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36 Different Types of Alarm Clocks

A collage of different types of clocks.

The first alarm clock was invented in 1787 by Levi Hutchins of New Hampshire. It rang only once a day at four in the morning to cater to his customers who were farmers. Hutchins, incidentally, was murdered by his wife at exactly 4:05 in the morning.

Radio alarm clocks which woke people up to the local tunes was introduced in the 1940s. This was followed by the snooze function in 1956 which reportedly caused millions of people to be late. The online alarm clock through is the most recent innovation of alarm clocks in the 21st century.

Related: Types of Grandfather ClockGreat Small Wall Clock


Table or Desktop

JUSTUP Table Clock, Vintage Non-Ticking Table Desk Alarm Clock Battery Operated with Quartz Movement HD Glass for Bedroom Living Room Kids (Arabic)

These are the traditional alarm clocks that people picture when they think of buying an alarm clock. They can fit easily on your bedside table, chest of drawers, or other flat surface in your room, including a bookcase.

These clocks are generally fairly small, and without a lot of features, they don’t take up a lot of room. However, if you opt for one that has additional capabilities, then you must be willing to sacrifice more space for the alarm clock.


Digital Wall Clock,11.5" LED Digital Alarm Clock Large Display,with Remote Control,Adjustable Brightness, Calendar, Temperature, Snooze, 12/24 H, for Living Room, Office, Bedroom, Elderly, Adults

You can be sure to free up space on your bedside table when you buy an alarm clock that can be mounted on the wall. This is ideal if you have a very small bedroom, and only have room for a bed, as these can easily be hung by your bed, so you can reach them to turn them off in the morning.

Power Sources


Equity by La Crosse 14075 Black Analog Wind-Up Alarm Clock

Not everyone trusts the electronics of modern alarm clocks to not fail them when they need to get out of bed, so if you want to make sure that your alarm clock is as reliable as possible, then you will benefit from one that you can wind up yourself.

Wind-up alarm clocks have been around for a very long time, and have not changed much, since their mechanism is very reliable and easy to use.

Therefore, instead of worrying about the batteries dying or the electricity going out, when you opt for a wind-up alarm clock you can rest easy knowing that it will continue to work as long as you continue to wind it.

Battery Powered

Alarm Clock, Wall Clock, Battery Operated Clock, Adjustable 3-Level Led Brightness, Dim Night Model, 12/24Hr, Cordless, Constantly 1.2'' Red Digits Display, Small Clock for Bedroom/Travel

While some people want to be able to plug in their clock, if you experience frequent power outages or simply don’t have an outlet right by your bed where your clock will be located, then you are much better off buying an alarm clock that is battery powered.

These clocks will continue to work even when you lose power, although they will stop when the batteries need to be replaced. You can move them easily from one location in your home to another without having to worry about where the outlets in the room are located.


SHARP Home LED Digital Alarm Clock – Swivel Base - Outlet Powered, Simple Operation, Alarm, Snooze, Brightness Dimmer, Big Green Digit Display, Silver Case

As long as you do not lose power, electric alarm clocks are a great option in any home. They quickly and easily plug into an outlet in the wall, and since you do not have to worry about replacing batteries or winding the clock, they are something that you can set and forget.


Jumbo Numbers

Large Alarm Clock 9" LED Digital Display Dual Alarm with USB Charger Port 0-100 Dimmer for Seniors Simple Bedside Big Number Alarm Clocks for Bedrooms

If you have problems seeing the smaller numbers on your alarm clock, then you will want to choose one that has oversized numbers, as these will be much easier for you to see from across the room.

While some of these alarm clocks are larger than average ones, it’s normally just the numbers that are bigger. The casing will remain the same size, so you don’t have to worry about the alarm clock taking up too much room on your bedside table.


Alarm Clock for Bedroom, 2 Alarms Loud LED Big Display Clock with USB Charging Port, Adjustable Volume, Dimmable, Snooze, Plug in Simple Basic Digital Clock for Deep Sleepers Kids Elderly Home Office

Perfect for anyone who doesn’t like traditional clocks, or has trouble seeing the hands in the middle of the night, or when they first wake up in the morning, digital alarm clocks are easy for people of all ages to read.

By using a digital alarm clock, you can easily control when children are going to get out of bed, as they can read the numbers a lot easier, than they are able to see the hands on a clock.

