I’ve been using sound machines for myself and my children for about as long as I can remember.
When my mind is really racing, or every little sound in the house is keeping me up, having the peaceful sound of ocean waves, forest sounds, or just the consistency of white noise can really help me sleep.
However, when I became more aware and conscious about the amount of electromagnetic radiation I was comfortable with in my house, it caused me to really look at each device and how I could reduce our exposure to harmful EMF radiation, and this includes sound machines.
In this article, I want to give you a clear rundown of why sound machines emit radiation, what it means for you and your family, and what low-EMF machines are best.
Why Sound Machines Are Great
I already talked about this in the intro, but sound machines really do help people get better sleep, often allowing us to stay in deeper stages of sleep for longer as we are less able to interpret and be disturbed by other small noises in our environment.
Whether you’re a student, a working professional, or just a child trying to re-energize for another day, sound machines really can make a big difference.
Although there are certainly much more dangerous EMF sources in your home most likely, that doesn’t mean that sound machines don’t emit EMF radiation.
Potential Risks of EMF Radiation from Sound Machines
If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you have at least some awareness of the potential dangers of electromagnetic frequency radiation.
In the next section, I’ll break down exactly how and why sound machines emit radiation, but for now, I want to quickly cover why it’s important:
Excessive exposure to electromagnetic frequency radiation has been shown to have all kinds of biological consequences, ranging from things like headaches and fatigue to significant threats like tumors or even DNA mutation.
In fact, in 2015 the California Medical Association called for stricter regulation, stating that:
“Whereas peer-reviewed research has demonstrated adverse biological effects of wireless EMF including single and double-stranded DNA breaks, creation of reactive oxygen species, immune dysfunction, cognitive processing effects, stress protein synthesis in the brain, altered brain development, sleep, and memory disturbances, ADHD, abnormal behavior, sperm dysfunction, and brain tumors.”
The danger of EMF radiation is cumulative, meaning that any way we can reduce our exposure we are protecting ourselves, and that includes considering even the relatively small emissions from a sound machine or alarm clock.
EMF Radiation is especially dangerous for children, as they have thinner skulls and bones and are still very much developing.
A 2011 study found that “When electrical properties are considered, a child’s head’s absorption can be over two times greater, and absorption of the skull’s bone marrow can be ten times greater than adults”
So whether you’re a parent or not, understanding the EMF exposures in your environment is very important.
EMF Radiation From Sound Machines and Our Sleep
One more thing I want you to consider before we move on is why it is extra important to protect our bedroom from EMF radiation exposure, and that is to protect our sleep.
We all know that quality sleep is one of the most important steps to maintaining good health; however, did you know that exposure to EMF radiation has a real effect on our sleep?
EMF radiation affects sleep because it has been known to reduce the amount of melatonin that we produce. The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne conducted a study on exactly this.
They found that EMFs impede the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep and wakefulness. The primary reason for this is that the pineal gland (the organ that produces melatonin and other hormones) interprets the electrical nature of the EMF radiation as a source of light. Thinking that it is still light outside, or in the room, it limits our melatonin production in an effort to combat this.
The study’s abstract ended with:
“…the results show the significance of disruption of melatonin due to exposure to weak EMFs, which may possibly lead to long-term health effects in humans.”
Now that you have a better understanding of why even the small amount of radiation emitted from a sound machine should still be considered, let’s talk about why this happens, then we’ll cover what you can do about it and the best low EMF sound machines available in 2023.
How Do Sound Machines Emit EMF Radiation?
There are actually three separate types of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation:
- Magnetic Field
- Electric Field
- Radio Frequency
Unless your sound machine also doubles as a baby monitor, it is unlikely to emit radiofrequency (RF) radiation. However, it’s almost certain to emit electric and magnetic field radiation.
Your phone used as a sound machine, especially near your head, is potentially the worst option when it comes to EMF radiation exposure.
Although these types of EMF radiation do not have the same range as RF radiation, they can still be harmful over time, especially if you keep the sound machine really close to where you sleep.
TIP: The best way to reduce your exposure to EMF radiation from just about anything, including sound machines, is to simply get distance from it. Radiation falls off exponentially with distance, so even moving your sound machine from your nightstand to a dresser across the room will have a dramatic protective effect.
5 Best Low-EMF Sound Machines
If moving your sound machine farther away isn’t a good option, or if you’re looking to further reduce your exposure to EMF radiation, but still want a sound machine, here are the 5 best low EMF baby monitors that I’ve found in 2023.
I made this list based on discussions with a Building Biologist along with my own testing and research.
