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Being apart from your child, whether it’s in another room or another city, can be stressful for parents. Thankfully, WiFi-only baby monitors have made it easy for parents and caregivers to check in on their little one from anywhere in the world.
Baby monitors are one of the priciest baby products new parents will buy — and potentially one of the most important. Any product that requires a big monetary investment typically requires a lot of research, which is where SPY comes in. We do the research so parents can relax and spend more time nesting and resting before the baby arrives.
At SPY, we have tested several baby gadgets, including baby monitors. After highlighting the best non-WiFi baby monitors we’re now looking at the best WiFi-only baby monitors. Finding the right baby monitor can feel overwhelming, but we have put in hours of testing and reviewing by real parents to help other parents and caregivers rest assured that watching their little one sleep and play is something they don’t have to stress about.
Why Choose a WiFi-Only Baby Monitor
Access: WiFi-only baby monitors make it possible to check in on from anywhere that has internet access. This makes it possible for parents to see their children even when they’re not home.
Range: Non-WiFi baby monitors typically have a range between 900 to 1,000 feet and can lose the connection between the camera and parent monitor in a large house or if the parent steps outside. With WiFi baby monitors, parents will still be able to see their little one even if they’re relaxing in the backyard or standing on the driveway while watching an older child play.
Safety Alarms: The monitors on our list have settings that enable parents to choose whether they receive alerts based on movement, sound, room temperature and other factors.
Sleep Tracking: Many WiFi-only monitors track a baby’s sleep progress, including alerting users when a baby has woken up. None of the monitors were completely accurate in gauging when the baby was asleep or awake. We could often watch our baby hanging out in his crib, eyes open and making small noises while every app recorded him as asleep. Still, this feature can help provide an overall view of a baby or toddler’s sleep health.
Health Stats: Three of the monitors on our list, including the Nanit, Miku, and Owlet include health stats, which can help parents monitor their child’s heart rate.
Portability: WiFi-only baby monitors don’t require a parent monitor, which cuts down on the number of gadgets parents need to bring when traveling.
Video and Photo Gallery: Many WiFi-only baby monitors record videos and pictures when sound and movement are detected and allow parents to take pictures inside the app.
The Best WiFi-Only Baby Monitors at a Glance
Here is an abridged list of our top picks for the best WiFi-only baby monitors of 2022. Keep reading for more information on each baby monitor, including the pros, cons, and all the features and specs that parents will want to know.
1. Best Overall: Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor & Floor Stand – $296.99 on Amazon
2. Runner Up: Miku Pro Smart Baby Monitor – $399.00 at MikuCare
3. Best Bargain: Lollipop Baby Monitor – $149.00 on Amazon
4. Best Camera Battery: Hubble Connected Nursery Pal Deluxe – $199.99 at Target
5. Best Hybrid: Motorola Nursery PIP 1510 Connect – $189.99 at Nordstrom
6. Best Health Stats: Owlet Dream Duo – $399.00 at Owlet Care
Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand
Best For: Parents who want a reliable video feed that loads quickly
Why We Chose It: The video feed loads faster than any other monitor on our list and the Nanit can track sleep patterns on its own or with additional health data using their Breathing Wear accessories.
Buy: Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor & Floor Stand $303.00 (orig. $379.99) 20% OFF
Buy: Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor at Nanit.com $299.00
The Nanit has a high price point, but it’s a cost that the company can justify with its super-fast app response time and useful accessories. We’ve previously listed the Nanit as our top baby monitor pick and have once again given it our number one spot because of its speed, none of the others we tested load as quickly as the Nanit which we find as parents to be our number one must-have when evaluating baby monitors.
The video clarity on the Nanit is excellent and users can zoom in by using two fingers on the screen. We used both the Floor Mount and Multi-Stand and found that we rarely had to reconnect the app when moving the camera between the two.
The Nanit Breathing Wear makes it easy to monitor the baby’s breaths per minute. Customers can choose from the breathing band, as shown in the pictures below and available in small or large, as well as swaddles, sleeping bags, and pajamas. The Breathing Wear must be on the child for the app to monitor their breathing motion and display their breaths per minute.
