10 best white noise machines for babies

19 February 2021

toddler sleeping with dreamegg white noise machine

If your baby is struggling to sleep well, a white noise machine could be the solution that works for you - and we’ve rounded up the 10 best white noise machines for babies to buy right now.

When you become a parent, you soon learn that, unfortunately, not all babies actually sleep ‘like a baby.’ Helping your baby sleep well can be one of the biggest struggles for a parent, and it’s an issue that can follow a baby through their toddler years and beyond.

Luckily, there are some tools that you can use to help improve your baby’s sleep. Many parents swear by white noise to help their babies sleep, and find that playing white noise in their baby’s bedroom can not only help their baby to fall asleep more quickly, but also to stay asleep more reliably throughout the night.

Sleep deprivation can have a real impact on a person’s physical and mental health, so it’s important for both you and your baby to sleep well. White noise can be an effective way to improve a baby’s sleep, as it can block out any distracting background noises, as well as serving as a helpful sleep cue.

There are various types of white noise machines on the market, from basic sound boxes to snuggly, noise-emitting comforters. We trawled through the web and the Mumsnet forums to find the best ones out there – and the results are in. Here are the 10 best white noise machines for babies.

1. Best overall white noise machine for babies: Dreamegg D11 White Noise Machine

“White noise is a lifesaver. Especially helped us during the fireworks. I got mine off Amazon and it's called Dreamegg – amazing. It sends us all off into a deep sleep!”

1. Best overall white noise machine for babies: Dreamegg D11 White Noise Machine

If you’re looking for a portable white noise machine that can be used both at home and on the go, the Dreamegg D11 is a really versatile option. Most of the time, it can be kept at home and clipped to your baby’s cot. There’s a child lock that prevents it from being accidentally turned off. Or you can grab it to use out and about, clipped onto the pushchair or your baby car seat.

The Dreamegg is a wireless white noise machine, so there are no hazardous cables to worry about. It’s not mains powered, but don’t worry – you won’t need to add batteries to your weekly shopping list as you can simply plug the machine in via a USB cable to recharge it during the day.

One of the best selling points of the Dreamegg white noise machine is the level of control you have over its features. There are 11 different sound options to choose from (including white noise, nature sounds, and lullabies), 32 different volume levels, and an adjustable night light. You can set the timer to play for 30, 60 or 90 minutes, or just leave it to play continuously. Whatever your baby needs, the Dreamegg can manage it.

Pros

  • 11 different sound options, including white noise, nature sounds, and lullabies
  • Small and portable – can clip onto cot, pushchair or car seat
  • Attractive design
  • Adjustable night light (which can be turned off if not needed)

Cons

  • Not mains-powered, so needs to be charged most days if used all night long

Specs

  • Type: Rechargeable (built-in battery)

2. Best budget white noise machine for babies: MyBaby SoundSpa White Noise Machine

2. Best budget white noise machine for babies: MyBaby SoundSpa White Noise Machine

The majority of white noise machines for babies seem to retail around the £25 to £35 mark, but the MyBaby SoundSpa costs just £14.99 – a considerable saving if you’re on a tight budget.

The lower price means that you don’t get quite as much control over this white noise machine as with other devices – there are only six different noises to choose from, for example, compared to the Dreamegg’s 11. However, once you find a noise you like, chances are you’ll only ever use that one, so this shouldn’t be an issue in practice.

The MyBaby white noise machine can be run from batteries if needed, but it can also be plugged into the mains (though the power adapter is sold separately). This means you can leave it running all night long, with no danger of the batteries running out, which could disturb your baby.

Overall, the MyBaby SoundSpa has all the basic functionality you need, with a much lower price tag than most of the other white noise machines we’ve seen.

Pros

  • Six sound options, including white noise and nature sounds
  • Choice of battery power or mains power
  • Looks neat and attractive

Cons

  • Fewer sound choices than some other machines (but still six options)
  • Mains power adapter must be purchased separately

Specs

  • Type: Battery-powered or mains-powered (with adapter)

3. Best white noise machine for newborns: Prince Lionheart Slumber Bear

“They're brilliant. We had a Lionheart bear that had a white noise thing in its tummy. It worked really well.”

3. Best white noise machine for newborns: Prince Lionheart Slumber Bear

Rather than playing artificial white noise, the Prince Lionheart Slumber Bear plays real sounds recorded from a mother’s womb shortly before giving birth. In theory, it’s the exact sound your newborn baby will be used to hearing, and therefore the sound that should help to soothe them most effectively.

The sound box is inserted into the tummy of a soft teddy bear. It can also be removed if you’d prefer to use the two separately. The sound box itself is very small and compact, so could easily be attached to a pushchair or car seat via its Velcro strap.

Just like Percy the Penguin, the Slumber Bear contains a cry sensor that will restart the noise when the baby begins to stir. The noise only plays for five minutes each time, but it will reactivate as many times as needed.

