Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: The 25 deals our editors have added to their carts during

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview image of woman smiling and holding a yellow card
  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale runs from today, July 28, until August 8. On August 9, prices go up.
  • The sale includes women’s style, men’s style, beauty and grooming, home goods, and more.
  • We rounded up the top picks from our personal wishlists to help you shop the sale.

As one of the biggest department stores in the world, Nordstrom is an incredibly popular place to shop year-round, but the best time of the year to shop is right now. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has deals on everything from fashion and footwear to beauty and grooming products and home decor – and the prices are even better than Black Friday.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale officially kicks off today, July 28, and will run until August 8. On August 9, you can expect prices to go back up.

As a team of professional product reviewers, we’ve been scouring through the sale since the deals were available to preview at the beginning of the month, but we’ve also been doing some shopping of our own.

To help you get an idea of what to browse first, we’ve rounded up some of the items from the Insider Reviews team’s personal wishlists. See what we’re most excited to shop from this year’s sale, below.

What the Insider Reviews team is shopping from the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

Riki Skinny 10X Lighted Mirror (medium)501 High Waist Straight Leg Jeans (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Set of 7 Washable Cosmetic Cloths (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Ui Mug & Warmer Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Jumbo Perfect Hair Day Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Anywhere 7-Inch Shorts (medium)Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (medium)City Knee High Boot (medium)Ultra Boost (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Stretch Pique Polo (medium)Feathers Bra (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (medium)Trinity Facial Toning Kit (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)City Buckle Bootie (medium)Jumbo Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (medium)Breast of Both Worlds Reversible Wireless Bra (medium)Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Moonlight Short Pajamas (medium)40-Ounce Wide Mouth Cap Bottle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Prime, Wave Duo & Revive Stick Massage Bundle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)8-Inch & 10-Inch Hard Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Fry Pan Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Maison Blanc Mini Tin Candle Trio (medium)Carbonator III (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Sunfaded Slub Scallop Crew T-Shirt (medium)CozyChic Throw (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 20 best Nordstrom Anniversary Sale deals under $100 – from Spanx, Diptyque, Sperry, and more

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale runs now through August 8.
  • It’s a great time to score deep discounts on top brands, including many that rarely go on sale.
  • We rounded up the best deals under $100 from this year’s sale.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the most highly anticipated shopping events of the year – and it’s happening right now. Until August 8, you can score deep discounts on top brands across men’s, women’s, kids, beauty, grooming, and home. On August 9, everything will go back to full price.

One reason for the sale’s popularity is that many of the best deals won’t cost you more than $100. This year, you’ll find bestsellers like the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra for less than $40 and a set of five Diptyque candles for just $60, among many others. But with prices this good, items don’t stay in stock for long.

To make it easier to sort through the many discounts, we put together a list of the best deals from this year’s sale that are all under $100.

The best under-$100 deals from the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

CozyChic Lite Circle Cardigan (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Leggings (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Red Carpet Strapless Bra (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Moonlight Short Pajamas (medium)Essential Nylon Running Jacket (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Sunfaded Slub Scallop Crew T-Shirt (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Gold Cup Authentic Original Boat Shoe (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Stretch Pique Polo (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)50mm Wayfarer Sunglasses (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer (Refill) (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Renew Pure Radiance Oil Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Lash Enhancing Serum Duo (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Magic Duo Full Size Gold Lush Dry Shampoo & Dry Texturizing Spray Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Fit Compact Hair Dryer (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Self-Cleaning Water Bottle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)The Smart Garden 3 (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Travel Size Scent Candles Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)CozyChic Throw (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)

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The 4 best TV stands in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A great TV stand offers enough storage for devices and media and blends in with your home decor.
  • The Progressive Furniture Willow 74-inch TV Stand is our favorite basic option available online.
  • It offers ample storage, hides cables well, and fits in with several decorating styles.

Building a home theater requires a lot of pieces. Not only will you want a good TV, but you also might have streaming boxes, gaming consoles, audio tuners, soundbars, and so on. You’ll want to store all of those devices in a piece of furniture that looks good, feels organized, and fits well in your home.

Furniture often comes down to personal preference, but there are still certain features that make one TV stand different from another. Some are better suited to soundbars, have more compartments than others, or are easier to build, for example.

You’ll want to think about size first of all. Be sure to measure not only the size of the space where the stand is going to be but also the size of your TV. If your TV is huge, you’ll probably want a TV stand that’s at least as wide, if not a whole lot wider. Plus, it should be very sturdy. You’ll also want to consider how much space you need to store components, especially if you have a lot of streaming boxes and gaming consoles, along with accompanying media.

Budget is also a concern, so we’ve rounded up TV stands in a wide range of prices.

Here are the best TV stands you can buy:

The best TV stand overall

tv stand

The Progressive Furniture Willow 74-Inch Console is big, well-designed, and good-looking. It offers plenty of storage for your devices and media.

Pros: Beautifully designed, lots of storage, room for a soundbar

Cons: Size won’t work for everyone

Looking for a standard-size TV stand with ample storage for your boxes and media? The Progressive Furniture Willow 74-inch TV stand may be the best one for you. It’s big and well-built and looks great.

This piece is built to look a little rustic, but we think it will fit in with a variety of decor styles. It also has a space for a soundbar, though it’s a little narrow. For soundbars wider than 36 inches, you may want to look elsewhere. If you don’t have a soundbar at all, you can just use that space as an extra shelf.

Cupboard doors cover all the shelving, so the TV stand is nice and streamlined. You can hide your messy stack of DVDs and many cables behind closed doors. It’s made from pinewood and medium-density fibreboard (MDF).

Its size isn’t really a downside, but if you have a smaller space for a TV stand, this 74-inch wide piece of furniture may be a little large for your home. It’s also a bit expensive, and you’ll have to assemble it yourself.

The best TV stand with space for a soundbar

south shore

The South Shore Adrian TV Stand looks cool, has lots of storage, and boasts room for a soundbar.

Pros: Big soundbar shelf, lots of storage, good customer service

Cons: Engineered wood is not as high-quality as some others, can’t handle spills

Soundbars are becoming increasingly popular, so you might want a TV stand that has ample room for a wide one. The South Shore Adrian 65-inch TV Stand can support TVs up to 65 inches and 100 pounds, so you know it’s sturdy.

The TV stand has six shelves, four of which are behind glass doors. South Shore also included a super-wide soundbar shelf, which can be used for other things if you don’t have a soundbar.