Although they are easy to use, the Breathing Wear accessories are pricey. Unlike the Owlet Dream Sock, the Breathing Wear doesn’t have to be charged, which is a plus. Nanit also sells its own Smart Sheets, which are sheets with a printed frame that the Nanit camera recognizes, then uses the dimensions to calculate a baby’s growth rate. Even though the sheets were priced on the higher side of what customers can pay for crib sheets, we found this easier to justify since babies only need a few sets of sheets and they won’t grow out of them the way they will with the Breathing Wear. Being able to track a baby’s growth in the app using the sheets is both fun and useful, especially for parents who are worried about growth or simply too tired to remember to take milestone pics…so, all parents.
The Nanit camera has a nightlight feature that can be dimmed, which is a nice add-on, especially for older children. The app makes it easy for parents to customize just about every aspect, including the sensitivity of sound and video alerts and who has access to the livestream and videos. The Nanit has a limited number of soundscapes but includes White Noise, which is typically what sleep experts recommend to help block out noise and help babies sleep. The Nanit displays a live reading of Temperature and Humidity, allows for two-way talk, can take pictures within the app, and provides many ways to see an overview of your baby’s sleep schedule.
Sleep is tracked in the app and there is a Memories section that automatically creates fun and shareable milestone videos for things like birthdays and important events, like the first time your baby sleeps through the night. The Nanit also has several short articles designed to help parents with a variety of issues, from using a pacifier to cutting down on night feeds.
The Nanit comes with the hardware necessary for safely wall-mounting the camera, including tubing for the cord. We also used the Floor Stand, which has a large footprint, but is easy to move and has glow-in-the-dark ends that help ensure parents don’t trip in the middle of the night.
We also like that the Floor Stand comes with tubing that keeps the cord safely covered so kids or pets won’t get tangled in the loose cords. The Floor Stand can be used with only two legs and a holder that screws into the wall, keeping cords away from the baby and ensuring the stand is flush against the wall.
Like almost all the monitors on our list, the Nanit begins recording 30-second videos when sound or movement is detected. The Nanit does not allow users to scrub through the video, which can be frustrating when parents are looking for a specific moment.
Price is one of the biggest drawbacks to the Nanit. The Pro Camera and Floor Stand, which includes a size small Breathing Band (up to 15 pounds), is priced at $379.00. For a few dollars less at $367.99, customers can choose the Pro Complete Monitoring System, which includes the Smart Sheet, Breathing Band, and Multi-Stand, but not the Floor Stand. The least expensive option is the Pro Camera and Wall Mount for $280.00, which is a great option for parents who will keep the camera wall mounted at all times since it’s not possible to use the camera away from the wall mount without the addition of the Multi-Stand. Nanit does make it possible to buy all their accessories, including the Floor Stand, Multi-Stand, and Breathing Wear a la carte.
We were also disappointed that using the Multi-Stand means the app is unable to track the baby’s sleep patterns, although breathing motion monitoring is still available. Even with that drawback, the Multi-Stand feels like a useful accessory to us, especially if you plan on using the Nanit as a playroom baby monitor or if you want to travel with the camera. When the Nanit camera is placed on the Multi-Stand it automatically switches to a 130-degree wide-angle lens.
- App loads fast
- Excellent video quality
- Many useful accessories available including breathing wear
- Compatible with iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, or Echo Show
- Two-way talk, background audio, and soundscapes available
- Can’t scrub through videos
- Multi-stand cancels out sleep tracking
- Floor stand has large footprint
- Accessories are pricey
Video Quality: 1080P HD
Video Recordings: Yes
Access: Up to two user accounts
Number of Cameras That Can Be Paired: Up to five cameras
Mounting Options: Includes safe wall mounting kit with cord cover, Floor Mount, and Multi-Stand available
Miku Pro Contact-Free Breathing & Sleep Tracking Monitor
Best For: Parents who want to track their baby’s breathing rate without using a wearable.
