The classic digital alarm clock has waned in popularity with the rise of smartphones and their built in features. Ironically, our smartphones actually make it harder to fall and stay asleep, thanks to their disruptive ‘blue light.’ As more and more studies show that smartphones negatively contribute to our overall sleeping patterns, it’s easy to see why switching back to old school, radio alarm clocks could help you get a better nights sleep.
Digital or electric alarm clocks also have a broader range of features and settings not found on your smartphone. These settings can be tailored to best suit your sleeping routines, which make waking up an easier process.
This guide highlights some of the best digital alarm clocks on the market and their respective features. For optimum sleep and health, ditch the smartphone and go old school!
Best Digital Alarm Clock Reviews 2018
|Lumie Bodyclock||4.1||1380||Find best price|
|Casio TQ140-7||4.2||1200||Find best price|
|Sonic Bomb||4.5||750||Find best price|
Acctim 14112 Europa
|4.3||1500||Find best price|
|Agger Digital||3.8||600||Find best price|
|4.0||200||Find best price|
1. Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30
The first digital alarm clock found in this guide is a great example of why a standalone model is preferred.
The Lumie Bodyclock has a sunrise/sunset feature to stimulate naturally drifting to sleep as well as naturally waking up. At night, the Bodyclock will slowly dim, simulating the sunset, helping you gradually relax before bedtime. In the morning, the Bodyclock will slowly illuminate, to wake you in the gentlest way possible. The gradual dimming and illumination before bed and in the morning stimulate hormonal effects in the body. It is these hormones, melatonin and cortisol, that tell your body it is time to rest, or to wake up and get going.
If you’re worried that the light alone will not be enough to wake you, the Bodyclock does have a traditional alarm.
Honestly, this alarm clock can also double as a bedside lamp or reading light. Fully illuminated, the Bodyclock provides plenty of light.
- Sunrise/sunset feature gradually wakes you up
- Natural boosting of sleep hormones
- Doubles as a reading light
- Backup alarm for those rough mornings
- Buttons are clicky
If you need help in setting up the Lumie BodyClock Starter 30, which can be a little difficult compared to some of our other recommendations, check out the video guide below.
2. Casio TQ140-7 Beep Travel Alarm Clock
When you picture a classic alarm clock, this model by Casio is likely the style that comes to mind.
It’s a very simple model. There’s a large clock face, with easy to read numbers and hands. To set this travel alarm clock, there’s a knob in the back. To activate and turn off the alarm function, there is a catch located on top of the unit. Plus, it has that classic ‘beep’ sound that you know and love.
There’s no fancy technology or design here. It has one job, and that’s to wake you up.
- Very inexpensive
- Large clock face
- Easy to use
- Does not require batteries
- No extra features
3. Sonic Bomb SBB500SS Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker
This digital alarm clock by Sonic Bomb is intended for those that can sleep through a thunderstorm.
It has a bevy of disruptive, loud, literal bed-shaking features to guarantee you never oversleep again.
To begin, it has a very, very loud alarm – up to 85 dbs! It’s significantly louder than smartphones and most standalone alarm clock systems. It also has bright LED lights that flash in conjunction with the alarm sound, assaulting two of your senses at the same time.
Where the Sonic Bomb really earns it’s reputation is the ‘bed shaker’. Yes, you read that right. The ‘bed shaker’ is an external piece that can be placed under the pillow or in your bed. When your alarm goes off, this piece vibrates and buzzes until you hit the snooze button or wake up completely.
This alarm clock has a variety of alarm sounds to choose from, including slow and fast patterns. It also has a snooze feature, with up to 30 minute intervals.
- Very loud 85db alarm
- LED lights
- External vibrating ‘bed shaker’
- Multiple settings for alarm
- Unique look
- This alarm does not make waking up pleasant
If you are looking for a little more help waking each morning, you could try out the Wake Up Machine. Simone Giertz has made a hilarious how to guide which is guaranteed to get you out of bed or at least leave you slightly concussed! We loved it.
4. Acctim 14112 Europa Alarm Clock
This travel alarm clock by Acctim is another ‘classic’ model in designs and features.
Like the Casio, it has a really simple design. Luminous hands sit on top of an easy to read clock face. A nice touch is the silent, non-ticking second hand.
There’s no fancy features, just a solid, energy efficient alarm clock. An alarm, and a snooze button, what else do you really need, right?
Overall, this is a great little bedside alarm clock.
