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Best alarm clocks: wake-up calls for any type of sleeper

Getting up for work, a gym class or the school run is one of life’s challenges, especially on dark winter mornings. Snuggling back down under the duvet feels so tempting, but responsibilities await. Here are the best alarm clocks to buy to ensure successful mornings this year.

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Jan 19, 2022

A woman waking up in bed

Whether you’re an early riser or love a long, lazy lie-in, most of us need an alarm clock to make sure we’re up and about at a specific time. There’s so many out there, so how do you know which one to choose? Luckily for you, we’ve spent hours researching the very best alarm clocks – including those tried and tested by real Mumsnet users.

While many will rely on phone alarms, it’s suggested that you don’t bring your phone to bed as it can have a negative impact on your slumber.  Owning a good quality and effective alarm clock means you can leave your smartphone downstairs and enjoy a better night's sleep.

If you’re a heavy sleeper or a snoozer, we have alarm clocks that shock you awake and straight out of bed. On the other hand, if a quiet, chilled routine is more your style, SAD alarms rouse you gently with warm light and music. Whatever kind of sleeper you are, we've assessed the top alarm clocks available on the market, evaluated the customer reviews to make sure they're up to task, and checked the makes and models loved by our trusted forum users.

Here are the best alarm clocks to buy in 2022. 

1. Best overall alarm clock: Echo Dot Smart Speaker with Clock and Alexa

Echo Dot with clock

Price: £39.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have two Echo Dots with clocks in our bedroom for alarm purposes, plus I’ve paired them both up for stereo sound.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user CarnageAtTheGardenCentre)

The Echo Dot is a multi-functional alarm clock that will wake you up with personalised settings, such as the voice of your favourite celebrity, and then the rest of its features will help to make the day easier and more fun. 

The LED time display is bright enough to read without keeping you awake at night. All functions can be managed with voice control which is helpful when asking about the day’s weather or changing to a more upbeat song. 

Smart functions on other devices in the home can be controlled with the Dot too so you can let the whole family know that dinner is ready with a single call. With the right system in place, you can also control the lights or adjust the heating – perfect if you're wanting an extra lazy lie-in. 

Pros 

  • Privacy settings on the microphone
  • Multi-functional
  • Crisp high-quality sound

Cons

  • Children may be tempted to chatter with Alex rather than sleep

2. Best budget alarm clock: Owill Simple Alarm Clock

OWill alarm clock

Price: £6.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“You just need one of these, set somewhere he has to get out of bed to turn off.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user tabularasa)

We adored the traditional look of the Owill Simple Alarm Clock. The classic design, black numbers on a white background, is easy to read. It will also suit most room styles and won't take up much room on the bedside table. Considering this clock's small price tag, the build quality is excellent too.  

Until the alarm rings, this alarm clock is silent so that you can place it right next to the bed or in a workspace. Then, when it's time to get up, the alarm is loud enough to rouse heavy sleepers. Be warned though, while its shrill sound is highly effective in waking you from your slumber, if you want to be woken gently, a sunrise alarm clock would be a better option.

Pros 

  • No ticking hands to disturb sleep
  • Timeless design
  • Has a backlight for reading the time at night 
  • No need to plug in

Cons

  • No snooze button
  • You will need to buy batteries for it

3. Best smart alarm clock: Echo Show 8

Echo Show 8

Price: £84.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I have one of the little Alexa ones that show the time. Really easy to set an alarm and obviously you can listen to the radio.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user mumonthehill)

The Echo Show is a fantastic device that combines a state-of-the-art alarm clock with multimedia functions such as music, news and weather and smart technology. It can even turn down the heating in the evening then wake you up with your favourite song or radio station. 

You can also use this impressive device during the day to make video calls, compile shopping lists, stream music and watch TV.

The alarm functions can be set manually or quickly and easily via voice control. We loved the sunrise effect light too. It wakes you gradually with a slowly brightening warm glow in the hour before your alarm goes off. 

Pros 

  • You can set the alarm with voice control
  • Alarm volume gradually increases
  • Multi-tasking device 

Cons

  • You’ll use it all day so may forget to bring it to bed with you
  • Not ideal if you want a screen detox
  • Pricey

4. Best bedside radio alarm clock: SANDSTROM S-DBTW18 Bedside Radio Alarm Clock

Sandstrom radio

Price: £69.99 | Buy now from Currys

“I have the Sandstrom S-DBTW18 from Currys and I love it. It raises the volume for the alarm steadily so it's not too abrupt.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user JesskerM)

The S-DBTW18 DAB+FM Bluetooth Clock Radio is an attractive radio alarm clock with retro styling. It has both a DAB+ tuner and FM, which extends the range of radio stations you can listen to and improves the sound quality. 

The preset stations are easy to add and change, and all functions are simple to navigate. If you prefer, the Sandstrom has Bluetooth technology which means that you can listen to music on your phone in the morning or the latest podcast in the evening. This feature also means there are no irritating wires to get in the way.

We loved the dual alarm, which means it will wake two people successfully at different times without resetting it. In addition, the snooze button has timer options of up to 30 minutes and is easy to switch on and off. 

