Best Alarm Clocks

UPDATED AUGUST 2018

A good alarm clock will wake you up from the deepest of sleeps and help you get to appointments on time.

BEST ALARM
CLOCK 2018

American Lifetime Day Clock

American Lifetime Day Clock

BOTTOM LINE

Designed for the elderly, this alarm clock has five built-in alarms that let you remind yourself when it’s time to take your pills and do other things. It lets you see the time from anywhere in the room, but you may find that it’s a little bigger than you would like.

PROS

With a bright and bold clock face, this alarm clock is perfect for older people and those with vision problems. It lets you set up to five alarms every day to remind you to do different things and to get your out of bed.

CONS

The brighter face on this clock can disrupt your sleep or make it hard for you to drift off. It is also larger than other clocks and may not fit on your bedside table.

Brandstand CubieBlue

Brandstand
CubieBlue

BOTTOM LINE

With a clunky shape and a bold face that shows the time, the CubieBlue allows you to clearly see the time at any hour of the day or night. It protects itself from surges and has ports that are compatible with all your favorite electronic devices too.

PROS

Thanks two USB ports on the top, this alarm clock lets you plug in your phone or any other device that you want to use at night. It has built-in surge protection that will remember your alarm and update the time after a power surge.

CONS

Many shoppers had problems learning how to set the alarm on this clock. It does not have a memory function either, which means that you’ll need to set the alarm every night.

Philips Wake-Up Light and Alarm Clock

Philips Wake-Up Light and Alarm Clock

BOTTOM LINE

Philips made the very first affordable alarm clock that helps you fall asleep and wake up as the light coming from the clock changes. It comes with its own clock radio for listening to music and allows you to select the brightness option that works best for you.

PROS

With this clock, you can wake up naturally as its lights change to mimic the sunrise. It features 10 brightness settings and lets you use it with or without the built-in clock radio.

CONS

Some people don’t like the round shape of the clock because they can easily knock it over. Others wished that it came with a dimmer setting for the face itself.

DreamSky Projection Alarm Clock

DreamSky Projection Alarm Clock

BOTTOM LINE

With this alarm clock, you can press a button and project the time directly onto the ceiling or a wall in your bedroom. You can also use the volume controls to adjust the volume of the buzzer that wakes you up or the radio that you can set to your favorite station.

PROS

Project the current time directly onto your wall or ceiling with this clock. It features both a radio and a buzzer alarm that each have a volume control too.

CONS

Though this clock features a built-in radio, that radio doesn’t have very good sound quality. Some users also complained that the projection feature didn’t update the current time when they used the snooze feature.

Marathon Atomic Travel Alarm Clock

Marathon Atomic Travel Alarm Clock

BOTTOM LINE

Travel all across North America with this travel atomic clock that maintains accurate information about the current temperature and time. It has a backlighting feature that you can turn on to see the face better in lower light conditions.

PROS

Designed for those who love traveling, this alarm clock does not need charging or plugged in to use. It works in most major time zones used in North America and tells you the current temperature.

CONS

This clock has a fairly dim face that can make it hard for you to see the current time. You may find that the buttons are too small for you to press with your fingers too.

Shopping Guide for Alarm Clocks

Nothing in the world compares to those moments where you wake up, roll over to look at the clock and suddenly realize that you’re late for work or an important meeting. Thanks to the best alarm clocks, you can wake up every morning at the right time. While you can still find old clocks that do little more than tell you the time, the best alarm clocks 2018 products go beyond that. Our top choices are great for anyone who likes following a set schedule.

We created a list of our top five favorite alarm clocks 2018 products that include the best models for those who travel and spend a lot of time away from home and those who like changing the way they wake up every morning. You’ll find digital models that give you accurate readings at any moment during the day or night and models that you can use without any electricity. In addition to looking at our favorite alarm clocks, you’ll also want to look at some of the top features and at the different types of clocks now available. We hope our alarm clock guide makes the process of buying one easier than ever before.

Social Follow

Follow us on:

Get exclusive content, advice and tips  from Honest Product Reviews delivered to your inbox!

Expert Tip

Some alarm clocks now feature a light source that slowly changes to help you wake in the morning.

