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The best sunrise alarm clocks right now

As the sun sets on Amazon's Halo Rise, here are the best alternatives featuring personalized wake-up and wind-down options, white noise, sunlight simulation, and even content channels for relaxing.
Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up sunrise lamp | Best sunrise alarm clock overall
Philips - SmartSleep Sleep and Wake Up Light Therapy Lamp
Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up sunrise lamp
Best sunrise alarm clock overall
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Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock | Best budget sunrise alarm clock
Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
Best budget sunrise alarm clock
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Hatch Rest Smart Sound Machine | Best sunrise alarm clock for kids
Hatch Rest
Hatch Rest Smart Sound Machine
Best sunrise alarm clock for kids
View now View at Hatch
Hatch Restore 2 | Best sunrise alarm clock for white noise sleepers
A Hatch Restore 2 clock on a nightstand and lit-up bright yellow
Hatch Restore 2
Best sunrise alarm clock for white noise sleepers
View now View at Hatch
Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520 | Best sunrise alarm clock for the most realistic sun simulation
Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light HF3520
Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520
Best sunrise alarm clock for the most realistic sun simulation
View now View at Amazon

Waking up before sunrise can feel impossible when crawling out of bed in the early morning darkness. With the invention of the sunrise alarm clock, also known as a light therapy alarm clock, you no longer have to turn on a bedroom light at 4 a.m. and feel blinded. A sunrise alarm clock simulates the sun's rise and rays, so instead of waking up in the darkness to a blaring alarm beep, you wake up to a chosen light level and a gentle alarm sound.

These days, sunrise alarm clocks offer much more than just a light bulb and gentle alarm tone. And while the sun is sadly setting on Amazon's Halo Rise sleep tracking sunrise alarm device, there are still plenty of options to kick off the morning to a brighter start. Our favorites include options for heavy sleepers, kids, and those in need of some pre-bedtime relaxation. Read for more below.

Also: The best smart alarm clocks 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • True sunset simulation
  • Easy display navigation
  • Gradual alarm audio increase
Cons
  • No accompanying app with this model
  • Large and bulky on a nightstand
  • Cannot stream own content for an alarm
More Details

Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-up sunrise lamp specs: Features: Light-guided breathing | Sunset simulation | Smart touch display

The Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up sunrise lamp meets all our requirements for a great sunrise alarm. It can simulate both a sunrise for morning wake-up and a sunset to aid in falling asleep at night. You can choose from nature sounds, ambient songs, or even your favorite radio station as the alarm gently rings. Furthermore, you can customize the brightness and noise level of the alarm to up to 20 different levels.

In addition to its sleek, modern design, the lamp has a convenient, soft, adjustable, one-touch light for getting up to use the bathroom or check on children. The touchscreen display also features easy-to-navigate buttons, allowing you to quickly set an alarm before bedtime or start a breathing cycle just before sleeping.

Personally, I have used this sunrise wake-up lamp for several years and found it to be very effective in getting me out of bed faster. The alarm is a gentle bell gong when the light fails to wake me up, and it can handle two alarms when my partner needs to wake up at a different time in the morning.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple audio colors
  • Budget-friendly
  • Adjustable sunrise simulation time
Cons
  • Clock is very large and can take up space on a nightstand
More Details

Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock specs: Features: Adjustable sunrise simulation time | Multiple color smart light bulb

The sleek alarm clock from Jall has no frills and can wake you up with a sunrise simulation as early as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes. You can program two different alarms, and the snooze function can be used up to five times at nine minutes per snooze, allowing you to enjoy a few extra minutes of peace before beginning your day.

