The best white noise machine to help your baby sleep

best white noise machine

by Eleanor Weaver |
Updated on

A popular way of getting your baby to sleep or even soothing them when they cry is by searching for the best white noise machine, as these can be the best baby sleep aid because your life revolves around sleep when you have a baby, mostly how you can help your little one sleep better so you can too!

Not just used for young children, a white noise machine is a mechanical device that aims to help people sleep by producing a monotonous white noise sound. For many, this sound is calming, helping them to both fall and stay asleep and can be great if you're currently sleep training.

The best white noise machines at a glance:

Best overall white noise machine: Ewan Deluxe - Buy now on Amazon
Best white noise machine with CrySensor: Ollie the Owl - Buy now on Amazon
Best for portability: Dreamegg White Noise Machine - Buy now on Amazon
Best for style: SnuzCloud 3-in-1 White Noise Machine - Buy now on Amazon

There are many white noise machines available to buy, but we recommend one that is specifically made for babies as this will ensure the noise settings are suitable for their delicate ears. There are many cute options to choose from, whether they're included in a baby sleep toy, with many having extra features such as a night light and even pink and brown noise too. The majority of these include various white noise and natural sounds such as fan sounds, rainfall, a vacuum, and even a heartbeat sleep sound.

The best white noise machine 2024

Best overall white noise machine

Shortlisted for the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards

Send your baby drifting off to sleep with our number one choice, Sweet Dreamers' Ewan Deluxe. It plays five soothing sound options, including Rainfall, Harp Lullaby Melody, Vacuum Cleaner, Womb, and Shush, which are all combined with Mum's resting heartbeat to naturally soothe your little one off into dreamland, and the clever SmartCRY sensor automatically activates when your baby stirs. Ewan's soft pink night light glow also mimics a womb environment to help comfort and soothe your baby and induce sleep.

Our mum tester Gabriella's little one experience a sleep regression, and the constant stirring was resulting in two very tired parents! They introduced Ewan The Dream Sheep and after only using is for a short time, it had already picked up their son's whimper and cry. Sensing that he needed comfort, the sounds and glowing red light were triggering. Gabriella says, " it's a very shallow glow and doesn't light up the whole room to over-stimulate him."

One downside to this product is that you can't place it inside the cot, which is tempting to do but soft toys are not recommended for sleeping with until your baby is 12 months old. However, the velcro tail makes it easy for you to strap Ewan to the cot or crib bars for safety. Our mum tester Samantha Walker says, "The Velcro tail, to me, is a fantastic feature, as you can securely strap him anywhere, so you know baby is safe." Mum tester Fiona Watson agrees, saying "It's very cute and really soft, and the tail doubles as a Velcro strap, meaning you can hang it from the top of the cot in the early days when you can't leave it lying around inside." She also points out that it has different volumes too

Read our full Ewan Deluxe review.

Pros

  • Your little one will feel right at home with the naturally soothing real womb and heartbeat sounds made from real recordings
  • The white & pink noise machine has more sounds to choose from, including pattering rainfall, melodic harp, womb, shush and even a vacuum cleaner, which are all combined with mum's resting heartbeat and mimic sounds that your baby would've heard in the womb - how cute!
  • If you're little one is struggling with Colic, you'll be relieved to know that the sounds provided have been proven to help ease colic-induced pain
  • If you have found projector toys to be intrusive on your little one's sleep you'll love this comforting night light with a soft pink glow that's intended to mimic the womb environment
  • With a convenient 20-minute timer and automatic shut off you can leave this product to do its thing knowing the sounds and light will turn off by itself
  • They've thought of everything – with the clever velcro tail you can attach it easily to a variety of places for use on-the-go (including little one's cot or crib bars, buggy and car seat). This makes it the perfect travel companion for holidays of staying with relatives
  • The effective cry sensor kicks in when your little one cries
  • Enjoy the convenience of being able to pop it in your washing machine for easy cleaning (Ewan Deluxe model only)
  • We love that this product is so soft and tactile for your baby

Cons

  • Can't be placed in baby's cot - soft toys are not recommended for sleeping until a baby is 12 months old

Best white noise machine with CrySensor

Ollie the Owl
Price: £29.99

After a hectic day, help your baby drift off to sleep with the adorable Ollie the Owl from Tommee Tippee. It plays comforting sounds, including Heartbeat, Rainfall, White Noise, and Brahms Lullaby, and you can adjust the volume easily. Pick from one of three light settings, as the gentle warm glowing tummy creates a soothing environment. If baby stirs, the built-in CrySensor cleverly activates to lull them back to sleep, so it's sweet dreams all around.

