Nothing says “personal space” like your time alone in the bathroom. We don’t want the embarrassment of others hearing us doing out business while in there, right?
White noise machines are a great – and affordable – way to do that. However, finding the best white noise machine for bathroom privacy is a hassle and takes a lot of time.
Let me help! Here you’ll find 5 of the best for your money along with details, short reviews, and the pros & cons to know.
There’s also some great basic information about how they work and more.
- 1 What is “white noise”?
- 2 White noise machine benefits
- 3 How does a white noise machine work?
- 4 How sound machines generate noise
- 5 How to best use a white noise machine in a bathroom
- 6 How many noise machines do I need?
- 7 ★ 5 great white noise machines for bathroom privacy ★
- 8 Editor’s choice: the best white noise machine for bathrooms
- 9 Additional reading
What is “white noise”?
Shown: A graph showing the sonic frequency range of white noise versus what your ears can hear. “White noise” is a scientific term that refers to what happens when we hear sound across the audio spectrum at one consistent volume. It has other scientific uses, but for most of us it’s the ability to drown out – or “mask” – any unwanted sounds that make it very helpful.
White noise is a really interesting topic but sometimes is misunderstood.
White noise is the term used to describe sound production that covers the entire audio spectrum our ears can hear (around 20Hz to 20 Kilohertz or so).
Because it can cover so many sound frequencies found in the real world (like people talking and bathroom sounds) it’s useful for blocking sounds we don’t like.
These terms refer to slightly different sound patterns that are sometimes available with white noise machines. During this post I’ll refer to the standard label of white noise to avoid any confusion.
White noise machine benefits
Pick up a white or tan sound (white noise) machine and you’ll have a good match for most bathroom interiors.
Trust when I say I understand how it can feel when you’re in the bathroom and it’s not the most comfortable situation. Many times I wish I had a handy way to guard my privacy and avoid any potential embarrassment that comes from the normal bathroom habits we all have.
Sound machines are used in a very wide range of circumstances to block sounds, avoid distractions, and create a calm, focused, and relaxed environment.
You’ll generally find white noise used in the following ways:
- In businesses
- Small study rooms
- Physical or behavioral therapist offices
- Helping babies sleep
- Relieving stress
- Blocking outdoor noise at work
- Improving your mood
- Increasing focus & concentration
- For improving productivity & work quality
- Bathroom privacy & a relaxing restroom environment
They’re also especially great for traveling. Because most are compact they fit into baggage easily. Some can work from battery power or a USB phone charger as well.
Our brains are naturally distracted by sound. It can grab our attention and not let go, causing us to lose focus and get stressed out quickly. Unless we’re expecting outside sounds – like attending a sporting event – when they are unwanted it can really have a negative impact on our well-being.
While electric fans like box fans are one option for making white noise, they’re not efficient and definitely aren’t portable. The best solution that’s practical and affordable is to use a sound machine.
Put them where they’re more effective
To get the most out of your new white noise machine (whether it’s one or several you’ve bought) keep placement in mind. Location is important!
Although you might think it’s a good idea, in truth, it’s not best to put one really close to where you’ll spend the most time like your couch, desk, or bed.
Instead, it’s often best to put them several feet away to mask noise more effectively as they’ll cover more area and block incoming sounds throughout the room. Additionally, in cases where you’ve got a larger room or more difficult sounds to block you can use more than one.
How does a white noise machine work?
White noise machines produce a range of sound across all the frequencies that our ears can detect. By doing so, these devices “mask” (cover), and therefore block, unwanted noises that bother us.
Need a low-cost and practical way to prevent people from hearing unwanted noise from outside the bathroom? Sound machines are an effective option.
As long as the volume of any inside or outside sound is equal to or less than the volume of noise made by the machine it can and go unnoticed.
With a few exceptions, nearly all nearby sounds with low or moderate volume – traffic, conversations, coworkers – all the frequencies that we can hear can be blocked.
It’s all about your brain (and ears too)
Our brains can’t process a lot of audio information at once. We’ve all been in situations where everyone’s talking at the same and yet and no one is really “heard” because the voices seem to drown each other out.
