The birth of your baby naturally brings with it many new purchases. Some are just to make things easier for your baby, such as a mobile. Other products are essential, such as nappies, clothes or a changing table.
The second category of course includes the right baby monitor. This means you always have your baby within earshot and don't have to worry about not hearing it cry. Basically, you can distinguish between an analogue and a digital baby monitor.
In our big baby monitor test 2021 we have tested the different types of baby monitors for you and present our top favourites. We also answer all the questions you should ask yourself before buying a new baby monitor.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Baby Monitor: Our Selection
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a baby monitor
- 4.1 What is a baby monitor and how does it work?
- 4.2 What are the advantages and disadvantages of a baby monitor without a camera?
- 4.3 What should you look for when buying a baby monitor?
- 4.4 Is a baby monitor dangerous?
- 4.5 How much does a baby monitor cost?
- 4.6 What alternatives are there to baby monitors without a camera?
- 5 Decision: What types of baby monitors are there and which one is right for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate baby monitors
- 7 Facts worth knowing about baby monitors
- There are two types of baby monitors: Digital and analogue baby monitors. In contrast to analogue devices, digital devices are tap-proof.
- A baby monitor should have a long range and high sound quality and also be low-radiation and energy-saving.
- Baby monitors are available in different price categories and with different helpful additional functions such as night light, lullaby or intercom.
The Best Baby Monitor: Our Selection
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a baby monitor
What is a baby monitor and how does it work?
This is because the parent unit receives information from the baby in a conventional baby monitor. With all baby monitors, this includes the baby's crying. Depending on the equipment and additional functions, the baby monitor can even receive room temperature, videos and much more.
In contrast, the baby unit serves as a transmitter, because it sends the above-mentioned inputs to the parent unit. This is possible, among other things, through built-in microphones.
This means that parents can leave their baby in their own room and still have an eye - or ear - on the baby. It often happens that babies do not sleep through the night and therefore wake up several times and cry.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a baby monitor without a camera?
You should first ask yourself how important the need for such a product is to you. Do you want a model that transmits acoustic signals from the baby's room or do you also want to be able to watch your baby while it sleeps?
As with any technical device, there are advantages and disadvantages to a baby monitor without a camera. For example, this type of baby monitor cannot display a video image. However, this function could make it much easier for you to observe your baby more closely.
Another disadvantage is that you will probably always go to the nursery as soon as strange noises are transmitted. Therefore, you are always worried about what would not happen if the baby monitor transmitted not only sound but also a picture.
Of course, baby monitors without a camera also have some advantages, such as the acoustic monitoring that signals you whether everything is all right. They are also much cheaper to buy. Another advantage is that they are easy to use and install. In addition, they often have a longer range. These products also have a longer battery life.
As you can see, a baby monitor without a camera fulfils the most important basic conditions.
What should you look for when buying a baby monitor?
Since there is a large selection with different functions, you need to find out exactly which device best meets your criteria before you buy. In this section, we will therefore present the most important points to look out for when buying such a product.
The most important thing is that you don't save on the wrong end, as the quality of the device is ultimately also decisive for reliable and safe monitoring of the sleeping offspring. The following features are decisive for buying the right baby monitor without a video camera.
The first point is the range, because a high transmission range gives you more freedom. For example, you could go to the neighbour's house without any problems and still have a connection to your baby. There are now monitoring devices with a range of up to 500 metres.
Another point is the volume. It is important that your device has a volume control with which you can manually adjust the volume so that you can still hear the signals from the nursery through the baby monitor despite loud background noise.
The transmission also plays an important role, because in order to avoid "false alarms" due to overlapping of different frequencies, you should choose modern devices. With these models, the frequencies are digitally encrypted, thus preventing such problems.
Likewise, any monitoring device should be as low in radiation as possible, i.e. send as few radiation waves as possible so that the child is not exposed to them without protection. This way you can be sure that your baby is being watched in a healthy environment.
Is a baby monitor dangerous?
But is the fear of this justified? What kind of radiation is actually produced and how much? Are there any simple tips against radiation exposure?
The radiation we are talking about here is electromagnetic radiation. It is generated wherever electrical devices are used, including mobile phones and smartphones, for example.
