Best Hidden Security Cameras of 2021

Hidden spy cameras can be elusive, so we've researched user reviews, videos, and specifications to help you find one that could work for you.
Best overall
Arebi hidden camera
Arebi
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2160p (4K) resolution
  • Icon Pros  Light
    160º field of view
Best clock
Waymoon Hidden Camera
Waymoon
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2160p (4K) resolution
  • Icon Pros  Light
    160º field of view
Best body camera
Yijiaoyun Body Camera
Yijiaoyun
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1080p resolution
  • Icon Cons  Light
    90º field of view
Best disguise
Alpha Tech Hidden Camera
Alpha Tech
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1080p resolution
  • Icon Cons  Light
    120º field of view
Best budget
Ehomful Hidden Camera
Ehomful
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1080p resolution
  • Icon Cons  Light
    120º field of view

Apart from adding suspense and drama to your favorite thriller movies and TV, hidden cameras can be a surprisingly useful tool for home security. Because the cameras have tiny sizes and disguises, they're easy to hide from clever burglars that know about your other security cameras.

We explore two types of hidden cameras: stand-alone units and disguises for standard security cameras to discover which type is best for you. We also give a crash course on state laws in our FAQ section.



Compare hidden security cameras

Hidden cameras aren't our first choice for security cameras due to their sometimes shady connotations, but they can be a good alternative for certain situations where a normal security camera is too big or located where burglars might break it. Here are five hidden cameras worth considering.

Product
Price*
Rating
Resolution
Field of view
Video storage
Learn more
Best overall
Arebi hidden cameraArebi
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
2160p (4K) 160ºMicroSD card
up to 256 GB
(not included)
Best clock
Waymoon Hidden CameraWaymoon
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
2160p (4K)160º MicroSD card
up to 128 GB
(not included)
Best body camera
Yijiaoyun Body CameraYijiaoyun
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
1080p90º32 GB built-in
Best disguise
Alpha Tech Hidden CameraAlpha Tech
4 out of 5 stars
4
1080p 120ºMicroSD card
up to 128 GB
(not included)
Best budget
Ehomful Hidden CameraEhomful
4 out of 5 stars
4
1080p 120º MicroSD card
up to 32 GB
(included)

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Bell
Hidden cameras often unreliable

Most hidden cameras come from generic brands and don't usually match the quality of mainstream security cameras. We recommend reading through customer reviews (especially the critical ones) before you buy a hidden cam.

If hidden cameras seem like too much work, head over to our wireless camera review for something easier.

See also:

Best hidden camera reviews

1. Arebi: Best overall

Best overall
Arebi hidden camera
Arebi
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$89.00
Pro Bullet 4K video resolution
Pro Bullet Built-in Wi-FI
Con Bullet Unreliable app

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

With Arebi, 4K video is finally an affordable reality for hidden cameras. The high-quality video outperforms typical 1080p cameras but makes this unit a little more expensive on average.

We also like that this camera has a built-in Wi-Fi connection so you can check footage from your phone after it detects motion. This tiny battery-powered unit records for up to 100 days on a charge if you turn off the Wi-Fi—otherwise it lasts up to 10 days. But considering it uses motion detection to record video, you don't need to recharge it every day.

Unfortunately, some user reviews complain of poor app performance and disappointing product quality. This is unsurprising since generic hidden cameras are typically lacking in quality—even the best hidden camera puts its covert mission over high quality.

2. Waymoon: Best clock

Best clock
Waymoon Hidden Camera
Waymoon
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$69.99
Pro Bullet 4K video resolution
Pro Bullet Wide-angle lens
Con Bullet Expensive

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Clocks are some of the most popular disguises for a hidden cam, so we had to include one on our list. We like the Waymoon clock camera's 4K video resolution, mobile app, and wide-angle lens, making it one of the more full-featured hidden cams we found during our research.

It also sports a rechargeable battery, making it perfect for your next hotel stay. Sadly, it's a little more expensive than other hidden cameras, and it doesn't come with an SD card to store your videos.

When you're not traveling, this Wi-Fi hidden camera has a surprisingly sleek design that looks great on a bookshelf or desk in your home office.

3. Yijiaoyun: Best body camera

Best body camera
Yijiaoyun Body Camera
Yijiaoyun
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$39.99
Pro Bullet Includes 32 GB of storage
Pro Bullet Discreet design
Con Bullet Limited field of view

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

A hidden surveillance camera doesn't have to sit on a shelf to be useful, so we think the Yijiaoyun body camera is an excellent option to take with you outdoors. This camera clips onto your clothes and has 32 GB of built-in storage, so you don't need to buy a separate memory card.

There's a microphone on this tiny camera, so we don't recommend recording in private areas, but it should be acceptable in a public setting. The rechargeable battery lasts up to six hours and can record while charging if necessary.

This body cam's discreet, small design is perfect for clipping on your shirt on a jog, to capture a lecture in class, or as you ride your bike to work.

4. Alpha Tech: Best disguise

Best disguise
Alpha Tech Hidden Camera
Alpha Tech
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$36.99
Pro Bullet USB charger disguise
Pro Bullet Functional charger
Con Bullet Limited view

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

A forgettable camera disguise is an effective one, so we think it's good that the Alpha Tech USB charger is as plain as they come.

This nondescript USB charger looks just like any number of devices floating around your house, and it even charges phones to complete the illusion. While you can connect it to a battery for more portability, it's prone to people who inadvertently move the spy cam in a way that neutralizes it.

Still, it's a little awkward to point the camera at a room when you plug it into an outlet. But if you have outlets higher on the wall, like above a kitchen counter, you should have a decent view of the room.

