The best alarm clocks
23 May 2019
Whether you struggle to roll out of bed in time for work or you're regularly roused at the crack of dawn by demands for cereal and CBeebies, Mumsnetters are on hand to help you start your day right. Read on for our round-up of the alarm clocks that will stop your toddlers waking you up at 5am, get even the most reluctant teen out of bed, and help you wake up with a smile (or at least not severely grumpy)
Things to consider before buying an alarm clock
It’s your choice whether you prefer digital or old-school analogue. Think about which clock face works best for you and whether you want that face to be visible in the dark or whether an illuminated face will keep you awake.
We’re all sensitive to certain sounds and some rouse us more effectively – or less pleasantly – than others. Think about how you want to wake up and whether that’s to the sound of an alarm, your morning playlist, or the dulcet tones of the Today programme.
If you tend to hit the snooze button each morning, you may want an alarm clock that lets you manually select how long you snooze for. Remember, any longer than 10 minutes will put you at risk of falling back into a deep sleep and you'll have to go through the ordeal of waking up all over again.
What are the best alarm clocks for adults?
Pure Siesta Rise DAB+ Alarm Clock, £64.95
If you’re a fan of digital faces and you're looking for an alarm clock that does it all, this one's for you. The Pure Siesta Rise is a radio alarm clock that receives both DAB and FM, with the added benefit of letting you store up to 20 presets so you can wake up to whichever radio station you desire. You can also set up to three separate alarms and pick different times for weekdays and weekends, so you don't need to worry about your work alarm going off and ruining a precious lie-in.
The display itself is clear and easy to read; it adjusts automatically to the light of the room, making it perfect for light-sleepers or those of us who struggle to get to sleep in anything less than total darkness. It even comes with a USB socket so you can charge your phone overnight, a headphones output for listening to the radio without disturbing the rest of the house, and five stylish colours to choose from so it doesn’t clash with your bedroom colour scheme.
“Mine's great – bought it specifically for its lack of brightness, as I was doing lots of night-time breastfeeding at the time and didn't want to have the Blackpool Illuminations for company.”
“We have a DAB clock radio, which you can set to three different brightness settings – bright, not bright, and really faint. We put it on the last setting, which means that it gives off almost no light; my other half can see it (just) because it’s on his side of the bed, but I can't see it at all without getting out of bed, walking to his side, and squinting at it.”
“We have this – not cheap but it’s fab… When you touch the handle at night the display lights up to a soft blue which you can read easily, and then it fades out. It’s also a radio alarm clock and you can set it to weekday and weekend functions and different stations. If you touch the handle when it goes off, it snoozes for ten mins.”Buy it now from Amazon
Oregon Scientific Classic Projection Alarm Clock, £29.99
Mumsnetters swear by this Oregon alarm clock because it projects the time onto walls and ceilings – that’s right, no more squinting or switching on the light. When you want to know the time, just tap the little button on top to activate the projection, but it isn't always-on so you don’t have to worry about it keeping you up all night.
Opting for a scientific alarm clock also comes with other benefits. Never again will you have to manually update the clock to daylight savings time. It sets the time and date from the atomic clock so it will always be accurate. The projection arm itself can be rotated so you can project the time wherever is convenient for you. This model comes in classic silver and black and has two alarm functions.
“I've had two of these now. Brilliant! The battery lasts for ages, you can set two alarms, and it gets louder and louder. I love mine and will buy the same again when it dies.”
“I personally love our Oregon one. It's the one that projects the time onto the ceiling, and whenever I'm away from home, I miss being able to look up easily to see the time!”Buy it now from Argos
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Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock, from £108
Another firm favourite among Mumsnetters is this Philips Wake-Up digital alarm clock. It's a 'sunrise alarm clock' which means that, according to Philips, it’s clinically proven to help ease you into waking up with a special light that recreates a natural sunrise. It also comes with five nature-inspired sounds to make waking up a more enjoyable and uplifting experience.
As far as bedtime is concerned, you’ll be pleased to know that Philips have also included a sunset function, with light and sound gradually decreasing as you drift into a cosy slumber. If you have trouble sleeping or need a little more time to come to life in the morning, this clock is well worth the investment.
“We have a Philips clock by my son’s bed – the one where the light comes on gradually in the lead up to the alarm going off. He also has dyspraxia and an analogue clock is still mostly a mystery (he can read digital time though). It was also good for training because he wasn't allowed out of bed until the light was on.”Buy it now from Amazon
Lumie Sunrise Wake-up Alarm Clock, £29.99 (was £39.99)
The Lumie Sunrise Wake-Up clock is a budget-friendly sunrise alarm clock alternative to the Philips version above. It too uses light therapy to gradually coax you out of sleep and into the new day, starting 30 minutes before your alarm goes off.
