Best baby monitors 2019
We put the UK's top products through months of testing and found the Summer Infant Panorama 2.0 to be the best baby monitor for most parents. Our pick for best video baby monitor is the Philips Avent Digital for its exceptional video monitoring quality as well as crystal-clear audio. Here are our full baby monitor reviews.
Monitors are a brilliant way to keep an eye (and ear) on your baby while you're in different rooms, giving you peace of mind and, in some cases, even helping you to catch a wink or two.
Broadly speaking, there are three types of monitors available to parents. Audio only, audio and video, and motion sensor monitors. With audio and video monitors, you can see, or hear your baby through a parent device or on your phone. With motion sensor monitors, a movement detector is placed under the cot mattress, or attached to your baby, alerting you if no movement is detected after 20 seconds.
While there’s no proof that having a motion sensor monitor reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, some parents find it comforting to have the added reassurance. If you can afford it, and you think it will help you to sleep better, than go ahead. If you feel like it will only feed your anxiety, opting for a video or sound only monitor might be a better choice. Most parents will end up hovering over their sleeping newborn at some point, regardless of whether they have a motion sensor or not.
After researching the most highly rated monitors by parents on Mumsnet and other review sites, we tested the top 11 with Lisa and her two children (a newborn baby and a two year old) over three sleepless months. We checked for signal strength, sound quality, picture quality, battery life and durability.
After months of testing, here are the 11 best baby monitors 2019
- Summer Infant Panorama 2.0 digital video monitor (£113 from Mothercare)
- BT Audio 450 Lightshow digital audio monitor (£50 from Amazon)
- Angelcare AC517 motion sensor monitor with video (£270 from Amazon)
- Philips Avent Digital video baby monitor (£160 from Amazon)
- Babymoov Premium Care audio monitor (£90 from Baby Monitors Direct)
- Summer Infant Liv Cam wireless travel monitor (£80 from Amazon)
- Angelcare Audio AC017 baby movement monitor (£85 from Mothercare)
- BT Video Monitor 6000 (£117.99 from John Lewis & Partners)
- Baby Monitor 3G app (download for smartphone or tablet)
- Summer Infant Babble Band wearable digital audio monitor (£40 from Amazon)
- Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Digital Monitor (£60 from Amazon)
Overall, we think the Summer Infant Panorama 2.0 is the best monitor for the majority of parents.
What to look for when buying a baby monitor:
- Check reviews for signal distance. If you have thick walls, err on the side of caution and go for a device that claims a longer signal distance than you need.
- Find out if the monitor has two way talkback. Mumsnet users tend to agree that it’s the most useful extra feature on baby monitors.
- For video monitors – check that other users have been satisfied with the night vision camera, the likelihood is you’ll use it most in a darkened room.
- If you choose a wifi enabled monitor, check that it’s secure and you’re able to change the password easily.
Extra nice-to-have features
- Lullabies (to soothe your baby back to sleep)
- Volume control
- Night light
- Room thermometer
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The top five Mumsnet best baby monitors
Summer Infant Panorama 2.0
Quite simply, the Summer Infant Panorama 2.0 ticks all the boxes. With an infrared night vision camera, an intuitive display unit (including temperature sensor), a colourful night light and high resolution two-way talkback, our tester highly rated its performance.
It comes with a large 12.7cm touchscreen that displays quality video, while giving you a great view of your baby at the same time. Our tester loved how easy it was to pan, tilt and zoom the camera, and switch between multiple cameras in different rooms.
- High resolution colour LCD video screen with infrared night vision camera
- Pan, tilt, and zoom monitoring camera function to offer panoramic views
- 12.7cm screen display
- Add extra cameras to monitor multiple children
- Two-way talkback
- Sound activated LED lights
- Red and blue soft glow night lights (red to help baby get to sleep and blue to soothe)
- Temperature sensor and display
- 240 metre range
- Low battery and out-of-range alerts
- Audio can be a little fuzzy at times
- Screen power-saving mode can’t be overridden
- Battery life only six to nine hours (will need to be on charge when using overnight)
- No Voice Activated Alert (VOX)
What Mumsnetters say
“The Summer Infant camera allows you to zoom in and move around the room from the hand held monitor. We have blackout curtains in DD's room and you can still see her very clearly”
“I have the Summer Infant Digital Video Baby Monitor. I have used it so much, for DC and still use it to keep an eye on them when I'm downstairs and they are playing.”
