Best Zen Alarm Clock

Earl Hamilton
• Wednesday, 30 December, 2020
• 8 min read

As well as simulated sunrise and sunset modes, it has light-guided breathing programs to help you relax in the evening, a soft midnight night-light setting and a smart touch display. Its sunrise and sunset modes are adjustable from 15-90 minutes, so you can set it to the duration that works best for you.

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If you haven't heard of a sunrise alarm clock, allow us to introduce you to your new morning BFF. Thankfully, WH cover star Davina McCall has a healthy morning hack that could help turn this whole train around.

It's simple: Davina has a sunrise alarm clock that starts gradually lighting up the room from 6:30 am onwards, so that her body gently adjusts to the day and wakes her up naturally around 7am. Most models also have a 'sunset' option, allowing you to wind down before bed with a gently dimming light.

Traditional alarm clocks, which jolt you awake, can cause a spike in the stress hormone cortisol. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.

If you're looking for a way to battle the dwindling daylight hours, our collection of the best light therapy alarm clocks are here to help. If you're looking for more great ways to add a little more intelligence to your everyday routine, make sure to read our list of smart home and gadget reviews before taking a look at our best sunrise alarm clocks.

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The Philips HF3520 is the best sunrise alarm clock, featuring 20 different colored brightness settings and offers a steadily increasing light beginning at 20 to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled alarm time. Additionally, the HF3520 offers 200 lux maximum light intensity and no replacement bulb is needed for the life of the unit, which provides years of value and better mornings.

Beyond the colored sunrise simulation, Philips does offer a more traditional alarm style with an FM radio and tap snooze function that allows for an extra nine minutes of sleep. The non-slip rubber feet provide easy placement anywhere on a nightstand where the HF3520 can pull dual-duty as a bedside lamp for reading or relaxing.

While there’s bound to be a transition period from a traditional alarm to a wake-up light, the chance to have more energy and better concentration right from the get-go make the HF3520 a must-own. Additionally, the HF3505 offers a snooze button that provides an extra nine minutes of sleep before it attempts to jump-start your day all over again.

The sudden popularity of wake-up light alarm clocks has been great for achieving a more peaceful way of getting up in the morning. The dual tilt angles (85 and 70 degrees) offer comfortable positioning, but it’s also able to be mounted to the wall.

The 10,000 lux UV-free light perfectly mimics sunlight, which allows for a natural boost in mood without the caffeine kick. The extra benefits of increased energy, focus and concentration are all aided by three levels of output, including 3,500 Lux for the Aura’s lowest setting.

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But the home Energy Bedside Sleep Therapy machine also has a bevy of other features beyond just the alarm setting. And while it isn’t the cheapest clock on this list, these extra features mean you get great value for your money.

Everything, including the alarm, can be controlled on the clock itself or by connecting it to your phone via Bluetooth or aux cable and downloading the home app. The app, which is iOS and Android compatible, has full descriptions of each sound and light program and what time of day they’re best for.

The Television Sunrise AlarmClock doesn’t have the same brand name recognition as some other wake-up lights on this list, but it delivers many of the same features at a price that won’t keep you up at night. The Television clock wakes you up gradually with a light that starts out dim red and brightens to white, mimicking the color of sunrise.

Options include nature sounds like chirping birds and running water, regular beeping alarms for heavier sleepers, and FM radio. There is also a one-touch nightlight setting and an oversized snooze button, so you can get an extra 15 minutes when you need it.

Download the companion app on your mobile device to remotely change the settings, schedule regular alarms, and sync up the device to existing Google Assistant, Smart Life, and Amazon Alexa smart home systems. You can still use the wake-up light and access its settings without the app, but it adds another level of convenience and remote control for those who want it.

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Andy Hahn, who reviewed the Television for us, loved its great smart home integration options. If you need some help getting up on a cold winter morning, but don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a brand name option, the Homeland Sunrise AlarmClock is the choice for you.

It has a warm LED light that can be set to gradually brighten the room 30 minutes before your alarm. It also has a Sleep timer with sunset simulations, letting it dim the room before you go to bed and doubling as a night light.

The clock's face has an LED touchscreen that shows the time and allows you to control the three brightness settings. You won't get some higher-end options like a smart voice assistant or battery backup, but for the price it's hard to beat.

It has sunlight options, 20 different lights and sounds, and supports iOS and Android. She's covered a variety of products focusing on smart home, and reviewed many the wake-up light therapy alarm clocks on this list.

She loved the Philips HF3520 for its reliable set of features and multiple brightness options and sounds. As a tech generalist, he's reviewed a wide range of devices, including the Television Sunrise AlarmClock which he liked for its smart home connectivity.

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Compact travel models make it easy to take your gadget on the go, and still, others can be mounted on the wall. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and envision the space where you feel the greatest sense of joy and calm.

Reinventing your bedroom as a place of beauty and serenity sets up a lasting source of renewal and replenishment, both spiritual and physical. Soften the Colors Bedrooms are meant to be “yin rooms,” which facilitate passive, feminine spirit rather than generate active, masculine yang energy.

“Yin rooms should be calm, so you can walk into them and relax,” says Susan Levitt, author of Taoist Fend Shoo. She suggests painting walls in pastels such as lavender, beige, or off-white, or in muted flesh tones like cream, taupe, and rose.

Another option is using Anna Nova Luxury Organics wall finish, manufactured with up to 99 percent food-grade ingredients (from $49 a gallon; annasova.com). To enhance the soothing effects of your new colors, add a bottle of Anna Nova’s Organic Aromatherapy formula ($12).

Stirred into the wall finish before painting, these essential-oil-based blends scent your room with lemon, vanilla, orange and clove, or sandalwood. Clear the Clutter You needn’t sleep in a Zen den, but a clean, open space allows you to rest better at night.

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For soundest snoozing, dim your bedroom at night with a thick, dark cotton canvas, and let in the morning sun when it’s time to wake; this will help you stay synchronized with your own body rhythms. Line suggests adding a few drops of calming essential oil like enroll, rose, or jasmine to an aromatherapy diffuser (available from Aura Acacia for $15; frontiercoop.com), while Levitt recommends chamomile, lavender, or clary sage.

“But even if you crack open your window just an inch, it can help,” says building biologist Athena Thompson, author of Homes That Heal. “If you have one or two people sleeping in a closed room for eight hours, it depletes the air of oxygen and increases carbon dioxide, so you wake up feeling sluggish and headache.” Add an extra blanket or two on chillier nights.

Thompson prefers mattresses made of organic cotton, pure grown wool, or natural rubber. To avoid chemically treated linens, make sure your purchases aren’t labeled “permanent press,” advises Add.

When the clock’s alarm is triggered, its chime produces a long-resonating, beautiful acoustic tone reminiscent of a temple gong. Then, as the ringtone gradually fades away, the clock remains silent until it automatically strikes again three minutes later.

This is gentle, ten-minute “progressive awakening” leaves users feeling less groggy, and even helps with dream recall. Wake up refreshed, love your alarm clock, transform your mornings with The ZenAlarmClock's progressive awakening with gentle chimes.

zen yoga class single
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Wake up refreshed, love your alarm clock, transform your mornings with The ZenAlarmClock's progressive awakening with gentle chimes.

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