Most Viewed Stories
The 3 best-reviewed white-noise machine brands
We combed through multiple roundups and found clear winners in the white-noise game
By Abbie Kopf
October 13, 2023
From apps to standalone devices, there is an ever-growing list of options to combat noise pollution that interferes with a good night’s rest. It can be difficult to narrow down your perfect noise-neutralizer, so we’ve done the work to find a clear consensus on winning brands. We evaluated the choices from sources1 who score sound machines by rigorous testing and user reviews to find the most innovative, effective, user-friendly options on the market.
Before we dig in, make sure to note which of these machines offer the kinds of sound you want. In general, there are three kinds of noise that help drown out sound:
- White noise: Classic white noise combines all frequencies and may sound like a hair dryer, fan, heater, etc.
- Pink noise: In these soundscapes, higher frequencies are not as loud and are more akin to rainfall or rivers.
- Brown noise: These sounds feature lower frequencies — think rolling thunder, for instance.
Whatever your favorite kind of distraction, there are noise machines that can accommodate your needs. Here are the top three brands, according to the experts.
The Hatch product suite provides a comprehensive calming, noise-reducing experience for adults, kids and babies, each with a charming minimalistic design. Hatch bills its product for adults, the Restore 1, as a sleep assistant, providing a “sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, meditation app and an alarm clock” in its dreamy orb. Though it mainly utilizes pink noise, you can access curated rest and relaxation content and mixes on the app. The Rest 2nd Gen is a noise machine, night-light and “dream machine” with lights and music that act as cues to help establish consistent sleep schedules for kids and babies. Parents can pick from a variety of sounds — from lullabies to gentle waves — to help make nighttime feel magical for little ones.
Adaptive Sound Technologies develops and distributes some of the best-reviewed sound machines, including two that made almost every “best-of” list we evaluated.
LectroFan: mentioned in 70% “top” lists
The LectroFan Classic is a simple, sleek option that’s simple but effective. The machine only offers 20 sounds —10 fan sounds and 10 pure white-noise sounds. The noises range from as quiet as a whisper to louder than an industrial fan, according to the website. The LectroFan Evo is another well-regarded choice, with 22 non-repeating brown, pink and white noise options, and is slightly lighter and smaller than the Classic.
Sound + Sleep: mentioned in 50% of “top” lists
The company claims the Sound + Sleep is “scientifically engineered” to lead to better rest and relaxation, and users seem to agree. The high-fidelity speaker makes the Sound + Sleep models ideal for smooth, high-quality sound production. The premium Sound + Sleep SE offers more sound profiles and features an audio jack, so you can listen to your own music or wind down with sounds for restful zzz’s.
Yogasleep provides multiple shopping options that allow you to select the right product by preferred noise or by use — whether you’re traveling, using it for a baby or even calming an anxious pet. Reviewers consistently cited the Dohm® Classic, which is aptly named. The machine was originally invented in 1962 and sticks to the same formula that has helped this brand become one of the most trusted names in sleep. Inside the Dohm, a real fan is whirring, and you can adjust the fan by tone and speed. This means that, unlike some machines, there are no sound resets that can jar you out of slumber. Yogasleep also features a more compact version, the Hushh®+, which includes more sounds and wireless charging when you’re on the go.
Want to learn more about tech that helps make life easier? Subscribe to the Localite newsletter.
Share this article
Create a “dopamine zone” for hits of joy right inside your home
Create a space for items that make you happy — and visit it often
The national mood can optimistically be characterized as Not Fantastic. Perhaps this is why interior design trends have increasingly embraced go-big, feel-good maximalism, with bright colors and unabashed personality taking the place of grey and beige from ceiling to floor.
Integrating bits of joy is sometimes called dopamine design — and the best part about it is that it’s easy and cheap, with a little intention. Designate areas in your home as your “dopamine zones” – or spaces that you look at often that are dedicated to showcasing the design that gives your mood a boost.
