Greatest alarm clocks of 2021

(CNN) —  

Having an alarm clock could appear outdated together with your smartphone’s countless variety of tones and apps accessible to wake you up. However utilizing your cellphone earlier than you tuck in can lead to lower-quality sleep, and let’s be sincere: Don’t you depend on your cellphone for sufficient already? So if you wish to rid your self of the temptation and put a ways between your mattress and your display screen however nonetheless have to get up on time, an alarm clock is simply the factor.

That can assist you change your cellphone’s alarm, we put 15 top-rated alarm clocks to the take a look at — from analog tickers to tech-filled wake-up lights. For an entire month, we set alarms, allow them to ring and snoozed (possibly a bit too typically) to seek out one of the best of one of the best. In any case our exams, three alarm clocks rose above the others.

The Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock has every part you want — and extra — in an alarm clock. It’s easy to set, simple to learn at midnight and has an alarm that’s loud however gained’t scare you awake. It’s obtained a cultured really feel to it, and its wood design offers it a glance in contrast to another clocks we examined. Plus, at $25, the Jall Wood Alarm Clock is provided with extremely helpful options, comparable to the flexibility to set a number of alarms, humidity and temperature readings and a function that places the show to sleep and routinely wakes it again up if it senses motion or sound.

These in want of an alarm clock with none additional bells or whistles will likely be more than pleased with the DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock. It’s small however packs an enormous show, and at $18.99 you get an easy-to-use clock with an adjustable wake-up tone. It lacks the extras of our total winner, however the DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock is a strong decide to get you away from bed within the morning.

In order for you a extra soothing and gradual wake-up expertise than the usual beep of an alarm clock, the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is the alarm clock for you. Its bulbous show slowly brightens to imitate the morning solar after which performs mild noises, comparable to chirping birds, to ease you awake. This dawn alarm clock gave us one of the crucial nice mornings out of all of the clocks we examined, and at $79.95 (cheaper than different dawn choices we examined), it’s a terrific stability between luxurious and worth.

Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Jall Wood Digital Alarm Clock

The Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock scored extraordinarily properly in all of our testing, due to its fashionable design, simplicity and further options.

Proper out of the field, this clock was simple to make use of and setup was a breeze. It’s obtained a 5-foot twine that ought to attain most shops comfortably, and comes with a CR2032 battery that backs up your settings (though the small plastic latch that opens the battery door snapped off once we pulled too laborious, so watch out when it’s worthwhile to change the battery). The Jall clock has a panel on the bottom that homes all of the controls, together with three small buttons, 4 switches and a scrolling wheel. To set the time or alarm, all you must do is press and maintain a button and use the wheel to alter the numbers on the display screen. Setting the time and alarm took us lower than a minute once we first plugged it in, which was refreshingly brief in comparison with different clocks. The scroll wheel was particularly helpful, permitting you to hurry via the numbers for hours and minutes as a substitute of repeatedly urgent a button.

Everytime you set or change your alarm, you might have the choice to set two different alarms as properly, so you’ll be able to have three completely different alarms energetic without delay. You too can select in order for you the alarms to go off day by day or on weekdays solely, which was one other nice function that was absent from most of the Jall’s rivals.

Talking of additional options, this clock can present you the humidity and temperature of your room, which are literally critical factors to getting restful sleep. You’ll be able to toggle the dimmable show between exhibiting temperature or the date, in addition to a “Sound Management” mode, which turns off the show and routinely turns it again on when motion or sound is detected.

Whereas there are many enjoyable and useful options of the Jall, one of the crucial placing elements is its design. We examined the “yellow” clock, which appears like a pleasant pine. Nevertheless it additionally is available in three different finishes (black, brown and white), all of which have a clear, nearly Japandi look. When the clock isn’t plugged in or the show is off, it appears like a strong wood block. However when switched on, the time seems in a mild white mild behind the wooden. We will think about certainly one of its colours matching with almost any inside decor.

