Table of Contents
- View The Best Baby Monitor Below
- 1. Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
- 2. Owlet Monitor Duo
- 3. Panasonic Video Baby Monitor
- 4. Arlo Baby Monitor
- 5. Motorola Halo+ Video Baby Monitor
- 6. Summer Infant Baby Pixel
- 7. Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor
- 8. Miku Smart Baby Monitor
- 9. eufy Security Spaceview Monitor
- 10. Safety 1st HD Wi-Fi Baby Monitor
- Baby Monitors Buyers Guide
Since their days as a glorified one-way walkie talkie, baby monitors have made technological leaps and strides in the pursuit of round-the-clock reassurance for anxious parents. Whether you’re keeping an eye on your napping bundle of joy from down the hall, or checking in on the nanny from the office, the best baby monitors will provide reliable, state of the art assistance. (And hey, is it too much to ask that baby monitors be easy to install and operate, as well?)
We studied surveys, compared, contrasted, and combed through customer reviews to find video baby monitors that merited a spot on our top ten best list. On the way, we found models that’ll fulfill you and your baby’s needs, whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly baby monitor or one that checks every box on your wish list. (Don’t have a wish list yet? You will, after you check out our video baby monitor buyer’s guide below the reviews for a breakdown of what features the best baby monitors will offer. From sleep tracking apps to light shows, we’ll walk you through all the possibilities programmed into the latest baby monitor models.)
View The Best Baby Monitor Below
1. Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
Feeding directly from the camera to the baby monitor, this Infant Optics DXR-8 model doesn’t require the internet, making the feed secure. The screen is small enough to carry around the house, but the manufacturers didn’t sacrifice convenience or range for image quality. Use audio or video only, or both at once, and access the camera remotely to zoom, pan, or tilt. This baby monitor features a room thermometer, night vision, and two-way talk. Best of all, you just plug the Infant Optics camera in, turn it on, and voila – you’re in the security business.
+Infant Optics makes the setup super easy
+Two-way audio, room temperature monitoring, and 10-hour battery life
+Transmits through an internal channel – no internet needed
+Baby monitor can accommodate four more Infant Optics cameras
+Compact screen with the best image clarity we could find
Why We Like It – No need to fuss with (or worry about) internet connection with the Infant Optics DXR-8 – our choice for best baby monitor uses its own secure channel, which renders setup nonexistent. We loved the no-brainer installation, as well as the extra functions Infant Optics added to this baby monitor, especially the LED audio bar, the remote camera control, and the night vision.
2. Owlet Monitor Duo
Your baby will have one foot in the world of high-tech from the moment you slide on the smart sock sensor from Owlet; the comfy bootie sends blood oxygen and heart rate updates to the Owlet app, providing you with immediate feedback that baby is doing well. The monitor system also streams live video and audio to your phone (or phones – more than one caregiver can use the app to see the baby at the same time). The Wi-Fi is encrypted for added security, and extra features include two-way audio, night vision, and three sock sizes for six to 25 pounds.
+Base parent unit emits notifications regarding heart rate and blood oxygen levels
+App provides on-the-go live feed audio, video, and smart sock feedback
+HD video routes through encrypted Wi-Fi
+Tracks baby sleep and health stats
+Background audio mode and two-way talk
Why We Like It – This smart baby monitor does it all, and it does it well – we loved the image quality, along with the extra reassurance the sock provides. The camera has a 130-degree lens so you can see the whole room, a magnetic base, and can be wall-mounted. No need to worry about the internet connection – the system is encrypted on these video monitors.
3. Panasonic Video Baby Monitor
It’s got a range of 1,500 feet, so you’ll be able to see the baby from a long distance using this closed-circuit monitor. It’s one of the best deals we encountered, as this monitor boasts many of the bells and whistles we’d anticipate from higher-priced models: two-way audio, remote camera control, room-temperature sensor, and night vision. Battery life is solid, as is the image quality. The monitor’s range is boosted by DECT technology to minimize interference from other electronic devices.