Our mum tester Sara Kehoe had tried every other sleeping aid on the market with her toddler and says that none even came close to working, until Ollie the Owl came along and worked on the first night! "he's beautiful" she says, "much smarter than Ewan The Dream Sheep, for example, and it very cuddly and soft". Sara describes that by using a noise sensor, the toy is able to pick up on small noises and is ready to soothe her little one back to sleep before she's even realised she's stirring, which we think is pretty impressive!

The rechargeable batteries are said to last up to 25 hours, though in Sara's experience the batteries do go very often. She says "I must have had to change the batteries every week or so, but in Ollie’s defence, my toddler wakes up several times a night, so he’s had a very busy job!" Sara also found it very difficult to get the batteries out, having to ask her husband to do it. But she notes this is good in terms of safety for small children. Sara also loves that it's so easy to clean, being machine washable, you just take out the electronic module and it can be washed at 30°.
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Read our full Ollie the Owl review.**

Pros

  • This product has a handy built-in cry sensor to restart the noise when your little one cries so you don't have to get up and turn it on
  • It has plenty of choice with six soothing sounds and adjustable volume. The comforting heartbeat will naturally soothing your little one and make them feel safe and secure. Other sounds include gentle rainfall, calming white noise and the option to select one of three relaxing lullabies
  • You can conveniently charge it with the mini-USB cable provided and the battery will last up to 25 hours, meaning it will last you throughout the week before you have to recharge it
  • There's no need for everyone in the room to be disturbed when you can easily adjust the intensity of the nightlight with three different brightness levels, so that little one won't wake up fully if it turns on
  • The strap allows for portability, making this product great for adding to your baby's cot, pram, or car seat
  • It's a soft and tactile toy for your little one as they grow older
  • We love that it's easy to clean, just remove the electronic module and pop in your washing machine at 30° for a nice freshener

Cons

  • The charging cable is short
  • It's really difficult to get the batteries out

Best for portability

Recommended as one of Lucy Mecklenburgh's new mum buys, this small but mighty Dreamegg White Noise Machine is packed with 11 soothing sounds, including white noise, ocean sound, brook, lullaby, music box, shushing, vacuum cleaner, fetal tone, fair sound, cricket, and fan sound. Its lightweight and compact size makes it great for taking on the go, and it features a nightlight with adjustable light intensity, ideal for midnight feeding.

One reviewer says the noise control is fabulous and that with so many settings you can easily get the volume your need. They were also impressed with how many sounds there were and liked the fact that the timer function doesn't make the sound abruptly stop, instead it fades out. They also say the charge is brilliant, fully charging in just an hour and lasting all night from 7pm to 7am. They said that they then charge it up and use it for little one's daytime naps, and put it on charge whilst they do baby's bath before bed. They haven't tested whether it would last longer, but reckon it probably would. They say, "This is by far the best baby gadget I have ever bought and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone with a newborn baby."

Another reviewer whose baby was always very unsettled, colicky and clingy describe how the Dreamegg was a game-changer. "This little machine helps out baby settle 10x quicker, helps him to stay asleep for naps without having to constantly be resettles, keeps him calmer in the car (he usually hates car journeys) and also stop shim getting easily distracted by sounds around him while feeding." They also like that the sound doesn't distort or sound tinny at higher levels. They also highly recommend the battery life, saying they charge it every two to three days, but that they haven't ever had it actually run out, even with several hours use each day, they just charge it to make sure because they couldn't be without it!

Pros

  • You get great value for money and three products in one with this noise blocker, night light and sleep soother
  • It is fully customisable with adjustable light brightness, timer and volume control
  • There is a child lock for added safety
  • It even doubles up as an effective white noise machine for adults, if you're looking for a sleep and relaxation aid yourself
  • There's loads of different sound options to choose from (11, in fact) from traditional white noise, shushing and lullaby to crowds and even a fan sound
  • It is small, lightweight and cordless, giving it true portability for convenient on-the-go soothing
  • It's small and light enough to fit into your nappy bag and even comes with a handy baby-safe clip that you can attach to pretty much anything
  • You can feel confident when purchasing this product as it has a 365 days warranty

Cons

  • Battery powered - you'll need to remember to recharge it

Best for nightlight options

The Babymoov Sleepy White Noise Nightlight comes with both white and pink noise settings, as well as seven different natural sounds to help your baby settle, including a heartbeat, the rain, the ocean, a river, the forest, a vaccum cleaner and a hairdryer.

