The Best Alarm Clocks for Kids of Every Age and Sleep Type

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Best Alarm Clock for Kids

Parents / Brian Kopinski

When raising kids, it feels like you go straight from sleep-training infants to being awoken at 5 am by bright-eyed toddlers to battling tweens over bedtime to teens who could sleep through the whole day—with no break of “normal” sleep in between. The right clock can make the whole family’s mornings go a whole lot smoother. The best alarm clocks for kids are the ones that account for the stage your child is in right now. If there’s room for the stages yet to come, even better.

While you may rely on the alarm on your phone to get you up and going during the week, for obvious reasons, that’s not an option for your children, and you may even want your older kids to keep their phones far away from their beds, to maintain good sleep hygiene. The good news is, there are a huge variety of alarm clocks with features like night-lights, sleep sounds, and gentle alarms to help them enjoy waking up. Kids thrive with a steady morning routine, just like they do with a bedtime routine

“We used to have a little stuffed owl when the kids were ... too small to read a clock, and the owl's face would turn green at 6:30 am, so the kids knew they could get up. It was really helpful,” Samantha Collins, a mom of three, tells us. Now that they’re older, she’s getting them a real alarm clock. “It gives them a sense of ownership over their day when they can decide when to wake up, rather than wait for mom or dad.”

We looked at all the available features of alarm clocks for kids, including lights, sounds, digital and analog displays, and even a set of wheels, to come up with something for every kind of sleeper you’re raising.

Our Favorite Alarm Clocks for Kids

Best Overall: Hatch Rest+ 2nd Gen

Hatch Rest+ 2nd Gen Portable Dream Machine


View at Amazon ($90)

(Also available at and Best Buy)

Why We Like It: This gently wakes up sleepy users with a customizable light. Plus it helps kids wind down and fall asleep with white noise, sounds, and more.

But Take Note: Requires app to control, and some special features are only available with membership.

Do you like being startled awake by loud sounds, or do you prefer to be slowly roused by a gentle light mimicking the sunrise? That’s what the Hatch Rest+ will do for your kids, with a time-to-rise feature that uses a soft light that gradually brightens in fun colors over time, letting them know it’s time to get the day going.

While this alarm clock is on the pricier side, it also functions as a sleep aid, night-light, and audio monitor. Kids can wind down with 11 sleep sounds, and with a paid membership ($50 a year), you can access bedtime stories and music.

You’ll need a smartphone or an Amazon Alexa to tap into some of the cooler features of this digital clock, like programming wakeup, bedtime, and naptime routines with sounds and customizable lights. This device is also powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts up to eight hours, so you can remove it from the base and take it anywhere you need in the house or when you travel.  

Price at time of publication: $90

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital display
  • Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion with plug-in base
  • Special Features: Light, sound, audio monitor, remote programming via app

Best Night-Light: Pottery Barn Wake Up Clock

Pottery Barn Kids Wake Up Clock

Pottery Barn Kids

View at Pottery Barn Kids ($59)

Why We Like It: This sweet bunny-shaped clock has timed night-light settings, a vibration mode, voice control, and the option to pair with an app.

But Take Note: It only comes in white.

This is the kind of kids room decor that makes us squeal a little, it’s so darn cute! We’re always looking for that balance of function and whimsy for our kids’ rooms, and this clock nails it. Not only does the clock have a digital time display, but it shows environmental temperatures, offers vibration and audio modes, and even connects to an app, so caregivers can control it remotely.

This clock also works as a night-light, with a touch button between the ears, and you can select which color is the most soothing for your toddler. Kids and their grown-ups can control the brightness of the clock face by touching the bunny ears (or from the adult’s phone). This simple, no-fuss clock helps toddlers know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s OK to get up and out of bed. 

Price at time of publication: $59

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: Lithium with USB cable
  • Special Features: Night-light with 6 color options, app control

Best to Keep Them in Bed: LittleHippo Mella

LittleHippo Mella


View at Amazon ($50)

(Also available at Walmart)

Why We Like It: You can program colors and smiley faces to help train littles not to wake up the whole house too early.

But Take Note: You’ll need a wall plug to use this.

Another cute, friendly clock, the LittleHippo works as a night-light (with six colors and three brightness settings), a sound machine (with ocean, white noise, and lullaby options), and a read-to-wake clock.  

This last feature is key for those littles who think 4:30 am is a perfectly reasonable time to rouse the household. The colors can be set to switch from red (for sleeping) to yellow (up to half an hour before wakeup time, so they can play quietly in bed) to green, when it really is time to get out of bed. Plus, there are sleeping and awake faces on the clock, just in case kids need an extra clue about which color means what. The stop, slow and go lights are great for little ones who don’t quite grasp time and either get up whenever they want to or like to call out from bed, “Is it time to wake up yet?!?” 