The alarm includes various smart light colors and seven audio sounds, such as wind bells and piano, with up to 16 noise levels. Additionally, it can play FM radio if you prefer to wake up to NPR or another station. If you prefer complete darkness at bedtime, you can turn off the display so that it remains dark while you sleep.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Designed just for kids
  • Can program regular schedules
  • Color-coded to let kids know when it's okay to wake up
Cons
  • Recommended for two years and older
  • Not a true alarm clock
  • App required to use the Hatch
More Details

Hatch Rest Smart Sound Machine specs: Color-coordinated wake-up indicators | Soft nightlight | Smart app connection

If you are attempting to train a toddler to rise in the morning, you absolutely must consider acquiring the Hatch Rest Smart sound machine. This sleep machine includes 11 different sounds and 10 colors, allowing you to personalize it from ocean waves to light lullabies. You can adjust the lights, sounds, and programs with the smart app's ease, making it simple to set wake-up times and sleep times from anywhere in the house.

The wake time feature enables you to assist young ones in learning when to rise in the morning by utilizing a unique "wake-up" color. When it changes to your selected color, children will know when it's time to awaken for the day. The recommended minimum age to use the time-to-rise feature is two years old, so while they're learning to be a "big kid," they can learn the wake-up cues. You can also use it as a nightlight to help children feel safe from those pesky nighttime monsters under the bed.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • White noise machine features
  • Comprehensive app with deep breathing exercise
  • Programmable routine
Cons
  • Most app features blocked by subscription
  • Expensive
  • You cannot stream your own content
More Details

Hatch Restore 2 specs: Features: Curated content channels for relaxing | Comprehensive smart app | White noise sleep sounds

If you require a white noise machine in the background to feel well-rested, the Hatch Restore 2 is an excellent choice for you since it combines your sleep and waking requirements into one. In the accompanying app, you can program the clock to play white noise while you sleep and wake you up with a sunrise simulation at the time you choose.

Review: I replaced my phone alarm with this smart sunrise clock. The results were night and day

You can select from meditation, deep breathing exercises, or just the white noise machine with the Hatch Restore 2. Furthermore, you may use the app to schedule your sleep and waking needs, allowing you to feel more rested when you wake up. Additionally, like others on this list, the clock's light doubles as a reading light before bedtime.

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520 specs: Features: 6 x 10 x 10 inches | Personalized wake-up and wind-down features | 20 brightness settings | Up to 5 natural wake-up sounds | Backup power source 

Unlike wake-up lights that employ white light for wake-ups, the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up HF3520 light uses a red-tinted light, which some studies have shown has a positive correlation to a better night's sleep. Along with the more "soothing" red-based light, this model has a range of five natural alarm sounds, up to 20 brightness settings, radio connectivity, and a backup power source that still ensures you're up and ready for the day even in the case of a freak power outage or an accidental unplug.

It's worth noting, however, that the HF3520 is not app-controlled and focuses on the natural light aspect for impactful sleep and wake-up practices rather than extra relaxation or meditation features (besides the wake-up sounds). While it may not be a "smart" clock, some Amazon reviewers actually prefer that aspect, appreciative that the clock includes light nuance without leaving Bluetooth or Wi-Fi room for error. 

What is the best sunrise alarm clock?

For those that want an alarm clock without a subscription, the Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up sunrise lamp is our top choice. It provides gentle wake-up, adjustable light and noise settings, and comes with a reading light, breathing exercises, and a sunset simulation. It's also at a very affordable price point considering the features that it comes with sans app.

Sunrise alarm clock

Price (USD)

Where to buy

App support

White noise feature

Touch interface/capacitive

Gradual alarm

Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up sunrise lamp

$140

Amazon, Best Buy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

$40

Amazon

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hatch Rest Smart Sound Machine

$70

Hatch

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hatch Restore 2

$200

Hatch

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520

$109

Philips 

No 

No 

Yes 

Yes 

Which sunrise alarm clock is best for you?

You're going to want to consider a few factors. First, you'll need to decide whether you want one that comes with all the bells and whistles, like a smart app that can create schedules for winding down and waking up, or if you would prefer one where you can simply tap a couple of buttons on an easy-to-read interface for ease of use.

