Best White Noise Machines
White noise, which sounds like a low-level hum or whirring, can mask disruptive noise in your surroundings or enhance a quiet room, making it easier to relax, feel calm, and fall asleep at night. While there are white noise smartphone apps, you may want to consider using a separate white noise machine. These devices offer a wide range of sound options and features.
We’ll cover our top picks, explain how sound affects sleep, and help you understand what makes the best sound machine for sleep.
Top Picks Overview
Our Top Picks
Yogasleep Dohm Natural Sound MachineBest Overall
- Fan-based white noise
- Adjustable tone and volume
- Simple yet functional design
The Dohm Natural Sound Machine by Yogasleep is a simple yet highly functional white noise device. The machine creates a gentle fan-based white noise similar to the whirring air of a fan but without the distraction of blowing air.
Although the Dohm has just one sound option, it may appeal to a wide variety of people, including sleepers, students trying to study, and anyone else looking for a relaxing ambient background noise.
Yogasleep’s Dohm Natural Sound Machine comes with two speed options and an adjustable cap. This allows you to modify the tone and volume of the white noise so you can fine-tune your sleep environment.
The Dohm Natural Sound Machine uses a standard 120-volt AC plug and comes with an 8-foot power cord. It features an intuitive interface with a simple switch for power and speed adjustment. You can purchase the Dohm in charcoal or white and choose from five accent color options.
Yogasleep offers free ground shipping to the contiguous U.S. The Dohm Natural Sound Machine is also covered by Yogasleep’s 101-night sleep trial policy, which includes free returns.
SNOOZ Go BabyBest for Babies
- Features six sound options and a built-in nightlight
- Compact design
- Battery lasts up to 20 hours
The SNOOZ Go Baby is a highly compact white noise device with a variety of features. You can choose from six sound options, including white noise, pink noise, and fan sounds. The SNOOZ Go Baby also has a microprocessor that uses a specially designed algorithm to generate the sound in real-time without looping.
This portable white noise machine is an excellent option for new parents looking to encourage their newborns or young children to sleep. The SNOOZ Go Baby features a built-in nightlight, and a 20-hour battery for cordless use. It also weighs less than half a pound, making it easy to carry from room to room during the night. However, the SNOOZ Go Baby device is not compatible with SNOOZ’s smartphone app.
The device has an easy-to-use interface with four buttons to control the power, volume, and sound settings. The SNOOZ Go Baby comes with a USB-C charging connector cable and 15 volume settings ranging from 36 to 85 decibels. The device ships for free within the U.S. It’s also eligible for free returns minus the cost of return shipping under the company’s 100-Night Happiness Guarantee.
Sound Oasis White Noise Sound Therapy MachineBest Value
- Choose from 10 white noise sounds
- Good balance between features and price
- Comes with a headphone jack for privacy
The Sound Oasis White Noise Sound Therapy Machine is loaded with 10 unique white noise sound options and is available at a reasonable price-point. The Sound Oasis gives you more control over your sound environment than most white noise devices. In addition to 10 sounds options, the device has an audio jack. This allows you to use the Sound Oasis in public spaces with headphones. And because of its fairly compact design, the Sound Oasis is easily portable.
You can control the Sound Oasis with three simple controls: an on/off button, a volume dial, and a sound setting button. The device comes with both a USB power cord and A/C adapter to power the sound machine from either a wall outlet or your computer.
The Sound Oasis can either play continuously or for 30, 60, or 90 minutes before automatically shutting off. Additionally, the device saves your last sound, volume, and playing time settings. The Sound Oasis comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Yogasleep Dohm White/Gray with Travel MiniBest for Travel
- Original Dohm sound machine bundled with a smaller travel version
- Travel mini weighs less than 5 ounces
- Built-in nightlight
The Yogasleep Dohm White/Gray with Travel Mini bundles the classic Dohm white noise machine with a mini travel version of the device.
With two speed options, the original Dohm sound machine generates the pleasant hum of a fan without circulating air. It includes a rotating cap so you can customize the volume and pitch of the sound.
At 5 ounces, the Travel Mini makes this bundle an ideal option for sleepers who travel frequently and need a sound machine for their bedroom and for the road. Like the original Dohm, the travel version also creates a fan-based white noise. However, the Travel Mini features a warm LED nightlight, a lanyard to hang or carry the device, and a micro USB port for charging. The Travel Mini can run all night on a single charge.
The Yogasleep Dohm White/Gray with Travel Mini is eligible for free shipping if you live in the contiguous U.S. The bundle also comes with Yogasleep’s 101-night guarantee, free returns, and a 1-year warranty that protects against manufacturing defects.
Loftie ClockBest Features
- Largest selection of ambient sound
- Built-in sleep timer, alarm clock, and nightlight
- Control device settings with the Loftie app
The Loftie is an all-in-one smart device that combines the functionalities of an alarm clock, a sound machine, and a nightlight. The Loftie looks like a simple alarm clock but also features a built-in Bluetooth speaker. You can connect to the Loftie with your smartphone and play a wide range of sounds through the company’s app.
Loftie frequently updates its app and offers an expansive sound library that includes a wide variety of sound colors and nature sounds. There’s also additional content such as classical music, breathwork tracks, and guided meditation. However, keep in mind that you’ll need a WiFi connection to access Loftie’s sound content through the app.
The Loftie alarm uses a two-phase system to gently rouse you from sleep and help get you out of bed. You can program the alarm to wake you up at different times on each day of the week, and the device also has a blackout mode that darkens the display.
