Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Baby Monitor

Last updated on July 18, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Baby Monitors and dug through the reviews from 34 of the most popular review sites including Tom's Guide, TechHive, PC Magazine, Best Reviews Guide, Baby Gear Lab, Consumer Reports and more. The result is a ranking of the best Baby Monitors.

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Baby Monitors

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Infant Optics

Baby Monitor

Overall Take

Tons of FeaturesTons of useful features make this baby monitor a winner, including a temperature monitor, no lag time or delay and the ability to zoom in or out.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Top Ten Reviews, Tech Radar, Baby Gear Lab, New York Times Wirecutter, Best Reviews Guide, PC Magazine and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Target.
Pros
" This is very easy to use and has long battery life."
Cons
"It’d be nice to have a bit more range of movement on camera rotations, or a mobile app for remote viewing, but everything else is top-of-the-line."

Babysense

Baby Monitor

Overall Take

Affordable MonitorThough it's more affordable, this baby monitor is full of useful features like night vision, two-way talk, lullabies, room temperature and more.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Baby Gear Lab, BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Best Reviews Guide. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It has two-way talk-back, pan/tilt/zoom options, and a temperature display."
Cons
"While it lacks a sensitivity adjustment to help weed out ambient vibrations that could result in poor functioning, the use of two sensor pads theoretically increases the accuracy of the unit no matter where the baby is located on the..."

Arlo

Wifi Baby Monitor

Overall Take

Goes AnywhereThis baby monitor can send motion, sound and environmental alerts. Plus, it offers night vision and a two-way talk function.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Tom’s Guide, TechHive, New York Times Wirecutter, PC Magazine and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" The Arlo Baby is extremely cute for a smart-home product. It comes with removable rubber bunny ears and feet, which you can swap out for a kitten or puppy look for an extra $20 per critter. At 4.3 x 2.6..."
Cons
"This monitor is harder to use than options without a Wi-Fi connection."
  The Best Value

VTech

Baby Monitor

Overall Take

Two Parent UnitsIt's easy to take the two parent units around the house with you as you use this baby monitor.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Baby Gear Lab, Best Reviews Guide, New York Times Wirecutter, The Baby Website. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Target.
Pros
" The DM221 has excellent sound clarity with some of the best and loudest sounds in the group. This monitor has sound activation and two-way talk to baby, the two most sought after features in monitors. If that isn't enough to..."
Cons
"For most people, losing video is a major sacrifice, and we think most parents looking for a first monitor will prefer being able to do a visual check-in on a baby."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the baby monitors available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

34

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Tom's Guide, TechHive, PC Magazine, Best Reviews Guide, Baby Gear Lab.

148,049

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and 4 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Baby Monitors and also dug through the reviews from 34 of the most popular review sites including Tom's Guide, TechHive, PC Magazine, Best Reviews Guide, Baby Gear Lab, Consumer Reports and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Baby Monitors.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Infant Optics Baby Monitor

Our Expert Score
8.4
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
27,399 user reviews
Our Take

The highly-rated and awarded Infant Optics Baby Monitor gives you an easy, Wi-Fi free set-up and long battery life. It keeps your phone free and still gives you a clear, reliable video picture that automatically switches between day and night. Plus, you get remote pan, tilt and zoom functions and two-way talk. You'll also have extra peace of mind knowing there is no delay or lag time on the dedicated screen, which is also private and safe from hackers. We also like that it gives you the ability to zoom in and out, as well as keep you informed of the temperature in the baby's room.

