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10 of the best baby monitors - tried and tested

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

Best baby monitors

A baby monitor can offer amazing peace of mind when your baby or toddler is sleeping, allowing you to check in on them and listen for cries when they're napping or sleeping at night. There are a number of different types on the market, and they range from simple audio monitors that let you know when your little one is crying, to state-of-the-art wearables that track their heart rate and breathing to give you more data than you could ever imagine.

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There truly is a baby monitor to suit every family, and we've put them to the test: families across the UK have been testing all different types of baby monitor to see which ones really perform. We've then cast our editorial eye across them to round up some of the very best across each category and budget.

Skip straight to the 10 best baby monitors

What are the different types of baby monitor?

Audio monitors tend to be the most affordable option, but they only allow you to hear your baby, not see them. They generally come in 2 parts: a unit with an audio sensor goes in the baby's room, and a parent unit that you keep with you to listen out for cries. Many of these operate wirelessly: some require batteries, others can be charged when not in use.

Video monitors consist of a camera with sound to capture both video and audio of your baby, and some way of viewing that video feed (either a parent unit with a screen, an app for your phone, or both). You'll need to mount the camera in the child's room so you can see the whole cot (some may come with a stand, clip or wall mount for this). Most cameras are wired, so you'll also need a plug socket within easy reach.

Movement monitors come with an additional unit (usually a thin mat that goes under the cot mattress) which track the tiny movements your child makes as they sleep. These are essentially breathing monitors, and the idea is to give extra reassurance that your child is safe and well: if no movement is detected after a short period, you get an alert). You may find that a high-end video monitor has its own built-in movement sensor, too. These tend to work in the opposite way: they alert you when your child makes a large movement (such as rolling over, sitting, or standing up) to let you know they are awake / unsettled.

Wearable monitors make use of similar technology to fitness trackers or heart rate monitors to take an even closer look at what your baby is doing while they sleep. You put your baby to sleep wearing the smart item (either a piece of clothing or a clip-on monitor) and it tracks their movement and breathing to deliver data to an app. They often work in conjunction with a video monitor, so you get sound and picture too. Tracking this data can help reassure anxious parents during overnight sleep, and also help to learn more about the baby's sleep habits and patterns to create a better routine. The UK government's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has recently determined that some of these products are are borderline with medical devices, so it's likely we'll see more regulations in future.

Best baby monitors at a glance

  • Best baby monitor for reliability: BT Video Monitor 6000, £116.99
  • Best baby monitor for all-round performance: VTech Smart Wi-Fi Video Baby Monitor, £159.99
  • Best baby monitor for sleep tracking: Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor, £300
  • Best baby monitor for movement tracking: Angelcare AC527 Baby Movement Monitor, £249.99
  • Best baby monitor for sensing cries: Tommee Tippee Dreamee Sound, Motion and Video Baby Monitor, £159.99
  • Best baby monitor for heart rate tracking: Owlet Smart Sock, £269
  • Best baby monitor for travel: Babymoov Yoo Travel Video Monitor, £125.99
  • Best baby monitor for peace of mind: Snuza HeroMD Portable Breathing Monitor, £89.99
  • Best baby monitor for audio monitoring: BT Audio Baby Monitor 450, £49.99
  • Best baby monitor for affordability: VTtech BM1000, £24.99

What to look for when buying a baby monitor

Power supply – Some monitors (particularly video ones) will need to be plugged in at all times, so you'll need to ensure you can mount the baby unit safely with all wires out of the way of tiny hands. Audio or "wireless" monitors may take batteries, or come with a mains charger. For those that need charging, check the battery life: most last 8-12 hours max, so will need recharging every day.

Parent unit – If your video monitor comes with a parent unit (a screen to view and control the camera) then you'll need to be able to charge this too. Most have a reasonable battery life but larger screens or those with more features use more power, and if you want to keep the screen on with the brightness up at night, you'll usually need to plug it in. Look for parent units with standby modes to conserve power and give you more flexibility.

Range – Many baby monitors have their own analog or digital signal built into the units: digital is now the norm but do check before you buy. The product specs will list the maximum range of this signal: this is how far you can take the parent unit from the cot or crib. However, the stated range doesn't take into account walls, floors, furniture, or anything else that could interfere with the signal. If you have a large house, you may find that you can't go too far from the baby's room.

Wi-Fi connection – Although most monitors will have their own signal built in, some will also connect to your home Wi-Fi, and have an app you can add to your phone. This opens up lots of new options, including increased range, the ability to record and save videos, and perhaps the ability to view the live feed from multiple devices (such as a parent unit and a smartphone). It may also mean you can view the feed using your phone's data if you're away from home (although we don't condone spying on the babysitter!). If you're adding your baby monitor to your home Wi-Fi it's important to ensure your home WiFi is secure and your devices are password protected.