Why We Chose It: The Miku has one of the best quality cameras available, an app that loads fast, health stats that don’t require a wearable, and several useful features, including an icon on the phone’s home screen that makes it easy to quickly toggle to video view when sound is detected.
Buy: Miku Pro Baby Monitor $349.00 (orig. $399.00) 13% OFF
Buy: Miku Pro Smart Baby Monitor at Miku.com $399.00
The Miku is so close to taking over the Nanit for our top spot, but the Nanit continues to take home the gold because its app loads so, so fast. Still, the Miku should be a consideration for tech-inclined parents.
The Miku differentiates itself from other baby monitors by making it possible for parents to monitor their baby’s breathing without using any wearables. The app provides a live RPM (respirations per minute) reading over a 15-second range, which is a great feature that can help give parents peace of mind.
While the Miku is priced higher than the Nanit, we love that unlike the Nanit which requires a bulkier multi-stand to switch to a 130-degree wide-angle view, the Miku doesn’t require an additional stand to provide a 140-degree view which saves floor space.
The Miku has an extremely high-quality HD 1080P camera that delivers crisp images in the dark and vivid colors in daylight. Like all the monitors on our list, the Miku allows customers to zoom in using two fingers on the screen.
Like the Nanit, the Miku has an adjustable LED light on the camera which can double as a nightlight. The Miku also provides in-depth sleep analytics, with both a summary of a baby’s nightly and daily sleep and the ability to zoom in for a more detailed report. Unlike the Nanit, which only includes two days of video recordings without an app upgrade, the Miku keeps videos from the past seven days on the app. It also makes it easy to look at sleep trends over several days, giving parents information on bedtime, wake-up time, total night sleep, and sleep efficiency.
The Miku activity log is our favorite among all the apps. The clips aren’t capped at 30 seconds like with most monitors and instead vary in length depending on how long sound or movement is detected, which means parents will be able to see the full clip of their baby moving during sleep time. The Miku app has a user-friendly setup that makes it simple to quickly move through the collection of videos and then scrub through individual videos, which are extremely high quality (the color in the Miku videos is especially vivid). In comparison, the Nanit, which also saves videos when motion is detected, can only be paused and replayed at the end, which can be frustrating if you’re trying to re-watch a select few seconds or frames in a minute-long video.
The Miku arrives with everything necessary to safely wall mount the camera, including tubes to cover the cord, and the camera has a built-in stand that makes it easy to set the camera on a flat surface.
We also used the Floor Stand, which is an additional $99.00. The Floor Stand has a small footprint and can easily slide under a crib, bassinet or pack and play, which we liked. It is extremely heavy, which helps keep it in place, but watch out for your shins when moving the Floor Stand.
Unlike the Nanit Floor Stand, the Miku Floor Stand can be placed flush against the wall, which is another bonus. The cord on the Miku is threaded through the Floor Stand and comes out the bottom. This is great for safety, but if you want to remove the camera from the Floor Stand and use it in a secondary location without the Floor Stand, it can be a pain to unthread the cord. Thankfully, Miku sells additional charging cords, and the Miku camera has a USB-C port, so there’s a good chance you may have an extra charging cord available, especially for iPhone users.
The biggest drawback with the Miku is its loading time. It’s still incredibly fast, but it’s not as fast as the Nanit. We do like that the Miku has a red icon that stays on the home screen while the app is running in the background, making it easy for parents to quickly tap on the icon when sound is detected and open the app. The Miku is the only monitor we reviewed that has this feature and we found it very helpful.
- Tracks baby’s RPMs (respirations per minute) in real-time without the use of a wearable
- Custom dual Ole Wolff speakers provide enhanced audio
- Stores videos for up to seven days
- 140-degree view
- Icon on home screen for fast app access
- Lag in video opening compared to Nanit
- High price point
Video Quality: 1080P HD
Video Recordings: Yes
Access: No restrictions on number of shared users
Number of Cameras That Can Be Paired: Multiple
Mounting Options: Includes safe wall mounting kit with cord cover, Floor Stand available
Lollipop Video Baby Monitor
Best For: Parents who want an affordable WiFi-only monitor with a camera that is easy to set up.
