Best White Noise Machine: Your Ticket to Sound Sleep

Child going to sleep


White noise machines are increasingly popular among sleepers looking to create a more restful, comfortable environment in which to rest. These machines can be used to block out external noises (for example, noise from the street or the sounds of a creaky house), or simply to create an ambient sound effect that lulls you to sleep.

If you struggle to sleep or just want an extra tool to promote rest and recovery, a white noise machine may be just the thing. Yet, with so many models on the market today, zeroing in on the best white noise machine can be tricky. Here are some recommendations from the ACTIVE Reviews Team.

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The Best White Noise Machine - Our Top Picks

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What Is a White Noise Machine?

A white noise machine is simply a device that creates a calming ambient noise, meant to soothe the listener and to mask external sounds. The sound of a white noise machine may be likened to a number of soothing sounds, such as a soft rain shower, the wind blowing through tree branches, or the rush of a waterfall. White noise machines are most commonly used as sleep aids, creating a nurturing and supportive sleep environment, but they can also be useful for helping block out external noise distractions while working or studying.

What to Consider When Buying a White Noise Machine

When shopping for the best white noise machine, there are a few important shopping considerations to bear in mind:

  • Sound variety. The simplest sound machines just offer one very basic ambient sound. More sophisticated devices will let you choose between several sounds, such as rushing waters, rainfall, ocean waves, or chirping crickets.
  • Size. Most sleepers want a sound machine that will be compact and unobtrusive, seamlessly blending with their bedroom decor. This is mostly just a matter of personal preference.
  • Power source. While many sound machines will be plugged into an electrical outlet, you'll likely want a backup power supply to ensure consistent performance in the midst of power outages. Standard AA batteries are one option. Other sound machines come with rechargeable batteries.
  • Additional features. Also note that some sound machines will offer added amenities, like timers and night lights.

Best Overall - LectroFan EVO

LectroFan EVO

SPECS

  • Color: White, charcoal
  • Weight: 0.8 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 4.7" x 4.7" x 3.3"
  • Power source: AC or USB

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For consistent, calming sound quality, check out the LectroFan EVO. Our pick for best sound machine overall, the EVO is completely digital, meaning there are no moving parts included. This ensures a reliable, uninterrupted loop all night long. There's also lots of sound variety here, including 10 fan options and a range of white, pink, and brown noise options. Want to be whisked away to the beach? There are a couple of ocean sound options, too. The unit is sleek and unobtrusive, with intuitive controls and a good AC/USB power option.

What We Like

  • Lots of sound options
  • All digital
  • Sleek, compact design
  • Both AC and USB power options
  • Lightweight and easy to travel with

What We Don't Like

  • No back-up battery power
  • Light on special features

BUY: LectroFan EVO

Best White Noise Machine for a Baby - Hatch Rest+

Hatch Rest+

SPECS

  • Color: White
  • Weight: 1.12 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 4" x 4" x 6.5"
  • Power source: Corded electric, rechargeable battery

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Some parents find that white noise is just the thing for soothing fussy babies or toddlers to sleep. The Hatch Rest+ would make a great pick in any little one's room, offering not just a relaxing ambiance, but also a night light, alarm clock, and more. There's even a two-way baby monitor, allowing you to check in or talk with your child through an app on your phone. Corded electricity and rechargeable battery options ensure steady performance, and the overall design is whimsical and kid-friendly without feeling too obtrusive.

What We Like

  • Lots of options, including night light, alarm clock, and two-way monitoring
  • Rechargeable battery built-in
  • Sleek, child-friendly design
  • Multiple night light color options

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Slightly heavier than other sound machines

BUY: Hatch Rest+

Best White Noise Machine for Sleeping - SNOOZ

SNOOZ

SPECS

  • Color: Charcoal, cloud
  • Weight: 156g
  • Dimensions: 5.65" x 5.65" x 3.15"
  • Power source: Corded electric

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Digital sound machines are increasingly popular as they tend to offer the most consistent, reliable sound loops. But there's something to be said for the warmth and clarity of a real fan. That's what SNOOZ offers. This sound machine has a real fan that doesn't produce cool air but does create a great natural white noise.

This elegant, well-designed sound machine also comes with an app-based remote that allows you to control your volume, set a timer, or even adjust the settings of the night light. Nursery options are also available, allowing you to configure SNOOZ to fit your little one's room safely.

What We Like

  • App-based remote is easy to configure
  • Great sound from a real fan
  • Sleek, elegant design
  • Added features, including night light and timer
  • Lightweight and easy to travel with

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Not recommended if you're looking for sound variety

BUY: SNOOZ

Best White Noise Machine for Loud Neighbors - LectroFan Classic

LectroFan Classic

SPECS

  • Color: Black, White
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 4.4" x 4.4" x 2.2"
  • Power source: AC or USB

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It's tough living with noisy neighbors, especially when they keep different hours than you do. The LectroFan Classic is an outstanding way to create some peace and quiet. With 20 sounds to choose from, including a mix of fan sounds and white noise, this sound machine is certainly rich in variety. Precision volume control allows you to pick just the level of sound you need to drown out the neighbors. The design is compact and lightweight, making it a good fit for any room but also for tossing into a suitcase for hotel use.

