Best Night Lights 2023
Jul 27, 2023
Selecting the best night light for your kid’s room can encourage deeper, healthier sleep for everyone. If you’ve ever sat in the dark while rocking your toddler to sleep, reassured your first grader that there aren’t monsters under the bed or stumbled through a dimly lit diaper change, then you know the importance of having a little illumination in your kids’ rooms at night. And if you haven’t had one of these experiences yet, you’ll be thankful to have the best night light in place when it does. Our favorite night light overall for kids’ rooms is the Hatch Rest, because of its gentle but powerful light, sleek packaging and additional features, including white noise.
One of the best night lights for kids (and adults) is the Hatch Rest, a versatile sleep machine with ... [+] smart settings and soothing sounds.
While many of us think of night lights as comfort objects for children (which they are), they’re also extremely beneficial for parents. The addition of a night light to your child’s room will prevent you from stepping on errant toys or stubbing your toe in the middle of the night. “Using a night light for you baby or toddler can be an essential ingredient in establishing and maintaining consistent nighttime sleep,” says Ann Marks, sleep consultant and founder of Full Feedings. And who doesn’t want a consistent full night’s sleep? (I did, and that’s how I found Marks in the first place).
“Not only can a night light provide comfort, it can also help navigate any middle of the night care, without further stimulating or fully waking your baby up,” Marks says. New parents, take note.
I can attest that a night light made middle-of-the night feedings and unexpected wake-ups far easier in our household. Below, we’ve gathered the best night lights to help restore order to your sleep routine whether you have a baby, toddler or big kid. If you’re in search of more soothing sleep essentials, see our favorite white noise machines, nursery gliders and sleep sacks and swaddles.
Dimmable: Yes | Type of light: Multiple options | Rechargeable: Yes | Plug-in adapter: Yes | Timer: Yes | Extra features: Sound machine, audio monitor, app control, OK To Rise sleep training
There’s a reason this was the top favorite of parents I interviewed for this story (myself included). The Hatch Rest is not only a night light; it’s also a sound machine, as well as an OK To Rise sleeper trainer and audio monitor, eliminating the need for extra gear in the nursery. It’s all easy to control via an app too. You can set features on a schedule, put a toddler lock on the machine and choose to plug it in or to use it untethered and on-the-go.
Mom tested:“I love the Hatch light,” mom Lauren Kauffman explains. “It offers a dim light (of any color) as well as various sounds, and I can control everything from my phone. I give it a 10 out of 10.”
Dimmable: Yes | Type of light: LED | Rechargeable: Yes | Plug-in adapter: Yes | Timer: No | Extra features: Touch control
If the $70 Hatch isn’t in your budget, you’re in luck. The G Keni has a similar aesthetic with a much smaller price tag, making it our best night light value pick. This budget-friendly option is a baby-friendly night light that offers touch activation, dimmable light, a brightness memory setting and a hanging hook design. Plus, it’s easily rechargeable and can glow for up to 50 hours (depending on the brightness) when fully charged.
Looks aside, it’s worth noting that unlike the Hatch, the G Keni does not have a built-in sound machine, multicolored light options or smart features. However, its rechargeable design should be preferable to parents wanting to avoid chords, and at $22, you can snag a few for multiple rooms.
Dimmable: Yes | Type of light: Multiple options | Rechargeable: Yes | Plug-in adapter: Yes | Timer: Yes | Extra features: Tap on, toggle to warm hue, multiple light colors
The Vava night light brings some ease to a not so easy portion of parenthood. Ideal for newborns, infants and babies, this portable night light provides eight color options and 100 hours of long-lasting battery life to make night wakings so much easier. I vividly remember this light being a huge help during the early days with my son when he slept in a bassinet next to the bed but would feed and have his diaper changed in another room. The Vava also includes a 1-hour timer so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on and losing the battery if you fall asleep.
Mom tested: “I used to tap this little egg night light on with a toe or an elbow as I raced in to feed my babies in the middle of the night,” shares Rose Gordon Sala, baby and kids editor at Forbes Vetted. “I love the warm light option, too, as I felt it was bright enough for nursing and a diaper change but wouldn’t wake the baby too much. And it has continued working well as the kids have gotten older but still want a little night light to chase away bad dreams.”
Dimmable: No | Type of light: Multiple options | Rechargeable: Yes | Plug-in adapter: Yes | Timer: Yes | Extra features: Sound machine, OK to Wake training
Many parents, including the facilitator of my mommy and me group, swear by OK to Wake Alarm Clocks for toddlers. They help (some) toddlers understand when it’s OK to get out of bed with the help of a big smiling visual, including a dim glow of red, green or yellow light. While this lamp will also serve as a standard night light during bedtime hours, it’s most helpful in helping with impulse control—especially if your toddler is sleeping in a toddler bed and not a crib. The clock glows when it’s time to get up (you set the appropriate time), aka OK to Wake. The one downside is that the light and volume of the sound machine can’t be dimmed.
Mom tested: “All three of my kids have used this toddler clock as I tried to keep them in bed a bit longer,” says Sala. “It’s lasted us nearly a decade now and is currently sitting on my preschooler’s bedside. The night light gives off a just-right dim glow that you can also face away from them to make it darker if you like. I can’t promise your tot will follow the ‘OK to wake’ settings, but it has worked for us to get them back on track, and I like that it introduces the concept of time in a friendly way, too. I do find it a pain to reset the clock and the alarm settings.”
