8 Best Sound and White Noise Machines of 2019

Best Sound Machines of 2019

May 10, 2019

Best Sound Machines of 2019

Best Sound Machines of 2019
Photo by Hatch Baby
White noise and sound machines can be a lifesaver when it comes to helping baby fall—and stay—asleep.Best Sound Machines of 2019

When you finally get your little one to nod off, the last thing you need is a barking dog, ringing phone or parade of sirens waking your baby. Sound machines are designed to drown out those startling noises and soothe fussy babies to sleep.

Do You Need White Noise or a Sound Machine?

Sound machines can be true lifesavers. They can help your baby fall asleep fast and stay asleep longer. (And keep you from having to tiptoe around like a stealthy ninja every time your baby is in bed, whether you’re room sharing or baby is in their own room.) With consistent use, the sound machine will be a cue to your child that it’s time for a long, restful slumber.

There are two basic types of sound machines on the market:

  • Sound machines that produce a variety of calming sounds (think rain, ocean waves, nature sounds, etc.)
  • Sound machines that produce white noise. White noise is a blend of various pitches of sound that create a continuous buzz or hum (like radio static or a fan, hair dryer, vacuum or car engine). White noise most closely resembles what your baby hears in the womb, and can work like magic to lull babies to sleep.

There’s no right answer as to which machine is better or worse; it’s usually just what baby prefers, or what does a better job drowning out the particular background noise you’re looking to block.

Best White Noise Apps

While some parents love physical machines, others find that white noise apps for Android and iPhones do the job just fine. Designed to create the same soothing effect as sound machines, these apps are great for on-the-go sleep needs. A few Babylist parent favorites include:

  • Cradle. For a white noise app and a custom sleep trainer tool all rolled into one, check out Cradle for iOS. “I love the Cradle app. It has music, tons of sounds and shushes, and can even record your own voice.” -Bree D.
  • White Noise (Android/iOS). This free app features 40 different white noise and other sounds, and there’s no streaming required for playback. “I used the White Noise app (Android/iOS) with a Bluetooth speaker. It worked great and was really inexpensive.” -Robin W.

And don’t forget Alexa on your Echo devices—turns out she’s more than just a way for your toddler to play their favorite song over and over again. Alexa comes built in with tons of sleep “skills,” including white noise and other relaxing sounds and a night light. She can even tell your little one a bedtime story personalized with their name!

But if you’d rather keep your phone or tech to yourself, here are our picks for the best sound machines for your little one.

Tried and True

Why We Love It

The Marpac Dohm is the grandparent of sound machines—it’s been around since 1962 and has an official stamp of approval from the National Sleep Foundation. It makes a monotonous whooshing sound similar to what you’d hear on an airplane, and you can customize volume, tone and speed of the sound to get it just-right for you and your baby. Even better? Instead of relying on a recording, it actually has a built-in fan that naturally creates the sound of rushing air without the chill.

Keep in Mind

The Dohm only makes one type of sound and it requires a plug to work—there are no battery options.

What Babylist Parents Say

“This sound machine helped calm my baby. But it also helped drown out my baby’s sleep noises, which was super helpful for us during the first few weeks.” -Ashleigh C.

“The Marpac Dohm is amazing—it really blocks out noise from outside or other rooms and allows our baby to sleep soundly!” -Ashley P.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 5.8” x 5.8” x 3.2”
Includes 2 fan speeds
Power Source Needs to be plugged into an outlet

Sound and Lights

Why We Love It

In addition to natural sounds and white noise, the MyBaby SoundSpa also plays lullabies and projects slowly moving images of animals on the ceiling or wall to provide mellow entertainment. You can choose to use the sound and lights together or separately, and there’s an optional timer you can set to turn off the effects. It’s also small enough to pack up for overnights away from home. HoMedics also makes a great basic white noise machine with six nature sounds and a timer.

Keep in Mind

Some parents report problems with the projection making squeaking or buzzing sounds or stopping altogether.

What Babylist Parents Say

“This has saved many nights since moving our baby from the bassinet. The music, or other sounds, lull our precious boy to sleep every night.” -Amber J.

“My son sleeps listening to the ocean waves every night. It’s very soothing.” -Pat G.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 4.2” x 4.2” x 4.3”
Includes 3 nature sounds, 3 lullabies and 3 projection scenes
Power Source Needs to be plugged into an outlet (AC adapter driven)

Great for Babies and Toddlers

Why We Love It

Sound machine + nightlight + time-to-rise clock all in one, all controlled from your smartphone? Genius. Choose from 11 sound options that include lullabies and white noise, and pick your night light’s brightness and color. You can even program the nightlight and sound to turn on when it’s time for bed (so you can say, “The light says it’s time for bed!”) and to turn green when it’s OK for your toddler to get up in the morning.

