Never wake up late again with the best alarm clocks

·11 min read

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Adjustable alarm clocks with snooze button
Adjustable alarm clocks with snooze button

If you’ve been late to work because your alarm didn’t go off or your smartphone died because you forgot to plug it in before bed, it’s time to switch to something more reliable to wake you up. And what’s more effective than an unavoidable buzzing alarm clock?

Despite being the target of our annoyance in the morning, alarm clocks unfailingly wake us up with their repeated sounds and beeps. There are tons of apps and tones on our phones that might make alarm clocks seem too outdated. But setting these up might tempt you to use your phone too long before bed and ultimately lead to poor sleep. A physical alarm clock will help you fall asleep with no stress and wake up ready for the day ahead.

There are tons of options with high-tech specs that you can choose from. And to keep you from becoming overwhelmed by all the choices, we designed this guide with our recommendations for the finest alarm clocks of 2022.

Top Picks

Best overall: AmazonBasics Small Digital Alarm Clock

Digital alarm clock from Amazon Basics
Digital alarm clock from Amazon Basics

First on our list is this alarm clock from AmazonBasics, which is a battery-powered clock with tons of useful features. This electrical alarm clock comes in a compact oval shape and a sleek design, perfect for your bedside table. The green-colored LED display allows you to see the time at night just as clearly as in the daylight. It also has a built-in nightlight that will gently illuminate the room at night. This product features a repeating snooze function to help you wake at your own pace. Plus, it comes with a battery backup source that ensures the clock retains memory for up to 8 hours. This alarm clock is our top pick due to its simplicity yet useful features, ensuring you wake up exactly when you want to (or have to).

Key Features:

  • 0.7-inch LED display

  • Compact traveling size

  • Weighs only 0.51 pounds

Best aesthetics: JALL Digital Alarm Clock

Digital alarm clock from JALL
Digital alarm clock from JALL

Featuring a sleek design, this alarm clock has a wooden body and a corded power source system. It’s shaped into a triangle, making it a great décor item for your bedroom or living room. With this clock, you won’t have to worry about being late for work or school; it allows you to set up to three alarms. You can also set a weekday mode where the alarm rings only on a specific set of days. Another interesting feature of this product is that the LED display light can be dimmed or turned off. This is perfect for people who like to sleep in complete darkness. This alarm clock also has a humidity and temperature sensor that monitors indoor air and alerts for abnormalities.

Key Features:

  • Multiple level brightness adjustments

  • Five alarm volume options

  • Available in four colors

Most versatile: PEAKEEP Smart Digital Alarm Clock

A smart digital alarm clock from PEAKEEP
A smart digital alarm clock from PEAKEEP

This small alarm clock packs many useful features. The smart night light digital clock is lightweight and compact to be carried around anywhere you go. It is powered by batteries and utilizes an HD LCD screen to display the time, set alarm, and temperature. There is a built-in ambient sensor that senses light and changes the screen’s brightness accordingly. Darkness will automatically trigger a nightlight with soft illumination while you can also manually flip the switch to a low or high brightness as well. The alarm sound is a fast beep noise that makes sure you wake up, continuing for 90 seconds so that you regain complete senses before turning it off. It also features a top snooze button that grants an extra eight minutes of sleep if pressed continuously.

Key Features:

  • Portable, cordless power supply

  • Available in five colors

  • Built-in light sensors

Easiest to use (and snooze): REACHER Small Digital Alarm Clock

LED digital alarm clock from REACHER
LED digital alarm clock from REACHER

With a space-saving design, this option is an oval-shaped digital alarm clock that comes with a large white or green LED screen that displays time in the easiest to read manner. The battery backup automatically saves the time, mode, and settings in case of a power outage. The clock features a dangerously easy snooze operation that snoozes the clock with a single press anywhere on the top surface. You can change the brightness levels with a slider dimmer from 0 to 100% to best suit your preferences. The alarm sound is a continuous buzzer noise that won’t let you sleep through your busy day.

Key Features:

  • Battery backup with a main outlet power source

  • Adjustable alarm volume

  • Available in two LED colors

Best for charging devices: USCCE LED Digital Alarm Clock

LED digital alarm clock with snooze from USCCE
LED digital alarm clock with snooze from USCCE

This small LED alarm clock is perfect if you forget to plug your phone in at night due to its USB charging port, compatible with smartphones and other devices. It’s super easy to set an alarm and features an easy-to-use oval design. It displays big white-colored numbers so you can read the time in the dark. The clock also allows you to set the display brightness according to the need from 0 to 100%. Similarly, you can change the alarm volume between 30 to 90 decibels to get the desired noise level. With three AAA batteries, this clock will back up your settings in case of a power outage, including the time, settings, and alarm

Key Features:

  • Five different alarm sounds

  • USB charging port

  • 12/24H switchable system

  • Available in four fun LED colors

Buying guide: Finding your optimal alarm clock

Shopping for an alarm clock can be tricky since there are tons of options, features, and designs out there. From the abundance of options, you are bound to find one that suits your sleep cycle and waking-up needs. To help you find the perfect one for your bedside table, we put together a detailed buying guide in which we discuss everything you need to know before making a purchase.

