White noise is a term we often hear used, but do you know what it is and how a white noise machine can help you? This type of noise is made up of a consistent sound at every frequency the human ear can hear. It can sound a bit like static, whooshing wind, or a fan depending on the particular source of the white noise you choose.
Many white noise machines are used to help people sleep, but that isn’t the only thing they can help you with. Some parents like looking for the best white noise machine for baby to help them sleep well during naps and at night. White noise masks most of the sounds that would otherwise disturb the child, making them feel more comfortable.
These machines can also help those suffering from Tinnitus, anyone looking for a little more privacy and peace in the office, people who enjoy meditation, and others who want a calm environment at home.
Benefits of a Good White Noise Machine For Babies
It’s easy enough to list the people who might like to have a white noise machine, but how does it actually help? I’ve separated this into two sections, one for benefits to babies and the other for benefits to adults so you can more easily find what’s most interesting to you.
- Undisturbed sleep
- Rest for hours without waking up
- Noises will not wake up the baby
- Continue being awake without disturbing the baby
- Fall asleep more quickly and easily
- Stay asleep for longer
- Block out disturbing noises in the morning
- Relax during the day by masking annoying noises
- Promote your privacy
- Put yourself in a better state of mind
- Ease the symptoms of Tinnitus
Top 5 Best White Noise Machines For Baby
1. Marpac Dohm-DS All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine
The Marpac Dohm-DS usually makes top of the list as the best white noise machine for baby or anyone else. It’s a natural white noise machine that produces sound using a small fan inside the inner chamber of the device. There are two fan speeds to adjust the sound. You can also twist the top cover to open and close different sound holes and change the volume or pitch of the sound coming out.
Plug the cord into any US outlet and turn it on to keep it running for as long as you want. This device is about as simple as you can get without any complex settings or adjustments and only a few simple things that can be changed. If you want something that’s hassle-free, easy to set up, and even easier to use than this is the white noise machine for you.
The advantage of this being a natural white noise machine is that the sound coming from it is much richer and more full than the sounds from electronic white noise machines. That’s one of the reasons this particular device has been a best-selling white noise machine for a very long time with many people buying multiple devices for different rooms in their homes.
Most people find the natural sound to be more soothing than a recording, as there are no sound loops and no electrical noises whatsoever. All you can hear is the pure sound coming from the device itself.
- Easy to use
- Highly energy efficient; costs only a few CENTS for every hour used!
- Rich, pleasant sounding natural white noise
- Great for babies and adults alike
- Durable and lightweight, good for travel
- Limited sound adjustment options if you don’t like the sound
- Limited volume adjustment
2. LectroFan White Noise Machine
As an electronic white noise machine, you get a few more options with this device than with the Marpac noise conditioner listed above. It has multiple levels of volume adjustment a USB type power cable with outlet adaptor, non-repetitive generated noises, a sleep timer, and 20 unique sounds (10 different fans and 10 white noises).
To clarify about the unique noises, there are only 2 main categories: fans and white noises that sound a bit like rushing wind. While the 20 different noise variations are unique and non-repetitive, they are all similar to each other in that way. The sleep timer can be adjusted to turn this LetroFan off at any hour interval by clicking it as many times as you want hours.
The LecroFan is good at masking irritating noises from your environment. Although a lot of white noise machines can do that task, the different sound options can help with different types of noises in some cases and will also allow you to choose a sound that is most pleasant to your ears. It doesn’t help to replace an annoying noise with another annoying noise, which is why a lot of customers seem to be enjoying this machine.
- 20 sound choice options
- Easy to adjust and personalize
- Sleep timer lets you sleep to silence after falling asleep with white noise
- Great for traveling, small and compact
- No looped/repetitive sound recordings
- Some sound quality issues at higher volume levels
- Settings and adjustments are not saved
3. Marsona Travel Sound Conditioner
As indicated by the name, this white noise machine is ideal for traveling. It’s built in a very compact size that’s simple to fit in your luggage and carry around with you wherever you go. Despite its smaller size, the sound quality is good and you can get a lot of use from this machine in your home or on the go.
You can choose between plain white noise and 3 nature sounds with white noise overlaid in the background for more sound masking and relaxation. Choose between the sound of rain, a tranquil waterfall, or the soft surf on the beach. Noises are played on a loop, although patterns are not easy for most people to pick up unless they are really paying attention to the sound playing.
If you are a frequent traveler and you don’t sleep well in hotel rooms, guest rooms, or other new locations than you can make a great use of this white noise machine. It’s the perfect model for travelers, but can also be used at home when you need a smaller device. The exterior of the device looks attractive enough to blend well into the décor of most bedrooms and offices.