Keep in Mind

The Hatch Baby Rest must be plugged in to work.

What Babylist Parents Say

“This is the best. We have one for the baby and one for my night-waking toddler who is staying in bed until after 2 a.m. now that we use the ok-to-wake function on this.” -Jacklyn R.

“Love it so much that my husband wants another one for our room when the baby moves into her nursery.” -Allie M.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 4” x 4” x 6.25”
Includes 11 sound options and a nightlight with a “rainbow” of colors
Power Source Needs to be plugged into an outlet

Perfectly Portable

Why We Love It

Measuring only 3.5 inches and cord-free, the Marpac Hushh is made for when you need white noise on the go. It comes with a clip so you can fasten it onto the stroller or car seat and even has a small, amber-colored night light. There are three sound options: standard white noise, a deeper-toned white noise or the sound of surf. The volume is adjustable, and when it’s time to recharge the Hushh, you can plug the USB cable into your laptop or phone.

Keep in Mind

There isn’t a timer on this one, so you’ll need to switch it off manually.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s loud, clear and small. It fits in your hand, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s totally worth the money!” -Shaw

Additional Specs
Dimensions 5.8” x 5.8” x 3.2”
Includes 3 sounds options; nightlight
Power Source Lithium ion battery; recharges with USB cord (included)

Starry Night Sound Machine

Why We Love It

Another multi-use product, this adorable owl is a sound machine, night light, and star projector all rolled into one. You can choose between gentle melodies or calming nature sounds to help your little on settle in for a peaceful snooze. There’s also a dimmable night light, and a projector with an adjustable lens that pivots to create a starry nightscape onto any surface.

Keep in Mind

There’s no battery option here, so the sound machine needs to be plugged in at all times.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Works really well. It looks like a cute owl & projects stars on the ceiling. Our daughter loves it!” - E. Smith

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 5.5” x 4.5” x 6”
Includes: 8 sounds and melodies, nightlight and star projector
Power source: Plug into any standard outlet

So Many Sounds

Why We Love It

Software in the LectroFan creates one continuous stream of sound—no recording loops—that you can run all night or set a timer for 60 minutes to fall asleep. With 10 different fan sounds and 10 different white noise sounds, you’re bound to find the one that makes your kiddo drift off to la-la land every single time.

Keep in Mind

The LectroFan doesn’t have any nature sounds.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The LectroFan is an absolute must have! We tried some other options, but found the LectroFan to be so much easier and more reliable.” -K.B.

“I loved this so much that I bought one for myself! I liked that this sound machine had fan sounds that are like the real thing.” -Britt S.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 4.4”x 4.4” x 2.2”
Includes 10 fan sounds and 10 ambient noise sounds
Power Source Plug into an outlet or recharge with USB cord (included)

Adorable Sleep Aid

Why We Love It

Who wouldn’t want to snuggle with this cuddly lamb? Besides being made for hugs, the Sleep Sheep has a sound machine inside that helps kids nod off to reassuring sounds like a heartbeat, white noise, gentle rain and classic lullabies. A Velcro strap attaches the Sleep Sheep to your crib. There’s no need to worry about drool or spit-up either—the plushy is washable. There’s an 8-inch travel version, as well.

Keep in Mind

The Sleep Sheep can play sound for up to 45 minutes to help your child drift off, but there is no option for it to run continuously.

What Babylist Parents Say

“This was the most useful gift I received. We have used it multiple times a day for almost nine months now, and it’s so easy to bring along anywhere.” -Kelli C.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 12” high
Includes 8 sounds
Includes 2 AA batteries (included)

Compact and Calming

Why We Love It

Even though the Baby Shusher isn’t technically a sound machine, it accomplishes the same thing, so we didn’t want to leave it off the list. (Plus, lots of parents swear by it!) This soother uses the rhythmic noise of a real human “shh” sound—saving your own voice and helping your little one break that crying spell and catch some zzs. Win! And because of its small size, the Shusher is uber-portable, making it perfect for on the go.

Keep in Mind

There’s only one sound option, so if your little one isn’t digging the “shh,” you’re out of luck.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Love that it’s super easy to travel with. Helps cue her to sleep but she doesn’t have to have a machine on all the time to sleep well.” -Amy B.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 2.3” x 2.3” x 5”
Includes: Yes, 3 AA batteries
Power Source: Ready to use with 2 AA batteries installed
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