The Jall Wood Digital Alarm Clock appears good, however we didn’t identify it one of the best alarm clock simply due to its appears. At first, the Jall is a strong alarm clock that can comfortably wake you up. It has a tone that isn’t so loud that it makes you leap away from bed, but it surely additionally isn’t so quiet that you simply’ll sleep proper via it. The alarm can also be adjustable, with 5 completely different quantity settings, so you’ll be able to fine-tune the beeps to make sure you roll away from bed each time. And if you wish to roll again into mattress, you’ll be able to snooze the alarm for 9 minutes by urgent any of the buttons on the again. To show the alarm absolutely off, press any button twice.

It didn’t have one of the best wake-up expertise of all of the clocks we examined (that title belongs to the dawn clocks we’ll contact on later), nor did it have a very jarring alarm that scared us awake (we’ll discuss extra about these too). As a substitute, it was a fairly normal alarm that woke us up with out incident, and was simple to show off even with eyes half open. When you’re the clumsy kind (or semiconscious from simply waking up) and by accident knock it off the bedside desk, there’s no want to fret, as a result of it made it via our drop take a look at and not using a scratch, due to its sturdy and light-weight construct.

The Jall Wooden Digital Alarm Clock ended up being the highest-scoring clock in all of our testing and rightfully earned its place on the prime of our checklist. Its performance, simplicity and design actually shined.

DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock

The DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock was neck and neck with the Jall Wood Clock all through our testing and, in the long run, completed only one level shy of the general winner. Regardless that it solely obtained second place, we nonetheless imagine this clock is among the greatest available on the market and checks all of the packing containers of a terrific alarm clock.

This clock doesn’t have the extra options the Jall does, as a substitute touting only one alarm and an additional USB port. The DreamSky clock had a easy setup, and with 4 buttons and two wheels on the again, together with a sleep button on prime, it isn’t too tough to make use of. Simply plug within the clock with its 5-foot, 2-inch twine, pop in two AAA batteries as a backup and set the time. To do that, you press and maintain a button to enter the settings mode, then press the plus (“+”) and minus (“-“) buttons to alter the time. Whereas you can be mashing some buttons, your fingers gained’t get fatigued since you’ll be able to toggle between the hour and the minutes and go up and down.

The alarm itself is just like the Jall’s, offering a pleasant and loud beep that isn’t too startling. The beeps improve in velocity and quantity the longer the alarm goes, and you may modify the quantity so that you by no means by accident sleep via till midday. The snooze button isn’t actually a button however quite a sensor on the highest of the clock that can enable you one other 9 minutes of zzz’s till it beeps once more.

The DreamSky scored extraordinarily properly in almost all of our exams, together with sturdiness, look and wake-up expertise, however what made it one of many prime contenders was its massive and vibrant show. The numbers occupy mainly your entire show of the DreamSky, as a substitute of simply being in a small window like another clocks we examined. It’s simple to inform what time it’s with the DreamSky, even when it’s the midnight and also you’re as blind as a bat. This huge display screen simply made it one of the crucial readable clocks, tied solely with the Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock, which might undertaking the time onto your ceiling. Whereas we beloved its ultra-visible show, the DreamSky has a dial on the again that permits you to fine-tune its brightness all the way in which all the way down to a darkish display screen that gained’t trouble you at evening.

When you’re searching for a strong alarm clock and don’t want the additional options of the Jall, the DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock could possibly be the one for you.

Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520

Kai Burkhardt/CNN

Philips Wake-Up Mild HF3520

If a traditional alarm clock simply doesn’t do it for you and any beep is simply too harsh, then a sunrise alarm clock may be the factor you want. Dawn alarm clocks may also help jump-start your circadian system within the morning and may help improve sleep quality. In actual fact, 92% of Philips Wake-Up Light users say the lights wake them up pleasantly and make it simpler to get away from bed.

To see if we felt a distinction and the way dawn clocks in comparison with extra conventional choices, we examined 4 of them, together with three of Philips’ famed Wake-Up Lights. After our testing, one of the best dawn alarm clock — and among the best all-around alarm clocks — was the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520.

