The best kids’ alarm clock
If you're looking for ways to make your child's morning routine easier, start with an alarm clock specially designed for their needs. Whether they need help getting into a routine or are learning to tell time, having their very own alarm clock is important.
Kids' alarm clocks are designed to be fun and interactive. They feature kid-friendly colors and characters and might take on fun shapes like dogs or robots. Parents love them, too, as kids' alarms have a variety of specialized settings like dual alarms or sleep-training modes.
Our experts put together this buying guide on kids' alarm clocks to help you choose the right one. Our top choice is the White Dove Innovations My Tot Clock, which doubles as a night-light.
Considerations when choosing kids' alarm clocks
Types of kids' alarm clocks
Sleep training alarm clocks are used for kids who have difficulty adhering to a nighttime or sleeping routine. They utilize color-changing lights or animated displays to ease children into sleeping or waking up.
Regular kids' alarm clocks are a lot like adult ones, though their designs are far more kid-friendly. Some have interchangeable faceplates, featuring their favorite cartoons, and others come in a variety of shapes or vibrant colors.
Kids' alarm clocks can be battery-powered, outlet-powered, or both. Battery-powered models are often preferred for travel, while outlet-powered alarm clocks are best for home use. If you want peace of mind that your kids' alarm will always go off in time for school, opt for an alarm clock with a battery backup.
The displays of kids' alarm clocks tend to be on the larger side, so they're easy to read. For parents, they also have a large surface area to display important information, such as modes, temperature, or dual alarms.
Dimmable displays allow for tailored brightness. You can turn down the light for kids who like to sleep in the dark or turn it up for little ones who might be afraid of the dark.
Some kids' alarm clocks are equipped with lockable or hidden controls. These keep modes, settings, and alarms accessible to parents only, so they can't be deactivated by curious little hands. With these, you often find buttons in hard-to-reach areas, or you may need to press multiple buttons at once to change settings.
Kids often rely on night-lights as they get used to falling asleep on their own. Alarm clocks with this feature tend to be a bit more expensive, though they often have expanded functionality with timer and dimmer settings.
Sounds and music
There are a wide variety of kids' alarm clocks featuring sounds, music, lullabies, and even bedtime stories. There are also some clocks that function as sound machines and provide white noise to calm or lull kids to sleep.
Dual alarm settings
Dual alarm settings allow for ultimate convenience, as parents are able to program alarms at different times and transition between them effortlessly. After all, it's not unusual to have different wake-up times during the week, and this feature helps keep things running smoothly every day of the week.
You can find budget-friendly kids' alarm clocks with basic functions for less than $15. Mid-range models with various settings and functions cost closer to $30. If you're looking for a speciality clock, such as those for sleep training, you can spend as much as $70.
Q. How do I know if the display on my kids' alarm clock is too bright?
A. If your kid seems fixated on the alarm clock and has trouble falling asleep, it might be time to dim the display. If you don't have a dimmable display, try covering it for a couple nights to see if it lessens the distraction.
Q. Are kids' alarm clocks much louder than adult ones?
A. Not really. They aim to wake up your kids -- not frighten them. Some models have alarms that get progressively louder, but they don't reach the point of being ear-piercing.
Kids' alarm clocks we recommend
Best of the best: White Dove Innovations' My Tot Clock
Our take: Contemporary device with interactive bells and whistles.
What we like: Choose from five light modes. Plays songs and bedtime stories. Interchangeable faceplates.
What we dislike: A pricey choice, but appealing to parents and kids nonetheless.
Best bang for your buck: Plumeet's Digital Travel Alarm Clock
Our take: Bright, budget-friendly travel alarm clock with easy-to-read oversized digits.
What we like: Increasing alarm volume. Made from durable shock-proof silicone. Available in four colors.
What we dislike: No AC adapter, so it only runs on batteries.
Our take: Popular choice for parents training little ones to adhere to a sleep schedule.
What we like: A glowing ball lets kids know when it's time to sleep or wake up. Friendly dog character.
What we dislike: Better suited for babies and tots.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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