We care deeply about our little ones, which is why we looked for the best baby monitor to use for when they’re sleeping in the other room, when you can’t be home with them, or any other reason you might need it for. Baby monitors are undoubtedly convenient, and the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is the best baby monitor on the market for the variables we took a look at.
While the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is in our number one slot, that’s not to say that there aren’t other baby monitors out there that are comparable, the best baby monitors for specific situations, and more. That’s why we filled this guide with a detailed list of contenders for the number one spot, budget alternatives, and specialized options.
It’s important to fully understand how to find a good baby monitor and the different types of baby monitors available before going off of a recommendation. That’s a big reason we created this guide in the first place. We provide the benefits of different types of baby monitors, give helpful tips for choosing the right baby monitor for your baby and your situation, and much more. We did all of the research and got all of the expert moms on the case to do the work for you.
Benefits of Different Types of Baby Monitors
There are a few different types of baby monitors; namely, video baby monitors, audio baby monitors and Wi-Fi baby monitors. While you can get a baby monitor that has all three, you can also get a specialty baby monitor that has all of the features you want in a specific type of baby monitor.
Benefits of Video Baby Monitors
The most obvious benefit of having a video baby monitor over a different type of monitor is that you can actively see what your child is doing. This lets you know if your child is laying down, sitting, or standing, lets your track their sleeping schedule more accurately, and much more. This also lets you be the first to know when your child bumps their head or injures themselves while in their crib.
Benefits of Audio Baby Monitors
Audio baby monitors are reliable, convenient, and most importantly, typically run much more affordable prices than video baby monitors. They’re recommended more for smaller homes, families with just one child, and younger babies or infants, where you don’t really have to worry about them moving around too much to injure themselves or falling out of the crib.
Benefits of Wi-Fi Baby Monitors
Wi-Fi baby monitors are beneficial to those parents who won’t be in the same house as their baby. For the busy parent who still wants to watch if their baby is okay, watch all of the first that they do, and much more, a Wi-Fi baby monitor is the answer.
Helpful Tips for Choosing a Baby Monitor
Now that we were able to touch briefly on some of the different types of baby monitors and their benefits, more detail needs to go into finding the best baby monitor for your individual needs. After all, you may find that our first pick, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor, or the other monitors on this list didn’t meet all of the requirements you wanted in place. Here are some helpful tips so that you can take the matter of finding the best baby monitor into your own hands.
Pick Your Preferred Baby Monitor Type
You could get a regular audio baby monitor, recommended most because they’re the most affordable. You could get an audio baby monitor that also has motion sensor pads. This will automatically alert you any time the pad senses that a baby has gone completely motionless. This is precautionary, but especially useful for monitoring your baby from newborn to six months, when they’re at the highest risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You also have the option of getting a video monitor, which typically always comes with audio capabilities as well.
Find Which Variables Are Most Important to You
There are a lot of different variables to take a look at and compare when purchasing a baby monitor – we’ve got firsthand experience with that. For us, we explain in detail the variables we broke down that were most important to us. From there, that led us to the best baby monitor. Battery life or power source, price, reviews and ratings, additional features, and accessories included with the baby monitor are a few of many variables to consider when purchasing a baby monitor.
How We Picked the Best Baby Monitor
As we mentioned, you need to find which variables in a baby monitor are most important to you in order to find the best baby monitor available for you. We put together a list of variables to compare each baby monitor and narrow it down to the number one contender. After all, we didn’t choose Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor as our number one pick just because we thought it was cute.
Keep in mind that the variables we considered weren’t most important to least important in need. Instead, we picked variables that were all generally pretty important for us to have in a baby monitor. For example, we wanted an advanced video baby monitor that we could watch our little ones on easily and live. A video monitor is, generally speaking, the better option for baby monitors because you can not only hear what your child is doing while you’re not in the room, but you can also see what they’re doing.
Once we established that we would be looking for a video baby monitor, we decided that a monitor with a long-lasting battery life was also feasibly important. It was more of a preference than an absolute need, but we also wanted a monitor that had a beautifully vivid display with an appropriately-sized screen. It’s personal preference, but we wanted to be able to see our little ones in full color instead of a snowy, laggy, or otherwise poor quality display.
Next, what the people of Amazon had to say about each product we looked at was a deciding factor in which one was ranked as our best. It’s not naïve to assume that, generally speaking, a product with hundreds or thousands of extremely positive reviews is going to work better and provide you with a better experience than a product with only a handful of reviews, half of which rate the product poorly.
The additional features that a baby monitor isn’t a huge priority, but it’s of course a bonus for us. This could be anything from an optical zoom to a lens that shoots in HD, so we didn’t really have a preference as to which additional features the baby monitor came with. The baby monitor we did choose has a substantial amount of features we thought were excellent bonuses for an otherwise awesome product.
Our Pick for the Best Baby Monitor
Jen’s Top Pick: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
As we’ve been saying, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor takes the crown for the number one spot. This handy little baby monitor has an interchangeable optical lens, which allows you to fully customize your viewing zoom and angle. Because long-lasting battery life is an important variable we look at, we were happy to find that the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor has a long battery of 10 hours when the monitor is on power-saving mode, and 6 hours when the screen is on the entire time.
