In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

The Best Movement Monitors of 2022

We tested the top 8 movement monitors from Snuza, Angelcare, BabySense, and others to find the best
The Best Movement Monitors of 2022
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Friday March 25, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Considering a movement monitor for your infant available today? We considered more than 20 of the 7 top contenders we purchased for testing to help you determine the right monitor for your needs. For some parents, having a movement monitor in the nursery provides peace of mind for a better night's sleep by helping to limit their fears of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Movement monitors track the baby's breathing movements, and while movement monitors don't claim to prevent SIDS, a reliable monitor can ease some anxiety. Remember safe sleep guidelines should always be followed with EVERY sleep to help reduce the risk of SIDS.

Other types of baby monitors include sound monitors, which are more than adequate for most parents, and video monitors to keep an eye on your baby. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our best baby monitor review.

Editor's Note: We updated this movement monitor review to reflect the currently available products and to provide more information on our testing process.

Top 7 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 7
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Awards Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $90 List
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$170 List
$93.94 at Amazon
$180 List
$174.99 at Amazon
$110 List
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$300 List
$129.99 at Amazon
Overall Score
84
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69
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Star Rating
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Pros Portable, affordable, simple, no EMFVideo and audio, wireless sensor padPortable, wearable, fewer false alarmsPortable, simple, vibration stimulus, no EMFWearable, lower EMF than similar options, lots of app info, alert on parent device
Cons No parent unit, could be uncomfortable, alarm could be scaryHigher EMF than wired, high price, requires hardboard under the mattressPrice, nursery only alarm, potentially scary for babyNo parent unit, difficult to attach, short battery lifeSomewhat higher price, proximity to connect required
Bottom Line Affordable monitor that is easy to use and good for travelPotential all-around solution for every monitoring need from movement to sound and videoPortable simplicity make it interesting but the higher price and loud alarm should be consideredReliable clip-style wearable with a unique vibration stimulusUseful wearable button that provides more information than other wearable monitors
Rating Categories Snuza Go Angelcare AC327 Levana Oma Sense Snuza Hero SE Sense-U Baby
Reliability (40%) Sort Icon
8.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
Ease of Use (30%)
8.0
4.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
EMF (20%)
9.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Portability (10%)
10.0
5.0
10.0
10.0
8.0
Specs Snuza Go Angelcare AC327 Levana Oma Sense Snuza Hero SE Sense-U Baby
Sensor Type Wearable Sensor Pad Wearable Wearable Wearable
Parent Unit No Yes, Dedicated No No Smartphone
Monitoring Type Movement Movement, Sound, Video Movement Movement Movement, Position, Activity
EMF (at baby) 0.4 V/m .9 V/m 0.4 V/m 0.4 V/m 1.2 V/m
Recommended Age Not Listed Sensor Pad: 0-24mo
Audio & Video: 0mo+
0-6mo Not Listed Rollover Alarm: 0-6mo (or until baby can roll over)
Breathing and Temp. Alarm: All ages
Adjustable Sensitivity No Yes No No No
Wireless Mobility Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Best Wearable Monitor


Snuza Go


84
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Reliability 8.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • EMF 9.0
  • Portability 10.0
Wearable: Yes | Parent Unit: None
Portable
Inexpensive
Easy to use
Alarm can upset or go unheard
Short battery life
No parent unit

The Snuza Go is a budget-friendly wearable that clips to the front of your baby's diaper with a flexible sensor that rests on the infant's abdomen. This top-scoring product is easy to use and travels well with no additional components or complicated setups to worry about. This unit has a simple design that requires no special crib modifications or environment alterations, giving parents that straight out-of-the-box satisfaction you can't find in the sensor pad-style monitor.

The Go doesn't have a parent unit, and the loud nursery alarm can cause unnecessary upset for the baby or potentially go unheard by those outside the nursery. This can be half remedied by combining it with a sound monitor to gain a parent unit to ensure you hear the alarm. Some parents also feel that the battery life is too short, and replacements are challenging to locate. Still, the lower price and portability of the Go can offset this potential problem if you have budget or portability on your brain. Like most other movement products, the Go isn't that useful for older babies on the move, as this can result in false alarms, so it has a limited lifespan. Overall, this monitor has a reasonable price for a straightforward unit that works for younger infants and is perfect for traveling.

