The 8 Best Alarm Clocks For College Students

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Elite Daily/Amazon

To help you start the day on the right foot (and show up to class on time), the best alarm clocks for college students will wake you up in a way that’s most effective for you, whether that’s with a loud buzz or a gentle sunrise simulation. These clocks come in a variety of styles, including a mix of analog and digital options. Many also have extra features, like a charging dock or a Bluetooth speaker, and some are geared towards the heaviest sleepers.

If you’re looking for a simple alarm clock, an analog option offers classic style with one alarm setting and a snooze button. Some analog clocks emit the familiar ticking sound while others keep time silently, and most options are battery-powered. On the other hand, while digital clocks don’t have the same retro appeal, you’ll find a few sleek styles made from wood, for example. Digital clocks also allow you to set more than one alarm, adjust the volume and brightness, and check the time at a glance in the middle of the night thanks to the LED display. They usually need to be plugged in, but many offer the option to use backup batteries in case there’s a power outage.

Some digital clocks have additional features that may work for you. For example, a clock that rolls away as the alarm goes off might motivate you to get out of bed. If you’re a heavy sleeper with a roommate, you might like a clock that’ll shake your bed to wake you up without disturbing anyone else. Other clocks gradually increase the volume of the alarm and feature soothing sounds that gently nudge you awake, while some let you charge your phone with a USB port or wireless charging dock. And for late-night study sessions, you might want an alarm clock with a built-in reading light.

Whether you want a simple clock that does one job or a multitasker, one of the best alarm clocks for college students below will make getting out of bed a little easier.

This Sleek Wooden Clock With 30,000+ 5-Star Reviews

More than 31,000 Amazon customers have given this digital clock a five-star rating and that’s largely because the clock has lots of customization options, including five volume levels for the alarm, three brightness settings for the LED clock face, and a choice of either a 12- or 24-hour time display. You can set up to three alarms, including one just for weekdays so you can sleep in on weekends, and the clock has a snooze function. There are also temperature and humidity monitors and a sound sensor option that dims the clock after five seconds to conserve energy. The alarm clock will need to be plugged in; there’s no option to use a backup battery. It comes in four wood color options.

One glowing review: “I’m a second semester college student and I absolutely love this product. I often wake up in the morning disoriented having to go to class but not knowing what time it is or how the weather might be currently at (living in florida, it can be very random). But the digital clock is always there ready with how hot or cold it is and it’s also bright enough that I can clearly adjust my just woken up eyes to see it.”

This Extra-Loud Alarm Clock That’s Hard To Sleep Through

Featuring five volume levels, with the loudest going up to 113 decibels, this extra-loud alarm clock is hard for even the deepest sleeper to ignore. And if that’s not enough to get you out of bed, the clock also comes with a vibrating disc that you can place under your pillow or mattress for an additional wake-up call. If you have a roommate you don’t want to disturb, you can also just use the shaker and leave the alarm on silent. The clock has two alarms, and both the alarm and snooze functions can be set for different durations. The digital clock can display 12- or 24- hour time and the red flashing lights have five adjustable brightness levels. The clock comes with a power cord, and you can use a 9-volt battery (not included) as a backup. This alarm clock has earned more than 16,000 five-star ratings and is available in five colors.

One glowing review: “This is the best alarm clock I have yet to own. I am a college student and there have been times when I would sleep through my alarms and would miss class. I tried different methods, like changing up my alarm and setting one far away [...] This alarm clock has been a lifesaver with making sure I wake up in time for class.”

A Sunrise Alarm Clock With Lots Of Soothing Options

If you don’t want to hear a loud alarm first thing in the morning, this sunrise alarm clock gradually increases in brightness from 10% to 100% to wake you up gently. You can choose how long this “sunrise” lasts by setting it between 10 and 30 minutes, and there are seven colors options. If you want to use the clock as a reading light, there are 20 brightness levels. In addition to the traditional beeping alarm, the clock has six soothing sound options, including ocean waves, wind chimes, and birds. You can set two alarms, select one of 16 volume levels, and hit snooze for nine minutes, up to five times. This versatile alarm clock also has an FM radio and USB port for charging your phone. The popular plug-in clock has a built-in backup battery that remembers your settings if there’s a power outage. It’s available in white or with a natural wood finish.

