Though at first glance sound machines might all seem the same, they actually vary greatly – both in terms of features and quality. White noise or other sounds? Features or simplicity? Does higher price mean higher quality? I tested and reviewed the 14 most popular sound machines on the market, and narrowed down to my top three picks.
Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine
Dohm has been making this white noise machine for decades and they have it down to a science. The fan noise is not created by manufactured sounds but by “a unique asymmetrical fan that creates the soothing sound of rushing air without the disturbance of actual moving air.” This model is simple and without a lot of bells and whistles – making it reliable, consistent and is suitable for both adults and kids.
Easy to use, reliable, natural white noise sound
No sounds other than white noise
Great Sounds for Sleep
Sound+Sleep High Fidelity Sleep Sound Machine with Real Non-Looping Nature Sounds, Fan Sounds, White Noise, and Adaptive Sound Technology
The Sound+Sleep has the best array of sounds to put you to sleep, including white noise, nature sounds, and a host of others. This is a very technically savvy sound machine, offering the most features of any on the market that we tested.
Incredible array of sounds, advanced features, great user experience
Relatively expensive compared to other sound machines on the market
White Noise Sound Machine | Portable Sleep Therapy for Home, Office, Baby & Travel | 6 Relaxing & Soothing Nature Sounds, Battery or Adapter Charging Options, Auto-Off Timer | HoMedics…
If you’re on a tight budget, or just want to dip your toe into the sound machine world, I can’t recommend a machine more than this sound machine from HoMedics. For an incredibly low price, I found this machine to deliver quality sounds reliably and easily. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to use, even in the dark.
Great value, quality sound, easy to use
Not as many sound options as others on the market
If you are new to the sound machine world, you can now purchase a variety of options to meet specific sleep needs for equally as specific people. After personally testing more than 10 sleep machines and reading literally hundreds of reviews, I feel that I have a grasp on not just what is available, but also which machines will best serve your sleep and sound machine needs.
As you can see, sounds can be as simple as white noise or as complex as a lengthy looped nature track. Sound machines vary in size, performance, the type of sounds they make, and additional bells and whistles they might have.
Choosing the best sound machines at Sleepopolis isn’t a scientific process, but we do like to keep a few things in mind with each review, particularly:
- Overview (Features): This is an overall assessment of the design, features, and user-friendly nature of each device. How many sounds does it play? Is it portable? How do you adjust the volume?
- Build Quality: This looks at how the sound machine is constructed. Is it durable? Is it lightweight? Is it heavy? Does it feel cheap?
- Sound Quality: This looks at the quality of sound that is emitted from each machine. Is it deep and fills the room? Is it soft and shallow? Somewhere in between?
- Overall Value: Considering overall design, features, build quality, sound quality, and a variety of other factors”, this area assesses the product’s overall value. Do you get your money’s worth?
In addition, each comparison is also going to recommend which sleeper might prefer which particular white noise sound machine. While they each have their own advantages and challenges, for the sake of this review, we can pick one overall winner.
There is truly sound machine for everyone. After reviewing 10 plus options I determined that you can invest as much (within reason) or as little as you like to find a model that complements your noise blocking, baby calming or personal sleep needs. If any of the aforementioned machines are of interest, be sure to click through to read the individual review in its entirety. And if you are wondering, I use the Marpac Dohm in my own home every night.
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan has perfected his method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole.