Best Alarm Clocks for College Students

Best Alarm Clocks for College Students in 2021

Updated: May 30, 2021

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My name is Burak, and alarm clocks are my specialty. Not only am I constantly testing different clocks, but I also created my own alarm clock.

Being a college student, it's important to have a reliable alarm that wakes you up on time.

After extensive research, I found the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Alarm Clock to be the best. It wakes you up using natural sunlight, which helps with concentration throughout the day.

And I'd say that's the key when studying in college!

In this article, I am going to take an in-depth look at four additional alarm clocks for college students.

Let's get into it.

5 Best Alarm Clocks for College Students

Best Feature: Helps With Concentration Throughout The Day

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Best Feature: Very Loud

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Best Feature: Built-In Outlets and USB Ports

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Best Feature: Built-In Wireless Phone Charger

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Best Feature: Easy to Read Digits

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Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light

Best Feature: Helps With Concentration Throughout The Day

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Studying for long periods requires extreme concentration and focus.

But, did you know that your phone alarm could be causing you to feel unfocused and groggy in the morning!?

Phones tend to have obnoxious alarms that make you jump out of bed instead of waking you up gradually. This sudden rush of adrenaline can affect your mood.

That's why the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is the perfect addition to a college student's dorm. Rather than waking you up abruptly, it uses sunlight and nature sounds to wake you up peacefully, which is how it should be!

Here's how it works.

When you're going to bed, turn off the light and shut the curtains. Once you're in complete darkness, you can adjust the clock so it mimics the sun going down.

You will have four settings to choose from; 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes.

If you choose 60 minutes, the light will mimic the sun going down, and at the end of the selected time, your room will be completely dark.

When it comes time to wake up, this clock uses the same process; however, rather than mimicking sunset, it mimics the sun rising.

If you're a heavy sleeper and natural sunlight isn't enough to wake you up, you can also combine it with nature sounds.

What a beautiful way to start the day!

So how about the downsides?

While Philips has done a great job at designing this natural alarm clock; however, I discovered some customers found it difficult to use. The buttons are located in strange and difficult-to-reach places.

Luckily, you'll have an instruction manual to help guide you through the process!

What's more, it doesn't have dual alarms, so you can't set up two alarms for different days of the week; however, this shouldn't pose an issue for most college students.

Pros:

  • Stops you from feeling groggy in the morning
  • Combines nature sounds and natural sunlight
  • Multiple sunlight settings to choose from; 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes
  • Wakes you up gradually, rather than abruptly

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to use at first because the buttons are located in hard to reach places
  • Doesn't include dual alarms

PPLEE Extra Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

Best Feature: Very Loud

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Compared to the Philips SmartSleep Alarm Clock, this one doesn't wake you up as peacefully; however, it has no problem waking up even the heaviest sleepers.

Not only does it comes with a bed shaker, but the alarm is super loud. While this can cause grogginess, at least you'll never miss another class.

It's also easier to operate than the Philips SmartSleep Alarm Clock. The buttons aren't located in hard-to-reach places, and setting your morning alarm is a walk in the park.

What's more, you can change the brightness of the LED display screen. This is great for people who enjoy sleeping in complete darkness.

If you do decide to keep the display screen active, you can easily see the large digits from across the room, which is great for college students who have difficulty seeing.

You can also change the time digits from a standard display to a military display, which is a great feature to have. If you're anything like me, I prefer reading my clock in military time.

When it comes to downsides, I discovered that some customers were complaining about how lightweight it is. They said that it sometimes falls off the nightstand if somebody trips over one of the leads.

Also, while the manufacturer says it can be operated by batteries, this only applies to the time display. If you experience a power cut during the night, the alarm won't sound.

Pros:

  • Perfect for waking up heavy sleepers
  • Very easy to operate
  • Can adjust the brightness of the LED screen
  • Large digits which are great for people who have difficulty seeing

Cons:

  • It's lightweight and easily falls off your nightstand
  • The backup batteries system doesn't sound the alarm during power outages

Superdanny Digital Alarm Clock

Best Feature: Built-In Outlets and USB Ports

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The first thing that struck me about this dorm alarm clock was how modern and sleek-looking it is; the perfect addition to a young student's college dorm.

However, a modern-looking design is only going to take you so far. The most important thing is how well it functions.

That's why you'll be glad to hear this one functions just as well as it looks!

Not only does the LED screen have one of the lowest brightness settings I've seen on a clock, but it also has multiple charging outlets and USB ports. This is great if you are short on outlets next to your bed and want to charge all your devices simultaneously.

While this alarm clock doesn't include nature sounds, if you have a sound machine, you can plug it into one of the built-in outlets, giving you the best of both worlds.

So how about the downsides!?

I noticed that a small group of customers was having problems with this alarm clock keeping time; however, Superdanny was happy to help and send a replacement clock.

Also, you can't change how loud the alarm is. This isn't too big an issue; however, I would like to see this feature added in future models.

Pros:

  • Modern-looking, which is great for young college students
  • The LED screen has one of the lowest brightness settings I've ever seen
  • Built-in power outlets and USB ports, so you can charge multiple devices
  • Loud enough to wake up heavy sleepers

Cons:

  • Some customers said this alarm loses around 6 minutes per month
  • You can't change the noise levels on the alarm

Emerson Alarm Clock Radio

Best Feature: Built-In Wireless Phone Charger

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Similar to the Superdanny Digital Alarm Clock, this one also has a modern design, which is great for impressing your college buddies.

When the alarm sounds, it starts quietly and gradually increases as time passes. I like this feature because it allows you to wake up slowly rather than abruptly.

