Best baby monitors 2021: video, smartphone, movement and audio models

11 tried-and-tested parent reviews of the top-rated video, audio, movement, and smart baby monitors
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  • The best baby monitors are efficient, reliable, and easy to use – but you’re spoilt for choice with the range of models on offer.  To help you decide which baby monitor is best for you, we assembled a panel of experts – yes, we mean parents – and asked them to put our pick of the top-performing baby monitors to the test.

    Our testers have reviewed every type of baby monitor, from simple and affordable audio-only monitors for listening to your baby sleep to those with high-tech movement sensors and even the latest award-winning smart monitors. We asked them to consider all the features you need to take into account when buying a baby monitor, from portability, range, and battery life to functionality, ease of use and value for money.

    The best baby monitors at a glance

    The Kodak Cherish C525 Smart Video Baby Monitor is the best baby monitor overall, based on our parent reviews. It displays crystal clear footage on a large five-inch parent unit as well as via an app on your smartphone or tablet. If you’re looking for the best premium baby monitor, the Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand is the one for you. And if you’re keen to find an affordable, entry-level audio baby monitor, the BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 is the best baby monitor in the budget category, as it also plays lullabies and a soothing light show.

    Best baby monitor overall: Kodak Cherish Video baby monitor – Currys| £124.99
    Best premium baby monitor: Nanit Baby Monitor and Stand – Mamas & Papas | £379.99
    Best budget baby monitor: BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 – £49.99 | Boots
    Babymoov Yoo-Moov 360-degree motorised video baby monitor – £179.99 | Babymoov
    Tommee Tippee Dreamee Baby Monitor – £219.99 | Tommee Tippee
    Cubo Ai Smart Baby Monitor – £279 | Amazon
    Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor with Video – £139.99 | Amazon
    Arlo Baby 1080p HD Monitoring Camera – £140 | Amazon
    Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor – £249 | Amazon
    VTech DM1111 Audio Baby Monitor – £19.99 | Argos
    Ezviz C1C 1080p Indoor Camera – £29.99 | Amazon

    1. Best baby monitor: Kodak Cherish C525 Video Baby Monitor

    A smart video baby monitor with a crystal-clear display

    Kodak Cherish C525 Smart Baby Video Monitor.

    Kodak Cherish C525 Smart Baby Video Monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐ | Type: Smart monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: No

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Parent unit and smart control
    ✅  Top-quality camera
    ✅  Infrared night vision
    ❌ Takes a while to set up
    ❌ Feedback when camera and monitor in same room
    ❌ No nightlight

    VIEW NOW AT CURRYS | £124.99

    The Kodak Cherish C525 Smart Video Baby Monitor stands out from the crowd as the best baby monitor overall. It lets you view video footage of your baby on both its accompanying five-inch parent unit and on a smart app. Moreover, it comes with rechargeable batteries and WiFi connectivity so you can use it freely around the house or away from home.

    Our tester Alex Sexton, who is mum to five-month-old Oli, was impressed by the picture quality of this baby monitor. ‘As it’s made by Kodak we expected the image to be great quality – both in daylight and when viewing in the dark – and it was, particularly at night due to infrared night vision,’ says Alex. ‘Additionally, you can take photos using the app, which is a nice feature when your little one is sleeping in a funny position and you want to capture the moment.’

    Alex found the set up a little time-consuming as it had a software patch, but this was easily fixed. ‘I think this may have just been a user fault as friends who have the same camera didn’t have the same problem,’ she says. ‘Once I set it up correctly it was very smooth to use, although I got feedback when I turned the monitor on in the same room as the camera.’

    Overall, our tester liked the tilt, pan, and zoom functionality. ‘I can imagine these will be very useful as Oli gets older and moves around more,’ she says. ‘The Vox function is also worth its weight in gold. That’s because turning the sensitivity down means you aren’t disturbed every time your child moves or if they are a noisy sleeper – which Oli most definitely is.’

