Mumsnet Logo
My feed
Premium

Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

Best baby monitors: the 14 best audio and video monitors, tried and tested by parents

Want to keep an extra eye and ear on your baby while they sleep? After three months of extensive research, expert advice and parent-led testing, here are the 14 best baby monitors of 2023.

By Catherine Hufton | Last updated May 23, 2023

best baby monitors collage Mumsnet Best

This article was updated on 23rd May 2023.

There are some baby items most parents want to invest in. Buying the best crib in your price range usually means better sleep, opting for the best travel cot you can find makes for a more relaxing holiday, and choosing a baby monitor carefully will bring greater peace of mind. But finding the best baby monitor to suit your needs and your budget can be tricky. 

From smart, app-connected HD videos to movement trackers and breathing bands, baby monitors now come with more safety features than ever before. When your baby's sleeping in their cot bed or Moses basket and you're elsewhere in the house, it’s important to use a baby monitor that you feel totally comfortable with. Whether that’s with a simple camera monitor or audio-only device, or a smart baby monitor that links with your phone and/or comes with a movement sensor, built-in temperature gauge, and breathing monitor, your chosen baby monitor should give you peace of mind in between checking in on your baby regularly.

To help you make an informed decision, we spent three months intensively testing 15 different monitors, after narrowing down an initial shortlist. Our parent tester had a six-month-old baby at the time who had just transitioned to having naps and bedtimes in his nursery. We scored each model based on a number of factors including video quality, ease of set-up, connection and design. We also consulted experts from The Lullaby Trust and spent hours combing the Mumsnet forums to see which baby monitors are recommended as best buys and which come with words of warning according to the UK's biggest network of parents. 

Here are the best baby monitors for 2023.

1. Best baby monitor overall: Hubble Nursery Pal Cloud Video Baby Monitor

Hubble Nursery Pal Cloud baby monitor

Price on writing: £134.50 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: Full HD 1080p | Range: 300 metres | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: 5-inch diagonal colour screen 

What we love

  • Lots of extra features available on the app
  • Infrared night vision
  • Motion detection
  • Shareable access
  • Remote camera control

What to know

  • Picture slightly grainy on the handset
  • Functions on main monitor quite limited
  • App may drain phone battery quickly

What Mumsnet users say

"We have the Hubble Connected and it's fab - app and parent monitor, and you don't hear the white noise from the baby's room, just when the baby makes an actual movement/noise which I personally prefer! Cannot fault it in the slightest 6 months of use to far!" (Recommended by Mumsnetter FTM2022SS)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? Hubble’s Nursery Pal Cloud monitor is our pick for the best baby monitor on the market right now as it combines great design, versatility and value for money. It can be used on its own (with the camera and handset) or with the Hubble mobile app. We used this mainly with the app as we found the picture quality to be much better than on the monitor. 

The app also offers lots more features such as recording, different coloured nightlights for sleep training, music, motion detection and an option to create a sleep schedule. You can also share camera access with other caregivers. 

If you don’t want those extra features, however, the main monitor is really easy to set up and use, and you can keep an eye on your baby with the extra-large five-inch colour LCD screen. It also comes with the essential functions such as a remote pan, tilt, zoom and night vision that you’d expect from a mid-range monitor. 

2. Best baby monitor on a budget: Vtech DM1111

vtech dm1111 baby monitor

Price on writing: £20 | Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Video: No | Resolution: N/A | Range: Up to 450 metres outdoors and up to 50 metres indoors | Two-way talk: No | Night vision: No | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: No | Screen size: N/A

What we love

  • Reliable range
  • Good audio quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Portable

What to know

  • Basic appearance
  • No two-way talkback function
  • Occasional interference

Our verdict

Our favourite features? Our parent testers, gave the VTech DM1111 full marks for ease of assembly.

With no overnight charging or extra tools required, the monitor is ready to plug in and use right from the get-go, which is a huge plus point when compared to other baby monitors we tested such as the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Video Sensor Baby Monitor (10 hours of charging needed), the Angelcare AC527 Baby Movement Monitor (eight hours) and the Summer Infant Baby Pixel Monitor (seven hours). As well as being a great budget choice for everyday use, the ease of set-up also makes the VTech DM1111 a great emergency or holiday buy.

While our testers actually found the instructions more distracting than useful, thanks to the monitor’s intuitive design, full instructions (with helpful pictures) are included if you do get stuck – and you can also download these online.

In addition to step-by-step instructions, the manual includes troubleshooting FAQs, tech specs and the usual safety warnings. VTech also offers a one-year warranty and provide a telephone helpline and online contact form should you need to get in touch.

Read our full VTech DM1111 review.

