Best Sleep Music Apps

BetterSleep is the best overall sleep music app

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Sleep music apps can help to improve sleep quality. The soothing music, stories, and other features can relieve symptoms of insomnia and other sleep disorders, which affect the overall health and well-being of some 70 million people in the U.S.

These relaxing music apps for smartphone or tablet offer audio tracks that help to ease the mind and relax the body. The best sleep music apps are easy to navigate and have plenty of audio options for different tastes, and are usually available for both iOS and Android devices.

Keep reading for our reviews of the best sleep music apps available. This article presents our top picks, some of their key features, how much they cost, and how they compare with other products.

Best Sleep Music Apps of 2023

Best Overall : BetterSleep


Key Specs
  • Price: Free; $9.99 monthly, $59.99 yearly, or $249.99 for lifetime access
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Additional features: Breathing exercises, bedtime stories, ASMR tones
Why We Chose It

A user-friendly design makes it simple to create custom sleep music tracks from a catalog of sounds with impressive variety, even in the app's free version.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Make your own custom mix

  • Pair sleep music with breathing exercises

  • Includes bedtime stories

Cons
  • Melody selection isn’t as robust as other sounds available

  • ASMR tones are premium only

Overview

BetterSleep offers an auditory experience designed to calm your mind with harmonious sound compilations. The app is visual and easy to use, while the Discover page gives you access to other app features, like bedtime stories and breathing exercises.

Explore sound families visually, tapping on sounds like Slow Wave, Vinyl Record, or Wind and layering them with one of several melodies to create a custom sleep music track. If you can’t decide or want a ready-to-play option, there is a sizable selection of user-submitted and staff-curated sleep music mixes ready to go.

While the free version of BetterSleep provides a great introduction to sleep music, the premium version unlocks a more extensive library of sounds. Consider upgrading if you’re really into creating your own sound profile or if there are particular sounds or features that really appeal to you—like a wider selection of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) tones, isochronic tones (a tone played at regular intervals), or binaural beats (two tones played in alternating ears of headphones).

Best Premium : Calm


Key Specs
  • Price: Free; $69.99 annually; $399.99 lifetime
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Additional features: Meditation help
Why We Chose It

Calm incorporates modern music from popular artists and soothing sounds into a library of sleep music that stands out as a more modern and diverse collection.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Remixes popular songs into sleep-inducing repeat tracks

  • Soundscapes create a unique auditory experience

  • Simple interface

Cons
  • Sleep music is extremely limited on the free version

  • Some sleep stories and meditations are too long

Overview

Calm is one of the most popular sleep music apps, and its impressively diverse library of relaxation and sleep-inducing tracks is largely responsible for that. This app offers a free version, but to really take advantage of what Calm offers, you’ll be better off springing for the paid version, which costs $69.99 for one year or $399.99 for lifetime access.

With Calm’s premium version, you’ll unlock access to audio tracks like a melodic remix of Sam Smith’s “How Do You Sleep?” or a specially mixed sleep song version of “I Am Home” from Keith Urban. While the catalog of tracks you’ll recognize from recent radio hits is somewhat limited, it’s an indicator of the fresh, modern nature of the sleep music you’ll find on the app.

Best for Easy Use : Headspace


Headspace

Headspace

Key Specs
  • Price: $69.99 annually or $12.99 monthly
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Additional features: Breathing and meditation exercises
Why We Chose It

This user-friendly app is designed to make finding sleep music quick and easy. Helpful suggestions point out features like how to set a timer without making the app feel clumsy or cluttered.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers "sleep music radio" for extended play

  • Soundscapes provide 3D auditory experiences

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Few sleep music features available in the free version

Overview

Sleep music apps are designed to reduce stress, slow your body and brain, and induce a peaceful state. Headspace is a feature-rich app designed in a simple way that makes it quick and easy to access its library of sleep-specific audio tools.

The Sleep icon at the bottom of the app is easy to identify and leads to a library of options that include Sleep Music, Soundscapes, Sleep Radio, and more. It’s worth noting that nearly everything in Headspace’s Sleep Library requires a premium subscription. Headspace costs $69.99 annually, or you can pay $12.99 monthly.

One thing that stands out is how easy it is to set a timer when choosing sleep music in the Headspace app. After picking a track, the app prompts you to choose a duration of time for the music to play. You can choose as little as 10 minutes or up to 500 minutes, offering some of the most flexible options in terms of playback that we’ve seen in sleep music apps.

Best Monthly : Slumber


Slumber

Slumber

Key Specs
  • Price: Free; $7.99 monthly, $49.99 annually, or $249.99 lifetime
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Additional features: Soothing stories
Why We Chose It

If you have short-term sleep goals or are undecided about using a sleep music app, Slumber gives you access to its expanded features with a monthly subscription that you can cancel at any time.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Option to add white noise to sleep music tracks

  • Lower monthly cost than most

  • Choose whether to add white noise to melodies

Cons
  • Limited tracks available without upgrading

  • Few extra features

Overview

Sleep hygiene refers to practicing good habits that will improve the quality of your rest. Using sleep music to relax your mind and body before bed has worked for many people looking to fall asleep quicker, but if you’re undecided on how it will benefit you, try out a monthly sleep music app.

