people's choice

The Best Baby Sound Machines and Sleep Soothers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy Retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written about lots of baby gear — including the best soaps, cribs and play mats — here, we’ve rounded up the best baby soothers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated baby sound machine

“Are you an anal retentive mother like me? Then boy, do I have the product for you,” starts one review of this Hatch Baby sound machine, which doubles as a nightlight — and made our list of the best sound machines on Amazon, too. That mom continues, “It worked great for nighttime feedings as you can adjust the light brightness from your phone. Have a big blowout that occurred at 2 A.M.? Fear not. This light will get you through that changing without having to wake the baby with bright overhead lights.” Another parent raves, “The colors and sounds are sooooo soothing.” And that calming noise seems to help lots of kids fall, and stay, asleep. One parent writes, “I don’t know what wizard made this thing, but I went from swaddling a six-month-old baby to being able to put her down in a sleep sack and she’ll sleep for an hour/hour and a half, no problem. She also went from waking every two hours to sleeping at least 4 to 5 without a night feed.” Their review concludes, “It’s saved my sanity and allowed me to finally get some sleep. 100 percent recommend.”

Best-rated (less expensive) baby sound machine

$17

“My daughter adores this toy and it’s her ‘baby’ which she takes everywhere,” one reviewer writes of this stuffed animal–slash–baby soother. It’s so easy to operate, in fact, that babies can do it themselves from early on. “The music plays for a few minutes and then shut itself off,” a reviewer explains, noting, “Child learned very easily how to turn it on themselves at a very young age and help soothe themselves back to sleep which was incredibly helpful. It’s a good carrying size, so we could take it with us on trips.” Another reviewer was inspired to pen an open letter from their infant’s point of view, writing, “Dear Fisher Price, I would like to take a moment to thank you for this delightful sea-friend I received. It accompanies me everywhere and I am apt to fall asleep with it at my side in my infant carrier. The music often softly plays to help soothe me despite my attempts to not fall asleep, and the glowing belly is quite interesting! No longer am I fearful at night while mommy drives, as my sea friend keeps me company with its glowing belly and lovely lullabies.”

And now for some micro-picks of every type of baby sound machine and sleep soother you might be looking for.

Best sleep sheep

Cloud b Sleep Sheep Sound Soother
$32

This sheep-shaped sound machine is beloved by many infants, with one reviewer writing, “In a world of superfluous spending on unnecessary baby items, I have to say, this isn’t one of them.” Another reviewer praised the convenience of this machine, especially on trips: “I like you can choose around 20 or 40 minutes and if it turns off too soon you just touch the button again. It can attach to the side of the crib as well which is great.” Others have used it well beyond infancy as well, with one reviewer sharing, “This has been an essential help to bedtime for all of my children. We take it on overnight trips and I think it helps make the kids feel something is familiar in any unfamiliar location. I bought more than one for each child’s room. My oldest is 3 and we still use this every nap and night.” This sound machine also comes in well-reviewed giraffe and turtle styles, but the sleep sheep has something of a cult following, inspiring one reviewer to write, “I bought this cute sheep already three times and will probably continue to do so. One of my granddaughters loved it and I must say, it was even ‘used’ by my son-in-law.”

Best soft baby soother with auto shutoff

This owl-shaped soother with a 20-minute auto shutoff is “a godsend,” according to one reviewer. Another parent reviewer finds it to be a silver bullet for getting her kid to chill out: “I normally use it only at bedtime, but today she was having a really hard time I turned it on and she instantly relaxed.” Another parent claims, “This owl saved our lives,” explaining. “We were really struggling with sleep training our son. Before we knew it, he was 10 months old and still not sleeping in his crib. I almost gave up until I found the Bubzi. My son loves the lights and all the lullabies. I also love the fact that the songs and lights last 30 minutes. Enough time for him to fall asleep on his own.” Another praises the versatility of the Bubzi and how easy it is to clean, calling it “super soft and easy to clean off with a damp washcloth but the sound and light piece comes out for easy replacement of batteries and safety (in case my child just wants to cuddle).”

