If you are considering purchasing a baby breathing monitor, like most parents you are probably worried about SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the unexplained death of a baby under the age of one and usually occurs during sleep. It is one of the leading causes of death in babies in Western countries. The best way to reduce the risk of SIDS is to follow safe sleeping practices according to the American Academy of Pediatrics: place your baby on a flat surface, on their back, in their own crib without loose blankets or toys.
Although baby breathing monitors have not been proven to prevent SIDS, as a mom to a micro-preemie, the thought that a monitor could alert me if my baby stopped breathing was something that I needed for my peace of mind.
Baby movement monitors have various technologies that they use to track your baby’s breathing. Some use under-crib sensor pads, sensors that connect to the baby, cameras, and even pulse oximeter technology. You also have the option of audio and video baby breathing monitors.
I have researched all of the most popular baby breathing monitors available and compared their most important features so that you can take a deep breath and feel safe that you are making the right choice of breathing monitor for you and your precious baby.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look for in a Baby Breathing Monitor?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Baby Breathing Monitor
- Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Breathing Monitor of 2021
- #1: Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527 Baby Monitor with Breathing Movements Tracking (Best Value)
- #2: Miku Smart Baby Monitor (Best Overall)
- #3: Owlet Smart Sock 3 (Best For Tracking Heart Rate and Oxygen Levels)
- #4: Snuza Hero (SE) Baby Movement Monitor (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Bebcare Hear Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Breathing Mat (Longest Range )
- #6: Babysense 7 (Best for Full Bed Coverage)
- #7 Sense U Baby Movement Monitor (Best for Rollover Alert)
- Do Breathing Monitors Prevent SIDS?
What Should I Look for in a Baby Breathing Monitor?
Before choosing a baby breathing monitor, you should consider a few features and decide what is most important to you.
Type of baby breathing monitor
Breathing baby monitors track breathing using a range of different technologies. Some require a sensor that is wearable and connected to your baby, and others track breathing using a camera or an under-crib breathing mat.
Choose a breathing monitor that will suit your needs and lifestyle.
Video monitors, audio monitors, or stand-alone movement baby monitors
If you want to be able to see your baby and monitor their breathing, choose a video baby monitor. If you need to monitor two kids in two different rooms, you’ll need a monitor with more than one camera.
If you would like to hear your baby and monitor their breathing, then an audio breathing baby monitor is a good choice.
A simple baby movement monitor is a good option if you just want to track your baby’s breathing.
Separate parent’s unit or smartphone compatibility
You should decide if you prefer to carry a separate handheld unit or would rather use your smartphone as the parent unit.
Always choose a baby monitor that has security features to protect your monitor from being hacked.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Baby Breathing Monitor
While choosing the best baby monitors available, I looked at the most popular baby breathing monitors, with the best features. I also only chose baby breathing monitors that have been given excellent reviews by parents that have tested and trust them.
If you’re not looking for a breathing monitor, you can check out our list of regular best baby monitors.
Our Top Picks for the Best Baby Breathing Monitor of 2021
#1: Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527 Baby Monitor with Breathing Movements Tracking (Best Value)
The Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527 is an Amazon Choice product that has plenty of great features for a reasonable, mid-range price. It is a sound and video monitor that tracks your baby’s breathing via an under-the-crib mattress breathing mat.
It has a 5-inch touchscreen parent unit that enables you to get a clear picture of your baby. Infrared night vision will provide a black and white image of your baby in the darkness. With digital zoom and pan, you are able to zoom in to your baby and get a better view.
The camera can either be placed on a surface or wall-mounted, depending on your preferences and room layout.
The temperature of the room is monitored and displayed on the parent unit and will alert you if the room is too hot or cold.
The range of this baby monitor is up to 820 feet in an open field. This is considered a long-range monitor, but the actual range you will get will depend on walls and any objects or furniture obstructing the signal.
Equipped with two-way audio, you can speak through your monitor to comfort your baby when you are not with them.
This baby monitor is easy to set up and has a secure 2.4GHz transmission, which will ensure that your monitor cannot be hacked by another person.
It can be used without the breathing mat, and can therefore be used as a sound and video monitor when your baby no longer needs to have their breathing monitored.
