We updated this article in March 2023 to ensure that all sound machines previously tested and vetted by the Good Housekeeping Institute were in stock and correctly priced. We added two new choices, Sound+Sleep SE and Yogasleep Hushh+, and updated our Homedics pick to the SoundSleep.
Noise can keep you up at night, from your partner's snoring to a neighbor dragging out their garbage cans. Then again, sometimes it's silence that's hard to sleep through. In a Good Housekeeping Institute sleep survey of more than 4,000 people, 76% reported they weren't sleeping well, and 56% felt they slept too little. That's a problem, since a lack of sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are tiny tweaks you can make to your bedroom environment that promote better sleep. The easiest change? Invest in a quality sound machine to help you fall and stay asleep. Sound machines help mask ambient noise so you won't be startled awake by something abrupt, like a car alarm going off or a door slamming. They might use white noise, the sound of crashing waves or other soothing sounds to do the job.
At the Good Housekeeping Institute, we rigorously test hundreds of sleep-related products every year, from the best mattresses to the best down comforters. For example, our most recent Best Bedding Awards collected data from more than 500 consumer testers to help us select the best products you can buy to make your bed as comfy as possible. Yes, there are sleep apps to help you drift off faster, but if you prefer to stay off your phone at bedtime (as recommended by sleep experts), try one of our favorite sound machines instead.
Our top picks:
At the end of this list, read about how we test sound machines and what to look for when you shop for one. Want to wrap yourself in coziness as you listen to your new machine? Check out our top choices for the best weighted blankets and the best comforters for your bed, based on your individual sleeping needs.