3. Best value baby monitor: HelloBaby Wireless Video Baby Monitor

hellobaby wireless video baby monitor

Price on writing: £69.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: Not stated | Range: Not stated | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Screen size: 3.2 inches

What we love

  • Can be paired with up to 4 cameras
  • 8 lullabies
  • Audio-only mode
  • Plug and play
  • Up to 15 ft visibility in night vision
  • Secure and reliable connection
  • Great price

What to know

  • Need regular charging

What Mumsnet users say

"I have this one for my 4-year-old, I've used it since she was little and always recommend it - I’m a maternity nurse." (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Blondeshavemorefun)

Our verdict 

Our favourite features? This monitor is seriously easy to set up. Just plug in the HelloBaby Wireless Video Baby Monitor and you're ready to go. Coupled with a great price, this is a great monitor for parents who want all the features of a modern baby monitor, without paying over the odds. 

Features include a screen-off audio-only mode, temperature sensor, 8 lullabies and the ability to link the parental unit with up to 4 cameras. The parental unit is linked to the camera with a digitally encrypted connection, so you can be sure the monitor is secure. Reviewers say it's best to keep the monitor plugged in, so this isn't the monitor for you if you need something very portable. 

Read next: The best white noise machines for a peaceful night's sleep

4. Best baby monitor with an app: Cubo Ai Plus Smart Baby Monitor

cubo ai plus baby monitor and app

Price on writing: £289 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: 1080p HD | Range: WiFi-dependent | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: N/A

What we love

  • Multiple camera assembly options
  • Customisable real-time cry alerts and baby zone guards
  • Sleep analytics
  • Compatible with Google Nest Hub and Amazon Alexa
  • Family sharing
  • Two-factor authentication and enterprise-level security for peace of mind

What to know

  • One of the most expensive app-enabled monitors we tested
  • App sometimes gives inaccurate notifications such as baby out of crib
  • Requires very fast internet

What Mumsnet users say

“I have the Cubo Ai and love it.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user MKCH)

Our verdict 

Our favourite features? One really brilliant element of the app was that you can see your baby remotely. This came in handy when our tester was out with her older child and her partner was struggling to settle the baby. We could still use the talk-back feature to soothe them and control the lullabies. 

The Cubo Ai Plus boasts an aesthetically-pleasing design and top-of-the range technology that offers everything from HD night vision and true-cry detection to danger zone alerts and sleep analytics. The picture quality on the video is crystal clear, as is the sound which picks up every shuffle and cough when you're in the app. When not in the app, you get notifications that your baby is crying or has turned onto their tummy. The wide-angle camera also sits over the cot for a bird’s eye view (both figuratively and literally) and we caught our baby smiling at the friendly bird camera a couple of times. 

All of this information is available via the handy Cubo mobile app which we found intuitive and simple to use. It also comes with lots of small touches like a tweeting noise when it wants to alert you to movement, a covered face or crying, and the option to go back and look at recorded video snippets and snapshots of your baby in their newborn bed whenever you need to. 

The app also has the option of sleep analytics where you can view caregiver visits, see how long your baby has slept that day, baby’s longest sleep and the average time it takes for them to fall asleep. We didn’t use this all that much in day-to-day life and didn’t find it entirely accurate, but it was useful when a babysitter looked after our little one and when we were too sleepy to remember what time we’d woken up to feed baby in the night. 

The app also doubles as a music player and white noise machine , and we liked the various options of rainforest sounds, birds, classic lullabies and electric fans. Turns out that birds were our baby’s snoozing sound of choice. 

One of the major bonuses of this monitor is its easy overall assembly and various set-up options including a weighted floor base, crib attachment and mobile stand. This only adds to its longevity as it’s designed to be used in your child’s room until they are age five. This versatility also makes it easy to take away with you for family visits and holidays. It’s an expensive bit of kit, granted, but if it’s within your budget, we think it’s well worth the investment.

Want to know more? Read our in-depth Cubo Ai Plus review.

5. Best baby monitor with two cameras: Babysense Video Baby Monitor

Babysense dual camera video baby monitor

Price on writing: £134.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: Not stated | Range: Up to 300 metres in open space | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Screen size: 4.3 inches

What we love

  • 2 cameras
  • Hack-proof connection
  • Night vision
  • Reliable range of up to 300 metres

What to know

  • Doesn't connect to WiFi
  • No app

What Mumsnet users say 

"We now have a baby sense one which we love, it comes with 2 cameras so we have one in nursery and one in our bedroom as DS sleeps in with us and only naps are in the nursery. Having a portable parent unit is very helpful (I would actually say essential!) so make sure you get one with good battery life. The camera quality is fab and I can usually see him breathing even in night vision without having to zoom in." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Roundandroundthegarden0)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? For parents with 2 little ones in separate rooms, a dual-camera baby monitor is a godsend. 

