The 11 Best White Noise Machines of 2022

Sleep soundly with one of our top picks

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It may seem counterproductive to turn on a noise machine to help you sleep, but background noise can go a long way in helping you get a good night's rest. One in three people doesn’t get enough sleep—leading to a host of potential health issues, including obesity and depression. However, a classic white noise machine may be a good solution.

Known for its steady and consistent hum, white noise creates a sound wall that can mask other stimulating disturbances. According to one study, people who listened to the equal frequency of white noise experienced a 38 percent reduction in the time it took them to fall asleep.

Researchers also believe that white noise and nature-based sounds can help with anxiety reduction, nighttime agitation, and quantity of sleep—noting that obtrusive noises are a leading cause of sleep disorders.

Running interference on harsh noises that can get in the way of a good night's rest, white noise machines offer a serene sound environment, for healthy, high-quality sleep.

Here are the best white noise machines on the market to help you sleep at night.

Best Overall: Sound+Sleep SE Sleep Sound Machine

Sound+Sleep Special Edition Sleep Sound Machine
Courtesy of Walmart.

Offering 64 sound environments in 16 categories, this sound machine is far from basic. You can set yours to run for the duration of the night, or for 30-, 60-, 90- or 120-minute cut-off intervals.

Featuring adaptive sound technology that constantly monitors your environment, the machine adjusts to help reduce disturbing noises—a good option for people living in a big city. Thanks to two USB ports, you can also connect the machine to wired headphones or charge multiple devices from it.

Because of its bulky design, it may not be a good option for people looking for something portable.

Best Budget: Homedics SoundSpa

3.3
Homedics White Noise Sound Machine

Amazon

With six soothing sound choices—including white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and brook— this small, lightweight, and portable machine is designed to put you in the right frame of mind for better quality sleep.  Easily portable, the machine can be plugged into the wall or packed on the go for travel.

It features an auto-off timer that you can set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes, which is helpful for those who just need a little soothing before falling asleep. Although the white noise stays consistent, the other sounds run on a loop, which may be annoying to some once the pattern is recognized.

Best All-In-One: Hatch Restore Sound Machine and Smart Light

5
Hatch Restore

Hatch

Between the sound machine, a digital clock, a sunrise alarm clock, and a reading light, this sleek machine does it all. It includes multiple customizable features, including color and brightness, and all of its functions can be controlled with the use of a companion app.

Thanks to its multi-functional design, it will keep your nightstand clutter-free. It also comes with a six-month Hatch Premium membership—a service that gives you access to content like sleep stories, mediations, soundscapes, and more for free.

Best Portable: Yogasleep Travel Mini Sound Machine With Night-Light

Marpac Yogasleep Travel Mini Sound Machine with Night Light

Amazon

This compact white noise machine features a USB rechargeable battery and a lanyard for easy hanging—making it the perfect companion for your next travel journey. Designed to be about the size of a yo-yo, this petite device gives off a full-size sound and boasts a 13- to 14-hour battery life.

It features white noise, brown noise, Dohm (fan), gentle surf, stream, and thunderstorm, and it comes with a handy three-level nightlight. The only downside is that the control buttons are on the bottom of the device and might be hard to see.

Best for Office: HOUSBAY White Noise Machine

HOUSBAY White Noise Machine

Amazon

This small but mighty device delivers a robust sound, thanks to its 5W stereo speaker. With 31 relaxing sounds—seven white noises, seven fan sounds, and 17 nature sounds—it helps defend against distractions with multiple options to fit your preferences.

Play the sounds throughout the night or use the one-, two-, or three-hour timer to automatically turn off the device. Equipped with a memory function, you can even save your favorite sounds, which makes it easier to find them the next evening.

The faux wood shell also makes it an aesthetically pleasing pick for in-office work.

Best Earbuds: Bose Sleepbuds II

4
Bose Sleepbuds II

Amazon

With the design of a traditional pair of wireless earbuds, the Bose Sleepbuds II create a barrier between your ears and unwanted sounds. They offer a 10-hour battery life and 40 sound selections—from white noise to a nature soundtrack—that can be controlled through a companion app.

Comfortable and ergonomic, the buds feature wings to ensure they stay in place throughout the night. Additionally, they're easy to take on the go since the carrying case is also a charger.

The compact headphones are great for travelers, but they might not be a good option for those looking for something with added features like an alarm clock.

Easiest to Use: Marpac Yogasleep Dohm Natural Sound Machine

Marpac Yogasleep Dohm Natural Sound Machine

Amazon

When settling down for the night, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with a complicated white noise machine. With this Dohm—a classic since 1962—the flip of a switch will trigger one of two fan speeds for a soothing, ambient sound.

The top and middle portions house either slits or holes and rotate to vary the way the sound is distributed throughout the room. While simple to use, the look of the device might not suit everyone's style preferences.

Best Compact: Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Micro 2 Sleep Sound Machine

Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan Micro 2 Sleep Sound Machine

Amazon

Small, unobtrusive and surprisingly sophisticated,  this compact sound machine comes in multiple colors and boasts 40 hours of relaxing, non-looping sounds— including white, pink, and brown noise as well as fan and ocean sounds.

Twist the speaker up for directional sound or leave it lying flat for evenly dispersed white noise. It's also Bluetooth-enabled—meaning you can stream your favorite tunes and podcasts, and take hands-free calls from your smartphone. While petite and portable, some worry that it might be easy to lose.

