29 useful products on our nightstands we can't imagine sleeping without

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This article is a part of CNN Underscored’s Guide to Sleep, a week-long focus on everything you need to sleep better. We’ll be featuring new products and exclusive deals all week, so check in every morning to see what’s new.

Given how critical sleep is to everyone’s life, it’s safe to assume the items on your nightstand are some of the most important products you own. From alarm clocks you don’t immediately hate to phone chargers that don’t keep you stuck in one position while scrolling, the items on your bedside table can tell a lot about what you prioritize.

And given how passionate we are about sleep over here, obviously we have a lot of opinions on what those items should be. Ahead, our very own favorite nightstand essentials we simply can’t go to sleep without.

Every morning and evening I reflect on what I’m grateful for as well as how my day went in the Five Minute Journal. It helps me start the day on a good note and at night, it helps me wind down and put my mind at ease and decreases my stress. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

As everyone—or at least people on the internet—know, “night water hits different”. This is why I keep my 32 oz Nalgene on my nightstand every night. I tend to have an easy time falling asleep, but wake up once or twice in the middle of the night. When I do, turning over, taking a sip from in my opinion the best-designed water bottle, then closing my eyes sends me right back to sleep. Call it my “emotional support water bottle. — Daniel Rathburn, programming editor

My apartment gets extremely dry, so I always fill up and run this Levoit ultrasonic humidifier before getting in bed. I love it because it’s easy to set it to the perfect humidity and easily runs all night long. Plus, on cold nights I like setting it to warm mist for an extra cozy feel. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

I don’t know about you, but my lips are constantly dry, especially in the colder months. Which is why, in addition to keeping lip balm in all my coat pockets and on my desk, I save my favorite for my nightstand. This Lancome Absolue Precious Cells Lip Balm smothers my lips in creamy moisture, which I do every night right before I go to sleep. And not only does it include Acacia honey and beeswax to smooth on perfectly, the added Vitamin E works on those aggravating fine lines that tend to pop up from stress and plain old age. Yes, it’s a little pricey, but I don’t know what I’d do without it. — Tobey Grumet Segal, reviews editor

I recently bought this Levoit Air Purifier from Target and it’s been amazing at keeping dust at bay. I’ve noticed I’m not waking up stuffy and congested anymore and the white noise is perfect to help me drift off to sleep. I run it on low for a few hours in the morning and afternoon and on sleep mode all night. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

This charging station is what takes up the most room on my nightstand. I love it because I can charge my phone overnight and keep my nightstand essentials all in one place. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

I always slather myself in lavender Dove body lotion before bed and have recently fallen in love with the brand’s hand cream. I rub in a huge dollop on the back of my hands and also use it on my heels before bed. It leaves my skin silky smooth without being greasy. I love that it’s a light scent as well. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

This minty lip balm has become a staple on my bedside table. A former Burt’s Bees devotee, I am now fully obsessed with this product. I haven’t had chapped lips in months thanks to its nourishing formula that features shea butter, beeswax, chamomile, aloe vera and other moisturizing extracts. Slathering it on my lips is the last step of my nighttime routine. It feels lightweight and cooling (due to wild mint extract), and in the morning, my lips feel smooth and silky. Oftentimes, I can still see a bit of sheen on my lips from the balm, proving that it has protected them all night long. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor

This anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial spray is a must-have on my nightstand. I keep one in my purse and one at home so it’s never far out of reach. I spritz it on right before going to bed and it’s my last step in my nightly routine. The spray is made with hypochlorous acid which helps relieve conditions like dry eye and blepharitis. It also has improved my skin texture and keeps acne at bay. It’s a holy grail that I absolutely cannot live without. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

I often wake up in the middle of the night absolutely parched, which is why I always keep a Yeti Yonder water bottle right next to my bed. I don’t love drinking ice cold water in the middle of the night since it wakes me up, which is why I prefer the uninsulated Yonder over Yeti’s other bottles. Plus, the yonder comes with the brand’s amazing chug cap, which means it’s easy to sleepily chug some water and plop right back to bed. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

We all have a phone charger on our nightstand; I personally have opted for this Anker Qi-certified charging pad. It’s pretty basic, but it gets the job done without adding more wires and thus, clutter, to my space. — Chelsea Stone, senior editor

A couple years ago, my favorite dermatologist, Dr. Dendy Engelman, recommended I purchase this humidifier, and ever since then, it’s been awarded a permanent place on my nightstand. I love it for a whole bunch of reasons; it takes care of the bacteria and pollution in the air, supercharges healthy, dewy-looking skin and combats redness and dryness all while I sleep — this part has been especially essential during the winter months when my skin looks and feels incredibly dull and dry. Also, unlike other humidifiers that easily grow mold and need to be tossed after a year, this one contains a unique technology that inhibits mold from growing, so it never gets gross and you’ll have it for forever. With all of these reasons (and more) in mind, I can’t recommend this product enough! — Stephanie Griffin, social lead

And, you can save 10% on any Canopy device through March 18 with code CNNSLEEP.

