Douni White Noise Sleep Sound Machine
Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
Marpac Yogasleep GO Portable Travel White Noise Sound Machine

The Best Sound Machines for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep

Slumber in wonderland
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Amber Sayer

Falling and staying asleep can be a battle even when you’re exhausted. From neighbors walking above you to the sound of traffic, there are plenty of noises that can rouse you just as you’re starting to drift off. Sound machines, or white noise machines help drown out distracting sounds and create a consistent backdrop of soothing repetitive noise to help you fall and stay asleep. Sound machines are a great way to create a peaceful nap environment for a baby, to make a sanctuary in a hotel room when you’re traveling, or to provide the privacy therapists, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals need.

Buying a sound machine can be overwhelming because of the sheer number of choices. However, as with most products, some white noise machines are better than others. Picking the best sound machine involves identifying the criteria that matter most to you. 

5 Things to Know Before Buying a Sound Machine:

  1. Sounds: The number and type of available sounds is likely the most important factor to consider. Simple sound machines only offer white noise or fan sounds, but nicer sound machines usually have a handful of nature sounds as well. Look at the included sounds and decide if it’s important to you to have lots of options. 
  2. Volume: All sound machines have adjustable volume controls, but some have a narrow decibel range or a small, finite number of volume levels. If you plan to use the sound machine in a large space or in multiple environments, opt for a device with more adjustability.
  3. Timer: All sound machines have an autoplay option, so they can play continuously until you turn them off. Some sound machines also have a sleep timer, which means the sound will play for a given length of time and then automatically shut off. This is a nice feature if you just want sound at certain intervals of time.
  4. Power: Most sound machines plug in and require an outlet. However, if you’re buying a sound machine for travel, look for a battery-powered or rechargeable device. 
  5. Appearance: Sound machines are all generally small—around the size of an alarm clock—but some are larger or smaller depending on features and design. If you’re going to be using the sound machine for travel, you’ll want something small and portable. If the sound machine is going in an office, you may want something more elegant and discreet. 

The best sound machines are reliable, affordable, and most importantly, soothing. We reviewed the top sound machines from the most popular brands and tested them out in a large bedroom, studio apartment, and nursery. We critiqued them based on the range and quality of sounds, volume adjustability, value, appearance, performance, ease of use, and any additional features. Keep reading to see which sound machines earned our seal of approval.

If you find this helpful, you might also want to check out the Best Memory Foam MattressesBest Twin MattressesBest Platform Beds, and Best Mattress Toppers.

Our Top Picks

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Top Pick
Top Pick
Douni White Noise Sleep Sound Machine
Best Sound Machine

Douni White Noise Sleep Sound Machine

Manufacturer :

  Douni

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Many sounds
  • Robust sound
  • Looks elegant
  • Good warranty
  • Headphone jack
  • Timer and memory function
  • High-quality and realistic sounds

Cons

  • Has to be plugged in

Product Snapshot

The Douni White Noise Sleep Sound Machine is our pick for the best overall sound machine. It is an excellent value, functions beautifully, and looks elegant and aesthetically pleasing with its classy wood grain finish and neat, compact size. The Douni is perfect for offices, homes, nurseries, and even travel. 

There are 24 sounds: 7 fan sounds, 7 white noise sounds, and 10 nature sounds, including ocean, waves, forest, thunder, crickets, brook, train, ticking clock, campfire, lullaby, and fetal tone. This range of sounds is appealing to adults, babies, and children alike, and the natural sounds are clear and realistic without being jarring.

The Douni White Noise Sleep Sound Machine has a timer, so you can set it to run for 30, 60, or 90 minutes, or it can play until you turn it off. It has a memory function, meaning that it remembers the last settings you used for the sound choice, volume level, and timer and will carry those out unless you program it differently.

