Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light review

How the Philips Somneo Wake-Up Light fared in our real-life review

Sleep and Wake-Up Light Somneo
(Image credit: Philips )
Real Homes Verdict

An intuitive wake-up light for easier and brighter mornings

Reasons to buy
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    20 light intensities to choose from

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    Realistic nature sounds

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    Relax feature

Reasons to avoid
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    Bulky design

If you've been looking for the best wake-up light for you, the Philips Sleep & Wake-Up Light is a sound option to help you enjoy better quality sleep, and easier mornings, all year round. The sunrise and sunset simulation gently prepares your body for waking up in the final moments of your sleep cycle, tapping into your circadian rhythm and helping you feel naturally, more alert. Customizable, easy to use and effective – especially with use over time – this is what I thought.

What is the Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light?

The Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light is a modern smart light alarm clock that uses light to help you rise more naturally in the morning, and relax thoroughly at night for better night's sleep overall. It simulates sunset, starting with a warm red glow, graduating slowly in intensity towards the lightest and brightest settings, as the sun would. For an all-round experience, you can couple the light with either nature sounds, or FM radio to help you feel for sprightly. It reverses this display in the evening to emulate a sunset which overtime helps you fall asleep more quickly and enjoy a better quality of rest also.

Other functionalities of the wake-up light include a RelaxBreathe programme, an AUX cable that lets you stream music to the speaker, and you can also charge your phone if you'd like.

  • Keep reading: Looking for the best mattress, too? Check out our guide 

Setting it up 

Setting up the Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light was really easy. It's a case of plugging it in and following the instructions on the display screen. You could be set up in as little as 10 minutes. You want to choose your clock setting, you can switch off the button clicks also if you'd like, and you can set up two different waking up profiles.

Using the Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up Light

Winding down

This for me is just as important as how the Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up light helps you rise. You programme it to start winding down and mimicking a sunset for however minutes you'd like, and you can add a sound if you want too. 

I thought that the natural sound option was particularly effective for me in changing how I felt to be more calm in my surroundings. Plus, whether you're in a hurry to fall asleep or wanting to read and spend a bit more time relaxing, you can tailor it to suit your needs. You can also switch the display light off if you don't want any lights on at all by pressing the display button.

Waking up 

There are 25 lightness intensity levels, unto 300 lux, to choose from and, the brightness will adapt to how much light there is in your room that morning, which I thought was pretty clever. You can still choose how long the sunrise lasts, the waking curve is programmed to 30 minutes, but if you want to starting rousing 10 or 50 minutes before your actual alarm goes off to the sound of your choice, your call.

If you're still not quite ready to get out of bed, you can gently tap the top to snooze for 9 minutes which feels very intuitive and easy to use – perhaps a bit too easy at times. The alarm will automatically shut off after 60 minutes, snoozing or not.

Chilling out

As well as the wind down evening feature, the Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up late was also designed to help ease you at any stress-ridden points throughout the day. Particularly useful if you WFH or are going through a stressful period. Select the RelaxBreathe programme and choose whether you want a light or sound guided session to help you ride through any anxious moments.

What I really liked about the Philips Somneo Sleep and Wake-Up light

With other wake up lights, you usually have a pre-programmed brightness level, so I loved the ability to fine-tune this with the Someo. Plus, the fact that it will adapt to your room's light levels felt like an important detail.

The nature sounds are really enlightening and quite realistic which is very soothing on tough mornings. I also think the RelaxBreathe programme and light or sound-led breathing options is a thoughtful touch. that not many other wake up lights feature. You can follow the belly breathing exercises in the manual too which it's a good distraction if anything!

Finally, as a serial wake up in the middle of the night kind of person, the midnight light was great to help me dose off again quickly, rather than reach for my phone, and then Instagram.

What I like less about the Philips Somneo Wake-Up Light

In saying that, it's quite a big object and looks dominating on a bedside table which isn't 100% to my personal taste. It does have what you need in a modern wake up light, but it's not as advanced I didn't think as other models. For example, I really like other wake-up lights with Bluetooth rather than just an AUX cable. It just means they multi-task a little more. 

About the reviewer

Camille is a Digital Editor at Real Homes who's a total night owl and a big coffee drinker so having the best products at hand to help her (and her cat) switch off and wake up feeling refreshed is a must. 

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Camille Dubuis-Welch

Camille is Deputy Editor of and joined in January 2020. Her love of interior design stemmed from a childhood spent dreaming up weird and wonderful ways to renovate her grandma’s house in France – a greenhouse roof was involved – and it was spending time around very good-looking house plants and in a hardworking kitchen garden that gave her a green thumb. When Camille isn’t sipping coffee and/or writing, she is seeking out cool new Facebook Marketplace finds or tapping into her other creative outlets: painting and clay throwing. She currently rents in North London with her French cat and two others, and hopes to one day renovate the most sustainable house of dreams, somewhere marvellously sunny with a wild, lavish garden and chickens, of course.