Alarm clocks are a necessity in life, even if you'd rather you never had to use yours. And while some of us are regularly up with the lark and welcome that alarm clock call, there are many more of us groaning at them to shut up. For those people, we have found the very best alarm clocks. They’ve come on leaps and bounds since the first mechanical, programmable alarm clock came into being (although to be fair, that was in 1847), and bring all manner of creative ways to kickstart your day to the (bedside) table.
So, find an alarm clock that suits you, and make mornings just that bit more bearable.
Which alarm clock type might suit you?
Can’t stand the ring of the alarm? Go for a clock radio that’ll wake you with your favourite station, or an iPod dock that’ll play your carefully curated Good Morning playlist.
Suffer from hearing loss, or have to be shaken out of deep sleep by your other half? Try an alarm clock with a shaker pad to startle you from under the duvet. Short sighted or can’t reach the clock at night to check the time? Look for a projector clock that shines the time on any surface of your choosing.
Finally, if you detest being shocked awake more than most, give a gentle wake-up light alarm a try, perfect for those dark mornings that make it extra-hard to get up.
Need other stuff for your bedroom? Once you've finished choosing your alarm clock, why not read more of our bedroom buyer's guides?
- Treat your alarm clock to a new bedside table
- You'll be glad of these black-out curtains when the weekend comes round
Also, if you're planning on buying a more expensive model, make sure to check out our best Black Friday Amazon deals 2018 before buying.
That the Sonic Bomb alarm clock is described by its manufacturers as 'ballistically loud' says it all. With its combination of ultra-loud ring, shaker pad for placing under your pillow or mattress, and bright flashing LED lights, this is the alarm clock to end all alarm clocks for deep sleepers, shocking three of your senses into wakefulness at once. You can set two alarms at once with variable volume and pitch, which is a nice touch for partners with different rising times.
Less an alarm clock and more a multi-functional hub, this smart docking station keeps your iPhone or iPad Mini charged up while allowing you to stream your media through the reasonably sized speakers. Use your own music, radio, or the simple buzzer to wake up – the display automatically takes the time and date from your device, so there’s no need to adjust when the clocks change. Very clever indeed.
In stark contrast to the borderline-violent Sonic Bomb, the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock goes the gentle route to getting your day started. Over 30 minutes, the brightness of the warm white light gradually increases to mimic a natural sunrise, and follows up with a sound alarm for stubborn sleepers. The brightness is fully adjustable, and it doubles up as a bedside lamp, making it an ideal buddy for before-bed reading or getting ready on dark winter mornings, however some won’t like that you can’t turn off the display. Check out more of the best wake up lights rounded up by our team over at t3.com (opens in new tab).
If you’re an early riser with a spouse who sleeps in (or vice versa), this silent alarm is a great option that’ll keep the peace and avoid morning grumpiness. And, with its insistent vibrations, it’s great for those with hearing loss, or just people who despise regular sound alarms. Simply download the accompanying app, choose from three levels of vibration, and place the small disc under your pillow ready for a tactile wake-up call. And if you ever do fancy a change, there’s an alarm function, too.
The translucent casing and curvy shape of this colourful alarm clock makes it look decidedly high-end, and it has the functionality to back it up, too. With options for Bluetooth audio and FM radio, as well as a USB port for charging devices, it’s a smart little hub for keeping by the bed, and the choice of colours sets any mood you like for day or night.
This clever little alarm clock meets wake-up light is our best all-round pick for better sleep. It has an inbuilt white noise generator to lull you to sleep at night, and a sunrise-simulating light to gently wake you up again. Use the weather and traffic forecasts to plan your day, and the two USB charging ports to juice up your devices, then when you’re home again, use it to set the mood with a choice of colours and brightness levels. One of the less gimmicky clocks on our list, and still with some surprising features.
If you’re sick of twisting and turning and squinting at a tiny LED display during the night, especially if you’re short-sighted, go for this smart projection clock. It shines the time continually on the wall or ceiling (the projection can be turned 90 degrees and flipped 180 to achieve the optimum viewing angle) throughout the night, and when the time comes to greet the day, you can be woken with a buzzer or the FM radio station of your choice.