Using your cell phone to wake up is the equivalent of using your cell phone to check the time throughout the day: it works, but it’s bush league at best. Plus, the temptation of Twitter and Candy Crush before bed is strong, and all that blue light can wreak havoc on your sleep quality. Avoid electronic temptation with a dedicated alarm clock, many of which have extra, useful features and look good enough to add some style to your bedroom. Our picks offer a little bit for everyone, from no-frills clock radios to AI-equipped smart speakers, and they’re all better than using your phone.
RCA Digital Alarm Clock
This model is a basic, no-frills alarm clock. It has a large, 1.4-inch dimmable LCD display, battery backup, and ample snooze button. If it looks like it was designed decades ago. And we mean that in the best way.
AcuRite Intelli-Time Alarm Clock
This clock is also anchored by a large time display, but it packs in more information, including temperature and humidity, moon phase (in case that’s important to you), and date.
There’s also a USB port to ensure you wake up to a fully-charged device.
Braun Classic Analog Quartz Alarm Clock
This re-release of a classic design revives the minimalist, easy-to-read design of a Braun analog clock. At only two and a half inches wide and tall and about an inch and a half deep, it won’t take up much room on your bedside table. It has a simple alarm on/off button on top and, even though it’s an analog model, it operates quietly (no incessant ticking) until its crescendo alarm goes off.
Brandstand CubieBlue Charging Alarm Clock with Bluetooth Speaker
If you find yourself running around town with multiple devices, this alarm clock is a great choice. It has two USB ports and two standard power outlets built-in, and they’re located on top for easy access. The alarm is dead simple to set, just press in the dial on top and turn it to adjust the desired time. The Bluetooth speaker won’t help you sleep or wake you up, but it’s a nice thing to have in your bedroom.
Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520
Philips makes a bunch of different wake-up lights, but this one is its bestseller for good reason. Its orange- and yellow-toned lights more accurately simulate natural lighting conditions at sunrise and sunset than white light-only models, and you can accompany your wake-up with your choice of five natural sounds. Philips says that its devices are scientifically proven to improve the wake-up experience over a standard sound-based alarm, so if you’re not doing great with a beeping alarm clock this one is worth a shot.
Bonjour Smart Alarm Clock
This Kickstarter-funded device is so much more than an alarm clock. It has an LCD color screen and smart speaker functionality, responding to questions about traffic, weather, and appointments for the day. It can play music through Spotify and iTunes and control other smart devices in your home. By gathering data from fitness trackers and apps and providing mediation and relaxation programs, the Bonjour also aims to help you live a healthier, better-rested life.
Peakeep Ultra Small Travel Alarm Clock
Even if you don’t use it every day, this model from Peakeep is nice to have when you travel. It’s tiny (two and a quarter inches on its longest side) and weighs only a couple of ounces. It runs on one AA battery and features easy to use controls: a button that activates the backlight and snooze functions, a simple alarm on/off switch, and two knobs to set the time and alarm, respectively.
Alume Cube Clock
The Museum of Modern Art has grown beyond the art world to impressively designed items for the home like this cube of an alarm clock. Unlike traditional alarm clocks, the display on this model isn’t always on; the time only appears when you snap your fingers or tap the top of the cube. When not in use, you can’t even tell what this clock is, it just looks like a sleek paperweight that is so attractive it looks like it, well, belongs in a museum.
WITTI BEDDI Alarm Clock
This clock, available in black and white, looks like something out of Tron. A light emerges from the bottom of the six and a half inch long device, adjustable for both color and brightness. It’s useful as a night light for when you stumble from turning off the light to getting under the covers. The front panel features a standard LCD time display that can be turned off at night if you prefer complete darkness. On the back, three USB ports provide plenty of juice for all of your overnight charging needs.
Bulova Bellman II
This clock would be perfect for mid-twentieth century cosplayers, if that were a thing. It features a classic two-bell design with a little hammer that actually vibrates between them to wake you up. The only clue that this clock isn’t an antique is its glow-in-the-dark hands and dots next to each number, so it’s not too hard to read if you want to check the time without blinding yourself in the middle of the night. It won’t charge your cell phone, but it’ll look great next to your rotary landline.
Lucky-Key Alarm Clock
Go the complete opposite direction with this mirrored brick of a clock that could be from the future. It features plug-in power and battery backup, dual alarm modes (for you and your partner), and a simple array of five buttons on top. It can also display the temperature and has a night mode setting that dims the display, which can also be turned off if you want to trick people into thinking it isn’t a clock.
Oct17 Wooden Clock
It’s technically made of medium density fiberboard, but this clock looks and feels like wood. It has a power-saving function that switches off the display when idle for 10 seconds. Make a noise like a hand clap and it turns back on at one of three luminance levels, adjustable to suit the light in your bedroom. It also features battery backup and three alarms, but the real attraction here is the look of wood. It will likely match the look of your room more than pretty much any other clock.