The 9 Best Sunrise Alarm Clocks of 2022 for Early Morning Wake-Up Calls

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 Best Sunrise Alarm Clocks for Easier Mornings

Amazon

Getting out of bed in the morning isn’t always easy, especially on dark and gloomy winter days were emerging from underneath the covers can feel downright painful. Fortunately, investing in the right alarm clock—one without blaring siren noises to startle you out of sleep—can help you wake up more naturally, resulting in a more gentle start to your morning. The best sunrise alarm clocks help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead by gradually becoming brighter over a period of time, allowing you to wake up more slowly.

“A sunrise alarm clock mimics the sunrise, which is a much less abrupt way to wake up from a deep sleep,” says Dr. Mike Hoaglin, medical director at DrHouse. “This is a helpful way to regulate your circadian rhythm, which will provide you with better sleep overall. You’re also not subconsciously waiting to hear a loud beeping which can interrupt your sleep and cause you to wake up earlier than intended.”

We’ve created a list of the best sunrise alarm clocks based on their effectiveness, features, and more to help you get a cozy night’s sleep and a great start to your day. Our top pick for the best overall sunrise alarm clock is the Philips SmartSleep Wake Up Alarm Clock because of its personalized wake-up and wind-down settings, wide range of brightness levels, and soothing sound options.

These are the best sunrise alarm clocks.

Best Overall: Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp

4.9
Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:  It has five different wake-up sounds and 20 brightness levels to choose from.

Keep in Mind: The location of buttons can make it difficult to hit the right ones when it's dark.

Whether you’re an early bird or not, having a set nighttime and morning routine can make it easier to get out of bed the next day instead of hitting snooze. The easy-to-use SmartSleep Wake Up Alarm Clock has  everything you need for personalized wake-up and wind-down routines, including simulated sunset and sunrise to help you fall asleep and wake up more easily, 20 brightness settings, and five gentle wake-up sounds. This allows you to curate your nighttime and your morning routine to help ensure you get a restful night’s sleep and wake up on the right side of the bed. 

The alarm clock also has an FM radio, letting you easily add some music to your morning, and a snooze button for days when you need an extra slow start.  We also like that it doubles as a bedside lamp, eliminating the need for another item on your table, and that it has an automatic dimmable display. 

Sunrise alarm clocks are a bit on the expensive side, so we appreciate that the Philips SmartSleep Wake Up Alarm Clock comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. This gives you an opportunity to thoroughly test it out before committing to using it every morning. 

Other things to consider: this sunrise alarm clock is quite bulky, which might not be a good option if you are lacking nightstand space. We also wish the buttons were easier to find—they’re located on the perimeter of the clock, which makes them difficult to locate when it’s dark. 

Price at time of publish: $99

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.85 x 4.7 inches
  • Alarm Settings: Five
  • Brightness Settings: 20
  • Light Color Options: One

Best Budget: Winshine Touch Wake Up Night Light with Sunrise Simulation

Winshine

Amazon

Why You Should Get It:  This sunrise alarm clock has six colors to choose from, five alarm sounds, and a sunrise and sunset function.

Keep in Mind: It can only be used with a power adapter, which limits where you can place it.

This sunrise alarm clock delivers on both aesthetics and functionality without breaking the bank, making it the best budget sunrise alarm clock on our list. It features all the essentials, including a gradual wake up setting that turns on a soft light 10, 30, or 60 minutes before your desired wake up time. You can also choose from five calming alarm sounds to further customize how you start your morning. 

One of our favorite things about this pick is how easy it is to use. The alarm buttons are clearly identifiable at the base’s bottom, so it’s easy to shut off or turn on in the dark. Dimness and color settings can be easily adjusted with a few taps on top of the alarm. There’s also a clock display so you instantly know what time it is when you wake, and a sleep mode that allows you to set the night light for 10, 30 or 60 minutes. Just like the sunrise function, this setting will gradually reduce its brightness until the light is completely turned off, helping you to wind down slowly before falling asleep. This sunrise alarm clock comes with six color options to choose from, as well as three overall brightness settings. 

Keep in mind that this device is not wireless and can only be used when the power adapter is connected. This means you will need access to a wall power outlet in order to use it, which might limit where you can put it in your room. 

Price at time of publish: $34

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 7.9 inches
  • Alarm Settings: Five
  • Brightness Settings: Three
  • Light Color Options: Six

Best Splurge: Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light

Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light

Amazon

Why You Should Get it: It monitors your surroundings to help you create the ideal sleeping environment and has a built-in phone charger.

Keep in Mind: The speaker quality could be better, given the price.

