Clock radios buying guide

Never be late and make sure you're wide-awake in the mornings.

It may seem trivial, but the clock radio has changed into an all singing and dancing device which function as an alarm, a radio, iPod dock or a complete hi-fi. Or you could just press the snooze button and go back to sleep...

Design first

Most clock radios live in the bedroom, so the design is often paramount as it has to fit with the existing decor. Beyond this are the practical considerations, such as being able to read the clock display - but if bright lights bother you check for a dimmer function.

Sound quality

This can vary considerably from model to model. However, if sound quality is an important consideration opt for models with larger stereo speakers, but it may be worth considering a micro hi-fi with alarm features as an alternative.

CD player

Models with a CD player usually mean that you have the option to wake up to your favourite music as well as your favourite radio station or the traditional buzzer.

DAB radio

It's more common to find DAB radios being offered along with the older AM/FM options. DAB radio offers simplified tuning and a wider range of stations with better quality reception.

iPod dock

This enables you to connect your iPod to your clock radio, so you can wake up to the tunes of your choice. The dock will also charge your device ready for the day ahead.

Battery back-up

Provides a way for the alarm clock to retain power. So even if there's a disruption in the mains power you'll still wake up in the morning.