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Best baby monitor 2022: Tried and tested video and audio models from Angelcare, Tommee Tippee, BT and VTech

Kat de Naoum
16 Mar 2022
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Our selection of the best baby monitors to keep an eye on your little ones and provide you with that much-needed peace of mind

Baby monitors have come a long way since the audio-only, walkie-talkie style devices our parents used a generation ago. Today’s smart versions offer features such as motion sensors, infrared night vision, temperature sensors and calming night lights. Some even connect to smartphones and Wi-Fi networks for even greater versatility.

When choosing the best baby monitor for your needs, you’ll want to consider the most essential functions such as battery life, reception range and video quality. Our favourite models deliver on all these essentials, and our buyer’s guide will help you select the extra features most suited to your situation.

After our brief buyer's guide, you'll find our top choices of the best video monitors, followed by the best audio-only monitors.

READ NEXT: Our favourite baby swings, bouncers and rockers


Best baby monitors: At a glance

  • Best overall baby monitor: BT Smart Baby Monitor| Buy now
  • Best smart baby monitor: Nanit Pro Camera & Breathing Band | Buy now
  • Best for peace of mind: Angelcare AC527 3-in-1 Movement Monitor | Buy now
  • Best budget baby monitor: VTech VM3254 Video Baby Monitor | Buy now
  • Best overall audio monitor: VTech Babyphon DM1111 Baby Monitor | Buy now
  • Best for helping baby sleep: BT Digital Lightshow Baby Monitor | Buy now

How to choose the best baby monitor for your needs

When picking out a video baby monitor to keep an eye on your wee ones, it’s important to consider a few important factors:

Location: First, you’ll want to think about where you’ll place the device's camera unit for a decent view of the cot. If there’s no high-level furniture nearby on which to place the camera for a better view, you may have to wall mount it — but make sure the model you choose is wall-mountable and has suitable screw mounts. You’ll also need to get power to the camera unit. This might require an extension cord. In any event, any cables will need to be tacked securely to the wall to avoid any choking hazards.

Range: Depending on how big your house is, you might need a baby monitor with a range that stretches across multiple floors. Thicker walls can also sometimes interfere with weak signals, although this may be harder to gauge until you’ve got a monitor up and running. Generally, cheaper models are likely to have less range.

Temperature: If you want the baby monitor to tell you how hot or cold your baby's room is, you’re in luck: many baby monitors sport this feature. You will likely have to pay extra for it, but it does save you having to buy an extra baby thermometer.

One-way or two-way audio: Consider whether being able to speak to your baby through a two-way audio system will be helpful. Singing your child back to sleep, even through an intercom, might just save you from having to traipse up and down the stairs for hours on end.

Lights and music: Several baby monitors come with features designed to lull your baby to sleep at the push of a button, ranging from the ability to project a light display on the wall of your baby’s room to in-built music and lullabies designed to go off as soon as your baby starts to cry, or when you press a button from the main device.

Movement sensors: Some monitors, generally on the more expensive end of the spectrum, come with a movement sensor that can be slipped under your baby’s mattress. This will detect your little one’s breathing and will sound an alarm if no movement is detected after a given period of time. It can be great for extra peace of mind, particularly with newborns.

READ NEXT: The best baby sleeping bags to keep your little ones warm and snug

How do video baby monitors work?

Video baby monitors send signals from a camera to the parent unit via either digital signals or your Wi-Fi network, as long as the two devices are connected to the same network.

The difference between digital and Wi-Fi-based baby monitors is that digital monitors send signals over what's known as the frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS). These send a signal directly and securely from a transmitter in the camera to the receiver on the parent unit.

Alternatively, Wi-Fi video baby monitors behave in the same way as all other devices currently connected to your Wi-Fi network — by connecting to your router. This does, of course, make it as susceptible to hackers as other devices on your network. As long as your network is protected and the camera's firmware is up to date, the risk is minimal. Some of the more high-end monitors also have an extra layer of built-in protection for increased security from such cyber-attacks.

