Since the beginning of time, humans have tried to manage it to their advantage. Alarm clocks have been part of that management strategy for about 200 years. Based on the notion that waking at a certain time of day or after a certain number of hours of sleep, makes a successful individual, alarm clocks have been shocking people out of a sound sleep for decades. Whether the clock on the bedside table is a simple windup antique or the latest model of Bluetooth technology, alarm clocks serve one main purpose.
- The Best Alarm Clocks
- 1. Sonic Bomb Loud Vibrating Clock
- 2. Amazon Echo Spot
- 3. RCA Digital Alarm Clock
- 4. Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock
- 5. LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise
- 6. Philips Wake-Up Light Clock
- 7. Mpow Projection Clock Radio
- 8. DreamSky Decent Alarm Clock
- 9. Electrohome EAAC601 Projection Smart Clock
- 10. Peakeep 4″ Twin Bell stylish Clock
- Buyer’s Guide
That purpose is to wake up its user. The number of features, cost, and looks are secondary to that main purpose. Check out the Best Alarm Clocks that succeed in waking a portion of the human race each and every morning.
The Best Alarm Clocks
1. Sonic Bomb Loud Vibrating Clock
For the person who can sleep through most any alarm, this clock produces something of a natural disaster of responses to get people up and moving. An extra-loud alarm (113db) coupled with bright flashing lights and a super strong vibration feature to ‘shake’ the user out of bed if need be are all included in this one product. Here is one serious alarm clock.
The most interesting feature of this product is the ‘shaking’ disc that can be placed under the pillow or mattress to vibrate an alarm. Each of the three disrupting alarms can be used separately and customized to be the perfect answer to a difficult problem. Use just the lights and vibration modes to be considerate of neighbors or some other variation that works best. This even has a snooze feature. Finally, the model can be fitted with safety adapters that alert the sleeper to a baby cry, ringing doorbell, or telephone ring.
2. Amazon Echo Spot
Place this Echo Spot on the nightstand for total control over everything Echo friendly in the home. Set your alarm through one of several streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio. Want to snooze for more than 9 minutes, just tell it to reset the alarm and roll over.
What better way to begin the day then to have a personal assistant ready to get things started. The Amazon Echo Spot will easily sit on the nightstand and greet the morning with a personalized briefing of weather, important news and even pre-programed pep talk. Running late? Call for a ride from a friend or service with a simple voice command. Choose to connect with any compatible device to start the coffee, check on baby or adjust the thermostat. The world is just a word away with Alexa and Echo Spot
3. RCA Digital Alarm Clock
A large snooze button makes this digital alarm clock by RCA quite attractive to the person who is always looking for just a few more minutes rest. The clock has basic features like easy to navigate buttons and clear red LED display. Just plug it in to any standard wall outlet and with a few settings, this clock is ready to get the day started.
Good things come in small packages with this basic alarm clock that includes battery backup and a large LED display. Buttons are clearly labeled and make setting the time and alarm conveniently easy. Dim the LED display at night and snag the large snooze button with just quick swat for a few more minutes. A good, simple clock for those who just want a reliable wake up sound.
4. Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock
Promoted as so simple “even Grandma can use it”, this basic bedside alarm clock does its job without the fuss of more featured models. The clock uses standard 120v electricity and has a battery backup. It has easy to read buttons and no radio that needs tuning.
If all you need is a good quality alarm clock then this model by TravelWey may suit your needs. Recently updated, the clock itself has 1.8 inch high red LED numbers for clear visibility and a new dimmer switch to adjust the brightness just where it is best. The red alarm button helps minimize confusion about setting the time or the alarm. A new night light feature provides just a bit of light for reading or making the way to the door. All in all, this is a basic alarm clock with easy to use buttons and easy to read display.
5. LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise
Is there an early riser in the house? Do you have difficulty getting the rest you need? The Ready to Rise clock from LittleHippo might be the answer. This patented smiley-face technology helps little ones understand when it is sleep time, when it is time to get up and when it is time to play quietly until Mom or Dad get up.