Finally, there’s a headphone jack, a convenient feature for those who want the oasis of their soothing sound machine without disturbing a sleep partner. The sound machine has more than 32 volume levels and a range of 0–85 dB, so that you can fine-tune the volume in any situation. The Douni White Noise Sound Machine has a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty.

Specs

Number of Sounds
24
Type of Sounds
7 Fan
10 Nature
7 White Noise
Volume Levels
32
0–85 dB
Power Source
Corded Electric
Size
4.4 inches x
4.4 inches x
2.3 inches
9.7 Ounces

Where to Buy

Best Sound Machine for Babies

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine

Manufacturer :

  Hatch

Where to Buy

Pros

  • App is easy to use
  • Incredibly soothing
  • Sounds are amazing
  • Grows with your baby
  • Fully customizable and programmable
  • Nightlight is gorgeous, and there are infinite color options

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Need to use app

Product Snapshot

There are many sound machines for babies but few that offer the functionality and growth potential of the Hatch Baby Rest. This is more of a sleep device than a baby sound machine, as it also has a sleep programming light and smart capabilities that enable you to customize the sleep experience for your little one. 

The Hatch Baby Rest combines a sound machine with a nightlight and a time-to-rise alert. It is fully controllable from your phone via the intuitive app. The app allows instantaneous changes and control, but you can also program it to automatically carry out the same functions night after night, making it an easy “set it and forget it” device for busy parents.

There are 11 sound options on the sound machine that were specifically chosen to appeal to babies and toddlers. The sounds included are crickets, rain, birds, wind, ocean, stream, dryer, classic white noise, and three lullabies. They are all blissfully soothing and high quality.

The nightlight function imparts a calming glow to the Hatch Baby Rest. There are 10 preset colors—and an infinite number of options in the app via a color wheel—for the nightlight, which works perfectly as a nursing or feeding light. The brightness can also be controlled in the app. You can create sleep schedules for nap time and bedtime and have the Hatch sound machine carry out the lights, sounds, and timing exactly as you wish.

More so than any other sound machine for babies, the Hatch Baby Rest grows with your baby, offering functions appropriate for young children. For example, the nightlight is great for toddlers and picking a color is a fun way for them to personalize their bedtime experience. Another awesome function for parents of toddlers is the time-to-rise alert. You can program the Hatch Baby Rest to glow a certain color when it’s time for your little one to get up. For parents wanting to catch a few extra minutes in bed in the morning, this feature helps set a schedule and build independence and self-sufficiency in your toddler.

The Hatch Baby Rest is an elegant sound machine. With a toddler lock and temperature regulation, it is also very safe for curious little hands.

Specs

Number of Sounds
11
Type of Sounds
7 Nature
3 Lullabies
1 White Noise
Volume Levels
Infinite within 0–60 dB
Power Source
Corded Electric
Size
4 inches x
4 inches x
6.25 inches
13 Ounces

Where to Buy

Best Value
Best Value
Marpac Yogasleep GO Portable Travel White Noise Sound Machine
Best Sound Machine for Travel

Marpac Yogasleep GO Portable Travel White Noise Sound Machine

Manufacturer :

  Amazon

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Small
  • Affordable
  • 101-night trial
  • USB rechargeable
  • Speakers sound good
  • Convenient hook and stand
  • 11 sounds, more than most other travel sound machines

Cons

  • Larger than other travel sound machines

Product Snapshot

Marpac is one of the most trusted brands on the sleep machine market, and their Yogasleep GO Portable Travel White Noise Sound Machine wins our vote for the best travel sleep machine due to the range of sounds it offers and the quality of the speakers and sound. While some travel sound machines prioritize portability and size at the detriment of functionality and performance, the Marpac Yogasleep GO Portable Travel White Noise Sound Machine strikes the ideal balance of a high-quality sound machine with ample options in a lightweight, compact little device.