    2. Best premium baby monitor: Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand

    A video monitor that delivers sleep data to your smartphone

    Nanit-Plus-Smart-Baby-Monitor-and-Floor-Stand

    Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐  Type: Smart monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: Yes

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Bird’s eye view of cot
    ✅  Great quality camera
    ✅  Lots of sleep data
    ❌ No second parent unit
    ❌ High price

    VIEW NOW AT MAMASANDPAPAS | £379.99

    The Nanit Plus Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand delivers high-definition audio and video straight to your smart device. It gets our vote as the best premium baby monitor you can buy. It comes with a floor stand to give you a bird’s eye view of your baby’s cot. Additionally, it has zoom functionality. This means you can get a close-up shot of your baby should you wish.

    Our tester Alex Sexton, who is mum to five-month-old Oliver, gave it a try. She was instantly impressed by how much information the app provides. Fun features on the app include a heat map that lets you see where your baby sleeps in their cot.

    Alex was surprised to see just how much Oli moves around at night. ‘It connects to your smartphone and works very much like a smart doorbell, in that it records a clip of the video for every notification it sends, so you can view what sets it off,’ she says.

    ‘However, it doesn’t come with a second parent unit so if we’re going out, the babysitter has to download the app and link up to it for the night. And to make it more portable we need to buy the separate Nanit Multi-Stand unit, for an extra £49.99 at Amazon, or keep it as a permanent fixture in the nursery.’

    Overall, Lexi thinks the luxurious metal finish looks premium. ‘It was easy to set up, which meant downloading the app, setting up the floor stand, registering, and then pairing,’ says Alex. ‘If you like a lot of data and have the budget to spend, I think this monitor is a stylish option.’

    3. Best budget baby monitor: BT Audio Baby Monitor 450

    An affordable but reliable basic audio baby monitor

    BT Audio Baby Monitor 450

    BT Audio Baby Monitor 450

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐  Type: Audio monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: No | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: Yes

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Great 300 metre range
    ✅  18 lullabies
    ✅  Soothing light show
    ❌ Audio only
    ❌ Basic model

    VIEW NOW AT BOOTS | £49.99

    With a white plastic body and purple trim, the BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 is simple in design. It does a good job of providing a clear line to your child. The audio monitor lets you hear your child from a range of 50 to 300 metres, depending on whether you use it in indoors or out.

    Secondly, this monitor has two-way talkback functionality and plays up to 18 lullabies, as well as a light show with stars and planets for your baby to enjoy. Extra features include an adjustable nightlight and parent unit with temperature notifications and audio controls, which makes tracking your baby’s comfort easy.

    Our tester Daniel Macdonald, dad to two-year-old Arlo, gave the BT Audio Baby Monitor a try. ‘I tried out the range from the nursery all the way out into the garden and although there was a little crackling the further away I got, I found the connection to be strong,’ he says.

    ‘Arlo was impressed by the light show on the monitor that projects onto the walls and ceiling, but he kept wanting to touch the device.’ Daniel feels this is a good budget option. It’s especially practical if you have weak WiFi and don’t need video footage. ‘It does a great job as an audio monitor,’ he concludes.

    4. Babymoov Yoo-Moov

    Offers a 360-degree motorised view of your child and the nursery

    Babymoov Yoo-Moov 360-degree motorised monitor

    Babymoov Yoo-Moov 360-degree Motorised Video Baby Monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐  | Type: 4.3inch screen video monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: Yes

    Pros Cons
    ✅  360-degree view of your child
    ✅  Useful vox mode
    ✅  Clear 4.3 inch parent unit screen
    ❌ Range not ideal for large homes
    ❌ Price
    ❌ No smart capability

    VIEW NOW AT BABYMOOV | £179.99

    With a 360-degree rotating motorised head, the Babymoov Yoo-Moov video baby monitor gives a live feed of your baby and the surrounding space. It has a temperature indicator and features Vox mode, which is designed to be activated by your baby’s voice. This is a handy feature which means you won’t be disturbed unnecessarily by every noise your child makes.

    This baby monitor comes with a 4.3-inch parent unit that provides a clear picture of your child. Its walkie-talkie function means you can talk to your child through the monitor. That’s useful for soothing your little one back to sleep without entering the room.

    We asked Alex Sexton, mum to five-month-old Oli, to give Yoo-Moov a try to see if it’s worth the price tag. ‘In terms of set up, this was very easy to plug in and go,’ says Alex. ‘The camera is clear and picks up any noise or movement very quickly. It claims to have a 300-metre range, but I found this to be variable as it didn’t do as well in my parent’s new build house – which has thick floors made of concrete – as it did in our older home.’

