The 8 best projection alarm clocks to get you up on time

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best projection alarm clocks

Whether you’re a morning person who wakes up easily, or the type who tends to sleep through several snooze cycles, a projection alarm clock can be a great bedside addition. The best projection alarm clocks are easy to read and simple to program, with a swivel attachment so you can control where the time is displayed (whether you’d like it on your ceiling or a wall).

When shopping around, there are a handful of specs to keep top of mind. You may want to think about what color you prefer the digits to be since they’ll add a slight glow to the room — most are either red or blue. Also consider whether you need a dimming feature; some clocks allow you to dim the display lights and the projection lights, while others only allow you to do one or the other. (And some budget options can’t be dimmed at all).

Flip orientation is another thing to keep on your radar. Some clocks offer easy-rotation features where you can push a button and flip the numbers upside down to suit the positioning of your bed. Another nice feature to have is a focus ring, which lets you manually adjust the resolution so the digits on your wall are extra crisp.

Beyond that, evaluate all of the regular features you’d want in an ordinary alarm clock — snooze buttons, alarm sounds, volume adjustments, or the ability to choose between 12-hour or 24-hour time settings. With some options, you can also find bonus features like AM/FM radios, sleep timers, built-in thermometers, humidity trackers, or other bells and whistles.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to choose the best projection alarm clock, check out my list below. I’ve included a variety of styles, sizes, and price ranges.

1. A sleek clock that charges your phone & comes in 3 colors

Dimensions: 7.3 by 3.5 by 0.8 inches

Projection light: red

Display light: white

Power source: USB cord with backup battery (type not specified)

The lowdown: With an adjustable ringer that boasts 15 sound levels, along with a USB charging port that lets you power up your phone, this projection wall clock is a versatile option in a sleek package. It’s built with a snooze feature and two alarms (which is perfect for couples or folks who need a backup alarm), and you can choose between 12- or 24-hour formatting. You can adjust the dimmer on the clock display and the wall projection separately, and there’s a focus control ring for crisp projection. Finally, there are several bonus features, such as an FM radio, a thermometer, and a humidity tracker. This clock is available in black, gold, rose gold, or white. The only downside is that it doesn’t offer easy-flip orientation.

One reviewer wrote: “I absolutely love this clock! My bed is low and our cable box was not visible. I hated have to lift myself up (I know I'm lazy) to check the time. Now I just turn my head and look up at the ceiling and there it is. Super bright! I can't believe it took me this long to know this existed. Plus all the extras... the charger and radio- amazing!”

2. This metric-loaded clock that tracks the temp & lunar cycles

Dimensions: 5 by 2.4 by 5.4 inches

Projection light: red

Display light: white

Power source: AC adapter with backup battery (type not specified)

The lowdown: This wonderfully geeky digital alarm clock projector is loaded with convenient metrics and cool features. Within one screen, you can see the inside temperature, outside temperature, lunar phase, day, month, and time. Not only that, but it updates automatically for daylight saving across eight time zones. Available in a classic black, it has an adjustable dimmer (which also allows for separate display-projection dimming), a USB charging port, and two alarms. What’s more, this clock has an easy-flip orientation that you can rotate 180 degrees.

One reviewer wrote: “Wow, how nice, well worth the money. Have been through multiple alarm clocks that were either too bright, too hard to set or just plain poorly designed. This clock exceeded my expectations. [...] Buttons are large and intuitive, snooze button is on top and large alarm on/off toggle switch on the lower right side can be felt in the dark and easy to use. [...] Very, very happy with this find.”

3. A versatile clock that shakes the bed to help you wake up

Dimensions: 7.87 by 3.15 by 1.18 inches

Projection light: available in blue or white

Display light: available in blue or white

Power source: USB cord with backup battery (type not specified)

The lowdown: If you’re a heavy sleeper, or you (or your partner) are deaf or hard of hearing, this vibrating ceiling projection clock is a handy option that offers multiple ways to let you know it’s time to get out of bed. In addition to its awesome projection features (which include easy-flip orientation and a 180-degree swivel), the clock is built with a bed shaker you can put under your pillow. When the alarm goes off in the morning, it starts vibrating to wake you up, though it also offers a traditional ringing alarm with five sound levels. You can set this clock to sound, vibrate, or both, depending on your preference. It has a USB port, two alarm clocks, snooze, and a display dimmer (no projection dimmer, though).

One reviewer wrote: “Great clock. I project the time on my ceiling, it is nice not to have to stick my head out to read the clock itself. The shaker is a nice feature for those who don't want to awake your partner. The time is easy to set and clear display. I like to have a battery backup for storms this time of year and this clock has it (2 aaa batteries). Great purchase!”

