Sleep Product Comparisons

modern bedroom

There are two types of review I do here at No Sleepless Nights: the individual product reviews and the comparisons of multiple options.

If you’re not sure which version of a product might suit you best, the comparisons below should be helpful. I always do my best to include a range to suit different needs, whether that be budget, style, features, or aesthetic design.

Some of them include videos too, so you can see them in action. You can also make your own mind up about how helpful I am, rather than me trying to convince you in written form.


Mattress toppers

mattress topper

Mattress toppers are a great way to change how the surface of your bed feels without the expense of changing the entire mattress. You can make it softer, firmer, or even change how warm or cool it feels.

Take a look at my recommended mattress toppers for a range to suit different needs and budgets, from simple memory foam to luxury latex toppers.

And if you’re unsure which style will work best for you, take a look at my guide to choosing a mattress topper. It’s a long read, but I’ve crammed lots of useful information in there to help you narrow down your choice.


Weighted blankets

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weighted blanket

Weighted blankets are designed to create some gentle pressure on your body while you relax or sleep. The idea is that they feel comforting, often compared to being like a hug.

Personally, I quite like my hugs to involve an actual human body, but they still feel lovely to sleep under and I’ve used one for many years, especially in the winter.

Take a look at my take on the best weighted blankets in which I discuss the seven blankets that have most impressed me out of the many I’ve tried in the last few years.

And if you’re a hot sleeper, check out the little experiment I did in which I compared different blankets with normal bedding in my quest to find the most breathable weighted blanket.


Cooling mattress pads and bed cooling systems

cooling mattress pad and fan

If you live in a hot part of the world, or are just a perennially hot sleeper, it can be difficult to sleep at night if you don’t feel comfortably cool.

There are some effective bed cooling systems that you could try, as well as mattress pads that are more breathable than dense memory foam toppers and mattresses.

Take a look at my article on the best cooling mattress pads, in which I compare both active and passive bed cooling options.

If you’re on a tight budget, you might find my tips for keeping cool in bed useful too. Many of those ideas are free to try, and just involve tinkering with your home or lifestyle.


Heated mattress pads

heated mattress pad

If the idea of cooling your bed in the previous section sends shivers down your spine, maybe some extra warmth in bed is what you need.

Personally, I prefer heated mattress pads to electric blankets as they stay on the bed better and it can feel cozier to have the heat generated underneath your body.

However, some might prefer a blanket, or even some high-tech wizardry in the form of undercover fan heating. If you’re looking for a way to keep your bed snug in the winter, take a look at the comparison of heated mattress pads and blankets.


Headphones for sleep

acousticsheep sleepphones featured image

Yep, that’s me in the photo, doing my best to look angelic while sleeping. And no, I don’t usually sleep in a shirt; I just couldn’t resist appearing in a photo on this page to break with the tradition of using the standard product photos!

So, headphones and sleep – it can be more problematic than it should be really, especially if you’re a side sleeper. Over-ear headphones are too bulky; in-ear headphones dig into your ear or fall out.

The answer? Sleep like Dracula, or try a fabric headband style of headphones instead. If you’d like to know what’s available, take a look at my thoughts on the best headphones for sleeping and noise-cancelling.


Sleep trackers

sleep tracker

The photo here shows one of the first things I do in the morning – check out my sleep stats, which I’m arguably more obsessed with than I need to be.

I just find it fascinating to see how my sleep times ebb and flow throughout the year. And it’s sometimes very useful to know how my lifestyle choices affect my sleep.

A good example is giving up caffeine in November 2021. Within days, my sleep tracker showed a big improvement in the sleep score, helping motivate me to resist the temptation to return to the morning liquid buzz.

Have a look at some sleep trackers I recommend to see if it’s a technique for monitoring and improving your sleep than interests you. If not, keep a notebook by your bed instead and try keeping a manual sleep diary for a couple of weeks. Even that can throw up some interesting discoveries.


White noise machines

Contains video

In the photo above, I’m in the middle of one of several big comparisons I’ve done of white noise machines. Of all the hundreds of sleep products I’ve reviewed in the last decade, there have probably been more of white noise machines than any other category.

Why? Because I know many people find white noise, fan sounds, or nature sound relaxing and good at masking external noise. The quality and sound choice they offer can vary enormously though, so I’ve tried to cover lots of different ones.

