Choosing between Hatch products is simple once you understand the features, and compare to your needs. Hatch Rest is the original — a quality sound machine plus nightlight that can be controlled via an app. Hatch Rest+ adds a built-in battery for cord-free use, and includes features like a clock, audio monitor, and voice control. Hatch Rest Mini is the diaper bag-friendly size, but has no light and comes with fewer features.
Choosing between the Rest, Rest Plus, & Rest Mini
For anybody that wants the simple version, without ten minutes of reading:
If you want an on-the-go sound machine that can be used without a direct power source, the Rest+ is your only option.
And if you want a sound machine that fits easily in a diaper bag or luggage, choose the Rest Mini.
Hatch Rest — The original
Hatch Rest is one of the premier sound machines for babies and toddlers. The company’s early claim to fame was a 2016 appearance on “Shark Tank,” but has grown tremendously since then, and continues to add quality products to its lineup.
Hatch Rest is a good mid-range option for most users. It features a sound machine, night light, and can be controlled with an app or with physical buttons on the device. Like all the devices on this list, the Hatch Rest has a stylish design that looks nice on a dresser or bookshelf.
The sound machine has 11 sound options, which is more than the 8 options on the Hatch Mini. But a common complaint with all three Hatch products is that they cannot be used as a speaker to play other sounds or music. The night light has 10 preset options, along with a feature on the app that allows you to change the light any color in the color wheel.
Sleep programs can be customized via the app. A Time-To-Rise feature is designed for toddlers, and the idea is that you can program the device to let your child know when they are allowed to wake up for the morning.
At 4″ x 4″ x 6.25″ and 13 ounces, the Rest has a small, space-conscious footprint. However, this is still large for a diaper bag or luggage.
The LED lights stay cool, and we never experienced the device running warm. The device receives some complaints for the light, as many users feel that it doesn’t get bright enough. As long as you know that the light isn’t ideal for use as a reading light, or to illuminate an entire room, there should be no problem.
The product design is sleek, but the plastic exterior is prone to smudges and fingerprints.
The app functions well, and has drawn good reviews. But it can be cumbersome to log in and connect, and the few technical glitches we experienced did seem needless considering the simplicity of the device. And the device uses a bluetooth connection only, as opposed to the Rest+, which can connect via WiFi.
Thankfully, in addition to the app there are physical buttons on the Rest that control the power, brightness, and volume, and allow you to scroll through preset power and light combinations. Some users complained that the buttons were unreliable, but we did not experience this in our testing. Our only complaint with the buttons is their location on the bottom of the device. We like that the buttons are hidden, and out of the child’s reach. But there is almost never a convenient time to pick up a sound machine and access buttons on the underside.
Sound quality is great, especially compared to off-brand competitors available. Some of the preset sound options did seem to have lower audio quality than others, but this is true of most sound machines. The biggest issue with the sound is the lack of customization. Many users have requested the ability to add songs and/or use the device as a speaker, but this feature is not available on any of the Hatch products.
Hatch Rest+ — The upgrade
Hatch Rest+ was added to the lineup in 2019, as a higher-end version of the Hatch Rest. The Rest+ has all of the features of the Rest, but with bonuses.
First, and perhaps most importantly, the Rest+ has a built-in, rechargeable battery. So, even though the Hatch Rest Mini is smaller and lighter, the Rest+ is more portable in some ways. This was a needed addition, and adds convenience to the device.
Other added features include an audio monitor, clock, voice control (with Amazon Alexa), and WiFi (rather than bluetooth) connection.
The baby monitor is a nice feature, but we should mention that it is audio-only. The clock brightness can be adjusted, or powered off. The voice control worked properly during tests, and adds convenience if you are open to a smart speaker in your nursery. And the WiFi connection, of course, makes things easier from a distance. While we didn’t experience connection issues with any of the devices, users report frequent issues with bluetooth-only connection on the original model.
At 4″ x 4″ x 6.5″ and 14.5 ounces, the product is almost identical in size to the original. And the features and lighting options that are present in the original are also found in the Rest+.
Like the Hatch Rest, the Rest+ has physical buttons on the device. The buttons are similar in that they allow you to control the power, brightness, and volume, as well as scroll through preset power and light combinations. One big improvement is that the Rest+ has the buttons on the back of the device — still hidden, but much easier to access.
This device allows for multiple users on the app, rather than just one. In full disclosure, we didn’t test this feature.
Hatch Rest Mini — The portable option
Hatch Rest Mini is the newest addition to the product line, having been released in 2021.
The Rest Mini is smaller, lighter, and less expensive. But, you lose some of the features, including the night light.
At 4″ x 4″ x 2″ and 0.58 pounds, the Rest Mini is significantly smaller than the Rest or Rest Plus. For travelers, it will be easier to stow the Rest Mini in a diaper bag or luggage. But keep in mind that the Rest Mini lacks a built-in battery, so it will require a dedicated power source. In other words, even though the device is small, it is not a truly portable option.
The Rest Mini has 8 sound options (vs. the other models, which have 11), and no lighting. Sound quality is comparable to the Rest and Rest+, which is impressive for a device in its price range. The buttons are located on the top of the device, but have a subtle design that maintains the sleek appearance of the Rest Mini. The buttons control power, volume, and allow you to cycle through the sounds. The design of the buttons differs from the other Hatch products, and we have noticed that the buttons on the Rest Mini can be finicky and difficult to use at times.
A timer can be set through the app, for a customizable amount of time.
A WiFi connection is required for the app, and many users report difficulty using the product in locations without WiFi.
Similarities between Hatch sound machines
Now we will discuss some similarities that are present in all Hatch sound machines, regardless of the model.
First, the app. While many people find the app to be user-friendly, it can be tedious to use a mobile app for a device as simple as a sound machine. While Hatch sound machines are loaded with features, some people would be better off purchasing a simpler, app-free machine. If all you need is a white noise machine and a night light, there are other, cheaper options available. But if you want more features, such as an app-controlled toddler lock (which prevents your child from using the buttons when you don’t want them to), any of the Hatch Rest products are worth the extra money.
Another complaint is that the app has premium features available for an additional fee, but this is frustrating for those of us that don’t want to use the premium features. Being up-sold on a subscription after buying an expensive product is never enjoyable.
Next, all Hatch sound machines feature quick and easy setup. The devices are packed with features, but it is nice to plug-and-play without a lot of time devoted to installation and setup.
We agree with many users that report high sound quality, and a surprisingly loud speaker. But, as mentioned above, they cannot be used as a speaker for other sounds or music.
And a final interesting note: there are many users (myself included) that fall in love with a white noise machine when their kids are young, and then miss it when it’s gone. The Hatch Restore is a product that is marketed towards adults in this situation.
If you know what features you need, it should be easy to choose which Hatch product is right for you. Hatch Rest+ has a battery for cord-free use, and includes some other premium features. Hatch Rest Mini is the bag-friendly size, at an affordable price but with no light. And if you want a classic, high quality sound machine with a night light and additional features, you can’t go wrong with the Hatch Rest.