Having difficulties sleeping can cause a wide range of problems in your day-to-day life. You may find it difficult to concentrate, become irritable at the slightest inconvenience, and generally feel much more stressed than if you were able to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. If you're noticing that your sleep has become more fractured than usual, it's well worth picking up a white noise machine to see if it can help.
White noise machines are a great way of blocking out any unwanted sounds that keep you up and have proven popular among those who find themselves repeatedly woken up in the middle of the night, as well as being great sleeping aids for babies and dogs. We’ve put together this buying guide to help you choose the best white noise machines, including our top 10 favourites available in the UK on Amazon.
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Table of Contents
A white noise machine is a relatively small device that plays random noise from across the sound spectrum. This often sounds similar to television or radio static but can also sound a bit like a crashing wave, the falling of rain, or the noise you hear when you put a shell to your ear.
Some white noise machines also offer recordings of other relaxing sounds, such as ambient nature, crickets chirping, or birdsong. Before long, your brain will tune out these sounds allowing you to fall asleep as the continuous background noise will mask any jarring noises that could otherwise wake you up if you’re sleeping in silence.
It may sound obvious, but you’re primarily buying a white noise machine for its sounds, so it’s important to make sure that it will play the ones that relax you. While all-white noise machines produce the noise that they’re named after, you may also want the choice of some additional recorded sounds.
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In terms of white noise itself, many machines will have plenty of settings for you to fiddle with to get that static buzz or crashing waterfall just right. As we mentioned above, others will also feature pre-recorded sounds, so if you like the idea of falling asleep to the sound of a summer’s evening or a rolling thunderstorm, be sure to look out for those additions.
When it comes to sleep issues, people generally suffer from one of two issues. Struggling to get to sleep in the first place due to distractions or not being able to stay asleep once you've finally drifted off as any small disturbance wakes you up.
If you’re looking for a white noise machine to get you to sleep, you may want to search for one with an automatic shut off option or a programmable timer so that it can switch itself off once you finally reach the land of nod. This is a great way to save power and prevents batteries from running down.
As white noise machines are powered by electricity, you’ll need to consider whether you’d prefer a battery-powered device or one that’s plugged into the mains. Those powered by a traditional plug won't need to be kept charged or have their batteries changed. This makes them a great choice for a bedside table near a plug socket.
When it comes to battery-powered devices, you can choose between using replaceable batteries and those that are rechargeable via USB. This is down to personal preference, although we find that rechargeable USB batteries are always useful and save money in the long run.
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The portability factor offered by battery-powered machines makes them a great choice for travelling. That said, having the option to put them anywhere without worrying about plug accessibility and trailing wires is especially handy when it comes to a child’s bedroom.
You may be surprised by the sheer quantity of extras that many white noise machines possess, but some are well worth considering when making your decision. One such extra is a nightlight, which is an almost essential addition if you’re buying a white noise machine for your child.
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Another key feature you may want to look out for is the inclusion of a headphone jack. These are perfect if you sleep with a partner or just want to block out any unwanted noise while working. You’d be surprised how useful a white noise machine can be outside of the bedroom!
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D1 White Noise Machine
The Highest Quality Sounds and Soothing Night Light
White Noise Machine
The White Sound Machine With a Little Bit of Everything
The Original White Noise Machine
Baby White Noise Machine
A Small Portable Option That’s Designed for Babies
D8 White Noise Machine
A Great Value Option With Fantastic Audio Quality
White Noise Machine
Great for Travelling and Working on the Go
White Noise Machine
Compact and Portable With 7 Light Settings
White Noise Machine
White Noise, Night Light and Long Timer Settings
Portable White Noise Machine
Budget White Noise Machine With LED Display
White Noise Machine
An Impressive Library of 40 Sleepy Sounds
If you're looking for a great range of hi-fidelity, non-looping sounds, then this offering from Dreamegg is the choice for you. With a crystal clear speaker and a mixture of white noise, fan sounds, and natural recordings, you won't have any trouble blocking out jarring noise from outside.
It also features a warm, soothing night light that isn't intrusive, and the minimalist design fits in almost any room. Whether you're using it to sleep, meditate, work, or do yoga, this white noise machine is the real deal.
Repho has thought of everything when it comes to this white noise machine. It features 8 different night light modes and colours, a headphone jack for isolated listening, and a built-in rechargeable battery for when you need some portability.
The 29 sounds rank among some of the highest on our list and contain a mix of different types, including bonfires crackling, forest birds, and running water. You won't be disappointed with this purchase.
Created in 1962, the Marpac Dohm is considered the first white noise machine invented, and it's still going strong today. Unlike many electronic and pre-recorded sounds found on most white noise machines, this one uses a simple rotating fan to create soothing ambient sounds of rushing air.
It is one of the more expensive options on our list, but it's incredibly reliable, and many reviewers have said they've never slept better thanks to its unique fan-based sound. Whilst this doesn't include any extras, it's still one of the best around for helping you sleep.
One of the biggest markets for white noise machines is parents with toddlers, or newborn babies, who have difficulty sleeping. This offering from Dreamegg is, for the money, the best white noise machine for young children.
It features 11 non-looping, soothing sounds aimed at babies and toddlers, including a real human shushing sound, as well as an adjustable night light. Thanks to the rechargeable USB and plastic clip, you can easily attach this to a cot or crib or place it on its side on a dresser.
While there may not be a huge difference between many white noise machines in terms of price, this model from Dreamegg is our pick for the best value option. The audio quality is incredible, and it has a total of 21 sounds to choose from.
It features a mix of white noise, nature sounds, and baby sounds, making it great for both children and adults. Being nice and small, it also won't take up much space on your bedside table, dresser, or shelf.
This cute little machine from i-Star packs a lot into a small package, and you'll be surprised how loud a noise it can make. Whether you want to put it by your bed or use it with headphones on the go, you'll have no trouble drowning out unwanted sounds.
The small size and different battery options make it perfect when travelling and working away from a power source. The limited number of sounds may be an issue if you're looking to try many different options, but you really can't go wrong with this choice when it comes to the price.
The compact size and rechargeable USB battery initially make this offering from Homecube seem like it's one for travelling on the road or working in a loud environment. While it would serve that purpose well, it's a little better suited to a child's bedroom.
Thanks to the night light's 7 different settings and the inclusion of baby sounds, lullabies, and fetal tones, this works very well for children growing out of being toddlers. That said, with its more traditional white noise and relaxing recordings, it can also be used for adults.
There's a lot to like about this offering from Easysleep. The night light is adjustable from a level you could comfortably read with to something much more soothing, and the timer has the longest settings of any on our list.
In terms of pure sound quality, however, we think you'd do better to spend your hard-earned money on one of the higher fidelity options below. That's not to say the quality of this is bad by any means, but it suffers a little at higher volumes.
While you may be forgiven for thinking this is an alarm clock or bluetooth speaker, it is, in fact, a fully portable white noise machine. It can be charged using a micro USB cable and even features an AUX port for connecting headphones.
This is a special one, as it emits a soft and calming warm light that will give a relaxing ambience to any room. With a bunch of soothing sounds to choose from, such as water drops or fire crackling, there's something for everyone.
We're kicking off our list with this beautiful machine from Magicteam that boasts a whopping 40 sounds! If you're particularly fond of aesthetics and having a wide range of options to choose from, then this is an excellent choice.
Unfortunately, not all of the sounds are winners, with some actually being quite grating, and having to tap through the 40 options to get the one you want can be a little annoying. For this kind of price, you would expect a few quality of life improvements that simply aren't there. Still, the sounds are clear and free from loops.
Written and researched by David Sexton
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