Cheap baby monitors vs. high-end baby monitors: How to choose

Health & Safety

With several choices of baby monitors available, it is important to equip yourself with the right knowledge including the pros and cons of high-end vs. cheap baby monitors.

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Are cheap or high-end baby monitors best? 

A baby monitor allows you to listen to or keep an eye on your baby while you are away. A properly functioning baby monitor offers convenience, security and peace of mind to parents and babysitters. You can get a baby monitor for any budget, but will cheap baby monitors live up to your expectations? 

The ideal baby monitor should be easy to set up, offer reliable connectivity and offer good durability. Most high-end baby monitors are going to offer more features and will be made from more premium materials compared to cheaper baby monitors.

Cheap baby monitors

The obvious trade-off of getting a cheap baby monitor is going to be the overall quality of the product. You can expect cheap baby monitors to be missing some advanced features such as night vision or motion sensors that can alert the parent if the baby was woken up or trying to get out of their crib. The setup and reliability of cheap baby monitors can also be a problem. For a parent, it can be frustrating to keep troubleshooting connectivity issues with the baby monitor. 

There are two major types of baby monitors. The first type is baby monitors that only have audio capability, so they can only be used to listen to the baby. The other type is audio and video baby monitors, in which there is a camera in the baby monitor unit and the parents can view through a mobile-based app or separate device that has a screen. 

A common issue with cheap baby monitors is the quality of the video or audio. With all these disadvantages of cheap baby monitors, they might still work for you depending on your situation. You might not need any advanced features or you may get lucky with a cheap baby monitor that has no connectivity issues. Some cheap baby monitors offer great value for the money. That means for their low price, they offer reasonable functionality.

Cheap baby monitors pros

  • For users who are not sure if they need a baby monitor, a cheap baby monitor requires less investment to test the idea.
  • The affordable price means parents can get more than one baby monitor for different locations and rooms in the home. They can also use the cheap baby monitor as a backup monitor.
  • If a cheap baby monitor gets broken, you can rest easy knowing that a replacement should not be expensive.  

Cheap baby monitors cons

  • A cheap baby monitor can have issues with connectivity, initial setup or audio and video quality. This lack of reliability can defeat the entire purpose of having a baby monitor, which is to get a sense of security and peace of mind when you are away from your baby.

Best cheap baby monitors

VTech DM112-2 Audio Baby Monitor

VTech DM112-2 Audio Baby Monitor

This product is an audio-only baby monitor. The sound quality and range are excellent at 1,000 feet. This product comes with five levels of sound alarms and a set of five LED lights for alerts. Some of the other features include alerts, volume control and two-way communication. 

Available at Amazon

GoodBaby Video Baby Monitor

GoodBaby Video Baby Monitor

For a reliable video baby monitor that is wallet-friendly, you can consider getting the GoodBaby Video Baby Monitor. It offers a 2.4 inch HD display, excellent Wi-Fi connectivity, infrared night vision, temperature monitoring and several other features. It also has an alarm mode that alerts you if your baby is crying. 

Available at Amazon

High-end baby monitors

With high-end baby monitors, you should be getting premium build quality, crisp display, reliable connectivity, smooth and easy setup and several other features. The camera angles of high-end baby monitors might offer better coverage with some models offering adjustable angles. Certain high-end baby monitors might also offer advanced movement sensors, baby breathing monitoring, sleep tracking, zoom-in capabilities and more. In some devices, you might be able to record the display, allowing you to playback the video later.

Another option commonly available in baby monitors is to be able to see the display on the mobile-based app, so you don’t have to keep the monitor device with you. Just using the app on your smartphone will be enough. Keep in mind, the disadvantage of such a method is that you will have to keep the app open on your smartphone if you want to continuously monitor your baby.

High-end baby monitors pros

  • Using a high-end baby monitor provides peace of mind that you are using a reliable product to monitor your baby. With a high-end baby monitor, you should not have to contend with issues with connectivity, audio and video quality, display quality or battery life.
  • The advanced features in high-end baby monitors will allow you more functionality in what you can do with the baby monitor.

High-end baby monitors cons

  • It is going to be expensive to purchase a high-end baby monitor and there is no guarantee that it will work according to your expectations or needs.
  • If you or your baby end up breaking the high-end baby monitor, the replacement is going to be expensive.
  • You might not need all the advanced features offered by a high-end baby monitor. This means you will be paying extra for features that you won’t be using.

Best high-end baby monitors

Instant Optics DXR-8

Instant Optics DXR-8

The instant Optics DXR-8 is a high baby monitor loaded with features including an interchangeable lens for the perfect view of the baby. The interchangeable lens includes wide-angle, zoom or normal views. This product comes with a 3.5 inch LCD, Wi-Fi transmission, LED sound display, night vision, room temperature display and other features. 

Available at BuyBuyBaby  

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

If you can stretch your budget, the wearable Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor offers all basic and advanced features including an impressive sleep monitoring system that provides insights on several times your baby woke up and how much deep sleep they were able to get. This product also monitors heart rate and oxygen levels. 

Available at BuyBuyBaby

Should you get a cheap or high-end baby monitor?

The decision to get either a cheap or high-end baby monitor is going to depend on your needs. A high-end baby monitor is going to be a better overall product offering better build quality and more features. As you are going to be using the baby monitor for your child, you might not want to take any risks with a cheaper product that can be unreliable. You should stay away from extremely cheap baby monitors unless you are using them as a backup monitor. A key advantage of a high-end baby monitor is that you can be certain of its durability, so your investment should last a long time. Going with a high-end baby monitor is worth the investment because of how important it is to provide the best care and security to your baby.


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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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