We love having a wireless video monitor in the nursery. Nothing is more comforting than being able to see and hear your baby at night or while working around the house. A few years ago, there were only a handful of decent video baby monitors available, and they were all prohibitively expensive.
Now there are dozens of options, from the low-cost the high end. Which video monitor is best for you? Here, we evaluate the top rated video monitors, compare their features, and highlight some of our favorite models to help you choose one for your nursery.
Features of Wireless Video Monitors
Wireless Video Monitor Reviews
Baby Touch Wireless Video Monitor by Summer Infant
Motorola MBP36 Wireless Video Monitor
DXR-5 Wireless Video Monitor by Infant Optics
Here are some of the terms and features that we evaluate in wireless video baby monitors:
- Range. This is how far the receiver can be from the transmitter (which is in the nursery) and still get a signal. At best, these are guesses from the manufacturers; the actual range depends on the elevation difference, wall thickness, interference from other electronics, etc. Even so, it’s safe to say that you want a longer range if possible.
- Frequency. Higher is better, so 2.4 GHz is better than 900 MHz. Generally speaking, the higher the frequency, the stronger the signal between your transmitter and your monitor. Also, devices that are on the same frequency (such as a monitor and a cordless telephone) may interfere with one another, so it’s best to take stock of your current electronics while shopping for a baby monitor.
- LCD Screen. LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display – it’s the color screen that displays your nursery’s video feed. Remember that this measurement is the diagonal, not the width. Most monitors have a 3.5″ screen, and the owners of monitors with smaller screens often complain that they can’t see anything. Some monitors or camera-only packages don’t come with a handheld LCD unit, but transmit to your iPhone, iPad, or smartphone. So obviously the screen size is whatever you’re using to look at it.
- Night Vision. High-quality video baby monitors transmit color images during daytime naps. When the nursery is dark (at night), the monitor will need infrared night vision to see anything. Monitors without it will be blind in the dark, rendering the camera useless unless it has infrared night vision (all of the monitors we recommend do). At night, the infrared lets you see your little one, but the images will be in black and white or grayscale.
- Tilt, Pam, and Zoom. These let you move the camera remotely to get a better look at your baby. They’re especially useful if your baby (1) moves around in the crib, and/or (2) is a light sleeper, because you don’t have to go into the nursery to adjust the view field of the camera. And you will need to adjust the camera! It seems like our boys wedge themselves into a different corner of the crib every night.
- Dual Camera Capability. If you’d like to keep an eye on more than one child, it’s useful to have a video monitor that supports additional cameras. Both the Motorola and the Summer Infant baby monitors support this; the Summer Infant is particularly nice because it has a scan mode to flip between cameras automatically.
For the sleep safety conscious, you might consider complementing a wireless video monitor with a baby movement monitor, like the Snuza Halo, which alerts you of any irregularity in your infant’s breathing.
Here we review twoof the bestselling and top-rated wireless video baby monitors available today. Though there are certainly other wireless baby monitors out there (Angelcare, Philips, Safety 1st, and others), these two monitors — from Summer Infant and Motorola — are consistently the most popular based on customer rating and sales rank.
The Summer Infant Baby Touch digital video monitor is consistently a top selling baby monitor on Amazon. This super quiet camera can be remotely activated so parents can reposition their viewing angle to better see the baby. Infrared night vision lets you see your baby in the dark, too. For multiple angles or to monitor more than one child, this monitor lets you add up to three additional wireless cameras.This video monitor has a lot of features to like:
Two features set this monitor apart from other wireless video monitors. First, the touch screen lets you adjust tilt, pan, and zoom in a user-friendly fashion, far superior to the clunky side controls on other monitors. Second, when multiple cameras are installed, the Summer Infant monitor auto-rotates through them on a timer, letting you watch multiple rooms without doing anything.
The Motorola wireless baby monitor is usually the #2 best selling monitor on Amazon The latest model features a 3.5″ screen, two-way communication so that parents can talk to the baby, and data encryption.
My favorite feature of this monitor is the Motorola 2.4 GHz FHSS technology. Much like Motorola’s 2-way radios, these monitors transmit with an encrypted Motorola signal so that only your LCD receiver can pick up the audio and video feeds. It also won’t interfere with other electronic devices. A nice feature if you live close to other parents with monitors.