The best baby monitors easily allow you to make sure your little ones are sleeping soundly at night. What’s more, they have gotten smart – really smart. Ranging from ones with sensors capable of tracking everything from temperature and humidity in a nursery to your child’s breathing, there is a baby monitor to suit every need. More importantly though, we value any monitor that can reliably beam clear video and images from the nursery to wherever you happen to be in your house.
Over the years, we’ve tested a wide variety of devices to find the best baby monitors for new and worried parents. Whether you want high-resolution images sent straight to your smartphone, special features like humidity and temperature sensors, or just a device that delivers a clear and reliable picture for the lowest possible price, there’s a video baby monitor out there that can fit your needs.
Here’s a closer look at the many options available to check in on a sleeping child along with which one ranks highest as the best baby monitor.
The best baby monitors you can buy today
Bleary-eyed parents who just want their baby to sleep soundly through the night will appreciate the insights that come from the Nanit Plus Baby Monitor. In addition to letting in you check in on your sleeping child from the comfort of your smartphone, Nanit's camera also monitors activities so that it can provide you with detailed analysis of your child’s sleeping patterns and quality of sleep.
Over time, the Nanit Plus recognizes your baby's sleep habits and uses that information to summon up articles and advice for you on ways to improve your baby's sleep. That's a subscription service and the first year is included with your Nanit Plus purchase; afterward, it's $50 a year. Since our review, Nanit has added compatibility with the Amazon Echo Show to let you see the video stream through an Alexa display.
As for the camera itself, you can expect videos in 960p resolution with an aspect ratio optimized to fit in your baby's crib. We found the images clear and the camera pretty easy to set up. You'll have to pay up for the Nanit Plus and its sleep tracking features, especially compared to other top baby cams, but for parents who just want a good night's sleep, the extra cost may be worth it.
Since we published our review, Nanit has introduced the Nanit Pro, which offers better resolution and improved sensors for a slight price increase over the Nanit Plus.
Read our full Nanit Plus Baby Monitor review.
Even three years after we first tested it, the iBaby Monitor M6T still offers an impressive array of features at a manageable price. And it's a great choice if you can find this baby cam for less than $150.
iBaby's camera offers the sort of capabilities you'd expect — push-to-talk features to soothe a crying child, motion-triggered photo and video capture, and a 720p HD camera. (A newer version, the M6S, ups the resolution to 1080p, and iBaby has since come out with other models as well.) The M6T also boasts a full-360-degree rotating pan.
The M6T streams to an app on your smartphone, and we found the Wi-Fi-enabled video streaming to be clear, even in low light. The two-way speaker offered above-average audio in all conditions, and we like how we could play lullabies preinstalled on the iBaby mobile app to lull a child to sleep.
Read our full iBaby Monitor M6T review.
The Pixsee Smart Baby Monitor immediately sets itself apart from the competition due to its unique design. Like the Arlo Baby and Cubo Ai Plus before it, this baby monitor hides in plain sight from your little one since it looks more like an animal-shaped toy than a camera.
In addition to temperature and humidity sensors, the Pixsee Smart Baby Monitor uses AI to detect if your child has a blanket over their head. The AI is also used to decode a child's cries and give you insight into whether they're sleepy or hungry. The best part of the Pixsee Smart Baby Monitor though is how it uses AI to automatically take pictures of your little one. These photos are then displayed in a Baby Bubble Tree that you can access from within the Pixsee app. It shows how your baby has grown from month to month but you can also access these photos from the family album within the app or get a link to download them all at once.
The Pixsee Smart Baby Monitor is available for $239 but you may also want to consider picking up the company's 5-in-1 stand as there isn't a wall mount in the box.
Read our full Pixsee Smart Baby Monitor review.
You'll get great video quality and an easy-to-setup system with the Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor. But the real reason to consider this device is a helpful portable audio unit you can carry with you that lets you hear what's going on in the nursery without having to notice and respond to push notifications on your phone.
Another convenient thing about Safety 1st's portable audio unit — you don't have to activate the camera to check in on your child. That makes it even easier to make sure everything's all right in the nursery. There's little delay when you use the two-way audio feature, and the portable unit will even flash when the camera detects motion for a helpful visual cue to launch the companion app.
As for the camera itself, we were impressed with the 720p video, though there was an occasional delay uploading video. Parents who want features like temperature and humidity sensors with their baby monitor should consider other options.
The Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor is another entry on our best baby monitor list that's hard to come by these days. Should stock return, you'll have your best chance finding it at Amazon or Walmart.
Read our full Safety 1st HD WiFi Baby Monitor review.
If you find yourself turning to Amazon's Alexa assistant for other household tasks, you can also put Alexa to work checking in on your baby with the help of Project Nursery's baby monitor. The Project Nursery Smart Speaker with Alexa includes a 5.7 x 3.8 x 3.8-inch HD video camera and an Amazon Echo speaker for monitoring naps and sleeping. (If you've already got a speaker, you can just buy the camera.)
Why use Alexa? Because you can control the camera with voice commands in any room with a speaker. That lets you check images streaming to your smartphone without having to fiddle with the camera's controls yourself. This will require to manage multiple apps — Project Nursery's companion apps along with the regular Alexa app.
Still, Project Nursery's baby monitor is a good one, with clear HD images, good night vision, pan and tilt controls, and decent motion detection. It's a good option if you're comfortable using Alexa in other aspects of managing your smart home.
Read our full Project Nursery Smart Speaker with Alexa review.
Nervous parents who don't blink at spending $199 to $299 for a baby monitor will want to consider the Cubo Ai Plus. Armed with artificial intelligence, it can recognize when your baby's face gets covered in the crib and send alerts straight to your phone.
