Some people are able to sleep perfectly when there are loud sounds nearby, but for the majority of us we find it difficult to fall asleep when surrounded by a noisy environment.
If you're constantly kept awake by the neighbours TV next door or you live on a busy road then there is a solution. Carry on reading and you can discover how a white noise machine can improve your sleep.
Throughout the guide we will show you what to consider when going through the buying process and what the best white noise machine is, because with dozens of products it can be a daunting process.
LectroFan White Noise Machine
Marpac White Noise Machine
HoMedics Deep Sleep Sound Machine
Sound Oasis Sleep Therapy Machine
Good Ideas Nature Care Sound Machine
What is a White Noise Machine?
White noise is a unique type of sound signal that can be used to effectively mask existing background noises. Once these background noises have been drowned out, it then makes it easier to sleep ensuring that you get a long restful sleep.
It may sound ridiculous to think that adding more noise to existing noisy environment would make a positive difference, but it works because the white noise blends the disturbing sounds into the background which means your brain is less aware of it and you begin to ignore it.
White noise machines decrease distraction by covering up noises that could keep you awake,
Columbia University Medical Centre sleep division director
A white noise machine is small device that plays these comforting sounds repetitively to put you in a peaceful state of mind . Different white noise machines play different types of sounds, however the most common sounds are:
- Nature sounds - crickets chirping, jungle, waves, rain
- Ambient sounds - crowd noise, crackling campfire
- Machinery noises - microwave , washing machine, air conditioning units.
Benefits of a White Noise Machine
Effective for heavy sleepers
Many heavy sleepers have testified to the positive results that they have experienced with the use of a white noise machine which had led to them being more calmer and relaxed so it's easier to fall asleep
More effective than many alternatives
Several polls have indicated that sound machines are superior to over the counter sleeping aids and that they provide the same level of effectiveness as prescription sleeping aids but minus the dangerous potential side effects and high recurring costs that medication have.
Blocks out exterior sounds
Effective at blocking out sounds that you can't control such as the weather, traffic, people outside or a neighbours television.
Calming & relaxing
Even if you're not trying to sleep, just have a white noise machine on in the same room will put you in a calm state of mind. It is great to switch on when you're winding down a few hours before you actually get into bed.
Great for shift workers
If you have an irregular shift pattern such as working nights, there is a higher chance that there will be more external sounds when you attempt to sleep throughout the daytime. A white noise machine will drown out these sounds making it easier to sleep.
Calm existing conditions
Many white noise machines are designed to help certain existing conditions that you may be suffering from such as ADHD and Tinnitus due to the frequency of the white noise.
Not just for the bedroom
Although its main use is for the bedroom as an aid to help you sleep. It is also great to operate in living spaces to promote a great state of mind, and it's also effective in an office setting if you find it hard to concentrate and focus.
There are several things that you need to consider before you buy a white noise machine to match your requirements to ensure that it actually improves your sleep.
Type of machine
White noise is commonly created in two ways. Either by using the surrounding air to create sounds or by playing pre recorded sounds. Each way has its own benefits so it purely comes down to personal preference.
There are several different add on features that aren't essential but are nice additional options such as a built in alarm clock, LCD screen or back light. Generally the more expensive the white noise machine, the more features it has.
Size of the machine
Be sure to check the size dimensions before you buy a white noise machine and compare that to the size of the space where you plan to keep it. This is even more important if you're planning to use it in your bedroom such as on your bedside table.
A sound machine and a white noise machine have a clear difference. A white noise machine plays a specific type of noise whereas a sound machine plays a number of different sounds. The type you choose again depends on your preferences so there isn't one thats better than the other.
You really do get what you pay for when it comes to white noise machines. If you spend £20 you're going to be disappointed when you realise it has poor sound quality, doesn't effectively block out sound and quickly notice that its the same 1 minute sound loop repeated over and over again.
The quality of sound output is proportional to how effective a white noise machine will be. The better the sound quality the better the results you will experience.