If you’re willing to invest in quality sleep, the Philips SmartSleep sunrise alarm clock is a high-tech solution that’ll help you wind down at night and wake up refreshed. Besides boasting a sleek design, this sunrise alarm clock features app-enabled sunset and sunrise customization, 25 brightness settings to suit heavy sleepers, and even a built-in sensor that gathers insights about your environment and how it affects your sleep. 

To help you wind down at night, this sunrise alarm clock has a RelaxBreathe feature, which offers light-guided breathing exercises designed to ease you into sleep. The alarm’s built-in sensor measures your sleeping environment including the room’s temperature, humidity, and sound level as you sleep, allowing you to narrow down what’s keeping you up at night. You can also pair your alarm with the accompanying SleepMapper app, which lets you track your sleep, receive insights about the amount of time you spent in deep sleep, and view other tips to improve your snoozing.

The sunrise alarm function works just like other clocks on this list to gradually increase in brightness over time. However, with 25 different brightness levels, the Philips SmartSleep light can transition from pitch darkness to daylight more smoothly, meaning you won’t be jolted awake too early when your clock first comes on. 

The only drawback with this sunrise alarm clock is its speaker quality, which sounds fuzzier than we would expect from a device at this price point. If you prefer to wake up to music or the radio and sound quality is important to you, this clock may not be worth the purchase.

Price at time of publish: $180

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 12.05 x 5.43 inches
  • Alarm Settings: Eight
  • Brightness Settings: 25
  • Light Color Options: Four

Best with Sound Machine: Zenergy Sunrise Bedside Alarm Clock

Zenergy Sunrise Bedside Alarm Clock

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has a wide range of sound settings to choose from, easy-to-read buttons, and a guided breathing meditation feature.

Keep in Mind: You have to press the same button over and over to change sound settings.

This pick from iHome was designed to enhance sleep by combining soothing sounds and light to create a tranquil sleep environment. It features 15 different soundscapes including nature sounds and white noise that automatically reduce in volume as you fall asleep. The built-in simulated sunrise helps you experience gentler wake-ups, gradually increasing from dim to bright yellow light. 

Unlike some sunrise alarm clocks that are confusing to operate, the iHome clock has clearly labeled, easy-to-read buttons on top of the machine so you don’t have to re-read the instruction manual every time you want to change a setting. You’ll be able to increase the volume and brightness, dim the display, change settings, and more. We also like that you have the option to add a sound alarm, should the sunrise feature be too gentle to wake you on busy weekday mornings. 

The iHome sunrise alarm clock is also a great option for those who have trouble winding down at night. The Breathing Coach function is designed to help lower your heart rate and soothe your body and mind by taking you through breathing meditation sessions before bed, guided by a calming voice that fades and synchronizes with pulsing light.

Other things we like about this pick: its soft-glow reading light that reduces eye strain caused by harsh blue hues, and the convenient USB charging port. Just keep in mind that there’s only one button to change the alarm sound, so you’ll have to cycle through each sound to get to your favorite—which can be disruptive if you’re trying to set it at night. 

Price at time of publish: $74

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 3.07 x 4.77 inches
  • Alarm Settings: Six 
  • Brightness Settings: Not listed
  • Light Color Options: 14

Best Portable: Casper Glow Light

4.6
Casper Glow Light

Bed Bath & Beyond

Why You Should Get It: It's compact and lightweight for easy packing, and it doubles as a portable lantern.

Keep in Mind: No clock display or noise options.

If you want the benefits of a sunrise alarm clock while on the go, consider the Casper Glow Light, which is the best sunrise alarm clock when it comes to portability. Compact and lightweight enough to pack in a suitcase, it features all the essentials to promote a good night sleep, including a warm self-dimming light to lull you into deeper sleep. The soft sunrise light replaces the need for a harsh alarm clock by easing you awake with a warm light that becomes brighter over time. 

For even more features, you can connect your Casper Glow Light to an app on your smartphone, which lets you schedule a wake-up time and change the light settings without getting out of bed. At 5.25 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter, this little device is super easy to pack on a camping trip or store in a carry-on suitcase. 

We love the light sensor on the Casper Glow Light, which is designed to turn on when it senses movement. This eliminates the need to turn on a harsher light when waking up to go to the bathroom or grab a snack in the middle of the night. Keep in mind there are no color options on this sunrise alarm clock, so you won’t be able to customize its appearance. It also doesn’t have a clock display, so you’ll still need to rely on your phone or a separate clock if you want to check the time. 

Price at time of publish: $129

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 3.75 x 5.25 inches
  • Alarm Settings: One
  • Brightness Settings: Two
  • Light Color Options: One

Best for Deep Sleepers: JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock

JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock for Kids

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This sunrise alarm clock has seven light color options, and it mimics broad daylight at its maximum brightness level.

Keep in Mind: the buttons aren’t clearly labeled, making it difficult to set an alarm.

