Video or audio baby monitor? And what about smart wi-fi monitors? We help you to choose the best baby monitor for you. Video or audio baby monitor? And what about smart wi-fi monitors? We help you to choose the best baby monitor for you.
baby monitor
Don’t risk buying a baby monitor that cuts out or is lacking in basic security to keep strangers from hacking into audio and images of your baby. Our best baby monitor picks include traditional audio-only monitors and video monitors, as well as smart wi-fi baby monitors that connect to your smartphone. They all have excellent signal strength, a battery you can rely on and crystal-clear images and sound. Plus they’re secure from hackers. The best baby monitors won’t let you down when you need them the most. They’ll have clear sound and pictures, a good range and signal strength, and the battery will last as long as you need it.  Most baby monitors promise all this, but our tests have found lots that don’t deliver. For example, one baby monitor we’ve tested has a battery that will barely last three and a half hours, while another can keep going for more than 18.5 hours before needing to be recharged.

Audio vs video baby monitors

An audio baby monitor comprises two parts, one that stays in the nursery (baby or nursery unit) and one you keep on you, either somewhere propped up in the room you’re in or clipped to your belt as you get on with other stuff while your baby sleeps. A video baby monitor also has two parts, but the baby unit includes a camera that sends pictures back to the parent unit, so you can see your baby as well as hear them. Some are quite basic, but on more expensive models you can get cameras that pan around the room, or even zoom in. The parent unit on a video baby monitor varies: some have a massive screen so you can get a large picture, while others are much smaller, which limits what you can see. Which one you choose will depend on how much you want to spend and your personal preference. Some parents like to be able to see their little one breathing, while others are fine with just being able to hear if they’re needed.
video baby monitor

Smart wi-fi video baby monitors

Although some wi-fi baby monitors have parent units, you usually monitor your baby using your smartphone or tablet via a compatible app. While a parent unit on traditional baby monitors will only work in the house and maybe as far as the garden, a smart wi-fi monitor isn’t constrained by signal range and can work wherever you are as long as you have decent wi-fi signal. This means if you’re missing your little one you can check in when you’re at work or away from home.  But you’ll want to get one with strong security features and encryption to ensure your feed can’t be
baby monitor app

What makes the best baby monitors

our tests have shown huge differences in terms of signal range and battery life.  The worst baby monitor on test will only allow you get as far as 15 metres away before losing signal, and the battery won’t even last for an evening, which essentially means it’s more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to helping you look after your child.

Signal

Test out the sound clarity on a baby monitor throughout your home as soon as you buy it. Most have a variety of channels to use – useful if you live in a built-up area which will be more susceptible to interference or static. Analogue-signal baby monitors are the most open to accidental broadcast, as this can easily be picked up on normal radios and other people’s monitors. This is less likely with digital monitors, although it does still happen. A digitally enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) baby monitor has a microprocessor designed to ensure that the only nursery sounds you can hear are those from your own nursery, not anyone else’s. Our tests check for interference from other devices, as well as assessing the clarity and volume of the sound.
Baby monitor with baby in background

Range

The range of a baby monitor indicates how far you can travel with the parent unit and still receive an accurate signal.  Many manufacturers make bold claims when stating range – some say you’ll still get a signal up to 600 metres away. Looking more closely at these claims shows, generally, that this is the distance the signal can travel if both units are outside in an open space. This isn’t much use if you mainly use your monitor indoors, or when your baby is asleep inside and you’re in the garden. We’ve found that on a good baby monitor you’ll be able to move the parent unit more than 80 metres away from the baby (or nursery) unit without losing the signal. On a poor monitor, you won’t get much further than 20 metres. With wi-fi baby monitors, the signal is as strong as your internet connection – both to your smartphone/tablet, and the baby unit in the nursery. Do bear that in mind when considering a smart wi-fi monitor.