Read review: Snuza Go

movement monitor - best wearable monitor
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Budget Mattress Pad Monitor


Babysense 7


55
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Reliability 3.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • EMF 9.0
  • Portability 4.0
Wearable: No | Parent Unit: None
Easy to use
Simple setup
Nothing to wear
Two sensor pads
Nursery alarm can cause upset
Not good for travel
No parent unit

The Babysense 7 is a sensor pad monitor that works under the crib mattress. It is easy to use and works well with minimal preparation and setup. This monitor has a straightforward control unit that goes on the crib's front and receives data from the two pads under the crib and sounds the alarm (with red lights) if your infant stops moving after a designated period. The Babysense 7 is one of the most reliable movement options in our tests, with fewer false alarms than the competition. It operates on AA batteries to decrease the potential for accidental strangulation from product cords. Unlike wearable monitors, this option works reasonably well even after your baby is mobile (up to one year old).

This monitor can be purchased with a video monitor. While we understand the desire to see and hear your infant along with movement alerts, we recommend not purchasing the combination as the video camera emits more EMF (Volts/meter) than the top-rated video monitors we tested. Even at 6 ft from the camera, our EMF results were 3.5 V/m, while the average value for similar cameras in our review is closer to 2 V/m at this distance. If viewing your little one is important, we recommend purchasing a video monitor separately. Video is useful longer than movement, and choosing a quality product with lower EMF is more important than saving a few dollars or the convenience of buying a set. Plus, you get to choose what you want instead of being stuck with one option.

Like all mattress sensors we've tested, the Babysense 7 requires that the mattress is housed on a hard surface board to function properly. It is also one of the most expensive options in this review. Because the alarm sounds in the nursery and not on a parent unit, it isn't the right choice if you want a parent device. Overall, this movement choice is easy to use and works well for a longer period than much of the competition, thanks to the two sensor pads. We believe most families will appreciate the simplicity and fewer false alarms with this unit and can always add a video or sound monitor as desired.

Read review: Babysense 7

movement monitor - best budget mattress pad monitor
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Nursery Safety
Always route cords out of your baby's reach to avoid potential injury or death from accidental strangulation. Even if your baby cannot roll/move or contact the nearby cords, it is vital that you install your monitor safely the first time to avoid potential future problems. Do NOT save this for a later time!

Gentle Baby Rousing


Snuza Hero SE


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Reliability 5.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • EMF 9.0
  • Portability 10.0
Wearable: Yes | Parent Unit: None
Vibration stimulates baby movement
Portable
Easy to use
No parent unit
Short battery life

The Snuza Hero SE is a clip wearable with a unique vibration feature that gently rouses your baby from sleep, so they move (theoretically breathe) to stop the vibrating alarm before the audible alarm kicks in. This product is the only monitor we reviewed with this useful rousing feature. We like the simplicity of this wearable and the increased ability to use it away from home as it doesn't require a specialized setup or mattress like the sensor pads.

To help ensure that you never miss an alarm or cry from the nursery, you can combine any movement device with a sound or video product. Combining monitor types can provide the most useful information about what is happening.

This clip can be uncomfortable for some little ones, and it doesn't work well if your baby is old enough to roll over or crawl as the sensor can dislodge or lose contact. This unit also has no parent device, so if the vibration doesn't rouse the baby, an audible alarm erupts directly from the clip attached to your child, and you may not hear it if you aren't close enough. If you don't hear the signal, it will continue to alert, which could unnecessarily upset little ones. Some parents didn't like the shorter battery life, while others experienced false alarms when the clip lost contact with the baby's belly. However, if you travel frequently or want a monitor that stimulates the baby into movement before the alarm goes off (a unique feature in our experience), then the Snuza Hero is an excellent choice.

Read review: Snuza Hero

movement monitor
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
84
$90
Editors' Choice Award
Top-ranking, wearable monitor that is budget-friendly, easy to use, and good for travel
76
$180
Loud nursery alarm and high price make this otherwise useful wearable one to price compare with similar options
69
$110
Top Pick Award
Clip-style wearable with vibration stimulates baby without upsetting loud alarm
57
$170
Sensor pads require special setup, but it comes with everything you need to monitor for years
55
$130
Best Value Award
Easy to use mattress style sensors with 2 sensor pads but no parent unit or adjustability
50
$300
Top Pick Award
Helpful app connected movement monitor that is good for travel and getting more nursery info
34
$100
Interesting idea but the high EMF and lower reliability score gives us pause

movement monitor - the babysense 7 had fewer false alarms thanks in part to the dual...
The BabySense 7 had fewer false alarms thanks in part to the dual sensor pads.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Why You Should Trust Us


Consideration for inclusion in our movement monitor review begins with our founder, board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Juliet Spurrier. Dr. Spurrier chooses products with safety and efficacy in mind. The in-house test team is led by Bob Wofford, father of 7, and our Senior Review Analyst. Wendy Schmitz, a Senior Review Editor, helps with the test analysis and ranking of products to determine award winners. Over time we have tested 14 different monitors designed for movement. Our vast experience over the last seven years helps us provide the details you need to find the right monitor for your baby.