Featuring a split screen so you can check on both cameras at once, the Babysense Video Baby Monitor allows you to sing and comfort your children through the WiFi-free parental unit. It's got an impressive 300-metre range, and there's an alert that sounds if you go out of signal range. 

With infrared night vision, you can see what your baby's up to at any time of day or night, as well as being able to tilt, pan and zoom in. While some reviewers say the visual quality isn't great at night, we think on balance this is the best dual-camera baby monitor for the price. You can even buy additional cameras if needed. 

VTech and Cubo Ai Plus baby monitors

Real-life set-up in our tester's home of the Cubo Ai Plus and the VTech RM7767HD Smart Video Monitor.

6. Best audio baby monitor: Motorola Nursery AM21/MBP21 Audio Baby Monitor

Motorola Nursery AM21 Audio Baby Monitor

Price on writing: £25 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: No | Resolution: N/A | Range: 300 metres indoors | Two-way talk: No | Night vision: No | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: No | Screen size: N/A

What we love

  • No wires or charging equipment - plugs straight into mains
  • Eco mode to reduce power consumption
  • Highly sensitive microphone with no interference
  • Out-of-range alarm
  • Visual volume indicator

What to know

  • No two-way talk
  • Limited functions
  • Can't be used outdoors as it needs to be plugged in

What Mumsnet users say

“We got the cheapest possible - the Motorola audio monitor. It was an excellent decision since we have dropped and broke two of them and left another one behind in a holiday rental, so replacing them hasn't been too annoying or expensive. We never felt we needed anything fancier.” (Rated by Mumsnet user DappledThings)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? This is a great monitor for those that don’t like complicated tech as it plugs straight into the mains, so there’s no wires or charging to worry about. 

If you have a slightly older baby and just want a straightforward audio baby monitor, Motorola’s Nursery AM21/MBP21 baby monitor will fit the bill. It has a 300-metre range indoors, high-sensitivity microphone and a simple design that’s ideal for visits to grandparents, holidays and for general day-to-day use. 

Our parent tester found that it picked up the sounds of baby’s movements clearly and had a good reception even in older houses with beams and low ceilings. She said she actually used this monitor in her toddler’s room for a couple of years and it’s never let her down. 

7. Best video baby monitor: VTech RM7767HD Smart Video Monitor

vtech smart monitor

Price on writing: £199.99 | Buy now from Boots

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: 1080p colour display | Range: 300 metres outdoors, 50 metres indoors | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: Yes | Screen size: 7-inch colour LCD screen

What we love

  • Crystal-clear colour video
  • Remote pan, tilt and zoom camera function
  • Excellent 360-degree view
  • Can be used with WiFi or local connection (handy if your WiFi drops out)
  • Out-of-range indicator

What to know

  • Battery only lasts for two to three hours when unplugged
  • Camera stops working if placed on top of a warm radiator
  • Intermittent connection problems

Our verdict

Our favourite features? After spending weeks testing baby monitors, it was immediately obvious to us and our tester that VTech’s RM7767HD crystal-clear, high-definition LCD colour display was hands down the best of the bunch. 

We like the large screen size of the handset (seven inches), and the remote tilt, zoom and 360-degree pan function of the camera which was very responsive. Our tester used the monitor mainly with the handset but it can also be used via the VTech app if you prefer to view baby on your smartphone. 

This monitor also boasts a host of great functions such as two-way talk, baby noise notifications, infrared vision, temperature sensor, lullabies and white noise, and a very soothing red nightlight which we found really helped settle our tester's baby.

One niggle we did experience with this camera is that it sometimes failed to connect once it had been turned off. We couldn’t work out the cause of this but simply turning it on and off seemed to do the trick.

You can gain remote access to the camera when you use the app which is ideal if you’re leaving your little one with a babysitter or nanny and want to keep an eye on them while you’re not there. The camera on the app can also zoom in ten times closer than the handset so it’s definitely worth downloading. 

8. Best baby monitor with breathing sensor: Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor

Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor

Price on writing: £299.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: 1080p HD (bird's eye view) | Range: WiFi-dependent | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: N/A

What we love

  • Easy-to-use breathing band or swaddle
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Sleep statistics and expert sleep guidance through Nanit Insights app
  • Nature sounds and white noise
  • Local or WiFi connection (works over WiFi even when the internet goes down)
  • Compatible with Alexa

What to know

  • One of the most expensive monitors tested
  • Overhead camera feels a little intrusive

What Mumsnet users say 

“We have a Nanit which is brilliant but pricey. You get sleep tracking analytics free for the first year which is pretty cool. The picture is great, you get notifications on your phone when they wake up or make a substantial noise, it can play white noise through its integral speaker, and you can pair it with your Amazon devices.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user TheCraicDealer)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? The Mumsnet Rated Nanit Pro Smart baby monitor may be one of the most expensive baby monitors on our list, but if you’re in need of extra reassurance then this monitor offers it in spades. 