Why We Chose It: The Lollipop is half the price of leading WiFi-only baby monitors and has an award-winning design thanks to its bendable holder that can be wrapped around door handles, crib rails, wall-mounted, or positioned stationary on a flat surface.
Buy: Lollipop Video Baby Monitor $149.00 (orig. $169.00) 12% OFF
The Lollipop is proof that you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to get a great product, it comes in at over $100 less than its WiFi-only competitors, including the Nanit, Miku, and Owlet. At $149.00, it’s closer to a hybrid or non-WiFi baby monitor, making it a popular choice for parents who want a high-quality camera at an affordable price.
In addition to price, one of the biggest draws of the Lollipop is its design. The camera sits inside a non-toxic silicone holder that has a long, bendable stem that can be wrapped around door handles, crib rails, or twisted to create a base for resting on flat surfaces.
The Lollipop includes a small plastic clip to help secure the bendable stem to the crib and includes mounting hardware, with a white, branch-like hook that can be mounted to the wall. The Lollipop can be wrapped around the hook using the bendable stem and easily removed when your baby is in another room or it’s time for a trip. We also like that the Lollipop includes cord covers for added safety.
As for the Lollipop app, there’s a lot to love. The video has advanced infrared night vision and provides a clear image of the baby even in a completely blacked-out room.
The Lollipop provides a live reading of the dB level in your baby’s room, which helps parents know if their sound machine is too loud. It also allows parents to snap and store pictures in the app, includes two-way talk, a standby option, a private connection option, and allows for sharing the live feed. The Lollipop has a handful of soundscapes available, including Water, Hair Dryer, Sea Wave, Womb and White Noise, as well as classic music by Chopin and Mozart.
Parents can also add multiple camera feeds, mute the app, keep the video feed on, or keep the audio playing in the background while using their phones. We also like that the Lollipop allows for unlimited account sharing (in comparison, the Nanit limits users to two accounts before upgrading).
An Event Filter allows parents to specify whether they want to be alerted to changes in Crying, Noise, Air Quality, Temperature, Humidity, and Crossing Detection (if the baby moves out of an area that has been specified by the parent in the app). The Lollipop will record and store 30-second videos if there are major changes in any of these categories. We also like that the Lollipop allows parents to rotate their view by 180 degrees, which is helpful if the baby is placed in the crib or bassinet facing a different direction each time they sleep. When parents want to get a closer look at their little one, they can zoom in on their image using two fingers on their screen.
Although the bendable silicone stem makes it convenient to attach the Lollipop to things like crib rails, trying to create a sturdy base on a flat surface was difficult. It took us several tries to find a configuration that would keep the Lollipop upright when on a flat surface and eventually we had to settle for a slightly askew view.
Sleep tracking is available with the Lollipop, but customers only receive a free 30-day trial before they have to purchase an add-on to continue tracking their baby’s sleep patterns. We did encounter a few lag issues about half the time when opening the Lollipop app. If parents want to know the Temperature, Humidity Level, and Air Quality in their baby’s room, they need to purchase and mount the Lollipop Smart Baby Sensor for $55.00. This is standard in many of the other baby monitors, but when purchased with the Lollipop, the price is just north of $200.00 and is still extremely competitive.
- Great price point
- Records and stores videos when alerted to change in room
- True crying detection is accurate to 96%
- Advanced night vision
- Patented design of bendable, non-toxic silicone leg
- Smart Baby Sensor must be purchased separately
- Occasional lag issues when opening app
- Can be difficult to create flat mounting option
- 30-day free trial for sleep tracking and video recordings before in-app purchase of Lollipop Care
Video Quality: 1080P HD
Video Recordings: Yes
Access: No restrictions on the number of shared users
Number of Cameras That Can Be Paired: Multiple
Mounting Options: Includes safe wall mounting kit with cord cover, bendable arm
Hubble Connected Nursery Pal Deluxe
BEST CAMERA BATTERY
Best For: Parents who can’t decide whether to buy a WiFi or non-WiFi monitor and want the best of both worlds.
