Snoring is an all too common reason for disrupted sleep. In fact, it’s estimated that 57% of men and 40% of women snore. So, if you live with someone who snores, you’re probably after a way to deal with it.
One of the most effective options is a white noise machine. In this article, I’ll review my top 5 best white noise machines for snoring along with explaining why it’s so effective.
I also provide a comprehensive guide so you know exactly what to look for. Hopefully, by the end you’ll have the perfect product or will have the right information to make a good selection.
What is White Noise?
White noise is the name given to sound that covers every frequency audible to the human ear. These frequencies are played randomly at the same amplitude and are often heard as a “shhh” sound. White noise is often likened to the audio version of TV static.
Another way of thinking about what we mean by white noise is by considering white light. Just as white light consists of every visible wavelength of light, so too does white noise consist of every audible frequency.
What are Audible Frequencies?
A frequency refers to how many times a sound wave vibrates per second. It’s measured in hertz and the standard audible range for humans is 20Hz to 20kHz. As we get older, we lose some high-frequency sensitivity. Adults can often hear to a maximum frequency of 17kHz.
So, white noise plays sounds at different frequencies ranging from 20Hz to up to 20kHz. Importantly, a white noise machine plays them at the same amplitude (which is measured in decibels). Amplitude is dependent on the sound wave’s power and influences its volume.
How Does White Noise Help with Snoring?
White noise helps with snoring because it masks the noise, making it almost unnoticeable. True white noise creates a “blanket” of sound that effectively covers up other noises.
Importantly, too, it produces noise that we can’t focus on. While we can hear the noise, it’s not easily identifiable in the same way that, say, snoring or talking are.
Because our ears are constantly active (even when we sleep), it can be difficult to switch off when there’s a noticeable and potentially annoying noise. Instead, having a white noise machine covers up obvious noises with something that our ears can’t really identify.
While it might be obvious, it’s important to note that white noise doesn’t remove the existing noise pollution. It produces sound at a similar or higher volume that contains more information than our brains can process.
The result is that we then can’t hear the original annoying noise because our brains have too much audio information to decode.
So, to summarize, white noise works in the following way:
- It produces sound at every audible frequency in random sequence.
- These sounds are produced at a similar or higher volume to the original sound.
- As a result, the white noise masks the noise pollution by overloading our brains with audio information.
- Surprisingly, when our brains have too much information to focus on, we then can’t detect the original noise.
How to Use a White Noise Machine
Using a white noise machine is as simple as plugging it in and turning it on. But to get the most from it, consider the following tips:
- Place it a few feet from your bed. Having it too close often means you’ll turn the volume down too low, which impacts how well it works.
- Don’t place it on the floor. Ideally, it should be as close to ear level as possible. A desk or side table is an ideal location.
- A single white noise machine can cover up to 300 square feet of space. You might need more than one if there are several forms of noise pollution entering the room from different locations.
What to Look for in a White Noise Machine
There are several factors to consider when choosing a sound machine for snoring. I recommend the following points:
The most important noise color to choose is white noise. Many white noise machines also provide pink noise, which has a decreasing slope over frequency. It focuses more on lower frequencies so can be good for noise pollution like car horns.
White noise is the best for covering snoring because it plays all audible frequencies. But having a noise machine that plays both noise colors can be useful depending on what other sources of noise pollution you’re dealing with.
Many people find the addition of nature sounds to help them sleep, although these won’t mask the sound of snoring. Instead, they’re designed to be relaxing.
Such sounds usually include:
- Wind in the trees
- Whale sounds
- Bird song
Having this feature can be useful if you want to also use the machine for things like meditation or improving your productivity. But it’s unlikely you’ll use something like whale song to mask snoring.
Ambient noise adjustment
Also known as adaptive sound technology, ambient noise adjustment is generally found on higher-end models but is useful for snoring. It allows the machine to change its volume based on the sounds it detects with its microphone.
This means that if the snorer gets louder, so will the machine. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the lower volume is set at an acceptable level, too.
