If the sound of soothing ocean waves, thunderstorms, or birds chirping helps you fall asleep or wake up, then an alarm clock that can play natural noises is a sleep essential. But, there’s a surprising amount of features offered in today’s best bedside alarm clocks, so before you purchase one, there are a few things to consider. The best nature sounds alarm clocks have multiple volume settings and can play a range of sounds, such as from the beach, the forest, or even from your backyard. They’ll also have the clock features you need, like low-light clock faces, dual alarm designs, or even sunrise-simulating settings.
First and foremost, consider which natural noises you are looking for. While most options on this list offer more than one choice, the specific nature scenes you want to channel when you wake up will dictate which one is best for you. Beyond the nature sounds, keep your sleep style in mind. A clock with a snooze button or a dual alarm clock for the weekdays and weekends, might be what you want. As with any clock purchase, choosing whether you’d like an analog or digital design will also come down to your personal preference.
Other nice-to-have features which might be right for you include alarm clocks that can simulate sunrise to wake you up in the morning. There’s even an editor-favorite alarm clock that functions as a nature sounds alarm, sunrise-simulating clock, a white noise machine, and a meditation device. If sensory experiences are important to you, there’s also a two-in-one alarm clock and diffuser on this list that pulls double duty on your nightstand.
The best nature sounds alarm clocks can provide a gentle way to wake up in the morning, and they’re gathered up below.
1. A Basic Digital Nature Sounds Alarm Clock
- Nature sounds available: two nature sounds, ocean waves and birds chirping, as well as kanoon, spirited away, beep, buzzer, and FM radio
This affordable, simple alarm clock has two nature sounds including ocean waves and birds chirping, as well as a few other sound settings and access to FM radio. You can also set a sleep timer for the radio function so you can listen to music or the radio for anywhere from 10 to 120 minutes as you fall asleep, and then it’ll automatically turn off. The button on the top acts as your snooze button, and the base even has two built-in USB ports so you can charge your devices. You can adjust the dimmer to one of five brightness settings to match your sleep preference, and the clock face also tells you the indoor temperature of your space. Like others on this list, you can set two different alarms.
According to one reviewer: “Compact but full of options. The brightness control is very good and the two USB ports are great for charging my phone. Haven’t used the radio much as I’m not one for music in the morning, I prefer one of the alarm sounds to wake me. With the snooze, temperature reading, dual alarms, radio, 12/24 hour display and USB ports, it’s a great little alarm clock.”
2. An Affordable Sunrise Alarm Clock With Nature Sounds
- Nature sounds available: four nature sounds, birds singing, ocean waves, streams, and windbells, as well as beep, soft music, piano music, and FM radio
Some sunrise alarm clocks can set you back quite a bit, which is why this $40 alarm clock from L-Bell is such a great deal. Here’s how it works: As it gets closer to your alarm time, this clock slowly lightens to mimic a sunrise until it’s as bright as daylight. You can also set it to play calming nature sounds, like ocean waves, wind chimes, birds signing, or a stream. This alarm clock works to help you get to sleep, too. You can use it as a bedside lamp, and as it gets closer to the bedtime you set, the light slowly starts to fade, and you start to get sleepy while a sound of your choice plays (or not, if you’d prefer silence to fall asleep).
This sunrise clock can also glow in seven different colors, and functions as a radio where you can scan or save up to 40 different radio stations. You can even set different alarm settings for weekdays versus the weekend, or snooze it to get in a few more minutes of shut eye.
According to one reviewer: “There are quite a few features; sounds, volumes, light colors & levels, also FM radio. It was nice to wake up with my eyes kind of pre-adjusted to light. It seemed to be easier to wake up to me. There is also a sleep feature which will lower the light and sound as time runs out. Much less expensive than others I looked at, a good value I think!”
3. An Editor-Favorite Alarm Clock With So Many Features
- Nature sounds: Rain, waterfall, wind chimes, along with a full library of other nature sounds available via the six-month free trial of the Hatch Premium (which costs $49.99 per year after your trial expires)
A sunrise alarm clock, a mediation device, and a sound machine all in one, the Hatch Restore is the cream of the crop when it comes to high-tech alarm clocks, and its price tag reflects that. You’ll have access to a few basic nature sounds with the alarm clock alone (including rain, waterfall, and wind chimes, along with white noise), but where the Hatch really shines is with the subscription features. With your purchase you’ll get access to a free six-month trial of Hatch Premium, the brand’s content library of additional nature sounds, sleep meditations, soundscapes, sleep mixes, sleep stories, and even yoga and stretching exercises. After six months, this subscription will cost $49.99 per year, which makes this alarm clock a true investment. But, thousands of reviewers on Amazon have given it a glowing (pun intended), 4.4-star overall rating.