Pros

  • Separate small comfort blanket included
  • Sound box is removable, so can be used without the bear if needed
  • Plays real womb sounds
  • Cry sensor that automatically restarts the white noise if the baby stirs

Cons

  • Only one sound option
  • Only plays noise for five minutes at a time

Specs

  • Type: Battery-powered (four AAA)

4. Most popular white noise machine: Ewan the Dream Sheep

“We have Ewan and love it. DS still has the harp music on at bedtime and he’s 18 months. He’s had it since four months so it just knocks him out!”

4. Most popular white noise machine: Ewan the Dream Sheep

Ewan the Dream Sheep is perhaps one of the most well-known white noise machines for babies, with its cute and cuddly sheep design. Parents up and down the country swear by Ewan to send their baby off to sleep.

Its features are fairly basic, with just four different sounds to choose from (including white noise and lullaby music), which are each accompanied by the sound of a resting heartbeat.

There are two different volume modes, loud and quiet, and a soft pink night light in the sheep’s tummy, which is designed to mimic the pink glow of the womb. Each feature is activated by pressing on one of Ewan’s various limbs. Ewan can provide a great comfort for small babies – just remember it’s recommended to keep soft toys out of reach of the cot until the baby is 12 months old.

The main drawback of Ewan the Dream Sheep is that the white noise only plays for 20 minutes, with no option to play for longer (unless you manually restart the noise every 20 minutes), and no continuous play setting.

Some parents find that their baby settles quickly when Ewan is playing the white noise, but will stir again 20 minutes later when the noise stops. Ewan can be a lifesaver if your baby tends to sleep well once they’ve managed to drop off to sleep, but if you find your baby needs more support to sleep reliably throughout the night, you may find a white noise machine with a continuous setting is better for you.

Pros

  • Soft night light in the sheep’s tummy to mimic the womb
  • Each sound is accompanied by a real recording of a resting heartbeat, which can be comforting to a small baby

Cons

  • Only four sounds to choose from
  • No continuous white noise setting
  • No cry sensor, so once the timer runs out, it’s off unless you manually restart it
  • Gets through batteries quite quickly

Specs

  • Type: Battery-powered (three AA)

5. Best plug-in white noise machine: Avantek White Noise Machine

“It's too much of a pain to sacrifice your phone all the time, so you want a dedicated white noise machine, and this one is exceptional. Lots of different sounds / volumes / fantastic timer. Three kids in and it's by far the best baby thing I've bought – £30 well spent!”

5. Best plug-in white noise machine: Avantek White Noise Machine

If you’re not planning to take your white noise machine out and about, you may decide a mains-powered machine is your preferred option. This Avantek model is a plug-in white noise machine, meaning it’s powered by the mains, rather than using batteries. Once it’s in place, you won’t ever need to move it around, charge it up or change any batteries. Just one push of a button each night and it plays your chosen sound at your preferred volume.

The Avantek has 20 different sounds to choose from, which is considerably more than most of the other white noise machines on the market. Most people will only ever need to use one or two of these, but it’s nice to have others to choose from so that you can find a sound that really helps soothe your baby to sleep.

Since this white noise machine needs to be plugged into the mains, it does need to be kept out of reach of your baby’s cot (electrical wires and grabby babies don’t mix well!). However, the volume is easy to adjust, and even if the machine is on the other side of the room, it functions brilliantly to help a baby sleep.

Pros

  • Huge variety of sounds to choose from (20 sounds, including six white noises and eight nature sounds)
  • Neat and compact – easy to pack into an overnight bag or suitcase
  • Can play all night without it turning off
  • Timer can be set from one to seven hours, or can play continuously

Cons

  • No back-up battery in case of power cuts (but it will restart your white noise when the power comes back on)

Specs

  • Type: Mains-powered

6. Best white noise machine with Bluetooth connectivity: myHummy Mini

“You can control it via your phone and can set it to go for 10 minutes to several hours. It also detects if your baby wakes up and it starts up again. It was a lifesaver for us in the early months!”

6. Best white noise machine with Bluetooth connectivity: myHummy Mini

The myHummy Mini features a small ‘Humming Heart’ white noise machine, inserted into a cuddly bear and sealed up with a child-safe zip.

But rather than needing to take the machine out of the bear every time you want to turn it on, you can use the myHummy app. The machine is connected to the app via Bluetooth, and it allows you to adjust the sound and its volume remotely, without even being in the room.

For some people, this won’t be a feature they’ll use often. Once you’ve started the white noise, you might just want to leave it playing all night without making any changes. However, if you want to turn the volume down once your baby’s fallen asleep, for example, this feature could be really handy, and might make it worth the higher price.