The piece is available in two colors — black oak and gray maple — which will suit most homes.

You will need to assemble the piece yourself. The instructions are very easy to follow, especially if you’ve assembled furniture before.

South Shore aims to make affordable furniture, and that sometimes comes at the cost of longevity. Engineered wood isn’t the most durable. Don’t rest drinks or place plants that might leak on it, or it will soak the water up like a sponge.

The best budget TV stand

tv stand

The low-profile Vivo VESA TV Stand is simple and minimalistic.

Pros: Simple, minimalistic, inexpensive

Cons: May not be the best for heavier TVs, no storage space

Perhaps you don’t need a ton of storage and want a TV stand that fits into minimalistic decor. If that’s you, then the Vivo VESA Mount Stand is a great buy. This TV stand does away with the furniture part of the equation in favor of two legs that you’ll screw into the holes on the back of your TV, letting it stand on any table.

The legs accommodate TVs from 22-inches to 65-inches, though there are versions of the legs for larger TVs if you have one. The stand supports the universal VESA standard of screw holes on the back of your TV. Chances are your TV conforms to that standard, but you should check to be sure before you buy.

It may not be the best choice for heavier TVs, so check your device’s weight before you purchase the stand.

The best wall-mounted TV stand

tv stand

The South Shore Floating Wall-Mounted Media Console is well-built and offers plenty of storage with a design that helps eliminate clutter.

Pros: Nice floating design, lots of storage, a few color options

Cons: Can’t support as much weight as those with legs, particleboard chips, water will ruin it

Wall-mounted TV stands look great, especially if you wall-mount your TV, too. If you’re looking for a great wall-mounted TV stand, then we recommend the South Shore 56-inch TV Stand. It’s well-designed, and it looks like it’s floating.

There’s a good amount of room for storage, too. The TV stand features six storage spaces, which can be accessed using sliding doors on the front of the piece. There are three sections in total, each with two shelves. On top of that, the TV stand is available in a few different colors. We love the design and think that at least one of these color choices will fit perfectly in any home.

This piece is made with particleboard. It’s going to chip with the remotest bit of abuse. You don’t want to put water anywhere near it, or it will be ruined.

Because the TV stand is wall-mounted, you’ll want to make sure you set it into studs, first and foremost. Even still, be careful with the amount of weight you put on it. South Shore is a budget furniture company, and as such it’s not uncommon to find a few small nicks on your furniture when it arrives.

As many customers note, however, South Shore customer service seems to be pretty good, and the company will likely send out replacements for any defective parts you receive.

Check out our other great furniture guides

ottomans

The best armchairs 


The best ottomans

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Best Amazon Prime Day 2021 Nespresso machine and espresso pod deals

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Prime Day 2021 Nespresso Deals
Pod machines are fairly simple things, and our favorite, the Breville-Nespresso Pixie (above), is as affordable as they get.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is here, and as always, there are deals galore, including discounts on home and kitchen equipment and accessories, like Nespresso machines.

Nespresso machines perform outstanding feats of coffee making given their price and size, and if you like starting your day with an espresso or three, they’re a convenient alternative to four-figure, counter-space-hogging espresso machines.

Plus, now that Nespresso machines have been popular for a while, there is no shortage of third-party brands making capsules for them using fresh coffee: Starbucks, Peet’s, Cafe Bustelo, Kauai Coffee…the list goes on. Since those capsules aren’t exactly cheap, Prime Day is the perfect time to stock up. You can read more about our favorite Nespresso pods below or in our coffee pod buying guide.

Make sure your Prime membership is up to date, as you can only take advantage of discounts if you’re signed up. For more Prime Day coverage, follow the best Prime Day kitchen appliance deals.

Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

The best Prime Day 2021 deals on Nespresso machines

Nespresso machines produce a velvety, viscous, frothy coffee that is about as close to espresso as possible without being espresso, precisely. Our favorite pod espresso machines from our buying guide include the Nespresso Pixie by Breville and the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima One Espresso Machine. The Pixie is our go-to choice for a simple, compact machine that will get the job done. If you’re making espresso drinks requiring steamed milk, you may prefer the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima, which has a built-in frother. We’ll keep an eye on those two models to see if they go on sale, but for now we’ve listed some solid alternatives below. These are the best Nespresso machine deals available today:

Vertuo Next Bundle with Aeroccino and pods (small)Vertuo Next Machine + Capsules (small)Vertuo Next Machine + Capsule Set (small)

Best Prime Day 2021 Nespresso Pod deals

Nespresso pods are a quick and easy solution to an espresso-like drink at home, and because there are more and more third-party brands out there, there are plenty of options for fresh and even compostable Nespresso pods. If you’re more the DIY type, you can buy refillable capsules, which let you customize the pod with whatever coffee you desire. Read more about the best Nespresso pods in our guide. Here are the best Nespresso pod deals today:

40-pack of Espresso Pods (small)Espresso Variety Pack (small)50-capsule variety pack (small)100-pack of Nespresso-compatible capsules (small)

Best Nespresso accessory deals for Prime Day 2021

You can accessorize your pod machines with frothers, refillable capsules, capsule holders and storage boxes, tasting cups and drinkware, syrups, and more. Here are the best Nespresso accessory deals today:

MilkBoss Milk Frother (small)Reusable Nespresso Capsules (small)

Other Great Prime Day 2021 coffee machine and coffee deals

Of course, Nespresso isn’t the only big name in coffee worth purchasing. We’re also seeing great deals on some of our favorite drip coffee machines, traditional espresso machines, and other pod coffee makers. Here are the best deals on coffee machines and accessories happening right now:

14-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker (small)K-Slim Coffee Maker (small)100 Dark-Roast Keurig Pods (small)

How to choose the right Nespresso machine

Nespresso machines come in various forms, but the basic thing to consider is whether or not you want an ESE (paper) pod or capsule machine. Capsule machines are more versatile and what we primarily recommend, at least for now, because there are so many third-party options, including refillable capsules so that you can grind and load your own fresh coffee. Just keep in mind that this is time-consuming.

We tested pod coffee machines and really liked the Nespresso Pixie by Breville and the Nespresso De’Longhi Lattissima One Espresso Machine. The Pixie is the best choice for most people because it’s compact, easy to use, and not too expensive. The Lattissima might be a better choice if you plan on making espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, since it has a built-in frother, but it requires careful cleaning and we’re not sold on it. Keep in mind that the frother poses a significant upgrade in price – we usually see the Lattissima retailing for $100 more than the Pixie. Instead, consider a simple, inexpensive hand wand milk frother like the Powerlix Milk Pro, our top pick from our milk frother buying guide, to save a significant chunk of change.

FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event exclusively for Prime members. During the event, there are millions of deals across every category imaginable. During the event, prices are competitive and can beat out deals we see during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is live now and runs through Tuesday, June 22, but we expect to continue to see deals afterward. Some deals are only available on one of the two days, while others are available during the entire event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes. If you’re already a Prime member, you’re all set to start shopping deals. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial right now to access Prime Day.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Memorial Day grill sales ending soon – including deals from The Home Depot, Butcherbox, and Omaha Steaks

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

home depot gas grills
  • Grilling deals are pretty rare, but Memorial Day is a great time of year to find some.
  • We’ve rounded up the best grill and grill accessories sales going on below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Memorial Day is here, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill, throw on some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, and enjoy a nice barbecue with your friends and family. It’s also the best time to find grilling deals.

If you’re wondering what grills to be looking for, read our guides to the best gas grills and the best charcoal grills.

Below you’ll find the best sales on grilling equipment from around the web this Memorial Day weekend. We’ve also outlined everything you can expect from Memorial Day grill sales in the FAQ section. If you’re looking for more deals, check out our coverage on spring deals and Memorial Day mattress deals, plus all our deals coverage here.

Keep reading to learn about the best deals on grills or find more Memorial Day sales here

The best deals on grills we like

Genesis II E-315 3 burner Liquid Propane Grill (medium)Signature 21-Inch Kamado Grill & Smoker (medium)Griller’s Meal Pack (medium)Thermapen Mk4 (medium)Searing Grill (medium)
The best deals on grills and grilling equipment

  • Ace Hardware: Save on select grills.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members, save up to 25% on select BBQ tools.
  • BBQ GuysSave on select grills and grilling accessories.
  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
  • Lowe’s: Save up to $150 on select pellet grills.
  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
  • Sur La Table: Save up to 50% on select grilling products and other kitchen gear during Memorial Day weekend. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $75.
  • Target: Save on select grills and accessories
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: Save with new deals added regularly.
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best deals on meat and seafood for grilling

  • Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.
  • Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.
  • Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.
  • Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $25 with your order.

FAQs

When do Memorial Day grills sales start?

Grill discounts start appearing steadily between January and Memorial Day, as retailers attempt to empty their inventory of old models before new grill models launch in the late spring. 

What grills are typically discounted on Memorial Day?

The best grill discounts will vary by retailer, but you can bet that most retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target will be offering discounts on major brands like Weber, Dyna-Glo, Nexgrill, and more.

When is the best time to buy a grill?

We typically see major sales on grills around Memorial Day (the start of grilling season) and Labor Day (when grill season winds down). You can also find solid deals throughout the colder months as stores attempt to empty their inventory in anticipation of new model launches in the spring. We recommend jumping on good grill deals before the summer months really get underway and stock is in high demand. 

What grill should I buy?

The best grill for you depends on how often you grill, how many people you cook for, and what you typically make. We think most people will get the most out of a gas grill because they’re versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can find our top gas grill picks in our buying guide

If you like to make barbecue or other foods that are cooked low and slow, a charcoal grill may be a better bet. They take more time to get up and running each time you want to cook, but impart a rich, smoky flavor on the food and you never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of cooking. You can read more about our picks for best charcoal grill here.

The next step up from a charcoal grill would be a smoker. We recommend looking into smokers only if you cook barbecue very regularly and have already tested the limits of a charcoal grill. Read more about the best smokers here.

Finally, there are specialty grills like salamander grills, pizza ovens, flat-top grills, hibachi-style grills, and more. You may want to consider these types of grills if you find that a standard gas or charcoal grill isn’t meeting your needs for the type of cooking you’re doing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Memorial Day grilling deals including grills, meat, and grilling accessories

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

home depot gas grills
  • Grilling deals are pretty rare, but Memorial Day is a great time of year to find some.
  • We’ve rounded up the best grill and grill accessories sales going on below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Memorial Day Weekend is here, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill, throw on some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, and enjoy a nice barbecue with your friends and family. It’s also the best time to find grilling deals.

If you’re wondering what grills to be looking for, read our guides to the best gas grills and the best charcoal grills.

Below you’ll find the best sales on grilling equipment from around the web this Memorial Day weekend. We’ve also outlined everything you can expect from Memorial Day grill sales in the FAQ section. If you’re looking for more deals, check out our coverage on spring deals and Memorial Day mattress deals, plus all our deals coverage here.

Keep reading to learn about the best deals on grills or find more Memorial Day sales here

The best deals on grills we like

Genesis II E-315 3 burner Liquid Propane Grill (medium)Signature 21-Inch Kamado Grill & Smoker (medium)Griller’s Meal Pack (medium)Thermapen Mk4 (medium)Searing Grill (medium)
The best deals on grills and grilling equipment

  • Ace Hardware: Save on select grills.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members, save up to 25% on select BBQ tools.
  • BBQ GuysSave on select grills and grilling accessories.
  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
  • Lowe’s: Save up to $150 on select pellet grills.
  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
  • Sur La Table: Save up to 50% on select grilling products and other kitchen gear during Memorial Day weekend. Plus, you’ll get free shipping on orders over $75.
  • Target: Save on select grills and accessories
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: Save with new deals added regularly.
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best deals on meat and seafood for grilling

  • Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.
  • Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.
  • Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.
  • Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $25 with your order.

FAQs

When do Memorial Day grills sales start?

Grill discounts start appearing steadily between January and Memorial Day, as retailers attempt to empty their inventory of old models before new grill models launch in the late spring. 

What grills are typically discounted on Memorial Day?

The best grill discounts will vary by retailer, but you can bet that most retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target will be offering discounts on major brands like Weber, Dyna-Glo, Nexgrill, and more.

When is the best time to buy a grill?

We typically see major sales on grills around Memorial Day (the start of grilling season) and Labor Day (when grill season winds down). You can also find solid deals throughout the colder months as stores attempt to empty their inventory in anticipation of new model launches in the spring. We recommend jumping on good grill deals before the summer months really get underway and stock is in high demand. 

What grill should I buy?

The best grill for you depends on how often you grill, how many people you cook for, and what you typically make. We think most people will get the most out of a gas grill because they’re versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can find our top gas grill picks in our buying guide

If you like to make barbecue or other foods that are cooked low and slow, a charcoal grill may be a better bet. They take more time to get up and running each time you want to cook, but impart a rich, smoky flavor on the food and you never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of cooking. You can read more about our picks for best charcoal grill here.

