10 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors Reviewed in 2019
The importance of carbon monoxide detectors simply cannot be underestimated. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that can cause anything from lightheadedness to migraines and dizziness and can even be fatal if not caught in time. Every house and apartment should be equipped with some kind of device to detect this deadly gas, but unfortunately, not all homes come with them. these products are easy enough to find and purchase, but the question you are left with is, how do you know which brand is the best for your home and where can you find it? We present you with the items that we think are worthy of keeping your home safe in this informative buying guide. All of these vary in price, where they need to be placed, and how they alert you to the danger of carbon monoxide. Here are the best carbon monoxide detectors in 2019.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 29 hrs of research
Easy to read display
Can run on battery power or through an adaptor
Battery functions as a backup source of power
It has a unique alarm system
Shows real-time readings
- Kiddie Nighthawk
- Kidde 21008873-2-KN-COPP-B-LPM
- First Alert BRK SC7010B
- Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated
- First Alert CO605 Plug-In
- First Alert CO615 Frust Free Dual
- First Alert SC05CN Combination Smoke
- Nest Protect Smoke S2001LW
- Leeo Smart CO Remote Alarm
- Pyle PCMM05 Hand Held
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors
1. Kiddie Nighthawk
Easy to read display
Can run on battery power or through an adaptor
Battery functions as a backup source of power
It has a unique alarm system
Shows real-time readings
Some people have reported receiving out-of-date units
Nighthawk is an alarm system you can depend on. It will update frequently and show rising CO levels in real time, so you are prepared and ready to plan your next move.Read more
The Nighthawk is the CO detector that most people commonly think of when it comes to testing for the deadly gas. This detector has a nice feature that is helpful with easy gas readings, and that is a digital display. The number on the reader is as plain as day to see as it lights up in red. If the numbers begin to go up, not only will you be able to watch it in real time, but you will also hear an alarm if they exceed peak level. The detector can be plugged into the wall or run off battery power alone. This makes it versatile for any place in your household. This detection system is top of the line when it comes to home alert system and will repeat a patterned sound that is unmistakable if there is a leak. It is also affordable and won’t have you spending big bucks to give your home the protection it needs.
The 9-volt battery system operates as a backup in case the AC adapter stops working. This is an excellent quality to have in the event of a storm or any other circumstance where you would lose power for a significant amount of time.
Being the most popular of all CO detecting devices sold online, the Nighthawk is also one of the best at protecting the home of accumulated CO levels that are deadly.
This incredible device runs on battery or electric power to give you the flexibility you need for the places you want to have it protecting the home.
The simple to read digital display not only makes this item easier to use but makes it more durable that the user does not have to press buttons for a readout each time.
Ease of use
The digital display is easy to read and will pick up on elevated CO levels rather quickly. It is because of this that we love how versatile it is in placement. It can be plugged in right-side up, sideways, or even run on battery power when placed away from an outlet.
2. Kidde 21008873-2-KN-COPP-B-LPM
Easy to read display even in low lighting
You can check peak levels since the last rest
The unit is small
Battery-operated so it is versatile
Users are cautioned against using reusable batteries due to changes in functionality
This slightly larger alarm is a powerful tool in defense against carbon monoxide. It is designed to pick up on changing levels immediately and also features a test button so that you can always make sure that it is working any time of the day.Read more
Another brand that is worthy of earning a place in your home is Kiddie. Kiddie has had a long-standing history of providing products that are stellar in safety quality and produce tremendous results when compared to the competition. This alarm is a great basic unit for those who need something simple and easy to use. It features a peak button that will show you what the last highest recorded peak was if any. This great product also has a reset button that is useful when testing and resetting the unit to ensure that it is ready to go. It is battery-operated, so those will need to be replaced on a regular basis. However, it will still function even if you happen to lose power or electricity to an outlet. The alarm itself is rather small, so it can be placed inconspicuously in various rooms in order to keep your family safe while not becoming too obvious.
The accuracy and dependability of this item come from the reputation of the maker. Kiddie is known for making safety products such as fire extinguishers also that protect people from disasters.
