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These sound machines can actually help you to fall asleep faster

Looking for a great night of rest? The best sound machines have auto-off timers, multiple sound options, night lights, and more to get you into deep sleep quicker.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Emery Wright
LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine | Best sound machine overall
White sound machine on a nightstand with a digital clock that reads 7:10 in the background
LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine
Best sound machine overall
View now View at Amazon
Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine | Best budget sound machine
A white sound machine on a wooden bedside nightstand
Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine
Best budget sound machine
View now View at Amazon
Loftie Clock | Best sound machine alarm clock
Loftie Alarm Clock
Loftie Clock
Best sound machine alarm clock
View now View at Amazon
Hatch Rest+ 2nd generation | Best sound machine for kids
Person putting a light-up sound machine on a white base with a teddy bear in the background
Hatch Rest+ 2nd generation
Best sound machine for kids
View now View at Amazon
Homedics SoundSleep Rechargeable Sound Machine | Best portable sound machine
A white noise machine on a nightstand with a woman sleeping in the background
Homedics SoundSleep Rechargeable Sound Machine
Best portable sound machine
View now View at Amazon

Some people can fall asleep quickly with little to no preparation. Some of us, however, aren't so lucky. If you're the type of sleeper who needs blackout curtains, a fan humming, and the room set to the perfect temperature in order to fall asleep, you could benefit from a sound machine.

In fact, according to a 2017 study, 38% of people fall asleep faster when listening to white noise, like from a fan or air conditioner. 

Noise machines emit built-in sounds ranging from white noise, pink noise, nature sounds, and even meditations that you can listen to as you fall asleep. Many high-tech sound machines today even have accompanying apps and timer settings with auto-shut-off options.

We've rounded up the best sound machines available so you can doze off quicker tonight and every night. 

Also: What are best sleep trackers and are they really accurate?

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No sound loops
  • Plenty of sound variations and types
  • Headphone jack
Cons
  • No sleep timer customizations
More Details

Features: 22 sounds | 2 colors | Headphone jack

The LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine has the most sounds out of any noise machine on this list. These include 10 fan sounds, 10 white, pink, and brown noise variations, and two ocean sounds. Plus, there are no sound loops, so you won't hear the same thing over and over for an hour. 

This noise machine is powered by AC or by USB and has a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug in headphones if you're trying not to disturb a partner or roommate. It also has a sleep timer that will stop noise in the middle of the night. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Automated shutoff-timer options
  • Mix of nature and white noise sounds
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Sounds loop
  • Bright LED indicator light
More Details

Features: 6 sounds | 3 color options | Battery powered 

For a more budget-friendly option, the Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine will lull you to sweet dreams for just under $20. It offers six different sounds: white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and brook. 

This noise machine has three auto-timer options so the sounds stop at 15, 30, or 60 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to fall asleep. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Soundscapes and meditations
  • Doubles as a two-phase alarm clock
  • Adjustable display and blackout mode
Cons
  • Needs to be connected to Wi-Fi to work
  • Expensive
More Details

Features: 9 sound options | Included meditations | Two-phase alarm 

The Loftie Clock is first-and-foremost an alarm clock, but it features nine soundscapes that make it a great noise machine. The soundscapes even include breathwork and guided meditations, so you can fall asleep feeling at peace.

Plus, the alarm clock allows you to stop sleeping with your phone next to your bed. You can customize your alarm tone, volume, and weekly schedule in the settings. There are also two phases to this alarm clock: the first sound is gentle to get you out of your sleep cycle, while the second is meant to get you out of bed.

Also: The 5 best alarm clocks: Rise and shine

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Customize your child's bedtime
  • A color-changing nightlight
  • Control machine through the app
Cons
  • Subscription required
More Details

Features: Wi-Fi controlled | Calming nightlight | Hatch Sleep membership

The Hatch Rest+ is perfect for babies, toddlers, and even littler kids who have trouble with bedtime. It has sounds like white noise, rain, wind, as well as expert curated music and bedtime stories with the Hatch Sleep membership. The membership is included with your purchase for one month, but after that's you'll have to pay $50 a year. 

Parents can control the device from anywhere in the house to change sleep sounds or turn down the volume. You can also pair light and sounds to build habits and cues for your little one's nighttime routine. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Range of sounds from nature to white noise
Cons
  • Limited volume
More Details

Features: 12 sounds | 12-hour battery life | 3 auto-off timers 

If you spend time traveling and have trouble sleeping in new places, this noise machine from Homedics is super portable at just less than a pound. It's also battery powered and will provide you with up to 12 hours of sound with one charge, so you can even bring it camping. 

The sound machine's 12 sounds include ocean, thunderstorm, white noise, campfire, and more. It also has an auto-off timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. 

What is the best sound machine?

The best sound machine on the market -- based on price and features -- is the LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine. It has the most sounds out of any product on this list and it doesn't loop sounds. 

Best sound machine

Price

Number of sounds

LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine

$57

22

Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine

$18

6

Loftie Clock

$120

9

Hatch Rest+ 2nd generation 

$90

N/A

Homedics SoundSleep Ultra-Portable Rechargeable Sound Machine

$55

12

Which sound machine is right for you?

It really depends on what you're looking for when it comes to the amount of sounds a machine has, if you want any special features like an alarm clock or a nightlight, and how much you're willing to spend. 

Choose this sound machine...

If you want...

LectroFan Evo White Noise Sound Machine

The best overall option

Homedics SoundSleep White Noise Sound Machine

A budget-friendly noise machine

Loftie Clock

A sound machine with a built-in alarm clock

Hatch Rest+ 2nd generation 

A noise machine to get kids to sleep

Homedics SoundSleep Ultra-Portable Rechargeable Sound Machine

A super portable sound machine

How did we choose these sound machines?

We chose these sound machines by doing extensive research. We looked at top-rated products across retailers, noting reviews (both good and bad) and comparing features like price, soundscapes, size, and sound quality. 

What are the benefits of a sound machine?

A white noise machine can cover up or eliminate disruptive environmental noises that might keep you awake at night, such as loud neighbors, a spouse or roommate watching TV in another room, and traffic outside.

A 2021 study revealed that white noise significantly improved sleep based on subjective and objective measurements in subjects complaining of difficulty sleeping due to high levels of environmental noise. 

Aside from covering up noise, white noise machines could also train your brain to know it's time to fall asleep by consistently adding it to your nighttime routine. 

What color noise is best for sleep?

The best noises for sleep are white noise and pink noise. White noise uses a mix of sound frequencies to create a static-like sound (think air conditioners, fans, radiators, etc.). Pink noise is an ambient noise that constantly plays in the background at a low pitch, such as ocean waves or wind rustling. 

There's also brown noise, which some of these machines have as an option. Brown noise has a deeper bass tone than white or pink noise like a steady, heavy rainfall. Rather than for sleeping, brown noise is actually great for improving your thinking skills, so it's ideal to listen to while working or studying. 

Are there alternative sound machines worth considering?

Google "sound machine" and you'll find a plethora of other options to choose from. However, not all sound machines are high-quality or will be effective in helping you relax or fall asleep. Here are a few other trustworthy products we recommend looking into: 

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