Here is a summary of the info I’ll cover in a helpful table:
|Homedics Low-EMF Portable Sound Machine
|6 Sounds, Timer, Very Low EMF
|LectroFan Alpha Non-Looping Portable Sound Machine
|7 Non-Looping Sounds, Rechargeable, Very Low EMF
|Dohm Classic White Noise Machine by Yogasleep
|Natural Fan Sound, Adjustable Tone, Low EMF
|Baby Shusher – The Sleep Miracle Sound Machine
|Human Voice, Timer, Portable
|Yogasleep Rohm Portable
|Multiple Sounds, Battery-Operated, Compact
1. Homedics Low-EMF Portable Sound Machine
You might not think of it looking at this sound machine, but this was originally pointed out to me as the favorite of a building biologist that I really respect. When tested by her, or myself, I found it to emit very, very little measurable electric or magnetic radiation.
Not only that, but it’s also a portable, easy-to-use, multi-featured sound machine that has just about all the features you could want.
- 6 Peaceful Noises: Including White Noise, Thunder, Ocean, Rain, Brook, and Summer Night.
- Light and portable: This low EMF sound machine from Homedics is surprisingly light and portable, and really easy to take with you on a road trip.
- Timer Options: You can select either continuous play, or you can have it automatically turn off after 15,30, or 60 minutes.
Overall, this is my top pick for the best low EMF sound machine, and luckily it is also very full-featured and at a very reasonable price.
2. LectroFan Alpha Non-Looping Portable Sound Machine
This super small and light sound machine is even smaller and more portable than the Homedics one above, making it the best portable low EMF sound machine I’ve found.
I’ve been recommending this for a while because it really emits very low EMF radiation, especially in comparison to so many other sound machines.
Some of my favorite features include:
- 7 Non-Looping Sounds: Including 1 heartbeat, 2 fan sounds, 2 white noise variations, and 2 ocean wave sounds.
- Very Portable: As I already mentioned, this is one of the smaller, lighter sound machines I’ve tried out, and it’s great for taking with you on the go.
- Rechargeable: Unlike so many sound machines that have to be plugged in, this one is rechargeable, and each charge can last up to 24 hours.
Overall this is a great option, and almost certainly the best portable lowradiation sound machine you’ll find.
3. Dohm Classic White Noise machine by Yogasleep
The Dohm is a very popular and beloved sound machine. In fact, it’s even the official sound machine of the National Sleep Foundation.
One of the things that has always set the Dohhm apart from other sound machines is that it uses an actual fan to produce the sounds, instead of pre-recorded digital sounds.
The sound it makes feels natural, and real, and never loops because it’s an actual fan.
You can still adjust the tone and volume, but you won’t have all the same sounds as other sound machines.
It’s extremely simple to use, and although it produces more magnetic radiation than the first two options, it still produces very little overall EMF radiation.
I’ve used this sound machine in the past and know that it is one of the most popular sound machines around, and it’s still a great option even if lower EMFs are your priority.
4. Baby Shusher – The Sleep Miracle Sound Machine
I had to include this on the list as I have personally known it to help so many parents get (and keep) their children to sleep.
Instead of a fan, or digitally produced sounds, the Baby Shusher uses the sound of an actual human voice “shushing” the baby to sleep, just like you probably would if you were holding and rocking your baby.
When some other sound machines don’t work well for you or your children, this is one that I would try.
The volume is adjustable up to 95dB, and you can set timers to have it turn off automatically.
Since this sound machine uses two AA batteries instead of a cord, it is both portable and emits very low levels of EMF radiation.
In addition to being portable, it also has a wrist strap so that you can use the device even while holding and rocking your baby to sleep.
Overall, this is still one of the best low-EMF baby monitors on the market right now.
5. Yogasleep Rohm Portable
This is another sound machine by the same company that made the Dohm classic listed above.
However, this is their portable sound machine. So, although it doesn’t have an actual fan inside, it does have multiple soothing white noise and sound options, as well as an adjustable volume control.
Since this is battery-operated (not AC) and does not have a large fan inside, it actually produces less EMF radiation than many sound machines, including its larger brother, the Dohm I talked about above.
It’s only 3.5 inches wide and weighs less than 4 ounces, making it a really great travel option.
Although it isn’t my number one choice for a portable low-EMF sound machine, I still think it’s one of the best options around.
Although sound machines are far less pervasive of an EMF risk than for example, cell phones, WiFi routers, or laptops, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make a health-conscious choice when it comes to picking the right product.
I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions about it, please don’t hesitate to reach out.