Baby monitors range in price from what you’d pay for a couple of jumbo packs of newborn nappies up to the £300 mark. Cheap baby monitors are audio only, while the more expensive models include a video screen or are smart wi-fi baby monitors that connect wirelessly so you can monitor your baby from your smartphone.
We’ve just reviewed the latest popular baby monitors, ranging in price from £32 to £270. Some of the features trying to tempt parents into splashing out for the more expensive video monitors and smart wi-fi monitors include include a motion-sensor pad that alerts you if your baby stops moving, a night vision camera, and being able to take photos or videos of your baby sleeping (or not sleeping as the case may be!).
In our annual baby survey*, six out of seven parents owned a baby monitor, with 52% using an audio-only monitor and 32% opting for a video baby monitor.
If you’re not sure which type to go for, why not consult our interactive baby monitor chooser.
Or read on to see what’s on offer from the latest popular monitors.
Video baby monitors
Angelcare AC517 (£270)
At just shy of £270, this is the most expensive of the latest baby monitors we’ve tested. But it’s packed with a lot of features for the price.
There’s a battery-powered movement sensor that sits underneath your baby’s mattress and will alert you if no movement is detected for 20 seconds.
The camera unit has night-vision mode and is also a temperature monitor that changes colour if the nursery is too cold or too warm. In fact, you can add up to four cameras (purchased separately) to get comprehensive coverage of the nursery or perhaps watch two of your children at once using the split-screen feature.
The parent unit has a 5-inch colour touchscreen for watching and listening to your baby while you’re in another room and includes digital zoom and panning functionality.
You can also talk to your baby remotely or use the sound-sensitive lights to be alerted to noise even if you have the volume on the parent unit turned down.
Despite all these pros, our rigorous tests discovered some cons you’ll want to be aware of if you’re considering spending this much on a baby monitor. Read our Angelcare AC517 review to find out more.
BT Video Baby Monitor 6000 (£130)
This BT monitor has an impressively large five-inch colour LCD display with night-vision mode so it works even with the lights off.
The camera can be controlled remotely, and you can pan, tilt and zoom to get a better look at your little one to check whether they’re OK.
£130 is around average for a video baby monitor, but this one is more feature-packed than others that cost the same. It includes lullabies, a temperature sensor, feeding timer and two-way talk function to help soothe your baby without going into the room.
Read our BT Video Baby Monitor 6000 review to find out what we loved and what we didn’t.
Wi-fi baby monitors
Philips Avent Ugrow Smart Baby Monitor (£190)
This video baby monitor has an accompanying app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet to give you remote access, so you can see your baby even when you are away from home. It’s packed with features – for example, you can take and save photos of your little one. And it’s currently on sale at John Lewis and Amazon for half price.
Smart baby monitors are very reliant on a stable wi-fi connection, so a baby monitor like this one is probably not the best bet if your broadband isn’t up to scratch. Even if you’ve got a good connection, it’s important to check whether the wi-fi reception in your nursery is strong. If it’s not, you might need to get wi-fi signal extender.
We investigate wi-fi baby monitors to see how secure the cameras are and how they handle your personal data. Discover what we found in our Philips Avent Ugrow Smart Baby Monitor review.
Motorola MBP855 (£229)
This smart video baby monitor is one of the priciest, but it’s currently on sale at John Lewis and Currys/PC World for £189. You can view your baby at home on the parent unit, which has a five-inch colour display, or using an app on your smartphone if you’re away from the house. It’s possible to add four additional cameras to the parent unit, and you can also save video footage.
Read our Motorola MBP855 review for more on whether we reckon it’s worth the money.
Audio baby monitor reviews
Tommee Tippee Close to Nature Digital Monitor (£70)
Considering this is an audio-only baby monitor, it’s fairly expensive and it’s not immediately evident why the price is a bit steep. It does have a number of practical features, including an intercom for chatting with your baby, a lullaby function, a nightlight and a temperature sensor, but those are typical of many baby monitors. But where it differs is that it offers a long-distance range of up to 300 metres, which is up there with the longest we’ve tested.
We never take the manufacturers at their word for any of their specs though, so we’ve fully tested this 300-metre range claim. Read our Tommee Tippee Close to Nature Digital Monitor review to discover what we found.
VTech BM2000 (£35)
Cheaper than the average audio baby monitor and packed with features, this baby monitor can run on mains or battery power. This gives you flexibility if you want it plugged in by your bedside at night and cordless during the daytime when you’re moving around the house.
Some audio baby monitors we’ve tested have a rechargeable battery that can’t even manage six hours, while the best can muster a whopping 22 hours. Unfortunately, you can’t tell long it will last just by looking at the box, so there is a risk that the one you buy ends up spending more time on the docking station than in use.
Read our VTech BM2000 review to find out how this baby monitor compares with its rivals on battery life.
*Survey based on responses from 1,046 parents with children under the age of five in February 2017.