The 11 Best Alarm Clocks to Buy in 2018

These top alarm clocks will make sure you never oversleep again

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The days when everyone had an alarm clock on their nightstand may be over, but there are still many compelling reasons to use a dedicated device instead of your smartphone. Today’s alarm clocks are capable of things like streaming music via Bluetooth, projecting the time on your ceiling or wall, and even providing you with the weather, news briefings, and more. If you want to buy a great alarm clock but aren’t sure where to start, rest easy —  we’ve got you covered. We even had our testers take home our top pick and jot down their honest feedback.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Philips HF3520

Philips HF3520
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The idea of a gentle wake-up alarm clock still has many skeptics, but the Philips HF3520 is designed to emulate the sunrise in the morning. The hope behind the Philips design is that the brain is stimulated to the point that it’s telling your body “it’s time to get up," which allows for a much more natural morning experience. Gone are the days of the abrupt wake-up with blaring beeps and snooze buttons. The colored display offers a natural light experience along with five calming wake-up sounds. If you want to combine the best of both gentle wake-up and old-school function, there’s FM radio capability and a tap-to-snooze alarm clock just in case. Additionally, the bedside light dims and it sounds gently to help you go to sleep emulating a more natural way to enter REM sleep. With 20 total brightness settings, the lighting begins to gradually increase 20 to 40 minutes before your selected alarm time.

Take a peek at some of the other best wake-up light therapy alarm clocks you can buy.

Best Traditional: CubieTime

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Sleek and simple, the CubieTime alarm clock is ideal for the home, but can also be found in hotel rooms across the world, thanks to its easy-to-use interface. Powered via an AC adapter cord, the CubieTime includes two AAA batteries for battery backup in the off chance of a power outage. Weighing 1.7 pounds, it measures a relatively small 4.5 x 4.5 x 1.75 inches in footprint, which makes it ideal for even a small nightstand. If what you’re after is an attractive, simplified option that’s reliable, the CubieTime is a fantastic choice.

Best Splurge: Amazon Echo Spot

If it’s an alarm clock with all the bells and whistles you’re after, the WiFi-enabled Amazon Echo Dot is the best choice around. The hands-free, stylish device responds to thousands of voice requests — beyond just that of setting a morning alarm.

After waking up to Alexa’s alarm, you can request a flash briefing of the daily news, check the weather, see what your work calendar looks like, play music, listen to an audiobook, turn on your bedroom lights and more — all without having to lift a finger. Best of all, the more you use your Echo Spot, the smarter it gets. Over time, it’ll begin to recognize and adapt to your voice, speech patterns and personal preferences.

With four microphones, beam forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation, you won’t have to worry about Alexa not hearing your requests — even over music or nearby chit-chat. Though it’s considerably pricier than your basic alarm clock, for all the features, it’s a worthy one-time expense that’ll have well you on your way to curating a full-blown smart home.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best Amazon devices you can buy now.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: CubieBlue

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The CubieBlue is an alarm clock that comes with Bluetooth music playback and it's even capable of charging your smartphone. The nightly alarm is easy to set, and there's a display dimmer to keep the amount of light to a minimum, so you can rest easy. There’s also a single-day alarm for one-off wakeup times, as well as an auto-update feature for daylight savings time, security clamp and two USB outlets for keeping your smartphone charged, so it’s ready the next morning. It weighs just 2.8 pounds measures 4.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches.

Best Budget: RCA

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Featuring a large 1.4-inch display with oversized red numbers against a black LED display, the RCA digital alarm clock is a perfect budget-friendly, no frills device. The large full-length snooze button makes it easy to swat when your head is still properly buried in a pillow allowing you just a few extra minutes of rest before you face the day. Weighing an ultra-lightweight .2 ounces and measuring 5 x 4 x 6 inches, the RCA offers a repeating snooze option and a “no-stress” alarm set function. Additionally, the RCA offers battery backup through a separately-purchased 9V battery.

Best for Heavy Sleepers: iCKER Alarm Clock

If mornings aren’t your thing, then you need to a powerful alarm to kick-start your day. The iCKER Alarm Clock reaches a max volume of 85 decibels — that's about as loud as a diesel train passing by from 100 feet away. For a more gentle awakening, you can also use the gradual wake up timer to ease you out of a deep sleep. iCKER’s 9-inch screen is perfect for seniors, displaying large numbers that can be read easily, even from across the room. For those with sensitive eyes, the brightness is also adjustable, so you can sleep comfortably at night. The iCKER uses a USB cable to charge and has an additional port that can used to charge your phone. It also comes with a CR2303 backup battery which will save the time, date, and your preferred alarm settings in case of a power failure.

Best with Radio: iHome iBT29 Bluetooth Alarm Clock

If you're looking for streaming capabilities and speaker quality then the iHome iBT29 won't disappoint. You can set your alarm to connect to your favorite music or tune into FM radio. In fact, with the option to set two independent alarms, you don’t even have to choose. The iHome pairs with any Bluetooth-enabled device and also allows you to save six FM radio stations. You can even answer phone calls using the clock’s integrated microphone and voice echo feature.