Reason #1 to Choose the Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527: Non-Contact Wireless Breathing Mat
The new SenseAsureTM wireless breathing sensor pad is placed under the crib mattress on a hard, flat surface and will sound a loud alarm if the mat fails to sense your baby breathing for more than 20 seconds. This is a great feature as no part of the sensor needs to touch or be attached to the baby to sense breathing.
Being a wireless sensor, there is no chance of wires being tangled on your baby.
The sensitivity of the mat can be calibrated to your baby’s weight, in order to prevent anxiety-causing false alarms.
Reason #2 to Choose the Angelcare 3-in-1: Not Dependent on an Internet Connection
This baby movement monitor does not depend on a Wi-Fi connection. As long as it is connected to an electricity supply, the unit will monitor the baby and their breathing. This is especially important as internet connections can sometimes be unreliable.
Reason #3 to Choose the Angelcare 2-in-1: You Can Add Another Mat
Extra sensor pads can be purchased separately and added to your baby monitor, which is perfect if you have multiples and would like to use one baby monitor.
This baby monitor is a great option if you are looking for a mid-range priced audio and video baby monitor that will also track your baby’s breathing. The reviews of the Angelcare system are excellent, with many parents enjoying peace of mind using the breathing mat.
The complaints are mainly focused on people struggling to get a good camera angle. However, because this baby monitor can be wall-mounted or mounted on a surface, a good camera angle should be achieved.
#2: Miku Smart Baby Monitor (Best Overall)
The Miku Smart Baby monitor is multi-award-winning audio, video, and breathing baby monitor, and if the sky is your limit in terms of budget, this monitor really has it all. Using your smart-phone, it will not only monitor your baby’s breathing, but it will also track sleep patterns, provide analytical information, and monitor the room temperature.
Using two-way audio, you can speak to your baby through the monitor and comfort them while on the way to your baby.
The Miku uses 256-bit encryption, 2-factor authentication, and a tamper-resistant Crypto Chip for secure data, which means that the Miku cannot be hacked.
You can grant other people permission to log into your monitor so that when you are out and someone else is babysitting, your monitor can be used with their smartphone.
The Miku is wall-mounted and easy to set up with everything you need in the box and easy-to-follow instructions.
Reason #1 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: No Wearables or Pads
This baby monitor uses military-grade technology in the form of radio waves in the camera itself to detect movement and monitor your baby’s breathing and sleep patterns. This means you will not have to worry about any extra equipment such as wearables connecting to your baby or a breathing mat like Angelcare. You will simply need a camera.
Reason #2 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: No Extra Parent Device to Carry
The Miku connects to and sends data directly to your smartphone. This means that you will not have to carry around a separate parent unit as you would need to with the Angelcare.
Reason #3 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: It will Analyze and Track Data
If you are someone who likes to have a lot of information at your fingertips regarding your baby’s breathing and sleep patterns, this monitor will provide just that.
Unlike the Angelcare monitor, which provides very basic information, the Miku will show you your baby’s live breathing, data, baby’s sleep and breathing patterns, and the room temperature and humidity.
This is not only useful for your peace of mind, but you could use this information to show your baby’s doctor if there is something that concerns you.
Reason #4 to Choose the Miku Smart Baby Monitor: HD Camera and Sound
Like the Angelcare, the Miku is also a sound and video baby breathing monitor that will capture video during the day, and it uses infrared night vision to capture a black and white picture in the darkness.
Unlike the Angelcare, the Miku has a much clearer 1080p HD camera video quality camera and a wide 130-degree view, and allows you to capture, share, and download unlimited HD photos and videos of your baby from your smartphone.
The Miku has high-quality Ole Wolff Speakers, and unlike the Angelcare monitor, the Miku plays custom sleep sounds and lullabies to soothe your baby.
If you are willing to pay a higher price, the Miku is a high-quality sound and video breathing and movement baby monitor, that will also provide you with plenty of analytical data. The parent reviews of this monitor are absolutely shining, with countless parents impressed with the quality of this monitor.
