Put Your Mind at Ease
Being a parent is hard. Friends and family without children have a hard time understanding the highly irrational disasters we envision when stepping away from our babies for more than 15 seconds. It’s extraordinarily unlikely, for example, that our 5-month-old baby is going to teach themselves to climb over the railings of their crib and fall.
As parents we are instinctually hard-wired to imagine the worst.
Fortunately, modern baby monitors help a lot in this regard, and I do mean modern, with all the bells and whistles, not the walkie-talkie style ones our parents used. This list was put together with several criteria in mind: picture quality, wireless range, and additional features such as night vision, room temperature monitoring, and smartphone connectivity.
Best Overall: Infant Optics DXR-8 with Interchangeable Optical Lens
This is the top-selling baby monitor (on Amazon) for quite a few reasons. With over 10,000 5-Star reviews, the DXR-8 offers all of the basic functions parents would want in a baby monitor, with additional features to satisfy tech-savvy parents.
For starters, the DXR-8 comes with an interchangeable optical lens, which means the lens can be switched between normal and a zoomed-in viewing, with an optional wide-angle lens for panoramic views. It also has an IR night vision mode, which kind of makes you feel like James Bond.
The DXR-8 also has a power-saving feature that allows you to turn off the video feed, but keep audio enabled, so you can hear your baby through the monitor. The handheld video screen has a sound-activated LED panel, so you can be alerted by the row of LEDs if the baby starts crying.
You can purchase additional DXR-8 cameras and set them up around your house, and use the handheld screen to switch between each view. The handheld battery lasts up to 10 hours on power-saving mode, and 6 hours with the screen enabled.
Best Wi-Fi Connected Monitor: Arlo Baby Wi-Fi 1080p HD Monitoring Camera
If you’d like a WiFi enabled baby monitor that can feed its stream directly to your smartphone, the Arlo Baby Monitoring Camera is for you. It delivers 1080p high-definition picture clarity, but also has 8x zooming capability.
Additional features include:
- Two-way talking.
- An adjustable night light with thousands of light colors to choose from.
- A smart music player that can play lullabies, white noise, or pre-recorded sounds, which you can control from your smartphone.
- Air sensors that not only detect room temperature, but also humidity and volatile organic compounds, such as carbon monoxide.
- The free app is useful, and can instantly alert your smartphone of any motion or audio changes in the baby’s room.
Best Long-Range Monitor: DBPOWER Digital Sound Activated Video Record Baby Monitor
If you have a big house and need a baby monitor that can transmit over long distances, check out this baby monitor by DBPOWER: it can transmit up to 1,000 feet. But its distance capabilities aren’t its only selling point; the DBPOWER baby monitor has these additional features:
- Supports up to four cameras, with split-screen support for the hand-held screen viewer.
- Sound-activated LED light panel, for alerting you to the level of noise in the baby’s room, if you have the sound muted on the device.
- Video recording with support for a 32GB micro SD card (sold separately).
- Automatic night vision (will automatically detect light conditions in the baby’s room, and enable/disable night vision mode accordingly).
Best Baby Monitor on a Budget: LeFun Wireless Surveillance Camera
While not specifically a baby monitor per se (it’s sold as a surveillance/nanny cam/home security camera), it has all the functions of a baby camera, and it's light on the wallet. The LeFun Wireless Surveillance Camera has the following features that should interest parents:
- Two-way audio to hear and talk to your baby.
- Clear 720p HD picture quality with WiFi streaming to the MIPC app (available for iPhone, iPad, and Android).
- IR night vision mode up to 30 feet.
- Video recording with support for 64 GB micro SD storage.
- All in all, it’s a highly rated device on a less-than-$50 USD budget.
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Best in Audio Only Baby Monitors: VTech DM221 Audio Baby Monitor
For parents who just want to hear their baby and not have a camera setup, the VTech DM221 offers crystal-clear sound clarity, with a transmission range of up to 1,000 feet. The battery is rechargeable, and offers up to 18 hours of monitoring time. You can also use two AAA batteries while you charge the main battery.
And, like any good audio monitor, it lets you talk to your baby. The unit itself also doubles as a night-light. If you don’t want the hassle of a video-monitoring feed setup, then the VTech DM221 offers the simple comfort of hearing your baby, with none of the white noise static that is common in many walkie-talkie baby monitors.
HelloBaby 3.2 Inch Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision & Temperature Sensor
This baby monitor from HelloBaby has many features a parent would want, comes with a low price tag of only $80. It currently holds 270 5-Star reviews on Amazon, which generally praise the picture quality, connection stability, and ease of use. Among its main features are:
- Two-way talking.
- Automatic IR night vision.
- Room temperature monitoring.
- 8 lullaby songs to soothe your baby.
- A 960 feet transmission range, tested in “open air” (of course, transmission range degrades indoors when wall materials are factored in).
Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Two Digital Cameras
The Babysense Baby Monitor is a good deal for parents who are looking for a multi-camera setup. For $104.99, you get two video cameras, and can switch between them on the handheld video screen. This baby monitor has 560 5-Star reviews on Amazon, and the features are:
- 900 ft. transmission range (again, tested in “open air” conditions, so factor in wall materials and your home layout).
- Two-way talking.
- Sound-activated LED indication.
- Room temperature monitoring and alarms for temperature being too high or low.
- Auto IR night vision.