Pros

  • USB port for phone charging
  • Portable 
  • 20 easy to manage preset radio stations

Cons

  • Takes up lots of room on the bedside table

5. Best DAB radio alarm clock: Pure Evoke H6 DAB Radio Alarm Clock

Pure Evoke DAB Radio

Price: £149 | Buy now from Amazon

“I use a Pure DAB radio with a snooze handle. It goes off at 5:25am tuned to Vanessa Feltz. Love it as it starts quietly and gets louder. Snooze handle is deployed if the music is too cheesy to cope with at 5:25am.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user LifeOfBox)

The stylish Pure Evoke H6 is an excellent quality DAB radio that operates as a precise alarm and small digital clock. It’s expensive in comparison to other alarm clocks, but if you’re also using it as a radio or powerful 10-volt Bluetooth speaker throughout the day, the crisp and clear sound makes it worth it. 

We were delighted with the snooze handle. It makes the radio easy to carry from room to room while providing a large, touch-sensitive area to switch the snooze button on and off. 

The large digital screen is clear to read without disturbing sleep when placed on a bedside table. Navigation through all the functions, including two alarm options, is fairly simple to achieve, although one reviewer did find it difficult to adjust the bass. 

Pros 

  • Mains operated, but you can get a rechargeable battery that gives around 30 hours of playback
  • Attractive design 
  • Superb sound quality 
  • Three year warranty

Cons

  • Only two alarm sound options 
  • Expensive

6. Best portable alarm clock: Pure Siesta Rise DAB USB Charging Alarm Clock

Siesta Rise

Price: £114.99 | Buy now from Argos

“Depending on your budget, the Pure Siesta Rise is good.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user LottaHogs)

The massive screen on the Pure Siesta Rise is our favourite feature, yet the auto-dimming functions mean that the brightness won’t disturb your sleep. 

It also has a USB power port so that you can charge your phone, tablet or laptop from it. The portability of the Pure Siesta Rise is excellent too. It's lightweight and compact, making it ideal for transporting from room to room or even taking away on a family holiday.

This digital alarm clock looks sleek and modern, and the matte colour would suit most rooms. We also like that you can set three alarms to suit different working hours or weekend mornings.

Your wake-up call will be either a traditional tone or your preferred DAB radio station, and there are 20 preset options. Some reviewers did comment that it's not the most intuitive to use though, so do make sure you read up on all the instructions.

Pros 

  • Three years warranty 
  • Ready for future changes in DAB radio - Digital Tick Approved
  • USB port for phone charging

Cons

  • Expensive 
  • Some users found it tricky to use

7. Best sunrise alarm clock: Lumie Sunrise Alarm Clock

Lumie sunrise lamp

Price: £33.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“I was given a voucher recently and invested in a Lumie Wake-Up/Sleep Light. I've been using it this week as I'm back at work and it's made a huge difference to how I feel in the morning. Instead of hitting snooze nine times, and dragging myself up I find I'm really alert and have often been awake before the alarm goes off (unheard of!).” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Throughabushbackwards)

 The Lumie Sunrise Alarm Clock is the ideal choice for people who prefer to be woken gently. Each morning you’ll be roused by the gradual brightening of light, just like a sunrise. 

Choose from soothing noises such as birdsong or purring cats in addition to music and classic tones. There is also a sunset mode, with six colour options, to ease you into slumber in the evening. 

The touch buttons on the Lumie make it very easy to set, and there is a handy snooze function that will provide five more minutes of peace. The warm light has three brightness settings, and the attractive circular shape will look lovely in all room styles. 

Pros

  • Great value 
  • Perfect size and shape for a bedside table 
  • Ideal for sufferers of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) 

Cons

  • Some reviewers find the low brightness setting still disturbs sleep

8. Best weather station alarm clock: Kalawen Weather Station and Alarm Clock

Weather Station alarm clock

Price: £42.99 | Buy now from Amazon

 The Kalewan Weather Station Alarm Clock monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity, then displays the weather forecast on a colourful panel design. 

With both 12 and 24-hour options, the alarm clock is easy to set, and there’s a calendar too. The snooze button is on top of the unit and easy to access. However, it’s possible to wall-mount the clock so, if you are guilty of hitting snooze too many times, you’ll be forced to get out of bed to switch it off. 

Phones and tablets can be charged overnight in the USB port at the back of the clock. We were also impressed with the two options for power. With an AA battery, the screen switches off after 10 seconds, and with an AC adaptor, it stays on but can be dimmed so it won’t disturb your sleep.

Pros 

  • Would make a great gift
  • Fun design

Cons

  • The clock display is quite small

9. Best vibrating alarm clock for heavy sleepers: Sonic Bomb Extra Loud Alarm Clock With Bed Shaker

Sonic Boom alarm clock

Price: £39.49 | Buy now from Amazon

The Sonic Bomb Extra Loud Alarm Clock will wake even the deepest of sleepers; it’s also a fantastic option for people with hearing problems. The combination of bright flashing lights, booming noise and an under mattress bed shaker means you will never oversleep again. 