App-connected and recommended by 89% of Mumsnet testers, it comes with an overhead camera that can be wall-mounted or used with a stand to provide a bird’s-eye view of your baby.

The app offers two-way talk, sound and movement notifications, and temperature and humidity information, as well as breathing measurements when you use the Nanit swaddle or wearable breathing band. Both of these need to be bought separately or as part of a larger bundle

Our tester's baby was six months old at the time of testing, so she used the band to test out the breathing sensor. The band is designed with a unique black grid pattern that the camera very cleverly reads to provide baby’s breathing statistics without any electronics, wires or batteries touching them.

We were slightly put off by the substantial suffocation warnings on the band and wondered if we were creating a hazard ourselves, but the app has very clear videos on how to use it safely and, if you really don’t feel comfortable, it isn't essential. 

The Nanit Insights app also provides baby's sleep stats each morning and creates a time-lapse highlight reel of their sleep. You can then watch their entire night in seconds and share with your loved ones. Of course, not everyone wants this kind of detail but you can’t fault this monitor for its technology. If you’re reassured by stats and analytics, it’s worth spending the extra money or keeping an eye out for a deal. 

As well as our independent testing, 28 Mumsnet users took part in a product test of Nanit's Pro Smart Baby Monitor. 89% said they would recommend it to a friend or family member. Here's our in-depth Nanit Pro Review.

9. Best baby monitor for reassurance: Owlet Smart Sock Plus Baby Monitor

Owlet Smart Sock Plus monitor

Price on writing: £287.48 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: No | Resolution: N/A | Range: Approximately 30.5 metres | Two-way talk: No | Night vision: No | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: N/A

What we love

  • Easy-to-use app
  • Comes with three different sizes for extra longevity
  • Real-time heart rate and oxygen readings
  • Immediate notifications if oxygen drops
  • Measures sleep trends

What to know

  • Pricey and still needs to be used alongside your own monitor or purchased with a cam bundle if you want a visual
  • Sock is quite tricky to secure to the foot of a wriggly baby
  • We experienced some connectivity issues with connecting our smartphone to the base station

What Mumsnet users say

“This sock is great. She was a NNU baby, so we got used to being able to check her stats. Downside is you have to remember to charge it every day as the battery life isn’t great, but we had no false alarms.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user Lou573)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? We think the extra reassurance offered by this sock monitor would be particularly useful during periods of sickness, or for babies born prematurely or at low birth weights. 

Like Owlet’s flagship product, the Smart Sock 3, the Smart Sock Plus allows you to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. The Plus comes with three different sizes of sock that fit children up to five, along with the Smart Sock sensor and base station so you get extra longevity of use. You start by choosing the right size sock for your baby (may be easier said than done with a wriggly child) and then charge it up on the base station. 

It’s designed to be used alongside the Owlet app (the standard set-up unfortunately doesn’t include a camera) and, once the sock is secured on your baby, you get real-time heart-rate readings and oxygen levels.

The app has lots of useful guidance like a demonstration of applying the sock, which was much-needed, as well as a demo of the sound it makes to alert you to a problem. It also measures sleep trends which we found useful when trying to get our baby into a sleep routine. 

While the sock wouldn’t solely be enough, it does offer extra reassurance in addition to a regular baby monitor. 

10. Best smart baby monitor: Bluebell Vision 8-in-1 Smart Baby Monitor

Bluebell 8-in-1 monitor

Price on writing: £229 | Buy now from Kiddies Kingdom

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: N/A | Range: 20 metres (baby monitor and smart hub) | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: N/A

What we love

  • Exceptional image quality
  • Clip-on sensor which doesn’t bother baby
  • Tracks baby’s movement, breathing and position
  • App supports multiple log-ins so can be used by other family members
  • Full secure encryption

What to know

  • Lots of notifications but the sensitivity can be adjusted
  • Requires high-speed internet
  • Might be a bit too techy for some

Our verdict

Our favourite features? If you’re feeling particularly anxious in those first few months, we think this monitor is a really helpful way of giving you the reassurance you need. Our top tip: practise putting the sensor on before your baby is tired as ours did get annoyed when we struggled to get it right the first time. 

