The Best White Noise Machine of 2018
The Best White Noise Machines To Help You Sleep Through Anything
Are you kept awake by night-owl neighbors, or other creaky, screechy noises that go more than just bump in the night? You may want to consider white noise machines and their dependable, sound-drowning capabilities. First, you’ll want to understand what noise is before you run out and buy a sleep machine, one of the trusty go-to solutions for insomniacs everywhere.
“White noise is basically a constant noise that covers all hearable frequencies,” says Rajkumar (Raj) Dasgupta, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “We [often] use the terminology of ‘white noise’ wrong. Not everything that is labeled ‘white noise’ is truly white noise. People love the sound of rainfall in the background and find it soothing and peaceful—but that’s not meeting the definition of white noise.”
Josna Adusumilli, M.D., a neurologist and sleep disorders physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, breaks it down further by explaining that white noise is random noise that’s generated with snips from all frequencies (hence why that babbling brook or crackling fire doesn’t count).
“It can help mask other noises in the environment that may disrupt sleep because often it’s the change in sound, rather than the actual sound itself, that causes you to wake up,” he says. “If there’s white noise in the background, there’s less of a change in the sound levels if a new sound arises, and less of chance that you will awaken.”
While nature tracks and other ambient sounds do not meet the scientific definition of white noise, the concept of “blanketing” your bedroom with a soothing sound could have a similar effect. White noise and other soundtracks for sleep create a noise base as you doze off, meaning nighttime dins can be less jolting and disruptive.
Dasgupta offers this simple analogy: “Let’s say you’re in a very dark, dark room, and suddenly I turn on a flashlight. You will wake up because it’s robust and bright. But if you take a room with a nightlight or the hall light on, when you turn on flashlight it won’t be that intense.”
Makes sense, right? So, now that you know all this, is a white noise machine is the fix to your sleep woes? “I think the big thing to consider is: Are you envious of people who can sleep through anything? Like there’s an explosion outside, and you’re like, ‘How are you still sleeping?” says Dasgupta. “That’s white noise’s claim to fame.”
If that sounds like you, browse these options that offer both electronic and motorized white noise. Check out six of our favorites below.
The Compact Standby: Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine
More than 11,000 customers reviewed this system on Amazon, with an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Although extremely basic, users say that this compact motor-based machine—which can be adjusted to replicate varying sounds of rushing wind without blowing air—is stealth and unexpectedly effective. And its simplistic design and mechanisms seem to keep it a hit with users just looking for an uncomplicated standby. “There are no issues like you’d find with electronic ones, which always seem to have some subtle repetitive pattern that eventually drives you crazy,” .
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The Smart Machine: Sound+Sleep High Fidelity Sleep Sound Machine
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the smart adaptive technology of Sound+Sleep’s machine monitors background noise and disruptions to adjust its volume throughout the night. —ranging from a fireplace crackles with intermittent cat purrs, and ocean waves crashing over the low boom of fog horns—can be programmed to play while you doze off for up to 30 minutes. White noise is also an option, and can be set to perform at white, brown, or the (so trendy RN) pink noise levels.
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The Minimalist: LectroFan White Noise Fan Sound Machine
A slightly more customizable option of the Marpac Dohm motorized noise machine, the LectroFan replicates ambient fan sounds electronically. Users have the option to switch the machine between fan or white noises, with a 60-minute timer for auto-off after they’ve drifted to sleep. On Amazon, this little machine has more than 6,500 reviews and still keeps a ridiculously high approval rating at 4.7 stars—it’s very customer approved (and kind of stylish to boot).
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The Ultra-Portable: HoMedics Portable Mini Sound Spa Sleep Solutions (SS-1200)
If insomnia only strikes while in unfamiliar settings, the HoMedics portable sound maker is an easily packable (and powerful) option. The travel-friendly device offers four background sound profiles: white noise, rain, ocean, and everglades—which one reviewer says , according to one reviewer. It’s also battery-operated, for easy room-to-room relocation, and can be set for auto-off after 15, 30, or 45 minutes.
The Pick For Families: Pictek White Noise Machine
Featuring an impressive mix of 24 sound options—ranging from “Tokyo temple rain” to the low hum of a vacuum cleaner to gentle thumping of the womb—the Pictek device provides a range of sleep support for all ages. It also comes with a headphone jack, so you can plug in and take a nap (or not disturb your silence-loving partner or sleeping babe) as you please. Sound and volume selections are also saved from one usage to the next for a customizable one-tap on-off.
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The Multitasker: Sharper Image Travel Sleep Sound Machine with Alarm
Most white noise machines put their focus on helping you fall asleep—but waking up in the morning? You’ll need a second gadget for that. The Sharper Image digital alarm clock comes with a built-in white noise maker (it’s one of 19 sounds included in its digital bank) with an adjustable auto-off function and a customizable wake-up message. With travel in mind, multiple alarms can be set for home and away, with a backup battery pack for campers and those times you forget an international outlet adaptor.
Video: Best White Noise Machine 2018 – TOP 7 Sleep Sound Machines
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