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A quick look at the best sound machines for baby:
- Best overall sound machine: Hatch Rest
- Best sound machine with nightlight: Housbay Glows White Noise Sound Machine
- Best sound machine with projector: Skip Hop Moonlight & Melodies Nightlight Soother
- Best portable sound machine for travel: Yogasleep Pocket Baby Sound Soother
- Best sound machine for the stroller: Marpac Hushh Portable White Noise Machine
- Best budget sound machine for baby: Conair Dream Tones
- Best battery powered sound machine for baby: myBaby SoundSpa
- Cutest sound machine for baby: WavHello SoundBub
- Best sound machine for toddlers: LittleHippo Mella
- Best smart sound machine for baby: Echo Dot
- Best sound machine with a natural shushing sound: Marpac Dohm Classic
New parents have plenty of concerns, but one that sits at the very top of most mom and dad’s list is how to get their baby to start sleeping through the night — or even for a solid string of hours.
Ask any veteran parent who’s survived the newborn stage, and they’re likely to recommend one thing: a sound machine. These handy devices can be true new-parent lifesavers, coming to the rescue to drown out all other sounds so your baby can continue to sleep peacefully.
People have been raising babies long before sound machines existed, but, if we’re being honest, they probably didn’t sleep all that well. Babies tend to sleep better with some kind of white noise in the background, as it mimics the natural sounds of the womb.
Sound machines help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep for several hours — maybe even the entire night if you’re lucky. They come in handy especially in cases where there are noises beyond your control, for instance, if you have older children or a barking dog.
Sound machines can also play an integral role in your bedtime routine, signaling that it’s time to wind down for bed.
Other options for white noise
It’s worth mentioning that you can also download a white noise app to your smartphone, many of which are free of charge, to use to help your baby sleep. These can be particularly useful for parents on the go, as it gives you one less thing to pack and carry.
Some of the more popular white noise apps include:
Note that smart home devices, such as Alexa and Google Home can play white noise for you on demand as well, so if you already have one and don’t mind using it for your baby all the time, you can give this option a try.
Most modern-day sound machines come with a variety of features, many of which might come in handy. Here are some features that you definitely want to consider:
- ease of use
- sound selection
- volume toggle
- charging capability
- automatic settings
To create this list of the best sound machines of 2021, we reached out to new parents to find out the brands and devices that worked best to help their child sleep during their first year.
We also relied heavily on customer reviews and ratings to understand what features parents liked most and what features they found needed improvements.
Here are the best sound machines to help score your whole family more shut-eye.
- $ = under $50
- $$ = $15–$30
- $$$ = over $30
Best overall sound machine for baby
If you want a sound machine that pulls out all the stops and is super easy to use, look no further than the Hatch Rest. It can be programmed and adjusted straight from your smartphone, but it sits in your baby’s nursery, serving as both a sound machine and a night light.
It has all the important features, including a toddler lock for when your child starts tinkering around with it. You can also customize it with different preset sounds and color combos, and use it as an okay-to-get-up device when your tot starts waking you up at dawn.
Best sound machine with nightlight
This sound machine is a 2-in-1, serving as both a white noise machine and a night-light. It has a wide array of sound offerings, including 17 nature sounds, 7 different types of white noise, and 7 fan sounds.
The nightlight also comes with options — 8 different color options to be exact — which can be fun for your little one to play around with when they’re a bit older.
Best sound machine with projector
Not only does this sound machine make an adorable addition to your baby’s nursery, but it serves several other purposes.
Aside from cranking out white noise and sweet lullaby songs, it’s both a night-light and projector! It has an adjustable lens that you can face against the wall or the ceiling so that it creates a beautiful starry design.
Best portable sound machine for travel
The rechargeable Pocket Baby Sound Soother comes in four adorable animal shapes and can work for 8 hours on a single charge. There are six sounds to choose from, the silicone cover is protective and easy to clean, and the included hook makes this an easy addition to any diaper bag or stroller when you’re on the go.
Best sound machine for the stroller
At just 3.5 inches in diameter and 3.7 ounces, this is an easy choice to sneak into your diaper bag, or hook to the basket or handlebar of your stroller. It has three different sound settings, including white noise, an even deeper white noise, and gentle surf, which sounds like crashing waves. It’s rechargeable and comes with a USB cable.
Best budget sound machine for baby
For the price, you can’t beat this sound machine, which includes many of the top features you’d look for, including a selection of six different sound settings, 5 LED light projection settings, and even a soothing night light. It requires 3 AA batteries (that aren’t included) and comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
Best battery powered sound machine for baby
With six soothing lullaby sounds, including white noise, heartbeat, cradle, ocean, brook, and summer night, this sound machine is ready to help your baby drift off to dreamland.
It’s small, lightweight, and battery operated, so you can take it with you on trips with ease. It has an automatic timer so you can set it to shut off after 15, 30, or 60 minutes, or let it run continuously all night long.
Cutest sound machine for baby
This tiny sound machine is about the size of your palm, but it packs a lot of sleep-inducing power. It is rechargeable and comes with an integrated clip that you can easily attach to a stroller or car seat making it great for travel.
It has a timer as well as a continuous play option, and you can choose between various soothing sounds, such as waves and rain. When you pair it with the SoundBub VoiceShare app you can add your own music and even create your own recordings.
Best sound machine for toddlers
When your baby is a little bit older and better understands the sleep-wake process, this fun alarm clock device will really come in handy.
It uses facial expressions and colors to teach your child when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. It also serves as a white noise machine with three sleep sounds and six different night light options.
Best smart sound machine for baby
Want a sound machine that you can use long after your baby is, well, a baby? Meet the Echo Dot. It’s Amazon’s most popular smart speaker that’s compact, has high-quality sound, and allows you to connect to a myriad of music apps to stream music including Spotify, Sirius XM, and Apple music.
You can link it to one of the white noise apps and use it to help your baby fall asleep. It also allows you to use Alexa, the virtual assistant, to check traffic and weather, set alarms, and more.
Best sound machine with a natural shushing sound
This is one of the oldest sound machines out there, beloved by generations of parents since the early ’60s — and there’s a reason it’s still so popular today.
It does a killer job of drowning out background noise with its signature whooshing sound and creates a totally customized noise experience for your baby with options for adjusting the tone, speed, and volume. It’s also super easy to use, which many parents appreciate.