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The best baby monitors to buy, tested by parents

A selection of the best baby monitors against a blue background

We've tested a wide variety of the latest video and audio-only baby monitors - these are the ones we'd buy for our homes

Baby monitors have come a long way since the audio-only, walkie-talkie style devices our parents used a generation ago. You can still pick up great audio-only models for under £50, but today’s smart versions offer features such as motion sensors, infrared night vision, temperature sensors and calming night lights and music. Many now even connect to smartphones and Wi-Fi networks to bring even greater versatility.

To help you choose the best baby monitor, we’ve tested a wide range of baby monitors and focussed on all the essential functions such as battery life, reception range and video and/or sound quality. Our recommended models provide a great all-round experience regardless of whether they’re cheap sub-£50 audio-only monitors or the very latest smart Wi-Fi connected video monitors.

You’ll find our favourite models in the at-a-glance list below, and you can click the product names to skip to the mini reviews further down the page.

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Best baby monitors: At a glance

Best smart baby monitor with parent unitMaxi-Cosi See Pro Baby Monitor (~£200)Check price at Boots
Best budget video monitorVtech VM3254 (~£50)Check price at Argos
Best audio-only monitorVtech DM1212 Digital Audio Baby Monitor (~£35)Check price at John Lewis

How we test baby monitors

  •  All of our reviewers are parents of young babies and children.
  •  Our reviewers use all of the products in their own homes, monitoring and recording how each monitor performs when keeping tabs on their little ones’ naps, play and night-time sleep.
  •  Our mini-reviewers include sleepy newborns and active toddlers, as well as babies who are just beginning to move around independently.
  •  As well as noting everything from the quality of the audio and video to additional features and how easy the product was to install, we aim to include monitors that cover a wide range of price points.

The best video and audio baby monitors

1. CuboAi Plus Sleep Safety Bundle: Best smart baby monitor you can buy

Price when reviewed: £399 | Check price at Amazon

best baby monitor CuboAi Plus

One of the biggest selling points of the CuboAi monitor is how straightforward it is to set up and pair with your smart device. It’s also one of the most aesthetically pleasing models: the glossy white camera is shaped like a cute baby bird with a faux wood finish. Its wide-angle, 90-degree rotatable lens will give you a bird’s-eye view of baby’s cot wherever you choose to place it – whether that’s mounted safely on to the wall or cot, or attached to the weighted floor stand. There’s a night light on the top and a built-in speaker at the rear for soothing lullabies and white noise, and two-way talkback, too.

The HD image quality is fantastic, both in daylight and at night, as is the crystal-clear audio. Like all smart monitors, it connects to your phone or tablet via an app – however, note that if you wish to continue using some features beyond a year, you’ll be required to pay a subscription. You can also record and take photos using the CuboAi, and the monitor can be integrated with smart home devices, including Alexa and Google Home.

As you would expect for the price, it includes a wealth of extra functions that make this a solid choice for first-time parents in particular, including a cry-detection feature that alerts you to noise with a little chirp; covered-face and rollover detection; plus a brilliantly accurate temperature and humidity sensor. The Sleep Safety bundle also arrives with a sleep sensor pad. This slimline water-resistant pad – free of any cables or wires – slips neatly underneath the baby’s mattress to monitor their breathing motion patterns.

If you’re simply looking for the monitor and crib mount alone, you can pick this up from £199, which we think is more than worth it.

Key specs – Range: Unlimited; Additional features: 1080p HD video, two-way talkback, covered-face, rollover, cry and cough, and danger-zone detection, temperature and humidity sensor, sleep sensor pad, customisable alerts, CTIA Cybersecurity certified; Warranty: 1 year

2. Vtech VM3254: Best budget video monitor

Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Argos

Featuring a parent unit with an impressive full-colour 2.8in screen, this £50 baby monitor looks like one of those cool little personal photo cameras we once used to carry around back in the day. With intuitive buttons that allow you to pan the camera around in all directions, talk to baby through the monitor, and raise and lower the volume, this easy-to-use system takes no time at all to get used to, even allowing you to zoom in if you think you see something suspicious.

