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.
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 awith 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.
Google Home Hub ($149)
Although it isn’t strictly an “alarm clock,” the Google Home Hub can wake you up in the morning and do so much more. One of the most drastic differences between the Home Hub and other comparable devices is its size; the Home Hub stands at a mere 4.5 inches tall. This makes it small enough to fit comfortably on a nightstand. 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 Home Hub connects to the various Bluetooth-enabled devices you might have throughout your home, including lights, speakers, thermostat, etc. You can set up the Home Hub to respond to your voice commands, or manage devices using the touchscreen. For the purposes of an alarm clock, the Home Hub works terrifically. You can set a normal alarm, or even have the Hub wake you with a specific song from your music library. Given the Hub’s lackluster built-in speakers, however, you may want to connect it to your sound system if you have one. For more details, read our full review.
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. For more, read our full review.
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.
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.
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.
SmartShaker 2 ($30+)
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.
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.
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.