New parents, here’s a tip: You might not even need a baby monitor. A healthy, hungry baby can shriek in tones piercing enough to bend metal, let alone your poor eardrums. Nevertheless, baby monitors can provide high-quality audio and crystal-clear videostreams from the camera directly to a separate parent unit, your smartphone, tablet, or all three. This means you can move freely around the house while keeping a close eye on the baby as they sleep or play contentedly in their crib. Here we take a look at the most intuitive baby monitors available online and rate them on design, features, picture, and audio quality to highlight just how well they work at keeping a watchful eye on your bundle of joy.
For more of our favorite baby gear picks, check out our Best Strollers and Best Baby Carriers buying guides and our Gift Guide for New Parents.
Updated April 2023: We’ve overhauled our baby monitor picks for 2023 with entries from Hubble, Kodak, Cubo, Angelcare, VTech, and Owlet.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.