White noise machines are a popular sleep aid designed to give you an audibly consistent environment at night. People who find it easier to fall asleep in complete silence often have trouble with interruptions—animal sounds, car horns, sirens, and even a partner or roommate snoring. People who like to fall asleep with a TV on or music playing might have issues with inconsistent noises and sudden changes in volume.

By definition, white noise refers to a sound with varying frequencies but a consistent volume. Colors are used to describe a specific range of sounds with a specific number of sound waves per second. For example, blue noise increases in both volume and frequency, while brown noise decreases volume with an increase of frequency. White noise machines, though, actually have a wide range of sounds that can include environmental noises.

White noise machines all have one goal: eliminate audio inconsistencies and interruptions by giving you a stable sound that drowns out any background noise. These sound machines can help people fall asleep faster and even improve the overall quality of sleep. This guide will give you our top picks for the best white noise machines for a variety of different needs. We’ll also give you in-depth information about how they work, when to use them, and how to find the best choice for you.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best White Noise Machines: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: LectroFan Evo
LectroFan Evo

The LectroFan Evo offers users the most sound options for the best experience.

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Why We Picked It

The Evo gives you 22 different sounds to choose from; there are two ocean sounds, 10 fan noises, and ten non-repeating ambient sound options that include white, pink, and brown noises. This noise machine also has a great range of sound options which to find the best level for sleeping or even to help concentration for work or studying. There’s an optional timer for those who only need it to run while falling asleep, with adjustable auto-off times between one and eight hours.

The LectroFan white noise machine has simple controls that can be operated with ease in the dark. The device can be powered by an AC or USB cable and has a 3.5mm connector for headphones or speakers. The Evo is small enough to be used for travel and comes in two colors: white and charcoal.

Keep in Mind

Some users may not like the lack of nature sounds, and the Evo does not have an internal rechargeable battery.

In a Nutshell

  • 22 sound options
  • Compact and simple design
  • Optional timer between 1-8 hours
Best Value: HoMedics Sound Spa
HoMedics Sound Spa

The Sound Spa is a portable sound machine at an affordable price.

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Why We Picked It

This white noise machine by HoMedics is a great value. The disk-shaped machine is lightweight and perfect for traveling thanks to its power options—AC power cord or AA batteries. The Sound Spa also has three color options: blue, gold, and silver.

This device has six optional sounds, including relaxing environmental noises and white noise. The centrally located speaker and volume knob help users find the perfect level for falling asleep or getting work done. The sound can be played continuously, or used with an auto-off timer for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. HoMedics also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

The indicator lights on the Sound Spa might be too bright for some customers while using this product at night.

In a Nutshell

  • Affordable price
  • Choose between batteries and power cord
  • 30-day trial and three-year warranty
Best Tech: Marpac Dohm Connect
Marpac Dohm Connect

This sound machine combines classic fan-based noise with sophisticated control options.

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Why We Picked It

Marpac created the original white noise machine, produced in 1962. The Dohm Connect uses the same internal fan design that has proven effective for decades, but with a modern update. The internal fan creates a soothing sound without actual moving air, and there are two available speed options to adjustable the tone and volume of the fan noise.

The smart device is programmable through the Marpac app. You can control the volume and set up a sleep schedule for ultimate customization. The simplistic design features a power button and speed buttons; the Dohm Connect is powered by an AC plug. The company also offers an incredible 101-night sleep trial.

Keep in Mind

The Marpac sound machine is a relatively expensive product and has limited sound options.

In a Nutshell

  • Simplistic design
  • Customizable through the Marpac App
  • 101-night sleep trial
Best for Travel: Big Red Rooster
Big Red Rooster

This lightweight and compact sound machine is perfect for traveling.

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Why We Picked It

The Big Red Rooster is a popular choice for travelers thanks to its small size and low price point. This white noise machine weighs less than 10 ounces, only sitting at three inches tall and four inches wide. It can be powered by AAA batteries and comes with an AC power cord—it also works at 110-240 volts, which makes it ideal for international travel.

The Big Rooster sound machine features six sleep sounds, including nature sounds and white noise. Each sound has a dedicated button for easy operation and simple volume controls. There is an auto-off feature that can be set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes to save power and help you fall asleep.

Keep in Mind

The Big Red Rooster has fewer sound, volume, and timer options than other white noise machines.

In a Nutshell

  • Compact design
  • Can use batteries or power cord
  • Affordable price
Best for Babies: Hatch Baby Rest
Hatch Baby Rest

This customizable night light sound machine is perfect for babies and toddlers.

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Why We Picked It

The Hatch Baby Rest is a smart device that functions as both a night light and a white noise machine for your newborn. Using the Hatch Baby app, you can remotely adjust the brightness, sound, and volume level of the base unit. You can also customize the color through your phone and pick out images or patterns to display.

Specially designed to grow with your children, the device features a “time-to-rise” alarm feature for preschoolers and bedtime program to help your toddler adjust to their sleep schedule. In addition to the default white noise options, you can download additional sounds and designs through the app.

