12 Things We Swear By for a Better Night’s Sleep, Starting at $5

updated Nov 18, 2022
Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
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Credit: Lumina/Stocksy

Insomnia is the worst. You toss and turn from stress or discomfort, then wake up feeling the opposite of refreshed. And then you’ve got to go to work. Everyone has trouble sleeping from time to time, including the team at Apartment Therapy, and we know that sometimes it takes more than counting sheep to help you get some decent shut-eye. Luckily, that’s why we’re constantly on the hunt for the latest and greatest in sleep products. To help you and every sleep-deprived reader out there, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite affordable items that will make you more comfortable at bedtime and promote better sleep. Whether you’re dealing with noisy neighbors, a lumpy bed, or a racing mind, we’ve got a solution for whatever’s keeping you wide awake.

Of course, if you’ve tried it all and nothing seems to work, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor about other methods.

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From our partner
was $419.00

We're totally suckers for a good mattress topper here at AT. A favorite of assistant editor Britt, the TEMPUR-Adapt Topper from the sleep experts at Tempur-Pedic has been a game changer and something she credits with helping her fall asleep faster.

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Whoever said a sleep mask is overrated was just plain wrong. It can be an essential part of your self-care routine, as managing editor Terri learned in college. She began wearing one to deal with a roommate who stayed up late and to block out the morning sunlight, and she hasn't stopped since. "I don’t think I’ve gone a single night in the past 11 years without wearing one, and it’s revolutionized sharing a room," she says. "But more importantly, I’ve been low-key delighted at how well I sleep with a mask on." That’s no coincidence: light inhibits melatonin production, which has been proven to make falling and staying asleep more difficult. "It’s such a simple piece of cloth," says Terri, "but its effect on my sleep (and life!) have been great."

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From our partner
Sleep Number

We're big fans of cooling bedding here at Apartment Therapy, like the cooling Responsefit Pillow from Sleep Number. With advanced memory foam technology for out-of-this-world pressure relief and support, this pillow would already be a knockout. Combine that with its open-cell foam design for exceptional airflow and you've got a hot-sleepers dream. The best part? Now through 11/28, you can buy one and get one 50 percent off, so you and your partner can get the sleep you deserve.

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was $6.99

Don't let the party animal upstairs or your partner's snoring get in the way of your beauty sleep. Silicone putty earplugs are the $5 solution that helps our commerce director Mark cope with noisy, inconsiderate New York neighbors every night. The comfortable, secure fit blocks out any extraneous sounds but still leaves him able to hear his alarm go off in the morning. "It may sound a bit much, but these earplugs have truly saved my sanity, allowing me to sleep better and be more relaxed not only in my apartment but also when I travel," he says.

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was $29.99

A white noise machine can mask unwanted sounds, city noises, or other disruptions, allowing your mind to singularly focus on the task at hand: falling asleep. "I still wear earplugs when I go to bed, but on nights when I feel stressed and am having trouble sleeping, I’ll also play the ocean sound," said Mark, who purchased the well-reviewed Big Red Rooster Sound Machine. "I focus on the sound of the waves, which relaxes me and helps me fall right to sleep." This popular device offers six noise settings (rain, brook, ocean, thunder, white noise, and summer nights), plus a timer option if you only want sound for a short part of the night.

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West Elm
was $39.00

A staple in bedrooms for decades, blackout curtains are a great way to create the ultimate sleeping environment. Designed to be layered under your favorite curtains, this panel help block light, absorb noise, and insulate against the elements. For an AT-approved pick, choose contributor Ella's go-to from West Elm. "I splurged on [this set] that actually looks nice and I can feel a difference when I don't close them before going to sleep."

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was $120.00

A cloud-like comforter is a bedroom essential, and it doesn't have to break your budget. Commerce contributor Sholeen has the cult-favorite Martha Stewart Essentials comforter, and confirms that it's well worth the hype. "Lying under it feels like being enveloped in a plush cloud that’s always cool to the touch," she says. And if you're curious about other options, check out our Best List of the top comforters for every type of sleeper.

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was $149.00

We know, an alarm clock? In 2022? Hear us out: This is much more than an alarm clock. With features including a clock, sound machine, breath work exercises, and a nightlight, the Loftie is a bona fide wellness device. But the real kicker is its two-stage alarm system that gently lulls you out of a deep sleep instead of jolting you awake like other alarms. Commerce SEO editor Sarah swears by this clock, sharing, "As a heavy sleeper, I was initially worried that the tones might not be 'alarming' enough to wake me, but what I found was that instead of jolting out of bed in an adrenaline rush each morning, I awoke calmly and, some might even say, correctly."

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was $14.79

Sarah's other bedtime must-have? This sleep spray from the makers of the Calm app. "This pillow spray has a blend of lavender, frankincense, chamomile, and clary sage essential oils that, when combined, make the dreamiest scent. I give both of my pillows a quick spritz before bed each night and have found it's a life-saver when it comes to quickly winding-down."

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Hot sleepers on the hunt for a great cooling pillow, look no further! A favorite of production assistant Sarah, the Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Ergo Neck Pillow is a dream for anyone looking for a supportive, contoured pillow designed to keep your temperature regulated. "My room has a big window, so it's really hot in the summer. This pillow was a game-changer for me — the cooling technology definitely works."

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A piece of sleepwear adored by many members of the AT team, the Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase is a product that actually lives up to its incredible hype. Crafted from pure silk, this pillowcase takes beauty sleep to the next level, helping prevent tangled hair and skin creasing for a truly luxurious sleep.

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was $170.00

It's tough to sleep comfortably in stiff and scratchy sheets, so it's good to read reviews before you buy. Commerce contributor Nicole is a big fan of the Charter Club Damask sheets from Macy's, which have a soft yet crisp feel that's perfect for hot sleepers. "I’m happy to report that the Charter Club sheets feel amazing and don’t make me sweaty at all, yet they’re substantial enough that you still feel cozy," she says. Even better? They come in 19 (!) colors and are pretty much always on sale, so consider grabbing more than one set.