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    Fancy waking up to the sound of kittens purring? Now you can thanks to hi-tech alarms 

    Fancy waking up to the sound of kittens purring?…or even the scent of baking cookies — now you can thanks to a new generation of hi-tech alarms

    • Mandy Francis uncovers the unusual alarms which will help get you out of bed 
    • From an alarm that runs away from you to one that is ‘louder than a freight train’
    • For every different type of sleeper there is a wacky alarm to wake them up

    As the mornings grow darker — and with many of us set to work from home for months to come — getting up to head to your ‘office’ might be a struggle.

    So we put the best alarm clocks to the test: from one that wakes you with the smell of cookies to another that could beat winter blues… 

    If you’d like to be woken by the sound of purring kittens or the smell of baking cookies then these alarms might be for you…

    Rise and shine to the smell of fresh toast

    SensorWake 2 Olfactory Alarm Clock, £31.20, amazon.co.uk

    SensorWake 2 Olfactory Alarm Clock, £31.20, amazon.co.uk

    SensorWake 2 Olfactory Alarm Clock, £31.20, amazon.co.uk

    Best for: Rather light sleepers.

    What is it? Pop your chosen ‘fragrance cassette’ into this digital clock and a blast of mint, apple and cinnamon, cookies or toast will stimulate your brain as you wake.

    Does it work? I was woken, not by the smell of toast, but by the monotonous drone of the fan that blows the fragrance out.

    If the scents, formulated by a top French perfume house, aren’t enough to wake you, a pleasant, pulsing blue light starts up 60 seconds later, followed by a gentle alarm. But you need to buy a replacement capsule after every 30 uses, which costs around £4.99, and I’m not sure this would rouse a heavy sleeper.4/10

    The clock that runs away

    Suck UK Clocky, £39.20, robot shop.com

    Suck UK Clocky, £39.20, robot shop.com

    Suck UK Clocky, £39.20, robot shop.com

    Best for: Serial snoozers.

    What is it? An alarm on wheels that allows you one snooze before it jumps off your table and roves around until you catch it and turn it off.

    Any good? This cartoonish, battery-operated clock is surprisingly fiddly to set up. You can’t miss the alarm however, which emits loud, R2-D2-style whistles and beeps.

    The alarm won’t stop until you press a button, so it was several minutes before I rescued it from behind some boxes with a coat hanger, by which time it had woken my partner and our two children. The concept is fun, but could be irritating. But you can set the clock so it doesn’t ‘run off’. 2/10

    A sunrise in your bedroom

    Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB, £199, lumie.com

    Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB, £199, lumie.com

    Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB, £199, lumie.com

    Best for: Those who have seasonal affective disorder.

    What is it? A radio and light therapy alarm that wakes you with a gentle ‘sunrise’, shown to help regulate sleep patterns and boost energy levels. It offers a relaxing ‘sunset’ too, and low blue light function for bedtime.

    Any good? The sunrise function starts with a warm red glow and slowly brightens to a clear, bluish light that floods the bedroom by the time you get up. It can also be accompanied by the radio or one of the clock’s 20-plus alarm sounds — everything from kittens purring to background cafe chat. Waking to a ‘sunrise’ definitely makes it easier to get up. 8/10

    Louder than a freight train

    Sonic Alert SBA475 Vibrating Analogue Alarm Clock, £54.99, hearingdirect.com

    Sonic Alert SBA475 Vibrating Analogue Alarm Clock, £54.99, hearingdirect.com

    Sonic Alert SBA475 Vibrating Analogue Alarm Clock, £54.99, hearingdirect.com

    Best for: Those who sleep heavily.

    What is it? An analogue clock with an extra-loud alarm and ‘bed shaker’ — a vibrating disc you can place under your mattress.

    Any good? With its traditional clock face, this unassuming timepiece hides a surprising secret — an 80-decibel alarm. The bed shaker plugs in separately, so you can use the alarm with or without it.

    Deciding to go the whole hog, I nervously popped the bed shaker disc under my mattress and set everything to maximum. The unbelievably loud, high-pitched bleeping alarm tone — which sounds like a reversing lorry — and the vibrations from the bed shaker reverberate powerfully through the mattress springs. There is no way anyone could sleep through this. Brutal but highly effective.9/10

    AROMA MAGIC LIKE A POTTER SPELL

    Dimplex 100ml Electronic Aroma Humidifier And Alarm Clock, £45, freemans.com

    Dimplex 100ml Electronic Aroma Humidifier And Alarm Clock, £45, freemans.com

    Dimplex 100ml Electronic Aroma Humidifier And Alarm Clock, £45, freemans.com

    Best for: Those miserable Mondays.

    What is it? A mains-powered essential oil diffuser and humidifier that’s an alarm, too.

    Any good? This neat diffuser has an integral touch-sensitive illuminated clock, and can be set to diffuse on cue.

    It has an alarm function if needed, and colour-changing mood lights.

    I filled the diffuser tank with water and a few drops of a stimulating essential oil blend. Woken by the alarm, I saw what looked like clouds of dry ice curling out and over the sides. The fragrance helped blast away any grogginess. It was as though I was in a Harry Potter film and there was a spell brewing at my bedside.8/10

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