MELLA (the clock with a face) is an all-in-one product to support young children in developing good sleep habits. Armed with three different faces and colorful rings that further reinforce the messages of Sleep, Play and Wake, the alarm clock includes night light and sleep sound features. MELLA can also be used to monitor nap time and time out periods. A great tool that teaches responsible habits without the tug-of-war that often occurs with bedtime.
6. Philips Wake-Up Light Clock
Designed to imitate a sunrise, the Philips Wake-Up Light Clock provides a gentle, gradual way to transition for sleep to awake. This clock offers a 30-minute natural sunset light therapy and alarm clock in one product.
As many have realized, a good sunrise can be more effective than the loudest buzzer as a wakeup device. Not only is there a feeling of being more rested when waking is gradual but mood is often improved with light therapy. Philips has created an alarm clock that operates as standard models but has added the benefits of light therapy to the mix. Beginning as a warm orange glow and moving through to bright white light, the thirty minute process can be augmented by morning sleep sounds or wake to a standard FM radio alarm. A snooze button is available if a few more minutes of comfort is required.
7. Mpow Projection Clock Radio
Now, there is a large display alarm clock with dual alarms and lots of features for the active family. With a USB charging hookup or cell phones and other devices, this 5 inch display can be seen from across the room and also project the time onto wall or ceiling. The incorporated FM Radio has 15 preset stations and includes a 90 minute timer to listen while falling asleep.
While some may think an alarm clock and radio might be an old-school concept, there are still those who like to wake to the morning radio show. This clock with has dual alarms and a FM Radio with antenna. Rise and shine to one of three alarm sounds or tune into the morning news. The included instruction manual has directions for customizing this clock to suit personal preferences.
8. DreamSky Decent Alarm Clock
The alarm clock by DreamSky is a sleek black unit with pale blue digital display. It has several features including an FM radio receiver and indoor temperature gauge. Symbols clearly indicate alarm use and 12 or 24 hour mode.
This is a good example of what many consider a typical radio alarm clock. With a digital display, sleep timer, radio tuner and alarms as standard features, it meets most consumers needs for a clock radio unit. This model falls firmly in the middle between bare bones basic and high end technological newcomer. Any consumer could be happy with the features of this convenient and practical model.
9. Electrohome EAAC601 Projection Smart Clock
Considered a “feature rich” product, this clock radio model offers a clear, crystal blue display and the ability to project time and indoor temperature on the wall or ceiling. The clock also remembers to change the time back each Fall and forward each Spring for Daylight Savings time.
This model includes all the features it can without going into the world of wireless technology. It can display date, time, and temperature and connect to radio or common cell based music devices. Brightness and volume can be adjusted as can sleep time and snooze control. In addition it keeps track of daylight savings time and cancels pre-set alarms on the weekends. Sounds like this model has it all covered.
10. Peakeep 4″ Twin Bell stylish Clock
This small battery operated traditional alarm clock has a retro look to it. The clock face glows slightly at night but a push of a button activates the backlit feature of numbers and hands. Extremely accurate and easily set, this is a clock for those who want a no frills alarm.
Looking a simple alarm clock that can go anywhere and still keep great time, this option by Peakeep fills the bill. One AA battery (not included) keeps the clock running for months. The face can be backlit to highlight the stylized numbers and simplistic hands. The hands move quietly and there is no ticking like the gear movement in a traditional model. The look is retro but its modern features make it a practical option for anyone.
Since an alarm clock may last an eternity (20-30 years is not unheard of), it might be good to consider how certain features will impact its usage. Read below for some information and questions that might come up.
How much Sleep do I Need?
The old guideline of 8 hours of sleep is still considered best by most sleep researchers. Adults should get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night with those over 65 needing a hour or two less. Notice the term ‘quality’ sleep which is very different than hours in bed. Also, the number of hours does not always need to be continuous. Naps are good tools to make up for a restless night.
What Color Alarm Clock is Best for Sleep?
