Somnox 2 ($599): Offering all the same features as the original in a more compact package with better battery life and an improved speaker, the Somnox 2 (6/10, WIRED Review) can help you drift off. The addition of Bluetooth streaming (iOS only for now) to listen to your own choice of content is also welcome, but this gadget is simply too expensive.
Sensate 2 ($299): This odd device is like a large vibrating pebble that you rest on your chest for brief relaxation sessions (between 10 and 30 minutes). The makers claim that the vibrations can help tone your vagus nerve to improve your Heart Rate Variability (or HRV). I’m dubious, and it seems very expensive for what it is, but the vibrations, guided controlled breathing, and original soundscapes are very relaxing.
Jabees Serenity Sleep Mask ($40): While the combination of Bluetooth earbuds with a sleep mask is a smart idea, this mask is too bulky for me, and I found the earbuds uncomfortable. Your mileage may vary. The audio quality is just okay, and it’s easy to stream music, podcasts, or relaxing sounds to the tiny earbuds. The thick mask blocks light effectively. It is also comparatively cheap for a sleep gadget.
SleepPhones ($100): If you find earbuds uncomfortable or prefer to sleep on your side, this fleecy fabric headband with tiny speakers inside could be the answer. You connect via Bluetooth to stream your choice of music, podcasts, or soothing sounds. The headband is machine washable, and hardly any sound escapes to bother a snoozing partner. On the downside, the control unit shifts around and is not comfortable for back sleepers, there’s no indication of remaining battery life, and the overall quality is lacking for the price.
Morphee ($100): A lovely clockwork wooden music box design makes this a desirable bedside device, and it offers various sounds and meditations. The child version looks like a super cute wooden radio. Both are pricey, and we don’t like the Micro USB port for charging or the limited 20-minute time on sleep sounds.
Muse S ($280): If you have trouble meditating, the Muse S headband can help guide you, and it measures your heart rate, breathing, brain activity, and movement. But I found it uncomfortable to wear in bed and struggled to pass a full night with it on. It helped relax me but did not help my insomnia.
Embr Wave 2 ($300): This wrist-worn device can help you deal with feelings of cold or warmth. It is recommended for relief from hot flashes but can supposedly help you sleep better as well. It is comfortable but also chunky, so not ideal for wearing to bed. We are still testing the impact on sleep quality.