Using alarm clocks for better sleep

A few tips to enhance your sleep with an alarm clock:

Change the lighting

Lights around you can affect the hormone production of melatonin. This hormone regulates our circadian rhythm which governs the sleep-wake cycle. When your room is illuminated with a strong light, your brain is tricked into believing that it is daytime and it should stop the production of melatonin.

Get a clock with multiple lighting options and set the light to a softer tint or brightness. Set the clock to have no light or only faint light at the time you sleep and to show full bright light on the display when it’s time to wake up.

Wake gradually

Unsettling horns, bells, and beeps can be harmful to wake up to every day. A calming sound will have your body wake up in a more comfortable and relaxed state rather than a stressed one. Loud and emergency sounds trigger the body into a state of shock which is not the ideal way to wake up. Set a relaxing alarm tone, perhaps some music or nature sounds, to start your day calmly.

The placement of the clock

Always put your alarm clock as far from your hand’s reach as you can. It can substantially disrupt your sleep if it’s kept too close, but will also require you to fully wake up to turn it off. You can place the clock at the other end of the room where you cannot see the numbers on the clock directly. Placing the clock out of your immediate reach also prevents you from hitting snooze and delaying the wake-up process.

Should you get an alarm clock?

It’s fair to question if you need an alarm clock when you have apps and features right on your smartphone to wake you up. Well, alarm clocks make a huge difference in your sleep routine and, ultimately, your sleep quality.

Smartphones can also make unreliable alarms sometimes. Many of us have certainly encountered a situation where we get late because our alarm didn’t go off. Physical alarm clocks act as a reliable backup. They are also perfect if you are trying to limit the use of technology before bed. Phone vibrations from text messages, notifications, and calls can impact your REM sleep cycle as well.

Other than that, blue light from smartphones suppresses melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep. Hence, ditching your late-night scrolling habits and using a physical alarm clock is a good idea for better quality sleep.

It has also been observed that waking up with nonemergency sounds such as nature noise is better than waking up to loud, emergency sounds like blazing bells or horns. People who suffer from anxiety might wake up alarmed and stressed by such loud noises; the body might even activate the fight or flight response. Good quality alarm clocks come with an array of continuous, gentle alarm noises to wake you up gradually and peacefully.

What to look for when buying an alarm clock?

Here are a few important considerations to remember when shopping for alarm clocks:

Noise level

An alarm clock is as effective as the loudness of its alarm noise. Alarm clocks come with a variety of different noise kinds and levels, some of which are highly adjustable. You can either go for a standard buzzer alarm or a clock that uses sounds from nature to help you wake up better. Keep your sleep quality, cycle, and preferences in mind, and buy accordingly. It’s better to get a clock that has multiple sound levels that you can adjust to your preferences.

Readability and ease of use

You should easily be able to read the time and date on the display screen without having to squint your eyes. The digits should be big enough that you can read them far from your bed. The alarm clock should also be easy to operate. A complicated snooze system will simply leave you frustrated, thinking about extra sleep you missed out on for the rest of your day. Get a clock with a simple interface, customizable easy settings, and glow-in-the-dark buttons.

USB charging

USB charging allows you to charge your phone, e-reader, or other devices with the alarm clock. This is convenient if you have a single electrical outlet near your bed. Simply plug in your device via the port and wake up to a full battery.

Battery backup

Since electrical alarm clocks are powered by electrical outlets in your home, they need to have a backup system so they can still wake you up in case of a power outage. The battery keeps your clock running after the power is interrupted so you don’t oversleep.

Lights

Light emitted by a digital alarm clock is a major consideration for light sleepers as they can be sensitive to light. Alarm clocks come with many interesting features including one that makes the clock light up a few minutes before it’s time to wake up. We advise choosing a clock that allows you to adjust the brightness of the screen according to your preference.

Smart alarm clocks

Smart clocks integrate with your smartphone and allow you more and better control over the features. You can change the snooze length, time, alarm, tones, and much more through an app installed on your smartphone.

Conclusion

Alarm clocks need to be selected after careful evaluation of their style, light, audio setting, levels, setup, and overall value they offer to your sleep and wake-up needs. This guide circles around everything you should be checking and considering before making that purchase. We recommend looking through suggestions for the best alarm clocks of 2022 to gain a better idea of some of the top models available, and maybe even find your new clock.

People also asked

Q: What kind of alarm clock is best for me if I’m a very light sleeper?

A: Since you’re a light sleeper, you wouldn’t need a clock that’s too loud or bright. Pick an alarm clock with dimmable lights or one that turns off its lights completely during the night, and that offers volume adjustment.

Q: Are digital alarm clocks better than the traditional ones?

A: Yes, digital clocks allow better readability and often include other features such as temperature or humidity sensors.

Q: How do you set up an alarm clock?

A: The initial setup varies with different types and formats of clocks. Electric alarm clocks have buttons that set time and alarm. Wind-up clocks generally come with knobs that let you set the alarm.