One glowing review: “This wake up alarm has helped me so much this past year of college. The gradual “wake” mode of the alarm leaves me feeling refreshed and ready for my day.”

This Alarm Clock With A Bluetooth Speaker & Wireless Charger

If you love starting (or finishing) your day by listening to music, this alarm clock will be the perfect sidekick. The dual alarm clock has 6-watt speakers, Bluetooth compatibility, and 10 FM station preset options. There’s a sleep timer so you can play music or other soothing sounds as you drift off, and there are several volume levels to choose from. The LED display has five brightness settings, and you can also choose between 12- and 24-hour time. The clock has a USB port and wireless charging for Qi-enabled phones. It’s a plug-in clock, and according to reviewers, you can use backup batteries. Choose from two modern shades: gray and white.

One glowing review: “I love all of the features. It’s lighter in weight than I expected. Not too hard to set up and not too many buttons like other brands. I have a removable popsocket on my phone and it still charges wirelessly with no problem.”

This Minimalist $12 Clock In Pastel Colors

This analog clock has mechanical movement, but the arms are silent as they move around the clock face. This minimalist option has just one alarm setting, and though the brand mentions a snooze button, reviewers report the clock doesn’t have one — making it hard to sleep in with this option. The dial can be illuminated to check the time at night. The cute alarm clock comes in six colors and works with one AA battery (not included).

One glowing review: “A cute little clock. Exactly what I wanted. It is quiet, easy to read, easy to use. When the alarm goes off, the sound is annoying so it does its job of waking me up.”

An LED Clock With A Built-In Night Light

In addition to displaying the time, this digital clock comes with a night light option in seven colors. A sliding dimmer switch lets you choose the perfect brightness, and the LED display has 12- and 24-hour time options. There are three alarm sound levels to choose from and the alarm gradually increases in volume, allowing for a more gentle wakeup. For those who need it, there's also a snooze button that’s set to nine minutes. The alarm clock comes with a power cord and has two USB ports for charging your gadgets. You can also use two AAA batteries (not included) as a backup in case of a power outage. This multitasking clock is available with white, blue, or green digital displays and has earned more than 11,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.

One glowing review: “Alarm clock is great, bright colors and clear instructions. Colorful and loud enough for sleepy heads to wake up.”

An Alarm Clock That Literally Gets You Out Of Bed

You’ll have to chase this moving digital clock to turn it off, making it brutal but effective, according to more than 2,000 reviewers that gave it a five-star rating. Once the loud alarm goes off, the wheels of this alarm clock start moving; it’s even capable of “jumping” from 3-foot heights. There is a one-time snooze button that gives you an extra one to eight minutes and the clock comes in seven colors. You’ll need four AAA batteries to operate (not included). And if you’d rather keep Clocky stationary, the wheels can be disabled.

One glowing review: “For a lazy nightowl college student, this thing's alarm alone makes it akin to a tiny drill sergeant. I've tried countless analog, digital, and even smartphone alarms to get me up and running in the morning, but nothing except Clocky has had an alarm that was loud or disturbing enough to wake me.”

This Budget-Friendly Analog Clock

This old-school analog clock does not have the extra features you’ll find with some digital options, but it does have two actual bells and hammers that are dependable and loud. There’s just one alarm setting and the quartz clock makes a ticking sound, has glow-in-the-dark hands, and optional backlighting for the clock face. The clock needs one AA battery (not included), and it comes in five colors.

One glowing review: “I'm a heavy sleeper and I had three different alarm clocks before I bought this one and the other three were not loud enough and sometimes I didn't wake up. This clock is great! It's big enough to see the dial and it's loud enough to wake me up. It's exactly what I needed.”