It is now easier than ever to wake up feeling refreshed, well rested and ready to tackle the day.
Gone are the days of suffering the dreaded morning ringtone that sends a shiver down your spine while catapulting you into sudden darkness.
A light-based alarm is a far less shocking wake-up method where natural-looking light becomes gradually brighter over a period of time.
We are often warned against sleeping with our phones anywhere near us – both for health reasons as well as the effect of blue light on our sleeping pattern – and a wake up alarm clock offers the perfect solution.
These devices may be small but they are mighty, where the effect of a slow summer sunrise encourages your body to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin in favour of the mood-enhancing, feel-good hormone serotonin.
Wake up alarms can also help those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as a form of light therapy. According to research commissioned by The Weather Channel and YouGov, one in three people in the UK are affected by this, especially in the winter months when early mornings and long hours sitting in an office can mean that you could go days without seeing daylight.
They also tend to feature a whole host of other helpful functions like a variety of natural sounds, FM radio, varying colours, reading or mood light settings as well as charging ports in compact and contemporary designs that would look stylish on your bedside table.
See our favourites.
Best sunrise wake-up light alarm clocks 2021
Philips Wake-up Light Alarm Clock with Coloured Sunrise Simulationâ
Pairing light therapy with sound, this clinically-proven Philips option is just the ticket for sufferers of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder aka the winter blues).
Inspired by natural sunrise, the lighting starts off red and gradually turns into a bright yellow within 30 minutes. Available in two models with a choice of 7 different natural sounds, which include gentle piano and seaside sounds, as well as FM radio and a tap snooze function.
This model also has a nifty seven minute backup battery to ensure the alarm is kept at the time you set it regardless of a momentary power outage.
Philips have also released the Somneo Sleep and Wake-up Light with Relax Breath designed to encourage light-guided wind-down breathing and the SmartSleep Wake-up Light that is clinically proven to work.
Lumie Sunrise Alarm
With this purse-friendly alarm clock, you can finesse your morning routine without breaking the bank.
Sunrise can begin 30 minutes before your alarm, encouraging you to wake up gently so you feel ready to start the day. There are sunrise and sunset simulations as well as an additional six colours for mood-boosting flair - green, red, blue, pink, orange, or light blue. For those unsure about the efficacy of these alarms, there’s also five natural sounds as an added extra insurance.
Lumie offers a three year warranty.
Beurer WL50 Wake Up to Daylight Table Lamp
If you are not fully convinced that a gradually glowing light will be able to wake you up or put you to sleep, this clock will pair the sunrise or sunset modes with more pleasant calls like sleep melodies or lullabies to enhance your morning and night.
This clock stands out from the crowd due to the ability to customise the light. There are individual colour-change settings so it can double up as a reading or table light with three light levels.
There is also a FM radio where you can adjust the channel and volume with memory space so you can switch between your favourite channels at a touch of a button - there’s even an Aux input and a cable included. For weekends and dozing, the snooze function may come in handy, although we hope you won’t need it.
Wake Up Light Alarm Clock for kids
With the sunrise and sunset simulation, this light will wake up your kids each day, boosting their mood, productivity and energy at the same time.
You can set the colour, brightness, tone and volume for a bespoke wake-up where the five varying lights will be sure to go down a treat with your pint-sized person - just pat the clock to illuminate it.
The device can act as a reading light, a mood light or you can connect it to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and use it as a speaker for music or audio books.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB Wake up to Daylight Table Lamp
Ideal for bad sleepers, this wake up light alarm clock is designed to help with insomnia. It’s actually a Class 1 graded medical device. Not only will it rouse you in the most gentle and natural way possible – brightening 30 minutes before your alarm, but it will also help lull you to sleep. The fading low-blue light signals the body and encourages it to produce melatonin so you doze off, switching between pink, orange and red before turning off.
The multi-tasking product is also an alarm with 20 sound options, digital clock and nightlight – transforming from a warm glow to illuminate your room into a bright sunny space. Whether you suffer from SAD or winter blues, this clock will work wonders to boost your mood as well as your energy levels and even your productivity.
There’s the added bonus of a USB port to charge your phone and you can connect via Bluetooth to stream music or podcasts.
Lexon Miami Sunrise Light Therapy Alarm Clock
This stylish sunrise clock will fit seamlessly among your design aesthetic with iterations in white or black marble or white wood. You will notice straight away the change in your mood after you are risen with natural sunlight over the typical jarring sound of your alarm. Designed to mimic the sunrise, it will fill your room with a gradual, glowing light. There are also natural sounds with seven to choose from.
LUMIE Bodyclock Shine 300
One of the leaders in sunlight alarm technology, Lumie has a range of models to suit all price points. We are a big fan of the Shine 300, not only for its style credentials although we can't help but admire its universal chic grey hue. The alarm itself resembles natural sunrise or sunset to wake you up in a gradual and natural way. You can opt for a duration of 15 to 90 minutes and alter the brightness levels. There is also the addition of a beep sound as well as 14 others to ensure that you never miss that all important wake up time and a built-in FM radio.
Beurer WL 75 Wake Up App Controlled Light
Feel ready to start the day with the sleek Beurer wake up alarm clock that fills your room with a gently increasing natural-looking light up to an hour before your alarm is set.
You can also opt for the slow sunset simulation function where the light gentle fades out paired with soft sounds and a red night light that works to shift your circadian rhythm and enhance melatonin production to encourages you to wind down and sleep well.
The alarm is housed in a modern stylish design with handy additional functions like the radio, six wake up tunes and the ability to stream music via Bluetooth.
This is one of the best performing and best looking options out there.
Medisana Sunrise Wake Up Light
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, then this Medisana offering is a great fit. It utilises long-lasting LED lighting and provides the option of seven wellness colours – including red, which aids melatonin production to help you fall asleep easier.
If you need a bit of noise to wake you up, the device offers 8 gradually increasing sounds of nature, such as tweeting birds and a crackling fireplace as well as MP3 connectivity. Other features like a snooze button and an extra timer for alarms after 15-90 minutes make it easier to get those extra minutes of sleep.
Beurer WL 90 4-in-1 Wake Up Light
Beurer’s 4-in-1 bedside device offers all the benefits of a wake-up light alarm and an ambient mood lamp in one package.
Powered by an energy-saving LED lamp, it boasts 256 mood colours and 10 pre-set light programmes. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you can choose from a host of wake-up melodies that can be set to play after the stimulated sunrise.
You can also manage your alarm settings using the handy Beurer LightUp app, which is available to Apple and Android users. Exclusive to John Lewis.
Anyone struggling with the morning blues will certainly be helped by Philips light therapy alarm clock and radio — it's a sturdy build with proven results.
If you're new to sunrise alarms, Lumie’s Bodyclock Spark 100 is a fail-safe option. It’s easy to use and comes with an alarm beep for those who need something a little noisy to wake them up.