The Loftie comes with a USB-C cable and power adapter. You can power the Loftie through a standard outlet or use the device’s lithium ion battery. The Loftie ships for free in the U.S. and is subject to a 30-day return policy.
SNOOZ White Noise Sound MachineBest App Integration
- Control all of the device’s settings through a smartphone app
- Real fan noise
- Programmable timer
The SNOOZ White Noise Machine is the result of a collaboration between SNOOZ and Tuft & Needle. This white noise machine uses a simple internal fan to create natural, non-looping fan sound without the disturbance of moving air. The fan has 10 settings that allow you to control the tone and volume from a minimum of 46 decibels to a maximum of 87 decibels. You can also calibrate the volume settings to ensure a safe level of white noise for infants, young children, and pets.
You can also connect the SNOOZ White Noise Machine to your smartphone via an app on your iPhone, Android, or Mac computer. The app turns your phone or computer into a remote control for the SNOOZ, allowing you to adjust the volume settings and nightlight, perform volume calibration, and set a sleep timer with a fade in or out. You can also adjust the light, volume, and tone with controls on the device itself.
The SNOOZ White Noise Machine ships for free to customers in the U.S. The device comes with Tuft & Needle’s 100-night sleep trial, so you can try out the SNOOZ at home and return it for free within the first 100 nights.
What Is a White Noise Machine?
Many people casually refer to any ambient background sound as white noise. But white noise actually has a specific definition in terms of the frequency and amplitude of the sound waves.
Frequency refers to the speed of a sound wave, or how many waves occur per second. Amplitude refers to the power of the sound wave, or the height of each wave. You can think of frequency as pitch and amplitude as volume.
White noise is a collection of sound waves that contain every sound frequency audible to humans at the same amplitude. The result is a consistent, gentle hum or whirring noise similar to the static of an untuned radio.
A white noise machine is designed to create soothing ambient noise, which can be an important tool for improving your bedroom environment.
Although some models may have an option for true white noise, many white noise machines actually produce a different color of sound known as pink noise. Unlike white noise, pink noise uses lower frequencies. Many nature sounds such as ocean waves fall under the category of pink noise.
How to Find the Best White Noise Machine For You
When shopping for a white noise machine, you should consider your personal preferences and how you plan to use the device.
- Sound: Different white noise machines come with different sound options. Certain models may be limited to a single white noise sound, while others contain a variety of pre-recorded nature sounds.
- Volume: It’s important to make sure that the white noise isn’t too quiet or too loud. Most models have a minimum of two or three volume settings, but if your volume preferences change from night to night, you may want to look for a white noise machine that allows for a wider range of volumes with fine control.
- Display: A well-designed display makes it easy to control your white noise machine. However, a display that’s too bright may do more harm than good in terms of promoting sleep. Consider a model with an intuitive yet dimly lit display, or one that has the option to turn off any built-in lights. Alternatively, look for a model that includes a clock or nightlight function that can be toggled on and off.
- Timers: If you enjoy white noise as you fall asleep but don’t want it to play all night, choose a model that comes with a built-in timer. This allows you to program the white noise machine so it shuts off after a set amount of time.
- Portability: The familiar sound of your white noise machine can make it easier to fall asleep in a new environment. When comparing models, consider size and portability, especially if you travel frequently.
- Smart Features: Some white noise machine models can integrate with your smartphone, allowing you to control your device remotely and access more advanced controls and programming options.
Types of White Noise Machines
White noise machines come in many styles, each with its own set of features. It’s helpful to understand the different models available in order to find the best white noise machine for your needs.
Bedroom White Noise Machines
A bedroom white noise machine is the most standard type. These machines are typically analog and come with several options for different sounds and volume levels. A bedroom white noise machine might fit well on your bedside table, but it probably won’t include advanced controls or smartphone integration, and it may not be portable.
Smart alarms are designed to fulfill several functions in addition to being an alarm clock. For example, some smart alarms include programmable white noise options as well as alarm clock and nightlight functions. You can usually access these functions using a smartphone app.
Travel White Noise Machines
This style of white noise machine is designed for portability. Travel white noise machines are much smaller than standard bedside models and more minimal in terms of sound and volume features. However, they often include a micro USB rechargeable battery so you can run the device without a power outlet.
White Noise Machines for Children
Some white noise machines are designed with babies and young children in mind. These models have special features to give parents extra control over their child’s sleep environment. Features can include child-friendly sounds, a portable design, a nightlight, timed shut-off, and smartphone integration for remote control.
Why Should You Use a White Noise Machine?
White noise machines create ambient background sounds that can be beneficial for many activities and environments. For example, the comforting hum of white noise can help boost your focus while reading, studying, or meditating.
Gentle white noise can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. And if you share a bed, a white noise machine may reduce the impact of distracting sounds like a partner’s snoring.
If you live in a large city, near a busy street, or in a space filled with family, kids, or roommates, a white noise machine can be handy for drowning out the commotion. However, white noise can also be helpful for those who have tinnitus or simply prefer light background noise to silence.
How Does Noise Affect Sleep?
If you’ve ever tried to fall asleep in a noisy environment, you know that sound has a profound impact on sleep. Leading health organizations like the NIH and the WHO recognize that excess environmental noise causes sleep disturbances and is a major public health concern.
Too much background noise can disrupt sleep in several key ways. A noisy environment makes it more difficult to fall asleep. You’re also more likely to be startled awake during the night. The result is interrupted sleep and less total sleep time.
Adequate high-quality sleep is imperative for good health. Insufficient sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness as well as a wide range of long-term health effects including depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.