10 Best White Noise Machines Reviewed

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White noise sound machines are the perfect tool for helping you achieve a great night’s sleep.  The best white noise machines will help you fall asleep faster,  sleep more soundly, and help you feel more rested to attack your day. They utilize soothing tones and white noise to ensure you get a proper night’s rest.

This is especially important for runners because with poor or not enough sleep we don’t perform well. In the long run the appropriate amount of rest allows our muscles to recover faster, helps accelerate muscle gain and healing, reduces fatigue, and helps us to perform at optimal levels.

Below you will find our list of Top 10 of the best white noise machines. These will help you improve the quality of your sleep and ensure a proper night’s rest!

Last Updated:
By Sarah Coryell:

This update brings a new and revised ranking to our top ten list. We have made sure to include affordable, portable, high quality, and high tech options. Be sure to check out all the great information in the product details area as well as our in-depth FAQ section.

Marpac Dohm
  • Marpac Dohm
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Natural soothing sound
  • Price: See Here
Lectrofan
  • Lectrofan
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Highly adjustable sounds
  • Price: See Here
Sound + Sleep
  • Sound + Sleep
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Sound customization
  • Price: See Here

10 Best White Noise Machines

10. Marpac Dohm

10. Marpac Dohm
The Marpac Dohm is a perfect travel sound machine that utilizes a fan for sound instead of a speaker. It is a great option for those of you who like the sound of a fan without having to feel the breeze during the night.
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Tone customization
This machine only has one sound--a hum produced by the fan incorporated within the machine to produce it.

Non-looping audio
This machine uses a fan to produce sound, so there is no looping audio.

Timer
This device does not have a timer.

Portability for Travel
It is compact in size and perfect for travel.

As far as price, this one is averagely priced. It is perfect for true fan lovers who don't need any other sound options are happy with the one this one provides. It also comes with a one year warranty.
Pros
  • Compact size
  • Great for travel
  • No looping audio
  • Different pitch options
  • One year warranty
Cons
  • Only one sound
  • No speakers

1. LectroFan

1. LectroFan
This is a really highly rated white noise machine in general, but even though it claims to be portable, it always has to be plugged in via a USB charger connected to another device. Because of that, LetroFan's high fidelity white noise machine tends to be more popular in professional settings like offices and workplaces, which might also explain its high price tag. But for shelling out that extra cash, you do get the widest array of white noises on the market consisting of ten specialty tones. In addition, there are ten other more industrial ambient sounds. Lastly, it boasts that its noises are non-repeating.
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Tone customization
The LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine offers 10 fan sounds and 10 ambient noise sounds. Letrofan also claims their product can be adjusted in volume to offer tones "many times louder than mechanical fan based conditioners".

Non-looping audio
LectroFan's High Fidelity White Noise Machine is one of the only products on this list that specifically features non-looping audio and variable white noise frequencies.

Timer
The LectroFan White Noise Machine comes with a single 60-minute timer and can also support continuous playback overnight.

Portability for Travel
LectroFan's sound machine might be considered portable if it were used with a USB-connected device or battery pack. However, it must remain plugged in at all times and cannot be powered by batteries.
Pros
  • No looping audio or repeating sounds
  • Lots of different tones and sound settings
  • Cons
  • Cannot be powered by batteries
  • Not easily portable
  • 5. Sound + Sleep

    5. Sound + Sleep
    If you are on the hunt for a high-end sound machine with non-looping sounds, high-quality audio, and additional features then this may be just what you are looking for.
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    Tone customization
    This sound machine has 30 different sound selections (all grouped in 10 different sound categories) to choose from--all of which mask external noise so you can get the best sleep possible. It produces a clear and crisp sound at any volume levels, making it one of the best sound machines out there if you are willing to make the investment.

    Non-looping audio
    This machine utilizes non-looping audio and offers a "richness" feature to enhance the sound and provide you with a different sound experience whenever you want it.

    Timer
    The timer on this white noise machine can be set to 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes. You can choose to have it shut off or just have the volume reduced after the time passes.