That’s the principle behind how sound machines work: The frequencies we can hear are masked by white noise, whether it’s outside traffic, the radio or TV, or your neighbor’s conversation in a nearby apartment.
Sound machines produce sound patterns by one of the methods I’ll describe in the next section.
As long as the unwanted sound volume isn’t louder than the sound produced by the machine our brains will only register what the white noise machine is generating.
Then result is that the noise is covered up (also called masking) and your brain won’t detect the outside sounds anymore. They’re effectively blocked and it’s like they don’t exist at all!
How sound machines generate noise
Left: Electro-mechanical sound machines use an older design that physically moves air to create noise. Right: Electronic sound machines, also called “solid state” since they don’t use moving parts, create sound from digitally stored patterns and use a loudspeaker.
When shopping, you’ll find to main categories to choose from.
1. Electromechanical devices
Electromechanical designs use an older type of noise generating technology. They’re simpler to use, too. Although less popular now they’re still widely used and a good choice for many people
This type uses an electric motor to drive a fan assembly, causing the blades to spin rapidly and generate white noise through airflow. Some allow for volume and sound tone adjustment as well.
Typically these have limited features but are extremely easy to use.
2. Electronic models
Electronic models use integrated circuit components to create noise patterns stored as a digital file much like musical MP3 files. Predetermined sounds are generated and adjustable volume control is standard.
An electronic white noise machine typically provides additional sounds like different fan settings or the sounds of nature.
Electronic vs electromechanical sound machines
Electromechanical and electronic (“solid-state”) white noise machines both have advantages and disadvantages when compared to each other. Saying one is “best” isn’t always the case.
There are pros and cons to both. An electromechanical unit is both simple and reliable but will use more electricity. Because of the fans, they also have a more natural “whoosh” sound which an electronic unit doesn’t.
One disadvantage is that this type uses more electricity than electronic models and requires an outlet for power. Normally this type doesn’t offer a battery power or USB power feature.
Electronic sound machine advantages
Solid-state units offer a lot more features but aren’t as easy to run due to having more buttons & settings to learn and use. The artificial noise patterns are often very good (although the sound quality greatly depends on the design quality & parts used.)
The disadvantage is that they’re not for everyone. They’re not a good choice for the elderly or anyone who doesn’t want to deal with push buttons & more advanced features.
How to best use a white noise machine in a bathroom
Manufacturers recommend placing a noise machine not immediately next to your where you’ll be but several feet away. Optimally, you’ll place it in a place closer to where the noise enters the room. As it’s further away from you, you’re able to have the volume set higher than you would immediately next to you. In the case of bathrooms placing one near the doorway is often ideal.
The good news is that there are only a few steps to setting up a noise machine for optimal use. They’re generally very easy to use.
For best results, place it (or them) in a convenient place away from your bed at least several feet and higher off of the floor if possible.
This is helpful for 2 reasons:
- You’ll need to adjust the volume to block snoring sounds you’re hearing. If the machine is too close to your bed you’re much more likely to turn the volume down a lot which will affect its performance.
- If placed on the floor, sounds may potentially enter more easily than if placed on a desk or table above the floor. Consider where you actually hear sounds entering the room.
Setting up a noise machine only requires a few steps: adjust the volume as needed to a comfortable level that can block sounds and choose your preferred sound type or tone (if applicable) that works best for you.
Countertops, tables, or towel shelves are great locations for them. While you can use yours very close to your toilet if necessary, it’s not an ideal location.
Locating a noise machine a least 3 feet away is recommended and gives it the opportunity to cover more of the bathroom.
How many noise machines do I need?
Marpac, manufacturer of the popular Dohm Class white noise machine, recommends one machine for every 300 square feet. That’s about a 10 foot x 30 foot room for reference.
In some cases you might need to buy a 2nd one if you’re having especially worried about privacy & others hearing you.
For a small bathroom, one is usually fine. For larger bathrooms or if you’re dealing with especially loud sounds, 2 sound machines are recommended.
