The 8 Best Baby Monitors to Buy in 2018

Keep your infants safe with these top baby monitors

We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

Today's market is saturated with a large number of products aimed towards child safety. Baby monitors come in all different shapes and sizes with features like two way communication, night vision and pre-recorded lullabies. They’re modernized with rechargeable batteries via USB, touchscreen pads, and full HD visual displays. So how does one make an informed decision on what the best type of baby monitor is for them? To help, we've compiled a list of the best baby monitors that will suit whatever baby surveillance need you have on any budget.

Best Overall: Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Ranked as the No. 1 best seller on Amazon.com, the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is the first of its kind to have an interchangeable optical lens capability. This allows for a customized viewing angle with zooming capabilities. The system uses three lenses: a normal aluminum lens that provides a crisp clear image with mid-range coverage, an optical zoom lens perfect for close-up viewing during sleep, and a wide angle lens (sold separately) that captures your entire room with a full 170 degree panoramic view. This, along with invisible IR night vision makes it one of the most optical cameras of a baby monitor on the entire list.

Video is streamed wirelessly in real time to a slim 3.5-inch LCD color display module, providing a crystal-clear image without grainy or pixelated images. There’s a 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless transmission that provides both privacy and delay-free video and audio feedback. The monitor system has a portable power source that lasts an average of 10 hours in power saving mode, and six hours with the display screen constantly on. It can be charge anywhere that has a USB import, such as laptops or desktop computers.

The system’s viewing screen has a row of LEDs, which allow you to see the sound of your baby’s voice, and alerts you if he or she is crying. The system has two-way talk, so if you want to calm your baby down, you can speak into the intercom push-to-talk button. Plus, the screen has a remote in-room temperature display, so you can always see if your baby is comfortable and safe.

Some Amazon.com users love the system's impressive 70-meter range and clear audio. Other Amazon.com users were critical of the systems user-friendliness, and that it’s a bit of learning curve in making sure the system functions at full capacity.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: HelloBaby Video Baby Monitor

Finding the best accessories that fit the needs for both you and your baby can be seriously challenging. If something isn’t perfect or doesn’t have the right features, it can drive you crazy because you want the best for your baby. When it comes to baby monitors, we stand by our pick for Best Overall, but if you want a second choice, the HelloBaby Video Baby Monitor is a great option.

The HelloBaby Video Baby Monitor has a 3.2-inch LCD screen and can transmit video up to roughly 900 feet. It has lots of great features you may not find on other budget video monitors, including two-way talk, night vision, a temperature display, zoom in and out, digital pan and tilt, a scan view and the ability to play eight lullabies. There’s also helpful warnings if the temperature gets too hot or cold, if there’s no signal and if there’s low power. Finally, the last great thing we love about this monitor is an “auto mute” feature that will turn off the baby monitor speaker when sound is below 50 decibels for more than seven seconds and automatically turn on when noise occurs, which saves battery.

Best Budget Video: Babysense Video Monitor

Being a new parent can be quite expensive. If this describes you, you might want to look at ways to save money while still feeling like you’re not cutting corners. One way to do this is to consider budget-conscious baby accessories such as the Babysense Video Monitor.

The Babysense monitor features a 2.4-inch HD LCD screen with high-quality video transmission up to 900 feet. Features to keep you better connected to your baby include infrared night vision, 2x digital zoom, pan and tilt, temperature alerts if it’s too hot or cold and two-way talkback. It also has multi-camera expandability with the ability to incorporate three additional cameras (sold separately). This monitor doesn't alert you to your baby's activity, but it does indicate connectivity and battery problems, and you can set reminder alarms for feeding times, etc.

Amazon reviewers are “goo goo ga ga” for the Babysense video monitor. The biggest thing customers liked was the compact size and great range, so you can take the monitor all around the house and still see exactly what’s going on in your baby’s room. It also packs a lot of high-end features into one very wallet-friendly package.

Runner-Up, Best Budget Video: Infant Optics DXR-5 Portable Video Baby Monitor

Infant Optics DXR-5 Portable Video Baby Monitor
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Infant Optics DXR-5 Portable Video Baby Monitor is the best baby monitor on a budget that includes both audio and video. Measuring 3 x 1 x 3 inches, it's designed with portability in mind, and has a 2.4GHz FHSS digital wireless communication link, assuring that there is no encryption breaks and allowing you 100 percent privacy.

The video monitor features a 2.4-inch super bright TFT LCD screen, which is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 12 hours. The device works up to 150 feet indoor, and up to 800 for outside.

