I live across the street from the world’s noisiest neighbors. Okay — that might be an exaggeration, but when I’m trying to get some shut-eye and it’s clear that their night is only just getting started, it certainly feels that way. Add a snoring spouse into the mix, and falling asleep becomes, well, challenging. At least, it was — until a little lifesaver called the LectroFan White Noise Machine made its way onto my nightstand. I don't know how I ever slept without it, and right now you can snag it on sale for $36, down from $50.
I’d spoken to friends, many of whom live in loud cities, who swear by white noise machines for getting a good night’s sleep, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to try one myself. After all, any other noise had to be better than my screaming neighbors, right? After doing some research, I opted for the LectroFan. It has received about 25,000 perfect five-star ratings, and I thought its sleek aesthetic would look great in my bedroom.
If you’re new to the world of white noise, here's how it works: It’s essentially a combination of frequencies that can help block out distracting sounds — and that's why so many people rely on it to fall asleep. Different people may prefer a higher or lower pitch, and one of the things that drew me to the LectroFan is that it offers 20 sounds: 10 white noise variations and 10 fan sounds. It seemed like the right amount of options without being overwhelming, and I was eager to see if it was worth the hype.
First impressions are important
The first thing I noticed about the LectroFan was how tiny it was. I knew it would be compact from reading reviews, but this thing was only slightly larger than my not-very-big palm — a plus for people like me who are short on surface space.
Another standout was its minimalist appearance. I’d ordered the white model, which I thought would add a calming presence to my bedroom. I was also hopeful that, in addition to giving it visual appeal, its seven sides would ensure I got at least seven hours of solid sleep!
Testing it out
I’ll admit that I’m not remotely savvy when it comes to electronics, so I was pleasantly surprised by how user-friendly the LectroFan was right off the bat. There are only three buttons: one that turns it on and off and sets a timer, one for volume, and one to switch between the white noise and fan sounds. As far as setup goes, all you do is plug the power cord into an outlet, and you’re golden.
Once bedtime rolled around, I clicked through the sounds until I found one I thought would drown out outside noise without being disruptive. Admittedly, I thought some of the higher-frequency sounds were too intense and shrill, but there were several lower-sounding options I found a lot more soothing. I was also impressed by the volume settings, which go from whisper-soft to startlingly loud. Since I was going for a more peaceful sleep environment, I went with the quietest setting that still managed to muffle outside noise, got into bed, and hoped for the best.
Is it what dreams are made of?
After just one night with the LectroFan, I was sold. Not only did it block out the commotion outside, it lulled me into a state of deep relaxation, and I drifted off in no time. Since then, I’ve used my LectroFan to help me fall asleep every night, and it still works just as well as it did the first time.
One of the great things about this machine is that it uses non-looping sounds to keep our brains from picking up on noise patterns, which can minimize effectiveness. This means the sounds are always changing ever so slightly, but I truly can’t even tell. My favorites still sound the same night after night, and I find it extremely comforting. The built-in timer is also convenient in case you want the noise to turn off after an hour. I leave mine on all night.
Icing on the cake: Its simple, stylish design will fit in pretty much any room, and its wee little size makes it great for travel. After all, anyone who’s ever tried sleeping in a hotel room near the elevator or ice machine knows how loud that can be.
I do find myself wishing the LectroFan was battery-powered at times, as outlets can be hard to come by when you’re traveling, but it suits my nightly needs just fine. Another slight inconvenience is that if you accidentally click past the sound you want, you have to keep clicking through all of the others to return to it, since there’s no back button. That said, you’ll have to scroll through 10 sounds at most, so I’m really nitpicking here!
Don’t sleep on this
In case it isn’t glaringly obvious, I wholeheartedly recommend this little gizmo — but I'm not alone in thinking it's the greatest thing to happen to sleep since beds themselves. One shopper who has been using the LectroFan for many blissful years raved, "This thing has saved my sanity, and possibly my marriage. I bought it in January of 2016, and seven years later, it's going and going and going."
A fellow city dweller said, "Don't know how I slept through the night before I purchased this machine! My apartment has no floor/ceiling insulation between the units in my building, and I can hear every move my upstairs neighbors make. This drowns out about 85% of the noise, which is incredible since they stomp, wear heels and boots around the house and drop what sounds like bowling balls above my bedroom. I previously had a box fan and can tell you it doesn't even come close to this machine in terms of sound blurring."
It wasn’t until I started using the LectroFan that I realized just how much outside noise was affecting my sleep, and I don’t see myself going back now that it’s part of my routine. Grab it while you can still save $18 — and sweet dreams!
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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