2 units can be placed in different locations to give better sound coverage as well as a bit more volume that one unit alone can.
★ 5 great white noise machines for bathroom privacy ★
Our top picks at a glance
|Adaptive Sound LectroFan||Check on Amazon|
|Marpac Dohm Classic||Check on Amazon|
|SNOOZ Sound Machine||Check on Amazon|
|Avantek Sound Machine||Check on Amazon|
|Big Red Rooster||Check on Amazon|
Detailed reviews and pros/cons
1. Adaptive Sound Technologies LectroFan – A best-selling value with the features, performance, and sounds options you need.
Ready to start things off with a great buy? And a great value as well? The LectroFan from Adaptive Sound Technologies has not just impressive acoustical technology but plenty of features and value as well.
The smart design simply can’t be beaten, and it’s no wonder why it’s one of the best-rated and best-selling models on the market today.
Modern, solid-state electronics drive the LectroFan’s high-fidelity speaker, delivering excellent white noise options making it a great choice for bathroom privacy.
The LectroFan comes equipped with 20 fantastic noise-masking sounds:
- 10 different fan sound
- 10 unique noise patterns
The fan sounds are really nice and are a great way to get that pleasant, comforting fan sound without the high cost or hassle. Fan sounds include a box fan, an oscillating fan, and a low-tone, mellow-sounding fan as well.
Great sound options for better bathroom peace
The ambient noise choices excellent as well and promote a sense of calm in the bathroom. Options like “pure white,” “tan,” and “coral” are perfect for a relaxing environment where you won’t stress out.
For power options, the LectroFan has a standard 120V adapter but can also be powered by a standard USB port or phone charger.
Don’t care for the white model? The LectroFan is available in a sleek & contemporary black version as well. This one is my favorite.
Great controls & sound
If the white isn’t your preference, the LectroFan comes in a sharp-looking black model too.
Since there are no moving parts to fail you can expect years of hassle-free use. I find the sound quality really stands out thanks to a good design and high-quality loudspeaker that works well.
A 60-minute auto-off timer and push-button volume control add to the overall convenience of the LectroFan. Not just a good value, it’s one of the best and most well-rounded noise machines I’ve found today.
- 10 simulated fan sounds
- 10 ambient sounds
- Low power consumption
- AC or USB power
- Good volume adjustment control
- 60 minute timer
- High-fidelity speaker design
- No internal moving parts
- Compact and lightweight
- Timer is not adjustable (60 minutes only)
- Tan color not available
- Slightly more complex to use
- No nature sounds like ocean, rain, or wind
All in all, it’s one of the best buys for your money. So much so that I’ve awarded it my Editor’s Choice recommendation.
Check it out for your yourself! Find out today why it's one of the best selling white noise machines at Amazon.
2. Marpac Dohm Classic – A timeless classic known for its natural, soothing white noise. Super easy to use, too!
I’ve owned a Marpac Dohm Classic before and know from personal experience why it’s one of the most popular white noise machines of its kind out there.
Details may have changed a little over the years but one thing hasn’t: You’ll get time-tested natural white noise you’ll enjoy in your bathroom and home. Proven electromechanical sound design has served this model well and delivers a unique & distinctive real white noise that no one else has.
Nothing complicated about it! A reliable 3-position on/off switch provides two fan speeds for two volume levels. Like an old friend, the Dohm Classic is the one you can always count on.
The Marpac Dohm Classic is an elegant design choice and the company also produces it in black & tan color options as well (where available for purchase).
You can adjust the white noise’s tone easily too: Simply rotate the outside shell to change the airflow and the pitch as you do. Set it however it works best for you.
As a previous owner of this unit, I grew fond of both the sound and the build quality. I do wish other power options were offered such as a 5V USB port, but that’s a relatively minor gripe.
More to know
As no alternative power options are built in the unit requires a 120V outlet. Although not as “fancy” as some of its electronic competitors, for many people it remains a favorite.