Also, if you're feeling like a snooze, you can tap the large snooze button on the top of the clock. Keep in mind that your phone will cover this button if it's placed on the portable charging deck; however, as soon as you tap your phone, it will activate the snooze button.

What's more, the time sets itself automatically, saving you time and energy. You can also adjust it depending on your time zone.

When it comes to downsides, I discovered that if you live in the suburbs, then you're going to have a difficult time using the radio feature as the signal isn't strong enough.

The display can also be too bright for some people. That's why I wouldn't recommend it for people who enjoy sleeping in complete darkness.

Pros:

  • The alarm starts quietly and increases volume as time passes
  • Includes a snooze button in case you need an extra 5 minutes
  • The time sets itself automatically and can be adjusted to your timezone
  • It has a charging dock for your phone

Cons:

  • The radio feature doesn't work well if you live in the suburbs
  • The display is too bright for some people

Jall Analog Alarm Clock

Best Feature: Easy to Read Digits

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While this is an amazing analog alarm clock, I want to mention that it's a little outdated for a young college student; however, if you're not concerned with looks, then keep reading.

It doesn't have a digital LED screen, but you can still view the time in complete darkness by pressing the button on the back. Doing so will cause the clock to illuminate.

What's more, it doesn't have a ticking sound. While you may enjoy falling asleep to a smoothing ticking noise, your roommate may not be pleased!

Unlike a digital alarm clock, you'll need to set the alarm manually each night. While this may sound like a challenge, it's actually pretty simple if you follow the steps outlined in the instruction manual.

Furthermore, after looking at previous customer reviews, I noticed a lot of people were saying how easy it is the read. This probably has something to do with the even digits displayed on the clock, giving it a cleaner look.

So are there any negatives associated with this clock!?

Because it's more old school than traditional clocks, it doesn't come with a snooze feature. Although this may sound like a downside, it's probably better as it won't cause you to sleep in.

I know too well how easy it is to hit snooze when you're tired!

I would have also liked to see the light button located on top of the clock rather than the back, as it makes it difficult to locate at night.

Pros:

  • You can illuminate the clock by pressing the button on the back
  • It doesn't have a ticking noise, which could frustrate your roommate
  • Detailed instruction manual to help set the alarm
  • Easy to read with large digits

Cons:

  • You will have to set the alarm manually each night
  • It doesn't come with a snooze feature

How to Choose the Best Alarm Clock for College Students

Before you go ahead and purchase an alarm clock for your college dorm, it's important to consider the points outlined below.

Keep in mind that your alarm clock doesn't need to have all these features; however, it should have a few.

Easy to Operate

College life is enough to keep anyone busy, so the last thing you want is to spend hours learning how to set up your alarm clock. For this reason, I recommend choosing one that's easy to set up or includes an in-depth instruction manual guiding you through the process.

Natural Sunlight

Rather than being jolted awake by what sounds like an explosion, some alarm clocks mimic the natural sunlight to wake you up. Of course, this only works if you're already sleeping in complete darkness.

What's more, these types of clocks also tend to include nature sounds.

This combination is great for removing grogginess from your morning, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to study.

Phone Charging Port

If there's one thing college students can't live without - it's their phones. Getting an alarm clock with a charging port lets you charge your phone, saving you time in the morning.

Because theirs no point waking up on time but being late to class because you forgot to charge your phone, right!?

My Tips for Sleeping in a Dorm

College dorms aren't known for being the easiest places to sleep, especially when you factor in how noisy they can be. Combine this with an uncomfortable bed, and you're in for one hell of a surprise.

It doesn't have to be that way, though!

Here are my tips for getting a good night's sleep in a college dorm.

Get Rid of Distractions

Computers, laptops, and essays are all unnecessary distractions; get rid of them if you want to enjoy a good night's sleep.

There's a time and a place to enjoy some downtime on your laptop or mobile, but it's not when you're trying to get some shuteye. Try to switch off all electronic devices 30 minutes before bed.

Doing this ensures you're not subject to blue light, which can affect the quality of your sleep.

Alternatively, you can get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses.

Sleep in Complete Darkness

A dark room is your best friend for getting restful sleep. Sleeping in a dark room tells your body that it's time to shut off for the night.

The absence of light also regulates your melatonin levels, helping control your sleep patterns.

Get an Alarm Clock - That Actually Works

One of the most common reasons you're having difficulty sleeping is that you're worrying about whether your alarm will sound in the morning.

Investing in a high-quality alarm clock gives you peace of mind, allowing you to enter a night of deep sleep.

Develop a Routine

Having a night-time routine is essential if you want to be able to sleep in the chaos of a college dorm.

Start by asking yourself what makes you feel relaxed.

For some people, it's meditation, whereas others enjoy listening to binaural beats on YouTube.

The key is to find what works for you. Forget about what everybody else is doing, and develop a night-time routine personal to you.

What's more, I also recommend going to sleep at the same time each night. This ensures you aren't interrupting your sleeping patterns.

Final Verdict

Whether you're a college student who has a difficult time waking up to normal alarms or is looking for a more natural way to wake up, I hope this article has helped you choose a great alarm clock.

To recap, I recommend the Philips SmartSleep Alarm Clock for college students who want to wake up feeling refreshed, clear-headed, and ready to tackle the day ahead.

Related Article: Best Alarm Clock For Teenagers


Author: Burak Özdemir

My name is Burak, and I used to have difficulties waking up in the morning due to unreliable alarm clocks. Over the past few years, I've dedicated part of my life to finding the best alarm clocks and sharing my knowledge with people through this blog. I'm also the creator of Online Alarm Clock.