The DECT radio technology in digital baby monitors in particular is criticised because it emits pulsed radiation continuously.
These microwaves have long been suspected of being carcinogenic when exposed to high levels, as they can alter brain waves. Analogue baby monitors, on the other hand, are usually much lower in radiation.
However, as mentioned above, analogue baby monitors are much more susceptible to interference and have poorer sound quality.
But you can reduce the radiation if you pay attention to the following points:
- Make sure that you buy either an analogue or digital baby monitor with ECO mode.
- In addition, you should switch off the permanent range control on digital devices.
- Place the baby unit as a radio transmitter one to one and a half metres away from the baby's head.
- You should also avoid other electronic devices in the nursery, for example a WLAN router.
- Always switch off the baby monitor when it is not needed.
How much does a baby monitor cost?
Of course, there are also high-quality transmission devices that don't require you to dig too deep into your pocket. This is exactly where the baby monitors without cameras are convincing. They are available at a very low starting price of less than 50 euros.
The weak point, however, is the small selection of available functions. However, if you want a fully equipped device and don't mind the higher costs, there are also models for over 100 euros.
What alternatives are there to baby monitors without a camera?
On the one hand, the baby monitor with camera is a possible option. These baby monitors are basically the same as the conventional ones. However, the baby monitor with camera has an additional camera built into the baby unit.
This allows the parents to perceive not only acoustic but also visual inputs on their receiver unit and the child is even better under control.
There are also baby monitor apps. Compared to baby monitors, however, apps do not require a separate receiver and transmitter unit. This is because your own mobile phone serves as the transmitter unit.
It detects cries and calls and triggers a call to a programmed number. This alerts the parents on an additional mobile phone and they can go and check on the baby.
Decision: What types of baby monitors are there and which one is right for you?
Basically, there are two different types of baby monitors without a camera:
- Analogue baby monitor
- Digital baby monitor
These different types of baby monitors have specific functions, each with advantages and disadvantages.
Depending on what you value and what specific idea you have of a baby monitor, a different type is best suited for you. In the following section, we would like to help you find out exactly that.
To do this, we would like to introduce you to the three types of baby monitors without camera mentioned above so that you can choose the right one for your specific requirements.
What distinguishes an analogue baby monitor and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Analogue baby monitors have a big advantage, which we have already mentioned: They have a significantly lower exposure to electrosmog because they do not use pulsed signals when transmitting.
Put simply, an analogue baby monitor ensures a safe environment for your baby's health and this should be your top priority!
However, these models transmit unencrypted and are therefore not tap-proof. In addition, they have only one to eight channels and thus a small number of transmitters - with the shortcoming that interference can occur quickly.
Interference can occur, for example, if other transmission devices or radios in the vicinity transmit on the same channel.
To avoid this interference, you have to change the channel. Therefore, it would be more advantageous if your baby monitor has several channels. Other disadvantages are the poor voice quality and the short range, which makes it difficult to use such a device.
What distinguishes a digital baby monitor and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Let's now move on to digital baby monitors. Unlike analogue ones, these are encrypted.
The transmission between the transmitter and receiver unit is based on Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications or Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum radio technology (DECT and FHSS for short), which are considered particularly tap-proof and interference-free.
These techniques avoid signal conflicts with other radios and frequency duplication and you do not need to worry about whether your baby monitor is tap-proof.
In addition, you have a wide choice of transmitters with up to 120 channels, which also ensure interference-free transmission. Last but not least, the excellent voice quality and high range should be mentioned.
However, there is one major disadvantage with a digital device: the generation of electrosmog through the above-mentioned transmission technology, as they work with stronger and also pulsed high-frequency microwaves.
Nowadays, however, there are also models that have an ECO mode. This not only lowers power consumption, but also significantly reduces electromagnetic pollution. Thus, these devices are also harmless to health according to the current state of scientific knowledge.
Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate baby monitors
In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate baby monitors without a video camera. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.
In summary, these are:
- Additional functions / extras
- Eco mode
- Belt clip
In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.
One of the most important criteria for a good baby monitor without a camera is the range. This is because different transmission ranges lead to specific advantages and disadvantages.
