​With a sleep machine, you can be that person who has the kind of night’s rest that other people dream of.

The Best White Noise Machines To Help You Sleep Through Anything

Are you kept awake by night-owl neighbors, or other creaky, screechy noises that go more than just bump in the night? You may want to consider white noise machines and their dependable, sound-drowning capabilities. First, you’ll want to understand what noise is before you run out and buy a sleep machine, one of the trusty go-to solutions for insomniacs everywhere.

“White noise is basically a constant noise that covers all hearable frequencies,” says Rajkumar (Raj) Dasgupta, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “We [often] use the terminology of ‘white noise’ wrong. Not everything that is labeled ‘white noise’ is truly white noise. People love the sound of rainfall in the background and find it soothing and peaceful—but that’s not meeting the definition of white noise.”

Josna Adusumilli, M.D., a neurologist and sleep disorders physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, breaks it down further by explaining that white noise is random noise that’s generated with snips from all frequencies (hence why that babbling brook or crackling fire doesn’t count).

“It can help mask other noises in the environment that may disrupt sleep because often it’s the change in sound, rather than the actual sound itself, that causes you to wake up,” he says. “If there’s white noise in the background, there’s less of a change in the sound levels if a new sound arises, and less of chance that you will awaken.”

While nature tracks and other ambient sounds do not meet the scientific definition of white noise, the concept of “blanketing” your bedroom with a soothing sound could have a similar effect. White noise and other soundtracks for sleep create a noise base as you doze off, meaning nighttime dins can be less jolting and disruptive.

Dasgupta offers this simple analogy: “Let’s say you’re in a very dark, dark room, and suddenly I turn on a flashlight. You will wake up because it’s robust and bright. But if you take a room with a nightlight or the hall light on, when you turn on flashlight it won’t be that intense.”

Makes sense, right? So, now that you know all this, is a white noise machine is the fix to your sleep woes? “I think the big thing to consider is: Are you envious of people who can sleep through anything? Like there’s an explosion outside, and you’re like, ‘How are you still sleeping?” says Dasgupta. “That’s white noise’s claim to fame.”

If that sounds like you, browse these options that offer both electronic and motorized white noise. Check out six of our favorites below.

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