Somnox 2 ($599): Offering all the same features as the original in a more compact package with better battery life and improved speakers, the Somnox 2 (6/10, WIRED review) can help you drift away. The addition of Bluetooth streaming (only for iOS for now) to listen to content of your choice is also welcome, but this gadget is simply too expensive.
Sensate 2 ($299): This unusual device is like a large vibrating stone that rests on the chest for short relaxation sessions (between 10 and 30 minutes). The manufacturers claim that the vibrations can help tone your vagus nerve to improve your heart rate variability (or HRV). I doubt it and it seems very expensive for what it is, but the vibrations, guided controlled breathing and original soundscapes are very relaxing.
Jabees Serenity Sleeping Mask ($40): Although the combination of Bluetooth headphones with a sleep mask is a smart idea, this mask is too bulky for me, and I found the headphones uncomfortable. Your mileage may vary. Sound quality is just fine and it’s easy to stream music, podcasts or relaxing sounds to the tiny headphones. A thick mask effectively blocks light. It’s also relatively inexpensive for a sleep device.
Sleep Phones ($100): If you find headphones uncomfortable or prefer to sleep on your side, this wool fabric headband with tiny speakers inside could be the answer. You connect via Bluetooth to stream music of your choice, podcasts or soothing sounds. The headband is machine washable, and barely makes a sound to disturb your snoozing partner. On the other hand, the control unit moves and is not comfortable for sleeping on the back, there is no indication of the remaining battery life, and the overall quality is lacking for the price.
Morphee ($100): The beautiful design of the wooden clockwork music box makes this a desirable bedside device, offering a variety of sounds and meditations. The kids version looks like a super cute wooden radio. Both are expensive, and we don’t like the Micro USB port for charging or the 20 minute time limit on sleep sounds.
Muse S ($280): If you have trouble meditating, the Muse S headband can help guide you and measure your heart rate, breathing, brain activity and movement. But I found it uncomfortable to wear in bed and struggled to make it through the night. It helped me relax, but it didn’t help my insomnia.
Embr Wave 2 ($300): This wrist-worn device can help you deal with feelings of cold or heat. It’s recommended for relieving hot flashes, but it’s also said to help you sleep better. It’s comfortable, but also thick, so it’s not ideal for wearing to bed. We are still testing the impact on sleep quality.