+Longer range than many closed-circuit baby monitors\
+Reasonably priced, especially considering its extra features
+Motion- and sound-triggered alerts
+Battery lasts up to five hours in video-audio mode
+Two-way talk with background noise suppression
Why We Like It – High-tech doesn’t have to mean high-priced, as this security camera proves. The home video monitor features a simple interface and crisp video quality. This monitor’s long-range, coupled with its easy setup and use, make it one of the best security camera options on our list – and the low cost seals the deal.
4. Arlo Baby Monitor
Your home assistant can offer baby backup once you connect this baby security camera – it’s compatible with Amazon, Apple, and Google devices. On its own, the Arlo baby monitor provides peace of mind with high-definition live video and audio, air temperature and humidity tracking, two-way talk, all delivered to your smartphone or computer. (Bonuses: the camera has a nightlight and music player.) We liked the motion and sound alerts – the Arlo Baby monitor is capable of distinguishing between the baby’s normal sounds and his/her crying.
+Smart technology allows for connection to your Alexa or other home devices
+Stream live to your phone, computer, or tablet for live updates anywhere
+Multi-colored nightlight and music/white noise options
+Use the two-way talk to soothe your fussy little one
+State of the art LEDs for the best video images at night
Why We Like It – There are lots of high-tech options with this baby video camera, thanks to its advanced features. We appreciated the ability to store up to seven days of baby monitor videos, along with viewing live footage. With its electronic-assistant compatibility and crisp HD image, Arlo Baby’s take on the smart baby monitor may earn it a place on your must-have list.
5. Motorola Halo+ Video Baby Monitor
No need to fuss with wall mounting – or even finding the perfect angle to see your little one – this video baby camera attaches right to the crib to keep an eye on baby. Your unit features a 4-inch screen monitor, but you can also install the app on your phone for viewing outside your home. (The app also helps you track baby’s activity and sleeping patterns.) Motorola’s system is compatible with home assistant devices as well – but the Halo baby monitor also offers low-tech parenting support like a light show, prerecorded lullabies, and bedtime stories.
+Baby monitor system includes camera, monitor, and app option
+Attaches easily to crib
+Feed is digitally encrypted for maximum privacy
+Listen in and speak to baby (you can even record your voice for playback)
+Sensors monitor room temp and alert you to motions and sounds
Why We Like It – We were sold on the easy physical and electronic setup of the Halo baby monitor, as well as its features and the optional Hubble app, which offers an expansion to track and log baby’s schedule, chart growth, and more. The parent unit monitor strikes just the right balance between portability and screen size – it’s easy to transport around the house, but you don’t have to strain to see what’s going on.
6. Summer Infant Baby Pixel
The best baby monitor systems will have multiple security camera capacities – Summer Infant goes the extra mile and includes two cameras with its baby monitor set. (It’s also an excellent option for when the baby goes mobile: worried parents can establish a perimeter with the “boundary box” alert!) The generous five-inch screen display has an audio activation, which saves power, and the monitor provides camera control as well as a night-vision boost light. Extras include room temp readout and two-way talk, along with built-in music and white noise.
+Two cameras included in the baby monitor system
+Closed channel with a good range for the typical home
+Parent unit has a booster light for improving night-vision mode from another room
+Optional boundary alert setting
+Five-inch HD video monitor
Why We Like It – The simple-to-use video baby monitor has all the mod cons, and then some – our reviewers especially liked the ability to establish (and defend) a perimeter to keep an eye on active little ones. The video quality remains good at longer ranges, and the baby monitor’s manufacturers addressed battery life with the noise-activated video sleep mode.
7. Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor
Three dreaded words: “The internet’s down.” The Nanit Plus camera baby monitor circumvents Wi-Fi unreliability, as it keeps working when the internet isn’t, making it one of the best options for a home with a spotty connection. Features include a wall mount that perches vertically over the crib, easy connection to your smartphone, and a one-year subscription to Insights, which records and evaluates baby’s sleep patterns. The monitor is compatible with the Nanit Plus breathing wear device, a great extra for extra-worried parents.
