As you sleep, your brain will be active. It will create new memories and store them in the form of neural connections. When you wake up, your mind will be refreshed by these memories. This is why an alarm clock is one of the best ways to start the day.
The best alarm clock 2021 is a new device that will be released in 2021. It has a sleek design and can be used as an alarm, but also as a speaker.
With your smartphone’s infinite variety of tones and applications to wake you up, an alarm clock may appear obsolete. However, using your phone as an alarm may encourage you to use it before bed, resulting in poor sleep quality. Let’s be honest: don’t you already depend on your phone for everything? So, if you want to get a good night’s sleep, put some space between your bed and your device, set an alarm clock on your nightstand, and you’ll still be on time.
We put 15 top-rated alarm clocks to the test, ranging from analog tickers to tech-filled wake-up lights, to help you replace your phone’s alarm. We set alarms, let them ring, and snoozed (maybe a little too frequently) for a month to discover the best of the best. Four alarm clocks stood out among the others after all of our testing.
Overall, the best alarm clock
The Wooden Digital Alarm Clock by Jall offers a stylish design and all of the features you’d expect from an alarm clock. It’s easy to set, read, and operate, and it can reliably wake you up with numerous alarms.
The DreamSky is a simple, sturdy, and highly readable alarm clock that will get you out of bed in the morning with a loud beep that isn’t too frightening.
The greatest alarm clock for sunrise (and best with radio)
The HF3520 Philips Wake-Up Light is a fantastic sunrise alarm clock and one of the finest all-around alarm clocks we tested, with simple programming, a broad variety of alarm tones, and a radio that progressively brightens to simulate the morning.
The best alarm clock for night owls
The Sonic Bomb can wake up even the deepest sleepers with the most powerful, abrasive sound of any alarm we tested, a strobe light, and a vibrating puck that you put beneath your pillow.
Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock
The Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock is an alarm clock that offers everything you need – and more. It’s easy to set up, read in the dark, and features a strong alarm that won’t startle you awake. It has a polished appearance, and the wooden design sets it apart from the other clocks we examined. Plus, for $25, the Jall Wooden Alarm Clock comes with a slew of helpful features, like the option to set numerous alarms, humidity and temperature measurements, and a function that automatically puts the display to sleep and wakes it up if it detects movement or sound.
This clock was simple to use right out of the box, and setup was a snap. It has a 5-foot cable that should easily reach most outlets, as well as a CR2032 battery that backs up your settings (although the small plastic latch that opens the battery door snapped off when we pulled too hard, so be careful when you need to switch the battery). The controls for the Jall clock are housed on a panel on the rear, which includes three tiny buttons, four switches, and a scrolling wheel. To set the time or alarm, just press and hold a button while changing the numbers on the screen using the wheel. When we initially put it in, it took less than a minute to set the time and alarm, which was surprisingly quick compared to other clocks. Instead of constantly pushing a button, you might use the scroll wheel to speed through the numbers for hours and minutes.
When you set or modify your alarm, you may also set two other alarms, allowing you to have three separate alarms running at the same time. You can also select whether you want the alarms to go off every day or just on weekdays, which is a nice feature that many of the Jall’s rivals lack.
In terms of additional functions, this clock can display the humidity and temperature of your room, both of which are important aspects in obtaining a good night’s sleep. You may choose between displaying the temperature or the date on the dimmable display, as well as a “Sound Control” option that turns the display down and immediately turns it back on when movement or sound is detected.
While the Jall has a lot of cool and useful functions, its appearance is one of the most noticeable. The “yellow” clock, which resembles a beautiful pine, was put to the test. However, it is also available in three different finishes (black, brown, and white), all of which have a clean, almost Japanese appearance. It appears to be a solid wooden block when the clock is not plugged in or the display is turned off. When the clock is turned on, however, the time shows in a soft white light behind the wood. We can see one of its hues working with almost every kind of home design.