If the 113 DB buzzer is too intense for you, the Sonic Bomb’s volume can be adjusted, and there’s also a choice of tones and either the 12 or 24-hour clock. All controls and settings are easy to use too. 

We liked that you can opt for a buzzer or vibrate-only mode and the battery backup means a power cut in the night won’t make you late for work or the school run. 

Pros 

  • Excellent for deep sleepers, snoozers and teenagers
  • Vibrations with low volume is a great combination for co-sleepers
  • Dimmable clock display 

Cons

  • The alarm off button is too small
  • Not ideal if you want to be woken up gently!

10. Best kids' alarm clock: Proking Alarm Clock For Kids

Proking alarm clock

Price: £19.99 | Buy now from Amazon 

This fun and colourful kids alarm clock has lots of fantastic features to ensure peaceful nights and pleasant mornings. It’s a wake-up clock that tells kids it’s too early and to go back to sleep, a night light and a sunrise/sunset simulator. 

The Proking Alarm Clock for Kids is fully customisable to suit your little one. The night light has seven soothing colour options and switches off after an hour but can also be switched on and off with a large, easily accessible button. There’s also a choice of six ringtones and five volume levels. 

We loved the snooze function, and your kids will do too. They can pick it up and shake it to enjoy three lots of five minutes of extra sleep. 

Pros 

  • Can be charged via USB 
  • Portable 
  • Cute design

Cons

  • The instruction booklet is difficult to understand

11. Best stylish alarm clock: Gingko Alarm Clock And Bedside Light

Gingko alarm clock

Price: £45 | Buy now from Amazon

We love the tilted shape of this clock which means the display can be bright enough to see in a very dark room without disturbing your sleep. It also has a rechargeable battery so there are no ugly wires on display. 

This neat clock comes in a stylish dove grey or soft pink to suit lots of bedroom colour themes, and its sleek shape will make a welcome, modern addition to your bedside table. One reviewer even used it as a low light for reading at night. 

Its smart design features a shake snooze function and the alarm stops when you flip it over, much easier than fishing around for a button in the dark (and much more amusing too, we think) for both adults and kids. Users loved this function, which sets it apart as a fun yet functional choice. 

Pros 

  • Portable 
  • Rechargeable 
  • The angled digital display won’t shine in your face and disturb sleep
  • Dual alarm

Cons

  • Small screen 

How to choose the best alarm clock for you 

Here are a few tips for choosing the right alarm clock for you and your family:

  • Mains or battery?: If your new alarm clock will stay on your bedside table, then a model that will plug into the mains is the most straightforward idea. Alternatively, if you’re planning to take it with you from room to room, check out the battery-powered or rechargeable options. Battery backup is also handy if a power cut switches your alarm off. 
  • Music: If the voices and music of your favourite radio station or a cheerful playlist would be your perfect way to wake up, then choose a radio alarm clock or one that can connect to your own devices by Bluetooth. If you prefer to be awoken with a more traditional alarm sound, it's probably not worth paying for the extra bells and whistles of a radio alarm unless you'll be using the radio anyway during the day. 
  • Display: LCD and LED clock displays can be seen in the dark, but make sure they are dimmable, so the bright light doesn’t keep you awake. A traditional alarm clock will always look chic too. They are harder to see in a dim room but often have a button to illuminate the face. 
  • Smart tech: Many smart speakers and smart home controls either feature alarm clocks or can be connected to them. Connect your tech, and you’ll be able to use voice control to switch playlists, turn on your heating and check the weekend weather from your bed. 
  • SAD tech: Sunrise and sunset lights are an excellent idea for people who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder or who despise being shocked awake by a sudden loud noise. Sunlight is mimicked by the clock and will slowly glow brighter in the hour or so before you wake up and steadily dim in the evening. This type of alarm clock is also suitable for young children. They’ll be ready to go the moment you open the bedroom door in the morning. 

What's the best alarm clock?

We were thrilled by the number of useful, quirky and fun features on the Echo Dot. It's great value, simple to operate and connecting to devices and smart technology is super easy. As an alarm clock, it’s everything you need, for the rest of the day it will make your life easier. From Alexa talking you through a recipe for dinner to setting the heating in the kids’ rooms. 

How we chose our recommendations

We focused on the practicality, accuracy and design of each of the alarm clocks we have recommended to ensure that they provide you with a precise but pleasant way to wake up in the morning.  

We researched advice from independent sleep experts plus best buy lists for the home for trusted opinions on the best products. In addition, we checked out the suggestions made by our trusted Mumsnetters to ensure that we were bringing you the alarm clocks that real people like you love and use every day. With our list of top choices, we then analysed authentic customer reviewers in detail, noting the features users loved and loathed. 

Then we refined our list, making sure we brought you the most useful products to help kickstart your morning routine.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in that time, we've seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

We strive to provide honest and independent advice you can trust, and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find amazing products that real parents love.

Transparency is vital to us, and that's why we're always honest about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their friends and family.