These portable and handy devices emit low-level noise that can drown out all the noise outside the house, including barking dogs, and anything else that goes bump in the night.
These portable and handy devices emit low-level noise that can drown out all kinds of sounds, both inside and outside the house, giving you the best shot at a good night's rest. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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We get it: It's difficult to get a good night's sleep. Too much noise, you can't sleep. Too little? Your mind starts to race.

Well, you can stop the balancing act for now, and get yourself a sound machine. These portable and handy devices emit low-level noise that can drown out all kinds of noise, both within and outside the house, including barking dogs, and anything else that goes bump in the night. Moreover, it helps with the silence and provides a comfortable background hum too, if your brain isn't letting you sleep.

However, with so many options on the market, how do you find the perfect one for you? Let's delve into the features of different sound machines to help you find your personal path to better sleep. We spoke with Shruthi Shrinivasan, a Dubai-based sleep specialist and paediatrician, to help us curate this list.

So, take a look and pick one with Prime membership to bring the device home as early as tomorrow.

1. Best Overall: LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine


  • Customisable comfort
  • Travel-friendly design
  • Durable
  • USB power option


  • Timer feature is tedious

Drop the bells and whistles; this sound machine from LectroFan provides all your requirements at an affordable price. This soothing machine focuses on replicating the calming hum of a fan, offering ten variations with different speeds and pitches. These high-quality fan sounds aim to create a more natural and potentially more relaxing soundscape, compared to basic white noise. For those who prefer classic white noise, the LectroFan offers variations to suit your preference. There is a whole range of places where this compact machine serves as a perfect fit: Baby nurseries, day care centres, college dorms, apartments, hotel rooms, office spaces, or any environment where unwanted and disruptive noises are present. And, it's durable and sturdy, as reviews will tell you, too.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

2. Best Value: Dreamegg White Noise Machine 


  • Convenient and portable
  • Variety of sound options
  • Rechargeable


  • Sound quality might have issues, according to users

If you're struggling to catch a nap, the Dreamegg White Noise Machine might be the answer you've been searching for. This portable sound machine is a travel-friendly companion, designed to combat sleep disruptions. Whether you're a frequent flyer seeking some rest on a plane or simply want a peaceful night at home, the Dreamegg's compact size allows it to easily fit in your bag. It goes beyond simple white noise too: It offers a variety of calming sounds, including classic white noise, fan sounds for those who prefer a familiar hum, and even Nature sounds like babbling brooks or calming rain. It works well for both children and adults, and is built with a powerful 1,800mAh battery so you can enjoy uninterrupted sleep. Just a few things for you to take note, however. Some users have complained that the sound quality might not be the most premium, and the volume control is a tad inconsistent, with jumps between levels.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

3. Best Sound Variety: LoveyBeauty White Noise Machine 


  • Variety of tracks to choose from
  • Memory function
  • Scheduled shut-off
  • Soft night light


  • The night light might be stimulating for some

Looking to create a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom? A white noise machine with multiple sound options and a night light can be a useful tool to lull you into peaceful sleep. With the LoveyBeauty White Noise machine, the range goes beyond basic white noise. Expect options like Nature sounds (ocean waves, babbling brooks), fan sounds, and even lullabies. You can also create a calming ambience with the soft night light: Choose from seven different colors or a gentle colour-changing cycle. This machine has a reliable memory function and remembers your last used sound and volume for a personalised sleep experience. The touch controls are relatively easy to use, so you can easily navigate settings and adjust volume with the touch-sensitive control panel.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

4. Best Timer-Based: AURTEC Store Sleep White Noise Machine


  • Compact and portable
  • Easy to use
  • Focus on natural sounds


  • Users have complained about varying sound quality

White noise, waves, serenade, thunder, wind, water, light music, rain, or summer nights? Welcome to AURTEC's Sleep White Noise machine, which helps you naturally block out distractions by creating a perfect environment for sleep, relaxation, or concentration. Moreover, the machine features adjustable volume control so you can get the sound just right and set the perfect level for your environment. It can play the sound on all night, or you can set 15-, 30- and 60-minute timers, after which, it automatically shuts off to avoid wasting energy when you are asleep. Another plus point, the machine's small size makes it ideal for travel or use in different rooms of the house. The machine is also on the affordable side, so you don't have to burn a hole through your pocket.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

