Rise and shine with the best alarm clocks to kick-start your day

Over the past decade, many of us have gotten used to setting our alarm clocks on our smartphones rather than purchasing a dedicated device for our nightstands. Despite their seeming obsolescence, an array of cutting-edge clocks have hit the market to aid us with everything from falling asleep to promoting better sleep cycles. Even Amazon is in the alarm clock game, with the Echo Spot, a device that resembles a Magic 8 Ball and functions much like the Echo Show.

If Amazon’s alarm clock isn’t your cup of tea, however, then there’s probably another cutting-edge device for you. Light sleepers may require a little background noise throughout the evening, while deep sleepers need louder alarms to wake them in the morning. There are even alarm clocks that utilize lighting technology instead of traditional alarm functions, thus allowing for a steady, gradual sunrise in your bedroom. People are finicky about their sleeping gadgets, but, fortunately, one of these alarm clocks can probably match your lifestyle and budget. And who knows? You just might finally become a morning person.

Here are some of our current favorites.

The best

BrandStand CubieTime Alarm Clock Charger ($59)

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 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 (though there is a version with a Bluetooth speaker but still no radio). Still, it does its job well, and there’s a reason this clock is found in lots of hotel rooms.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

The rest

Amazon Echo Spot ($130)

Designed to fit anywhere in your home, the Amazon Echo Spot uses voice recognition to let you see weather forecasts, read music lyrics, listen to Audible audiobooks, and more — and it’s all hands-free. Just ask Alexa to snooze the alarm. You can even ask Alexa to control the smart home devices in your house, including lights, locks, cameras, and thermostats. Need to make a phone call and don’t want to walk across the room to your phone? Ask the Spot to make phone calls or video calls to family and friends. As you can see, the Spot has much more in common with the Echo Dot than with a traditional alarm clock, although you’ll still get the time and a sleep mode.

Read our full review

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Bonjour ($249)

Bonjour is the smart clock for the digital-assistant age. Most of us know exactly how long — often down to the minute — it takes us to set foot in the workplace on an average morning. This of course depends on an array of variables outside of our control. Inclement weather, traffic, and other finicky factors can throw a wrench in our optimistic travel estimates. Thankfully, Bonjour monitors traffic conditions while you sleep, and if there’s more congestion than usual, Bonjour will wake you a little sooner to compensate for the additional travel time.

Travel time isn’t the only thing Bonjour takes into account, though. While some early risers enjoy an early morning run before starting their day, others will simply skip their routine if it’s raining. That’s why Bonjour also monitors weather patterns, and if the forecast calls for rain, the clock will push back the alarm. Bonjour connects with other compatible smart devices, too, allowing the alarm clock to turn on the lights automatically and even cue the coffee via a WeMo switch.

Read more about the Bonjour

Buy one now from:

Holi

Ruggie ($70)

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.

Read more about the Ruggie

Buy one now from:

Ruggie  Amazon

Philips Morning Wake-Up Light ($98)

alarm clock

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.

Read our full Philips Wake-Up Light review

Buy one now from:

Amazon

iHome iBT29BC Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock ($50)

The iHome has more in common with a sound system than an alarm clock, but this all-in-one device is perfect for anyone who’s looking to declutter their nightstand on a budget. Along with having a good alarm clock to wake you up every morning, the iHome also features Bluetooth connectivity and FM radio, meaning you’ll no longer have to deal with pesky USB chargers before you go to bed. The translucent cabinet and display changes color with the touch of a button, so you can wake up to your favorite colors.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

SmartShaker 2 ($20+)

iLuv alarm clock

A standard alarm is often enough to wake most humans, but some people just sleep more deeply than others. For these individuals, the aptly titled SmartShaker 2 is ideal. The thin alarm clock fits comfortably under your pillow and vibrates to wake you. This feature also makes the SmartShaker 2 perfect for those with hearing impairments and couples with different sleep schedules.

The naysayers might note that your cell phone alarm can already be set to vibrate, so why not just slip your smartphone under your pillowcase? All sanitary arguments aside, the SmartShaker 2 vibrates much more powerfully than a standard smartphone (three times more to be exact). The SmartShaker 2 also connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and incorporates a functional, easy-to-use app that’s available for both Android and iOS devices. You can even set up to 10 different alarms and choose from an array of options, just in case you want an audio alarm as well as a vibration. After all, sometimes the snooze struggle is all too real.