Not only is the battery life excellent, but it also provides a beautiful LCD display on a unit that’s compact, sleek, and, best of all, the display is sound-activated. Not only that, but you have the ability to remote tilt and pan, as well as zoom in, just with a few clicks on the monitor. The screen is 3.5 inches and displays the subject in full color, making it a preferred option based on the variables we were looking into.
Our Second Pick
Samsung SEW-3043W BrightVIEW HD Baby Video Monitoring System
Sure, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is in first place for us, but there has to be a baby monitor out there somewhere that made second place. That baby monitor is the Samsung SEW-3043W BrightVIEW HD Baby Video Monitoring System, with a 5-inch HD display a 300-degree pan angle and 110-degree tilt angle. It has two-way talk thanks to a built-in microphone and audio that’s delivered in crisp HD.
It’s dark at night, but you don’t want to keep on more lights than you have to at night just to be able to see your baby with a baby monitor camera. The Samsung SEW-3043W BrightVIEW HD Baby Video Monitoring System works its way around this by delivering IR LEDs that aren’t visible. This allows for night vision up to 16 feet, giving you plenty of vision even if the room is actually pitch black.
Not only do you get night vision, customizable angling, and an HD lens with a large display, but the Samsung SEW-3043W BrightVIEW HD Baby Video Monitoring System also come with 4 pre-programmed lullabies. The soft, calming nightlight is a bonus, too.
Other features like feed timer alerts, a long battery life, and the potential long range of up to 900 feet are just more reasons we considered this baby monitor for our number one spot. Unfortunately, the price was just a bit too high for us to look past, so we had to go another route. For those that really want a high-quality baby monitor and are willing to pay a slightly higher rate, the Samsung SEW-3043W BrightVIEW HD Baby Video Monitoring System is the answer.
Budget Baby Monitor Alternatives
We understand when parents are trying to save a few bucks on certain baby items. After all, having a baby is expensive, so you want to save as much money as possible wherever possible. A few of our moms love shopping on the budget side of things, which is why were were able to hand-pick a couple of budget baby monitor alternatives for you to take a look at.
VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor
We mentioned already that audio baby monitors are typically the route you’re going to want to take if you’re trying to stick to a budget or get an affordable option. There are plenty of things to love about this particular baby monitor other than it being so cheap, however. The 5-level sound indicator that features graphic bars across the parent unit so that you can visually see the level of sound coming from your child’s room and the 2-way talk-back intercom are just a couple perks, to name a few.
Levana Alix Digital Audio Baby Monitor
The Levana Alix Digital Audio Baby Monitor is simplicity at its finest, with the minimal features that you need. It’s got a 1000-foot range and an out-of-range warning, a rechargeable battery, allows for the simplest of wireless, convenient, portable monitoring. With that low of a price, it was almost impossible not to pass this up.
There may be a baby monitor out there that fulfills a specific need that you have that you haven’t been able to find yet on this list. Other than us listing the contenders for the first place spot, we also thought a couple of specialized choices might be in order. As mentioned before, this is a guide geared to help all parents alike, not just the general population.
Best Portable Baby Monitor
Infant Optics DXR-5 Portable Video Baby Monitor
An older model but part of the same series that our number one spot belongs to, the Infant Optics DXR-5 Portable Video Baby Monitor is perfect for when you’re on the go with the baby monitor in tow. You don’t have to have any wires, cables, or latches involved. Instead, you just take both physical units with you and your baby, and you can keep the video baby monitor on them even when they’re not at home. This is useful for vacations, “sleepovers” when they’re still babies, babysitting at someone else’s home, and much more.
Best Video Baby Monitor
SafeBabyTech’s Video Baby Monitor
The majority of the baby monitors on our list so far have video capabilities or they’re video baby monitors, but none of them specialize in the video aspect of the baby monitor as a unit. The SafeBabyTech’s Video Baby Monitor has a beautiful, large 7-inch LCD display, which is 3 times the size of the average video baby monitor on the market. Night vision, as well as the auto-dim feature that allows you to keep the audio activated but turn off the display are just two of the many features that make this such a recommended choice. Not only that, but it’s on sale, a bargain in the long run depending on how long you intend on using the monitor.
There are too many baby monitors on the market for us to only mention our first and second choice. Instead, we spent hours comparing countless baby monitors. It would be a shame for all of that research to go to waste, especially when the contenders came so close to the number one or number two spot. Here are the runner-ups that deserve a mention as some of the best baby monitors available.
Graco Secure Coverage Digital Baby Monitor
Even when this digital baby monitor has its volume turned off, it has sound light alerts that will register when your baby is in distress or crying. The Graco Secure Coverage Digital Baby Monitor is a convenient, affordable option. It boasts of a 2000-foot range, operating on a 900 MHz frequency in order to not cause interference with other devices that run on a frequency, like microwaves and phones. You have the option of choosing the Graco Secure Coverage Digital Baby Monitor with 1 or 2 parent units, depending on your particular needs.
