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I have trouble falling asleep – shoppers say Amazon's white noise machine 'works miracles' so I had to try it

This six-sound sleep aid gadget has over 22,000 five-star reviews - and it's on sale!

big red rooster white noise machine to help you fall asleep
Karen Silas
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Updated: 20 March 2024
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I've had trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up rested for as long as I can remember. That's probably why I’m now the queen of sleep solutions. Some I've come to swear by – like melatonin gummies, my weighted blanket and my glowy sunrise alarm clock – and some have fallen by the wayside (I'm looking at you, meditation apps!).

And what about white noise machines? Experts say the sound gadgets can be the key to helping you get a good night rest. "A white noise machine produces a sound that calms the listener," says London-based Dr Sohere Roked, author of The Tiredness Cure. “I had one myself as I’m a very light sleeper and the tiniest sound will wake me up! It helped to drown out excess noise and focus my mind."

Enter my latest tried-and-tested sleep gadget, Amazon's popular Big Red Rooster sleep sound machine, $29.99 / £25.99, which you can get it on Amazon US right now for just $19.99 - that's 33% off.

There are countless white noise machines on Amazon, but I was curious about this one because it has six sounds, has earned an incredible 22,000+ five-star reviews and has a 4.4-star of 5 average - and one of the words that is most used in the reviews is "miracle".

For example, one shopper wrote: "I got two of these - for my child and myself - because we live in a loud apartment building on a busy street with thin walls. We both have trouble sleeping so this noise machine is a miracle for us."  

Amazon's Big Red Rooster white noise machine for better sleep

Big Red Rooster White Noise Machine

A new mom said, "My two, now three month old was sleeping great and all of a sudden she wouldn't take naps and jerk awake as soon as I would lay her down. I tried everything. The sound machine is the last thing I have tried and it works miracles." And a third simply called it, "a miracle worker."

The portable sleep gadget plays six different white noise and nature sounds with the aim of helping you fall asleep while helping block out unwanted distractions. Shoppers swear that it's lightweight, easy to use and great for traveling. So I decided, why not? 

First impressions of Amazon's Big Red Rooster sleep sound machine

The Big Red Rooster machine measures 4"x 4" and the box it comes in is… well, I’d describe it as “no-frills”, with slogans like “Sound sleep made simple” as well as a straightforward bullet-pointed overview of what’s inside and the benefits.

red rooster sound machine for better sleep reviewer photo
I tried out the budget-friendly white noise machine to see if it would help me fall asleep

The white noise gadget, which measures about 4"x 4", was also much more uncomplicated than I expected. It wasn’t as weighty as I’d imagined it would be and the design, with clicking push buttons, was not what I expected in this digital age. But was that a bad thing?

The unboxing

unboxing red rooster sleep sound machine © Karen Silas
The portable sleep sound machine, which can be powered with three AA batteries, also comes with a USB plug as well as an adapter plug

When you open the box, inside you’ll find the sound machine itself, which is VERY simple as promised. The compact square sound machine is basically a speaker with 10 buttons on top, six of which are sounds to listen to while you sleep.

The portable sleep sound machine, which can be powered with three AA batteries, also comes with a USB cord as well as an adapter plug

You can choose from Rain; Brook, which is the sound of a flowing stream; Thunder which is similar to rain but with an added thunder clapping noise; White Noise; Ocean waves and Summer Night, which reminded me of camping with crickets chirping and all.

The other four buttons are a power button, a three-setting timer, and individual volume up and down buttons.

Last but certainly not least, you have an AC / USB power cord with an adapter plug – the machine can be powered by three AAA batteries, USB or plugged in – as well as a “We’re here to help card” with the customer service email on one side and the link to leave a review online on the other.  

How I tested the Big Red Rooster sleep sound machine

The sound machine, which promises to help you fall asleep and block out noise to keep you from waking up, is compact and has six buttons for various sleep sounds, from Rain to White Noise

I initially tested the machine over three nights, using only the rain sound which is the one I found to be most soothing. I ran the machine all night for one of the nights, but set the 60 minute timer for the other two. While the machine promises to “mask background noises like barking dogs and snoring for improved sleep”, for my trial there was no other real noise in the room to compete with it although there were sounds of dogs and other people outside the bedroom.

The machine is also billed as being a “baby soother”, and while I didn't have a baby handy I did give it to a tween-ager I know, who often wakes up in the middle of the night, to try out, too. My 11-year-old tester used the sound machine for just one night, setting it up himself after I gave him a brief explanation of how to use it.

Pros: What I loved about the sleep sound machine

  • It could have been the placebo effect, but I found it actually did help me fall asleep! The rain sound was soothing and seemed to help keep my mind from racing as it often does. And when my tween-ager tester tried it out, the next morning joked I could have it back because “it worked too well” – he’d actually fallen asleep quickly and slept through the night. Although after longer use, the sleep machine didn't work consistently every night for my 11-year-old tester.
  • Compared to other machines, which can cost $50 and up, this low price is very tempting, especially if you’re a newbie like me and just want to try it out without risking much money.
  • The machine is very portable so would be great for travel, too. It’s compact and you have multiple power options, with a regular plug, as well as a USB option or AA battery.
  • The majority of the sounds are very realistic and soothing - I liked the Summer Night, Rain and Thunder.

Cons: What else to consider if you want to shop it for yourself

  • I didn't really like all of the sounds, for example Ocean, which seemed a little fuzzy and didn’t really sound like a rolling surf to me. I also avoided the white noise, which I found grating.  
  • The timer doesn't give you a lot of options as there are just three settings: 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes.
  • The design isn’t exactly chic - it's not something that will look amazing on your nightstand or add to your home decor!
  • It’s not rechargeable, which would have been a nice plus.

My overall opinion of the Big Red Rooster sleep sound machine

I was pretty impressed with the Big Red Rooster! In my honest opinion, because of the price tag, and the simplicity,  I would recommend this sound machine for those wanting to try a sleep machine for the first time, or anyone looking for a sleep gadget that’s on the cheaper side.

I’d also say it’s a good investment for parents who have a baby or child who has trouble sleeping. Essentially, the noise machine is foolproof enough for beginners or parents who want a no-fuss sound machine to help bring peace to their lives.

Who won’t love the Big Red Rooster? Anyone looking for a sleek and chic high-tech sleep gadget to dress up their nightstand.

So good luck… and happy sleeping!

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