You can adjust the volume as you wish, and with an integrated timer, you can choose to turn the sound off after 10 minutes and the light off after 30 minutes. One reviewer said, "This soothing noise/music/night light works a treat to lull baby to sleep but the set timer could be a bit longer." Another reviewer points out that the continuous noise is actually a rotation of the seven different sounds every three second, which isn't made clear in the product's description. They had wanted something that plays the same thing all night. So this is something you might want to consider.

The rainbow-coloured light helps to set the mood, and can be set to one colour if you prefer, It also has a handy 'tap and light' feature, so it's super easy to turn on in the dark, although one reviewer seemed to have trouble with this features and found the buttons to be fiddly. They found this disappointing as they bought it with the intention of their toddler lighting it up herself when she wakes in the middle of the night. "We have to go in and do it for her so even though she loves it, it isn’t quite what we were after" they say, although they did appreciate the low volume settings.

Pros

  • The white and pink noise is volume-adjustable and there are seven more sounds to choose from, including a heartbeat, the rain, the ocean, a river, the forest, a vaccum cleaner and a hairdryer
  • It features a great little nightlight with a good glow and soft, multi-coloured night light
  • We love the "Tap Touch" technology, making it easy to activate with no fiddly small switched to find in the dark
  • We also love that it operates continuously and also has a convenient timer that gives 30 minutes for the night light and 10 minutes for the white noise
  • It's safe for newborns too, and guaranteed BPA-free, phthalate-free, and PVC-free
  • You can easily take it with you if needed, being small and portable, and operated with 3 AA batteries (not included)

Cons

  • Some found the sounds to be a little too quiet
  • One reviewer reported trouble getting the "Tap Touch" feature to work

Best for style

SnuzCloud
Price: $69.99

Sometimes a walk in the park isn't enough to settle your baby, but the SnuzCloud could be just the ticket. Our mum tester Lauren says, "We didn't think we needed a white noise machine before our baby arrived. We thought if we never used one then he wouldn't need it. How wrong we were! A few days in and we were pumping lullabies and white noise into his ears at every opportunity in a bid to get him to drift off."

The plush, lightweight sleep aid plays four soothing sounds, including pink and white noise, a calming lullaby, waterfall sounds, and a heartbeat. It also features two calming lights, a calming pink one to help little passengers relax and a soft brighter white light so you can see what you're doing during night feeds. Suitable from birth, it can be used as both a white noise machine and a nightlight and is part of the SnüzPod range of bedside cribs. Lauren points out in her review that "While you can download white noise apps and lullabies on your phone, having a separate, portable device that can be popped at the head of wherever he is sleeping is far more convenient."

She says that one of the major benefits of this sleep toy is that unlike some other white noise/lullaby machines, this one is soft, which means that it can easily be tucked up behind baby's head inside of the pram or Moses basket without the risk of it falling on your baby or become a hard obstacle to kick. Unfortunately the SnuzCloud Sleep Aid is surface clean only, so can’t be put through the washing machine. Lauren thought that at £30, it was a bit pricey and more of a luxury than a necessity, but she admits that they now couldn’t do without it. "It goes everywhere with us" she says.

Read our full SnuzCloud review.

Pros

  • This product offers a lovely variety of sounds, including pink and white noise, a calming lullaby, waterfall sounds, and a heartbeat to mimic the familiar sound of mum’s womb. And we love that you can adjust the volume
  • Doubles as a night light giving you a choice between the calming pink glow that Mimis the womb environment for baby, and the brighter soft white light that works well for nighttime feeding in the dark
  • Little ones will love this soft and cuddly unisex soother. It's wrapped in a plush fabric and designed to be tactile and comforting for little hands to hold
  • Design to be light and portable to take with you, it has a handy velcro strap that easily attaches to the cot, crib, pram, or car seat for when you’re out and about
  • For your convenience, this product is battery-operated and has an automatic shut-off after 20 minutes to preserve battery life and for your peace of mind

Cons

  • Only plays sounds for 20 minutes at a time

Best for a range of features

For a machine that does it all, look no further than the Vtech V-Hush Sleep Training Soother. With a compatible phone app, this soother supports playing continuous white noise and many other soothing sounds. Preset in the unit, you'll find 40 bedtime stories, 100 pieces of classical music, 10 lullabies, and 10 natural sounds that you can control the volume of – you can even record personal voice messages for baby. One reviewer says, "This product it's amazing! My baby falls instantly asleep using the pink noise. You can change the light colour, sounds and you can even plan the night routine. I was a bit sceptical before buying it but trust me it's great!"