We purchase and test most of our reviews' products, including this review for movement style monitors. The products are tested side-by-side for ease of use, EMF, false alarms, and features. We used two different brand EMF meters during testing to ensure accurate readings for each product and across models.

Our testing of movement monitors for babies covers 4 rating metrics:

  • Reliability tests (40% of overall score weighting)
  • Ease of Use tests (30% weighting)
  • EMF tests (20% weighting)
  • Portability tests (10% weighting)

Since 2012, we've purchased and tested more than 19 movement monitors and over 100 monitors across multiple monitoring types. Our tests include multiple tests per metric to rate reliability and other functions.

Movement products are subjected to more than 12 individual tests to rank performance. The critical metric for movement monitors is the reliability score, which corresponds to 40% of the overall movement score. Our Reliability results combine real-life experience during testing and extensive research online to capture the experience of a vast swath of users. We record and rank reports related to reliability, false positives, and potential failures.


Analysis and Test Results


We purchased and tested each movement monitor in this review for its portability, reliability, ease of use, and more. Products were used in real homes and compared side-by-side in our in-house lab to determine how well they compare and which options are the right choice for different situations.

SIDs Prevention
For important tips on SIDs prevention and the safest sleep practices for your baby, read more information about how to protect your baby in an article written by our founder and board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Juliet Spurrier. Best sleep practices are the best way to help prevent sleep-related injuries or death and are far more important than choosing the best monitor.


Value


There are several value products in this category, including some impressive and versatile award winners. Depending on your goals and needs, you can find a great movement monitor for around one hundred dollars, and given their typical shorter lifespan, this is definitely a purchase to consider beforehand. The Levana Oma Sense and the Snuza Hero are similar options that work well, offer impressive portability, and are easy to use. The Hero includes a vibration feature to gently rouse little one's encouraging movement, while the Levana has an in-nursery alarm only. The Snuza Go is almost identical to the Oma and comes in with a price below a hundred and was the top-scoring product in this review. If you are looking for a sensor pad monitor, a good value is the Baby Sense 7 with 2 included under-mattress pads and a quick setup.

movement monitor - the babysense 7 comes with two sensor pads that can cover more area...
The BabySense 7 comes with two sensor pads that can cover more area than the single pad offered with the Angelcare AC403.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Reliability


False alarms can be a frightening experience (for parents and babies), and they often result in more questions than answers. Their occurrence makes reliability a critical consideration and the number one complaint of most parents when it goes wrong. Historically, in our experience, the sensor pads were the most reliable because there is no risk that the sensor will move or become dislodged. Products like the Angelcare AC327 and the Babysense 7 had fewer false alarms than the wearable products when properly set up and for infants who have not begun to roll or move significantly during sleep. New analysis indicates this may no longer be the case.


The primary cause of false alarms seems to happen when wearable monitors lose contact with the baby's body and can no longer sense movement. Contact loss can occur if the button on the Monbaby Smart Button loses contact with the baby or the diaper clip products shift away from the baby's belly. As your baby becomes mobile, there is a chance of a wearable product losing contact with the baby. For this reason, the sensor pads were thought to result in fewer false alarms as they encompass a wide area of the mattress and are not dependent on a calm and stationary baby. Also, the Angelcare AC327 has a sensitivity adjustment on the nursery unit that can be altered to suit your nursery and child's specific needs, thereby decreasing potential false alarms. The BabySense 7 comes with two pads, which potentially translates to even fewer false alarms as it covers more of the area than the single pad of the Angelcare. However, it seems that outside factors can influence how well these sensor pads work, and things like an overhead fan or a vibrating air filter can result in a poorly operating monitor.

