9 Best Sound and White Noise Machines of 2022
Best Sound Machines of 2022
September 8, 2022

Best Sound Machines of 2022

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Best Sound Machines of 2022.
Photo by Hatch Baby
Best Sound Machines of 2022

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 them. 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.

There’s no right answer as to which 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.

What Is 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.

Best Sound Machine Apps

While some parents love physical sound machines, others find that white noise apps 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 of the most popular include:

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.

Best Sound Machine for Baby

What Our Experts Say

Sound machine + night light + time-to-rise clock all in one, all controlled from your smartphone? Genius. This do-it-all sleep device is fully customizable and programmable with lights and different types of noise and even has a battery backup in case you lose power. It can help you establish a bedtime routine and grow with your child from the baby days through the big-kid years. You can also access bedtime stories, exclusive playlists and other custom content through a Hatch Sleep Membership.

What’s Worth Considering

Don’t let your baby or toddler have all the relaxing sleep fun. The Hatch Restore is a sleep assistant for parents, combining a sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, meditation app and an alarm clock all in one.

What Babylist Parents Say

“At first I wasn’t sure I needed a sound machine with all of these features, but after using it for over a year, I’m totally hooked. I love all of the different sound features and that I can control everything from my phone. (Perfect for times when I need to quickly hike up the volume, like when my older son runs upstairs to play while the baby is napping or if a landscaping truck pulls onto my street.) The nightlight was perfect for overnight feeds. And I know I’ll be using the toddler alarm clock once my son gets a little older and we need to help him stay in bed longer in the morning.” -Jen L.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 4.2” x 4.2” x 6.61”
Includes 11 sound options and a nightlight with a “rainbow” of colors
Power Source AC and 8-hour battery backup

Best Portable Sound Machine

What Our Experts Say

Measuring only 3.5 inches and cord-free, the 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.

What’s Worth Considering

There’s no timer on this sound machine, so you’ll need to switch it off manually.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The Hushh Compact Sound Machine is compact and easily stowed away in my diaper bag. The plug-in charger makes it super easy to charge when using or not using! The most important thing for me was the sound quality. Other portable sound machines don’t compare to this one!” -Jennifer M.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 3.4”L x 1.6”W x 3.84”H
Includes 3 sounds options; nightlight
Power Source USB charging (cable included, USB power adapter wall plug not included)

Sounds Like a Fan

What Our Experts Say

Love the whirring sound of a fan but don’t want or need an actual fan? The LectroFan sound machine has ten fan sounds (and a white noise option, too, if that’s what you prefer) that sound just like the real thing. The software also 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.

What’s Worth Considering

The LectroFan doesn’t have any nature sounds.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 4.4”x 4.4” x 2.2”
Includes 10 fan sounds and 10 ambient noise sounds
Power Source AC or USB rechargeable

Best Sound Machine for Travel

What Our Experts Say

While many of the sound machines on our list will work for travel, this small but mighty pick from FridaBaby is particularly suited for hitting the road with your baby thanks to its compact size and built-in nightlight. The nightlight features three different glow levels, a feature that’s especially helpful if you’re doing overnight feeds while you’re traveling or need to assuage any afraid-of-the-dark fears your toddler may have when they’re not sleeping in their own bed. There are also five different sound options, including shushing and heartbeat, a strap in case you want to attach the sound machine to your car seat or stroller and an auto shut-off option.

What’s Worth Considering

The one thing parents complain about is a blue light that comes on while you’re charging this sound machine. It’s bright and it flashes, which can be pretty distracting in a dark room if your little one is trying to sleep.

What Babylist Parents Say

“My wife and I got this about 3 weeks ago and have used it off and on at home. Recently we traveled from Missouri to Texas and was it perfect for that trip. It comes with a built-in strap that we were able to wrap around the car seat handle and played softly enough to have a conversation but loudly enough to down out noise for our son. It is the perfect companion for any trip and we will never leave home without it.” -KC

Dimensions 3.25” x 3.25” (not including strap)
Includes 5 sound options and nightlight with 3 light levels
Power Source USB rechargeable

Tried and True

What Our Experts Say

The 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 the 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.

What’s Worth Considering

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

What Babylist Parents Say

“Love! I have had one for the past 20 years of my life and they these are fantastic. Great design, easy to look at. I’m very functional.” -Ginny W.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 5.8” x 5.8” x 3.2”
Includes 2 fan speeds
Power Source AC

Best Auto-Response Sound Machine

What Our Experts Say

Who wouldn’t want to snuggle with this adorable sloth? Besides being made for hugs, this cuddly friend has a cry-activated smart sensor inside that automatically responds to your baby’s cries with sounds and lullabies. You can even customize it with a recording of your own voice. The sloth attaches to the crib when baby is younger, then can be used as a stuffed animal as your little one grows.

What’s Worth Considering

The sound module is removable both for washing and in case your older child no longer needs or wants the auto-response feature. Some parents wish the sounds played longer (they shut off after 20 minutes) and complain that the batteries run out much too quickly.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Mr. Sloth soothes my baby and puts him to sleep. It also starts up when he starts crying. Amazing!!” -Anita

Additional Specs
Dimensions 6” x 4” x 11”
Includes 3 lullabies, 3 soothing sounds and voice recording option
Includes 3 AA batteries (included)

Best Affordable Sound Machine

What Our Experts Say

This sound machine has a lot going for it regardless of the price, so the fact that it’s under twenty bucks is the cherry on top. It offers six soothing sounds: white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night and brook. It’s small and lightweight, so it won’t take up a lot of space and is easy to toss in your bag if you’re traveling, and you can either plug it into the wall or use it cordless with AA batteries. There’s even an auto timer you can set for 15, 30 or 60 minutes.

What’s Worth Considering

Lots of parents recommend keeping batteries in this sound machine at all times as a backup, even when it’s plugged in, in case the power goes out overnight. Some also mention they wish the volume went up a bit higher.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 6.2”L x 6”W x 2”H
Includes 6 sound options
Power Source AC or battery operated (4 AA batteries required)

Best Sound Machine for Fussy Babies

What Our Experts Say

Although the Baby Shusher isn’t technically a sound machine, it accomplishes the same thing. (Plus, lots of Babylist 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.

What’s Worth Considering

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

“Honestly, I thought this was stupid when I was planning my registry. ‘What parent is too lazy to shh for their baby?’, I thought. Me. That’s who. After my baby arrived and I’d invested hours of my life making the shh sound within the first week, I revisited this little invention! What I really like it for is at night or when he’s just barely still awake. In those moments when your baby is between sleep and awake and you’re praying they choose sleep, that’s where the shusher comes in. I usually use the 15 min timer for him, but if he’s been especially difficult to get to sleep I’ll crank it up to 30 and just hang it from the top of his bassinet. This thing is simple and wonderful and I’m so happy we have it!” -Kaitlin

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 2.3” x 2.3” x 5”
Includes: 1 “shush” sound
Power Source: 2 AA batteries installed

Best Sound Machine with Projector

What Our Experts Say

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 one settle in for a peaceful snooze. There’s also a dimmable nightlight and a projector with an adjustable lens that pivots to create a starry nightscape on any surface.

What’s Worth Considering

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: AC
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