The 8 Best White Noise Machines for Bedrooms and Home Offices
To find the best white noise machines, we thoroughly researched the various models available and considered factors like size, sound settings, and portability when coming up with our recommendations. We also spoke to Dr. Lindsay Browning, neuroscientist, psychologist, and sleep expert, for tips on how to pick a sound machine that suits your needs.
One of the most important things you should look for in a good white noise machine is the ability to control the volume. "Essentially, white noise machines need to be able to mask outside noise," says Dr. Browning. "If it's too loud, the machine itself can end up disturbing your sleep."
She suggests white noise machines for people who live in loud areas (like big cities), and softer brown or pink noise for anyone who lives in a relatively quiet area but enjoys falling asleep to soothing sounds. Many white noise machines on the market (including some on our list below) can play brown and pink noise, too.
Our top pick is the HoMedics SoundSpa as it's one of the easiest devices to use, and it's extremely reasonably priced. We like that it has a simple interface with six separate buttons for each sound, as well as adjustable volume.
Here are the best white noise machines.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall White Noise Machine: HoMedics SoundSpa Sound Machine
- Best Budget White Noise Machine: Sharper Image Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine
- Best Splurge White Noise Machine: Snooz White Noise Machine
- Best Portable White Noise Machine: Dreamegg D11 Portable White Noise Machine
- Best White Noise Machine for Office: Yogasleep Dohm Connect Sound Machine
- Best White Noise Machine for Bedroom: Hatch Restore
- Best White Noise Machine for Baby: Jack & Rose White Noise Machine
- Best Customizable White Noise Machine: LectroFan Evo Sleep Sound Machine
Best Overall White Noise Machine: HoMedics SoundSpa Sound Machine
Best Budget White Noise Machine: Sharper Image Sleep Therapy White Noise Machine
Best Splurge White Noise Machine: Snooz White Noise Machine
Best Portable White Noise Machine: Dreamegg D11 Portable White Noise Machine
Best White Noise Machine for Office: Yogasleep Dohm Connect Sound Machine
Best White Noise Machine for Bedroom: Hatch Restore
Best White Noise Machine for Baby: Jack & Rose White Noise Machine
Best Customizable White Noise Machine: LectroFan Evo Sleep Sound Machine
The HoMedics SoundSpa is our top pick because it's easy to use and has all the essential features. We like that it has six clearly-marked sound buttons, three timer settings, and a volume control knob that turns all the way down if necessary.
How to Shop for White Noise Machines Like a Pro
White noise machines can come in either corded electric or cordless options. The cordless units can be powered by your typical AAA or AA batteries, but some can also be powered and recharged via USB just like your phone. Other models conveniently work both ways, giving you the option to plug them into an electrical outlet or use batteries while on the go.
As Dr. Browning points out, controllable volume is the most important feature to look for in a white noise machine because it protects your hearing. From there on, some cool extras that might be nice to have include a selection of various noise settings, an auto-off timer, and non-looping sounds to avoid repetition. Higher-end white noise machines might double as nightlights and alarm clocks, and some are even app-controlled.
"You might want to look for machines that offer pink and brown noise, too," Dr. Browning says. Instead of the more artificially produced noises like static or fans, pink and brown noise can help mask outside commotion with more natural sounds, "like standing next to a large waterfall or listening to heavy rainfall or ocean waves," says Dr. Browning. "Some people find brown and pink noise more pleasant as these are higher on the lower tones while white noise contains all of the different frequencies of sound available and plays them at the same time at equal volume."
White noise machines aren't typically very big, and they're roughly the size of a digital alarm clock. They range from around 4 to 8 inches, but some of the more portable machines can be even smaller than that. These small and lightweight devices usually only weigh a couple of pounds at max, with most ringing in at half a pound.
Questions You Might Ask
What are the benefits of white noise?
For those who find environmental noises disturbing and are unable to sleep well or even concentrate enough to adequately work or study, white noise can be particularly beneficial. While it doesn't initially seem like the most pleasant sound to listen to (since it's not melodic like music), white noise does an excellent job of masking outside commotions, satisfying sensory input cravings, and helping people unwind and relax.
Many parents of restless babies have also found that white noise machines help their children sleep better by masking outside and household noise.
Even if you don't live in a noisy area, a sound machine can be good to keep on hand for occasional use when at hotels or hospitals, since it can drown out unfamiliar noises and beeping machinery that may affect your sleep.
Are white noise machines safe?
While there are many benefits of white noise machines (some people can't sleep without them), it's good to be aware of the possible drawbacks, too, notes Dr. Browning. Since they're designed to drown out outside noise, if you live in a relatively quiet area, a white noise machine could potentially add disruption to your sleep. Likewise, if you don't have sleep issues, you could end up getting them if you add a sound machine into your nightly routine.
For those who do want to mask outside sounds, you have to make sure that your white noise machine isn't too loud, which could prevent you from hearing sounds that you need to hear, like the fire alarm or the kids waking up.
If you're using a white noise machine in a child's room, make sure you use it as instructed, which could mean keeping it on low volume and placing it far away from their bed or crib.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce-writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat researched multiple white noise machines and considered factors such as usage, features, and size. She also consulted Dr. Lindsay Browning, neuroscientist, psychologist, and sleep expert.
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