Designed specifically for heavy sleepers, this sunrise alarm clock helps you wake up with a combination of light and calming sounds. The LED display gradually increases from 10% brightness to 100% within a 10- to 30-minute timespan. For those mornings where you need the extra shuteye, just hit the handy snooze button for nine more minutes of sleep. Its brightest setting simulates full daylight, but you can choose to set your preferred brightness level lower if you’d prefer to wake up to a dim glow instead.

Other things to love about the Jall sunrise alarm clock include seven light color options— blue, indigo, purple, red, orange, yellow and green—and seven natural sound options that include  birds singing, ocean waves, and piano music. This gives you a wide range of choices for a gentle and relaxing wake up every morning. There’s also a clock display, FM radio setting, and a sunset function that gradually dims its light to help you wind down at night. 

This alarm clock can be difficult to operate, so don’t throw away the included user manual upon opening it. Setting an alarm and choosing settings isn’t as intuitive as we’d like, so you may need to refer to the instructions the first few times you use it. Keep in mind that unlike other picks on our list, this sunrise alarm clock isn’t smartphone compatible, which means you can only set the alarm manually. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 7.2 inches
  • Alarm Settings: Three
  • Brightness Settings: 3-level LED setting and 20 level lighting brightness
  • Light Color Options: Seven

Best Smart: Hatch Restore Sound Machine and Smart Light

5
Hatch Restore

Hatch

Why You Should Get It: It has a wide range of colors and sounds to choose from and multiple white noise settings.

Keep in Mind: To get the most out of this alarm clock, you'll need to download the app.

If you’re looking for a sunrise alarm clock you can easily control from your smartphone, look no further than the Hatch Restore. With this app-compatible device, you can wake up more naturally to a gentle warm light while also creating a personalized wake-up routine. Choose from an extensive library of color and sound options to start or end your day, including a warm-hued reading light, a white noise setting, a color-changing display, and more. You can even save your favorite settings to create the perfect atmosphere for relaxing, reading or meditating. 

While this smart sunrise alarm clock can be programmed using buttons on the device itself, we recommend downloading its companion app to easily control lights and sounds from your smartphone. You’ll also get a one-month free trial of Hatch Sleep, an optional subscription that gives you access to an impressive library of content such as meditations, sleep stories, and soundscapes. 

Besides being functional, this sunrise alarm clock is beautiful to look at, boasting a sleek dome shape and built-in digital clock display. Keep in mind that a majority of the features that make this smart sunrise alarm clock stand out are contained within its connected app, so if you want a device you can use without picking up your phone, we don’t recommend this product.  

Price at time of publish: $130

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.75 inches 
  • Alarm Settings: Seven
  • Brightness Settings: Three
  • Light Color Options: 22

Best for Kids: Hatch Rest Dream Machine

Hatch Rest Dream Machine

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It's portable and difficult to break.

Keep in Mind: This alarm clock only pairs with one smartphone at a time, and you have to be close to the device in order to change settings via Bluetooth. 

Designed specifically with kids in mind, the Hatch Rest Dream Machine helps little ones build healthy sleep habits with two customizable settings for falling asleep at night and waking up in the morning. You’ll be able to create personalized light and sound combinations to cue when it’s time to get out of bed in the morning and when it’s time to wind down at night. 

The Hatch Rest Dream Machine’s sound options, which include white noise, rain, and wind, are designed to be soft and soothing for all ages, including babies. We also like its gentle night light option, which is convenient for midnight feedings or making the dark less scary with a calming and reassuring glow. We also love that this sunrise alarm clock is both lightweight and portable, allowing you to easily move it from room to room or take along on family trips. 

Like many of the best sunrise alarm clocks for adults, the Hatch Rest Dream Machine is compatible with a free companion app that allows you to adjust the brightness and sounds even when you’re away from the device. This allows you to change the settings remotely without stirring your sleeping child. This kid-friendly sunrise alarm has even more features you can unlock with a paid subscription to the Hatch Sleep app. However, you don’t need one to access all its basic functions.

Keep in mind that this clock can only pair with one smartphone at a time, so you won’t be able to control its settings from multiple devices. You’ll also need to be within a few feet of the Hatch Rest Dream Machine to change the settings from the app, so consider this factor when figuring out where to place it in your home.    

Price at time of publish: $70

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 6.61 inches 
  • Alarm Settings: Not listed
  • Brightness Settings: Dimming option that ranges from 0-100% 
  • Light Color Options: 10

Best with Colored Lights: hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock

hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock

Amazon

What We Like: It has eight colored light options that can be changed directly on the device

Keep in Mind: The lights can be very bright.

When it comes to offering bright color options, few sunrise alarm clocks offer the vibrant range of hues this HomeLabs device has. Like other favorites on our list of the best sunrise alarm clocks, this device uses a warm LED light that gradually brightens 30 minutes before your desired alarm time, helping you wake up more naturally.