As well as Bluetooth connectivity, the myHummy Mini comes with all the other features you might want in a white noise machine. There’s a timer setting, which you can set to fade out after 10 minutes or more, or it can play continuously. It’s neat and portable, with a strap to attach it to a pushchair or car seat. And the cover is even machine-washable, once you remove the battery powered insert.

Plus, the myHummy also has a sensor that will automatically restart the white noise if the baby begins to whimper, just like Percy the Penguin. If you’re looking for a top of the range white noise machine with all the mod cons, myHummy Mini is the machine for you.

Pros

  • Machine-washable cover
  • Bluetooth connectivity and mobile app
  • 60-minute timer or continuous 12-hour setting
  • Portable – can be strapped to cot, pushchair or car seat
  • Cry sensor that automatically restarts the white noise if the baby stirs

Cons

  • High price point
  • Fewer sound choices than some other machines (five options)

Specs

  • Type: Battery-powered (three AA)

7. Best portable white noise machine: Marpac Hushh for Baby

“I have the Marpac Hushh and it ticks all the boxes I wanted – it plugs in to charge, but also runs all night off battery once charged. It's small enough to take on holiday or put in the buggy. It had three noises – two white noise (like a fan) and one waves.”

7. Best portable white noise machine: Marpac Hushh for Baby

The Marpac Hushh white noise machine is powered via a built-in rechargeable battery, but can also be used while it’s plugged in. This means you get the best of both worlds. It can play white noise all night long without any danger of the battery running out, but can also be unplugged and used on the go.

It’s a small and neat white noise machine, with a baby-safe clip that can be attached to the cot, pushchair, or car seat. There’s also a child lock, so no danger of your baby accidentally pushing buttons if they grab the machine. The soft night light is really helpful for keeping an eye on your baby and can provide a bit of comfort to babies who don’t like their room to be too dark.

Pros

  • Neat and portable, with a baby-safe clip to attach to car seat or pushchair
  • Child lock to stop baby from accidentally changing the settings
  • Soft night light
  • Rechargeable

Cons

  • Only three sound options to choose from
  • Not mains-powered, so needs to be charged most days if used all night long

Specs

  • Type: Rechargeable (built-in battery)

8. Best soft-toy white noise machine: The Gro Company Percy the Penguin

“We have Percy the Penguin which cuts out after 20 minutes, but kicks back in again without touching it if he stirs! Brilliant.”

8. Best soft-toy white noise machine: The Gro Company Percy the Penguin

The Gro Company’s Percy the Penguin has a dual function. Not only does it serve as a white noise machine, but also as a soft toy for your child to cuddle.

Soft toys aren’t recommended in a cot until a baby is at least 12 months old, so Percy will need to be kept out of reach of your sleeping baby until they reach their first birthday, but it can still be played with during the day.

Unlike some of the other white noise machines we looked at, Percy the Penguin doesn’t have a continuous white noise setting. Instead, the white noise plays for just 20 minutes after being activated with a squeeze of the penguin’s wing.

Some parents find that if they’re not using continuous white noise, their babies wake up when the white noise times out – but Percy the Penguin has a special cry sensor, which turns the white noise back on if it detects the baby stirring.

A lot of babies will sleep better with continuous white noise, but if you don’t want it to play all night long for whatever reason, or you just really want a soft toy white noise machine, the cry sensor makes Percy the Penguin a really good option.

Pros

  • Cry sensor that automatically restarts the white noise if the baby stirs
  • Soft night light in the penguin’s tummy
  • Portable – can be strapped to cot, pushchair or car seat
  • Three volume settings

Cons

  • Soft toys are not recommended for sleeping until a baby is 12 months old, so Percy the Penguin should be kept out of reach until then
  • No continuous white noise setting
  • Only four sounds to choose from
  • Gets through batteries quite quickly

Specs

  • Type: Battery powered (four AA)

9. Best fan-based white noise machine: Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine

“Dohm sound machine. Mains-powered. Ours has been in use for three years all night every night and is still going strong.”

9. Best fan-based white noise machine: Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine

The Marpac Dohm White Noise Machine doesn’t use recordings, played in a loop, like other white noise machines. Instead, the noise is created by a small fan inside the body of the machine.

Because of this, there’s only one type of noise on the Marpac Dohm – just a standard white noise. There’s no option to play a lullaby or nature sounds, like some of the other white noise machines do. However, you can rotate the cover of the machine to adjust the pitch and tone of the white noise to find the sound that is most soothing to your baby.

This white noise machine doesn’t come with lots of gimmicky features, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help your baby to sleep well. It produces a great quality of sound, it’s very simple to use and, once you’ve plugged it in and turned it on, it will play all night long.

