Best baby monitors: video, audio, and night vision models

best baby monitors mother&baby

by Maria Martin |

Whether you’re catching an early night yourself or tackling the tasks you can’t get done when the baby's awake, a baby monitor is a brilliant way to put your mind at rest so you can focus on something other than your baby while your tot snoozes.

In our quest to find the best baby monitor to suit every budget, we’ve tested a range of different types. From ones that transmit only sound, to video monitors with movement sensor pads, we’ve tried them all – including the very latest gadgetry and baby monitors with apps! You can’t be with your baby every minute, but the right baby monitor is the next best thing.

How we do our testing

Our Mother&Baby Awards are renowned in the industry for being one of the most highly respected product awards for baby and parenting products, and every year we arrange for thousands of independent mum reviewers to test the latest products on the market. Our awards team are constantly looking for new baby monitors to test so that we can help you find the best - be that a cheaper product that we want to test for value for money or the latest baby monitoring innovation.

Left: VTech 7764 Smart Video 7 Inch HD Baby Monitor

Middle: Lollipop Baby Monitor with True Crying Detection

Right: Bluebell Smart Baby Monitoring System

We've tested over 60 of the best models available in the UK, with around 10 reviewers per product to ensure that we get a range of views on the device. Our independent mums review the products based on their usability, design, quality and value for money, and give us qualitative feedback on their experience with the product which our team of journalists review to decide our recommended products.

From all this work, our Baby Monitors Awards winners are chosen and listed below in our finalised and definitive list of the best baby monitors, one for each key category, along with the quotes we found to be most useful when choosing our selection. We hope you find them useful also!

Current NHS advice is to keep your baby in the same room as you until they are six months old, particularly when sleeping, but a monitor can be helpful for when you need to pop to the loo or head into the kitchen to make dinner and still make sure your baby is sleeping easy.

Related: Have a read of our guide to safer co-sleeping

Meet the mum testers:

Rachel Bell, 36, from Torquay, is mum to Roman, five weeks

Henrietta Knell, 31, from Epsom, is mum to Jonty, seven months, and Sammy, two years

Aileen Farrell, 43, from Ballycastle, is mum to Isla, 11 months, and Abigail, three years

Plus, Mother&Baby Awards testers: Amy, Bekki, Kayleigh, Victoria, Bethan, Antonya, and Carine

The best baby monitors

JUST SO YOU KNOW, WHILE WE MAY RECEIVE A COMMISSION FOR PURCHASES MADE THROUGH LINKS, WE NEVER ALLOW THIS TO INFLUENCE PRODUCT SELECTIONS.

BT Audio Baby Monitor 450

Best for affordability
BT Audio Baby Monitor 450
Amazon

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Amazon

We say: If you don’t need video functionality, this is unbeatable value for money and it’s packed with lots of extras. The sound quality is excellent, and if you don’t want to hear every little snuffle, you can turn the volume off and keep an eye on the LED lights for signs of stirring. There are 18 lullabies to help your little one drift off, and it has two-way talkback for reassuring your baby when you’re not in the room.

Video: No | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: N/A
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No | App control: No
Screen size: 1.8" unit

Rachel (5W): "If you don’t need video and movement monitoring, this is perfect. It’s great value for money and has far more features than you’d expect from a budget monitor. It’s also really compact and lightweight – perfect for taking on holiday. The sound quality is excellent and the two-way talkback feature means I can try settling Roman remotely when I’m busy downstairs – although this hasn’t been terribly successful yet!"

Henrietta (7M/2Y): "This is really good value for money, with lots of extra features. It’s so easy to set up that I barely needed to look at the instructions – perfect for the sleep-deprived parent! The audio is incredibly clear. I was confident that I would hear the very first squeak my son made when waking. The music function is brilliant and has so many options, from nature sounds to classical music."

