Most of us tend to have a love hate relationship with our alarm clocks. Nothing is worse than a beautiful deep sleep being shattered by a blaring beep. You're all snuggled and warm in bed, only to be ripped from peaceful slumber!
And yet, they are (quite literally) the only thing getting you out of bed in the morning. It's thanks to these annoying devices that we can get up in the morning to hit the gym, have breakfast, or get to work on time. Without some way to track time, we'd have to rely on our internal body clock, which is hardly reliable at the best of times.
If you're looking for a good model, you've come to the right place! We've searched through hundreds of different clocks and read thousands of user reviews to find the best product for you. We've looked at the number of available features, the reliability and accuracy of the unit, the pros and cons of each, and even what makes people love these crazy things. Our research has led us to the Electrohome Projection Alarm Clock as the best overall.
Before you get into our list, here's a quick guide of what to consider when buying a unit:
The number one requirement is that it actually get's you out of bed in the morning. The LED display which shows the time is one of the most important features. Additionally, ensuring that your timepiece actually turns on is important as well. Is it plugged into the wall, does it run on battery power, or does it combine both? Units that plug into the wall will turn off if/when the power is cut, but battery-powered devices will turn off when the batteries are low or drained. So a combination of the two is likely your best option.
Digital vs. Analog -- Analog devices use the old-school quartz crystal to track time. They're a classic option, but they have far fewer features than the more advanced digital timepieces.
Atomic Clock -- Atomic clocks are believed to be the most accurate, as they measure the passage of time according to the oscillation of electrons around atoms. They're all set to the U.S. Naval Observatory's Master Clock, one of the most accurate in the world.
Snooze/Timer Button -- Most devices have the snooze option, which allows you to repeat the alarm a few minutes later. A dual timer will also allow you to set two alarms at two different times.
Alarm Type -- Does your alarm buzz or ring a bell when it's time to wake up? Or does it play music or turn on the radio? Some even add vibrating stimulus to the alarm, making it easier to wake up. The best units for heavy sleepers are customizable according to the preferred noise.
More Features -- A few other awesome features to look for include:
- Media player dock for iPod/iPhone/iPad/Android smartphone/MP3 player
- Multi-function time display
- Date and temperature display
- Auto-setting devices
- Multiple sound options
- Style--unique timepieces are always fun!
Although none of the products on our list will break the bank, we included a variety of price points in order to meet all budget requirements.
Now that you know what to look for, it's time to take a look at our all-inclusive list.