Beyond its nature sounds and content library, this alarm clock also offers 22 unique lighting options which you can personalize on a timer to match your sleep preferences using the associated app (there’s also a default setting, if you don’t know where to begin). You can set the Hatch to function as a sunrise alarm clock and wake you up with light, and it even has a designated lighting setting for reading, winding down, and sleeping. You can also snooze it to silence any nature sounds and get a few more minutes of sleep, and set it so you have one sleep routine for the week and one for the weekend. The LED clock face is easy to read even in daylight, and you can also turn the light off if you prefer to sleep in true darkness.
This alarm clock is also a favorite of Associate Commerce Editor Ileana Morales Valentine, who first bought the Hatch Rest, designed for babies. She says, “Hatch has been essential since my baby was a newborn and probably even more so now that he’s a toddler. I love the smart features and sleek design. (And it’s super convenient to adjust from your phone.) I’ve gifted one to friends expecting a baby, and I actually got the Restore for my own nighttime and gentle wake-up routine.”
According to one reviewer: “The alarm is the best way to wake up, you can set it to any color and there’s a great variety of white noise/nature sounds to switch up to. Its so calming and great quality, even my boyfriend is obsessed. Highly recommend.”
4. A Kid-Friendly Alarm Clock With A Nightlight
- Nature sounds available: 17 nature sounds including thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and animal sounds like frogs, cows, or ducks
This kid-friendly alarm clock has a touch-sensitive screen that displays a moon graphic when it’s time for your child to be in bed, and switches to a sun when it reaches the programmed wake-up time. It features 17 different sounds, including natural sounds like thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, as well as a range of animal sounds. It also doubles as a nightlight, but the best part is that adults can set a timer so the nightlight and the noise shuts off on its own after a while. If your child prefers to sleep with white noise all night, you can also set the noise to play while they sleep. You can adjust the brightness of the nightlight to three different intensity levels, as well as the volume to suit your child’s preferences.
One important note: For light-sensitive children, some reviewers note that even the lowest brightness is still a bit too bright for them. That said, it can be turned off completely, and act as just an alarm clock.
According to one reviewer: “This is a pretty good all in one clock for young children with a lot of different options. I like the sun, moon and stars on the front face as the day changes. There are a lot of different sounds to choose from which is nice. The night light option is good and all the different colors are cool. My 5 year old son loves it!”
5. A 2-In-1 Alarm Clock & Diffuser
- Nature sounds available: Six sounds including thunder, campfire, zen, ocean, brook, or fan sounds
If you’re tight on bedside space or just a fan of multifunctional designs (who isn’t?), this two-in-one alarm clock and diffuser is a great purchase. It features a light-up LED screen, as well as six sounds, including thunder, campfire, a babbling brook, and more. The highlight of this clock, though, is that it also doubles as an essential oil diffuser. You can set both the diffuser and the noises for 30, 60, or 90 minutes as you fall asleep. This has a dimmer light that allows you to adjust the light of the LED clock face and the nightlight, which can cycle between six different colors (or be turned off, if you prefer to sleep without a nightlight). With adjustable volume, a snooze button, and a USB port in the back, this alarm clock really has your bases covered. On top of all that, you can even sync this clock with your Bluetooth-compatible devices to play your own music. This diffuser holds 250 milliliters of water and essential oils.
According to one reviewer: “This machine does it all. Will definitely be buying another one, everyone in the house wants one. The speaker is great, Bluetooth is very easy to use. The aroma mist is not to[o] thick and is quiet. It also has a USB port on the back for charging your other devices.”
6. An Analog Alarm Clock That Plays Bird Noises
- Nature sounds: Birds chirping, as well as five melodies, and a traditional beep sound
This analog clock is a simple option if you want to be able to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping. It lacks a lot of the high-tech digital features that come with the clocks above, but its minimalist, low-light design will appeal to anyone looking to go back to basics. You can also hit the button on the top of the clock to illuminate the face at night, if that’s more to your sleeping preference. Two simple dials on either side allow you to switch between the sounds and adjust the volume. And the top button also functions as the snooze button. The non-ticking design won’t disrupt your sleep, and while every other alarm clock on this list requires an outlet to use, this one is battery operated and even comes with batteries.
According to one reviewer: “I love the birds chirping – a natural sound – nice to wake up to (although there are other more rude sounds to choose from).One of my favorite purchases off of Amazon.”