Best stuffed-animal baby soother with light show

This popular elephant-shaped soother projects stars on the ceiling and offers music and white-noise options, and several reviewers noted that the light show is surprisingly bright. One explains, “It brightens up the whole ceiling and looks beautiful.” And one reviewer adds, “I’m glad I went with this stuffed animal as opposed to a fancier projector that’s more expensive because this has fantastic projection.” Another reviewer’s daughter formed a longstanding attachment to hers: “My daughter loves this thing to death. I bought this for her 4 years ago, yes, FOUR … This thing is amazingly tough and does what it says.”

Best unicorn baby soother

This unicorn-shaped soother is beloved by caregivers for its cuddliness, as well as its white noise and light projection. “I have a 2-year-old who is super attached. I needed a cuddly toy for her to hold at night, something to comfort her. She absolutely loves her unicorn,” one parent writes. Another likes that their kid could cuddle without the sound getting too loud and disruptive: “I purchased this for my toddler daughter and she loves it so much. The unicorn is seriously the cutest. The highest volume isn’t terrible high which is a super plus.” Another reviewer calls the cry sensor, which automatically activates the lights and white noise, “genius. My 12-month-old grandson was mesmerized by the star projection on the ceiling, and when he awoke during the night crying, the sounds and the projection came on and put him right back to sleep.”

Best lullaby white noise machine for babies

MyBaby SoundSpa White Noise Machine for Babies
$25

Reviewers loved the versatility of this sound machine, which can run on batteries or be plugged into a wall. “We like having it on all night for our family, which would kill batteries on the travel version,” wrote one reviewer, who had previously had a batteries-only version. Reviewers were also pleased with the variety of sounds to choose from: “Had the heartbeat sound both our children loved when they were newborns,” one reviewer wrote. Another preferred the machine’s lullaby music, but noted that the volume “gets loud enough to drown out the loud stomping sounds of our upstairs neighbors” and allow their child to sleep.

Best elephant-shaped baby lullaby sound machine with nightlight

$20

This Fisher-Price elephant is a favorite among parents whose babies prefer to settle down to music, since it has 20 classical songs and lullabies in addition to white noise and nature sounds. As one reviewer explains, “My daughter (nearly 3) recently started having some serious separation anxiety and the tinny music of a crank music box really calmed her down, but I couldn’t keep winding it all night and every time it stopped she’d fuss. I looked at a lot of bed-side music devices and a lot of the cuddlier types. I chose this one because it plugs into the wall and will stay on for 20 minutes, 2 hours, or infinite loop.” There’s also a faint nightlight option that can be turned on or off, which some reviewers appreciate. “The light is just enough that I can breastfeed at night without turning any lights on, but not so bright it keeps my son up,” one writes. Another praised the compact size of the soother, writing, “Great little sound machine. We traveled with it all summer and it has been a lifesaver in small, shared spaces to give the baby a buffer from the noise.”

Best owl-shaped baby lullaby sound machine with nightlight

Skip Hop Baby Sound Machine Soother and Night Light
$35

One reviewer wrote that this kid-geared owl-shaped sound machine, which offers a cute moon and stars projection option as well as several sound options, is “as close as you can get to Mr. Sandman,” calling it “a sleep saver.” Another parent admits, “When my son was first born, I thought machines like this were a waste of money. Then the six month sleep regression hit…and boy, has this machine saved us some sleep.” Later, the reviewer said, the lights were a comfort to a toddler who developed a fear of the dark. Another reviewer integrated the lights and sound of this machine into their child’s bedtime routine and never looked back: “I’ve tried everything including melatonin and nothing worked but this.”