The DXR-5 comes with other features like VOX and auto-mute mode, as well as automatic IR night vision. Some Amazon.com users have been happy with the baby monitor, thanks to its crystal clear image and affordable price, while more critical reviews mention that there are no warning alerts when the battery is low and the audio isn’t loud enough.

Best Budget Audio: VTech DM111 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor

VTech DM111 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you want to pay one of the lowest prices for an audio monitoring system for your baby, this is the one. The DM111 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor is built with DECT 6.0 technology that provides for a crystal-clear stream of audio transmission without the white noise. DECT 6.0 eliminates any background noise and prevents interference, all while transmitting a secure and encrypted signal so only you can hear your baby.

Unlike the DM221, the baby monitor does require two AAA batteries that are not included and it does not include two-way transmission. Despite this, battery life lasts up to 20 hours and the system includes a long range of up to 1,000 feet outdoors with 150 feet indoors. There is a five-level sound indicator graphic bar on the parental unit that will indicate the level of sound in your baby’s room so you can visually monitor the noise level with the unit muted.

Amazon.com users speak highly of the product in terms of its affordability and quality, while others have noted that it drains the AAA batteries too quickly.

Best Audio: VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor

VTech DM221 Safe & Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on mini video surveillance for your baby, you can always settle for an audio monitor. The VTech DM221 Safe and Sound Digital Audio Baby Monitor wont cost you an arm and a leg for crystal-clear audio monitoring sound.

It includes a one-parent unit monitor and a one-baby unit audio monitor. It uses DECT 6.0 technology that provides clear transmission, eliminating any annoying white noise you might hear form other analog monitors. Graphic bars on the parent unit indicate the level of sound in your baby’s room, so you can visually monitor the noise level with the unit muted. It has a two-way talkback intercom, so you can communicate with your baby through its audio speakers.

The baby monitor includes rechargeable batteries that provide up to 18 hours of monitoring time on a single charge. If you somehow lose the batteries or don’t have the time to charge them, you can always substitute with two AAA batteries. The system comes with a hands free belt clip on the parent unit, so you can carry it wherever you go without the hassle of holding it. It also doubles as a night-light.

The operating range of the parent unit is up to 1,000 feet outdoors or 150 feet indoors (to compensate for walls). The parent unit can be set to beep if the link between it and the baby unit is lost, or its rechargeable battery is low. If you don’t want to always concentrate on listening, the system features a vibrating sound alert that detects audio. Most Amazon.com reviewers have raved about the product for its simplicity, while others have found reliability problems with the rechargeable batteries.

Best Multi-Camera Setup: Levana Shiloh Video Baby Monitor

Levana Shiloh Video Baby Monitor

Courtesy of Walmart 

With two cameras and the option to add two more, the Levana Shiloh Video Baby Monitor allows you to watch multiple rooms and multiple children, a feature that's enhanced by the monitor's split-screen mode. The five-inch touchscreen is super lightweight and easy to use, and can be charged via USB. It even has customizable timers and alerts to track feeding and napping.

At night, switch to "audio only" mode to use it as a traditional monitor, or use the camera's infrared night vision to keep an eye on your little one even when it's dark. If your baby needs comforting, the two-way talk feature lets you communicate with them even if you aren’t in the same room. The Shiloh also has built-in temperature monitoring that lets you know if your baby's room is getting uncomfortably hot or cold. The battery lasts for up to 12 hours at a time.

This device does not have Wi-Fi capabilities, meaning you can’t remotely connect to it using a phone or a tablet. While that may seem inconvenient, it actually adds another layer of security to your video stream. Plus, the Shiloh has a 500-foot transmission range so you can carry it all around the house without losing your connection. 

Best App-Controlled: Netgear Arlo Baby Monitor

As easy-to-use as it is adorable, the bunny-eared Netgear Arlo baby monitor matches your nursery’s décor while providing top-quality features and one of the best companion apps on the market. Measuring just 4.3 x 2.6 x 2.5 inches with the option for wall mounting, this device has a resolution between 360p and 1080p and includes six prerecorded lullabies. It even lets you upload your own playlist or record your own songs to play in the nursery, and has a color-changing nightlight for a soothing ambiance. But beyond its kid-friendly design, the Arlo is also a fully capable baby monitor that's outfitted with functionalities parents will love, like infrared night vision and temperature and air quality sensors.

Arlo's accompanying app is simple to both set up and use, and includes the beneficial "Always Listening" mode, which lets you stream audio and monitor your baby even when your phone is locked or running other apps. From the Arlo app, you’ll be able to fully control the monitor, including the ability to take a screenshot, check the live feed, receive push notifications about your baby's activity or environment, and alter the nightlight.