In my research, I discovered a variety of types from low-tech clip-on monitors to contact-free smart-video monitors. My pick for the best baby breathing monitor is the Levana Oma Sense for functionality and simplicity. If the Levana Oma Sense is too simple for you, then explore my other top picks. I’ve included smartphone compatible, contact-free, wearable, and even a pulse-oximeter monitor.
Best Baby Breathing Monitors
The Levana Oma Sense is a cordless, battery powered breathing monitor that clips directly onto your baby’s jammies or diaper that uses wakeup technology, while the Angel Care Baby Monitor is both a breathing monitor and regular monitor that uses a mattress sensor pad to track movement that audio and video monitors cannot capture.
Levana Oma Sense
The Levana Oma Sense makes keeping an eye on your baby’s breathing a breeze, old-school style. I chose this monitor as the top pick for its simplicity and parent approval. Unlike many other breathing monitors, the Oma Sense doesn’t include a smartphone app, camera, or second piece of equipment.
Instead, the Levana uses a patented, one-hand clip-on feature that makes it simple to attach and remove from your baby. Simply clip the Oma onto your baby’s pajamas or diapers. This monitor doesn’t need to touch your baby’s skin, but it does need to clip somewhere near the belly area.
What I love best about the Oma is the use of wakeup technology. It uses vibrations to encourage your baby to move and breath first. Then, it sounds like an alarm for parents. Newborns are exhausting. With this feature, you don’t miss vital sleep with false alarms. This means you aren’t woken up constantly.
If your baby doesn’t move within five seconds of the stimulation, then an LED light and alarm activate to alert you to attend to your baby. This cordless device operates on battery power, making it completely portable. Overall, the Oma Sense meets the need to watch baby’s breathing patterns without unnecessary or fussy features.
The Oma is great for travel or just a trip to grandma’s house. If you like direct and simple solutions, this is the product for you!
- Cordless, battery-powered and portable
- Uses wakeup technology
- Emergency alarm and LED lights alerts parents
- Wearable device attaches with clip
- For infants 0 – 6 months of age
- Simple design
- Doesn’t track data or require extra tools or devices
- Not rechargeable, must replace batteries
- Must be within ear distance to the monitor
- Risk of falling off or baby removing as they get older
Angel Care Baby Monitor
TheAngel Care Baby Monitor is my pick for a breathing monitor with a mattress sensor pad. With the advanced technology available today, I think mattress sensor pads are slightly outdated. But, if you prefer this type of model, Angel Care is a great option.
The risk with mattress sensor pads is that if baby rolls or moves off the pad, you receive an alarm. While this product works well for newborns, it might lose its effectiveness once your child can move.
I do like that this monitor doesn’t require a smartphone to work. The package includes a parent unit screen. The Angel Care monitor uses the sensor and video to track your baby. This means that the monitor is still useful once you no longer need to track breathing but still want to use a standard monitor.
- Dual-purpose as breathing and standard monitor
- Includes video monitoring
- Includes a parent unit and doesn’t require a smartphone
- Room temperature display
- More affordable than some other breathing and video monitor combos
- Not intuitive to detach breathing monitor tracking to use only as video monitor
- Static may occur through on parent unit
- False alarms and baby may move off sensor
- Not durable
Snuza Hero Premium Baby Movement Monitor
The Snuza Hero is very similar to the Oma Sense monitor. It also clips onto baby’s diaper or pajamas to track movement. Like the Oma, it uses vibrations to stimulate baby and then follows up with an alarm.
I think either the Oma or the Hero would work great. My top pick was the Levana Oma because I liked the look better, and it incorporates wake technology, like fluctuating sounds and vibrations, plus lights.
I don’t really think you can go wrong with either product. However, some versions of the Snuza aren’t available in North America, like the version that is compatible with a camera baby monitor.
You can compare Snuza vs. Owlet in our review and comparison article.
- Simple design with no apps or cords required
- Simulates baby before alerting parents
- Battery operated
- Must be within earshot of baby
- Doesn’t track or provide data
- Not rechargeable
Best Smartphone Compatible Baby Monitors
When comparing baby monitors that tracks your infants activities onto your smartphone, the Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor uses a baby sock to track their vitals; the Mimo Smart Baby Breathing & Activity Monitor uses onesies to monitor their movements; and the Miku Smart Baby Monitor is a contactless monitor to keep track of their breathing and sleep patterns.
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
I only recommend the Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor for parents with infants that have a medical issue that requires both monitoring baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels. Otherwise, this product isn’t necessary. However, if you have an infant where tracking the breathing and heart rate simultaneously is needed, this is the product for you.
