Whether you need a wall clock to tell the time or to serve as a statement piece for your home, finding the best wall clock for form and function can be difficult. A plethora of options are on today’s market, and knowing what to look for is key to a successful shopping trip.
For generations, wall clocks have been staple items in homes, classrooms, hospitals, and offices. Because of their popularity, clockmakers create today’s clocks with many different optional features. Diving into the various options and key features helps ensure you have the tools you need to make an informed decision.
- BEST OVERALL: La Crosse Technology WT-3143A-INT 14-Inch Wall Clock
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bernhard Products Black Wall Clock
- UPGRADE PICK: Seiko Light Oak Traditional Schoolhouse Wall Clock
- BEST ATOMIC: Marathon Commercial Grade Atomic Digital Wall Clock
- BEST CLASSIC: HOME GURUS Decorative Modern Large Wall Clock
- BEST MODERN: Sharper Image Light Up Electronic Word Clock
- BEST VINTAGE: JUSTUP Wall Clock, 12 inch Metal Black Wall Clock
- BEST FOR MEMORY LOSS: JALL Digital Calendar Alarm Day Clock
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wall Clock
While scrolling through the seemingly endless list of wall clocks, remember the following considerations. Determine the features most important to you or a gift recipient to narrow down your options to a more manageable number.
Digital vs. Analog
Some people prefer a digital clock, while others like traditional analog clocks. Each type has its pros and cons.
Analog clocks are the traditional way of telling time, and they come in a variety of styles, colors, designs, and sizes. Moreover, they often are attractive, with a round shape and an elegant design. Some use Roman numerals, which adds an Old World look.
Digital clocks are easy to read at a glance. Although perhaps not as attractive as analog clocks, many different styles are available. Some digital wall clocks don’t display time in seconds, so if the clock will be used in a situation in which seconds matter, such as in a gym or hospital, it might not be a good fit.
Almost all wall clocks run on some type of battery, which means they must be replaced or recharged. Depending on the location of the clock and its accessibility, this could pose a problem.
Battery size and availability are two other critical factors when shopping for the best wall clock. If the battery is an unusual type or more expensive, it could make replacing the battery an unwelcome task.
Clock size can play a role in your choice. If it’s too small, it might be unreadable from a distance; too large, and it won’t fit or will look wrong in the space. Measure the area where you want to hang the clock and consider those measurements while shopping.
The size of the numbers on the clock’s display matters, too. Consider the clock’s recipient and the distance that the person will be from the clock.
Material and Design
The clock’s material and design also can affect choice. Those looking for a more modern design may want a sleek black plastic or a metal housing for their clock, while shoppers who want a more vintage or traditional design may find a wooden clock complements their style.
If your clock will be mounted high on the wall and it’s heavy, hanging and maintaining the clock could pose a problem. Keep in mind its size and weight.
A clock can tell time as well as the day and month; in fact, many digital clocks also tell users the year, which can serve as an excellent tool for those who struggle with memory loss. This kind of clock is also useful in a classroom or the bedroom of a child who is learning the days of the week and months of the year.
Counting down the seconds and minutes can be important for specific tasks, so if this is the case, look for a clock with a minute hand. Atomic clocks use radio signals to set automatically.
Most wall clocks come with a mounting bracket, but additional hanging pieces may be required. If the clock is exceptionally large or heavy, ensure the mounting hardware is strong enough to hold it in place.
Our Top Picks
Using these considerations, check out this list of wall clocks to fit a wide variety of needs and styles.
La Crosse Technology’s 14-Inch Wall Clock is an excellent overall clock that uses atomic time to stay accurate. It has a classic look, with a white face and a black rim with easy-to-read numbers. The minute and hour hands are bold and easy to see, while the second hand ticks quietly and precisely. The clock measures time in hours, minutes, and seconds.
This clock automatically adjusts for daylight saving time for four time zones. It requires one AA battery. Insert two extra batteries in a compartment on the back to extend the clock’s life for up to three years.
