We do virtually everything on our smartphones these days, so it’s no surprise that you can also monitor your baby while they’re sleeping instead of using a traditional baby monitor.
Smart baby monitors usually consist of a wi-fi enabled camera that can be used with an app that you download, enabling you to check in on your little one and get instant alerts if they are stirring.
We’ve tested a range of new smart baby monitors in our latest batch, including models by Owlet, Vtech and BT.
Read on to find out more about this type of monitor and those we’ve put through our rigorous privacy and security tests.
Best Buy baby monitors – find a safe and secure video, audio or smart baby monitor
Why are smart baby monitors rising in popularity?
Most parents still use a traditional video or audio baby monitor, but 32% of respondents in our 2020 survey* now use a wi-fi enabled baby monitor and an app on their smartphone or tablet.
This has doubled since our 2019 survey, showing their rapid increase in ownership.
These parents enjoy the ability to monitor their baby sleeping remotely on a mobile device. It also means they have a way to check in on their baby while they’re out for an evening with someone else babysitting.
Other benefits include being able to monitor the camera’s video feed on more than one device, as both parents (as well as doting grandparents, aunties and uncles) can have the app installed. You can also easily take the camera away with you while travelling.
It’s no surprise that manufacturers are releasing more and more smart baby monitors, but we know from our testing that not all can prove impressive.
If you have a smart baby monitor, read our baby monitor hacking guide to find out how to keep your device safe from hackers.
Smart baby monitors reviewed in our test lab
Owlet Camera Video Monitor – £150
This video baby monitor can be used with the Owlet Smart Sock, which wraps around your baby’s foot and has sensors that are claimed to measure heart rate and oxygen level.
We’ve just tested the base camera, which has 1080p Full HD video with infrared night vision and digital zoom, and is used with an app you download to your smartphone or tablet.
You can wall mount the camera in the nursery using the supplied kit, and it comes with a 16GB SD card to capture video clips and photos to view later.
However, it lacks familiar baby monitor features, such as sound-sensitive lights and the ability to play lullabies.
Read our Owlet Camera Video Monitor review to get the full lowdown on this smart baby monitor.
VTech RM5764HD Smart Video 5 Inch HD Baby Monitor – £180
VTech is well known for its range of smart toys, but it also makes VTech baby monitors, including this smart model.
You get a compact and discreet camera with 1080p Full HD video and infrared night vision that can be placed in the nursery.
You then watch the video using a parent unit with a large 5-inch colour screen, and/or you can download an app to your smartphone or tablet.
Sound-sensitive lights mean you can use the parent unit without the sound on, a sensor monitors the temperature of the nursery and you can play lullabies to your child.
Find out if we think you should buy it in our VTech RM5764HD Smart Video 5 Inch HD Baby Monitor review.
BT Smart Baby Monitor with 2.8 inch screen – £130
There’s a large range of BT audio and video baby monitors, but it offers some wi-fi models too, including this one we’ve most recently tested.
The camera is discreet, it has infrared night vision and can easily be positioned for the best view of your child.
You can monitor your baby sleeping with the supplied 2.8-inch colour screen parent unit, or a mobile app.
Just like the VTech, it has sound-sensitive lights, a room temperature sensor and a function to play lullabies.
See how it fared under testing in our BT Smart Baby Monitor with 2.8 inch screen review.
The results of baby monitors in our latest tests:
We’ve also tested seven other baby monitors from popular brands.
Click on the links to find out more:
- Angelcare AC337
- Angelcare AC507
- BT Video Baby Monitor 5000
- BT Video Baby Monitor 2000
- BabyMoov Essential Video Baby Monitor
- Kodak Cherish C125 Baby Monitor
- Kodak Cherish C220 2.8 Inch Smart Video Baby Monitor
Don’t use a security camera as a baby monitor
In July 2020, we warned you against considering using a cheap wireless security camera as a baby monitor after we exposed issues in our testing and investigations.
You’ll find plenty of temptingly cheap wi-fi enabled cameras on online marketplaces that claim they are suitable for use as baby monitors.
However, our testing has not only exposed security issues with wireless cameras, but also that they are more suited to spotting intruders than monitoring your baby’s sleep.
With Best Buy baby monitors available for as little as £25, there really is no need to be tempted to use a cheap security camera instead.
* In March 2020, we surveyed 1,625 parents with children up to five years old and in 2019 we asked 2,764 parents.