The next step up from a charcoal grill would be a smoker. We recommend looking into smokers only if you cook barbecue very regularly and have already tested the limits of a charcoal grill. Read more about the best smokers here.

Finally, there are specialty grills like salamander grills, pizza ovens, flat-top grills, hibachi-style grills, and more. You may want to consider these types of grills if you find that a standard gas or charcoal grill isn’t meeting your needs for the type of cooking you’re doing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Memorial Day grill sales on grills, meat, and grilling accessories you can shop now

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

lede

  • We’re highlighting the best grill deals you can expect this season.
  • Memorial Day is one of the best times to shop for grills, and we’ve organized some exclusive deals with several brands.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill, throw on some burgers, steaks, and hot dogs, and enjoy a nice barbecue with your friends and family.

If you don’t own a grill or the one you have has seen better days, you’re in luck. This week, Insider Reviews has arranged a bunch of deals on grills, grilling meat, and grilling accessories to help you get started. If you’re wondering what grills to be looking for, read our guides to the best gas grills and the best charcoal grills.

Below you’ll find our exclusive deals, plus the best sales on grilling equipment from around the web this Memorial Day. We’ve also outlined everything you can expect from Memorial Day grill sales in the FAQ section. If you’re looking for more deals, check out our coverage on spring deals and Memorial Day mattress deals, plus all our deals coverage here.

Keep reading to learn about the best deals on grills or find more Memorial Day sales here

The best deals on grills we like

Genesis II E-315 3 burner Liquid Propane Grill (medium)Signature 21-Inch Kamado Grill & Smoker (medium)Griller’s Meal Pack (medium)Thermapen Mk4 (medium)Searing Grill (medium)
The best deals on grills and grilling equipment

  • Ace Hardware: Savings across select grills
  • BBQ GuysSave on select grills and grilling accessories.
  • The Home Depot: Savings of up to 40% on select grills.
  • Lowe’s: Save up to $150 on select pellet grills.
  • Walmart: Select grills and grilling accessories on sale. 
  • Target: Save on select grills and accessories.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Select savings for Beyond+ members, save up to 25% on select BBQ tools
  • Traeger: Free grill cover and pellets with select grill purchases.
  • ThermoWorks: Save with new deals added regularly.
  • Wayfair: Save hundreds of dollars on grills, smokers, and outdoor cooking appliances. 
  • Overstock: Save up to 20% on select grills and outdoor cooking accessories.

The best deals on meat and seafood for grilling

  • Butcherbox: Get a free BBQ Bundle for new and canceled customers through May 31.
  • Chicago Steak Company: Get free shipping plus 12 free 4-ounce burgers with orders over $99 with promo code FREEGIFTS.
  • Cooks Venture: Get $20 off your first order with promo code TRYCV.
  • Omaha Steaks: Get 50% off summer grilling favorites.
  • Thrive Market: Get a free gift worth up to $25 with your order.

FAQs

When do Memorial Day grills sales start?

Grill discounts start appearing steadily between January and Memorial Day, as retailers attempt to empty their inventory of old models before new grill models launch in the late spring. 

What grills are typically discounted on Memorial Day?

The best grill discounts will vary by retailer, but you can bet that most retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Target will be offering discounts on major brands like Weber, Dyna-Glo, Nexgrill, and more.

When is the best time to buy a grill?

We typically see major sales on grills around Memorial Day (the start of grilling season) and Labor Day (when grill season winds down). You can also find solid deals throughout the colder months as stores attempt to empty their inventory in anticipation of new model launches in the spring. We recommend jumping on good grill deals before the summer months really get underway and stock is in high demand. 

What grill should I buy?

The best grill for you depends on how often you grill, how many people you cook for, and what you typically make. We think most people will get the most out of a gas grill because they’re versatile, easy to use, and easy to clean. You can find our top gas grill picks in our buying guide

If you like to make barbecue or other foods that are cooked low and slow, a charcoal grill may be a better bet. They take more time to get up and running each time you want to cook, but impart a rich, smoky flavor on the food and you never have to worry about running out of propane in the middle of cooking. You can read more about our picks for best charcoal grill here.

The next step up from a charcoal grill would be a smoker. We recommend looking into smokers only if you cook barbecue very regularly and have already tested the limits of a charcoal grill. Read more about the best smokers here.

Finally, there are specialty grills like salamander grills, pizza ovens, flat-top grills, hibachi-style grills, and more. You may want to consider these types of grills if you find that a standard gas or charcoal grill isn’t meeting your needs for the type of cooking you’re doing.

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Our honest review of FTD, the best flower service for same-day and international delivery

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Best flower delivery 2021 FTD 4x3

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyFlower Delivery Service (small)

Sometimes you really just need to send some flowers fast – moments of sympathy or apology, last-minute gifts, or when an unexpected celebration is in order.

While many popular online flower delivery services like the Bouqs and UrbanStems offer next-day delivery options, they stop short of same-day delivery, or they only offer it in select urban areas.

For same-day flowers, your options are usually: pick something up from the store, find a florist, or use a floral wire service like 1-800-Flowers, Teleflora, or Florists’ Transworld Delivery Service (FTD). While I always prefer to support small businesses when I can, floral wire services are a great option when your recipient lives far away and you don’t know a local florist.

I’ve used both 1-800-Flowers and FTD in the past to send flowers in a pinch, but never seen the end result. Recently, I had the opportunity to try both as part of our guide to the best flower delivery service, and I was far more impressed with FTD’s selection, prices, quality, and delivery experience. Here’s why FTD is now my go-to for same-day flowers.

How it works

FTD has been in the flower delivery business for more than 100 years and offers delivery to all 50 states and more than 150 countries. In most cases, as long as you place your order before 2 p.m. at your recipient’s local time, you’ll have the option of getting it delivered the same day. In order to make this happen, FTD often partners with local florists to fulfill and deliver orders (though some products, like plants, may ship via UPS from FTD).

Once you put in your delivery address and choose a delivery time, you’ll be presented with a range of floral design options in different styles and at different price points. Shipping starts at $17.99, but you may have to pay more for weekend delivery or expedited delivery to Hawaii and Alaska. Expect to pay at least another $5 for a “same-day” fee on top of shipping.

