It’s the routine of the modern man. Set your alarm on your mobile phone. Go to sleep. Play around on Facebook on your phone for a while. Actually go to sleep. Have your alarm app ring in the morning and delay it three times before eventually staggering into the shower.
What can alarm clocks do that smartphones and their apps can’t?
Several things. Dedicated alarm clocks can outperform smartphones when it comes to volume, for starters. They also have physical advantages, such as alarm clocks that can shake your bed or built to be thrown against a wall to be silenced.
They can also emulate the rising sun of dawn or sun setting at night, helping you fall asleep naturally. They also win the aesthetic battle too, helping enhance your bedside table with their slick look. Perhaps most of all, rolling over in the middle of the night to check the time during a sleepless night is much easier than reaching for a charging smartphone.
Having said all that, there are lots of different alarm clocks out there, so here are the best five available on the market (which all excel in different areas).
Our pick of the top alarm clocks to buy today
1. SONIC BOMB SB500SS LOUD ALARM CLOCK WITH BED SHAKER
The nuclear option for those who absolutely need to get up on time
Some alarm clocks are designed to gently wake you from your morning slumber, massaging life into your sleepy limbs and light into your dreamy world until you slowly arise like Sleeping Beauty. Sonic Bomb doesn’t care about any of that. This is the morning equivalent of your dad booting you down the stairs at 5am, the alarm reaching an ear-shattering 113dB. You can set how loud the alarm is but just in case its nuclear blast doesn’t wake you up, you can also set this alarm to shake your bed too. If you have a pulse, this alarm will wake you, no matter how much you struggle with early mornings.
2. SUNRISE ALARM CLOCK
The gentle way to wake up (and go to sleep)
There are some people who just don’t respond well to alarm clocks. They need to wake up as the sun rises, keeping perfect harmony with the Earth’s clock, before doing five yoga stretches and having a hot cup of masala chai tea. Sunrise Alarm Clock is ideal for the gentler souls out there, as it recreates the gentle sunrise of dawn (and sun setting if you need help dozing off too). You can even set your alarm so it uses one of six ‘natural sounds’ to wake you up, such as frogs, birds, or sea waves. Granted, they won’t be the sort of sounds you’ll be used to waking up to at 6am outside your studio flat in Coventry, but at least you can wake up feeling relax and tranquil.
3. OREGON SCIENTIFIC RM313 FUNKY PROJECTION CLOCK
Beams the time onto your ceiling so you don’t have to turn in bed
How lazy are you? Are you one of those people who wishes Deliveroo would have an option to bring food to your bed rather than your front door? We get it, don’t worry. Projection Clocks are perfect for the lazy because if you want to check the time, you just have to look up at the ceiling. You don’t even have to turn over in bed to look to your side. Brilliant! You can’t adjust the angle of the projection (although you can flip it 180 degrees) although this clock will tell you the temperature of your room, which you can use to gauge how horrible it will be leaving your warm, snuggly bed.
4. AZATOM HOME HUB
The one-stop shop for all your technological needs… plus an alarm clock too
If you don’t mind shelling out for the ultimate alarm clock, here it is. The Azatom Home Hub connects wirelessly to your devices, so you can synch this to your phone to play your music to wake you up in the morning. The sound quality is also incredible, matching nice, thick bassy speakers to punchy volume. It also has a remote control, so you can just keep that in reach rather than fighting through the cobwebs to try and hit the OFF button when the alarm starts sounding in the morning. In short, Azatom Home Hub easily outperforms its function as an alarm clock and instead repositions itself as a near-essential bedroom home hub.
5. YOKKAO DIGITAL LED DESK CLOCK
The stylish option to add a dash of swagger to your bedside table
There’s another reason it’s worth considering buying an alarm clock for your bedroom, one that extends beyond waking you up in the morning and something your smartphone simply can’t manage by itself. They look cool. They’ve been part of the bedside table for years, along with stray coins, a glass of water, and a loose chewing gum stick. This Yokkao digital alarm clock might suggest it belongs at a desk but its slick wooden design, without any buttons that can be seen on the front of the side, makes it a cheap and elegant way to bolster the bedside table. It could do with more features but for that price, you’re buying something that will lift the look of your bedroom as much as anything else.