Best Digital Clock 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Perfect for bedside tables or even in the living room or kitchen, digital clocks can give you precise live times as well as wake you up from the deepest of slumbers if they are equipped with an alarm.

More and more people are trying to ditch taking their smartphone into the bedroom, so a digital clock could be a great alternative if you need a clear alarm and to know what time it is when you wake in the middle of the night. Or, your current way of telling the time in the middle of the night may be to scramble for your wristwatch, knocking everything else off the table in the process. Digital clocks will make telling the time much more simple.

If you want a DAB radio which has a clock function, we have a few picks on our reviews of the best DAB radios page. Otherwise, take a look at our digital clocks here.

The Best Digital Clocks – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.3 x 7.92 cm
  • Power: Mains
  • Display: 4" IPS touchscreen
  • Time Display: 24H
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Acctim Rialto Radio Controlled LCD Alarm Clock
  • Dimensions: H6.6 x W13.8 x D3.2cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H
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Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
  • Dimensions: 19.9 x 14.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 24H
Click for Best Price

Best Digital Clocks and Alarms

Echo Wall Clock

Digital clocks are much much easier than analogue ones thanks to their at-a-glance reading and fancy alarms/timers etc. But hey just don’t look as nice if you want a lovely wall clock which adds something to a room.

Step up the Echo Wall Clock. At first look, it is an ordinary clock, with two hands, twelve numbers, and a nice large reading. But then you realise it is from Amazon so just has to be smart in some way.

The Echo Clock can work with Alexa, so not only does this help keep the time down to the correct second, but also helps you set timers with a simple voice command. From changes to Daylight Saving Time which usually require you to manually bring the clock down, to the countdown lights, it is a clever take on a manual option.

It needs four alkaline batteries, which is actually a good think as it means you’re still flexible with placement and don’t need to hook it up to the electricity mains. All you need to do is ask Alexa to set up the wall clock and she will do all the work for you.

This, of course, means you have to own an Echo for the wall clock to work. It is compatible with all available models, even the cheapest Echo Dot, so if this clock really appeals to you then purchasing everything you need to set it up is no trouble.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25.4 x 25.4 x 4.1cm
  • Power: Battery
  • Display: 25cm diameter white bezel clock
  • Time Display: 12H Manual

We like

  • Clear display
  • Changes time automatically
  • Timer functionality

We dislike

  • Feels a little cheap for a clock from such a big brand

Final Verdict

Attractive in style, and even though it is a little plasticky and not quite as high standard as some other Echo items, the price and functionality make it a wonderful addition to your kitchen, living space or bedroom

Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant

Smart technology is impacting our lives in all ways. From plugs to lighting, so many ordinary items now have the ability to make our day-to-day tasks easier.

This Lenovo clock includes Google Assistant, which is the browser’s version of a smart assistant. If you have often led in bed and wished you could ask somebody to get the coffee machine going, read you your diary for the day and switch on the heating in Winter while you’re still snoozing, now you can.

Maybe you like to hear music or view motivational quotes instead? The Smart Clock can be set up to wake you however you wish, to ease you into those mornings. You can also ask Google to wake you in ten minutes if you want a lazy morning, or just tap the top of the device for a snooze.

It can be paired with other Chromecast speakers, which can fill your home with music or a voice reading out the news, and the app makes setting it up easier than ever. Unlike a lot of other smart screen speakers about which do pretty much the same thing, you can mute the microphone so it won’t wake to your voice (great if you sleep talk), and there is no onboard camera for peace of mind.

The Lenovo Smart Clock is ideal if you like your tech to be bang up to date, and the four-inch screen ensures the time is displayed clearly and largely at all times. There is also a USB port in case you like to charge your phone but only have one plug.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.3 x 7.92 cm
  • Power: Mains
  • Display: 4" IPS touchscreen
  • Time Display: 24H

We like

  • Tidy and unobtrusive
  • Good sound
  • Screen automatically dims in darkness

We dislike

  • You may prefer a smart screen speaker with the ability to watch video/view photos

Final Verdict

With limited functionality on the screen (it is literally just a clock), this is the perfect little unit if you love smart tech but ultimately love getting to work on time and in a good mood a lot more

Acctim Rialto Radio Controlled LCD Alarm Clock

Tuned to the UK’s MSF transmitter, this radio-controlled clock will always display the correct live time. It will even automatically adjust from Summer into Winter. So if every clock in your home usually has a different time display, you can at least rely on one to help set the rest.

It can show the time in both 12 or 24-hour formats depending on your personal preference. But it isn’t just the clock it can display, though. You will also see the date and indoor temperature (in °C or °F), so you can be properly in control of the day. As a bonus, rather than displaying the seconds of the time, you can display the day (MO, TU, WE etc.)

