In our busy world, catching those Z’s is more important than ever! If you are struggling with falling asleep, or waking up, or even just feeling well rested throughout the day, you may need a little help. Enter Hatch Restore, an intelligent sleep assistant device that combines a sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, meditation aid, and alarm clock to help you fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling great. In this hands-on hatch restore review, I’ll explore the features, how it works, what you might need to pay on top of the purchase price to get the most from it, who should consider it, I’ll hit its pros and cons, and wrap things up by telling you whether it’s a worthwhile investment.
Hatch Restore fits a narrow niche of people who want a specialized product and app package that focuses on sleep quality and wellness, and it does a good job at this! However, A smart lightbulb and many smart home/ meditation apps can provide much of the same functionality at a much lower cost.
- All-in-One device
- Customizable settings
- Nice Design
- Beautiful lighting effects
- Helps me fall asleep
- Gentle wake up
- Adjustable clock brightness, on/off
- It works!
- Limited free meditation content
- Smartphone dependent
- No standalone Bluetooth speaker
- Can’t use own sounds for wake ups
- Sound quality isn’t the greatest
- Monthly fee for full library of sounds
Hatch Restore review: Set up
Setting up hatch restore smart sleep assistant doesn’t take very long at all. Plug the device in and download the Hatch Sleep app. Using the app, you will connect Restore to Wi-Fi and this will automatically set the time for you based on your current location. No fiddling with multiple buttons to manually set the hours and minutes; what a relief!
My hands-on video review
Buttons and on-device controls
There are just a couple of buttons on the device for quick access to common needs, such as silencing, an alarm for turning on your sleep, sounds. The buttons are intuitive and easy to understand, and also include volume and brightness toggles on either side.
Hatch Sleep services cost money
The first thing I realized during the set up process that actually surprised me, is that taking full advantage of Hatch sleep tools will come at a cost. Hatch immediately wants you to sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription service for its ‘curated sleep content’. Hatch charges $6.49CAD per month or $60.99CAD ($5/moUSD or $50/year) per year to access its full library of sleep sounds, music, meditation, exercise, sleep stories, and more. If you opt not to pay for the services, you are getting an extremely limited experience with this device. While Hatch does offer a free trial (you get a one week trial if you enable the monthly billing, or 30 days if you enable the yearly billing), you will be required to sign up using Apple pay via the App Store, meaning you will automatically start getting billed after your trial unless you remember to cancel it. I personally hate having to do that since I think it’s a sneaky way to get monthly payments. Even so, for the benefit of this review I did enable it—and set a calendar appointment reminding me to cancel.
What you get with free version
While Hatch doesn’t make it easy, you can opt out of the paid subscription service, and simply use the small amount of free sound effects that are available. I used the free version for about 10 days and found that the small library of sounds did have enough options for me to make it worthwhile, but you don’t get things like sleep stories and meditations.
Hatch Sleep app is clunky
Here I will also point out the Hatch Sleep app isn’t intuitive to navigate. If you don’t set your routines during the set up process when prompted, it takes some looking to figure it out. Similarly, it’s not clear where all the extra sleep sounds, stories and meditations live inside the app (Library, if you’re looking) since if you want to fall asleep to a meditation, you can’t choose that option if you go to create a Sleep Routine… you can only access it from the Library tab, and then you have to choose ‘Add to Unwind’.
With that said, once you find your way around the app, there are many sleep options for paid subscribers.
Adjustable Clock brightness
One of the questions I always get asked when I review alarm clocks and similar devices is, can I adjust the clock brightness?
How to adjust clock brightness on Hatch Restore Alarm Clock
I’m glad to say that on Hatch Restore smart sleep assistant , adjusting the clock brightness is extremely easy. It’s a setting that can be found on your home screen by clicking on the gear icon and then choosing My Restore. Click into Clock Display and you’ll see a slider that allows you to not only adjust the brightness, but choose 24 hour versus 12 hour clocks, or even to turn the display off if you prefer. I have to say I appreciate that level of customization because everyone is quite different when it comes to their sleep preferences.