Additionally, you'll need to decide what kind of sunrise clock you want. Most come with a 30-minute wake-up sunlight simulator, while a few can be adjusted to as little as 10 minutes. If you prefer a different color besides the traditional yellow LED smart bulb, you'll need to make sure that the alarm clock you choose offers different colors. 

Choose this sunrise alarm clock...

If you want this...

Philips SmartSleep Sleep and Wake-Up sunrise lamp

If you want a top-of-the-line sunrise alarm clock with customizable settings, advanced app support, and high-end features, choose this. The SmartSleep lamp has a variety of features, including multiple wake-up sounds, customizable light intensity, and a sunset simulation mode.

Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

If you want a budget-friendly sunrise alarm clock with a variety of wake-up colors and a simple touch interface, choose this. The Jall clock is an affordable option that still offers a variety of features, including a range of wake-up colors, an FM radio, and a gradual alarm.

Hatch Rest Smart Sound Machine

If you want a sunrise alarm clock that also functions as a sound machine for toddlers or children, choose this. The Hatch Rest has a range of customizable features, including sound and light settings, and also features a "time to rise" mode that tells children when it's time to wake up.

Hatch Restore alarm clock

If you want an all-in-one bedside device that functions as a sunrise alarm clock, sound machine, and bedside reading light, choose this. The Restore has a variety of features, including customizable wake-up sounds, a range of light settings, and multiple relaxation programs.

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520

If you want a sunrise alarm clock that closely mimics the sun gradually flooding into your room. Yes, all of the clocks on this list have the same technical functionality, but by using red-tinted light, the HF3520 might be the most soothing. While it may not be a "smart" alarm, it is reliable, even including a backup power source. 

What is a sunrise alarm clock?

A sunrise alarm clock is a device that wakes you up more gently than a traditional alarm clock by using a sunrise simulator coupled with a light, calming alarm audio. They can help you wake up gently and help you get out of bed faster in the morning. Some sunrise alarm clocks even offer features that help you relax for bedtime, promising to help you get to sleep with breathing and meditation exercises.

Are sunrise alarm clocks worth it?

If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, or if you wake up long before the sun rises, a sunrise alarm clock can be a beneficial start to your day. If you would like to create a more routine bedtime, you can use extra features on them to help you relax for bedtime, making this clock a worthy purchase.

How did we choose these sunrise alarm clocks?

We chose these alarm clocks by reviewing clock features and specs, including functionality, ease of use, and customer reviews. Anything that has less than a 4.5-star rating was not included in this roundup, and some of the recommendations come from ZDNET tech experts with personal experience using these clocks.

What is a sunrise alarm clock?

A sunrise alarm clock typically is an alarm clock that simulates a natural sunrise by gradually increasing light intensity, mimicking the natural way the sun rises. This type of alarm clock is designed to help you wake up more gently and naturally, and may also offer other features like soothing sounds, customizable light colors, and app support for personalized settings. Sunrise alarm clocks can be helpful for people who struggle with waking up feeling rested and energized, or for those who have trouble getting up in the morning.

Can sunrise alarm clocks also be used as regular alarm clocks?

Yes, most sunrise alarm clocks also come with a regular alarm clock function, so you can use them as a regular alarm clock if you prefer, or you can use the light therapy function alone or in combination with sound.

Are sunrise alarm clocks expensive?

Sunrise alarm clocks can range in price from around $20 to over $200, depending on the brand, features, and quality of the product. There are many affordable options available that are effective at waking you up with light.

Are sunrise alarm clocks effective at waking you up?

Sunrise alarm clocks use light therapy to simulate a sunrise, gradually increasing the amount of light in your room to mimic the natural way that the sun rises. They are thought to be very effective at waking you up. Several studies have found that wake-up light therapy (using a sunrise alarm clock) is also effective at regulating the circadian rhythm and improving mood in patients with seasonal affective disorder. 

Are there alternatives worth considering?

Whether you want one with smart app features or just want something a little less Wi-Fi enabled, there are plenty of sunrise alarm clocks to choose from. Take a look at two more options worth considering:

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