The average length and quality of our sleep has been steadily declining in recent years and the consensus is that our smartphones are at least partly to blame. There is still some debate about the impact of blue light from phone screens, but most manufacturers have taken note and now offer some kind of option to enable you to filter out blue light around bedtime. This may help you fall asleep more easily, especially if you’re in the habit of reading on your phone in bed.
We’ll show you how to turn blue light filters on and off for a variety of Android phones and for Apple’s iPhone in this guide, but we recommend setting up an automated schedule because it’s easy to forget to turn it on and off manually.
How to use Night Shift on your iPhone
Introduced in iOS 9.3, the Night Shift feature in iOS allows you to filter out blue light and adjust the warmth of the colors in your display. To turn it on go to:
Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift
We recommend toggling on the Scheduled option and selecting the hours that best suit you. Ours comes on at 10 p.m. and goes off at 7 a.m. but you can also choose Sunset to Sunrise to have iOS pick hours automatically based on your location.
How to use the blue light filter on your Samsung Galaxy
The majority of Samsung Galaxy phones have a blue light filter option now. The fastest way to turn it on is to pull down your notification shade and swipe down again to access your quick settings. One of them is called Blue light filter and you can tap to toggle it on and off. Alternatively, look in:
Settings > Display > Blue light filter
You can tweak the opacity with a slider and you can also tap Turn on as scheduled and then pick Sunset to sunrise or Custom schedule if you want to specify your own preferred hours.
How to use Night Light on your Pixel phone
On Google’s Pixel phones and some other stock Android devices running Android 8.0 Oreo and later you can find a blue light filter option here:
Settings > Display > Night Light
Tap on Schedule to specify your own hours and change the level of filtering with the Intensity slider.
How to filter blue light on other Android phones
Different manufacturers have coined different names for their blue light filters, but the majority have one. You’ll generally find a quick setting option in your notification shade and scheduling options in Settings > Display.
LG calls it Comfort View, HTC and OnePlus call it Night Mode, Huawei calls it Eye Care, Motorola calls it Night Display, and Xiaomi calls it Reading mode.
What if your phone doesn’t have a built-in blue light filter?
If you’re unlucky enough to have a smartphone without a blue light filter, or you dislike the option you do have, then you can always try a third-party app instead.
Our favorite blue light filter app on Android is Twilight.