Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Machine Review

Sleep soundly with the original sound conditioner loved for generations

By Ashley Little

If you’ve ever lived in a busy city or an apartment building with thin walls then you understand the difficulties of sleeping in a noisy environment. It’s practically impossible to fall into a deep sleep when your surroundings are riddled with the obnoxious sounds of street traffic, wailing babies’ cries, or twenty-something post-fraternity brothers who just can’t let their glory days go.

As much as we wish the world stopped turning when we want to get some quality sleep, everyone knows that’s not going to happen. While there are some things we are willing to compromise on in our living situations, losing sleep should not be one of them. Sleep deprivation due to an uncomfortable bedtime environment can be detrimental to both physical and mental health. And that’s just not worth it.

Some of the solutions to dealing with loud noises at night include using earplugs, soundproofing your windows, or insulating your walls, but these can be inconvenient and costly. Luckily, sleep masters at Marpac have provided a notable solution for noise pollution with their Dohm Classic White Noise Machine.

What is a White Noise Machine and Why Should I Want One?

White noise machines are designed to help you fall asleep more quickly, stay asleep easier, and wake up feeling refreshed. Using various types of white noise, these machines produce a soothing sound to mask disruptive noises while you’re trying to get your sleep on. The sound of the white noise reduces the difference between background sounds and any loud disruptions to decrease your chances of waking up and increase your quality of sleep.

Generally, white noise machines use three different types of sound: natural sounds (like birds chirping, wind blowing, or the ocean tide ebbing and flowing), ambient sounds (such as fire crackling or the static rambling of a crowd), and machinery noises (like a hair dryer or a fan blowing air). Ultimately, the constant sound from a white noise machine builds a sound barrier between you and the outside world, which is about as close to making the world stop turning as you’re going to get.

What Makes the Dohm Classic White Noise Machine Special?

Speaking frankly, the Dohm Classic White Noise Machine doesn’t do much. In comparison to some of the other options out there in the white noise machine world, this machine doesn’t offer many high-tech features.

With the Dohm Classic all you have to do is plug it in, select from two speed settings, and then twist the cap to adjust the intensity of the sound. That’s it. No fancy tricks. No flashing lights. No hard-to-use settings.

But that’s what’s so great about the Dohm Classic — it’s a classic! Instead of trying to offer too many unnecessary features to look snazzy, the Dohm Classic embraces its true purpose and doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not. In fact, it’s doing its job so well that it was once named the “Official Sound Conditioner” of the National Sleep Foundation.

If pleasing aesthetics are important to you, it’s possible that you will find the appearance of the white noise machine boring and stale. While the machine does come in a variety of colors — white, tan, and black — it doesn’t offer much else in terms of aesthetics. Keep in mind that this machine has remained virtually unchanged since 1988, so don’t be surprised if it gives you flashbacks of your grandparents’ bedroom.

Although the design may be boring and outdated, you can’t deny that it’s practical. The machine is equipped with an approximately 8’ long cord so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of changing batteries or the challenge of finding a location super close to an outlet. It’s also conveniently built small enough to not hog the space on your nightstand or in your luggage if you plan to travel with it.

In terms of cost, the Dohm Classic is pretty affordable for what it’s worth at only $49.95 with free shipping via FedEx ground shipping in the U.S. It’s also pretty durable and is said to hold up for many years, so this is a valuable purchase if you’re in the market for a long-lasting, high-quality white noise machine.

If you try out the white noise machine and you still aren’t sold, no worries. Marpac offers a 101-night trial period so you can figure out if the Dohm Classic is the right fit for you.

How to Use the Dohm Classic

To use the white noise machine, you simply need to plug it in and you’re ready to go!

Upon first usage, it may take a little trial and error to find your perfect setting. Between the twisting top and side casings and the two-speed setting, there are several combinations of noises the machine is capable of producing.

You can choose how open or closed you want the air vents to be to adjust the sound intensity and depth. Additionally, adjusting between the two different speed settings allows you to control the volume of the noise to fit your needs. Overall, the Dohm Classic has a very simple setup requiring minimal effort on the user’s part.

Sound Quality

Delivering on its promises, the Dohm Classic successfully masks background noises all night to improve your quality of sleep and benefit your overall health. Using a fan-based white noise, the Dohm Classic provides a consistent, natural, and soothing sound to help turn your bedroom into a chamber of good rest.

Although the machine has an actual fan inside the twisting acoustic housing, it doesn’t produce any physically moving air. This allows for the soothing sound that accompanies a fan’s motion without the disturbances that come along with it, such as dry eyes or the fear of a midnight collapse onto your head (which, let’s be honest, we’re all afraid of).

While the appeals of other sound machines offering over a dozen sound options may seem tempting, the simplicity of the Dohm Classic actually outweighs the need for other sounds. One of the benefits of the Dohm Classic is that it operates mechanically rather than digitally. The fan inside the machine produces a natural and fluid sound effect that electronic noises can’t compete with. Instead of being disturbed by the looping of a track on a digital machine, the Dohm Classic keeps a consistent sound, helping you stay asleep all night long. This also prevents the possible disturbances of “peak” sounds like a bird chirping in a nature track or a crashing wave in an ocean soundtrack.


Are white noise machines worth it? 

Yes! A white noise machine is a small investment to make for better sleep. White noise machines are great for living in the city, soothing babies to sleep, using for increased privacy in a therapy or office setting, and more! They’re versatile, easy to travel with, and come at a low price.

Do white noise machines work for snoring? 
Yes! White noise machines work to drown out background noises so you can sleep easily through the night without loud disruptions, including snoring! Whether you, your partner, or your pet snores, a white noise machine can help you sleep peacefully.

How does the Marpac Dohm Classic compare to other white noise machines? 

The Marpac Dohm Classic is a simple model compared to some of the more advanced offerings. This machine gets the job done without any extra frills or special features. It’s durable, uses a real fan sound as opposed to the synthetic sound of other machines, and is simple to use.

Rest Assured with the Dohm Classic

This machine has been around for decades for a reason. Though its features may seem limiting, it fulfills its capabilities incredibly well. Whether you suffer from noisy neighbors, a snoring spouse, or a medical issue like tinnitus, the Dohm Classic provides the answer to how to get a good night’s rest. This white noise machine would also be great for a nursery, therapy offices in which sensitive information needs to remain private inside the walls of the room, or a spa to offer a relaxing environment for clients.

If you’re in the market for digitally enhanced tracks of nature environments, the Dohm Classic may not be right for you. But if you’re looking for a natural sound conditioner offering a consistent fan-based sound without the disruptions of moving air, the Dohm Classic is the way to go.

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