The advent of smartphones and tablets has done away with many of the things we used to think were indispensable. Everyday items that seemed like they were going nowhere have now been relegated to the dustbin of obsolescence.
Walkman. Rolodex. Pager. VCR. Television.
It seems like there is no place for an alarm clock these days. After all, what can an alarm clock do that a smartphone can’t?
Well, for one, you can’t browse your alarm clock just before bed. How many times have you been setting your alarm on your phone, but gotten distracted by Facebook?
“I’ll just check out a few posts before bed, and….one hour later I’m still on my phone. Doh!”
It’s what alarm clocks don’t do that makes them so necessary. Research shows that looking at a screen, be it phone, tablet or computer, just before bed can seriously impact your sleep. Thus, your health.
When you go to bed, your phone should not be coming with you.
Alarm clocks have come of age, anyway. Everything is smart these days. Finding the best alarm clock that still fits into our modern ideal isn’t easy.
Whether you hate the ticking sound, the too bright LED light or simply the awful noise of an alarm clock, there is one that is the right fit for you.
In no particular order, here is our list of the best alarm clocks. If you are interested in a clock radio then you want to check out this article instead.
Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
An alarm clock should not just be a tool to wake you in the morning. If it is going to be taking up space on a nightstand then it needs to multi-task.
The Philips Wake-Up Light alarm clock serves a few functions well.
It has a nice, wide face and serves as a reading lamp. It has a bright light that illuminates your reading area well. Though reading in bed is not something I recommend if you want to get a good night sleep!
It has a function that will let it gradually dim. If you don’t want to be kept up too late reading, set the timer and it will dim until it is too dark to continue reading.
This also serves as a way to help you fall asleep. If you are not so sleepy when you hit the pillow, turn on the light and let the dimming light sooth you into a deep slumber.
The dim display also helps to keep you asleep. Some clock displays are so bright they almost serve as a night light and can be distracting. This one automatically adjusts to the light in the room. If it is bright, the display gets brighter so it is visible. At night in the dark it gets dim so it doesn’t distract.
Being jarred awake in the morning is not the ideal way to start your day. With this Philips alarm clock, it will gradually get brighter to simulate sunrise. Starting 30 minutes before your set time to wake, it starts with the rosy glow of dawn and ends with bright morning sunlight. A perfectly natural way to wake up so you aren’t groggy.
If the light doesn’t wake you, then your alarm will begin to play one of 5 preset natural sounds. Maybe the sound of chirping birds will rouse you. A piano? The seaside? It’s up to you.
If you need to snooze, simply tap on any part of the lamp and it will give you 9 more minutes. That might not actually be a good thing, however!
I also talk in more detail about the Lumie Bodyclock which is a similar in our review for those who are interested in morning light therapy.
WAYCOM Classic Silent Small Wood Alarm Clock Bedside Alarm Clock with Nightlight
There is still space in this modern, digital world for timeless looking timepieces.
This small alarm clock is perfect for those that like a retro touch and not too many bells and whistles (literally).
The simple design with the warm, wood accent looks great in any bedroom.
It functions as an alarm should. Set the time and it rings when it is time to get up. Press the button on top to snooze and give yourself 5 minutes to fully wake up before the alarm rings again.
The reason I selected this alarm clock to review is that it doesn’t make that awful ticking sound that other traditional clocks with hands make. When I find myself in a quiet room with the only sound being the ticking of a clock, I feel like I am in a real-life “Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. I go mad!
That feature, plus a nightlight option, plus a comforting design makes this alarm clock a great bed side accompaniment.
aXbo Single White
The aXbo Single White alarm clock boasts a new way to wake up.
Rather than an alarm that will potentially wake you from a deep sleep, it will gently wake you at just the right sleep phase. The ideal time to wake and feel refreshed is during a light sleep mode.
A skin-friendly wristband is worn that wirelessly connects to the clock. It monitors your movements and analyses your sleep cycles. It gives you a 30-minute window before your set time to wake up in which to rouse you. If during that window you are in your light sleep phase the wristband will vibrate causing you to wake up.
If, by chance, you don’t wake up, then the traditional buzz of an alarm will serve as insurance that you will actually be up in time.
There’s also a go to sleep mode. You can set some soothing sounds that will help you get to sleep. Then the wristband will detect when you are actually asleep and shut the sounds off.
The design is attractive and modern. Your nightstand will suddenly look stylish with this clock rather than that old clunky one you have been using since you were a kid.
The design also functions well. It’s simple to use with a scroll wheel tucked behind the curve of the front. Another button serves to activate the alarm. No complicated procedure to set up your alarm is nice when you are sleepy.
It’s rare that an alarm clock can help improve the quality of your life! Luckily, we live in an age where even our alarm clocks are smart!
Braun Projection Radio Controlled Alarm Clock
How many times have you been late for a meeting or work because you forgot to put your alarm forward or back?
You will no longer have that happen if you use a radio controlled alarm clock like this one from Braun.
