I trained myself to like mornings with a sunrise alarm clock - here are 6 of the best to make waking up easier

The best sunrise alarm clocks are designed to work with your circadian rhythm to make waking up and going to sleep easier

sunrise alarm clocks on coloured backdrop
(Image credit: Future)

The best sunrise alarm clocks are designed to make waking up in the morning a little bit easier, and they really do work. 

A quick poll of the Ideal Home team found that they were a staple in the majority of the team's bedroom ideas. I have used a sunrise alarm clock for the last five years and credit it for helping me become a morning person and tackle 6.30am workouts during the week. 

On a really basic level, a sunrise alarm clock is a digital alarm clock that wakes you up with a combination of light and sound. The light will slowly start to turn on before your alarm is due to go off, mimicking the sunrise to help you wake up.  They also work as sleep tech, mimicking a sunset to help you drift off too.

The current sunrise alarm clock market is largely dominated by Lumie and Phillips who specialise in wake-up lights and SAD lighting. However, in the last few years brands such as Beurer and Lexon have begun offering bold new takes on the sunrise alarm clock. 

The price of sunrise alarm clocks can range from budget-friendly £40 to £200 plus for a top-of-the-range model. I have tried several sunrise alarm clocks at both ends of the price range, and along with reviews from other customers I've compiled a list of the six best sunrise alarm clocks to help you wake up on a dark morning easily.  

Best sunrise alarm clocks

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How to choose the best sunrise alarm clock for you?

'Sunrise alarm clocks are a great help during the darker months. Using light during your wake up and wind down routine is a great way to reset your internal clock,' explains John Lewis Lighting Buyer, Katherine Mitchell, who has seen the popularity of sunrise rise alarm clocks grow. 'The gentle settings can help ease you awake or help you drift off with the light signalling to your body's nervous system what it needs to do'.

'When looking for the right clock for you it's best to work out what you want and need - for example are you looking for the additional boost of a radio to get you up and out of bed or do you prefer nature sounds to help you drift off,' explains Katherine. 'Some customers look for colour options that will help with mood too.'

When choosing the best sunrise alarm clock for you I'd recommend working through this list to check you're investing in one that works for your needs.

  • Wake-up sounds - If you hate being woken up by a beep you should look for a model offering a range of different sounds. Personally, I like to be woken up by the sound of birds, so I usually look for nature sounds to be included.
  • Light colour - The sunrise and sunset light colour is what separates more budget options from higher-end versions. An orange-yellow transition colour will lend itself to a more gentle wake-up for light-sensitive sleepers.
  • Design - The design of sunrise alarm clocks can be quite divisive, they are large items that will dominate your bedside table so take some time getting it right. They can often take the place of a bedside lamp, so it is worth considering this when working out what you can afford to spend on your favourite design.
  • Extra features - Functionality such as radio and Bluetooth inclusion is what ramps up the price of sunrise alarm clocks. If these aren't features you think you'll use, then save your money and invest in a more affordable entry-level model. 

Are sunrise alarm clocks effective?

In short, yes they are effective. I use mine every day to help drag myself out of bed to a gym class. A number of the Ideal Home team members also swear by their effectiveness. 

'I depend on my sunrise alarm clock like no other object in my house,' says Molly Cleary, Kitchen Appliance Editor at Ideal Home. 'My Lumie is the perfect size to be able to see the time across the room, and the gentle introduction of light works with how I like to wake up.'

Holly Cockburn, Content Editor at Ideal Home is also a fan: 'I'm notoriously bad at waking up and I've been like this my entire life, so I was sure there was nothing that could be done about it. However, I got given the Lumie Spark 100 as a gift last year and it has changed my mornings'. 

'The gradual sunrise helps me to acclimatise to waking up and the days where I'm away from home and don't have it are now a huge struggle. Don't get me wrong, I still don't jump out of bed raring to go at 6am, but it does mean that waking up is much more peaceful.'

Take it from us, if you're not a morning person then do yourself a favour and add a sunrise alarm clock to your bedside table, sharpish.

How we chose the best sunrise alarm clocks

You'll find full details of the Ideal Home review process on our how we test page.

I have used a budget Lumie sunrise alarm clock for the last six years to help me wake up. It's one of the most affordable and popular sunrise alarm clocks on the market so I used this as the benchmark to measure all the other alarm clocks that I tested in this guide. 

If I wasn't able to get my hands on an alarm clock to test it myself, I've carefully researched multiple customer reviews to make sure each sunrise alarm clock lives up to its promises.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.