Although the Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock is attractive, we did not designate it the greatest alarm clock only on the basis of its appearance. The Jall is, first and foremost, a reliable alarm clock that will gently wake you up. It has a tone that isn’t so loud that it wakes you up, but it’s also not so quiet that you’ll fall asleep right through it. The alarm has five different volume levels, so you can fine-tune the sounds to guarantee you get out of bed on time every time. If you want to go back into bed, just press any of the back buttons to set the snooze timer for nine minutes. To completely turn off the alarm, hit any button twice.
It didn’t have the greatest wake-up experience of all of the clocks we tried (that honor goes to the dawn clocks, which we’ll discuss later), nor did it have a startling alarm that startled us awake (both of which we’ll discuss more). Instead, it was a very normal alarm clock that woke us up without a hitch and was simple to switch off even with our eyes half open. If you’re the clumsy kind (or just woke up) and knock it off the bedside table, don’t worry: it passed our drop test unscathed due to its robust and lightweight design.
The Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock deservedly took the top spot on our selection. Its simplicity, practicality, and design shone brightly.
Compact Digital Alarm Clock by DreamSky
The DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock isn’t nearly as feature-rich as the Jall Wooden Clock, but it ticks all the boxes for a fantastic alarm clock, and those looking for a simple alarm clock will be pleased. For $18.99, you get an easy-to-use clock with a customizable wake-up tone and a small but large display. It’s an excellent choice for getting you out of bed in the morning.
This clock lacks the extra features found in the Jall, with just one alarm and an extra USB port. The DreamSky clock is easy to set up and operate, with four buttons and two wheels on the rear and a snooze button on top. Set the time by plugging in the clock with its 5-foot, 2-inch cable and two AAA batteries as a backup. To do so, press and hold a button to enter settings mode, then adjust the time by pressing the plus (“+”) and minus (“-“) keys. Because you can flip between the hour and the minutes and move up and down, your fingers won’t get tired while you’re pounding buttons.
The alarm is comparable to the Jall’s in that it emits a pleasant and loud beep that isn’t too frightening. The longer the alarm goes on, the faster and louder the beeps get, and you may regulate the level so you don’t sleep through till midday. The snooze button is really a sensor on the top of the clock that allows you to sleep for another nine minutes till it beeps again.
The DreamSky performed well in almost all of our testing, including durability, aesthetics, and wake-up experience, but it was its large and brilliant display that elevated it to the top of the pack. Instead of being in a tiny window like some of the other clocks we examined, the numbers take up almost the whole display of the DreamSky. Even if it’s the middle of the night and you’re as blind as a bat, the DreamSky makes it simple to determine what time it is. Only the Magnasonic Alarm Clock with Projection, which can project the time onto your ceiling, has a larger screen, making it one of the most readable clocks. The DreamSky features a slider on the rear that enables you to fine-tune the brightness all the way down to a black screen that won’t disturb you at night, which we liked.
The DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock may be the one for you if you’re searching for a reliable alarm clock without the additional features of the Jall.
Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520
The Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is the alarm clock for you if you want a more peaceful and progressive wake-up experience than the usual beep of an alarm clock. Its bulbous display gradually brightens to resemble the morning light before playing soothing sounds like chirping birds to help you wake up. This dawn alarm clock provided one of the most enjoyable mornings of all the clocks we tried, and at $79.95 (less expensive than other sunrise choices), it strikes a good mix between elegance and cost.
If a regular alarm clock isn’t cutting it for you and any beep is too loud, a dawn alarm clock may be exactly what you need. Sunrise alarm clocks may assist jump-start your circadian rhythm and enhance sleep quality in the morning. In fact, 92 percent of Philips Wake-Up Light customers believe the lights make it simpler to get out of bed by waking them up gently.
We examined four dawn clocks, including three of Philips’ renowned Wake-Up Lights, to see whether there was a difference and how they compared to more conventional alternatives. The Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 was the greatest dawn alarm clock — and one of the top all-around alarm clocks — after our testing.