Buy one now from:

Amazon SmartShaker

Kikkerland Retro Alarm Clock ($21)

Kikkerland Retro Alarm Clock Thumb

There are cheaper alarm clocks on the market, but the aesthetically minded Kikkerland Retro is hard to top. The alarm clock may look like something you’d find at a thrift store, but nowadays, there’s a large market for all things vintage and nostalgic. This retro design incorporates an ivory face and glow-in-the-dark minute and hour hands to ensure clear readouts even in the middle of the night.

The glossy finish reflects just enough light to show off the clock’s clean lines and rounded edges, and individuals who prefer a little bit of background ambiance throughout the night will enjoy the gentle ticking. The clock is also ultra-compact, so it won’t crowd your nightstand. The off button located on the top quickly silences the old-school beeping, too, but unfortunately, the device lacks a snooze button.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

RCA Digital Alarm Clock ($11)

best alarm clocks 81iibzlq9il

One of the best budget alarm clocks on the market, this is the perfect option for someone who wants a no-frills, back-to-basics, super simple alarm clock. The oversized numbers on the 1.4-inch display are easy to read when you’re groggily searching for the bathroom or the coffee machine, and you can choose between high and low brightness settings. The large snooze button is a breeze to swat with your hand when you’re trying to sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep.

This alarm clock is also very lightweight, weighing in at only 0.2 ounces, so feel free to toss it in your bag when you go on trips. The clock also offers a clever repeating snooze option for those of us who just can’t and won’t climb out of bed.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Mesqool Projection Alarm Clock ($27)

best alarm clocks 81rv2pgk3el

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.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Smart Home

May the force cook with you: New slow cooker sports Star Wars figures

We can't say it will make your pot roast tastier, but Uncanny Brands' $50 Star Wars Slow Cooker, decorated with cartoon figures of Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and other characters, might make cooking it more fun.
Music

From 'E.T." to 'Lord of the Rings,' these are the best movie soundtracks ever

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled popular music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Deals

How to create a smart living room for under $250

By being shrewd about which brands and products you invest in, you can quickly and easily turn your house into a home that's “smart,” and that's true even if you’re starting from scratch.
Deals

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

Whether you find that sleep better with white noise, rain sounds, or deep sleep music, there’s a sound machine on the market that will be able to help you catch more z’s in no time at all.
Deals

18 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up and plugged in while on the go, we've rounded up our favorite must-have gadgets currently available. You'll find everything from mini arcade machines to a folding Bluetooth…
Smart Home

Gas dryers vs. electric dryers: Knowing the difference could save you some dough

Whether you buy an electric dryer or a gas dryer may depend solely on your setup, unless you want to spend money to get a gas hookup for your home. But if you have a choice, there are some differences to take into account.
Smart Home

Is your smart home lighting too confusing? Intellect simplifies your controls

Leviton introduced Intellect, a new controls platform for smart home lighting. Intellect is the fifth brand to join Leviton's portfolio, alongside ConTech, Intense, Birchwood, and JCC.
Smart Home

These awesome treehouses will make you question life on solid ground

Check out these truly awesome treehouses from around the world. From a three-story treehouse in the Costa Rican jungle to a mirrored cube hidden among the trees of Sweden, we’ve got you covered.
Smart Home

Nest gets more colorful with three new options for its smart thermostat

Nest Parent company Alphabet announced this week that its Nest Learning Thermostat will soon be made available in three new, fancier colors: Mirror black, brass, and polished steel.
Smart Home

Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot

Amazon' Alexa group announced a promotion encouraging new developers to publish a new Alexa skill in any country First-time developers who publish a new an Alexa skill prior to midnight October 31, 2018, will get a free Echo Dot.
Smart Home

August Smart Lock satin nickel model comes bundled with Wi-Fi Connect bridge

The August Smart Lock--one of our favorite smart locks--is now available in a satin nickel finish. August is selling the new model in a $220 bundle with the Wi-Fi bridge needed for remote access and voice command features.
Smart Home

LG’s Colosseo smart sofa is the comfiest piece of tech in your home

LG has partnered with Italian furniture brand Natuzzi to produce the Colosseo, a connected sofa with five custom scenarios to provide maximum comfort for watching TV, reading, or just relaxing.
Smart Home

Simplisafe steps outside the smart home with its Video Doorbell Pro

SimpiSafe is pushing into the smart home market by introducing a new high-tech video doorbell that includes 1080p HD monitoring and a dual-sensor motion trigger that combines a body heat detector and a motion detector.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.