    Portability for Travel
    While this machine is bigger and bulkier than other options on this list (it weighs about 2 pounds) it is still small enough to be portable. You will have to sacrifice some packing space, but if you want to bring it with you, you absolutely can.
    Pros
    • High quality sound
    • Non-looping
    • 30 different sound selections
    • Richness feature
    • Masks external sound
    • Timer
    Cons
    • Not as portable as other options
    • Pricey

    3. HoMedics Sound Spa

    3. HoMedics Sound Spa
    This sound machine is a favorite among many. It is highly affordable, portable, compact in size, and offers 6 soothing and relaxing sounds to choose from. It can also be battery operated, so if the power goes out you can still use your sound machine!
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    Tone customization
    This sound machine offers 6 different sounds to choose from: thunder, ocean, brook, summer night, rain and white noise. While the may not be as high in quality as some other options, for the price this is an excellent option.

    Non-looping audio
    This machine plays audio in a 21-second loop. So, it is not continuously different, but it does provide enough variation for most users--and with the 6 different sounds, you have the option to alternate between them as needed.

    Timer
    It has 15-minute, 30-minute, and 60-minute timer options as well as a continuous play option if you like to keep it on throughout the night.

    Portability for Travel
    This sound machine is incredibly portable and perfect for travel. It is compact in size and can be plugged in a wall outlet or powered via AA batteries--so you can even play it in the car for your sleeping baby or even while camping.

    This is the best affordable option out there, so if you aren't looking to invest--but still want a highly rated sound machine--this is the perfect option for you.
    Pros
    • 6 different sounds
    • Affordable
    • Portable
    • Great for travel
    • Compact size
    • Timer
    •  
    Cons
    • Not the highest quality sounds

    6. Marpac Rohm

    6. Marpac Rohm
    The Marpac Rohm is a great portable option for all you travelers out there! Fully featured and USB chargeable, this noise machine comes highly reviewed.
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    Tone customization
    The Rohm has 3 sound options - bright white noise, deep white noise, and gentle surf.

    Non-looping audio
    With 20 Unique non-Looping fan and white noise sounds, the Rohm will help you fall asleep fast!

    Timer
    The Rohm does not come equipped with a timer.

    Portability for Travel
    This is where the Rohm shines! Weighing in at just 3.8 ounces and measuring 3.5" in diameter, the Marpac Rohm fits easily into a backpack or suitcase and is perfect for runners on the go.


    Pros
    • Highly portable
    • USB charging
    • High volume potential
    Cons
    • Battery isn't the best

    2. Avantek

    2. Avantek
    The Avantek white noise machine is a portable ambient device that claims to play up to 20 different tones. Unfortunately, only 8 of those tones are listed in their product information and do not include a standard white noise setting. This machine is very small (about a 4-inch cube). However, it has a maximum timer (and likely battery life) that only lasts 7 hours. When you consider it's nearly double what the Dreamegg costs, it doesn't really seem like a value. In addition, if you have poor eyesight (like some of our staff does) you might not be able to see its tiny buttons at night or when you wake up.
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    Tone customization
    This sound machine comes with a single white noise frequency and ambient sounds including stream sounds, wave sounds, wind sounds, rain sounds, bird sounds, cricket sounds, campfire sounds, fan sounds and clock sounds.

    Non-looping audio
    The Avantek white noise machine loops audio every hour. However, Avantek also claims these sounds are "crisp, natural, realistic, and without any scratching noises".

    Timer
    The Avantek white noise machine has several preset timer settings displayed in 1 hour, 2 hour, 4 hour, and 7 hour increments.

    Portability for Travel
    Since Avantek's white noise machine has only about a 4-inch diameter, it's one of the smallest and most efficiently packaged white noise machines we've reviewed on our list.
    Pros
    • Stylish
    • 20 programmed sounds
    • Highly portable
    Cons
    • Small buttons without backlights

    8. Pictek

    8. Pictek
    The Pictek white noise machine produces incredible, multi-dimensional sound with a budget price tag. We were especially impressed with the Pictek because it's one of the few machines on the market that offers different types of both white noise and ambient sounds. Moreover, there are audio settings that play more than one ambient tone at a time. That's pretty high-tech for a portable product under 20 bucks!
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    Tone customization
    Pictek's White Noise Machine features 8 modes: White noise, New York Morning, Home Appliance, Hawaii Waves, Zoo Sounds, Tokyo Temple Rain, Matrix, and London Storm.

