Updated March 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for best star projectors

The night sky is fascinating. It inspires a sense of wonder in everyone. Children are especially captivated by the cosmos and enjoy wishing on a star — in fact, many adults make wishes, too. If you and your child are ready to experience the night sky in a new and exciting way, it’s time to purchase a star projector.

Star projectors are indoor devices that deliver an exciting array of constellations on the ceiling and walls. Simply turn off the room lights and turn on the device to experience the projection as it traverses the room. If your device shows realistic constellations, you and your child will feel like you’re looking at the night sky. As fascinating as the show is, a star projector can also help create a sleep-friendly ambience in a child’s room. Many parents use a projector to make bedtime a welcoming, easy experience for everyone.

If you’re ready to make a wish on a star in your very own galaxy, we’ve assembled a comprehensive buying guide for you. Take a look at our recommendations to choose your star projector and get ready to enjoy the night sky in the comfort of your own home.

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For children who are afraid of the dark, a star projector can help them get used to it. The color changes and rotation lull them to sleep, and they might even begin to look forward to bedtime.

Key considerations


Children’s bedtime: Star projectors are ideal for children of all ages. Babies can be lulled to sleep with the rhythmic rotation of the projection. Toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy a bedtime story followed by a timed star projection for a structured bedtime routine. Younger children who might be afraid of the dark can be comforted by the show that gently illuminates the entire room instead of having a small night-light in a corner.

Education: Educators can benefit from bringing a star projector to their classrooms. It’s an ideal educational device for lessons on astronomy, mythology, space, and even children’s literature. There are some models that project real constellations, so students can learn to identify them in the night sky.

Sleep aid: Some people who struggle with insomnia can benefit from using a star projector. Many sleep therapy programs recommend a systematic and structured bedtime routine to prepare the body. Set up your star projector to give your room a nighttime feel to encourage your mind to settle down and unwind. For a multifaceted approach to your sleep environment, you can add sound therapy, aromatherapy, and high-quality bedding.

Basic operation

Star projectors are easy to set up and operate, and some children can set theirs unassisted. Once powered, choose the projection and timer settings to start the show. You have the choice of various colors as well as timers, and in some models you can even program your favorite settings.

Power source

Most star projectors are powered through an AC adapter, though many can also run off batteries. These models are ideal if you want to use the projector during a power outage or if you’re traveling and don’t want to bring an AC adapter. Most models that use batteries take at least four AAA batteries, and if you use the projector every night, you’ll burn through them quickly. Some projectors can be powered via a USB plug connected to a device such as your computer, though, like batteries, prolonged use by this method will drain the computer’s battery pretty quickly.

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Expert Tip
Some star projectors feature real constellations, making one a great addition to a science classroom. It can also spark a discussion about the stars, the universe, or phases of the moon.

Star projector features


Star projectors are mostly made of plastic with internal electronic and mechanical components. The base is almost always plastic, and the projection area is either a hard plastic dome or a thin plastic film that rotates. Light is generally emitted through LED bulbs, which last an impressively long time.

There are also a few variations in star projectors in terms of materials and construction. Some models have a soft, plush stuffed animal for the base with the projection dome on top. These are usually battery powered. Other projectors incorporate other designs, such as wood-grained plastic. This provides a more aesthetically pleasing look to the device and elevates it from a child’s electronic to a sophisticated decorative accessory.  

Projection colors

Projection colors typically include blue, green, yellow, and red. In some models, the colors change from one to another; in others, you can only project one color at a time. There are also some devices with multicolor projections. Premium star projectors have settings for soft lights that are dim enough to lull you to sleep.


Some star projectors come with a remote. The remote lets you change the settings from across the room, though the range is fairly limited, so don’t expect it to work from another room or in a very large space. The remotes are also somewhat limited in terms of settings for the projector. Some settings, such as running the projector for a longer time, you’ll have to program on the device itself.


There are few star projectors that include sound capabilities. In some models, there are settings for natural sounds, such as waves, wind, and rain. Others feature music, in which simple songs or classical music tracks play while the projection is in motion. Whether it’s natural sounds or music, these models have programmable timers to shut the sound off when the projection ends.

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Expert Tip
Light up a nighttime party with the help of a star projector. It’s an inexpensive way to decorate the whole room and give the party a fun, unique atmosphere.

Star projector prices

Star projectors cost between $15 and $35.

Inexpensive: At the low end of the range, between $15 and $20, you can expect to find lightweight, basic models that have few settings, perhaps including sounds.

Mid-range: Star projectors priced between $20 and $25 have a more extensive collection of timer and color settings and better construction. They’re also more aesthetically pleasing.

Expensive: At the high end of the price range, between $25 and $35, are star projectors that can be powered in multiple ways, with advanced color, rotation, and timer settings. Many come with a remote control.

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Expert Tip
You might need to invest in a power strip if you have a star projector and multiple other electronics in the room, such as a computer, alarm clock, sound machine, and humidifier.


  • Use a star projector in a fort. Build a fort out of furniture and blankets and light up the space with a star projector for a fun, intergalactic feel.
  • Give one to new parents. A star projector can be enjoyed as a soothing accessory in a nursery for both babies and breastfeeding mothers.
  • Leave one at the grandparents’ house. If your child has difficulty adjusting to a different bedroom, a star projector can help make bedtime an easier experience for everyone.
  • Use a star projector as an educational toy. Use your star projector to teach your child basic vocabulary about colors, the sky, and bedtime routines.
  • Inspire storytime. Find children’s books that discuss astronomy and bring your star projector into the story discussion.

Other products we considered

We like the friendly look of the Cloud b Twilight Turtle Night-Light Soother. The base is a plush turtle available in three colors, so children can bring this model anywhere for playtime or naptime. It projects real star constellations, so it’s easy to incorporate this star projector into an astronomy lesson. Equipped with a 45-minute timer, it shuts off completely to darkness once it’s done. You can set the projection color to blue, green, or amber, or set it to rotate through all the colors. If you want a device with more settings, the Foreita Night-Lights Rotating Projector is ideal. The sleek, observatory-inspired design has a remote control with settings for time, color, and rotation. You can also make advanced timer settings on the device itself. There are eight multicolor modes to enjoy, as well as a warm light setting that calms and soothes. This star projector comes with a cover to keep the dome free of dust when it isn’t in use.

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If you suffer from insomnia, give your bedroom a soothing ambiance to make falling asleep a more relaxing experience. Use a star projector along with aroma and sound therapy for a multisensory, sleep-friendly environment.


Q. Can I use my star projector with the lights on?
For the full starry-night experience, it’s recommended to have all the lights off in the room. Other sources of light could cause the projection to blur or fade, making it difficult to see. If you have a light dimmer, the lowest setting might allow you to see the projection. A night-light in a darkened room won’t affect the projection as long as most of the room, especially the ceiling, is dark.

Q. Can I travel with my star projector?
It’s a relatively bulky device, so if anything, you should place it in your checked luggage. There are some smaller models, but even these might take up a lot of space in a carry-on. You’ll also want to refer to current TSA regulations regarding the device. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need to pack enough batteries or invest in a compatible power adapter.

Q. Where should I position my star projector in the room?
Place your star projector on a flat, stable surface. A dresser or bookcase is ideal. One thing to look out for is other objects obstructing the projection, such as a lamp or vase. For a clear, unobstructed viewing experience, you can place the projector on a small stool in the middle of the room.

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