Sound quality is important when choosing a sound machine for snoring. A poor quality machine won’t do as much to mask a sound as a high quality machine. Much of this comes from the speaker quality, so be sure to choose a model that’ll actually allow you to hear the lower frequencies.
While not the case with white noise, other sounds are played on a loop. A machine with a short loop time will play the same sound more often, which can get annoying.
This point is more important if/when you use soothing sounds, either for meditation or sleeping.
Again, this isn’t a major deciding factor but is worth considering. Most white noise machines have a standard plug for a wall outlet. This is usually fine if you’re only using it when trying to sleep.
But if you plan on moving rooms or using it for other purposes, consider a battery powered option. These feature a lithium-ion battery and usually have a USB charger. The major downside is that you risk it running out of battery while you’re sleeping.
Ease of use
If you simply want a white noise machine to cover snoring, there’s no reason to choose one with loads of extra features. The more things it does, the harder it’ll be to set up.
The simplest ones simply plug in and turn on. However, if you’re a bit more tech savvy and want some extras, be prepared for a slightly more complicated setup process.
Depending on the model and purpose, some white noise machines come with a host of extra features. These can include:
- Headphone jack
- Alarm clock
- Bluetooth speaker functionality
Granted, none of these features is necessary, but something like a headphone jack can help if you have someone snoring close to you and the machine just isn’t cutting it.
Top Pick for Best White Noise Machine
Now that we’ve covered the most important factors to consider, here are my top picks for the best white noise machine.
1. Top Pick: LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine
This white noise machine from LectroFan might be a good choice for those who want choice and functionality from their product. It has a standard white noise setting along with 9 other ambient noise variations.
It also features 10 different fan sounds with a precise volume control. Importantly, this means you have plenty of options for what kind of sound you use and how loud it plays.
Another great feature is the sleep timer. While it can only be set to 60 minutes, this should be enough for you to drop off. But if it’s not then you can leave it on all night.
It’s also easy to set up. The internal workings are entirely electronic, meaning it plays digital sounds. This might not sound revolutionary but it means it’s less likely to break down.
The only real downside is that the timer isn’t adjustable. But you could get around this by plugging it into a timer plug if you wanted it to last longer than 60 minutes. It also doesn’t save the settings from your last session when you turn it on. I know I’m being a bit picky, but this is something that some of its competitors have.
- 10 ambient sounds and 10 fan sounds
- Easy to set up
- Adaptive sound technology
- Surprisingly loud for its size
- You can’t adjust the timer
- Doesn’t remember previous settings
2. Top Budget Pick: Magicteam White Noise Machine
Magicteam’s white noise machine has a range of functions and settings that make it ideal for masking snoring. What’s more, it’s a budget friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Not only does it play non-looping white noise, but it has 20 soothing sounds to choose from too. This makes it suitable for sleep and for using while meditating or working. This device gets the basics right and has good sound quality but it lacks the natural sound options some of its competitors have.
Also, it has 32 volume settings for maximum adaptability along with a memory function. This restores previous settings every time you turn it on, including volume, selected sound, and timer.
The timer can be set anywhere between 1 and 5 hours, which should suit most people. Of course, you can leave it turned on all night if you prefer. It also has both AC and USB power options, meaning it’s suitable for traveling too.
My major critique is that all these functions make it more complicated to set up. If you want a simpler option, choose one that just plays white noise. That said, this is offset by the memory function, which means you don’t have to set it up every time you turn it on. Also, the power cord that comes with it is very short, so you’ll have to keep it close to a power socket.
- Plays both white noise and soothing sounds
- 32 volume settings for plenty of adjustment
- 6 timer settings
- Memory function restores previous settings
- No adaptive sound technology
- Slightly complicated to set up
- Lacks a range of nature sounds
- Power cord very short
3. VanSmaGo Blackout Eye Mask
Perhaps one of the best features of this white noise machine is that it’s built into an eye mask. This means you get all the benefits of white noise to drown out snoring while also covering your eyes.
