Best Kids' Alarm Clocks

Updated September 2020
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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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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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Why trust BestReviews?
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
408 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best kids' alarm clocks

Last Updated September 2020

Hourly feeds and late-night diaper changes may be a distant memory, but for many bleary-eyed parents, the sleep struggle continues. Whether you're dealing with a little night owl, an indecently early riser, or a school-going child who routinely oversleeps, a kids' alarm clock can help.

Many kids' alarm clocks double as sleep training tools, and some even have nifty features like built-in night-lights and sound effects to help ease away children’s bedtime blues. Others are similar to regular alarm clocks, but they come in cool colors and standout designs that hold extra appeal for the younger crowd.

If you need a hand finding the most appropriate option for your child, read on. Our buying guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about choosing the best kids' alarm clock for your household. We've also included some helpful tips and product recommendations to get your mornings off to a great start.

When you're purchasing an alarm clock for a younger child, it can be tempting to go for the cutest model you can find. However, if you want something that will serve you for years to come, a design that's fun but neutral will be better able to grow with your child.

Key considerations

Type

Kids' alarm clocks come in two basic styles: sleep training clocks and regular alarm clocks. If you're trying to develop healthy sleeping habits in a younger child, a sleep training clock can work wonders. Need something to get a school-aged child up and at 'em without your help? A regular kids' alarm clock should do the trick.

  • Sleep training alarm clocks: Most children are unable to grasp the concept of time until around six years of age, and getting up at 5 a.m. can seem like a perfectly good idea to a little kid. Sleep-training alarm clocks use color-changing lights or animated displays to give kids an easy-to-understand visual of when to sleep and when to wake up.
  • Regular kids' alarm clocks: If "five more minutes" is becoming your child's morning mantra, getting him his very own alarm clock can help set everyone's routine back on track. Regular kids' alarm clocks work just like any other, but they typically have kid-friendly designs or fun features that make them more attractive to children.

Power source

Kids' alarm clocks can be either battery-powered or outlet-powered.

Battery-powered models are conveniently portable and can help your child stick to a sleep schedule even when you're away from home. While many battery-operated options automatically shut off sound and light features after a set period of time to preserve battery life, it's still up to you to remember battery-replacement or charging schedules.

Outlet-powered models take away dead-battery worries and help you rest easier. Many plug-in options also come with battery backups to ensure your child's schedule isn't interrupted by an electrical fault or power failure. Remember to

Hidden or lockable controls

To most young children, buttons are absolutely irresistible, and when they aren’t busy pushing yours, you’re likely to find them getting hands on with any number of household appliances. Needless to say, this can be a complete and utter nightmare when the device in question is your child’s alarm clock. Luckily, many manufacturers sidestep this potential problem by positioning buttons in hard-to-see areas, hiding them under a removable cover, or giving parents the option to lock the settings. Certain models even go so far as to place “decoy” buttons on the front of the alarm clock so kids can get their button-pushing fix without affecting important settings.

Display

Whether you prefer analog, digital, or a combination of the two, the display should be large, clear, and easy for young eyes to make out. Backlit displays are handy for time-keeping at night, but they can also be a distraction for some children. A dimmable display will allow you to adjust the brightness to a more acceptable level or turn it off completely if your child is particularly sensitive to light.

Design

Kids’ alarm clocks that are all function and no fun aren't likely to garner much enthusiasm and run the risk of being ignored. Fun colors, cute animations, and novel designs can stir up excitement and increase your child’s willingness to cooperate.

EXPERT TIP

Some kids' alarm clocks come with changeable faceplates, allowing little ones to customize their clocks.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Night-lights

Many kids’ alarm clocks pull double-duty as night-lights, and some even boast variable light colors so children can look forward to something different every night. If a night-light feature is important to you, it might be worth looking for an option that offers adjustable brightness as well.

Sounds and music

Some kids’ alarm clocks go all out to help kids drift off with soothing sounds, white noise, or lullabies. A select few also offer the option of “reading” a bedtime story out loud, affording tired parents the opportunity to take an occasional night off from story time.