When you travel it’s often even more crucial to have the soothing sounds of white noise, a fan, or nature to drown out the ruckus of a busy hotel or honking city traffic and sirens. This machine has 11 sound options: four fans, four white noise options, and three nature sounds (rain, stream, and ocean). Unlike other tiny sound machines, which have tinny, low-fidelity audio, the machine sounds as good as larger, standard sound machines. The volume range is an impressive 0–67 dB.

There is no need for batteries or an electrical outlet, which makes this ideal for travel. The Yogasleep GO has a lithium-ion battery rechargeable via USB. Smaller than a deck of cards, and with a convenient built-in stand that converts to a hanging hook, the Marpac Yogasleep GO sound machine is easy to fit into a bag or suitcase and turn your hotel room into a relaxing sleep environment. Marpac offers a 101-night no-questions-asked trial.

Specs

Number of Sounds
11
Type of Sounds
4 Fan
3 Nature
4 White Noise
Volume Levels
0–67 dB
Power Source
USB Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
Size
4 inches x
2.6 inches x
1.3 inches
6.7 Ounces

Where to Buy

Splurge
Splurge
Hatch Restore Sound Machine
Best Smart Sound Machine

Hatch Restore Sound Machine

Manufacturer :

  Hatch

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Sunrise alarm
  • Can set sleep routines
  • App is very easy to use
  • Fully customizable and programmable
  • Tons of sounds, and they are really high quality
  • Nightlight and reading light with infinite options

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Need to use app
  • Membership costs more

Product Snapshot

Hatch also makes a smart sound machine and sleep device for adults. The Hatch Restore is their answer to the adults who wanted a sound machine like the Hatch Baby Rest. The Hatch Restore is also fully customizable and controllable via the easy-to-use app. You can select the sound, volume, nightlight color and brightness, timer/sleep schedule, and more right from the app. 

Not only are there more than 30 sounds in the free version of the app (and even more if you pay for the annual membership), but each of the sounds is high fidelity, realistic, and clear. The nature sounds, like the ocean and stream, are particularly impressive. The volume can be adjusted all the way up to 65 dB in minute changes.

The Hatch Restore also has a reading light, which you can customize in terms of color, brightness, and timer. More unique features of the Hatch Restore are the sleep programming and bedtime and morning routine options. You can set a sunrise alarm, which taps into the body’s natural circadian rhythms and gently wakes you with a sunrise glow, and you can use blue-light blocking functions to wind down before bed.

You can subscribe to a membership plan for sleep meditations, additional sounds, and sleep behavioral aids to help you establish ideal sleep hygiene.

Specs

Number of Sounds
36
Type of Sounds
3 Fan
29 Nature
4 White Noise
Volume Levels
Infinite within 0–65 dB
Power Source
Corded Electric
Size
3.54 inche x
7.1 inches x
8.82 inches
2 Pounds 1 Ounce

Where to Buy

Best Sound Machine for Offices

Housbay Glows Pro White Noise Machine

Manufacturer :

  Housbay

Where to Buy

Pros

  • Looks elegant
  • Timer function
  • Very good speaker sound
  • Nature sounds are fantastic
  • 31 sounds is more than competitors

Cons

  • Heavy, not great for travel
  • Hard to fine-tune volume to some degree

Product Snapshot

When you need to drown out noise in your office, you want a sound machine that works well and looks professional. The Housbay Glows Pro White Noise Machine is aesthetically pleasing with a wood grain appearance and an unobtrusive profile. It looks like an elegant little clock, and with 31 sound options, you can find the perfect sound for your office or bedroom. The sounds include 7 fan choices, 7 white noise, and 17 nature sounds: gentle waves, ocean waves, birds, brook, wind, fetal tone, lullaby, train, thunderstorm, rain, music box, rain drops, shushing, campfire, pendulum, summer night, and heartbeat.

The Housbay Glows Pro White Noise Machine has amazing sound quality with robust sound due to the advanced 5W stereo speaker. It has a timer function, where you can set a one-, two-, or three-hour sleep timer, and a wide range of possible operating volumes. It can be powered via AC or USB.