Selection Criteria​

Finding the top alarm clocks for 2018 isn’t a task that we took lightly. We know that you depend on your clock to get you to work on time. Waking up late can result in missed earnings and even lead to you losing your job. That is why we narrowed our search down to the most reliable models. The clocks that we picked keep time accurately and are easy to use. You won’t have any problem setting the alarm to go off at any specific time. 

Though we started with a list of more than 50 clocks, it didn’t take long for us to narrow that list down to less than half that amount. We looked at the reviews posted by shoppers who actually bought and used the top models and weeded out all clocks with an average rating of less than three stars on a scale of up to five stars.

All our testers checked those models in our facility to see whether any lost or picked up time over the course of a new days. They also tested those models in terms of loudness and brightness to see which ones would help them wake up. You can see the top five we felt worthy of being the best around.

Selection Criteria

Best Alarm Clock

The best alarm clock we found that is suitable for most sleepers and users is the Wake-Up Light and Alarm Clock from Philips. This is one of the more affordable options for those who want to drift off to sleep and wake up naturally because it uses a brightness feature that changes over time. It starts off bright and slowly dims as you lay down and fall asleep. Instead of waking you up abruptly the next morning, its brightness slowly changes to help you wake up as if you woke to the sun shining through your window. Research indicates that this will help you get the sleep that you need and wake up properly. You can also choose between five different sounds that mimic the nature that you would hear before the sunrise too.

With 10 brightness settings, you can use this alarm clock as a bedside light too. It functions well as a reading lamp when you tun off all other lights in the room. Philips also added an FM radio to this alarm clock. You can easily adjust the band to choose your favorite radio station. With one tap, you can set the alarm to snooze too.

Expert Tip

Light and sunlight alarm clocks also function as light therapy.

Best for Elderly

One of the top alarm clocks for patients diagnosed with dementia is the Day Clock from American Lifetime, but we also recommend this clock for anyone of an advanced age. As you age, your brain naturally changes, and you may find that you have a hard time following a set schedule or remembering to do certain things daily. This clock functions as an alarm clock, but it also comes with a total of five alarm features. You can set reminders to remember when you should take any pills and reminders about daily activities and tasks that you need to do.

Another reason this is such a good option for the elderly is because of its large size. Even if you have problems with your vision, the face on this clock is large enough and bright enough for you to see the time from anywhere in your bedroom. This model does more than just tell you the time because it also shows you the current day of the week and the exact date. It also has a backup battery that helps you keep track of the time, even if you suffer a power failure.

Expert Tip

If you have larger hands and fingers, check the size of the buttons on the clock to make sure your can press those buttons.

Best for Travelers

Whether you need to travel for work or love traveling for fun, you probably hate moving across time zones because it takes some time until your body adjusts. The Atomic Travel Alarm Clock from Marathon is our top choice for travelers for a few different reasons. This is one of the only travel models on the market that lets you set the time in six different North American time zones. It also gives you five different language settings that let you select the language you want to use based on where you travel. This clock comes set to the English language, but you can press a few buttons to use Italian, Spanish and other common languages.

Travelers will also like how easily they can set up this clock. It features a small band that folds flat for keeping the clock in your bag, but you can fold that band down to keep the clock in an upright position next to your bed. One look at the face will show you the correct time, date and day of the week, and it will even show you the current temperature in the room. Backlighting also helps you see the face in any amount of light.

Expert Tip

Atomic clocks are good for travelers because these products do not need any type of battery or power source to run.

Analog vs. Digital Clocks

One important thing to consider as you look at alarm clocks for your home is whether a digital or analog option is best for you. Analog clocks are fairly basis and have an old-fashioned looking face on the front. This face features numbers and ticks that represent other numbers with both an hour hand and a minute hand that moves around the clock in a circular fashion. Analog clocks typically have just one alarm setting. This setting comes on at the time that you set the night before. Most let you set the alarm once and use that alarm all week long.

analog
Analog
Analog vs. Digital Clocks-1
Digital

Many people now prefer digital alarm clocks because these models come with more features. Many come with a built-in radio that you can tune to any FM station. You can wake to the sound of an alarm or the sound of music, and you can listen to music as you fall asleep. The bright faces found on these clocks make it easier for you to see the time, whether you wake up before the alarm goes off or later. You’ll also have a snooze button that you can press to get a few more minutes of sleep.

