Best Alarm Clocks of 2020

A quality alarm clock helps you get the rest you need without worrying about waking up on time each morning. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best alarm clock to fit your specific needs.

Rise and Shine: How to Find the Best Alarm Clock for You

These days, many of us set the alarms on our smartphones to wake us up in the morning. But bringing the bright screens—and emails—of modern technology into the bedroom can make it harder to fall asleep. An alarm clock may be just what you need to get a better night's sleep.

Alarm clocks have come a long way, with many of today's clocks sporting extras like USB ports and Bluetooth capability. With so many options on the market—from traditional analog alarm clocks to vibrating alarm clocks to alarm clocks that can project the time onto your ceiling—how do you find the right one for you?

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If you're ready to buy an alarm clock, you'll find our top three picks above. For an in-depth guide to finding the best alarm clock for you, you've come to the right place.

For a better night's sleep, swap your smartphone for an alarm clock. According to the American Medical Association, prolonged exposure to too much light at night, including the use of smartphones or tablets, can disturb a good night's sleep or even aggravate sleep disorders.

Which Type of Alarm Clock Will Wake Me Up?

Analog Alarm Clocks
Battery-powered clocks with straightforward settings, analog alarm clocks have been waking people up for years. However, batteries die and must be replaced, and many analog alarm clocks feature noisy second hands. If you love the retro design of analog alarm clocks, look for one without a second hand.

Clock Radio Alarm Clocks
For many, waking up to the sound of the latest chart-topping hits is preferable to the insistent buzzing of other alarm clocks. Some clock radio alarm clocks are Bluetooth-enabled, which allows you to choose virtually any sound via your smart device, including your favorite tunes. The digital displays of clock radio alarm clocks are always easy to read, even in the middle of the night.

Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clocks
For those who prefer a gentle awakening, a sunrise simulation alarm clock offers the natural way to wake up. Rather than sudden, blaring noise, sunrise simulation alarm clocks light up gradually, increasing the level of light just like the sunrise. If you're worried that this may not be enough to pull you from your slumber, fear not—most sunrise simulation alarm clocks also feature calming sounds to help ease you awake.

Alarm Clocks for Heavy Sleepers
If you can sleep through anything, an alarm clock for heavy sleepers might be right for you. Alarm clocks for heavy sleepers don't pull any punches; expect a combination of deafening tones, vibrations, and flashing lights. Fair warning: These aggressive alarm clocks aren't for the faint of heart.

Travel Alarm Clocks
There are a host of compact alarm clocks designed specifically for travel. From bare-bones basic clocks to feature-rich clocks that display different time zones and temperatures, travel alarm clocks are designed to take up minimal space in your suitcase and on a hotel's nightstand.

Projection Alarm Clocks
With projection alarm clocks, there's no need to roll over or even lift your head to check the time. These alarm clocks project the time onto a wall or ceiling. If you find yourself repeatedly checking the time at night, these alarm clocks may help you rest a little easier.

On average, a sleeper hits the snooze button on an alarm clock at least three times before getting up.

Good Morning: Features to Look for When Buying an Alarm Clock

Adjustable Alarm
An alarm's tone and volume are the most important features to keep in mind when choosing an alarm clock. Customizable volume and a variety of tones ensure you wake up on time and feel good before getting out of bed.

Ease of Use
With an alarm clock, no-fuss functionality is best. Look for an alarm clock that is easy to set. Clock radio alarm clocks that auto-sync with the current time are handy too.

Digital displays tend to be easier to read than analog displays. However, consider the amount of light an alarm clock produces. If you find glowing displays distracting, look for an alarm clock with adjustable brightness.

Power Source
While battery-powered alarm clocks are portable, it's up to you to ensure that your alarm clock has enough juice to get you up on time. Plug-in alarm clocks, on the other hand, are set and forget.


  • Dual Alarms: If you and your partner get up at different hours, dual alarms are a worthy extra feature. With dual alarms, you can set one alarm clock with two different wake-up times.
  • USB Ports: Some alarm clocks feature USB ports, so you can charge your phone and other electronic devices while you snooze.


Limit the Number of Features on Your Alarm Clock

While a few extra features add convenience, too many could make your alarm clock unnecessarily complicated.

How Much Does a Reliable Alarm Clock Cost?

Analog Alarm Clocks: Analog alarm clocks are the most affordable, around $10 to $30, although some specialized analog alarm clocks cost a little more.

Clock Radio Alarm Clocks: Prices vary depending on the brand, features, and technology, but expect to pay between $10 and $50 for a clock radio alarm clock.

Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clocks: Sunrise simulation alarm clocks are the most expensive, starting at $30, with some sophisticated clocks topping $100.

A reliable alarm clock can reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a better night's sleep.


Q. How do sunrise simulation alarm clocks work?
A. Sunrise simulation alarm clocks mimic the body's natural rhythms and reaction to light. Sunrise simulation alarm clocks gently light up around 30 minutes before the alarm's set-time and gradually become brighter.

Q. I'm a deep sleeper. Do I need an alarm clock for heavy sleepers?
A. An alarm clock for heavy sleepers is ideal for deep sleepers, but consider the other members of your household too. Alarm clocks for heavy sleepers use high-decibel alarms, flashing lights, and vibration.

Q. Which type of alarm clock is the easiest to use?
A. When it comes to easy operation, analog alarm clocks are best. You simply rotate the dial to set the alarm's time, and then switch the alarm button to "on." Just keep in mind that analog alarm clocks don't differentiate between a.m. and p.m. when you set the time.


Improve Sleep by Waking Up at the Same Time Each Day

Using an alarm clock to wake up at the same time every day helps to regulate your biological clock and improve your sleep patterns.

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