Unless you're part of the 5 AM club or about to go on a five-star vacay, you probably aren't jumping out of bed on an average weekday. Nevertheless, missing an early-morning lecture or 9 AM meeting ain't an option. So, after several times hitting snooze on your iPhone, you reluctantly rise and grind. Yes, you make it to college, work, or whatever ridiculous gym class you now regret signing up for, and yes, you're questioning if you're fully awake, but soon the matcha latte kicks in. From here, you repeat the process daily. Sound familiar?
Well, not me anymore, now that I have re-discovered the importance of a proper alarm clock. No, I'm not talking about that pathetic one on our iPhones, which never
seem to get you up on time. I mean standalone digital and analog alarm clocks, many of which now come with ingenious sunrise lighting or tough-love settings like the bed shaker. Trust me, you'll appreciate it when suddenly, you're arriving to every appointment early and springing from your bed.
I've searched the web for the best-ever alarm clocks, all highly reviewed by shoppers online. Once you've picked out your favorites, you can then finalize your sleep routine thanks to our mattresses in a box review.
The best alarm clocks to buy in 2023
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The prices below were correct at the time of publishing.
The best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers
This is a safe space, so, hands up, who really gets into a deep slumber? I thought so. There's good news, though. With these ingenious designs, you won't be able to sleep in. Pillow vibrations, dual alarms, or even runaway alarms (they're a thing)... Such functions will have your sleep game back on track in no time.
Shake to wake
Size (in.): H4.7 x W1.3
Type: LCD display
Price: From $29.99
Besides being portable — a handy extra if you're dotting between your dorm and family home, for example — this piece is built especially for heavy sleepers. With a flip-up design, it's easily set, arriving with a simple automatic manual pad, plus a selection of vibrating strengths dependent on how heavy or light of a sleeper you are. With rechargeable battery operation, it's also cute AF, not to mention a hit with reviewers. The verdict? It's easy to personalize, and it can be used without any sound at all, ideal if you share a room with someone on a different schedule. Plus, the battery only needs to be charged every month or so, users report.
Size (in.): H6.4 x W2.3
Type: Digital display
Price: From $38.24
Simple but effective, this comes with two alarms, just in case the first fails — we've all been there, right? Complete with a 72-color LED display and two USB ports to charge your smartphone and electrics, it's the modern minimalist's answer to efficient timekeeping. With a chargeable battery function, it's neat and compact, completed by your typical snooze and backlight functions, plus an adjustable volume for those of us who need it cranked right up.
Size (in.): H5.24 x W3.39 x D3.39
Type: Run-away clock (yes, you read that right)
Price: From $49.99
Say hello to your new best friend, who — despite your early-morning judgment — knows exactly what's best for you. In case you haven't worked out its USP, this design jumps, rolls, and runs away to hide so that you have no choice but to get up and at 'em. With an especially loud alarm and a restrained single snooze button, it's a breeze to program and comes from the record-breaking deal winner on Shark Tank. As for its feedback, it's a love-hate relationship you should honestly embrace. You'll hate it in the morning, but it will get you up faster than you can say "alarm."
The best alarm clocks with lights
Unless you've been living under a rock, you might have heard about the ingenious designs that make waking up that much better. Yep, thanks to a gentle change in lighting, you can keep your circadian rhythm thriving at its best with help from a wake-up light. Follow our lead.
Size (in.): Di0.56 x D0.32
Type: Smart alarm
Price: From $29.99
Honestly, this is the height of sleep-hygiene tech. Automatically dimming or brightening around bedtime or start time, the design makes winding down or livening up all the easier. Offering 16 different volumes to choose from and 20 brightness settings, it also features an adorable pick of sounds to wake up with, spanning birdsong and ocean waves to piano sounds, wind bells, and even the radio — it's got FM, FYI. Throw in the seven, colored lighting options for bedside vibes, and you're set. Oh, and this chargeable piece majorly pleased customers. The consensus? A peaceful and soothing way to rise.
Color me sleepy
Size (in.): H8.68 x W5.81 x D2.69
Type: Smart alarm
Price: From $44.99
Primed with five light modes to choose from, plus 20 color options, this is perfect for setting your mood as you ease into the day. Oh, and it also comes with evening and morning modes, simulating sunrise and sunset for the best sleep hygiene yet. Personally, I'm very here for the guided breathing program, too, which uses three different color palettes to direct you. With temperature and humidity meters, and a USB charging port, this delivers on all fronts.
