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Pink Noise vs White Noise: Which Helps You Sleep Best?

Pink Noise vs White Noise: Which Helps You Sleep Best?

White noise, pink noise, brown noise, black noise, who knew there were so many different shades of sound?

To help demystify this audible world, we’re breaking down what ‘pink noise’ is and how it can help you get a better night’s sleep.


What is Pink Noise?

According to sound experts, noise can be assigned a colour depending on the energy of the sound signal and how energy is distributed over various frequencies, and how quickly.

One such colour is pink.

Pink noise includes frequencies we can hear, but not all have equal distributions. Despite this, the group will all sound flat or relatively even. For example, at lower frequencies, we will hear a deeper sound.

Some examples of pink noise include:

  • Wind through trees
  • Steady rainfall
  • Waves on a shore
  • Rustling leaves
  • Heartbeats


What Are Some Pink Noise Benefits?

There is a lot of research still to be done into pink sleep, however, some studies have suggested it can help improve cognition retention. It has also been proven effective at drowning out surrounding sounds which help the listener concentrate better and be less distracted.

And, these benefits don’t end when you lay your head down to rest at the end of the day. Pink noise and sleep are intrinsically linked.

A study by the Journal of Theoretical Biology in 2012 found that playing steady pink noise while asleep can reduce brain waves, which leads to a more stable sleep. Furthermore, a 2017 study by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found it can benefit deep sleep – the type of sleep that helps memory and leaves you feeling refreshed in the morning.

Read more: Characterising Heavy Sleep: How Much Deep Sleep Do You Need?


Pink Noise vs White Noise

So, how does this pink noise differ to the white noise we are all familiar with? Well, pink noise tends to be deeper than white noise, and white noise is more equally distributed across frequencies. This will mean it has a steady humming sound, rather than a deep rumble.

Some examples of white noise include:

  • Television static
  • Machine humming, such as a radiator or air conditioner
  • Hair dryer
  • Hissing steam


Brown, Black and Other Sound Colours


Brown noise - Deeper and stronger sounding than both pink and white noise. It is bassy and low-frequency. Examples of brown noise include the hum of a brass instrument playing a low note, the sound of ocean surf during a storm, or the pounding of a waterfall.

Brown noise is named after botanist Robert Brown, discoverer of the Brownian motion in the 1800s.


Blue and violet noise – High-frequency sound that can be harsh at loud volumes and therefore can cause some sensitivity. This is the opposite of brown noise and can be used in the treatment of tinnitus.


Black noise – Mostly silence with random noise at some frequencies.

Could Pink Noise Help You?

Give it a go! You have nothing to lose. Lay back comfortably on one of our king size mattresses, cuddle up, and pick a pink noise playlist – there are plenty online and on Spotify!

Get comfortable now!