The best wake up lights

Banish beeping alarms and wake up as nature intended with our pick of the best wake up lights

girl sleeping in bed with ikea floral bedding and phone beside her by getty images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best wake up light won't just replace your alarm clock, but it'll ensure you have a slower, gentler start to your day. Dragging yourself out of bed is difficult at any time of the year, and it's definitely not aided by a startling, beeping alarm which can break the sleep cycle at the point at which your body is least ready for it. Wake up lights work to replicate the sunrise that would have naturally woken our ancestors, but year round, it cancels out the circadian rhythm-confusing lack of morning light in winter and carefully coaxes you into wakefulness using light and sound. 

Take a look at our pick of the best and find a model that suits your sleep style (as well as your aesthetic). For more tech buys for your home, head to our technology hub page.

What is the best wake up light?

Our favourite is the all-singing, all-dancing Lumie Bodyclock 250. Actually, it neither sings nor dances, but it is a highly customisable wake up clock that has a speed-controlled light with a range of 15 to 90 minutes (or anyone who really struggles to wake up). Oh, and there's a radio and noise options. Read down for more...

THE BEST WAKE UP LIGHTS

Lumie Bodyclock 250 wake up light

1. Lumie Bodyclock 250

Best wake up light: lights, sounds, ready for action, this is our pick of the best wake up light you can buy

Specifications
Best for: Customisation
Power type: Mains with back-up battery
Lux: 250
Reasons to buy
+ Adjustable sunrise/sunset times + Doubles as bedside light 
Reasons to avoid
- Not as good-looking as the Philips 

Lumie are the inventors of the original wake-up light, and to our judgment, their Bodyclock is still the best. A certified medical device recommended by sad.org.uk, the Bodyclock Active 250 wakes you with a gradually brightening light whose speed you can control within a range of 15 to 90 minutes, for the mornings when you really need to get going, and those when you can afford a little more lie-in time. Doubling as a bedside light and nightlight, it has a snooze function, dimmable display, FM radio, and wake-up noise options including white noise, waves, birdsong and a rooster call. For its seemingly endless customisation options, it’s our top choice.

See more Lumie products at Amazon
 

Philips Wake Up Light

2. Philips Wake Up Light

Best wake up light for charging phones: choose nature or natter with this clock radio meets wake-up light

Specifications
Best for: Gentle wake-up
Power type: Mains
Lux: 300
Reasons to buy
+ Variety of light and sound settings  + USB phone charging 
Reasons to avoid
- No automatic time set 

A very close second to the Lumie Bodyclock Active, the Philips Wake Up Light is another highly recommended and reliable option, with the added distinction of looking really good on the bedside table thanks to its sleek, almost seamless design. It’s clinically proven to make getting up less of a chore with light settings, plus a bank of seven natural sounds and radio function, so whether you prefer birdsong or your local station to get you out of bed in the morning, you’re all set. The USB port for mobile phone charging is also a helpful feature, eliminating the need for wires trailing under the bed. In our opinion, this is the best wake up light for a gentle wake up.

Browse more Philips products at Amazon

wake up light from amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Withings Aura Sistema Smart Sleep

Best Amazon wake up light: use sleep cycle analysis and room environment tracking to enhance sleeping habits

Specifications
Best for: Tracking your sleep and adjusting your environment accordingly
Power type: Mains
Lux: 300
Reasons to buy
+Sleep enhancement backed up by science+Go to sleep and wake up functions
Reasons to avoid
-Can be arduous to set up

Effectively combining a speaker, bed side lamp and alarm clock, the Withings Aura Sistema Smart Sleep uses sleep cycle analysis and room environment tracking to optimise sleep. Its combination of scientifically designed blue light and music programmes are intended to ensure users wake up energised during the best point of their sleep cycle. 

In addition to helping users wake up, the Withings Aura is also designed to aid the process of falling asleep, with sleep-inducing programs and access to an unlimited choice of music with Spotify. The best wake up light for sleep analysis, we think.

Shop more Withings products at Amazon

wake up light from amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500

Best wake up light with aromatherapy: a SAD wake-up lamp with built in aromatherapy feature

Specifications
Best for: Immersive sleep experience
Power type: Mains
Lux: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Additional aromatherapy feature
Reasons to avoid
- No radio option

A unique take on the traditional Lumie wake-up light, the Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 offers an aromatherapy option in addition to the basic features. Capable of taking up to two diffusers, it's now possible to wake up to a scent of your choice, in addition to a light and sound setting that suits. The best wake up light for those who want an immersive sleep experience...

Shop more wake up clocks at Zavvi

Philips HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light

5. Philips HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light

Best wake up light and alarm clock: combines the bedside lamp and alarm clock for the best of both worlds

Specifications
Best for: Simple design
Power type: Mains
Lux: 200
Reasons to buy
+ Stylish minimal design + Adjustable for evening and morning 
Reasons to avoid
- Some found the alarm a little grating 

If you’re undecided about light alarm clocks, not fussed about nature sounds, and just want a simple model that builds on a standard sound alarm, the Philips HF3500/60 is the best wake up light for you. It’s a handsome stand-in for a bedside light and alarm clock, and its light settings are ample and varied, with ten different light intensities to choose from and adjustable brightness for the time display. However, there’s just one alarm setting, so if you prefer to be gently enticed into wakefulness with birdsong, it may not be for you. One final downside that some reviewers have flagged up is that the snooze feature can be quite tricky to activate, although if it saves us from ourselves, we suppose, then all the better...

Shop more wake up lights at Very

Casper glow wake up light

(Image credit: Casper)

6. The Casper Glow light

Best portable wake up light: a portable bedside lamp that encourages better sleep

Specifications
Best for: Portablity
Power type: Battery powered by charged by mains
Lux: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Portable+Easy to use+You can sync multiple lights
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey -No voice control 

What we love most about the Casper Glow light is it's portability. You can pick it up and use it to guide you around in the dark so you don't have to turn on any big lights that will blast your eyes at four in the morning and properly get you out of a deep sleep. 

The Glow light is designed to slowly dim itself until it turns off, the default setting in 45 minutes but you can customise this in 15 minute intervals, with 60 minutes being the longest programme. You can obviously also leave it on indefinitely. You can use the Casper Glow app to customise your bedtime or morning routine and you sync the light with other lights around your home. 

The only downside is as it's not voice activated, you have to either use your phone to turn it off which could interrupt your almost sleep or go old school and actually have to turn the light off manually. 

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