Why We Chose It: The Hubble has a good quality video camera that delivers a clear picture whether parents are using the app or the lightweight parent monitor, which is packed with standard features and a few unique add-ons. We also like that the camera has a built-in three-hour battery that is great for travel or power outages.
Buy: Nursery Pal Deluxe at Target $199.99
Buy: Nursery Pal Deluxe at Hubble Connected $199.99
We’ve included two hybrid baby monitors on our list for parents who are tired of making decisions when it comes to their baby (we get it!). Hybrid monitors truly give users the best of both worlds, with the ability to livestream their little one from anywhere, while also having a parent monitor for times when WiFi isn’t available or when users want to hand the parent monitor to a caregiver or grandparent without asking them to download an app.
The Hubble Connected Nursery Pal Deluxe is a top pick for hybrid baby monitors because it offers an affordable alternative to WiFi-only baby monitors (not including the ultra-affordable Lollipop).
One of our favorite features of the Hubble is that the camera has a three-hour battery life. It’s the only camera on our list that can be used unplugged and while the battery life isn’t extensive, it’s great to have as backup in the event of a power outage or when using the camera for a short period in an area that isn’t close to an outlet (i.e. baby is napping in a Pack and Play in the backyard).
The Hubble allows parents to set a ‘baby zone’ in the app so that only movement within a certain zone will cause an alert. This is a great feature for playrooms or anywhere you want to make sure kids stay contained within. Using the app, parents can schedule alerts and make location-based alerts, access sleep and parenting tips, and watch baby care videos.
The Hubble had some lag when opening the app and was slower than the PIP, which can be frustrating when parents are trying to use their phones and switch back to the app to check on their little ones. Like the PIP, the Hubble also has an area for tracking Wellness information, including diaper changes, feeding, sleeping, and growth, but it felt like it took more steps to get to this feature in comparison to the PIP.
There was some ghosting with the app, but overall, it delivered a clear picture with plenty of detail. The Hubble allows users to take pictures and videos inside the app and it will automatically take pictures when movement or sound is detected. The video feed did freeze on us a few times when using the app but always went back to a live feed when refreshed. Parents can choose from four levels of video quality with the Hubble.
The quality of the video feed on the parent monitor is excellent and it’s easy to pan, tilt and zoom. The one drawback, it has a scan button and if you accidentally tap it, the camera will begin scanning and cannot be stopped, which we found frustrating when trying to pan and tilt.
The parent monitor has physical volume buttons on the top of the unit, which we always appreciate so we can quickly turn down the volume when the baby starts crying so as to not disturb others in the home. The rest of the controls are through the 5” touchscreen which has a slight lag, but since this will likely be used as a backup to the app, it’s a lag parents likely won’t mind. The brightness of the screen can easily be adjusted, there is a two-way talk option, and access to lullabies and audiobooks.
The Hubble parent monitor comes with a rubber bumper, which helps protect it (these things get dropped – a lot!). The Hubble parent monitor also includes some entertaining and educational content that can help keep older babies or toddlers entertained.
The Hubble camera has a physical privacy cover that may help some parents feel more at ease during private moments when they want extra protection from prying eyes. We also liked that the Hubble includes the Hubble Grip. Like the design of the Lollipop, the Hubble Grip attaches to the bottom of the camera and creates a claw-like tripod that can grab onto crib rails and door handles, making it easy to mount the camera.
One of the big drawbacks with the Hubble is that if parents don’t subscribe to the upgraded app, they will constantly receive ads both in the app and on the parent monitor. We found this frustrating when using both the app and the parent monitor.
The upgraded membership, which is $9.98 per month or $99.98 per year, does include several benefits, like seven days of video cloud storage, login access from more than two mobile devices, the ability to share camera access, and a split-screen of up to four cameras. Without the membership, the app includes login from two mobile devices, no sharing of camera access, one day of storage on motion-activated video recordings, a max of 10 manual video recordings from the live feed, one non-editable baby zone, and no split-screen option for multiple cameras. The upgrade also includes more lullabies and audiobooks and an extended personal song recording.