White noise machines either come with a rechargeable battery pack or an AC power adapter. We'd recommend to definitely purchase one with an AC power cable, however its a bonus if it also has a battery pack which is great for traveling.
Just like all electrical appliances, there is a chance that it may break down, so check whether there is a manufacturers warranty which will cover you for a period of time after purchasing.
1. Lectrofan White Noise Machine Review
The Lectrofan white noise machine is one of the leading products within the industry and is a clear stand out winner.
The Lectrofan is a clean and simple device to operate without the pointless add ons that will never be used, and do nothing but make the process more complicated.
There are two options when operating the machine, you can either use fans sounds or white noise sounds. Each choice has 10 unique sound variations so you can find the sound and frequency that best suits you.
Unlike most competitor products the sounds generated by the Lectrofan are dynamically created which means that they do not repeat on a loop. This makes it easier to fall asleep.
A great feature of this white noise machine is that there are no moving parts within the unit, so not only do you not need to worry about cleaning fan parts but also there is a less chance of breakdowns.
Benefits of Letrofan White Noise Machine
- Effectively blocks out loud background noise making it easier for you to sleep.
- AC mains powered but is also supplied with a USB cable
- Automatic shut off timer
- 20 sounds - 10 non repeating fans sounds and 10 non repeating white noise sounds
- Long lasting product
- Adjustable volume to suit rooms of all sizes
- Small and light so it can be used for travelling or easily moved from room to room.
This little white noise machine is fantastic for drowning out sounds and because of a choice of volume and sounds, with a little experimentation you can find the perfect calibration to block out almost any disturbing sounds.
One downside is that due to being a US imported product it does carry a slightly more premium price, however it is also supplied with a UK plug.
This product has received almost unanimous 5 star reviews. Not only this but the users have successfully blocked out a huge range of different types of sounds from dogs barking to loud traffic to planes.
2. Marpac DOHM- DS White Noise Machine Review
The Marpac white noise machine has one job and one only job, and thats to effectively block out external loud noises, and similar to the Letrofan It doesn't have all the unnecessary additional features
It's a small portable unit that makes it easy to travel with or move between rooms in your home.
Marpac have developed a white noise machine that doesn't use any pre recorded sounds, but generates the sound internally. The unit creates the sound of rushing air also known as the Marpac Signature Sound without moving the actual air within the room.
This creates a richer and fuller sound than many other white noise machines so it blocks out sounds more effectively giving you a deeper sleep.
It also has a two speed control for greater personalisation, and by twisting the unit at its collar you can then control how much air comes through which works as a volume and pitch control.
Benefits of Marpac DOHM - DS White Noise Machine
- Perfect for any sleep environment where external noise is disturbing your sleep.
- Two speed sound setting
- Lightweight and compact
- Doesn't use noise recordings
- Pitch and tone is easily adjustable
- Supplied with 8 foot power cord
The Marpac white noise machine has quickly become one of the most popular machines in the whole world largely due to the huge number of people that it has effectively worked for.
One downside is that it only plays one type of white noise, however this type has proven to work for thousands of people worldwide.
The most common users are in university halls, apartments, shift workers, restless sleepers, spouses of snorers and for infants who have trouble sleeping
3. HoMedics Deep Sleep Bedside Sound Machine Review
HoMedics have developed and manufactured a truly adjustable Deep Sleep White Noise Machine. It is simply built with a powerful speaker that helps to block out external noises to bring you a more peaceful sleep.
The sound can easily be controlled using the intuitive tone and volume controls so you can select the perfect sound environment. There are four built in white noise tones to choose from:
- Soothe - Sounds like a gentle patter of rain
- Mask - Designed to mask external noises such as traffic or neighbours
- Relax - Designed to block noise room such as a snoring partner
- Calm - The deepest tone available which is great for children.
One you have selected your base sound you can then adjust the pitch and volume.
