This article is a part of CNN Underscored’s Guide to Sleep, a week-long focus on the best sleep-related products. We’ll be featuring new products and guides all week, so check in every morning to see what’s new and keep your eyes peeled for exclusive deals.
To say we’ve needed a break from our smartphones during the pandemic is an understatement. There’s been a lot of scrolling this year: doomscrolling, boredom scrolling, recipe scrolling, fitness scrolling — scroll, scroll, scroll… And if it weren’t hard enough to sleep during the pandemic already, all the blue light and stimulation from smartphone use isn’t helping.
But we still have to wake up and go to work. For those who really want (and need) to take a break from their phones or who, at the very least, just don’t want it to be the first thing they look at when they wake up, meet Loftie.
- Exclusive offer: This week only (March 15 to March 21), CNN Underscored readers get 15% off Loftie with code CNNSLEEP at checkout.
It may be an ironic sentiment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not welcome: Loftie is the smart alarm clock that wants to help you unplug. It features beautifully designed packaging, with branding that promises “less screen, more dream” as the “alarm clock for nonalarmists.”
The alarm clock itself has a minimal, unfussy design. Its softly curved plastic in black and gray (it also comes in white) is an easy fit design-wise for a modern home.
But it’s the functionality that’s really the game changer. Once you receive the Loftie, you plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, download the app and pair the alarm with your phone — and in moments, you’re ready to program your wake-up and sleep needs.
With just three manual buttons planted in a powerful Bluetooth speaker that can also play your own music, Loftie offers a wide range of wake-up calls as well as other calming features. Program up to 30 alarm times — do it either manually or from the simple app — and easily set, unset or delete them as you like. You can wake up calmly to one of 15 different background noise options, ranging from White, Brown or Gray Noise, or natural sounds like Trout Run or Lakeside or Mountaintop; this also means Loftie serves as a white noise machine, with a simple tap of the select button.
Loftie wakes you up with a two-phase alarm. First, the noise you selected hums quietly for 30 seconds, then snoozes automatically for nine minutes before going off again — louder this time — until you turn it off or hit snooze.
- Related: Looking for a more basic alarm clock? We found the best here.
The even more impressive magic, though, comes when you’re getting ready for sleep or just wanting to de-escalate your energy level. Loftie arrives programmed with audio playlists, including breath work and sound baths, two meditations with benefits that are particularly useful during a stressful time like, say, a pandemic. Within the breath work playlist there are seven different recorded exercises, focusing on heart, belly and other areas — take a midday work break and do a meditation straight from your alarm clock guided by a very soothing instructor. The sound baths include an opening tone as well as the sound of a gong, hum or singing bowls. No risk of getting tired of this meditation “content” either, since Loftie automatically updates itself with new meditations and sounds being refreshed regularly at no charge once you invest in the device.
And Loftie’s night light deserves a special shout-out too. It turns on and off using the big snooze button on top of Loftie and is perfect for any middle-of-the-night — or anytime, really — light needs. The light is powerful enough to actually help you see, but its warm glow is subtle enough to help you ease from asleep to awake and vice versa. When it’s the dozing hour, use the night light instead of your bedside lamp and set Loftie’s sleep timer to play one of its calming sounds for 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes, then automatically turn off once you’re out.
This reviewer’s one criticism is the display, which seems dim even when it’s on the highest setting — it does easily fade into the background and can be difficult to see. But perhaps that’s what most users want in this very effective sleep aid.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for an alarm clock that’s not your smartphone, Loftie has everything you need to wake up and fall asleep with ease, and with features like white noise and meditations built in, it’s much more than just the first sound you’ll hear in the morning.
- Loftie Clock, use code CNNSLEEP ($140.25, originally $165; byloftie.com)