Fighting fire with fire is a concept as old as time. When facing a noisy problem, you can try to block it by soundproofing the area or mask it with another noise. Devices designed for this very purpose are called white noise machines, and they’re a simple and cost-efficient solution to your problem.
Buying a white noise machine can improve sleep quality, increase focus, and reduce stress levels. In other words, it’s a worthwhile investment, regardless of how you choose to look at it. However, with so many options on the market, how do you pick the best one? Well, here are the top seven considerations you should make.
- Variety of different sounds
While many expect a white noise machine to have one pre-set noise, this usually won’t happen. So, look at the machine with various noises; just ensure the options suit you. Now, while just random humming may be a default, there are a lot of popular white noises that you can consider. Some of them are:
- Fireplace cracking
- Nature sounds
- Fan noise
These are fairly common and quite popular. It wouldn’t be that far-fetched to assume that your white noise machine will have some or all of them.
Other than white noise, you also have brown noise (a bit deeper and more powerful) or pink noise (lower frequency, more soothing). Both of these are determined compared to the standard white noise.
- Sound quality
In theory, a white noise machine should produce high-quality sound. After all, this is their primary feature, and if they haven’t done this right, what are they doing? In reality, it won’t be this simple.
Remember that background noise affects your psyche, so you must ensure that the white noise machines you’re considering have a positive effect. In other words, you aim for quality. Usually, you’ll have a sample of the noise; just make sure that the noise of the actual machine should be slightly higher quality than the noise of the recording.
If you’re not ordering online but buying in an actual store, you can ask to test it out (turn it on). Remember that the differences are not as high as to make this a top priority.
- Timer feature
Another important thing you need is the built-in timer feature. You don’t want the noise to go on and on for the entirety of the night. So, you should pick a white noise machine with a timer.
There are many reasons why you want to insist on the timer feature.
- First of all, you want a higher level of energy efficiency. Why would it work unnecessarily? It’s not a power-hungry machine, but that’s not the point.
- Second, you can adjust it to your sleep routine and ensure it goes uninterrupted.
- Third, all devices have a certain number of working hours in them. By setting a timer, you’ll prolong its useful life.
- Fourth, all the good white noise machines have it; why wouldn’t you?
Finally, it’s a standard feature, and requiring that it’s installed is by no means unreasonable.
Portability is incredibly important. You may need a white noise machine for your kid or your own sleep. Either way, it’s safe to assume that this activity won’t be confined to your bedroom. The more compact it is, the more portable it will be.
This is also an important thing worth pointing out; even if you insulate your bedroom, you can’t take it with you. If your kid has trouble sleeping, you can’t carry their rug and acoustic panels (or even a door sweep) with you on vacation. This shouldn’t be that big of a problem with a white noise machine.
Some white noise machines can be expensive. At the same time, you don’t want to buy the cheapest one on the market. You’re looking for a balance between the two, so do some homework. Research a bit and try to see if there’s anything you like.
Regarding budgeting, keep one more thing in consideration – the ROI. Sure, you’re making a one-time payment, but try to split this cost by the number of hours you will use the device. Also, the increase in sleep quality, focus, and overall reduction of stress levels are hard to compare or quantify.
Don’t look at this as just another device purchase. Think of it as an investment toward quality of life.
- Features and user-friendliness
While you want options for customizability, you don’t want a machine that’s too complex. Instead, you want something easy to operate and beginner-friendly. This way, you can just take it out of the box and start using it immediately.
Remember that not all white noise machines are designed with kids in mind. Sure, putting your baby to sleep is the first feature that popped into your mind, but what about designing a home office? The right white noise machine can drastically improve your focus and functionality, but you need to carefully consider and potentially even test this.
As for the additional features, you may also want some LED lights or something along those lines.
- Check out what others are saying
The most important thing you should do before purchasing is read some comments, reviews, and ratings. If you find the right platform, you can even compare two products.
Just keep in mind that other people’s experiences will be different. When starting, check their reason for getting a white noise machine. Do they:
- Have kids they want to put to sleep?
- Have trouble sleeping themselves?
- Want to mask the noise in their office space?
Their reviews may depend on the ability of the machine to achieve these purposes.
In the end, most of these devices are not expensive, So even if you make a mistake, it won’t be an expensive one. Still, why not do it right the first time around? Simply put some time and thought into research and find the right device for you. Remember, even if do end up giving some extra bucks for it, this is not a purchase you make very often, yet it will be a device you use every night. Also, the required features must be adjusted to your needs, not some abstract generalist list.