- Camera has three-hour battery life
- Hubble Baby educational content on parent monitor
- Touchscreen parent monitor is convenient to use and includes safety bumper
- Physical privacy cover on the camera
- Hubble Grip makes mounting easy
- Constant ad pop-ups get annoying
- Many useful features require upgrading the app
- Touchscreen lags
Video Quality: 720P (parent monitor)
Video Recordings: Yes
Access: Only one account without an app upgrade
Number of Cameras That Can Be Paired: Up to four cameras
Mounting Options: Includes wall mounting kit and Hubble Grip
Motorola Nursery PIP 1510 Connect
Best For: Parents who want to livestream their child’s monitor but still have a large parent monitor they can hand off to grandparents or other caregivers.
Why We Chose It: The Motorola Nursery PIP has one of the lower price points on our list and still provides a clear video stream. Its app has plenty of useful features, including a robust Journal section that helps record feedings and diaper changes, and its sizeable parent monitor is easy for caregivers to use.
Buy: Motorola Nursery PIP at Nordstrom $189.99
Buy: Motorola Nursery PIP at Target $189.99
The PIP is another hybrid monitor that we liked using, especially when it came to the app. The PIP video feed loads quickly on the app, much faster than the Hubble’s video feed. The video quality on the parent monitor of the PIP is not as clear as the Hubble, but if customers are looking for a WiFi baby monitor with a parent monitor that will only be used on rare occasions, the PIP app is superior to the Hubble.
The video quality on the PIP app has dark edges, which could be frustrating when trying to view an entire room, but parents can still clearly see the subject in the middle of the viewfinder. Parents can pan, tilt and zoom from both the parent monitor and the app, but it’s much easier to do using the parent monitor and the app has a slight delay for this feature. The PIP pans and tilts in small increments, which we prefer to the Hubble’s wider swings. Parents can zoom in using two fingers on the screen when inside the app. The picture on the PIP’s parent monitor was darker than the Hubble and included some bleeding on the sides, but we were still able to clearly see our baby even in a blacked-out room.
The app has plenty of features we like, including a Journal section that allows parents to record things like diaper changes and feeding information. The PIP app allows parents to take pictures in the app, which are automatically saved in a Gallery section.
A camera icon on the app allows parents to switch between feeds when multiple cameras are being used. The parent monitor includes a shortcut button to allow for toggling between feeds and up to four cameras can be viewed at once on the parent monitor and the app. We also like that the app allows parents to connect to different styles of Motorola cameras, making it easy to keep an eye on little ones without having to buy new cameras if Motorola products are already in the home.
The parent monitor has a substantial 2800mAh battery, which helps it last for an extended period before requiring charging, but it is very bulky and heavy. Depending on who is using the parent monitor, this can be seen as a pro or a con. The parent monitor is sturdy and has a permanent kickstand, which is good for people who are perpetually breaking gadgets, but at almost 3” thick, it can’t fit in a pocket and is bulky to carry.
We also liked that the parent monitor has an LED sound indicator, which can be extremely helpful. For example, if you’ve turned off the video feed to save battery and turned down the volume so that you can watch TV, take a phone call, or not disturb someone sleeping nearby, the LED sound indicator will light up if noise is detected in your baby’s room, which allows parents to continue monitoring their little one.
The PIP doesn’t have physical volume buttons on top of the parent monitor like the Hubble, but it has a volume icon on the front of the handheld that offers a convenient shortcut.
- LED sound indicator on parent monitor
- 4GHz FHSS and Wi-Fi technology
- Permanent kickstand on parent monitor
- Journal in app for recording important information
- No subscription fees
- Parent monitor is extremely bulky
- Video quality on parent monitor is lacking
- Panning, tilting, and zooming controls lag on the app
Video Quality: 1080P HD (app) 480×272 (parent monitor)
Video Recordings: Yes
Number of Cameras That Can Be Paired: Up to four cameras
Mounting Options: Includes wall mounting kit
Owlet Dream Duo
BEST HEALTH STATS
Best For: Tracking heart rate and oxygen levels while also boasting a high-quality video stream.
