The best sound machines to help you fall (and stay) asleep

We all have different sleep preferences. Your ideal mattress might be something soft and squishy, and your perfect pillow might be lofty and supportive. Some of us like a small night light or the glow of city lights and others might sleep with the thickest blackout curtains they can find. Similarly, we all have different sound preferences; some of us prefer to fall asleep to audiobooks or podcasts, some prefer ambient sounds of the ocean, and others prefer the quiet. But sometimes the most important thing is simply drowning out our noisy surroundings.

Luckily, with the help of modern technology, you can simulate nearly any sound out there. If you want the sound of rain falling in a forest, you’ve got it. If you’re more of a sounds-of-the-city person, you can have that. Prefer to simulate the quiet? Try a basic white noise. Plus, with the incredible variety of sleep machines out there, you can choose machines with sleep timers, adaptive sound capabilities, and even projectors.

So, let’s talk about some of the most popular and interesting sleep machines out there.

The best sound machines for better sleep

  • HoMedics HDS-1000 Deep Sleep White Noise Machine — $60
  • Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound+Sleep High Fidelity Sleep Sound Machine — $65
  • Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine — $50
  • Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine — $60
  • MyBaby Deep Sleep White Noise Machine — $29
  • MyBaby SoundSpa Lullaby — $25

HoMedics HDS-1000 Deep Sleep White Noise Machine — $60

If you just want a sound machine that looks unimposing and has the basics, HoMedics’ white noise machine is a good choice. It may be small, but it has powerful speakers to keep you sleeping soundly throughout the night. This machine features four digitally recorded tones including rain sounds and deep tones, and you can set an off timer as well.

Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound+Sleep High Fidelity Sleep Sound Machine — $65

best sound machines for sleep  adaptive technologies

Do you have noisy neighbors that come home every night at 2 a.m. and wake you up, but live in a relatively quiet place otherwise? Are there times throughout the night when your surroundings get louder than normal? If so, you might be interested in an adaptive sound machine. Adaptive Sound Technologies is known for its sound machines, and you really can’t go wrong with any of its machines, but this one really takes the cake. Set a timer, choose from a variety of ambient sounds, set it to be adaptive or not and much more. This is the most expensive sound machine on this list, but for good reason; it comes with tons of features, and it looks sleek, too.

Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine — $50

While the Marpac Dohm isn’t winning any beauty contests, it’s a reliable sound machine that’s stood the test of time. It’s been on the market in one form or another since 1962, then called the Sleep-Mate, making it one of the oldest sleep machine companies out there. Luckily, we now have higher quality sound capabilities and Marpac can pack more features into smaller hardware, but you can feel confident with a longstanding brand like Marpac and its decades-old sleep machine. Choose the fan speed, tone and volume of this machine, but this one doesn’t have a sleep timer.

Sleep machines for babies

Babies are bad at sleeping. And when babies are bad at sleeping, they keep their parents awake, too. If you’re just trying to get your kid to go to bed so you can sleep, too, it may be time to introduce a sleep machine into the equation. There are plenty of white noise machines on the market designed specifically for babies, so set it up and get to bed.

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine — $60

Yes, Hatch Baby’s sleep machine is the priciest of the kid-centric machines on this list, but that’s because it’s more customizable and even connects to your smartphone. Every parent knows the internal struggle that exists when something in your sleeping child’s room needs adjusting, but you don’t want to wake the kid by barging in. With the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, you can turn up the white noise volume from your phone before going into the room. Or, set a gradual timer to wake up your baby peacefully so they awaken in a good mood. Plus, this machine doubles as a night light, which is handy as your child ages.

MyBaby Deep Sleep White Noise Machine — $29

With six different sound options, from lullaby to heartbeat, plus a battery-powered option, this is a great choice for families on the go. Just pack up the compact sound machine and take it with you without the need to rely on outlets as you travel. The heartbeat tone mimics the familiar and comforting rhythmic sound your baby heard in the womb, so you can set this next to your baby’s crib and watch as they lull themselves to sleep. Then, set the automatic timer to turn off the machine in 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes to conserve that precious battery power.

MyBaby SoundSpa Lullaby $25

MyBaby made this list twice, and deservedly so. This machine is kind of like the MyBaby Deep Sleep 2.0, as this model builds on the classic with new features and an updated and fresh design. The SoundSpa Lullaby has new sounds like rainfall and crashing ocean waves, and includes lullabies like Rock-a-bye Baby and the classic Brahms Cradle Song. Another fantastic feature is the built-in projector, which allows you to project soothing images onto your baby’s ceiling or wall to watch like a futuristic crib mobile.

How sound machines help you sleep

Think about how your energy reflects the music you’re listening to. That’s not something you can help; your brain naturally zones in on sounds, especially talking or heavy bass. These sounds tend to keep us awake and alert, no matter how hard we try to force our brain to ignore them. So, when it’s time to fall asleep and the neighbors are listening to loud music or talking loudly, it’s simply human nature to zero in on the sounds rather than just shutting off and falling asleep. Sleep machines remedy that; they create a constant sound that naturally drowns out other sounds, allowing our brain to focus on that ocean, rainfall or white noise tone and lull itself to sleep.

If you’re not getting the right amount of REM sleep every night, you’re not just going to wake up poorly rested and in a bad mood. You’re actually putting yourself at risk of more serious ailments down the road. Sleep deprivation can lead to short-term issues like drowsiness and memory impairment, but if you’re deprived of sleep for long periods of time, you’re putting yourself at an increased risk of depression, heart attacks, obesity, and more.

Want to get more shut-eye? We have cooling pillows that can help you ward off the night sweats, lofty pillows for you side sleepers, cozy mattress toppers to relieve muscle pain, and even some great deals on sleep and non-sleep products alike.

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