What other experts liked
No other baby monitor with a camera in our comparison comes close to the video quality of the Infant Optics. The image it projects on the handheld parent unit is clear and smooth. In our tests, we set up the...
- Top Ten Reviews
It honestly does just about everything I’d ever want a device like this to do. Once you plug it in everything automatically syncs up, which makes moving the camera a breeze if it isn’t mounted on the wall. Switching between...
- Tech Radar
June 25, 2018 | Full review
This is very easy to use and has long battery life.
- Baby Gear Lab
October 22, 2018 | Full review
It has the most intuitive controls and longest battery life, along with acceptable image quality, range, and value, with a simple video connection that’s more reliable than Wi-Fi–enabled competitors.
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 21, 2018 | Full review
It has great battery life, easy to recharge and has useful optical zoom lens.
- PC Magazine
May 27, 2014 | Full review
We found the video display to be very high quality during both daytime and nighttime conditions. The audio was very high quality as well, and the two-way intercom lets you talk to your baby or sing them a little goodnight...
- Mommy Hood 101
What other experts didn't like
The main downside to this video baby monitor is that you can't record video or take snapshots with it. These features aren't the most important for a baby monitor, but they are fun and allow you to preserve those chance...
- Top Ten Reviews
It’d be nice to have a bit more range of movement on camera rotations, or a mobile app for remote viewing, but everything else is top-of-the-line.
- Tech Radar
June 25, 2018 | Full review
This has only limited range and expensive
- Baby Gear Lab
October 22, 2018 | Full review
Limited features and glitchy reception.
- PC Magazine
May 27, 2014 | Full review
The biggest drawback for this monitor is the price - it's about $250, which is up at the top of the price range for this entire list.
- Mommy Hood 101

The Best Bang For Your Buck

VTech Baby Monitor

Our Expert Score
8.3
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.0
5,960 user reviews
Our Take

The VTech Baby Monitor lacks a video monitor, but it still features excellent sound quality, battery life and affordability. We like that you get two parent units for dual-monitoring with visual cues for sound level and a two-way talk option for comforting your baby. The parent units are cordless (with rechargeable batteries) and can also be programmed to beep if they lose touch with the baby unit or need to be recharged. We found them to be handy for attaching to your belt or keeping with you as you move around the house.

What other experts liked
The DM221 has excellent sound clarity with some of the best and loudest sounds in the group. This monitor has sound activation and two-way talk to baby, the two most sought after features in monitors. If that isn't enough to sway you it has a remotely controlled nightlight, belt clip,...
- Baby Gear Lab
June 1, 2017 | Full review
It has crisp sound and better talk-back functionality than the best video monitors we found, as well as a longer range and better battery life than our video picks. It easily beats out its audio-only competitors for various basic reasons like being cordless, rechargeable, or less expensive.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The 5 level sound indicator is an amazing feature of this monitor. The sound is visually indicated so that you are able to monitor the amount of sound that your baby is making. Crystal clear transmission is provided by the DECT 6.0 feature. If you want to take this monitor...
- The Baby Website
What other experts didn't like
It has a short range.
- Baby Gear Lab
June 1, 2017 | Full review
For most people, losing video is a major sacrifice, and we think most parents looking for a first monitor will prefer being able to do a visual check-in on a baby.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Parents have noted that the monitor requires constant relinking leading to a loss of sound. Luckily, it only takes a couple of seconds to relink the devices. Unlike most audio-only monitors, the VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor requires a little extra attention to navigate the menu and configure its settings.
- The Baby Website

Overall Product Rankings

1. Infant Optics Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 11

2. Babysense Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 6

3. Arlo Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 8

4. VTech Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 9

5. Philips Avant Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 4

6. Safety 1st Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 7

7. Angelcare Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 5

8. Owlet Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 7.3
Reviews Included: 6

9. Sony Baby Monitor

Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 5

Our Findings

Infant Optics Baby Monitor

Best Overall

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor with Interchangeable Optical Lens (Baby Product)


List Price: $164.93 USD
New From: $164.93 USD In Stock
Used from: $156.68 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The highly-rated and awarded Infant Optics Baby Monitor gives you an easy, Wi-Fi free set-up and long battery life. It keeps your phone free and still gives you a clear, reliable video picture that automatically switches between day and night. Plus, you get remote pan, tilt and zoom functions and two-way talk. You’ll also have extra peace of mind knowing there is no delay or lag time on the dedicated screen, which is also private and safe from hackers. We also like that it gives you the ability to zoom in and out, as well as keep you informed of the temperature in the baby’s room.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

