Try An App And A Bluetooth Speaker
If you have a smartphone with a speaker, you already have a sound machine. I used to blast Good Charlotte from a Walkman under my pillow to fall asleep as an angsty preteen. Eventually, I graduated to an app that lulled me to sleep via the sound of a clothes dryer tumbling. There are tons of noises to help you relax, but if you need some inspiration, we compiled our favorite apps and Spotify playlists.
A Bluetooth speaker will step it up a notch, and you may even own one already. If you use this option to put your children to sleep while traveling, just don’t forget and start texting wildly the minute you close the door.
What About Alexa And Google Home
If you have a voice assistant in your room, you already have a white noise machine, and it will pretty much play for as long or as little as youd like it to, depending on the platform. Access Alexas offerings via its Ambient Noise skill, or peruse Google Homes 14 built-in options on the companys support page. You can also use your smart speaker to stream nature sounds from Spotify playlists, as Brent has done. Weve found that the sound quality of these smart speakers rivals that of our picks and easily exceeds those of cheaper white noise contraptions, thanks to the resources available to these tech giants. Having a decent smart speaker will give you more of the low frequencies, which I find more soothing, Brent says. But beyond the hardware, you may or may not like your voice assistants particular rendition of ambient sounds. For instance, Brent prefers the ocean option on Google Home over Amazon Echos because the crashing waves sound less distinct, whereas I like more variation in my surf sounds. Also keep in mind that because the sounds arent part of the hardware, the options may change, and you cant take the device with you when you travel.
We Were Lucky That We Had The Yogasleep Hushh During A Power Outage
One night, the Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Machine paid for itself when our power went out at home right around my baby’s bedtime, and our usual Lectrofan was powerless. We were able to use the Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Machine instead, and our baby was none the wiser of the incredibly ill-timed power outage.
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Best Sound Machine Overall: Sound+sleep Mini
If youre looking for a plethora of sounds to soothe you into sleep, the Sound+Sleep Mini will fit the bill with more than 48 tracks across 12 categories that range from the standard to the environmental .
It would be a lot to list out 48 individual sounds, but here are a few highlights: Fireplace inspired the same warm, cozy vibe you get from a nearby crackling fireplace. Crickets with light rain filled the space with a medley of natural sounds, transporting us to a relaxing night outdoors . All of the soundscapes under the Crowd category reminded us of when we could go out to a cafe with a laptop. With such an array of sounds more than any other we tested it prevented the mundanity that we experienced hearing the same sounds over and over with most of the other machines.
Speaking of mundanity, some sound machines, like the SoundSpa Portable and the Hatch Rest, have somewhat short soundtracks where you can recognize where the loop restarts. Sometimes, heating that tiny glitch hearing when a soundscape has restarted made it more difficult for us to relax. With the Sound+Sleep Mini, we never recognized those repeats.
Reacher R2 White Noise Machine And Night Light
The R2 from Reacher is a two-in-one noise machine and night light with a bevy of customizable setting combinations. The device offers 31 different sounds, including a variety of white, brown, and pink noises, as well as fan and nature sounds. As a night light, you have eight colors that can be dimmed according to needs. Change modes between solid, changing, and breathing color settings. A timer can be set at one-, two-, and three-hour increments.
Lectrofan Noise Machine
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What Is A White Noise Machine
White noise machine is a catch-all term that can describe a wide range of models, ranging from those that create white through mechanical means, such as with a fan, to those that play both white noise and soothing tracks, like nature sounds or music. The connection among these different machines is that all are meant to offer sounds that drown out unwanted noises, also known as noise pollution, while relaxing or focusing the listener. Because of this goal, many white noise machines actually produce the more calming pink or brown range of noise.
People use white noise machines for several distinct reasons, including studying or working, meditating, or reducing the perception of tinnitus. However, possibly the most popular use is to help people fall or stay asleep.
Research shows that white noise can help improve sleep, particularly in noisy environments. Babies also show a good response to white noise, with one study finding that 80% of very young infants fell asleep within five minutes when exposed to white noise, versus only 25% of those without white noise. There is also some evidence that white noise may calm infants who suffer from colic.
Best Portable White Noise Machine
Yogasleep Travel Mini Sound Machine
- Price: $
- Features: 36 noise options, adjustable volume, and a night-light
- Size: Fits in most jacket pockets
Yogasleeps Travel Mini Sound Machine is perfect for taking white noise on the go. Its smaller than an adults palm and includes sounds like a stream, a thunderstorm, and a Dohm Sound . It also has adjustable volume and a small, adjustable night-light.
Reviewers say the Travel Minis battery life lasts through the night, with one reviewer saying that the fully charged product lasts 24 hours before it dies.
