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10 of the best baby monitors – tried and tested

Video, smartphone, sound and movement monitors - we've tested the market to pick the highest- performing baby monitors available now

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The best baby monitor can let you rest at ease knowing your child one is safe and secure. With the ability to listen, watch and even detect your baby’s movements, there’s a whole range of models to suit different needs. From a large colour screen to auto noise and movement detection to wireless connectivity and long battery life, there are plenty of features to think about.

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With this in mind we’ve analysed the baby monitor market closely and used feedback from our expert journalist reviewers and our parent users, to bring you our pick of the very best monitors available to buy now.

For each product we’ve listed the key technical features, to help you compare across brands and models so you can find the best baby monitor to suit your needs.

How to choose the best baby monitor

What are the different types of baby monitors?

Audio monitors tend to be the most affordable options, as they only allow you to hear your baby rather than see them. They usually come in 2 parts – 1 which stays in your baby’s room and a parent unit which you keep with you. Most include out of range alerts as well 2-way talkback and lullabies which can help to soothe your baby if they’re stirring.

Video monitors also come in 2 parts, with the parent unit giving you a visual view of your baby. These will generally cost you more but with such an array on the market, these prices are dropping. Despite that, features are still plentiful with colour images, ability to move the camera remotely and even night vision as standard in many cases.

Wi-Fi monitors use your existing internet connection at home with an app, through which you can monitor your baby. Although these tend to be the priciest there’s no limits with signal range and can be accessed anywhere providing you have a strong wi-fi connection. Always remember to secure your wi-fi monitor with a unique password to prevent it being accessed by hackers.

What to look for when buying a baby monitor

Power supply – Some monitors charge off a mains connection, others use batteries and some do both. Remember to check approximately how long the battery lasts, too.

Features to soothe your babyPlenty of monitors offer you a 2-way connection meaning you can calm your baby with your voice without actually having to go to their room. Some also offer music and lighting to help relax your baby and can become a part of their bedtime routine, helping them settle into a calm night’s sleep.

Crying and movement alertsCrying alerts with visuals are useful, where LED lights show the sound, so even if you have the audio turned down, you can still see noise. Some also come with a movement sensor pad to go under the mattress. These might be a bit too much for some parents’ needs, for example if the baby rolls off the pad it can trigger a false alert. But it’s a feature to consider if you want some extra reassurance.

Wearable elements – Increasingly we’re seeing smart monitors that come with a wearable device you attach to your baby, for example by clipping onto their nappy or become part of their clothing as a wrap or sock. These allow you to closely monitor breathing, but keep in mind that most aren’t 100% accurate and tend to be for younger babies.

Digital or analogue baby monitor – Digital monitors are becoming the norm but there are still analogue versions available, which are more affordable. These offer a direct signal but can potentially suffer interference or even be tapped into using a similar monitor receiver.

Digital is the safer option and this allows you to use newer features like Wi-Fi connectivity so you can monitor from afar, even on your phone while out for the evening, for example.

Some digital monitors do use DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunication) technology and emit electromagnetic radiation. While this isn’t thought to cause harm it can’t hurt to keep the monitor at least a metre from your baby.

How much does a baby monitor cost?

Our list covers monitors ranging from £25 all the way to £300, so goes across a wide range of models with different technical capabilities.

The budget options tend to be audio monitors which our testers liked for their simplicity and ease of use. Don’t think that these lack extra features though – for example we’ve seen models with talkback, nightlights and lullabies.

Many of the high-end models offer insight into your baby’s behaviour such as their pulse or sleep pattern. If you like having access to lots of data, these are worth the investment but some of our testers found they didn’t need so much information.

The mid-range monitors on our list are priced at around £100 to £150. These offer a great range of technical features but might not be able to offer the range of data that some of the high-end models do.

Here is our pick of the best baby monitors to buy in 2021…

1. Motorola MBP846 Connect, £139.99

Best all-rounder baby monitor

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 50m | Screen size: 4.3 inches | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and motion | Control with app: Yes | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Baby monitor – Gold 

Motorola is a trusted brand when it comes to baby monitors, and this expertise can be seen in this do-it-all device which combines high-definition video, audio and even an accompanying app. All that means you will be able to see, hear and even interact with your baby using the monitor or smartphone and tablet.