Pros

  • ‘Natural’ white noise sound created by a small fan, so no unnatural recording loops
  • Can adjust tone of the white noise
  • Mains-powered, so can play all night long

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Only one sound option (but adjustable tone)

Specs

  • Type: Mains-powered

10. Best for design: Fisher-Price Twinkle and Cuddle Cloud Soother

10. Best for design: Fisher-Price Twinkle and Cuddle Cloud Soother

Unlike all of the other white noise machines we looked at, the Fisher-Price Cloud Soother doesn’t make you choose just one single sound for your baby to fall asleep to. Instead, it has the ability to play a full playlist of gentle music and soft white noise to gradually lull your baby to sleep.

Combined with the soft lights that cause the entire cloud to gently glow in various colours, the routine will keep your baby happy and relaxed until they doze off.

The Cloud Soother doesn’t offer a continuous setting, so the sounds only play for 20 minutes before turning off for the night. Therefore, this might not be the one for you if your baby needs some extra support to stay asleep throughout the night. But if you just want a way to help your baby drift off to sleep initially, it could be a good option.

Pros

  • Playlist feature, which plays a variety of songs and sounds
  • Can be strapped to the cot for younger babies, or cuddled by toddlers
  • Machine-washable (with electronics removed)
  • Five songs and nature sounds to choose from
  • Lights-only/music-only options

Cons

  • Noisy Velcro needs to be undone to change settings (however the on / off button is easily accessible)
  • No continuous setting

Specs

  • Type: Battery-powered (four AA)

Is a white noise machine good for babies?

Many parents swear by white noise as an easy way to help their baby fall asleep at bedtime. It can also help them to sleep more reliably throughout the night, as it can make it easier for them to self-settle when they stir.

White noise works for several reasons. Firstly, it can white noise block out any background noise that could disturb your baby, like TV noise or doors closing. The fact that white noise is reminiscent of the noises the baby heard in the womb can also be really soothing for a baby. Plus, if you use it every night, turning on your baby’s white noise machine will become part of their bedtime routine. This can provide a brilliant sleep cue, to help them to understand that it’s time for them to go to sleep.

White noise isn’t a magic solution that will fix all of your baby’s sleep issues, but it can prove to be an incredibly useful tool in helping your baby to develop a good sleep schedule, and ensuring that the whole family is well rested.

What to look for in a white noise machine

Some white noise machines boast huge numbers of different sounds, including various tones of white noise, as well as nature sounds and more. While it can be useful to have several different noises to choose from, most people will only end up using one sound on a regular basis, so this is not always the most important feature of a white noise machine.

When choosing a white noise machine, often the practicalities of each machine will outweigh any gimmicky features. For example, you will want to consider whether or not you want your white noise machine to be battery-powered or mains-powered. Battery-powered white noise machines are handy for taking out and about, but need regular charging or replacing of batteries.

On the other hand, while mains-powered white noise machines aren’t as easy to move around, they can be plugged in and left to play all night long without worrying about batteries. Your preference will depend on how you’re planning to use your white noise machine.

Where should I place my white noise machine?

White noise machines that plug into the wall obviously need to be kept out of reach of your baby’s cot, due to the hazardous wires. Usually, this isn’t a problem – as long as the white noise machine has an adjustable volume, you can even place it across the room and it can still help your baby to sleep.

Other white noise machines, particularly those that are designed to also function as a cuddly toy, are able to be placed directly into your baby’s cot. Just remember that soft toys are not recommended for use in a baby’s cot until they are at least 12 months old, so soft white noise machines like Ewan the Dream Sheep should not be placed in the cot until this age. Instead, they can be placed next to the cot or strapped securely to the side.

Should you play white noise all night?

Some white noise machines for babies, particularly those that are designed to be cuddled in the cot, stop the noise after a designated amount of time (anything from five minutes up to an hour or two). While this can work well to soothe some babies to sleep, others may wake up when the noise is turned off. Therefore, a white noise machine that can play continuously through the night may be more effective for some babies.

As with everything, what’s true for one baby isn’t always true for another, so you may need to experiment a little to find the solution that works best for your baby. Therefore, choosing a white noise machine with both a timer and a continuous setting is probably a sensible idea.

What is the best white noise machine for babies?

After researching dozens of different machines to compile this list of the 10 best white noise machines for babies, our conclusion is that the Dreamegg D11 is the best white noise machine there is.

We love how it can be used at home, plugged into the wall to play continuously. But if you want to take it out and about, it’s neat and compact, and can run off its battery. It has a cute design, with a useful night light that can also be turned off if you prefer. And with 11 different sounds to choose from, there’s sure to be one that your baby enjoys.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which white noise machines discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their children. We compiled a list of the machines they recommended for being the most effective at helping their babies sleep.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which baby white noise machines had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them. We also looked at safe sleep guidelines from the NHS, to ensure all of our recommendations comply with the latest safety guidance.

Having collated all that information, we picked the white noise machines we thought would make the best buys in several categories.

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Main image credit: Dreamegg