    Non-looping audio
    Each one of these aforementioned modes represents a 30-minute audio stack of three high-fidelity noises. For example, the "Home Appliance" selection plays a total of three sounds: vaccum cleaner, blower, and electric Fan.

    Timer
    Pictek white noise machine can be used to generate sound all night. It also has an optional timer that can be set for 30 or 60 minutes.

    Portability for Travel
    Pictek's White Noise Machine can be used with any international USB adapter, USB power outlet, computer/laptop USB port, or USB auto adapter. It can also be powered with 4 AA batteries (not included with the device).
    Pros
    • Portable
    • Multi-dimensional sound
    • 24 tracks to choose from
    Cons
    • Not very stylish

    4. Big Red Rooster

    4. Big Red Rooster
    The Big Red Rooster sound machine is another excellent option for those of you looking for an affordable choice that also has several sound options. It is also great for travel and is compact in size.
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    Tone customization
    This machine comes with 6 different sounds--rain, brook, ocean, thunder, white noise, summer night.

    Non-looping audio
    The sounds on this machine are looped audio recordings. Some may notice it, but if it does not bother you then it is a perfect option for you.

    Timer
    You can choose to play your sound machine all night or you can choose from 15-minute, 30-minute, or 60-minute timer options.

    Portability for Travel
    Very portable and great for travel. It can be plugged in or you can use AA batteries to power it.
    Pros
    • 6 different sounds to choose from
    • Compact size
    • Timer
    • Can be battery operated
    • Affordable
    • Labeled buttons for each sound
    • Lightweight
    Cons
    • Short looped sounds
    • Max volume may not mask all external noises

    9. Pure Enrichment's Wave Premium

    9. Pure Enrichment's Wave Premium
    This is one of the consistently highest rated sound machines. That’s because, like the Dreamegg, it comes with a phone charger and fairly sleek design. The Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine comes with a functional USB port and a removable stand to help keep your bedside cables organized. At around 30 dollars it's a little overpriced since it only is able to play six tracks and only has a single design to choose from. It does come with a certified 5-year warranty however, so if durability is your primary consideration, it might be worth taking a look at.
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    Tone customization
    The Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine features 6 audio track selections including: white noise, fan sounds, ocean sounds, rain sounds, stream sounds, and summer night sounds. This sound machine also claims these tracks are minimally repetitive and seamless.

    Non-looping audio
    The Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine contains "seamless" looping audio every 15 minutes and a single frequency of white noise.

    Timer
    The Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine has 15 minute, 30 minute, and 60 minute auto-off timer features. It also allows for continuous playback for overnight operation.

    Portability for Travel
    Thanks to Pure Enrichment's sleek, compact design (about 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches), the Wave sound machine fits easily into most backpacks, purses, and luggage.
    Pros
    • 6 sounds
    • USB charging
    Cons
    • Users report LED button display can disturb sleep
    • Must be plugged in to an outlet

    7. Dreamegg

    7. Dreamegg
    This is the most stylish white noise machine available on the market for less than $30. With its sleek, modern design, the Dreamegg easily surpasses its competitors in looks. This white noise machine also has lots of special features including six different sounds and a phone charger. Plus, the Dreamegg has one of the largest and loudest speakers allowing for maximum sound masking.
    Expand to see more
    Tone customization
    Dreamegg's White Noise Machine comes with 6 modes to choose from: Fan, White Noise, Ocean, Rain, Summer Night and Lullaby.

    Non-looping audio
    Dreamegg's White Noise Machine features 15 minute looping audio files and also generates white noise.

    Timer
    This white noise machine is equipped with a variable 15, 30, and 60-minute auto-off timer. Plus, it has a memory function that conveniently stores your last sound and volume selection.