Glow in the Dark

Glow-in-The-Dark Alarm Clock One Color One Size

Being able to see the numbers on your alarm clock even in the middle of the night, when you choose one that has glow in the dark numbers and hands, you don’t have to worry about not seeing the clock in the dark.

Before you go to bed and after they are exposed to light, the hands will light up making it easy to tell which number they are pointing at. You won’t ever have to turn on the light to see the clock when you choose one with glow in the dark numbers.

Roman Numerals

Wowkiki 6 Inch Metal Retro Loud Alarm Clock, Silent Non-Ticking Battery Control, Classic Roman dial Small Table Clock for Bedrooms. (Roman Numerals)

While not everyone can read Roman numerals easily, an alarm clock with them instead of digits is instantly, a classier and better looking option for your alarm clock.

Look for one that has Roman numerals that are easy enough to read from a distance, as this will ensure that you can tell easily, what time it is no matter where you are in your room.

USB Port

Alarm Clock for Bedroom, 2 Alarms Loud LED Big Display Clock with USB Charging Port, Adjustable Volume, Dimmable, Snooze, Plug in Simple Basic Digital Clock for Deep Sleepers Kids Elderly Home Office

Anyone with a smartphone knows it can be frustrating to find a USB port where you can charge your phone, especially at night. It’s not very common for homes to have USB ports in the bedroom, and running long cords to the outlet can result in, either a trip hazard or a very messy area behind your bedside table.

When you buy an alarm clock that comes with a built-in USB port, you won’t have to worry about where you’re going to be charging your phone, as you can plug the cord into the alarm clock easily.

This allows you to charge your phone at night and keep it close to your bed, without having to worry about short cords or tripping in the morning when you get up.


Alarm clock with projection

If you are worried about not being able to see the numbers on your alarm clock, then your best bet is to buy one that will project the time onto the ceiling or wall of your room.

This prevents you from having to roll over in the middle of the night and try to pinpoint your alarm clock’s location. When the numbers are projected onto your ceiling, you only have to look up and you will be able to instantly see the time.

This limits movement in the bed, allowing you to get back to sleep faster and prevent you from waking up anyone else in the bed. Additionally, since the numbers aren’t so bright that they will wake you up, you don’t have to worry about this type of alarm clock ruining your sleep.

Retro Inspired

Kikkerland Retro Alarm Clock, 1 EA, Green

If you love the look of retro alarm clocks but don’t want to have to worry about the quality of the clock that you buy, then alarm clocks inspired by retro alarm clocks are a great choice. They have the fun shape and colors you love and the reliable machinery inside that helps to keep you from oversleeping.

Gun & Target

SUNJULY Target Wake UP Alarm Clock, Creative Gun Shooting Alarm Personalized 12 Hour Digital Display for Heavy Sleepers, Christmas Novelty Gift for Boys Girls

To have a little fun in the morning and make sure that you actually get out of bed when your alarm goes off, then you are sure to want an alarm clock that relies on your ability to shoot a target to make it stop announcing itself.

This ensures that you are actually awake and will decrease the likelihood of you falling back to sleep. This kind of alarm clock makes a great gift for any shooting or hunting enthusiast.

Calendar Display

【Upgraded】 Digital Calendar Alarm Day Clock - with 8" Large Screen Display, am pm, 5 Alarm, for Extra Large Impaired Vision People, The Aged Seniors, The Dementia, for Desk, Wall Mounted, White


You’ll never again forget what day of the week it is, when you have a calendar displayed on your alarm clock. Being able to roll over and instantly see the day of the week, as well as the date, will ensure you are at your best and can start planning for the day as soon as you wake up.

This is especially beneficial for people who work shifts, as it can be very difficult to know what day of the week it is at times. Get off to a great start every morning with a date display on your alarm clock.


Emerson SmartSet Alarm Clock Radio with Bluetooth Speaker, Charging Station/Phone Chargers with USB port for iPhone/iPad/iPod/Android and Tablets, ER100301

While it’s easy to find an alarm clock that has a radio for you to listen to music when you’re in your room, newer alarm clocks offer Bluetooth connectivity that allow you to connect your smartphone or tablet to the alarm clock, and then play music wirelessly.

Being able to stream music from your smartphone allows you to listen to the perfect song as you’re getting ready in the morning. In addition, the speakers on these alarm clocks are so much more powerful than the ones on your smartphone, you can really crank up the volume to get your blood pumping.