Alarm Clocks for Kids

While you may feel fine after sleeping just three hours of sleep, adults need between five and nine hours of sleep every night. Kids need at least seven hours of sleep, and teenagers may need even more. As a parent of older or younger kids, you can look for alarm clocks that help your children keep track of the time and to get them out of bed in the morning. 

Alarm clocks for kids and teens can include different features. Those designed for younger children often feature popular cartoon characters and bright colors. You might get your little girl a Hello Kitty alarm clock that has a 3D figure of the character on the top and shades of pink around the sides. 

Clocks for older kids and teens let them hook up their smartphones and listen to music before they go to sleep. Some of these clocks even have USB ports that will help them charge their devices as they sleep.

Did You Know?

Children between the ages of six and 13 may need as much as 12 hours of sleep nightly.

Other Types of Alarm Clocks

To find an alarm clock that you love and one that will actually get you up, you need the right type for you. In addition to analog and digital clocks, you’ll find some other types that include:

  • Moving clocks: Moving clocks are new alarm clocks that start moving as soon as the alarm goes off. You will need to get up and out of your bed to find the alarm clock and press a button to turn it off. Some have an alarm that will get longer the longer that you let the alarm run.
  • Vibrating clocks: Vibrating alarm clocks are a good choice for those who are hard of hearing. Instead of just sounding an alarm, these clocks will also produce vibrations that shake your bedside table. Some vibrating clocks also feature a clock face that will flash too.
  • App Compatible clocks: You’ll also find some clocks that are compatible with apps you can download to your phone or a similar device. The app lets you turn on the alarm and adjust the volume of the alarm.

Expert Tip

If standard alarms do not wake you up, you may find that a moving alarm clock or one that vibrates and shakes is better for you.

Battery Options and Features

Traditional alarm clocks come with a standard plug that you can plug right into a power strip or outlet near your bed. It’s often helpful to pick a clock that will also run on a battery. You never know when the power might go out because of an accident down the street or because a storm passed through while you were asleep. These clocks have a compartment on the bottom or on the back that you can pop off with your finger or a small screwdriver. Though some run on AA or AAA batteries, others use larger C or D batteries. 

You may want to consider one that acts like a battery charger for some of your electronic devices too. Some of the newer digital models have one or more USB ports on the front and sides. These ports allow you to plug in any device that uses a USB or micro USB cord. You can plug in your devices to read books, send text messages or surf the web before falling asleep and wake to find your device fully charged.

Expert Tip

Replace the standard batteries in your clock every three to six months.

Features to Consider in a New Alarm Clock

Though you may think that you only need to decide between an analog and a digital model, there are other factors to look at when picking an alarm clock. We hope that you read through the following sections and use that information as you compare clocks.

Alarm Options

While some people find that a loud buzzer causes them to wake up instantly, others prefer a quieter alarm. As you compare clocks, look at all the options available in regards to the alarm itself. Some have a buzzer that uses the same volume from the moment you wake to the moment you hit a button on the clock to turn off the alarm. Others have a buzzer that starts out at a low volume and slowly increases until you turn it off. You’ll also find clocks that let you turn on the radio and wake to the sound of music instead. Other clocks will turn on the music and sound a buzzer. 

Volume Control

Volume control is especially important for shoppers who share a bedroom with someone else. When both you and your partner or spouse need to use the same alarm clock, you can use the volume control to change the settings for both alarms. One person can use a louder alarm, while the other can use a softer alarm. The volume control may apply solely to the alarm, only to the radio or to each one. Many of the newer clocks have one knob that adjusts the sound of the alarm and a second knob to adjust the volume of the radio. You should see writing along the bottom that tells you what each knob controls.

Docking Station

If you use your smartphone in bed every night, you might benefit from an alarm clock that also functions as a docking station. A docking station is a small device that allows you to put your phone directly on the top to charge your phone. These stations often have a small alarm clock on the bottom with a bright digital face that uses red or white numbers against a black background. The docking station will replace the charger that you typically use in your room. You can find models designed for use with an iPhone and with Android phones from Samsung and other manufacturers.

