A white noise machine can go a long way towards optimal sleeping conditions. They aren’t just for your baby – though they are often invaluable when trying to calm a restless baby. There are so many extra features and benefits, you won’t want to make your purchase without a bit of research, though. Luckily for you, we’ve done all that homework for you – and this is the best place to start!
We reviewed dozens of white noise machines to identify the best of the best. We looked at white noise machines that have several sound effects so you can pick your favorite, as well as those that are ideal for a baby (complete with heartbeat sounds). We found the white noise machines that travel well and those that provide you a night light, as well. No matter what kind of white noise machine you’re looking for, we have you covered.
If you’re struggling to get comfortable at night, and the white noise machine just isn’t enough, you may want to take a good look at The Best Wedge Pillows.
From nearly the get-go, we could easily determine the Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine was the obvious choice for our best overall white noise machine. It has everything you want, and none of the complications, with superior quality.
The 5 Top-Rated White Noise Machines
|Best White Noise Machine Overall||Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine||4.2|
|Best White Noise Machine for Baby||Baby Shusher For Babies||4.1|
|Best Budget White Noise Machine||HoMedics Sound Spa White Noise Machine||4.0|
|Best White Noise Machine with Night Light||Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine||4.5|
|Best Portable White Noise Machine||FitFirst Portable White Noise Machine||4.8|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best White Noise Machine Overall: Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine
The Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine features six sleep sounds: rain, a brook, the ocean, thunder, white noise, and a summer night. Though clearly that’s a combination of different “colored” noises, that means you’ll have plenty of options to make sure you’re getting the exact kind of noise that eases your brain and lets you fall asleep fastest -no matter the color!
You can plug this device into the wall with the AC adapter, or use batteries to make it an easily packed item, too. In fact, you may love this little sleep aid so much you won’t be able to sleep without it. Which will work just fine since you won’t ever have to leave the ultra-portable device behind.
One look at this white noise machine on Amazon and you’ll probably know exactly why it’s our top pick. There are more ratings on this one machine than all of our other top picks combined and it’s just as popular! With close to 14,000 customer reviews and an overall rating of 4.2 stars, you know you’ll be getting a quality product. And you know at just $17, it’s a good value, too.
Big Red Rooster 6 Sound White Noise Machine Key Features:
- 6 sleep sounds
- Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
- 2.6″H x 4″ L x 4.4″W
Best White Noise Machine for Baby: Baby Shusher For Babies
The Baby Shusher For Babies is a brilliant piece of technology that may just save your lungs and sanity. If your baby is one that needs a constant shushing sound to make him rest, then you will either need to get used to the idea of breathing in only shushes to the point of dizziness, or you can invest in this white noise machine that will do it for you. This may not replace the bouncing – though there are bouncers for that, and it may not replace the tight hold – though there are swaddles for that. – Come to think of it, this may be the very last piece of the puzzle you need to finally get your baby to sleep with ease!
You are probably not going to be surprised that a product that gives parents peace of mind and babies more sleep is rated highly and often but to confirm those suspicions, this white noise machine is rated by parents with an overall rating of 4.1 stars and with right around 4,000 customer reviews.
Baby Shusher For Babies Key Features:
- Made with easy-to-clean, BPA-free material
- Requires 2 AA batteries (included)
- 15 to 30-minute timer intervals
Best Budget White Noise Machine: HoMedics Sound Spa White Noise Machine
The HoMedics Sound Spa White Noise Machine has an auto-off timer that will allow you to set it for fifteen, thirty or sixty-minute intervals, making sure you won’t struggle to enter a deep sleep by the distraction that sound can cause. If you’re one of the majority who outside stimulus affects your sleep, this timer and auto-off function can be a big help.
You can use this device with the power cord or via the rechargeable battery so you’re sure to appreciate the versatility. Let it soothe the baby to her nap in the living room while you’re making dinner and then take it into her room at night for the longer sleep, too.
There are plenty of supportive reviews on this device on Amazon – nearly 13,00 customers have come back to leave reviews and of those reviews, 73% are pleased with the product, earning an overall rating of 4.0 stars. But the true selling point is the cost – you can pick this white noise machine up for under $20!
