Best smart smoke detectors in 2022

Best smart smoke detectors

The best smart smoke detectors not only sound an alarm inside your house, but can also send you an alert on your smartphone so you can call emergency services. (Some smart smoke detectors can even be linked to home security systems.)

Another benefit of a smart smoke detector is that you can temporarily silence the alarm from your smartphone — so there’s no more trying to jump up in the air to press the off button with a broomstick after you set it off while searing a steak. 

There are relatively few smart smoke detectors on the market, but we've tried the options available — and we even suggest a way to use a smart speaker, so you don't have to replace all the smoke detectors you currently have.

What is the best smart smoke detector?

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There's not a lot of choice when it comes to smart smoke detectors. Our favorite for a few years running is the Nest Protect. It's the most full-featured alarm, blaring out a loud siren and telling you where the problem is. If you have one mounted near your kitchen, it will also send out a warning that it's about to go off, so you can silence it if all you're doing is cooking up some steaks. We also like that it performs a self-check every month, and can be linked with other Nest Protects. It has a 10-year battery, too.

If you already have a number of non-smart smoke detectors, an inexpensive option is to use Alexa Guard. When enabled, your Alexa smart speakers will listen for smoke and CO2 alarms, and will send you an alert on your smartphone if they hear a siren. It can also be connected to some of the best DIY home security systems, such as those from ADT and Ring. Alternatively, if you have a Nest Aware subscription (starting at $6/month), you can set your Google Home speakers to listen for alarms.

The best smart smoke detectors you can buy today

Best smart smoke detectors: Nest Protect

Nest Protect (Image credit: Nest)
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1. Nest Protect

The best smart smoke detector overall

Specifications

Detects: Smoke, carbon monoxide
Works with: Nest, Google Home, Philips Hue, IFTTT, Wink, Lutron
Hardwired/battery: Yes/Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Detects both smoke and carbon monoxide
+
Can be linked with other Nest Protects
+
Comes in both wires and battery-powered versions

Reasons to avoid

-
Does not work with Alexa
-
Most smart-home functionality lost when switching to Google account.

Nest’s smoke alarm detects both smoke and carbon monoxide, and when it does pick up something, it will not only sound an alarm, but will also tell you in what room the alert is coming from, and the nature of the alert. An LED ring on the bottom of the alarm also changes color, giving you a visual cue.

The Nest Protect comes in both wired and battery-powered versions. If you have more than one in your home, and one goes off, the others will too, alerting you to the location of the fire.

The Nest Protect also works with a wide range of smart-home devices. For example, in the event of an emergency, the Nest can automatically turn on your lights, making it easier for you to get out of your house. However, this only works for those who have not converted their Nest account to a Google Assistant account. It also does not natively work with Alexa.

Read our full Nest Protect review.

Echo Dot with Clock review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Alexa Guard sends you alerts

Specifications

Detects: n/a
Works with: Alexa
Hardwired/battery: No/Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Fuller sound than original
+
Fair price for a smart alarm clock

Reasons to avoid

-
Large power brick

The Amazon Echo Dot doesn't have a smoke detector built in, but if you enable Alexa Guard, it can listen for smoke and CO2 detectors (as well as glass breaking), and alert you on your smartphone if if hears something. This way, you can keep your older smoke detectors, but still get a notification on your phone if you're away and something's amiss.

The Echo Dot comes in several versions: The Echo Dot (5th gen) for $49, the Echo Dot with Clock (5th gen) for $59, and the 3rd-generation Echo Dot ($29). 

Read our full Amazon Echo Dot review.

Best smart smoke detectors: OneLink Safe & Sound

OneLink Safe & Sound (Image credit: First Alert)
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A smoke detector with Alexa inside

Specifications

Detects: Smoke, carbon monoxide
Works with: Alexa, Homekit
Hardwired/battery: Yes/No

Reasons to buy

+
Alexa built in
+
Pretty good speaker
+
Works with HomeKit

Reasons to avoid

-
Only works with hardwired smoke detectors

Like the Nest Protect, the OneLink Safe & Sound detects smoke and carbon monoxide, sends an alert to your smartphone, and tells you the type and location of the fire or condition. But for those times when it's not warning you of fire, you can use it for a great many other things. With Amazon's Alexa (and a very competent 10-watt speaker), the Safe & Sound can play music, listen to audiobooks, and access Alexa's thousands of skills. (It's also compatible with Apple's HomeKit, as well as AirPlay). 

However, the Safe & Sound requires a hard-wired connection, and we found that the location of these connections doesn't make it the most conducive for using all of Alexa's capabilities. 

Read our full OneLink Safe & Sound review.