Slumber offers a monthly subscription for $7.99, along with yearly ($49.99) or lifetime ($249.99) access if you’re serious about your snoozing. If you’re undecided, you can start by using the free version. Sleep music on the Slumber app falls into two categories, depending on what type of auditory experience you are looking for. Soundscapes are a blend of rhythmic and melodic tones that you can customize with various white noise options.

To get started, choose your baseline melody and then add your choices of background effects, like binaural beats, a fan, or crackling flames. A delayed ending option gives you the choice to extend the soothing hum of background noises after the main track ends for anywhere from one minute to 10 hours.

If you’re looking for ready-to-play tracks, a designated Sleep Music section includes specially composed tracks designed to relax the mind and help you drift off to sleep. These melody-driven tracks skip the added white noise for a more pure sleep music experience.

Best With Narration : Pzizz


Pzizz

Pzizz

Key Specs
  • Price: $7.99 monthly or $49.99 annually
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Additional features: Sleep history tracking
Why We Chose It

Soothing voices overlay sleep music tracks for a unique audio experience that many users find calming.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple voices to choose from

  • Insightful explanations that help you decide between audio tracks

Cons
  • No ability to customize sleep music tracks

  • App is not especially easy to navigate

Overview

Like many other sleep music apps, Pzizz offers sleep music that has been designed to induce a restful state. These dreamscapes use psychoacoustic tools and other composition techniques to create sleep music tracks that you can use at naptime, bedtime, or to enhance focus. You can click on the title of each audio track to learn more about its development and the specific aspects that make it so snooze-worthy.

One thing that sets Pzizz apart is its voice narration option. If you find the presence of a soothing voice to be comforting or benefit from someone helping you to consciously relax your body and mind, then Pzizz has an option for you to enable voice narration over any dreamscape track. Male and female voice options are available, and the voice is low and calm to avoid distraction. For those struggling with isolation, a sleep music app with narration is an option.

Final Verdict

The intuitive composer tool of BetterSleep makes it easy to create appealing and unique sleep music tracks to fall asleep to. The free version offers enough options to get you started, but for the greatest variety, pay for the upgraded app experience that offers a larger library of sounds.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to push play and enjoy ready-made sleep music tracks, Headspace is a great pick. This app is easy to navigate, and with the purchase of a subscription, it includes a library of sleep music tracks and soundscapes to lull you to sleep.

Sleep music apps may be especially helpful for those dealing with stress or chronic pain, or those living in an environment with nighttime noise. The music can help your heart rate and breathing to slow, and improve your ability to ward off anxious thoughts.

Compare the Best Sleep Music Apps

Company  Features  Platforms Available  Free Version?  Premium Subscription Cost
Best Overall BetterSleep Premium Breathing exercises, bedtime stories, ASMR tones iOS, Android Yes $59.99 annually
Best Premium Calm Meditation help iOS, Android Yes $69.99 annually
Best for Easy Use Headspace Breathing and meditation exercises iOS, Android Yes $69.99 annually
Best Monthly Slumber Soothing stories iOS, Android Yes $7.99 monthly
Best With Narration Pzizz Sleep history tracking iOS, Android Yes $69.99 annually or $9.99 monthly

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Sleep Music Apps?

Sleep music apps are loaded with specially composed tracks designed to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. While some apps focus exclusively on sleep music, others incorporate additional mindfulness tools, such as breathing exercises.

What Kinds of Music Put You to Sleep?

Music with a slow and sustained duration of notes, rhythms you can't usually dance to, and lower frequencies have all been shown to help with sleep. The features in the music are more important than the genre of music.

Who Should Use a Sleep Music App?

Those who are having trouble falling asleep or who are easily disturbed by light noises while sleeping may benefit from a sleep music app. The soothing tones create a baseline of noise that helps tune out audio interruptions. For this reason, sleep music apps are often used to help babies stay on a sleep schedule.

What Makes a Great Sleep Music App?

A great sleep music app is easy to use, has a big selection of sounds, and has other things to offer outside of the ability to play music. Having a sleep app with a library of sounds is one thing; it's another thing to have a sleep app that provides other sleep-aiding features. Ideally, you want a multifaceted app.

What Is the Best Free Sleep Music App?

Our overall top pick for 2023, BetterSleep, offers a free version, as do many sleep music apps. However, the majority of apps require a paid subscription to access the full suite of features and generally cost between $7.99 and $12.99 a month or between $49.99 and $69.99 a year.

Methodology

We evaluated reputable sleep music apps that are available on multiple platforms and considered other factors apart from music, including:

  • The ability to customize a track with additional audio components
  • Whether you can set a timer for extended playback

We downloaded all of the apps on this list to test them out and explored the features and benefits of each one. All apps are free to download and use, with most offering premium options with more features.

Woman relaxing in sunlight

Guido Mieth / Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. In: Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. National Academies Press.

  2. Chen C, Tung H, Fang C, et al. Effect of music therapy on improving sleep quality in older adults: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2021;69(7):1925-1932. doi:10.1111/jgs.17149

  3. Dickson GT, Schubert E. Musical features that aid sleepMusicae Scientiae. 2022;26(3):497-515. doi:10.1177/1029864920972161

By Erica Puisis
Erica Puisis is a freelance writer who creates content for top interior designers, furniture manufacturers, leading home blogs, and more.