alarm, adjust brightness and volume and opt for a 12- or 24-hour clock. Additionally, there are two USB ports for convenient charging via the device,” Forbes point out.
You might also be interested in:
- CNN Underscored
- Popular Science
- Mind Body Green Lifestyle
- Reader’s Digest
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.