Local-video monitors like the Eufy SpaceView require the camera and the display unit to remain in close proximity. If you want to be able to keep an eye on your child from afar, you need a Wi-Fi–enabled monitor, which links a camera’s feed to an app on your smartphone. Our favorite is the Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount or Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand (same monitor, different mount). We also have a local-video/Wi-Fi hybrid option, the VTech RM7868HD or VTech RM7766HD (same monitor, different name and packaging), as well as an ultra-simple audio-only monitor, the VTech DM221.
A highly adjustable camera, easy-to-use controls, great video and audio quality, good range, all-night battery life, and a decent price make the SpaceView the best local-video baby monitor you can buy.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $160.
Eufy SpaceView Pro
The SpaceView Pro uses the same camera and has all the same features as the regular SpaceView, but the Pro’s display unit has a bigger battery, which lasts four hours longer. The display is bulkier and harder to fit in a pocket. Also, the Pro usually costs slightly more than the regular SpaceView, and it lacks an optional wide-angle camera lens.
The star feature of the Eufy SpaceView is its 720p camera, which you can pan from side to side and tilt up and down remotely from the display unit—so you don’t need to tiptoe into the baby’s room to make camera adjustments. The monitor’s 5-inch screen is big enough to see comfortably and has easy-to-use controls for adjusting temperature and sound alerts. And it recharges on a standard Micro-USB plug. The Eufy SpaceView Pro has all the same features as the SpaceView but adds a bigger battery, which makes the display unit bulkier but lasts over 13 hours per charge with the screen on versus the SpaceView’s 8-plus hours. Unfortunately, we’ve heard more complaints than we’d like about issues with Eufy batteries failing to hold a charge as they age, but so far we haven’t found another model that works as well and doesn’t have this problem.
Baby monitors that rely on a local-video feed, such as these Eufy models and our runner-up from Infant Optics, may be a better fit for some people than Wi-Fi monitors because they’re generally simpler and easier to deal with, as there’s no internet connection to worry about, and they come with fewer security considerations. But you can’t check this type of monitor when you’re away from home. If you want to be able to look in on your little one while you’re out, you need a Wi-Fi–enabled monitor.
Infant Optics DXR-8 Pro
The DXR-8 Pro offers great picture quality and range, as well as a battery that you can replace if the one that came with your monitor starts to wear out. But its nightly battery life isn’t quite as good as the Eufy SpaceView’s, and its camera isn’t as adjustable.
The Infant Optics DXR-8 Pro local-video monitor, an upgraded version of the older DXR-8 (our former runner-up pick), has a 720p camera with a sharper picture than the older model’s. Its display unit offers a 5-inch screen, improved range, a louder speaker, and background-noise reduction to filter out sounds from fans and humidifiers. The DXR-8 Pro also has an owner-replaceable battery. Most rechargeable batteries lose a noticeable amount of their capacity after a year or two, so the DXR-8 Pro might be worth the extra money in comparison with the Eufy SpaceView if you plan to use your monitor for multiple years or pass it down. However, its tested battery life with the screen left on—7 hours 9 minutes—was over an hour less than the SpaceView’s and over 6 hours less than what we got from the SpaceView Pro.
Low-cost local-video monitors make a lot of compromises, but the VM5254 has a decent 5-inch screen, good-enough battery life, a reliable signal, and a manually adjustable camera with a built-in night-light. It can’t show you as much of your baby’s room as our other picks can, though.
You can find local-video baby monitors that cost less than $100, but not many good ones. Although the VTech VM5254 cuts some corners, it still offers a 5-inch screen, reasonable battery life (in our tests, 6 hours 14 minutes per charge with the screen left on), and a reliable signal for half the price of the Eufy SpaceView. The camera even has a handy built-in night-light—with seven color options—that automatically adjusts its brightness sensor. However, though the VM5254’s video quality is good for the price, its camera doesn’t pan or tilt like that of the SpaceView or the Infant Optics DXR-8 Pro. And the VM5254 produces a considerably smaller field of view than our other picks—you can’t see as much of your baby’s room, and you’re more limited in where you can place the device. The monitor is also chunkier and cheaper-feeling than our other local-video picks.