Dimmable: No | Type of light: LED | Rechargeable: No | Plug-in adapter: No | Timer: Yes, automatic | Extra features: Carry handle
Not only is this cute little owl night light a great price at less than $20, but it’s also a wonderful option for kids who’ve worked hard to develop some autonomy, because they can independently turn it on and off. It also has an easy-to-use handle if your child would like to take it to the restroom for middle of the night solo potty trips. Keep in mind that this portable little light shuts off automatically after 20 minutes. It also requires batteries to run, though parent testers told us the batteries do seem to last for quite some time, perhaps because of the auto-shutoff.
Mom tested: One mom interviewed said she loves that her daughters, who share a room, are able to turn the light on by themselves if they wake up early and would like to read books in bed. Sala shares her family also owns this cute night light, but that the kids use it more for playtime given its limited runtime as they prefer a night light that stays on all night. But it’s been widely featured in many a make-believe game.
Dimmable: Yes | Type of light: Multiple options | Rechargeable: No | Plug-in adapter: Yes | Timer: Yes | Extra features: Sound machine and air purifier
While several products on this list include a sound machine and night light, this Fridababy option includes the addition of a HEPA-grade air purifier, a major plus when thinking about stocking your nursery. The combinations of several products in one frees up space in your child’s room and is one less thing to worry about purchasing, too. The night light on this Fridababy item includes four light hues. There are also two white noise options, three fan speeds on the air purifier and an auto-shutoff timer with options of 2, 4 or 8 hours.
Mom tested: I used this nifty night light, sound machine and air purifier combo while out of town one weekend and was very pleasantly surprised. The one downside that myself and most reviewers point out is that it isn’t portable or rechargeable, which isn’t a deal-breaker but would make it even more convenient.
Dimmable: Yes | Type of light: Multiple options | Rechargeable: Yes | Plug-in adapter: Yes | Timer: Yes | Extra features: Remote control, washable and soft silicone
These adorable night lights are a hit with kids. They’re available in a wide array of popular animals (think: dinosaurs, unicorns and bunny rabbits), so no matter what your child is interested in, they’ll be able to pick something that fits their unique taste and interest. It’s made from high-quality silicone so it’s soft to the touch (your child can play with it as they fall asleep if they need extra comfort). They’re also portable and rechargeable, making for a great travel night light option. Each LumiPet night light offers nine changing colors, giving off a rainbow of light, and is just over 5 inches tall.
The Forbes Vetted team consists of avid researchers who are experienced in identifying and reviewing the best products across various categories. This includes testing and reporting on the best baby and kids gear, from baby monitors to diaper pails to bassinets. For this story, we also enlisted an expert to weigh in: Ann Marks, sleep consultant and founder of Full Feedings.
Beyond our professional expertise, many of our staff members and contributors are parents, and you’ll find their recommendations in this story. This includes Lex Goodman, the author of this story, and Rose Gordon Sala, Vetted’s baby and kids editor and mom of three.
To choose the best night lights for kids, we first tapped into our own experiences: As a mother myself, I (Lex Goodman) have tried a number of these night lights firsthand, as has Rose Gordon Sala, the Vetted baby and kids gear editor. We also gathered recommendations from Ann Marks, sleep consultant and founder of Full Feedings, as well as other moms I interviewed who’ve used some of these products in their homes.
For each night light on this list, we researched features, compared specs and browsed customer reviews—in fact, all of our picks have an average star rating of at least 4 out of 5 stars. From feature-heavy options like the plug-in Hatch Rest to simple, rechargeable lights like the Vava Baby, we made sure to cover options for different nursery needs, age ranges and budgets.
Adding a night light to your child’s room is a safe way to create a more comfortable sleep environment, as long as it checks a few boxes. You’ll want to make sure the design is kid-friendly and age-appropriate (in other words, it doesn’t get hot or have small parts that could pose a choking hazard) and that it’s placed in a safe spot. Marks notes, “When utilizing a night light, make sure its placement in the room is not too close to baby’s crib.” For corded options, you’ll want to make sure the cord is well out of reach, too.
Simply put: some do, some don’t. Like many aspects of parenting, this depends on their temperament. Trial and error will show you if your kid likes a lighter sleep environment or if they thrive more in a pitch-black room. One thing to keep in mind? “If you find that your baby prefers to sleep without a night light, as some do, I would still recommend keeping one in the room,” Marks shares. “That way you can turn it on if you need to see where you’re going in the night to provide care and comfort.” She adds another tip: “If possible, find a dimmable night light so you have options for brightness to accommodate your baby’s preference.”
This ultimately is up to parent and kid preference but some research shows that red light is most optimal for prime sleeping conditions. “I highly recommend a red light night light, as they are known to help our bodies produce melatonin naturally which helps promote better sleep,” Marks points out.Best Night Light OverallBest Value Night LightBest Night Light For BabiesBest Night Light For ToddlersBest Night Light For KidsBest Sound Machine And Night Light ComboBest Animal Night LightDimmable|Type of light| Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra featuresMom tested:Dimmable| Type of light|Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra featuresDimmable|Type of light|Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra featuresMom tested: Dimmable|Type of light|Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra featuresMom tested: Dimmable|Type of light|Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra featuresMom tested: Dimmable|Type of light|Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra featuresMom tested: Dimmable|Type of light|Rechargeable|Plug-in adapter|Timer|Extra features