Why you might ask? Because it’s reliable, very simple to use, and just does what it’s supposed to do without any hassle.
It’s a great choice for anyone who loves genuine white noise and hassle-free operation.
- Extremely easy to use
- Available in 3 colors: white, black, tan
- Many happy buyers
- Effective and natural white noise produced
- 2 volumes available (2 speed positions)
- Adjustable sound control
- Classic, simple, and reliable design
- 1 year warranty
- Great customer service from Marpac
- 2 positions only volume (not incremental)
- No USB power option
- Can’t produce additional sounds like electronic models
- No timer or auto-off features
As one of the easiest to use white noise machines it’s an excellent choice. Want a simple noise machine that just works? It’s a great match for you, too.
I recommend you head over to find out more today at Amazon.
3. Snooz White Noise Sound Machine – A stylish combination that perfectly matches classic and modern technology. Smartphone ready, too!
This well-designed model delivers the best of both worlds: Real sound production and advanced electronic features including smartphone control.
A brushless, motor-driven internal fan delivers years of wonderful sound in your bathroom or anywhere else it’s needed. The electronically controlled fan system provides 10 different volume settings as well.
Rotating the Snooz’s outer body lets you easily customize the sound any way that best suits your bathroom needs.
Sound generation with the Snooz is easily customizable – just rotate the outside housing to get the desired pitch and noise that’s just right for your bathroom. It takes only seconds to learn & memorize.
Clear, well thought out controls
The Snooz’s fantastic sound is delivered with clearly marked top-mounted controls that are a snap to get used to. Sound quality is very good as well!
It’s also ready for masking all kinds of sounds – you’ll get a generous volume range from 46dB to a high 87dB.
The Snooz’s advanced features include the ability to control noise machines from your smartphone, too. The free app (for both iPhones or Android devices) provides a wireless interface to control everything you need to do from anywhere within Bluetooth range.
The built-in Bluetooth technology allows your iPhone or Android device to easily control all major functions on the Snooz. You can even control multiple sound machines and name them to make it easier to keep track of them all!
Hands-free operation is possible courtesy of a convenient auto on/off scheduler, another excellent feature of this impressive model. No need to worry if you’ve left it running while you’re out.
Pick from Snooz comes two stylish colors. While it’s more expensive than other popular models, it’s no accident why it’s a top seller: You’ll get one of the best sound machines money can buy today.
- Bluetooth smartphone remote control (iPhone, Android)
- Adjustable sound/tone
- Simple operation
- Touch controls
- Natural white noise production
- Brushless long-life motor
- Two colors to choose
- Low power consumption (9W)
- Operate multiple rooms from phone app
- 10-level volume control
- Great performance and sound masking ability
- Auto-scheduling feature
- Great for travel
- Limited to 10-step volume control
- No black or white model available
- No WiFi option
- Can’t operate scheduling without phone app
- More expensive than others
- No USB power option
It’s one of the best money can buy – a great mix of natural-sounding noise generation with the added convenience of smartphone control.
Want one of the best for your bathroom and home? Head over now and find out why so many people have rated it one of the best noise machines sold at Amazon.
4. Avantek White Noise Basic – A smart combination of features, performance, and affordability in an easy-to-use package.
Looking for affordability, value, performance at the $50 and below price point? I’ve found that the Avantek White Noise Basic delivers is one well worth checking out.
The adjustable volume control is very good for the price: Thanks to the generous 30-step volume control you can get just the right amount of loudness you need.
Great volume and more features
Worried about loud noises? This one’s got you covered! The Avantek offers one of the highest volume outputs out there today: Up to a whopping 115dB.
Additionally, the built-in memory feature means that your settings from your last use are automatically recalled the next time you switch it on. Nice!
Along with the black model, the Avantek Basic also come in more traditional white.
In case the black satin version with the blue trim ring isn’t your style you’re still covered as a more traditional version in white is also available.
The Basic, with its simple controls and ease-of-use makes it an attractive choice and a great value too.
Easy controls make it a snap
One of the best features, in my opinion, are the top-mounted buttons. Adjusting the sound type and volume level will come naturally to anyone who’s ever used an MP3 player. Very intuitive!