#3: Owlet Smart Sock 3 (Best For Tracking Heart Rate and Oxygen Levels)
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 is an Amazon’s Choice product and is the only baby monitor on this list that will not only track breathing and movement but will also monitor your baby’s vitals in real-time using a pulse oximeter.
Like the Miku, you will also get a lot of analytical data regarding sleep patterns, breathing patterns, and much more.
The Owlet, like the Angelcare and Miku, is a video and audio monitor, which will provide clear 1080 HD images of the baby in the day and, using infrared night vision technology, will give you a black and white image of the baby in the dark.
Like the first two baby movement monitors, the Owlet has two-way audio, so that you are able to talk to your baby and comfort them through the monitor.
The Wi-Fi connection of this monitor is safe and cannot be hacked, and like the Miku, you can allow your monitor to connect to other smartphones with permission.
The risk of SIDS is very low after the first year, and the Owlet can be used thereafter without the sock, functioning as a high-quality sound and video monitor.
Reason #1 to Choose the Owlet Smart Sock 3: Monitors Heart Rate and Oxygen Levels
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 uses a wireless Smart Sock that fits snugly onto your baby’s foot and, using clinically-proven pulse oximetry, will track the baby’s breathing, movement, heart rate, and oxygen levels in real-time.
Like the Miku, your smartphone will be used as the parent unit, and you will be alerted if the baby’s heart rate, breathing, or oxygen levels are outside the preset levels.
With the Owlet app, you will be provided with a lot of analytical data regarding the baby’s sleep, breathing, and heart rate patterns.
The Smart Sock now comes in 2 sizes: size 1 (up to 12lbs) and size 2 (12-30lbs). There are right and left versions of each size, for a total of four socks. The Smart Socks are BPA-free, lead-free, and latex-free, so you can be sure that the sock is free of toxins.
It’s easy to charge the sock after a sleep session by simply placing the sock on the base station.
Reason #2 to Choose the Owlet Smart Sock 3: Alerts Parents in Two Ways
This is the only baby breathing monitor on the list that will alert you in two different ways if something is wrong, making sure that it will get your attention.
The Smart Sock connects to a base station that will glow green if all levels are within the normal parameters, but if something is wrong, the base station will alert you with sounds and lights, plus you will also get notifications and alarms via your smartphone app. This ensures that if something is wrong, and your smartphone doesn’t alert you, it will still get your attention.
The Owlet really takes baby monitoring to a whole new level by tracking breathing and vitals and providing you with lots of analytical data. The reviews of this monitor are excellent, with many parents giving glowing recommendations, saying that it works well and gives them so much peace of mind.
#4: Snuza Hero (SE) Baby Movement Monitor (Best Low Cost)
Another Amazon’s Choice product, the Snuza Hero (SE) is one of the most popular movement monitors. It is simply a stand-alone movement monitor that will alert you if there is no breathing or movement for 20 seconds.
This clever little device clips onto the baby’s diaper and monitors the baby’s breathing via abdominal movements. The movement rate indicator lights will warn you if the movement is weak or there have been less than 8 movements per minute.
Another nice feature of this baby movement tracker is that you can turn on a ticking sound so that you can hear that the monitor is on and functioning properly.
The flashing LED lights are very bright and can still be seen through blankets and clothing, so you don’t have to be concerned about not seeing the lights if you want to put more layers on your baby.
If you already have a sound or video monitor that you love, the Snuza can be used in conjunction with your existing monitors, so that you can track your baby’s movement, too.
The Levana Oma Sense Baby Breathing Monitor is very similar to the Snuza, and both are apparently under the same company.
Reason #1 to Choose the Snuza: It’s Budget Friendly
This baby movement tracker is a third of the price of most breathing monitors on this list, so you can still track your baby’s breathing even if you are on a budget.
Reason #2 to Choose the Snuza: Rousing Function
If the Snuza Hero doesn’t detect movement for 15 seconds, the sensor will vibrate to try and rouse your baby. Often this sensation is enough to stimulate your baby to breathe, and it will continue to track as usual.
A sharp alarm will alert if there is no movement after 20 seconds or if there have been 3 rousing incidents.
This is the only monitor on this list that has a vibrating rousing function.
