I’ve always wanted to be a hermit. Not in a curmudgeonly way, or because I don’t like people. I just love to romanticize the life of living in a coastal, remote 1970s redwood-and-glass house with a few friends, more than a few birds, and all the best television streaming services. So, maybe not a full-blown hermit—but let’s say, hermit-edging. That’s where the Loftie comes in; it's a new alarm clock designed to help you “break up with your smartphone alarm.”
Look, I’m not anti-tech. I just want to live smarter with my existing tech, and that’s what the makers of the Loftie believe, too. As their eponymous, founding creation, this smart alarm clock connects to your Wi-Fi to bring you relaxing soundscapes, bedtime stories, and, most importantly, to automatically sync to your time zone as you set your wake-up alarms—and unlike many "smart" home audio devices, it's all without ever collecting your data (Loftie respects your boundaries!). “Smartphones have taken over pretty much everything,” explained the brand, “alarm clocks and our quality of sleep included, [and] between blue light, endless scrolling, and more, [you’re] ruining your sleep.” I hate to admit it, but they’re right. I can spend hours on TikTok, and I’m a total chump for those autogenerated iPhone memory slideshows; a “quick five minutes” on my iPhone in the morning can quickly turn into a half-hour of doom-scrolling that wakes me up on the wrong side of the bed, with eyes that look like young Satan in Rosemary’s Baby.
Loftie promised to help me with all of that. It helped me set realistic boundaries with my tech and my health; to find the proverbial “balance between cigarettes and tofu,” as Gwyneth Paltrow (lol) once said. I was lucky enough to receive a Loftie for an honest review from the women-owned wellness and shopping platform The Verticale, and gave it a test run for a full two weeks to see if it would live up to the hype.
Do me a favor? Dig into your early 00s brain, and recall that feeling of unboxing your first iPhone. It was powerful, minimal, and even a little enigmatic. Well, unboxing your Loftie is just as sexy, no question about that; The black clock has a built-in screen and an optional warm light underneath that makes me feel a hell of a lot more sophisticated than I am, and the speakers have a pretty impressive sound given the compact, six-inch length of the clock. The set-up instructions came on a single, folded piece of paper the size of a jumbo candy bar, and were pretty simple: Just plug Loftie in, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and explore from there. If you like, you can also download the Loftie app to modify your alarms wherever you are, but it’s not a requirement, and the online Loftie help page is solid for answering any questions you might have.
After five minutes, my Loftie was up and running on East Coast time. I explored the different alarms on the clock, which sound more like ethereal soundscapes, galactic wind patterns, and singing bowls than your smartphone average alarm—and I have to say, there’s something stupidly gratifying about knowing I never have to listen to the same iPhone alarms as everyone else. You know the Kodama rattling sounds in Princess Mononoke? The feeling you get when you step into a really nice spa, and the CD collection is on-point? That’s the vibe.
What was rad
As with any new alarm, the true test comes upon wake-up time—and never have I felt as coddled by an alarm clock, dude. I chose a series of alarms that sounded like lazy wind chimes made from hand-carved wood, and now I feel like I’m being coaxed from my sleep—not just awoken—like a snake from a rich person’s basket, every day of my life. When I reach for my phone, it’s after I’ve smashed that snooze button. Sometimes, it’s even after I get my coffee or jump in the shower (a big deal for me).
That’s just the beginning of Loftie’s offerings, which include not only a white noise machine, but a brown, red, gray, blue, pink (and more) noise machine that sounds the way I imagine Arizona deserts and saltwater pools feel. I like to put the soundscapes on while I work, and alternate between a mountainscape setting and one by a river whose audio is so crisp, that it sounds like there are actual trout body-slamming each other at my feet. Come wind-down time, I put on a soft-spoken story about the history of King Arthur that has me sleepy in no-time, instead of assaulting my eyes with bluelight.
What was tricky
I instantly loved my Loftie, but it did not instantly love me back—or at least, not my Wi-Fi. I have a really shitty internet provider (we slander Optimum in this house), which means that my Loftie’s connection isn’t always the best. But again, that’s on me and my internet.
It took me a few days to get a groove with my Loftie. One night it died, because I didn’t realize the clock can only hold an unplugged charge for a few hours, which I figured out after many curse words and a scurry to the help page.
I’ve been using my Loftie alarm, successfully, for a solid two weeks now. While it takes a minute to adjust to using a wake-up device that’s not your phone, I’m happy to say that my old, irksome iPhone alarms are now a thing of the past, delegated to nothing more than timing that I'm cooking rice properly—and my sleep is the better for it. The concept of separating your tech seems so simple, maybe even regressive, but Loftie’s success comes from its eagerness to work with your smartphone, not against it, and always from a healthy distance.
“Dude… chill,” you might say. “It’s just an alarm clock.” Fair enough, but Loftie isn’t a classic alarm clock, nor is it a novelty wellness item. It’s something in the middle. The device’s designers understand that alarm clocks have existed for hundreds of years—and in a way, that made their job even harder; they had to make us fall back in love with something as ubiquitous as alarm clocks. A Loftie task, naturally. (Sorry, Mom; sorry, god.)
If you’re tired of opening your smartphone first thing in the morning and getting assaulted by e-mails, Loftie is for you. If you watch eight-hour ASMR waterfall videos, you’ll like it, too. If you like haunted houses, long walks in the forest, and forehead kisses (in that order), you won’t just like Loftie—you deserve Loftie. Now go get some rest.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.