The Best White Noise Machine

Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine

Our Top Pick for 2016: Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $49.97*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Do you live in an area that has a lot of traffic? Are there a lot of noises at night that seem to keep you awake for hours? If you find yourself having insomnia frequently, then one solution to this issue is to purchase a white noise machine to block out the noise that is disturbing you. You can set it to sound like a forest instead of the city that is outside of your window. You can listen to the trickle of a gentle stream in a peaceful meadow to soothe you to sleep. A white noise machine is a great way to make intrusive sounds less noticeable; in fact, they can even be used to lull a baby to sleep. It sounds like a great idea, but you are unsure of what features a white noise machine should have, right? Well, we have come up with a guide to help you figure it out.

Table of contents

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10 Distinct Fan Sounds
Built-in Fan
Two Speeds Available
10 Non-repeating White Noise Sounds
Excellent Noise-masking Capabilities
Masks Unwanted Noises
Comfortable Background Sound
Soothing Sound Of Rushing Air
Recommended For Restless Sleepers
Optimal Sleep Timer
Voltage – 120v
4th Generation Design
Compact & Portable
Official Sound Conditioner Of The National Sleep Foundation
Compact Adjustable Acoustic Housing

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine

Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $49.97*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerAs always, a gold pick means that the product is critically acclaimed and loved by consumers. The Marpac DOHM-DS is a white noise machine that fits the bill; in fact, it has been named the official sound conditioner of the National Sleep Foundation. The company has been around for more than 50 years, so you can expect nothing but high quality from their products.

It is a machine that is designed to utilize an asymmetrical fan to recreate the soothing sound of rushing air. The motor has two speeds, which means that you can increase and decrease the frequency of the white noise being heard. The twistable cap on the device allows you to customize the constant sound to the volume level you desire as well as the specific tone that helps you sleep the best. The specific white noise that is created by this machine is designed to provide you with a deeper sleep and amore relaxation than many other white noise machines.

The whooshing sound created by this machine is the perfect way to mask the sounds of unwanted noises. This includes the sounds of a television set in another room, the sounds of cars honking their horns in the streets, and anything else that may be keeping you awake. It is also a great machine to create a soothing background sound to lull you to sleep, and the best part is that the sound never loops back and repeats itself.

The DOHM-DS runs using a 120 volt power source, which is a standard outlet in North America. It is not capable of running on battery power, but the power cord is a full eight feet long, which allows you plenty of length to reach an outlet from most locations in a room. This white noise machine is a lightweight device that is great for traveling. It is only 3 .25 inches high and 5.75 inches in diameter at the base. In addition, it weighs a mere 1.5 pounds, so you will never notice the extra weight in your suitcase.

White noise is the only output option with this device, so do not expect to hear natural sounds like a gentle rain shower. It is available for purchase in a beautiful shade of fog white, which will look great in any bedroom. There is also a one year warranty included with the purchase of this white noise machine.

Insofar as reviews are concerned, this device has more than just a few on sites that have customer reviews. On Amazon alone, there are 8,577 reviews that have been given, and 86 percent of them have been ranked with a four or a five star rating. Here is an example of one such five star review: “We were visiting relatives and my 13 month old son was out of sorts at naptime and nighttime because he couldn’t get to sleep. We quickly ordered one of these white noise machines and had it sent overnight and oh my gosh what wonders it did! It provides a gently “whooshing” sound and was just the right amount of calm for him … no pun intended but he slept like a baby.”

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): LectroFan Fan Sound and White Noise Machine

LectroFan Fan Sound and White Noise Machine

View it on Amazon for $49.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerOur silver pick, which is LectroFan’s fan and white noise machine, is a great device to use for anyone that has trouble sleeping. It is complete with 20 different noise options, which are a great option for masking unwanted noises as well as sound therapy to help you sleep better at night. The device is 4.4 inches in length, 2.2 inches in width, and 4.4 inches in height. It is a small compact design that is easy to carry and extremely portable for vacations. In fact, it only weighs about 1.2 pounds, which will hardly be noticeable in any bag you pack it in.

There are a plethora of options on this device that range from different white noise frequencies to different sounding fan simulations. The white noise ranges from a low pitch created at 20 Hz to a much higher rang that is created at 20,000 Hz. There are a total of ten different settings for natural white noise, so you will be able to find a range that fits your sleeping needs easily.

There are also ten different fan options that you can choose from. They are designed to create the sounds of a large fan, an industrial fan, a mellow fan that is set on a low setting, a mellow fan that is set on a high setting, an exhaust fan, an attic fan, a circular fan, a vent fan, a box fan, and a oscillating fan. Each of these fans varies in sound, tone, and levels of intensity. If you would rather fall asleep to the sounds of a fan, there are plenty of options for you to test out.