We really like the ability to easily pan and tilt the camera from your device remotely so you can always get a clear view. The added night vision makes this clear even in the dark, along with the huge 4.3-inch screen. MFM reviewer Sarah called this feature was a “total lifesaver” for getting a better view of your baby or even if you’d accidentally knocked the camera out of position.

Our parent testers also praised the free Hubble app which allows you to access the video stream and use the talkback function remotely. It also offers the ability to track your baby’s sleep as well as their routine including nappy changes and feeds. Although our MFM reviewer found she didn’t need this with her second child, she said she definitely would have used it with her first if she didn’t have the experience of establishing a routine.

Some issues worth keeping in mind are that the camera is not rechargeable so it needs to stay plugged in. Also, this has a permanent light which may be distracting for some babies as one MFM user found when trying to get her baby back down to sleep.

Pros: Pan and tilt camera remotely, connects with free app, large display
Cons: Permanent light on camera unit, camera unit not rechargeable

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Motorola MBP846 Connect

Available from: Boots

2. Lollipop Smart Wi-Fi Based Baby Camera, £145

An adaptable and portable design

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: Wi-Fi | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and motion | Control with app: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.1 stars | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Baby monitor – Silver 

A beautifully designed and fun looking camera that works with a connected smartphone. This is well-priced, simple to use with a malleable base for attaching where needed, and offers both sound and video monitoring.

Our testers particularly liked the additional features such as infrared night vision and the smart audio recognition which detects baby cries specifically, rather than alerting you to every background noise. To get the most out of these features, testers found it they needed quite a fast Wi-Fi connection otherwise video quality can start to lag.

While this is beautifully minimal it you’ll need to pay £55 extra for the Smart Sensor if you want access to data such as temperature, humidity and air quality. You’ll also have to line up the camera well the first time as this can’t be adjusted remotely.

“It’s a modern, attractive-looking video monitor that offers all the basic functionality parents might need, without any complicated bells and whistles,” says MFM reviewer Natasha. “Good for travel especially as it’s small and portable.”

Pros: Flexible design, clear night vision, smart audio recognition
Cons: Have to purchase Smart Sensor for extra features, can’t move camera remotely

Read our full Madeformums review of the Lollipop Smart Wi-Fi Based Baby Camera

Available from: Amazon

3. Nanit HD Baby Monitor and Sleep Tracker, £299

Best for sleep tracking

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: Wi-Fi | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and motion | Control with app: Yes | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Baby monitor – Joint Bronze

The Nanit HD Baby Monitor is not only a device for video and audio but is also a sleep tracker. This works with a smartphone app that cleverly lets you hear your baby’s room even when the screen is locked. You can track a whole range of features including sleep efficiency, time asleep, parent visits and more.

In order to access these sleep tracking statistics, you have to subscribe to Nanit’s Insight app which is free for the first year, after which it costs £50 per year. If you want to go even further and monitor your baby’s breathing, you can also purchase Nanit’s Breathing Band which starts from £19.99. Not all of our testers were convinced it’s a necessary feature, but it’s worth making use of the free trial in your baby’s first year.

It does take a bit of DIY effort to set it up but once ready, our testers found it straightforward to use and appreciated the addition of cable cover attachments. A wide viewing angle and night vision combined with sleep tips and data certainly make this a very unique and powerful option as MFM tester Felicity found: “It’s absolutely excellent. As is the night vision and the zoom feature. On these terms, it’s the best monitor I have used.”

The downsides are that this isn’t cheap compared to other monitors on the market, and the cost can build with subscription fees and additional accessories. But if you want to keep a close eye on your baby’s sleep, the Nanit offers a wide range of features that will help you to do so.

Pros: Sleep tracking, cable cover attachments included
Cons: High price point, sleep tracking costs £50 after first year

Available from: Nanit and Amazon

4. Angelcare AC527 Baby Movement Monitor, £249.99

Best movement tracking with video

Type: Video and movement | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 250m | Screen size: 5 inches | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and motion | Control with app: No | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.2 stars | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Baby monitor – Joint Bronze

This is a powerful baby monitor that works not only as a super clear camera, but also offers movement alerts. This is thanks to a sensor pad that goes underneath your baby’s mattress and alerts you if no movement is detected after 20 seconds. Our MFM reviewer, Carla, found the “sleek and slim” sensor to be barely detectable under her daughter’s mattress and sensitive in picking up her movements.

