Getting up in the morning – especially getting up early – is a hassle for most people. Whether you’re Deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing, it’s more appealing to stay under the covers rather than getting up for work or school. Hearing people rely on audio alarms to get themselves fully awake and out of bed in the morning. Deaf people need different tools to wake themselves up.
One of the most basic ways for Deaf people to get up is to have a friend or family member wake you. This is reliable, but it’s not really fair to your family or roommates. I know a guy whose mom got tired of shaking him awake every day and started dropping their pug puppy on his bed instead. It was effective but he got the message that he needed to look for an alarm clock that works for Deaf people.
Since Deaf and hearing impaired people can’t use their sense of hearing to wake them up, they need to trigger one of their other senses to signal their brain to wake up. Taste and smell aren’t practical for that purpose, obviously. Instead, vibrating alarm clocks for Deaf people use touch or vision to stimulate wakefulness. Clocks that vibrate or have a flashing light can be reliable alarms for anyone who needs to get up on time.
We researched the best rated vibrating alarm clocks for the Deaf and HoH and came up with a list of devices that can work for getting you out of bed without relying on your mom – or your puppy.
1. Sonic Bomb (Best Rated)
This is the alarm clock you want for days when oversleeping is definitely not an option. This clock will ensure that you are up and ready for that important job interview or final exam. The Sonic Bomb alarm clock has an extra bright strobe light function as well as a super powerful bed-shaking function. The vibrating pad goes under your pillow, and the sturdy cord keeps it plugged into the clock. (It also has a really loud alarm sound that you can turn on if you want to wake your hearing roommates up, too!) The alarm keeps going for two minutes straight. It does have a snooze function, but that only lasts for two minutes before it starts flashing and shaking again. It even lets you set a second alarm in case the first one isn’t enough.
The downside of this clock is that the display is very bright. It also only lets you advance the time for the clock and alarm functions so it’s tedious to set.
2. Clarity Wake Assure Alarm Clock (Runner-up)
This clock is stylish and looks like a classic digital bedside clock. The large face is easy to read, and the large buttons make it simple to set the time or the alarm. It has a strong vibrating disc that slides under your pillow, and it’s powerful enough to wake up even a heavy sleeper. It has a 5-minute snooze function before it starts shaking you awake again.
One negative is that this clock doesn’t have a built-in strobe function. You can plug a separate lamp into the clock, and it will cause that lamp to flash along with the vibrating alarm.
3. Bellman & Symfon Alarm Clock
This clock has a cool design, with a round shape and a large bright display. The display is backlit, and it has a beacon light, which can be useful if you wake up during the night. The alarm also features a built-in flashing light, which is bright enough to wake you up if you’re sleeping during the day. The vibrating disc can fit under the pillow or under the mattress, and vibrations are noticeable in either position. This clock has a smart snooze where the snooze interval gets shorter each time you engage it.
One disadvantage is that the screen goes dark when the backlight isn’t turned on. To see the time, you have to hit the snooze button. This can be annoying if you wake up and want to see the time before rolling over and going back to sleep.
4. Serene Innovations Loud Alarm Clock
This pocket-sized clock is perfect for travel. It’s about the size of a smartphone, so it’s easy to put in a carry-on bag. It has a built-in strobe light alarm that’s bright enough to wake you up. It can also double as a flashlight, which can be helpful if you’re trying to find your way around a hotel room or AirBnB. The whole clock vibrates, so you need to have it in the bed with you for the shaking to wake you up.
This clock is totally battery operated using AA batteries. Be sure to put fresh batteries in it before taking it on a trip so you don’t risk missing any early morning lights!
5. iLuv Smart Shaker for Apple & Android
If you don’t want a whole alarm clock device, this smartphone accessory is the solution. This Bluetooth device connects to an app you can download to your iPhone or Android device. You set the alarm in the app and sleep with the device under your pillow like a traditional bed shaker alarm. The app allows you to set multiple alarms per day or create a custom schedule for different days of the week. The device is wireless, and one charge lasts up to 14 days.
This alarm only works through the connected app. You can’t use your built-in phone alarm clock. You have to set everything up and make any changes in the app itself.
6. Apple Vibrating Alarm Watch
If you like wearable tech, the Apple Watch can be an option for an alarm clock. You can set the device to vibrate by putting it in silent mode and making sure haptics are turned on. You can set the alarm using the watch itself or sync it to your iPhone’s alarm clock. There’s a snooze function that gives you 9 more minutes of sleep before the watch buzzes again. You can set multiple alarms throughout the day if you need to. The vibration can also be used for other Apple Watch alerts, which are generally useful for deaf and hard of hearing people.
There are no lights with the Apple Watch alarm, and the default vibrate function is fairly subtle, so it may not wake heavy sleepers. You can change the vibrate setting to “prominent” by using the Apple Watch app. Go into the general setting and change the haptic setting to get the stronger vibration.
7. Shock Clock 3 – Wearable Alarm Clock
The Shock Clock is another wearable device, but this one takes it to the next level. The wristband-style devices use a combination of vibrations and electrical discharges to literally shock you awake. You can use the connected app to set the vibration and/or shock functions to whichever combination gets you out of bed. You can configure it to not turn off unless you get out of bed. You can either do jumping jacks to make it stop or scan a QR code using your phone.
This device doesn’t come with a light alarm, just the vibration and shock functions. It is also only an alarm clock with some sleep-tracking functionality. It’s not a complete smartwatch with messaging or fitness functions.
8. Sonic Boom Vibrating Alarm Clock
The Sonic Alert clock is advertised as a notification hub. It has light and vibrating alarm functions, so you can use it as a basic alarm clock. You have to plug in a separate lamp for it to flash. If you have other devices from the Sonic brand, you connect them to this hub, so it will alert you to signals from your baby monitor or door alert system.
The idea of a central notification device is cool, but this only works with other Sonic devices. Unless you’re building a full network with this brand, their less expensive alarm clocks might be a better fit.
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