We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Best Buy smoke alarms

by Matt Stevens

Best Buy smoke alarms sound in time for you to escape a fire, are loud enough to alert the whole family and aren't prone to nuisance false alarms.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Every smoke alarm we review is put through tough independent fire and smoke tests. Our experts go the extra mile to ensure our recommended Best Buys meet British Standards fire tests.

And we don't just reveal the best in our reviews. We also highlight the Don't Buy smoke alarms that fail to detect smoke completely as well as the nuisance alarms that sound every time you burn the toast.

  • Our four fire tests are about precision: we make sure each test-fire is lit in exactly the same way, and that the smoke alarms' response times are accurately timed down to the last second.
  •  We also burn toast and simulate the steam from your bathroom, to check that each smoke alarm isn't over-sensitive and prone to false alarms.
  • We reveal the smoke alarms that don't sound loudly enough to alert those with poorer hearing, or have lights you can't see at 10 metres in smoke - Best Buys are the quickest to sound models that do best all round.

Join Which? to unlock our smoke-alarm recommendations on this page. Already a member? Log in now.

How we uncover the best smoke alarms

  • We subject smoke alarms to four carefully-controlled fires - including fast-flaming ones fuelled by plastics and solvents, as well as slow and smouldering wood and cotton fires. We do this in a smoke chamber and time the smoke alarms responses to the second, so you can be sure your smoke alarm will go off in time.
  • Using a fully soundproofed (anechoic) chamber, we test the smoke alarms to ensure they're louder than 85 decibels - the equivalent of a lawn mower.
  • We assess the instructions and install the alarms as you would, then change the batteries to see if they're simple for you to use.

Smoke alarm reviews you can trust

Models from the biggest smoke alarm brands on the market are tested in the Which? test lab - including Nest Protect, Devolo, FireAngel, First Alert, Kidde and Ei Electronics - and we've discovered that even the most trustworthy names can drop the ball.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

Join Which? and you'll receive access to all our online content, including all of our reviews.