The Owlet Smart Sock tracks your baby’s vitals using a smart sock sensor that you attach to your baby’s foot. It is a pulse oximeter designed for a baby. When the heart rate and oxygen levels are stable, the base station glows green. This means all is well. However, if the vitals change, the base emits light and sound notification.
This device also works with an app for your smartphone to track your baby’s patterns and receive notifications. However, a smartphone app is required. The base station provides alerts. This is great if you prefer not to keep your smartphone by your bed.
You can see our full Owlet review for more nitty-gritty details.
For a full functioning baby monitor opt for the Owlet Smart Sock and Camera Combo. This includes a video monitor, which means you won’t need to buy a separate monitor.
- Pulse oximetry technology to track heart rate, oxygen levels, and sleep
- Tracks data via your smartphone
- Base station notifies of the state of your child
- Includes 3 fabric socks to fit baby up to 18 months
- Offers peace of mind for baby’s with medical issues
- Sock and base must be charged
- May experience false alerts
- For active baby, the sock may slip off
Miku Smart Baby Monitor
If simple isn’t your thing, then the Miku Smart Baby Monitoris for you. Not all parents want a simple solution. The Miku monitor includes everything you need to track your child using smart technology. Dads will love this product, too! The best benefit of the Miku monitor is that it’s contact-free. You don’t have to attach anything to your baby to track their breathing.
Plus, this is an all-in-one monitor. You get the benefit of a breathing monitor with all the standard monitor features. You won’t need to buy a separate monitor to keep tabs on your baby.
When I say this has all the bells and whistles, I mean it! The Miku monitor tracks breathing, temperature, humidity, sound, and motion. Plus, with the Miku app, you can receive alerts from anywhere. If you’re away from home for work or travel, you can still check in on your child.
For you data gurus, this monitor tracks your baby’s sleep patterns and provides handy reports to review. You can also add to your collection of videos and images of your baby with videos and photos stored on your smartphone. Overall, the Miku is the top pick for the parent that loves data and gadgets without attaching your baby with wires or devices.
If I’m honest, I would never purchase this monitor because it feels a little too complex. However, when I showed it to my husband, he wanted to have another baby just to use this monitor.
- Only need one monitor to do it all
- Contact-free means no devices or wires attached to your baby
- Data tracking and reporting to optimize your baby’s sleeping environment
- Storable video and photos from monitor’s camera
- Works with a smartphone to deliver updates and alerts
- Data collection of your baby’s behaviors
- Learning curve to understand and use this technology
- Higher price point than simpler breathing monitors
Mimo Smart Baby Breathing and Activity Monitor
The Mimo Smart Baby Monitor is designed for your baby to wear the monitor without risks of it moving or baby sliding off. This is because Mimo designed a onesie with an integrated monitor. I only recommend this because it’s the only monitor I found with integrated smart clothing technology.
Use your smartphone to track your baby’s breathing from any location. Not only that, but it tracks if baby rolls over and temperature. Plus, the onesies are washable. Simply detach the sensor and wash.
This is a great product for multiples because, unlike some apps, the Mimo can be set up to track twins, triplets, or more within the same app.
If you want to keep your eyes on more than one child, too, check out our best 2 or more camera baby monitors.
- Wearable but sensor is non-skin contact
- Works well for multiples
- Made in the USA
- Easy setup for those not tech-savvy
- Designed to work only for babies 0 – 3 months of age
- Not compatible with other monitoring systems, would still need to buy a standard monitor
- Only 3 onesies included means you’ll need to buy extras
Best Under-the-Mattress Monitor
Babysense 7 Under-the-Mattress Baby Monitor Bundle
The Babysense 7 Under-the-Mattress Baby Monitor Bundle gives you the best of both worlds. It comes with a breathing and movement monitor to provide parent comfort, while also including a camera monitor for extra security. This is another contact-free option that will keep you up-to-date on baby’s safety.
The baby breathing monitor consists of two motion detector pads that can be placed under a crib or bed mattress. You can use one pad or both, depending on how often and how much your child moves. These pads work by monitoring baby’s micro-movements in their sleep. The system will sound the alarm if either A) there are no micro-movements in a 20 second period, or B) there are less than 10 micro-movements per minute.
The pads are quite sensitive to small movements. Even under a standard-sized crib mattress, they do their job. They have wires hanging down, but the kit comes with a hook to keep the wires up off the ground and out of baby’s way. The battery life on this monitor is not bad as well.
So while the system doesn’t track breathing rate or oxygenation or anything like some of the contact sensors, it does track the small movements that are highly correlated with breathing patterns and overall function. The alarm that sounds on the parent handheld unit will shine a red light and emit a fairly loud alarm when no movement is detected.