Why We Chose It: The Dream Sock provides real-time information on a baby’s heart rate (BPM) and average oxygen levels and the Owlet cam has a wide-angle lens that is great for a nursery, while still providing a detailed image of a sleeping baby.
Buy: Owlet Dream Duo at Target $399.99
Buy: Owlet Dream Duo at Owlet.com $399.00
The Owlet is one of the most recognized names in baby monitors because of the company’s groundbreaking wearable technology. The company has recently (January 2022) updated its monitor to the Owlet Dream Duo, which includes the Owlet Cam and Owlet Dream Sock. The sock communicates with the app to provide data on the baby’s sleep history, sleep status, and sleep quality. Using the sock helps the app monitor wakings, heart rate movement, and information about the room, including humidity levels and temperature.
The Dream Sock must be charged daily and the charging base changes colors to alert parents if something is amiss, including if the sock is not fitted properly to the child’s foot or the Bluetooth connection has been lost. The Owlet includes four sizes of socks to fit babies up to 18 months and also includes all the hardware necessary to safely mount the Owlet camera with cord covers included.
We also like that the Owlet camera comes with accessories for safe wall mounting, including a cord cover, and a small base that allows for it to be set up on any flat surface. The Owlet and its base are magnetized, making it easy to adjust the angle of the camera to find the best set-up for any space.
Even though the Owlet and its Dream Sock are heavily geared towards newborns and babies, the ultra-clear HD 1080P camera with 130-degree wide view makes it easy to see almost an entire room at once, meaning this camera can be used well into toddlerhood. As with all the monitors on our list, users can use a pinch motion with two fingers to zoom up to 4x on the app.
Once we put the Dream Sock on our baby a few times, we found it easy to do quickly and it never seemed to bother our little one. The Dream Sock must be worn every time the baby sleeps to provide a detailed snapshot of their sleep patterns, which can be a bit annoying if the baby is already dressed for bed and sleeping. The Dream Sock also has to be charged daily, which is another thing for parents to remember.
In addition to the Dream Sock, which provides health information, we also like that the Owlet app is packed with videos and articles by sleep experts to help parents get the best possible sleep for their child. Many apps on our list include educational content, but the Owlet leads the pack in this category as far as the quality and usefulness of videos. The app also encourages parents to input information about their baby’s sleep habits to help create a customized sleep program, which again we found to be much further ahead in terms of the quality and usefulness of the content on other apps.
The Owlet’s connection is peer-to-peer, which means it doesn’t stream its live feed to a cloud. Owlet says that this makes their wireless signal even safer than traditional non-WiFi baby monitors.
Although the Owlet app has several useful features, its reliability is a major issue. There were times when we could hear our baby crying and see him moving on a different monitor, but the Owlet didn’t register either the sound or the movement. It would take a few minutes of him moving slightly for the Owlet to register that he was wiggling. We were rarely able to get a reading for Temperature, Humidity, or Noise Level. The Owlet app can be extremely slow to load and would sometimes show as offline even when the camera had been connected only moments before.
Unlike every other monitor on our list, the Owlet doesn’t provide video recordings when sound or movement is detected. It also doesn’t allow users to take pictures in the app, with parents instead having to take screengrabs if they want to have pics of their little one on the monitor.
- Provides heart rate readings and oxygen levels
- App includes educational videos by sleep experts
- Features personalized sleep program for ages 4 months to 12 months
- 130-degree wide-angle lens
- Arrives with four socks for birth to 18 months
- Video is slow to load, and often goes offline
- Does not record videos when movement is detected
- Cannot take pictures within the app
- Must charge Dream Sock daily
- Cannot stream from multiple cameras at once, must toggle
Video Quality: 1080P HD
Video Recordings: No
Access: Up to four people
Number of Cameras That Can Be Paired: Up to two cameras
Mounting Options: Includes safe wall mounting kit with cord cover
How We Choose the Best Wifi Baby Monitors: About Our Testing Process
We tested each monitor on our list for at least one month, using a 6-month-old baby and a 3-year-old toddler. We have extensive experience testing all types of baby monitors including WiFi-only, non-WiFi, and hybrid. We looked at several features when evaluating the monitors on our list, as outlined below.