Backlight control allows you to set your own brightness to adjust it to your eyes sensitivity, or how dark/light it is in the morning. The quality of this display is excellent and so easy to see, and you can even set it to give out no display for complete darkness. Just tap the top for a quick view.

The alarm tone starts off softly, then gets louder, which will help if you tend to snooze a bit too long in the mornings. It is powered by the mains and there is a battery back-up for the time as well. If your chargers and other electronics struggle to reach the power socket from your bedside table, then the two-metre lead on this clock should do the trick.

On top of all of this, the unit is compact and the time, date and temperature are all displayed in different colours so you can tell which is which when bleary-eyed.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: H6.6 x W13.8 x D3.2cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

We like

  • Sets itself when plugged in
  • Option to turn display off
  • Clear instructions in manual

We dislike

  • Even on dim, it may still be too bright for some

Final Verdict

Sets up in seconds and gives you all the info you need for the day ahead. Quite pricey, but worth it for the reliability

Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Philips are leaders when it comes to smart lighting and SAD lamps, and if you like to be eased into the day with natural light but don’t want several appliances cluttering your bedside table, this could be the answer.

This wake-up light alarm clock recreates a natural sunrise, which is great both if you need to be eased in to the day or if you suffer from seasonal issues and can’t cope with dark mornings and artificial light.

It is clinically proven to work, increasing your energy levels and fight the winter blues. The display also reacts to the light levels in the room, dimming the clock when it is dark in the room to make sure the brightness doesn’t wake you in the middle of the night.

You may also struggle actually nodding off, in which case the natural sunset option will also help you out. It will gradually decrease light and sound, emulating natural daily rhythm sleep patterns. This could also be ideal if you need a light on to get to sleep, but don’t like it waking you up in the middle of the night.

A seven-minute battery backup function will help if there is a power cut, which is ideal as these can usually strike in Winter when you need this light the most. There are five alarm sounds to choose from, as well as a radio option in case you like to listen to your favourite show when waking. There’s also a reading lamp so you can rest before you sleep.

There are quite a few cheaper options out there, which look as though they have been heavily inspired by this design, but we would always recommend going for the bigger well-known names to increase reliability and longevity.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19.9 x 14.6 x 19.2 cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 24H

We like

  • LED light - should last for a few years
  • Gentle sound starts after 30 minutes of light
  • Can adjust volume and brightness

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Brilliant if you suffer from SAD, or simply need to be woken up gently in order to start the day on the right foot

Geemarc Sonic Bomb

Described as a ‘ballistically loud alarm clock’, this is not a device for those who need to ease into the day gently. So if you struggle to get out of bed, sleep through alarms or never stop snoozing, read on.

It comes with a shaker pad which you pop under your pillow. This is designed to physically wake you as well as audibly. Some people need to place their phone under their pillow or near their bed so they can hear/feel the vibrations, but this clock will help if you’d rather not have the phone in the bedroom.

The sound can reach 113dB, which is much louder than modern-day washing machines, vacuums or hairdryers. Over double in most cases, actually. So if you don’t wake up in response and when paired with the vibrations, as Geemarc say – you are probably beyond help.

There are different alarm variations so you can pick the one which you find the most annoying or clearest. A battery back-up will ensure you can tell the time even when the power has gone in the middle of the night, although there will be no noise so you’ll have to hope your natural circadian rhythm kicks in.

The controls are all red to contrast with the black body, so you can easily tell what you’re doing if you need to change the settings. There is also the option to set two separate alarms, so number one can wake you up in the morning and number two can remind you to take medication, get the bins ready or take the dog for a walk.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 17.8 x 15.2 cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 24H

We like

  • Noise and shake work well together
  • Flashing lights as a bonus
  • 1.8m power cable

We dislike

  • A little ugly looking

Final Verdict

Waking up is difficult for anyone, but if it is literally impossible for you, then this gadget is bound to help you out

DreamSky Digital Alarm Clock

One of the best alarm clocks for extra-large display, this clock is ideal if you struggle to see your current model.

You can choose from a red light, white light or blue light for the clock display, so it can be as vivid or as gentle as needed. Furthermore, you can pick the brightness between 0% and 100% using a dimmer wheel on the rear of the unit, getting it to that exact sweet spot.

The large time will help anyone who needs has blurry, unfocused eyes in the morning as well. Just one little glance tells you all you need. If you are also quite a deep sleeper and struggle to hear alarms, then the adjustable alarm volume ranging from 30 to 90 dB should come in handy. Likewise, you may prefer to set it low and get awoken gently.

There are two USB sockets in the back of the clock, one for the power supply and the other to charge your phone or other device. This helps if you’re low on plug space or accessibility. The two AAA battery back-up will save the set time in case of a power cut.

