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The 5 Best White Noise Machines (2022 Review)

Whether you want to mask the sounds of barking dogs, honking horns, running appliances, or talking roommates, white noise machines provide a soothing noise that helps you drift off to sleep. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best white noise machines on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

white noise machine, sound machine Courtesy Yogasleep

Many people need background noise to fall asleep at night. Instead of leaving a TV or fan on, you can opt for a white noise machine instead. It provides a wide range of sounds, volumes, and timers to help you get the best night of sleep possible. To help you sort through the different options, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best white noise machines on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Top 5 White Noise Machines


Best Single Sound: SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine

For those who only need subtle background noise to fall asleep, this white noise machine plays the sound of a real fan without pushing out cold air. Though it only offers a single type of sound, you can adjust its volume and tone to sound like an airplane cabin fan, a handheld fan, or anything in between.

Key Features

  • Fan sound
  • Adjustable volume and tone
  • Control via the device or mobile app

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who left positive reviews for this product liked that it produced a loud, lifelike sound and was easy to turn on and off. However, those who left negative reviews said that the compatible app didn’t always function properly.


Best Nature Sounds: HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine

This white noise machine offers five nature-related sounds—thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and brook—as well as a white noise setting to make you feel like you’re camping under the stars from the comfort of your own bedroom. Though affordable, it offers customization with volume and timer settings.

Key Features

  • Six sounds
  • Adjustable volume and timer
  • Control via the device

What Customers Are Saying

Happy customers said that this white noise machine was lightweight and easy to travel with and had an easy setup process. However, those who didn’t like this product claimed that the volume knob was unreliable.


Most Portable: Dreamegg White Noise Machine

Hotels can be noisy, with people yelling in the halls late at night. This white noise machine has several features that make it easy to pack in your suitcase and take with you on a trip. It weighs less than half a pound and has a wireless design. Furthermore, it comes with a clip that can easily attach to a crib or bag.

Key Features

  • 11 sounds
  • Night light function
  • Adjustable volume, timer, and light intensity
  • Control via the device

What Customers Are Saying

Customers liked that this machine was compact, offered a lot of settings, and had a tamper-resistant child lock. However, some dissatisfied reviewers claimed that it ran out of battery quickly, while others struggled with its finicky on/off switch.


Most Sound Settings: Yogasleep White Noise Sound Machine

This white noise machine comes with 16 sound options, including two white noise, two fans, and four nature settings. You can set it to your liking with an interface that has a button for each sound and buttons for the timer and volume functions.

Key Features

  • 16 sounds
  • Adjustable volume and timer
  • Control via the device

What Customers Are Saying

Those who gave this machine positive reviews liked its wide volume range, smooth and consistent audio, and long list of sound choices. However, some customers were disappointed that it didn’t come with the wall plug that was needed to operate it.


Best For Babies: Hatch Baby Sound Machine

Your toddler may need white noise to fall asleep, just like you do. This sound machine plays several soothing sounds. It also doubles as a night light and a baby monitor with a lighted body and two-way audio. All of these functions can be controlled with the compatible smartphone app.

Key Features

  • At least 11 sounds
  • Night light, clock, and baby monitor functions
  • Adjustable volume, timer, and light color
  • Control via the mobile app

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised all of the functions of this white noise machine, especially its built-in night light. They also liked that you could change the settings with a mobile phone. However, some users had issues with the app, saying it froze and disconnected from Wi-Fi randomly.


Buyer’s Guide

From noise level to sound option, there are several features that affect how a sound machine functions. Below, we explain these factors to help you choose a white noise machine that fits your needs.

Volume

A white noise machine needs to be loud enough to drown out the sounds of a garbage truck on the street or a snoring pet on the floor. On the other hand, a machine that’s too loud may be just as distracting as the sounds you’re trying to block out. Most white noise machines have a volume setting to choose how loud you need the background noise to be. The perfect range is usually between 30 and 50 decibels.

Sound

Basic sound machines have a single white noise or fan setting, while advanced ones have a wide range of sounds to mimic nature, household appliances, songs, and more. If you think you may get bored of the same noise every night, look for a device with more choices. However, if you’re simply looking for a substitute for a fan, a simple machine with one to three options will suffice.

Size

A white noise machine should be small enough to fit on your bedside table so that you can reach over to turn it on when you’re ready to go to sleep. The device’s size also determines how portable it is. If you struggle to fall asleep in hotel rooms or friends’ houses, consider a compact model that weighs a few ounces. This ensures that it doesn’t take up too much space or weigh too much in your bag.

Loop

White noise machines typically run their audio on a loop. Ideally, the machine smoothly transitions from the end of the loop back to the beginning so that you can’t tell when it has started over. However, some devices have a noticeable pause between loops, which could wake you up if you’re a light sleeper. For audio clips that have short loops, say one or two minutes long, this could be an even bigger issue.

Other Features

In addition to volume and sound settings, many machines also have other functions, such as timers, clocks, and night lights. While these features may prove useful, they typically increase the price of the machine.

Control

Most white noise machines have buttons to adjust their settings. Others are smartphone-compatible to work with a mobile app. Buttons are easy to use, but they may be difficult to see when you’re pressing them in the dark. On the other hand, looking at the bright light of your phone to turn the machine on could keep you awake.

Other Ways To Drown Out Sound at Night

White noise machines help you fall asleep if noises inside or outside of your home are keeping you awake. However, if you don’t want to invest in a white noise machine, here are some alternatives to block out unwanted noise:

Fan/Air Conditioner

Using a fan or air conditioner in the summer can both keep you cool and drown out sound. Small fans can generate a steady, consistent breeze and a low humming noise, while large box fans or air conditioners can drown out even the loudest outside noises. However, be aware that running your air conditioner or ceiling fan all night has an effect on your electric bill.

Ear Plugs

Ear plugs block your ears to keep them from registering external sounds. However, some work so well that you may miss your morning alarm or not hear an intruder.

Wireless Headphones

Headphones allow you to play songs, podcasts, audiobooks, or background noises from apps while you sleep. While they should ring your alarm over your background noise of choice, you could still miss important outside noises.

Bedroom Adjustments

Another option is to make changes to your bedroom to make it more sleep-friendly instead of using a noise-canceling device. For example, if your bed is close to the door and you’re constantly hearing people walk past it, try moving your bed to another wall. You can also use soundproof foam on the walls or sound-absorbing carpet on the floors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is white noise?

White noise describes a continuous humming or shushing sound. It shouldn’t be confused with pink noise, which is similar but deeper.

Where is the best place to keep a white noise machine?

Ideally, your white noise machine should be kept on your bedside table. If you use a mobile app to adjust it, make sure your phone is on the table as well. If you don’t think that you will need to make adjustments to it throughout the night, you could also set it on a dresser or desk across the room and turn it on before climbing into bed.

Is white noise good for babies?

Using a white noise machine can help a baby fall asleep, as it creates a consistent, stable environment and blocks out loud noises. However, you should be careful with how long and often you use a white noise machine. You don’t want them becoming dependent on it to fall asleep.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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