+Live video to your phone – even when your home’s internet is on the fritz.
+Subscription to Insights gives you access to tracking and guidance
+Nanit Plus camera perches over the crib for a perfect birds-eye view
+Nightlight, night vision, and high image quality
+Simple setup and installation
Why We Like It – The Nanit Plus baby monitor won points with our team for its reliability – what good is a home baby monitor if it’s vulnerable to internet outages? You can see the baby from around the house using this camera no matter how erratically your internet is acting – and we loved the simple smartphone interface (pinch-to-zoom, anyone?).
8. Miku Smart Baby Monitor
Skip the sock, belly band, or other auxiliary devices, and still get real-time breathing stats with these video monitors: in-camera sensors pick up on baby’s breathing movements and alert you to unusual conditions without wires or accessories.
The encrypted internet connection contributes an extra firewall, but when you want to share videos or photos, Miku makes it super-easy. Monitor sleep patterns, breathing, room temp, and wakefulness from your phone, whether you’re in another room or another time zone.
+Monitors baby’s breathing without accessories
+Two-way mic so you can sing or soothe remotely
+Analyzes sleep patterns so you can track which methods work best
+Choose from lullabies or sounds
+Sensors keep you informed about room temp and humidity
Why We Like It – Baby monitors that offer breathing analytics typically require a wearable accessory; this one skips the extra hassle and reports abnormal breathing patterns on its own. (This alone may earn the Miku baby monitor extra points for parents of babies with sensory issues.) Plus, this model can monitor from another room even if the internet connection goes down, so it’s another good choice for homes with unstable internet service.
9. eufy Security Spaceview Monitor
If you want to be alerted only when baby’s noises exceed contented cooings, look to this video baby monitor – you control the alert setting for your little one’s audio input. With its 460-foot range, sharp display, and an included wide-angle lens, you’ll achieve the best in-home coverage, with a generous five-inch display that allows you to play lullabies, switch to night vision, and communicate with your infant. The battery will give you up to 17 hours in energy-saving mode, and seven hours with constant live video feed – a good showing in a crowded field.
+Super-sharp video baby camera
+Customizable noise alert setting
+Baby monitor comes with a wide-angle lens for total nursery view
+Large video screen with simple functionality
+Extra features include two-way audio and lullaby mode
Why We Like It – You know your baby: if she or he is contentedly babbling, there’s no need for an alert, so this video baby monitor allows you to adjust the noise-level alert preference. We also appreciated the wide-angle lens that comes with this monitor, along with the room temperature reading function and power-saving battery mode. The parent unit monitor screen’s controls were a breeze to conquer – a big help for late-night camera control.
10. Safety 1st HD Wi-Fi Baby Monitor
Armed with a chip that protects your privacy, a 720p HD camera, and secure cloud storage for footage, this Safety 1st model deserves serious consideration – and that’s before you realize it comes with an audio unit for in-house monitoring.
Not only does it stream live pictures and sound to your smartphone, but you can rest easy with the sound unit on your nightstand for constant contact with your little one. The app lets you customize sound and movement alerts to the levels that are best for you and baby so that you won’t get a push notification with every whimper or rustle.
+Monitor set includes a convenient audio unit
+App’s easy interface lets you personalize settings and store video in the cloud
+Camera in HD, with a 130-degree lens
+See a 24-hour timeline of baby’s waking and sleeping patterns
+Two-way talk and sharp night vision
Why We Like It – It’s easy to store and retrieve video, as well as share it, with this monitor – but its chip-powered encryption helps secure your privacy. You can see the baby from your phone, or use the audio device anywhere in your home. Bonus points for the easy setup and installation on this monitor, which reviewers noted provided some of the sharpest night vision of any model.