HoMedics Sound Spa White Noise Machine Key Features:
- 6 soothing sound options
- Requires 4 AA batteries (not included)
- 3 colors available
Best White Noise Machine with Night Light: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
The Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine isn’t just for babies – though there are plenty of features that will help with babies and toddlers. You can set this device up with schedules and timers to make sure the white noise is playing for only enough time for your little one to fall asleep and change the light to a different color when it’s okay for your child to get out of bed. Though there’s no guarantee your kid is going to pay attention to this, it’s a step in the right direction towards an overall better rested home.
Controlling this white noise machine couldn’t be easier. Not only will you have control from your phone, but the user interface for the app is so easy to use, you’ll have no trouble setting this night light to wake you, as well. So use white noise for an hour at bedtime and a silent but relaxing and muted light throughout the night. Then have the device turn to a brighter light and another, more energizing sound when it’s time to wake. This white noise machine may very well turn into the best alarm clock as well!
There are literally thousands of customers on Amazon that have come back to leave glowing reviews. And with all those reviews considered it still has an impressive 4.4-star rating.
Best White Noise Machine with Night LightKey Features:
- Power button on device
- App-controlled via Bluetooth
- 9 pre-set light colors
Best Portable White Noise Machine: FitFirst Portable White Noise Machine
The FitFirst Portable White Noise Machine is compact – it will fit in the palm of your hand easily – and weighing in at just one pound, you won’t mind taking this with you on vacation to drown out whatever foreign noises you hear. With thirty different types of white noise (and no music), you will have an easier time falling asleep and the time will ensure that you stay asleep. Though if you’d rather, it can play continuously, as well.
While this isn’t a battery-operated device, you may end up loving the portability just as much. If you use a power bank with the included USB power cord, you can use it for as long as the power bank allows and the convenient and compact size and capability make it more than just a little tempting to take with you everywhere you go.
Sitting with around 450 customer reviews on Amazon, this white noise machine has an overall rating of 4.8 stars. While that in and of itself isn’t shabby, we absolutely love you can tell just by that perusing through the ratings and reviews, that this device has die-hard fans.
FitFirst Portable White Noise Machine Key Features:
- 30 soothing sound options
- 32 volume levels
- USB power cord included
Who Should Buy a White Noise Machine
If you have trouble sleeping, then the distraction of a white noise machine while you fall asleep may keep you out of your mind and prevent you from stressing a billion things you have to do the next day (or whatever else that keeps you up at night). Nature sounds will give you something to focus on to keep your mind from wandering and while you’re focusing on the crickets, you won’t be so distracted that you’re keeping yourself up – unlike television or the radio. If you live in a crowded home or you have an unusual schedule, you may need something to drown out the ambient sounds of life outside your bedroom, too. A white noise machine can help with that.
For a baby, they’re used to silence, so when they’re first born, every sound is foreign and every quiet period can be frightening. A white noise machine can provide a baby with a distraction that will allow them to settle and get some quality sleep (and that means the parents are more likely to get that sleep, too). You can find white noise machines that give a shushing sound that’s similar to mommy or daddy whispering to calm them or even those that will simulate the sound of a heartbeat that they’ve been hearing within the womb.
Though it’s not the most comfortable topic to discuss, a white noise machine drowns out sounds – and that means bathroom sounds, too. If you’re on vacation with friends or family and are sharing close quarters, a portable white noise machine can do more than help you sleep – it will make your bathroom occurrences will remain private, too.
Important Features to Consider
A white noise machine should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a white noise machine:
- Nightlight. If you’re using the white noise machine to sleep better, then why not double up on its function and pick a white noise machine that also has a night light? Because white noise machines are superior to easing your brain to sleep, it very often comes with a light that will prevent you from tripping if you get up in the middle of the night for the bathroom or a glass of water, or to change a diaper. If you keep your white noise machine in your baby’s room, the light could make getting up for lat night feedings all the easier as well.
- Other sound colors. You may love the static sound of white noise, but the best for your sleep may not turn out to be what you think it will. “White noise” refers to a pretty specific, consistent sound across all frequencies but your brain may relax best to another type. You may be best calmed by the deeper melodies of waterfalls or rain, and if that’s the case, a variety is just what you need.