It's pricier than the other machines on this list, but this one goes above and beyond. It also doubles as a nightlight, room thermometer, and clock. one thing to be aware of is that customers do report having issues with the app. One reviewer reports it crashing a lot. another tech-savvy reviewer who works in the industry wasn't impressed by the app either. They described the routines function as "fiddly". This may be personal preference, but we found another review that said something similar

Overall customer seem to like the colour choices and soothing sounds, and they love that the device does so much. Others found it a bit frustrating, complicated and unintuitive. Issues with connectivity via bluetooth were also reported.

Pros

  • This product comes pre-loaded with an impressive amount of content – 50 stories, 100 Classical songs, 10 lullabies and 10 natural sounds, to be exact!
  • The Glow-on-Ceiling Projector allows you to choose from six different frames to project for your child to focus on, helping them to associate the images with sleep time and fall asleep easier
  • You can now personalise your baby's sleep environments at the tap of a on-touch button on the top of the device that switches between over 250 colours
  • As if all that choice isn't enough, with the free app you can also record and upload your own Audio Content so that little one can fall asleep listening to your own voice, songs, or stories
  • The high-definition bluetooth speaker features 360-degree down-firing speaker blankets surrounding areas that create clear, soft sounds that will soothe your little one for bedtime instead of waking them up and making them alert. Plus, you can connect the device to other external sources like your smartphones and stream music to the speaker
  • If you're looking for portability this product is ideal – it's wireless with a 2600 mAh rechargeable battery
  • The LED display showcases clock, ambient temperature and timer as required.
  • Built-in clock, projector, and room thermometer - no need to buy these other nursery accessories

Cons

  • Light colour, so may stain easily
  • One customer reported problems with the app crashing
  • Temperature displayed may not be accurate according to one review

Best for portability

This adorable minimalist-style white noise machine will look lovely in your child's nursery. you only get one colour options but the neutral design makes it great for adults too. In fact, many reviews are from adults who have needed a portable solution, for example when they have gone camping.

The product features seven calming sleep sounds to choose from, including white noise, nature, ocean, rain, fan, shushing and a heartbeat to mimic inside the womb to help send your little one stay snoozing. It offers 48 hours worth of charge when charged fully using a USB Type C cord, while the built-in soft LED light has three settings to adjust to your preference.

It really is a dream to bring along wherever you're heading, as well as hang in your child's nursery. Sadly one reviewer who had been using it for a couple of months reported that the strap had always seemed weak and they suspected it would break, but not as fast as it did. They said if you use the strap just beware and don't use it too much. They really liked it otherwise.

Pros

  • You get an impressive 48 hour playback time on a full single charge, and you can use a USB Type C Cord to charge it
  • There is a nice range of seven calming sounds to choose from, including white noise, nature, ocean, rain, fan, shushing and a heartbeat to mimic inside the womb
  • No need to worry that you won't be able to achieve the perfect level of sound – with 25 different volume settings, this device is fully adjustable, and your settings can be saved too
  • For even more customisation you get four brightness levels with a max wattage of 0.6W to get the lighting just right
  • The device is lightweight and compact to take with you out and about

Cons

  • Only one colour available
  • Strap is weak

Best for natural sound

If you're looking for a natural sounding white noise machine with a classic design that will look good in your home, you'll like the Maraca Dohm. Available in different colours – white, black, pink, gray, tan and camo, the Marpac Dohm claims to play white noise sound that contains less high-frequency content than most competing sound machines on the market. Sure, it may not be particularly pretty or cute, but this white noise machine can be used by both babies and adults.

Simply flip the switch to choose your volume setting, 'high' for noisy environments and 'low' for everything else, then twist to fine-tune the tone of your white noise. One reviewer found the volume controls to be easy to use but said that they didn't notice much variance between the two volume settings. They said that if you rotate the casing to open the holes this changes the tone, though, which also seems to affect the volume. They said, "I have 6-month-old twins, it's only been a few days but since using this they have slept through the night without waking! It's much better than our previous white noise machine which had a timer on it and would turn itself off after 20 mins, often waking the babies."

