The best smart alarm clocks of 2024

These smarty-pants alarm clocks are no snooze.

Best overall

A Loftie smart alarm clock on a blue and gray gradient background

Loftie Clock

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Best for light therapy

A Philips SmartSleep clock on a blue and white gradient background

Philips SmartSleep

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Best for kids

An Amazon Echo Show 5 on a blue and white background

Echo Show 5

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For most of us, alarm clocks are a daily feature of life—they see us at our worst, tired, cranky, and out-of-sorts—but what if they could be smarter alarm clocks? That means an alarm clock with the ability to customize how you wake up and how you fall asleep. With options, in many cases, for different sounds, lights, and preprogrammed gentle-on-your-body alarm functions that have you waking up as rested and refreshed as possible (these are, after all, still alarms). You may even be able to talk to them to tell them exactly what you want them to do. To smooth out the inevitable wake-up bumps, you don’t want just any alarm clock—you want the best smart alarm clock on the market today.

How we chose the best smart alarm clocks

This preapproved selection of the best smart alarm clocks will save you time and maybe some 6 a.m. wake-up headaches. To narrow things down, we considered expert and real-world opinions and looked at what benefits each smart alarm clock delivered. Of course, not everyone wants the same thing from a smart alarm clock. Some people may want a smart alarm clock that goes the gentler route by using light therapy, while others may want nature sounds and a soothing sunrise to raise them from their slumber slowly. Ease of use and integration with apps and your smartphone, plus attractiveness on the bedside table, were also factors that helped shape our decisions.

The best smart alarm clocks: Reviews & Recommendations

While there’s not a lot of joy to be had in waking up before you’re ready, there is at least a little glee in finding a smart alarm clock that helps wake you up the way you prefer. From smart alarm clocks with preset sleeping and waking sounds to alarms that do their jobs while looking damn fine, here are our most alarming picks.

Best overall: Loftie Clock 

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Why it made the cut: This smart alarm clock has all the bells and whistles, from a Bluetooth-enabled speaker to preprogrammed gentle wakeup sounds.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 6.5” W x 2.75” D x 2.75” H
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Power: USB-C cable and power adapter with backup lithium-ion battery

Pros

  • Two-phase alarm for a gentler approach to waking up
  • Built-in white noise and relaxing sounds
  • Bluetooth speaker to play whatever music you’d like
  • Adjustable night light (includes blackout setting)

Cons

  • WiFi required to operate
  • Night light isn’t enough to read by
  • Limited amount of programming in Loftie itself

The Loftie Clock looks like a regular alarm clock (albeit a sleek one), but it hides a lot of functionality behind its unassuming facade, doing double duty as a smartphone alarm clock with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. The big idea behind this alarm clock is that you get the modern-day technological features you might traditionally find in your phone—like meditation programs and relaxing music—but without the distraction of having your phone by your bed (no more late-night doom-scrolling). Instead of being the loudest alarm clock on the block, it’s taking the kinder, gentler route.

This smart alarm clock can fit on just about any bedside table with room to spare at a light 1.8 pounds and a small footprint of 6.5 inches wide, 2.75 inches in diameter, and 2.75 inches high. Its polycarbonate shell and steel top grill can withstand the half-asleep smacking that sometimes comes with disarming alarm clocks, while the lithium-ion battery backup is a nice feature of this device that’s normally powered via a USB-C cable and power adapter.

Just how smart is it? It’s got a two-phase alarm that sends a gentle prod first before the more traditional alarm jolt. Speaking of, you can wake up however you’d like by customizing the alarm tone and what volume it comes on for various days of the week. If you like falling asleep to white noise or nature soundscape, the clock comes preprogrammed with 100-plus sleep and nature sounds. Maybe you need a little more to drift off to sleep or wake up refreshed. In that case, its updatable wellness content includes sound baths, guided meditations, and breathwork tips. If you already have your own audio content and music you prefer, you can also set that up via Bluetooth from your phone.

The unit itself has a dimmable glow for those who like some gentle light on in their room to go to sleep (or to find your way to the bathroom for those middle-of-the-night wakeups). For those who need a pitch-black room with zero light distractions, the sleep timer with blackout mode is just the thing.

Instead of packing your bedroom with a white noise machine, light therapy wakeup lamp, alarm clock, and smartphone, you can simply rely on the Loftie Clock to play all these roles in your life. And it does so elegantly, in customizable top colors including black, white, pine, coffee, and red shell—the base is always black. And as for that promise of being able to leave your phone in the other room while you sleep, the Loftie Clock delivers, as all of its built-in features can be accessed through the alarm clock itself without the use of your phone. 