- Timer. Even if you need the sound to help you fall asleep, you may find the quality of your sleep is worse with constant sound (it’s different for everyone). If the white noise will lull you to sleep best, you may still have to contend with the problem of it distracting your subconscious while you’re asleep. If you’ve ever had a dream about the song playing on your alarm clock, you understand this concept very well. So bear in mind that though the white noise machine can be a big help while you’re falling asleep, it may prove to prevent you from getting quality sleep throughout the night. A timer that will allow your white noise machine to stop after a set time will be the best of both worlds in these scenarios.
- Travel. If you have trouble sleeping without noise in the comfort of your own home, there’s every reason to expect the same kind of trouble when you’re traveling. If you find a battery-powered white noise machine, then you won’t have to worry about how many plugs there are, or the tangled mess a power cord creates in your luggage. Even if you do opt for a power corded white noise machine to take on our travels, make sure it’s compact enough that it won’t throw off your packing. For those who don’t struggle with their sleep, though, a new place may still give them a bit of nighttime pause – in that case, a sound distraction may give you what you need to make sure you’re well-rested while traveling.
- Baby. The world is very confusing for a baby and noises are one outside stimulus that is new to the baby. A white noise machine will help drown out other sounds to make it easier for babies to soothe. Rather than turning the vacuum on and leaving it in your baby’s room all night (which is definitely a terrible idea), a white noise machine will be just what you need to calm baby and drown out those sudden noises while they sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are white noise machines and what do they do?
White noise machines offer a steady sound that will, often, calm your brain and allow you to fall asleep faster. Though white noise machines often have a variety of sounds available, white noise is a noise that includes all audible frequencies at once. Some examples of these sounds are: radio or television static (probably the most popular), an air conditioner or heater, the whirling of a fan or a hissing radiator. White noise is a consistent sound that has been shown to mask any changes in noise that would otherwise jolt you awake or interrupt the depth of your sleep (think snoring or a dark barking). Even if you are awakened, the soothing quality of the white noise machine may just be what you need to lull you back to sleep faster.
White noise machines will often include other “colors” as well – frequency has color. These color noises are also referred to as sonic hues and will depend on the intensity and distribution of the energy they’re emitting in their sound. A white noise machine will focus on sounds that are peaceful to your brain – White, pink, and brown. Black noise is an informal way that scientists often refer to the absence of noise.
Can white noise be harmful?
Like most products, if not used properly, the white noise machine can be harmful. Primarily, babies are the most sensitive to the damage that white noise can cause, but adults can still suffer hearing damage if the white noise machine is too loud. You’ll want to keep the volume down lower than you may think to keep it safe for an adult they estimate around 50 decibels. For a baby, you may need it louder to calm them, but the important part to remember with this is that it has to be for short periods and only an added five to ten minutes after they’ve fallen asleep. Otherwise, you may cause damage to their developing ears.
It could also be harmful to the quality of your sleep. Though it seems counter-intuitive, the very thing helping you fall asleep may be the thing that prevents you from entering a deeper sleep. If your mind is distracted by external noises and sounds, it can impact your ability to enter a deeper sleep – while the brain stays focused on the sounds it’s hearing while you’re asleep. In this case, a timer to shut your white noise machine off after you fall asleep will help tremendously.
Does white noise help anxiety?
To give a blanket “yes” or “no” answer to this question would be to ignore that anxiety is different in different people. It can help with anxiety – it could give someone with a billion worries going around in her head something to focus on so that she, momentarily, stops feeling so anxious. Because the effect is momentary, it makes it ideal for sleep; it may prove just enough of a distraction to help you get to sleep.
However, keep in mind that it may actually cause a completely different effect and actually worsen the anxiety. When there’s so much going on in your head already, adding background noise, even if it’s supposed to be calming may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. One more noise, on top of all the screaming noises in an anxious mind, may have a negative impact on a person’s anxiety.
What does pink noise do?
Pink noise is a specific frequency. Like white noise is all frequencies, pink noise is a deeper frequency that will give more of a bass rumble while it’s being played. While white noise machines are labeled “white” noise, very often, they’ll actually be pink noise. Examples of pink noise include wind, a steady heartbeat, consistent rain, and rustling leaves. Pink noise has been used for calming brains in therapy or massages for years and years, but more study is needed to determine conclusively if it’s as effective as white noise on sleep. For reference, deeper sounds like waterfalls are actually brown noise. This may also help with sleep, but again, more research is needed to know for sure. The inclusion of a white noise machine may still be incredibly beneficial to you.
