The 4 Best Low-Light Alarm Clocks For Distraction-Free Sleep

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Originally Published: 
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If you’re sensitive to light or you simply despise waking up to tons of brightness, the best low-light alarm clocks come in an array of unique styles, ranging from super-sleek picks to retro-inspired ones. There are even sunrise options to wake you up gently. Regardless of which product you choose, the best options offer screens or faces that can be adjusted or turned off completely so that you can sleep soundly.

What Criteria To Consider

When it comes to low-light alarm clocks, there are a few different types to consider. Some clocks offer different preset brightness levels to choose from, while others feature more customizable dimmers that you adjust using a touch-screen or manual dial. There are also models that only light up if you hold down a particular button.

As you shop, think about any other features you might want in a bedside alarm clock. Look at the range of alarm sounds and volumes, and the ability to schedule alarms at different times on different days or multiple alarms in one day. Innovative features like temperature and humidity sensors, built-in FM radio, and sunrise simulation can add a nice touch, too. Plus, a battery-operated clock, or one with battery-backup functionality, offer extra insurance if you ever experience a power outage.

Shop The Best Low-Light Alarm Clocks

In a hurry? Here are the best low-light alarm clocks:

  1. The Fan-Favorite Alarm Clock With An Optional LED Light: Jall Digital Alarm Clock
  2. The Best Alarm Clock With A Dial-Controlled Dimmer: USCCE Digital Alarm Clock Radio
  3. The Best Low-Light Analog Clock: Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock
  4. The Best Sunrise Alarm Clock With A Dimmable Display: Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light

With the best low-light alarm clocks, you’ll be able to enjoy distraction-free darkness and a more soothing slumber. Scroll down to see them all.

1. The Fan-Favorite Alarm Clock With An Optional LED Light

With over 44,000 ratings and 4.5 stars overall, this digital alarm clock has become a fan favorite thanks to its versatility and sleek design. Users can choose from three adjustable brightness levels, and one reviewer explained, “After a few seconds it goes dark which is perfect if you prefer a dark room to sleep in.” According to the manufacturer, users can also turn off the LED light entirely.

Other highlights include five volume levels, a temperature and humidity sensor, and a weekday alarm mode (which you can set to only ring Monday through Friday). You can also set up three alarms in advance for each day. This clock operates with a USB cord that has to be plugged in, but it also has a backup battery that saves the time if there’s a power outage, according to reviewers. It’s available in several colors, including black (pictured), white, brown, and beige.

Promising Amazon review: “I wanted a bedside clock that would only light up when I wanted to see it, and otherwise keep my room completely dark. This works great. I just tap it with my hand (sometimes it takes a couple taps) and then it lights up for 8 seconds or so, before going out again. It seems to respond to low frequency sounds, so voices won’t activate it. Also, I wouldn’t recommend relying on the thermometer, as mine seems to be about 3 degrees Fahrenheit too low (I’ve confirmed using two separate thermometers). All I wanted it for was the time, so that's no big deal to me.”

Type: Digital | Brightness settings: 3 | Powered by: USB cable with wall adapter | Available colors: 4

2. The Best Alarm Clock With A Dial-Controlled Dimmer

This USCCE digital alarm clock has a dial on the back of the clock that allows users to manually adjust the brightness from 0 to 100. One reviewer raved, “It’s hard to find a clock that is not bright even in the lowest setting. This clock is perfect.” You can set up to two alarms at a time (as well as weekday, weekend, and seven-day alarm schedules), and there’s also the option to use one of five pre-programmed nature sounds or the built-in FM radio feature as your alarm. The alarm volume is adjustable, and the clock displays the temperature, too. Two USB charging ports and a battery backup feature (AAA batteries can be purchased here) round out a very long list of helpful features. The clock is available in black or with a faux-wood exterior.

Promising Amazon review: “I wanted a dimmable alarm clock and this is perfect. Has a dial that goes from blackout to nearly lighting up the room. The sound on the radio is best quality I’ve heard from an alarm clock. And it’s easy to use. Highly recommend this product!”

Type: Digital | Brightness settings: 0 to 100% via manual dial | Powered by: Wall outlet | Available colors: 4

3. The Best Low-Light Analog Clock

Clocking in at just 4 inches tall (pun intended!), this twin bell alarm clock is truly adorable. The vintage-look clock doesn’t have an illuminated digital display — instead, there’s a button you manually press to turn on a backlight. The non-ticking hands allow for an uninterrupted slumber, but the loud ringing alarm is sure to get you out of bed when it comes time to wake up. It’s worth noting that while it’s undeniably charming, this clock is quite simple in comparison with others on this list. (For example, it doesn’t have a snooze button or multiple alarm modes.) But it’s available in sleek black and eye-catching pink, red, and green. It only needs one AA battery to work, which means it’ll keep working even if the power goes out.

Promising Amazon review: “This is a very simple product, but it works great even after a year of accidental drops. I’ve never had to fix the time except for DST, and its still accurate. The light works great, the battery life is plenty long, and its still very loud and annoying, perfect for an alarm like this. I am very happy with the look and the use of this clock, very glad I made this purchase.”

Type: Analog | Brightness settings: 1 | Powered by: 1 AA battery (not included) | Available colors: 5

4. The Best Sunrise Alarm Clock With A Dimmable Display

Boasting more than 11,000 ratings on Amazon, the Phillips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is unique on this list because it’s not a traditional alarm clock — instead of a ringing alarm, it simulates the sunrise with slowly increasing light. While the clock does use light to wake you up, its display also automatically dims when the room goes dark. Plus, you can turn off the display completely. If you’d also like to wake up with a sound alarm, you can choose between five nature sounds or you can set it to play the FM radio. Just tap the face of the clock to hit snooze.

Promising Amazon review: “Ever since I got this alarm, I’m still a night owl and the mornings are still hard, but it’s been making waking up easier. It makes a HUGE difference to actually wake up to light and not the dark. It is almost completely blacked out while sleeping so it doesn’t bother me to sleep next to. I also love the night light that I can easily turn on the lamp on and off. I can dim it so low that the light feels natural closer to fire than the light from your phone so it's better for your health and eyes.”

Type: Digital | Brightness settings: 20 | Powered by: Wall outlet | Available colors: 1

Also available on: Phillips, $100

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