Display Brightness

Some shoppers assume that alarm clocks with a brighter display are better than those with a softer display. The truth is that it depends on how you sleep. If you’re the type of person who wakes as soon as the sunlight peeks through your curtains or when someone turns on the hallway light, you’ll prefer a clock with a softer display. Those who have no problem falling asleep and staying asleep with lots of light outside can use one with a brighter display. Clocks with different brightness settings are best for many types of sleepers. You can use a knob or button to shuffle through each brightness setting to pick the one that is best for you.

Snooze Features

Checking the snooze features lets you see how long the snooze lasts. The snooze feature essentially acts like a delay that turns your alarm off for a brief period of time. Many clocks will snooze the alarm for between five and seven minutes after you hit the button, but others may snooze the alarm for nine or more than 10 minutes. Some companies make clocks with an adjustable snooze setting that lets you select how long you want this delay to last. You’ll also want to check out how many times you can snooze the alarm. There are alarm clocks that will only let you hit the snooze button three times before the alarm shuts off permanently. Others will let you press the snooze button multiple times but the alarm will then keep sounding until you shut it off.

Sleep Timer

Have you ever fallen asleep to the radio playing and woke in the middle of the night because the music interfered with your sleep or found a way into your dreams? With clocks that come with a sleep timer, you can now tell the clock exactly how long to play the music. These clocks have a built-in timer that works with the radio. You can set a timer for an hour or several hours before drifting away. Once the timer finishes counting down, it will automatically shut off the radio. You may find clocks that allow you to set a timer to music you listen to on your phone too.

Expert Tip

If you choose a clock with a radio that uses a digital signal, you may find that other electronics in your home interfere with that signal. Moving the clock to a new location or removing other electronics from the room can help.

Benefits of Alarm Clocks

Smartphones now come with built-in apps that let you set daily reminders and alarms. Though you may think that you no longer need a standalone alarm clock, there are some benefits to having one in your bedroom.

  • You can set an alarm to the volume that you need to get up and motivated every day.
  • Most alarm clocks come with some type of built-in battery supply that will work, even if your cell phone dies.
  • You can disconnect from technology at night, which some studies found will help you fall asleep faster and sleep throughout the night.

Expert Tip

If you just can’t put down your phone before going to bed, look for an alarm clock that is compatible with the manufacturer of your phone and its operating system.

How Much Does an Alarm Clock Cost?

Though you can spend thousands of dollars and even hundreds of dollars on an alarm clock, you can get a good clock for less than $100. The Philips Wake-Up Light and Alarm Clock is the most expensive one on our list, and it retails for $140, though you can often find it priced less. Other clocks that use a similar light feature retail for between $300 and $500. You can pick up the CubieBlue for around $75 and use Bluetooth to hook up your phone or music player to the clock.

With the American Lifetime Day Clock, you’ll never again forget to take your medication or sleep longer than you intended. This larger clock costs around $50. The other clocks that made our list sell for less than $50. Though you will find some more expensive clocks, we recommend looking at the features we listed to find out what features you want in a clock. That will help you decide how much you need to spend too.

Expert Tip

If you frequently suffer from power failures, look for clocks that work with a backup battery supply.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: A sleep cycle clock is a clock specifically designed to help you follow a set sleep cycle. Many of these models use artificial light that acts like sunlight. Your brain will draw a connection between the dimming light and the sleepiness that feel. You’ll eventually find yourself falling asleep and waking up at the same time every day.

A: Emergency clocks feature a crank mechanism that you turn, which provides power to an internal battery. These clocks help you keep track of emergency situations like bad weather moving through your town. Many have a built-in radio and will also function as an alarm clock.

A: Many digital clocks come with a backlit display that uses extra lighting built inside that increases the brightness of the numbers across the front. Backlighting features help you see those numbers easier when it is darker or brighter in the room. Some clocks have a button on the side that you can press with one finger to turn this feature on and off as needed.

Related Reviews

We have access to thousands of products, and have meticulously and personally hand selected the very best for you to check out.

Your reliable and trusted

Resource of Honest Product Reviews

Let Honest Product Reviews be the place where you can scan through the
best products tips, comparisons and reviews.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

With Honest Product Reviews, you are in safe hands on choosing and using the best products in the market!

COPYRIGHT © · 2018 · Honest Product Reviews · All Rights Reserved

Get exclusive content, advice and
tips from Honest Product Reviews delivered to your inbox!