Pros

  • The fan-based natural white noise produces the soothing ambient sounds of moving air. The device gives you two speed options to adjust the tone and volume, which effectively masks background noise helping babies and children to sleep better. It also works well for office privacy and to soothe sound -sensitive pets if you're looking for multi-use functionality
  • This product is easy to use – you just plug it in, flip the switch to high or low, then rotate the cap and collar to find the best sound.
  • While the classic design may not be that child-friendly, it'll certainly look good in their nursery – the simple minimalist design blends into surroundings and comes in a choice of colours (white, black, pink, gray, tan and camo)

Cons

  • Some customers didn't notice a difference between the two volume settings

Best lightweight machine

Going on holiday with your baby this summer? Ensure you get a good night's sleep wherever you go with Suzy The Portable Baby Soother, and attaches to your travel cot or car seat with a fastening strap. One reviewer says, "the quiet Velcro fastenings are a hit!" They said it really helped to settle their little one while they were out and about, and then liked that it's a great size, lightweight, with a variety of sounds to choose from.

The soother produces six different calming noises, including heartbeat, shushing, and white noise. It will shut off automatically after 20 minutes, but the clever cry sensor will automatically reactivate the sound whenever your baby wakes. One reviewer says, "I got this after seeing a newborn photographer using it during our shoot and being amazed at how well it settled my newborn." they also liked that it was handy and portable, as well as really simple to use, sahing their 4 year old can use it. They do point out that the automatic start up when their baby stirs isn’t as sensitive as they'd like but still thought it was quite good and said it does work before he gets too upset.

Pros

  • Six soothing sounds including womb-like sounds for newborns that aren't used to silence
  • Portable - attach with the velcro strap
  • Has a built-in cry sensor to activate when your little one cries
  • The convenient built-in cry sensor and auto-off is perfect for when you're not around to press the play button, and the advanced auto-off feature automatically switches off the shusher after 20 minutes
  • You get seven pre-programmed melodies to choose from, including ocean sound, lounge music, or a loop of lullabies, plus Ssshhh…. shhhh shusher mimicking mommy’s blood flow, which is a doctor-proven method to stop babies from crying
  • Purchase with confidence with their quality guarantee and get a 30-day money back guarantee if you're not happy with your product

Cons

  • Some found the white noise to be quite 'tinny'

White noise machines – All you need to know

Choosing the right white noise machine for you and your child

Auto shut-off: Many machines switch themselves off once they've played white noise for a set period of time. This is a double-edged sword: it means you won't disturb your baby by having to manually switch it off once they've gone to sleep, but if you need to switch it back on when your baby isn't yet asleep, your presence might bring them from drowsy back to wide awake.

Cry sensor: A lot of white noise machines have a sensor, which means your baby's cry activates the sound features. This can help ease your baby back to sleep when they wake, but if you're sleeping in the same room, choose one with a sensor you can switch off so it's not triggered by you or your partner.

Fabric: If your white noise machine doubles up as a cuddly toy, you'll want to check if it can go through the washing machine or is only wipe-clean.

Can Alexa be a white noise machine?

Yes! If you own an Alexa, simply say: "Alexa open white noise" to start the white noise skill. You can set a time limit on the sound to play by saying, "Alexa, set a sleep timer for 2 hours", or the time limit you would like.

Are white noise machines good for sleep?

The main benefit of white noise machines is that they can calm your little one and help babies to fall asleep faster, especially if they're used to being in an environment with background noise. A 1990 study found that in the 40 newborns studied, 80 per cent were able to fall asleep within five minutes of hearing white noise. Other aids like baby humidifiers can be just as effective at getting them to sleep as well.

Are white noise machines safe?

Your little one's cot must be kept clear when they're young, so look for a white noise machine that has either a hanging loop or can be placed safely nearby.

You should also ensure your white noise machine isn't played too loudly, although most machines will have measures to prevent this.

Can a white noise machine damage hearing?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using a white noise machine at a volume of 50 decibels and ideally positioned seven feet away from your little one as they sleep. Regular exposure to a higher volume may damage their hearing. However, if your baby is crying, you can raise the intensity to 65-72dB before reducing it once they've calmed.

When can you start using white noise with a baby?

You can begin using white noise with newborns to help them sleep. However, you should try to taper them away from white noise as they get older. Otherwise, they may become dependent on it and struggle to sleep without it. Pair it with a nice sleep spray, and they'll hopefully drift off into a fabulous snooze.

Eleanor Weaver is the Deputy Homes & Garden Product Editor and has been a writer for titles such as Mother&Baby and Yours.

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