Review of FTD

FTD’s product selection encompasses flowers, plants, gift baskets, edible arrangements, chocolate, and other gifts. While there are lots of options, the site is surprisingly easy to navigate. I put in my address and a few different delivery dates to see how that impacted what was available.

FTD flower delivery service review 2021 plant
The Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant we ordered from FTD.

According to the website, 114 bouquets are usually available in my area with enough lead time, but with same-day delivery, my options were limited to about 37 (though this still represented a wide range of styles and prices). The available arrangements primarily include flowers like roses, lilies, carnations, and sunflowers, in bright colors like yellow, red, and pink. While this makes sense since those are fairly hearty flowers that are popular and almost always in stock at florists, the overall vibe of the arrangements is more traditional than modern.

I placed one order to be delivered to myself and one to a coworker in Seattle. We ordered the Charm & Comfort Bouquet for same-day delivery and a Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant for delivery later in the week to evaluate the experience of receiving an arrangement delivered by a partner florist and a plant from FTD via UPS.

FTD flower delivery service review 2021 bouquet
The “Charm & Comfort Bouquet” we ordered from FTD.

Your delivery experience will vary based on the florist that fills your order, but both our Seattle tester and I received fuller, fresher flowers and plants from FTD than from other similar same-day services like 1-800-Flowers. The colors in my bouquet were more muted and the vase I received was different than in the picture on FTD’s website, but I actually ended up liking the colors I received better and some variation is expected with all flowers based on what’s fresh and available. My bouquet was in excellent condition and lasted a little more than two weeks.

The delivery experience was a bit odd; I got a message saying my flowers had been delivered when they very clearly had not. A few hours later, my doorbell rang and my flowers actually appeared. While it was still within the estimated delivery times, the false delivery message threw me for a loop.

I also, of course, included an encouraging note to myself to be delivered with the flowers. The florist who delivered the arrangement hand-wrote the note, but did so on a “get well” card. I had a good laugh about it, but it may not have been so funny if I was delivering to a loved one. A big caveat on all this, however, is that all these delivery quirks were a product of the florist that delivered my arrangement and not FTD. So just keep in mind your mileage may vary.

FTD flower delivery service review 2021 note
The note that came with my bouquet. I wrote an encouraging message to myself. Oddly, it came hand-written on a “get well” card.

Cons to consider

To me, the fact that your experience can vary wildly based on who fills your order is the biggest con of using any floral wire service. While FTD vets all of its floral providers, there’s still no way of knowing just who might end up filling your order.

The arrangements also lean more toward traditional colors and flowers, which may not be everyone’s style. Traditional arrangements aren’t particularly my cup of tea, though I was able to find something I liked a lot after weeding through the options.

The service was also quite pricey. The bouquet itself was priced reasonably, but once you tacked on tax, delivery, and a “same-day fee,” my bouquet ended up costing around $140. This was a bit sneaky, because the upfront cost of the bouquet made it look cheaper than other options like UrbanStems or Farmgirl Flowers, but the added fees actually made FTD pricier overall.

What are your alternatives?

If you have more than a day to get flowers to your recipient, you have many more options that may suit their tastes or preferences better. We particularly like UrbanStems, which we named the best flower delivery service in our guide. It offers next-day delivery to most of the US, and same-day delivery in New York City and Washington, D.C.

If you’re pressed for time, need to send flowers internationally or to harder-to-reach parts of the US, a floral wire service like FTD is your best bet. There are other similar services like 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora, but we have been less impressed with bouquets we’ve received from them.

The bottom line

If you need flowers in a pinch, FTD is the best same-day service we’ve found. It’s also a great option if you need to send flowers internationally or to Alaska or Hawaii, where many other services don’t deliver.

Pros: Orders filled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants, and gifts

Cons: Experience can vary based on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modern

Flower Delivery Service (button)

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The 5 best sunrise alarm clocks for waking up gently in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Sunrise alarm clocks use light and natural sounds to help you fall asleep and wake up more gently.
  • I tested seven sunrise alarm clocks, consulted two doctors, and used my background in sleep research to find the best.
  • Our favorite is the Philips Smartsleep Connected because it’s very customizable and analyzes bedroom conditions.

If you’ve ever woken up to a traditional alarm clock, you know that a blaring alarm early in the morning can be quite jarring. Sunrise alarm clocks (sometimes called wake-up lamps) simulate a natural and gradual sunrise with a range of soft orange and yellow LED lights for a gentler wake up experience. The simulated natural light from these devices can purportedly help with your mental health, too. Many wake-up lamps combine light therapy with sound meditation and breathing techniques to create a more calming sleep environment and help regulate circadian rhythms – the natural ebb and flow of hormones that tell us when to go to sleep and when to wake up.

Dr. Alex Dimitriu, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine, told us that the gentle stimulus from sunrise alarm clocks starts getting the body out of deeper sleep stages, and closer to wakefulness. “Whether it’s a gradual sound or light alarm, wake-up lamps can help better prepare the body to wake up more gently, with less startle,” Dimitriu said.

Sunrise alarm clocks can also help reduce the effects of sleep inertia, that drowsy, disorienting feeling that a lot of us experience after abruptly waking up. “Sudden awakenings can lead to sudden changes in cortisol and other neurotransmitters that could cause problems,” said Dr. William Winter of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine. “Waking up with a gradual increase in wake-promoting light makes a lot of sense,” Winter said, which is why sunrise alarm clocks might be a better option than regular alarm clocks.

In addition to consulting two experts, I leaned on my own experience in sleep science for this guide. I previously managed a sleep laboratory for two years and continue to contribute to sleep research. I’ve presented some of my research at Eastern Psychological Association and have tested products for SleepScore Labs. Given my research background, I think it’s important that any new product you bring into your sleep routine be backed by research. That’s why I tested seven sunrise alarm clocks, using each for three consecutive days and nights to evaluate how effective, easy use, and durable they are. You can read more about how we tested here.

Here are the best sunrise alarm clocks in 2021

The best sunrise alarm clock overall

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 philips smartsleep connected

The Philips Smartsleep Connected can help you fall asleep gently and wake up on time with stunning sunset and sunrise simulations. It monitors your sleep environment and makes recommendations to improve it.

Pros: Smartphone connected; allows you to customize duration, color, sound, and intensity of wake-up and wind-down programs; makes recommendations for improving sleep environment; can set up to 16 alarms

Cons: Occupies a lot of space on nightstand, does not play music via Bluetooth, not a good option for those who prefer manual controls 

The Philips Smartsleep Connected is a relatively large sunrise lamp that sort of resembles a glowing donut. Its controlled almost entirely from your phone an app (available for iOS or Android).

