February 22, 2012 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend your favorite white noise machine!

To drown out our noisy neighbors, my wife and I used to sleep with one of these, but my kids inherited it. We need a replacement for ourselves. (We love the Oceanside sound, and would be looking for something similar.)

The reviews on the new version of the Sharper Image model over at Amazon complain that the clock is very bright in dark rooms.

If you're using a white noise machine that you love and can't sleep without, could you please recommend it?

I'm not looking for:
* Noise cancelling headphones. (I can't stand having my ears plugged or anything wrapped around my head while I sleep.)
* Laptop + mp3's (Too bulky, complex, etc.)
* CD with white noise mp3 (The kids also inherited our cd alarm clock.)
* iPod-anything. (Don't already own one, so the cost of the player plus speakers would be too high.)
* Smartphone apps or mp3's. (Our phones currently charge in a dock overnight.)

....just the perfect white noise machine. :)

Thank you in advance!
posted by zarq to Technology (17 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've never bought a white noise machine, but I always sleep with a fan on. Like, a regular table fan. I'm a restless sleeper, hate outside noise and have mild tinnitus, and the white noise of artificial wind works well to drown out a lot of that. Plus, air circulation.
posted by Paper rabies at 10:32 AM on February 22, 2012

Dual-speed Marpac! Accept no substitutes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:36 AM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

I use the dual speed Marpac and it's pretty good. It does a good job of drowning out my roommates talking (which is my biggest problem when I try to fall asleep), but I can still hear the bathroom fan running when they turn it on (my bed is right up against the bathroom wall though).
posted by carmel at 10:39 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Totally agree with ThePinkSuperhero. This is the machine to get. I first got it when I was living with roommates who stayed up later than me watching t.v. or talking in the next room. It drowned them out just enough that I wouldn't focus on what they were saying and could focus on sleep (i.e. it turned their noise into an ignorable hum). Kept using it after moving out for those nights when I just needed a little white noise to fall asleep to. (Incidentally it is always the one I see in doctor's offices and other places of business trying to promote tranquility and sound buffering, like an acupuncture clinic I used to go to.)
posted by lovingkindness at 10:43 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fourthing the Marpac. This thing has single-handedly prevented me from attacking/mauling my downstairs neighbors.
posted by prior at 11:34 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use an air purifier. That way I get cleaner air while I sleep and drown out the unwanted noises!
posted by Zoyashka at 11:34 AM on February 22, 2012

Fifthing the Marpac. I'm considering buying another one for my partner's house on nights I sleep there, it's so amazing.
posted by stellaluna at 11:37 AM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use a white noise app (iOS, Android, Blackberry). There's a free "lite" version for iOS and Android.

I use it all night, but that drains 1/5-1/6 of the battery. You can set a time or duration for the noise to go off, though. It also has time/duration alarms and the option to display the time like a bedside clock (more battery drain, of course).

It's nice, but since I've started using it, I have to recharge the phone a lot more. I'm considering replacing it with a fan or noise machine. But I plan to use the app when traveling.
posted by Boxenmacher at 11:38 AM on February 22, 2012

I use an older model, but the white noise generator I use looks just like this one from Brookstone and I've been very happy with it. It doesn't generate significant light.
posted by immlass at 11:46 AM on February 22, 2012

Sixthing the Marpac.
posted by Sal and Richard at 12:08 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love my Marpac.
posted by jessamyn at 12:46 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Holy cow. Looks like a huge consensus for the Marpac!
posted by zarq at 1:07 PM on February 22, 2012

I used a small, cheap, metal fan for years until my allergies got too bad. Then I upgraded to an amazing air purifier. White noise heaven and I don't have to dust so much. The one I use is a Home Depot special, Honeywell, Dr.'s choice Hepa thingie that cost $138.00. I just vacuum the filter so it's a one time buy. Do not buy one that requires replacement filters- it will cost too much in the long run. I've used mine constantly for 3 years now with no problems.
posted by myselfasme at 3:21 PM on February 22, 2012

I can't sleep without my Ecotones Sound + Sleep Machine. It is really awesome. It lights up when you turn it on but that goes off after about 30 seconds or so. It has several options from white noise to city but I always use the ocean sounds so I can't comment on the others. It also subtly raises the volume as external noise gets louder.

I sleep with my windows open pretty much year round and live on a busy road in a neighborhood with lots of barking dogs right above a boisterous toddler and I sleep extremely well. I love this machine and I take it with me when I travel even if it's just going to be one night.
posted by tinamonster at 4:01 PM on February 22, 2012

zarq: " The reviews on the new version of the Sharper Image model over at Amazon complain that the clock is very bright in dark rooms."

I'm not affiliated with them but I have these LightDims stickers and I love them.
posted by IndigoRain at 5:10 PM on February 22, 2012

I've been running a box fan in my room pointed at the wall at night for a few months now. It's loud enough to soften even the really noisy trains that run through town all night long blowing their whistles at the crossings, helps the passive heater unit keep the room warm by circulating the air nicely, and was only about $15-20 dollars. I don't like direct breezes, which is why I blow it toward the wall -- that way the airflow dissipates and isn't an actual breeze.
posted by hippybear at 5:42 PM on February 22, 2012

Another vote for the dual-speed Marpac. Bought two -- one for the baby's room, one for my room. The single-speed is cheaper, but not much. Go with the dual. It's nice to have options.
posted by HerArchitectLover at 11:55 PM on February 22, 2012

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