Camera and video quality – Most decent video monitors now have HD video, and you'll want something with good night vision as you're likely to be watching a dark room. Also consider the lens in the camera: more expensive models may have a wide angle lens to view the entire cot, a zoom function, or be able to track movement and automatically pan and tilt. Others may need to be mounted higher up for the same visibility.

Crying and movement alerts – Movement monitors and wearables offer the most in terms of movement alerts and tracking, keeping an eye on your child's breathing throughout the night. But many of the more high-end video monitors can also be set to wake – and even record video – if your baby stirs or makes a sound. This feature and comes in particularly handy as your child gets older and is able to climb out of their cot: at least you'll be able to watch back and see how they did it!

Features to soothe your baby – A lot of monitors have 2-way audio so you can talk to your child through the audio or camera unit. Some will even play light shows, lullabies, soothing sounds, or white noise. Do look into these options as they're often overlooked, but could mean you don't need to buy a separate sleep aid. On the flip side, they can push up the price of the overall unit considerably, and some families end up not using them.

Ease of expansion – Do you have more than one child, or are you considering extending your family in the future? If so, you may wish to look for a unit that you can extend with added cameras. Some people use monitors until their children are pre-school age, and being able to see all your children on one screen is far easier than plugging in, charging, and keeping an eye on two or more separate systems.

Mount or stand – Video monitors will need to be placed on a shelf, fastened to a wall or placed on a stand to give you a good view of your baby. Some come with stands, others have mounts that need to be screwed into the wall. Do look into this when you purchase, especially if you live in rented accommodation and can't put holes in the walls. You can buy universal stands (such as the Flexi Air 360, £54.99) or flexible camera holders that fasten onto the cot like the FlexxiCam, £16.85) or you could consider damage-free options like Command hooks or strips.

How much does a baby monitor cost?

Baby monitors range from around £20 for a simple audio monitor to over £300 for a wearable and camera unit combined. Somewhere in the middle, you'll find an ever-increasing range of video monitors, which can vary from about £60 to £200. More expensive models will generally have more features, larger and better quality screens, and better cameras.

Here's our pick of the best baby monitors to buy in 2022

1. BT Video Monitor 6000, £116.99

Best for reliability

BT Smart Video Baby Monitor

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: up to 250m | Screen size: 5 inch | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound | Control with app: No | MFM Review Star Rating: 4.4 stars

A perennial favourite with our community, no baby monitor is mentioned more than the BT 6000 when we ask for recommendations. Consider this your best in class standard video monitor: it offers everything most families need at a competitive price, but it doesn't come with any added extras like Wi-Fi capability, video recording, or extended tracking and monitoring.

What you do get is a decent quality camera and a large screen, with a range of up to 250m (although it may be as little as 50m indoors). The camera has pan, tilt and zoom functions so you can keep track of a more mobile toddler, but these aren't on a motion sensor, so you'll need to do it manually from the parent unit. There's also 2-way talk, 5 lullabies, and a temperature sensor too.

MFM reviewer Hayley did find that the display is slightly grainy, but said: "The fact that the screen size is large means the graininess isn’t really an issue, as you can still clearly see whether your baby’s chest rising as they breathe and whether they are asleep or awake, depending of course on the position of the camera."

Overall, this is a parent-approved option that removes all unnecessary extras to do one thing well: allow you to see and hear your baby when they're in another room. You don't need to worry about your home Wi-Fi going down or being hacked, and the generously-sized screen gives a great view of your child day or night.

Pros: Good value, reliable, decent range without Wi-Fi, remote pan and tilt
Cons: Display is not HD, no motion sensor or tracking

Read our full MadeForMums review of the BT Video Monitor 6000

Available from: John Lewis, Mamas & Papas and Amazon

2. V-Tech Smart Wi-Fi Video Baby Monitor, £159.99

Best for all-round performance

V tech smart baby monitor

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: up to 300m (plus Wi-Fi capability) | Screen size: 5 or 7 inches | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and motion | Control with app: Yes | Award: MadeForMums Award 2021, Baby monitor – Gold

If you're looking for a video monitor that does it all, this monitor packs a punch, with a wide angle pan and tilt camera, a 5 inch or 7 inch high definition screen, a good built-in range, plus the option to connect using Wi-Fi and download the (free) vtech app on your phone. Do this, and you can record video and take photos, thanks to the camera's motion sensor and tracking capabilities.