Without any interaction, the alarm will go on for two minutes. It can be set to snooze for eight minutes with a tap on the top of the unit, and a simple button will let you switch it off if you have a day working from home or have hit the weekend.

It is a clear, strong pick if you want something simple and fuss-free, and if the volume and display are two big pointers. Even if you are hard of hearing or sight, you’ll be able to use it, and the affordable price tag doesn’t set you back.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.6 inch x 1.7 inch x 3 inch
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LED
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

We like

  • Choice of backlight colour
  • Large display to edge of screen
  • Good price

We dislike

  • Feels a bit plasticky

Final Verdict

Bright and bold without being overwhelming, and it is simple to operate - the basics of what you need

Acctim Larsen Smartlite® LCD Alarm Clock

Alarm clocks are designed to do one main thing, but the right one can also make a big impact on your aesthetic.

If you like the wooden look when it comes to your accessories, then this model is ideal. The smart oak front, combined with the white rear, makes for a modern yet classic design. It isn’t ruined by garish buttons or switches either, as they all blend into the unit at the top.

Smartlite® technology means a white backlight illuminates the display as the room gets darker, turning it off again during the daytime to prolong the battery life. The time is stretched right across the screen, making it large and easy to read.

We would say that the price is a little high for such a basic bit of kit. We think you’ll be paying a bit for the design and the name, which is worth doing if you want something reliable and to last a good few years.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: H7.5 x W13.6 x D5.7cm
  • Power: 3 x AA batteries
  • Display: LCD
  • Time Display: 12HR

We like

  • Large time display
  • Good backlight
  • Battery-powered

We dislike

  • Back is a bit plasticky

Final Verdict

Looks great and is easy to read thanks to advanced technology

Oregon Scientific Prysma Chrome Weatherstation Alarm Clock

Perfect for all of you science buffs out there, this Oregon clock gives you an awful lot of information.

Sometimes, you want to know more than the time in the mornings. You want to know if it is raining, if it is hot enough for you to leave your coat at home, and if it is uncomfortably humid so you have to wear your short-sleeved shirt.

This clock will give you the indoor and outdoor temperature, indoor and outdoor humidity and the weather forecast (sunny/partly cloudy/cloudy/rainy/snowy). This is all super accurate too, as you get a remote Bluetooth sensor for you to place outside for the outdoor temperature.

The time is radio-controlled so will always be accurate to the millisecond. You won’t even have to adjust it for DST. The best little touch, however, is that the clock display will automatically change pick from one of seven preset colours depending on the outside temperature, from a cool purple and blue when it’s cold to an orange and red when it’s warm.

When the alarm sounds, it gets louder and louder in a crescendo until you finally choose to turn it off. Should you not have to rush out of the door, the eight-minute snooze function will give you a few more precious moments in bed.

The data it gives is interesting, so it would be ideal to use as a weather station in the comfort of your living room or kitchen as opposed to an alarm clock as well.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: H8 x W20 x D2cm
  • Power: Mains/Battery Back-Up
  • Display: LCD
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

We like

  • Slim, sleek design
  • Picks up remote sensor signal from 50m away

We dislike

  • Screen will not be bright or bold enough for some

Final Verdict

Good for a novelty bit of kit for anyone who is interested in all things weather and temperature

TRIXES Silver Desk Top Temperature Alarm Clock

If you travel a lot, then a small clock could come in handy. This one is small and compact, and also folds shut to protect the screen.

It works as an alarm and a clock, so if you’re on a work trip and want to put extra precautions in place to ensure you’re ready and showered for that taxi at 8.30, it can be set in good time. There is a snooze function if you like a bit of a slower wake up, and a countdown timer can allow you to set the exact time you need (or for any other reason you’d need one).

It will also display the day, room temperature and date underneath the time. You can choose to give the time in 12 or 24-hour format, too. For such a small appliance, we really did not expect there to be so much packed in.

The timekeeping isn’t hugely accurate, and it is battery powered, so we would say it is best as a back-up alarm as opposed to your only option if you’re going to rely on it hugely. If you just want it for going on a relaxing holiday and waking up in time for the breakfast buffet though, we would say it does a fine job.

Because of the size, it is fiddly to set and takes a little while to get used to which buttons do what when. There is no backlight or brightness, but it is good enough.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7 x 9cm
  • Power: CR2025 Battery
  • Display: LCD
  • Time Display: 12 or 24H

We like

  • Good to travel with
  • Folds up small

We dislike

  • No backlight
  • Tinny sound from alarm

Final Verdict

A nice price for a digital travel clock if you don’t like the analogue options out there

Clocky Rolling Alarm Clock

The best alarm clock for kids, especially those who you have to basically drag out of bed. Clocky is the original annoying alarm, who will run away, hide, roll, wheel, beep, and jump (up to a 3 feet nightstand) while emitting the alarm sound, so you actually have to get out of bed to turn it off.