Set up your Routines
Hatch will ask you during the set up process to set up a variety of “routines” including options for “unwind”, “sleep” and “wake.
- Unwind: enables you to run white noise and a light feature to help you fall asleep
- Sleep: if you have trouble staying asleep, you can turn on a variety of white noise effects to help blur background or ambient sound that may disturb your sleep
- Wake: set alarms for certain days of the week at any time you want, and choose whether to wake up with a variety of sounds, and or simulated sunrise effects.
Key Features of Hatch Restore
Hatch Restore has a few key features that make it useful.
- Sleep Sounds: Offering a variety of calming and soothing sounds, Hatch Restore helps you relax and drift off to sleep more easily. Choose from a range of options, including white noise, nature sounds, and ambient music, to find the perfect audio environment for your needs.
- Sunrise Alarm: Mimicking the natural progression of sunrise, the Hatch Restore’s light gradually increases in intensity to gently wake you up. This feature can help you feel more refreshed and energized, compared to traditional abrupt alarm sounds.
- Traditional Alarm: Hatch Restore allows you to set a preferred wake-up time and choose from a variety of more traditional alarm sounds (and light intensities, if you want). This flexibility enables a personalized wake-up experience that suits individual preferences.
- Smart Light: The device’s adjustable light settings can be customized for different activities such as reading, relaxing, or preparing for bed. With adjustable color temperatures and brightness levels, the Hatch Restore ensures a comfortable environment tailored to your preferences.
- Guided Meditations: Hatch Restore includes audio content designed to help you unwind and relax, ultimately improving your sleep quality. Choose from a selection of guided meditations, breathing exercises, and sleep stories to help you drift off peacefully.
- Sleep Stories: if you prefer, falling asleep to podcasts or voices, Hatch Restore offers sleep stories for you. You can choose both story content, and length of time that works for you.
Though it doesn’t seem like it at a glance, the built-in light of the hatch restore is extremely customizable. It can dim down to an incredibly low brightness, or get extremely bright. It also posts about two dozen different colours that it can display instead, which is actually one of my favourite features. I prefer warm light in the bedroom, so being able to set a nightlight in pink, orange, or yellow, gives me a little bit of a light when needed without the blazing wake-up.
The light colours can only be set or adjusted using the Hatch Sleep app.
Hatch Restore has over 30 different white noise sounds in its library, including natural sounds like birds or crickets as well as a variety of water sounds, plus more human things like a fan or a dishwasher running if you prefer that.
My honest experience with Hatch Restore
I used Hatch Restore for approximately three weeks in my home. I will admit that having tried numerous specialty sleep-wake devices I do know already that I enjoy this technology.
I can say getting Hatch Restore set up what is easy and I like the variety of both sleep and wake options. I chose to try out several different sleep routines and a couple of different wake ups. For my sleep routines, I chose white noise and warm light; you can have it run until you choose to shut it off (great if you’re reading) or let the timer stop it if you’re going to drift off with it running.
I really like the sleep features and I find it does help me relax.
Steps in a sleep routine
One of the features I didn’t quite understand very well until a couple of weeks is that every time you create a preset sleep option in the app, you are actually creating a step in a sleep routine. So while you might see several sleep sound and light options on the homepage of your app, these are not presets or favourites, but steps that will play in order next time you go to sleep.
You can skip a step by tapping the top button on the restore. Once I figured this out it was fine, but a big feature of the app should have in my opinion is the ability to create a list of favourites that you can call up quickly for one at a time use.