Then there’s the video monitor portion of the Babysense bundle. This is a great little camera with a ton of features. It can:
- Check the room temperature and alert you if it’s too high or too low
- Zoom, pan, and tilt from the handheld remote
- Be mounted on the wall or sat on a table or shelf
- Expand to up to 4 different cameras and scan between the 4 cameras
- Sound an alarm or timer that you can set
- Go into eco-mode with sound-activated LED lights only
- Use night vision or clear LED daytime view on the 2.4-inch display screen
- Play lullabies and talk back to baby from up to 900 ft away
Basically, this movement monitor does everything a regular video baby monitor does, with the added benefit of the motion sensors. It would be great if they used the same remote, but unfortunately, you need one remote for the motion sensor and one for the video camera.
- Contact-free motion and breathing monitor
- Sensitive pads do their job and have a great battery life
- Clear camera with features like zoom and a 900ft range
- Camera has night vision and can play lullabies
- Affordable baby monitoring package
- Doesn’t track breathing rate, HR, or oxygenation
- Needs 2 different remotes for the motion and video portions
- Video monitor doesn’t have the best battery life
The Best Breathing Monitors Compared
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
|Miku Smart Baby Monitor||$$$$||8.0|
|Angel Care Baby Monitor||$$$$||8.9||8.2|
|Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor||$$$$||9.0|
|Levana Oma Sense||$$||8.8||8.6|
|Snuza Hero Premium Baby Movement Monitor||$$||9.9||9.0|
|Mimo Smart Baby Breathing and Activity Monitor||3.9||5.0|
|Babysense 7 Under-the-Mattress Baby Monitor Bundle||7.8||8.4|
Buying Considerations for Baby Breathing Monitors
Not every baby needs a breathing monitor. For most families, a standard baby monitor will meet your needs.
Breathing monitors are best used for premature babies, babies with breathing-related medical issues, and babies that have experienced an apparent life-threatening event or ALTE.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) doesn’t recommend using baby breathing monitors. Instead, they provide recommendations to prevent SIDS and create a safe sleeping environment for your child.
If you need the peace of mind a baby breathing monitor offers, consider your options when buying. I prefer the simple option, like the Levana Oma. However, it may work best to buy a breathing monitor that also doubles as a standard monitor.
The good news is that these kinds of monitors are now available in a variety of price ranges and with a variety of features to meet your needs.
FAQs – Baby Breathing Monitors
Will a baby breathing monitor prevent SIDS?
No, a breathing monitor will not prevent SIDS. SIDS is still such a mystery, but according to the AAP, there has been no clear link shown between using a breathing monitor and a reduced rate in SIDS occurrences.
Instead, practicing safe sleep for all infants will provide better protection against SIDS. Follow these American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for the most protection:
- Place baby to sleep on their back
- Sleep should only occur on a firm surface
- No blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or other items should be in the crib with baby
- Room share with baby, but do not bed share
- Breastfeed if possible and for as long as possible
- Don’t expose baby to secondhand smoke
- Get all the well-child checkups as recommended by your child’s pediatrician
- Don’t let baby overheat while sleeping
- Let baby use a pacifier during naps and nighttime
Why are baby breathing monitors so expensive?
Fear is a very powerful motivator, as parents well know. Most breathing monitor companies will use fear as a reason to make a product fetch a higher price.
And while I wish I could say that baby breathing monitors use absolutely cutting-edge technology that warrants a high price tag, it’s just not true. These are consumer-grade, not hospital-grade, according to experts at WebMD. The technology is good, but it’s not the best.
Still, many parents are more than willing to pay for the extra peace of mind that these breathing monitors can help bring, especially parents of at-risk babies.
Do baby breathing monitors have a lot of false alarms?
There has been recent concern regarding the overall accuracy of these devices. Something that is meant to bring peace of mind to parents can actually do the opposite.
Because baby breathing monitors rely on technology that is newer and somewhat temperamental, they don’t always work perfectly. Bad parts or bugs in the system can result in the baby breathing monitor sending a bad report when there is no reason for concern. Furthermore, they can fail to catch a truly dangerous drop in oxygen or heart rate.
Some parents have complained that the Owlet is prone to lots of false alarms for low oxygen or heart rate problems, which could result in unnecessary trips to the emergency room and lots of lost sleep. As a result, Owlet is now part of a class-action lawsuit.
The Bottom Line
My conclusion is that the best baby breathing monitor for parents’ peace of mind mainly depends on personal preferences. The first hurdle in finding the best baby breathing monitor is to find the type that works best for your needs. The bottom line is that you are the best tool to keep your baby safe. Look at monitors only as a tool to help you rest easier.
The Levana Oma Sense offers ease-of-use, portability and durability. It is my top pick for baby breathing monitor. Especially for medically compromised babies, the Oma is a good investment without all the fuss of a fancy or expensive monitor.