Our selection of the best baby monitors to keep an eye on your little ones and provide you with much-needed peace of mind
Baby monitors have come a long way since the audio-only, walkie-talkie style devices our parents used a generation ago. Today’s smart versions offer features such as motion sensors, infrared night vision, temperature sensors, and calming nightlights. Some even connect to smartphones and Wi-Fi networks for even greater versatility.
When choosing the best baby monitor for your needs, you will want to consider the most essential functions such as battery life, reception range and video quality. Our favourite models deliver on all these essentials, and our buyer’s guide will help you select the extra features which suit you best.
You’ll find our favourite models in the at-a-glance list below, followed by a bite-size buying guide which should answer all your key questions. Scroll a little further down the page and you’ll find mini reviews for the best video monitors followed by the best audio-only monitors.
Best baby monitors: At a glance
|Best overall baby monitor||Sense-U Video Monitor (~£130)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best smart baby monitor||Nanit Pro Baby Monitor & Breathing Band (~£300)||Check price at John Lewis|
|Best budget baby monitor||VTech VM3254 Video Baby Monitor (~£50)||Check price at Argos|
|Best audio-only monitor||VTech Babyphone DM1111 Baby Monitor (~£20)||Check price at Argos|
|Best design baby monitor||EZVIZ BM1 Baby Monitor (~£110)||Check price at Amazon|
How to choose the best baby monitor for you
What features should I consider?
When picking out a video baby monitor to keep an eye on your wee ones, it’s important to consider a few important factors:
Location: First, you will want to think about where you will place the device’s camera unit for a decent view of the cot. If there’s no high-level furniture nearby on which to place the camera for a better view, you may have to wall mount it — but make sure the model you choose is wall-mountable and has suitable screw mounts. You will also need to get power to the camera unit. This might require an extension cord. In any event, any cables will need to be tacked securely to the wall to avoid any choking hazards.
Range: Depending on how big your house is, you might need a baby monitor with a range that stretches across multiple floors. Thicker walls can also sometimes interfere with weak signals, although this may be harder to gauge until you’ve got a monitor up and running. Generally, cheaper models are likely to have less range.
Temperature: If you want the baby monitor to tell you how hot or cold your baby’s room is, you’re in luck: many baby monitors sport this feature. You will likely have to pay extra for it, but it does save you 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 just save you from having to traipse up and down the stairs for hours on end.
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 in-built 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 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 behave in the same way as all other devices currently connected to your Wi-Fi network — by connecting to your router. This does, of course, make it as susceptible to hackers as other devices on your network. As long as your network is protected and the camera’s firmware is up to date, the risk is minimal. Some of the more high-end monitors also have an extra layer of built-in protection for increased security from such cyber-attacks.
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The best video and audio baby monitors you can buy in 2023
1. Sense-U Video Monitor: Best baby monitor you can buy
Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at AmazonSince BT is no longer coming out with any new baby monitors, the company has partnered with Sense-U, offering the award-winning brand’s new and high-tech baby monitors. The HD video monitor from the Sense-U range has much to be admired. The camera is small and stylish with a minimalistic white and black design. It comes on a stand that can adhere to a wall or item of furniture. It can tilt back and forth 90 degrees, as well rotate about 15 degrees either side so you can get the perfect angle to monitor your child.
The baby monitor offers two-way talk so you can communicate with your child remotely as well as hear them clearly – just make sure the volume is all the way up. The 1080p HD camera provides extremely clear visibility with a 140-degree wide angle, even at night thanks to the night vision. There’s also a 4x zoom and private mode for extra security. It can monitor your baby’s crying and movements, alert you (as long as you turn on the notifications in the app settings) and even provide video playback. Though to record footage you will need to add your own SD card.
This monitor just comes with the camera that connects to your smart device via Wi-Fi and Sense-U’s free app, but other more advanced options are available from the brand including the Baby Monitor 3 that comes with a device that attaches to your baby’s clothes or nappy to monitor their temperature, their movements, and if they’ve rolled over. There’s also a Pan-Tilt-Zoom Video model that allows you to move the camera via your phone, and the Video + Breathing version that can monitor your child’s breathing (much like the Angelcare AC527).
It also supports multiple views, so you can 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. This model is, unfortunately, frequently out of stock on BT’s site, but you can still find them at other retailers, including Very, Amazon, LaRedoute, Robert Dyas, and Littlewoods.