Step one: Make a list of items that make you happy on sight
Dopamine design is all about what brings you feelings of delight. Though this can take any shape or form, try to think through items that immediately give you a rush of satisfaction just by looking at them. Don’t worry if the items themselves aren’t design-ready — an eclectic, personal mix will only add to the charm of your dopamine zone. You can integrate any category that speaks to you, like:
- Memories: Pictures with loved ones, concert tickets, mementos from trips, gifts from friends
- Identity: Art of your favorite movies, pictures of people that you admire, books that you love, framed quotes, pottery you’ve made
- Fun: Cute trinkets or prints, oddball items (like that frog ashtray you found at the thrift store)
- Mood: Candles, essential oils, plants, record player/records or Bluetooth speaker, aroma diffuser, tarot cards, candy bowl
Step Two: Display them creatively
Once you’ve collected your feel-good pile, display them throughout your home on surfaces, storage spaces and décor. Here are a few of our favorite ways to display the things that bring a smile to our face.
Floating Display Shelf
For lighter items like pictures and small plants, consider an affordable, sturdy hanging shelf. You can easily snag one between $25- $50 — just make sure your displayed items fall below the maximum weight listed in the product description. Hang the shelf at eye level in your living room or bedroom. If you hang somewhere like the kitchen or the bathroom, just make sure that your shelves won’t get splash-back from showers, sinks, etc.
Standing or built-in bookshelves are ideal for heavier items, like weighty frames, hard-cover books, ceramics, sculptures and large decorative items. Though bookshelves of yore were often straightforward, rectangular boxes, you can find a wide range of shelves that can accommodate your personality, like this adorable cactus. When arranging the shelf, make sure to include items of various sizes, shapes and weights to create a good visual balance.
Bar carts aren’t just for bottles and drinkware. In fact, these rolling storage spaces are often ideal for placing mementos that will add even more joy than your next cocktail. Have a great photo from girls’ night out? Want to feature your favorite print? Need a place for your grandma’s vintage plates? Think of the bar cart as your own personal Cheers, the place where you go when you need a shot of happiness, in alcohol form or otherwise.
Okay, this one is controversial. Though some are vehemently anti-gallery-wall, the design has endured for years and is still an excellent way to showcase what you love. While traditional paintings and pictures are the natural choice, you can also include tickets, programs, drawings, menus or other outside-the-box keepsakes from the best moments in your life. Opt for a package with various sizes and customizable mattes, or collect frames as you go at your favorite secondhand shops.
Windowsills and balconies
Even when you can’t get outside to enjoy nature, you can get a dose of the outdoors through your window or on your balcony. Though the most natural items to store here are your (light-loving) plants, you can also keep anything here that helps you get some perspective. This is the perfect place for an aroma diffuser that smells like the season, fruit bowls or even blankets and pillows to create a cozy nook. (Just don’t store mirrors, electronics or other items that react to sunlight.) Consider these spaces a connection between your sanctuary and the world outside.
Want more ideas to make your home a little happier? Sign up for the Localite newsletter.
Share this article
Explore these haunted Phoenix sites on your next date night
7 historic haunted places that will bring you closer together
Phoenix as we know it today, with its modern skyscrapers, sprawling swaths of planned communities, acres of industrial complexes and perpetually sunny skies, may not immediately conjure images of spooky specters and mythical monsters. But the state’s capital has a rich history filled with Wild West outlaws, pesky poltergeists and tragic tales of murder and misfortune.
While the Halloween season sees the appearance of plenty of bone-chilling theme attractions that require expensive tickets for only a few minutes of fabricated fear, the Valley of the Sun also offers plenty of supernatural settings and paranormal hotspots that are guaranteed to induce hair-raising thrills and chills. Here are some of the best spots in Greater Phoenix for frightful fun with your favorite, erm, boo.
1. Central Phoenix
Based on appearances alone, if any building in Phoenix is guaranteed to harbor ghostly apparitions, it is the historic Rosson House, with its gingerbread trim, ornamental ironwork and golden witch’s hat turret. Built in 1895, the opulent Queen Anne Victorian-style mansion reportedly has been haunted since 1981, when the museum’s caretaker was fatally shot on the grounds. Visitors and staff have reported seeing unusual shadows and hearing phantom footsteps, experiencing doors locking and unlocking on their own, and feeling heat from an unused fireplace.
Communicate with the caretaker — or others in the spiritual realm — during a Séances & Spiritualists Tour. The inherently spooky attempts to contact the dead were a popular pastime during the Victorian era. For a more modern celebration, Halloween at Rosson House promises a fun-filled evening full of candy and costumes that’s perfect for a first date or a family outing.