While this may not be a feature every parent is after, some of our MFM users said they found it to be reassuring. One mum whose son was born prematurely and had apneas in hospital said it helped to calm her anxiety when bringing him home: “I don’t think I would have relaxed without it. Since being in his cot it has also never false alarmed so is accurate.”

Our testers found it easy to use from the get-go, with a “self-explanatory” set-up where the monitor, camera and sensor pad all pair up automatically. Parents also praised the touch-screen parent unit, with its ability to adjust the camera remotely. This was a big selling point for our MFM reviewer Carla, “My favourite feature was how clear and crisp the picture quality was and how wide the camera lens was – it really was brilliant.”

The camera unit operates via battery, which mum, Carla, found to last up to 5 hours if on and 6 hours in sleep mode which she felt wasn’t quite long enough. There is also a bright light on the camera that could be distracting.

Pros: Movement sensor, easy set-up, clear picture
Cons: Expensive, short battery life on camera, bright light on camera, high price point

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Angelcare AC527 Baby Movement Monitor

Available from: Argos, Mamas & Papas and Amazon

5. Owlet Smart Sock, £269

Best high-end wearable monitor

Type: Heart rate | Frequency type: Digital | Range: Wi-Fi | Talkback function: No | Night vision: No | Alerts: Pulse | Control with app: Yes

The Owlet is part of a new generation of baby monitors that feature a wearable device, designed to provide more precise information than traditional video monitors. It comes in 2 parts – one being a small sock for your baby to wear that uses an infrared light to measure their pulse. This is then connected to a base which sends information over Wi-Fi to a connected smartphone, meaning you can check your baby’s pulse wherever you are.

You will be alerted if there are drops that warrant attention, for example a decrease in oxygen levels. “Every new parent wants peace of mind when it comes to their newborn,” commented MFM tester Zoe. “And this product can do just that for protective and worried parents.”

While it may be useful to have these statistics at hand, remember that this isn’t a medical device so will not be 100% accurate at detecting low oxygen levels in the blood. Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found it to have an 88% sensitivity rating in detecting oxygen levels in the blood, so it’s best viewed as a device to provide some extra reassurance.

Our testers found the smart sock easy to put on their babies, like mum Paulina: “The sock is comfortable for my daughter. She didn’t even notice she was wearing something on her feet.” However there were concerns babies wouldn’t keep the it on for the full 12 months Owlet have designed for. They also found the app easy to use but mum Zoe did experience some connectivity issues.

Pros: Comfortable to wear, easy to set up and use app
Cons: Connectivity issues, doesn’t have longevity, high price point

Available from: Owlet and Amazon

6. Babymoov Yoo-Moov, £179.99

Best interactive monitor

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 300m | Screen size: 4.3 inches | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound | Control with app: Yes

The Yoo-Moov is a monitor designed to give you those much-needed ‘eyes in the back of your head’, with its silent-motor 360 degree camera which allows you to pan, tilt and zoom via the parent unit. MFM tester Dan, a dad of two, praised the all rounder and said: “This looks nice and friendly and has good functionality.”

We also like its array of techy bells and whistles including a talkback function so you soothe your baby from another room as well 7 colours of a soft nightlight, 5 different lullabies and built-in temperature sensor.

The downsides? It’s not the cheapest, but with that feature list you wouldn’t expect it to be. The Yoo-Moov is also built for use with the monitor unit and won’t work with an app like some do.

Pros: 360 degree camera, pan and tilt camera remotely, nightlight and lullabies to soothe
Cons: High price point, no app connectivity

Available from: Babymoov, Amazon and Kiddies Kingdom

7. BT Smart Video Baby Monitor, £149.99

Best smart monitor

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 250m outdoors and 50m indoors | Screen size: 5 or 2.8 inch | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound | Control with app: Yes

The popular BT Video Baby monitor has had a complete overhaul, with BT releasing a powerful smart version that combines a dedicated monitor screen unit with an app option for local or out-of-the-house access to the camera.

