ToolStarter is reader-supported. We may earn commission on some sales via our links at no extra cost to you. Learn More.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

The Best Carbon Monoxide Detector 2019

Carbon monoxide is defined at the “silent killer” as it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home will detect when this gas is present and output an audible alarm to warn you and reduce health issues.

The best carbon monoxide detector is the Nest Protect, which can be powered via battery or hard wired and has various “smart” features via smartphone integration.

Most people will install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of their home and outside the doors of sleeping areas. However, you may need to install further devices depending upon the local law requirements.

Best Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon Monoxide DetectorSmart FeaturesPower Source
Nest S3003LWESYesBattery or Hard Wired
First Alert Alexa EnabledYesAC Plug-in
Kidde 21008873NoBattery Operated
Contast ComboNoBattery Operated
Kidde NighthawkNoAC Plug-in

If you are willing to spend a little extra, you can have a carbon monoxide detector that has various smart features. This will enable you to connect to different devices such as your smartphone, Alexa, Google home devices and so much more.

However, for those that live in large houses, installing these types of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be costly. Investing in the safety of your family and home is worthwhile but there are other affordable options without smart features.

Depending upon your DIY experience, there are many options for powering the detector, which include battery, hardwired and plug-in that can make the installation far easier. Below is a list of the best carbon monoxide detectors that effectively detect gases and have various other features.

Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm


Nest is one of the leading brands on the market right now for home goods and appliances, and the Nest Detect smoke and carbon monoxide detector is no exception. It comes in both battery operated and wired options, so you can choose the one that best fits your living situation.

Nest products are very unique because they can actually integrate with your smartphone to give you updates on your home. For example, Nest can send updates to your phone when detects something or when it reaches low battery. It also has a very sleek design that looks much more modern than other smoke detectors.

Here are some of the other notable features of the Nest Detector:

  • Voice alerts for instant notifications
  • Turn alarms off with a phone app
  • Automatically tests itself
  • Doubles up as a nightlight
  • Ultra-sensitive sensor can differentiate between smoke and steam
  • Comes with six batteries

The Nest Protect is the best smoke and carbon monoxide detector and is one of the most accurate devices on the market with the added benefit of being very modern and user-friendly.

Check it Out

First Alert Onelink Carbon Monoxide Detector

The First Alert Onelink is another reliable smart sensor that detects for both carbon monoxide and smoke. It works with Alexa and also compatible with Apple home products, so you can control it with your voice and your other smart devices.

It also doubles as a speaker that you can use for your entertainment purposes and gives you important and helpful notifications via a phone app. Here are some of the other notable features of the First Alert Onelink.

  • Hardwired alarm detects electrochemical carbon monoxide
  • Track carbon monoxide levels and get emergency alerts on your phone
  • Acts as a nightlight
  • Easy installation using AC adapter plugs
  • Connects with Alexa and Apple HomeKit
  • Speakers with rich audio quality connect to Spotify, Pandora, Audible and more

The First Alert Onelink is very unique in that it functions as more than just your average carbon monoxide detector. You can monitor it using your phone and control it with your voice and it even functions as a speaker and a nightlight.

Check it Out

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Kidde is a brand that is well-known for their carbon monoxide alarms, and they have several different options to choose from. This is one of their most recent alarms and it’s one of the most reliable choices on the market if you’re serious about carbon monoxide detection.

It has a real-time display that tells you the carbon monoxide levels in the air, and you can easily test and reset the alarm just by pushing a button. It is battery operated, so it’s very easy to install and maintain.

Here are some of the other notable features of the Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm:

  • Digital display shows carbon monoxide levels in parts per million
  • Reading updates every 15 seconds
  • Battery operated
  • Low battery alarm reminds you to change batteries regularly
  • Easily accessible test and reset buttons
  • LED lights indicate when the alarm is going off

The Kidde carbon monoxide detectors are some of the most reliable choices out there and although they don’t have the smart home features of newer products, they are very convenient and just as reliable at detecting carbon monoxide. These should be placed around the house to ensure that you are always protected in the event that carbon monoxide is present in your home.

Check it Out

Contast Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector


If you are looking for an affordable carbon monoxide detector for your home, the Contast Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector is a very reliable choice. Although it may not have the bells and whistles of more expensive alarms, it has everything you need to stay safe at home.

It has sensors for both smoke and carbon monoxide detection, and you can easily test the unit using a button on the front. Here are some of the other notable features of the Contast Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector.