Keep in Mind

The Hatch is an expensive option, and some users dislike that you can’t do much customization without your phone.

In a Nutshell

  • Adjustable brightness and color
  • Downloadable sound options
  • Controlled through your phone

How We Chose the Best White Noise Machines

In order to suggest the best products for you, we compared sound machines based on crucial issues that affect your sleep and user experience. Below, we outline why these factors are important and how each one helped us pick out the best white noise machines.

Size

We paid attention to the overall size of each white noise machine because we didn’t want to suggest a product that would take up too much space. In order to use the device while you’re in bed, it will most likely sit on a nightstand or dresser. We want to make sure your bedside table still has room for anything else you keep there. We also considered how much space portable white noise machines would take up in your luggage in case you travel often.

Price

The price of every product is important to us because we want to ensure you get your money’s worth. The most expensive products aren’t necessarily the best but sometimes spending more money can get you more important features. We also wanted to make sure that each product was durable enough to warrant its price tag. It’s not worth buying a sound machine that has every feature imaginable but stops working after repeated use.

Variety of Sounds

The type of sounds available is a feature that sets a lot of white noise machines apart from each other. We wanted to make sure the devices we suggest give you a decent selection of different sounds so that you can find one that fits your needs. Some of the devices we found give you a wide range of noise types—like fan sounds, white noise, and nature sounds. Even with budget options, which typically have fewer sound choices, we made sure there were quality ambient noise options that should help you sleep.

Customer Satisfaction

A helpful tool to help us find you the best sound machine is to pay attention to other customer’s experiences. We found that a product’s durability is quickly pointed out by any users who had issues with their device. Other important input includes unusual design features, volume levels, and experiences with customer service. We also looked at what the companies offered for a warranty and if the white noise machine includes a sleep trial for you to test it out before committing to a purchase.

When to Use a White Noise Machine

White noise machines are designed to give you soothing and consistent audio for helping you fall asleep. Below are some examples of how different situations and environments can contribute to unhealthy sleep habits, and how a noise machine can help.

  • Noisy environment: Falling asleep can be a difficult task for people who live in busy cities, have loud neighbors or roommates, or share a bed with someone who snores. White noise machines use calming sounds to block out any loud background noise so you can fall asleep and stay asleep easier.
  • Traveling: Staying in an unfamiliar place can make it hard to fall asleep, never mind sharing a wall with loud tenants or staying near a busy road. White noise machines can help you fall asleep in hotel rooms or wherever you’re staying the night. Using headphones can also help you use your sound machine to keep out distractions if you’re trying to get work done in a loud environment like an airport, train, or rest stop.
  • Trouble falling asleep: Sleep issues like tinnitus, insomnia, and ADHD can make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. White noise machines help to remove auditory distractions for people who can’t fall asleep due to focus related issues. Sound machines can also drown out any ringing in the ears due to hearing loss or tinnitus.
  • Children: Newborns can often be comforted by white noise because it mimics the ambient sounds they were used to before birth. Some parents have found that white noise can help kids with autism (who often suffer from trouble sleeping) sleep better. However, it is important to not overdo it with white noise, as it can lead to some health problems and possibly learning disorders. Consider a device with lower volume settings for your children.

What to Consider when Choosing a White Noise Machine

It’s important that you find a white noise machine that matches your personal needs. Consider the characteristics and features below to help you find the best white noise machine for your sleep needs.

Sound Options

There’s a variety of different noises that sound machines can produce and everyone will have their own preferences. Possibly the easiest to imagine before buying a device is fan noises—if you’ve ever had a fan or AC on in your room at night, the noise should be familiar. Some nature ambient sounds are made to mimic soothing environments like rain or crashing waves. Typically these avoid inconsistent sounds like birds and other animals. The “white” noise options (which are usually pink, brown, or blue noise) are a consistent static sound that can be very calming for some people.

Battery Life

Portable white noise machines can be very useful for those who often travel. The actual battery life and power options can make one device better than another. The number of hours a single charge lasts and whether or not the sound machine has an auto-off feature can make all the difference when you don’t have an outlet accessible.

Volume Control

While the sound options are all supposed to aid your sleep, the volume that it’s played at will actually dictate whether or not it’s soothing. Having easy to use buttons and a wide range of volume levels will help you adjust your white noise machine for a good night’s sleep.

Price

There is a lot to consider when you think about how much you want to spend on your sound machine. Figure out what features are the most important, and whether or not those tend to come at a higher price. How often you will use the device is important and features like return policies and warranties to help protect your purchase.

Size

Before you buy a white noise machine, figure out where you want to keep it. This can help you decide what size would fit best in your room or which machine is the best for packing. For the most part, size doesn’t affect the performance or sounds a white noise machine can make. However, it might impact the button design and how easy it is to operate in the dark.

Related Resources

Check out the links below for more sleep accessory recommendations and helpful tips.

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Bryan Long