We can’t always depend on our internal clocks to wake up on time every morning. For that matter, we can’t always depend on old and outdated alarm clocks to get the job done. New smart alarm clocks for 2020 offer not only reliability but also unique and interactive features that make waking up and going to bed much more comfortable.
The best alarm clocks offer USB connection, voice interaction, connectivity with Bluetooth, and even peaceful “ambient” sounds to help you fall asleep.
BrandStand CubieTime Alarm Clock Charger
To truly earn its place on your nightstand, an alarm clock should be reliable and versatile, letting you customize your wake-up experience without letting you down. This model is actually more than just an alarm: It has two USB chargers and two outlets. That alone means you and your significant other might fight for who gets to put this clock next to their side of the bed. Thanks to its backup battery, you won’t have a Home Alone oversleeping situation when you need to get to the airport or if the power goes out. There’s a big snooze button for those mornings when you need some extra Zs.
Its display can be turned off or dimmed, so the large, easy-to-read numbers won’t blind you all night long. If you like to wake up to the radio or to an alarm that gets louder over time, you won’t find those features here, although there is a version with a Bluetooth speaker. Still, it does its job well, and there’s a reason this clock is found in a lot of hotel rooms.
Google Nest Hub
Although it isn’t strictly an “alarm clock,” the Nest Hub can wake you up in the morning and do so much more. One of the most drastic differences between the Nest Hub and other comparable devices is its size; the Nest Hub stands at around 4.5 inches tall. This makes it small enough to fit comfortably on a nightstand versus its bigger sized sibling in the Nest Hub Max. That small frame is partly due to the lack of a camera, which may be a pro or a con depending on how much you value your privacy.
The Hub connects to the various devices you have throughout your home, including lights, speakers, etc. You can set up the Hub to respond to your voice commands, or manage devices using the touchscreen. For the purposes of an alarm clock, the Hub works exceptionally well. You can set a normal alarm, or even have the Hub wake you with a specific song from your music library. For more details, read our full review.
Anker’s Wakey smart alarm clock has a lot going for it besides a hilarious name. The 10W Qi wireless charging pad on top of the clock makes it easy to power up your phone while you sleep, and if you have trouble falling asleep at night, the 10 pre-set ambient soundscapes can help you drift into the waiting arms of the Sandman. The Wakey lets you set up to 15 different alarms from a total of 10 different wake-up sounds (including FM radio.)
You can also use the Wakey as a speaker via Bluetooth or an aux cord. Soft LEDs on the front of the clock display the time and will automatically dim in low light, but you can also adjust the brightness via the app. A series of buttons along a touchbar underneath the display gives physical control of the clock. The Anker Wakey isn’t the least expensive alarm clock out there, but the host of features help keep your room clutter-free and provide a solid audio experience.
Amazon Echo Dot With Clock
According to Amazon, “What time is it?” is one of the more commonly asked questions to any Echo device. Their solution was to embed LEDs into the side of the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) and give it a clock, but in doing so they created a smart alarm clock that can compete with the best of them. Once you ask Alexa to set an alarm, a little dot appears at the bottom-right of the display to remind you it is set.
Aside from the clock, the Echo Dot with clock is exactly like the Echo Dot you know and love. This way, it serves dual functions and keeps your nightstand free of unnecessary devices. You can make phone calls through Alexa, control other connected devices, and check the weather all from the comfort of your bed.
According to the MIT Technology Review, Americans spend nearly four months of their lives hitting the snooze button. Talk about first-world problems. As tempting as this magical button is during the ungodly morning hours, a few extra winks can often make us late.
Fortunately, Ruggie takes the ease and convenience out of simply rolling over and slapping “snooze.” With Ruggie, you must apply pressure to a plush mat for three seconds to stop the alarm. The alarm can be set to 120 decibels, too, to further annoy you out of bed. For sake of perspective, 120 decibels is on par with the noise level of a chainsaw. Pleasant.
The Ruggie is made out of fleece and memory foam, which helps you ease into the cruel world that resides outside your duvet-adorned sanctuary. You can also set the device to play custom MP3s once you’ve applied pressure and silenced your alarm. Because, if anything, that stunning achievement deserves a theme song. If you like the idea of no snooze button, but you don’t think the Ruggie would work for you, then check out some of these other alarm clocks that force you to get out of bed.