Reason #3 to Choose the Snuza: Easy to Travel With
The Snuza is a small and compact stand-alone movement tracker, which means it doesn’t monitor audio or video, and there is no parent unit. This makes this monitor very easy to travel with.
Simply take it with you on trips or vacations. It also comes with a handy portable case that you can use to protect and carry your Snuza while traveling.
Reason #4 to Choose the Snuza: Replaceable Battery
This is the only monitor on the list that has a replaceable battery. You won’t have to worry about constantly having to charge the Snuza, as it will let you know with a red light that the battery needs to be replaced.
If you are looking for a very reasonably priced, simple, rousing movement monitor that is easy to travel with, the Snuza Hero (SE) is a fantastic option. The parent reviews of the Snuza are stellar, with many satisfied parents saying that this is one of the best items they have purchased so far.
The negative reviews are few and far between, and they usually relate to false alarms. False alarms can occur, but if the monitor is placed correctly, these false alarms should not happen often.
To prevent false alarms, some parents suggest making sure that the baby’s diaper is snugly fastened and that you should fold over the top of the diaper to ensure a thicker area for the Snuza to be tightly clipped onto. Just make sure you remember to take it off before throwing the diaper into the diaper pail.
If you are worried about your baby’s skin reacting or chafing, a layer of clothing can be placed between your baby and the monitor.
#5: Bebcare Hear Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Breathing Mat (Longest Range )
If you have a large house, and you want to monitor your baby’s breathing from anywhere in the house, you will need to choose monitors with a long-range. The advertised range of monitors refers to a tested unobstructed range in an open area.
Because our houses have walls and furniture that will cause disturbances in the signal, we can’t know exactly how much range we will get from a monitor. If you have a large house, choose a monitor with the longest range that you can find, to ensure it will not lose signal.
The Bebcare Hear is an extra-long-range movement monitor with an impressive 2,000 feet of range in an open area. The baby monitor will also alert you if you are out of range.
It is an audio baby monitor, and like Angelcare, it has a separate parent unit. With two-way audio, the parent unit is used as an intercom, so that you can speak through the monitor to your baby and calm them until you can be with them.
A temperature sensor will alert you when the room is too hot or cold. You can clip the parent unit onto your clothing for easy hands-free carrying.
The parent unit has 5 levels of sound, and if you don’t want to be alerted to every sound, you can adjust the sound level to only hear your baby when they really need you. Even if the device is on mute, the parent unit will alert you with led lights and vibrations to get your attention.
A white noise silencer will eliminate any background noise, ensuring you get a good night’s sleep without hearing every noise. It comes with a calming starry night light and, like the Miku, it offers relaxing built-in lullabies to calm your baby when it is time to go to sleep.
The baby movement monitor sensor pad is bought separately. The sensor pads have 3 piezoelectric sensors that will track breathing movements and detect abnormal breathing, and it will sound an alarm if breathing is erratic or stops. The sensor mat is placed directly under the baby, and more mats can be purchased for a bigger surface area.
Reason #1 to Choose the Bebcare Hear: Longest Range
This baby movement monitor is one of the longest-range movement monitors available on the market right now. With 2,000 feet of unobstructed range, this monitor has double the range of most long-range monitors advertised.
Reason #2 to Choose the Bebcare Hear: Customizable Alerts
This is the only baby monitor on the list that allows you to create customizable alerts, such as feeding, medication, and diaper changing alerts.
Reason #3 to Choose the Bebcare Hear: Ultra-Low Radiation Emission
Wireless technologies and Wi-Fi do emit some radiation. The Bebcare Hear uses a special DSR radio technology, which reduces wireless radiation emission by over 90% compared to other baby monitors, thereby protecting your baby from any potentially harmful effects associated with radiation.
Reason #4 to Choose the Bebcare Hear: Very Long Battery Life
The Bebcare has 70 hours of battery life on standby mode, which far longer than the Angelcare product, which only gives you 6 hours of battery life. Your monitor will alert you if your battery is getting low.
If you are looking for a high-quality extra-long-range audio breathing baby monitor, this is the one for you. The parent reviews are fantastic, with many reviewers loving the fact that this monitor emits the least radiation.
