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Best Sound Machines of 2024
Updated on
April 17, 2024

Best Sound Machines of 2024

By Jen LaBracio | Medically Reviewed by Brittany DiBardino DO
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Best Sound Machines of 2024.
Photo by Hatch Baby
Best Sound Machines of 2024

It may sound counterintuitive, but the right kind of noise in your baby’s nursery can actually be beneficial. White noise can help babies fall asleep. It can also help them stay asleep—because the last thing you need is a barking dog, ringing phone or parade of sirens waking the tiny little human you just spent that last forty-five minutes soothing to sleep. And with consistent use, a white noise machine will be a cue to your child that it’s time for a long, restful snooze.

Babylist’s Top Picks for the Best Sound Machines

Babylist’s Picks for the Best Sound Machines

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 two years, 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 hike up the volume quickly, 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. The battery lasts about eight hours, so if you’re using it overnight, you’ll want to keep it plugged in.

For another popular portable option (that comes in a few trendy colors), check out the Hatch Rest Go.

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)

Two-in-One Design

What Our Experts Say

Nanit’s Sound and Light is another phone-friendly, multifunction sound machine worth a look, especially if you already use the brand’s popular smart baby monitor. This two-in-one sound machine is a white noise machine and a programmable night light all rolled into one. Sound options include white noise, nature sounds, lullabies and more. You can customize both the sounds and the night light’s color and brightness to create whatever combo your baby likes best, including routines for bedtime, wakeup and naps. And Nanit just added a new feature: audio monitoring. You can now use the Sound and Light to listen in on your baby no matter where you are.

The digital clock display is a nice addition and extra useful during nighttime feeds. The Sound and Light is powered through an app and runs either on a rechargeable battery (helpful for on the go or if your power goes out) or with a power adaptor.

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re a Nanit monitor user and hoping to integrate this Sound and Light within your monitor app, you’re in luck. While this wasn’t initially possible when the Sound and Light first released, it’s now easy to operate your sound machine via the main Nanit app.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Just started using this, and my baby and I are loving it so far. It’s so much easier being able to control it from the app - I didn’t have that option with the previous device I was using. I also love the battery feature so there’s peace of mind if we lose power. Sleek design and perfect size!” -Meg B.

Additional Specs
Dimensions 5” x 3.5” x 3.5”
Includes Sound library and a night light with color and brightness options
Power Source AC and 8-hour battery backup

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 mimic 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 useful feature if you’re doing overnight feeds while you’re traveling or need to assuage any afraid-of-the-dark fears your toddler may have sleeping away from home. There are 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.

If you love the sound of the Dohm but prefer a sound machine with a more modern look, check out the Dohm Nova.

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 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 25 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 a traditional white noise 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 plush turtle is a sound machine, night light and star projector all rolled into one. You can choose between two calming sounds to help your baby settle in for a peaceful snooze. There’s also a projector that casts ocean waves onto the ceiling that you can customize depending on how much light you want (or don’t).

What’s Worth Considering

This underwater friend requires three AA batteries.

Additional Specs
Dimensions: 4.1” x 2.9” x 1.5”
Includes: 2 calming sounds and ocean waves projector
Power source: 3 AA batteries, included

How We Chose Our Best Sound Machines

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey, which polled 6,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including many white noise machines.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

There are two basic types of sound machines:

  • 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.

Are sound machines bad for babies?

No, sound machines are not bad for babies. In fact, the opposite is true. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends calming sounds like white noise to help soothe a fussy baby. And when used appropriately, sound machines can help reduce stress, help babies sleep and help them to cry less, according to experts and research

How loud should a sound machine be for a baby?

Most experts and research studies recommend playing white noise at about 50-70 decibels. (For reference, 50 decibels is about the volume of a running shower.) Don’t put your baby’s white noise machine too close to their sleeping space, and never turn it up to full volume.

What are the 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—it turns out she’s more than just a way for your toddler to play their favorite song over and over again. Alexa comes 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.

How do you wean a baby off of white noise?

Many parents worry that using a sound machine with their baby will create a sleep association that’s tough to break. To wean a baby off of white noise, you can gradually decrease the volume or duration of the white noise over time. Start by reducing the volume or turning it off during certain periods of the day, such as during nap times or bedtime. You can also try using a softer, more soothing sound like gentle music or nature sounds instead of white noise. Stick to your consistent bedtime routine and continue to offer other soothing techniques like a favorite blanket or stuffed animal (as long as your baby is over a year old) that can help the baby transition away from relying on white noise for sleep. And remember to be patient and allow your baby to adjust gradually to the changes.

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.