I won't lie to you, having a white noise machine has quite possibly changed my life. And I don't mean to sound dramatic, but I need at least eight hours of sleep a night to function and feel like a boss a** bitch. This might be why you're looking to buy a white noise machine too because your bestie recently bought one and hasn't stopped going on about it since (I am her, I am bestie). Either that or you've tried every single sleep aid out there and even bought a mattress topper but nothing so far is helping you get a decent night's sleep. I get it and I've been there, so trust me when I say that you're in safe hands.
White noise machines have only recently become super popular, and mostly because studies revealed the benefits of having one if you have a newborn baby as it can help lull them to sleep and reduce the risk of SIDS. This is the reason I initially wanted to buy one as my little human is due very soon, but my partner and I thought we'd take ours for a test spin before she gets here and honestly, we haven't looked back since. When we forget to turn it on at night, or when we sleep overnight at my parents' house, we both notice how different our quality of sleep is. It truly is like magic.
So, I decided to get the team involved and do some mass testing of white noise machines as there are so many models out there and it's a bit of a minefield TBH. We've reviewed a bunch of the highest-rated white noise machines on the market and given them a star rating so that you know whether they are truly worth your money.
Keep scrolling to sleep better...
The best white noise machines, as reviewed
Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The best white noise machine
The holy grail of white noise machines, the Dreamegg D1 gets a full five stars from me. I've been sleeping with this white noise machine in my room for around two months now and it is a total game-changer. It's rated Amazon's bestseller for a reason, and it's nice looking and compact so even if you have a small nightstand like I do, it still leaves room for a drink, your phone, and other must-haves. And it's definitely not an eyesore.
This machine is self-explanatory to use and it offers so many different sounds. It has seven white noise sounds, seven fan sounds, and 10 relaxing sounds to be exact. You can set it on a timer for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes and it can be turned up quite loud to drown out city traffic or dorm noise. It has a light that wraps around the top of the machine but this isn't bright enough to use as a reading light. You also can't use the light unless the noise is on, annoyingly. Otherwise, it's super affordable at less than $50.
Good to know
It doesn't come with a remote to control it from afar. You can choose from two colors and you can even use it with headphones if you share a room.
The best small white noise machine
If you want something that's impressively small yet still feature-packed — and that you can take on vacation with you — then this is the white noise machine for you. It's a little more expensive than our top pick from Dreamegg, which is annoying as it's much smaller, but it's only a couple of dollars more so I can let it slide. It also comes in five stylish pastel colors for you to choose from. This white noise machine is great if you have a super small nightstand and don't really have any room for anything else as it has a hanging strap so you can loop it over your bed frame or on a handle, or hang it elsewhere in your bedroom as you sleep.
I'm currently reviewing this white noise machine and while it's not as busy and feature-filled as the D1, for its size it's pretty impressive. It still has three timer settings with a light by each so you know which one is selected, and it's so handy that it doesn't need to be plugged in at all times. Mostly because I'm not always right beside a socket when I need to use it. It offers 21 soothing sounds in total, three white noises, eight nature sounds, and seven baby sounds. Don't let the baby sounds side of it put you off — it's definitely not just for children. It does have a handy child lock on the back of it though so that you can lock it to a setting if need be. When you turn it on, you'll need to press and hold the power button (same goes to turn it off) and it automatically plays white noise. It doesn't have a light per se, but it has small lights dotted around the machine.
Good to know
This white noise machine is super light at under one pound in weight. It has a 30-hour battery life but if you have the volume at the highest, it won't last quite that long. It does go nice and loud but not as loud as the D1, as you'd expect, otherwise, it charges via a USB-C cable which comes included (you need a USB plug). When it's charging, a red light will show at the top of the machine.
The best white noise machine with a light
The Sweet Zzz white noise machine is what a hanging mobile is to a child's nursery. The only exception is that it doesn't hang above your head, and it looks a lot more stylish than shapes and colors hung on a rotating carousel. It also has a light surrounding it that changes in color and doubles as a night light. It's super compact so is great for smaller rooms and tiny nightstands, plus it's nice and portable so that you can take it on the go.
Our reviewer Christina typically uses her iPad to listen to YouTube video content in bed. However, the reality is that a) she CBA to hold the device, and B) it's blue light, which is counterintuitive to sleeping. So what she found she really needed was a white noise machine. This machine comes with 29 different sounds (some of which Christina really enjoyed) for example the fireplace crackling, sea waves, bird song, and an assortment of rain sounds. While others only kept her up at night (dripping tap, noisy fan, ticking clock). The device even has a memory function to remember your favorite settings so you don't have to trawl through the sound playlist. Her favorite feature is that you can set it to one of seven LED colors (at full brightness or dimmed). Say you're someone who knows they're going to fall asleep within a certain timespan of your head hitting the pillow, this white noise machine also allows you to set the timer for 30, 60, or 90 minutes. This function is really handy and Christina found that the sound gradually fades before being automatically turned off. Though it is a wireless machine, the built-in rechargeable battery lasts around 12 hours (or 7 if it's played continuously).