Note that you will need a WiFi connection to use most of its functions. The app is also finicky: There have been moments where we’ve tried to change an alarm via app, only to be met with a “sync unsuccessful” message. Changing the alarm on the clock itself isn’t a workaround to this, and your best bet is reconnecting the clock.

Best for the minimalist: Hatch Restore 2

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Why it made the cut: Of all the smart alarm clocks out there, this one looks the least like an alarm clock, and that’s a good thing for the design-conscious.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.75 x 5.75 inches
  • Weight: 19 ounces
  • Power: Proprietary cable that plugs into an outlet

Pros

  • Dimmable clock for complete nighttime darkness
  • Phone-free controls
  • Free app available in Apple Store and Google Play Store

Cons

  • Paid Hatch membership is needed to access sounds beyond what’s preprogrammed
  • WiFi connection required

For those who want an alarm clock by their bed that looks nothing like an alarm clock, the Hatch Restore 2—available in the natural colors of latte, putty, and slate—does the trick. This unobtrusive fabric-covered alarm clock uses light and sound to both help you go to sleep and wake up. You get the choice of many “colored” noises, from white to pink (lower pitch, more soothing) to brown (deeper, more rumbly), plus those inspired by nature or thought to promote sleep. And you get light and dark on your terms, with a sunrise alarm clock option and a dimmable clock that stays off unless you tap it to see the time. 

Once you get your Hatch smart alarm clock set using the free companion app (accessible to iOS and Android phones), you can start your nighttime routine by pressing a button on the device itself—meaning you can keep your phone away from your sleep area, a big plus for the easily distractible. You will need WiFi and Bluetooth to operate it, and if you want a full library of content beyond the preprogrammed sounds and noise, you’ll have to sign up for a Hatch Membership after a free trial. The Hatch Restore 2 also suffers the same pitfalls as the Lofie: You’re a bit screwed if the app isn’t working.

Best for a small space: Lenovo Smart Clock

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Why it made the cut: Google Assistant makes the interface easy to use, and the color screen adds appeal.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 4.21″ L x 8.65″ W x 3.26″ H 
  • Weight: ‎1 pound
  • Power: Proprietary cable that plugs into an outlet

Pros

  • Use voice with Google Assistant for easy operation
  • Pairs with most smart devices that use Google Assistant
  • USB charging port for phones, other devices

Cons

  • Small size may not be for everyone
  • No battery backup in case of power outage

The Lenovo Smart Clock is like having a little computer screen right next to your bed—and it’ll do what you ask thanks to Google Assistant integration, which works in Android or iOS. The fabric-covered clock has a 4-inch color screen that can display the time, weather, and your Google photos. You can customize the clock faces just like on a smartwatch. And you can even check in on your smart camera feeds and pair other smart devices that work with Google Assistant. The multiroom audio feature lets you connect your clock to a speaker group and play media like music or podcasts across multiple devices and rooms. Choose to control things like setting your alarm via voice activation or do it manually via the onscreen buttons and menus. This alarm has a slow brightening option that you can have activated 30 minutes before you want to wake up. And you can stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks via the speaker.

Best for light therapy: Philips SmartSleep

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Why it made the cut: While on first blush, it’s the sunrise and sunset light that set this smart alarm apart; it’s the extras like the phone charging dock and app that help it shine.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 8.8″ D x 8.6″ W x 4.7″ H 
  • Weight: 3.36 pounds
  • Power: Power cord with 8-hour alarm back-up

Pros

  • 8 pre-programmed wake-up sounds to choose from
  • Easy customization of sunset and sunrise via app
  • Phone charging dock bonus

Cons

  • Not Bluetooth enabled
  • Small digital numbers can be hard to read
  • Light can only connect via 2.4 GHz WiFi router

While its main selling point is its sunrise and sunset lights, the Philips SmartSleep has a lot of smart alarm features that make it a winner in the broader smart alarm clock category, too. Nice touches like an easy-to-access midnight light on top of the device for those 3 a.m. milk and cookie runs, an FM radio for those who like to wake up to the news or their favorite station with a clock with radio alarm, and a phone charging dock put it in a class above. There’s also an eight-hour alarm power backup for when your electricity fails, a speaker, the ability to wake up to both light and sounds, an auto-dimming display, smart snooze, and an AmbiTrack sensor to measure your bedroom sleeping environment. 