Specs

Number of Sounds
31
Type of Sounds
7 Fan
17 Nature
7 White Noise
Volume Levels
15
Power Source
AC or USB
Corded Electric
Size
4.61 inches x
3.31 inches x
4.57 inches
15.52 Ounces

Where to Buy

Compare

Best Sound Machine
Best Sound Machine for Babies
Best Sound Machine for Travel
Best Smart Sound Machine
Best Sound Machine for Offices
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
Pros
  • Many sounds
  • Robust sound
  • Looks elegant
  • Good warranty
  • Headphone jack
  • Timer and memory function
  • High-quality and realistic sounds
  • App is easy to use
  • Incredibly soothing
  • Sounds are amazing
  • Grows with your baby
  • Fully customizable and programmable
  • Nightlight is gorgeous, and there are infinite color options
  • Small
  • Affordable
  • 101-night trial
  • USB rechargeable
  • Speakers sound good
  • Convenient hook and stand
  • 11 sounds, more than most other travel sound machines
  • Sunrise alarm
  • Can set sleep routines
  • App is very easy to use
  • Fully customizable and programmable
  • Tons of sounds, and they are really high quality
  • Nightlight and reading light with infinite options
  • Looks elegant
  • Timer function
  • Very good speaker sound
  • Nature sounds are fantastic
  • 31 sounds is more than competitors
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
Cons
  • Has to be plugged in
  • Expensive
  • Need to use app
  • Larger than other travel sound machines
  • Expensive
  • Need to use app
  • Membership costs more
  • Heavy, not great for travel
  • Hard to fine-tune volume to some degree
Number of Sounds
Number of Sounds
Number of Sounds
Number of Sounds
Number of Sounds
Number of Sounds
24
11
11
36
31
Type of Sounds
Type of Sounds
Type of Sounds
Type of Sounds
Type of Sounds
Type of Sounds
7 Fan
10 Nature
7 White Noise
7 Nature
3 Lullabies
1 White Noise
4 Fan
3 Nature
4 White Noise
3 Fan
29 Nature
4 White Noise
7 Fan
17 Nature
7 White Noise
Volume Levels
Volume Levels
Volume Levels
Volume Levels
Volume Levels
Volume Levels
32
0–85 dB
Infinite within 0–60 dB
0–67 dB
Infinite within 0–65 dB
15
Power Source
Power Source
Power Source
Power Source
Power Source
Power Source
Corded Electric
Corded Electric
USB Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
Corded Electric
AC or USB
Corded Electric
Size
Size
Size
Size
Size
Size
4.4 inches x
4.4 inches x
2.3 inches
9.7 Ounces
4 inches x
4 inches x
6.25 inches
13 Ounces
4 inches x
2.6 inches x
1.3 inches
6.7 Ounces
3.54 inche x
7.1 inches x
8.82 inches
2 Pounds 1 Ounce
4.61 inches x
3.31 inches x
4.57 inches
15.52 Ounces

FAQ

Where should I place my sound machine?

You can place a sound machine wherever you find it most effective. Some people prefer to place it just outside the door of the bedroom or office so that it drowns out the commotion but creates minimal noise where you are. Many people place a sound machine on a nightstand or near a baby’s crib. It should be at least three feet away from adult ears and 6.5 feet from babies for safety. 

How loud should the sound machine be?

The short answer is the sound machine should be as quiet as possible while still being effective enough to drown out most disruptive sounds. This is especially essential for babies and toddlers. Keep the volume under 50 dB for young children.

Should I run the sound machine all night?

Pediatricians recommend that you turn off a sound machine once your baby or toddler is asleep. For adults, it’s fine to run your sound machine at a safe volume (under 60 dB) all night, but if it has a timer, it’s better to have it shut off if you don’t need it on once you are asleep.