Heavy sleepers also have the option to pair their wake up alarm with a range of different sounds, and a 5-minute snooze function allows you to get some extra shut-eye if needed. At night time, the sleep timer with sunset simulation will help you wind down by gently dimming the brightness in the room. You can also use this setting to act as a night light. 

With eight colorful light options, the HomeLabs sunrise alarm clock can double as a table or bedside lamp during non-sleeping hours. It emits vibrant colors like electric green, cherry red, blue, purple or yellow, making it perfect for a child’s room or anyone who prefers a pop of color in their space. The clock face is located in the center of the light display, and you can change the settings using well-marked buttons on top of the device. We also love that this alarm clock has an FM radio setting so you can listen to your favorite music while getting ready in the morning. 

If you’re a particularly light sleeper, you may dislike the brightness of this alarm, which becomes quite bright on its highest setting. Some of the alarm sounds are louder than other sunrise alarm clocks on our list, so you’ll want to turn the volume down if you don’t want to be startled awake. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 6.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Alarm Settings: Seven
  • Brightness Settings: Three
  • Light Color Options: Eight

The Bottom Line

We chose the Philips SmartSleep Wake Up Alarm Clock for its wide range of helpful features including 20 brightness settings, five different alarm sounds, and both a sunrise and sunset function to help you wake up and wind down more naturally. 

What to Know About Sunrise Alarm Clocks Before Shopping

Sound

Although they don’t necessarily rely on sound to function, the best sunrise alarm clocks also offer noise settings to help you wake up in the mornings. 

“This might help some people who need a little extra nudge in the morning, but also might not be your thing,” Dr. Hoaglin says. “Always read into the sunrise clock before buying to know if you want this feature or not.”

If you do opt for a sunrise alarm clock with sound, Kahn suggests looking into what types of sound settings offered—whether nature sounds, music, white noise, or beeping alarms, 

“Consider whether it's paired with the right noise, which could also be effective in rousing someone and complement a gradual onset of light,” Khan says. “There's research showing that sequenced low frequencies, some voice sounds, and ‘melodic’ compositions may be more effective than high-pitched alarms or non-melodic sounds.”

Brightness

Some sunrise alarm clocks will have more brightness level options than others. Choosing one with more intense brightness may be beneficial for deep sleepers. 

“Heavy sleepers might not notice the light of certain sunrise alarm clocks which would make it less effective,” Dr. Hoaglin says. “If you know you are not a light sleeper, it helps to look for a clock that has a very bright light that will be sure to wake you.” 

Kahn also suggests always trying to buy a light you can return so you can test it out at home first.

Color Options

Like varying brightness levels, you’ll also find that the best sunrise alarm clocks offer a variety of color options. This allows your clock to double as a night light or to create mood lighting in your room without adding a bulky lamp to your nightstand. Most of these light settings are for aesthetic purposes, but Kahn says a sunrise alarm clock with a red light option may be more helpful at waking you up than other colored light settings.

“There's some evidence that red light might be more effective and be less irritable than white light,” Khan says. “There are now many products on the market that use red light instead of white.” 

Your Questions, Answered

What are the benefits of a sunrise alarm clock?

“When it comes to regulating our sleep-wake cycles, light is king,” Kahn says. As the sun sets in the evening, the diminishing light triggers the body to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. “This phase is even known scientifically as Dim Light Melatonin Onset, or DLMO,” Kahn says. Similarly, exposure to sunlight in the morning stops melatonin production and bumps up the wake-up hormone cortisol. This allows you to wake up more naturally without being jolted awake by a loud alarm. The best sunrise alarm clocks simulate a real sunrise so you can rise at any hour of the day or night with more ease. 

Should you use a sunrise alarm clock all year?

According to Dr. Hoaglin, light exposure is good to have all year round, and it will keep you on a regular pattern of sleep and wakefulness. 

“For those who might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, any amount of light (even imitation) can help to ease the side effects someone might experience,” Dr. Hoaglin says. “Tricking your body into thinking the sun has come out, is a calmer and more welcome way to wake up.”

With this being said, if you live somewhere where the sun rises very early in the morning, you might not notice the alarm as quickly. 

“It helps to make your room dark by closing the blinds and curtains before bed if you want to get the full effect of the clock,” Dr. Hoaglin says. “Eventually though, your body will adapt to the time you wake up everyday, and you might not rely on the alarm clock as much.”   

Who We Are

This article was written by Adria Greenhauff, who has been writing about food and lifestyle topics for over a decade. To come up with this list of the best sunrise alarm clocks, she interviewed Dr. Mike Hoaglin, medical director of DrHouse, and Jeff Kahn, CEO and Co-Founder of Rise Science.

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