Since there are a large number of baby monitors without a surveillance camera, the range also varies.
Baby monitors with a long range are advantageous for many families because you do not have to be in the immediate vicinity.
On the contrary - you can sit in the garden in peace or even go to the neighbour's house for a coffee without worrying that the connection might be cut off and the baby is unobserved. One disadvantage is that devices with a long range are much more expensive.
We therefore only recommend a baby monitor with a long transmission range if you own a large house and like to visit your neighbours who live a few hundred metres away. If you are mainly indoors, then a baby monitor with a short range will suffice.
Additional functions / extras
Nowadays, there is a huge range of baby monitors with different features. In the following, we will explain which features are the most valuable to make it easier for you to find the right baby monitor without a camera.
On the one hand, there are models with an intercom function that enable 2-way communication between parents and baby.
This function is almost a standard feature of every product. The idea behind it is that you can communicate with your baby on the way to the nursery and calm it down immediately.
If your child whines just a little, you can comfort him or her with soothing words from a distance without having to go to the nursery.
In order for this to work without problems, the sounds received by the baby unit should be pleasant, free of metallic sounds and not too loud, as they can otherwise have an opposite effect and make the child more worried.
Secondly, there are baby monitors with a temperature display. For many parents, it is incredibly important that their baby is well. This includes undisturbed and peaceful sleep. However, this depends on several factors. One of them is the room temperature, which should ideally be between 16 and 20 °C.
To keep an eye on the ideal room temperature, there are babyphone models with a temperature display as an additional function, which work as follows: A temperature sensor on the baby unit determines and checks the temperature in the nursery and sends it to the parent unit.
The result of the survey among parents in Germany on owning a baby monitor in 2017 showed that 61 percent of the respondents owned a baby monitor without a camera. 23 percent of parents had a baby monitor with a camera and 16 percent had no baby monitor at all.
A display allows you to check at any time whether the room temperature is within the appropriate range between 16 and 20°C.
There are also devices that allow you to programme the ideal temperature range. An alarm is then sounded as soon as the minimum temperature falls below or the maximum temperature is exceeded.
When measuring the temperature, you should also consider what the baby sleeps in. For example, sleeping bags for babies can simply be too hot in warmer periods. In this case, there are special summer sleeping bags for babies.
Movement and breathing sensor
Another useful function is the motion detection or the breathing sensor. A sensor mat detects and registers the child's movements. If a child stops moving - due to weak breathing - an alarm is triggered at the transmitter unit.
More detailed information is described in the trivia.
A useful extra is the lullaby function. This allows the transmitter to play different lullabies. This can be useful to help the baby fall asleep.
In addition, this function can quickly calm the baby if it wakes up.
Now you should know about the most important additional functions of a baby monitor without a surveillance camera. In the end, of course, you have to decide for yourself which extra is important to you.
Of course, additional functions drive up the price of the device. But it is up to you how much money you want to invest in the monitoring device.
The following table summarises the different extras and additional functions of a baby monitor without a camera.
|Baby monitor extras||Description|
|Intercom function||Communication between parents and baby possible|
|Temperature display||Temperature sensor determines and checks the temperature in the baby's room. If the temperature exceeds or falls below the set value, the baby monitor sounds an alarm|
|Motion detection||Detection by motion sensor mat|
|Lullaby function||Choice of different lullabies|
If you are looking for a baby monitor, you will come across the term "eco mode".
As explained above, digital transmission is done using the DECT standard. The baby unit automatically looks for a free channel to transmit the data to the parent unit. And this is exactly where the "Eco mode" comes into play.
Basically, high-frequency electromagnetic waves are sent continuously so that the connection between the two units is permanent.
However, this connection is not necessary when the baby is sleeping and therefore rarely moves. Then the "eco mode" switches to a stand-by mode.
If movement does occur, the baby unit detects this and selects a free channel to send data to the parent unit. This is a big plus. However, there is the disadvantage that this results in enormous energy consumption.
Much more important is the "eco mode" of the parent unit, because it is powered by a rechargeable battery. This means fewer charging cycles and longer continuous flexibility. The smaller the distance between the two units, the lower the transmission power must be.
