White noise apps can help people fall or stay asleep. White noise is a constant soothing sound that blocks out other unwanted sounds that may prevent or disturb a person’s sleep. Examples of white noise include the sounds of steady rain, waves, and a circulating fan.
Using white noise apps is a popular and inexpensive way to produce ambient sounds to help people with their sleep.
There are now a wide selection of white noise apps available. This article looks at six of the best to help a person sleep.
White noise is a type of sound masking that uses a fixed frequency and tone equally distributed over the whole hearing range. White noise apps work by covering up annoying noises with a constant peaceful sound.
Around the world, insomnia symptoms affect around 35% of the population. Research suggests that using filtered white noise may improve a person’s sleep quality by raising the hearing threshold. This means that a person is less likely to hear background sounds over the sound of the white noise.
Background sounds that may disturb a person’s sleep include:
- slamming doors
- snoring or coughing
- animal noises
- traffic sounds and sirens
- creaking floorboards
- hotel elevator doors or ice machines
- conversations or laughter
- dripping water
Using white noise apps can shorten the time it takes a person to fall asleep, as well as help them stay asleep.
Also, many of these apps have various color settings, from pink to blue to brown. Each color refers to a specific set of frequencies.
The sections below list some of the best white noise apps to help people sleep.
The myNoise app offers both natural white noise and calibrated noises. Its unique calibration process measures and adapts a sound to a person’s hearing levels. This allows for greater sound masking efficiency at quieter levels.
People can also shape their sounds to different noise colors, including white, pink, and gray.
myNoise has over 200 background noises and interactive soundscapes available. Some of the sounds that will help with sleep include:
myNoise has a free version that includes white noise, rain noise, binaural beats, spring walk, temple bells, and warp speed. The app also includes a sleep timer to turn off the sound and an alarm for gradual wake-up.
It also offers in-app purchases, including an All You Can Hear Bundle that guarantees unlimited access to all generators, including futures ones.
The White Noise app generates sounds over a wide range of frequencies. It offers three versions that support continuous looped audio playback with no network connection required.
The extensive sound library includes:
- a variety of rain and water sounds
- home appliance sounds, such as an air conditioner, dishwasher, hairdryer, clothes dryer, fan, and vacuum cleaner
- outside sounds, including crickets, frogs, the Amazon rainforest, a campfire, a thunderstorm, and wind
- several color sound options, including white, violet, blue, pink, and brown noise
- travel sounds, including airplanes, cars, trains, and city streets
- other sounds, including a purring cat, chimes, a grandfather clock, a heartbeat, and a Tibetan singing bowl
Additional free sound downloads are also available at the White Noise Market.
The Lite version includes:
- background audio support, so people can use other apps while listening
- a MixPad editor, for creating new soundscapes
- a full-screen digital clock with multiple colors and brightness controls
- five slowly fading alarms and a timer system
- the ability to save sounds to a “favorites” category, for quick access
- the ability to AirPlay sounds to Bluetooth devices
The full version includes all the White Noise Lite features with these additional ones:
- 40 full stereo playback sounds
- 20 different alarms
- buffer size tweaking for optimal playback
- adjustable sound volume, balance, and pitch
- digital LED clock
- custom alarm snooze times
- no ads
- iPhone/iPad, including Apple Watch and Apple TV
- Android, including Android TV and Widget
- Amazon (Android version)
The Pro version includes all the features of the full app with these additional ones:
- 50 high definition sleep sounds
- professional tools for generating custom looped binaural beats, color noises, and tones
- 20 slowly fading alarm sounds
Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds has over 100 soothing sounds, music, beats, and tones designed to help people sleep. People can mix these elements together to create personalized soundscapes.
The sound library includes:
- nature sounds, including wind, rustling leaves, birds, and a crackling fire
- white noise, including hairdryer, airplane, dryer, vacuum, and fan sounds
- water sounds, including a rainstorm, the ocean, slow waves, and lapping water
- meditation music, including voices, instruments, and ambient melodies
Additional features include a bedtime reminder, a timer, and a section to house people’s favorite mixes. The app also offers meditations, sleep moves, breathing techniques, binaural beats, and bedtime stories.
This app offers more than 100 high quality nature and artificial sounds. It divides the sounds into different environments, including:
- East Asia
People can also mix sounds between any environment and import their own ones to create their favorite combinations. The volume of each sound is also individually adjustable.
Atmosphere works offline and includes a sleep timer. It also includes a section of binaural beats and isochronic tones.
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds has over 25 customizable white noise and deep sleep sounds. This app also has sounds geared toward helping babies sleep.
Examples of the sounds available include:
- home appliances
- rain sounds
- womb sounds
- crickets and frogs
- distant thunder
- ocean waves
- winter wind
- roaring fire
- brown noise
- pink noise
There is also a premium version that includes 23 animal and nature sounds. The first eight sounds are binaural beats recordings, which create an enhanced 3D stereo sound.
The free version will play sounds for 8 hours, and the last sound the person played will start when they relaunch the app. Ads and in-app purchases feature in the free version.
This app has over 40 free high definition sounds that people can mix to create their ideal white noise sound.
Some of the sound choices include:
- various types of rainfall
- a crackling fireplace
- a purring cat
- a snoring Shih Tzu
- dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer sounds
- travel sounds, including cars, trains, and airplanes
The free edition includes:
- a fade-out sleep timer that learns a person’s preferences and automatically starts the next time they use the app
- a bedtime reminder
- an oscillator that allows a person to customize sound volume and speed
- a mixer that allows a person to combine multiple sounds with individualized volumes
- a soften option, to adjust the tone of each sound
- no audio or video ads
- full support for background audio, AirPlay, and Bluetooth devices
- a “favorites” save option
This app works without a network connection. People can also preview any premium sound without subscribing.
Rain Rain Premium has more than 60 additional sounds and no ads. It has a 1-week free trial once a person subscribes.