Bluebell offers a range of different bundles, and the 8-in-1 comprises the main charging hub, clip-on sensor and camera. The pricier 9-in-1, by comparison, also includes a smart parent wristband. We found it a little overwhelming initially and thought it might be very complicated, but after a quick scan of the instructions and a couple of false starts, we managed to sync the hub to the Bluebell app and were ready to go. 

Bluebell was designed by a dad who struggled to find a baby monitor that gave him the reassurance he needed when his son was born and, as such, it covers almost everything you could worry about as a first-time parent. Perhaps in some ways it covers a little too much, but that’s down to personal preference. 

The sensor clips on to the front of baby’s vest or babygrow and provides real-time updates on their breathing, temperature and position. The sensor will stay charged overnight but we did need to charge it again each morning.

You can tweak the number of notifications you receive and the particular metrics you want to track. The hub is used to charge the main sensor and also has a nightlight and in-built lullabies which comes in handy for nappy changes and feeds in the middle of the night. 

NB: Sadly, Bluebell have recently gone out of business so the monitor will shortly become unavailable to buy. If you have a Bluebell monitor it will still work via the Tuya Smart App - more information here.

family testing baby monitors

Tester using the Bluebell Vision 8-in-1 Smart Baby Monitor

11. Best baby monitor for movement tracking: Tommee Tippee Dreamee Video Baby Monitor

Tommee Tippee Dreamee Sound baby monitor

Price on writing: £189 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: Not stated | Range: 300 metres | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Screen size: 4.3-inch colour display

What we love

  • Doesn’t require WiFi connection
  • Infrared night-vision camera
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Energy-saving mode
  • In-built thermometer and out-of-range indicator

What to know

  • CrySensor mat is very sensitive
  • Interface on monitor is a little bit clunky

What Mumsnet users say

"I had the Tommee Tippee video monitor with movement sensor mat. The sound/video is good (and still works four years later)... The sensor mat is great if your baby sleeps relatively still but we had a wriggler so had lots of alarms every night!" (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user codenameduchess)

Our verdict

Our favourite features? We really like the CrySensor feature that listens out for baby’s cries and soothes them with your choice of music, and our tester found it settled her baby back down quite quickly. 

Tommee Tippee’s Dreamee baby monitor and motion sensor mat is one of the best value movement-tracking devices we tested. It comes with a 4.3-inch HD colour video monitor, 360-degree night vision infrared camera and movement sensor mat so you can keep a close eye and ear on your baby at all times. 

The sensor mat is very sensitive so you’ll likely need to adjust the settings so it’s not going off every other minute, but the monitor’s interface is easy to use and not overly complicated. This makes it ideal for grandparents and babysitters to use as well. 

It also doesn’t require WiFi, so this is a good option if your internet connection isn’t fast enough for some of the app-connected monitors but you still want that extra bit of reassurance. 

12. Best baby monitor for a hassle-free set-up: Babysense 7 V24R Baby Monitor

Price on writing: £159.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: Not stated | Range: 290 metres in open space | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: No | Screen size: 2.4-inch LCD display

What we love

  • One-time, easy set-up of sensors
  • Good sound quality
  • Full-bed coverage
  • Alarm sounds if no movement is detected for 20 seconds
  • Hack-proof technology and requires no internet connection

What to know

  • Sensors are very sensitive and lots of alerts
  • Battery life of monitor when not plugged in only seven hours
  • Sensors not suitable for Moses baskets or bedside cribs

Our verdict

Our favourite features? It’s very straightforward to set up which we always find a relief (especially when monitors come with extra kit like sensors) and our tester barely had to refer to the instructions as the whole design is very intuitive.

Babysense is considered one of the most trusted brands for monitoring your baby’s breathing, and the V24R comes with a video monitor and breathing monitor that goes under your baby's cot mattress to help you do just that. 

The handset is simple to use, while being compact enough to pop in your pocket when you’re moving around the house. You can also operate the lullabies and white noise remotely which we found really useful if baby became unsettled while we were downstairs.

The two sensor pads allow you to get coverage of movement around their cot: flashing green when everything is OK and red when movement has stopped. It also alerts you when breathing has slowed to unusual levels.

We were a bit confused as to what we were being alerted to at times, as the sensor is very sensitive, so you will need to play around with the settings to suit your needs.

The main thing to mention here is that the sensor pads are only suitable for large cot mattresses as opposed to Moses baskets or bedside cribs. As such, this wouldn’t be the right choice for monitoring very small babies in those early months before they go into their own room. 

You’ll also need a hard, rigid surface so, if your cot has a soft or spring base, extra wooden board (plywood) needs to be placed under each sensor pad.

Shopping for a cot mattress that's just right for your baby? Here's our guide to the best cot mattresses for a great night's sleep.

