Last updated: August 29, 2021

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Some of us are fortunate enough that we don't need any help getting up. We go to bed easy, we roll out of bed easily. Many people rely on their alarm clocks to get them up and at 'em.

Thanks to this incredibly useful little invention, getting up from a nap, or waking up in the morning has never been easier. It is easy to program them to go off at a set time every day, and to repeat the process until you are ready to get up. The below shopping guide will help you choose a great alarm clock that has everything you need to get out of bed.




Key Facts

  • The main thing an alarm clock should do is go off when it is time to get out of bed. There are many modern models, however, that do much more than that.
  • You need to have a number of important criteria in mind when buying your alarm clock. This includes how easy it is to set and use, how loud it is, how adjustable it is, and any additional functions.
  • Your alarm clock should have a good snooze function so that you can set it to go off numerous times. This is a fundamentally necessary function or you risk simply falling asleep again.

The best alarm clocks

It is always wise to take the opinions and comments of previous buyers into consideration before making your purchase. In the following section, we have compiled a list of the five best alarm clocks on the market. They are ones that are well-liked and well-rated by consumers and we have included the major characteristics of each one. After reading through it you will undoubtedly find something that is right for you.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about alarm clocks

We hope you've found the above list of great products helpful in finding a great product. You now know what some of the most useful and common alarm clock features are. You also know that there is a wide range of products out there for all needs and tastes. Below we will provide you with even more vital information about alarm clocks and how to choose the one for you.

Happy wake up of a happy man lying on the bed and stopping alarm clock

Try and provide two different power sources to your alarm clock if it has a battery backup.(Source: Guillem: 50565662/ 123rf.com)

What is an alarm clock exactly?

An alarm clock is a device – either analogue or digital – used to wake you up. Most alarm clocks rely on sound, though there are some that also rely on light. You can set the time you want your alarm to sound, as well as the specific day of the week if you have a digital model. They tend to be simple to turn off and control and most have a repeat and snooze function so you can get up more gradually.

Are digital or analogue models better?

The most common questions people ask themselves when deciding on an alarm clock is digital or analogue? The later are the classic ones with hands. Digital alarm clocks display numbers on an LED screen in various colours.

Keep in mind that analogue clocks are really only meant to be used as clocks and alarms. Digital ones, however, come with a variety of additional features and can be used as radios, speaker, MP3 players, electronic chargers etc. Analogue clocks tend to look more classic and decorative, as well as tend to cost less. Digital models, on the other hand, are preferred in general. Analogue clocks often make an audible clicking noise and can keep you up.

We've listed their main differences in the table below:

Analogue alarm clock Digital alarm clock
Sound They use a buzzer as an alarm. They have a very wide array of alarms.
Battery They need different types of batteries to function. They may work with batteries or a power plug.
Time They use hands to show the time. They show the time with numbers.
Design Their design is traditional and attractive. They offer more minimalist designs.
Function They only work as a clock and alarm. They may have many other options.

Why buy an alarm clock and not use my mobile phone?

You may be wondering why you should buy an alarm clock when your smartphone has one already. One of the top reasons to buy one is that it is not recommended to sleep with your mobile phone beside you. It has yet to be proven that having your phone that close to you while you sleep is harmless. It is also nice to take a break from a device which consumes so much of our lives.

Experts have demonstrated that using a mobile device before bed makes falling asleep more difficult. Many people are consumed by their phones and even end up avoiding sleeping because they are so obsessed. Someone calling or texting in the middle of the night can also disturb your sleep. You should really consider swapping your cell phone alarm for a good digital or analogue alarm.

Cup mug and book, pencil, retro alarm clock on the table in bedroom. ( Vintage tone color)

Most homes utilize at least one alarm clock.(Source: Thalang: 41254229/ 123rf.com)

What are the main parts of a digital alarm clock?