Philips Morning Wake-Up Light
For light sleepers, audio alarms can be rather jarring. Fortunately, the Philips Morning Wake-Up Light uses a warm, gentle glow and natural sound effects rather than incessant beeping to get you out of bed. The alarm clock also features a colored sunrise simulation and 20 brightness settings for optimal customization.
The light slowly increases in brightness between 20 and 40 minutes prior to your desired alarm time. The clock helps you drift to sleep, too. Instead of you simply turning out the lights and settling into bed, the light-responsive dimming feature gently guides you to sleep with audio accompaniment. This type of alarm is definitely not for everyone, but it is suitable for those who prefer to wake up gradually. For more details, read our full Philips Wake-Up Light review.
Lenovo Smart Clock
The Lenovo Smart Clock with built-in Google Assistant is meant to rival the Amazon Echo Show but is a more scaled-down version of a smart display. With a four-inch screen and gray-fabric backing, the device sits comfortably on a bedside table. Feature-wise, there’s a USB port on the back to charge your phone at night. The true standout is the ability to touch the device anywhere to snooze it, and a second time to turn off the alarm complete.
The Lenovo Smart Clock has a gentle wake-up mode that brightens the clock face over a 30-minute span (along with any connected smart lights.) You can view footage from security cameras on the display, but there isn’t a built-in camera for privacy reasons. While it doesn’t have as many features as a true smart display, it is a great option for someone looking to add a smart alarm clock to their bedroom. You can read our full review here.
Amazon Echo Show 5
The version of the Echo Dot with a clock is neat, but what if you also want a smart display? The Echo Show 5 is specifically designed to fill this bedside niche, with a 5.5-inch screen: You can do everything with Alexa that you could with a smart speaker (including setting alarms and reminders), but you can also pick a fancy clock graphic, watch videos or shows, and do many other visual-oriented tasks.
The display can also connect with a video doorbell, nursery cam, other Echo Show devices, and even Skype, so you can check on things or have video conversations with ease. If this disturbs your privacy expectations, there’s both a shutter and an off switch that physically disables both the camera and the mic on Show 5 whenever you want.
Mesqool Projection Alarm Clock
If you’ve never seen an alarm clock that can project the time onto the wall, you may be surprised at how handy this function can be. This Mesqool clock can project the time onto the ceiling, the curtains, or just about any other surface, thanks to the 180-degree swivel. So instead of squinting at the clock through sleepy eyes in the morning, you can just look up at the ceiling. The clock also includes AM/FM Radio, so you can listen to your favorite morning talk shows or follow along with your sports team while you get ready in the morning.
The LED display is nice and easy to read, and you can adjust among low, medium, and high brightness settings. The clock also includes a convenient alarm feature that grows incrementally louder, so as not to startle you awake. There’s also a USB charging port that lets you juice up your phone while you sleep.
The Casper Glow light produces a warm hue of 2,700 K, emitting little to no blue light. Blue light has been shown to disrupt sleep rhythms. Glow gradually dims over time, and then the light turns off. It’s designed to help you wind down and fall asleep as the light dims down to the off position.
In the morning, the light slowly brightens. It’s kind of like waking up to a nice, calm sunrise. Glow uses light as an alarm clock, and you set a time when you want the light to brighten your room and wake you. Casper’s Glow light is also a great design piece, and it adds a touch of elegance to your bedroom. You can even perform cool tricks with the Glow light, as hand gestures control the light. You can rotate it to brighten and dim it, and you can flip it upside down to turn it on and off. To learn more about the Casper Glow light, read our review.
Mella Ready to Rise
If you’re looking for a great alarm clock for children, consider this adorable option from LittleHippo. The Mella Ready to Rise alarm clock teaches your children to wake up with a lovely little buddy. The screen showcases a cute character, as well as the current time. A light ring surrounding the front of the clock uses color to convey times of the day to your child, including red when it’s time for bed, yellow as a 30-minute warning, and green when it’s time to wake up. You can even customize the clock’s nighttime mode with up to six colors and three brightness options.
Three playful morning sounds are included when it’s time to get the day started, and a built-in sound machine offers three soundscapes to fall asleep. All controls are situated on the bottom of the clock to help prevent little hands from changing the time; additionally, a lock-out mode is available. The one-year warranty and inclusion of child-safe ABS & silicone make the Mella Ready to Rise alarm clock a fun addition to your child’s bedroom.
- Amazon Echo Show 5 review: Not just a smart alarm clock
- Amazon Echo Show (2nd gen) review
- Google Nest Hub review: A refreshing take on the smart display
- Amazon Echo Show 8 review: Third time’s the charm
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