Aileen (11M/3Y): "A great little audio monitor that does exactly what it says on the box – it’s ideal for very young babies who aren’t moving around much. It’s excellent value for money, with lots of handy features – lullabies, a nightlight, a temperature gauge and a crying alert. I like that you can easily control everything from the parent unit. The extra-long cable means I can position it wherever I need it."

Tommee Tippee Digital Sound Monitor

Best for range
 Tommee Tippee Digital Sound Monitor
Amazon

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Amazon

We say: With a range of up to 300m, this is ideal if you’re often at the other end of the house or on a different floor when your baby naps or goes to bed. It’s not a video monitor, so you won’t be able to see what’s happening in their room, but the sound quality is good. It has volume control and a nightlight plus two-way talkback. The parent unit has a rechargeable docking station and displays the room temperature.

Video: No | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: N/A
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No |​ App control: No

Rachel (5W): "If you’re looking for practicality over complex gadgetry, this is a basic but very reliable monitor. It’s very reasonably priced, so if you’re looking for a simple-to-use audio monitor, I think this is a good option and great value for money. It’s not as stylish as some of the other monitors we tested but it’s good quality, easy to set up, and does everything you need it to."

Henrietta (7M/2Y): "The physical design of this cordless monitor is really well thought through. The rechargeable docking station makes it really flexible and portable compared to other monitors – I’d like to take it camping and use it to monitor my baby while I watch the sun setting. I love the paging feature – brilliant for helping you locate the parent unit when you pop it down and promptly forget where you left it!"

Aileen (11M/3Y): "This is very easy to set up and intuitive to use – you don’t have to faff around reading instructions or trying to figure out how it works. The whole device is sturdy and well made, and everything about it is self-explanatory. I need a video monitor with the option to pan the camera remotely so I can track my very wriggly baby, so this isn’t quite right for me."

Babymoov YOO-See Video Baby Monitor

Best for ease of use
 Babymoov YOO See Video Baby Monitor with Camera and Night Vision
Amazon

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Amazon

We say: If you’re looking for a simple, streamlined video monitor that’s intuitive to use, this is it. This was the easiest to get to grips with of all the video monitors tested. It offers good video coverage and excellent night vision, and the range (250m) means you can move freely between rooms whilst still keeping tabs on your baby. You can connect additional cameras to the baby unit – handy if you need to monitor more than one child in separate rooms.

Video: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No |​ App control: No
Screen size: 2.4-inch digital screen

Rachel (5W): "Video functionality is a must for me and this a good quality, reliable option. It doesn’t have fancy extras but it does everything we need it to, for a lot less than the other video monitors. It looks stylish and is very easy to set up. The image quality is excellent, even in night vision mode, but the screen is small and you can’t tilt or pan the camera."

Henrietta (7M/2Y): "Great range – we can sit in the garden knowing we’ll hear and see any disruption in our son’s room. I really like how intuitive it is to use. There’s one button for each function – really helpful when you’re trying to use it in the early hours of the morning. It’s very easy to set up and the camera is really easy to position due to its ball and socket design."

Aileen (11M/3Y): "I like how portable this is – I can pop it in my pocket while walking around the house. The voice activation function is activated by a button on the parent unit, and the picture quality is excellent. It’s expensive for such a basic monitor but ideal if you’re looking for a very light, portable monitor. I really like the idea of being able to add additional cameras at a later stage."

VTech 7764 Smart Video 7 Inch HD Baby Monitor

Best for camera panning
VTech 7764 Smart Video 7 Inch HD Baby Monitor

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Amazon

We say: Some of the key features of the VTech monitor include the seven-inch colour LCD screen and 1080p high-definition video, so you can see your baby on the parent unit, your smartphone or tablet and gain free live remote access via smartphone/tablet to remotely listen, talk-back and view on multiple devices, even outside the home. The camera zooms up to 10 times with the mobile app or four times from the viewer.

Video: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes |​ App control: Yes
Screen size: 7-inch high-resolution colour led display

This baby monitor won Gold in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards Best Baby Monitor category.