    This baby monitor also gives you an impressive full 360-degree view, which Alex says would be particularly useful if you had a second child sleeping in the room and needed to keep tabs on both children at once.

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

    A compact video and sound monitor with a movement sensor pad

    Tommee Tippee Dreamee Sound, Motion and Video

    Tommee Tippee Dreamee Sound, Motion and Video Baby Monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐| Type: Video monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: Yes

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Comprehensive video monitor design
    ✅  Includes a movement sensor pad
    ✅  Free swaddle included in the price
    ❌ No app
    ❌ Price

    VIEW NOW AT TOMMEE TIPPEE | £219.99

    Like the Angelcare AC327, the Tommee Tippee Dreamee Sound, Motion and Video Baby Monitor features a movement sensor pad. It also has the functionality to play lullabies and sounds to soothe your baby. The camera has tilt, pan and zoom functionality, so you can get a wide view of your baby and enjoy a full picture of the nursery. Additionally, the night light works automatically when the light level falls.

    Our tester Jenny Narloch, who is mum to two-year-old Logan, feels the parent unit is a decent size at 4.3 inches and says it gave her a good view of Logan’s cot. She found the sensor easy to install and was impressed at how accurate the technology is.

    ‘The movement sensor mat features a lovely star and moon design on it, but this seems wasted as the mat is meant to be hidden under the mattress,’ she says. ‘I like the reassurance the sensor mat provides and the fact that the camera isn’t too noisy and only transmits when the baby makes a sound.’

    Jenny found the settings on the parent unit handy as she could customise how she viewed all the information and choose easily between the six lullabies and nature sounds. ‘It even has a feeding reminder, which I think would come in particularly useful during the newborn stage of parenthood,’ she says. ‘I think the only thing this monitor lacks is smart capability, so you could get information directly to a smartphone as opposed to just on the parent unit.’

    6. Cubo Ai Smart baby monitor

    A stylish and innovative smart baby monitor

    Cubo Ai Smart baby monitor

    Cubo Ai Smart baby monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐  | Type: Smart monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: Yes

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Grows with your child
    ✅  1080p High Definition camera
    ✅  Provides useful alerts
    ❌ Price
    ❌ Took a while to set up
    ❌ No second parent unit

    VIEW NOW AT AMAZON | £279

    The Cubo Ai Smart baby monitor is designed for children up to five years old and features a host of nifty technology to safeguard your tot. The camera provides a 1080p High Definition video stream of your child directly to the dedicated smart app on your phone or tablet and will alert you if they move or make a sound. Should your child’s face become covered or if they roll over in their sleep, particularly clever A.I tech provides alerts directly to your smartphone.

    In addition, the app provides sleep analytics so you can track your baby’s every move throughout the night and get to know their sleep routine. When they are a bit older, you can use the camera as a toddler cam and the app will alert you if your child has moved from a certain ‘safe’ zone in your home. For instance, if your child was about to enter the kitchen, you would get an instant notification on your smartphone.

    Our tester Daniel Macdonald, who is dad to two-year-old Arlo, gave the monitor a try. He was a little overwhelmed by all the parts needed in setup. ‘You can choose to attach the camera to the cot or place it on the floor stand, and while you don’t need tools to set up the camera, it did take a little while to put it together,’ he says.

    Moreover, the camera was quick to pair to the app on Daniel’s smartphone, giving him a clear picture and informative alerts on Arlo’s sounds and movement. ‘The first night we used it, the camera disconnected and wouldn’t reconnect and this was frustrating,’ he says.

    ‘However, I think it was something to do with our WiFi connection. Once it was paired up again I was able to access all the features on the app, which gave me a live video stream that I could access as and when I wanted, with a chronological display of auto-captured photos and videos as Arlo moved throughout the night.’