Recently, in our research and analysis, we've seen an increase in reports indicating that wearable monitors are proving to be more reliable when it comes to a lack of false alarms. Users by and large report fewer false alarms or problems with the wearable options than they have in the past, and analysis seems to indicate they might actually be more reliable than the sensor pads when used correctly. While any device can fail if it becomes detached from the baby or isn't used according to directions, most wearables performed well and offered peace of mind for parents by not alerting when everything was fine. As long as the wearables stay connected, they seem to be the more reliable option. The highest-ranking option for reliability is the Snuza Go earning an 8. The lowest-scoring is the Monbaby with a 2.

movement monitor - the snuza products are some of the easiest to use with limited...
The Snuza products are some of the easiest to use with limited features and settings.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


Parents should consider how challenging a monitor is to use. Factors such as the setup time, buttons, settings, smartphone interface, and battery changes all come into play for this metric. The Babysense 7 and the Angelcare AC327 are straightforward to turn on, but they have some adjustment settings to manage at least once, and the parent unit on the AC327 is neither user-friendly nor intuitive. Alternatively, the Snuza Go, Snuza Hero, and Levana Om Sense require less initial preparation but can be frustrating to attach to a squirmy or sleeping baby resulting in false alarms or sleep disruption. Parents also complain that the battery compartment is hard to open on the Snuzas, making battery changes a dreaded chore.

movement monitor - the sense-u app is user friendly and has clear alarms for the middle...
The Sense-U app is user friendly and has clear alarms for the middle of the night alerts.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Monbaby Smart Button and the Sense-U Baby can also be challenging to attach. Their sensor and smartphone can fail to connect, resulting in an expensive, useless accessory. Plus, each has an app you need to use, and while they are reasonably intuitive, it will help if you are familiar with the typical user interface found on other tech gadgets and apps.


movement monitor - the levana has a loud in nursery alarm akin to a smoke detector.
The Levana has a loud in nursery alarm akin to a smoke detector.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Alarm Volume


Most monitors in our review alert inside the baby's nursery, so they need to be loud enough to wake you from a dead sleep in a different room. This nursery alarm should wake a baby from a deep sleep, who is theoretically not breathing, without the potential delay from a slow waking parent running to the nursery. However, this loud in-nursery alarm also means potentially scaring your little one, which will lead to crying instead of gentle stimulation to facilitate movement or breathing. Depending on your house size, where the nursery is, and if the monitor is covered, the alarm could be hard to hear. Because of this, we highly recommend that monitors without parent units be combined with a sound monitor. The Angelcare AC327 has a dedicated parent unit with video and audio capability, so you are sure to hear the alarm and can then peek in to see if your little one is breathing.

movement monitor - the angelcare has a dedicated parent device but it feels dated and...
The Angelcare has a dedicated parent device but it feels dated and isn't the most intuitive.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Parent Unit?
Many movement monitor alarms are only on the sensor in the nursery and do not include a parent device. This design means you need to be within hearing distance of the alarm. Combining the movement monitor with a sound monitor can mitigate the need to stay within ear-shot, and choosing two monitors is a popular solution for many parents for this reason.

movement monitor - the ac327 sensor pad requires a hard surface to rest on and not all...
The AC327 sensor pad requires a hard surface to rest on and not all mattresses are compatible. The pad is adjustable to help avoid false alarms from any nearby device that causes vibrations.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Adjustable Sensitivity


The Angelcare AC327 sensor pad offers the ability to adjust motion sensitivity. The highly sensitive sensor pads can pick up ambient noise and vibration from heating vents, fans, or household appliances. If the pads pick up ambient interference, the monitor will not work if the infant stops moving because the sensor will think the interference is the baby's movements. You must test your monitor while using everyday appliances in proximity to the baby's room (specifically fans, air filters, white noise makers, and heaters in baby's room). If the alarm does not function, then the sensor on the AC327 can be adjusted to ignore interference. The wearable monitors are not affected by low-level ambient vibration and do not have an adjustable sensor, but don't mistake this to mean they are suitable for strollers or car seats; they are not. None of the movement monitors will work when used in a device designed to move, as the monitor cannot tell the difference between a baby's movement and the stroller or car seat movement. If you choose the BabySense 7, you'll need to remove ambient interference from the room or at least move it away from the baby's crib, as it doesn't have an adjustment feature. Even something as simple as a slowly moving overhead fan can influence the sensor.

movement monitor - the new owlet smart sock 3 has much lower emf readings in our tests...
The new Owlet Smart Sock 3 has much lower EMF readings in our tests (1.1 V/m) than the Owlet Smart Sock 2 (8 V/m).
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)


The jury is still out on the effects of EMF on the human body and the sensitive developing systems of babies. Nevertheless, we believe there is enough evidence to indicate potential harm, so we think parents should consider the EMF (Volts/meter) emitted by all products in use near their little ones. We believe that a "better safe than sorry" approach is smart and that parents should make thoughtful and informed choices when selecting products that emit EMF. Every home has an ambient EMF level, and each new product brought into the home can increase the EMF emissions. However, putting an EMF emitting device directly on your baby is entirely different in our minds. It is a nonessential practice, and we think parents should weigh the pros and cons before doing so. This concern is why we test each product to determine how much EMF it generates.