The best video baby monitors you can buy

1. BT Smart Baby Monitor: The best baby monitor you can buy

Price: £150 | Buy now from BT

If you're after the best baby monitor currently on the market, you've found it — and it’s not even the most expensive one out there. BT's Smart Baby Monitor is the UK's first voice-controlled baby monitor, and it offers some fantastic features: our favourite being the fact you can view the camera via an app on your phone from anywhere you are.

Whether you're using the phone app or the physical monitor, this system allows you to talk to your little one remotely, whether they need reassurance or you just need to remind them to get back into bed and stop climbing over furniture in the middle of the night. You can also pan the camera up and down, and left and right remotely.

What's more, because it connects to your Wi-Fi network, BT’s Smart Baby Monitor can also be linked with your smart home devices, in particular the Google Home or the Amazon Echo range. Ask Alexa to check on your baby and it will play the audio from your camera via your speaker.

The signal range is decent, and we were able to use it in the garden without losing sight of the baby. The popular 2.8-inch screen model is currently out of stock but this 5in version is still up for grabs so get it while you can as it’s only £20 more with a much larger screen.

Key specs – Range: 250m; Additional features: 5in LCD screen, night vision, live HD streaming, wireless, take photos and videos, lullabies, room temp display, two-way talkback, remote panning, visual cry alerts, wall-mountable

Buy now from BT


2. Nanit Pro Baby Monitor: The smartest baby monitor money can buy

Price: £300 | Buy now from John Lewis

If you're looking for a baby monitor with fantastic picture quality and smart features as well as built-in tips, the Nanit baby monitor is one of the best choices around, evidenced by its high-end price.

Instead of being perched on the side of the cot or on furniture from various angles, Nanit is designed to be positioned directly above the cot, fitted to the wall without cables. This gives you a Full HD view of your little one no matter where they wriggle and find themselves in the middle of the night.

You can view the footage via the connected app at any time, from anywhere, even if the internet goes down at home. You can use both the monitor and app to talk to your little one, as well as keep an eye on the temperature and humidity in their room.

What really sets the Nanit system apart from other baby monitors, however, is its built-in Personal Sleep Coach. Nanit tracks and analyses your little one's unique sleep patterns and provides personal sleep tips, alongside daily updates on their progress.

Key specs – Range: Not specified; Additional features: HD 1080p display, video recording, two-way audio, HD night vision, zoom, temperature and humidity sensors, 24/7 background audio, phone notifications, baby breathing monitoring, baby sleep trends, personalised reports; Warranty: 1 year

Buy now from John Lewis


3. Angelcare AC527 baby monitor: The best baby monitor for peace of mind

Price: £250 | Buy now from Amazon

For peace of mind regarding every new parents’ worst nightmare, the Angelcare AC527 is top of its class, thanks largely to the inclusion of a separate monitor that slips beneath your baby’s mattress and alerts you if your baby stops moving. Coupled with a camera and a touchscreen unit for parents, complete with a temperature display and two-way audio, it’s a cohesive package for keeping a watchful eye (and ear) on the nursery.

The movement monitor is a wireless square pad, around the size of a hand. Although it’s thick enough to be felt through a newborn’s mattress, in our experience, it didn’t disturb the baby’s sleep. It works simply by sensing slight movements and, if for whatever reason those movements stop after a few seconds, it will sound an alarm. At 15 seconds, it will emit a “rouse” beep, aimed at stirring the baby. If it still doesn’t sense movement at 20 seconds, this beep will be replaced by the louder alarm.

The video feed on this monitor is clear and detailed, with a quality infrared night vision mode that makes it easy to see what’s happening in the dark. The screen is a decent size at 5 inches and the unit has some helpful features: a stand for propping it up on a table and an LED that will flash when sound is detected from the camera. The camera is easy to hang from the cot or attach to a wall and has an in-built digital thermometer for measuring the nursery’s temperature.