Read our full Sense-U baby monitor review
Key specs – Range: Long range; Additional features: Two-way talk, 1080p HD video, night vision, 140-degree wide angle, 4x zoom, motion and sound alerts, private mode; Warranty: 1 year
2. Nanit Pro Baby Monitor: The smartest baby monitor money can buy
Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at John LewisIf 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
3. Ezviz BM1 Baby Monitor: Best for design
Price when reviewed: £110 | Check price at AmazonWe’ve all been there; spending a lot of time going back and forth making micro-adjustments to the baby monitor trying to get the perfect angle. The EZVIZ BM1 Baby Monitor makes that practically effortless thanks to its unique and award-winning design. The monitor comes on a semi-flexible 20cm pole that can attach to your baby’s crib or bassinet, a nearby shelf or an item of furniture via the bracket at the bottom and it has a 100-degree field of vision to ensure the best view.
If you prefer not to use the pole, the petite camera can be removed and placed directly on a straight and sturdy surface on its own. This is a rechargeable camera so it doesn’t have to be plugged in to operate, so there are no hazardous wires anywhere near your baby. The battery life is impressively long and can comfortably last all night, but it’s advisable to charge it daily to ensure it never runs out of juice.
This baby monitor connects to your phone or tablet via the EZVIZ app, so you can monitor your baby wherever you are, and it is crammed with awesome and convenient features. These include two-way talk, baby-crying detection and a choice of soothing sounds and music that will automatically play when your baby makes a noise, to help get them back to sleep. What’s more, it will even alert you if your baby is moving around thanks to its human shape algorithm, even if your baby has decided to escape their crib so long as you add a preset baby monitoring area.
It also offers 1080p video footage for clear visibility. The item is lightweight and extremely easy to set up, although you will need Wi-Fi to set it up and operate it. It comes in either baby blue or baby pink and has little teddy bear (blue) and bunny (pink) ears on top of the camera as an extra little design perk. It’s also made from safe and non-toxic materials.
Key specs – Range: Long range; Additional features: Two-way talk, auto play music, crying detection, out-of-crib alerts, soothing music, infrared night vision, long battery; Warranty: 2 years
4. VTech VM3254: Best baby monitor on a budget
Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at ArgosAt only £50, the price of many audio-only monitors, this video baby monitor from VTech has a parent unit with an impressive full-colour 2.8in screen that looks like one of those cool little personal photo cameras we once used to carry around.
With intuitive buttons that allow you to pan the camera around in all directions, talk to them through the monitor, and raise and lower the volume, this easy-to-use system takes no time at all to get used to and even allows you to zoom in if you think you see something suspicious.
It has a long-life rechargeable battery, infrared night vision that automatically kicks in when the lights go out, and there’s even an audio alert 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’s not 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, nightlight, night vision, low-battery alert, motion alert; Warranty: 1 year
5. Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Monitor: Best portable baby monitor
Price when reviewed: £153 | Check price at AmazonThe Motorola MBP50’s circular camera comes with a flexible star-shaped universal screw mount – the “star grip” – that makes attaching the camera to the crib, cot, or shelf a doddle. The star grip’s legs wrap around fixed furnishing, meaning you can put it anywhere you like. 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 480 x 272 resolution, which is pretty low, but the infrared night vision is adequate and the screen also shows the room temperature. We found this was always two degrees lower than the Gro Egg thermometer we had in the room (almost in the same location), but it gives you a general idea of the rough temperature.
Elsewhere, you can play bird songs and lullabies at the touch of a button, and it lets you speak to your baby. The battery doesn’t last long (around six hours) if you leave the display on, although 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.
The design of the Motorola MBP50 could be a little more elegant – each of the buttons feels a bit plasticky – but this is a decent baby monitor with 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
6. Tommee Tippee Dreamee: Best baby monitor for range of features
Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at AmazonAn 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
7. VTech BabyPhone DM1111: Best overall audio baby monitor
Price when reviewed: £20 | Check price at ArgosIn the past, there have been (very) rare instances of smart video monitors being remotely hacked, so an audio-only monitor can help provide peace of mind if you’re worried about cyber security. If this is a concern, or if you don’t need, aren’t interested in, or don’t have the budget for an all-singing, all-dancing video monitor (although the VTech VM3254 monitor featured above is only £50), this VTech Baby DM111 digital audio-only monitor is a great option and only costs £20.
You may know the VTech brand better for its noisy, brightly coloured range of toys, but it also sells parenting essentials like this audio baby monitor which is impressively affordable for what it has to offer. Thanks to the use of so-called DECT (which stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology, the parent unit connects securely to the baby unit promising clear sound without interference.
Due to the lack of video, the parent unit’s rechargeable batteries will run for around ten hours, which makes this audio-only monitor ideal if you happen to flop onto the bed exhausted and forget to put the monitor on charge.
It has a 450m range, audio and visual (in the form of LED light) sound indicators, as well as five volume levels. At only £20, it’s a cheap and cheerful way of keeping tabs on your child as they doze.
Key specs – Range: 450m; Additional features: Low-battery indicator, out-of-range indicator, long battery life, light-up display when baby moves, belt clip; Warranty: 1 year