You can trust that this wonderful product will work when you need it. kiddie makes some of the most trusted models of safety protection of any other company in this field.
The simplicity of this unit makes it the gold standard in our book. You do not need to be any type of engineer to set this up, test it, or check peak levels, since everything is clearly labeled and simple to use.
Being a battery-operated item that is small and placeable in many different locations, it is long-lived and durable to last at least seven years in protecting the home from harmful gases.
Ease of use
The display on this Kiddie alarm is very easy to read, even in low-light environments. That makes it perfect for garages or spare rooms that no one uses very often. You will not have to turn on many lights to check the read-out on this device.
3. First Alert BRK SC7010B
Compatible with other BRK and First Alert alarms
Features a loud alarm for all types of hearing abilities
Has a battery backup system
Detects smoke and heat too
Uses advanced technology to remain current
It can send off a false alarm occasionally
Battery backups are important, especially during storms or the unpredictable nature of a power outage. This alarm is designed to automatically switch over so that you never need to worry whether or not your family is safe.Read more
Another option is to go with a two-in-one system, such as this device, which measures both smoke and carbon monoxide. This unit is designed to simplify the number of devices running in your home by alerting you to the presence of significant smoke in the atmosphere as well as the presence of CO. Some families prefer this over just a standard CO detection device because it safeguards them in two ways. By providing an extra back-up smoke detector (most homes have them previously installed) as well as an additional alarm. This alarm is hardwired with a photoelectric sensor that is designed to pick up heat from anywhere nearby and set off an alarm that is also loud-spectrum. This feature alone makes it ideal for families who might have someone facing a hearing deficiency as the alarm is designed to alert those with poor hearing as well.
The photoelectric sensor in this device will accurately pick up heat from any place near it. it will send out an alarm to alert you of these problems in the home quickly so you can act accordingly.
Measuring both CO and smoke in the home, you can depend on this incredible product to protect your family both during the day and night. it makes a good check device for a regular smoke detector.
The battery acts as a backup system in the vent that the electricity in your house does happen to fail. This is a life-saving measure that can mean the difference between getting out in time or sending a fire or leak far past when the alarm should have gone off.
Such strong and multi-purpose mechanisms as this one are usually longer-lived than others. you will not have to replace it as soon as you would one that may only be reliable for five years or so.
Ease of use
This unit can be connected to other various units throughout the house to function as a full-house system. It is compatible with BRK and First Alert systems in order to provide the most accurate and fast warning possible in the event of an emergency.
4. Kidde KN-COSM-BA Battery-Operated
Voice-activated for any and all alerts
Tells you when the battery power is low
Will function on battery backup power
Combination smoke and CO detection
Corrects false alarms on its own
Smoke detection can be faulty
Battery power does not last very long
Voice-activated alarms are gaining in popularity because not only do they get your attention, but they will tell you exactly what is wrong. This alarm includes a self-correcting “alarm hush” feature that fixes a false alarm without you needing to do a single thing.Read more
All of the things you heard as a kid about “smart houses” was not too off track when it comes to this combination alarm. The Kidde Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm comes equipped with a vocal warning system that makes it unmistakable in the event of an emergency. This is designed to pick up on CO gas as well as smoke and heat if there is a fire, alerting your family quickly to get out. It will also differentiate between the two, sending out a vocal alarm of “fire!” or “warning carbon monoxide!” if detected. This alarm also has a backup battery power unit to ensure that your home will always be protected, no matter the circumstances. In the vent that there is a false alarm, this detection unit has a way of dealing with that as well. You will hear “hush mode activated” as it corrects itself, followed by silence or a warning that CO levels were temporarily elevated.
The distinguishing warnings when it comes to smoke versus CO detection is something that is quite remarkable in an alarm. While many just sound off and do not provide any way to tell the difference, this alarm will tell you exactly what is wrong.
The vocal alarm on this device makes it more protective of your family than one that just emits a beeping sound. Even children can heed the warning of this incredible product as it verbally tells you the problem.