Baby Monitors Buyers Guide
There’s a reason that many baby monitors are reviewed in tech magazines. These little devices are often manufactured with state of the art electronics that put them far out of the warm and fuzzy category we usually associate with products meant for the nursery.
But if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, don’t worry: the best baby monitors will have simple, user-friendly interfaces that even a sleep-deprived Luddite can navigate. So check out our video baby monitor gotta-haves and wish-list features below, and don’t let high-tech terms frighten you on your search for the best baby monitor for your lifestyle.
Must-have and wish-list baby monitor features
At a minimum, the best baby monitors will provide you with a reliable, clear view of your infant while s/he is in the crib. You can choose a simple monitor system that bypasses Wi-Fi connectivity – if that’s your goal, just look for model specs that mention”digitally encrypted,” “closed-circuit,” or “internal channel.” These types of digital baby monitors are used for in-home viewing and listening, and can be less expensive than smart models (see the Infant Optics model that made the number-one slot on our best ten list). Simple to set up and master, closed-circuit monitors run the gamut from no-frill devices to models with lots of attractive features.
You’ll get the best bang for your buck by searching out internal-channel home monitors that boast a long-range. (Range can be affected by other electronic devices and line-of-sight, so check out customer reviews on the baby monitor’s range capabilities before you buy.) Some advanced baby monitor designs will feature both internal channels and web streaming, which are a boon when you live in a home with an iffy Wi-Fi/internet connection.
If you do decide to invest in a baby monitor that transmits via the internet, it’s absolutely essential that the model you settle on is built for privacy and security. The device should be encrypted (product specs will tout the security-mindedness of its designer), and the best baby monitor will have an extra layer of protection (or two).
Why is privacy a priority with Wi-Fi baby monitors? Some parents have reported instances of hackers taking over their monitors, a nightmare scenario that no one wants to experience. If someone can get control of your baby monitor, they may be able to access the video feed as well as the controls.
The best video monitors designed to transmit over the internet will take into account the possibility of hacking, and will automatically update their firmware to keep security tight and your family secure. Check to see if the manufacturers have built multiple firewalls into their designs; although even the best monitors aren’t completely hackproof, the better the security, the less chance a hacker will have.
Even with the potential for hacking, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good: the vast majority of Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitors are quite secure. And the fact is, you’ll need a Wi-Fi baby monitor if you want to keep an eye on your little one when you’re away from home. Their convenience, range, and serviceability can far outweigh the risk: you can watch what’s going on in the nursery and elsewhere in the house on your phone, computer, or tablet from the office, while you run errands, or during a night on the town. .
You can even read or sing to the baby using a Wi-Fi monitor with two-way audio – that’s a nearly irresistible plus for parents who travel. And if you employ a babysitter or nanny, many internet-compatible baby monitors can accommodate multiple cameras, giving you the ultimate peace of mind when you’re away from home and want to see more than one room.
Some smart baby monitors come with a parent unit screen for in-house use, but many require you to view through your phone or computer. The camera-only models can be less expensive, so if money’s tight they may be your best bet. If you do opt for a baby monitor that includes a screen, bear in mind that smaller units are easy to tote around the house, but larger screens offer better viewing. Also, look for simple-to-operate controls, so you can pan, zoom, and talk easily – even in the middle of the night. (We particularly liked monitors that display the time and room temperature right onscreen).
No matter how the monitor feed works – be it Wi-Fi or digital – you should look for a high-definition camera to provide clear imagery. Image quality is especially important if you want to see that baby is sleeping comfortably in a dim or darkened room, so night vision is also on our list of must-haves for the best baby monitors. Fortunately, even budget models nowadays offer this function, and luxe models will often boost their night-vision imagery with multiple LED lights or soft, subtle camera lights that you control from your monitor screen or phone.
A monitor’s audio should also be clear and ideally, offer two-way talking – that way, you can soothe baby from another room (or, in the case of internet-connected devices, another location). While two-way audio used to be considered a luxury item, these days, most monitors offer it, so you won’t have to look too hard to find this feature.
