I've been falling asleep to white noise machines since my freshman year of college, and while I no longer live in a thin-walled dorm room (praise be), I still love drifting off to the soothing sound of gentle static. It's like a staticky lullaby that masks ambient noise and calms down my thoughts, distracting me before I can get caught up in whatever I'm stressed about. I turn it on, lay down, and before I know it, I'm conked out for the night.
When I'm traveling and away from my white noise machine, I definitely feel the absence. I feel more anxious when I'm drifting off and I'll typically wake up more during the night, especially when I'm in a noisy hotel. So when I got the Lectrofan Micro2 Sleep Sound Machine ($26) for Christmas (thanks, Mom!), of course I was intrigued; this little travel-size white noise machine fits right in the palm of my hand and the pocket of my backpack, and it seemed like a potential solution to my travel sleep woes. While traveling over the holidays, I took the opportunity to give it a test drive.
First of all, I have to say that this little guy generates some soothing AF white noise. I realize this is niche, but bear with me: some machines give off noise that's a little scratchy, or run a looping track that gets repetitive. The LectroFan lives up to its name; like a fan, it creates the perfect soothing hum. It's volume-adjustable, unlike my home white noise machine, which just has two volume settings. And it offers a few different frequencies of white noise to suit your preferences: you can go with the fan-like hum (my favorite), the more classic "white noise" static, or ocean wave-inspired sounds.
Another thing I love? The LectroFan doubles as a high-quality Bluetooth speaker, making it a two-for-one deal that saves room in your carry-on. The speaker itself is adjustable, so you can angle it up towards your bed to maximize your white noise. And it's rechargeable as well, with a cord that fits into USB sockets.
I threw the LectroFan in my backpack when I visited my boyfriend over New Year's, where it passed the ultimate test: he wanted to use it over his own white noise machine, which is bigger with fancier sound settings. He legitimately tried to steal it from me the next time he came to visit. (I've started hiding it when he comes over.)
Now when I'm packing for trips, I make sure to stash this little white noise machine in my suitcase. It's a space- and cost-efficient way to help me get a good night's sleep on the road, and I don't plan on making another overnight trip without it humming by my side.
Image Source: Getty / Adam Kuylenstierna / EyeEm