VTech Baby Monitor

What We Liked: The VTech Baby Monitor lacks a video monitor, but it still features excellent sound quality, battery life and affordability. We like that you get two parent units for dual-monitoring with visual cues for sound level and a two-way talk option for comforting your baby. The parent units are cordless (with rechargeable batteries) and can also be programmed to beep if they lose touch with the baby unit or need to be recharged. We found them to be handy for attaching to your belt or keeping with you as you move around the house.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Babysense Baby Monitor

What We Liked: The Babysense Baby Monitor may have a smaller screen than other models, but it comes fully featured at an affordable price. This non-Wi-Fi model has an LCD screen with a smooth digital picture that switches into night vision automatically and allows you to digitally pan, tilt and zoom. It has the coveted two-way talk function and also features extras like lullabies, room temp alerts, and programmable alarms for feedings or diaper changes.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Our Baby Monitor Buying Guide

As a parent or caregiver, your child’s safety is a No. 1 priority. When you can’t be in the room or are drifting off to sleep yourself, a baby monitor offers wonderful peace of mind. It allows you to be alerted as soon as your baby moves or makes a peep so you can decide if they’re just having a dream or you’re needed right away. Baby monitors today come with a variety of features and functions, but this guide will help you focus on what’s most important to you.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Baby monitors are available as three basic types: audio-only monitors, video and audio monitors and Wi-Fi-enabled video and audio monitors. There are also movement monitors, but they are usually used in addition to a video or audio monitor, not in place of one.

From a cost perspective, the more features you add, the more the price goes up. You will also usually pay more for a larger video screen or additional cameras or parent monitors. Digital monitors typically cost more but it may be worth it to you because they are also more secure as your signal is encrypted. Analog monitors can cross frequencies with nearby monitors. If you’re getting an audio-only digital monitor, look for monitors with DECT technology, which uses a lower frequency bandwidth that will give you clearer sound and more secure connection.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Audio-only monitors will pick up any sounds or noises your baby makes and alert you through a speaker. Some, like the VTech Baby Monitor, also have a sound-level indicator to let you know how much noise is coming from your baby’s room. The VTech Monitor also has an option which allows for two-way talk, so you can comfort your little one with your voice or call for help. Many times, audio monitors are more compact, have longer battery life, great range and are the most affordable. You are probably more likely to find analog options in this category so be sure to look for monitors that mention “secure transmission” or digital technology.

Audio and video monitors provide you with both a sound and visual view into what your baby is up to. No more sneaking into the room to check on noises that may be nothing! The parent monitor screen can range from small, like the Babysense Video Baby Monitor at 2.4 inches, all the way up to 5 inches. To transmit the video, you’ll set up a small camera near the baby’s crib. Some may offer mounting hardware as well. Both the InfantOptics Video Baby Monitor and the BabySense Video Baby Monitor give you the ability to zoom, tilt or pan the camera for a better view of your slumbering little one.

Most audio and video monitors also provide the two-way talk feature so you can communicate with your baby when you’re out of the room. They will also typically automatically switch from day to night mode. The BabySense has an ECO mode that switches the video monitoring off until it picks up sounds. This may also be a good option for anxious parents or those who find themselves woken up unnecessarily by the video screen.

Wi-Fi-enabled video monitors, like the Arlo Baby Monitor, are digital cameras that use your existing Wi-Fi network to send a high-quality video signal to your phone, tablet or other connected devices. You will likely get the highest quality video (Arlo boasts 1080p HD) with a Wi-Fi baby monitor. The Arlo Baby Monitor and others like it can also send alerts to your device when sound, movement or other environmental changes have occurred. This way, you don’t have to have video streaming constantly if you need to use your device for other things.

Arlo also lets you tap into other smart devices or technology you have in your house, such as Alexa or Google Home. You are usually also able to control the camera and any air or temperature sensors or features that it has from your phone or other devices. There is a slightly higher security risk with Wi-Fi-enabled video monitors, but as long as you take steps to secure your monitor and home network and don’t access the video feed remotely too often, you should be relatively safe.