5. Best for Nature Sounds: Masroo Store Sound Machine with Night Light


  • Effective sound masking
  • Portable for travel
  • Night light navigation


  • Night light cannot be dimmed

This sound machine provides calming sounds, like white noise or Nature sounds, to mask unwanted external noises like traffic, or barking dogs. There's comfort too, since you can be wrapped up in a night light - a feature that's especially useful for those who don't enjoy complete darkness at night. You can choose from several soothing sounds, ranging from babbling brooks, to ocean waves. You can even find the sound that lulls you to sleep. The machine is equipped with six white noises, four lullabies and six Nature sounds. The sound machine for sleeping can be played continuously or via a 15-, 30-, 60-, 90-, and 120- minute auto-off timer. Reviewers have given it a glowing thumbs up, with one user writing, "This sound machine is brilliant. The different types of sounds, times and light functionality is what I love most." Do note, however, that the light cannot be dimmed.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

6. Best Manual Option: Marpac Yogasleep Dohm UNO 


  • Customisable sound adjustments
  • Durable for travel
  • Easy to use


  • Customers say they wish the noise was louder

Easy to use, this device creates its noise through an internal fan, generating natural sound instead of replicating it. There's no rocket science about how to use it: Just plug it in, flip the switch to on, then rotate the cap and collar to find the best sound for you. Moreover, it looks sleek and pleasant, and can fit unobtrusively in different environments. While reviewers have praised the device for its relaxing quality, they have also complained that they wished the noise was "louder", as it couldn't completely block external noises.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

7. Best For Children: Hatch Rest Mini


  • Soothing soundscapes
  • Smart features
  • Customisable timer
  • Rechargeable battery


  • Dependence on app for the features

Wouldn't we like a sleep sanctuary that fits into our palm? The Hatch Rest Mini serves as a smart white noise machine designed specifically for little ones, and maybe even some noise-sensitive adults. With this device, you can choose from a variety of pre-loaded white noise, Nature sounds, and lullabies to find the perfect sleep melody for your little one (or yourself). It possesses several smart features, so you can connect the Hatch Rest Mini to your smartphone via the Hatch Sleep app. This allows you to control the sound, volume, and even create customised sleep routines remotely. There's also an option for a gentle night light: the built-in night light with adjustable brightness creates a calming ambience that's perfect for bedtime. It boasts a built-in rechargeable battery, ensuring uninterrupted sleep sounds throughout the night.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty for Dh41.

What to look for when purchasing a sound machine

For centuries, the crackle of a fire or the sound of waves hitting the shore have long lulled people to sleep. White noise machines are modern-day attempts to replicate this calming experience.

"Sound machines are generally helpful tools to improve sleep quality," says Srinivasan. "These sound machines create a constant, ambient sound (white noise, Nature sounds) that masks disruptive noises from outside (traffic, neighbours) or inside (air conditioner hum, snoring). It allows you to fall asleep and stay asleep more easily."

Machines that generate a constant, relaxing sound can have a long-term impact on our bodies. "Noises, such as white noise, can have a calming effect on the nervous system, and this relaxed state can make it easier to drift off to sleep and improve overall sleep quality," our expert explains. When you use it consistently, it becomes a conditional cue for your body.

Over time, the sound can signal to your brain that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This association can be helpful for establishing a regular sleep schedule, explains Srinivasan. "The constant stream of sound from a sound machine can help block out internal distractions, as well. If your mind tends to race at night, the consistent sound can provide a focus point, quieting internal chatter and promoting sleep," she notes.

She breaks down the most important features to look for, when buying a sound machine:

Variety: Consider the range of sounds offered. Do you prefer white noise, Nature sounds (ocean waves, rain) lullabies, or a combination?

Quality: Think about sound quality. Do you prioritise high-fidelity sounds for a more natural experience, or are basic white noise options sufficient?

Next, look at what kind of features you really need, and what you can do without. You're likely to find the perfect device that meets your requirements and budget. Here are some additional features to consider:

Night light: Does the machine have a built-in night light, and is the brightness adjustable?

Timer: Can you set a timer to automatically turn off the sound after a designated period?

App control: Do you want the ability to control the sound machine and features remotely through a smartphone app?

Portability: Is portability important? Consider the size and weight of the machine, especially if you plan to use it for travel.

"Essentially, see what matters to you. Check your budget. Sound machines range in price depending on features and sound quality. Determine how much you're comfortable spending," adds Srinivasan. Also consider sensitivity. "Are you sensitive to light? If so, consider the adjustability of the night light or choose a machine without one," she says. Look at your own preferences too. What kind of sounds do you find most relaxing? Do you need features like a timer or app control? At the end of the day, it boils down to what relaxes you most.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.