Changing the batteries in any alarm is tough to remember to do annually. If your system runs on backup power for a significant amount of time, you might have a problem. This smart alarm also announces when there is low battery power rather than just sending out a chirp which can be misheard or easily ignored.
Although this terrific product runs primarily on electric power, it has a battery backup system in place. This makes it longer-lived than some other devices and more durable to handle tougher situations.
Ease of use
Because this item can pick up on CO, smoke, and heat, it is easier to use than separate devices for these issues. Being that its alarms are verbal makes it even easier to use and understand in an emergency situation.
5. First Alert CO605 Plug-In
Simple to use
Can be moved around easily
Runs on electricity alone
Testing is easy and quick
There is no digital display
Simple is often better and certainly less confusing. This little unit is great when purchased in multiples since it is easy enough to plug into several rooms around the house.Read more
Sometimes easy, uncomplicated, and small is better and that is completely fine when it comes to searching for CO detectors. With all of the advances of today’s technology, the First Alert is the detection system you will want if you need something that is discreet but still does the job. While the basic system has no digital display (there is an option to upgrade), it will still read CO levels like a champ. It will also alert you of increasing levels with no trouble at all. It has been tested to reach UL-certified standards and can be plugged into any standard outlet. So, for the low price, you can get one for every room of your home. They are easy to set up and include a test button that allows you to ensure each one is working properly as well.
Sometimes, using an AC adaptor can be more reliable when it comes to electricity coming from a wall unit rather than just depending on battery power alone. You will know that your system is always working with a simple and quick test run.
The protection is also basic when you purchase and use this easy item. It is not digital or advanced in its technology, but it will alert you well if there is a buildup of CO in the rooms of your home.
Sometimes all you need is the basics even for a CO detector for the home. This one is one of the simplest on the market in design and use because it is void of all the advanced features.
Basic products such as this one usually are not the most long-lived. You will probably have to replace this simple device in about five years to ensure that you keep updated on the newest technology available.
Ease of use
These units are easy to move around and place in various areas of your home. We love how uncomplicated they are. If seeking out a unit that you do not know how to use is your fear, then these are the perfect option to add that extra level of safety to each floor of your house.
6. First Alert CO615 Frust Free Dual
Features an end-of-life chirp
Digital display is easy to read
Shows the real-time level of CO gas
Runs on electricity or battery power
Can throw off false readings
The digital display on this alarm is easy to read and great for first-time users. It will send off an alarm when CO levels reach an unsafe level, while always displaying the battery life of the device.Read more
This is the upgraded version that we mentioned briefly in the previous post and it provides all the same great features with the addition of a unique digital display. This display tells you everything from the battery life and level of CO, both with a warning detecting its presence and with a gauge bar. It is a clever display that is also a backlight, so it will be easy to see in a dark room. The warning system works exactly the same. When levels have breached a safe amount in the surrounding atmosphere, you will hear an 85-decibel alarm. Additionally, this unit features an “end of life” alert system which will chirp in response to the unit needing to be replaced.
With the new backlight added to this model, you will get accurate readings and detection that you can depend on. Being digital also increased the accuracy and dependability of the product.
You will feel more protected with such an advanced system as this one. it will alert you of the harmful CO levels with an alarm and a gauge bar, so you can see when the gas becomes high.
This upgraded version of a previously-mentioned item is digital with a monitor for the battery life of the device. You will always know exactly when the batteries need replacing with this improved design.
First Alert includes a seven-year warranty with all of its alarms which tells you that not only do they care, but they also strive for the best when it comes to their systems. Most units last that long as it is, so during that time you will be in good hands if any issues should arise with your CO detector.
Ease of use
The display on this alarm is clean, clear, and concise. It shows you all of the real-time information that you will need in order to know the status of gas in your home and is easy enough for the most inexperienced of CO alarm owners to use.