Home tester Cathryn loved these features, saying: "I've a child that suffers night terrors so this camera is perfect for what the doctors and consultants need. It records, and I am able to show them how many episodes she has a night. Its motion detectors move to the movement."

The camera is easy to set up (although the power cable is quite short) and once it's fitted and connected via its own signal or Wi-Fi you get clear picture and good zoom functionality, plus a decent range (one tester found she could go out into their garden with the parent unit). There's a 2-way talk option, a temperature sensor, plus soothing sounds, lullabies and white noise built in. Our testers found the parent unit lasted around 4 hours when the screen was on, and up to 8 hours in power saver mode. It's not completely faultless: it does have a tendency to disconnect occasionally and you may need to turn the camera on and off to fix this, but overall it represents great value for money with all the functionality most families need and a great parent unit with lots of settings to personalise how you use it.

Pros: Pan and tilt camera remotely, connects with free app, large display
Cons: camera unit not rechargeable, sometimes loses connection, short power cable

Available from: Very and Argos

3. Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor, from £300

Best for sleep tracking

Nanit HD baby monitor

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 2021, Technology products for babies and families – Silver

The Nanit HD Baby Monitor is a hybrid video monitor, sleep tracker and wearable. The camera itself has in-depth tracking options of its own, but by adding a wearable element (a swaddle, pyjamas or a chest band - sold separately or in bundles from £329) you'll be able to find out even more about your baby's sleep habits. The app will then give you expert guidance and tips to help your baby to sleep better. Unlike some smart monitors, the wearable is not a sensor in itself, it's printed with a pattern that the camera tracks to "see" your child breathing, so there are no electronic parts on or near your baby.

MFM tester Rovenna said, "There are so many pros to the Nanit Plus: outstanding camera and quality of sound, and so much information. I would say this is a dream for first time parents especially." All our testers raved about the app's sleep tracking and guidance, although they did point out the added expense of using this monitor over time: you'll need to buy more wearables in larger sizes, and the app is only free for the first year.

Along with its smart capabilities the Nanit is also aesthetically pleasing and well-designed, with multiple mounting options for a clear view. Both the wall mount and stand have built-in cable tidies which are a huge bonus where safety is concerned. The wide-angle lens offers a clear picture, although like anything that connects to your home Wi-Fi, our testers did report that it would occasionally disconnect or lag slightly. The monitor also has two-way sound, sleep aids like white noise and lullabies built in, a temperature sensor, and the ability to connect to Alexa smart devices.

Pros: Sleep tracking, cable cover attachments included, great quality camera
Cons: High price point, sleep tracking costs extra after first year

Available from: Amazon

4. Angelcare AC527 Baby Movement Monitor, £249.99

Best for movement tracking

angel care

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

Another does-it-all monitor that offers extra peace of mind, this video monitor comes with a movement sensor pad that you slip under the baby's mattress. It tracks the tiny movements that come with the child's breathing, and sounds an alert if there's no movement for 20 seconds. Our MFM reviewer, Carla, found the “sleek and slim” sensor to be barely detectable under her daughter’s mattress, and was impressed at how it picked 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.”

This monitor also benefits from being expandable, something that is not always the case with smart monitors. You can connect a second sensor pad and camera and see two children on the screen at once, making it a great option for parents of twins or young children close in age.

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. Although this is fairly standard, it does mean it works better plugged in at night if possible. There is also a bright light on the camera that could be distracting, but is necessary for night vision.

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: Amazon and John Lewis

5. Tommee Tippee Dreamee Sound, Motion and Video Baby Monitor, £159.99

Best for sensing cries

Tommee Tippee Dreamee Baby Monitor

Type: Video and movement | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 300m | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and motion | Control with app: No | Award: MadeForMums Award 2021, Baby monitor – Gold

Offering an impressive range, a pan and tilt camera and a large, high definition screen, Tommee Tippee's flagship baby monitor delivers well purely as a high-end video monitor, but it packs a lot more features into the box along with that.

The "CrySensor" listens out for your baby's cries during the night, and the monitor can then play lullabies or sounds to soothe them. You can even add your own music or recordings via SD card if you prefer.

It also comes with a well-designed movement sensing mat that our home testers found performed really well. Kim, mum of 7, said, “I absolutely love the movement function…the sensitivity on the mat is really good too.” The camera can be set to automatically track motion, so if you're unable to place it high enough to see the whole cot, you can still keep an eye on your wriggly baby.

Tommee Tippee is a brand many parents turn to for reliable baby products that are easy to use, and home tester Emma, mum of a 9-month-old praised this monitor for being "High tech, yet simple in design."