Bethan says: "I would definitely recommend this monitor to other parents. It’s perfect for a baby’s room at night because the motion detector and night vision are second to none. It can play white noise and lullabies and has a temperature sensor to give parents peace of mind. Then as they grow, it’s perhaps even more useful in a playroom to keep an eye on a toddler; it covers a large area (360-degree pan and tilt) and the sensitivity level of the motion detector can be adjusted to be lower. It’s very easy to set up and has literally everything you could ask for in a monitor!"

Antonya says: "The camera quality is top class. It is very easy to set up and use anywhere in the house. It can be wall-mounted meaning you can find a place to watch your baby from any angle. You can talk through it meaning you can calm baby without physically being in the room. You can zoom the camera in meaning you can check the little movements easier and it has a 360 spin. There is also a handy little temperature monitor to see how hot or cold the room is."

Carine says: "I would recommend this monitor as I think VTech managed to pull off a monitor that does exactly what you need and all the functions work really well. You don’t have to use wifi either, as we found out when we had a power cut, it can use radio frequencies too! You get a lovely big screen included to carry with you but you can also use the app on your phone. With the app, you are also able to take photos and videos enabling you to capture special moments. The app does seem a little dated and can do with a little modernisation but all in all a wonderful bit of kit!"

Read our full review of the VTech 7764 Baby Monitor here.

Angelcare AC527 3-in-1 SensAsure Baby Movement Monitor with Video

Best for monitoring movement
Angelcare Ac527 3-in-1 Baby Movement Monitor with Video White
Amazon

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Amazon

We say: This video monitor has an adjustable camera with pan and zoom functionality so you can see your baby close up. Its major selling point is that it comes with a wireless movement sensor pad, which sounds an alarm if no movement is detected from your baby after 20 seconds. Our testers loved this feature for extra peace of mind. You can also add a second sensor pad and see two children on one screen – great for siblings sharing a room.

Video: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes |​ App control: No
Screen size: 5 Inch large led touchscreen

Rachel (5W): "One of the most expensive monitors on the market but worth every penny. I love it! Despite the sophisticated design, it’s surprisingly easy to set up. The sound quality is excellent and the image is great, even at night. The wireless motion sensor mat is what makes this monitor stand out. It gave me real peace of mind."

Henrietta (7M/2Y): "Brilliant! This is very simple and intuitive to set up and the video image is super clear in both daytime and night-time mode. You can zoom in to check if baby is actually awake – very handy if you have a noisy sleeper. I felt confident that the sensor pad was monitoring my son – especially reassuring now he rolls onto his tummy at night. Worth the money? 100% yes!"

Aileen (11M/3Y): "This is reliable, sturdy, great value for money and easy to use. You can add an additional monitor if you wish. The battery life is good on the parent unit but the camera angle can’t be adjusted from the parent unit, so if you have a wriggly baby you’ll need to make sure you position the camera to give you a full view of the cot before leaving the room."

Bluebell Smart Baby Monitoring System

Best for features
Bluebell Smart Baby Monitor

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John Lewis

We say: Much more than just a baby monitor, this clever gadget helps keep you connected to your baby in and out of the home. It keeps track of all sorts of data, including their breathing and skin temperature and whether they're asleep or awake, and it can even detect when they're crying or rolling over. The parent unit – a wristband you wear like a watch – can track your sleep and activity level, and offers visual and vibration alerts about your baby.

Video: No | Two-way talk: No | Night vision: No
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes |​ App control: Yes
Screen size: N/A

Rachel (5W): "Set up was a little complex for this tired mum but once up and running I could tell this was a well-designed, clever piece of kit. One great feature is being able to track not only the room temperature but also Roman’s body temperature. Another plus point is being able to play a lullaby via the smart hub when Roman stirs – you just press a button on the app."