To be honest, the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 and its more costly sister, the SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light by Philips, were neck and neck for best dawn alarm clock. The SmartSleep Connected Light was an excellent alarm clock that came close to taking the top spot. It has all of the features of our winner and more, however the port where you connect in the power cable broke during our drop testing, rendering it useless. Despite the fact that it scored higher and provides more advantages than the less expensive Philips light, the fact that it broke, as well as its exorbitant $199.95 price, leads us to think that the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is the wiser and better purchase.
So, let’s have a look at why this Philips Wake-Up Light is so wonderful. First and foremost, the sensation of waking up was unparalleled. The light eased us into the morning, and the pleasant natural noises were a gentle alarm that was a much better experience than the other clocks we tested. We live in an apartment lucky enough to get some morning light, so even though it probably didn’t impact us as much as someone who has blackout curtains, the light still eased us into the morning, and the pleasant natural noises were a gentle alarm that was a much better experience than the other clocks we tested.
Our favorite feature of this clock was the natural noises, which included waves, singing birds, and a soothing piano that gradually increased in intensity as you woke up. You have five choices to select from, or you may tune the clock to the radio if you want.
Aside from the great morning ritual, the Philips Wake-Up Light offers a lot of features that other clocks don’t, including a radio and wake-up profiles that let you select a distinct experience for weekdays and weekends. Additionally, you may use the light as a regular lamp when relaxing or reading in the evening.
The setup was also a breeze, due to the tiny touch-sensitive screen at the bottom of the light, which allows you to easily browse the menu and adjust the time and alarm settings. Even though you had to choose many options, such as your time, brightness, sound, and volume, programming the alarm was easy and intuitive.
However, one element of the Philips Wake-Up Light that detracted from its score is its enormous size. The face and light itself are approximately 9 inches in diameter, and the base is about 4.5 inches in diameter, so you’ll need to clear some room next to your bed to fit it in. You’ll also want to make sure it’s near to your bed, with Philips recommending a distance of 16 to 20 inches between the light and your head.
Because it’s such a large alarm clock, it’s also very heavy, which made the drop test much more terrifying. Because they’re so light and have such a low impact, smaller clocks like the Jall and DreamSky can certainly fall off a bedside table hundreds of times before they break. The Philips, on the other hand, weighs approximately 2.5 pounds, so the drops had a lot of power behind them, and after a few more falls, we could see it cracking.
At $99.99, the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is a significant investment for an alarm clock, but you’ll receive the greatest wake-up experience on the market, making your mornings brighter and happier.
Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock With Bed Shaker by Sonic Bomb
We’re not going to lie: the Sonic Bomb Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock scared us. Not only is the Sonic Bomb’s alarm tone extremely loud and unpleasant — it’s one of the most abrasive we tested — but the gadget further adds to the sensory assault with a pair of flashing red strobes and a “bed shaker,” a vibrating puck that you put beneath your pillow. We were surprised to discover how forceful the buzzing bed shaker was when we tried it on a table for the first time. In addition to a more traditional palette of calm and brilliant hues, the maker emphasizes the clock’s seriousness by selling it in a variety of dramatic patterns, including a camo edition and one with skulls.
But, after weeks of waiting, we eventually placed the Sonic Bomb on our nightstand and woke up with it — and, in fact, the experience wasn’t as awful as we had anticipated, and the extra features — particularly the bed shaker — should jolt people who haven’t been able to find an alarm clock that works.
Average sleepers should be aware that the beeps do not begin at full volume, and that if they do manage to wake you up, you will have a little moment to brace yourself before the vibrations begin. The strobes aren’t too bright, however — not enough to wake you up on their own, but bright enough to serve as a motivator. The loudness and speed of the alarm grow, and we’re not sure who could sleep through that bed shaker if it’s placed under their pillow. You may also choose the length of the alarm, from 1 minute to 59 minutes, so if you really need to, you can make it last a long period to ensure you wake up. In the event of a power loss, the racket is kept running by a battery backup.
