As days begin to blur together during quarantine, keeping a schedule can be one helpful way to stay grounded. That starts with choosing a time to wake up, then actually getting out of bed (which is especially challenging for the heavy sleepers and morning-averse among us). While we’ve written about lots of things that will help you fall asleep — including natural supplements, nighttime earbuds, and comfortable linen sheets — here, we’re focusing on things that’ll wake you up. Specifically, the best alarm clocks, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
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Best-rated alarm clock
The Sonic Bomb, which we’ve written about before, has nearly 6,000 five-star reviews from reviewers who appreciate its serious volume and bed-shaking option. Over 250 reviewers specifically say that it’s effective for the notoriously hard-to-wake teen. “For months [our teenage son] would be late to class and always claimed he never heard his alarm. But along came the Sonic Boom,” one reviewer writes. “Not only is this a fully functional alarm clock with HUGE numbers you can see very easily, but this clock packs an enormous and loud alarm … that will rock your face off!” That thunderous volume is a recurring theme in the reviews. “I actually worry the neighbors will complain. For real,” writes one. Hundreds also mention that it can “wake the dead.” A verified buyer even says, “This thing actually woke up a dead pet I had buried in my yard.” People also love the wired vibrating disc, which a user can place under the mattress or pillow. This feature can be used alone for a silent alarm (“like if your two roommates don’t have to be up for hours,” as one reviewer puts it), or in concert with the sonic alarm. As one fan sums up, the Sonic Boom is “Absolutely ridiculous, but in the best way possible.”
Best-rated (less expensive) alarm clock
This alarm clock is described as “simple” in 15 percent of reviews, and that’s exactly what these reviewers wanted. “It is what it is. It does very few things: shows you the time in huge, mildly unpleasant red numbers, lets you set a loud beeping alarm for one time only, and lets you snooze. That’s it. And it does all of these things reliably and wonderfully well,” one reviewer writes. Others appreciate how easy it is to program this alarm clock. “There are just three slide buttons on the back,” to set the alarm, to adjust the dimmer, and to set the time, explains one reviewer. “On the top front is a large snooze/cancel button. One side of the bar has the hour to set and the other side of the bar is the minute to set depending on whether the slide switch on the back is set to time or alarm.” Another notes that the LED display is large and clear. “I’m terribly nearsighted and the numbers were big and bright enough to be visible at 15 feet,” they write. But even with that clear light, they add, “This clock doesn’t create that nimbus of light around it that so many of my previous clocks have.”
Best LED digital alarm clock
There are nearly 4,000 verified five-star fans of this simple, effective electric alarm clock with battery back-up on Amazon. “What I like about the clock are the large numbers, so very easy to read” writes a typical reviewer, echoing hundreds of similar declarations. Users also say the dimmer is especially effective. As one puts it, “If, like me, you like the alarm right by your bedside, the dimmer allows you to set the brightness to your comfort level — all the way from exceedingly bright to exceedingly dim.” “[Y]ou can even make the display go completely dark,” adds another. And, while basic, customers like that that clock includes “a bright night light at the top for reading in bed.” This beep’s job is to awaken, not comfort, and reviewers note that it is not a pleasant, soft tune: “Alarm is loud even on low and an awful sound,” says one. Another says, “I expected this clock to be okay, based on the reviews, but it is so MUCH better. I LOVE IT.” They describe the sound as “effective but not jarring,” and add that they “like the nice solid and satisfying click of the button when you set the time.”
Best alarm clock radio
People like this old-school clock radio for its compact size and blue numbers. “Even at its brightest, it’s a lovely blue light. Not obnoxious at all,” says one reviewer. Several note that the “instructions are intuitive.” And for its size and price, people are impressed with the features. “Another neat addition is a USB port in the back of the unit for charging your smartphone while you sleep,” one points out. And this is not a violent wake-up call: “Alarm volume comes up in steps for 5 seconds so it does not startle,” as one who gives this clock five stars puts it. It also has a thermometer, which one buyer calls “a super feature.” Several reviewers warn that this is a small speaker, not a hi-fi system, but most users are pleased with the antenna. One says, “Where I live it is sometimes hard to get a good signal, but with this the radio reception is outstanding.”
Best retro alarm clock
People like this Peakeep for its throwback looks, simplicity, low price, and loudness. As one reviewer writes, “The volume of the alarm is ‘old school’ awesome with a hammer beating two bells without the option to stop them other than getting up and turning it off. The lack of a snooze button is a godsend.” It’s so loud it’s effective for those with hearing loss. Several dozen purchasers with hearing issues vouch for this alarm. One says, “I no longer stay awake all night fearing that I’ll miss a wake-up call.” They also call the clock “adorable” and “a miracle.” Users also like that, when the alarm isn’t going, this clock has a smooth second hand, so it’s especially quiet, “The second hand sweeps too, so no annoying ticking next to the bed,” as one purchaser puts it.
Best alarm clock with color night light
About a quarter of reviewers love this alarm clock because of its built-in night light that’s both very bright and shifts colors. One parent, who bought this for their seven-year-old, says, “It stays on long enough for him to fall asleep and if he wakes in the middle of the night he can easily turn the light back on.” It’s a hit with another reviewer, who keeps it in a guest room: “The night light feature is so helpful for guests to move around in an unfamiliar house at night.” Users can also choose between seven colors for the night light, depending on your mood or decor, which dozens admit is cool. One reviewer says their daughter “changes the color multiple times every day - super fun and unexpected.” In addition to the night light, reviewers like how compact this light is. One even says “it fits on my mini clamp-on side table just fine with room for my Kindle and tablet, phone and other small items.” It also comes with two USB ports and the sound is adjustable, which one reviewer, who bought this for their daughter who “jump scares” easily, appreciates: “She has it on low and that doesn’t startle her awake but instead is gentle enough to be a pleasant way to awaken.”
Best alarm clock with ceiling projection
Among features like a USB charging port and radio, users really appreciate having the time projected on the ceiling. “I love this alarm clock so much I now look forward to waking up in the morning just so I can gaze upon its digital beauty,” writes one reviewer of the Piktek. “I get a real kick out of looking up at the top right corner of my bedroom wall and seeing the time displayed on the wall.” Users also point out that the light isn’t overly bright. “Pretty much everything is dimmable and adjustable,” says one, and another writes, “My husband likes it DARK in the room when we sleep, and the dimmest settings of the clock do not bother him one little bit.” And it doesn’t have an annoying alarm sound: “The alarm is chirping birds, or a waterfall kind of sound. Both are very nice to wake up to,” as one reviewer puts it.