Overall, the key areas you’ll want to focus on are: security, battery life, range, video and audio clarity, ease of use and set up and then decide what extras are important to you. Both the BabySense and the Arlo give you lullaby options, but Arlo lets you play your own music as well. Other added functions include things like night lights and room temperature monitoring. These features don’t make or break the usefulness of a monitor, so you’ll have to decide what you ultimately need and prefer.

DWYM Fun Fact

You may have seen news stories about baby monitors being hacked. No parent wants strangers looking in on their children, but how serious of a concern is it? The type of baby monitor really helps determine how easy it might be to hack. Digital baby monitors that are not Wi-Fi connected are certainly a better choice if hacking is a concern for you. The hacker would need to be in close proximity to the radio frequency, and many newer digital baby monitors use channel encryption, which would also need to be hacked into, making it on the whole, less likely.

Because Wi-Fi baby monitors are connected to the network in your home, which can be vulnerable, they are also more susceptible to hacking. Make sure your private network has remote access disabled, your router is updated frequently and has a strong password. It’s also a good idea to make sure your monitor is registered, able to receive security updates and can be password protected. When not in use, make sure your monitor is turned off.

Some Wi-Fi baby monitors also connect to the internet through an app that allows you to see and hear your child even when you’re not at home. In this case, the monitor manufacturer’s website could be hacked and your password could be stolen. If you really want to have remote access, just make sure your monitor is as secure as possible, as well as that you don’t broadcast the feed all the time and that you have a strong password that you change regularly.

The Baby Monitor Tips and Advice

  • Even though recent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations suggest that infants should sleep in their parents’ room for at least six months and ideally one year, you will still need a baby monitor if you want to have your own bedtime or monitor during naps.
  • Other studies suggest that babies actually sleep better and longer in their own rooms after four months. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what is best for you and your family, but a monitor will be helpful no matter the sleep situation.
  • Always make sure your camera or speaker unit is safely placed where it will not fall into the crib or bassinet, preferably at least three feet away. Also be mindful of cords so they do not get tangled with the crib, blankets or baby. Once your child is old enough, make sure he or she knows the monitor isn’t a toy to be played with.
  • Never place your monitor near a spot where it could get wet to prevent electrocution.
  • A monitor does provide more peace of mind. However, it does not directly protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You still need to follow the AAP guidelines, which recommends precautions such as always putting the baby to sleep on his or her back, keeping the crib free of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals and using a one-piece sleeper.
  • When considering monitors, opt for models that include rechargeable batteries so the parent unit works when plugged in or not. The VTech baby monitor lasts for up to 18 hours. While you may not need quite that long, you’ll need at least 8 hours so the monitor can last through the night without being plugged in if need be.
  • In cases where you might need to have the volume low or muted, it’s a good idea to look for monitors that have a visual indicator that lights up when it detects sound like the InfantOptics sound-activated LED bar. Multiple levels, like the 5-bar graphic available on the VTech monitor, let you know if your baby is just sighing happily or crying.
  • Test your new monitor before the baby comes home to make sure it functions the way you expect it to. Your wireless network and the setup of your house may affect how it works in real life despite ranges the manufacturer promises. Keep your packaging and receipt just in case!
  • After you buy or a receive a new baby monitor, be sure you register it, so you will be notified of any recalls. It will also receive any necessary updates for safety and security purposes.
  • If you plan to have more children or would like monitors in more than one room, you may want to choose a monitor that can easily expand to multiple cameras that all feed into one parent unit. With the InfantOptics Baby Monitor, you can add up to four cameras to monitor with one parent unit using scan mode.

About The Author

Avatar
Amanda Stout 

Amanda Stout has been a professional writer for 15 years and is a mom to a precocious elementary-aged daughter. Before her daughter was born, Amanda was the type to research every product she bought for her in great detail until she was confident it was the highest quality, safest and also the best deal. She's still always out for a deal and more than happy to share the fruits of her obsessive research. She's also interested in child development and psychology which she uses to better navigate parenting.