Price at time of publication: $50

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: None, must be plugged in
  • Special Features: Red, yellow, green lights indicate wakeup times

Best for Elementary School Age: The Learning Journey Super Telly the Teaching Time Clock

The Learning Journey Super Telly the Teaching Time Clock


View at Amazon ($40)

(Also available at Walmart)

Why We Like It: This clock teaches kids how to tell time in addition to working as a night-light and alarm clock.

But Take Note: It’s battery operated only.

While most adults glance at the digital display on their phone these days, it’s important for school-age kids to understand how to tell time on an analog clock in order for them to grasp the bigger concepts of time. 

Enter Super Telly, a clock that teaches kids to tell time digitally and in analog, plus with the press of a button, a voice will announce the time. It features two learning modes that encourage kids to tell time by moving the hands on the clock. After playing around with the hands, you or your child can put Telly into quiz mode so they can test (and show off) what they’ve learned.

In addition to its educational value, this clock also has a timer, night-light, and, of course, an alarm clock. It’s also battery powered, so kids can play with it anywhere in their room or the rest of the house.

Price at time of publication: $40

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital and analog
  • Batteries: 3 AAA (included)
  • Special Features: Quiz function to help with teaching

Best for Tweens: Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels

Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels


View at Amazon ($40)

(Also available at Walmart)

Why We Like It: Wakes the up the hardest sleepers and defies snooze-button abusers.

But Take Note: Loud alarm could be a bother in a smaller home.

We kind of adore Clocky, a unique alarm clock with a feature that will get even the hardest sleeping tween (or adult, honestly) out of bed. And even as many of us learn to hate our alarm clocks, kids can’t help but be charmed by this little guy. 

Available in several bright colors, the clock has a loud alarm, and the snooze button will work only once. Then, just as a kid may be tempted to turn it off altogether, it jumps off the nightstand, races around the room, and hides. This means your tween will need to jump out of bed and chase Clocky down, thus ensuring they’ll be awake and won’t miss the first bell. 

Price at time of publication: $40

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: 4 AAA Lithium batteries
  • Special Features: Rolls around the room

Best for Teens: Andoolex Wooden Digital Alarm Clock

Andoolex Wooden Digital Alarm Clock


View at Amazon ($40)

Why We Like It: This simple, attractive clock also charges phones wirelessly.

But Take Note: Charging phone makes temperature reading go haywire.

Your teen might actually be excited about an alarm clock, if you get them this sleek Andoolex clock that doubles as a wireless charging station.

It’s hard not to appreciate the sharp wooden design of the clock, which comes in dark, light, white and black tones. You can charge devices like iPhones, Androids, and AirPods, plus take advantage of snoozing options and an adjustable alarm volume. The clock even displays the temperature, day and date on the LED clock face. (We do hear that the temperature reading is inaccurate when a phone is charging on it, however.) Though the LED display is adjustable with a knob at the back, some may find the lowest setting still a little bright, which may not work well for light sleepers.

Price at time of publication: $40

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: Rechargeable with adapter
  • Special Features: Charges electronics, gives room temperature reading

Best Basic: RCA Digital Alarm Clock

RCA Digital Alarm Clock


View at Amazon ($20)

Why We Like It: This clock does exactly what it’s supposed to do, without any distractions.

But Take Note: It looks straight out of the ‘80s and doesn’t have any extra features.

If your kid already knows how to tell time, doesn’t struggle immensely with getting up, and just needs a simple alarm clock without a lot of fuss or distractions, this RCA alarm clock will tick all those boxes. 

It has a night-light and a large snooze button, and you can insert a 9 volt battery for backup when the power goes out. That’s about it, which is kind of the point.

Price at time of publication: $20

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: Plug in power, plus 9 volt backup battery option (not included)
  • Special Features: Night-light

Best Digital: Peakeep Smart Night Light Digital Alarm Clock

Peakeep Smart Night Light Digital Alarm Clock


View at Amazon ($16)

Why We Like It: It’s an inexpensive clock with an alarm that starts off slow and increases urgency to wake sleepy kids.

But Take Note: Batteries aren’t included.

This budget-friendly digital alarm clock displays the time, inside temperature, and alarm time on the front. Available in black, white, blue, mint, and pink, this clock has a sensor that triggers a soft light around the display in the dark, which your child can set to high, low, or off, depending on how much light they need (or don’t) when sleeping.

This gentle alarm will gradually beep faster and faster for 90 seconds before it shuts itself off. It also has an extra-large snooze button, though, for eight more minutes of shuteye. It runs on three AAA batteries (not included).

Price at time of publication: $16

The Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: 3 AAA
  • Special Features: Tells temperature

Best for Sensory Sensitivity: Winshine Touch Wake Up Night Light

Winshine Touch Wake Up Night Light


View at Amazon ($43) 

Why We Like It: Uses gentle light and optional sounds to start the day.

But Take Note: Reviewers say this is hard to set up initially

Parents of children with sensory issues know that intense light and loud noises can be a cause of stress, so we looked for a clock that would provide alarm functionality to start the day off right. 