While this is not about the decor of your bedroom or the looks of the clock itself, the color mentioned here refers to the display. Most alarm clocks now come with a dimmer switch that can turn down the brightness level of the display. Some people can be very sensitive to the amount of light in a room. Computers, cell phones, and yes, alarm clocks that give off blue light tend to disrupt sleep more than those of other colors.
Now, colors which are in the yellow, orange and red range are considered less disruptive. Night lights in hallways and bathrooms should also be considered for the color or hue of the light they use.
What is REM Sleep?
REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is defined as those periods of the deepest and most restful sleep that is characterized by rapid eye movement and dreams. The amount of REM sleep an individual experiences depends on the person and the sleep environment
How to Wake up to an Alarm if you are a Deep Sleeper?
There are several specialty clocks which can be used to wake a sound sleeper. If you do not want to go so far as to purchase a bed shaking, lights flashing alarm clock, there are a few less drastic measures that you might try.
1. Get plenty of rest. Sleeping soundly may be the body’s way of saying you are tired
2. Use the radio as your alarm and turn it all the way up.
3. Use a timer so that all the lights in the room come on and cannot be turned off unless you get out of bed
4. Move your alarm so that you must get out of bed to hit the snooze button.
What is your Biological Sleep Clock?
Perhaps better referred to as an ‘internal clock’ so that one does not confuse this issue with women of childbearing age, each individual tends to have an internal clock that makes it easier to sleep at certain times during the day. Disrupting this cycle or routine can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or even wake up. Often, this internal rhythm is describe in terms of being a ‘morning person’ or ‘night owl’.
Nowadays, corded electric appliance have become so commonplace, most manufacturers do not even mention it in the description. But do some homework before purchasing to make sure the choice is best for the situation. In addition to corded electric, there are battery operated and manual (windup) models.
Ease of Use
The concept of the alarm clock has not changed much over the last 50 or 60 years but the increase in features – such as dimmer switches and sleep sounds – has made navigating these choices something of a maze. Units that have simple buttons and quick setup will promote that in their literature. As much as one might want all the bells and whistles of an advanced model, if the directions are difficult to understand, these features may go unused. Better to get a model that is user friendly than one that leads to frustration.
What are the Benefits of a Manual Clock?
The main benefit of a manual clock is that they will always work no matter what. Most clocks can run for up to a week before running down completely but if it is wound a few turns every day, it is likely to keep accurate time as good as an electric or battery-operated model. Manual models are truly portable and generally not damaged by water or cold.
How long will my Battery Operated Clock run Before I need to Change the Batteries?
That question might be best answered in the user’s guide but like all battery operated products the more it is used the more often the batteries will need to be changed. A clock used only for time and never for alarms
How long is the Cord?
For units powered by standard 120v electricity the length of a cord may be important. Some cords are as short as 4 ft but most fall between 5 and 7 ft. If the outlets are placed well away from the bed, it might be necessary to put the clock on an adjacent wall. Remember never use an extension cord under the bed or around bed clothes.
Standard vs Special Features
While there might be some discussion about what is and is not a standard feature, it is probably wise to agree on desirable features before purchasing. Here is a list of just some of the features that are included in today’s alarm clocks
- Time Set
- Alarm Set
- Multiple alarm sounds
- FM radio
- Battery backup for power outages
- Dimmable display
- Large display
- Dual alarms
- USB charging port
- Connectivity with music streaming services
- Projection of time on wall or ceiling
- Sleep timer
- Snooze button
- 12 hour vs 24 hour time
- Battery operation – portability
- Night light
Since it is unlikely that a model will have all these features, it is good to prioritize which features are needed and which can be optional
Warranties and return policies vary greatly with these products. Check manufacturer’s information to see what if any warranty is offered.
Levi Hutchinson of New Hampshire reportedly invented the first alarm clock in 1787. The clock only went off at 4 am as it was designed for farmers. Interestingly, Levi was murdered by his wife one cold New England morning at a reported time of 4:05am. 🙂
Did you know?
A shortage of alarm clocks existed near the end of WWII due to the conversion of all factories to military efforts in 1942. Alarm clocks were one of the first consumer goods brought back into production in November of 1944 as the war came to a close.