    Portability for Travel
    Measuring 6.8 inches x 1.1 inches x 4.9 inches, the Dreamegg White Noise Machine about the same size as a tablet. This makes the device fairly portable, but it must always be plugged in via USB or corded adapter.
    Pros
    • High volume limit
    • Sleek design
    • Bonus features like USB ports
    Cons
    • A little too large to be highly portable

    The Criteria Used When Choosing the 10 Best White Noise Machines

    Sound Masking

    Sound masking refers to the sound machine’s ability to block out sounds in your surrounding environment. Unfortunately, there is no magical sound machine that will eliminate every irritating noise out there, but there are some that mask them much better than others. If you are looking for noise cancellation then you may want to look into a pair of high-quality earplugs or a set of noise-canceling headphones, but if you want a soothing sound to help you sleep, then a sound machine may be the perfect option. While these sound machines do not completely cancel out noise, they do reduce the amount of environmental noise you hear in your home by playing a specic tone or ambient sound of your choice. When selecting the best white noise machine, we took into consideration not only what sounds each device was capable of playing, but also the volume settings available on each device.

    Tone Customization

    When considering the best white noise machine, we also took into consideration how many sounds each device was capable of producing. This is an important factor because what each person considers to be familiar or soothing can really differ. Some people may benefit from the sound of rivers or storms, while others may find themselves waking up to go the bathroom more often when listening to sounds like these, and some users may be soothed by white noise or nature sounds while others may be completely revolted by them. It’s important to take this into consideration and we made sure to choose items with a broad range of choices–so you have options to choose from if your preference change from time to time.

    Non-Looping Audio

    The presence of non-looping audio is another important factor to take into consideration when selecting the best white noise machine for you and your family. Non-looping white noise machines are capable of producing unique soothing sounds without repeating themselves. On the other hand, looping audio tracks play the same audio file over and over again. There are many people who are unable to discern the difference between looping and non-looping audio, but those that can may find the repetition quite bothersome. In order to help runners who have trouble sleeping deeply, we’ve placed most of the non-looping machines higher on our list.

    Timer

    Many runners may benefit from quick naps that help them rest and recharge throughout the day. Having a timer function on your white noise machine can help you get more REM sleep during your naps and can help you create a more soothing environment while you rest. In addition, the timer function is a great way to measure time, relax while taking quick breaks from work, practice yoga, or get work done. In addition, if your partner is sensitive to noise, a sound machine can be timed to shut off when you fall asleep so they don’t have to be bothered by it.

    Portability 

    Many runners travel quite a bit to attend race events, so having a portable sound machine during your trips will help ensure you are able to create a soothing, familiar environment when you are away from home.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Is it important to you that your sound machine have alarm clock feature?

    If versatility, minimalism, and functionality are  important to you then you might be interested in scrapping your old alarm clock for an inexpensive new edition that has a white noise machine already built into it. This feature will also add to its value when you are traveling since we can’t always rely on our phones–it never hurts to have more then one alarm set, so you can make sure you don’t miss that race!

    What sounds do you find most soothing?

    This is quite possibly the most important thing to consider before making your purchase. In order for a white noise machine to truly benefit you, you need to consider the sounds that are soothing to you. When you were a child, did you use to fall asleep to the sound of the washing machine? Select a white noise machine capable of playing ambient household noises. Did you grow up on the coast? Select a white noise machine with the ability to play ocean sounds. In love with nature? Make sure your noise machine includes forest tracks and the chirping sounds you find soothing. Selecting specific, targeted sounds that soothe you will foster a feeling of safety and comfort as you prepare to sleep.

    If portability is important to you, where are you going?

    There are many sound machines out there that are marketed as highly portable, however, you need to take your own considerations into account. If you are going to be backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail or along the Great Wall, you might want to opt for a white noise machine that’s not only small but able to clip onto your backpack. If you’re staying in a hotel, however, you might simply need a white noise machine small enough to fit in your carry-on bag.

    Do you have any power/connectivity preferences?

    White noise machines can be powered by battery, Bluetooth, iOS/Android apps, remotes, or traditional corded designs. We recommend you make a quick assessment of your current household devices and select a white noise machine that is compatible with your lifestyle. Since portability is a feature many consider important, we have also included products that can also use batteries or be charged in advance.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How do white noise machines work?