Best smart smoke detectors: Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (2nd Gen)

Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (2nd Gen) (Image credit: Onelink)
Works with Alexa and HomeKit

Specifications

Detects: Smoke, carbon monoxide
Works with: Alexa, HomeKit
Hardwired/battery: Yes/Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Works with Alexa and HomeKit
+
Comes in wired and battery powered versions
+
Interconnectable

Reasons to avoid

-
No Google Assistant compatibility

The second-generation Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm comes in battery and hardwired models. Similar to the Nest Protect, the Onelink will not only sound an alarm, but also specify the room affected and the type of alert: smoke or carbon monoxide. Also like the Nest Protect, if you have more than one Onelink alarm, you can interconnect them so that if one goes off, they all will. 

An LED rings the middle of the alarm and changes color based on the alarm's status. Green and blue indicate that the alarm is starting up or in pairing mode. Yellow means there's a malfunction or a low battery, while red means there's a fire or smoke condition.

Onelink's alarm uses photoelectric technology, which is generally better at detecting smoldering fires than are alarms that use ionization technology. However, the latter are better at detecting fast-burning fires.

The Onelink can be connected to HomeKit and Alexa (but not Google Assistant), so you can ask both Siri and Amazon's voice assistant for the status of the smoke detector, but not much else. By contrast, if the Nest Protect detects fire or carbon monoxide, you can have it automatically turn on a security camera, open Lutron blinds, turn on Philips Hue lights, turn off your heat and more. 

Setup should theoretically be easy—just scan a HomeKit code in the Onelink app—but it took a few tries to get it to work. The Onelink smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is good on its own, but the Nest Protect does more for the same price. 

How to choose the best smart smoke detector

Fire and smoke detection sensors

All smoke detectors use one of two types of sensors to detect fires. Ionization-type sensors are best at detecting fast-burning fires, while photoelectric sensors are generally better at alerting you about smoldering, or slow-burning fires. You should have both types of alarms in your house. Smoke alarms such as the Nest Protect are designed to pick up both types of fires.

Carbon monoxide and other gas detection

Even if you don't have a fire in your home, you can be suffocated by carbon monoxide. A good detector should also protect you against this.

Hardwired vs. battery-powered

If your home has hardwired alarms, they will all be interconnected, so that if one goes off, they all will go off. Hardwired alarms also receive their power from your home, and only use batteries as backups. Standalone detectors run on batteries alone, so they may need to be replaced more often, and cannot signal each other in the event of an emergency (Nest's and OneLink's alarms are an exception to this). However, it's a lot easier to mount standalone smoke detectors where you need them.

How we test the best smart smoke detectors

To determine which smart smoke detector is best, we first install them in our home, to see how easy it is to get up and running. We then evaluate their app and user interface, as they need to be intuitive even for non-techie homeowners. If the device is compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant, we also factor that into our review.

Where applicable, we also take into consideration the type of smoke and carbon monoxide detection built into the device. And, where possible, we use a simulated smoke spray to ensure that it actually works.

For greater detail on our testing methodology and rating system, please go to our how we test page for more information. 

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.

  • widesmiler
    Could any of these be used without a home hub? My parents are looking to add only a smart smoke detector, so I am hoping to find a solution that does not require a hub, and instead connects directly to Wi-Fi with an app for remote monitoring/management (functioning similar to how many smart thermostats don’t require a hub, such as nest or ecobee).
    Reply
  • mprospero
    21519413 said:
    Could any of these be used without a home hub? My parents are looking to add only a smart smoke detector, so I am hoping to find a solution that does not require a hub, and instead connects directly to Wi-Fi with an app for remote monitoring/management (functioning similar to how many smart thermostats don’t require a hub, such as nest or ecobee).

    Actually, none of these require a hub - they all connect directly to Wi-Fi.
    Reply
  • santosnu
    The Nest Protect doesn't work with Alexa. Alexa/Echo has only skills for the Thermostat and Camera products from Nest. I've just checked with Nest Support.
    Reply
  • mprospero
    santosnu said:
    The Nest Protect doesn't work with Alexa. Alexa/Echo has only skills for the Thermostat and Camera products from Nest. I've just checked with Nest Support.

    Good catch. When Google decided to move people away from Nest to Google Assistant accounts, almost all of this functionality was lost. We've updated the story.
    Reply
  • Bionicears
    You need to update your review on Nest Protect to include that it DOES NOT work with IFTTT. It no longer works with Hue lights, which is why I bought it in the first place. Also, you don’t have a choice but to connect your Nest account to Google.

    We had a Nest Protect in the house we sold before we moved, and when Google took away the IFTTT capability, the lights immediately stopped working with it when the alarm went off. Also, the app stopped pushing notifications. Not good for deaf people. That being said, we are not purchasing a Nest Protect for the new house we are currently building.
    Reply