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For families who need a good night’s sleep, a nightlight might be the trick to help everyone get enough rest. Nightlights can help with a fear of the dark, giving children a feeling of reassurance so they can sleep tight. They can also keep you from tripping if you need to walk through a dark room in the middle of the night.
A good nightlight will illuminate the room enough for you to dimly see the surrounding area, but won’t be so bright that it keeps someone awake. To get the most value for your money, you may want to choose a nightlight that’s a two-in-one, offering an additional feature such as an alarm clock.
In this article, you’ll find information on the different types of nightlights, the very best nightlight models we recommend, and the pros and cons of nightlights in general so you can make the best choice for your family.
Our Top Picks
|Glow Light||Gradually winds you down to fall asleep, wakes you up with gentle light, sturdy and durable, 30-day trial||See Best Price|
|Sky LIte||Projects a beautiful starry sky on the wall, electric — does not require batteries, four-hour timer||See Best Price|
|Lumi Plug-In Night Light||Affordable, eye-protection technology results in glare-free light, certified as fire-resistant||See Best Price|
|Rest Sound Machine||Also functions as a sound machine and alarm clock, control remotely from your phone, includes toddler lock feature and stays at a cool temperature||See Best Price|
|VA-HP008||Waterproof and easily portable, rechargeable; lasts for up to 80 hours, energy-efficient light, includes fun stickers for kids to play with||See Best Price|
Casper Glow Light
Why We Like it
- Winds you down to fall asleep
- Gently wakes you up with light
- Sturdy and durable
- Easily adjust brightness via the Glow app or by touch
- 30-day trial, free return
The Casper Glow, a touch lamp, helps your body naturally wind down and prepare for sleep. Climb in bed to read and the warm light helps you relax. Slowly, the light dims so you can fall asleep right along with it. And there’s no need for a jarring alarm clock — the next morning, the Glow will wake you up by filling the room with light (schedule your wake-up call ahead of time with the app).
You can twist the Glow to adjust its brightness using the built-in gyroscope. If you need to get up in the middle of the night, just wiggle the nightlight, and it will emit a dim light that won’t bother anyone else.
The Glow charges wirelessly and is very durable. If you live in the U.S. and Canada, you can get free shipping. And if you’re not sold on the Casper Glow Light just yet (it is much more expensive than other comparable nightlights), try it out for 30 days with free returns.
BlissLights Sky Light
Why We Like it
- Unique, beautiful, and creative
- Best projector option
- It’s electric — no batteries needed
- Provides lots of light
- Automatically turns off
The BlissLights Sky Light is a beautiful and unique laser projector nightlight that projects a starry sky against your wall. With the click of a button, you can make the projection move or stop. You can also adjust the brightness of the LED lights or cycle through various effects.
BlissLights uses high-quality lasers and holographics — the same technology used by theme parks to produce their lighting. The nightlight has a four-hour timer and comes in blue. It doesn’t require batteries; instead, the Sky Light is electric and comes with a three-foot adapter cord.
The BlissLights Sky Light is good for children who want a lot of light, as it suffuses the entire room with a blue glow. However, keep in mind the nightlight only runs for four hours. So if you want it to stay on all night, you’ll have to get up and manually reset the timer.
eufy Lumi Plug-In Night Light
Why We Like it
- Very affordable and energy-efficient
- Eye-protection technology; glare-free light
- Extra safe: casing is certified to be fire-resistant
- Excellent “starter” nightlight
Eufy’s Lumi Plug-In Nightlight provides a soft, glare-free light that automatically turns on when the ambient lighting in the room is no longer adequate. The nightlight’s sensor adjusts the light based on what’s needed at the moment.
This nightlight is affordable and a great value for the price — you get four plug-in lights with an 18-month warranty. The nightlight is also energy efficient; it takes less than 30 cents a year to operate (a number that’s based on 12 hours of usage per day). The Lumi is small enough that it won’t cover the second outlet, and it also has a casing that’s certified to be fire-resistant.
If you want a “starter” nightlight — something that’s affordable and user-friendly without too many frills — the eufy Lumi is a great choice.
Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
Why We Like it
- Also functions as a sound machine and alarm clock
- Control remotely from your phone
- Comes with preset options for sounds and colors
- Toddler lock feature and cool temperature
The Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine is not only a nightlight — it’s also a sound machine, and can even function as an alarm clock. You can control all of the machine’s features from your phone, tailoring it to your family’s needs. Program the machine remotely so you won’t have to disturb your child (smartphone or tablet running iOS 9 or Android Lollipop or higher required).
Preset sounds and colors, recommended by sleep experts, are included with the machine. As far as safety precautions, it has a toddler lock feature and stays at a cool temperature throughout the night.
The sound machine can grow with your child, providing soft light while you feed your new baby and eventually functioning as an alarm clock when it’s time for school. If you’re expecting a new baby, the Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine would be a great product to invest in and use throughout the years.
Why We Like it
- Ideal for travel (waterproof and easily portable)
- Rechargeable; lasts for up to 80 hours
- Energy-efficient light won’t hurt your eyes
- Fun for kids to play with
Great for creative and adventurous families, the VA-HP008 is a high-quality and affordable nightlight. The small LED lamp provides 360 degrees of energy-efficient non-flickering light (choose from cool white or warm white) that won’t hurt the eyes.
