Menu

See our Cyber Week top picks 🤩

Best Baby Monitors: Allow Your Baby to Sleep in Safety

Updated September 26, 2020

Baby monitors have come a long way in the last decade, and there is an incredible array of options from which you can choose from- including, but not limited to, audio, video, bluetooth capabilities, and even smart home connection settings. They allow you the opportunity to have an awareness of your child’s sleeping area without having to be in the immediate vicinity. Plus, with technological advances, you can even check on your child when you are away from home and have a babysitter.

These benefits aren’t just perfect for providing peace of mind concerning your babies while they sleep, they can also be used in other capacities. Keep an eye on your children while they play, check up on your pets during the day, or even use them as a way to better monitor a large home or property in a simple, affordable way.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

HelloBaby Baby Monitor with Remote Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera and 3.2” LCD Screen

buy now

  • Type: Wireless Video and Audio
  • Range: 1000 feet
  • Features: Panning camera, room temp, music, 2-way audio, night vision
#2

Nanit Plus – Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount

buy now

  • Type: Wireless Video App
  • Range: Endless
  • Features: Overhead mount, app compatible, a nightlight
#3

VTech DM221-2 Audio Baby Monitor

buy now

  • Type: Audio Digital Monitor
  • Range: 1000 feet
  • Features: Vibrating and light indicators, portable handsets, light-up display, nightlight, belt clip
#4

Motorola Digital Audio Baby Monitor

buy now

  • Type: Audio Digital Monitor
  • Range: 990 feet
  • Features: light indicators, rechargeable battery, high sensitivity microphone
#5

Owlet Smart Baby Monitor Duo

buy now

  • Type: Audio, Visual, and advanced wireless health monitor
  • Range:
  • Features:

Pros and Cons of Baby Monitors

If your baby sleeps in the same room as you, you may decide a monitor isn’t for you each night, but what about when baby naps, or when you have multiple children in multiple areas of a house? A monitor can be so much more than a nighttime aid for parent peace of mind, it can provide alerts for deep sleepers, allow you to look in on your child while you go about household chores, or watch television in another room, and it can be used as your child grows, or even with household pets.

Security and Longevity Issues

Let’s cover the cons first as the list is short, but well worth taking into consideration. The biggest drawbacks of a baby monitor are becoming dependent upon it and having it not work as it should due to low batteries or poor range. Luckily, there are monitors that tie directly into smartphones, or even home security systems so you can put aside power and range issues for good. However, this advancement in technology comes with its own concerns: security risk.

When you begin to transfer information over online accounts, you always run the risk of being hacked. Home video systems and monitors tied into smartphones and home smart systems have been taken over by outside users in the past. This allows them access to your video files, and even live streaming. If you use this type of system, you can easily keep yourself safe by having an encrypted system that you secure with regular log-in password changes. User error is often what creates hackable situations, and you can take steps to keep this from happening.

Benefits You Cannot Ignore

Obviously, the biggest use of a monitor is the fact that you can simply check on your baby quickly and easily either via audio or video. This allows for a quick check that all is well and you can turn your attention back to what you were doing. As children grow, you can also check to see if they are actually sleeping, or are they amusing themselves in other ways and are up out of bed when they shouldn’t be

This is helpful when trying to sleep train, or even if your child has been feeling under the weather and you want to check on their breathing, coughing, or other symptoms without waking them by entering the room.

Video monitors are particularly helpful if you are away and have a babysitter. Not to say your hire isn’t capable, but allows a way to provide a way to quickly check-in without having to make a phone call, and many caregivers welcome the help if they know it is being used. Simply be upfront about the system you have, and perhaps allow them access as well- especially if you have more than one child they are caring for.

They also can be very helpful when traveling and are spending time in new areas that may disrupt sleep patterns due to unfamiliarity.

Many monitors allow two-way conversation as well now, so you can touch base with your children while gone, or simply remind them to close their eyes and get to sleep! This works well with pets also!

Plus, everything mentioned above can be used for other caregiving situations, such as when you have a sick family member, a teenager at home with a cold, a pet that stays indoors each day while at work, or even elderly care.