I’m not a morning person — as the 10 alarms set on my phone will attest — so I thought giving a sunrise lamp a try might make it easier to get out of bed. Thankfully, it worked. The Dekala Prismatic lamp connects to an app via Wi-Fi where you can set it as an alarm and the lamp will turn on at the designated time, gently waking you with ambient light. I’ve found that it’s especially helpful for motivating my eyes to open up in the dark winter months when the sun rises later. With a bevy of customizable settings — there are a number of preset color-changing options, or you can select a solid color from a color wheel, all of which you can turn on any time or assign for the alarm light — this lamp is not only a joy in the mornings but also when you want some ambiance at night. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor

The most essential item on my nightstand is absolutely my Asutra weighted face mask. I love using the Asutra mask any time I need to wind down or relax because it’s weighted with actual lavender and flax seed. It not only feels amazing on my eyes, but it also smells incredible. You can refill it with the included additional lavender, or honestly whatever you want, when you want to punch up the smell again. — Rosanne Salvatore, deputy editor

The Hurraw Moon Lip Balm is my holy grail of balms. It stays on the bedtime theme with vanilla and chamomile scents. It lasts forever and combats dry lips. While it probably doesn’t impact my sleep, it’s essential to my bedtime routine. Plus, it’s organic and vegan, so I feel great using it. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

Ever since I tested over a dozen e-readers for Underscored, my Kindle Oasis and I have become inseparable. I especially love reading on it at night before bed because I can hold it in one hand comfortably and adjust the screen brightness so as not to disturb my partner. I used to have a stack of physical books cluttering my nightstand, but now they all digitally fit on this super-slim and compact device. Game. Changer. — Daniel Toy, copy editor

When my boyfriend and I welcomed a dog into our home a little over a year ago, we did everything we could to maximize the space in our small apartment — if you’re a pet parent you already know that pet products take up a TON of precious space. We ultimately decided to splurge on Fable’s Crate, which is a dog crate, bed and nightstand in one. I love this piece because it’s hand-constructed of the highest quality light-washed wood and is able to withstand water marks or random scratches from different products that sit on its surface. The acrylic gate is also so trendy, and I love how easy it is to open and close (it functions like a garage door). But most importantly, Teddy prefers to sleep inside his spacious yet cozy den, and I love having him so close to us each night. — Stephanie Griffin, social lead

I’ve been using this every single night for years, and I can’t say enough good things about it. My lips pretty much get instantly chapped if I don’t go to sleep wearing this lip balm, so I have it in travel sizes as well and I pretty much never go to sleep without using it. I love the silky, luxurious texture, the delicious flavors and the fact that it’s actually effective. Sometimes products are popular because they’re just that good. — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social

In the winter, my skin tends to dry out something fierce, and it’s never more noticeable than at night when I’m trying to sleep. Instead of scratching at it for hours and flaking up the bed, I now reach for my Harry’s Dry Skin Relief Body Lotion and apply it to the dry areas to soothe my skin and help me relax. — Daniel Toy, copy editor

I’m constantly on my phone and computer for work, so having a pair of blue-light glasses that actually work has really been game changing for me. Since wearing these continuously for the last couple months, I’ve experienced far fewer headaches and am able to read the text on the screen more easily, thanks to the +1 magnification mine came with. They’re lightweight enough to be worn all day, and the clear frames are a fresh look for any time of year, but especially spring and summer. And although I bring them with me wherever I go, they’ll always be a staple on my nightstand table, especially when I reach for my phone before bed and end up on TikTok until 2 a.m. Whoops! — Stephanie Griffin, social lead

Whether you’re a writer who never knows when inspiration will strike, an artist who loves to sketch before bed or just the type of person who schedules their to-dos instead of counting sheep, it’s always a good idea to keep a notebook on your nightstand. Moleskine has been my go-to notebook brand for over a decade due to its superb quality at a reasonable price, and Micron archival ink pens pair perfectly with the paper. Hey, at the very least, you’ll have somewhere to quickly jot down details from that weird dream you had about Robert Pattinson. — Daniel Toy, copy editor

I love having a glass of water on my night table just in case I get thirsty in the middle of the night or when I wake up. However, I don’t like when my water goes from cold to room temperature. So when I got this Swell water bottle as a gift, my sleep routine greatly improved. I wasn’t interrupting my sleep cycle to go to the kitchen for a refill, my water stays chilled throughout the night and now I can have a refreshing cold swig of water when I wake up to get me energized to start the day. — Sarai Thompson, former social coordinator

For the longest time, I was “that” girl who insisted on bringing the BIGGEST glasses of water possible to bed, only to never even touch it. But ever since committing to drinking more water at the beginning of 2022, I’ve loved using these Made In drinking glasses before bed. Not only are they sleek and modern-looking, but they’re high-quality and durable, and from my experience, resistant to chipping and don’t break easily either. I’ve received tons of compliments from friends who have been over, and I’ve already convinced myself to buy another set since I use mine so often. There’s a very good reason these glasses have over 2,000 5-star reviews on Made In’s website! — Stephanie Griffin, social lead

