When we think of sleep tech products, most of us think of white noise machines or perhaps sunrise alarms.
Morphee and Dodow are popular sleep aids that aren’t sound machines, yet appeal to many of the same users.
However, Morphee and Dodow are also made for users that need help “winding down” before sleeping.
For many of us, blaring white noise just isn’t good enough to help fall asleep. For anyone suffering from anxiety, a racing mind, or insomnia, white noise can actually be more irritating than helpful. Morphee and Dodow, on the other hand, help prime us for sleep and put us into a better headspace for shuteye.
Both devices are a clever twist on sleep technology, since they are marketed as somewhat “anti-tech.”
Anyone that has used a mindfulness or meditation app can attest to the distraction that can be caused when technology interferes. A meditation session can unravel quickly when the app needs a new update or firmware installed.
Thankfully, the makers of both the Morphee sleep aid and Dodow sleep aid considered this when developing their products. Each device is simple to operate with minimal distractions caused by software. So you won’t ever have to worry about signing up for a subscription or downloading an app.
Morphee is a small, portable device that can be used for meditation, relaxation, or as a sleep primer. It relies on audio, rather than visual, effects to help users get ready for sleep. There are a number of guided meditations on the device, so there should be a setting for anyone.
The best way to describe it is that it functions as a screen-free alternative to a meditation/mindfulness app. This means you don’t need an internet or bluetooth connection to use the device.
The Morphee device is beautifully designed, with a sleek wood exterior that has the appearance of an heirloom clock. The wood exterior also functions as a carrying case, making Morphee great for travel. Although the device seems overpriced at first blush, the excellent design makes the price tag more tolerable.
Morphee can be used by kids and adults, alike, and is marketed to ages 10 and up. For younger children, Morphee also makes a product (My Little Morphee) designed specifically for ages 3 to 10.
There are three handles on the device which can be turned to select modes and functions. One of these keys selects a theme, the next selects a session, and the third selects the duration (which can be 8 or 20 minutes). The only other controls are a power button, volume adjustment, and toggling between a male or female voice.
When you add up the total options that are available, there are actually 210 combinations of sessions. The themes include “body scan, breathing, movement, visualization, cardiac coherence, napping, relaxing music, and nature sounds.”
As mentioned above, this isn’t a typical sound machine. Rather, it provides a variety of meditation and mindfulness sessions that can help users that suffer from stress, anxiety, or a sleep disorder.
Unlike Morphee, which uses audio as a sleep aid, Dodow depends on visual cues. The device is simple yet brilliant.
Dodow is a small, cordless disc that can be placed on a table or nightstand. When turned on via a tap on the top of the device, it projects a blue light onto the ceiling. This blue light slowly pulses, serving as a breathing cue. When the blue light expands, you slowly inhale. Then when it contracts, you slowly exhale. That’s really all there is to it!
Although the device sounds overly-simple, there is actually some science behind it. As the makers of the product realized, breathing is the key to many different relaxation methods. Meditation, yoga, heart coherence, and even sophrology all emphasize breathing and breathing patterns.
If you are well-versed in sleep science, you may be concerned that the device uses a blue light. After all, blue light has been linked to sleeping difficulties, and has been proven to reduce your body’s release of melatonin (a sleep hormone).
There are a few ways that Dodow addresses this. First, we are talking about low-intensity blue light of less than 1 lux. So it isn’t like a cell phone screen, which is high-intensity and can interfere with melatonin release. Second, Dodow is a sleep aid that focuses on breathing, rather than circadian rhythms. So the light isn’t the stimulus that puts you to sleep – rather, it is just a guide that helps you modify your breaths, which in turn primes the body for sleep.
Dodow is marketed to users aged 6 and over, especially those with insomnia and sleeping difficulties. It also features 3 levels of brightness for those that are particularly light-sensitive.
Device Comparison: Dodow vs. Morphee
The key difference is that Morphee uses audio sessions to prime you for sleep, whereas Dodow uses visual (light) cues to prime you for sleep.
If light distracts you or prevents you from relaxing, obviously you want to avoid the Dodow and choose the Morphee instead.
On the Morphee, the sessions are guided by a (cheesy-sounding) voice. So if spoken words and voices are distracting or prevent you from relaxing, avoid the Morphee and get the Dodow instead.
Morphee has an MSRP of ~$100, while Dodow is ~$60. So price shoppers will find the Dodow to be a little more budget-friendly.
Another difference involves the battery situation.
Morphee has a built-in battery that is rechargeable via micro USB. Battery life is limited, but it is nice that it is rechargeable.
Dodow, on the other hand, uses 3 AAA batteries rather than a built-in rechargeable battery. This seems wasteful to some users, but others will prefer the ability to go cordless and not have another charger to carry when they travel. And remember that you can always buy rechargeable AAA batteries, too.
Both devices have a simple, elegant design. Morphee has a classic look that gives it an heirloom feel. Dodow has a clean, modern look that gives it the look of a smart home product.
Both sleep aids are cordless, so you don’t need a constant power source, and are small and light enough to allow for portability.
Interestingly, Morphee and Dodow each have an 8 and 20 minute mode.
Both companies offer a 100 night trial period, which is pretty generous. Be sure to double-check the warranty and trial period if you purchase through a third party or reseller.
Purchase recommendations & Pros/Cons
If you want a visual sleep aid, choose Dodow. If you want an audio sleep aid, choose Morphee. That’s the easy part.
If you need a built-in rechargeable battery, choose Morphee. If you would rather go cordless and just replace batteries when needed, choose Dodow.
Our Complaints about Morphee Sleep Aid
During testing, I found the voices to be cheesy. Many people can overlook this pretty easily. However, I found it to be distracting.
Morphee also feels slightly overpriced at MSRP. There are some excellent, feature-rich sleep aids available at a similar price. The flip side here is that, when it comes to sleep aids, no price is too expensive for a quality product that helps improve sleep!
Our Complaints about Dodow Sleep Aid
The light display on Dodow isn’t adjustable (other than brightness), so you have to be careful about the device’s placement.
If it sits too close to a wall, part of the lighting will be blocked by the wall.
And the light projects straight upward – so if it sits too far from your head, you will have to turn your neck and head in the direction of the light display.
Some users also complain that the light is too bright even at the lowest setting. This didn’t bother me during testing, but it may be an issue for people that are light sensitive.
You really can’t go wrong with either option, as long as you understand the differences.
The decision comes down to whether you prefer guided audio (Morphee), or a self-guided visual effect (Dodow).