The Angelcare AC527 is one of the pricier models on this list and doesn’t come with some of the data-monitoring features of its rivals, but with its sensitive movement sensor and solid video feed, it has enough going for it to justify the cost and can be appreciated by any anxious parent.

Key specs – Range: 250m; Additional features: 5-inch LED touchscreen, wall-mountable, room temperature display, infrared night vision, non-contact monitoring, two-way talkback, sensor pad monitors baby’s movement, alarms notify if lack of baby movement after 15-20 seconds, works without Wi-Fi


4. BT Video Baby Monitor 6000: A 5in display for a decent price

Price: £130 | Buy now from BT

This is the second BT baby monitor on our list and, while it doesn't have the connected, fancy features that come with the BT Smart Baby Monitor, it's a great, simpler alternative. It will also cost you £20 less than the like-for-like 5in Smart model.

In addition to being able to talk remotely, and pan the camera up, down, left and right, you can use the monitor to play five tinkly lullabies. These tunes play out from the camera and can be used to help settle your baby and get them to drift off.

A fully charged battery will run for more than four hours in video mode and much longer for audio-only, and the parent unit will stay connected if you head outside for a sundowner (although in tests, the monitor worked best if not moved too far from the house).

Alas, the night lights from the previous model have vanished (this video monitor replaces the 7500 Lightshow model) but the BT 6000 emits a gentle, steady orange glow through the night instead.

Key specs – Range: 250m; Additional features: 5in screen, night vision, pan and tilt, 250m range, two-way talkback, 5 lullabies, temperature indicator; Warranty: 2 years

Buy now from BT


5. VTech VM3254 Full 2.8inch Colour Video Baby Monitor: The best baby monitor on a budget

Price: £50 | Buy now from Argos

At only £50, the price of many audio-only monitors, this video baby monitor from VTech has a parent unit with an impressive full-colour 2.8in screen that looks like one of those cool little personal photo cameras we once used to carry around.

With intuitive buttons that allow you to pan the baby camera around in all directions, talk to them through the monitor, and raise and lower the volume, this easy-to-use system takes no time at all to get used to and even allows you to zoom in if you think you see something suspicious.

It has a long-life rechargeable battery, infrared night vision that automatically kicks in when the lights go out, and there’s even an audio alert when the baby starts to move around.

This value-for-money baby monitor is wall mountable, has a night-light, four lullabies, a 300m range, and it even displays the temperature in the baby’s room. At this affordable price, and with all these helpful features, there’s not much more you could really ask for.

Key specs – Range: 300m; Additional features: 2.8in colour touchscreen, room temperature sensor, 2x zoom, two-way talkback, lullabies, rechargeable, wall-mountable, night light, night vision, low-battery alert, motion alert

Buy now from Argos


6. Motorola MBP50 Digital Video Monitor: The best portable baby monitor

Price: £150 | Buy now from Amazon

The Motorola MBP50's circular camera comes with a flexible star-shaped universal screw mount, the “star grip”, that makes attaching the camera to the crib, cot or shelf a doddle. The star grip’s legs wrap around fixed furnishing, meaning you can put it anywhere you like. This also means you can move it easily (if you're near a plug), making it perfect for attaching to a travel cot on holiday, for example.

The camera offers 480 x 272 resolution, which is pretty low, but the infrared night vision is adequate enough and the screen also shows the room temperature. We found this was always two degrees lower than the Gro Egg thermometer we had in the room (almost in the same location), but it gives you a general idea of the rough temperature.

Elsewhere, you can play bird songs and lullabies at the touch of a button, and it lets you speak to your baby. The battery doesn't last long (around six hours) if you leave the display on, although it will last the night if you keep the audio on and use the video display occasionally. Or you can just leave it plugged in.

The design of the Motorola MBP50 could be a little more elegant – each of the buttons feels a bit plasticky – but this is a decent baby monitor with all the features you would need to watch over the baby.