Camera Quality: Could the baby be seen in both bright and blackout conditions? How easy was it to zoom in with the camera?
Audio Quality: Could we hear a baby crying? Was there interference from noise machines? How well did the two-way talk function work with another adult?
App Speed: How fast did the app open and load the livestream view?
Field of View: Was it easy to pan and tilt with the camera? If the camera did not have panning or tilting functions, was the angle of the camera still wide enough to see a play area?
Features: We reviewed the features each baby monitor offered, including health readings, soundscapes, sleep trackers, and more. For each feature, we looked at ease of use and usefulness.
Price: We included a wide range of price points in our roundup and looked at the value of what customers were receiving in exchange for the sale price of the monitor.
Why Should You Trust SPY When Purchasing a Baby Monitor?
When it comes to parenting and gadgets, we know a lot about both at SPY. Our reviewers have tested just about every product in the tech world and that includes several parenting items, from baby trackers to noise machines and yes, baby monitors. We know baby monitors.
Our team tested six of the top-rated WiFi baby monitors available. We installed the monitors and used them for an extended period to watch both a baby and toddler. We researched all the features of each baby monitor to ensure we were testing the items to their full capabilities and included the pros and cons that we think parents, like ourselves, care the most about.
We will continue to update this review as we learn more information about the monitors and if other models are added.
About the Author: Allison Bowsher
Allison Bowsher is a writer and a long-time contributor to SPY.com. In her years writing for SPY, she has reviewed everything from baby monitors to folding kayaks, and she is one of our most experienced e-commerce writers. As a mom, Allison often reviews parenting products, including parenting gadgets and baby monitors. Before joining SPY as a contributor, Allison spent four years as the Editor and head writer for Much.com (aka the Canadian MTV).
Allison’s work continues to focus mainly on entertainment, as well as parenting, fashion, travel, fitness and household goods. Her writing has been featured on E! Online, MTV, Etalk, Metacritic, Bustle, and CTV. Allison earned her Masters in Communication and Culture from York University and spends most days running around after her two children.
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FAQs About the Best WiFi Baby Monitors
WiFi baby monitors allow users to share their livestream so that other caregivers can monitor a child without requiring the parent’s personal phone. For example, if a parent is leaving the home to go to work and wants their nanny to be able to monitor their baby while it naps, they can share access to the livestream. Most baby monitors allow users to easily turn off access to the livestream for safety.
Aside from price, one of the main reasons parents may opt for non-WiFi baby monitors is because of safety. Non-WiFi baby monitors are typically secured with 2.4 GHz FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) wireless transmission, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to hack into the camera’s feed and see or hear your baby. Using a baby monitor that requires WiFi to work can be scary, but there are steps that parents can take to help ensure their baby and their home is protected. Baby Gear Essentials recommends disabling remote access to your home’s router, using a secure password for your WiFi network, regularly checking your baby monitor log for suspicious activity, removing default login settings, and disabling DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) if possible on the baby monitor app.
Being able to watch video recordings of your little one can help parents understand what their baby is doing during the night and possibly what is disturbing them. For example, if your little one wakes up unexpectedly one night, watching a video recording may reveal that something in their room made a noise and woke them. Video recordings can also capture exciting milestone moments, like babies rolling in their crib for the first time.
While discussing the two hybrid options on our list, we reference a parent monitor. A baby monitor is the combination of a camera and screen, which can be a phone or tablet that can display an app, or a parent monitor, which is a handheld device that includes a screen and controls, which in many cases allows the user to pan, tilt, and zoom with their camera, use two-way talk and hear audio that is picked up by the camera.