Types of Baby Monitors

There actually is quite an array of monitors to consider, but if you keep in mind the main types and then focus on the features each offer, you can more quickly narrow down your choices.

Audio Analog Monitors

These, as the name implies, are audio-only and allow you to listen in on the sounds generated in the room. These are basic, but very effective and provide the information you need to decide whether to go get a baby, or stay put during self-soothing. Some of these models may allow back and forth conversations as well.  One drawback is, the analog frequency they are on may be picked up by other, nearby monitors.

Audio Digital Monitors

These are audio monitors as well, but work on a digital system to provide encryption and more security. They also often have a clearer sound and longer range so you don’t have any dead area.

Video + Audio Monitors

These include a small camera that picks up on both sound and video and feeds to another monitor screen that you can place in another room, or even feed to a specified app via bluetooth or wifi. They may have interactive features as well and allow you to speak back and forth through the system or zoom in on an area in the room. Just keep in mind these are simpler than more advanced wireless options.

Wireless Network Monitors

These are digital video and audio systems that connect directly to your wireless connection or smart home system. They differ from other systems in that they specifically work with your phones, tablets, and computers and will have the range to provide you access from anywhere you may be. Many of these have advanced features that alert you to sound or movement so you don’t have to constantly monitor live feed.

Movement Monitors

These include a pad that is slipped under the mattress to monitor the baby’s movements and send an alert if there has been no movement (including breathing) for a set amount of time. These are not always accurate and are often best used with other types of monitors to provide a better picture of sleep habits.

Features to Consider

The more advanced your baby monitor, the more features you can expect. There are even controls that allow you to monitor room temperature and the ability to make adjustments through smart home technology. However, basic features include some very helpful options you may want to consider.

2.4 GHZ vs DECT Technology

DECT is a low-frequency band that is for voice-only communication. It ensures a clear sound, unlike 2.4 GHZ that picks up all background noises and can be difficult to hear clearly at times.

Rechargeable Unit

Avoid having to constantly change out batteries with a model that has rechargeable batteries built into it. This also saves money.

Portable Handsets

Many handsets are designed to move from place to place, but have a base to set on a flat surface. If you are constantly on the go, look for units that have an easy to carry or clip handset.

Night Vision

If you have a video monitor, be sure it is equipped with night vision or it somewhat negates checking on your child in a dark room.

Light-Up Indicators

Light-up indicators, such as for low batteries, are a great feature to allow you to be aware of when charging needs to occur.

Sound Alerts

Be alerted when your child increases in volume to be aware of regular movement sounds versus crying. These often light up, vibrate, or even make noise via smartphone apps.

Out of Range Indicator

For those choices that have a range, look for a model that alerts you when you are too far from the main monitor.

Expandability

If you plan on adding to the family, or want to expand the capabilities of your monitoring system, look for those that have product add on options.

Top 5 Best Baby Monitor Picks

The following monitors are some of the most popular picks, and span through a variable range of budgets to help you find the best quality product, for the best cost. Everything from high range audio monitors to whole home system tie-ins is highlighted here to give you a great selection of options to choose from for your needs.

HelloBaby Baby Monitor with Remote Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera and 3.2” LCD Screen

Specs:

  • Type: Wireless Video and Audio
  • Range: 1000 feet
  • Features: Panning camera, room temp, music, 2-way audio, night vision

Best Remote Pan-Tilt-Zoom Camera Monitor

The HelloBaby monitor is a wireless model that provides a state of the art pan-tilt-zoom camera that is controlled remotely via the monitor screen that you can place anywhere in the house. With up to a 1000 foot range, you can keep an eye on your baby anywhere on your property.

Not only does it have excellent camera control, but it also boasts infrared night vision, two-way communication, room temperature display, and doubles as a music box with 8 different soothing lullabies. Plus, there is a sound level indicator light to determine the strength of the noise coming from the room.