This nightlight provides multiple ways to get your children involved. It’s controlled by touch and is meant for children to play with and learn to use. It also comes with facial expression stickers so kids can decorate the lamp.
The VA-HP008 is waterproof and easily portable, making it great for travel. The nightlight does not have a timer setting but lasts for 5-80 hours, depending on how bright you set the light to be, and is rechargeable.
Nightlight Buyer’s Guide
There are multiple different types of nightlights, and before you make a decision on which product to purchase, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each type. In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of nightlights and how nightlights might help your family, plus additional tips for getting children to sleep.
Types of Nightlights
When it comes to choosing a nightlight, you’ll want to take the shape and style of the light into careful consideration. There are several different types of nightlights out there — plug-ins, tabletops, toys, and more — and each one has its pros and cons. Not all nightlights are created equal; each one is geared for a different situation. Here are the five most common types of nightlights and the pros and cons of each. Plug-in Portable Lights Projector Tabletop Toys and Stuffed Animals Plug-in
|Plug-in||$9.99||Light sensor; automatically turns on||Requires an outlet to work|
|Portable Lights||$14.99||No need for an outlet, great for vacations and other trips||Batteries may be expensive|
|Projector||$29.99||Provides a larger area of light||Picture could be distracting for sleep|
|Tabletop||$14.99||Fun shapes and sizes||Often are easily breakable|
|Toys and Stuffed Animals||$34.99||Can double as a cuddly bedtime friend||Toy could be distracting|
Benefits of Using a Nightlight
Nightlights are a somewhat debated topic among parents. Some think they’re a good idea; others don’t. At the end of the day, there is no across-the-board answer, and the decision probably depends on your specific family situation. Here are three benefits of using a nightlight:
- Reassurance: For a child who has a bedroom to themselves, waking up to darkness in the middle of the night might be scary. A nightlight can reassure them and help a timid child feel less alone.
- Safety: If you have to go into your child’s room at night or if your child needs to get up and go to the bathroom, a nightlight can help illuminate the floor so neither of you trips and falls in the dark. This is also nice if an older sibling needs to get ready for bed after a younger child is already asleep. Nightlights are very helpful during the breastfeeding stage — you can see enough to feed your baby, but there’s no need to turn on the full overhead light.
- Multitasking: Many nightlights come as a combination product, also functioning as a baby monitor, clock, or other useful item. And nightlights that are shaped like a certain character are simply fun for a child to have in their room.
Drawbacks and Risks of Using a Nightlight
Although there are benefits to nightlights, there can be drawbacks, too. Here are three ways nightlights might hurt more than they help.
- Create a fear of the dark: Depending on your child and their personality, nightlights could actually make your child afraid of the dark. They might send a message that there’s something to be scared of, and dim nightlights can cause more shadows, heightening the fear factor even more. Plus, if your child starts to depend on their nightlight, you may be in for some long sleepless nights if you forget to bring the nightlight on your next family vacation.
- Mess up sleep rhythms: Blue light sources keep you awake, and most children’s nightlights emit blue wavelengths. If you purchase a nightlight with blue light, it could actually hinder your child from getting a good night’s sleep.
- Expensive: Not only are specialty nightlights themselves expensive, but an electric nightlight can raise your power bill since you have the light plugged in all night, every night. Battery-operated nightlights can also be costly to keep running.
Additional Sleep Tips for Children
Healthy child sleep can be difficult, but good sleep habits are extremely important. Moodiness, decreased cognitive ability, difficulty at school, and physical health problems can all stem from a lack of sleep. Luckily, there are several other ways to help children sleep besides (or in addition to) using nightlights. Here are a few ideas.
- Establish a solid nighttime routine: A nightly bedtime routine can signal to your kids that it’s time to wind down, helping both mind and body relax. What should you include in a nighttime routine? Depending on your child’s age, you could help them take a bath, read a book, brush teeth, and give hugs and kisses.
- Limit screen time: In the evening, limit the amount of screen time (TV, phones, iPads) your kids are allowed to have. According to WebMD, the brain produces hormones that promote sleep at night — but the glow electronic screens emit can send mixed signals to the brain and stop the process. Turn all devices off an hour before bed and don’t allow electronics in your kids’ bedroom.
- Be active during the day: Your kids will sleep much better at night if they get enough exercise during the day. Place a priority on active play, especially during the time period after school and before dinner. By the time your family finishes eating dinner, it’ll be time to begin winding down for bed, and your kids will be nicely worn out.
- Use special items: Things like stuffed animals and small blankets hold special meaning for children. Sometimes, a special teddy bear might follow a child all the way to college. Even pajamas can add elements of fun and familiarity to bedtime. Let your kids pick out a special set of pajamas featuring their favorite character, or a soft blanket they can sleep with every night.
- Listen: You might be tempted to emphatically tell your child to go to sleep when they come tiptoeing out to the living room for the third time, but don’t. Instead, listen to what they have to say. By talking through any nighttime worries, your child can go to sleep with a clear mind and sleep soundly with no nightmares.