In recent years, there has been an explosion in the popularity of sunrise alarm clocks. The idea of waking up to a peaceful sunrise rather than a blaring alarm is appealing to us all.
Here, we will review and compare two of the top selling sunrise alarms on the market — the Hatch Restore and the Casper Glow Light.
Choosing between Hatch Restore & Casper Glow Light
If you don’t want to read the entire article, here is a summary to help with your buying decision.
The Hatch Restore is a better value, because it combines a sunrise alarm, traditional alarm clock, sound machine, and nightlight into one product. It also provides many advanced options to customize your experience (colors, sound, and meditation programs).
The Casper Glow Light is simple, easy to use, and portable. It lacks a traditional alarm clock and has no sound machine, but it provides a warm, esthetically-pleasing light that can be used as a lantern when removed from the base.
If you want features, customization, and a built-in sound machine and clock, the Hatch Restore is a better option. If you want portability and simplicity, consider the Casper Glow Light.
Check Price: Casper Glow Light ->
Casper Glow Light
Traditional audio alarm included?
Sound machine included?
Digital clock display?
The Hatch Restore is more feature-dense overall. The Restore is a sunrise alarm with a sound machine, lamp, traditional alarm clock, and meditation app included. The Casper Glow is a sunrise alarm that can also be used as a portable lamp, but it lacks a clock display and has no audio features (so there is no sound machine or traditional alarm clock).
Both devices require an app to use all features, but the Hatch app provides more options and customization. For example, Hatch Restore allows you to modify the steps in your bedtime routine, the length of time for each, color and brightness of light, the brightness and style of clock display, choose white noise or nature sounds, and set a wakeup time that is different depending on the day of the week. The Casper Glow app mainly just allows you to set a wakeup time, and choose the length of the sunrise alarm routine. Also missing from the Glow is the snooze button — neither the app nor the device allows for a snooze.
Both the Hatch Restore and the Casper Glow Light are sunrise alarms, so the goal is to wake up peacefully with a light that simulates a sunrise. This concept is very appealing to most of us that have negative associations with the sound of an alarm blaring at 5:30 a.m. However, both in testing the device and in reading user feedback, we found it inconvenient and impractical to rely on a sunrise alarm without a traditional alarm as backup. Particularly for heavy sleepers, a sunrise alarm is less reliable than a traditional audio alarm. For this reason, we recommend the Hatch Restore over the Casper Glow Light if you intend to use the device as a stand-alone alarm. Sunrise alarms make for a peaceful wake-up, but it is easier to sleep soundly with traditional alarm features like a clock display, snooze button, and audio alarm to prevent you from oversleeping.
Features winner: Hatch Restore
Both devices are compact, lightweight, and stylish. Casper is a 5 ¼” x 3 ¾” cylinder and weighs just over 12 ounces. Hatch is 7 ½” x 2 ¾” x 5 ¾” and 19 ounces.
Because it lacks a clock and speaker, the Casper Glow Light was designed with an ultra-simple, sleek look. If you are willing to forgo these features, the esthetic of the Casper Glow is hard to beat. It looks like a lantern because that is essentially what it is.
Along with the simple design of the Casper Glow comes an easy-to-use device. Setup is quick, and the Glow Light can be operated with gesture controls. To turn the light on/off, just flip it. To change the brightness, you just twist the device. And if you want a dim nightlight, all you need to do is shake the Casper Glow. Another benefit with the design of the Casper Glow is that it is portable. You can remove the device from the wireless charging stand and use it unplugged as a lamp for up to 7 hours. The device is fairly durable, and the IP54 rating means it has some dust- and splash-resistance. (To my knowledge, the Hatch Restore has no IP rating, meaning it isn’t verified as waterproof or dust-proof).
The Hatch Restore is also well-designed, and manages to pack more features into the same footprint as the Casper Glow. Having a clock and speaker means that the Restore isn’t as minimalistic in its design, but it still looks clean and modern. The buttons (especially the touch sensor on top of the Restore) are subtle in appearance, which makes them hard to find. This can be aggravating when you are tired or the room is dark. Additionally, the main touch sensor begins the nighttime routine when pressed, but doesn’t work for simply turning the light on and off.
