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The Best Baby Monitors of 2020

When you’re shopping for a baby monitor, you'll need to consider things like house size, range needed, and health variables. We've factored these into our best baby monitor picks to help your little one sleep safely.
Written by | Updated July 1, 2020
Best overall
image of Infant Optics baby monitorInfant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
  • 700-ft maximum range
  • High-quality night vision
  • Two-way talk
  • 700-ft maximum range
  • High-quality night vision
  • Two-way talk
Best for sleep tracking
image of Nanit Smart Baby MonitorNanit Smart Baby Monitor Camera
  • Sleep-tracking app
  • Temperature/humidity sensors
  • Photo/video saving
  • Sleep-tracking app
  • Temperature/humidity sensors
  • Photo/video saving
Most versatile
nest cam indoorNest Security Camera
  • Livestream to smartphone
  • Discount for multiple cameras
  • Cloud storage with Nest Aware
  • Livestream to smartphone
  • Discount for multiple cameras
  • Cloud storage with Nest Aware
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Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
As studies show that the coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces for days at a time, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch spots at home.

Now’s a good time to clean your baby monitors. Wipe plastic parts with a disinfecting wipe or solution.

For screens, stick to a screen cleaner spray (not Windex), or DIY your own water and vinegar solution. Spray on a microfiber cloth, then wipe, rather than spraying directly on the screen.

If you’ve ever wished you could take the high-tech monitoring equipment home from the hospital along with your little one, you’re not alone. Parenting a newborn comes with a lot of anxiety, and having a top-notch baby monitor can help put you at ease. We’ve researched the best baby monitors for every lifestyle and budget.

Compare the best baby monitors

Baby monitor
Price
Breathing, pulse, or movement monitoring
Two-way talk
Best for
Maximum range
Video
Learn more
Best overall
Best sleep tracking
Most versatile
Battery pick
Plug-in pick
Budget pick
image of Infant Optics baby monitor image of Nanit Smart Baby Monitor nest cam indoor image of Snuza Hero Image of Babysense 7 monitor image of Vtech baby monitor
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor Nanit Smart Baby Monitor Camera Nest Security Camera Snuza Hero Babysense 7 VTech Safe&Sound
$160.93 $249.99 $129.99 $109.99 $149.95 $39.95
x
No
Movement x
No
Movement
Breathing
Movement x
No

Yes
x
No

Yes
x
No
x
No

Yes
Usability Features Long-term use Travel Worry-free use Budget
700 ft. Unlimited Unlimited n/a n/a 1,000 ft.

Yes

Yes

Yes
x
No
x
No
x
No
View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Kohl's View on Amazon View on Amazon View on Amazon

*Amazon.com prices as of 07/01/2020 at 10:00 a.m. (MT). Read full disclaimer.

How we chose the best baby monitors

We studied the most important features parents look for in baby monitors and then compared that with the top products available. We considered price, features, and user reviews to bring you our favorites. Whether you want to track your baby’s movement or your baby’s breathing, we found the top options across the board. To learn more, read about our methodology.

Our top 3 picks for the best baby monitors

Infant Optics DXR-8: Best overall

The Infant Optics DXR-8 is a simple, user-friendly video baby monitor with solid features like two-way audio, a room temperature sensor, and a remote pan and tilt capability.

We like that it comes with multiple, easy-to-swap lenses so you can choose between standard and zoom, or you can purchase a wide-angle lens for an additional $10. Infant Optics puts video quality in your hands.

It comes with a wall-mount kit for your baby’s room, and the parent monitor unit is lightweight with intuitive controls.

The only downside to this monitor is its less-than-stellar rechargeable battery. You can expect to keep it on the charger for about seven hours for a full charge, and it’ll only last about four hours off the charger. The alarm feature can also be a hassle—expect a noisy alert if the battery is low or if the monitor gets too far out of range of the camera.

Pros

  • High-quality night vision
  • Remote pan and tilt
  • Two-way talk
  • Room temperature sensor
  • User-friendly design

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Long charge time
  • Loud out-of-range and low-battery alarm

Nanit Smart Baby Monitor Camera: Best for sleep tracking

With temperature and humidity sensors, sound and motion sensors, a gradually-dimming night light, and an app that tracks sleep patterns, the Nanit Wi-Fi Baby Monitor has just about everything—almost.

It doesn’t have two-way communication or pan and tilt capability, but you can save and share photos and videos, and it rocks top-notch infrared night vision. Most impressively, it generates sleep trends and tips customized to your child.

It’s definitely one of the pricier monitors on the market, but we like that it can also act as a traditional monitor, so you can hear your baby even when your phone screen is locked. Unfortunately, the app can also be a drain on your phone’s battery, and the only way to avoid getting noise and movement alerts is to unplug the camera.

Nanit also recently launched a line of baby wearables that don’t require sensors on skin (sensor-skin contact has led to lawsuits for other baby wearables). The new line includes sleeping bags, swaddles, and breathing bands. We’re researching these to see if they deserve a spot on this best baby monitors lineup.

Pros

  • Sleep-tracking app
  • Temperature and humidity sensors
  • Photo/video saving and sharing
  • Gradually-dimming night light
  • Sharp infrared night vision

Cons

  • No two-way communication
  • No pan and tilt
  • App drains phone battery

Nanit digital scrapbook coming this spring

This spring, Nanit is launching "Membook"—a digital scrapbook feature that automatically curates meaningful memories. This means you can catch Baby's sleep victories on camera, like the first time they rolled over or the first time they fell asleep on their own.