The VM3254 comes with a long-life rechargeable battery, infrared night vision that automatically kicks in when the lights go out, and there’s even an audio alert for when the baby starts to move around.

This value-for-money baby monitor is wall-mountable, has a night light, four lullabies, a 300m range and it even displays the temperature in the baby’s room. At this affordable price, and with all these helpful features, there isn’t much more you could really ask for.

Key specs – Range: 300m; Additional features: 2.8in colour touchscreen, room temperature sensor, 2x zoom, two-way talkback, lullabies, rechargeable, wall-mountable, night light, night vision, low-battery alert, motion alert; Warranty: 1 year

Check price at Argos

3. Maxi-Cosi See Pro Baby Monitor: Best smart monitor with parent unit

Price when reviewed: £200 | Check price at Bootsbest baby monitor Maxi Cosi

A brand synonymous with baby safety and functional yet stylish products, it isn’t surprising that the latest offering from Maxi-Cosi’s home collection doesn’t disappoint. The See Pro monitor comes with a 5in parent screen that can be used without the need for Wi-Fi, which can be used alongside your phone. You’ll also be notified on both devices when the baby cries.

The latest See Pro monitor has been upgraded with CryAssist technology, which not only detects baby’s cries, but translates them too, helping parents to figure out the cause of their baby’s fussing – whether that be hunger, wind or otherwise. So how does it do this? Well, babies’ cries are automatically analysed against a growing database of soundwaves that are identified and translated into five different types of cry: sleepy, fussy, hungry, gassy and agitated. The monitor even suggests ways to comfort them. And while we would always say that nobody knows a baby’s cry like its parent, the soothing suggestions (including the sound programs) are a welcome addition when you’re out of ideas. A six-month subscription to the app is included and, in reality, you’re unlikely to need it beyond that as you become more familiar with your little one’s noises.

You can choose to mount it on the wall or perch it on a high piece of furniture, and both options deliver a great view as a result of the wide-angle, 30-degree tilt-down lens and the included wedge mount.

Both video and audio are excellent, and the monitor reacts quickly and efficiently to noise and movement, as well as any changes in temperature and humidity. In line with the brand’s stylish aesthetic, we also welcome the See Pro’s sleek design, which will fit into most nurseries and homes.

Key specs – Range: Unlimited (when connected to Wi-Fi); Additional features: Ultra HD (2K) video, two-way talkback, lullabies and white noise, CryAssist technology, temperature and humidity sensor, remote zoom, tilt-and-pan camera control, 5in LCD colour screen; Warranty: 2 years

4. Sense-U Video Monitor: Best value smart monitor

Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at Amazon

BT is no longer manufacturing any new baby monitors of its own, but the company has partnered with Sense-U to offer a range of video monitors that deliver much to be admired.

The camera here is small and stylish, sporting a minimalistic white and black design. It’s affixed to a stand, which can be mounted to a wall or placed on an item of furniture. The camera can tilt back and forth 90 degrees, as well rotate about 15 degrees either side, delivering the perfect angle at which to monitor your child.

With two-way talk, not only will you be able to hear your child, you can soothe them remotely – just make sure the volume is set to maximum. The 1080p HD camera provides clear visibility with a 140-degree wide angle, even as daylight fades thanks to night vision. There’s also a 4x zoom and Private mode for extra security. The Sense-U Video can monitor your baby’s crying and movements, send out alerts (as long as you have notifications turned on in the app settings), and even provide video playback – to record footage, you’ll need your own SD card.

This particular model arrives with just the camera that connects to your smart device via Wi-Fi and Sense-U’s free app. The Pan-Tilt-Zoom Video model even allows you to move the camera via your phone, while the Video + Breathing unit can monitor your child’s breathing (much like the Angelcare AC527).

The Sense-U Video Monitor supports multiple views, enabling you to add additional cameras and connect them to the app, too; but users report that only one user can be logged in at a time. Setup is easy and there’s no monthly fee to pay.

