I am not a troubled sleeper, and for that, I realize I am incredibly lucky. As long as my environment is relatively dark and quiet, I'm out like a light once my head hits the pillow. But throw in some unexpected sounds, and I'll surely be wide awake for hours, starring at the time tick away while my frustration levels rise sky high. I recently found a solution to ensure a stable-sounding sleep den is always within reach: the sound machine.
These little sleep-helping wonders mask unwelcome sounds from inside or outside your house. Whether your roommate is a night owl who just can't keep it down or your bedroom window faces a noisy street, introducing a sound machine (or white noise machine as they are also called) just might get you some more peaceful, restful and quiet sleep.
Most offer a handful of familiar noises like the gentle rumbling of a distant thunder storm, the ebb and flow of ocean waves, a crackling fire or just simple white noise. Whether you're looking to spend a little or splurge, here are nine of the best-reviewed options on the market.
Six sounds (white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night and brook), adjustable volume and three timer shut-off settings mean you'll get plenty of options for under $25.
If you're not into simulated jungle sounds or babbling brooks and are just looking for straight and simple white noise, the Sleep Easy is for you. Reviewers on Amazon note it could use a timer shut off, though, as it currently is only available with a traditional on/off switch.
This might be the best looking sound machine in this line up, and for just over $30, you'll get a dozen sound options.
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I own this sound machine and though I wish it had a wider variety of sounds (it includes six), it's sleek looking and compact, has a USB port at the back for charging my phone and—at about one inch thick once you remove the kick stand—is great for packing away in my suitcase to take along when I travel. Another cool feature is the auto shut-off timer that can be set to 15, 30 or 60 minutes.