7. First Alert SC05CN Combination Smoke
Very easy to install
Photoelectric sensors are advanced
Loud alarm setting
Comes in a pack of multiples
The warning voice itself is not programmable
Combination systems are very popular for families who want both silent gas protection as well as fire protection, this unit is designed to read both warning signs accurately and alert your family when it is time to get out.Read more
Surprise, surprise, another winning unit from First Alert! It is recommended that you have more than one CO detection unit throughout your home which is why the fact that these come in packs of three or four is so highly valued. This alarm detects the presence of both CO as well as smoke so, in the event of a fire, you will have an additional backup alarm along with the one that is likely already installed in your home. You will also find a test and a silence button on this alarm that allows you to shut the warning off of a false alarm, which does happen occasionally. However, with the addition of a photoelectric sensor, it is less likely to happen with this alarm specifically. The 85-decibel noise system is standard for First Alert alarms and is loud enough to wake your family up at night or alert them efficiently during the daytime hours.
To prevent false alarms, the photoelectric sensor and the silence button will coordinate to keep all alarms to real happenings of fire, smoke, or high CO levels in the home.
You will be protected from smoke and Co levels that are elevated in the rooms of your home with this wonderful device. It picks up both with its sensitive system that will detect and alert quickly.
The user-friendly aspect of these alarms is something that we really appreciated when it comes to keeping your family safe. You will be able to install as many as you need, quickly and easily, with the mindset that your home is protected.
It is usually these more advanced systems that are the most durable and long-lived. You can trust that this excellent product will give you many years of trusted service in your home.
Ease of use
This unit features an easy to install process that requires no electrician to do so. That takes the stress off of you and allows you to install as many as needed in no time at all without the help of a professional.
8. Nest Protect Smoke S2001LW
Advanced detection system
Works via Wi-Fi
Sleek and appealing unit
Split sensor for smoke and CO gas
It is prone to sending out false alarms
The Nest Protect is one of the first to provide mobile alerts and keep your family safe while you are away as well as while you are home. It will even reach out to close family members or friends and alert them in the event that you cannot respond.Read more
For the most extreme in-home protection matters, the Nest is a great system to have if you are often away from your house. It comes with a Wi-Fi alert that can be sent straight to your home, signaling you of unseen dangers even if you are not there to actually find them yourself. It also sends you mobile alerts when the batteries are low so that you will always have peace of mind even if you are not around to hear the low battery chirp that we are all so familiar with. The Nest is perfectly up to date in its technology and features a split-spectrum censor that detects smoke as well as CO and fits perfectly into a ceiling or at the top of a wall. That is not all this modern device does, however. It also alerts you of potential hazards. If you happen to burn something in the kitchen, leave the oven on, or throw something hot in the trash bin, this little sensor will pick up on it and give you a friendly voice warning.
The advanced warning system is something to be respected, especially if you have kids in the house. It is so easy to leave a burner on or leave a pan unattended and this smart alarm will tip you off before you even get a chance to walk very far.
A decade is a pretty long time to last when it comes to appliances and electronics but this one is long-lived. With all of its advanced features, it is no surprise to hear that a long life is one of them.
This incredible design alerts not only you in the case of an emergent level of Co in the home but also family and friends via Wi-Fi to ensure that your home and its occupants are safe.
With the most recent technology, you can depend on this product to alarm you anytime there is a problem of smoke or high CO. it is long-lived and durable to protects for years in the home.
Ease of use
You can place this amazing item in the ceiling or locate it at the top of a wall wherever it is more convenient for you, it will work quickly and accurately to alarm you of several dangers in the home.
9. Leeo Smart CO Remote Alarm
Versatile light system that can alert you based on color
Works via Wi-Fi with a free phone app
Can function as a nightlight too
It must be plugged into an outlet
For all of the bells and whistles, this detection system is one of the most advanced on this list. With specially-colored lights and the ability to customize the alerts as you need them, this is definitely state of the art technology.Read more
The Leeo is a great little plug-in unit that provides much more than what meets the eye. On its own, it might just look like your typical alarm, but once you dive deeper into what this little number can do, you will be surprised. It comes with a program that syncs to your smartphone, so you can check it 24/7, while also getting alerts sent straight to your mobile device. Additionally, it will provide all the emergency numbers needed based on your area so that you spend less time searching for the right ones during a panic-filled situation. Leeo goes one step further in that will also send alerts to the additional numbers you provide the system. Your closest family and friends can respond to the warnings if you do not. As far as alarms go, this one is stylish as well. You can adjust the ambiance when it is plugged into the wall based on the free app that accompanies it on your smartphone. You will have a choice of light colors and dimming level to use it like a nightlight and a life-saving preventative measure.