Key specs – Range: Long range; Additional features: Two-way talkback, 1080p HD video, night vision, 140-degree wide angle, 4x zoom, motion and sound alerts, private mode; Warranty: 1 year

5. Nanit Pro Baby Monitor: Best high-end smart monitor

Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at John Lewis

If you’re looking for a baby monitor with fantastic picture quality and smart features as well as built-in tips, the Nanit baby monitor is one of the best choices around, evidenced by its high-end price.

Instead of being perched on the side of the cot or on furniture from various angles, Nanit is designed to be positioned directly above the cot, fitted to the wall without cables. This gives you a Full HD view of your little one no matter where they wriggle and find themselves in the middle of the night.

You can view the footage via the connected app at any time, from anywhere, even if the internet goes down at home. You can use both the monitor and app to talk to your little one, as well as keep an eye on the temperature and humidity in their room.

What really sets the Nanit system apart from other baby monitors, however, is its built-in Personal Sleep Coach. Nanit tracks and analyses your little one’s unique sleep patterns and provides personal sleep tips, alongside daily updates on their progress.

Key specs – Range: Not specified; Additional features: HD 1080p display, video recording, two-way audio, HD night vision, zoom, temperature and humidity sensors, 24/7 background audio, phone notifications, baby breathing monitoring, baby sleep trends, personalised reports; Warranty: 1 year

6. Vtech DM1212 Digital Audio Baby Monitor: Best audio-only monitor

Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at John Lewisbest baby monitor Vtech DM1212

Vtech might be better known for its noisy, brightly coloured range of toys, but the company also sells a number of parenting essentials, including a range of affordable baby monitors. And while the DM1212 might feel pretty basic compared to the other models here, our tester couldn’t fault this excellent audio-only monitor. Not only does it arrive with a few extra features that make it more than worth its modest price tag, its sound quality is clear and consistent, too.

As well as a room temperature sensor and vibrating sound alert, the DM1212 features sound-sensitive lights that alert you to crying or movement when you have the volume kept to minimum. The two-way audio set is mains powered, which means you don’t have to rely on batteries, though you can insert rechargeable batteries into the parent unit if you prefer to keep it on you while moving around the house.

The standout feature of this monitor, however, is the musical night light and night-show projection, all of which are controlled via the parent unit. It lulled our mini tester to sleep night after night – and continues to do so. A fabulous piece of kit at a great price.

Key specs – Range: 75 – 460m; Additional features: Two-way talkback, temperature sensor, 5 lullabies, projecting night light; Warranty: 1 year

Check price at John Lewis

7. Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Monitor: Best portable baby monitor

Price when reviewed: £155 | Check price at Amazon

The Motorola MBP50’s circular camera comes with a flexible star-shaped universal screw mount – the “star grip” – whose wrappable legs make attaching the camera to the crib, cot or anywhere, really, a doddle. This also means you can move it easily (if you’re near a plug), making it perfect for attaching to a travel cot on holiday, for example.

The camera offers a 480 x 272 resolution, which is pretty low, but the infrared night vision is adequate, and the screen also displays the room temperature. We found that the latter was always two degrees lower than the Gro Egg thermometer we had in the room (almost in the same location), but it at least provides a general idea of the temperature in a room, if not 100% accurate.

Elsewhere, you can play bird songs and lullabies at the touch of a button, and you can speak to your baby, too. The battery doesn’t last long (around six hours) if the display is left on; but it will last the night if you keep the audio on and use the video display occasionally. Or you can just leave it plugged in.

Design-wise, the Motorola MBP50 could be a little more elegant – the buttons do feel a bit plasticky – but this is a decent baby monitor nonetheless, including all the features you would need to watch over the baby.

Key specs – Range: 300m; Additional features: Remote control, night vision, two-way talkback, room temperature monitoring, lullabies, remote tilt-and-pan camera control, 5in LCD colour screen; Warranty: 1 year

8. Tommee Tippee Dreamee: Best baby monitor for newborns

Price when reviewed: £173 | Check price at Amazon

An alternative to the Angelcare breathing monitor system (and almost half the price too), Tommee Tippee’s Dreamee baby monitor is a well-equipped audio and video-monitoring unit.

