Best Sleep Sound Machines Reviewed & Tested
Have you ever struggled to fall asleep at night? Of course you have- everyone has! Chances are, your child likely also has this problem, and as a result it may cause you to lose sleep too. However, thankfully there is something you can do to help.
You’ve likely heard of a sound machine before, but have you considered using it for your baby? These devices provide a variety of soothing sounds that will help your baby drift off into a deep sleep. In fact, many of these devices will likely also help you to sleep better. There are numerous sleep sound machines on the market today, but here are the 10 best that should specifically help your child fall asleep. We’ve also got plenty of other information about these products so that you know what to expect and can make the right decision for your child.
Our Top 3 pIcks
- HATCH BABY
- Remote Control
10 Best Sleep Sound Machines
1. Homedics SS-2000G
WALL CHARGE OR BATTERY POWERED
This sound machine gives you great flexibility, as it can be used by plugging into a wall with the included adaptor, or can be cordless and powered by batteries. This is perfect for busy parents who travel a lot and don’t want to mess with carrying extra cords with them. Better yet, this sound machine is small so traveling will be a breeze.
Sound machine with 6 sounds: white noise, ocean, rain, summer night, brook, and thunder
Keep on all night or use auto-off timer to shut off after 15, 30, or 60 minutes
Power by wall charger or batteries (4 AA batteries)
Lightweight and easy to carry
This machine is worth every penny and that is why it sits in our number 1 spot. Nothing more to add to that!
- Easy to travel with, and can use without a cord
- Easy-to-use interface that allows you to quickly select the sound, set the volume, and set the timer
- Use with a timer or keep on all night long
- No specific features for babies, such as a night light or sounds like heartbeat or lullaby
2. Hatch Baby
CONTROL VIA BLUETOOTH
Using your smartphone and bluetooth you can easily use your phone to control the sound machine. From your phone you can select the sound you want and the color of the night light, and best of all, you can set it to change according to the time! Have one color set at night, while it changes when it is okay for baby to wake up. Numerous colors, hues, and sounds combine to create endless options you can explore and use with your baby, toddler, or young child.
Baby sound machine and night light featuring numerous sound and light options
Control on device itself or remotely via your smartphone
Customize “programs” based on time- for example an “okay to wake” setting that turns on automatically at 8:00 a.m.
Child lock allows you to lock the sound machine from your phone so they cannot change the settings while you are not in the room
Fully customizable, control the sound, volume, color, and hue
This is an expensive sound machine, but it is so much more than just a sound machine. This device is also a nightlight, and also will help your child get into a good routine based on the various programs you set up. This is a great value for the money and one of the best products you can purchase for your child.
- This is one of the only sound machines you will find that you can control remotely from your smartphone
- Programs feature is incredibly convenient and can help you child get in a routine by knowing when it is time for a nap or time to wake up (for example) based on the light and sound from the machine
- Can use with young babies, toddlers, or young children
- You can control the device from the unit or via your smartphone
- Child lock feature ensures they won’t change the settings by mistake
3. Marpac Dohm-DS
What is unique about this sound machine is that it is not a recording of white noise that you are hearing, but rather, the fan and motor inside the machine that produces the sound of rushing air or “white noise.” Best of all, you can customize your sound to fit what it is you are looking for. Simply rotate and twist the top of it to tune the sound to either a higher or lower pitch.
Sound machine producing white noise to help you sleep better and block out all other noises
Two speeds to produce the sound without producing any airflow (like a fan would)
Can control the sound of the white noise as well as the volume to get the perfect sound for your baby
1 year limited warranty
Compact design for easy travel
This is a fairly expensive sound machine, but it is the best of the best if you are looking for a white noise machine.