People also report that its great for traveling and that the little night-light is a warm white color ideal for the nighttime. But some reviewers find it too small to adjust. They say the function buttons are hard to tell apart at night since they all feel the same.
We tested this product as well as the Yogasleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine and we loved them both. In the end, we decided to recommend the Travel Mini because we like the night-light and babbling brook sounds. But we would gladly take either on a trip.
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How We Chose The Best White Noise Machines
Here weve included six white noise machines, each with an element thats a little different than the others.
- Variety. We looked at machines that work for various scenarios, such as for travel or children. But we also included a classic, no-frills option if youre just looking to start out with white noise machines. A couple of machines also have variety in frequencies, sound types, and additional features.
- Price. When it comes to white noise machines, you have options depending on your budget. You can either purchase an actual machine , or you can try free white noise applications on your smartphone. Five of the six machines we included are under $100 and one of them is free.
- Reviews and trials. We looked at online customer reviews, asked current white machine users for their feedback, and even tested products to determine which were the best of the best.
A Note On White Noise
You may wonder why we call these “sound machines” more often than “white-noise machines.” It’s because we’re nerds. Technically, the steady background whirr produced by most of these machines isn’t white noise at all. Most sound machines use pink or brown noise instead. If you think of sound waves as being loosely analogous to light waves, then the different colors of noise refer to different parts of the sound spectrum. Pure white noise is a mix of all the frequencies humans can hear, so it can be a little agitating . Pink and brown noise are at the lower end of the spectrum. They aren’t as grating and have been found to help people sleep a little more deeply.
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Other Good White Noise Machines
If you want a stylish, upgraded fan-sound experience: While most white noise machines have a hard-edged, clinical appearance, the Bluetooth-enabled Snooz is curvy and stylish, with a satisfying whoosh that only a real fan can make. Brent loves the Snooz almost as much as the similarly priced Sound+Sleep. You can adjust the volume settings in 10 gradual incrementsfrom whisper-soft to nearly 75 dBA, per Brents measurementsvia the app, which features an automatic scheduler that lets you time the sound to fade in and out on a schedule of your choosing, right down to the minute. You can also manually rotate the machines outer ring to achieve tones ranging from a tabletop fan to an airplane-cabin rumble. Compared with the Dohm Connect , the whir is more robust, without a trace of whine even at its highest volumejust the pure, clear sound of whirling air. But $80 seems like a lot of money for one main sound, so we didnt make the Snooz an official recommendation. Then again, if thats the sound that soothes you , this is your upgrade pick.
Free Shipping For Orders Over $150*
Free shipping is available when you spend over $150! Please note bulky or heavy items are excluded from this offer and you can confirm the correct shipping at the checkout. Unfortunately our Cart Shipping Estimator does not accurately exclude large items from free shipping calculations. We apologise for any inconvenience with this technical limitation.
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It Might Not Be A Miracle Machine But It Helps
The included clip is a thoughtful accessory that lets us clip the white noise machine to our stroller or crib, or anything else such as baby carriers and car seats.
To be clear, the Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Machine isn’t a miracle machine. It’s just a white noise machine designed to help babies who like white noise while sleeping. Our baby is particularly resistant to sleep, and she sometimes wouldn’t nap even with the machine. But we did notice that she went down much more easily with the machine than without it.
How To Choose A White Noise Machine For A Baby
Many parents have used white noise machines to help their babies sleep. White noise can block intrusive sounds that could startle a baby awake, so its especially helpful during daytime naps and at bedtime, when the rest of the household is still active. We think the LectroFan EVO and the Yogasleep Dohm could work for babies, too, even though both companies also make baby-specific versions, which offer the usual ambient sounds along with womb or heartbeat sounds or lullabies.
While we didnt test any of our picks with babies specifically, we did reach out to experts for some guidance on using white noise with babies. And, of course, it never hurts to talk to your pediatrician before adding one of our picksor any other white noise machineto your babys sleep routine.
Harvey Karp, MD, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block , has long recommended that caregivers calm babies down with loud shushing, either directly or with a device . Babies are exposed to loud and low-pitched sounds in the womb, and in the first few months after theyre bornKarp calls this the fourth trimesterthose noises still sound soothing, he said.
Lisa L. Hunter, scientific director for audiology at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, cautioned that some devices are capable of putting out noise far higher than that. One 2014 study she cited found that all 14 of the machines tested were capable of producing sounds in excess of 50 dBa, and several went up to 85 dBa .
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Other Machines We Tested
The $56.14 Honeywell Dreamweaver isnt strictly a sound machine, but is instead a fan. Still, we included it because many sound machines feature tracks meant to simulate fans. The Dreamweaver is a cylinder with a vent on the side its about the size of a gallon of milk.
