Do you use one of the best alarm clocks to wake you up in the morning?
There are typically two camps of sleep: the people who can sleep through anything and the people who wake up at the slightest sound.
If you fall into the latter camp, there are a few things you can do to sleep better at night, but it likely doesn’t take a lot to wake you in the mornings.
If you can sleep through anything, however, that likely means you can sleep through your alarm. You’ll need a powerful alarm to get you out of bed on time.
Whichever group you are in, we’ve done the research on alarm clocks to help you find the best one for your needs.
Here are the best alarm clocks on the market.
Editors’ Choice: Philips Wake-Up Light
We looked at multiple alarm clocks: ones louder than a chain saw, ones that shake the bed, and ones that gently wake you up. Our top picks are the gentle ones.
The Philips Wake-Up Light is our top choice because it’s the least jarring. It’s designed to be like waking up to the sunrise.
If you’ve ever studied blue light, you know that it impairs your ability to fall asleep. It makes your mind think that it’s still daylight.
This alarm clock does the opposite: it uses faux sunlight to tell your brain that it’s time to wake up, which allows you to wake up more naturally and keep you from hitting the snooze button. It has 20 light settings that begin 20-40 minutes before you want to wake up to help you be in the right sleep cycles.
In addition to the light, the clock also has five wake-up sounds, all of which are calming. Don’t like the sounds? You can use the FM radio setting instead. The clock is easy to set and makes waking up better.
Philips Wake-Up Light Pros
- Easy-to-read display: It’s easy to see the time and details on the screen.
- Gentle wakeup: This alarm using a mixture of light and calming sounds to wake you up
- Personalized alarm settings: If multiple people need to use the alarm, no problem. You can customize it for different users.
- Radio option: If you like to wake up to the radio, this alarm will let you do it.
Philips Wake-Up Light Cons
- High price: This alarm clock is on the expensive side.
- Large size: This clock is not ideal for small spaces.
- Not ideal for heavy sleepers: If you struggle to wake up, this might not be the best option for you.
Best Value: DreamSky Dual Alarm Clock
Some people want a reliable alarm clock without spending a lot of money. If that’s you, you probably don’t care about smart alarm clocks, vibrating clocks, or alarms that wake you up with a slowly increasing light display.
If you want something inexpensive, easy to read, and will wake you up, check out the DreamSky Dual Alarm clock.
This alarm clock costs less than most people spend at Starbucks in a week. It features a large, easy-to-read LCD screen, and ascending alarm sounds.
The clock is battery operated. It’s easy to transport and small enough for most bedside tables.
- Affordable price: This is one of the cheapest, most reliable ones we’ve come across
- Easy-to-read display: The screen measures 5.3”.
- Dual alarm clocks: Each alarm can be turned on/off separately
- Oversize buttons: The large buttons makes hitting snooze a breeze!
- Portable design: You don’t need a cord to use this clock. It takes three AA batteries.
- Limited functions: If you’re looking for a smart clock or something with a lot of functions, this isn’t it.
Best for Heavy Sleepers: Screaming Meanie
If you’re a heavy sleeper and it takes a lot to wake you, the Screaming Meanie will be your new best friend that you love to hate.
The Screaming Meanie is small and compact. It’s perfect for travel (provided you have thick walls so that your neighbors don’t complain).
This clock has three volume settings: 70, 90, 120 dB. The loudest is “as loud as a thunderclap or a chain saw at close range.”
It also requires two hands to turn it off, so you can’t accidentally turn it off should you roll onto it in the middle of the night.
This alarm clock glows in the dark, comes in two colors, and uses one 9-volt battery.
Screaming Meanie Pros
- Affordable price: The alarm clock costs less than $50.
- Cordless design: This alarm uses one 9-volt battery
- Loud alarm: This is one of the loudest alarm clocks on our list.
- Portable size: The clock is small in stature, which makes it perfect for travel or cramped spaces.
Screaming Meanie Cons
- Limited features: This is a no-frills (but loud) alarm clock. It lacks connectivity options.
- Small display: The display is small, which makes it hard to read in the middle of the night.
Best Radio Alarm Clock: Magnasonic Projection
Do you love waking up or even falling asleep to the radio?
If so, you’ll want an alarm clock that connects to the radio and allows you to save your favorite stations. The Magnasonic Projection is our ideal alarm clock for those who love the radio or music.
This device can connect to your iPhone, iPad, Android, or MP3 device through the 3.5mm AUX input. You can play your favorite playlists or preset up to 20 radio stations that can be accessed with the push of a button to use as your alarm tone.
If you like falling asleep to music, you can also use the sleep timer function to program the music to turn off at a specific time.
In addition to the music features, this alarm clock also features a large LCD display with a swiveling projector, auto-adjusting time and date, and a daily dual alarm setting with optional weekend cancellation.
Magnasonic Projection Pros
- Affordable price: The price point is budget-friendly.
- Connectivity options: You can connect your alarm clock to most smart devices.
- Radio presets: This alarm lets you preset up to 20 radio stations.
- Swiveling projecting: The clock displays the time (and temperature if you wish) on your ceiling or wall. You don’t have to turn and face the alarm to see what time it is.