Here are some comparisons you might find interesting:

  • The best white noise machines – my video on YouTube has had nearly 200,000 views, which shows how popular these devices are. The article has the original video and updates, as I first published it in 2019.
  • White noise machine, speaker or app? – if you’ve ever wondered if a phone app would work as well as a white noise machine, my view is this: yes, if you use an external speaker too. In this article and video, I compare different machines with a Sony speaker for volume and sound masking potential.
  • How to choose a white noise machine – I cover two main topics here: whether you really need a white noise machine or if a different device will work better. And if you do want one, what features to look out for.

Sleep masks

sleep mask

From simple silk sleep masks to the more modern designs like the one in the photo above, there’s an interesting range of sleep masks to choose from.

They are great if you’re a shift worker and need to sleep during the day, and don’t have blackout blinds. If you’re travelling, they can also help you get some shut-eye when the world around you is a bit too bright.

In my comparison of 10 sleep masks, I look at some soft silky options that sit tight on your face, some with a contoured design that leave space for epic eyelashes to flutter, and an option for cooling relief that might even be as good as slices of cucumber.


Wake-up lights

Wake-up lights might suit you if you hate waking up to the sound of a loud alarm or regularly wake up when it’s still depressingly dark outside. In my experience, it feels much nicer to wake up slowly, with the warm glow of light gently filling the bedroom.

Many have a sunset simulator too, which is a great way to drowsily slip into the land of nod. I love how the light in my bedroom fades from a bright white to a subtle deep red with the Lumie Bodyclock I have on my bedside table.

If you’d like to find out more, take a look at my wake-up light reviews. I compare some models from Lumie and Philips – two experts in wake-up lights.


Earplugs

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ethan green sitting with many boxes of earplugs

Noise is my nemesis; earplugs my superpower. Ok, I exagerate a little, but there’s nothing quite like blocking out annoying noise at night than stuffing some foam in your ears.

For all the expensive high-tech noise cancelling headphones, white noise machines, and whatever else that’s supposed to help with noise, nothing beats a well fitting set of earplugs with a high noise reduction rating in my experience.

In my comparison of 15 different earplugs for sleep, I explain why I prefer foam. But I also cover wax, silicon and plastic for those who find foam uncomfortable.

If you struggle with noise at night, also check out my ideas for dealing with noise in bed. You might find something there that helps preserve your sanity if the neighbours are doing your head in.


Air mattresses

air mattress

Whether you have more guests than bedrooms, or more of a love of the great outdoors than the cinema, an air mattress is a convenient way to create a temporary bed.

They get better and better over time, now that manufacturers have worked out that people would actually like a degree of comfort when they lie on them. Tolerance for giant lumpy tube designs has waned since the 1980s.

So if you’ve got people round, or don’t fancy sleeping on a yoga mat when camping, take a look at my my top-rated air mattressess.


Pillow speakers

pillow speaker

So you like to listen to music in bed, but your partner prefers silence. Perhaps you sleep, alone but find headphones uncomfortable.

If either of those applies to you, then a pillow speaker is one alternative to headphones or larger speakers that’s worth considering.

I can’t guarantee you’ll get the same speaker quality (spoiler alert: you won’t). But what you will get is a discreet and comfortable way to listen to your favourite relaxing music, radio station or podcast.

Take a glance at my pillow speaker reviews if you’d like to find out more about these flat and unobtrusive speakers.


Travel pillows

lots of travel pillows in a car

Not long after I took the photo above, I took a couple of friends on a long car trip (buried under a mountain of travel pillows) to get their opinions in addition to mine.

That’s my approach to the big comparison reviews I do: I test multiple products myself, and then ask family and friends to see what other people think. After all, I’m just one person.

If you’re flying, I recommend doing some research and getting a good travel pillow beforehand rather than picking up whatever you can find in the airport. Sometimes the shops sell decent ones, but it’s not guaranteed to suit your body shape.

Take a look at my view of the best travel pillows to see if there’s one you might find more comfortable than any you’ve previously tried.


See more of my reviews

On this page, I’ve covered all of the biggest comparison articles on the site. If you haven’t already seen them, I also do a lot of individual sleep product reviews, which you can find here.

If it’s white noise machines you’re most interested in, all of those individual reviews can be found on this page.

And if you’d like to see all of my videos in one place, where they probably load a bit faster too (sorry if you’ve had difficulty loading any of the videos on the website), you can find me on YouTube.

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