7 Best Sounds for Sleeping (2021): Rainscapes, White Noise Machines, and More

In boats in in southeast Alaska, they call it the “diesel coma.” The gentle removal of the boat’s engines joins the rolling sea and the oil water, which takes you into some of the best z you’ve ever caught – on a fishing boat or otherwise. When I was field counselor at Sitka Fine Arts Camp, I discovered the joy that is the diesel coma. Some of the best sleep I’ve ever had have been on trips between islands.

At the onset of the pandemic, my latent desire for an audio sleep aid at home grew to an absolute need. I avia to distract me from my thoughts of running after sunset. Without a large open water body and a pair of V-8 diesels, I looked at the next best thing: the Echo Dot with a clock. I scrolled through various sound sleep options, but to no avail. None of them felt real enough, natural enough that they could put me to sleep.

Finally, I found out Rainforest Sounds from Voice Apps, LLC. It’s a layered soundscape built on top of a gently rolling stream. You hear the chirping of birds, the low moan of an owl, and other calming sounds in a combination that catches your attention and then does nothing with it. When I hear Rainforest Sounds, my brain becomes the interior of the white room where God lies in the movies. Every time I need something to help me sleep, it’s the first thing that comes on.

This made me think: who uses the other components of the WIRED Gadget Lab to go through? During one of the recent weekly meetings of the WIRED Gadget Lab, I mentioned my beloved Rainforest Sounds and received a lot of special sounds from others in return. So without further ado, here are the sounds we like to fall asleep to, from traditional favorites to more extravagant options.

If you are looking for a speaker to listen to your sleep patterns, we recommend you the smart little speakers from Amazon and Google. They cost less than $ 100 and easily offer enough fidelity to emulate streams, fans, and other distracting noises. Don’t forget to consult our buying guides for it Best Bluetooth Speakers and u Best Wireless Headphones as well. Do you have your own hyper-specific preference for sending a snoozing? We would love to hear from you in the comments.

Rainforest Sounds from Voice Apps


For more than a year now, my favorite nightmare that brings me to sleep has been adopting the sweet sounds of nature. The combination of precipitating water, bird calls, and humming bugs makes me feel like living. I also like that it’s a super long cycle, about an hour, but that it fades between introductions and the other so that you’ll never wake up from a rapid change of sound. “Park Hall.”


iOS, Android

This pointless app allows you to choose between different rain sounds. You can opt for a storm, a raindrop patty on a roof, and a couple of other options. It’s a good free alternative to excellent too Rainy Mood App ($ 3). —Louryn Strampe



Watching ASMR video to fall asleep a dye tolerance can be built up, making it more difficult to get the same relaxed feeling. Stumbling on this channel has been a stroke of luck. Sophie, the creator, makes aesthetically pleasing videos focused on craftsmanship, nostalgia, makeup, and hours of plastic tapping sounds. ASMR is a saturated space, but these videos comfort me without fail. —Louryn Strampe

Times End II


Sometimes I need a little environment to sleep — to get between my brain in a particular place, in a particular atmosphere. One of my favorites is the album Time’s End II on Spotify. It consists of music remixed by The Legend of Zelda: Mask of Majora, the bizarre delight followed by the successful N64 game Ocarina of Time. It’s moody, dark, and sometimes has a mixed forest sound. It doesn’t let me sleep as it takes me to a place as soft, dark and safe as a bed of moss in the Big Deku Tree. -Jess Gray

Box Fan Sound


During a three-week trip to Asia, my partner and I greatly missed the box fan that we usually leave asleep. We played this reliable and realistic loop for eight hours every night. Spotify Wrapped also said it was my first song of the year. Pro Tip: Use the cross-tab setting to avoid awkward pauses when the “song” starts again. —Louryn Strampe

White Noise Ambience Lite

iOS, Android

While I like to listen to the rain or birds outside my window, I am not a fan of the fake versions often available on sound machines. But I also needed to filter out all the noise that happens in apartment buildings. That’s how I found the White Noise Ambience Lite app. It has your classic options, like ocean waves and car bugs, but there’s also the crackling of a vinyl record and my personal favorite, a clothes dryer. It’s just the right amount of noise to block everything else and put me to sleep. “Medea Giordano.”

From fellow product reviewer Matt Jancer to other people throughout the WIRED family, many swear by the choices in our guide to the white noise machine. Our top pick, u LectroFan Classic ($ 50), presents a surprisingly sophisticated series of pink, brown and white noises. It also has the ability to climb up to the shot (but rest assured enough that it won’t damage your ears overnight) 85 decibels of distraction.

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