Watch the video review
We love the functionality, design and picture quality of our Mumsnet Best choice. Read the full review of the Summer Infant Panorama to find out more.
All prices on this page correct at time of writingRead full review » Best price £112.49 (Mothercare)
BT Audio 450 Lightshow
The BT Audio 450 (£50 from Amazon), a compact audio-only device would you believe it, provides parents with excellent audio quality and a reliable signal at a relatively low price.
It also offers some lovely extra features such as a light display, a feed timer and 18 songs in four categories (including lullabies, nature, classical and white noise), which makes this budget monitor great value for money.
Our tester was particularly impressed by its talkback function, which allowed her to comfort her baby and soothe them to sleep from a separate room without having to leave her second child.
- Audio-only monitor
- Talkback function
- Light show projection (to soothe your baby)
- 300 metre range with out-of-range alerts
- Temperature display
- Compact and lightweight
- Adjustable night light
- Temperature display not always reliable
- Occasional static interference
For a budget offering, this model has plenty of features that are sure to keep both parent and baby happy.Read more »
The Angelcare AC517 (£270 from Amazon), a video, wireless movement and sound monitor, takes nursery technology to a whole new level.
It's a tech lover's dream with an under-the-mattress movement sensor pad, an infrared night vision camera and cut-glass audio, all of which go some way to explain the high price tag.
While the Angelcare AC517 received perfect scores for its audio and visual performance it was the movement sensor pad that outshone its competitors. We found it to be the most reliable and easy to use on the market.
- 12.7cm touch screen
- Night vision
- Digital zoom (x2) and pan
- Room temperature reports
- Movement sensor pads with alarm (if no movement is detected after 20 seconds)
- Two-way audio
- Up to 250 metre range with out-of-range alert
- Few add-ons
Our tester found this product to be brilliantly reassuring, so it may be a good option if you're a first-time parent.Read more »
Philips Avent Digital
The Philips Avent Digital Video (£160 from Amazon) is a high performing, eco-friendly monitor with exceptional audio and video quality.
We were impressed with the signal strength and found this device intuitive and easy to use.
Offering crystal-clear audio and infrared night vision in a compact and sleek design, if you're happy to splash out on tech for your baby, the Philips Avent is well worth the investment.
- High-resolution 6.9cm screen
- Automatic infrared night vision
- High-quality audio with almost no interference
- Energy-saving eco mode
- Parent unit 10-hour battery life
- Talkback feature
- Night light
- Has the ability to play lullabies (five in total)
- 300 metre range
- No temperature display
- Battery life may not last as long as expected
- Can't control the camera angle from the parent unit
This monitor surpassed our tester's expectations not only in terms of video quality, but audio capability too, and gained her seal of approval for its high signal strength with minimal interference.Read more »
Babymoov Premium Care
What is the best baby monitor for long distance? The Babymoov Premium Care, of course!
The Babymoov (£90 from Baby Monitors Direct) is a great all-rounder, especially when it comes to long-distance range.
This compact, audio-only monitor boasts a signal range of 1,400 metres and delivered excellent sound quality during the testing period. We like its sleek modern design and its compact size, which makes it a truly portable piece of technology.
- Small and lightweight
- Talkback function
- Temperature display
- Outstanding signal strength and range
- Lifetime warranty
- Sound sensitive lights and night light
- Low battery indicator
- Lullaby function
- Parent unit can be clipped onto your clothes when moving around the house
- Battery life – typically lasts half the time stated on the box
While the Babymoov Premium Care might look more like an adult alarm clock than a audio monitor, it can't be beaten when it comes to sound and signal.Read more »