The monitor includes a built-in room thermometer and temperature display, a 360-degree night vision camera, sound-activated nightlight, and two-way talkback. It offers a solid 300m wireless range and it has a CrySensor that soothes the baby to sleep with music that you can choose for them.

The camera can be easily tilted within its housing to get a clear picture of your baby and can optionally run off battery power rather than AC so the monitor can be used while your baby naps in a pram, for instance.

A motion-sensor mat comes with the set and can be placed under the baby as they sleep. It will sound an alarm if no breathing is detected for 20 seconds. Its sensitivity can be adjusted to suit particularly twitchy (or deep-sleeping) babies. Also on the unit are controls that allow you to adjust the monitor’s sensitivity to sound, so you can decide how much noise requires an alert.

Key specs – Range: 300m (wireless); Additional features: 360-degree pan-and-tilt camera, motion tracking, infrared night vision, HD monitor, sound-activated nightlight, two-way talkback, CrySensor and customisable sounds, music, movement sensor mat, alarm, room thermometer, VOX mode; Warranty: 1 year

How to choose the best baby monitor for you

What features should I consider?

When you’re picking out a video baby monitor for your wee one, we think it’s important to consider a few important factors:

Location – First, you’ll want to think about where you’ll place the device’s camera unit for a decent view of the cot. While some monitors – particularly those at the pricier end of the scale – come with stands that tower over baby’s cot, many don’t. If there’s no high-level furniture nearby on which to place the camera for a decent view, you may have to wall mount it; but make sure the model you choose is wall-mountable and comes with suitable screw mounts. Note, too, that you’ll likely need to get power to the camera unit, which might require an extension cord. Any cables will need to be tacked securely to the wall to avoid being a choking hazard.

Range – Depending on the size of your house, you might need a baby monitor with a range that stretches across multiple floors. Thicker walls can also interfere with weak signals, though this may be more difficult to gauge until you have a monitor up and running. Generally, cheaper models are likely to offer less range.

Temperature – If you would like reassurance about the temperature of baby’s bedroom, then you’ll be pleased to learn that many baby monitors available now come with this feature. There’s a chance you’ll have to pay extra for it, but it will save you from having to buy an extra baby thermometer.

One-way or two-way audio – Consider whether being able to speak to your baby through a two-way audio system will be helpful. Singing your child back to sleep, even through an intercom, might save you from having to traipse up and down the stairs multiple times.

Lights and music – Several baby monitors come with features designed to lull your baby to sleep at the push of a button, ranging from the ability to project a light display on the wall of your baby’s room to built-in music and lullabies designed to go off as soon as your baby starts to cry, or when you press a button from the main device.

Movement sensors – Some monitors, generally those models on the more expensive end of the spectrum, come with a movement sensor that can be slipped under your baby’s mattress. This will detect your little one’s breathing and will sound an alarm if no movement is detected after a given period of time. It can be great for extra peace of mind, particularly with newborns.

How do video baby monitors work?

Video baby monitors send signals from a camera to the parent unit via either digital signals or your Wi-Fi network, as long as the two devices are connected to the same network.

The difference between digital and Wi-Fi-based baby monitors is that digital monitors send signals over what’s known as the frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS). These send a signal directly and securely from a transmitter in the camera to the receiver on the parent unit.

Alternatively, Wi-Fi video baby monitors work in the same way as all other devices currently connected to your Wi-Fi network, by connecting to your router. Note that this does, of course, make it as susceptible to hackers as other devices on your network. However, as long as your network is protected and the camera’s firmware is up to date, the risk is minimal. Some high-end monitors offer an extra layer of built-in protection for increased security from such cyber-attacks.

With their limited functionality, audio-only models tend to be a more affordable option. If you’re happy with just being able to hear your baby instead of getting a view of them, there are some great options out there that offer additional features such as lullabies and two-way talkback.

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