- This device creates the perfect white noise without producing air flow
- You can control the sound and volume to get the perfect level of sound that your baby needs- some need a lot of noise, while others will be more comfortable with less sound
- Small design makes it easy to pack up and take with you on trips
- 3 color options: white, black, or tan
- Only one sound option
4. Big Red Rooster BRRC107
PLUG-IN OR BATTERY POWERED
This sound machine gives you two options for how it is powered. Either plug it into the wall with the AC adaptor, or have it run on 3 AA batteries. If you are taking a quick weekend trip away, let the machine run on battery power and don’t worry about forgetting the cable or not having an outlet. This flexibility makes this a great option for parents who travel a lot.
Sound machine with 6 sounds: rain, ocean, thunder, white noise, brook, summer night
Use all night or set timer to shut off after 15, 30, or 60 minutes
Small, sleek design only measuring 4.4 inches long by 4 inches wide and 2.6 inches tall
Powered by AC adaptor or 3 AA batteries
This is one of the most affordable sound machines on this list, making it a great value for the money. If you are looking for a simple sound machine that is easy to use, you can’t beat the simplicity and value that this machine provides.
- Sleek design looks nice and is easy to travel with since it is small and compact
- Can charge either by wall or by battery, which is convenient when taking trips
- Easy top display design is convenient for setting this machine up even late at night or while your baby is sleeping
- No specific features for a baby- no night light or sounds specifically for them
- Sounds are all fairly similar
5. Pure Enrichment Wave
6 SOUND OPTIONS
This sound machine gives you 6 unique sounds to choose from each night. The sounds included are: heartbeat, fan, white noise, ocean, lullaby, rain, and ocean. This diverse selection gives you plenty of options to pick from. Try them out and see which one your baby likes the most!
Baby sound machine with 6 unique sounds
Looping of audio is nearly seamless with little repetition
Built in USB charger will charge your phone
Auto-off timer can be set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes
Lightweight design with removable stand
5 year warranty
This is a slightly pricey sound machine, although it is not the most expensive on this list. Considering the quality of the audio, the sleek design, and the USB charging port, it is still a great product.
- Because it is designed for children it has the sounds targeted for them (especially heartbeat and lullaby)
- USB port is incredibly convenient for charging your phone or tablet while in the room with your child
- Design is sleek and modern and also makes for easy travel
- Audio quality is good and with little repetition, it feels even more realistic
- Slightly expensive
- No night light feature
6. Mybaby Soundspa
6 SOUNDS AND 3 IMAGES
This sound machine perfectly combines sound and imagery to help your child fall asleep. Choose from 6 soothing sounds: heartbeat, rain, ocean waves, rock-a-bye, cradle song, or twinkle twinkle. 3 images are on easy to use discs featuring rainforest creatures, sea creatures, or celestial imagery.
Baby sound machine and projector including 6 soothing sounds and 3 calming images
Projector slowly rotates the image which can be displayed on a wall or the ceiling
Can use either just the sound, just the projection, or both at once
Auto-off timer can be set for 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes
Lightweight, small design- less than 8 inches tall
If you are looking for a reasonably priced machine made just for children that also displays images, this is the one for you.
- Sounds and images help create a nice sleeping environment that will help your child more easily fall and stay asleep
- Because it is designed just for children it features lullabies in addition to other soothing sounds
- You don’t have to use the projector if you don’t want to, you have the control
- Even though it has the projector it is still easy to travel with and is very lightweight
- No night light feature
7. Mybaby Soundspa On The Go
4 SOUND OPTIONS
It comes with 4 unique sound options: white noise, heartbeat, ocean, and lullaby. All of these are designed specifically for children and will help them to fall asleep, and most importantly, stay asleep.
Baby sound machine with 4 unique sound options
Auto-off timer can be set for 15, 30, or 45 minutes
Top clip can easily attach to car seats, strollers, diaper bags, and more
Built in stand props the product up when not using the clip
This is a moderately priced sound machine, it is not the cheapest or most expensive model out there. If you know you will be traveling a lot with your baby, this is a great option for you.