The brightness of the clock on the Restore can be customized, and you can even program the clock to turn off its display at certain times (for example, you can have the time hidden between midnight and 6 a.m.). Because the clock doesn’t adjust brightness automatically to match the room lighting, some users complain that the clock is too bright at night and too dim during the day.
Overall, both devices are among the most stylish sunrise alarm clocks you can find.
Design winner: Casper Glow Light
This will only discuss the Hatch Restore, since the Casper Glow Light does not have any audio.
The Restore has good, but not great sound quality. It has a wide range of options available, including white noise and nature sounds. Adjustments can be made via the app, and you can decide whether you want the sound to play until the alarm goes off, or whether you want the sound to play for a set amount of time before turning off.
One disappointing feature is that, unlike many smart home devices, you can’t use the Hatch Restore as a smart speaker. In other words, you cannot sync the device to your phone and play your preferred music — rather, you are stuck with the preset options available.
Sound winner: Hatch Restore
Software & Apps
The Casper app is free and easy to use, but the downside is that there isn’t much customization available. As mentioned above, there are no color options and no sound options. Users commonly complain that the alarm cannot be set for different times on different days. So, if you wake up later on weekends, you will have to manually adjust your alarm time each night. Most functions of the Casper Glow Light can be used without the app (turning light on/off, adjusting brightness), but the app is needed to set wakeup times and adjust the length of the sunset/sunrise feature. You can also sync multiple Glow Lights (up to 6), but we didn’t test this feature. Another frequent complaint with the Glow is that there is no voice control, so the device doesn’t integrate with Alexa or Google Home. Ultimately, the simplicity of the Glow Light makes the product feel somewhat unsatisfying. It is too pricey for a night light/lantern, and not quite “smart” enough to be a smart home device.
The Hatch Restore has a feature-packed app, but the downside is that some of the features (like meditation programs) are locked behind a paywall. While $50/year (or $5/month) is not unreasonable for a meditation app, it feels steep after buying the device itself. The Restore can be controlled by buttons on the product, but many necessary features (like setting/changing the alarm) and customizations can be accessed only with the app. As mentioned above, the app also allows for customizing steps in your bedtime routine, the brightness of the light and clock, and choosing sounds.
Software/Apps winner: Hatch Restore
We should note that neither of these devices are SAD lamps. So, while these products can hopefully improve your mood by improving your sleep quality, they are not intended to treat seasonal affective disorder. Both the Hatch Restore and the Casper Glow Light are LEDs that provide different colors during the sunrise and sunset routines.
The Casper Glow emits a “warm yellow light” that also has accent colors of white and amber. As the sunset routine progresses, the Glow turns from bright white to yellow to orange, and then turns off. In the morning, the sunrise routine is the same, except with the order reversed.
The Hatch Restore, on the other hand, has many color schemes and color options to choose from. In the app, you can filter by color palette in order to find a color that suits you.
Although the Hatch has more options for color, both devices produce bright and high-quality light that works great for a night light.
Lights winner: Hatch Restore
Warranty & Customer Support
Both products have good customer service and generous free return windows. Casper offers free shipping and free returns for 30 days, and the product comes with a 1 year warranty. Casper also provides a “free trial” period for 30 days, but this is largely just a marketing tactic, since the company already allows for product returns within 30 days. Hatch offers free shipping and free returns for 60 days, and the product comes with a 1 year warranty. We didn’t need to interact with customer service of either company, thankfully. But each company rates pretty well for customer service and returns.
Warranty/Customer Support winner: Tie
Many companies, including some of the world’s top sleep companies, now make sunrise alarm clocks. Because of the high price tag, it is necessary to do your due diligence on these products. And keep in mind that many people are unable to wake up to a sunrise alarm alone.
The Hatch Restore provides not only a sunrise alarm, but also a traditional alarm clock, light, and sound machine. The Casper Glow Light is gesture-controlled and fun to use, but is ultimately just an expensive night light that doubles as a sunrise alarm.
If you want to use only one product as your alarm, opt for the Hatch Restore. If you are willing to set a backup alarm on a phone or traditional alarm clock, the Casper Glow Light is a cool product that can be detached from the base and used as a portable lantern.