(Pocket-lint) - Keeping an eye on your young ones remotely, even when you're all at home, can be a great way to get some peace of mind without having to hang over them at all hours - at a time when you're likely to already be more than a little tired. Old-school baby monitors have been getting some serious upgrades over time.
In fact, there's a huge amount of choice when it comes to baby monitors, and while choice is great, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming - especially when you have a baby to worry about too.
We've tested a number of baby monitors in our time and while we don't do full reviews on them, we do have a good idea as to which ones we would recommend for audio and video quality based on our experience. Here are the top baby monitors to consider.
Our top baby monitor recommendations
BT Smart Baby Monitor with 5-inch Screen
The BT Smart Baby Monitor with 5-inch Screen might not have the catchiest of names but it offers both a handheld parent unit - as they are commonly called - as well as access through a smartphone app, giving you the best of both worlds. The screen on the parent unit is excellent and detailed enough to see a baby breathing, while night vision is lovely and clear and the battery life is great.
It's possible to remotely adjust the camera angle in case your little one slides out of view - handy if you don't want to go into their room and risk waking them up - and if you have more than one baby or child, you can add more cameras and view them on the same parent unit. Its only downsides are a slight delay and the smartphone app not being as user friendly as the Arlo Baby below.
Arlo Baby has a lovely design - by far the cutest of all the baby monitors we've tried - and there are various different rubber skins you can buy separately to make it even better. There's no parent unit - which is one of the Arlo Baby's only downsides and there is also a small delay but it offers a fantastic picture quality, with clarity that is second to none.
Audio quality is great too and the app is very easy to use, offering a number of features, from pinching on the video stream to zoom in, to playing lullabies and monitoring the room's air, humidity and temperature. The Arlo Baby is also compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple's Siri, leading to a number of extra features, like streaming video to a Nest Hub or Echo Show.
Kodak Cherish C525 Video Baby Monitor
Like the BT Smart Monitor with 5-inch Display, the Kodak Cherish C525 offers both smartphone app and a parent unit, giving you flexibility when it comes to checking on your little one. The 5-inch screen is nice and large like the BT model and it offers an excellent quality, especially during the day.
While the camera design isn't as cute as the Arlo Baby, the Kodak Cherish C525 is certainly more interesting than many others on this list and there's a great feature set too, including the ability to remotely pan and tilt the camera so you don't have to disturb your baby by going in to adjust the camera if they move out of view.
Nest Cam IQ
Google's Nest Cam IQ isn't a baby monitor specifically, it's a smart home camera, but it could easily be used as a baby monitor if you want it to be. It's not cheap, especially when compared to baby monitors, but it offers fantastic audio and video quality, as well as excellent night vision and a built-in speaker for two-way talk and playing lullabies.
As it isn't a baby monitor, you won't get a parent unit, but the Nest Cam IQ has familiar face detection (if you pay for Nest Aware), the app is very intuitive, it works seamlessly with Google Home devices, enabling you to stream the video on a Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max and it works with Alexa too. The design is also lovely and neat. If you have Nest products already and you have the budget, the Nest Cam IQ could be a great option for you.
Philips Advent SCD620
The Philips Advent SCD620 has a lovely simple design that will be perfect for some. There's a fantastic battery life on board, easily getting you through the night on a full charge if you forget to plug it in and there's a good range too, in case you want to take the monitor into the garden, for example.
The screen on the parent unit isn't the biggest and there is no zoom functionality on board, nor is there any smartphone control, but the interface on the parent unit is easy to use and that battery life really is great, even if the picture quality isn't quite as impressive.
Motorola offers a couple of different baby monitors, but the MBP50 has a lovely large display on its parent unit, which is curved in design, delivering great viewing angles if you're lying in bed and you have the unit on a bedside table.
Picture quality isn't up there with Arlo Baby and there is no smartphone app control or fancy integration with Google Assistant or Alexa, but the Motorola MBP50 offers good enough picture quality, a easy-to-use interface and it's not too expensive compared to some.
Hello Baby HB32
You may not have heard of the brand Hello Baby unless you've been doing lots of research on baby monitors, but the Hello Baby HB32 is very easy to use and it's great value for money - coming in significantly cheaper than the majority out there.
Night vision is very good and the battery life of the parent unit is exceptional, but unlike the BT or Kodak options, there is no app control so you'll have to make do with just a parent unit if you opt for this one, meaning no checking on the baby when you're out for the night, for example.
Nuk Eco Control Video Display 550VD
Nuk is another brand you might not have heard of until you have a baby but it offers a baby monitor in its portfolio of products. The Eco Control Video Display 550VD isn't the cheapest on this list and it has a pretty small screen but it has an exceptional battery life thanks to this.
A feature called Patrol Mode will allow you to see span through any additional cameras you have - perhaps of any other children - though viewing angles and night vision aren't the best of the bunch so bear that in mind if you opt for this one.
Angelcare not only do a range of baby monitors but the brand offers sensor mats too, designed to monitor a baby's movement and breathing. The Angelcare AC1300 is one of the baby monitors from the company that comes with a sensor mat, whilst also offering a fantastic range and great zoom capabilities.
The battery life of the parent unit isn't the best out there and there are no thrills - like Google or Alexa integration - but the Angelcare AC1300 has a good, clear screen and the movement monitor will make a great addition for those parents that want it.