Available from: Amazon, Very, Argos and Tommee Tippee

6. Owlet Smart Sock, £269

Best for heart rate tracking

Type: Heart rate | Frequency type: Digital | Range: Wi-Fi | Talkback function: No | Night vision: No | Alerts: Pulse | Control with app: Yes | Award: MadeForMums Award 2021, Baby monitor – Silver

The Owlet features a wearable "sock", designed to provide more precise information than traditional video monitors. It uses an infrared light to measure the child's 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.

While it may be useful to have these statistics at hand, you should remember it 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, and not a medical device.

Our testers found the smart sock easy to put on their babies, with mum Paulina saying: “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 has designed for. They also found the app easy to use but mum Zoe did experience some connectivity issues.

The standard Owlet set-up doesn't feature a camera, instead letting the app alert you to your baby's movement. However, if you do prefer to have a visual too, you can purchase a bundle featuring an impressive HD camera, but at £389 this makes it the most expensive offering in our list.

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

Available from: Jojomamanbebe, Owlet and Natural Baby Shower

7. Babymoov Yoo Travel Video Monitor, £125.99

Best for travel

Babymoov Yoo Travel Baby Monitor

Type: Video | Frequency type: Digital | Range: 250m | Screen size: 2.4 inches | Talkback function: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Alerts: Sound and visual | Control with app: No | Award: MadeForMums Award 2021, Baby monitor – Bronze

Designed for wire-free use, this travel baby monitor is perfect for holidays and trips to visit family, but it also comes in handy if your child sleeps in different rooms around the house. Battery life is the key feature here: it can last up to 8 hours before it needs charging, so it should easily stay on overnight if you switch on the voice activation mode to save power.

It comes with most of the features of a standard video monitor, including 2-way talk, a zoom function, sound and visual alerts, and a temperature function. It's also designed to be expandable, with the ability to connect up to 4 cameras if needed. On the downside, the camera stand is not suited to all rooms and some of our testers found it difficult to angle the camera perfectly to see the cot, so you may wish to buy a bendy stand or mount to help with it. It's also not got the best screen or night vision compared to some on this list, but that is likely due to the need to conserve battery life.

Home tester Rosanna said, "This is an excellent monitor for the family on the go or as a back-up in the home. The entirely wireless travel element to the camera is a big plus point, making it easy to set up and you aren’t restricted to plug sockets."

Pros: Wire free, good battery life, perfect for travel
Cons: Small screen, night vision isn't as good as some, stand is not very flexible

Available from: John Lewis, Boots and Babymoov

8. Snuza HeroMD Portable Breathing Monitor, £89.99

Best for peace of mind

Snuza HeroMD Portable Breathing 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 the wearables market is growing quickly, the Snuza Hero MD is the only one on this list that comes with medical certification. Snuza also partnered with the Lullaby Trust to donate devices for the CONI programme, which provides support for bereaved parents who go on to have another baby.

The monitor works by clipping on to your baby’s nappy, tracking 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. MFM reviewer, Steve, could attest to this: “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”, in the words of 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, and you may find that you want to use it in conjunction with a video monitor for the full package. However, coming in at under £100, it is a simple but reliable buy for parents who 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: Currys, Argos and Amazon

9. BT Audio Baby Monitor 450, £49.99

Best for audio monitoring

BT Audio Baby Monitor 450

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

Although it's an audio only monitor, the BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 offers some great features, including the highest quality HD sound and a wide 50m indoor and 300m outdoor range.

Ideal for soothing your child to sleep, it features 2-way talkback, 18 different lullabies and even a star and moon light show. For more subtle light features, there’s an adjustable nightlight which is also ideal for older babies. The parent unit has the option for alerts as either sound or lights, and there's also a temperature sensor.

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, and great if you have no need for a video monitor.

Pros: Wide range of lullabies, light show, affordable, large outdoor range, sound sensitive lights
Cons: Basic functionality, no video

Available from: BT and Amazon

10. VTech BM1000, £24.99

Best for affordability

VTech. baby 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 a budget buy, 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 (given that it will be on standby for much of this time if your baby is sleeping). The top of the monitor itself is a little top heavy though, so it's worth making sure you have it set up 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 your 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: Very, Amazon, Kiddies Kingdom and VTech

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How we tested and chose these products

When testing baby monitors we asked our home testers and reviewers to look at range, picture quality and screen size, battery life, tracking / sensor options, alerts, fitting options, value for money plus extra features such as lullabies or 2-way sound. 

Our Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

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About the author

Gemma Cartwright is Consumer and Commerce Editor at MadeForMums and a journalist with over 15 years experience in lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and tech. She is mum to a toddler.

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