The iHome’s spherical design and color-changing LED screen make it a perfect mood-setter for a party, or as a design piece for your office or bedroom. The color display isn’t just for show, either; you can set a light-based alarm to wake up more naturally in the morning. The iHome iBT29 includes an AUX input, a USB port, and a CR2460 back up battery in the event of a power outage.

Best Digital: Mesquool

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An alarm clock that can project the time on the wall, roof or just about any object might sound silly at first glance, but the Mesquool alarm clock is anything but that. In fact, having a projection alarm clock introduces a unique way of solving a problem you've never identified. Projecting the time on the ceiling over the bed might be an easy way to quickly allow a glance at the time without ever needing to lift your head. There are additional features as well on this digital favorite, including dual alarms, AM/FM radio and a choice between a buzzer or radio sound for the wake-up alarm.

There are some extra features, too, including a battery backup, high-speed USB charging and a daylight savings time setting. The three-mode dimmer keeps the projected display or the time directly on the clock from being too bright throughout the evening on the 1.8-inch screen. Weighing 15.2 ounces and measuring 6.7 x 1.2 x 1.6 inches, the Mesquool alarm clock and its 180-swivel projection might be everything you didn't know you needed.

Best Analog: Pluteck

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The days of the digital alarm clock are in full force, but the simplified nature of an analog alarm clock cannot be overstated. If you want to skip all the extras and provide yourself with nothing more than a wake-up alarm, the Pluteck non-ticking analog alarm clock is the answer. Featuring a completely silent mode without any annoying tick-tock sound, the Pluteck offers an ascending three-beep alarm that increases in volume over three stages until the alarm is turned off or the snooze bar is pressed. Once the snooze button is pressed, the alarm will return every five minutes until manually turned off. A built-in night light allows easy viewing of the time in the evening with the single press of a top button to avoid a full-time running light that can interfere with light sleepers. Running on a single AA battery, the 3.2-ounce alarm clock measures just 3 x 1.6 x 3.2 inches in size. 

Best Design: Witwatia

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Uniquely styled, this alarm clock rug/carpet offers a snooze function that only works when you stand on it. In fact, you must do more than just gently touch the mat before crawling back into bed. The Witwatia carpet requires three seconds of pressure before the alarm will stop. If you want a quick notification on the time of day, you can stand on the smart clock at the upper left corner or just touch it with your toe to get a quick display of the current time. Made of high-density foam, there’s an undeniable softness to this alarm clock, which makes it a joy to step onto every morning. Additionally, you can even customize your alarm sound by connecting a USB cable and adding new sounds via computer. There’s no question this pressure-sensitive alarm is something totally different, but different is good and this just might be exactly what you need to get started in the morning.

Best for Portability: Casio TQ140

Portable and easily packed into a backpack or carry-on, the Casio TQ140 travel alarm clock is ideal for life on the road. Featuring a beep alarm, the three-hand analog display offers no frills or fancy features. You just get the alarm you need to ensure you’re up on time while traveling. Weighing just 2.08 ounces and measuring 2.2 x 1.3 x 2.2 inches, the Casio is as basic as it gets with alarm clocks. Online reviews praise its accurate timekeeping and sharp looks. It's powered by a single included AA battery.

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How We Tested

Our reviewers spent 10 hours testing one of the most popular alarm clocks available. To get the most well-rounded results, they used it to wake up in the morning and take some midday naps. We asked them to consider the most important features when using this alarm clock and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in an Alarm Clock

Display brightness and color - If you have trouble sleeping in a room with a lot of light, look for an alarm clock that has adjustable brightness controls or a dim display by default. Also keep in mind that too much blue light can make your body think that it’s already morning.

Connectivity - If you’re looking for a basic alarm clock, connectivity doesn’t matter. But if you want a little more out of your device, some of them can stream music via Bluetooth and even connect to the Internet.

Alarm method - There’s no reason to settle for a basic buzzer, unless that’s what you really want. For heavy sleepers, some alarm clocks are equipped with flashing lights and loud noises, while others are designed to wake you up gently with simulated sunrises and nature sounds. If you’re guilty of snoozing, you can even find ones that won’t stop until you physically get out of bed.

Test Results: Philips HF3520 (Best Overall)


What We Like

  • Customization options

  • Variety of soothing alarm sounds

  • Bright display

What We Don't Like

  • Instructions could be more detailed

Philips HF3520
Philips HF3520 clock
Philips HF3520

Our testers rested easy with this alarm clock — literally — with one reporting she felt more refreshed after using it. Another draw was the clock’s gradual wake up feature, plus the ability to choose from a list of soothing alarm sounds: “This was great because you can customize this light to play whatever suits your specific personality,” one of our reviewers said. “For example, I like the sound of the ocean, so I chose that sound. The other options are a bird song, birds chirping in the forest, a zen garden sound, and light piano music.” One of our testers pointed out that since the instructions only had pictures, they were a bit tough to understand at first.