This standard 10-inch black wall clock from Bernhard Products is an affordable option. Its bold numbers and easy-to-read hour and minute hands make it an excellent choice for any space. The red second hand stands out even from a distance. The clock doesn’t tick but keeps accurate time with its precise quartz movements.
The black plastic frame on this budget pick is not super sturdy, but it’s light and easy to hang. It’s powered by a AA battery, which is not included.
With a classic light oak finish and gold details, this Seiko Light Oak Traditional Schoolhouse Wall Clock has a soothing, swinging pendulum and a customizable chime. Set it to chime every quarter-hour, half-hour, or every hour. Alternatively, silence the chime completely or control the volume. The Roman numerals on the off-white octagon-shaped face give this clock a traditional look that complements a classical style.
It’s powered by one C battery that’s included with the purchase. This clock’s wood and metal housing make it quite heavy, so it requires some care in hanging. The clock comes with a hanging bracket.
The accurate Marathon Commercial Panoramic Autoset Atomic Clock not only tells the time, but it also can serve as an alarm clock, tell the date, and read the temperature.The clock has 12- or 24-hour settings and options for eight U.S. time zones. It automatically sets and adjusts the time through radio waves.
The large 3.6-inch numbers on the display are easy to see from a distance, and it can be used on a wall or desk. It’s precise, modern, and effective, and it automatically sets the time.
This HOME GURUS Decorative Modern Large Wall Clock offers a vintage, classic look that complements many designs. The clock can serve as a functional statement piece in a bedroom, bathroom, living room, or office. It moves in a sweeping motion, so it stays quiet and keeps time accurately with its quartz mechanism.
This stylish clock is not as easy to read at a glance as some other models, but it serves as both an art and timekeeping piece. It comes with a hanging hook, and it requires two AA batteries (not included) to provide its power. At 18 inches tall with a metal housing, this wall clock is quite hefty.
The Sharper Image Light Up Electronic Word Clock actually “tells time.” Written out in words rather than displayed in numbers like a traditional clock face, words and sentences display the time. For example, it might read: “It is five minutes past eleven.” Choose from a sleek black finish with white letters or a copper housing with white letters. This modern clock can make a statement in offices or homes.
The clock tells time in 5-minute intervals, and it features easy-to-use advance or reverse buttons. The words light up in bright LEDs that make them easy to see.
At almost 8 inches tall, this clock may work well on a nightstand or desk, or you can use its included wall mounts to hang it. It’s powered by a USB power cable and adapter.
Designed with elegant Roman numerals and an antique face, the JUSTUP Wall Clock is an excellent option for combining time with an accent piece. The clock face has an aged, crackled vintage appearance. The hour and minute hands are ornate and will tell the time accurately when powered with a AA carbon battery (not included). The clock uses sweeping movements and does not tick.
The mounting system on the back allows this 12-inch clock to sit flush against the wall to eliminate any wobble. The clock weighs approximately 1 pound.
Easy to see and understand, the JALL Digital Calendar Alarm Day Clock can help those who struggle with memory loss. This rectangular 8-inch-high clock can hang on a wall or sit on a table. Its white frame can suit almost any style room and contrasts nicely with the black face of the clock to offer good visibility.
Users can set up to five alarms to remind them to take medicine or do any other required task. The clock automatically dims at 7 p.m., or the user can turn off the auto-dim function. The clock has a yellow display mode to reduce brightness. It requires an electrical outlet, but it also includes a watch battery to keep time when unplugged.
FAQs About Wall Clocks
With all their magical inner workings, wall clocks may seem a bit of a mystery. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the best wall clocks.
Q. What’s an atomic digital clock?
An atomic digital clock is a digital clock that reads the radio waves sent by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado, to set itself.
Q. How do you set an atomic wall clock?
An atomic wall clock doesn’t have to be set. It uses the radio waves from the atomic clock in Colorado to set itself.
Q. How do you hang a wall clock?
Most wall clocks come with brackets and hanging equipment. Follow the directions for a specific wall clock to ensure it doesn’t wobble or fall off the wall.
Q. How do you fix a wall clock?
Depending on what’s broken, you may want to seek a professional horologist, a specialist who knows how to diagnose and fix a broken clock.