USCCE Digital Alarm Clock Radio - 0-100% Dimmer, Dual Alarm with Weekday/Weekend Mode, 6 Sounds Adjustable Volume, FM Radio w/ Sleep Timer, Snooze, 2 USB Charging Ports, Thermometer, Battery Backup

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have music in your bedroom when getting ready for bed or the day, so when you choose an alarm clock with an AM/FM radio, there’s no need to worry about dedicating more space on your bedside table with a radio.

Guaranteed these alarm clocks will wake you up, and some of them can be programmed to play a chosen radio station, instead of the usual beeping.

Extra Loud

ANJANK Extra Loud Alarm Clock with Wireless Bed Shaker, Vibrating Dual Alarm Clock for Heavy Sleepers, Deaf and Hearing-impaired, Adjustable Volume/Dimmer/Wake up Mode, USB Charger Port, Pillow Shaker

While a typical alarm clock is loud enough to wake up most people, if you are a very heavy sleeper then, you will benefit from the option of an even louder ringing sound in the morning.

At 90 decibels, this alarm clock is great for waking up anyone with hearing issues, heavy sleepers, and shift workers that have difficulty getting up in the morning.


REACHER Small LED Digital Alarm Clock with Snooze, Simple to Operate, Full Range Brightness Dimmer, Adjustable Alarm Volume, Outlet Powered Compact Clock for Bedrooms, Bedside, Desk, Shelf(White)

There are times when your alarm going off is too obtrusive, making it difficult to get out of bed. If you have problems moving right away in the morning, then you may benefit from an alarm clock that has a snooze button.

Simply hitting this button when your alarm starts to go off, will buy you a few more minutes in bed. Most alarms can be snoozed indefinitely, unlike smartphones, which means that you won’t ever have to worry about it not going off after a snooze, resulting in you being late for work.

If you know that you like to stay in bed a little after your alarm goes off but are worried about falling back to sleep, then a snooze button is a great choice for you.

Weather Station

Alarm clock with weather station

Source: Wayfair

Go beyond simply telling the time, having an alarm, and knowing the inside temperature, opt for an alarm clock with an included weather station.

These clocks, not only use a remote outdoor sensor to let you know the outside temperature, they often have weather symbols that let you know the kind of weather to expect when you go outside.

CD Player

NAXA Electronics NRC-175 Digital Alarm Clock Tuning AM/FM Radio and CD Player - Black Lacquer

While listening to the radio is great, if you have eclectic tastes in music or just want the ability to listen to your favorite song or artist at any time, then look for an alarm clock that also has the ability to play CDs.

These alarm clocks tend to be a bit larger, but since they have more functions, many users are more than happy to find the room for them. In addition, many come with the ability to play a CD as the alarm, which people find a pleasant way to wake up.


La Crosse Technology W88723 Color Alarm Clock with Temperature & Humidity with USB Port, 5.90" L x 1.90" W x 3.50" H, Black

With this feature, you no longer have to leave the warmth of your bed without knowing the temperature of your home, when you buy an alarm clock that will also tell you the internal temperature.

While this feature may not seem necessary during the temperate months, during the middle of winter or summer you will be glad to know what you’re getting into when you get out of bed, and can set the thermostat accordingly.

Multiple Alarms

WinFong Alarm Clock, 3 Alarm Clocks Small Desk Clock for Bedrooms with 4.3" Large Digital Display Smart Night Light, Indoor Temperature, Easy Operation Clock for Kids Heavy Sleepers,Black

When you are deciding what time to get up in the morning for alternating shifts, being able to set more than one alarm makes it easy to switch between them.

This is especially useful if you are able to sleep in on the weekends. Instead of having to reset the alarm, you can simply switch between your two chosen times.


Personalized alarm clock

Source: Etsy

For a special gift that lets the recipient know you’re always with them, opt for a personalized alarm clock. Getting up in the morning can be hard, but with a personalized alarm clock the recipient will know that you’re always thinking of them, making their day a little bit better.

While some are only large enough to have a person’s name engraved, burned, or painted on the clock, others are large enough for a whole statement or a favorite saying.

Some alarm clocks can even be personalized with a favorite photo as the face of the clock, making it a very special clock to the recipient.

Wake Up Light

Sunrise Alarm Clock Wake Up Light For Kids, Alarm Clocks For Bedrooms, Light Alarm Clock For Heavy Sleepers Adults, Loud Alarm Clock& 7 Sounds, Dual Alarms, Snooze, FM Radio, Sleep Aid, Ideal for Gift

If you prefer to not wake up to loud beeping or music and would rather wake gently, then an alarm clock that uses increasing light is your best choice. These clocks mimic the sun rising and will gently wake you without any distracting noises, allowing you to wake up naturally.