Waking up with Hatch Restore
I find sunrise alarms very helpful in creating a more gentle wake up environment. While I really liked the sunrise lighting feature on the Hatch Restore, I did find the audio quality actually made me grumpy. Waking to scratchy and tinny sounding birds chirping was not the most pleasant wake up. The speaker is not great quality; it’s adequate and that’s it. To the point where I preferred to skip sound during my wake ups all together
Hatch restore is clearly made to be a multi-purpose sleep and weak device; it’s not meant to be a Bluetooth speaker (and won’t actually function as one for you to play your own music). As noted, the speaker is very thin sound. It’s not the worst alarm clock speaker I’ve ever heard, but it’s close.
Who Should Consider Hatch Restore
If you’ve been using your smart phone as an alarm clock, it’s not the greatest idea. For starters, falling asleep with the phone within reach can’t tempt us to stay awake and doom scrolling. Then when we wake up, we are similarly conditioned to immediately begin checking things like texts, emails, and social media, DM’s. Using a dedicated alarm clock means you can put your phone (and its sleep-sucking blue light) away to focus on better rest. So who would get the most from this device?
- People with sleep issues: Hatch Restore’s features can benefit those struggling with falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling refreshed.
- Busy professionals: Demanding work schedules can be balanced by establishing a consistent and healthy sleep routine with the Hatch Restore, improving productivity and well-being.
- Parents and caregivers: The Hatch Restore aids in creating calming bedtime routines for both adults and children, promoting better sleep for the whole family.
- Light sleepers: White noise settings help create an optimal sleep environment for those sensitive to sounds or light changes.
- Individuals seeking relaxation: Guided meditation and calming sounds provide stress relief and relaxation for users unwinding before bed—or any time of day.
Can I use Hatch Sleep app with headphones?
After I purchased paid access to some of the additional sleep stories and meditation features, I thought I would try using the app to help me take a break throughout the day. I assumed, wrongly as it turns out, that I could dial up any of the meditations on my iPhone, and listen to them on the phone speaker or headphones for any time relaxation. Turns out that is not possible. Hatch content will only play on a Hatch device—period. Meaning you’re extremely limited in how you can use the device and the content in the app.
Can I use my own music or sounds with Hatch Restore?
The short answer is no. Hatch restore will not function as a Bluetooth speaker for you to listen to any time, nor can you incorporate any of your own audio into the programs.
Does It Really Work?
When it comes to the Hatch Restore, the burning question is: does it really work? For many users, myself included, the answer is a resounding “yes”! Its fusion of sleep-promoting features and personalization options helps create a tailored sleep experience that can make a genuine difference in sleep quality.
Overall review: Hatch Restore
The Overall Hatch Restore review is quite satisfying. Although I do think there are a number of things to be aware of so that you know exactly what you’re getting and not getting with this device.
On the pro side I like the design and it was easy to set up. I love falling asleep to beautiful lighting effects, and being able to listen to white noise or water sounds as well as a variety of meditations and sleep stories means I can always find something suitable to drift off to. I definitely liked waking up to the sunrise and other lighting effects too, but I did find the poor audio quality actually bothered me.
On the downside; there is very limited content available if you choose not to pay hatches monthly fees, so you might not be able to use the device to its full potential. Some folks might not appreciate that you need to use your smart phone for almost any task related to the restore, but this did not bother me personally. Other folks may not like that you can’t use your own sounds, and the device will not double as a Bluetooth speaker.
Even so I think the Hatch Restore is a great easy to use device that does exaclty what it says it will—helps you sleep and wake better.
Is Hatch Restore Worth It?
At $129.99, the Hatch Restore is more expensive than an alarm clock but it also offers more.
Of course, you could always opt for a smart coloured lightbulb in your bedside lamp, and a subscription or free access to any number of meditation and sound machine apps on your smartphone.
The true worth of this product comes from addressing diverse requirements and enhancing sleep quality, as an all-in-one device, making it a valuable investment for individuals who place a premium on their overall wellness. However, users with specific needs or budget constraints might find more affordable standalone devices more suitable.
Shop the Hatch Restore sleep-wake device
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