Property type

The type of property can make a difference, too. Older houses have thicker walls that can sometimes cause problems with the signal, whereas modern houses have thinner walls so the signal can travel more easily. We test baby monitors in both types of property to find out which perform best.
Group of baby monitors on the side

How much do I need to spend on a baby monitor?

You can spend less than £20 for a basic audio monitor, or more than £300 for a top-of-the-range model with multiple cameras. An expensive, feature-packed baby monitor doesn’t mean it will be the perfect piece of baby safety equipment for you, so we test its key features, such as battery life and signal strength.  With Best Buys baby monitors from as little as £35, there’s a baby monitor you can rely on no matter what your budget is.

My house is really small, do I need a baby monitor?

Some households find they can function perfectly well without a baby monitor, as any cries can be heard through an open door or thin walls. But even so, there are still reasons why you might need one: If you have a cat or dog, you may want to shut the nursery door. Gardening or laundry will take you outside, where you won’t be able to hear a crying baby. If you’re hard of hearing, the visual element of the monitors, such as sound-sensitive lights or vibration mode, can be a big help. Our lab tests assess how accurate the sound-sensitive lights are and make sure that they increase in line with the volume output, so you don’t miss when your baby needs you. Homeowners with thick walls will find baby monitors essential, as their house is effectively sound-proofed.
Baby monitor with baby asleep secondary used 426947
To be safe, the baby monitor should be placed at least a metre (or 3ft) away from a cot, crib or play area.

How to set up your baby monitor safely

Whatever type of monitor you choose, you’ll need to consider how and where you place the baby unit near your child so you can hear and see them while they sleep, but so there are no safety concerns. Current guidance states that you should avoid attaching a monitor to a baby’s cot, as there could be a risk of it falling into the crib or the baby getting caught in any cables.  Additionally, if any parts, such as screws, become loose they could pose a choking hazard to the baby. For older children that can stand or kneel, there is a risk that the monitor could be used as a foothold for them to climb out of the cot, alongside a strangulation risk with any cables. Always keep any wires, cords or cables well out of the way of babies and toddlers. As your baby gets bigger and older, keep checking regularly that he or she still can’t reach them.  Ideally, the baby monitor should be placed at least one metre (or 3ft) away from a cot, crib or play area. Consider placing it on nearby furniture or shelves so that if the monitor has video capability, it gives a good enough view of your baby’s sleeping position. You could also consider wall mounting the monitor if it has the required fittings, but be careful of any dangling cables.  Positioning an audio monitor is much easier as it just needs to be close enough to capture the sound of your baby crying.

Baby monitors with a motion sensor mat or pads

sleeping baby
Some baby monitors come with motion sensors. These are marketed as a tool to protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death.  The motion-sensor pads or mat detects your baby’s movements, even the slightest ones. If your baby stops moving for more than 20 seconds, an alarm sounds and red lights flash.  Some parents find them really reassuring, however they can cause more worry when false alarms happen, and you may find they create more anxiety. Infant safety charity The Lullaby Trust says there’s no evidence that this kind of monitoring can prevent SIDS. Choose a baby monitor and the optional extras that will suit you and your baby best. When buying a baby monitor, make sure you’re handing your money over to a reputable seller. Check the retailer’s returns policy and pay attention to customer feedback and reviews. For more details on shopping online safely and arranging refunds for faulty products, see our advice on shopping online.  Argos, Amazon, John Lewis and Boots are some of the most searched-for baby monitor retailers at the time of writing. We’ve included links to these retailers handpicked because of their stock availability, best value price or warranty options.