- This is one of the most portable sound machines out there, with a convenient clip built right in that allows you to take this just about anywhere
- Since it is designed just for children it features sounds they will want to hear- especially the heartbeat and lullaby sounds
- Auto-off timer is convenient if you do not want it playing all night or if you are using during nap time or on the go
- Cannot charge via cable, only runs on batteries
8. Marpac Hush
PORTABLE AND CHILD PROOF
This sound machine is not just designed for using in the nursery at night- it can easily be taken with you while in the car, walking around in the stroller, or visiting family. The device can easily be attached to a stroller or car seat due to the child-safe clip. There is also a child lock feature that ensures the device will stay on with the settings you selected, even if baby decides to hold it.
Baby sound machine complete with 3 sounds: bright white noise, deep white noise, or gentle surf
Small size and child-safe clip allows you to take this anywhere- fasten easily to strollers or car seats
Child lock feature will ensure your settings are kept even if the device is touched or played with
Amber colored LED night light provides enough light without being disruptive to sleep
Includes a 1 year limited warranty
Charges via USB cable
This is another one of the more expensive sound machines on this list, but given the design of the product, the fact that you can easily take this on the go, attach to your stroller, have a night light, all while being child proof!
- This product is made specifically for babies so has plenty of helpful features like the child lock and night light
- Simple design that is easy to use and easy to travel with
- No batteries or unique charging cord needed- just a USB charging port
- Noises that are proven to help your child fall asleep- makes it much easier than searching through a long selection of sounds
- No timer feature
- Slightly expensive
9. Pictek White Noise
8 MODES, 24 SOUNDS
This has one of the longest lists of sounds to choose from- including 8 unique areas, each that have several sound options. Choose from home appliance, white noise, Hawaii wave, New York morning, Tokyo temple rain, zoo sound, London storm. Each of these have 3 options within them to give you a total of 24 sounds to choose from.
Sound machine with 24 sound options and 8 modes of sound
Leave on all night or set timer to turn off after 30 or 60 minutes
2 power modes: either use by battery power (batteries not included) or via USB cord that can be plugged into a charger or device
Headphone jack included
Non-toxic and fire resistant
Includes travel bag
This is not the most expensive product on this list but it is also not the cheapest. However, considering you are getting a large variety of sounds, it is still a great value for the money.
- Long list of sounds- you likely won’t find a machine with more sounds than this
- Can leave on a timer or have it run all night, depending on what works better for your baby
- Since it is so small it is easy to travel with, which can help your baby sleep better while in a new environment
- Can control the volume easily and easily dial between all of the sounds
- Doesn’t have a light feature or any baby-specific features
- Slightly expensive
As we said this sound machine doesn’t just rely on sound to help put children to sleep, it also has a built in projector that will display calming images. This system comes with 3 unique images- sleepy sky, soothing sea, and calming rainforest. Simply insert the cartridge with the image you want in the projector, rotate the lens so the image is on the wall or ceiling, and let your baby fall peacefully asleep!
Sleep sound machine and projector featuring 3 unique images and 10 unique sounds
Sounds include ocean waves, heartbeat, white noise, rain, various lullabies, and various Mozart songs
Projector lens can rotate to display the image on either a wall or a ceiling
Automatic shut off by timer- set the timer to 15, 30, or 60 minutes (or leave off to have play all night)
Voice activation will turn the machine back on if it hears your baby is crying
Has a nightlight which can be used or shut off
1 year limited warranty included
This sound machine is more expensive than some others on this list, however, you aren’t just getting a sound machine, you are getting a projector and a nightlight as well. If you are looking for an all-in-one type product, this is the one for you.