To be clear, the title for greatest dawn alarm clock was extraordinarily shut between the Philips Wake-Up Mild HF3520 and its dearer sibling, the Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light. The SmartSleep Linked Mild was a implausible alarm clock and nearly took the crown. It has all of the options of our winner and extra, however throughout our drop exams the port the place you plug within the energy twine broke, making it unusable. Regardless that it scored larger and provides extra advantages than the cheaper Philips mild, the truth that it broke, to not point out its lofty $199.95 worth, make us imagine the Philips Wake-Up Mild HF3520 is the smarter and higher funding.

So let’s get into why this Philips Wake-Up Mild actually is so nice. At first, the wake-up expertise was second to none. We stay in an condominium fortunate sufficient to get some morning mild, so despite the fact that it in all probability didn’t influence us as a lot as somebody who has blackout curtains, the sunshine nonetheless eased us into the morning, and the nice pure noises had been a mild alarm that was a a lot better expertise than the opposite clocks we examined.

The pure sounds had been actually our favourite a part of this clock, with tones together with waves, chirping birds and a chilled piano that improve in quantity as you get up. There are 5 choices to select from, so you’ll be able to decide your favourite, or you’ll be able to even tune the clock to the radio should you favor.

Apart from the excellent morning routine, the Philips Wake-Up Mild has tons of options that many different clocks didn’t have, comparable to a radio and wake-up profiles that permit you to select a distinct expertise for weekdays and the weekends. Plus, you need to use the sunshine as a regular lamp when you’re winding down or studying through the night.

The setup was additionally extraordinarily simple, due to the small display screen on the backside of the sunshine that has little contact sensors so you’ll be able to shortly navigate via the menu and alter the time and alarm settings. Programming the alarm was easy and intuitive, despite the fact that you must decide a number of settings, together with your time, brightness, sound and quantity.

One facet of the Philips Wake-Up Mild that knocked it down a number of factors, although, is its sheer dimension. The face and light-weight itself is about 9 inches in diameter, and the bottom is kind of massive at about 4.5 inches, so that you’ll must filter a little bit of house to place it subsequent to your mattress. And also you’ll wish to make sure that it’s near your mattress, as Philips suggests inserting the sunshine 16 to 20 inches out of your head.

Since it’s such an enormous alarm clock, it’s additionally obtained some weight to it, which made the drop take a look at additional scary. Smaller clocks, such because the Jall and DreamSky, can in all probability fall off a bedside desk dozens of instances earlier than something occurs to them, simply because they’re so mild and the influence is minimal. The Philips, however, weighs in at about 2.5 kilos, so the drops had lots of drive behind them, so we might see it breaking after a number of extra falls.

The Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is kind of an funding for an alarm clock at $79.95, however for the value, you’re getting one of the best wake-up expertise available on the market that can make your mornings brighter and happier.

We researched and located top-rated alarm clocks and chosen a wide-ranging pool that included 15 digital, analog and dawn alarm clocks. We opened every alarm clock and set the time and alarm, enjoying with all of the settings and testing out any and all additional options. We listened to the alarms through the day, and woke as much as every one to get a real wake-up expertise. Over the period of 1 month, listed below are all of the exams we ran:


  • Readability: We took observe of how seen and legible the numbers or analog palms on the clock had been, each in mild and at midnight.
  • Ease of setting alarm: We famous how tough it was to set the alarm on every clock, and the way a lot time it took.
  • Wake-up expertise: We examined the alarm and famous the quantity, tone, harshness and common expertise of waking as much as the alarm.
  • Dimmability: We examined how dimmable every clock was, testing every one within the mild and the darkish.
  • Snooze: We examined how simple it was to snooze the alarm, and took observe if it was customizable and simple to set.
  • Energy: We famous if the clock wanted batteries, an influence twine or each. If it wanted an influence twine, we measured the twine.


  • Supplies: We felt every alarm clock and judged how good or low cost it felt, together with buttons and dials.
  • Sturdiness: We knocked every alarm clock off the identical bedside desk 5 instances, noting any injury after every drop.
  • Look: We famous its dimension and shade choices, and rated its aesthetics.

X elements

  • Further options: We famous and examined any and all additional options and the way helpful they had been.