Because it plugs into an electrical socket, this device has additional features of varied lights and alerts to family and friends for high CO levels. It even syncs with a smartphone for accurate checks all the time.
The protection with this marvelous device is around-the-clock and accurate. By connecting it to your smartphone for alerts and emergent numbers to get help in the case of a problem.
The high quality of these features is something that you simply do not find with other alarm systems. In addition to changing the color of your unit, you can also set various colors to indicate various warnings, making it a visual alert system as well as an auditory one.
Because of all the many features to enjoy on this mechanism, it will be one of the longer-lived devices that are featured here. You will not have to replace it for many years because of its advanced innovation.
Ease of use
The versatility and capability of this system are unparalleled. Leeo is what most systems will probably look like in the future and it is something we can get behind as a progressive society.
10. Pyle PCMM05 Hand Held
Simple to use with clearly-labeled buttons
Brightly-lit LCD screen
Alerts you to elevating levels
Powers off automatically to conserve battery power
Cannot be left on to monitor a room 24/7
This is a great portable way to take measurements on the go. It is fast and easy and should not give you any problems when coming up with an accurate read-off for rooms without an alarm.Read more
This handheld device is ideal when you are looking for something that is portable for immediate use to take readings in a variety of situations. Devices such as this are helpful when it comes to taking readings in the car, in the garage, and even in various rooms of your house to check the accuracy of current CO detectors. This fantastic detector, while a bit pricey, measures readings in the environment almost immediately and will detect anything up to 1,000 parts per million, or PPM. The outstanding meter features a beep that is very specific to the elevation of CO gas detected and will alert you when levels have reached an unsafe number. There are only four buttons, one of which is an on/off switch, while the other three control the testing and screen brightness of the meter. It is easy to use, and very accurate as far as handheld detection systems go. This means that you will not need to worry about testing it against another alarm that has already been deemed accurate.
This item is so accurate that you can use it to test the accuracy of other CO detectors that are larger and fixed in the home. It makes a wonderful backup device for testing and immediate use.
In the places that are hard to use a regular detector for CO, this marvelous product is perfect. It offers the protection of CO detection where others cannot go or work as easily and reliably.
This device is portable enough to bring nearly anywhere. It is great in the event that you have a suspicion that your current alarms are not working or if you want to check in places such as your car, which does not come with a CO detector.
Because it is portable, this superb product is more durable and longer-lived than some of the other popular models. Because it is used in hard to reach places or places without electric power, it is durable and tough.
Ease of use
There is nothing complicated about this device. The readout on the screen is easy to understand and will not confuse you in the slightest, while the four buttons found on the front are labeled clearly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are three different ways that CO detectors work. The first is through a biomimetic sensor, which is a gel that can pick up on the dangerous gas. Once the gel turns color, it will then trigger the alarm, warning you of its presence. Second, a metal oxide semiconductor uses a silica chip as a level-reading. When the level of electrical resistance is lowered, the alarm is triggered. Lastly, is an electrochemical sensor. It uses electrodes and a chemical solution to detect CO when the electrical currents are altered, the alarm is triggered. These three aspects work together to tell you exactly how high CO levels are and when they are safe enough to re-enter the room again.
Carbon monoxide gas can come from a variety of sources which is what makes it so dangerous. Since you cannot smell it or see it, many people don’t even realize when they have a leak somewhere until their alarm goes off or they begin experiencing symptoms of it. Having a detector in the home will keep the family safe and out of harm of this silent killer. Each of these devices will do its part in warning you of the danger of CO in the home, so you can prevent dangerous inhalation of this deadly gas. The alarms are loud enough to be heard all throughout the home for the best warning signal.