Knowing how your alarm clock works is not absolutely necessary, but it certainly makes using it easier. The below section contains a breakdown of the individual parts of your alarm clock and what they do:

  • Screen. The screen of your alarm clock should be quite large and visible from a distance. You should be able to read the digits easily, which is why adequate backlighting is important.
  • Dimmable display. This function allows you to balance the light of the screen. If you can't adjust the light you might find you don't get to sleep as easily. Whether you don't like the light at night or are particularly sensitive to light, this is important.
  • Snooze function. The snooze function is extremely important to have and must be easy to use. This is especially important if you want to wake up more gradually. Snooze allows you to get 10 minutes (more or less) intervals of sleep after your initial alarm has sounded.
  • Extra battery. You trust your alarm clock to get you up and out the door for a variety of important appointments and deadlines. You can't have it fail on you, which is why many also come with backup battery life in case of a power outage and your alarm resets itself.
  • Built-in radio. Most new digital alarm clocks allow you to set your wakeup alarm to a radio station making waking up more enjoyable.
  • Multiple alarms. These models are made with couples in mind so that each person can wake up to his or her preferred alarm. You can also use this function instead of the classic snooze. For instance, you can set a 6:30 a.m. alarm, and then another for 7:30 a.m. if you don't want to be bothered by a noise every ten minutes.
  • Bluetooth. You will be able to connect your phone to your alarm and use some of the functionality.
  • Projector. You may already have seen alarm clocks that project the time onto the ceiling or the wall. This lets you see the time during the morning or evening without having to roll over. This is too much light for some people, though.
  • Progressive wake-up. The alarm starts off less loud and gets progressively louder to make your wakeup less startling.
  • USB input. Allows you to charge your devices using your alarm clock.

What can help me buy the best alarm clock?

As we touched on previously, there are a number of alarm clock features to keep in mind before making your purchase. In the following sections we will dive even further into these, but let's recap the important ones we've already covered. We have listed them out here:

  • Opinions: Pay attention to what previous consumers and current owners have to say.
  • Functions: Know which functionality matters to you.
  • Price: Try and find the best value for money possible.
  • Size and design: You want your purchase to look great in your home, office, room etc.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of alarm clocks?

We've already gone over quite a bit about alarm clocks, so you must have a pretty clear idea about what is most important for you. In the below sections we delve into the features that simply cannot be ignored when buying an alarm clock. Before we do that, however, let's have a look at the pros and cons of a good alarm clock:

Advantages
  • They help you wake up on time.
  • They are generally easy to use.
  • They are affordable.
Disadvantages
  • They make some people nervous.
  • It is not a natural way to wake up.

Shopping Criteria

We are reaching the end of our guide, but we need to go over a few key criteria before you leave. If you take these to heart, on top of the rest of the information we have provided you above, you will have everything you need to get yourself a great product. Below are the basic features to evaluate:

Use

Your clock needs to be simple to use. If you have owned alarm clocks in the past, or are technically included, it shouldn't be a problem. However, if you are buying an alarm clock for older or younger users, you should make sure you get one that is easy to use and doesn't contain a lot of confusing or additional features.

Alarm clock about to ring alongside a sleeping person in bed with focus to the bedside table ad clock

Be aware that if you want an analogue model, it will only do two things: tell time and sound the alarm (Source: Racorn: 54149287/ 123rf.com)

Battery

As previously mentioned, it is always wise to get an alarm clock that has backup battery power. You might also consider an alarm clock you can charge using USB. This will ensure you don't end up missing important meetings, being late for a flight etc.

Radio

Radio is optional, though it is a feature on most modern alarm clocks. It lets you wake up in the morning without having to rely on an alarm noise, which can be nicer, especially if you have trouble waking up. It is also nice to have at night because many modern clocks let you set a 'falling asleep' function that gradually fades out to help you drift off. Make sure you consider whether you can afford all of the features you are interested in.

Noise

Digital alarm clocks don't tick like analogue ones. This is why many people prefer them to analogue clocks. While it isn't a particularly invasive sound, some people fixate on noises and have trouble ignoring them.

Light

This is related to the last category, some people don't like seeing either light or being constantly reminded of the time. If you have trouble sleeping, you might want to make sure you get something with adjustable light intensity. You can also get alarm clocks that don't show the time on the screen while your room is dark.

Summary

Most modern homes have at least one alarm clock. This essential device helps you wake up early and ensures you aren't late. While new smartphones also accomplish this, sleeping with a phone right by your bed is generally not recommended. Keeping your phone away from your head while you sleep gives you a much-needed break from it, and also minimizes the number of disturbances you hear from it during the night.

As is evident from our ranking section, there are a great many products to choose from on the market and you are sure to find one that you love. Consider what you want your alarm clock to have, but also consider how much you want to spend. The important thing is that you get the right product for your needs.

If you enjoyed our guide to alarm clocks and found it informative, share it with your friends and family on social media. Additionally, you can drop us a comment in the below section and let us know your thoughts.

(Source of featured image: Atamanenko: 53513126/ 123rf.com)

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