- Instead of just typical sound machine sounds, this product also includes lullabies and classical music
- Projection images are another unique feature that will likely help further calm your child down
- Voice activation can help your baby calm down on his or her own
- You can control all the features- including the timer, volume level, the lens of the projector, the nightlight, and if the voice activation feature is on or off
- Made specifically for children so the sounds/lullabies are sure to calm them down in addition to all the other features
- Slightly expensive
5 Tips to Make Sure Your Sleep Sound Machine Functions Well
- Decide if you want a night light/visual features/certain sounds: The main difference between sound machines is whether or not they are designed specifically for babies, or if they are designed for everyone. Machines designed for babies are more likely to have features like a night light, a projector, or certain sounds like lullabies or a heartbeat. You will not typically find these in general sound machines, so if they are important to you, be sure to get a machine that lists them. If your child is older or you don’t feel you need visual elements, a standard sound machine will be fine.
- Test out sounds to find what your child likes: This will be important once you decide on a machine. The majority of machines come with a variety of sounds, and it will be helpful to try out different ones and see which works best for your child. If a sound has been selected it is sure to be a calming sound, but your child may react different to certain sounds. Be sure to keep an open mind and try different options.
- Make sure the machine is plugged in or has batteries: Make sure when you purchase a sound machine that you understand how it is powered, especially if you are planning to travel a lot with it. For example, don’t leave your home on a trip with your sound machine thinking it has a battery backup only to realize it doesn’t and that you left the cord at home. That will make for one unhappy baby!
- Test out the timing: Nearly all sound machines will have a timer feature that can shut off the sound after a specified amount of time. Just because this feature is there doesn’t mean you always have to use it. If your child is a light sleeper, there is a good chance when the sound shuts off they will wake up. This may be a great idea during nap time, where the duration of sleep is meant to be shorter, but consider leaving the machine on during the entire duration of overnight hours.
- Determine a good location for the machine: Finally, you want to make sure that your child can’t accidentally (or on purpose!) mess with the settings on the sound machine. Make sure you either have a machine with a child lock feature, or that you keep it somewhere that they cannot easily reach.
What is the Best Sound for Babies to Fall Asleep To?
Birth can be an overwhelming and very unsettling experience for babies to go through. They are thrown from the only world that they have known so far into a bright, big place filled with unfamiliar sights, sounds, and feelings. A lot of the first few months of your baby’s life is spent simply adjusting to this new world around them. During this period of adjustment, many babies cry a good bit and some of them experience colic. Sometimes parents find it difficult to settle their baby down and may struggle to soothe them and help them rest and sleep.
The Fourth Trimester
There is a concept called the fourth trimester that is all about treating your baby’s first few months as if they are still a fetus. This is because, due to head size, a newborn human baby is born rather immature compared to almost any other animal. So, in the first 3 months or so, they are still very much like a fetus and require extra special care. To help your baby adjust through this transition period, doing things to replicate the conditions of the womb can be very helpful and comforting for your baby. To do this, you should try to keep your baby close to you as much as possible such as by holding them or through babywearing. Other great things you can do to replicate the womb are walking, bouncing, rocking, swaddling, and replicating the sounds of the womb.
Sounds of the Womb
So, that begs the question, “What does the womb sound like?” The womb is actually a very loud place with constant noise for your little one to hear. This can be surprising because often times, we make the mistake of trying to minimize all noise to help calm a baby which can actually be more disturbing to a baby because they aren’t used to silence. Loud, sudden noises are not ideal and may scare babies, but replicating the sounds of the womb can be very beneficial. The loudest, most constant sound that a baby hears is the rushing sound of blood through the placenta. The best way we can replicate this sound is with white noise or other similar sounds.
Replicating Sounds of the Womb
To make sounds similar to what your little one heard in the womb, there are plenty of options available. You can use a white noise machine to create a sound that will be familiar to your little one which is a popular option as it can be left near their sleeping space to help them stay asleep at night and during naps. Other options would be a CD that has white noise on it or a video that plays white noise.
