8 Best Baby Monitors for Every Budget + Lifestyle

Keep an eye and ear on your little one throughout the day and night with one of these top-rated baby monitors.

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August 04, 2021

When your sweet baby is tucked away in the nursery, the possibility of a squeaky floorboard or creaking door waking him or her up is your worst nightmare. You didn't spend the last hour rocking and singing lullabies for nothing. Baby monitors give you 24/7 access to your little one's room without disturbing them, granting you peace of mind and letting everyone sleep a little better.

Types of Baby Monitors

Audio monitors are the least expensive, allowing you to simply listen in to the room; though some models have a built-in intercom for two-way communication. Since they're more budget-friendly, they're great options for travel or if you need an extra monitor for other family's homes.

Video monitors are the most popular option since moms and dads have an actual visual of their child. Typically, the screen size ranges from 2.8 inches to five inches, and they vary in price from $60 to $300. A lot of these monitors have additional options, such as room temperature gauges, night vision and the ability to zoom or move the camera.

Biometric monitors track breathing, sound and movement. They can definitely give you a little extra peace of mind but are the priciest choice, costing around $300-$400. They're often combined with a video monitor and a type of sensor that keeps tabs on some of the baby's vitals.

Wi-Fi vs. FHSS

The audio or video base in your nursery connects to either a monitor or your smart device through Wi-Fi or FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) radio signals. FHSS guarantees a private, secure connection that can't be hacked, since it's not connected to the internet, yet the Wi-Fi options that pair with an app have encryptions built-in for safety and privacy.

Other Features

Take into account how and where you'll use your baby monitor. If you want to be able to take it on the go, a wall-mounted option isn't portable and might not be best for you. Look for one that simply plugs into an outlet. For larger homes or if you want to be able to be out in the yard while your baby is sleeping, check the range to see how far away you can be from the base. Volume control, battery life, two-way communication, adjusting the camera's view remotely and monitoring the room's temperature are all extra features that aren't essential but do make your life with little ones a little bit easier.

Best Overall Video Baby Monitor

Keep a close eye on baby no matter where you place the camera with this monitor's five-inch LCD screen and 6x zoom capability. Its patent-pending noise-reducing feature allows you to hear your baby more clearly since it filters out background noises. This model doesn't connect to Wi-Fi or through apps, so the signal is on a closed-loop system to one monitor, giving you a secure, private connection only you can see.

Best Overall Audio Baby Monitor

If you don't need a video monitor or are looking for the most affordable option, this audio version has more than 10,000 five-star reviews. With a range of up to 1,000 feet, you stay connected whether indoors or out. Choose from two sound sensitivity selections: to hear from the baby unit all the time or only when sounds exceed a certain level.

Best Smart Baby Monitor

The Owlet monitor offers a complete picture of baby's safety. In addition to streaming secure HD video to your smartphone, 4x zoom and sound, and motion notifications, the monitor tracks heart rate and oxygen in real-time, as well as baby's sleep patterns. Owlet's goal is to help you worry less since the system will notify you if your baby needs to be checked on and if any of the readings leave "safe" zones.

Best Budget-Friendly Baby Video Monitor

Available with one or two cameras, this video monitor has a long battery life — up to 19 hours — and a range of 1,000 feet, so that you can keep track of baby wherever you are throughout the day, indoors or out. It only pairs to the VTech monitor, instead of Wi-Fi or an app, and has an auto-on 2.8-inch screen and sound ability so that you're not hearing constant noise but know when baby needs you. To soothe your little one, the monitor has two calming lullabies, as well as ambient sound, including white noise and a trickling stream.

Best Split-Screen Video Baby Monitor

Split-screen capability on this large five-inch screen lets you keep an eye on two separate spaces at one time. Although two cameras are included in your purchase, you're able to connect to four cameras at once. With seven volume levels and noise indicator lights, you'll be able to easily hear your kids, while zoom and pan functionality gives you panoramic and up-close looks.

Best for Monitoring Baby's Breathing

Mount this camera on the nursery wall for a 1080p bird's eye view of baby transmitted directly to your IOS, Android, Kindle Fire or Echo Show device. Your data is kept safe through 256-bit encryption, and two-factor authentication keeps your account secure. Nanit provides sleep guidance, gives your baby's sleep stats each morning, including a time-lapse highlight reel of their night. For additional peace of mind, the included breathing band tracks your baby's breaths per minute and sends alerts when needed.

Best Multi-Camera Baby Monitor

Pan, tilt and zoom this monitor's camera to capture every corner of the nursery, and when the room is dark, it automatically switches to infrared night vision so you always have a clear view. Easy to set up, you simply plug up the base and monitor, no pairing to Wi-Fi or an app. Additionally, you can connect up to four cameras to the monitor so that you can take a peek at all of your kiddos' rooms and playroom.

Best Large-Screen Video Monitor

Designed with high-sensitivity microphones, this monitor lets you know as soon as your baby starts waking up. Remotely pan, scan, tilt and zoom the camera to give you the best view on the 5-inch display screen, which also has infrared tech for seeing everything in the darkness. With a private connection and 1,000 feet range, you can feel confident about checking in on your little one day and night.

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