This device does not feature other sounds that incorporate things like a babbling brook or chirping birds, but there are a great deal of options that you can utilize. In addition, there is also a timer that can be used with this device. You can either turn the white noise machine on to allow it to run continuously until you switch it off, or you can use the 60 minute timer, which is a great option for short naps during the day.

To power this device, you will need to plug it into a standard outlet, or if you prefer, you can also use a UBS port as a power option. Batteries cannot be used to power the device. In addition, there is no place to connect external speakers or headphones, but the volume level of the device can be adjusted to levels that are perfectly acceptable without it. This LectroFan device can be purchased in black or white, and it comes complete with a one year warranty.

When it comes to the reviews of this white noise machine, you can find well over 4,000 on Amazon alone. 93 percent of all of the reviews given have been rated with at least four stars; in fact, 85 percent of them actually received a five star rating. Here is an example of one five star testimonial: “To put it simply, this white noise machine keeps me from hearing my upstairs neighbors. I don’t know what they do up there, but before the white noise, I heard what sounded like pole vaulting while carrying a bag of bricks. After using the white noise, the sound from upstairs is muted and dulled to a softer, less harsh crash.”

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Dohm-SS Single Speed Sound Conditioner

Dohm-SS Single Speed Sound Conditioner

View it on Amazon for $44.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe Dohm-SS, which was chosen as our bronze pick, is a great single speed white noise machine. It is the fourth generation model of this device, and it has become a great way to mask noise that you do not want to hear while you are sleeping. It creates a natural sounding wind pattern that has no loops or repeated sounds. In addition, nothing that you hear will be prerecorded, which is a great way to end nights of restless sleep. The white noise is created by using rushing air through the vents of the machine to create a whooshing sound.

The Dohm-SS is an extremely light weight, portable device that can easily be taken with you on your travels. It is only about 3.25 inches tall and 5.75 inches in diameter. In addition, it is easy to place in a bag and forget about it, since it only weighs 1.6 pounds. There are no lights on this device at all, so your sleep can never be disturbed.

You can adjust the volume of the white noise the device is creating as well as the tone in which it is being played. This white noise machine does not feature a timer, so once it is on; it is on for the entire night. Power-wise, you will need a 120 volt power source to plug in the AC adaptor, which is the amount of power you get with the outlets found in North America. There is no option to use batteries with this device, so if you plan to travel to another country, you may have difficulties obtaining enough power to keep it running. The plug is eight feet long, so if your outlet is located on the far side of the room, you will most likely still be able to place it on your bed stand.

This device can be purchased in beige or white, and it comes with a one year warranty. When it comes to reviews, the Dohm-SS received a little over 1,000 on Amazon. Out of all of the reviews seen there, 88 percent of them were rated with at least four stars. Here is one five star testimonial from a satisfied customer: “This is the best-quality white noise generator I’ve ever tried. There’s just no comparison between it and the cheaper devices sold by Homedic and the like, which play looped recordings. The truly random, constantly generated whoosh this machine makes is better than any number of “rainforest” or “beach” recordings, which wakes me up when the loop restarts.”

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner White Noise Machine

Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner White Noise Machine

View it on Amazon for $29.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickImagine this vicious cycle, you have trouble sleeping at night, but you feel that you cannot spend a fortune on a white noise machine. You postpone buying one and the poor sleeping habits continue. You are worse off at work because you are lacking sleep, and this could have all been solved if you actually bought that white noise machine you were looking to purchase. Our ballin’ on a budget pick is the perfect solution to your problems, it is able to drown out unwanted noises and provide you with a restful night of sleep, all without breaking the bank.

The Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner is designed to create natural sounding white noise that mimics a fan without blowing cold breeze over you. It is 6.3 inches on all sides and it is 6.4 inches tall. It is only four pounds, but it is not quite as light as some of the other options on our list. The volume and the tone of the device can be adjusted, but there is only an option for white noise, no natural sound options. In addition, there is no timer or battery power option.

The device is white in color, and it can be purchased in packs of one, two, or four, which allows you to place multiple machines in one room. Doing this will increase the volume of the white noise you are experiencing, which can be a great advantage if you are trying to drown out the noise of a city street.

When it comes to the reviews of this white noise machine, you will be able to find over 3,000 on Amazon alone. 80 percent of the users who gave reviews deemed this product worthy of a positive four or five star rating. Here is an example of a glowing five star testimonial from a satisfied customer: “Why oh why didn’t I buy one of these years ago when I first heard about them?!? My wife and I haven’t had two good night sleeps in a row for years until we got this baby – now we sleep through the night all the time!”


