The best alarm clocks | digital trends

We can’t always depend on our internal clocks to wake us up on time every morning. Modern smart alarm clocks not only offer reliability, but also unique and interactive features that make waking up and going to bed much more comfortable.

The best alarm clocks offer USB connectivity, voice interaction, Bluetooth connectivity, and even peaceful “room” sounds to help you fall asleep. Here’s a look at some of our favourites.

Brandstand CubieTime Alarm Clock Charger


  • payable price

  • Multiple charging ports

  • adjustable screen


  • The layout is a bit chaotic.

  • lacks some intelligence

To truly earn its place on your nightstand, an alarm clock needs to be reliable and versatile, allowing you to customize your waking experience without letting it down. This model is actually more than just an alarm. It has two USB chargers and two plugs. That just means that you and your partner might fight over who gets to put this clock next to your bedside. Thanks to its backup battery, you won’t have a Home alone situation of falling asleep when you need to get to the airport or if the power goes out. There’s a great snooze button for those mornings when you need a little more Zs.

Its display can be turned off or dimmed, so the large, easy-to-read numbers won’t blind you all night. If you like to wake up to the radio or an alarm that gets louder over time, you won’t find those features on the BrandStand Alarm Clock, although there is a version with a Bluetooth speaker. Still, it does the job well, and there’s a reason this clock is found in so many hotel rooms.

Brandstand BPECT CubieTime Alarm Clock Charger with 2 USB Ports and 2 Outlets Charging Station

Brandstand CubieTime Alarm Clock Charger

google nest hub home review 1

Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

Google Nest Hub


  • beautiful display

  • Smart home connectivity

  • Tons of apps


  • Access to apps could be distracting

Although not strictly an “alarm clock”, the Nest Hub can wake you up in the morning and do a lot more. One of the most drastic differences between the Nest Hub and other comparable devices is its size; the Nest Hub is around 4.5 inches tall. This makes it small enough to fit comfortably on a nightstand compared to its bigger sibling in the Nest Hub Max. That small bezel is partly due to the lack of a camera, which can be a plus or minus depending on how much you value your privacy.

The Hub connects to the various devices you have in your home, including lights, speakers, etc. You can set the Hub to respond to your voice commands or manage devices using the touch screen. For the purposes of an alarm clock, the Hub works exceptionally well. You can set a normal alarm or even have the Hub wake you up to a specific song from your music library. For more details, read our full review.

Google Nest Hub (2nd generation)
2022 amazon echo dot with watch review 5th generation digitaltrends 2022img 0535

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock


  • compact footprint

  • Much improved sound quality

  • The clock shows more useful information

  • New temperature sensor

  • Wi-Fi features added


  • It only works as a Wi-Fi extender if you are already on the Amazon eero network

According to Amazon, “What time is it?” is one of the most frequently asked questions to any Echo device. So to make your life easier, the company offers an Echo Dot with a built-in clock, ensuring you always know the answer to your burning question.

Aside from the clock, the Echo Dot with clock is exactly the same as the standard Echo Dot. Dramatically enhancing the look of the speaker, the clock performs dual functions, keeping your nightstand clear of unnecessary gadgets. You can make phone calls through Alexa, control other connected devices, and check the weather, all from the comfort of your bed.

All-New Echo Dot (5th Gen, 2022 Release) with Clock

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock

amazon echo show 5 review

Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

Amazon echo show 5


  • Compact size fits anywhere

  • attractive design

  • versatile functions

  • Enhanced privacy controls

  • entry level price


  • Slow smart home touch screen control

  • Calling Alexa is still not easy enough

  • No Google Photos or YouTube

The clock version of the Echo Dot is fine, but what if you also want a smart display? The Echo Show 5 is designed specifically to fill this bedside niche, with a 5.5-inch screen – you can do everything with Alexa that you could with a smart speaker (including setting alarms and reminders), but you can also choose a fancy clock graphic, watch videos or shows, and perform many other visual tasks.

The Echo Show 5 can also connect with a video doorbell, nursery camera, other Echo Show devices, and even Skype, so you can easily check things in or have video chats. If this disturbs your privacy expectations, there’s a shutter and kill switch that physically disables both the camera and microphone in Show 5 whenever you want. Read our full Echo Show 5 review to find out more.

Amazon echo show 5
Mesqool projection alarm on a white background

Mesqool projection alarm clock


  • Projects the weather on the wall or ceiling

  • vintage design

  • Easy to use


  • They lack smart home connectivity

If you have never seen an alarm clock that can project the time on the wall, you will be surprised how useful this feature can be. This Mesqool clock can project the time on the ceiling, curtains or almost any other surface, thanks to the 180 degree rotation. So instead of squinting sleepily at the clock in the morning, you can simply look up at the ceiling. The watch also includes an AM/FM radio, so you can listen to your favorite morning talk shows or follow your sports team as you get ready for the morning.

The LED display is nice and easy to read, and you can adjust between low, medium, and high brightness settings. The Mesqool clock also includes a convenient alarm function that gets louder and louder, so you won’t be startled awake. There is also a USB charging port that allows you to recharge your phone while you sleep.

Mesqool 7" Projection alarm clock for bedrooms

Mesqool projection alarm clock

The Restore 2 on a brown background.

restore hatch 2


  • Modern design

  • Robust smartphone app

  • easy setup


  • Most features locked behind Hatch Sleep membership

It’s a bit pricey, but the Hatch Restore 2 is one of the most premium smart alarm clocks money can buy. Offering a modern design, tons of wake-up routines, and even a variety of sleep sounds, the Restore 2 makes it easy to start each morning fully rested. Some of these features are available to everyone, though you’ll need to get a Hatch Sleep subscription to get all the sounds and wake routines available.

But whether you’re a paying subscriber or not, you’re getting a robust alarm clock that’s easy to use, incredibly versatile, and a welcome addition to most nightstands.

restore hatch 2

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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