Using this smart alarm clock with the SleepMapper app allows you to track your sleep, get insights into your habits, and sync sleep metrics with Apple and Google Health. You don’t need to use the app to control the device, but you’ll have easier access (and access to more features) if you do. Just note that there’s no Bluetooth, and it only works when connected to 2.4 GHz WiFi.

Best for kids: Echo Show 5

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Why it made the cut: Alexa integration makes it easy for kids to set their own alarm, play music, and make video calls—all with parental controls in place.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 5.8″ W x 3.6″ D x 3.2″ H
  • Weight: 16.01 ounce
  • Power: Proprietary cable that plugs into an outlet

Pros

  • Alexa voice assistant for ease of use
  • Built-in camera for video calls
  • Parental controls to control when and how kids use the device

Cons

  • Screen may lag a bit
  • Amazon-dependent system

The Amazon Alexa integration with this alarm clock, really a member of the Amazon family of smart speakers, means it does a whole lot more than just make sure your kids wake up in the morning. Your child can ask it questions, have it play music, stream a podcast, and make video calls to trusted contacts. There’s also a chance to interact with Disney characters using the device. And yes, your kids can use Alexa to set their own wake-up alarms, read them a bedtime story, and even turn off any compatible smart lights with your alarm clock at night. Parental controls mean that all this happens under your watchful eye.

What to consider when buying the best smart alarm clocks

Here’s what you should consider when shopping for smart alarm clocks:

How big and flashy do you want your smart alarm clock to be?

Some smart alarm clocks are the same size (or smaller) as a standard analog or digital alarm clock meant to sit on a bedside stand, while others are much larger and more noticeable. Some smart alarm clocks look like you’d expect a bedside alarm clock to look, while others are more like a computer screen, and still others don’t look like an alarm at all—and instead resemble an unobtrusive piece of art.

How smart do you want your smart alarm clock to be?

Some smart alarm clocks are just smart enough with a WiFi connection and the ability to connect to your phone for ease of programming. Other smart alarm clocks have hundreds of preprogrammed sounds, the capacity to run a sunrise and sunset light show, the ability to stream from your phone via Bluetooth (almost like tiny powered speakers, though without the fidelity), and their own dedicated apps that offer even more features that might include analyzing your sleep patterns. Sometimes, a smart alarm can also be a central access point to other smart-home devices, like a security system or room lights.

What type of technology do you want your smart alarm clock to have?

If everything in your home runs via Google Assistant, you might look at an alarm clock that includes that functionality. While if you prefer Alexa, you might prefer a different alarm clock with built-in Amazon tech. Ensure the smart alarm clock you choose integrates with your phone’s operating system. Look for either iOS or Android compatibility, although many do both.

FAQs

Q: Is it better to use an alarm clock or a phone alarm?

Both alarm clocks and phone alarms can wake you up, but there are advantages to using an alarm clock over a phone. For example, most sleep experts suggest kicking your phone out of the bedroom for better sleep (including falling asleep), and a smart alarm clock is an, ahem, smart way to do that.

Q: What can a smart alarm clock do?

Smart alarm clocks offer many ways to wake up, including by emanating a sunny glow and playing soft sounds. You can customize smart alarm clocks to help with falling asleep, too, with some models offering meditations. They can usually stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Phone apps make setting them up a breeze.

Q: Will a smart alarm clock work if the internet goes out?

It depends on the brand of smart alarm clock. Some have battery backups designed to ensure your alarm goes off even when the internet or power goes out, but others don’t. Before you buy, check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure.

Final thoughts on the best smart alarm clocks

The best smart alarm clocks are easy to set up and offer many ways of waking up, whether you prefer those with lights, soothing natural sounds, or multi-step alarm options. If you’d like to ditch your regular alarm clock or phone alarm for a smart alarm clock, consider this a gentle nudge to make the switch.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Erin Behan Avatar

Erin Behan

Contributor, Reviews

Erin Behan is a writer and editor based in Portland, Ore. For Popular Science, she reviews everyday electronic devices and tests them on her small brood of children (one teen and one grade-schooler) and pets (one very gregarious cat). She writes and edits for a variety of online publications and companies on a range of topics, including real estate investing, sportswear, home insurance, and food. For fun, she likes running in the PNW rain, practicing yoga at home, visiting friends in far-flung locales, and getting out into nature. She recently bought a 100-year-old house, which both terrifies and excites her.