Pre-purchase considerations

Mechanical or Electronic

Are you trying to cover up sounds that are keeping you awake at night or do you simply sleep better with some soft sounds in your room? If you are masking other noise, then a mechanical white noise machine may be a good option for you. It is simply a loud fan that can be heard over other disturbing sounds. It is designed to sound more pleasant to your ear as you fall asleep. An electronic white noise machine is a little different than the mechanical version. Of course, it uses power to create a soothing sound for you, but it also will have many other sound options available.

Sound Library

Any white noise machine worth its salt will allow you to choice from a library of sound options. Most have sounds that incorporate water, like a gentle rain fall, a babbling brook, a waterfall, or even the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. Others combine water and other sounds to give you options like thunderstorms and the sounds of a forest with a stream nearby. You can also find wind sounds to lull you to sleep as well as animal sounds that you may hear in the forest at night, such as owls, frogs, and crickets. Another common option is city sounds, which would include things like trains rushing by, car horns, and other ambient sounds heard in a city environment. Some white noise machines even allow you to listen to soothing classical music as you fall asleep or the sound of a heartbeat. If you are using the machine for a small child, some devices allow you to play lullabies and nursery rhymes that will feel familiar and safe.

Sound Cycling and Volume Adjustability

Some older white noise machines may not have the ability to control the volume, but this means that you may not be able to cover the noise that you are trying to mask. Low volumes could be extremely inefficient and high volumes may disturb others in your home. Having a volume knob allows you to find the perfect level.

Another concern that you may wish to consider is how the sound cycles. Each white sound machine is different; some cycle through four to ten different options that give you a variety of listening noise, while others tend to keep the selection to a minimal number, which causes the sound to loop and repeat itself more often.

Price and Warranty

When purchasing a device that you will use daily, it is important to get a quality machine that will not let you down. Some cheap white noise machines do not have many sound options, so they tend to loop, which can be an annoyance to some. Also, make sure that the white noise machine that you purchase comes with a warranty of some kind. It is better to spend a bit more to get the warranty you want rather than purchase a device that is not covered at all.

Timer and Automatic Shut Off

Many white noise machines have timers incorporated into the device. These timers are designed to turn the white noise off after a certain period of time has passed. Some white noise machines suddenly turn of the noise all at once, while others do it a bit more gradually. If you are a light sleeper who depends on white noise to sleep, the sudden change in what you are hearing can actually wake you up. Make sure that you find a setting that will allow you to stay asleep throughout the night. In addition, there are also white noise machines that have an alarm function that will use the gentle white noise to wake you up from your slumber in the place of an alarm clock. This is great for those who may be startled by the abrupt sound of a traditional alarm clock.

Additional Features

Some of the other features that you may want to consider in a white noise machine are mere conveniences that could be beneficial. First, if you plan to travel a lot and you need to listen to some type of white noise to fall asleep, then it may be a good idea to invest in a portable option. In addition, you may want to consider a machine that utilizes batteries instead of an AC adapter.

If you are thinking of purchasing a white noise machine for a small child, make sure to consider what will be best for them. Some devices can easily be hung from the wall and turned on like a night light. Others are designed specifically for kids, which means that the white noise machine is inside of a stuffed animal that they will easily be able to have by their bed at night.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Now that you know exactly what you need to improve your sleeping habits, it is just a matter of making a decision. Perhaps you are even making this purchase to benefit another family member who is having issues sleeping. Maybe you want to mask the noise around you or perhaps you simply sleep better when there is sound in the background. Forging a decision may not be easy, but you can always reference this guide to assist you along the way. Whether you decide to purchase one of the white noise machines on our list or your research leads you to a different option, hopefully your purchase will give you countless restful nights in the future.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Roopesh, Marpac DOHM-DS Natural White Noise Sound Machine Preview, Deal with Tinnitus
  2. Marpac DOHM Review, Sleep Sound Machine Reviews
  3. Lectrofan White Noise Machine Review, Sleep Sound Machine Reviews
  4. Review of the LectroFan Sound and White Noise Machine, Best White Noise Machine
  5. Marpac Dohm Sound Conditioner, Sleep Like the Dead
  6. Dohm-SS Single Speed Sound Conditioner Review, Best White Noise Machine
  7. Jean Alfonso, Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner Review, Sleep Hack Insomnia, May 9, 2016
  8. Thomas J. Hesley, Sleep Easy White Noise Fan Sound Screen Machine Review, Tom’s Tek Stop, January 28, 2016
  9. Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner Review, Sleep Sound Machine Reviews
  • Looking for the best white noise machine? Read expert reviews and compare features of the best and cheapest sound machines on White Noise Judge! 🙂

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