Based mostly on the factors above, we gave every alarm clock a rating for every take a look at, totaling right into a rating for every class, which we then added up for a ultimate total rating. Right here’s a full breakdown:

  • Efficiency had a complete of 70 factors: readability (15 factors), ease of setting alarm (15 factors), wake-up expertise (15 factors), dimmability (10 factors), snooze (10 factors) and energy (5 factors).
  • Construct had a complete of 30 factors: supplies (10 factors), sturdiness (10 factors) and look (10 factors).
  • X elements had a complete of 5 factors: additional options (5 factors).

Philips SmartSleep Linked Sleep and Wake-Up Mild ($199.95, initially $219.99;

Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light


Philips SmartSleep Linked Sleep and Wake-Up Mild

Like we mentioned earlier, the Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light is an impressive alarm clock. The wake-up expertise is simply pretty much as good as our winner for one of the best dawn alarm clock — and this mild comes with extra options, comparable to a customizable snooze, extra alarms you’ll be able to set, rest workouts and extra. Plus, you’ll be able to management the clock from an app, so there’s no fussing with buttons.

Nevertheless, on the final drop of our sturdiness take a look at the clock sadly broke. We don’t anticipate individuals to be dropping their alarm clocks that usually, however accidents do occur, and should you pay a lot for one thing, you need it to final. Even when it didn’t break, the additional $100 you’d must pay over the Philips Wake-Up Mild HF3520 is rather a lot, and in comparison with different clocks we examined, which have worth tags round $20, it was simply too excessive to justify. However when you have the additional cash and wish to purchase a dawn clock that helps you not solely get up simply however fall asleep sooner and assist your whole sleep expertise, the Philips SmartSleep Connected Wake-Up Light is an incredible gadget to have in your house.

Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock ($25;

Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock


Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock

The Magnasonic alarm clock was a nifty and all-around strong clock that we completely loved testing. It comes with a radio that you could take heed to or use as your alarm, an aux twine and a projector that shows the time in your ceiling. Whereas the pink digits on the ceiling sort of appeared like a doomsday clock at first, it’s really a particularly helpful function should you are likely to stand up in the midst of the evening and wish to know the time. When you like the thought of the projector, positively think about the Magnasonic alarm clock, because it scored fairly properly in most of our different exams as properly, simply not so good as our winners.

Philips SmartSleep HF3500 Wake-Up Mild ($49.95;

Philips SmartSleep HF3500 Wake-up Light


Philips SmartSleep HF3500 Wake-up Mild

This smaller sunrise clock from Philips was good, however its larger counterparts actually outdid this $49.95 choice. This clock doesn’t have the pure sounds, and it’s so mild and tall that it could possibly simply be knocked over, particularly since you must faucet the highest to snooze it. The beeps of the alarm aren’t too harsh, and the alarm-setting course of wasn’t horrible, so in order for you a dawn clock however don’t wish to spend a ton of cash, this could possibly be a terrific purchase.

Travelwey Digital Journey Alarm Clock ($11.97, initially $15.97;

Travelwey Digital Travel Alarm Clock


Travelwey Digital Journey Alarm Clock

Whereas this itty-bitty alarm clock didn’t rating very excessive, we expect it’s really a implausible alarm clock should you journey rather a lot. It’s so small it could possibly slot in your pocket, plus it unfolds, so you’ll be able to put it on mainly any floor subsequent to your mattress. It’s battery-powered, so you’ll be able to take it wherever, and it has a regular alarm that’s simple to set. There’s nothing fancy about this clock, however should you want simply the naked bones to take with you once you’re touring or tenting, the Travelwey Digital Travel Alarm Clock is a good, transportable choice.

HomeLabs Dawn Alarm Clock ($20.99, initially $21.99;

HomeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock


HomeLabs Dawn Alarm Clock

This sunrise clock actually couldn’t examine with the choices from Philips. The numbers on the clock itself had been fuzzy and laborious to learn, and whereas it’s outfitted with pure sounds to get up to, the audio high quality is so unhealthy that it sounds prefer it’s coming via a tin can. We’d suggest you spend the additional cash for one of many nicer choices from Philips.