Magnasonic Projection Cons
- Poor aesthetics: This is not the most attractive alarm clock.
Best Smart Alarm Clock: Amazon Echo Spot
If you’re looking for an alarm clock that gives more than an average wake up call, check out the Amazon Echo Spot.
This smart alarm is one of our favorite alarm clocks due to its features.
The Echo Spot is a home automation system. It connects to Alexa and responds to voice commands. You can wake up to vibration, your favorite song, or a favorite recording.
In addition to waking you up, it can read the news, stream music, tell you the day’s weather, and enable you to make online purchases. It can lock your doors, activate your security system, adjust your thermostat, and even make calls!
This alarm clock is compact and features a 2.5″ high-resolution screen and a 1.4″ speaker.
Amazon Echo Spot Pros
- Customization options: Wake up to an alarm beep, your favorite song, the news, and so much more
- Home automation system: This isn’t a simple alarm clock. This device can take your morning routine to the next level.
- Reasonable price: This device is moderately priced considering what you get.
- Small size: The size means it can fit on most nightstands
- Voice-activated alarm: You can even talk to this alarm system.
Amazon Echo Spot Cons
- Advanced features: While a pro for most, some people may find this too advanced for a simple alarm clock
- WiFi required: To reap the benefits of this alarm clock, you must have a stable internet connection.
Alarm Clock Buyer’s Guide
Nowadays, most people use their smartphone as an alarm clock. However, some people prefer a true alarm clock.
Some people also have specific preferences that require an alarm clock instead of a phone. Those people might want a radio alarm, an extra loud alarm, or one that offers features such as white noise or a bright LED screen.
Our buying guide will go over the typical alarm clock features so that you can make the best buying decision.
An alarm clock’s display is one of the most important features of an alarm clock.
Some people like a bright display so that they can see what time it is should they wake up in the middle of the night.
Others despise the light the display emits and would prefer it to be dark.
Most displays offer adjustable light settings. Check all the settings to see if you can find one that is right for you. You can already read Amazon reviews or user reviews from other websites to see what people say about the display brightness.
If you’re looking for a basic, affordable alarm clock, you likely don’t care about connectivity options.
However, if you want something more advanced, you’ll enjoy this feature.
Some alarm clocks can connect to the internet, your smartphone, and even stream music via Bluetooth connections.
The “additional features” category is the most fun to look at when considering what you want in an alarm clock.
Some alarm clocks are simply devices that wake you up and don’t do anything special. Others have some pretty cool features.
Some of our favorite options include:
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Loud alarm clock tones
- Options that don’t let you hit the snooze button
- Outlets to plug in your lamp, chargers, or other electronics
- Projectors that display the time onto a wall or ceiling
- USB ports to charge your phone or other electronics
- Vibration options
- Wake up lights
Clocks with special features might cost more money, but many people find the benefits worth the price.
Most alarm clocks use AC electrical outlets, but some are battery-operated.
If you have a small bedroom and nightstand, you may not want to deal with something that plugs into the wall. In those cases, a battery-powered alarm may be best.
However, if you have space, you may not mind an alarm that plugs into the wall. Should you go this route, make sure it has backup batteries and maybe a rechargeable battery in case the power goes out.
With Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify, radio has become more outdated.
However, if you still love radio and want to wake up to a surprise song or morning show rather than one you preprogrammed the night before, consider investing in an alarm clock with a radio.
You can wake up to the morning news, NPR, and so much more. Radio can also be a less jarring way to wake up than a buzzer or a traditional alarm tone.
Size and Weight
The size of your bedroom and nightstand affects your choice of alarm clock power source but also the size and weight of your alarm clock.
If space is limited, you don’t want your alarm clock to take up the entire side table.
Thankfully most alarm clocks on the market are compact. Still, make sure you measure your space in advance to see what your size constraints are.
Types of Alarm Sounds
Do you like to wake up to a buzzer? A beep? Or how about the radio, ocean waves, or something obnoxious like car horns?
Most alarm clocks offer a multitude of sounds. Some even come with vibrating options as well.
When thinking about the best alarm clock for you, consider what sound you’d prefer to hear when you wake up in the morning.
Cell phones these days are going wireless, even with their chargers, so not everyone uses USB ports anymore.
However, if you have a model that needs to a USB port, if you want to connect your wireless charger overnight, or if you have other electronics that use USB, you may enjoy an alarm clock with a USB port.
Not everyone needs the same volume levels.
- If you’re a heavy sleeper, you’re going to need a loud alarm.
- If you wake up easily, you’ll be okay with a softer one.
- If you have a partner that doesn’t wake up at the same time as you, your partner may prefer a lower volume alarm.
Thankfully, most alarm clocks offer adjustable volume levels.
Alarm clocks today typically have a maximum volume level between 60 decibels (dB) and 110 dB.
The best alarm clock for you may not be the best alarm clock for everyone.
Prioritize what is most important for you. Whether it’s a large display, a bright display, or something that will sound as loud as a chain saw, there’s something out there for everyone.
Use this buying guide and our top picks to help you find an alarm that makes it easier to get up on time.