    7. Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor with Video

    A high tech baby monitor with wireless movement sensor for extra peace of mind

    Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor with Video

    Angelcare AC327 Baby Movement Monitor with Video

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐  Type: Video monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: No | Nightlight: No

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Movement sensor pad
    ✅  Thermometer included
    ✅  Digital zoom and pan feature
    ❌ No smart app
    ❌ Not the easiest unit to navigate

    VIEW NOW AT AMAZON| £139.99

    The Angelcare’s Wireless SensAsure movement sensor pad can be placed under the cot mattress and an alert is set off if there is no movement after 20 seconds. It comes with a 4.3-inch led touch button parent unit that links to the camera with a digital zoom and pan feature.

    Our tester Kate Willoughby, mum to five-month-old Tilda, gave it a try and liked the idea of the movement pad providing extra reassurance at night. ‘I thought having something under Tilda’s mattress may disturb her sleeping as she is not used to it, but it didn’t seem to bother her at all,’ says Kate.

    ‘The screen on the parent device only comes on when an alarm is activated, so I didn’t find myself looking at it all night. There are light indicators when the screen is off so you know all is okay.’

    Kate likes the in-built bedroom thermometer. That’s a handy feature on a monitor if your heating fluctuates throughout the night. This meant she could check the parent unit intermittently in the night to ensure it was the optimum temperature, without having to leave her bed to check her child was warm enough.

    Kate found the night vision a little unclear at times and the cable for the camera itself is quite short, so it took a while to get it in a good position to view Tilda in her cot. ‘The symbols on the parent unit are a little confusing and this isn’t made any easier when buttons have joint functionality as well,’ says Kate.

    ‘However, I’m impressed at how well the device monitors my baby’s sleep. In conclusion, I think this monitor would work best if you’re a particularly nervous parent and worried about your child’s sleep in the early days.’

    8. Arlo Smart WiFi Baby Monitor

    A cute, high-definition smart monitor

    Arlo Smart WiFi Monitor

    Arlo Smart WiFi Baby Monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐  Type: Smart monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: Yes | Nightlight: Yes

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Fun choice of designs
    ✅  Provides high-definition 1080p footage
    ✅  Clear pictures delivered to smart device
    ❌ No second parent unit
    ❌ You need a strong WiFi connection

    VIEW NOW AT AMAZON  | £140

    The Arlo Baby 1080p HD Monitoring Camera provides a secure live stream of high-definition video and sound of your child to your smartphone or tablet. These recorded moments can be saved for seven days in the Cloud so you can review them, download them, and share them should you wish. The monitor comes with interchangeable character ears, including a puppy, kitten or bunny, to make it stand out from standard monitor designs.

    We asked our tester Daniel, dad to two-year-old (aptly named) Arlo, to give the monitor a try. He found it easy to set up and connect to his phone. ‘It was good to have the free seven-day storage of recorded clips saved as it meant my wife and I could point out any particularly cute recordings of Arlo waking up,’ he says.

    Daniel thought the best thing about the monitor was its great quality image and good night vision. He also thought it was useful to be able to customise the motion alert settings on the app.

    You need a strong WiFi connection to use a smart baby monitor. Daniel wasn’t keen on having to rely on his phone to be the main port of call to view any footage. ‘When we hire a babysitter we’d need to leave our phone with them, or get them to link up too, which isn’t that convenient,’ he says. ‘You can connect up to an Amazon Alexa device to control it with your voice, but we’d need to pay extra to own one in the first place.’

    9. Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor

    A wearable device that measures baby’s sleep and health

    Owlet Smart Sock Monitor

    Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐  | Type: Smart monitor | Sound alerts: No | Motion alerts: No | App control: Yes | Talkback function: No | Lullabies included: No | Nightlight: No

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Detailed health stats
    ✅  Discreet wareable
    ✅  Offers extra peace of mind
    ❌ No video
    ❌ Won’t tell you if baby wakes

    VIEW NOW AT AMAZON | £249

    The Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor gives real-time information about your baby’s heart rate and blood oxygen levels directly to your smartphone. This means you can keep a close eye on their every breath, which is particularly reassuring in the early days. However, it doesn’t provide you with images of your baby and won’t notify you if your baby wakes at night.

    The Owlet Smart Sock is a wearable in the form of a sock that your baby wears. There are three socks included in the starter pack to grow with your child – from six to 25 lbs.