Sony ICF-C1 Alarm Clock With FM/AM Radio ($22.90;

Sony ICF-C1 Alarm Clock With FM/AM Radio


Sony ICF-C1 Alarm Clock With FM/AM Radio

This alarm clock from Sony scored decently properly, however none of its options stood out above the pack. It’s obtained a radio, which is a pleasant function, and the design is easy, however the show was laborious to see at midnight. Plus, each time you hit the snooze button, the time of the snooze will increase, which appears counterintuitive.

Travelwey House LED Digital Alarm Clock ($15.99;

Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock


Travelwey House LED Digital Alarm Clock

This Travelwey alarm clock reminded us of a traditional childhood alarm clock, with the brilliant pink numbers and large snooze button on the prime. The snooze button can perform as a lightweight, which is a pleasant function different digital clocks didn’t have, however setting the time and alarm was a sluggish and unforgiving expertise. You must maintain one button and press one other to set the time, and you may solely improve the digits. So should you miss your time by one minute, you must circle across the full 24-hour cycle to get again to your required time.

Peakeep Small Battery-Operated Analog Journey Alarm Clock ($10.97;

Peakeep Small Battery-Operated Analog Travel Alarm Clock


Peakeep Small Battery-Operated Analog Journey Alarm Clock

Peakeep’s small clock scored the best out of the analog clocks, which scored decrease normally as a consequence of their lack of visibility at midnight and different options. This clock is the one analog choice we examined to have a sleep button, and it was simple to set the alarm (although not an actual science, because you’re transferring an analog hand as a substitute of coming into a digit). It has a lightweight, however like different analog choices, it’s solely on once you maintain it.

RCA Digital Alarm Clock ($12.87, initially $14.99;

RCA Digital Alarm Clock


RCA Digital Alarm Clock

The RCA alarm clock had one of many harshest alarm tones we examined. It rattled the plastic contained in the clock and had a screeching sound that had us leaping away from bed to finish our ears’ struggling as quickly as we might. It wasn’t extremely simple to set the alarm, and even should you want an extra-loud alarm to wake you up, we wouldn’t suggest this one. In case you are a particularly deep sleeper, try the Sonic Bomb.

Sonic Bomb Twin Further-Loud Alarm Clock With Mattress Shaker ($33.40, initially $52.95;

Sonic Bomb Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock With Bed Shaker


Sonic Bomb Twin Further-Loud Alarm Clock With Mattress Shaker

Not going to lie, we had been frightened of this clock. Once we examined the alarm for the primary time on a desk, we had been shocked to see how violent the buzzing mattress shaker was. However after weeks of placing it off, we lastly slept with it — and, in actuality, it wasn’t as unhealthy as we thought. The beeps don’t begin on full blast and go off proper earlier than the shaker, so we had a second to brace ourselves for the vibrations. The alarm does improve in quantity and velocity, and I don’t know what sort of particular person might sleep via that mattress shaker in the event that they put it beneath their pillow. So whereas it didn’t rating too properly in our testing and broke throughout our drop exams, when you have a nasty behavior of sleeping via a number of alarms, the Sonic Bomb Dual Extra-Loud Alarm Clock needs to be sufficient to wake you up.

Jall Analog Alarm Clock ($10.99;

Jall Analog Alarm Clock


Jall Analog Alarm Clock

The analog clock from Jall was fairly a pleasant contender; nonetheless, since analog clocks had a number of key options absent, it didn’t rating properly total. The Jall appears cute, is available in 5 completely different colours and, most significantly, doesn’t tick, making it a strong analog alarm clock in order for you one thing a bit heftier than the tiny Peakeep clock.

Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock (beginning at $13.99;

Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock


Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock

The Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock had an alarm so loud and surprising that it frightened us up away from bed from the opposite room. We put it outdoors the bed room within the first place as a result of the second hand ticked. And despite the fact that we stay in New York Metropolis and we hear vehicles drive by our condominium fairly often, we couldn’t stand the sound of a ticking clock. There wasn’t a lot good from this clock that might outweigh the ticking and the alarm, so in order for you an analog clock, we’d suggest the Jall or the smaller Peakeep.

Extra from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

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