Where to buy a baby monitor

Argos – sells a mixture of video and digital audio baby monitors. Prices start at around £20 for basic models and go up to nearly £400. Argos offers same day in-store collection at selected Sainsbury’s stores and you can even bump up your nectar points when you shop there. Amazon – has hundreds of baby monitors in stock, but check the listing carefully, some tech may not be UK models. You should also try to stick to products that are fulfilled by or sold by Amazon if you can, it’s much easier to resolve issues if something goes wrong. John Lewis – sells a range of baby monitors from brands including Angelcare, Babymoov and Nanit. Prices start at around £30 and go as high as £300. Most of the baby monitors come with a one or two year warranty at no extra cost and John Lewis generally scores highly in our annual retailer survey of more than 2,000 members of the public. Boots – stocks a small range of baby monitors, with the majority from Motorola, Angelcare and BT. Prices vary from £30 to £300, which means you will get free home delivery or in-store click and collect. If you opt for buying at Boots you can also get points on your advantage card.

Baby monitors Reviews

BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 Lightshow review

£41.98View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

83% Key features
  • Audio
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verdict: Excellent audio monitor lights up any room

The BT Audio Baby Monitor 450 Lightshow is an excellent audio-only monitor. Sound quality is good, while both range and battery life are excellent. It’s easy to use, too, and the wonderful light projection feature is the cherry on top. Pros
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great range
  • Clear audio
  • Built-in light projector
  • Lullabies
  • Accurate room temperature sensor
Cons
  • Audio isn’t overly loud
  • Battery needs fully charging before use

Eufy Security SpaceView Video Baby Monitor review

£160.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

80% Key features
  • Video
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verdict: One of the best video baby monitors

Since we updated our test in November 2021, this Eufy baby monitor now qualifies as a Best Buy. If you want a video baby monitor, it’s one of the best models you can buy. Pros
  • Good HD viewing screen on parent unit
  • Wide range and coverage
  • Accurate temperature sensor
  • Sound-sensitive lights
Cons
  • Short parent unit battery life
  • Some ease of use issues

VTech BM3300 review

£100.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

78% Key features
  • Video
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verdict: An inexpensive and user-friendly Best Buy

The VTech BM3300 video baby monitor is a great Best Buy monitor with very few flaws. You can rely on it for good signal range, clear sound and video picture, and low interference, plus it’s sturdy and easy to use. It’s also very reasonably priced for a video baby monitor. Pros
  • Good signal range indoors and out
  • Clear sound
  • Easy to use
  • Not affected by interference
  • Durable
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Poor picture quality in low light

BT Video baby monitor 6000 review

£124.99View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

78% Key features
  • Video
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verdict: Excellent video baby monitor from BT

With excellent range, battery life and ease of use, this BT video monitor is a great choice. After updating our baby monitors test in November 2021, the score has changed for this model. However, our Best Buy recommendation for it has stayed the same. Pros
  • Great battery life
  • Excellent signal coverage indoors
  • Good sound quality
  • User-friendly
  • Resilient if dropped
Cons Poor picture quality in dark rooms

vava 720P 5″ HD Display Video Baby Monitor with Camera and Audio review

£180.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

78% Key features
  • Video
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verdict: Impressive video monitor from Vava

The score for this baby monitor was updated in November 2021 and it now qualifies as a Best Buy. Sound quality could be better, but there are more positives than negatives here. Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Wide range
  • Decent picture quality
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate temperature sensor and sound-sensitive lights
Cons
  • Mediocre sound quality
  • A little tricky to set up

VTech RM5764HD Smart Video 5 Inch HD Baby Monitor review

£148.99Lowest price (not in stock)

Test scoreShow Context

78% Key features
  • Video
  • Wi-fi enabled
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verdict: Short on battery life, but long on quality

This Vtech model qualified as a Best Buy after we updated our baby monitors test in November 2021. It is a capable and well-designed baby monitor with plenty of positives, and is one of the best smart baby monitors we’ve tested. Pros
  • Impressive video quality
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Well-designed menu system and app
Cons
  • Short battery life on the parent unit
  • Mediocre sound

VTech DM12111 Safe & Sound LCD Baby Monitor review

£39.99View retailer

Test scoreShow Context

75% Key features
  • Audio
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verdict: Great value audio baby monitor