If you don’t want to accept the compromises that come with a cheap video monitor—or you prefer a simpler, audio-only system—this well-made audio-only baby monitor is a good value.
If you don’t need or want a video monitor, the VTech DM221 is a great audio-only baby monitor that costs half as much as our budget video monitor pick. The DM221 is a well-reviewed best seller in the audio-only category, and it offers crisp sound and better talk-back functionality (which lets you talk to your child or another person in the room, instead of just listening) than the best video monitors we found. It offers a great range (1,000 feet), too, and at 19 hours it has longer battery life than any of our local-video picks. This model easily beats out its audio-only competitors for various basic reasons, as it’s cordless, rechargeable, and less expensive.
Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount
This Wi-Fi–dependent monitor connects to a well-designed app that allows you to check in on your baby when you’re away from home. It also stores video, tracks your baby’s sleep, and—crucially—keeps playing the camera’s audio feed while you’re using other features on your phone.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $276.
Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand
This package is just like the wall-mounted version of the Nanit monitor—with the exact same high-quality camera and app—except it comes with a pricier floor-stand mounting system, giving you the option to move the camera around to different locations.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $305.
The Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Wall Mount and Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor and Floor Stand (same monitor, different mounting systems) is a Wi-Fi video monitor, so unlike our local-video picks, it allows you to monitor your baby remotely—when you’re at work, traveling, or anywhere else you can get a Wi-Fi connection. The 1080p video stream, captured through a wide-angle lens, looks and sounds ultra-crisp on a smartphone, which serves as the screen—there’s no additional display unit. The monitor is equipped with the basic security measures we like to see on smart devices of this nature (that is, the video is encrypted in transit, and the app requires two-factor authentication). In addition, the Nanit Pro app has an important, but shockingly rare, feature: an always-on audio feed, which allows you to hear the audio from your baby’s room even if you leave the app. You can also use the app to track your baby’s sleep patterns, play and save video clips, and far more. But the Nanit monitor is expensive, you have to pay for a subscription to access most of the app’s features after the first year, and the whole package may be too much monitor for some families.
The RM7868HD (same monitor as the VTech RM7766HD, different name, depending on the retailer) can work as either a Wi-Fi monitor or a local-video monitor, with a separate display unit included. It offers the best video quality of any of our picks and great battery life. The app is easy to navigate, too, though it doesn’t have a ton of features.
The RM7766HD (same monitor as the VTech RM7868HD, different name, depending on the retailer) can work as either a Wi-Fi monitor or a local-video monitor, with a separate display unit included. It offers the best video quality of any of our picks and great battery life. The app is easy to navigate, too, though it doesn’t have a ton of features.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $131.
If you’re debating between a local-video monitor and a Wi-Fi monitor, the VTech RM7868HD (also known as the VTech RM7766HD) could be for you, because it’s both. The display unit offers an extra-large, 7-inch 720p LCD screen and excellent battery life, as it lasted 12 hours 14 minutes with the screen on in our tests. You can switch the RM7868HD/RM7766HD to Wi-Fi mode for remote check-ins and access a 1080p video stream on your phone via a simple app. (The display unit also works for Wi-Fi mode.) The video quality is especially detailed, and the camera can pan horizontally 360 degrees—it’s our only pick with that capability, useful if you have multiple children in the same room. It also has an optional night-light and sound effects. But VTech’s security and privacy measures for the RM7868HD/RM7766HD are more opaque than those that Nanit implemented for its monitors—we had to work to understand them—and not quite as advanced, and the VTech app doesn’t offer nearly as many features. Also, unlike the Nanit Pro app, the VTech app doesn’t allow you to keep the audio feed playing when you navigate to another screen on your smartphone, though we didn’t consider that a dealbreaker since you have the display unit as a second option. Beyond that, some people have reported severe frustration with VTech’s app (which is intended for use with all VTech Wi-Fi monitors). The app worked smoothly during our testing, and the company’s customer service is generally responsive, but be aware that app bugginess could be a risk.