13. Best baby monitor for gadget lovers: Babymoov Yoo Moov

babymoov yoo moov baby monitor

Price on writing: £159.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: Yes | Resolution: not stated | Range: 300 metres | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes | Sound alerts: No | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: 4.3-inch (11cm)

What we love

  • 360-degree camera with remote pan, tilt and zoom functionality
  • Good audio and signal range
  • Lifetime warranty

What to know

  • No visual sound indicator
  • Pricey

Our verdict

Our favourite features? The Babymoov Yoo-Moov delivered excellent, interference-free sound quality at a sensible volume during testing. There are six different sound levels that you can change by going through the menu, however our testers noted that they would have preferred a dedicated volume button to make the sound easier to adjust, as on the BT Smart Baby Monitor.

One thing the Babymoov Yoo-Moov monitor is missing, though, is a sound indicator, which may be off-putting for parents who think they would rely on visual alerts to be able to detect sound while watching a movie or listening to music with headphones on. If you’re hard of hearing, you may find a monitor with a visual sound indicator more suitable for your needs.

When your child is asleep, VOX in the Yoo-Moov will send the parent unit into sleep mode but keep the microphone active. This means that the monitor will then turn itself back on when it detects sound from your child, which can be very reassuring for parents who don't want to have to stand with their ears glued to the parent device.

Read our full Babymoov Yoo-Moov review.

14. Best baby sensor pad monitor - Cubo Ai Sleep Sensor Pad

Cubo monitor and sleep sensor pad

Price on writing: £399 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Video: No | Resolution: n/a | Range: n/a | Two-way talk: n/a | Night vision: n/a | Sound alerts: No | Motion alerts: Yes | App control: Yes | Screen size: n/a

What we love

  • Quick set-up
  • Extra peace of mind 
  • Micro-movement alerts

What to know

Our verdict

Our favourite features? The Sleep Sensor Pad’s four motion sensors are the standout stars of this product. They cover a wide surface area and provide accurate recordings of your baby's micro movements.

This sensor pad is compatible with the Cubo Ai Plus. You can buy the monitor and pad as a bundle, or if you already have the Cubo Ai Plus the sensor pad is available separately.

After popping the sensor pad under your baby’s cot mattress, you open the app, head to settings and click ‘Sleep Sensor Pad Tutorial’. The app then takes you through a really simple connection process which took me a minute, at most. Once the pad is connected, it will pull real-time information straight to your usual Cubo Ai homepage on the app. 

Thankfully the Sleep Sensor Pad is water-resistant so you don’t need to worry about any of your little one’s accidents causing it to break or malfunction. Our parent tester worried that the sensor would encourage her to check the Cubo Ai app even more but actually knowing how precise the pad’s motion sensors are meant she knew that if anything was wrong, the app would notify her. 

Read our full Cubo Ai Sleep Sensor Pad review

What is a baby monitor?

A baby monitor is a small electronic device that allows you to keep an eye and ear on your baby while you're in different rooms, giving you peace of mind and, if you're lucky, even helping you to catch a wink or two.

It comes in two parts: one part stays with your baby, e.g. in their nursery, and the other part stays with you, e.g. on the kitchen worktop or on your bedside table while you have a quick nap. The baby unit sends sound and images in the case of video monitors to the parent unit so you can hear (and see) what's happening.

There are five different monitor types on the market. Read on to find out all about the best audio, baby movement, video and WiFi baby monitors currently available.

When should you use a baby monitor?

We asked Kate Holmes, Head of Support and Information at The Lullaby Trust for her expert advice on navigating the first year of a baby’s life and the best time for introducing a monitor.

“The Lullaby Trust advises that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for day- and nighttime naps until they are at least six months old. This doesn’t mean that you can’t leave the room to make a cup of tea, but for the first six months it’s advised that you keep baby close by while they sleep. When you do leave the room or decide to move your baby into their own one, a baby monitor is useful for still keeping an eye – or ear – on baby. However, there’s no pressure to move them after six months. It’s up to you to decide when the right time is for you and your baby.”

Are baby monitors a good idea?

The main reason parents buy a baby monitor is for extra reassurance. Whether you’re worried you won’t hear your baby while you sleep, have hearing difficulties and need a visual indicator to show you when your child is stirring or crying, or want to see what your toddler is up to without having to go to their room, a monitor can let you see and hear what's going on.