    Keri Knight is mum to three girls under seven years old. She gave the Owlet Smart Sock a try with her youngest daughter Marnie when she was a newborn. ‘I like the fact I could track Marnie’s heart rate in the early days,’ says Keri. ‘It is designed to give you alerts should baby’s oxygen levels drop below a preset threshold. But while I enjoyed having the information close to hand, it could be a cause of anxiety for some. The sock could sometimes be a faff to put on, particularly when Marnie was asleep and I didn’t want to wake her. You also have to remember to charge the device regularly.’

    While we tested the Owlet Smart Sock on its own merit, if you want to be able to see, hear and track baby’s movement, you will have to pay around £100 and pair it with the Owlet Duo Monitor – Smart Sock and Cam: The Complete Baby Monitor Solution, available at Amazon for £359.

    10. VTech DM1111 Audio Baby Monitor

    A highly affordable, fuss-free audio monitor that’s easy to use

    VTech DM1111 Audio Baby Monitor

    VTech DM1111 Audio Baby Monitor

    Star rating: ⭐⭐ ⭐  | Type: Audio monitor | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: No | Talkback function: No | Lullabies included: No | Nightlight: No

    Pros Cons
    ✅  Audio alerts
    ✅  Does its job well
    ✅  Price
    ❌ No video
    ❌ No lullabies or nightlight

    VIEW NOW AT ARGOS | £19.99

    Sub £20, the Vtech DM1111 Audio baby monitor is a good budget baby monitor that simply does the job of informing you if your baby is crying or distressed. It’s a basic plug-and-use device that is easily assembled.

    We asked Jenny Narloch, mum to two-year-old Logan to give it a try and test its range. ‘I was amazed at how clearly I could hear Logan chattering away in his cot after nap time,’ she says. ‘It may be not much to look at, but the baby monitor sits neatly above Logan’s cot thanks to the discreet design.’

    The parent unit can be plugged in or used with batteries. It’s light enough for Jenny to carry easily from room to room. ‘It comes with a belt clip that I attached to my clothes, which was useful while pottering around the house during Logan’s nap.’

    You won’t get video on this device, but the audio is clear and the range is ample. ‘We live in a four-bed semi-detached home and the monitor worked well around the house – even in the loft. I could control the noise level on the parent unit in increments up to five, which was loud enough.’

    11. Ezviz C1C 1080p Indoor Camera

    A smart security camera that works as a backup baby monitor

    EZVIZ C1C 1080p Indoor Camera

    EZVIZ C1C 1080p Indoor Camera

    Star rating: ⭐⭐⭐ | Type: Smart monitor | Sound alerts: No | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes  Talkback function: Yes | Lullabies included: No | Nightlight: No

    Pros Cons
    ✅ High Definition camera
    ✅ Wide angle lens
    ✅  Motion push notifications to your smart device
    No sound alerts
    No lullabies or nightlight

    VIEW NOW AT AMAZON | £29.99

    The wide-angle lens, two-way talk, night vision and mobile motion alerts on the Ezviz C1C 1080p Indoor Camera make it useful for monitoring your child. Designed as an indoor security camera, it will not pick up sound. However, it can detect and alert you to the slightest bit of motion.

    The WiFi-based camera links to a smart app. This means you can view video footage directly on your phone or tablet. The monitor is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so it’s a good choice if you own an Echo Show/Spot or Google hub device.

    Our tester Kate Willoughby is mum to five-month-old Tilda. She found the monitor simple to set up because it needed no pre-charging. ‘It’s easy to position because it comes with a magnetic base. It’s also discreet in design,’ she says.

    Overall, Kate was impressed by the monitor’s clear picture quality, especially in the dark. The monitor picked up subtle motions, including when Tilda moved her arm slightly.

    ‘That could be a negative if you don’t want to be alerted to every tiny movement,’ she adds. ‘But I like the video history of the latest movements. The wide camera angle is adequate for a typical nursery because it easily covered the full width of the crib.’

    Overall, Kate thinks this is best for use as a backup to a dedicated baby monitor. That’s because it detects motion only.

    How we tested the best baby monitors

    To find the best baby monitors, we called upon the help of a group of parents all keen to find a reliable baby monitor that is reliable and easy to use. We asked them to put them to the test with their babies, of different ages, over a number of weeks. Most importantly, we asked them to submit in-depth, honest reviews to help you choose the best baby monitor for your home environment and lifestyle.

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