Good to know
In the event that you do want to crank up the machine to the highest volume, you will get an audible warning (beep) letting you know that you've reached the maximum noise level. Not that you'd want to though as it's pretty loud (and therefore counterintuitive). If you sleep next to someone who doesn't care for the white noise machine's benefits, you can also plug in some headphones for a solo sesh.
The best white noise machine on a budget
For a white noise machine that does everything it needs to well, all at just $23.99, this Homedics one is a great choice. Our staff writer Eve is currently testing this one for us and she has found it so easy to use, she loves how relaxing the sounds are, and says she’s never slept better. Her only complaint about it is that it's not the prettiest piece of tech out there, but if you are on a budget then nothing else compares. It's also Amazon's Choice white noise machine, FYI!
Eve is obsessed with how easy and uncomplicated this Homedics white noise machine was to use, thanks to the adjustable volume switch, timer button, and six different sound choices. These are thunder, rain, summer night, brook, ocean, and the classic white noise, which she all found to be very distinctive. They all also played really rhythmically, which she found soothing and perfect for going to sleep listening to. Her faves are the rain one and the summer night. The machine is also lightweight and portable, which makes it easy for her to move it between her bedroom and office.
Good to know
This white noise machine can be powered by both battery and being plugged into a wall outlet, which Eve thinks is very useful. She has found the non-adjustable LED power light to be very bright in the dark, which means she has ended up sticking blu-tack onto it. Plus, the design is more practical than pretty, but she says that she can forgive this as she can’t imagine sleeping without it now.
The best white noise machine wake up light
The only reason that this white noise machine is last on our list is because we are yet to get our hands on one. Our editor is currently waiting for hers to arrive so that she can review it for us, otherwise, it's perfect if you're after a wake-up light but also want a white noise machine. Because who can fit both on their nightstand at once? Not us! This machine has seven sleep sounds for you to flip through, and it will wake you up naturally and help you wind down to sleep the right way. You can choose from five light colors and 25 levels of brightness while you get some good rest.
What reviewers say
With 2,000+ reviews on Amazon and a 4.3 out of five stars rating, this device is loved by people far and wide. Most shoppers say it's worth the money with lots of people claiming its snooze button is super helpful on those hard mornings. A lot of people compare it to the Hatch Restore which we're struggling to find to review RN, and say it's a lot better because there's no subscription required to use it. While it does offer seven different sounds, these can only be played for a maximum of 60 minutes so if you want a white noise machine to lull you to sleep through the night, then you're best to avoid this device. It also can tell you the temperature and humidity in the room you are in which is smart!
Good to know
This is understandably more expensive than the other white noise machines on our list because it's a 2-in-1 machine. It's also larger but it can charge your phone while you sleep which we think is a game-changer. We're yet to test this in person, so we'll update this guide once we've been using it for a couple of weeks.
What to consider when choosing a white noise machine
There are a couple of things you'll want to think about before deciding on the best white noise machine for you.
1. Where will your white noise machine go?
Firstly, consider where your new white noise machine will live. Make sure this is beside a socket, and that the length of the cord of your white noise machine will comfortably reach. You don't want this too close to where you sleep. If you can't find a suitable spot, go for a portable model that needs charging instead.
2. Which sounds will you use?
Then, think about which sounds you'll use. Some white noise machines have lullaby sounds, nature sounds and much more for you to flip through which is great, but if you know you only want white noise then it's pointless.
3. Do you need it to have a light?
Does it have a light? If you need your white noise machine to double as a bedside lamp, then choose wisely. Most don't have a light but if you pay more you can get that tech built-in so as to free up space on your nightstand.
4. Does it have a timer?
This isn't a must-have feature, but for most people, it's handy because if you fall asleep while your white noise machine is on, you can rest knowing that it will turn itself off by morning. Think about how many timer settings are offered on the machine you're looking at, and what the maximum setting is. Three hours is a normal maximum, but others might find five hours handy if they wake up several times in the night.
How we test white noise machines
We got the whole team involved in testing white noise machines, and four out of the five buys on our list have either already been reviewed or they are in review right now. To thoroughly test these machines, we call them in (the brands send a review sample to us for free) and use them at home every night for four weeks total. We use them as if we weren't testing them initially, to see how much of a difference they make to our sleep routine. Then, when it comes to testing we check things like weight, size, and even how easy the machine is to use. We check volume limits and weigh in on how well it helped us to drift off to sleep, what we thought it could do better at, and what we loved the most about it.
Meet our white noise machine reviewers:
I'm Annie and I tested both Dreamegg white noise machines in this list. I still use them both, with the Dreamegg D1 sitting on my nightstand RN and the portable Dreamegg D11 coming with us on staycation or to my parent's house. I'm due to have my baby soon so I know these two white noise machines will come even more handy once she has arrived.
Christina has been testing the Sweet Zzz White Noise Machine in her home for a couple of weeks now and is writing up her review very soon.