- Compact size is very convenient
- Easy to fit in luggage and is light weight
- Sound quality is good compared to other devices
- Some of the electronics can become faulty if the device isn’t handled well
- After some time, the soundcard may start to corrupt and put crackling static in the noises
4. HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation Machine
Along with being a white noise machine, this device also acts as a sound machine with five different soothing nature sounds. Select your favorite from a thunderstorm, the ocean waves, rain falling, summer nights with crickets, and a flowing brook. The white noise sound is similar to rushing air that you might hear on a windy day.
This unit is small and compact, and can also run on batteries for a few nights when you want it to, making it a good travel companion. You can use this well for your baby’s room and experiment with the sounds to see which one will help your child to sleep the best. If you prefer, you can use the noise machine to help your baby fall asleep, but set the automatic timer to turn off within 15, 30, or 60 minutes so they can sleep without disturbance overnight.
- Battery or adaptor operated for your convenience
- Sleep timer is perfect for use in your baby’s room
- Great value for the price
- Build quality is not great; some devices have issues within the first year or two
- Controls can stop working sometimes, though it’s usually short-term
5. Cloud B Sound Machine Soother, Sleep Sheep
If you want a white noise sound machine exclusively for your baby or young child, this is a great choice. It’s not only a portable, battery-powered device, but it’s also a soft doll suitable for children. This cuddly sheep doll is made with super soft materials that make it a great companion for your child during the day while it’s simultaneously a sleep aiding device at night.
The Sleep Sheep is one of the best white noise machines for baby because it’s been designed with your little one in mind. You can select one of the 4 soothing sounds including mother’s heartbeat, rain, ocean waves, and whale songs. Find out which is most soothing to your child and use it whenever they need help sleeping. If you would prefer to play lullabies, you can play four different fun children’s lullabies instead of the sounds.
A Velcro strap on the back of the sleep sheep allows it to be secured safely on the top or side of the crib rather than resting inside as a hazard to the child. If at any time you want it to be just a cuddly doll, you can take the noise machine out of the stuffed doll. Overall, this is an adorable addition to your child’s room or baby’s nursery and can really help your kid to fall fast asleep.
- Quiet enough not to disturb the baby in their crib
- Ultra-soft and a great stuffed animal
- Powered by 2 AA batteries that last for a long time
- 23 or 45-minute sleep timers help your baby rest well in peace
- Sound quality is a bit low
- Fabric should not be machine washed
How to Choose the Best Sound Machine for Baby
When you’re looking at getting a white noise machine for you or your baby, what should you look for? There are a lot of things to consider, but this is a fairly detailed list of all the things you can think about during your search:
- How is the white noise produced?
There are natural white noise machines, sometimes called sound conditioners, and there are electrical white noise machines. Natural noise machines produce the sound with a small fan enclosed in an acoustic chamber while electronic devices play pre-recorded soundtracks.
In most cases a natural white noise machine will have a richer and fuller sound, but it is not as adjustable as the electronic devices. If you want ocean wave sounds or anything of that sort you cannot use a natural white noise machine.
- What sounds does the white noise machine play?
Electronic white noise machines usually have a variety of sounds to choose from, each with the white noise added to it to make it relaxing and peaceful. Choices are usually between different nature sounds, fans, and actual white noise.
- How good are the speakers on the electric white noise machine?
For babies and children, the speaker quality might not matter as much, but most adults would prefer to listen to a higher quality speaker instead. Some low quality speakers will stop the noise from being as relaxing as it could be.
- Is it battery powered or plug-in?
The method of powering the device won’t affect the quality of sound you hear, but it will affect where you can use it, how long you can keep it going, and what kind of bills you’ll be paying to run it.
- How portable is the device?
This goes along with the above question about battery power, as that is a definite factor in how portable a white noise machine is. The others things that will determine this are the size and shape of the device. Can it fit in a suitcase? How much does it weigh?
- Does it have a sleep timer?
Some electronic white noise machines are equipped with a sleep timer that will turn off the device after a selected amount of time. This way you can fall asleep to the noises you like hearing without them playing the entire night while you’re asleep. This is a great feature for those more conscious of their energy bills, anyone who doesn’t particularly like the sound all the time, and others that would prefer to have it on for only a certain period of time.
- What extra features does it have?
Depending on the brand, you may find extra features beyond these for your white noise machine.
Choosing the best white noise machine for baby or you isn’t always easy, but I hope I have cleared up any confusion you had about these types of products and helped you make a decision about what to look for and how to shop for a white noise machine that will suit your needs perfectly.