We’ve tested and reviewed the best alarm clocks to wake you up well
Dragging yourself out of bed for work can be a challenge, especially when the mornings are cold and gloomy. That’s why many of us rely on a bedside alarm clock to get us going. However, not all alarm clocks are created equal, so it’s important to pick the right one. So while a monotone buzzer might work for some, others might prefer to be woken by their favourite radio station or a gentle recreation of the sunrise that brings your out of your slumber slowly and naturally.
And for those who want to stay ahead of the times in terms of their decor, there’s an extensive range of designs to match every kind of bedroom decor. Whatever your preference – natural light alarm clocks, digital alarm clocks and retro radio alarm clocks – there’s a look and sound for you.
We’ve tested and reviewed some of the top alarm clocks to help get you up and out of the house more easily in the mornings.
Make sure you have a look at more of our expert buying guides
Best alarm clocks
1. Newgate Dome Alarm Clock – best traditional alarm clock
This beautifully simple alarm clock from British brand Newgate sports a tactile silicone petrol blue finish and a distinctive design. Blending a number of styles, it features a mid-century inspired graphic dial. The unusual podium shape has a space age feel to it. This alarm clock is powered by 1 AA battery (not supplied) and setup is child’s play. Simply set the time using the dial on the back, pop in the battery and you’re in business.
The sole alarm is set using a second dial on the back followed by an on/off switch. Keeping things simple, there’s no snooze button and only one alarm. You can’t alter the volume or style of the beeping alarm but we found it was enough to wake us up without being too jarring. And while some might enjoy the white noise of a ticking clock, the Dome is completely silent so it won’t disturb you. While features are limited, this cool little alarm clock delivers everything it promises. It comes with a bargain price tag and will look amazing on your bedside table.
Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
2. Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D – best sunrise alarm clock
Billed as ‘the original wake-up light’, Lumie’s latest effort sports a round design with an attractive frosted glass dome. It looks good even when it’s not lit up. The lamp mimics the rising sun, with the aim of regulating your sleep cycle for a better night’s rest. You can choose from a daily or weekly alarm and if you want sound to accompany the lamp, you’re in luck. There’s a DAB radio or a choice of 20 wakeup sounds including birds, crickets and traffic.
The unit also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, with pretty decent audio. Then there’s a USB port for charging your mobile device if you can’t bear to be parted from it while you sleep. The alarm clock offers a sunset mode to help you unwind before bed, along with a low blue light setting especially for bedtime. The light level settings for sunrise and sunset can be tweaked, as can their duration. This enables you to find the perfect wake-up and bedtime process to suit you.
The unit relies on mains power, but it’ll keep time for 30 minutes if there’s a power cut. It will also save your settings so you won’t have to programme it all again. The wake-up lamp works a treat, and really does feel like a more relaxing way to start the day. However, the control buttons and on-screen menus are incredibly fiddly and not very intuitive, so it takes a while to master the settings. While it’s not as slick to use as we’d expect at this price, the Lumie is a sound investment if you want to up your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
3. Lexon Flip LR130 – best alarm clock for heavy sleepers
For something a little different, the tiny Lexon Flip is only slightly bigger than a pack of cards. This makes it a good choice if you need something portable. The fun design is available in a wide range of colours to match every bedroom. The time and alarm are both set with simple buttons on the back, with the alarm time displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen.
To turn the alarm on and off, you simply flip the unit over so ‘on’ or ‘off’ is showing on the top. It really couldn’t be simpler. Powered by 2 AAA batteries (not included), the clock features a five-minute snooze that’s activated by tapping the button on top of the unit. This will also turn on a nightlight for a few seconds if you want to check the time when it’s dark without disturbing your rest too much.
The alarm is rather loud and urgent, so there’s no slow, relaxing wake-up call here. There’s also no option for adjusting the volume or setting multiple alarms. With an unusual ‘flip’ method of turning the alarm on and off, this colourful clock is fun and functional, but not very flexible.
Ideal Home’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Buy now: Lexon Flip LR130, £28, John Lewis
4. Pure Siesta Rise S – best radio alarm clock
A welcome update to the classic radio alarm clock, this compact device sports a neat design. You can choose from five different colourways: gold, mint, navy, white and grey. You can choose to wake up to an alarm tone or your favourite radio station (the Rise S supports DAB, DAB+ and FM). It’s also possible to set three different alarms, which is handy if your partner gets up at a different time.
Alarms can be set as daily or for weekdays or weekends, or just once – and you can also adjust the volume. Both the tone and radio alarm start out at a low level, gradually increasing to the chosen maximum volume, for a gentle wake-up call. Simply press any of the buttons in the back row on top of the radio to stop the alarm. There’s also a really handy flexible snooze function, which can be set for anything between five and 59 minutes.
You even get a countdown clock on the display. And to avoid disturbing your sleep, the CrystalVue display packs auto-dimming. The Rise S relies on mains power and packs impressive sound. It includes a USB port for charging your mobile and a headphone socket, plus it works as a Bluetooth speaker. Overall, it’s a flexible, reliable timekeeper that’s easy to use, looks good and won’t put too much of a dent in your bank account.