When looking at white noise machines, there are several important factors that aren’t immediately apparent – but they still need to be considered.
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After extensive research on white noise machines, we decided to buy the Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise machine (this link will take you to price check it on Amazon). In our opinion and experience, it’s the perfect blend of quality and price. We’ve been so happy with it that we’ve bought several more models for our children’s rooms.
If nothing else, I hope that this article convinces you that not all white noise machines are made the same – and that it’s important to get one that is loopless so that the jumps don’t jar you awake from lighter sleep during your sleep cycle.
What to Look for In a White Noise Machine
When we first got a white noise machine, I thought my husband was being too picky when he insisted on buying a specific type of white noise machine. Since then, though, I’ve discovered that there really is a difference between the types.
The most specific difference is in how the sound is made. For most white noise machines, it’s a pre-recorded noise that’s set to loop. That gap between loops is just long enough that it can jar your brain. In other words, if you’re a light sleeper, that tiny gap between loops can be just enough to wake you up.
Other features to consider when selecting a white noise machine include:
- Ease of use. Choose a white noise machine that’s simple to use. More settings can seem like a nice feature until it’s too confusing to turn on – or your kids change the settings and you have to set the whole thing back up every night.
- Sound source. Many white noise machines are pre-recorded loops. The best white noise machines use actual fans to create a natural white noise.
- Childproof-ish. While no machine is ever 100% childproof, choose one that won’t be as easily destroyed by small children who get ahold of it.
- Universal power source. Pick a white noise machine with a basic plug. That way you aren’t scrambling looking for adapters at bedtime.
- Portability. Unless you’re going to get multiple white noise machines for daycare and/or traveling, pick one that’s easy to take with you no matter where you go.
- Use what’s on hand or an App. Sometimes it’s easier to use what you’ve already got on hand – or just to download an app to your smartphone. Or they make a great backup, should something go wrong with your primary white noise machine.
Top White Noise Machine Brands to Consider
- Marpac Dohm – The classic (available on Amazon) gets my vote for being the best white noise machine brand. They’re ugly but they work great.
- Adaptive Sound Technologies – Adaptive has a lot of great options and looks high-tech. With all of those buttons, having one in a kids’ room makes me nervous that settings will have to be reset daily.
- Conair – Conair makes some great looking options at a low price. Some even have light machines built into them. However, these also have too many settings and buttons for my liking.
- HoMedics – Lots of great options and buttons. I haven’t tried any of their products but the reviews are promising.
- AVANTEK – These look awesome – almost like a regular speaker. They have fewer buttons, too, which is nice. They advertise non-looping noises but we haven’t tried this brand.
- Sleep Easy – It looks like they copied the Marpac design while trying to make it less plain. We haven’t tried it.
- Munchkin – Munchkin machines look great – and not too many buttons! We haven’t tried these, but they look like a great option.
- Big Red Rooster – Many of these look a lot like the AVANTEK but cost a few bucks less. They also have a model that looks like a sleeker Marpac. We haven’t tried any of these.
- myBaby – These look like they were designed to go in a nursery – and many are portable. One even has a hook – that would be a great option for use on the go with kids sleeping in car seats.
- PICTEK – PICTEK looks like a sleeker version of the Marpac as well, although it’s digital. We haven’t tried this brand, either.
Best White Noise Machine Apps
As you’re on the go, there are a few great ways to have white noise on the go. There are several apps that provide white noise. Here are the best ones.
- White Noise (Google Play Store) – just download it and go. This app has dozens of noise options. In my opinion, the pink noise sounds best.
- Amazon Alexa White Noise Add-on – with a really cool bonus timer feature – so that it turns itself off when you’re ready to wake up. In my opinion, Alexa’s pink noise sounds better than its white noise option.
Each of these is free. And, the recordings are so ridiculously long that I’ve never noticed a loop. Plus, they each have several other types of noise to choose from.
If you’ve already got an Alexa or smartphone in your bedrooms, these work well enough that you may not need a dedicated white noise machine – as long as your internet is reliable or your children aren’t unplugging it.
However, if you do decide to get a dedicated white noise machine, make sure you shop around based on the features mentioned above.