The Best Sound Machines on Amazon

By Dr. Sheryl Grassie

Blocking out noise is a great way to improve sleep. Create a barrier between you and the outside world for a safe, supportive, cocoon in which to slumber. Sound machines have become quite sophisticated offering numerous features and options. Check out our choices for best sound machines in the categories of travel, sound and scent, professional, and economy.


Our Picks for the Best Sound Machines on Amazon

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avantek sound machine

Best for Travel

AVANTEK White Noise  Sound Machine for Sleeping

Perfect for travel, this little cube comes with all the features you want in a sound machine. It has 20 choices including 8 nature sounds (ocean waves, rain, wind, stream, birds, campfire, cricket and clock), 6 types of white noise, and 6 fan sounds.

There are 30 different volume settings.  There is a timer, memory functions, a 60-day money back guarantee and an 18-month warranty. Comes in black or white. Additional purchase travel case available.

artnaturals sound machine

Best Sound and Scent Machine

ArtNaturals Sound Machine Essential Oil Diffuser

Want a sound machine with the added feature of an oil diffuser? The ArtNaturals appeals to the senses with sound, scent, and light.

A great drug free way to improve sleep, it comes with six soothing nature sounds and seven colors. Included is a starter kit of therapeutic grade essential oils that you can diffuse while you sleep. There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

adaptive sound tech sound machine

Best Professional Technology

Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Sound Machine

Need a professional quality sound machine to block out noise at the office? This level of sound machine is often placed just outside a door in therapeutic or legal settings to keep conversations confidential.

It can also be used for sleep at home in very noisy environments. It has a sleep timer, an AC or USB power option, a wide range of volume settings, and sounds with different frequencies. Comes in black or white.

homedics sound machine

Best Budget

HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine

Retailing at half the cost of other sound machines, the HoMedics offers excellent sleep support for baby or adult. It has six sounds including white noise and various nature sounds.

It has a timer and automatic shut off at 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Wall outlet or battery operated and very portable. There are three color choices, white with silver, gray, or blue. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.


How Can a Sound Machine Improve Your Sleep? 

As awareness about the connection between sleep and health has increased over the past several decades, so has the quest for the perfect night’s sleep. For many of us, something that interferes with getting that good night’s rest is noise. Airplanes, traffic noises, parking dogs, noisy neighbors, and more, can disturb your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Many of us have taken to using fans as a buffer, and they work great, but they become unnecessary or even irritating in the winter months. Additionally, they use more energy than a sound machine, so a sound machine is both more effective and less expensive to use. A perfect solution is a sound machine that can both act as that needed buffer and lull you to sleep with relaxing sounds.

The National Sleep Foundation reports that 74% of Americans site a quiet bedroom as important to a good night’s sleep.  Surprisingly, noise actually helps temper other noise. If there is a predominant or ubiquitous noise like white noise, it lessens your brains’ ability to perceive other noises. When the environment is too quiet, specific and singular noises like a dog barking, will really stand out. In this way white noise or ambient sounds help keep us undisturbed by other noises.

Are Sound Machines Different From White Noise Machines?

Sound machines are different from white noise machines in that they offer a variety of sounds in addition to white noise. Originally, when the first white noise machine, the Marpac Dohm hit the market in 1962, it had one sound, at a specific frequency, dubbed “white noise.” Over time however, the white noise machine has evolved into a sound machine with multiple options. You can get all kinds of nature sounds from rain to ocean waves. You can get white, pink, or brown noise, volume controls, timers, and added features like a night light or a diffuser.

White noise has also evolved into a spectrum of different frequencies. Like light, sound has waves or frequencies that are perceived by the ear. Different noises have different frequencies and are experienced as louder or softer than each other independent from actual volume. White noise hits a higher frequency that pink, and even lower is brown noise. New sound machines may have options for different kinds of noise in addition to nature sounds.

What You Should Look for in a Sound Machine

You can choose from simple sound machines that offer white noise or a limited variety of nature sounds to machines with a large variety of auditory options. Some machines come with all-in-one features like a built-in alarm, a night light, or a diffuser.

Another consideration is portability. Do you need a small travel variety that operates on batteries? Or would you prefer a more substantial plug in for home that does not need batteries? This is easy to assess when looking at different models and brands.

Give some thought to what you want in a sound machine, do you need lots of options and versatility or will a simpler model work just fine?


Summary

Although the National Sleep Foundation reports that only about 5% of Americans use some kind of sound barrier like a fan or sleep machine, use is on the rise, as are options for sound machines. Gone are the days of white noise only machines, we now have a plethora of soothing nature sounds that help support better sleep along with pink and brown noise frequencies.

Options have also increased to include alarms, diffusers, and night lights as part of the sound machine. We have included in this article our choices for best travel, best sound and scent, best professional, and best economy options. A sound machine just might be your solution to getting a better night’s sleep.


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