The Best Sound Machines for Sleep

The level of sound in your bedroom can mean the difference between staying awake or sleeping soundly. Sound machines can be used to mask sounds that would otherwise disturb sleep or to provide a soothing ambiance, making it easier to fall asleep.

The level of noise in inner city areas has been shown to have a marked effect on people’s sleep. The World Health Organization has recently recognized environmental noise as harmful pollution that can have adverse psychological and physiological effects on health.

It’s not just traffic or noisy neighbours that can keep us awake. Volume 56, Issue 7 of thorax, an international journal of respiratory medicine, reported that partners of those suffering from sleep apnea often report moderate to server sleep disturbance, and cases of sleep apnea is on the rise.

You can also use sound machines to create a relaxing ambiance to drift off to sleep. If you suffer from Tinnitus, adding a background noise to your bedroom can help you fall asleep. For shift workers also, a background noise can help mask the sound of others if you need to sleep while other people are awake. Background noise is also useful to help reduce mental brain chatter and calm anxiety.

On this page you’ll find my hand picked favorite sound therapy devices, from feature packed sound machines to super comfortable earphones.

Dohm White Noise Machine

Dohm White Noise Machine

This device generates white noise, a similar sound to ceiling fan or air conditioning unit.
The whooshing sound of white noise is perfect for masking noises such as traffic, snoring, noisy neighbours, snoring or heaving breathing.

You can adjust the volume by choosing one of two speeds and you can vary the tone from low to high by twisting the device to get exactly the right sound.

You can hear what the white noise machine sounds like by skipping to the end of this YouTube video.

The sound is created by the machine itself so you don’t have the problems of tinny sound or obvious sound loops as you may find when using low quality digital recordings or sound equipment.

Price: $40.45 | Buy from Amazon

Ecotones Sound + Sleep Machine

The Ecotones Sound + Sleep is a premium feature packed sound machine containing 10 high quality naturally recorded sounds. The sounds included are:

  1. Waterfall
  2. Fireplace
  3. Ocean
  4. Meadow
  5. Train
  6. City
  7. Rainfall
  8. Sleep
  9. Meditation
  10. White Noise
  11. Ecotones Sound + Sleep Machine

You can find a preview of each of these sounds in the Amazon product description.

Other features of the Ecotones Sound + Sleep include:

  • A timer function that gradually fades out the sound over a 30, 60, 90, or 120 minute period.
  • Optional display lights so you can use the device in the dark without having to turn the light on.
  • Adjustable volume controls with an optional adaptive feature that increases or decreases the volume automatically to match the level of ambient noise detected.

There are also three richness settings that adds extra layers to each sound. So for example, if you choose the brook with no richness, you get a calm babbling brook. With richness added you also get the sounds of frogs and birds to enhance the realism. For sleep, you’ll probably want to turn the richness off, but it might be useful to add richness if your mind is full of thoughts, getting you to focus on the sounds instead.

Price: $81.04 | Buy from Amazon

Sleepsonic Pillow Speaker

Sleepsonic Pillow Speaker

This pillow contains two high quality speakers on either side, offering full digital stereo without the need for uncomfortable earphones. It’s perfect for listening to your own collection of self hypnosis, brainwave entrainment or other relaxing music that would usually require the use of earphones to receive the full immersive stereo sound.

The Sleepsonic Pillow features a gold plated standard 3.5mm headphone jack that can be plugged into any device that you can use with regular earphones, such as MP3s, radios, TVs and computers. The cable is 2.5ft long but also comes with a 9ft extension cable to reach any far away audio devices.

Like with regular headphones, because the speakers are targeted close to your ears it can be used without disturbing your partner or anyone else sleeping in the same room.

The pillow is small enough to take while travelling. It’s is best used resting on top of your existing pillows, adjusted to a height that provides your head and neck with the correct level of support.

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SleepPhonesAs anyone who has tried to sleep while listening to music through earphones knows, unless you’re able keep very still lying on your back for the whole night, earphones are very uncomfortable to sleep in. They dig into your ears when you lay on your side and the cable often gets twisted, wrapping itself around you as you move.

SleepPhones aim to change that. These earphones are specially designed to be used while falling asleep, providing the most comfortable earphones to use while in bed.

They consist of a soft band that goes around your head, containing two speakers for stereo sound. The speakers are thin and flat so you can sleep on your side without any discomfort, and the cord is safely tucked away at the back so no matter how much you move around in your sleep, you won’t find it wrapped around your neck in the morning.

You won’t get the same rich sound you would from dedicated pillow speakers, but for a standard set of earphones that are comfortable enough to wear all night long, SleepPhones tick all the right boxes.

Price: $37.54 | Buy from Amazon