Alternatively, you can do other things to make sounds similar to white noise that also do a great job at replicating the noise that your baby heard in the womb. Think of anything that makes fairly loud, steady, and constant sound. Water rushing, a hair dryer, a fan, or even a vacuum cleaner can all be good ways to make sounds that will help your baby relax and sleep. Then, of course, you can always go with the tried and true shushing. Making a shushing sound for your baby does wonders to help them calm down and relax so that they can more easily go to sleep. This works especially well when paired with other techniques to replicate life in the womb such as babywearing or swaddling and rocking or walking with your baby.
Sound Over Silence
So, basically, while you don’t want any sudden or surprising sounds that could disturb or scare your baby, you don’t necessarily want total silence either. A lot of people tend to think that quiet is best for little babies, but that just isn’t true in most cases. You are much more likely to have success in getting your little bundle of joy to slumber when there is some sort of constant sound like white noise or shushing than when there is no sound at all.
Product Criteria of Evaluation
Price is always a major determining factor for us when selecting products. Not everyone has an unlimited budget, and this is especially true for items that aren’t a necessity. A sleep sound machine is certainly not a necessary item (although it may feel like it is once you get used to using it!), so we paid particular attention to cost and made sure to include some more affordable options along with more expensive options.
Getting a good night’s sleep is very important, especially for growing babies. For this reason, we always consider user ratings and see if they are satisfied with the quality of sleep their baby got using the particular sound machine we are reviewing. The sound quality or price of a machine may be great, but if it doesn’t seem to help a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep, it will largely be a waste of money.
This is important for many items in the baby industry, but less so when it comes to sound machines. There is not as much of a safety concern in this instance, so the importance falls more heavily on factors like price and user ratings. However, we still like to include well-known brands (such as HoMedics) that has been around for decades and is proven successful in this industry.
Ease of Use
Finally, ease of use is incredibly important for any item you are using with your child. Not only do you not want to risk using something wrong, you also don’t typically have a lot of time to spend to get it right. When it comes time for bed, you don’t want to have to spend a lot of time setting up a sound machine. For that reason, we looked for items that had easy displays that could get you set up in no time at all.
Do sound machines actually work?
Yes! Sound machines get a lot of attention because they are proven to help people of all ages (including babies) sleep better at night. These machines are successful for a few reasons. First, sound machines give your brain something calm and consistent to focus on which will help it to relax and drift off to sleep. Second, the sound from the machine will help block out other noises that may disrupt your sleep such as cars outside, TV, or other people in the house.
Will it prevent me from hearing my baby during the night?
It shouldn’t. A sound machine is not meant to be so loud that you cannot hear other sounds over it. While you want the volume up enough that it can be heard and be beneficial, it shouldn’t be so loud that you couldn’t hear your child crying during the night. Test your volume control on your machine and set it to something you are comfortable with. If you use a baby monitor, it should still pick up on a child crying even if there is also a sound machine running.
What is the best sound to use?
This depends! Many people recommend using white noise, but this may not work for everyone. Nature sounds, especially rain or ocean waves, are very popular as well. Test out different sounds and see which seems to work best for your child. There is not one right answer, and in fact that is why most machines give you a variety of sounds.
Should you only use a sound machine at night?
No! Some parents think sound machines are only to be used at night for sleeping, but that isn’t true. Another particularly useful time to use a sound machine is during nap time. In some cases, a sound machine is actually more beneficial during nap time because there tends to be more noises happening during that time of the day. Use the machine to block out other children in the house, the school bus outside, TV, and any other disruptive noises.
Is there an age restriction with sound machines?
No! Babies of all ages can benefit from using a sound machine. The principles of the machine apply to people of all ages, so don’t worry about starting to use it when your child is too young. As we said, you should still easily be able to hear your child through a baby monitor, so there is no safety concern there. If you are worried you won’t be able to hear them, turn the volume down on the machine.
There you have it! These are the 10 best sound machines on the market today. You can easily make your decision by thinking about what you want from a sound machine- do you have a certain sound you need? Do you want or need features specific for babies? To help make things more clear, here is some additional info and frequently asked questions.