Size (in.): H5.93 x W4.17
Type: Smart alarm
Color: White and silver
Price: From $36.99
An absolute dream. It offers easy scheduling, with the option for a 10, 30, or 60-minute darkening period before you turn in, plus a handy half-hour natural wake-up process. With five nature sounds for your alarm, it also comes with a premium white LED bulb that dims to three different levels. Add to this six colors to suit the ambiance and there's plenty to play with. In terms of the shoppers' take, it's a win-win, offering easy operation and sturdy construction, all while making one brilliant reader's lamp. Count me in!
The best analog alarm clocks
Sometimes, you can't beat a classic. After all, if the standard analog design has stood the test of time this long, it's clearly for good reason. Not only does it offer a touch of retro charm, but it's also attractive to those that just want a no-nonsense design to carry them out of their bed.
Size (in.): H4 x W4 x D1.8
Type: Analog quartz clock
Color: Black and white
Price: From $41.40
If you're after something a little quirky, Etsy is always the place. And this handmade design is no exception to the rule, offering a completely silent tick and a trusty wooden construction. It's battery-powered (1 AA should last 1–2 years), and setting the time and alarm is a piece of cake. As for the noise, it's a traditional beeping sound that won't completely startle you, but instead make for a clean wake-up. Plus, shoppers were delighted, praising its accuracy and quality. The best bit? You'll have no excuses to use your phone before bed.
Less is more
Size (in.): H3.6 x W3.2 x D1.7
Type: Analog quartz clock
Price: From $69.99
Primed with an ascending volume that slowly gets louder to help you rise in peace, this design is a statement piece no one is mistaking for anything less than iconic. Whether you opt for mint (my fav) or black, it's guaranteed to chime with any decor thanks to its pared-back credentials and timeless profile. As for the four-minute snooze, this suits me to a tee. Trust me, four minutes does a lot. Shoppers appreciate its OG charms — glow-in-the-dark hands and a backlight. Battery-powered, this is simplicity, mastered.
Size (in.): H4.7 x W4.3 x D1.6
Type: Analog quartz clock
Price: From $16.99
You know great design when you see it. This example, riffing on the original European pieces of yesteryear, is sure to add funk and finesse to your dorm room, acting like a centerpiece and functional necessity. Battery-powered, it comes with super-quiet ticking, a backlight for night use, and an ascending four-beep alarm that helps you rise without the pain. As for the colorways on offer — orange, sky blue, and pink are my go-to's — it's got something for everyone. Customers could hardly fault it, giving it plenty of Brownie points for the easy-read display, vintage patina, and ideal sizing.
How do I stop sleeping through my alarm?
Good question. However together your life is, there's no beating around the bush, we all sleep in sometimes. That said, you can enact some easy damage control. According to physician and healthcare educator Dr. Kelvin Fernandez, who works for Ace Med Boards, the act of having to get out of bed physically is one such solution. Indeed, this is where the Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheel from Walmart, for example, would come in handy, as it literally forces you to chase it. "Additionally, I experimented with different alarm sounds," says Fernandez. "Some folks do well with gradual, calming tones, while others need the jarring buzz of a traditional alarm." If you're after the latter, the analog alarm clocks above should cover your needs. Fernandez also suggests trying the sunrise alarm clocks with lights, like those above, as these mimic natural sunlight for a smoother wake-up. These "can be especially helpful during darker winter months or if you're getting up before the sun rises," he adds.
Why is it so hard to wake up even after 8 hours of sleep?
Ah, the eternal question! Luckily physician and educator Dr. Kelvin Fernandez from Ace Med Boards could offer some insight here. "There's a multitude of factors that could be at play," he says. "We all have different sleep needs, and it's entirely possible that your body needs a bit more than the average person. However, it's also essential to consider the quality of sleep." Of course, if you're tossing and turning, even for eight hours, or waking up lots in the night, this will affect those eight hours.
He continues, "Also, bear in mind that our sleep cycles don't always neatly align with our alarm clocks. If you're jolted awake in the middle of a deep sleep phase, it's going to feel a lot harder to get up." Oh, and it goes without saying, but your all-nighters and late-night Netflix binges are always a no-no. "They can wreak havoc on your sleep rhythm over time," he notes. Perhaps, if you always get sucked into your smartphone, this is where the simplicity of an alarm clock like those above will be handy to you.
Want to improve your sleep quality? Start afresh with these top-tier bed sheets.
Where to buy an alarm clock
Still not settled on your must-buy alarm clock? Don't panic. We've whittled down the top retailers to try below.
How we chose these alarm clocks
We only want the best for our readers, which is why we take the time to examine the reviews behind our selected products, pinpointing only those that *actually* improve users' lives. Besides pure functionality, we also consider style and looks, curating our roster to suit a lower budget but a higher sense of taste. Oh, and you can trust you're only getting the good stuff — we won't include anything with less than a four-star rating at the time of selection.