The device has three fan strengths, a timer and an oscillating mode. Naturally, since it doesnt have to simulate a fan, its great for people who enjoy that sound. If youre not interested in the breeze that comes from the vent on the side, then you can close it. Its a nice machine, but doesnt feature as many sounds as other devices we tried.
The $46.96 Lectrofan is another one for fans of fans! This small, octagon-shaped device produces 18 different sounds, half of which are the sounds of various fans and vents. The other half are colored noises like white noise, pink noise and brown noise. These color labels just indicate the range of tones that each noise contains.
The sound quality is on the higher end, but otherwise, this sound machine is rather simple compared to the Hatch Restore. Plus, the Sound+Sleep Mini has more categories and total options, including both colored noise options as well as fan sounds, so the Lectrofan falls short there, too.
Lectrofan Micro 2
More from CNN Underscoreds hands-on testing:
What Is White Noise
White noise is more than just recordings of ocean waves and rain sounds. It’s a collection of sounds that has the same intensity through the audible range, creating a uniform sound perfect for masking loud disruptions. In other words, white noise âsmoothsâ out your audible environment for sleeping, studying, focusing, and more! While we call it âwhite noiseâ because thatâs the most commonly used industry term, our Dohm white noise machines are creating pink noise. If you sample white noise, brown noise, and pink noise, you will quickly hear that actual white noise is annoying to your ear and not conducive to sleep!
Not all white noise machines are created equal, and we strive to make ours the best. Our sound conditioners produce only the highest-quality rich, robust sound that fills the room with soothing tones.
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Why Trust Verywell Family
Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. Katrina is a parent herself and loves a white noise machine thats portable and travel-friendly. If the power ever goes out, youll still have a machine to rely on.
Where To Buy The Yogasleep Travel Mini
Please note that these are affiliate links, so I might make a commission if you buy through them, which I will appreciate. If you prefer, you can type the websites into your browser instead to remove my affiliate code.
In the United States, I recommend buying directly from the manufacturer on yogasleep.com.
In the UK, you can find it on .
In Canada, its also sold on .
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How Do White Noise Machines Work
Back in the day, your family may have used a good ol’ fashioned fan to get to sleep, but these days there’s a range of white noise machines to considerfrom decades-old classics with tiny fans inside to new-age devices with electrically generated sounds, to commandable smart speakers. “There are two types of white noise machineselectronic and electromechanical,” says Steve Cummings of YogaSleep. “The former produces sounds with electronicsmost are circuit boardsand electromechanical options have real physical parts, driven by electricity, that make the sound. In our case, there’s a real fan inside which resonates out of a dome-shaped shell.”
The plethora of machines on the market deliver a range of repeating or nonrepeating sounds, and are available in different sizes, volumes, and price points. “The general theory is that sound machines, essentially, fill in the troughs of silence and minimize the startling effect by reducing the arousal effect of abrupt sounds,” says Cummings.
Free Shipping For Orders Over $100*
Free shipping is available when you spend over $100! Please note bulky or heavy items are excluded from this offer and you can confirm the correct shipping at the checkout. Unfortunately our Cart Shipping Estimator does not accurately exclude large items from free shipping calculations. We apologise for any inconvenience with technical limitation.
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Is White Noise Helpful For Focus
White noise aids focus by blocking out noise pollution. Since it fills in the space between outside sounds, it thereby dampens them. For people who work in loud spaces or are easily distracted, this can make a significant difference in their focus. There are also some indications that white noise may affect perception and cognition depending on the timing and task at hand.
Is A White Noise Machine Good For Babies
Being a new parent comes with countless challenges, but getting your baby to fall asleep might be the biggest one of all. A 1990 study on white noise and sleep induction found white noise can get babies to fall asleep faster, and some devices are designed with little ones in mind, such as the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and Night Light. Check with your pediatrician on recommended volumes for your child, and be prepared to keep the machine around for the long haul. “If you want to introduce a white noise machine into your baby’s bedtime routine, prepare to keep it around for three to five years,” board-certified sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D., advises. “Kids do not adapt well to change, so if you use a noise machine and they get used to it, you will need to bring it on trips, etc. It’s no different than a teddy bear.”
So you’re ready to experience white noise for yourself. We tested and narrowed down the eight best options to shop now, based on various needs. Read Glamour editors’ takes on why these machines worked for them, and get ready for game-changing snoozes ahead.
Sleep is a $70 billion industrywe throw our money at a dreamier night’s rest, promise ourselves we’ll prioritize it, and then gripe when we’re still, inevitably, so tired. Despite our collective obsession with sleep, we seem totally unable to get more of it. In fact, we’re clocking fewer hours than ever. So, this month, we’re taking a look at what’s getting in the wayand what to do about it.
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