Nest Security Camera: Most versatile

The Nest Cam may be advertised as a security product, but it just might be a smart addition to a shelf in your baby’s room. The Nest Cam’s two-way talk, high-quality video, and sound alerts have landed it a spot on our list of best baby monitors. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa (as well as other Nest products), and you can access its live stream from an app on your phone at any time.

Its wide-angle lens covers the whole room, so it’s great for long-term use once your baby is more mobile, but you may not be able to get those quality close-up shots of your newborn that you’d get with other video baby monitors.

Nest Cam setup is simple—just set it on any flat surface, mount it to the wall, or use its built-in magnet to secure it to a metal surface. You can also use your Nest Cam to record video to share with family and friends, but you’ll have to pay an extra fee for a Nest Aware subscription.

Pros

  • Livestream to your smartphone
  • Two-way talk
  • Discount for multiple cameras
  • Easy setup
  • Cloud storage with Nest Aware
  • Motion and sound alerts

Cons

  • No pan and tilt
  • Wide angle only
  • No optical zoom

Other monitors we considered

Snuza Hero: Battery pick

The Snuza Hero sits right on your baby’s tummy, so your hand doesn’t have to. The battery-operated Snuza clips on to your baby’s diaper and tracks their abdominal movement. If it doesn’t detect movement after fifteen seconds, it vibrates to gently stimulate your baby, and it will sound an audible alarm if it doesn’t sense movement within five seconds after it vibrates.

We like the 2,000-hour lithium ion battery life and its small size for travel, but since you can’t always be in the room with your baby while they’re sleeping, you may want to use it along with another baby video monitor or audio monitor.

Babysense 7: Plug-in pick

The Babysense 7 is used by medical professionals throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia. It has two pads that fit under your crib mattress to monitor your baby’s movements without coming into contact with your baby. Like the Snuza, it will alert you with an alarm if your infant hasn’t moved in twenty seconds.

Because the Babysense plugs into the wall (cords are safely tucked away from little hands) and the monitor attaches to the crib, there are no batteries to charge or additional units that can be misplaced. The only downside to the Babysense is that it’s prone to false alarms, but you can avoid them by adjusting the sensitivity as your child grows.

VTech DM221 Safe&Sound: Budget pick

One of the most budget-friendly monitor options available is the VTech Safe&Sound. It has all the simplicity of a traditional sound-only monitor, with a boost of modern technology in the form of two-way talk, digital sound (no white noise), and a 1,000-foot range.

You can set the parent unit to a silent alert, giving you light cues or vibration when sound is detected, and it has a rechargeable battery life of eighteen hours. You won’t get the benefit of a live feed like you would from video monitors, but it’s a great choice for basic audio monitoring.

Owlet Smart Sock: Newborn pick

The Owlet Smart Sock uses a special light built into a sock to measure your baby’s heart rate in real time. It sends readings to a base station and the Owlet app on your phone.

This smart sock got knocked off our top pick list due to a class action lawsuit. The complaint alleges false alarms, burns, and the failure to register actual problem incidents. Owlet has not recalled the Smart Sock or Smart Sock 2. We recommend that parents fully investigate any product before using it with their infant or child.

FAQs

How do night vision cameras work? Could they be harmful to my baby?

We often think of night vision technology as something intimidating that soldiers and spies use, but it’s completely harmless and very useful for a baby video monitor. Night vision video monitors do the same thing that amplifiers (like microphones or hearing aids) do with sound, only with light.

Light particles enter the camera lens, are converted to electricity, then amplified, producing a brighter image, so you can see your little one clearly even while they’re sleeping soundly in a dark room. They don’t pose any threat to your baby’s health.

 

How do I know which type of monitor I should get for my baby?

Parents are all different, and the best way to determine what’s right for your baby is to consider your own concerns and needs as a parent.

When you put your baby down for a nap, do you listen for their cries or do you tiptoe into the room to look in on them? Does your baby sleep in the same room as you at night, or in a room farther away? Do you worry more about their safety or about their comfort and sleep habits? Answering these questions can help you determine what type of baby monitor will best fit your needs.

You may want a basic health monitor with an audible alarm for when your child is sleeping nearby, or you may feel more comfortable keeping an eye on them with a video monitor. A less expensive and more traditional sound-only monitor might be sufficient if your child is older, or you might decide on some combination of any of these.

 

Can video baby monitors be hacked?

Unfortunately, yes. As convenient as Wi-Fi video baby monitors are, they can be hacked, so you should take safety precautions if you choose to use one in your home. Make sure you use a strong password for the monitoring device and change passwords frequently, and be sure your Wi-Fi password is strong as well. Using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can give you an additional layer of protection.

If you don’t have a reason to access the video monitor from outside your home, we recommend playing it safe and sticking with a camera without a Wi-Fi connection.

 

Are any video baby monitors protected against hackers?

Yes. The good news is that the rise in concerns over hacking has manufacturers putting tougher safeguards on video monitor software and programming. Every baby video monitor we’ve featured in this list has those safeguards in place.

Both Nanit and Nest keep hackers at bay by using cloud computing technology. The Infant Optics DXR 8 and the Levana Jena both use a wireless FHSS transmission, which constantly switches frequencies to shake hackers and keep your signal completely private.

Disclaimer

*Amazon.com list price as of 07/01/2020 10:00 a.m. (MT). 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.

Written by Kasey Tross

Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers. Learn more

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