There are plenty of scientific studies proving that a good night’s sleep is beneficial to a person’s mental, emotional and physical health, but most people already know that from their own experience. Sleep health is a vital part of overall health and things like avoiding caffeine, physical exercise and screens in the hours leading up to bedtime can make a big difference. Creating a setting that is conducive to getting quality sleep also plays a significant role and that can include a comfortable mattress, blackout curtains and a white noise machine. Yes, they are great for babies but they also work for kids, teens and adults.
White noise machines often produce several noises, but the standard is the white noise, which sounds like a running fan. White noise machines work by blocking loud and distracting noises, like cars, neighbors and the sound of a TV in the next room. White noise also helps soothe users and create a relaxing environment that can help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
White noise machines are ideal for infants because the machines re-create the whooshing noise that babies hear while in utero. As babies get older, white noise machines help to block out sounds, allowing parents and older siblings to continue moving around the home while baby sleeps. For adults, white noise machines can help block out distracting noises that may interrupt sleep. White noise machines are also an excellent option for hospital patients or anyone sharing sleeping accommodations. Users with tinnitus who have difficultly sleeping may also find some reprieve with white noise machines.
If you’re tired of counting sheep but not tired enough to quickly fall asleep every night, check out our list of the best white noise machines below.
1. Dohm Original White Noise Machine
One of the original white noise machines on the market came from Marpac and their Dohm Original White Noise Machine. Almost 60 years later, the Dohm is still helping people sleep better thanks to its traditional white noise design. The fan-based unit has a two-speed adjustable volume level and a twist function that enables users to select their preferred tone of white noise. Available in white, black, tan and gray, the Dohm provides a continuous stream of white noise without a distracting loop effect. The plug-and-play Dohm is user-friendly and requires no setup.
Pros: The Dohm has an actual fan inside the unit for a realistic and soothing sound.
Cons: The Dohm does not come with any sound options other than white noise. It must be plugged in to work and it does not have a timer function.
2. Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Machine
For a white noise machine that is powerful enough to use every day and small enough to take with you while you travel, we recommend the Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise Machine. Measuring 3.5 inches in diameter and weighing less than four ounces, the Hushh is ideal for travel, whether it’s in a carry-on suitcase or diaper bag. Users can choose from three sound options, including traditional white noise, gentle surf and deep white noise. The Hushh can run continuously without a loop and the volume can be adjusted up to 85dB, loud enough to fill a large bedroom. The Hushh comes with a plastic loop lanyard for easy attachment to strollers, car seats and cribs. An LED light on the bottom of the unit provides a small optional nightlight.
Pros: The Hushh comes with a USB cord and can last up to eight hours on a single charge.
Cons: The settings can be locked to stop young children from adjusting the volume, but users must remember to read the instructions on which two buttons to hold down to unlock the machine in order to turn it off. There is no timer function.
3. Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Sound Machine
For a wide selection of sounds and volume levels, we recommend the Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Sound Machine. Users can choose between 10 fan sounds and 10 ambient noise variations, including white, brown and pink noise, which can help cover low-frequency background noise and is ideal for use in offices and for students while studying. The machine is powered by an AC or USB unit (both included) and has a large upward-facing speaker that produces high fidelity sound. Users can choose between a white, black and charcoal-colored unit.
Pros: Users can choose whether to have the machine run indefinitely or set a 60-minute timer.
Cons: The LectroFan Must be plugged in to work. The volume may not go high enough to block loud noises.
4. Letsfit White Noise Machine
For a unit that provides options in addition to traditional white, pink and brown noises, we recommend the Letsfit White Noise Machine. Users can select nature sounds like crickets, birds, ocean waves and water streams as well as lullabies. A fan noise and clothes dryer option are also available. Users can choose to leave the unit running all night or set the timer to 15, 30, 60, 90- or 120-minute increments. The wall unit comes with a memory function that means users won’t have reset their preferences every time they turn on the Letsfit.
Pros: A nightlight feature produces just enough illumination for parents to change diapers in a darkened room.
Cons: In order to adjust the volume, users have to hold down the same buttons that are used to select the sounds, which can result in accidentally changing the sound instead of the volume. There are some looping and distracting background noises on some of the sound options.