You may decide that the size and layout of your house don’t warrant a monitor, or perhaps you’re a light sleeper who hears every gurgle. That said, do bear in mind:

  1. An extra audio or visual aid can still be useful – you might want to binge on Netflix without pressing mute every few minutes to check that that sound wasn’t your baby.
  2. A monitor with a decent signal range means you can spend sunny evenings in the garden while your baby’s tucked up in bed and still be able to hear them if they need you.
  3. Even a basic audio-only product means you’ll be able to hear your baby, even if you need to close their bedroom door to keep pets out.
  4. If you have thick walls or a sound-proof house, then you’ll likely find a monitor essential – but always err on the side of caution and go for a device that claims a longer signal distance than you need

Are baby monitors safe?

Most baby monitors are solid pieces of kit, designed to withstand knocks and drops from tired parents and boisterous toddlers. As with any electronic product, make sure you keep cords and spare batteries well out of reach of children.

WiFi monitors are sometimes associated with hacking and privacy concerns and although the jury’s out on how much of an issue this actually is, it’s sensible to follow good online practice such as enabling security software updates and two-step authentication, changing the monitor's default password to a new, strong password (and updating this regularly), and only using WiFi connections that you trust.

Baby monitors are also designed as an addition to checking in on your baby in person, so be sure to also keep an eye on their temperature, movements and breathing yourself and not rely solely on equipment.

What type of baby monitor is best?

There are five different monitor types on the market. Choose from audio, baby movement, video and WiFi.

1. Audio baby monitor

Made up of a parent unit that stays with you and an audio sensor that goes in baby's room, audio-only monitors are generally an affordable option and are simple to set up and use. They let you listen in on your baby so that you can hear them snuffling as they drift off to sleep or crying when they’ve woken up.

Two-way monitors do this too, but they also let you chat to and settle your baby from another room.

Consider a model with sound-sensitive lights so that you can see if your baby is stirring, for example if you’re hard of hearing or just like dancing in the kitchen with the volume turned up loud.

2. Video baby monitor

Video monitors are comprised of a camera with sound to let you see what your baby is getting up to, giving you that extra bit of reassurance without having to open the door to check on them and risk waking them up.

A HD colour screen and night vision (so that you see your baby in the dark) often come as standard, with some models also including remote control camera functions that let you zoom, tilt and pan (useful for spotting where your baby has wriggled to in the cot) and record footage (useful to confirm that your babysitter meant it when they said your toddler had behaved angelically).

Some video monitors allow you to connect additional cameras, meaning you can keep an eye on children in different bedrooms. This is particularly useful for larger families. Others have in-built movement sensors that alert you when your child is unsettled or awake.

3. Baby movement monitor

Baby movement monitors detect movement as well as sound. They usually come with a sensor pad that sits under the cot mattress to track movements and breathing, and alert you if there’s no movement for a short period of time - usually 20 seconds. 

Although the sensitivity setting can be adjusted to avoid false alarms, some parents can find this type of monitor more anxiety-inducing than reassuring.

4. WiFi baby monitor

WiFi monitors use a wireless internet connection to sync the baby unit to your phone. This means that you can say goodnight to your baby while you’re at work or watch them as well as talk about them on date night (just us?).

Some WiFi monitors let you save clips, hook up to Alexa or Google Assistant and come with Cloud storage too.

Concerns about security can deter some parents from this type of monitor and others find a digital connection more stable day-to-day. However, if you have a decent WiFi connection and take reasonable safety precautions, they offer a way of checking in on your child remotely.

5. Wearable baby monitor

Wearable baby monitors are smart devices that clip onto baby's clothing or can be worn around the feet (in the case of the Owlet Smart Sock Plus), allowing you to track movements, heart rate and even oxygen levels. Data is then delivered in the form of sleep analytics via an app. These are particularly handy for first-time parents in need of extra reassurance or those who want to be able to learn about their child's sleeping patterns to create a sleep routine.  

How much does a baby monitor cost?

The cost of a baby monitor will depend on the brand, the extra features and the style of monitor you choose.

For a basic audio monitor, such as the Motorola Nursery AM21/MBP21 Audio Baby Monitor, you needn't pay more than £50, but if you want an all-singing, all-dancing video monitor with super-sharp image quality, expect to pay £200-£300.

