The best alarm clock
As a resident New Yorker, there are two things I can’t seem to get enough of space and sleep. So when it comes to the 375 square feet that I call home, I take great care in making it feel like a respite from the chaos that is Manhattan. But I confess that, in my relentless pursuit of small-space, utilitarian design, I overlooked an essential bedroom accessory: an alarm clock.
Somewhere along the line between graduating college and becoming a full-fledged adult, I picked up the nasty habit of using my smartphone as my alarm clock. I rationalized my way out of purchasing a proper one for years. “Why spend the money or precious nightstand real estate?” I’d ask myself. For starters, the default Radar ring of my iPhone has consistently woken me up in a panic attack. (I realize I could change it to something slightly less offensive but did Apple really design its ringtones with a quality wake-up experience in mind?)
All jokes aside, smartphones are notorious for weakening the quality of your sleep. Aside from the temptation to text and check social media late into the night, the blue light of your smartphone has a proven track record of suppressing the sleep hormone, melatonin. So it’s probably for the best that you treat your phone like a first date — meaning don’t invite it into your bedroom.
I decided to break up with my smartphone alarm and get cozy with a real clock that’s both functional and easy on the eyes. I knew of a few brands with which I could launch my searches, like Newgate and Philips. Once upon a time, I worked as an interior design consultant at a gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, home to some of the world’s foremost names in design, including the iconic Pacific Design Center.
But I didn’t stop there. I scoured Pinterest boards, Amazon wishlists, and design blogs for the most iconic clocks I could find. I was looking for clock brands with a signature style — you know, some chutzpah. And I didn’t want an art piece. Unlike my shoe collection, these clocks had to be as practical as they were pretty, but I tried to steer clear of reproduction and imitators. No Canal Street knockoffs here.
Tivoli alarm clock
This Tivoli alarm clock is the one I ultimately end up with — what a beauty.
I had to kiss a few frogs to get there, but I finally settled on 12 of the most eligible, design-forward alarm clocks that successfully marry form and function — from those 12 I chose the one for me. Of course, I had to do my due diligence: I had nearly 20 alarm clocks delivered to my studio apartment. The scene was surreal, and I definitely tripped over some boxes to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. In the end, it was worth it: I’ll sleep better at night knowing I’ve spared you the indignity of falling naked into a pile of packing materials in your own quest for the best alarm clock.