The app allows you to customize “wind-down” and “wake-up” profiles with your preferred sound, light intensity, and duration, and I found it very easy and intuitive to use. The stunning sunset simulation was my favorite feature: the brightness gradually decreases from beautiful hues of bright yellows to soft reds, and is accompanied by natural relaxing sounds that fade away with the sunset. Your personal sunset can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour and you can choose from four color schemes with inviting names such as “Caribbean red” and “Nordic white,” and four nighttime ambient sounds like “soft rain,” “summer lake,” or even your preferred FM radio station. 

I woke up to “summer birds” and an “island red” sunrise with warm red and orange lights that distributed nicely throughout the bedroom. The combination made me feel like I was on vacation. You can also set up to 16 alarms; a useful option for people who tend to hit the snooze button. 

The device also tracks your sleep habits and and lets you know if your bedroom is too hot, humid, bright, or loud for optimal sleep. Other features guided meditations, a night light, back-up battery in case of power failures, USB charging dock for your devices, an AUX cord to play music from your phone, and a bright reading light. Unfortunately, you can’t wake up to music from your phone or anything else connected through the AUX cord, and it does not play music via Bluetooth. 

The technology has been backed by research: in a 2010 study, participants reported easier rising; better mood, productivity, and quality of social interaction; and reduced sleep inertia after using Philips sunrise lamps.

I’ve now used the device for many months. I still love falling asleep and waking up with this sunrise alarm clock, and in the winter months I’ve noticed that it’s light therapy has helped lessen the effects of my seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In all, its customization and user friendly app make it the best choice if you’re investing in one of these wake-up devices. 

Read our full review of the Philips Smartsleep Connected

The best mid-priced sunrise alarm clock

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 Hatch restore

The Hatch Restore has the most light options and sleep sounds of any model we tried and they’re all fully controlled through its multifunctional Hatch Sleep app.

Pros: More than 30 sound options and 20 light options to choose from, guided meditations, fully personalized sleep and wake-up routines through the app

Cons: Not a good option if you don’t like to rely on an app, doesn’t play music, guided meditations only available with subscription, must be connected to Wi-Fi to use

The Hatch Restore sunrise alarm clock connects via Bluetooth to your phone and, with the free smartphone app (available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play), you can set your personalized bedtime routine and more than 18 alarms. Setting up the Hatch is easy even though it doesn’t come with traditional instructions. Instead, the box contains a small card with a link to the instructions online. There are so many features to choose from, including a bedside reading light, guided meditations, sleep stories, wind-down profiles, and sleep routines; all of which are fully customizable. It has more than 30 soothing sleep sounds and many more light therapy options than any of the products we tried, including nighttime shades, warm oranges, and soft relaxing pastels, which I loved while listening to meditations. What’s great about the Hatch is that users can fully personalize every part of their sleep schedule according to their preferences; you can add up to 10 steps to create a routine to fall asleep. 

My routine consisted of three simple steps. First, I got into bed and read my book using the coral nighttime light for 30 minutes while listening to the “sea wind” sound. Then I wound down with a soft pink light and the “meeting sleep with ease” meditation. Finally, I fell asleep to an orange light and the sound of rain. You can also set how long each step is. I was concerned about the digital clock display being too bright during the night, but you’re able to turn it off completely or set it so that it will turn off by itself at your preferred time — a great feature for total darkness that also contributes to a good sleep environment. I also really enjoyed the variety of the guided meditations, which include breathing techniques, body scans, and relaxing sleep affirmations. The Hatch is well-designed with a nice half-moon shape that simulates a natural sunrise and, at 7.5 inches long, it didn’t take up too much of my nightstand. It’s a good device with a lot of light and sound options to create your own sleep routines. 

Unlike some sunrise alarm clocks, the Hatch does require users to download the app and to have a stable Wi-Fi connection in order to use the device; without either, it’s basically useless. All its features are controlled through the Hatch Sleep app, but the device itself includes a few soft-touch buttons for volume and brightness. Unfortunately, many of the guided sleep meditations can only be accessed by subscribing for $49.99 a year or $4.99 a month (though the first six months are free). Another thing to note is that the device doesn’t immediately connect to your smartphone every time you open its companion app; it usually takes a few seconds to connect. I personally did not have an issue waiting five seconds for the app to open but other users might find it annoying. It also does not play music or radio.

The best sunrise alarm clock on a budget

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 iHome

The iHome Zenergy Dream Mini produces a soft sunrise and will gradually wake you up with your favorite song. For the price, it’s packed with a lot of features that will help you wake up in a better mood. 

Pros: Lots of customizable options, pairs with Bluetooth to play music from your phone, won’t take up too much space on your nightstand

Cons: The light intensity might be too low for some, most functions cannot be controlled through a smartphone, only two alarms

The iHome Zenergy Dream Mini is a tiny sleep therapy machine packed with tons of features and customizable options. The instructions include really useful tips on how to properly meditate with the device and a brief section on the importance of maintaining good circadian rhythms.

What I love about the Zenergy Dream Mini is the option to wake up to my own Spotify playlist; a feature that other wake-up lamps I tested lack. The mini device paired up quickly and smoothly with my iPhone every single time with no issues, and I was able to wake up to a gentle simulated sunrise and my favorite song. The sound quality is honestly pretty good for such a small device. However, even though you can choose and play your music through Bluetooth, this device does not have an accompanying app, so you can’t control any other features with your smartphone.

Instead, you control most of its functionality through 15 buttons on the top of the device. It has a lot of options that have to be set up manually but the instructions are helpful and the settings are fairly easy to navigate. The time also has to be set up manually but will purportedly adjust during daylight saving time automatically, and the built-in battery maintains the time and alarm settings in the event of a power outage. One of its key features is the “ZENERGY” button, which activates calming sounds accompanied by gentle, colorful lights. It is customizable with the “fall asleep” and “stay asleep” buttons, which let you choose from a nice selection of sound and light options including a guided breathing meditation, 13 relaxing sounds, and nine calming light therapy cycles. My favorite is the “heart” sound because it promotes steady breathing patterns and pairs well with the “breath” light color therapy.