    White noise machines are simple devices that can typically be divided into two categories: white noise fans and white noise machines.

    White noise fans are typically bubble or box-shaped and contain a fan that produces a steady whirring or humming sound. Some of them have an outer casing covered with small holes or slits that can be twisted to produce different tone frequencies.

    White noise machines produce digital audio by either looping tracks or by playing non-repeating audio. These machines are also capable of replicating ambient nature sounds, household machines, the sounds of nature, heartbeats, and more. Generally speaking, white noise machines offer a wider sound selection to choose from.

    Q: How does a white noise machine help you sleep?

    “The simple version is that hearing still works while you’re asleep,” says Seth S. Horowitz, a neuroscientist and author of The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind.  As much as we might try, human beings aren’t designed to fully drown out sounds while they’re sleeping. That’s probably because thousands of years ago, we needed the ability to wake up rapidly if we needed to flee from predators or alert others of impending danger. Today, most of us don’t have to worry about hungry tigers creeping up on us when we least suspect it but we might still find ourselves waking up in the middle of the night because of small, insignificant noises–like a child getting up to get water, a neighbor’s door closing, or a car passing outside. That’s where white noise machines come in. They provide a more consistent, safer-feeling, sound environment for us while we try to rest.

    Q: What’s the difference between white, pink, and brown noise?

    Sound therapists often divide different types of noises into specific sonic hues like white, pink, brown and so on.  It’s helpful to think of these different type of noise in the same way we think about light. White noise is really just a combination of all of the basic tones that our ears are able to hear. It’s the same when we talk about white light – it’s the combination of all the colors of the rainbow. As you might have already guessed, it sounds exactly like what you’d expect– like flipping on an old-school television or radio that has no signal. White noise is special because our brains make us believe this sound is louder than anything else in the room. Pink noise does the same thing, except the higher frequencies are more muted. In general, people describe pink noise as sounding pretty natural – like rain or a fast-moving stream. Fun fact: numerous studies have also shown that listening to pink noise can help improve your memory the next day. Brown noise is similar to a bass-boosted version of white noise that heavily decreases the sound of higher frequencies. In general, it sounds like strong wind or a looped recording of a crashing wave. Like pink noise, it’s also been reported that brown noise can help improve memory and relaxation. Overall, it doesn’t really matter which color of noise you choose – as long as it helps you to fall asleep.

    Q: I have Tinnitus, can I still use a white noise machine to help me sleep?

    Yes! In fact, white noise machines are often used as a form of Tinnitus therapy. The fluctuating sound of white, pink or brown noises, in particular, can be effective for masking the slight ringing that might otherwise distract you from sleeping.

    Q: Do I have to use a timer, or can I let my white noise machine run all night?

     Many white noise machines with timers are still capable of producing sound throughout the night. Only a handful play for a set duration of time (usually divided by 30, 75, and 90 minutes).

    Q: Will a white noise machine drown snoring?

    Unfortunately, no. A white noise machine won’t be able to fully drown out the dulcet tones of your partner sawing logs. However, as Clete A. Kushida, director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research, recently told Popular Science Magazine: “the majority of bedpartners prefer the constant white noise of a CPAP machine rather than their spouse’s crescendo-decrescendo snoring sounds”. This likely means that if you have a constant white noise source, your brain will perceive it as louder than other sounds that might typically disturb your sleep. If you’re dead-set on eliminating that snore from your life (without getting rid of your beloved partner), we’ve also included white noise machines that have Bluetooth capabilities (for wireless headphones) and audio jacks (for traditional headphones).

    Sources

    1. Colin Letcher, Why Does White Noise Help People Sleep?, Article, Feb 17, 2014
    2. William R. Klemm Ph.D. , Does White Noise Help You Learn?, Article, Jun 13, 2017
    3. Julia Halewicz, ​Can White Noise Help You Sleep Better?, Article, Nov 17, 2017
    4. Sound of Sleep, White, Pink, and Brown Noise: What’s the difference?, Blog post, Apr 18, 2017
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