Summer Infant In View Digital Color Video Baby Monitor
The 5-inch colorful, flat-screen LCD display is what caught our eyes first with the Summer Infant In-View Digital Color Video Baby Monitor. When we took a closer look, we observed that this particular baby monitor has night vision that occurs automatically, along with a digital zoom. It operates on 2.4GHz technology and has sound-activated LED lights. While it does have the convenient bonus of out of range and low battery indicators, it also only has a range of up to 600 feet, though it does have a battery life of up to 6 hours. If needed, 3 additional cameras can be added to this video baby monitor wirelessly, allowing you to scan more angles of the room or multiple rooms at one time.
Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor
Motorola generally has pretty good products with all categories that they venture into, so it’s no surprise that the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor is so popular. With infrared night vision on a 2.8-inch screen, you can pan, tilt, zoom, and angle the camera perfectly without hassle. As a bonus, the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor also has two-way communication, so you can hear your little one at all times and have the ability to speak back to them to calm them down, sooth them, sing to them, or anything else you may need to do to get their attention.
Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor
The Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor has a few features to love for all aspects of using a baby monitor. Not only does it have night vision, 5 pre-programmed lullabies, and a two-way communication feature, but it also offers a customized temperature sensor that will alert you when there’s even a slight adjustment in temperature change in the child’s room. This is because even a small change in temperature can make a baby restless, especially an infant. The warm, tranquil tendrils of light from the night light on the Philips Avent DECT Baby Monitor is also a bonus.
ComfortCam Baby Monitor
Utilize the ComfortCam Baby Monitor when you’re out on the move, whether you’re at the gym, at work, or just out running errands but you still want to keep an eye on the little one. ComfortCam allows you to stream video and reposition the camera all from your phone or other device you’re using to stream it on. Speaking of repositioning, you have the ability to do a 350-degree pan and a 120-degree tilt, giving you the ample amount of angling to get a view of your child at all times. Depending on where you locate the camera, this can be the case for wherever your child is anywhere in the room. Take recordings and pictures and have them automatically saved to the device you’re using without using any extra equipment. This is a video baby monitor that a lot of moms say is worth every penny.
JTD Smart Wireless Baby Monitor
One of the best things about the JTD Smart Wireless Baby Monitor is that if offers motion detection with a simple push notification alarm system. This allows you to get real-time alerts no matter where you’re at. You can even set it to where the camera automatically captures a picture any time it detects a certain level of motion. That picture is then saved and sent to you through their cloud service. The 2-way voice allows for you to listen and reply to whatever is going on in your child’s room. The enhanced, infrared night vision is a big bonus, too, since you’re using the baby monitor when it’s dark the majority of the time. The JTD Smart Wireless Baby Monitor is on the more affordable end of the video baby monitor spectrum.
Commonly Asked Questions About Baby Monitors
It’s reasonable to have questions regarding some aspect of baby monitors that hasn’t been properly brushed on yet. We polled for the most common questions that are asked when it comes to baby monitors. With the right team of experts researching and testing everything out, we came to a number of possible questions you may have.
Is a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor Safe?
If you’re considering a Wi-Fi baby monitor, you may wonder if the Wi-Fi signal it produces can be stolen for someone else’s use. However, if you secure the system with a sufficient, difficult password, you won’t have to worry about anyone stealing the Wi-Fi signal that reaches to your baby monitor.
How Long Do Baby Monitors Last?
Baby monitors typically last from 6-18 hours depending on the power source, how old it is, if the video is on the whole time, and the max battery life for that particular baby monitor brand. Long term – as in, how many years they can last – is dependent on your baby monitor model, type, and much more. However, most baby monitors do last a minimum of 5 years.
What is the Maximum Range for Baby Monitors?
The average range for baby monitors is between 150 and 1200 feet, so it really depends on the type of baby monitor you get. For example, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor has a range of up to 700 feet, while a couple other baby monitors on the list have a range of up to 700 feet.
When Should You Stop Using the Baby Monitor?
When you should stop using the baby monitor is pretty much solely personal preference for a number of reasons. It’s important to always keep in mind that every child is different. There are going to be some that cry for the entire first year of their life, while others are silent for longer periods than their moms would like to admit.
What Should You Do with the Baby Monitor Once the Baby No Longer Needs it?
When the baby is grown up enough to no longer need the reliable convenience of the baby monitor, it’s time to decide what to do with the thing. There are definitely other uses for it other than just throwing it in the trash. You could use it as a simple monitor for your home by installing additional cameras throughout certain rooms, use it as a pet camera, and much more. While it’s understandable that your first thought is to throw it out once the child no longer needs it – but what if you have another one?
Wrapping It Up
This guide wasn’t designed to just recommend a list of products that you may or may not find useful. Instead, it was geared towards properly educating new parents on the type of baby monitor they should look into, as well as detailed recommendations of baby monitors we trust enough to use ourselves with our little ones.
While we did rate the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor as the best baby monitor, we also provided insight as to how you can find a baby monitor yourself if the monitors on the list aren’t exactly what you’re looking for. Now that you know what features are important, which you’re fine with passing up, and the kind of prices to look into, you can purchase a baby monitor with a rolling sense of new confidence at what you’re doing.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.