This white noise machine is truly portable and features an AC power cord but can also be operated using 4 AA batteries so it can provide a good sleep no mater where you are. It also has a built in shut off timer that will automatically turn off after 30, 60 or 90 minutes.
Benefits of HoMedics Deep Sleep White Noise Machine
- four different types of sounds to choose from
- Effectively masks and drowns out external noises
- Built in shut off timer
- Can be battery or mains operated
- Can help other issues such as Tinnitus
- Adjustable volume
The HoMedics Sleep Machine is a unique product and offers the most extensive range of sounds that you can test to see which one suits you the most and provides you with the best sleep.
HoMedics have created a range of sleeping aids that has taken the USA by storm and they're now beginning to make their way over to the UK, so now there is definitely no excuse for not seeking out a solution to your sleeping problem
4. Sound Oasis Sleep Sound Therapy System Review
The Sound Oasis Sleep Machine provides customisation so you can select the perfect white noise for you and is ideal for improving sleep, drowning sounds and Tinnitus.
How this differs to other white noise machines is that it has a build in SD card which has 10 Oasis Sounds preloaded which when selected will play for 8 hours.
The 10 sounds include Ocean Surf,Summer Night,Rock Mountain Stream, Steady Rainfall, White Noise, Gentle Surf, Thunder and Rain, Brown Noise,White Noise, Woodlands and Heartbeat.
Not only does the machine let you stream from you iPod/smartphone via bluetooth but it also allows you to purchase new Oasis Sounds from their app library so you can choose from an even larger number of sounds.
The white noise machine is powered by a built in rechargeable lithium battery that provides 5-8 hours of cordless use. This makes it great if you travel frequently so there is no excuse not to take it with you.
Benefits of Sound Oasis Sleep Sound Therapy White Noise Machine
- Great for improved quality and length of sleep
- Comes with companion app to control shut off timer.
- Access to additional white noise sounds from the app
- 10 metre Bluetooth range
- Can stream your own music via bluetooth
- Compact and light
The Sound Oasis white noise machine is definitely ideal for users who are more tech savvy and want a machine that has additional high technology features and options such as bluetooth integration and an app.
The only downside is that the tracks are only 8 hours long, then it switches over to the next track, which can be disturbing if you don't like the sound of it. However if you download the free app you can extend this time.
Luckily Sound Oasis haven't just focused on the extremely technical aspects as they have covered the basics very well and created a set of sounds that are great for improving sleep, and are easy to select and the machine overall is easy to operate.
5. Good Ideas NatureCare Sounds Machine Review
The Good Ideas Naturecare Sounds Machine provides relaxation through the natural sounds of nature including heart beat, sea waves, rippling brook or birds, This will put you in a calming state of mind and you'll feel yourself drifting off to sleep.
The machine can help you get a better nights sleep , aid medical problems such as Tinnitus or even use it in an office setting to help you concentrate. The sounds are recorded and saved onto a microchip which will never wear out or corrupt.
The unit is small and portable and is operated via a mains adaptor but also has the option of 4 x AA batteries. It also features a built in timer so it will switch off during the night to save electricity or battery life.
Benefits of GoodIdeas Naturecare Sounds Machine
- 2 Year guarantee
- Drowns out disturbing external noise
- Small & portable
- Battery & mains operated
- Range of sounds to choose from
If you're on a slightly lower budget then this would be your pick as it does the job fairly well, though it won't be able to block out all types of sounds.
If you're someone that cares about how the unit looks and fits in with the style of your home then this may not be for you as the unit has a feel of a 1990's beige PC.
But overall, if don't want to spend a lot of money and want to hear relaxing sounds to help you get a better sleep then this is the best white noise machine in this lower price bracket.
Obviously if you compare this to a £50-£60 model then there is no competition but it does enough to mask low-mid volume external noises.
White Noise Machine can be fantastic if you're struggling to sleep due to external noises and provide a great alternative to medication as you don't want to be popping pills to sleep for the rest of your life.
We have intentionally included a range of different white noise machines so that at least one will fit your needs and will be your solution.