The snooze button is large and strategically placed in front of all the buttons, so I didn’t have to struggle to hit snooze in the morning. However, you can only set two alarms and snooze only lasts up to nine minutes. The light from this mini device might also be too soft for some individuals who need brighter hues in order to wake up. Still, this sunrise alarm clock is priced much lower than other options and offers great functionality if you’re just starting to dabble in light therapy.

The best portable sunrise alarm clock

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 Casper Glow LIght

The Casper Glow Light is uniquely designed as a wireless, portable night light, and uses intuitive gestures and a streamlined design to create a beautiful and simple experience.

Pros: Beautiful warm lights, portable, pairs with multiple Glow Lights for a bedroom light show, intuitive and easy to operate with simple gestures

Cons: Lacks sound, requires smartphone app for expanded features like setting sleep and wake times

Casper Glow Light is a small portable cylinder that can be easily controlled with just a few gestures: flip to turn on, rotate to increase and decrease the amount of light, and wiggle to turn on the night light. The device is small, softly lit, and smartly designed with gentle, warm hues of light for better sleep.

The light charges wirelessly and pairs with an app that is also very simple to use. While you can operate the light without it, the app (available on the Apple App Store and on Google Play) is a must if you want to set wake-up and wind-down times, which cue a sunset or sunrise that can last from 15 to 90 minutes.

One of the unique features of the Glow Light is that it synchronizes with other Glow Lights to make pretty light shows. Once you have more than one, you can name each and “group” or “ungroup” them through the app. I used two lights together and found they set a very tranquil mood.

The night light feature is very useful for when you wake up and want to avoid turning on bright lights that could disrupt your ability to fall back to sleep. The light was easy and fun to carry around during the night when I went on a mission downstairs to get a glass of water. It’s made with polycarbonate to resist bumps and endure falls, so is great for kids to use as well. 

Falling asleep with my pair of Glow Lights was such a treat. The soft, warm lights create a tranquil sleep environment, gradually dim to slowly relax you, and then turn completely off for total darkness. The Casper Glow Lights are made with high-quality warm LEDs that were effective in waking me up gently. However, the device focuses solely on effective light therapy and, unlike other models we tested, it completely excludes sound. It might not be the best option for heavy sleepers who require some noise to wake up; you’ll still need to set a phone alarm if you really need a rise out of bed. That said, it’s a beautiful device that makes for a very tranquil bedroom environment.

Read our full review of the Casper Glow Light

The best sunrise alarm clock with all manual controls

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 Phillips wake up

The Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light has a unique spherical design that creates a beautiful sunrise simulation, and features many of the same premium settings as the more expensive Philips Smartsleep Connected. 

Pros: Creates the best sunrise simulation, very user-friendly and simple, fully manual

Cons: Very limited sound options, doesn’t have an app if you’re someone who prefers a connected device

A less expensive option from Philips, the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light has fewer customizable options and features than the Philips Smartsleep Connected and is completely manual; no app needed. I recommend this one if you’re looking for something simple, but still high-quality and efficient. It’s one of Philips’ best selling sunrise alarm clocks because of its impressive colored sunrise simulations and relaxing sunsets.

I had no problem setting the time and alarms with the easy-to-follow instructions. Falling asleep to this lamp was very relaxing; the sunset simulation therapy works just as well as the Philips Smartsleep Connected and the display automatically dims as the room gets darker, great for cocooning yourself in total darkness. Waking up with this lamp was such a pleasant experience; the gradual and natural sunrise simulation increased in the span of 30 minutes until it completely flooded my bedroom with beautiful, rich, orange and yellow lights and the gentle sounds of “Nepal bowls.” You can choose from five different natural wake-up sounds including beautiful “birds” and “ocean waves,” or your preferred FM radio station. The snooze feature is unique: a single slight tap anywhere on the device snoozes the lamp for nine minutes.  

It’s also one of Philips’ sunrise alarm clocks that is clinically proven to help you feel more ready for the day, and I have to admit that it did a great job at waking me up feeling refreshed in the morning. I personally prefer this Philips model’s smooth, spherical shape and smaller size over the Philips Smartsleep Connected, although I wish it connected to the app for more customization. I missed the extra features in the Philips Sleepmapper app when I used this model, like the sleep environment monitoring and extended customization. I hope Philips comes out with a new sunrise alarm clock that features all of the Philips Smartsleep Connected options but is shaped like this model to simulate that beautiful, natural sunrise.

What else we tested

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 What else we considered

I tested seven sunrise alarm clocks as part of this guide and unfortunately, some didn’t make the cut. 

What we don’t recommend and why

Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 ($159.00): The Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 doesn’t connect to an app and setting it up manually took me multiple tries and many minutes, as it comes with a set of lengthy, non-intuitive instructions that involve a lot of clicking around on the device. The daily alarm has to be turned on manually every single night before going to bed; if you fall asleep before you do, you’re out of luck for your morning alarm. The sound options are interesting, to say the least. I chose to wake up to “kittens purring” because the other options were not exactly what I would prefer waking up to; for example, there was “ping-pong,” “steam train,” “goats,” and “café,” among the 15 odd sounds. Made by a British company, the device only provides a 24-hour clock, which is somewhat inconvenient if you’re used to a 12-hour clock. That being said, the device and its lights do simulate a nice sunset and sunrise. The light progression is smooth and it has gentle levels of brightness. Although it has a lot of customizable options, they can be quite frustrating to set up.

AMTOK Smart Wake Up Light ($45.99): I was excited to try this smart sunrise alarm clock because of its voice control function. However, setting it up was so complicated and time-consuming that I quickly got discouraged. First, it comes with two sets of instructions with different information on how to connect the device to your phone, but neither appeared to be up-to-date to the model I was testing. Second, it only supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks, which transmit data at lower speeds and are prone to interference; likely why it failed to wake me up in the morning on multiple occasions. While the device has features that you can control through the app, they’re very limited; just a few sound and light options. The color loop option is nice but I found its light intensity somewhat dull and not very relaxing. It’s a device that you have to learn to get used to — if you have the patience. 

Methodology

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 Our methodology

In addition to interviewing sleep experts Dr. Alex Dimitriu, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine, and Dr. William Winter of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, I did hands-on testing with seven different sunrise alarm clocks. As a sleep researcher who managed a sleep lab for two years, part of my research involved investigating strategies to reduce sleep inertia (like using sunrise alarm clocks), so I also relied on my own background in sleep research and product testing to evaluate each product over several nights. I tested each sunrise alarm clock according to the following criteria: 

Setup: For each of the lamps, I paid close attention to how difficult or easy it was to set up on my nightstand. I noted how accurate and helpful their instructions were and what it was like to set the time and alarms. I also evaluated how heavy they were and how much space they occupied on my bedside table. 