Best baby soother for car rides

This soft, elephant-shaped noise machine is ideal babies on the go, as one reviewer explains: “This is a perfect toy for keeping my infant occupied while driving or when we are traveling.” Another reviewer calls it “a godsend for us, as there is nothing worse than a screaming infant while driving, and I just wish I had thought to put this on my registry. I’d buy this again in a heartbeat as we have used it every day since we received it.” One called it “adorable” and also ” pretty durable,” explaining, “My son has thrown it a few times.” Another satisfied parent of twins adds, “The color variety, music options, volume control, and timer capabilities make for an exceptional nighttime aide. Batteries have lasted months on the first unit without changing.”

Best portable baby sound machine

This inexpensive, mini-size, owl-shaped sound machine is a versatile favorite for traveling families, or, in the case of one reviewer, unreliable power grids. “I bought it specifically because we live in an area where we can lose the power for days at a time in the winter,” they write, praising the battery-run machine. One reviewer wrote that it was “way too cool for babies,” and lauded the machine’s design, from the dim nightlight to the handle, which “makes this simple to move from room to room as the child goes, say, from his own bed to mom and dad’s.” Another reviewer says that this makes moving their baby around possible: “Our baby is 2 months and has hated his car seat from day one so going anywhere is always stressful since he’s usually screaming his head off. He even hates his stroller. We bought this white noise machine to hang from his seat and now we can drive and stroll in peace.”

Best portable baby sound machine with smartphone app

VTech BC8211 Myla The Monkey Baby Sleep Soother
$20

Though this monkey-shaped baby sound machine gets a lot of love for being easy-to-use and very portable, several reviewers were enamored with the relatively high-tech features. “By far the coolest part of this is the downloadable app that allows you to select and program what you want from the preloaded songs, sounds, and stories and put them in any order you want,” one reviwer explains, adding, “I like that you can choose as little or as much of the preloaded items as you want.” The app also allows you to record your own stories or messages, and as one reviewer writes, ” I can’t wait for grandparents to come so they can record their own stories for her. I may have to purchase another for our three-year-old son because he is getting quite attached to his big sister’s.” Another reviewer used this feature on the baby sound machine to keep their older toddler in bed: “I recorded ‘Don’t come into mommy and daddy’s bed at night. Stay in your own room, PLEASE!”

Best toddler noise machine

SleepyMe Smart Sleep Soother
$50

“The lighting is amazing in a dark room, and I think I enjoy it as much as my baby,” one reviewer writes of this soother, which can rotate between projecting three colors of stars while it plays white noise or other sounds. The mother of a colicky five-week-old wrote that the SleepyMe was the solution she was looking for: “When it arrived, we dimmed the lights and set the stars projector to minimum brightness to avoid too many distractions. We played the white noise and the nature sounds, and it kept her asleep. Oh, HAPPINESS,” Another reviewer writes, “As a tired mom, I recommend this,” adding that the buttons on the SleepyMe gave her toddler a sense of autonomy, which is another reason it’s well-suited for slightly-older kids. “The touch buttons are easy enough for him to turn it on by himself and change the settings. So it actually kept him distracted right before going to sleep. Moreover, he felt in control. He felt that he can control the darkness.”

Best sound machine for kids with ready-to-wake clock

LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Children’s Trainer
$50

This combination noise machine and sleep trainer for children had its origins as a crowdfunded project and has extremely proactive customer service, according to reviews. “I ordered two of these for my 2 and 3-year-olds and they LOVE them. I love them, too,” one reviewer wrote, continuing, “They’re so cute. The features are easy to set and use. They sounds are great. The kids love picking their nightlight colors. The nap timer works great. THE CONTROLS LOCK AND ARE ON THE BOTTOM, which is huge because my kids are button-pushers.” Another reviewer admits, “I was hesitant to spend $50 on a clock but my 2-year-old now sleeps until 7 as opposed to 5:30. Worth every penny. He’s actually easier to put to bed now too if we tell him Mella is going to be asleep soon.” Another reviewer praised the Mella’s versatility: “We used to have a separate clock and white noise machine — but since Mella has both those features in one unit, we were able to get rid of one piece of clutter off the kids’ bookshelf.”

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The Best Baby Sound Machines, According to Reviewers