Travel Clock with Case

Travel clock with case

Source: Houzz

If you travel a lot for business or pleasure, and want to make sure that you don’t oversleep when in a hotel room, then make sure you have a travel alarm clock with you.

These typically have strong cases that will fold around the clock to protect it from being slammed around in luggage. The case will open up easily when it’s time for you to set your alarm.



Everwood Battery Operated Wooden LCD Digital Alarm Clock with Smart Sensor Night Light, Snooze for Bedrooms

When opting for wood as the material for your alarm clock, you can either choose traditional wood grain or a more modern grain. Wood alarm clocks are sturdy and built to last, which means that if they fall off of the table or are accidentally knocked over, they are much less likely to crack or break.

If you live in a very humid location, then you will want to be careful with wood alarm clocks, as you do not want water to damage the case.

Faux Leather

Faux leather alarm clock

Source: Houzz

You can get the look of real leather without the price tag and the necessary care, when you opt for faux leather.

These alarm clocks look a little more elegant than ones made from other materials, and as long as they are dusted from time to time, will continue to look their best. On the other hand, they do not tend to be as sturdy as other types of alarm clocks.


Digital Clock Large Display, LED Electric Alarm Clocks Mirror Surface for Makeup with Diming Mode, 3 Levels Brightness, Dual USB Ports Modern Decoration for Home Bedroom Decor-Gold

For a very modern and colorful look, opt for an alarm clock that is made mostly from glass. These are very interesting to look at and will add a lot of appeal to your room.

The main concern, of course, with glass alarm clocks is how easily they can chip and shatter if they fall, which means that they are a hazard that shouldn’t be used in a child’s room.


Resin alarm clock

Source: Houzz

Resin is a very popular choice for alarm clocks these days. They come in different shapes, as it’s easy to mold the resin into designs. In addition, resin takes color well and does not fade.


Leather alarm clock

Source: Houzz

You will have to pay a little bit more for a leather alarm clock, but the piece will look great and will age well over time.


Metal alarm clock

Source: Etsy

Metal alarm clocks are really popular, easy to find, and hardy enough to last for a long time. You won’t have to worry about the case breaking if this alarm clock is dropped.


Mini Size Alarm Clock,FAMICOZY Quiet Non Ticking Travel Alarm Clock with Snooze and Nightlight,Gradually Increasing in Volume,Lightweight Analog Quartz Clock,Battery Operated,Black

For an inexpensive option that is easy to take care of and relatively sturdy and hardy, opt for plastic. You can often find plastic alarm clocks in a number of colors to choose from.



Remoxye Analog Alarm Clocks, Bedroom Battery Powered Round Clock,Super Silent Non Ticking,Small Desk Clock with Night Light,Metallic Lacquer Frame,HD Glass Mirror,Suitable for Home Bedroom Decor-White

Round alarm clocks are aesthetically pleasing, and have the traditional shape many people think of when they picture traditional or older alarm clocks. They often have a flat bottom or short legs to keep them from rolling away.


KeeKit Digital Wooden Alarm Clock, Electronic LED Desktop Clock with Temperature Humidity Time Display, 3 Alarm Settings, Voice Control, 3 Levels Adjustable Brightness for Home, Bedroom, Office

If you have a little more room on your bedside table for an alarm clock, then one that is rectangular-shaped might be a good choice for you. They often use the extra space provided by the large casing for either oversized digits or the date.


Tinload Small Battery Operated Analog Alarm Clock Silent Non Ticking, Ascending Beep Sounds, Snooze,Light Functions, Easy Set(Black)

Compact and attractive, square-shaped alarm clocks look great in any room. Be sure to look for one that is not oversized, so you don’t feel like it is too tall for your bedside table.


Novelty alarm clock

Source: Houzz

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a little fun and express yourself with your alarm clock, and buying one that’s shaped in your favorite animal or a design that you like, will bring a smile to your face each time you look at it.



Oval alarm clock

Source: Houzz

These alarm clocks have a bit of a retro look to them, which makes them a lot of fun. They are generally smaller than round and rectangular-shaped clocks, making them ideal for smaller spaces. They also look a little fancier than other shapes, making them ideal for a more traditional home.