Performance: I used each wake-up lamp for a minimum of three consecutive days and nights to get used to the routine and noted whether or not they woke me up on time and with the features (such as sound and light color) I chose. I took notes on what it was like to fall asleep with their wind-down features, and paid particular attention to the wake up experience. I woke up at the same time every morning with each alarm clock to keep my experiences consistent, and noted how I felt and how much sleep inertia I experienced. I also evaluated the sound and light quality of each, and how easy or difficult it was to snooze the back-up alarm (if it had one).

Special features: I tested out any additional and unique features of each sunrise alarm clock, such as speakers, Bluetooth integration, guided meditations, and accompanying mobile apps. I noted whether or not these extra features were actually helpful and easy to use. 

Durability: In order to test how durable and resistant each alarm clock was, I knocked every one off my nightstand and checked to see if any parts came loose or broke. Fortunately, all of them passed this test. I also took note of each product’s materials and their warranty. 

Long-term use: Since original testing, I’ve continued to regularly use our top picks and will report back about their durability over time.

What we’re testing next

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 What we look forward to testing

We’re continuing to research and test the best wake up lamp alarm clocks; here are some models on our horizon.

  • Hatch Rest+ ($89.99): Hatch recently came out with a new Hatch Rest+ smart lamp. Its features include a sound machine, night light, and a “time-to-rise” feature that cues your child when it’s time to sleep and when it’s okay to get up. It also has an audio monitor, backup battery, and you can control it with Amazon Alexa (but not Google Home). You can even “dress it up” with cute coverlets to make it fun for babies and children. It’s received a ton of great reviews from parents and I’m excited to test its integration with Alexa. 
  • Lexon Miami Sunrise Wake Up Lamp  ($79.90): I really want to try this sunrise alarm clock because it’s shaped just like the Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light HF3520/60 and costs a fraction of the price. It’s very sleek and modern looking and comes in three color options. 
  • TITIROBA Wake Up Simulation ($35.99): This wake-up lamp, which is the least expensive I’ve seen, has received a lot of really great reviews. Some of its features include five natural sounds, a backup battery, “eye-care” adjustable lights, digital LED clock, and touch control. It’s simple and equipped with only a few features but it might be worth a try if you’re on a budget. 
  • LittleHippo Children’s Trainer Sounds Machine ($49.99): This one might be a great option for kids. It’s a cute design that uses colors and digital “facial expressions” to teach children when it’s okay to get out of bed and when it’s time to go to sleep. Its “wake” feature works just like a sunrise alarm clock, glowing to indicate the start of the day. It also has child-friendly alarms, nap timers, and a night light. It has great reviews and I’d love to compare this one to the Hatch Rest+.  
  • Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB (£199.00): I really want to give Lumie another shot. To be fair, the Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 that I tested was designed years ago, but is one of the few models currently available in the United States. There is a newer version with more sound options, Bluetooth for streaming music from smartphones, higher-quality sound, and a glass lamp cover — a feature that I imagine produces a beautiful sunrise simulation. Currently, this Lumie model is only available in the UK. 

FAQs

best sunrise alarm clock 2021 FAQs for Wake Up Lights

What are the benefits of sunrise alarm clocks?

The light therapy implemented in these wake-up lamps helps regulate cortisol and melatonin production, two important hormones that are essential in controlling sleep/wake cycles. It can be difficult for some of us to adapt to season changes, especially in the winter when days get shorter and nights get longer. The shift from bright summer days to long, dark winter months can have an impact on circadian rhythms, sometimes resulting in seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

New technology has also affected our circadian rhythms by restraining the natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin as a result of constant exposure to artificial blue lights from our phones, TVs, and computers.

Regular daily alternation of light and darkness is essential in order to maintain good quality sleep. Sunrise alarm clocks have “wind-down” features that encourage a healthy production of melatonin at night by mimicking a gradual sunset, while the “wake-up” cycles encourage the production of cortisol in the morning by simulating a natural and gradual sunrise that prepares you for wakefulness. The wake-up and wind-down features can be equally important in helping maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

How does a sunrise alarm-clock compare to a traditional alarm?

Many sunrise alarm clocks are equipped with all the features we all like in traditional alarm clocks — a radio or music player, custom or multiple alarms, and yes, even a sound alarm if you need it. The key difference is that sunrise alarm clocks use gentle light and sound to help you wake up before resorting to the louder noises that are typical of a standard alarm clock.

Waking up to the loud, obnoxious sound of a traditional alarm clock is not only unpleasant and irritating, but it’s also quite unhealthy. “If we train ourselves to wake up suddenly, with a jolt, this can become a problem for any other time we wake up in the night, making it hard to fall back asleep,” said Dimitriu.

That abrupt wake-up experience can also cause stress levels to suddenly increase, often aggravating long-term issues like chronic anxiety. Winter also advises waking up gently because sudden awakenings can cause sudden blood pressure surges, possibly leading to heart issues.

Your chances of waking up with sleep inertia — that debilitating groggy, drowsy feeling that occurs as a result of a sudden, often startling transition between sleep and wakefulness — also increase if you wake up to a traditional alarm clock. Sleep inertia makes it very difficult for some people to get out of bed, and often puts people in a bad mood for the rest of their day. “Gradual alarms (sound or light) are excellent solutions to wake people gradually,” said Dimitriu, since these softer alarms offer a gentler, more gradual and natural wake-up experience.

What features should I look for when choosing a sunrise alarm clock?

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a sunrise alarm clock. One very important aspect to consider is the brightness level of the lamp. If you’re a heavy sleeper you might need a sunrise alarm clock that has bright lights to effectively wake you up in the morning.

Another important factor is alarm sounds: most sunrise alarm clocks have several sound options and some (like the Casper Glow light) lack this feature completely. If you’re a heavy sleeper you may want to opt for a device with many sounds. Or, if you are a “snoozer,” you might want to consider a sunrise alarm clock that allows you to set multiple alarms like the Philips Smartsleep Connected, which offers up to 16 alarms just in case you like to hit snooze more than once.

Finally, consider your personal needs; if you’re uncomfortable operating smartphone-enabled technology, you may prefer a sunrise alarm clock with manual functions right on the machine. On the flip side, if you want a very custom experience, you may like a lamp that offers many different colors and sounds that are controlled through a phone app.

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