Covered face alerts are the best thing about the Cubo Ai Plus, but that's not the baby monitor's only selling point. It comes with a cute design — it looks like a bird — and the night vision feature lacks the kind of red light that might wake or distract your baby. We also appreciate that the Plus version of the Cubo monitor features a free year of Cubo Ai Care Premium, including 30 days of sleep tracking and analysis.
Those sleep tracking features could be more helpful, and the floor stand that comes with the Cubo Ai Plus is light enough for a 1-year-old to move. The $299 version we reviewed comes with a three-stand set that lets you attach the camera to a floor base, the crib itself or a mobile stand; you can get the less expensive $199 version if all you need is the wall-mount set.
Read our full Cubo Ai smart baby monitor review.
The Miku Smart Baby Monitor can track your child's breathing while also letting you peak in on a sleeping baby via an HD video stream sent to your phone. And while the breathing monitor feature works well, Miku's setup is quite expensive, especially when compared with some of other best baby monitors.
Miku's design is simple and pretty easily to install, thanks to a sleek, compact design that fits just about anywhere. We also like the video quality delivered by the Miku's camera, though we wish the device offered the ability to zoom in on a sleeping baby. Built-in sensors for humidity and temperature are also nice to have, though unless you want the specialized breathing monitoring Miku offers, you'd be well-advised to consider a less expensive option.
Read our full Miku Smart Baby Monitor review.
Best baby monitor for your car
Driving with your little one or even little ones in the backseat can be stressful and seat mirrors require that you take your eyes off the road. Fortunately, the Tiny Traveler HD Baby Car Monitoring System includes a camera you attach to your backseat and a monitor that easily mounts to your car's dashboard. This way, you can keep an eye on your child and the road at the same time.
Another great thing about the Tiny Traveler is that it supports adding an optional, second camera which allows you to keep an eye on multiple children using its monitor's split-screen feature. Although the Tiny Traveler is only HD with a resolution of 720p, it gives you a clear view of your child in the backseat. It also has an automatic night mode that can be especially useful when driving at night.
Since the Tiny Traveler's monitor has a built in 4-hour battery, it doubles as a portable baby monitor that you can take out of your car and use in your hotel or wherever you and your child are staying. However, you will need to plug in the camera separately as it doesn't have a battery.
Read our full Tiny Traveler review.
How to choose the best baby monitor for you
Keep these criteria in mind will help you find the best baby monitor for your needs.
- Included Monitor: Find out whether your baby cam comes with a handheld monitor or if it relies on your phone to give you look-ins on your child. A monitor is another piece of hardware to keep track off and recharge, while you're likely to have your phone on you at all times. Cameras with handheld monitors also tend to be more expensive.
- Range: Look up the specs for how far the camera's signal extends, and make sure it can reach every area of your home.
- Camera: Check on the resolution that the camera records in. Also pay attention to the camera's pan and tilt features and just how wide a view it provides of your child's room.
- Video quality: Read reviews of the best baby monitors to see if they deliver clear images. (After all, the whole point of having a video monitor is to be able to see your child.) Baby cams that offer night vision are especially helpful as you'll be doing a lot of check-ins in the dark.
- Audio: See if the monitor has push-to-talk features so you can soothe your baby remotely. Other audio features to look for include the ability to play lullabies.
- Battery Life: The cameras we tested come with power adapters and should be plugged in to a wall. But the handheld viewers that come with some monitors run on removable, rechargeable batteries. Get a feeling for how long those batteries can go without a recharge.
- Special Features: Some monitors come with humidity and temperature sensors, which can help you check on other conditions in your child's room.
- Price: The best baby monitors offering video — the ones that come with all the latest bells and whistle — can cost around $200. That price can spike up if the monitor offers more advanced features like tracking your child's breathing, which is appearing on a growing number of baby monitors. However, you can find solid baby monitors between $100 to $150, though you'll sacrifice on video resolution and some features. Cloud storage can add to the cost of a baby monitor in the form of an ongoing subscription, though that feature is usually optional.
When setting up a baby cam, always change any default password, just like you should for any connected device you buy. (Here's a closer look at good password practices, in the wake of recent reports of hacked cameras, including one that was used as a baby monitor.)
Whatever baby monitor you end up going with, be sure to familiarize yourself with the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations for infant sleep safety, which include making sure your baby sleeps on his or her back.
We recommend going with a dedicated baby monitor over a repurposed security camera. While the best home security cameras cost about the same as the best baby monitors with video, the latter have features better suited to checking in on your baby. We reached this conclusion after trying out a Nest Indoor Cam as a baby monitor, but we'd feel the same way if we tested other top-rated home security cameras like the Arlo Q or Wyze Cam 1080p.
How we test baby monitors
When we test a baby cam we situate each monitor at an elevated position in a child's room. Units with dedicated handheld viewers were tested from 12, 20 and 35 feet away. For baby monitors that offered Wi-Fi connectivity, we connect them to a home Wi-Fi network. We test all built-in features such as pan and zoom, motion and sound detection, temperature and humidity sensors, and sleep timers. We also take note of how easy the interfaces were on both handheld viewers and streaming apps.
Ease of setup and installation factors heavily into our ratings, including whether an account needs to be created and if there were any extra subscription fees necessary. Each unit we've reviewed has cords protruding out of its back, so design wasn't much of a factor in my choice, though parents should take care to keep dangling cords and wires away from their children's reach when setting up a monitor.
When assigning ratings, we consider special features that a baby monitor might offer and also take its price into account.
Next: Here's how I turned an old phone into a portable baby monitor.