The sound is quite loud, which should do the job of waking the user up, and then the hunt begins. You can choose a snooze option if you want to be given one chance to get out of bed of your own accord, but should he have to sound again, the movement starts.

Should you usually be in good spirits, the Clocky will cheer you up before you head downstairs. If not, then it will still do the job it is designed to do. It is battery powered, but these last for a lot of time according to other reviews, which is good.

If somebody you know is heading off to uni or going through exam season, this could be the perfect gift. It works best on a hard floor or short pile carpets, struggling with rugs or thicker carpets, so you’ll need to think about this before buying. You’ll also need a relatively clear area for it to do the job – no good if your teen has clothes and shoes littered everywhere.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm
  • Power: Battery
  • Time Display: 12H

We like

  • Colour options
  • Audible alarm

We dislike

  • The actual time display isn’t the best - more an alarm than anything else
  • Pricey for something which is more on the novelty side

Final Verdict

More of a novelty than the most reliable alarm clock, but a great way to get somebody up on their feet if the noise is going to irk them

Help and Resources

Digital Clock Buying Guide

Size

Think about two things here; how large the actual body of the clock is, and how big the display is.

The body will matter if you’re low on space, such as having a small side table in the bedroom or if you simply don’t want a large, cumbersome clock. Likewise, you may want a bit of a focal point.

Generally, the smaller the body, the smaller the display, but there are still some big models which have lacklustre time sizes. If you struggle with your eyesight, this is going to be important.

Power

The power source is definitely a big consideration. It has to be reliable in order for the clock and alarm not to cut out when you need them the most.

Mains

If your clock is going to permanently be in one place, it is a great idea if you connect it to the mains. In general, this is much more reliable than battery as batteries can run out at unpredictable times.

However, power cuts do happen, as does a simple nudge of the plug. So it could be well worth paying that bit more to get a model which also has a battery backup option. Although it is worth bearing in mind that in most cases, the battery will only keep the time display on and won’t power the alarm noise/alert.

Battery

Some bedrooms just aren’t set up for easy access to plug sockets. If this is the case for yours, then a battery clock could be a great idea. They don’t need a mains connection or wires, which also means a cleaner setup.

Battery clocks are primarily used for travellers, however. If you go on holiday or work away a lot, and don’t like to rely on there being plug sockets by the bed, a battery clock is a reliable solution. They are usually a lot more compact as well, which makes them ideal for taking with you.

Display

The two big choices for digital clock display are LCD and LED. There isn’t a huge difference between the two, so the most important aspects are brightness, adjustable levels of display and colour.

If you don’t want to be woken up by the brightness of your clock, you may wish to pay a bit more for an automatically adjustable display. Otherwise, many are manually changeable so that you can cater it to your eye sensitivity.

There is now another option, too. Some bedside table clocks can project the time onto the wall, which reduces the severity of the brightness and also saves you having to lean over the table to see the display. You’ll need plain walls, but they’re generally easier to see as the display is large.

Time Display

There are two options: 24 hours or 12 hours, or maybe even the option which lets you decide. This all boils down to personal preference really – if you are in bed and the clock says 4:00, you will likely know it is AM.

A few models out there are also analogue and digital in one body, so you can have the best of both worlds and whatever takes your fancy. These could be perfect for a kitchen where some people in the house prefer one over the other.

FAQ’s

I Struggle Waking Up – Which Alarm Clock Is Best For Me?

You are not alone; many of us would love to bounce out of bed at the first sound of the alarm in the morning, but it is simply impossible.

Thankfully, there are loads of clocks out there designed with you in mind. From those which simply give off a loud alarm tone or a ring which gets progressively louder the longer it goes on, to those which can shake your pillow or even run off and hide to force you to get out of bed, the best for you will depend on the way you think can get you on your feet.

So if you’re disturbed by loud noise, pick one which says it can go loud. If you want a gentle wake-up with soft light, get an alarm which can gradually get brighter so the room is filled with light.

What Are The Benefits Of Digital Clocks Over Analogue?

They are much easier to read, firstly. A quick glance will tell you the precise hour and minute (and maybe even second) without having to check the hands.

It can also give a more accurate time, especially if it gives the live time via a radio signal. If it is mains operated, there will likely be no issues with the battery faltering or the clock taking longer than a minute to change the hand.

You may also get extra functions which you wouldn’t with an analogue, such as the ability to tell the weather or humidity, or a timer. And a big fact is that you won’t get that tick-tock noise so synonymous with clocks, giving you a peaceful nights rest.