I recently incorporated this Ritual of Jing pillow spray into my nighttime wind-down routine. It has hints of both lavender and wood, making it a more earthy-smelling spray and just the right scent to help me fall asleep at night. — Rosanne Salvatore, former deputy editor

My bedroom is pretty tight on space, and because I’ve opted for a queen-size bed, I actually don’t have much room for a nightstand at all. This compact Umbra side table is basically the only thing I could find that would fit next to my bed without blocking a closet door. The look is minimalist, but I love that it still provides me with a little extra storage space. — Chelsea Stone, senior editor

If you’re like me and you’re very into “setting the vibe” before bed, this is your sign to buy an essential oil. I purchased the peppermint oil, which is made of 100% premium-grade peppermint oil and is meant to maintain the balance of the body, mind, heart and soul while also filling my room each night with the most rejuvenating and relaxing minty smell. You can really do whatever you want with your oil, whether you add it to your body wash, shampoo or bath water, or use it as a stand-alone fragrance, but my personal favorite way to use it is to add a little bit of the oil to the aroma puck on the top of my Canopy Humidifier. Whether it’s peppermint or another one of my favorite scents (hello, lavender), you’ll always find an essential oil on my nightstand. — Stephanie Griffin, social lead

I practice gua sha each night, which is why I love having this heart-shaped tool next to me on my nightstand. The jade looks so delicate and pretty, and when I slather on a whole bunch of oil, it’s so easy to maneuver. I gently glide it over my jawline, forehead, under-eye and neck, and I’ve genuinely seen such a difference ever since I started a few months ago at the urging of my HeyDay esthetician. — Stephanie Griffin, social lead

I was looking for an alarm clock that didn’t completely annoy me every morning, and I finally found it. Though this Hatch machine is spectacular for falling asleep (you can set certain lights to turn on/off and set sound effects to signal it’s time to sleep), I absolutely *love* the options when it comes to the alarm in the morning. The light slowly turns on, and what I have it set on are very light birds chirping to wake me up. My cat is now pretty fond of it too. — Rachel Lubitz, senior lifestyle editor

I’m a firm believer that anything lavender will help me drift off into a peaceful night’s sleep. I was hesitant to spend $19 on a pillow spray, but just like the brand name suggests, this works. I don’t know the science behind it or if it’s just a placebo effect, but I’ve found myself falling asleep quicker after spritzing this on my pillow. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

As a social editor I’m pretty much always on my phone, but I make a real effort to put the phone away for at least a half hour before I sleep. Reading a book, even for 10 minutes before I sleep, really helps me turn off my mind and avoid screen time. I am a big fan of Book of the Month books, and I pretty much always have one on my nightstand! — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social

Much like every woman in any sitcom you’ve seen, I love slathering on lotion before bed. I like to believe when my nose registers the lavender and coconut scent of the Dove whipped body cream, it tells my brain it’s time for bed. Either way, it keeps my skin soft and smelling great. — Lindsey Smith, associate editor

The Vitruvi Move Diffuser is the nightstand upgrade I’ve come to cherish. Sleek, compact and, best of all, cordless, the diffuser softly fills my room with the calming fragrance of essential oils. My favorite is Vitruvi’s own Sleep blend, which is comprised of lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang, chamomile and vetiver. The light and soothing scent gives a spa-like level of relaxation as I drift to sleep. I add about 15 drops of the oil into the diffuser’s reservoir filled with water, select the eight-hour runtime and soon I’m lulled to sleep in an aromatic cloud that lasts until the next day. Other winning features include the choice between a four-hour continual runtime or eight-hour intermittent cycle, an auto turn-off if the water runs out, a button to control the light level (high, low or off) and the ability to bring it into any room you please or keep it docked on your nightstand like I do. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor

I live in a small space, so I try to make every piece of furniture something I’m absolutely *obsessed* with. Enter: this nightstand. Available in lots of pretty colors, I got the mauvey pink shade, and it’s come with me to three different apartments now. With a drawer with just the right amount of storage for all my nightly essentials, this table has small footprint but a big impact. — Rachel Lubitz, senior lifestyle editor

Swiping on some lip balm is usually the last step of my nighttime skin care routine before my head hits the pillow, and I like to keep the Ilia Lip Wrap within reach on my nightstand. Lip Wrap has become my designated bedtime balm because of its nonsticky formula that nourishes with active levels of hyaluronic acid and salicornia (sea succulent). Plus, the ceramic tip applicator feels a touch more elegant than a standard lip balm. — Sophie Shaw, associate beauty editor

My husband and I wanted nightstands with actual storage, but we generally hate the giant, bulky ones that take up a ton of space. These fun ones by Kartell are small, but the three drawers mean they hold more than enough stuff! I have books, endless amounts of hand cream and about 12 different sleep masks all inside this nightstand, and I love the way it looks. — Hayley Saltzman, former head of social