Gear | February 9, 2016 9:00 am

10 Ways to Wake Up, Ranked by Annoyance Level

This is a snooze-free zone.

By The Editors

Most likely, you know that person who jumps out of bed at 5 a.m. sans alarm and ready to face the day.

If you are that person, stop reading now. You are a succubus.

If you’re the other type of person, though — the one who believes waking up is the worst part of the day and can easily sleep through seismic events — this is for you.

When radio station alarms and shrill buzzers stop working, a man needs some new tech to nudge/coerce/zap him awake. We ranked each of these new devices by effectiveness, style and level of annoyance.

Turns out there are a more than a few interesting ways to start your morning without a scowl.


Half lamp, half stereo. The Aura, from wearables giant Withings, simulates a sunrise for a gradual wakeup while streaming the Spotify playlist of your choice — or utilizing one of Aura’s wake-up programs. Also works with “optimized colors” and sounds to help you on the sleeping end. There’s even an option to add a sleep tracker that analyzes your zzz data.

Annoyance Level: 2. VERY expensive compared to other alarms.


Made of high-density memory foam with an internal touch sensor system, the Ruggie will only stop playing the alarm tones or nature sounds you’ve selected after the user stands on it for three seconds. After the alarm is disabled, the rug — which has a built-in LED display that shows the time and can be controlled via its USB port — will pepper you with motivational quotes like it’s your own customizable Mickey Goldmill.

Annoyance Level: 5. The last thing we need in the morning is advice.


Pairing a sensor with your smartphone, Spritely logs your motions during the night, picking ideal times to wake you up. The evil part? The device detects when you get out of bed — or try to get back in. The alarm won’t stop until you’re fully out.

Annoyance level: 6. Turn your phone off? Run out of juice? Remove the sensor? Spritely’s failsafe alarm will go off.

The Barisieur

It’s an alarm clock. It’s also a chem lab-like coffee brewer that utilizes stainless steel ball bearings to boil the water for your java (via induction heating).

Annoyance level: 4. It’s not available yet, and seems ripe for a smashed glass or two (and scalding burns), thanks to lethargic, not-yet-adept morning hands.

The Sensorwake

The world’s first olfactory alarm clock. Like a smell-based Keuring, the Sensorwake uses pods to dispense smells via dry-air diffusion, all meant to pleasantly rouse you from your slumber in the morning. Those smells? Espresso, hot croissant, seaside (monoi, tiare flower), lush jungle (cut grass, leaves), chocolate and peppermint.

Annoyance level: 3. Um, no bacon?


It looks like an ambient ball of yarn, but this comprehensive sleep tracker (which monitors temp, humidity, light, noise and particulates) wakes you gently up during the “lightest” part of your sleep with one of 15 noises.

Annoyance level: 2. Just wave your hand over the device to snooze. Which might not be enough to rouse you.


Certainly the best looking device on the market, this nixie-tube Cold War throwback only deactivates if you get out of bed, walk to a separate, wireless Defuse Panel and punch in a code (which is the date). You can also program the number of “allowed” snoozes and lockdown alarm changes.

Annoyance level: 1. Kind of a handsome way to start your day, no?


A sleep sensor and wristband that “gently nudges you” awake with vibrations.

Annoyance level: 6. That’s quite a blocky gadget to wrap around your wrist every night.

Gun and Target Alarm Clock

Shoot the clock’s attached target, and the alarm stops. You can pick between “normal” (one shot) and “hard” (five shot) deactivations.

Annoyance level: 9. Maybe a gun isn’t the first thing you should be grasping in the a.m. Plus, based on reviews, the accuracy is terrible and the device may not shut off.


Not sleeping alone? Wake offers you focused beams of light (a personalized sunrise) and alert sounds tailored to the location of each person in the bed.

Annoyance level: 5. You need to mount Wake above your bed. And though it had a successful Kickstarter campaign, the units have yet to ship.

Flip On/Off Alarm Clock

Waking up, simplified: to toggle this battery-powered clock on and off, you just flip it over. Tap to see the time. That’s it.

Annoyance level: 4. The batteries need changing. A lot.