What We Like

  • Lots of noise variety
  • Precision volume control
  • Compact, travel-friendly design

What We Don't Like

  • Not the prettiest design
  • No rechargeable battery

BUY: LectroFan Classic

Best Portable White Noise Machine - HoMedics Soundspa Ultra-Portable

HoMedics Soundspa Ultra-Portable

SPECS

  • Color: White
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 5.9" x 3.7" x 1.65"
  • Power source: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

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When you're en route to a hotel or an Airbnb, it's nice to have a sound machine you can dump into your suitcase or baby bag, without it taking up a ton of space. Enter the HoMedics Soundspa Ultra-Portable. Compact and lightweight, this sound machine is just what you want when you do a lot of traveling. And though it's small, it doesn't necessarily scrimp on features; you get 12 different nature sounds to choose from, such as rainforest and thunderstorm, and a timer.

What We Like

  • Compact, travel-friendly design
  • 12 nature sound options
  • Battery powered

What We Don't Like

  • Sound quality is so-so
  • No corded power option

BUY: HoMedics Soundspa Ultra-Portable

Best White Noise Machine for Apartments - LectroFan

LectroFan Classic

SPECS

  • Color: Black, white
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 4.4" x 4.4" x 2.2"
  • Power source: AC or USB

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When you live in an apartment complex, you often want some gentle white noise to conceal the activity of your neighbors. LectroFan's basic model is a good, simple solution, providing more than 20 fans, white noise, pink noise, and brown noise options. With precision volume control, it's designed to mask disruptive environmental noises, providing you and your family members with peace and quiet. It's also portable and compact, making it easy to move it from one corner of your apartment to another.

What We Like

  • Compact, travel-friendly design
  • Good range of fan sounds, pink, white, and brown noise
  • Precision volume control

What We Don't Like

  • Not the nicest-looking sound machine in the world
  • No battery

BUY: LectroFan

Best White Noise Machine for Snoring - SOUND+SLEEP

SOUND+SLEEP

SPECS

  • Color: Black, white
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.5" x 5.5" x 4.5"
  • Power source: AC

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One surprising benefit of a white noise machine? It can make it much easier to share a space with someone who snores. The SOUND+SLEEP white noise machine is especially good for masking the noise of a disruptive partner. This AC-powered, high-fidelity machine boasts 30 non-looping sounds, including some nature sounds that will turn your snore-filled room into a serene sanctuary. These immersive sounds include brooks and meadows, oceans, and rainfall; there are a number of timer features, as well, plus exterior lights that automatically turn off to ensure distraction-free rest.

What We Like

  • 30 non-looping nature sounds
  • High-fidelity audio quality
  • Timers included
  • Exterior lighting automatically turns off

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Doesn't offer many white/pink/brown noise options

BUY: SOUND+SLEEP

Best Budget White Noise Machine - HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine

HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine

SPECS

  • Color: Silver, Gold, Blue
  • Weight: 0.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 6.5" x 6" x 2"
  • Power source: AC adapter, 4 AA batteries

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If you're just looking for something affordable, the HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine is a good pick. For a reasonably low price, you can get six soothing nature sounds, presented in a compact and portable design with both battery and AC adapter options included. It's nothing flashy, and the audio is so-so, but it's more than sufficient for ensuring distraction-free rest for you and your loved ones on a budget.

What We Like

  • Both AC and battery powered
  • Compact and portable
  • Lightweight
  • 6 soothing nature sounds
  • Modest price point
  • Several color options

What We Don't Like

  • Sound quality is just so-so
  • Some sleepers will want more than six sound options

BUY: HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine

Best Design White Noise Machine - Hatch Restore

Hatch Restore

SPECS

  • Color: Grey
  • Weight: 2.07 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 7.5" x 2.75" x 5.75"
  • Power source: AC Adapter

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When we think about white noise machines, we generally focus on how they sound, not necessarily how they look. But it's hard to take your eyes off this stylish, circular unit—a high-tech masterpiece that will provide a flourish to your bedroom decor.

Beyond looking great, it also offers intuitive volume controls, easy app integration, a sunrise alarm feature, and more. The light is really crucial, allowing you to enjoy a soft reading light, a night light, or whatever else you need. And the range of sounds is more than decent. Though a little pricier, this sound machine is a pinnacle of elegance and utility.

What We Like

  • Incredibly elegant
  • Touch controls
  • A number of personalized alarm and light options
  • Good sound quality
  • App integration

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Not as recommended for travel

BUY: Hatch Restore

FAQs About White Noise Machines


Is it worth getting a white noise machine?

If you struggle to get a good night's sleep, particularly due to ambient or external noises that keep you up, then a white noise machine can absolutely be a good option. This small investment may make it easier to get the deep, restorative rest you've been craving.

Is it OK to play white noise all night?

There is some research suggesting that playing white noise all night long can cause babies to have impaired auditory processing capabilities, so choosing a machine with a timer might be your best bet if purchasing for an infant. There are no known risks to adults using white noise machines throughout the night, however, especially if the volume is kept at a reasonable level.

Can white noise be damaging?

There are no known risks to adults using white noise machines throughout the night, so long as the volume is kept at a reasonable level. Just make sure you stay within the suggested decibel range (no louder than, say, a soft rain shower).

What is the difference between white noise and pink noise?

White noise encompasses all frequencies at equal levels. Pink noise has more power at lower frequencies, which means it tends to have a much deeper sound.

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