Furthermore, there is a reduced emission of electromagnetic waves that spread over the living space. This means that with the baby monitors with "eco mode", dangerous electrosmog is somewhat reduced.
If you want to protect your child from the influence of strong electromagnetic radiation, a model with "eco mode" is definitely recommended.
A big problem with some baby monitors is the lack of range and battery level control. This could have serious consequences, because if the battery gives up the ghost, your baby is unobserved and you would not get any indication if something should happen to him.
However, there are two useful functions for this: the range check and the battery level check.
This means that your baby monitor without a surveillance camera immediately sounds an alarm as soon as the battery level is too low or the maximum range has been exceeded. Then you can act quickly.
As babies often sleep during the day, there is often the problem that parents cannot sit next to the cot around the clock to watch their offspring.
For example, they may have to do chores that require them to walk around the house or flat.
To keep a watchful ear on the baby monitor at all times, you need to carry it with you at all times. But this could become a problem over time. On the one hand, it is annoying to hold it in your hand all the time and take it with you.
On the other hand, you might forget it in a room and not notice for a few minutes whether your baby is doing well or not.
But there is a simple and practical solution: the belt clip. With it, you can attach your baby monitor to your belt without a camera and have it with you at all times.
This practical invention makes it easier for you to monitor your baby while he or she is sleeping, while doing other tasks around the house or flat.
For many parents, the weight of the baby monitor also plays an important role. Some prefer a lightweight device. There are different reasons for this.
On the one hand, many parents want to be able to take the baby monitor with them when they go on an outing or to the neighbour's house.
There are very light baby monitors without a video camera weighing about 350 g, but there are also baby monitors twice as heavy that score points for stability. There is something for everyone.
The dimensions play a big role in many purchases. There are also different sizes of baby monitors without cameras, because every manufacturer has a different idea of what a baby monitor should look like.
And customers also have individual requirements. One prefers a small, inconspicuous monitoring device, the other would rather have a large model that does not get lost so quickly.
Facts worth knowing about baby monitors
Where should you place a baby monitor without a camera in the nursery?
Of course, it is obvious that the baby monitor should be in the room where the child is staying. This will usually be the child's room, or perhaps the parents' bedroom in the beginning. But where exactly is the best position for it? In the bed? In the bassinet? On the floor? On the changing table or dresser?
In the following we will explain where you can safely place your baby monitor without a camera.
First of all: Away from the child's head!
In general, it depends on the device and its sensitivity where you should place it. With less sensitive devices, it is quite practical to place the transmitter at the foot of the baby's bed.
If the device is placed on a shelf, it is important to consider hanging cables and safety.
Can baby monitors also be controlled via WLAN?
Yes, they can. There is even a new trend emerging for baby monitors to be controlled via WLAN.
By using WLAN, you no longer need two units, but only one. Thus, the purchase of one baby unit is sufficient.
The mobile phone serves as the receiver unit. This can be connected to the baby unit via WLAN and controlled.
If the baby unit is equipped with a camera, for example, the camera can be panned and the picture can even be zoomed in, depending on the use of the app on the mobile phone.
How does a baby monitor with motion detector and breath monitoring work and what is it used for?
Baby monitors that have a motion detector and a breathing monitor as an additional function serve to provide additional security for monitoring the baby.
But first in general: A conventional (audio) baby monitor works noise-based. When a set threshold is exceeded, the device switches to broadcast and transmits the sounds to the parent unit.
In Güntersleben, a baby monitor was activated by the voice of a burglar. This enabled the parents to hear the burglar's voice. The mother ran into the child's bedroom and was thus able to prevent a crime.
But if now the emergency were to happen (which of course we never hope) that your baby does not cry but stops breathing - what happens then? The noise level would most likely not be reached to activate the device and get your attention. This could have fatal consequences.
This problem can be solved by using a baby monitor with a motion sensor mat. But how exactly does it work?
The motion sensor mat is placed underneath the baby's mattress and can thus detect the baby's movements. In addition, you can adjust the sensitivity so that even breathing movements are registered.
If breathing stops for longer than 20 seconds, an alarm is triggered in the parent unit and you can intervene immediately.
Picture source: 123rf.com / 112917824