I Tested These 5 Different Apps To Help Me Wake Up And…

When your phone says good morning to you.

From buzzers and chimes to vibrations and meditations, there are so many options to choose from when it comes your alarm clock. While the options for your morning wakeup are vast and varied, alarms are not a one-size-fits-all product. What helps some of us pop out of bed feeling giddy, may have some us smacking the snooze button grumpily.

We tried out five different alarm clocks and here’s what we learned:

Traditional iPhone alarm (Free)

The claim: We’ve all used our cell phone alarm at some point or another. The alarm function comes installed in just about every smartphone, allowing you to easily customize the time and tone of your wake-up call.  

My experience: Quick, easy, not too fussy— when I used this alarm, I woke up a little startled but right on time. I feel most confident with this alarm. I know it won’t fail to work, and that it would definitely wake me up.

Yoga Wake Up (Free, App Store)

The claim: Wake up to the soothing sound of a yoga instructor guiding you through meditation, yoga or a stretching session.

My experience: I liked this alarm. I set the alarm and plugged my phone in across the room to charge. The next morning I was woken up by a pleasant, soft chime sound, followed by a soothing voice leading me through a breathing exercise. Yep for real: talk about a zen A.M. ritual. You have to pay extra to access many of the curated voice recordings, so I stuck with the free options which repeated a sentence or two on a loop for a few seconds— not super inspiring, but definitely a step up from my usual alarm.

Speak To Snooze (Free, App Store)

The claim: A hands-free way to control your alarm. Simply speak to your app to set your alarm, snooze, turn the alarm off and even to turn on a flashlight if you need help navigating in the morning.

My experience: This app didn’t work for me. When I first downloaded the app, it asked me to say ‘alarm off’ into the microphone to make sure it would recognize my voice— no trouble there. I set the alarm for 6 a.m. and drifted off to dreamland.

In the morning a loud, upbeat tone woke me. Since I had been sleeping with my phone next to my pillow, I loudly said, “alarm off,” and continued to yell that five more times to no avail— then finally had to manually turn if off. Points off for starting my day aggravated. Perhaps the paid version of the app is more reliable.

Wearable Vibrating Alarm (Free via wearable fitness tracker app)

The claim: Set your wake-up time via the fitness tracker app on your phone or computer for a gentle vibrating alarm on your wrist. (This is free on most fitness trackers)

My experience:  I love that I didn’t have to sleep with my phone next to my face, and the gentle vibration on my wrist wasn’t too jarring first thing in the morning. A simple double-tap on the tracker’s screen silenced the alarm.

The verdict:

For me, the clear winner was the wearable vibrating alarm on my fitness tracker. Hands-free, gentle and subtle, it was my favorite way to wake up!

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