Sound Sleep: The Best Portable White Noise Machines
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White noise sound machines have been around for decades, but have seen a surge recently, and become popular again as people look for ways to enhance their sleep quality, block out distractions, and create a more relaxing environment. What we take in during the day (and especially right before bedtime) affects our sleep at night significantly – stress from work, relationships, and the news can raise cortisol levels and get the body into a tense, “fired up” state when you want to be calming down. A good white noise machine not only blocks out distracting sounds that might keep you up, but also gives you something peaceful to focus on so you can drift off.
However, with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs. We’ve selected our top picks to help you relax and get to sleep.
White Noise Machine Buying Guide:
Keep these features in mind when shopping for your next white noise sound machine.
Sound Quality and Volume Control: One of the most important factors to consider when buying a white noise sound machine is the sound quality. You’ll want to look for a device that produces clear, consistent white noise, without any audible loops or interruptions, as these can defeat the whole purpose of giving your distracted mind something unbroken to focus on. Additionally, look for a device with an adjustable volume control too (or more than one), so you can easily find the perfect volume level to suit your needs. And remember that loudness doesn’t automatically mean better sound quality.
Battery Life and Charging Options: Another important factor to consider is the battery, especially if this’ll be traveling with you. Look for a device that offers long battery life, so you can use it throughout the night without having to worry about recharging blindly at 3 a.m. Additionally, you should consider the charging options too, as some devices may require a traditional wall plug, while others offer USB charging, making it easier to charge on the go.
Portable Design: A portable white noise sound machine should be easy to carry and use wherever you lay your head. Look for a device that’s compact, lightweight, and easy to pack in your bag or luggage. Some devices may also offer a built-in handle or strap for added convenience. Even if you’re not planning on traveling anytime soon, we suggest getting a portable machine anyway. Chances are, you’ll get used to it in your home, and when you do need to hit the road, you’ll be glad to take it with you.
Variety of Sounds: While white noise is the primary reason many people buy a sound machine, some devices may offer a range of different sounds to choose from, including nature, ambient noise, and other calming audio. This can be a useful feature if you want to switch things up and try different sounds to help you sleep or relax, even study or do some yoga, and create a peaceful environment in your space during the day.
Timer and Auto-Off Feature: Having a timer and auto-off feature can be especially helpful when using your white noise sound machine at bedtime. The timer allows you to set the device to turn off automatically after a certain period of time, so you don’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to turn it off. It’s really useful once you get in the habit and learn how long it generally takes you to fall asleep, so you can set it and peacefully relax.
1. Yogasleep Duet White Noise Machine
This does so much more than just produce calming sounds. The Yogasleep offers a range of soothing white noise options, and also comes with a night light feature that can be customized to fit your mood and decor. With its compact design and easy-to-use controls, the Duet is perfect for use at home or when you need to travel, thanks in part to its rechargeable battery. It comes with 30 non-looping sounds, and it’s even ideal for a baby or child’s bedroom.
2. Adaptive Sound Technologies Machine
This machine produces a range of impressive stats and features that make it stand out from other sleep sound machines on the market. First and foremost, the Sound+Sleep SE features 64 distinct sound profiles, including 16 fan sounds, 16 white noise sounds, and 32 “environmental” sounds such as rain, ocean, and thunderstorms. But in addition to its diverse sound options, the Sound+Sleep SE also features “adaptive” sound technology, which adjusts the volume and tone of the sound based on the ambient noise in your room. This feature isn’t just a novelty, it actually helps ensure that the sound is always at a comfortable level, and doesn’t disturb your sleep.
There’s a built-in headphone jack for people who prefer to sleep with headphones on or don’t want to disturb a partner/roommate, and a “smart” alarm function that gradually wakes you up with a gentle sound, along with a variety of timer and scheduling options. The sound quality is outstanding too, thanks to a powerful, high-quality speaker that delivers crystal-clear audio and deep, rich bass.
3. SNOOZ Smart White Noise Machine
The SNOOZ has an impressive range of options to choose from, including 10 fan sounds, 10 white noise sounds, and a beach-like sound. You can also adjust the volume and tone to create the perfect customized atmosphere for sleeping, working, or relaxing. We found it incredibly easy to use, with simple, intuitive controls and a compact design that makes it quick to take on the go. Plus, it’s made from high-quality, durable materials that are built to last and can deal with being knocked off your nightstand accidentally.
You can also control the device using a mobile app, which lets you customize your sound settings and even set a timer or schedule. Plus, the SNOOZ has a built-in microphone that can detect changes in ambient noise and automatically adjust the sound to ensure a consistent volume. But there’s also a traditional physical volume knob, one that allows you to adjust the sound without having to fiddle with the app if you prefer to keep it simple. The company also claims that the SNOOZ is eco-friendly, with a low power draw and a design that minimizes waste.
4. Brookstone White Noise Sound Machine
It’s probably unsurprising that Brookstone makes a great white noise machine. What is surprising is the affordability here, at a price point much lower than we expected, while still delivering quality and creating a calming environment.
There’s a nice variety of sound options, with six distinct sound settings to choose from, including white noise, ocean, and summer night. The device also has a built-in timer, which can be set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and is perfect for falling asleep without having it running all night. Size-wise, this is nicely compact as well, with easy-to-use controls that operate like a studio mixing board.
5. Yogasleep Travelcube Machine
This alternate option from Yogasleep is specifically made for portability. It’s the most compact device of the bunch, and packs a range of features and settings into a small, easy-to-carry package, making it a great choice for anyone who wants to improve their sleep wherever you rest your head. It boasts six different sound settings, including white noise and ocean waves. It’s also incredibly small and lightweight, making it easy to carry with you in a purse or backpack (or pocket).
The built-in rechargeable battery makes it even more suitable for travel: Simply charge it up using a standard USB cable. Along with sound, it also has a small built-in light for nighttime use, which provides a soft glow in dark environments. This is a great feature for those who may be staying in unfamiliar surroundings and want a bit of extra illumination.
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