In comparison, both Snuza models and the Levana Oma emitted no EMF higher than the ambient room reading (0.4 V/m). The Monbaby Smart Button is also high, in our opinion, with a reading of 2.3 V/m. The Sense-U Baby has significantly lower EMF than the similar Monbaby with a reading of 1.2 V/m, which is one reason why it ranked higher overall. The mattress sensor pads from the BabySense 7 emit no EMF over the ambient room in our tests, and the Angelcare AC327 is middle of the road with 1.2 V/m as a result of the wireless design.

movement monitor - we tested each monitor, including the owlet smart sock v2, for emf...
We tested each monitor, including the Owlet Smart Sock v2, for EMF emissions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

For some perspective, we also tested the EMF on a smartphone in various configurations of Bluetooth, WiFi, and calling active and not active, and some wearable fitness monitors. This testing provides comparable information on how the wearable monitors' EMF compare to items you use or wear daily. We believe parents can better relate to this data, given the rising concerns about radiation from cell phones and cancer. A smartphone with the WiFi on and making a call measured 17 V/m at a one-inch distance. At 1 inch away from the meter, the Fitbit has an average reading of 3 V/m.

Even though conclusive data about how much EMF is dangerous is lacking, we don't recommend high EMF emitting products for the first six months (when this kind of product is useful), especially since there are good alternatives that do not have this issue. Babies are more susceptible to EMF than adults because they are still developing and have thinner skulls. Given this information, we are disturbed that some baby monitoring products have significantly higher EMF than the adult products we hear about so much.

The takeaway?

Because of the concerns and supporting data involving the long-term use of smartphones next to your head given the potential risk of radiation and cancer related to EMF, we do NOT feel it is a good idea (in our opinion) to use a high EMF emitting product directly on your baby.

We recommend that any EMF emitting monitor you feel is necessary should be placed as far away from your baby as possible without disrupting their performance.

movement monitor - the owlet smart sock 3 is a portable option that is suitable for...
The Owlet Smart Sock 3 is a portable option that is suitable for travel and provides all the information you might ever want.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Portability


Portability includes evaluating which options are the easiest to take on the road with you when you travel or for trips to grandma's house. In short, the wearable options are far easier to take when traveling due to their smaller size and the way they function. The sensor pad-style monitors require a specific kind of mattress and a hard surface underneath. They also involve a fairly intensive setup. This all means when you reach your destination, there is a potential that you'll need to modify the crib offered to you, and it may not be suitable to work with your monitor at all.


On the other hand, the wearable options are attached to your baby or their clothes and are small enough to fit in a carry-on or purse, and set-up only takes a few moments. This makes getting little ones ready for bed when you reach your destination an easy, quick, and efficient no-brainer. If you plan to travel with your monitor, we think the Snuza Hero, Levana Oma, and the Snuza Go are the easiest and most user-friendly options for portability. They are all similar in design and user interface. Still, the Hero includes a vibration rousing response before the alarm goes off, which means you could potentially avoid a loud alarm sounding in the middle of the night.

Caution!
Wearable units do not work in a moving car or stroller as they can't differentiate between a baby's movement or the movement of a vehicle or stroller. This incompatibility is not a fault of any monitor but a result of the technology design and how it determines a baby's movements.

movement monitor - a wearable solution like the sense-u baby might be the answer you&#039;re...
A wearable solution like the Sense-U Baby might be the answer you're looking for if you want more information than just movement that indicates breathing.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


Movement monitors are not a medical device, and you shouldn't rely on them to prevent SIDS or monitor any medical condition or issue. However, some parents find that this monitor style offers peace of mind that they would not have otherwise. If it can help increase your odds of achieving a good night's sleep, you might consider making it a part of your nursery. If a movement monitor is on your list of baby products, we put together this review of top options, and we believe everyone can find something to meet their needs. No matter what kind of monitoring decisions you make, nothing replaces safe and smart sleeping practices to reduce the risk of SIDs. Babies must always sleep on their back, in their own space, and on a firm surface, using only a tight-fitting sheet for bedding (no blankets, lovies, pillows, bumpers, etc.). Providing a safe and comfortable sleep space for your little one is more crucial than choosing a monitoring device. This safe space should have good airflow with a fan or air filter nearby to increase circulation. There should be no smoking, and the room should be a comfortable temperature for an adult in lightweight clothing (no overheating the space or keeping it too cool).

Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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