Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520
This alarm has the most soothing simulated sunrise and sunset, which can help you feel less groggy. It has a good range of alarm sounds, a second alarm, backup power and a sleek design.
*At the time of publication, the price was $130.
Many sunrise alarms use white light to wake you up, which can be irritating early in the morning. The Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 starts with a more soothing red-tinted light that gradually changes to a bright white light. This approach feels more natural and may be more effective in helping you feel less groggy when you wake up. (Philips’ SmartSleep options, which are more expensive, are the only other clocks that offer this red-tinted sunrise/sunset simulation.) The HF3520 offers neither an app to program the settings nor relaxation sounds to help you put you to sleep, but it has a good range of five alarm sounds, a backup alarm, a backup power source (so your alarm will still work in the event of a power outage) and a decent radio.
Choice of upgrade
SmartSleep HF3670 Sleep and Wake-up Connected Night Light
This Bluetooth-connected model has many of the same features as our main pick, but with a few nice extras like a USB charging port, soothing sunrise lighting, and multiple alarms. It’s also easier to change settings through the intuitive app.
This upgrade is not for someone who is just looking for a sunrise alarm clock to go to bed and wake up to. It’s for anyone who wants to use their clock as an accessory for an entire sleep ritual. The Philips SmartSleep connected sleep and wake-up light (essentially the Bluetooth connected version of the SmartSleep HF 3650, formerly called Somneo HF3650, our old upgrade pick) has many of the same features as our main pick, including a natural, red – Light tinting at sunrise and sunset. But it offers more alarm sounds and a wider range of programmable brightness levels and sunrise shades. It also has sensors that detect temperature and humidity, noise and light levels (which display readings on its app), a built-in nightlight (just press if you need it), and a USB port. We think it’s the intuitive app that’s really worth it, letting you schedule your sunrise and sunset times and other features much more easily than navigating through clock buttons. We also like that you can set multiple alarms throughout the week, and that the sunset component has the option of multiple “chill out” routines, complete with soothing sounds and (if desired) visual prompts. to guide you in deep breathing.
hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock
This sunrise alarm’s light simulation isn’t as soothing or radiant as more expensive wake-up lights, but its alarm sounds, dimming capabilities, and radio make it better than some models that cost twice as expensive.
*At the time of publication, the price was $20.
If you’re not ready to go with one of our top picks, we recommend the hOmelabs Sunrise Alarm Clock. It’s built with everything you’ll find in high-end clocks; it’s just not as luxurious. The solid white glow of this light is less soothing than the red-tinged dawn and dusk simulations on the Philips models, and the alarm sounds a bit tinny. But it does come with the ability to program evening dimming, multiple soothing alarm tones and a radio – all features that Philips’ cheapest model lacks despite costing around twice as much. Think of this purchase as buying, say, a pair of cheap ice skates before you decide you really like the sport and go for an upgrade next time.
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