Henrietta (7M/2Y): "I love that I can wear this as a watch, leaving my hands free to prepare lunch etc. The parent device tracks your sleep and activity level too – not sure I’d want to know how little sleep I was getting in the early days but it’s great for proving how much you deserve that nap/extra biscuit/cup of tea! Should you have any technical difficulties, the support is outstanding."

Aileen (11M/3Y): "This was complex to set up and we had some connectivity issues but the online support team were excellent and responded quickly. It has lots of innovative features – it can monitor your activity, mood and sleep, plus it tracks baby’s feeds, changes and naps. It’s ideal for a tech-savvy parent with the time to get to grips with it, but I found I preferred using a traditional video monitor."

Read our full review of the Bluebell Smart Monitoring System which won bronze in the Mother&Baby Awards 2021.

Wisenet SEW 3049 Pan/Tilt Camera Video Baby Monitor

Best for camera pan
Wisenet SEW 3049 PanTilt Camera Video Baby Monitor
Amazon

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Amazon

We say: This easy to set-up camera is both stylish and functional, subtly slotting into any home. Users can monitor their homes at ease, providing complete control of home security anytime, anywhere. All models come with night vision and two-way talk, ensuring families stay close to their little ones.

Video: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: No |​ App control: No
Screen size: 4.3" display

Bekki says: "I would recommend this baby monitor as it was easy to assemble, easy to use and the sound and picture is very clear. The battery life was very good and the range excellent. I was able to sit right at the back of my long garden during my daughter's daytime naps! The camera also looks modern and fits in well in her room."

Kayleigh says: "This product enables me to see, hear and communicate with my baby whilst he is sleeping. This makes me much more relaxed as I can see my baby at all times. It is easily set up and the two-way talk means it is not always necessary for me to go up to my baby which prevents him from getting upset and waking himself."

Victoria says: "I would make it wireless as the lead does put me off slightly as the position of the cot and plugs might not always be suitable. You would need the battery to last without having to worry about plugging it in/charging it throughout the night."

Read more mum reviews of the Wisenet BabyView Eco Flex Baby Monitor here.

Lollipop Baby Monitor with True Crying Detection

Best for crying detection
_Lollipop Baby Monitor with True Crying Detection (Turquoise)
Amazon

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Amazon

We say: Lollipop Baby Camera is designed for parents with newborns and toddlers. The bendable stem allows for easy setup and high flexibility for installation. The multi-streaming feature supports navigation between multiple camera live views. Instead of owning many tablets, with everything laid out on one single iPad or iPhone, parents can watch all cameras simultaneously and never miss out anything.

Video: Yes | Two-way talk: Yes | Night vision: Yes
Sound alerts: Yes | Motion alerts: Yes |​ App control: Yes
Screen size: N/A

Lollipop Baby Monitor with True Crying Detection won silver in the Mother&Baby Awards 2021. Check out the winners here.

Real mum tester Amy says she would recommend the monitor: "Yes, yes, yes! You can place the camera anywhere at any angle it's flexible, easy to place and we have a big awkward cot! The quality from the camera to the phone is amazing, along with the sound. I’m able to play lullabies through the camera as well as talk to her when she wakes from a nap in the daytime. It notifies you when the baby is crying and records the crying overnight also so you can re-watch it"

Stacey says: "I would recommend this product to fellow mums because it is easy and simple to use. It is very sturdy and greatly made, the quality is second to none. It comes with everything to be able to hide and disguise wiring, therefore, making it baby safe. It’s great it is a USB so easily plugs into other plugs. It also comes with a two-pin plug for abroad."

Susie says: "Design is very good it would make a very good present for a baby shower. The turquoise colour is great if you're not sure if you're having a boy or a girl. It is quick to set up and can be used in any room or putting a day bag if your baby is sleeping somewhere else. Sound quality is brilliant and very sensitive and the camera is good quality."

Read the full and detailed review of the Lollipop Baby Monitor here.