Now that you’ve got the baby monitor essentials in mind, it’s time to explore the niceties – little conveniences and additional monitor options that manufacturers know parents will appreciate.
Nowadays, nearly every home baby monitor will alert you – even if it’s in power-saving mode – if baby is moving or making sounds. We appreciate the backup, especially in the middle of the night, but our favorite models offer customizable alert levels, which let you choose how active or noisy baby should be before you get word of the goings-on. If you don’t want to be awakened by every snuffle or squirm, this is a requirement (and the bonus is, you won’t be tempted to barge in on a baby who was going to self-soothe right back to sleep without your help).
One of the biggest advances in monitor technology is the ability to track an infant’s breathing. Most often, models that offer breathing, blood oxygen, and heart rate monitoring will require the use of an accessory – typically a sock, belly band, or even a mat that goes under your infant. However, developers have recently come up with technology sensitive enough to pick up breathing patterns without the use of an auxiliary device (see number eight on our “best baby monitors” list above for an example).
Monitors can also provide parents with useful feedback on baby’s wakefulness, sleep positions and patterns, and other information that can help sort out which bedtime routines and naptimes help baby get the best rest. Most monitor apps help keep all this information organized, so if you use a baby monitor that offers these extra reports and data, it’s a cinch to access and analyze. (Some also offer video storage and the option to record your own audio, so baby can be lulled to sleep at any time by your own songs and stories.)
In addition to keeping tabs on baby, other monitors can keep you in the loop about room temperature and humidity with the touch of a button, so you can adjust the thermostat when things heat up or cool down before your little one has a chance to become uncomfortable.
Quite a few video baby monitors come equipped with a wide lens, and some offer it as an extra. Either way, you’ll appreciated the expansive view – usually up to 130 degrees – that a wide lens monitor will afford you. You can see the entire room, rather than just the immediate area around baby.
While you’re scoping out camera angles, note that some baby monitors for the home are mounted on or over the crib. These birds-eye view models are best for watching over sleeping babies, but if you’re looking for a little more flexibility for installation, look for a magnet-based or general wall-mounted video monitor. You may get more use out of this type, which can be placed in any room in your home.
Some baby monitors also offer a virtual boundary setting that you can customize: if your little one moves beyond this parameter, the device will alert you so you can see exactly what’s going on. This style monitor is a great option for parents of a baby or toddler who’s dedicated to jailbreaking.
If you’re already the proud owner of a Wi-Fi household assistant, you might as well look for a compatible baby monitor model so you can connect it and be that much closer to a brilliant home. Several models we reviewed, including the Arlo Baby Monitor that came in at number four on our list, will connect with Google, Amazon, and Apple devices for maximum convenience.
While you’re keeping an eye on baby using a monitor, battery life becomes an issue – look for monitors that feature a power-saving mode. Some will “sleep” until there’s a commotion, then the screen will wake up to give you an instant, live view of the room. Others will offer an audio-only option in order to conserve batteries; the best baby monitor will afford you at least five hours of video, and up to 17 hours in audio-only mode. (Most models will fall within that range, but if you search, you can find baby monitors that best those stats.)
When you’re watching over your baby using a monitor, crisp video, a secure connection, and two-way talking are absolute musts in our book, but other bells and whistles to consider on your search for the best baby monitor include those that your little one will appreciate as much as you do. Two-way talking is a great way to soothe baby with audio, but many monitors have built-in music and white noise, and a few even offer light shows. These are particularly handy features if your little one is prone to fussing when you lay him or her down at naptime – a little distraction may be just enough to send baby off to dreamland.
The bottom line? When you’re shopping for a baby monitor, your non-negotiable features include security from hackers if you choose a Wi-Fi/internet-enabled device, and a long-range if you chose the low-tech home-only monitor route. Once you’ve winnowed out the best baby monitors in whichever category you’ve selected, look for a model that offers simple setup and installation, and you’ll see your way to secure, clear viewing.