#6: Babysense 7 (Best for Full Bed Coverage)
The Babysense 7 is an under-the-mattress movement baby monitor with two-plate sensors that will track your baby anywhere on the crib mattress.
If movements slow (less than 10 micromovements per minute) or stop completely for 20 seconds, the Babysense will sound a loud alarm, and lights will flash to alert you.
Like the Angelcare, the sensor pads have no direct contact with the baby, and although it is not completely wireless like the Angelcare, there are no exposed wires as they are safely hidden, so there is no chance of your baby getting tangled in wires.
Like the Snuza, they are both simple movement monitors, and like the Bebcare and the Snuza, the Babysense also does not emit radiation like other sensors that depend on Wi-Fi connection and radio waves.
The Babysense uses a reusable battery like the Snuza and will last about 6 months before needing replacement, so you will not constantly have to worry about recharging or replacing your batteries.
Reason #1 to Choose the Babysense 7: Complete Bed Coverage
Like the Angelcare, the Babysense is also placed under the mattress. The difference is that the Babysense 7 covers a wider surface area than the Angelcare, so that no matter where your baby ends up sleeping on the mattress, it will still track your baby and their movements.
Reason #2 to Choose the Babysense 7: Fewer False Alarms
The two-plate design ensures coverage of the whole mattress so that when the baby moves off of one plate, the second plate will still be able to track your baby’s movements and therefore cause fewer false alarms.
If you are looking for a movement baby monitor that will monitor your baby anywhere on the crib mattress, the Babysense 7 is a great option. The parent reviews of this monitor are exceptional, with many parents saying this monitor was literally a life-saver for them.
#7 Sense U Baby Movement Monitor (Best for Rollover Alert)
The Sense U is an award-winning movement baby monitor that, like the Snuza, clips onto the baby’s diaper or pants and tracks the baby’s abdominal movements.
If your baby’s movements slow down, or no movement is detected, you will be alerted via your smartphone.
Reason #1 to Choose the Sense U Baby: Rollover Alert
According to safe sleeping practices that help to prevent SIDS, babies should be sleeping on their backs. The Sense U is the only monitor on this list that will track your baby’s sleeping position and notify you when your baby rolls over onto their stomach so that you can reposition your baby to a safer, back-sleeping position.
Reason #2 to Choose the Sense U Baby: Tracks Baby’s Temperature
With a built-in thermometer, this is the only baby monitor on the list that tracks your baby’s temperature and will alert you when the baby’s temperature is too hot or too cold.
Reason #3 to Choose the Sense U Baby: Uses Bluetooth
Like the Owlet and the Miku, the Sense U also uses your smartphone as the parent device. However, because the Sense U uses Bluetooth technology, like the Snuza and the Bebcare, no radiation is emitted from this device. It has a 50 feet range, so you will be able to monitor your baby from another room close by.
If your baby tends to roll over onto their stomachs, this is a great choice, as it will not only track breathing but also alert you to stomach sleeping. The parent reviews are excellent, with many saying that it works well and that they love the stomach-sleeping alarm.
Do Breathing Monitors Prevent SIDS?
It has not been proven that baby breathing monitors prevent SIDS.
All the baby breathing monitors mentioned in this article are excellent choices and will definitely give you peace of mind. However, on a balance of great features and price, my choice for the best baby breathing monitor is the Angelcare 3-in-1.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Angelcare 3-in-1 AC527 Baby Monitor with Breathing Movements Tracking.
If you have a higher budget and want the best of the best, pick the Miku Smart Baby Monitor.
If you need your monitor to be able to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, pick the Owlet Smart Sock 3.
If you would like a movement monitor but don’t want to spend a fortune, pick the Snuza Hero (SE).
If you have a large house and need an extra-long-range breathing monitor, pick the Bebcare Hear Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Breathing Mat.
If you want a movement baby monitor with full mattress coverage, pick the Babysense 7.
If you need a movement monitor that will alert you to stomach sleeping, pick the Sense U Baby Movement Monitor.
Choosing any of the baby breathing monitors I have mentioned in this article will make you breathe a sigh of relief and allow you to relax knowing you are doing everything you can to keep your baby safe while they are sleeping.