The score increased for this model after we updated our baby monitors test in November 2021, and it now qualifies as a Best Buy. The range is great, the sound is clear and it’s got useful features. Plus, it is a good-value option if you’re on a tight budget. Pros
  • Clear sound
  • Great range
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Lullabies
  • Night light
  •   accurate sound-sensitive lights
  • Temperature sensor
  • Vibrating alert
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Basic screen

BT 6800 Smart Baby Monitor with 5 inch screen review

£139.00View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

74% Key features
  • Video
  • Wi-fi enabled
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verdict: Great value wi-fi baby monitor

This BT smart video baby monitor qualifie as a Best Buy after we updated our test in November 2021. It has plenty of features and functions, and is reasonably priced for a smart monitor. Pros
  • Mobile app
  • Temperature monitoring
  • Lullabies
  • Can save video and photos
  • Two-way talk
  • Night vision
  • Sound-sensitive lights
  • Remote pan and digital tilt
  • Wall mountable
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Parent unit is quite large
  • Picture quality on the parent unit isn’t as good as the app

Summer Infant Baby Pixel HD Zoom Monitor review

£323.32View retailer

Test scoreShow Context

74% Key features
  • Video
Compare

verdict: Impressive picture quality

Despite a few flaws, this baby monitor scores strongly for range and picture quality. After updating our baby monitors test in November 2021, it’s score has changed and it now qualifies as a Best Buy. Pros
  • Great range
  • High picture quality
  • Easy to use
  • Clear sound
  • Accurate sound-sensitive lights
Cons
  • Battery takes a long time to charge
  • Short battery life
  • Large intervals between volume settings
  • Temperature readings slightly inaccurate

VTech BM2200 Digital Audio Baby Monitor review

£30.99View retailer

Test scoreShow Context

73% Key features
  • Audio
Compare

verdict: Feature-packed and easy-to-use

The VTech BM2200 Digital Audio Baby Monitor is a great choice if you’re after an audio-only baby monitor with practical features. It has good signal range, clear sound and it’s simple to use. It’s a great all-rounder and there’s very little we can fault with it. We re-evaluated the model in November 2021 and it now qualifies as a Best Buy. Pros
  • Impressive signal range
  • Clear sound
  • Vibrating alert
  • Sound-sensitive lights
  • Two-way talk-back
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Temperature monitor
  • Eco mode
  • Lullabies and nightlight
Cons
  • Parent unit topples easily

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Monitor review

£63.95View retailer

Test scoreShow Context

73% Key features
  • Audio
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verdict: An excellent audio baby monitor

This Tommee Tippee Best Buy audio baby monitor gives you great signal coverage, excellent battery life and user-friendly features. It doesn’t perform that well at low volumes, but that’s the only real downside of an otherwise excellent audio baby monitor. We reviewed our score for this model in November 2021, and stand by our Best Buy rating. Pros
  • Great signal range
  • Excellent battery life
  • Easy to set up and control
  • Durable
Cons
  • Poor sound quality at low volumes
  • Both units can topple over
  • Some sharp edges
  • Poor instructions

VTech DM1111 review

£20.00View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

72% Key features
  • Audio
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verdict: Cheap and does the basics well

Although it may not have many bells or whistles, the VTech DM1111 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor is a simple device that does the basics well. After updating our baby monitors test in November 2021, the score has changed for this model and it now qualifies as a Best Buy. Pros
  • Excellent range
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Handy belt clip
  • Clear instructions
  • Accurate sound-sensitive lights
Cons
  • Sound could be louder
  • Missing a few useful features

Motorola MBP8 Digital Audio review

£27.49Lowest price (not in stock)

Test scoreShow Context

72% Key features
  • Audio
Compare

verdict: Basic baby monitor does the job

Although it lacks many features, this basic baby monitor does what it does very well. Plus, it is one of the cheapest models we have tested. We re-evaluated its score in November 2021 and it now qualifies as a Best Buy. Pros
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Good sound quality
Cons
  • Needs to be plugged into a power socket