The HD video monitor offers super clear picture quality, comes with night vision and lets you tilt, pan and zoom the camera remotely. We also like that as well as sound alerts, the system can alert you visually with LED lights.

For the price you do get a lot of features including push-to-talk interactivity (keep in mind the parent unit isn’t touchscreen), a temperature sensor and 5 lullabies which our reviewer felt was missing from the previous model. BT have even designed the monitor to work with smart assistants, so you can ask Alexa or Google for the room temperature, to play a lullaby or enable and disable motion detection.

Pros: Pan and tilt camera remotely, night vision, works with smart assistants
Cons: Parent unit isn’t touchscreen

Available from: Amazon, Argos and Currys

8. Snuza HeroMD Portable Breathing Monitor, £89.99

Best medically-certified monitor

Type: Breathing | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 250m | Talkback function: No | Night vision: No | Alerts: Sound | Control with app: Yes | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.3 stars

Although we’re increasingly seeing more wearable monitors on the market, the Snuza Hero MD is the only wearable device on our list to come with medical certification. It works by clipping on to your baby’s nappy, so it can monitor their breathing through their abdominal movements.

It then gently vibrates after 15 seconds to rouse your baby if they haven’t taken any breaths in that time, and a sharp audible alarm sounds after a further 5 seconds if breathing is weak or has not resumed. In order to gain EU medical certification, Snuza has said that it had to prove it could detect the slightest breath which MFM reviewer, Steve, could also attest to: “It even managed to pick up breathing when worn on top of a vest, clipped onto the waistband of our son’s trousers.”

Steve found the set-up to be straightforward with the device “ready to use in seconds”. Once clipped on to the nappy our testers also found it to be very secure “with no visible small pieces”, said MFM tester Zowie.

You won’t find an app to go alongside the Snuza Hero MD, which is an element that some of its competitors do have. But for a price tag that comes in at under £100, this is a simple but reliable buy for parents that are looking for extra reassurance.

Pros: Medically certified breathing monitor, secure fastening, comfortable for baby
Cons: No video monitoring, no app connectivity

Read our full MadeForMums review of the Snuza Hero MD

Available from: Argos and Amazon

9. BT Audio Baby Monitor 450, £49.99

Best audio-only monitor

Type: Audio | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 50m indoor/300m outdoor | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: No | Alerts: Sound and lights | Control with app: No

For an audio only monitor, the BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 offers some of the highest quality HD sound along with a wide 50m indoor and 300m outdoor range.

Ideal for soothing your child to sleep, it features 2-way talkback, 18 different lullabies and a star and moon light show. And for more subtle light features, there’s an adjustable nightlight which is also ideal for older babies. Like some of its competitors, BT’s Audio Baby Monitor can also display sound using lights, if you want it kept silent.

At £50, this is a lot more affordable than more of the advanced monitors on the market. While it lacks technical wizardry, for example there’s no app connectivity, it’s a solid and reliable option from a trusted brand.

Pros: Wide range of lullabies, light show, affordable, large outdoor range, sound sensitive lights
Cons: Basic functionality

Available from: Amazon, Argos and Boots

10. VTech BM1000, £24.99

Best budget audio monitor

Type: Audio | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 50m | Talkback function: No | Night vision: No | Alerts: Sound and lights | Control with app: No

This is a simple audio only baby monitor that works well across the home without breaking the bank. Despite being budget, the sound quality is clear and consistent even when moving between rooms. The sound sensitive lights are also a useful alert system for when you have the audio alerts kept low.

Battery life tops out at about 7 hours, so good enough for a night or two. The top of the monitor itself is a little top heavy though so it’s worth making sure you have this setup in a solid spot to avoid it falling and potentially waking baby.

The out of range alert is a nice addition which lets you feel peace of mind knowing that you’re connected, even if baby is quiet and there are no noise alerts. The addition of a belt clip is also nice touch that lets you keep this on you as you move about without thinking about it.

Pros: Affordable, sound sensitive lights, belt clip, out of range alert
Cons: Very basic functionality

Available from: VTech and Kiddies Kingdom

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