- Easy to use
- Simple design
- Aesthetic clock face and luminous hands
- Silent, non-ticking second hand
- Limited features
5. Digital LCD Snooze Alarm Clock + Sensor Light + White LED Backlight
For those seeking a simple and easy to use travel alarm clock, but prefer digital models over analog, Agger has you covered.
This radio alarm clock is a little bit more fancy than the simple analog models made by Casio and Acctim. Not only does the Agger tell the time, but it also tracks the minute, hour, day, month, and even temperature.
There’s a large LCD with the time shown in large font – it’s easy to see the time even from across the room.
It has a built in snooze feature, which goes off every 5 minutes until the alarm is turned off.
- LCD display
- Large font
- Built-in snooze
- Powered by batteries
- Alarm isn’t loud as others in this guide
6. Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock HF3500/01 with Sunrise Simulation
This Phillips alarm clock is designed to naturally wake you from your slumber. The ‘Sunrise Simulation’ increases brightness over a period of 30 minutes, mimicking a natural sunrise. Waking up this way leads many to feel more refreshed, as it is the way nature intended us to awake. Just in case this isn’t enough to wake you, there’s a ‘back-up’ alarm that beeps once the sunrise phase is over. The back-up alarm gradually increases in volume over time while the light illuminates.
This bedside alarm clock can also double as a light. It offers 10 different brightness settings, so it makes a great reading light.
- ‘Sunrise Simulation’ gradually brightens for a natural waking process
- Back-up alarm
- Serves as bedside light
- Large, easy to read font
- Alarm sound cannot be disabled
Even when buying smaller price tag items like electric alarm clocks, it helps to do your due diligence. Even a small purchase like this can have a big impact on your day. After all, an alarm clock is what starts the day for many of us. You’ll want to find one that is perfect for you. Here are a few of the things that helped choose the best ones for this guide.
The best models featured in this guide can be separated into two basic groups: classic design and gentle wake-up.
These are your simple, limited feature models. They generally serve as a defacto bedroom clock, and they work great either on your bedside table or on a dresser away from the bed. They are easy to use – set the time, set the alarm, and you’re good to go. They do their job well, and are a great option if you simply want a tool to wake you in the morning.
These models incorporate a few biological benefits beyond the scope of a basic alarm clock. Gentle wake-up models use things like sunrise/senset modes that gradually brighten for a more natural awakening. Ideally, the gradual illumination helps stimulate your bodies natural ‘wake me up’ hormones that help you get out of bed and get your day started.
Basic Alarm Clock Features
Many models have ‘sunrise’ or similarly named features to stimulate waking up naturally. The alarm clock will gradually illuminate, reaching maximum brightness when your alarm goes off.
Ah. Our best friend, and sometimes, our worst enemy. Snooze is the feature that tells your alarm you need 5 (or 3, or 10, whatever you decide) more minutes of sleep. Snooze features come in a few configurations. Some clocks let you set your own snooze parameters, while other offer predetermined time limits (generally 5 or 10 minutes)
We all know someone who can seemingly sleep through anything. If you are one of those people, you know that weak alarm clocks won’t have the volume to wake you. Not all alarm clocks are created equally in this regard. Luckily there are many clocks built to wake up the heaviest of sleepers. Look out for a db rating when choosing your alarm clock – the loudest ones will often proudly display their ear-popping db levels.
Ease of use
You’ll obviously want an alarm clock that is easy to operate. You should be able to quickly set it while having confidence that is indeed will go off when you intend it and clear. Plus, it should be easy to turn off/snooze when the alarm does ring. Large buttons and clear displays with large fonts go a long way for overall convenience.
Choosing the right sound
The sound and volume of your alarm are important. Each one of us responds to different sounds – different volumes, frequencies, tones, etc. Most of the alarm clocks on this guide feature multiple alarm sounds. Some include alarms that get louder until they’re turned off. The ideal alarm sound is based on your preferences and sleeping habits. If you have trouble waking, you’ll likely want something a bit louder and more aggressive.
Choosing the Best Digital Radio Alarm Clocks
As you can see, choosing a classic electric alarm clock offers many benefits you won’t find on your smartphone. Prefer to be woken gently, and as natural as possible? Use an illuminated alarm clock with gradual lighting. Deep, heavy sleeper? You may lean towards a high volume, consistent sound that will make sure you get out of bed. Use this guide to find the absolute best alarm clock for you and you will thank us for it. Sleep well!