It is automatically synchronized to the atomic clock and will never have to be set.It doesn’t get any more accurate than this. The atomic clock is accurate to less than a second over 10,000,000 years. Even the most accurate traditional clock can end up a quarter of an hour off in a year’s time.
THis is also the ultimate in back up alarms, If you lose mains power the batteries add some insurance to keeping the clock running and accurate. When the power comes back, there’s no scrambling necessary to find the correct time to reset the clock. It happens on its own. Perfect for those just in case moments.
Checking the time during the night can lead to waking too fully if you have to roll over or sit up to be able to see the clock. The projector feature will allow you to see the time anywhere you direct it. On the wall, or ceiling. Wherever it is most convenient. Simply wave your hand over the clock and it automatically projects the time to where you can see it.
The backlight on the clock display can be a bit bright, but can also be disabled to avoid distraction.
The clock also looks nice with its minimalist modern design. It will compliment most bedroom decorations.
There are two negatives with this alarm clock. The sound of the alarm is quite jarring. Which, I suppose, is the point.
The other negative is that now you can’t blame a missed meeting on forgetting to change the time on your alarm! That is unless you don’t tell anybody about your new radio controlled alarm clock!
Suck UK Clocky Alarm Clock
The snooze feature on an alarm clock is both a blessing and a curse. If you hit that button once to be able to get your bearing without risk of falling asleep again, then it serves its function well. If you hit the button time after time you end up waking up late completely nullifying any benefit of having an alarm set.
When the snooze button becomes your enemy, there is the Clocky by Suck UK.
Try to imagine a frantic, clucking chicken running around your room in the morning and you will get a sense of how effective this little alarm clock is.
When the alarm goes off in the morning it will give you a chance to wake up and shut it off. Failing that test will set in motion a disturbing morning ritual.
You may notice the 2 wheels in the picture. Those wheels will have the Clocky run right off of your bed table and spin around your room looking for a place to hide. Alarm blazing away until you are able to hunt it down and stop the madness.
That might not be the most natural way to wake up. I can certainly think of some more graceful ways to start my day.
For the deep sleeper this is the only way to be roused out of bed. Think of that teenager that can sleep through any alarm.
This may be the solution you have been looking for if you, or perhaps a loved one, have trouble getting out of bed.
Sonic Bomb Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker
For the deepest sleepers, the only thing that can get them up in the morning is an actual earthquake.
No alarm noise can rouse them. No matter how loud or annoying.
Those that sleep in an almost catatonic state would be served well by having their bed shaken in addition to the most annoying alarm sound possible. That means the Sonic Bomb alarm clock with bed shaker is in order. It is by far the best alarm clock for heavy sleepers.
At 85 decibels, I am not sure there is a louder alarm out there. Hopefully, your neighbors need to be woken up at the same time, because they might hear this alarm! The included vibrating disk is put under a pillow or even the mattress itself.
Imagine being in a war zone. 85 decibels of jarring, tremendous buzzing. Lights flashing. Bed shaking. There aren’t too many people that can sleep through that.
Granted, it can be traumatic to wake up in such a fashion. But needs must and I know a few heavy sleepers who might be finding one of these in their stockings at Christmas.
The Sonic Bomb can be customized in a number of ways. The sound level can be set to be lower than the 85 decibel max. The length of the alarm can be set anywhere from 1 minute to 1 hour long. The snooze function can be set to last from a 1 minute interval to 30 minutes between alarms.
It can even be set to just sound without vibrate or just vibrate without sound if you need to keep the rest of the household from getting up with you.
The manufacturer declares that anybody who sleeps through this alarm is beyond help. I am inclined to believe them!
HITO™ Atomic Radio Controlled Travel Alarm Clock
When life takes you on the road, either for work or pleasure, you still need to wake up in time. Making your train or flight is, of course, makes it even more important to have a reliable alarm clock.
The Hito is definitely the best travel alarm clock, the radio control feature synchronizes it to the MSF clock which will keep the time accurate anywhere in the UK. If you travel into Europe, it will sync to the UK time, so it will need to be disabled to avoid having the wrong time.
The clock also conveniently gives readings of the temperature and humidity in addition to the time.
It also has a solar panel to keep the batteries from discharging while the lights are on.
The alarm noise itself will gradually get louder.
In all it is everything you would want in a travel alarm clock. Easy to read display, accurate time and long lasting batteries.
Final thoughts on the best alarm clocks
Modern life can be annoying in how hectic it is. We are almost always tied to a schedule that dictates how we live.
An alarm clock is no antidote to that, but it does help in it’s own way. It may contribute to that feeling that we are always on the clock. Without a proper alarm clock waking us up in time, however, life is even more stressful.
There are hardly any worse things in life than the feeling that you have overslept and missed out on an important meeting, opportunity, flight or life event.
Getting the right alarm clock to suit your needs will help you tremendously with peace of mind in this fast paced world.
If you need any more help or have any comments on our article on the Best Alarm Clocks then please leave a comment below!