I have been researching and writing about consumer electronics for over 13 years.
Is a Vibrating Pillow Alarm Clock Right for You?
If you've ever thought that there has to be a better way of being awakened each morning than a loud ringing noise, then you're probably right. A vibrating pillow alarm clock can reliably get you up and going even if you're a heavy sleeper or have a profound hearing loss.
Learn more about these devices, some of their features, and how they might help you have a better start to your day below.
Who Needs a Vibrating Pillow Alarm Clock?
There are a number of advantages offered by a vibrating pillow alarm clock. They can be really useful for those who:
- Have significant hearing loss or are deaf
Sometimes alarms simply aren't loud enough and won't wake a person with significant hearing loss whereas a vibrating device will do the job. Of course, the volume may not be the only problem. Many alarms ring at a high frequency, it may be hard for some people to hear it due to a high-frequency hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) even though the volume may be relatively loud.
- Sleep with earplugs
Some people have to sleep with earplugs to cut down on other outside noises that can keep them from getting a good nights sleep. With one of these devices, you won't miss your alarm clock even if you do sleep with earplugs.
- Sleep through regular auditory alarms
Some people are heavier sleepers than others and in fact, may have the ability to sleep through a ringing alarm clock. In many cases, the vibrating pillow alarm will do what the traditional alarm clock can't; wake these heavy sleepers up!
- Have a significant other on a different schedule.
Sure there are alarm clocks with dual alarms that will alert both of you with a different alarm setting, but the point is the alarm will likely wake your partner when it goes off for you. With a vibrating pillow alarm, your partner will likely continue their peaceful slumber when you rise. In fact, the whole house or the apartment next door should be totally oblivious to your alarm.
- Find a ringing alarm clock to be a bad way to start the day.
For some people, being roused by an annoying buzzer can ruin their entire morning. For them, a vibrating pillow is a much less alarming way to start the day.
Choosing the Right Alarm
Vibrating pillow alarm clocks offer a number of features to help make sure you wake up. Before buying one here are some things to consider:
- The alarm
Most of these clocks offer users a number of ways to awaken. Certainly, the vibrator is one, but most will also offer an audible alarm if desired and others also provide a flashing alarm. The flashing alarm may be part of the device or it may attach to a lamp in your room. You want the ability to choose which of these methods you employ versus having to use all three. The Sonic Alert and Sonic Boom models are well known for these features.
The auditory alarms can be selected for volume if you want a louder alarm; they can be as high as 85dB or even 113dB. Some even allow you to select the frequency of the alarm; this is really useful for those who have a high-frequency hearing loss.
Many of these vibrating pillow alarm clocks are desktop models. They sit at the bedside but have an accessory that slips under your pillow. The travel version of these clocks is smaller. However, because they have a smaller display they often can't be viewed by others in the room and they tend to have fewer features.
Obviously, display size can be important, especially if you don't have perfect vision. Brightness and the ability to adjust brightness is always a consideration as well.
Like any alarm clock, you'll want reliable power. Batteries are perfect for travel alarms and can prevent problems during power outages. However, be sure the batteries will be easy to replace; AA and AAA batteries can be picked up just about anywhere. In addition, if the alarm offers an indicator that batteries are low, catastrophes can be averted. AC powered models offer freedom from the problem of dead batteries, but back up battery power is good for those times when a power failure occurs.
- Other features
Some vibrating pillow alarm clocks will also provide a radio or allow you to connect to your iPod or phone and others will even act as a charger for your device. Any good alarm clock will also offer a "snooze" function to allow you to sleep just a bit longer.
Another useful feature for those with a significant hearing loss are signalers for when the phone rings or the doorbell is activated. These generally provide a flashing light so that you're aware you have callers. Some devices have these lights built-in, others connect to a lamp in your room.
- Desktop or wearable
Clearly, a vibrating pillow alarm clock sits on a bedside table or something similar with the vibrating pad under your pillow or the entire unit is small enough to lie under your pillow. The other option, however, is to wear a watch that offers the vibration alarm option. These are great for outdoor enthusiasts or perhaps people who don't mind wearing a watch to bed. There are many options, but Timex and Casio both offer these types of watches.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Christine Mulberry
Christine Mulberry (author) on September 09, 2010:
PaperNotes: I can't imagine why they wouldn't be safe for kids. I know someone who used it with an 8 year old but that's my only reference point.
PaperNotes on September 08, 2010:
Is it safe to use for children? My daughter s really hard to wake up in the morning even though she hears her alarm clock is ringing.
Andy Johnston on February 11, 2010:
A very cute invention. This is perfect for couples with different sleeping schedule (day shift v night shift) who want to be careful to not wake up their significant other.
Nell Rose from England on January 19, 2010:
Hiya, sounds like a great idea. Every morning I want to throw my alarm clock out the window! cheers Nell