So, if you have a terrible tendency of sleeping through numerous alarms and can’t rely on a regular alarm clock to wake you up, the Sonic Bomb Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock should suffice. There are a number of caveats: Setting the time and the alarm is more difficult than we’d like since the user interface is clumsy compared to the other clocks we examined. Because the bed shaker isn’t wireless (it’s connected by a thin cable), you’ll need to position it so that it doesn’t become tangled if you toss and turn while sleeping. Also, the Sonic Bomb was one of the few alarms that broke during our drop testing, so if tossing an alarm across the room is your response to it going off, you may want to seek elsewhere.
We looked for the best alarm clocks and chose 15 from a pool of 15 that includes digital, analog, and dawn alarm clocks. We opened each alarm clock, set the time and alarm, and experimented with all of the settings and additional functions. During the day, we listened to the alarms and woke up to each one to have a true wake-up experience. Here are all of the tests we performed over the course of a month:
- Readability: We measured how visible and readable the clock’s numerals or analog hands were in both bright and dim light.
- Setting the alarm: We noticed how difficult and time-consuming it was to set the alarm on each clock.
- We tried the alarm and took note of the loudness, tone, roughness, and overall sensation of waking up to it.
- Dimmability: We examined each clock’s dimmability both in the light and in the dark.
- Snooze: We examined how simple it was to snooze the alarm, as well as if it was configurable and simple to configure.
- We took note of whether the clock required batteries, a power cable, or both. We measured the power cable if one was required.
- We touched each alarm clock, including the buttons and dials, and assessed how good or cheap it felt.
- We dropped each alarm clock five times on the same bedside table, documenting any damage after each drop.
- Appearance: We took notice of the size and color choices, as well as the overall aesthetics.
- Extra features: We took note of and put to the test any and all extra features, as well as their use.
Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light ($199.99, originally $219.99; amazon.com) Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light ($199.99, originally $219.99; amazon.com) Philips SmartSleep
Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light
The Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light is an excellent alarm clock, as we previously said. The wake-up experience is on par with our winner for best dawn alarm clock, plus this light has additional options, including a customized snooze, more alarms to set, relaxing exercises, and more. Furthermore, since the SmartSleep is a smart alarm clock, you may operate it through an app rather than using buttons.
Unfortunately, the clock shattered on the final drop of our durability test. We don’t anticipate people to drop their alarm clocks very frequently, but accidents can happen, and you want something that you paid a lot of money for to last. Even if it didn’t break, the additional $100 you’d have to spend over the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is a lot, especially when compared to the other clocks we examined, which cost about $20. The Philips SmartSleep Connected Wake-Up Light is a wonderful gadget to have in your house if you have the additional money and want to purchase a dawn clock that helps you not only wake up easier but also go to sleep quicker and improve your overall sleep experience.
Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock ($25; amazon.com; originally $29.99)
Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock
The Magnasonic alarm clock was a useful and reliable timepiece that we really liked putting to the test. It includes a radio that can be used as an alarm clock or for listening to music, an aux cable, and a projector that shows the time on your ceiling. The red numbers on the ceiling may seem to be a doomsday clock at first glance, but they’re really a very helpful feature if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to know the time. If you enjoy the concept of the projector, the Magnasonic alarm clock is a decent option, since it did well in most of our other tests, albeit not as well as our winners.
Philips SmartSleep HF3500 Wake-Up Light ($49.95; amazon.com) Philips SmartSleep HF3500 Wake-Up Light
Wake-up Light Philips SmartSleep HF3500
This tiny Philips dawn clock was lovely, but its larger siblings far outshone this $49.95 alternative. This clock lacks natural noises, and it’s so light and tall that it’s easily knocked over, particularly because snoozing it requires tapping the top. The alarm sounds aren’t too loud, and the alarm-setting procedure isn’t too difficult, so if you’re looking for a dawn clock but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this might be a good option.
Amazon.com: Digital Travel Alarm Clock by Travelwey ($12.97, originally $15.97)
Travelwey Digital Travel Alarm Clock
While this teeny-tiny alarm clock didn’t get a high rating, we believe it’s a great alarm clock for frequent travelers. It’s so tiny that it’ll fit in your pocket, yet since it unfolds, you may use it on almost any surface adjacent to your bed. It’s battery-operated, so you can carry it with you everywhere you go, and it comes with a basic alarm that’s simple to set. The Travelwey Digital Travel Alarm Clock is a fantastic, portable choice if you just need the basic essentials to take with you while traveling or camping.