Pros

  • The movable camera is perfect for active children
  • Excellent screen and audio
  • Durable for regular use

Cons

  • Small charging port

Who This is For

If you prefer a home unit that allows excellent sound and audio, this is a perfect choice. The clear 3.2 inch LCD display is clear and allows remote control of your camera.

buy now

Nanit Plus – Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount

Specs:

  • Type: Wireless Video App
  • Range: Endless
  • Features: Overhead mount, app compatible, a nightlight

Best Overhead Video Monitor

Overhead cameras provide a wide-angle view of the entirety of your child’s sleeping space. This camera mounts to the wall over a crib and sends the display via a phone app, or Alexa enabled Kindle, or Echo Show. Easy to use at any distance, it also proves two-way audio, night vision, and a built-in nightlight.

The app provides both sound and vibration notifications, and allows multiple users. The camera can also be used with a stand for on the go, and the model is compatible with specialized sleepwear to help track your child’s breathing and motion.

Pros

  • Very user-friendly
  • Incredibly clear view
  • Sound can run in the background

Cons

  • Red lights on the camera can be bright

Who This is For

This is a great choice for when you want to have your monitor with you at all times. This provides HD camera clarity on your own phone or other compatible screens.

buy now

VTech DM221-2 Audio Baby Monitor

Specs:

  • Type: Audio Digital Monitor
  • Range: 1000 feet
  • Features: Vibrating and light indicators, portable handsets, light-up display, nightlight, belt clip

Best Portable Handsets

Dependable and durable, VTech provides portable handsets to work with the audio monitor to provide a clear sound up to 1000 feet. A vibrating sound alert and backlit display on the handsets allow you to easily notice when your baby needs attention.

A two-way talk intercom allows you to soothe your baby from a distance, and a nightlight on the monitor provides a gentle glow. You can also monitor sound while on mute due to the light-up 5 level volume indicator.

Pros

  • The awesome price point for a dependable option
  • Great for two way audio
  • Seriously durable and easy to carry around with belt clip

Cons

  • The base does not have a battery backup

Who This is For

If you are looking for both simple and budget-friendly, without sacrificing sound, this is a great go-to choice.

buy now

Motorola Digital Audio Baby Monitor

Specs:

  • Type: Audio Digital Monitor
  • Range: 990 feet
  • Features: light indicators, rechargeable battery, high sensitivity microphone

Best Tabletop DECT Audio Technology Monitor

Motorola is a great brand for sound quality and audio capabilities. This monitor negates disruptive background sound via advanced DECT audio technology. The sturdy base monitor transmits wirelessly for up to 990 feet to the tabletop receptor that provides an LED light sound level indicator.

A rechargeable battery in the parent monitor provides peace of mind, and lets you know when the battery is running low. It also gives you an out of range indication. A high sensitivity microphone ensures you never miss any noise coming from the room.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Great sound quality
  • Great price point

Cons

  • No 2-way audio

Who This is For

Dependable and efficient, this is a monitor that provides you the sound you need to know what noise level is within the room.

buy now

Owlet Smart Baby Monitor Duo

Specs:

  • Type: Audio, Visual, and advanced wireless health monitor
  • Range:
  • Features:

Best Smartphone Features

Use your Smartphone with this advanced Owlet baby monitor that provides an incredible array of technological advancements to track your baby’s sleep. It uses an AES 128-bit encryption and TLS connection to WIFI for secure encryption, and provides streaming HD video and crystal clear audio.

With the smart sock that your child wears, you can monitor not only the noise they make, but also their oxygen levels and heart rate. Mount the monitor on a tabletop or wall, and then watch using clear color or night vision displays on the app. You can also two-way talk.

Pros

  • Very accurate
  • Great display and easy to use system
  • Alarms are dependable and work well on the app

Cons

  • Priced a bit high
  • The app is a bit laggy at times

Who This is For

When you want to know more than just what you see or hear, this is a great option for those with new babies. The way the monitor works it can easily grow with your child through toddlerhood.

buy now

Conclusion

It is important to have an awareness of exactly what options you have out there so you can find the type of unit that fits your home, and situation best. Whether you choose an audio, audiovisual, or advanced smart technology option can make a difference in your awareness of certain situations. These are all excellent choices with audio range and visual detection, as well as a few extras, to provide you a budget range of quality products that provide peace of mind.