Morphée sleep aid review: Is the £80 device really worth the money?

100,000 people already own one – should you add one to your bedroom too?

Eleanor Jones
Thursday 04 March 2021 17:30
<p>With upwards of 200 tracks to choose from, even if you’re not much of a meditation person, you’ll find something to suit</p>

With upwards of 200 tracks to choose from, even if you’re not much of a meditation person, you’ll find something to suit

For most of the country, the word Morphée probably conjures nostalgic connotations of a certain clay stop-motion figurine (or if you’re particularly au fait with your beauty kit, a highly sought-after line of make-up brushes).

Now those established associations are quickly being disrupted by the arrival of the Morphée sleep aid, a small but surprisingly effective little sleep device that’s growing in popularity in the UK after seeing huge success in its native France.

The brand says that 100,000 people have already invested in and fallen in love with theirs – but do they live up to the hype?

What is a Morphée?

Simply put, Morphée is a speaker with a functional “clock”-style face. Using the three golden dials on the front, you can select one of up to 210 music and meditation programs created around the principles of sophrology – physical or mental exercises that calm the mind and promote “dynamic relaxation”, ultimately leading to better rest.

Read more: 10 best eye masks for a perfect night’s sleep

I don’t claim to be an insomniac, but over the past year, I’ve noticed that my sleep patterns have become more disrupted. I find it increasingly difficult to drag myself away from the alluring blue light of my phone screen at bed time, and have experienced more disturbed and erratic sleep when I do drop off, waking up frequently during the night and feeling groggy rather than refreshed in the morning. So when an introduction to Morphée popped up in my inbox, I was intrigued enough to give it a try.

Packaged in a neat square cream and navy box, the Morphée itself arrives topped with a protective wooden beech case, which the brand suggests can also be used a stand in situ. Ours didn’t slot in quite as smoothly as expected, requiring a bit of practice to get it wedged comfortably in place, but even if you don’t master it, it doesn’t distract from the functionality, and otherwise it’s a satisfyingly tactile little number.

Indeed, little is the operative word – at just 10cm diameter, it’s sleek enough to look good on any dressing table, but also compact enough to store in a bedside drawer when it’s not in use, if you prefer.

It does require charging, but once that’s done, the battery life is impressive, lasting for at least a week of nightly use.

Using it is a totally analogue experience, with no distracting screens to vie for your attention in the dark – you simply click the dials around to choose a programme (think breathing exercises, guided visualisation or relaxing music), select your time (eight or 20 minutes) and decide if you’d like a male or female voice to talk you through it (Piers or Gina, for those who like to be on first name terms), and hit play.

But now to the big question...

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Morphée sleep aid device

Does the Morphée sleep device actually work?

I encouraged my partner, who had also been sleeping badly of late, to try the Morphée with me, although you can plug in headphones if your other half prefers silence before slumber.

We began our Morphée journey with a body scan, a soothing voice which draws attention to various areas and encourages you to relax your muscles and reduce tension. Initially, I have to admit it felt a little silly, lying in the dark with a stranger’s voice filling the room, but as the eight minutes went on I adjusted and ended the session feeling ready to nod off, at a time when I’d normally be headed straight into an endless, all-consuming scroll through TikTok until my eyes eventually droop.

The following night we tried a breathing exercise, again led by a confident yet calming guide whose increasingly slow pace encouraged our own inhales and exhales to follow suit. Halfway through, I was sleepy, but not quite asleep, when I heard a gentle snore emerge from the other side of the bed. The Morphée had worked its magic, and I wasn’t far behind.

Since then we’ve experimented with many of the various other settings – the relaxing music is reminiscent of that you’d expect to hear when you’re face-down on a massage table (and who hasn’t been lulled into a little nap during that time?), while the cardio coherence cleverly helps you to reduce your number of breaths and therefore your heart rate, gradually drawing you into comfortable state of tiredness.

Read more: Best mattress 2021: Memory foam, pocket sprung and hybrid mattresses reviewed

The benefit of upwards of 200 tracks to choose from is that even if you don’t consider yourself much of a meditation person, you’ll likely find something to suit, though some options will inevitably please you more than others. While exploring the nature sounds, which represent audio from around the world, we found the Burmese cat in a Paris apartment a little grating, despite being cat lovers by day, but adored the thunderstorm in Japan.

Many are essentially more advanced or interesting versions of white noise, and white noise itself is an option on nature sounds dial number eight, so if you’ve been toying with buying a white noise device to help you sleep, the Morphée represents an upgrade with a far greater choice of activities.

Couldn’t I do all of this through a meditation or white noise app on my phone, you may find yourself asking, and the answer, in short, is yes. But the more I used Morphée I realised that the true impact of it, in my case at least, was that it forced me to put my phone down and focus on nothing but my own thoughts and sensations – a rare luxury in our constantly plugged-in world.

I don’t need to find myself reaching for my Morphée every single night (the phone addiction will likely require far more effort to cure), but when my mind is restless I like knowing that it’s on standby to help me switch off. With its clear, crisp sound quality, a stylish finish and plenty more variants to work my way through, it’s already earned a spot on my bedside table that I can’t see it relinquishing anytime soon.

The verdict: Morphée sleep aid device

Morphée isn’t an especially purse-friendly buy at first glance, but when you get to grips with how many variations there are, you realise just how much this little music and meditation box has to offer. We wouldn’t go as far as to declare it a cure for all sleep ailments, but if you’re looking for something that encourages mindfulness, relaxation and a better quality of sleep overall, it’s a long-term investment that will likely pay off.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.