VTech VM3254 review

£50.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

72% Key features
  • Video
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Which? verdict: Excellent video monitor at a low price

Audio and video quality aren’t perhaps the best we’ve ever seen. But if you don’t mind that, the Vtech VM3254 is still an excellent choice. It has a good range, long battery life and plenty of useful features. Pros
  • Very long battery life
  • Plenty of features
  • Easy to use
  • Low price for a video monitor
Cons
  • Video and audio quality aren’t the best
  • Temperature sensor could be more accurate

Motorola LUX64CONNECT review

£179.99View retailer

Test scoreShow Context

71% Key features
  • Video
  • Wi-fi enabled
Compare

verdict: Good smart monitor from Motorola

We updated our baby monitors test in November 2021, and the score has changed for this model, meaning it now qualifies as a Best Buy. Although there are a few flaws to consider, there are more aspects to like about this smart baby monitor. Pros
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Good signal range
  • Sound-sensitive lights
  • Temperature sensor
Cons
  • Battery life short on parent unit
  • Picture quality on parent unit could be better
  • Sounds a little harsh at times.

BT Audio Baby Monitor 400 review

£25.00View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

70% Key features
  • Audio
Compare

verdict: Basic, but excellent at what it does

The BT Audio Baby Monitor 400 has few frills to offer, but it’s a dependable audio-only monitor with a great range and an excellent battery life. We retested this model in 2021 and it remains a Best Buy. It’s a great choice if you want a cheap, audio-only monitor. Pros
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great range
  • Clear audio
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap
Cons
  • Sound could be louder
  • No temperature sensor

Motorola Halo Smart Crib Projector review

£280.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

70% Key features
  • Video
  • Wi-fi enabled
Compare

Which? verdict: Every nursery needs a Halo

We updated our test in November 2021 and this model now qualifies as a Best Buy. It enables you to watch your child from an overhead view, and you’ll find it simple to use. It’s a good and innovative monitor, but do bear in mind that there are cheaper Best Buys available. Pros
  • Innovative design
  • Clear overhead view
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-packed app
  • Great signal range
  • Lullabies
  • Lightshow
  • Recording function
  • Reasonable battery life
Cons
  • Mediocre sound quality
  • Sound-sensitive lights could be better
  • Strong wi-fi signal required

VTech Pan & Tilt VM343 Baby Monitors review

£119.95View retailer

Test scoreShow Context

70% Key features
  • Video
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verdict: Vtech video monitor impresses

VTech has impressed with this video baby monitor. It’s a Best Buy because it’s easy to set up and use, it has a good battery life and won’t lose signal. Although, the video picture could be better. Pros
  • Easy to use and set up
Cons
  • Video picture could be better
  • Poor range going from indoors to outside

Angelcare AC127 – Baby Movement Monitor with Sound review

£88.90View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

69% Key features
  • Audio
Compare

verdict: An excellent and long-lasting audio baby monitor

The AC127 doesn’t quite make it as a Best Buy audio baby monitor, but there’s a lot to like about it. Battery life is excellent, audio quality is good and it has fantastic range. Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Strong range
  • Temperature sensor
  • Accurate sound-sensitive lights
  • Portable parent unit
Cons
  • Tricky to set up
  • Motion-sensing pad included but of questionable value

BT Smart Baby Monitor with 2.8 inch screen review

£119.00View retailers

Test scoreShow Context

69% Key features
  • Video
  • Wi-fi enabled
Compare

verdict: Just narrowly misses out on Best Buy

There are a few flaws with this monitor, such as battery life and mediocre video quality, that hold it back from being a Best Buy. However, there is enough quality here for it to be worth considering as a back up option. Pros
  • Good signal range
  • Decent to use (particularly with the app)
Cons
  • Middling battery life
  • Mediocre video quality
  • Poor sound
  • Some signal interference with a microwave
  • A few set-up nigglesv