$39 at Amazon
Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
Best sunrise alarm clock on a budget
$99 at Amazon
Lumie Bodyclock Rise 100
Best no-frills sunrise alarm clock
No one likes waking up to a loud alarm clock in the morning. It can arguably make your mood even worse when you have to wake up early. That's why switching to one of the best sunrise alarm clocks is recommended.
A sunrise alarm clock is designed to create more peaceful mornings and wakeup routines. My mornings have never been better since I got rid of my regular alarm clock and started using a sunrise. They work by emitting light, as opposed to an anxiety-inducing sound, creating the illusion that you're waking up to sun peeking through your window. They can also help with your mental health in winter, when sun exposure is limited and seasonal affective disorder takes hold.
Jamie Gold, a wellness design consultant and author, told CNET she came across these types of noise-optional alarm clocks when researching noise pollution.
"Our lives and homes are filled with noise, and this creates the potential for insomnia, anxiety and stress," Gold says. "I love the idea of these silent alarm clocks for tying in with our natural circadian rhythms and helping start our days on a calmer note. Some heavy sleepers may need a stronger wake-up system, but if you're not one of them, it's definitely a solution worth considering."
Creating or redoing bedrooms in ways that reduce noise pollution and enhance sleep is a crucial component of wellness design, the practice of designing a space to promote physical and emotional health, she added.
I personally feel like I've had a better night's sleep since using a sunrise alarm clock. I am also happier when I wake up and feel as if my days have been more productive. Exposure to artificial light in the mornings can improve cognitive performance throughout the day, according to a small study in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, so my reaction may not be all placebo effect.
These few picks are our favorites and would make a great gift for anyone who needs less noise and more light in their life. Take a close look at the features each of these clocks offer -- a sleep timer, snooze functionality; some can even be used as a reading light. Once you fight your perfect sunrise simulation clock, you'll be enjoying deep sleep and better mornings.
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With a natural shape inspired by the rising and setting sun, plenty of customizable features and extras like guided meditations and morning affirmations, the Hatch Restore 2 tops our list for the best sunrise alarm clock. It's Hatch's second-generation model and has a simple but elegant design with large, tactile wake and sleep buttons at the top to initiate sleep sounds or turn off your alarm.
I found myself waking up much more gently with the Hatch Restore than I did with any sound-only alarm clock. In the morning, I programmed the Hatch to emit a "Malibu sunrise," a white, peachy glow that gently woke me up each morning, paired with the relaxing sounds of ocean waves and seagull chirps. Let me tell you, it's a much more enjoyable sound to wake up to than "beep, beep, beep." The possibilities are also endless when it comes to the sound and light combo you want to wake up to.
You can customize the Restore's sunrise duration, the amount of time you want it to illuminate before it sounds an alarm. I think 30 minutes was my sweet spot, starting its glow and gradually getting brighter half an hour before I wanted to be fully awake.
I also ended each night with a cozy campfire sound to soothe me to sleep, one of my favorite features from the Hatch as I typically listen to ASMR when I go to bed. It plays from the Hatch machine itself rather than my phone, a function I like so I don't have to keep my phone on loud and near my bedside while I'm trying to sleep.
For additional features like morning affirmations and wind-down routines, you'll have to sign up for the membership at $5 a month, a cost I think is worth it if you're interesting in meditating to promote better sleep, and more energy in the morning. The Hatch Restore 2 is available in three different neutral colors: putty, slate and latte.
The Halo Rise from Amazon is the best sunrise alarm clock that isn't just an alarm clock. It's one of the most well-rounded sleep tech devices I've ever tested and deserves a spot on your bedside table if you're serious about improving sleep.
With a sleek, modern look, the Halo Rise is a sleep-tracking sunrise alarm clock with a no-contact sensor to monitor your sleep stages, disruptions and your sleep environment (including temperature and humidity). My sleep improved when I started tracking with the Halo Rise because I became more aware of the disruptions keeping me from quality sleep, and my mornings were so much more pleasant waking to a gradual, glowing orange-yellow light.
One of the coolest features is its ability to track your sleep stages and initiate your sunrise alarm clock at your light sleep stage, the most optimal wakeup time in your cycle. You can also set it for a specific time if you'd rather opt out of the smart alarm.
Unlike the Hatch, it comes included with a six-month Halo Rise membership, worth $4 per month, that gives you access to everything from workouts and daily meditations to tasty recipes and more. Did I mention it also pairs with compatible Echo devices? The Halo Rise can really do it all, and is a great value in the sense you get so many functions in one device.
You can't customize sound and light colors for the Halo Rise sunrise alarm clock like you can with the Hatch Restore. However, the Halo Rise is less about customization, and more for the sleeper who wants to further explore their sleep habits, cycles and possible disturbances while also waking up with light.
If you're not quite ready to shell out $100 or more on a sunrise alarm clock, this budget-friendly sunrise simulation clock from Jall should do the trick. It has all of the basics and makes for a rather customizable sunrise: Choose from seven colors and 20 brightness levels to end your sunrise, as well as seven natural sounds to accompany the light. You can also choose to wake up to FM radio.
The Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock functions as a night light and bedside lamp, too, and you can adjust the brightness level for both. It doesn't have a sunset function like some others on this list, nor does it double as a white noise machine -- but if you only want the sunrise function, that doesn't matter.
The majority of reviewers on Amazon love this clock: It has 4.3 stars and nearly 100% of the reviews are favorable. It seems that most people who bought this clock were looking for a less abrupt way to wake up, and the Jall Wake Up Light did the trick for them. Buyers also love that it's easy to set up and simple enough for kids to operate on their own.
The Lumie Bodyclock Rise 100 is a simpler version of the Lumie Shine 300. It's a high-quality intro-level sunrise simulator alarm clock for people who are looking for just the basics: The Lumie Rise 100 features a 30-minute sunrise with the option to set the final light intensity. You can also program a sunset to help you fall asleep.
The Lumie Rise 100 does not have nature or ambient sounds to add to your sunrise and sunset, although you can program the optional beeping alarm to start when your sunrise reaches maximum light intensity. Like the Lumie Shine 300, the Lumie Rise 100 has a tap-control snooze feature and an auto-dimming display.
If you have a bedside lamp already, you can make a DIY sunrise alarm clock by replacing regular light bulbs with smart light bulbs from Lifx. These Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs connect to Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana and Apple HomeKit, and you can program them to dim and brighten like a sunrise and sunset as you fall asleep and wake up, respectively.
You won't get any sound, obviously, but if you're a relatively light sleeper who wakes up to changing light, these programmable light bulbs will still get you up in the morning. You can also combine with Lifx light panels and strips in fun colors for the coolest faux-sunrise ever.
Read our Lifx Mini smart bulb review.
If you want a broader selection -- not just sunrise clocks -- check out our separate list of the best alarm clocks for 2023. And if you need a good night's sleep, check out the best mattresses you can buy online and the best pillows too.