Key specs – Range: 300m; Additional features: Remote control, night vision, two-way talkback, room temperature monitoring, lullabies, remote tilt and pan camera control, 5in LCD colour screen

7. Tommee Tippee Dreamee Video and Sensor Baby Monitor: Best baby monitor for range of features

Price: £125 | Buy now from Amazon

An alternative to the Angelcare breathing monitor system (and half the price too), Tommee Tippee's Dreamee baby monitor is a well-equipped audio and video-monitoring unit.

The monitor includes a built-in room thermometer and temperature display, a 360-degree night-vision camera, sound-activated nightlight, and two-way talkback. It offers a solid 300m wireless range and it has a CrySensor that soothes the baby to sleep with music that you can choose for them.

The camera can be easily tilted within its housing to get a clear picture of your baby and can optionally run off battery power rather than AC so the monitor can be used while your baby naps in a pram, for instance.

A motion-sensor mat comes with the set and can be placed under the baby as they sleep. It will sound an alarm if no breathing is detected for 20 seconds. Its sensitivity can be adjusted to suit particularly twitchy (or deeply sleeping) babies. Also on the unit are controls that allow you to adjust the monitor’s sensitivity to sound, so you can decide how much noise requires an alert.

Key specs – Range: 300m wireless; Additional features: 360-degree pan-and-tilt camera, motion tracking, infrared night vision, HD monitor, sound-activated nightlight, two-way talkback, CrySensor and customisable sounds, music, movement sensor mat, alarm, room thermometer, VOX mode

The best audio baby monitors you can buy

In the past, there have been (very) rare instances of smart video monitors being remotely hacked. An audio-only monitor can help provide peace of mind if you're worried about the security of a video monitor.

If this is a concern, or if you don't need, aren't interested in, or don't have the budget for an all-singing, all-dancing video monitor (although the VTech VM3254 monitor featured above is only £50), there are some equally great audio-only baby monitors. Here are a couple of our favourites under the £50 mark.

1. VTech Baby DM1111 Digital Audio Baby Monitor: The best overall audio baby monitor

Price: £20 | Buy now from Argos

You may know the VTech brand better for its noisy, brightly coloured range of toys, but it also sells parenting essentials like this audio baby monitor which is impressively affordable for what it has to offer.

Thanks to the use of so-called DECT (which stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology, the parent unit connects securely to the baby unit promising clear sound without interference.

Due to the lack of video, the parent unit's rechargeable batteries will run for around ten hours, which makes this audio-only monitor ideal if you happen to flop onto the bed exhausted and forget to put the monitor on charge.

It has a 450m range, audio and visual (in the form of LED light) sound indicators, as well as five volume levels. At only £20, it’s a cheap and cheerful way of keeping tabs on your child as they doze.

Key specs – Range: 450m; Additional features: Low-battery indicator, out-of-range indicator, long battery life, light-up display when baby moves, belt clip

Buy now from Argos


2. BT Digital Audio Baby Monitor 450 Lightshow: The best baby monitor for getting your baby to sleep

Price: £42 | Buy now from Amazon

If the added perk of having a light show for your baby to enjoy is something that appeals to you more than having a video on the baby monitor, the BT Digital Audio Baby Monitor 450 Lightshow is the model to go for.

A cool projector on top of the baby unit beams a moons-and-stars light show onto your child's ceiling while playing one of 18 lullabies. Each one is designed to create a calm and peaceful environment to help your little one drift off to sleep, while providing the nightlight security your child may need.

This award-winning nightlight baby monitor can pick up the slightest coo and alert you that it might be time to start the light show, giving you a few extra minutes in bed (or maybe an hour or so if you’re lucky and they do happen to doze off again). The nightlight itself is also adjustable.

It has a 50m range indoors, but this extends to 300m outdoors, and a 14-hour battery life. Its digital HD sound is interference-free and it has LEDs if you need a visual alert. You can also talk to your baby remotely and see the temperature of their room on the parent unit.

Key specs – Range: 50m indoor and 300m outdoor; Additional features: Adjustable nightlight, projector light show, LCD display, alerts, thermometer and room temperature display; Warranty: 2 years

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