Most Discreet: Pure Enrichment Wave Sleep Therapy Sound Machine

4.5
Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine – Soothing All-Natural Sounds Include White Noise, Fan, Ocean, Rain, Stream, and Summer Night - Includes Timer and USB Output Charger

Amazon

While modern and sleek, this device has a vintage radio look and it comes in black, silver, and turquoise. The setup is easy—simply attach a silver stand to the back and plug the cord into the machine for a fuss-free and relaxing night.

It features buttons with icons for each sound offering, including white noise, fan, rain, ocean, stream, and summer night. You can also play the sounds on a continuous loop or set a timer for 15, 30, and 60 minutes. If you keep your phone by your bed, you'll appreciate the USB port included on the side of the device.

Best for Kids: VTech BC8211 Myla The Monkey Baby Sleep Soother

VTech BC8211 Myla The Monkey Baby Sleep Soother

Amazon

A welcome addition to any child’s room, this playful, monkey-shaped machine has a bendable tail that you can hang on multiple surfaces—including the edge of a crib, a doorknob, a stroller, and a diaper bag. Press the play button on its tummy to start one of the five ambient sounds, such as white noise or a trickling stream, or classic lullabies like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Hush Little Baby.”

The auto time allows you to set the machine for 60 minutes, and the monkey's cheeks—which emit a soft glow—double as a nightlight. While it does have a rechargeable battery, some say the charge doesn't last as long as they would like.

Best Smart Speaker: Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation

Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation

Courtesy of Walmart

More of a smart speaker than a sound machine, this device can function as an alarm clock, tell you the day's weather forecast, and it can also pair with smart appliances in your home. All you have to do is trigger the device by saying, "Hey Google" and it will respond with one of its 15 functions.

There's also a hidden sensor that detects when you're reaching for it, subsequently lighting the control buttons for easy access. Though it doesn't boast huge sound, it's versatile and can be placed on a nightstand or hung on a wall. Plus, it's made with recycled plastic bottles and it comes in four fun hues.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a traditional machine with a variety of sound options, the Sound+Sleep Special Edition Sleep Sound Machine (view on Walmart) should be on your radar. Offering 64 sound choices, it constantly monitors your environment and adjusts to reduce external noise. It also has auto-shutoff functions, allowing you to set it for 30-, 60-, 90-, or 120-minute cut-off intervals.

If your little one’s sleep is your main priority, the Vtech Myla The Monkey Baby Sleep Soother (view on Amazon) is the way to go. It's portable, cute, and lightweight enough to clip almost anywhere.

What to Look for in a White Noise Machine

Size

Consider your environment—you don’t want something that is going to look clunky and add clutter to a clean space. And if you plan on taking your device with you while traveling, make sure it's not too small for your needs or you may risk losing it.

Sound

Whether it's traditional white noise, nature sounds, or light music, people respond differently to specific sounds. So if you don't know your preferences, it's smart to find a customizable sound machine or one with a variety of sound options.

Volume

You want something that's loud enough to block distracting noises, but soft enough to allow you to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you're purchasing a machine for a child, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep sound machines to no greater than 50 decibels and positioning them farther than 78 inches away from where your child is sleeping.

Looping

Looping means that the sound is repeated after a set amount of time—meaning it can sound like a pattern to some people. If the noise is looped rather than continuous, make sure it features a clean transition and nothing too jarring that could disturb your sleep cycle. You can also find non-looped options on some devices.

Versatility

If white noise is just one of the features you need, look into a sound machine that can do more—there are devices that also function as a night light, an alarm clock, radio, and more. Make sure all the extras you want or need are included.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does a white noise machine do?

    A white noise machine creates a consistently soft, low, whirring sound that effectively drowns out other noises around you. For instance, they can minimize the chaos of noisy traffic, block out loud voices, and run interference on other inconsistent sounds that might disrupt your concentration or sleep.

    White noise machines are typically used to help people fall asleep and in areas where peace and quiet are prioritized, like hospitals, nurseries, and office spaces.

  • Do white noise machines actually work?

    Scientific research tells us that white machines do work. Though they don’t block out all sounds, they are effective in drowning out loud noises and can help you fall asleep more quickly.

    One study saw a 38 percent reduction in the amount of time it took participants to fall asleep. Another study, which focused on using white machines to help infants fall asleep, found that 80 percent were asleep within five minutes compared to only 25 percent who fell asleep within five minutes without using a white noise machine.

    What’s more, researchers believe that white noise and soundscapes can help reduce anxiety and agitation.

  • Can white noise be harmful?

    White noise is not considered harmful when used correctly. As is the case when listening to any sound or music, the volume should be kept soft versus extremely loud.

    One potential drawback of using white noise machines is getting so used to sleeping with one that it makes it difficult to fall asleep without it. This could be a detriment when traveling or in the event you misplace or break your machine.

Why Trust Verywell Mind? 

Rozalynn S. Frazier is an award-winning, multimedia journalist with more than 20 years of experience reporting on health and fitness. She is also a NASM-certified personal trainer and an avid exerciser, who routinely puts wellness tools and fitness gear through its paces to help access which products are worthy of praise. She has created content for SELF, Men’s Health, Real Simple, Health, Essence, Cosmopolitan, Livestrong.com, among others. 

6 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.
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