It has a small speaker on each side, just over your ears, and the controls are on the front. You can easily program it to play white noise or one of 20 soothing sounds before putting it on.
The mask has a timer that you can set between 30 and 90 minutes along with a memory function. This restores your previous settings every time you turn it on. It features a rechargeable battery with around 10 hours of run time.
The major downside is that it’s not ideal for side sleepers. The speakers have quite a high profile, which means you can only really sleep on your back. But if you’re a back sleeper it’ll be ideal.
- White noise machine is built into a blackout eye mask
- Plays white noise or soothing sounds
- Has a timer and memory function
- Ideal for traveling and use at home
- Not ideal for side or front sleepers
4. Douni Sleep Sound Machine
While appearance isn’t a major factor when choosing a white noise machine, the wood grain finish on this one from Douni certainly looks nice. If like me you spend a lot of time picking color pairing for your furniture, this one gives you an interesting color option on your nightstand. Luckily, it’s quite a functional product too.
It has 24 sound functions, including 7 white noise, 7 fan sounds and 10 nature sounds. This means it’s suitable for drowning out snoring and for use at work or while meditating. One aspect that might be annoying to some is the loop of certain sounds like white noise, which can be perceptible. The sound quality is good until you reach the higher settings where you’ll meet some limitations.
Unlike other models, it features a 3.2mm headphone jack. This is a helpful feature if you need to listen privately or need to drown out really loud snoring! When listening using the speaker, it has 32 volume levels for plenty of adjustability.
This white noise machine features both a timer and memory function. You can set the timer at 30, 60, or 90 minutes, and the memory function restores your previous settings. Importantly, this helps cut down on setup time. One downer is that there is no continuous play option. This means that if the timer isn’t set, the machine turns off after 90 minutes.
My major critique of this model is that it doesn’t feature adaptive sound technology. That said, the 32 volume levels give you plenty of options, you’ll just need to change it manually. Providing it’s within arm’s reach, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
- 32 volume settings
- 24 different sound functions including white noise
- Features a timer and memory function
- Includes a headphone jack
- Doesn’t have adaptive sound technology
- Machine turns off automatically after 90 minutes
- Some sounds loop
- Speaker struggles at high volume
5. Lectrofan Micro2 Sleep Sound Machine
If you need to block out the sound of snoring when traveling, this could be the white noise machine for you. It’s designed with portability in mind: it’s small, lightweight, and battery powered.
You have 11 sound functions to choose from, including white noise and nature sounds. While this isn’t as many as some other white noise machines, it’s more than enough for masking snoring.
One standout feature is its Bluetooth capability, meaning you can pair it with your smartphone. You can either use it for hands-free calls or as a speaker, both of which are useful functions when traveling.
The battery lasts up to 40 hours in sleep sound mode or 20 hours in Bluetooth speaker mode, and you can recharge it in just a few hours. What’s more, it’s really easy to use: you simply plug it in and turn it on. Be wary, a light stays on when the device is playing. You might want to consider covering it with a piece of tape if it annoys you.
Although ideal for traveling, its compact design does sacrifice some functionality. For example, there’s no timer or memory function, and it doesn’t go as loud as other models.
Also, some users reported problems with the charger after a few months. It’s important to let you know that durability is not this device’s biggest advantage. But if you need a white noise machine specifically for traveling, it’ll still do the job.
- Compact and lightweight – ideal for traveling
- 11 sound functions
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Battery lasts up to 40 hours
- No great functionality
- Reliability issue with the charger
Verdict: Best White Noise Machine for Snoring
Hopefully this guide has given you some useful information on the best white noise machine for snoring.
My top pick is the Lectrofan High Fidelity White Noise Machine. It has all the functions you need, is easy to use, and features adaptive sound technology.
But if you’re on a budget, the Magicteam White Noise Machine is also a great pick. The lower price point does mean you’ll make a small concession on sound quality and ease of setup, though.
Do you have a go-to white noise machine for snoring that didn’t feature on this list? Let me know in the comments below!