Calm review

An app that delivers mindfulness and meditation to help you relax and sleep

Woman using Calm app on her phone
(Image: © Calm / DenPhotos / Shutterstock)

TechRadar Verdict

It's hard not to be impressed by Calm, if only because the content it offers is so varied. Whether you're a beginner or a more seasoned practitioner of meditation and mindfulness, you'll find something to help you relax – or sleep – no matter how much, or how little, time you have available.


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    Highly customizable

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    Lots of very varied content

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    Adapts to suit your free time


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    No sleep monitoring

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    Somewhat expensive and trial is short

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    Some options are slightly hidden

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30-second review

No mere sleep tracker, Calm is one of the best-known meditation and relaxation apps on the market. It's won numerous awards over the years, and it's not hard to see why. It doesn't matter whether you have a preference for narrated guides, ambient music, stories, soundscapes or breathing exercises. It doesn't matter whether your aim is to de-stress, relax, get to sleep more easily, or improve your focus. Calm has all of these topics and all of these approaches covered, and plenty more besides.

You're encouraged to use the app daily and, in the style of language learning and exercise app, you can track you streaks and keep track of how long you have spent looking after yourself with Calm.

Price and availability

While there is a free seven-day trial period in designed to let you see if Calm is right for you, there is no free tier for on-going usage. Once the trial period is up, you’ll have to start paying or stop using the app.

Priced at $69.99 (about £50 / AU$100) per year, or $399.99 (about £300 / AU$550) for life, Calm is available for both iOS and Android.


There are lots of gently narrated guided meditations and relaxation exercise, varying in length from a couple of minutes to an hour or so. You'll find breath exercises, relaxing soundscapes and a wide range of neatly categorized, easy to navigate collections of audio content. In addition to spoken word and instrumental tracks, there are also musical sleep tracks with lyrics to help lull you into a slumber.

For parents looking to help their children, there's a decent selection of to be found in the Calm Kids section, and there are some well-known names here such as Peppa Pig to help drum up interest. Mood check-ins are a nice touch, but a little limited.


(Image credit: Calm)


There's a lot of content for you to explore in Calm, and it's great to see how this has been organized for easy navigation. You can browse through the curated content, jumps to collections related to sleep, relaxation, de-stressing and so on, or you can search for keywords and speakers if you prefer.

In addition to the on-demand content, there are also daily notifications that pop up and remind you to spend a few moments away from the stresses of the day, focusing on a little quiet time.

Calm is a well-designed app that's easy to get around – for the most part. While accessing the audio content is pleasantly simple thanks to the intuitive way it is set out in the Home and Discover sections, the handy Check-Ins feature is tucked away in your Calm profile.

This is essentially a journaling tool that gives you a way to track your mood and the reasons you find yourself feeling the way you do. There also the positivity-infused Gratitude Check-in which encourages you to notice and record the things you are grateful for on a daily basis. Also found here are Daily Calm Reflections – a simple journaling tool where you are free to reflect on your mood, your health, your sleep and your attitude to life.

While it's great that there's a seven-day trial that gives you access to everything, this is really not long enough to fully explore what Calm has to offer and give you a proper chance to evaluate if the subscription fee represents good value for you or not. You can, of course, get a general feel about whether Calm is the sort of thing you'll get on with, but the real benefits only really come much further down the line when you've had to pay anyway.

Download it if

You're keen to get started in meditation
Calm is also great if you have experimented with meditating and would like to take your practice further.

You would like to become more mindful
Calm will help you tackle anxiety, become more relaxed throughout the day, and drift off more easily at night.

Don't download it if

You can't dedicate time to it
Calm isn't magic, and still requires you to put in a good deal of effort on a regular basis.

You're already well-versed in meditation
There are better apps to help you take your practice further.

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson
Staff writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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