This pretty clock simulates the rise of the sun rather than sounding a loud bell or tone. The light will slowly start to turn on before any alarms, gently waking your child. They can wake with light only, or you can set it to play more soothing sounds like rain, birds or crashing waves. The alarm’s volume also adjusts, and it works as a bedside lamp with five colors as well. 

Product Details:

  • Type of Clock: Digital
  • Batteries: None (corded electric)
  • Special Features: A sunrise simulator with optional gentle sounds

How We Selected the Best Alarm Clocks for Kids

We looked at key factors like clock types, the specific needs of children, the design of the clock, and durability to make this list. After talking to experts and parents, as well as reading reviews across the web, we learned that there is no real “one size fits all” alarm clock for kids, as needs vary across age and interest. For our selections, we tried to focus on primary needs and concerns, such as learning clocks for younger kids, tools to keep early risers in bed, and gentle sounds for kids with sensory issues.

Factors to Consider

Clock Type

When shopping for a clock, consider if your child understands time and if they’re close to understanding it. This will help you choose between an analog or digital clock, and even one with sounds or lights for kids who can’t yet read numbers. You’ll also want to think about how they wake up in the morning: Will a gentle light help them slowly wake up? Or, if they’re a heavy sleeper, do they need a loud sound? Finally, look at what special features might be helpful and fun, like a phone charger, a radio, or colorful lights.

Age Level

When your child graduates to sleeping in their own bed, it can be tricky to teach them when to get up. If your kids are early risers like so many, it may also be hard to get them to stay in their bedroom for quiet time before the day starts. Alarm clocks for this age, such as the LittleHippo Mella, are sometimes referred to as sleep trainers and use colored lights and playful faces to alert your child of when to get up and when to stay in bed and play quietly. 

For young elementary age kids, a clock that’s both digital and analog can be helpful in teaching them how to tell time. And for tweens and teens, a clock with features to help them fall asleep and gradually wake up is worth investigating. Having a separate alarm clock at this age will also keep the phone off their nightstand.

Design and Lighting

Look for design that is age appropriate and in a style your child likes. If their first experience with a clock is something that looks like it belongs in an office, they may not be as interested in learning about time. Many of the newer clocks offer sunrise lighting and work as nightstand lamps.


This should almost go without saying, but as we looked at clocks, we looked for durable appliances that would stand the test of time. Look for reputable brands and anything that feels solid and doesn’t rattle. A clock that has batteries and a charger/plug for backup is going to last longer.

How to Use Alarm Clocks Safely 

The key with safety for your family here isn’t the clock itself, it’s the importance of good sleep hygiene, says Rebekah Diamond, MD, author of “Parent Like a Pediatrician.” 

“Like all technology, alarm clocks are a tool,” says Dr. Diamond. “Use them as works for you and your family, and if possible, focus on promoting sleep hygiene and meeting sleep needs as the most important step towards a good sleep routine!”

Teens should sleep eight to 10 hours per night, while younger children need even more sleep, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Following are the recommended minimum and maximum hours each age group should regularly sleep during a 24-hour period for optimal health:

  • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
  • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
  • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
  • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

Your Questions, Answered

At what age should a child have an alarm clock?

This one doesn’t have a simple, age-based answer, so our expert says to trust your instincts as a parent, and look at what your child needs. 

“It will depend on a family’s routine, a child’s development, and what scheduling needs are,” Dr. Diamond tells us. “There’s only a need to wake kids up for activities like getting to school, not any inherent reason kids need to be awake by a certain time. So it isn’t until late elementary school or middle school that most children end up using alarm clocks in my experience.” 

How can I get my teenager to wake up on their own?

This is a tough problem to tackle, says Dr. Diamond, as parents of teens are probably painfully aware. 

“Teenagers need a lot more sleep than they are usually able to get in modern society with busy schedules and way too early wake times. They also tend to have shifted sleep needs and their bodies favor staying awake later and sleeping in late,” Dr. Diamond explains.

But there are ways to help them create good habits. “Working on good sleep hygiene and getting as much rest [and] as early of a bedtime as possible is helpful,” she continues. Alarm clocks are usually a must for school and activities at this age. Letting kids sleep in when they can (on weekends with no morning activities, for example) is something that can be helpful, but the challenges are real!”

Who We Are

Tanya Edwards is an experienced parent, food, beauty, and health journalist who has been writing and editing parenting stories for over a decade. She’s covered sleep hygiene extensively and believes that a good night’s rest is the best way to start the day, and that everyone needs to be woken up in their own way. She has a Hello Kitty alarm clock on her nightstand that she’s had since middle school.

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Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Paruthi S, Brooks LJ, D'Ambrosio C, et al. Recommended Amount of Sleep for Pediatric Populations: A Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016;12(6):785-786. Published 2016 Jun 15. doi:10.5664/jcsm.5866

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