Dual-alarm settings

After a busy week, most families look forward to sleeping in for an extra hour or two on weekends. While it's easy enough to adjust your child's alarm clock settings, the consequences of forgetting do so the night before are irreversible. Kids' alarm clocks that come with separate settings for weekdays and weekends will ensure that you don't miss out on your well-deserved rest.

Additional settings

Little kids typically need at least one nap during the day, and many sleep training clocks also feature nap timers to assist with this aspect of your child's sleep routine.

Bluetooth speakers

A number of kids' alarm clocks come with built-in Bluetooth speakers so kids can listen to their favorite tracks while they relax, play, or do homework. This feature is particularly popular among tweens and teens.

EXPERT TIP

Kids' alarm clocks that display the time in both digital and analog formats can be especially helpful if you want your child to learn to read any clock face.


Staff  | BestReviews

Kids' alarm clock prices

Inexpensive: Regular kids' alarm clocks tend to be the most affordable, with average prices ranging between $8 and $15. If you're looking for a special character design or like the idea of a night light feature, expect to pay upwards of $20.

Mid-range: For between $15 and $30, you can find both specialty regular kids' alarm clocks and multifunctional sleep training clocks.

Expensive: Feature-rich alarm clocks with additional settings and a variety of light and sound functions can cost anywhere from $30 to $70.

EXPERT TIP

Most sleep-training clocks can also be used as regular alarm clocks later on.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Get your child involved. Narrowing your options down two or three suitable picks and allowing your child to choose their favorite can work to instill a sense of ownership and responsibility. It will also ensure that you're both happy with your chosen alarm clock.
  • Keep sleep training simple. Some sleep training clocks have a yellow "quiet play" light that comes on 30 minutes before the green "okay to wake" light. While this works for some children, younger kids can have a tough time differentiating between these two similar colors. If your child is under five years old, we recommend simply setting the clock 30 minutes later so that the yellow light becomes the "wake up" light.
  • Consider using a reward chart. Some kids might need a little extra motivation to get to bed on time or stay in bed until the "okay to rise" light comes on. A weekly reward chart can inspire your child to try a little harder while helping you track progress at the same time.

Other products we considered

Beyond our highlighted favorites, there are many other great kids alarm clocks on the market. The LittleHippo Mella Ready to Rise Kids' Clock is a feature-packed option that offers just about every function a parent could want, including six night-light colors with dimmable brightness, soothing sounds, and a nap timer. It also has a cute animated face that uses different expressions for waking time, sleep time, and quiet-play time, giving kids their very own "sleep-training buddy."

If you love the idea of a sleep-training clock that will grow with your child, the FiveHome Kids' Alarm Clock is an option worth considering. It includes all the most sought-after features neatly wrapped up in a sleek egg-shaped package that won't make children cringe when they're a bit older.

Looking for a regular kids' alarm clock with a little something extra? Anmones Kids' Alarm Clock has adorable bunny ears that double as a night-light and a display that can be activated by shaking the clock or clapping — pretty cool, even by big-kid standards.

Kids' alarm clocks and sleep trainers are great multitaskers, and many can be used for potty training, naps, and time-outs as well.

FAQ

Q. When a sleep training clock lights up in the morning, does an alarm go off as well?
A.
No. Sleep training clocks are simply designed to indicate when it's acceptable to get up and won't actively rouse children if they decide to sleep a little longer. However, most sleep training clocks also have an audible alarm function that you can set if your child needs to wake up at a certain time.
 

Q. Can I just use the night-light on a sleep training clock and bypass the actual sleep training light cycle?
A.
In most cases, yes. However, with a handful of kids' alarm clocks, the sleep training light pulls double-duty as the night-light. If you need independent features, it's a good idea to check for these before you buy.
 

Q. Will an outlet-powered clock work off the battery backup if I need to use it on-the-go?
A.
Unfortunately, no. Battery backups are simply intended to save your alarm clock's settings so your child doesn't miss their wake up call. If you need a portable kids' alarm clock, a battery-powered rechargeable option is your best bet.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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