5. Ehomful: Budget pick

Best budget
Ehomful Hidden Camera
Ehomful
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4
$24.99
Pro Bullet MicroSD card included
Pro Bullet Affordable
Con Bullet Limited recording time

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

If you want a bargain-bin hidden camera that also comes with a microSD card, we think that Ehomful is a good option. This hidden spy camera is similar to our pick from Puoneto but with a lower 1080p HD video quality and no mobile app. In exchange for fewer features, this unit costs half as much—around $40.

Because it comes with a 32 GB memory card, you don't need to worry about finding one to go with it. Unfortunately, it doesn't support cards over 32 GB, so it can't record as long as the other cameras on our list.

Overall, we like the simplicity of this mini camera, and it's a good choice for folks looking to save some cash.

Compare security camera disguises

Disguising an existing security camera is often a better option than a stand-alone hidden device. This way, you get the perks of reliable mainstream brands like Wyze, Google Nest, or Ring. There aren't a ton of disguises out there for these brands, but here are a few of our favorites. Just don't forget to buy the camera that goes with them.

Product
Price*
Fits
Disguise
Learn more
Best Wyze disguise
IoT Slash Pencil Case for WyzeIoT Slash
Wyze Cam
(v1, v2)
Pencil holder
Best Nest disguise
SummitLink for NestSummitLink
Nest Cam Indoor,
Yi Home Camera,
SimpliCam
Sunflower
Best Ring disguise
Holaca for RingHolaca
Ring Stick Up Cam Battery

Birdhouse

*Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Best security camera disguise reviews

IoT Slash: Best Wyze Cam disguise

Best Wyze disguise
IoT Slash Pencil Case for Wyze
IoT Slash
$19.99

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

The IoT Slash Pencil Case is probably our favorite disguise for a security camera because it's a simple design that fits well on any desk or bookshelf. Unless you look closely enough to spot the camera, this is a convincing disguise for the Wyze Cam. Don't forget to hide the Wyze Cam's power cable for an even better disguise.

It doesn't fit Wyze's other indoor camera, the Wyze Cam Pan, but that's probably a good thing since a case would limit that unit's ability to pan around a room.

SummitLink: Best Nest Cam Indoor disguise

Best Nest disguise
SummitLink for Nest
SummitLink
$9.99

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

This SummitLink disguise for the Nest Cam Indoor doesn't really hide that there's a camera watching, but it can help the camera blend into the background of a room more easily. Plus, we love the colorful silicone sunflower design that looks playful in your child's nursery or playroom.

Another benefit is that tons of security cameras imitate Google Nest's minimalist design. This means you can fit the stretchy silicone skin on similar designs like the Yi Home Camera and SimpliCam.

Holaca: Best Ring Stick Up Cam Battery disguise

Best Ring disguise
Holaca for Ring
Holaca
$17.99

Amazon.com list price as of 09/21/2021 at 11:42 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

Holaca is another disguise that doesn't offer much in terms of hiding a Ring Stick Up Cam Battery from burglars. But it makes your cameras easier on the eyes with a chance of blending into surroundings. If you mount your Ring camera in a tree with this case, we could see it looking similar to a birdhouse.

Perhaps a bigger benefit of this case is the additional weatherproofing (Ring's camera is already weatherproof) to help protect your camera from sunlight and keep rain from dripping on the camera lens.

Final word

Hidden cameras are a good option for hiding security cameras away from burglars, but they're not as reliable as their mainstream counterparts. While we did our best to find quality products for folks committed to a hidden camera concept, we ultimately recommend buying a traditional security camera from a more experienced brand.

Hidden camera FAQ

Hidden cameras are legal in all 50 states, but there are some restrictions. You can record videos in the common areas of your home, but usually not in bedrooms and bathrooms—where people expect privacy.

You also can’t record audio without consent in the following states:1

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington

To be on the safe side of the law, we suggest getting consent, forgoing audio, or clearly posting a sign saying cameras are recording (implied consent) before using a hidden security camera.

A video camera’s recording capacity depends on the resolution, battery life, and size of the memory card you use. You can generally expect to record a few dozen hours of video on most microSD cards over 32 GB, which gives you a few weeks if your camera records using a motion detection feature instead of a continuous recording.

No, all hidden cameras record video locally on a microSD card—the Wi-Fi models merely make it possible to access this same footage over the internet. They don’t usually offer cloud storage like a standard security camera.

“Hidden camera” and “spy camera” are interchangeable terms for a security camera that you hide or that has a disguise. We prefer the term hidden camera over spy cam. A nanny cam is a similar term that focuses on watching your child’s caregivers.

In any case, we don’t recommend using hidden cameras to spy or “get dirt” on other people you know. We just think they can help outsmart wily burglars looking to hide from standard security cameras.

Our top pick for the best hidden camera is the Arebi

The best camera disguises look like everyday objects. You can create your own by covering everything but the camera lens, or purchase disguises guaranteed to fit popular home security cameras. 

How we reviewed hidden cameras

When choosing hidden cameras for this review, we set up some basic rules: they must cost less than $75 and record video in 1080p resolution or higher. While some of the cameras have night vision and Wi-Fi to enable mobile device controls, these features weren't a requirement.

The overwhelming majority of hidden cameras are generic products from small-scale manufacturers. This means high turnover, with even popular models regularly selling out. We'll do our best to replace products as they disappear, but you deserve fair warning of this unpredictable product category.

When there's such a high turnover of hidden spy camera brands and products, we don't test the products in person. Instead, we rely on user reviews, videos, and specifications to inform our reviews. Read our ranking methodology to learn how we test and review products.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. Digital Media Law Project, “Recording Phone Calls and Conversations,” March 2008. Accessed September 21, 2021.

Disclaimers

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

†Google Nest, Google, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over eight years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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