While the designs and capabilities of all of these products are quite different, they all have the one basic aspect of warning you when the detected level of CO in the area is high and dangerous. Some of these have other capabilities such as warning of smoke or are handheld devices that are more portable. Each one has their strong points of its particular design and qualities that will suit your needs perfectly for what you are looking for in a CO detector. As most of these operate on electricity, there are some that are battery-powered too. You will have to decide which kind is best for your living conditions and select from that type.
These devices are designed to last for many years of dependable use. Some have warranties for seven or ten years, which is about the average life span of these products. In that time period, new technology has been developed for better devices that are more accurate and reliable. Considering the prices of these, it is not unreasonable to purchase a new unit every five years or so. This will ensure that you are getting the most accurate and safe detector for your home.
Ease of Use
When purchasing a CO detector, one should be placed near the opening of each sleeping room in the house. This will alert you quickly to the growing presence of CO and wake you from your sleep. Since CO detectors are designed to only detect that specific gas, you won’t have to worry about temperature or other gases or smoke interfering with the device. Ensure that it is installed or placed properly and avoid putting it somewhere that it can be easily covered up or lost. You should have a CO detector on each floor of the home in the event that there is a leak on one floor that is not reaching another. All detectors should come with the UL label on them which ensures that they have been properly certified and tested to meet safety standards.
Just like smoke alarms in the home, you should have a carbon monoxide detector on each level of the house. They should be near areas where the family sleeps and not near appliances that burn fuel.
Replace these alarms every few years about five or seven is a good estimate. These alarms are the only thing that will alert you to a problem of elevated carbon monoxide in the home.
Other Factors to Consider
For the products listed that operate on batteries, you will want to change these out every six months. This is a good rule for smoke detectors also with a good reminder being Daylight Savings Time changes that occur in the spring and the fall of the year. The batteries will probably last longer than the six-month period, but it is best to be sure that they are working properly for such an important device. Even the ones that are working primarily from electric power, it is good to change their batteries also if they are hybrid units. When the electricity goes out, you want to be able to depend on the batteries working great to supply the power needed for the detector.
A carbon monoxide detector is the most useful and necessary item for the home. Especially those that have children in them regularly, it is a valued device. The levels of CO can build up in a home from several sources without anyone in the home being aware of it. even once the symptoms begin with some individuals, they are so common for other problems that it will not be known that the cause is CO. These products are effective in doing the one task of measuring, determining, and alarming the household if the levels are too high for safe habitation. Even when the alarm goes off because of high levels, you may not be able to tell there is a difference in the air quality. That is why you need at least one of these in the home.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Should I purchase more than one of these detectors?
Yes, it is good practice to place one just outside of each bedroom in the house as well as on each floor. Though this may seem tedious, it is the best way to keep your family and your home safe.
q: What will the alarm sound like and will it be loud?
Yes, it will be loud enough for you to hear it. detectors vary from brand to brand and model to model, but they sound very similar to smoke alarms. Some of the more modern detectors might even speak to you and alert you of the dangers. They will repeat a certain phrase similar to modern smoke detectors. Either way, the alarm will be loud, jarring, and enough to get your attention.
q: How often should the batteries be replaced on these?
If it does not need to be plugged into an outlet, the batteries should be checked roughly every six months. A common rule of thumb is that whenever you replace your smoke alarm batteries – usually daylight savings time – you should also replace those in your CO detector.
q: Should I replace my model every year?
That is up to you. Many times, updated models include extra features such as mobile alerts, digital displays, and newer alarms. It is a personal preference if you want to upgrade to one of those. As long as you have some sort of detection system by a reputable brand, you are one step closer to ensuring the full safety of your home from CO.
q: Can these be used in places such as the garage as well?
Yes. You could put a CO detector in every room of your house if you really wanted to/ they are designed specifically to pick u on CO gas and nothing else, so there should not be any other gas or smoke that will trigger the alarm.
q: I am a heavy sleeper. Would it be beneficial to put one of these detectors in the bedroom?
In that case, we would recommend putting one detector in your bedroom and still placing one just outside in the hallway. This way, one alarm will go off in the event that CO is picked up in the hallway. This could wake you up alone, but by having another one in your bedroom, you will have a backup for safety.