Other White Noise Machines We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other white noise machines. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best white noise machine list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- White Noise Machines with Nightlights
- White Noise Machines with Additional Sound Effects
- Portable White Noise Machines
- White Noise Machines for Babies
White Noise Machines with Nightlights
You can use this white noise machine on constant or use the 30, 60, or 90-minute auto-off timer to make sure you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible.
- 2 colors available
- 24 sound options
- USB powered; not cordless
You can use this as a night light, or as a “safe to rise” light to alert your children when it’s an appropriate time to get out of bed.
- Control via app
- 2-way audio monitor
- LED clock
You’ll have the best-customized sleep possible when you program this night light white noise machine.
- 31 sound options
- 15 volume levels
- 8 color night lights
This white noise machine has an adjustable night light that lets you sleep peacefully or change a diaper without struggling with the level of brightness either way.
- 2 colors available
- 14 sounds available
- 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120-minute timers
This white noise machine will allow you to listen to it privately via the headphone jack, so even if you’re sharing a room, you can still enjoy the rest you get with it.
- 30, 60, 90-minute timer intervals
- 36 soothing sounds
- Supports 3.5 mm earphones
The adjustable night light and volumes make sure you can use this white noise machine and the light for exactly what you need.
- 14 soothing sounds
- 2 color style options
- 16, 30, 60, 90, 120-minute timer intervals
Cycle through and choose your favorite of nine different lights with this white noise machine that doubles as a night light.
- Touch sensor light
- 28 sound options
- USB rechargeable
White Noise Machines with Multiple Sound Effects
You can use the headphone jack to make sure you’re the only one who hears this white noise machine, no matter where you are or who is with you.
- Timer and memory functions
- 24 soothing sounds
- 1-year warranty
This white noise machine will give you truly random noise across all frequencies so your mind won’t ever become too used to it and it stops working.
- 4 device styles
- 4 colors available
- Continuous white noise
This white noise machine will use a wide variety of colored sounds (pink, white, brown, and blue) for the best sound variety around!
- 20 non-looping sounds
- 32 adjustable levels of volume
- 18-month warranty
Whether you’re interested in noise-blocking, fast sleep, concentration aide, or baby soothing, this white noise machine will give it!
- 8′ power cord
- Fan-based white noise
- 1-year warranty
You can adjust the sound to whatever level you need with this white noise machine’s wide volume range.
- 30 soothing sounds
- 2 color options
- 30, 60-minute timer
This white noise machine may be taking the plug you normally use for your phone’s charger, but luckily it also features a USB charging port that you’ll be able to plug your phone into directly.
- 7 soothing sounds
- 30, 60, 90-minute timers
- 3-year warranty
Portable White Noise Machines
The variety of sounds in this white noise machine is brilliant and feature no looping, whatsoever.
- 2 model options
- 2 color choices
- 20 unique sounds
You can use this white noise machine plugged into the wall or take it and go with the rechargeable battery.
- 29 sound options
- 12-hour playtime on battery
- Auto-off function
Talk about portable! This white noise machine not only slips into your bag or maybe even your pocket, but clips to hang to any strap you plan on taking with you, too.
- 3.15″ x 3.15″ x 1.8″
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- 26 sound options
White Noise Machines for Babies
This soft teddy will give your child something to snuggle while the sounds lull them to sleep.
- 15 calming sounds
- Projector stars nightlight
- 30, 45, 60-minute timers
This portable and compact baby white noise machine will make it so much easier to put your traveling and tired baby to sleep and it fits in the diaper bag with zero problems.
- 15, 30, 45, 60-minute timer intervals
- Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included)
- 4 relaxing sound options
Not only with this white noise machine for your baby give them a soothing sound to calm their fussiness, but the projector will give them something to focus on while their eyes get heavy.
- Requires 2 AA batteries (included)
- 10 soothing songs
- 4 volumes; 4 light dimmer levels
This white noise machine is perfect for your baby with eight soothing sounds including a heartbeat, a fan, a shusher, and so much more!
- 1.5 hour charge time
- Continuous use for 38+ hours
- 3 timer options