  • Electrochemical sensor for carbon monoxide
  • Photoelectric sensor for smoke
  • Battery operated for easy installation
  • Digital display shows carbon monoxide in PPM
  • Red and green LED lights represent system power and alert
  • Mute low battery noise for up to 8 hours

This is a very convenient smoke and carbon monoxide detector that will keep you safe. There’s no complex installation, and it’s very clear when batteries need to be changed and when an alarm is present. The Contast Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector is one of the best affordable options on the market.

Check it Out

Nighthawk Plug-in Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm


The Nighthawk plug-in carbon monoxide detector is another reliable option from the Kidde brand of carbon monoxide detectors. This alarm is different from other options because it actually plugs in to your outlets, so it’s very easy to install.

It also has battery backup, so it will still work even in the event of a power outage. It has a clear digital display that’s very easy to read and reset. Here are some of the other notable features of the Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

  • Digital display shows carbon monoxide in PPM
  • Convenient test button
  • Peak level button
  • 9V battery backup
  • LED light blinks during normal operation

The Nighthawk carbon monoxide detector is one of the most durable and reliable options on the market. Plug-in detectors can be placed around your house, so they don’t require the complex installation of a hardwired detector.

Check it Out

Carbon Monoxide Detector Buying Guide

Carbon monoxide can be extremely deadly when it’s present in large amounts, so it’s important to have alarms placed around your house. You should have a carbon monoxide detector placed on each level of your home, including the basement.

In particular, you need to place the carbon monoxide detector anywhere you have a furnace or gas-operated appliance. If your carbon monoxide detector fails to work, it could be very deadly for you and your family, so it’s very important that you invest in a trustworthy device.

Here’s what you need to look for when shopping for a carbon monoxide detector.

Battery vs Plug-in vs Hardwired

Something that’s very important to consider is how exactly the carbon monoxide detector is installed. A hardwired carbon monoxide detector may feel very solid and reliable, but oftentimes they are very difficult to install.

Battery powered or plug-in carbon monoxide detectors are usually just as reliable, and they don’t require any complex installation. Look for something that plugs in and uses batteries – this is usually the best option because if the power goes out, you will still have batteries to back everything up.

Low Battery Alerts

Low battery alerts are also very important if you are going to use a battery powered detector. It’s important that you get reminders when the battery is low so that you can change them in time. This ensures that your home stays safe.

However, it’s frustrating if your low battery alerts make very loud or annoying noises. Ideally, the low battery alert should be loud enough that you are aware of it immediately, but you should also be able to change the batteries easily and silence the alarm if it’s bothering you.

Smartphone Connection

The smart home trend has found its way to carbon monoxide detectors, many of which will now actually connect with an app on your smartphone. Although smartphone-connected detectors are usually a bit pricier than their analog counterparts, there are many benefits to spending the money to get one.

For example, the app can alert you if your carbon monoxide levels are high, even if you aren’t home, and it can also tell you when your batteries need to be changed. Many people prefer the extra control that they get from connecting their CO detector to their smartphone.

LED Lights

Many carbon monoxide detectors use colored LED lights to indicate the status of carbon monoxide in your home. This is very helpful, because you can tell at a glance what the status of the detector is, even if you are far away from it.

LEDs can also act as a nightlight in dark hallways. Although it isn’t completely essential, it’s definitely a helpful feature to look for in a carbon monoxide detector. 

Digital Display

In addition to LED lights, it may also be helpful to look for a carbon monoxide detector with a digital display. These displays will usually indicate the carbon monoxide content in the air in parts per million. This will give you an idea of how the carbon monoxide levels are fluctuating in your home.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Test and Reset Button

It’s recommended that you test your carbon monoxide detector every so often, just to make sure that it’s working. Once a month is usually a sufficient interval for tests. Most detectors have test buttons placed prominently on the front of the device.

This makes it very convenient to perform regular checks on your carbon monoxide detector. It’s also helpful if the CO detector has a reset button. This will allow you to turn the alarm off after a carbon monoxide event has been resolved.

Smoke Detection

Many carbon monoxide detectors also function as smoke detectors. Even if you already have a smoke detector, it’s convenient if your carbon monoxide detector also has this function. This ensures that you will still be alerted to the presence of smoke in your home, even if your hardwired smoke detector runs out of battery or loses power.

Conclusion

Carbon monoxide is incredibly dangerous, so it’s important to have carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home. Having this device in your home will give you the peace of mind you need, knowing that you and your family will be protected in the event of high carbon monoxide levels. If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, be sure to walk outside immediately and call for medical help.

Within this article, we have listed all of our recommendations that cover a range of budgets, features and power sources. Investing into the latest smoke and carbon monoxide detector devices is highly recommended and there is a wide variety available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *