Moms today are willing to do pretty much anything in the name of sleep. When someone told me that a sound machine would help my newborn sleep longer stretches I hopped right on the white noise bandwagon and haven’t looked back. Sound machines are a really great sleep cue for our little ones and really do a good job making any external noises that might wake a sleeping baby.
What you may not know is that all white noise is not created equal. It isn’t just a recording of ocean waves or rain sounds. True white noise is is a collection of sounds that have the same audible range and frequency. This is why when you download a free “white noise” app on your iPhone it sounds kind of tinny and almost flat. True white noise has a depth to it and once you know the real stuff you’ll pick out the fake stuff with no problem at all. Many companies will tout that white noise that is made from a real fan is the best.
As it is with all baby gear these days, there are a boatload of choices. Many of the Mrs. Nipple community mamas have tried at least two or three different ones and we don’t want that for you, girl. We took the time to compile our personal experiences with sound machines and are here to deliver the details to you. No time or money wasted, go straight for the best of the best! Wishing you long, cozy, peaceful, uninterrupted nights of zzz’s for you and your whole family.
Here’s the deal: This is fairly new to the market offering an all-in-one solution for bedtime for kids of all ages. It can be used from the first day you come home from the hospital all the way into childhood. Offering 11 different recorded sound options, 10 colored light options, and the ability to save the preferences, the Hatch is completely customizable to your needs. It can be controlled completely from your smartphone. The Hatch also has “okay to wake” functionality which is really useful when training independent toddlers to stay in bed until a reasonable hour.
Price: Hatch Rest $59.99 or the new Hatch Rest+ $89.99
Love it: Controlled from your smartphone. Easy turn on and off with a little tap to the top of the device. Night light dimming function is useful for overnight changes during the early days. Truly all-in-one. Sleek, clean design. Very lightweight.
Not so much: The white noise isn’t quite as intense as some other sound machines, the noise is recorded and is not created by a fan like some other machines. Must be plugged in.
What are moms saying?: “I love the simplicity of it so it can grow with your child. All of the controls are hidden so it gives a nice, clean look.” -- Amy M.
Bottomline: If you want one device to meet all your kids bedtime needs, this is a great choice. For all the functionality it provides, the price is quite accessible.
NOTE: Hatch recently came out with an upgraded version of the Hatch called Hatch+. We did not directly test this product but based on our research, it levels up in functioning including clock, Wifi, audio monitor, backup battery, and can be controlled by Alexa.
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Here’s the deal: This is the OG white noise machine. It is simple, is turned on with a switch and offers two volumes - high and low and a few different tones which can be adjusted by moving the vents on the machine. This fan based device produces the famous Marpac Sound – the soothing ambient sounds of rushing air, without the disturbance of actual moving air.
Nothing fancy here but this was the sound machine long before sound machines were a thing. It’s been around for over 50 years!
Love it: Simple to use, you won’t get any panicked calls from babysitters who cant turn it on. Unbeatable, true fan-based sound quality. Simple, clean design.
Not so much: Only offers one sound but the tone can be slightly altered by moving the vents on the machine. Must be plugged in at all times.
What are moms saying?: “This is sound machine captured our hearts long before we had kids, to drown out my snoring boyfriend, now husband. The sound quality is unmatched. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” - Emily K.
Bottomline: For the mom that is hardcore about high quality white noise and doesn’t need the bells and whistles.
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Here’s the deal: Smallest option, offering similarly high quality sound to the Dohm at a lower price, though it is recorded and not fan-based. Choose from bright white noise, deep white noise, or gentle surf, then set your volume--anywhere from whisper-quiet to impressively robust.
Love it: Super compact and portable at just 3.5" in diameter and 3.8 ounces. Baby-safe clip for easy fastening to a stroller, doorknob or crib. No plug needed, runs on a charge. Least expensive option.
Not so much: Too small for some and not the best choice for a larger room. Requires USB port to charge. No way to know when it will lose power.
What are moms saying?: “I love the portability of the Hushh, it provides great white noise for such a small device.” - Nina G.
Bottomline: A great entry level sound machine and is always ready to toss in your bag as your on-the-go sound machine.
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Here’s the deal: This higher-end sound machine merges the fan-based white noise technology with smart technology. The Snooz offers 10 different volume levels, can be controlled remotely via smartphone. Tone is adjusted with an easy twist of the outer shell.
Rotate from a light fan sound (think table fan) to a deep fan drone (think airplane cabin) and everything in-between.
Love it: Real fan based machine. Various volumes and tones. Fully controlled from a smartphone. Portable
Not so much: Most expensive option. Tone cannot be adjusted remotely. Must be plugged in at all times.
What are moms saying?: “I absolutely love my Snooz, I can turn it on with my phone in case we forget to manually.”
Bottomline: If you are willing to shell out a little extra for the bells and whistles while still getting the best of the best sound quality, this is your pick.
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BONUS SOUND MACHINE HACK: Spotify
We’ve all been there. You’re on the go or maybe just got jammed up somewhere and the baby is melting down because it’s naptime. You don’t have your sound machine though! Fear not, mama. If you have Spotify (everyone has Spotify, right?) the white noise options are top notch! Way better than any app we’ve tried and surely better than some YouTube video. Find one that sounds good, put it on repeat. Be sure to put your phone into airplane mode though so your phone doesn’t die!