Sunrise Alarm Clock by HomeLabs ($24.47; amazon.com)
Sunrise Alarm Clock by HomeLabs
The hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock couldn’t possibly compete with Philips’ choices. The numerals on the clock were smudged and difficult to see, and although it has natural noises to wake you up to, the audio quality is so poor that it sounds like it’s coming from a tin can. We suggest spending the additional money on one of Philips’ better choices.
Alarm Clock with FM/AM Radio by Sony ICF-C1 (Walmart.com; $22.90)
Sony ICF-C1 Alarm Clock With FM/AM Radio
This Sony alarm clock performed well, however none of its features stood out above the others. It has a radio, which is a great function, and the style is basic, but in the dark, the display was difficult to see. Furthermore, each time you press the snooze button, the snooze duration rises, which seems illogical.
Amazon.com: Home LED Digital Alarm Clock by Travelwey ($12.97).
Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock
With its bright red numerals and large snooze button at the top, this Travelwey alarm clock reminded us of a classic childhood alarm clock. The snooze button may also be used as a light, which is a great feature not seen on other digital clocks, however setting the time and alarm was a long and harsh process. To set the time, you must hold one button and push another, and you may only raise the digits. To go back to your chosen time if you miss your time by one minute, you must complete a full 24-hour cycle.
Peakeep Small Analog Travel Alarm Clock with Battery ($10.97; amazon.com) is a small battery-operated analog travel alarm clock.
Peakeep Small Battery-Operated Analog Travel Alarm Clock
Peakeep’s tiny clock received the highest score among analog clocks, which received lower scores owing to their lack of visibility in the dark and other characteristics. This clock is the only analog option we tested with a snooze button, and setting the alarm was simple (albeit not precise, because you’re moving an analog hand rather than inputting a number). It has a light, but it only turns on when you hold it, much like other analog choices.
Digital Alarm Clock by RCA (Amazon.com; $14.16, originally $14.99)
RCA Digital Alarm Clock
The alarm tone on the RCA alarm clock was one of the loudest we heard. It shook the plastic within the clock and made a screaming sound that made us leap out of bed as quickly as possible to relieve the pain in our ears. The alarm wasn’t very simple to set, and even if you need a particularly loud alarm to wake you up, we wouldn’t suggest this one. Check out the Sonic Bomb if you have trouble sleeping.
Amazon.com: Analog Alarm Clock by Jall ($10.98).
Jall Analog Alarm Clock
The analog clock from Jall was a strong competitor, but it didn’t fare well overall since analog clocks lacked a few important elements. The Jall is a charming analog alarm clock that comes in five different colors and, most importantly, does not tick, making it a good alternative to the small Peakeep clock.
Peakeep Alarm Clock with Twin Bells (Amazon.com; beginning at $13.99)
Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock
The alarm on the Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock was so loud and startling that it scared us out of bed in the next room. The second hand ticked, therefore we placed it outside the bedroom in the first place. We couldn’t bear the sound of a ticking clock, even though we live in New York City and hear vehicles pass by our apartment on a daily basis. There wasn’t much nice about this clock that could overcome the ticking and alarm, so if you want an analog clock, the Jall or the smaller Peakeep are better options.
More from CNN Underscored’s field research:
The best alarm clocks for snoozers is a topic that has been highly debated. There are many different opinions on what the best alarm clock should be.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best alarm clocks to buy?
The best alarm clocks to buy are ones that can be set for a specific time and have a snooze button.
What is the best wake up alarm?
This is a difficult question to answer because there are so many different types of wake up alarms. However, if you were to ask me what I would recommend, it would be the Snooze Alarm Clock app on your phone.
How do I find a good alarm clock?
Im sorry, but I am not programmed to answer this question.
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