We updated this roundup in July 2021 to remove discontinued products, including the iHome Bluetooth Dual Alarm FM Clock Radio and iHome Alarm Clock Radio Docking Station. We also added in a reviewer favorite, the Jall Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock, based on positive reviewer marks and ratings.
If your iPhone's built-in alarm isn't cutting it for you, or you're trying to go device-free in your bedroom, it's time to try waking up to an actual alarm clock. It can be hard to figure out what difference between alarm clocks and which is right for you — whether you want a basic alarm clock radio, a stylish high-tech device for your smart home, or a shaking alarm clock that can even wake up the heaviest sleepers, we've rounded up the best alarm clocks for your needs.
The Good Housekeeping Institute has an extensive testing process when evaluating alarm clocks. This includes reviewing ease of use when setting alarms, turning off alarms, playing music and clock visibility. Our Lab experts also check performance when it comes to the effectiveness and accuracy of an alarm, sound quality and usefulness of added features. We even do a special slap test to evaluate durability.
When shopping, our pros recommend paying attention to the following features:
- Large screen display: Numbers should be easily legible against a well-lit screen, even from a distance.
- Radio settings: Some digital alarm clocks come with AM/FM radio capabilities. Some alarm clock radios even have the option to connect to Bluetooth to play music from your phone.
- Sound variety and vibration settings: Newer alarm clocks will feature a library of sounds for you to wake up to, and some clocks will shake the bed in hopes of waking the heaviest sleepers.
- Power functions: Standard alarm clocks stationed in the home will usually operate best on an included cable, but some clocks also offer a battery backup function, which is convenient for power outages and travel.
Some of these alarm clocks are super loud and perfect for heavy sleepers and snoozers, some are customizable, and others can even help you fall asleep, too. Say goodbye to missed wake up calls with these best alarm clocks to buy in 2021:
- Vibrates for extra effect
- Great option for snoozers
- Can be intense for light sleepers
If you've tried the loudest alarms but still seem to oversleep, a bed shaker is the best alarm clock for heavy sleepers. Plug the clock into an outlet, put the alarm under your mattress or pillow, and the bed shaker might finally wake you up. You can even shut off the sound and have your only alarm be the vibrations — perfect for anyone worried about waking up their roommates.
- Simple, intuitive design
- Limited features
If you're looking for a simple, no-frills alarm to wake you up, this RCA digital alarm clock is it. You won't get confused by any fancy functions because it's hard to mess up — there's one alarm option, a snooze button (which doubles as a nightlight!) and a backup battery to ensure you wake up in the case of power failure.
- Charge your phone while listening to music
- A good option for heavy sleepers or snoozers
- Some users find it too loud
With this multi-feature alarm clock radio, you can wirelessly stream music via Bluetooth, charge most devices and ask Siri or Google Assistant to tell you the weather. The dual alarm function allows you to set alternate alarms if you wake up different times throughout the week. One note: the alarm buzzer is loud, which is great for heavy sleepers, but some users found even the lowest volume setting too loud for their liking.
- Allows you to set up to three alarms
- Sleek, chic design
- Runs through batteries quickly
Most alarm clocks aren't built with aesthetics in mind, but this one from Jall boasts one of the best-looking minimalistic designs we've seen. It allows you to set up to three alarms and can monitor indoor temperature and humidity. Reviewers like that the clock doesn't take up too much space, and that the digits can easily be seen from afar.
- Features a backup battery
- Calming light to wake you up naturally
- Priciest alarm clock in this roundup
This innovative alarm clock wakes you up with lighting that mimics a sunrise! It has five alarm sound options, but you could also opt to wake up to an FM radio station. To snooze the alarm, just tap anywhere on the light. Even if the power goes out in the middle of the night, the alarm will still go off in the morning thanks to its eight-hour backup battery feature.
- Hands-free operation
- Integrates with other smart home devices
- Lacks a visible screen display
This smart speaker offers way more than a typical alarm clock would. Not only can you ask Alexa for the weather and news, but you can integrate it with other smart home devices. Setting an alarm is as easy as saying, "Alexa, wake me up at 7 a.m. tomorrow," but you can also set alarms on the Amazon Alexa app.) You can even ask her to wake you up to your favorite song, a radio station, or the voice of celebrities (hello, Blake Shelton!). Just keep in mind that this device doesn't have a screen to display the time — if you need an alarm clock with a screen, try the Echo Spot instead.
- Rolls away to discourage snoozing
- Lights up to wake you
If you have a bad habit of hitting the snooze button, this digital alarm clock will not only beep until you snooze — it rolls away, hides and jumps. The clock will change directions, shake and run until you capture it, forcing you from your sleep. It does allow you to snooze for up to 8 minutes, but even then the clock will light up in the dark and set out for you to chase it.
- Includes a simulation light with adjustable brightness
- Comes with FM radio
This alarm clock makes waking up a little easier in the morning: it features seven natural sounds and a sunrise simulation light that gradually gets brighter before the alarm goes off. Plus, if you need a little extra time when you wake up, hit the snooze button for nine more minutes. Though our experts haven't evaluated it in Lab tests, this alarm clock comes with glowing reviews online. "It was my best purchase of the year," says one reviewer.
- Uncomplicated, lightweight design
- Limited amount of features
Featuring a lightweight feel and only five buttons, this compact alarm clock was made with simplicity in mind. It includes a lighted, large screen display and wide snooze button that's easy to locate. The clock folds down so you can stow it away easily while traveling, and it has a backup battery function. Reviewers like that the brand recreated the design just to include the necessary features, making it a great option for on the go.
- Loud bell system
- Has to be manually set every night
Some people prefer the traditional analog style alarm clock, possibly because of the extra loud twin bell system that's almost always guaranteed to wake up even the deepest sleepers. This one has no snooze button, forcing you out of bed, and the brand and reviewers claim that the second hand remains silent throughout the night. Just note that the old school alarm needs to be set every night in order to go off in the morning.
- Comes with battery backup feature
- Allows you to charge two smart devices at once
- Reviewers say sound quality could be better
Online reviewers like that the sleek, modern design doesn't take up too much space on a nightstand or side table. You can charge most iOS and Android devices on the dock, plus an additional device at the same time using the USB charging port on the back of the clock. And if you have a schedule that alternates throughout the week, you can use the dual alarm feature to set alarms for different times.
- Can wirelessly charge two phones at once
- Sound quality is mediocre
If you have a newer cell phone, chances are it supports wireless charging. This alarm clock has a built-in wireless charging pad on top, and an additional USB port. You can set two separate alarms on different schedules, so you can wake up early on weekdays and sleep in a bit on the weekend. The FM radio has 10 pre-set stations, and the screen is large enough that the time is easy to read — plus, you can dim the brightness.
- Strong vibration setting
If you're interested in trying a vibrating alarm clock but the Sonic Bomb is too aggressive for you, try iLuv's TimeShaker. From its appearance, it looks just like a typical alarm clock but it includes a bed shaker to tuck underneath your mattress that wakes even heavy sleepers. You can choose between three different vibration strengths, and it comes with a USB port to charge your phone or other device without taking up another wall outlet.