With 10 different brightness levels and six other colourful lighting options, the Lumie covers all tastes and moods. You also get a three-year warranty, a choice of five wake-up sounds, and the added benefit of knowing you’ll have more energy in the morning. Dimensions: 18 × 17 × 9cm.
“Get the Lumie alarm clock – it has a “daylight” bulb, which gradually brightens up for about 20 minutes. Then, when it's on full, it beeps to wake you up. It simulates the way humans are evolved to wake up (with the dawn).”
“It really helps us get out of bed, once the alarm actually goes off, we find that we’re ready to wake up.”
“I have the one with the sleep and wake cycle – it’s fab and comes out every year when the clocks change. I wake up more easily and am much calmer when I have it.”
“I've had one for years. Couldn't be without one now. In winter it makes a huge difference – just waking up gently as the light gets brighter (no more being shocked awake by an alarm)! I like the radio option, but you can also have waves, frogs, birds etc.”Buy it now from Amazon
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What are the best alarm clocks for kids?
The Gro Company Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer, £19.99
Toddlers and sleep don't
ever always go hand in hand. Getting them to bed isn't easy and getting them to stay there past 5am can be even more of a struggle. That’s where the Gro-Clock Sleep Trainer comes in handy. During the night, the clock face will glow blue and display stars. One by one each star will go out, counting down until morning. When the face glows yellow and displays the sun, it’s time to get up.
Ideal for young children from about two years old and above, Mumsnetters say it’s effective in helping them understand when it’s sleep time and when it’s time to wake the rest of the house. Powered by the mains, this alarm clock also comes with a bedtime story, a key-lock, adjustable screen brightness, and an optional audible alarm.
“We have one and it works really well, although we did start using it before she went into a bed. Initially, when she was in her cot, she used to wake up and call us even when it showed ‘night-time’ but we kept telling her she had to wait for Mr Sunshine and eventually she got the hang of it.”
“We got our son one at around 2.6 years. He's now nearly four and it still holds its magic. Best £20 I ever spent! He went from getting up at 6am to getting up at 7am without a single issue (I did it in 10-minute increments over a couple of weeks).”
“We got one for daughter aged 2.3 years and, three months later, it has transformed our mornings! She comes in and says, “The sun has come up on my clock,” just after 7am which is a vast improvement from 5am.”Buy it now from Amazon
Mirari Teach Me Time! Talking Alarm Clock & Night-Light, £34.95
Educational and fun in equal measures, if you’re looking for an alarm clock that will help your child tell the time, try this Mirari model. Mumsnetters like it because it features a talking time-teaching game that helps school-aged children tell the time on both analogue and digital clocks. It also comes with a nightlight, three colourful interchangeable face plates, and can be operated via battery or hooked up to the mains.
It's designed to make the process of telling the time more manageable by being interactive, visual and practical. It adopts the learn-by-doing method and helps break down anxiety barriers and encourages questions.
“We've had one for three years now and it's still going strong”.Buy it now from Amazon
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Lego DC Comics Superman Clock, £20
Know any Lego fans? If so, you would be hard pushed to find a better gift than this Lego DC Comics Superman Minifigure alarm clock. If Superman isn’t the ‘one’, you could try Batman, The Joker, Yoda, Darth Vader, Ninjago and many more – there are plenty to choose from.
This Superman model stands at 24 cm tall, has moveable arms and legs, comes with a two-year warranty and lights up when you press his head. It comes with your standard alarm and snooze functions and is designed for ages six and above.
“My son loves his Lego Ninjago Minifigure alarm clock. It's battery operated but the battery has been in for a year without running out. He's not once overslept since getting it!”Buy it now from Amazon
Geemarc Sonic Bomb Extra Loud Alarm Clock, £39.64
If you’ve ever had a hard time waking up your teenager (hollow laugh), buy them this. According to Mumsnetters, it’s impossible not to wake up once this Sonic Bomb Extra Loud alarm clock goes off. Some may think it extreme, but if you know someone who can sleep through anything, it could well be a godsend.
One of the reasons it's one of the best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers is because it comes with a shaker pad. This goes under the pillow or mattress and, you guessed it, when the alarm goes off, the pad vibrates until you wake up. The duration of the alarm can last between one and 59 minutes with a snooze function of up to 30 minutes. You have four alarm options to choose from and can programme two individual alarms.
“Sonic Bomb alarm clock from Amazon is ridiculously loud – like a fire alarm.”
“I recommend the Sonic Bomb. That's actually what it's called. It has a vibrating pad you put under the mattress. It works reasonably well with my literally dead to the world 15-year-old son. Extremely loud!”Buy it now from Amazon
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