We can’t always depend on our internal clocks to wake up on time every morning. Modern smart alarm clocks not only offer 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. Here's a look at some of our favorites.
Brandstand CubieTime Alarm Clock Charger
- Affordable price
- Multiple charging ports
- Dimmable display
- Design is a bit chaotic
- Lacking some smarts
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 in the BrandStand Alarm Clock, 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
- Gorgeous display
- Smart home connectivity
- Tons of applications
- Access to apps could be distracting
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.
Amazon Echo Dot With Clock
- Compact footprint
- Vastly improved sound quality
- Clock shows more useful info
- New temperature sensor
- Added Wi-Fi features
- Only works as Wi-Fi booster if you're already on Amazon eero network
According to Amazon, “What time is it?” is one of the more commonly asked questions to any Echo device. So, to make your life easier, the company offers an Echo Dot with a built-in clock – ensuring you always know the answer to your burning question.
Aside from the clock, the Echo Dot with Clock is exactly like the standard Echo Dot. The clock drastically improves the look of the speaker and serves dual functions, keeping 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.
Amazon Echo Show 5
- Compact size fits anywhere
- Attractive design
- Versatile features
- Enhanced privacy controls
- Entry-level price
- Sluggish smart home touchscreen control
- Alexa calling isn’t easy enough yet
- No Google Photos or YouTube
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 Echo Show 5 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. Read our full review of the Echo Show 5 to learn more.
Mesqool Projection Alarm Clock
- Projects time on wall or ceiling
- Retro design
- Easy to use
- Lack smart home connectivity
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 between low, medium, and high brightness settings. The Mesqool 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.
Hatch Restore 2
- Modern design
- Robust smartphone app
- Easy setup
- Most features locked behind Hatch Sleep membership
It’s a bit pricey, but the Hatch Restore 2 is one of the most premium smart alarm clocks money can buy. Offering a modern design, tons of wake-up routines, and even a variety of sleep sounds, the Restore 2 makes it easy to start each morning fully rested. A handful of these features are available to everyone, although you’ll need to spring for a Hatch Sleep subscription to get all the available sounds and wake-up routines.
But whether you’re a paying subscriber or not, you’ll be getting a robust alarm clock that’s easy to use, incredibly versatile, and a welcome addition to most nightstands.
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