Whether you’re looking to soothe your baby to sleep or struggling to fall asleep yourself, get a good night’s sleep with one of these nifty gadgets.
For many – especially babies and littles ones – sleep doesn’t come that easily. And even once you’ve managed to nod off, staying asleep is another matter entirely.
If you’re being kept awake due to a busy mind or something completely out of your control like background noise or traffic, there are all types of white noise machines on the market, from portable pocket-sized gizmos to soft toys and high-end technology that will help you relax and nod off.
What is a white noise machine?
A white noise machine, or sound machine, is the name given to a device that emits a steady whirr to block out background noises. Technically, most white noise gadgets actually omit ‘pink’ or ‘brown’ noise, which is not quite as grating or jarring as white noise.
Why are they popular sleep aids?
Sound machines are thought to help promote better sleep, with research indicating that they can encourage both children and adults to fall asleep almost 40 per cent faster.
What should you look for when buying a white noise machine?
Individual needs will determine the best device for you. If you’re looking to purchase a gadget for a little one, you may want to consider whether it’s newborn-friendly, or if it comes with additions such as a night light, or is cute and cuddly enough not to alarm your sprog.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a sleep-promoting model, you may want to consider things like size, portability and how regularly you intend to use it; some designs can be quite pricey, so you may want to trial one before splashing the cash.
Ewan the Dream Sheep Deluxe
Ewan is overwhelmingly popular with new parents for a reason; mimicking the comfort of the womb with its soft pink glow and ‘pink’ noise. This is an innovative and exceptionally cute product designed to comfort little ones.
There’s a range of pink noises to choose from, including actual recordings of a heartbeat and womb sounds. What’s more, Ewan also also includes a recording of an adult voice saying ‘shh!’ to add additional comfort.
An aspect new parents will be particularly grateful for is the smartCRY sensor, which means Ewan automatically activates if your little one stirs in the night (but the sensor does turn off after four hours to preserve battery).
Lifemax Soothing Sounds Dial
Affordably priced and straightforward to use, the Lifemax Soothing Sounds Dial is a great model to consider if you want to try out using white noise for the first time.
While it may not contain some of the bells and whistles that other models on the market have, such as an in-built light or stylish interface, we liked its simplicity.
To operate, it’s just a case of turning the round dial on its front and choosing the setting you’d like. You’ll also find volume buttons, a timer and a fade-out button on the back.
There’s a choice of twelve sounds, including white noise and ambience, as well as a host of nature sounds including ocean, rainforest, stream and campfire so even if you’re not planning on falling asleep, you can use it to relax after a busy day.
One thing to note is that it is battery-operated.
SnüzCloud Baby Sleep Aid
As cute as a button… or in fact a cloud, this soft and sweet sleep aid comes from the makers of popular Snüz baby sleep bags and bedside cribs.
This sweet little cloud-shaped device comes with a choice of four soothing sounds: heartbeat, pink noise, lullaby and waterfall as well as two additional light options – a pink glow and a soft white night light.
We liked its adjustable volume, and its portability. Thanks to the velcro strap, it can just as easily be attached to a pram as a cot or bedside crib.
One thing to note is that it does turn off after twenty minutes to preserve battery life, so if you’re looking for long-lasting white noise, this may not be the one for you.
eve Sleep The Morphée Sleep Aid
Since setting up in 2015, eve Sleep has made a name for itself with its mattresses, but they now have a whole host of other sleep-related products under their belts, including this seriously good-looking sleep aid.
Nifty and compact, this natural beech device is sure to look sophisticated on your bedside table, and to leave space for other essentials such as a glass of water and a book.
To use, it couldn’t be simpler; you just need to turn the three little gold keys that sit on top and select your chosen theme, session and duration (anything from eight to twenty minutes).
Handily, there’s the option of listening to its settings with in-built speakers, or you can plug in headphones if you’re concerned about disturbing anyone. Being able to enjoy guided meditation sessions and body scans, without looking at a screen, is also a big advantage.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB
One of the most multi-functional white noise machines we tested, Lumie’s range of Bodyclocks are designed to promote sleep, and also to help you wake up naturally (for when you want to wake up, that is!).
This top-of-the-range model is a great product for those who are looking for a white noise gadget with some added extras. Handily, this model also contains a DAB radio and great-sounding Bluetooth speakers.
We particularly enjoyed the 20+ sounds available, which you can programme to come on for any time between twenty and ninety minutes, either as you’re nodding off, or as part of your morning wake-up alarm. Sounds include classic birdsong, waterfall, rainfall sounds and even purring kittens – depending on what relaxes you.
While the maximum time you’ll be able to play the white noise for at any time is ninety minutes, this is a great all-rounder device that offers so much more than simply being just a white noise machine. It looks great, too.
Cubo Ai Plus Smart Baby Monitor
This high-tech bird-shaped baby monitor is a great option if you’re a parent looking for a white noise machine with added extras, or to keep the number of devices in your home down to a minimum.
To initiate the audio elements, it’s a case of using the associated Cubo Ai app. There are nine different audio sounds to choose from in total, including white noise, lullabies and bird sounds. There’s also the option to set a thirty or sixty minute timer.
Aside from the white noise aspect, the baby monitor is impressively intuitive, and can even alert you if your baby’s face has become covered while sleeping.
For a white noise gadget, it’s at the higher end of the market. But given how high-tech and innovative it is, the price feels more than justified, particularly if you’re a parent looking for a baby monitor too.
SNOObear White Noise Lovey
From the makers of the SNOO bassinet, the SNOObear has been designed by US paediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp.
On top of being a teddy, this bear also contains a white noise machine within it and aims to recreate the comforting sounds of the womb for your little one.
It emits white noise for thirty to sixty minutes at a time, and also has a three-hour standby setting where it will listen out for any cries in that time and restart to soothe your little one accordingly.
There are six white noise sounds to choose from, including soft shushing and loud shushing, plus three volume levels.
It’s available in white and brown and handily has a dangle strap that you can attach to the cot (out of reach) or pram.
It’s not the cutest-looking teddy bear, but a great option if you’re looking for a child-friendly sound machine all the same.
MyCuddly Sleep Aid
From the makers of the popular MyHummy teddy, the MyCuddly Sleep Aid is at once a comforter and a white noise machine.
Available in blue, ecru and pink, this cute comforter may be larger than a lot of others on the market, but it’s still soft and soothing.
It contains five types of white and pink noise, and unlike a lot of white noise models on the market that cap any given session at an hour, there’s the option to keep the white noise running for 12 hours, which means you don’t have to keep restarting it if your little one relies on it to sleep.
There’s also the option of controlling it via Bluetooth and an accompanying app, so you can adjust the type of sound or duration remotely, without having to prise it away from your little one. Genius!
For its price and functionality, the Lifemax Soothing Sounds Dial is a great all-rounder, while Ewan the Dream Sheep Deluxe is a standout product for little ones, especially with its selection of innovative and relaxing sounds.