How to choose the best baby monitor

  • Type: Decide whether or not you want an audio monitor, a video monitor, a movement monitor, a wearable monitor or an app-connected device.
  • Connection: If you’re thinking of buying a WiFi-connected monitor, check to see if your current internet speed will support it. You'll also need to ensure that your internet connection is secure and password-protected. Any smartphone apps used should be set up with two-step authentication for added security.
  • Camera and video quality: Not all monitors are created equal when it comes to video quality, so be sure to compare and contrast models to find the best in your budget. Look at whether the monitor has decent night vision as well as day vision, and whether the lens offers a bird's-eye, 360-degree view of your baby's room. 
  • Audio quality: You need to be able to hear your baby clearly while they are in a different room, so the sound quality of your chosen monitor must be high enough to meet your needs. Look for a decent volume range and a monitor that promises no signal interference or lagging.
  • Ease of use: If other caregivers will be looking after your baby, consider if they will be able to use it easily. Will you require remote access and additional cameras?
  • Breathing and movement alerts: Think about whether a breathing and movement monitor, complete with a sensor mat, will reassure you or make you unnecessarily anxious.
  • Range: Will the monitor’s range reach your garden in the summer months? Most baby monitors have an indoor range of at least 50 metres. This is how far you can take the parent unit away from the baby unit (i.e. your baby's cot) so that the monitor can still function as it's supposed to. Consider wall thickness and the size of your house as this will affect the range and signal.
  • Portability: If you travel often, will the monitor be easy to transport and set up?
  • Extra features: While most baby monitors have standard, in-built features such as lullabies, two-way talkback and white noise (meaning you can forgo an additional baby sleep aid), some come with added features such as video clips, sleep analytics, cry alerts, breathing trackers and movement sensors.
  • Power supply: All monitors need some kind of power source such as mains-powered or battery-operated/wireless. Think about what will work best for your home set up and also how long the battery lasts when not on charge. Video monitors will usually need to be plugged in constantly, so consider where yours is mounted so as to keep any wires safely away from your baby's cot.
  • Battery life: According to Which?, the average battery life for an audio monitor is 13.5 hours, while a video monitor's is just seven. Think about how long you'd need the battery to last as most baby monitors will need recharging daily. 
  • Wall mount or floor stand: Most monitors come with a wall mount or stand (sometimes both) and which one is best for you will depend on the position of your cot and the space around it. 

What age do you stop using a baby monitor?

There isn't really any official guidance from the NHS or Lullaby Trust as to the 'right' age to stop using a monitor and opinions on the Mumsnet forums tend to be divided. Some parents find them a useful feature for homes with thicker walls, or if their children suffer from nightmares. 

Which is the best baby monitor?

We think the Hubble Connected Nursery Pal Baby Monitor is the best baby monitor due to its affordable cost, high-quality design and versatility. While this monitor isn’t the most sophisticated technology-wise of all the models we tested, it does offer everything you need to keep a close eye and ear on your baby including exceptional video and audio quality, remote pan, tilt and zoom functions, and a decent range.

How we chose the products to test

  • Approximately 400 hours researched
  • 15 models considered
  • 12 models tested

To help you find the very best products we commissioned Cat Hufton, a writer and mum of two, to research and review the top baby monitors out there. 

Cat took a look at the market as a whole and researched which devices were considered to be the best in terms of value, design and innovation, taking into account consumer feedback and expert guidance from the likes of The Lullaby Trust and Which? to determine which products were worthy of our consideration. She also took a deep dive into the Mumsnet forums to see what other parents had to say in terms of their favourites. 

She then drew up a final shortlist of 12 baby monitors and got to work testing them all over a three-month period when her youngest son was just six months old.

How we tested

We comparatively tested the baby monitors over a period of three months. We used the monitors for daytime naps and nighttime sleeps, and also transported them on weekends away too. We also assembled everything ourselves (even the more complicated models) to give us a complete experience of each monitor. Each model was tested for a minimum of a week.

When testing each product, we looked at video and audio quality, safety and stability, set-up, range and connectivity, screen size, battery life, features such as lullabies and two-way talkback, aesthetics, cleanliness, and how easy it was to use day-to-day. Crucially, we also considered whether the device offered good value for money.

How we chose our final recommendations

To draw up our carefully selected recommendations list, we scored each baby monitor out of 45 based on eight main testing categories:

  • Set-up
  • Safety and stability
  • Day-to-day use
  • Signal
  • Battery
  • Cleanliness
  • Aesthetics
  • Value for money

Each tried-and-tested product was then offered an award based on where we think it performs best for different needs and situations. We especially made sure to include a breadth of baby monitors to suit a variety of families and budgets, leaving no stone unturned.

Why you should trust our reviews 

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust so all Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents and experienced parenting journalists with years of first-hand experience.

Our intensive research and testing process is designed to cut through the noise and help you narrow down your choices, so we spend hours researching, speaking to other parents, analysing data and listening to experts before we test out the products on our shortlist.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about how we tested the products we recommend. We won't always recommend the cheapest products, or the ones with the most extra features. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones we'd recommend to our own friends and family.

There's no incentive for us to be lazy with our research or in our testing process. There's no reason for us to respond to pressure from retailers or brands trying to promote new products. It's actually quite the opposite and we think it's a good system, one that keeps us focused on making parents lives' easier.

All prices on this page correct at time of writing

;