A total of 20 sound choices are available for a more relaxing atmosphere:
- 6 fan choices
- 6 white noise choices
- 8 nature sound selections
Thank to the auto-off timer you can drift off to sleep gracefully by choosing from 1 to 7 hours of hands-free operation before it turns off by itself. Additionally, when set to continuous play it loops without any “breakup” when the sound pattern repeats.
- 18 month warranty
- Simple controls – similar to MP3 player
- Volume adjustment up/down buttons
- Auto-off timer: 1-7 hours
- 20 sounds available
- Memory function for restoring last settings automatically
- 2 color choices (black, white)
- AC power or USB power inputs
- Soft-fade volume decrease at end of timer
- Non-looping sounds (continuous without breaks)
- Auto-off timer LED indicator lights (indicates hour selection)
- Lower power use
- 7-hour auto-off timer is a bit short for typical sleep
- No smartphone control
- Can’t adjust sound tones – plays fixed sound types
- No headphone jack for connection to speaker system
- No touch controls
- Ambient sound options only available in Pro model
On a budget, but don’t want bottom-end quality? The Avantek Basic line is a great compromise between cost, features, and ease of use.
It’s well worth checking out. Find out today why it's one of the best-rated budget white noise machines today at Amazon.
5. Big Red Rooster BRRC107 Sound Machine – A budget choice that you’ll really enjoy.
Need a low-cost option for the bathroom? The Big Red Rooster BRRC107 is a great option for those who need to spend $30 and under.
The BRRC107 can generate 6 different background sounds:
- Gentle brook
- White noise
- Ocean sounds
- Summer night
Even though it’s a budget-priced unit, one feature they didn’t skimp on is the auto-off timer. You can set it to run for 15, 30, or 60 minutes before the BRRC107 shuts down automatically.
Besides being a welcome addition to the bathroom it’s perfect for travel, too! Switch from the 120V AC power adapter (included) to 3 AA batteries for white noise on the go.
You’ll also get more than white noise sounds for bathroom visits. Gentle brook, falling rain, and sounds of the ocean are available at your fingertips for the perfect mood anytime.
Simple, easy-to-use controls – like the direct volume up and down buttons – make operating the unit a breeze. It’s easy to learn and master in minutes. I love the sounds you get for the low price, too!
While you won’t get quite the same sound quality level as units costing almost twice as much, it’s still a good sounding unit in my opinion.
Overall, it’s a very good low-cost option for those looking to get a white noise machine in their bathroom at a reasonable price.
- Small size
- Simple & clear push button controls
- 15, 30, and 60 minute auto-off timers
- Battery power option
- Travel-ready design
- 6 sound options
- Adjustable volume controls
- Popular model with many good reviews
- Lower power use
- Low cost
- Sound quality could better
- No other color options
- Limited sound choices
- No smartphone control
- Timer options are limited to 15, 30, or 60 mins.
- No USB power connections
You don’t have to break your budget when shopping for a noise machine for your bathroom or home.
Give the BRRC107 a try – it’s hard to beat at this price. Check out the thousands of happy buyer reviews at Amazon now.
Editor’s choice: the best white noise machine for bathrooms
With its perfect balance between performance, features, and price, the LectroFan from Advanced Sound Technologies is my top pick for the best white noise machine for bathroom privacy and discretion.
I can’t say enough about the Advanced Sound Technologies LectroFan. It’s a great value and the thousands of great online reviews don’t lie: People love it!
When compared with others in the same price range (around $50 or so), the LectroFan clearly stands out. If you’re dealing with annoying sounds in your bathroom or other rooms it’s hands-down one of the best choices out there. It’s affordable too.
Don’t hesitate to see the outstanding reviews and learn why it's a best seller at Amazon.
Maybe a traditional box fan with that classic white noise is a better choice for you. Check out this great post featuring the top box fans for white noise.
How about a portable fan you can take anywhere? Here’s a great list of the best travel fans for white noise.