For the ultimate frightful feast, head to the restaurant the Food Network named the most haunted in the state. Just don’t be surprised to find an extra guest at your table.
Part of an actual stockyard and slaughterhouse in the early 1900s, The Stockyards originally was built to feed the workers. In 1947, the steakhouse officially opened and quickly gained a reputation for serving delicious Western-inspired cuisine — and for spooky encounters. Helen Tovrea, wife of the first owner is said to still haunt the property. Some guests have seen a woman in red reflected in the bar mirror. Others tell stories of disembodied voices, footsteps, and dishes and paintings that move on their own. If you go, sit near the mural that showcases a woman in a red dress, said to be Tovrea, and perhaps she will join you for a drink.
For more spine-tingling entertainment, head to one of the most haunted buildings in downtown Phoenix. Built in 1929, the Orpheum Theatre is no stranger to ghostly guests and supernatural shenanigans. Four spirits, including ones of original owner Harry Nace and a purring panther-sized feline, are said to haunt the former Vaudeville venue. The most famous is a little girl named Maddie. She has been known to bop audience members on the head, shush them during performances and even photobomb unsuspecting selfie-takers. Enjoy a first-class performance or classic movie or join in on a haunted tour and learn more about the true phantoms of this opera house.
San Carlos Hotel
As the curtains close on your night of eerie adventures, check in to the San Carlos Hotel. This historic boutique property was a frequent go-to for the elite of Hollywood’s Golden Age, including Clark Gable, Mae West and Marilyn Monroe. But some guests never checked out.
The spirit of a young woman named Leone Jensen who jumped off the roof just weeks after the hotel opened in 1928 is said to still roam the rooms. Her final accommodation, Room 720, is particularly popular with ghost hunters. Hotel guests report visions of a woman in white standing near their bed, lights turning on and off on their own, and laughing and crying children in the hallways. Sleep well.
Casey Moore’s Oyster House
Located in the early 1900s former home of William and Mary Moeur, this Irish eatery known for its seafood and beer selection is a longtime favorite of Arizona State University students and Tempe locals alike — and of its original owners. The spectral shapes of the Moeurs have been seen floating up the stairs and dancing on the second floor long after the restaurant has closed.
Other spirits aren’t as content. In the 1940s, the property is believed to have been a bordello, and one young woman named Sarah, who is said to have been strangled by a jealous lover, remains onsite, haunting the restaurant as a poltergeist. Diners have noted hearing disembodied whispers, forks flying off tables, and pictures falling off walls. Will the ghosts you meet be delightful or disruptive? Down some brews and find out.
Four Peaks Brewing Co.
Your terror tour of Tempe continues with a haunted brewery tour at Four Peaks Brewing Co. Housed in a former creamery that dates to the late 1800s, the brewery is known as much for its ghosts as it is for its namesake craft beer.
Since it first opened in 1997, the brewpub has been the site of strange and mysterious happenings. From ghostly apparitions to weird noises and missing equipment, the presence of unknown supernatural forces is undeniable. Nightly ghost tours share the history of the property, from early workers whose spirits have never left, to a nearby tragic train crash in 1898 that still echoes throughout its walls.
3. Paradise Valley
Alonzo “Lon” Megargee was one of the Valley’s most renowned cowboy artists. His former home, an adobe one-room studio on 6 acres that he lovingly built by hand, is now the centerpiece of the historic Hermosa Inn, one of the Valley’s most luxurious resorts. With its picturesque setting, nestled in the shadows of Piestewa Peak in the exclusive Paradise Valley neighborhood, it’s easy to see why Lon never wanted to leave. And it appears that he didn’t. He loved his home so much that he is said to have moved right back in after his death in 1960.
The artist’s ghost is blamed for myriad mysterious events at the resort, primarily in its signature restaurant Lon’s, which is housed in the Megargee’s former abode. Diners and staff have reported sightings in the bar and foyer of a lanky spirit wearing a cowboy hat that’s often blamed for glasses and bottles sliding off the bar, pots and pans falling off shelves, and toilets flushing by themselves. Everyday activities in the life of a cowboy, perhaps?
Want to find more local experiences in and around Phoenix? Sign up for the Localite newsletter to explore more to love here.
Share this article