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26 Nov 2021

Are cheap baby monitors from Ikea, BT and VTech any good?

Ikea's new audio baby monitor joins a range of models for less than £50, but is it worth spending more on a device to monitor your sleeping baby?

Furniture giant Ikea is the latest company to offer a cheap device to monitor your sleeping baby, with the Undvika monitor, which we've recently tested.

A cheap monitor can be a great option if you're on a tight budget, but quality can vary.

We have reviews of 17 baby monitors online that cost less than £50, including seven Best Buys, but also plenty of mediocre models and two Don't Buys.

Read on for our latest reviews of cheap baby monitors and advice on when you should spend a bit more.

Baby monitor reviews - see audio, video and smart models expertly tested in our lab for video, sound, features and more

You don't need to spend a fortune on a baby monitor

Having a baby is expensive. It can feel like you've got an endless list of costly purchases to make, including cots, pushchairs and car seats.

While you can easily spend more than £100 on a baby monitor, you could also make savings without compromising on quality.

Below are three fully tested baby monitors from our latest batch that are available for less than £50.

Not all these monitors score highly or are Best Buys, so make sure you check our baby monitor reviews before making your purchase.

Ikea Undvika, £22


As well as its iconic Antilop high chair and popular Ju00e4ttetru00f6tt and Dru00f6mmande cot mattresses, Ikea has now thrown its hat into the baby monitor ring.

This audio-only baby monitor can be battery powered, meaning it's a portable device that you can take with you by clipping the parent unit to your belt.

As well as hearing your baby, you can also reassure them with your voice by pressing a button on the parent unit and speaking into the microphone.

The parent unit has a vibration alert and a basic three-LED sound-sensitive indicator. However, this monitor lacks a sensor to check if the bedroom has become too hot or cold for your baby.

Check out our Ikea Undvika review to see our full verdict on this cheap audio monitor.

BT Audio Monitor 450 Lightshow, £42

BT has a large range of video, smart and audio-only monitors, such as this cheap model.

You get a baby unit that plugs into the mains, and then you can take the parent unit around the house with you, as it's battery powered.

It costs a bit more than the Undvika, but you also get a room temperature monitor.

Plus, as the name suggests, there's a feature on the baby unit that projects a night light show on to the ceiling of your nursery to help your child drift off to sleep.

See our BT Audio Monitor 450 Lightshow review for the full verdict on this audio monitor.

Vtech VM3254, £50

We don't see many video baby monitors that cost £50 or under. In fact, this Vtech model is among just five we've reviewed online.

It consists of a camera unit placed where your baby sleeps and then you monitor your baby on the 2.8-inch colour-screen parent unit.

It has infrared night vision, two-way communications and a room temperature monitor, along with a built-in night light and a selection of lullabies to soothe your baby to sleep.

Our Vtech VM3254 review has everything you need to know about this video baby monitor.

looking at baby on phone using a smart baby monito

Is it worth spending more on a baby monitor?

Despite the Vtech video monitor covered above, the reality is that if you want to spend £50 or less on a decent baby monitor, it will most likely be an audio-only model.

This means that you can't see your baby while they're sleeping, and in most cases you'll need to spend a bit more to do that.

It also costs more if you want to monitor your child via an app on your phone or tablet. We haven't tested any smart baby monitors worth buying that cost £50 or less.

Also, we'd advise against using a cheap security camera to double up as a baby monitor, as these usually lack useful features such as sound-sensitive lights, lullabies and a temperature sensor.

For more tips, read our guide on how to buy the best baby monitor.

Other recently tested baby monitors