4. This Sony alarm clock with an AM/FM radio & 10 presets

Dimensions: Not listed

Projection light: red

Display light: white

Power source: USB cord with backup battery (included, but type not specified)

The lowdown: For folks interested in a slightly higher-end option that wakes you up smoothly, this sleek Sony alarm clock is an excellent pick. In addition to its 180-degree swivel projection that can be displayed on a ceiling or wall, the high-quality clock offers a gradual wake function that starts out softly and slowly gets louder. Not only that, but you can choose to wake to the sound of ocean waves, rain, birds, or other nature sounds. Or, if you prefer music, you can use the built-in AM/FM radio that allows up to 10 preset stations. This clock has two alarms (which you can set to “weekend” or “weekday”), along with a sleep timer, extendable snooze, an adjustable focus dial, and a USB charging port. It also has a display dimmer, according to one reviewer. The only features it lacks is an easy-flip orientation button.

One reviewer wrote: “It's as well designed and manufactured as everyone expects of Sony; it's easy to set up and operate; and it has everything that I needed/wanted, including a time projector, alarm nature sounds, and clock face dimmer that goes all the way to zero. Very happy with this alarm clock and definitely worth the added cost.”

5. A compact, portable clock that’s perfect for travel

Dimensions: 5.31 by 3.14 by 0.98 inches

Projection light: red

Display light: black

Power source: AC adapter and backup battery (requires two AAA batteries, not included)

The lowdown: This simple ceiling display alarm clock is small, lightweight, and portable, making it a great choice for people who travel. It has an adjustable display dimmer with three levels, along with a USB charging port, two alarms, snooze, and 12- to 24-hour formatting. Reviewers noted that the controls are easy and intuitive — and, as a bonus, the clock can read the temperature and humidity in the room. The only drawbacks, however, are that it doesn’t have an adjustable ringer, or a flip-orientation feature.

One reviewer wrote: “It is cute and small. Perfect for travel. I like the digital projection and the temperature reading. It has a lot to offer and good quality.”

6. A soothing clock that plays piano music & seagull sounds

Dimensions: Not listed

Projection light: blue

Display light: blue

Power source: USB cord (backup battery not mentioned)

The lowdown: With soothing blue lights and an assortment of nature sounds, this calming wall projector clock will wake you up gently. It has seven ringtones, which include ocean waves, nightingale songs, seagulls, and piano music, along with regular ringing and FM radio. Like many of the other options on this list, it offers two alarms, along with adjustable dimmer buttons to control the projector and the display separately. On top of all of that, it has 12- and 24-hour settings, as well as flip orientation so you can project the time onto the wall or ceiling.

One reviewer wrote: “I love this projection clock! [...] This was intuitive and easy to set up, AND the blue projection light is large and crisp. I do not like light from clocks at night, and love the feature you can dim the clock portion (only seeing the projected time on the ceiling), so this is a plus since other clocks I have had to tape over their face to block out the light. I am so happy I picked this brand.”

7. A budget-friendly clock with thousands of fans on Amazon

Dimensions: 5.9 by 2.3 by 4.4 inches

Projection light: red

Display light: white

Power source: AC adapter with backup battery (2 AAA batteries, not included)

The lowdown: Boasting more than 2,000 fans on Amazon, this popular alarm clock with a projector has an adjustable focus wheel to make the digits extra crisp on your wall or ceiling, along with a monitor for indoor temperature and humidity. The display screen is dimmable (though the projection is not), and you can set the time formatting to 12 or 24 hours. It only has one alarm that’s not adjustable, but it does have a two-minute crescendo, and a 10-minute snooze option.

One reviewer wrote: “This is the perfect bedside projection clock for me. It has large white digits (with varying brightness levels), a bright red projection on the ceiling, a small footprint on the bedstand and day/date, and room temperature & humidity. Does not have any of the extras that I never use such as AM/FM radio, dual alarm, atomic time setting (great feature, but never worked for me in any of my earlier clocks) and such. [...] I highly recommend this clock.”

8. This mid-priced projection clock with an ‘80s vibe

Dimensions: 5.23 by 1.96 by 4.33 inches

Projection light: red

Display light: white

Power source: AC adapter with backup battery (type not specified)

The lowdown: This retro-looking projection alarm clock offers a 180-degree swivel projector that can be rotated in 90-degree increments — and it can project the time, the temperature, or both, depending on your preference. In addition to tracking indoor temperature, there’s a wireless outdoor temperature function, along with 12- and 24-hour formatting options. It’s an atomic clock, which means it automatically sets the time and will adjust it for daylight saving. And there’s even a USB port so you can charge your phone while you sleep.

The crescendo alarm will wake you up gently, but there’s also a nine-minute snooze option if you’re still not ready for the day. Note, however, that only has one alarm, and the adjustable dimmer controls both the display and the projection at the same time.

One reviewer wrote: “I love it. The clock is very easy to set up and clearly projects the time and outside temperature, in large red characters, onto my white,10-foot ceiling. Time and temperature rotate at 10-second intervals, and it is so nice to wake up in the morning to immediately get this information by simply looking at the ceiling.”

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