Need to keep an eye (or ear) on your kids at night? Our favorite baby monitors will help you do it.
New parents, here’s a tip: You might not even need a baby monitor. A healthy, hungry baby can shriek in tones piercing enough to bend metal, let alone your poor eardrums. Nevertheless, a monitor does come in handy if you like to sit out on the porch, or if you’re sleep-training and want to make sure that your infant hasn’t gotten her foot stuck in the crib bars. In the last few months, I’ve tested eight different kinds of baby monitors here at WIRED—radio, Wi-Fi, smart, and some phone apps—to find one that might work for you. (For more of our favorite baby gear picks, check out our stroller guide or gift guide for new parents).


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01

Best All-Around

Eufy

SpaceView Baby Monitor

So far, the

Eufy SpaceView

is my favorite monitor. Setup is take-it-out-of-the-box easy, and I don’t have to create an account, tap back and forth between apps, and wait forever (okay, 5 seconds) to pair the device with my phone. It’s gorgeous, and the handheld unit can pan the monitor 330 degrees horizontally and 110 degrees vertically to find children hidden in any corner of the room. I can also walk halfway down my street before the radio transmission to the handheld unit conks out. It does not use Wi-Fi or connect to the internet.

Eufy

02

Most Versatile

Nest

Nest Cam Outdoor

Are you looking for a great baby monitor, with features like night vision or motion alerts? Congrats! You can also find these features in many Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras. Nest’s hardware and software are infinitely easier and nicer to use than many smart monitors. For example, the indoor

Nest Cam IQ

has close-up tracking, with a 4K sensor, HDR, and 1080p resolution. You can also easily save and share video clips. But the best part is that you can easily repurpose it as a security camera or pet cam once your children have outgrown it.

Nest

03

Best For Audio Only

VTech

DM221 Baby Monitor

If, like me, you are half-convinced that every time you look at a night-vision monitor, you might see a ghost, consider an audio-only monitor. They’re much more affordable. VTech’s audio-only monitor is small and sleek. The parent unit has rechargeable batteries that last for up to 18 hours, and a clip so that you can carry it around with you as you putter around the house. It also has a range of up to 1,000 feet outside, which is more than enough for me to enjoy a backyard fire in the summer while my kids slumber.

vtech

04

Best App For Phones

VIGI Limited

Cloud Baby Monitor

You can’t remember everything, especially as a parent. Luckily, smartphones and tablets can serve as baby monitors in a pinch. When my husband and I forget our monitor, we point one of our smartphones at the sleeping baby and use the other as a handheld unit. Cloud Baby works with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, and LTE. It has noise and motion alerts, and can also play white noise or lullabies. It even has an Apple Watch app. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Apple users (this

Android one

also has great reviews).

Cloud Baby

05

Best For Baby Analysis

Miku

Baby Monitor

The Miku monitor was a sensation at CES this year, and for good reason. Whatever your thoughts on

tracking your kid’s data

(or paying almost $400 for a baby monitor), the Miku packs an astonishing amount of engineering into a tiny package. It layers multiple sensors to show you your child’s every breath in real-time, create and share data analysis of your child’s sleep patterns on the beautiful app, and sing lullabies through custom Ole Wolff speakers. Oh, and it protects it all with a tamper-resistant crypto chip. If your child has health concerns, this monitor is the way to go.

Miku

06

A Reliable Pick (Wi-Fi)

Safety 1st

HD Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

They might be slightly less secure, but Wi-Fi baby monitors are more convenient. You can do away with the handheld unit and watch your child from your phone, anywhere you go. You can also save adorable clips and get notifications. Safety 1st’s Wi-Fi-enabled monitor has a 130-degree wide-angle view that was sufficient to capture my children’s whole room when mounted in a corner. The 720p camera has 5x zoom, a two-way microphone; and (extremely sensitive) sound and motion alerts that you can calibrate. On the downside, you cannot pan the camera remotely and the “smart audio” speaker unit was basically just an annoying nightlight in my room.

Safety 1st

07

A Reliable Pick (No Wi-Fi)

Infant Optics

DXR-8 Baby Monitor

Before the Eufy debuted, many parents I know opted to go with Infant Optics’ reliable video monitor, which streams data to a handheld unit via radio transmission. Like the Eufy SpaceView, it accommodates children as they grow. You can switch out the normal lens for zoom or wide-angle lenses, and pan 270 degrees horizontally or 120 degrees up and down. Like the Eufy, it has two-way talk and IR night vision. The handheld unit is also much smaller, but its battery life is shorter and its range of vision is narrower.

Infant Optics

08

Most Improved Award

Nanit

Sleep System

I liked the

Nanit

when I tried it last year. This year, they announced new Breathing Wear technology, which helps you monitor your baby’s breathing patterns by tracking the ink patterns on the simple, cotton Nanit swaddle and breathing band. That’s not as convenient as the Miku’s contact-free monitoring, but it

is

cheaper and it does have a higher 1280p resolution on the video feed. If you already own a Nanit, the breathing band will also be an affordable upgrade when it comes out in March.

Nanit

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