5 ASMR videos we love

‘Request Pending’ host Sara Schleede shares her favorite videos to fall asleep to.

The second episode of “Request Pending” is all about ASMR — a slight euphoric sensation triggered by different auditory and visual stimuli that has taken over the internet. In honor of this episode, I have decided to share my top five favorite ASMR videos of all time. I have been watching ASMR videos at least once a day (and often more) since I was a freshman in high school, so I will tentatively say I know my way around the community. 

However, I am not an expert on who the next up-and-coming ASMRtists are by any means, so you won’t necessarily see any “deep cuts” on this list.

If you watch ASMR, you’ll probably know every YouTuber I am about to list. Hopefully I’ll remind you of their greatness. If you haven’t watched ASMR or these ASMRtists before, then I hope I lead you to something new that you love.

5. ASMR. ONE HOUR of UNINTELLIGIBLE, INAUDIBLE Whispers & STICKY FINGERS on Doughnut Clutch! Ear to Ear by Brittany ASMR and Family Vlogs

Brittany doesn’t post as much as she used to, but her channel was one of my favorites in high school. Tapping sounds are often too loud and aggressive for me, but her tapping on a glass candle is gentle and artful. The terms unintelligible whispering and inaudible whispering are often used interchangeably to refer to whispering that is too soft to decipher, but Brittany’s are different. Her unintelligible whisper is at a normal whispering volume, but the words are completely made up, so you aren’t distracted by trying to follow a story or conversation while falling asleep. She has also mastered unintelligible singing. Her doughnut clutch makes an appearance in the latter half of the video. It’s one of her most popular recurring props on her channel — for good reason. This video is nice and long, so you’re almost guaranteed to fall asleep before the end.  

4. ASMR – Zodiac signs & hand visuals by KAYsmr 

KAYsmr is one of my favorite ASMR channels. Her videos span from goofy to intimate to informative, with soccer mom roleplays and helpful tips when you’re suffering from a migraine. In this one, she reads from an astrology website. It’s the type of astrology information you get out of a tabloid — not deep, well-researched information about the history of the stars or what the heck “stellium” means. It’s just silly and fun, and her hand movements always put me in a trance. Anyone who watches ASMR will know that visual triggers can be just as, if not more, effective at inducing tingles than auditory triggers. 

3. [ASMR] Dark & Relaxing Hand Movements/Face Touching for Sleep by Gibi ASMR

Gibi is one of the hottest ASMRtists out there at the moment. She is probably most popular for her creative role plays, where she dresses up like Team Rocket from the Pokemon series, Hermione from the Harry Potter series, and Shrek, to name a few. This video is simpler than a lot of her others, and that’s exactly why I like it. The black-and-white lighting prevents any harsh brightness, and her soft speaking is immaculate. I don’t know what it is about people waving their hands in front of a camera, but it gives me tingles every time.

2. ASMR Howl’s Moving Castle: Sophie’s Hat Shop by Goodnight Moon 

Goodnight Moon is my personal current favorite ASMRtist. Whenever I’m trying to convince one of my friends to watch ASMR, I show them her Babblebrook series, which is an ongoing saga in which the viewer is on some sort of vague quest and different mythical characters help you on your journey. The backgrounds change each time but are always filled with props from antique stores or made by Erin herself. She is also a costume designer and makeup artist, so her characterization is brilliant. This video has similar production value and also inspires nostalgia with its Studio Ghibli theme. It features a lot of fabric sounds, which I enjoy. I fell asleep halfway through the video the first time I watched it, so I had to return to it the next day to see how it ended. Goodnight Moon is the expert at relaxation and entertainment.

1. Eye-gazing, ear-to-ear blowing, head massagers by Gentle Whispering ASMR

Gentle Whispering ASMR is commonly considered the most popular ASMRtist of all time, and all of that attention is completely deserved. It was very hard for me to not fill this list solely with Maria’s videos, since I watch her videos most and have been consistently watching them for six years. For this list, I decided to pick the first video of hers I ever saw. She has since acquired better recording equipment, and her on-camera presence has become more poised and relaxed, but I still return to this classic Gentle Whispering video. With tapping, scratching, and personal attention, it has the perfect combination of visual and auditory triggers. Her eye contact is focused but still soft and inviting, and it makes me feel instantly comforted.

Sara Schleede was an audio director with The Drag and host of the "35" and "Request Pending" podcasts.

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