What's the best baby monitor? - Our verdict 

Of all our baby monitors that were rigorously tested, top of the list for our mum testers was the Angelcare Ac527 3-in-1 Sensasure Baby Movement Monitor with Video. It may be expensive, but it's well worth the money according to our testers, offering a wireless movement sensor pad for peace of mind.

Other good brands that didn’t make our list include Arlo, Kodak and Owlet, amongst others. Feel free to read our reviews of other products here. If you are looking to buy your baby monitors from a high street store, Boots, Tesco and Argos have some options, but make sure you check over the features to ensure it meets your needs.

One brilliant invention to monitor your sleeping baby (even if you don't need to see them) are motion sensor pads. These plates lay under your baby's mattress and alert you if your little one doesn't move or breathe for a period of time so that you can go and check on them. Similarly, newer innovations mean that there are baby wearables to help monitor your baby's movement, but most mums didn't rate these as high as being able to see and hear baby.

Additional features to look out for on a baby monitor:

Screen: With a video monitor, the parent unit has a screen that displays the camera footage. Make sure the screen size is adequate, and that the controls are easy to use, especially in the dark.
WIFI: If you choose a monitor which relies on wifi connectivity, make sure it’s compatible with your router and that your signal is up to the task. Check if the baby unit needs to be near your router for optimum efficiency.
Pan, zoom, and tilt: If your baby moves around a lot or if you have two children sharing a room, a video monitor with a camera that you can control remotely from the parent unit is very useful, as you can scan the room or reposition the camera without disturbing your baby.
Baby sensor pads: As mentioned above, these are great to keep an eye on your baby's breathing and movement during the night. 
Temperature gauge: A thermometer is a useful feature on a monitor as it enables you to check the temperature in the room without disturbing your baby, alerting you if it’s too hot or cold.
Night mode: If you want to be able to check on your baby via the monitor in the dark, choose one with night mode or infrared functionality.
Battery life: Most parent units are battery operated – if you’re likely to forget to plug it in overnight, choose one that charges quickly or has a portable docking station so you can charge it while in use.
Portability: If you’ll take your monitor on holiday, choose one that’s lightweight and portable. If it relies on wifi connectivity, make sure you’ve got that wherever you’re going!
Sound quality: Don’t overlook audio when you’re buying a video monitor – good sound quality is essential because you won’t always be glued to the screen.
Style and design: A monitor that resembles a heavy-duty surveillance camera might have excellent functionality, but choose the one you’ll be happy to look at every day.

Risks and safety 

Take time to ensure your baby's monitor is in a secure location in your baby's nursery where it won't get knocked over. If it's on the wall, regularly check the fittings in case it starts to come loose over time. Double-check your digital security too, especially if your monitor connects to the internet in some way. Use strong and unique passwords for your Wi-Fi and any apps and use two-factor authentication where at all possible. This requires people to use a code generated by a text message or app to sign into a specific account and ensures a secure way of protecting your information, preventing hackers or stolen information.

How to help your baby sleep soundly

This Morning’s sleep expert and creator of the acclaimed ‘spaced soothing’ sleep technique, Jo Tantum, suggests giving your baby a comforter to help them at naptime and through the night. "I always use a muslin square as this is the lightest material you can get and is breathable. Knot it in the middle, so it's safe. You can also put it down your top before you give it to your baby, so it smells of you, as it will comfort them."

Read the rest of Jo's tips.

Alongside comforters and sleep cues, there are so many different things you can add to your tot's nursery to help them sleep soundly - from their cot to mobile. Although your baby will probably be sleeping beside your bed in a Moses basket for the next six months, after that there are loads of brilliant cots on the market for your baby to get some rest in. You can take a look here at our pick of the best cots but it's important to think about durability, adjustable height, and different accessories you can add to your baby's cot to help them get a better night's sleep.

There is also a range of nursery accessories that will help your little one sleep, such as room humidifiersbaby room thermometers, and weighted blankets to help your baby drift off to sleep in their relaxing nursery.

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