The Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors of 2019

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are the powerful SOS alarms that recognize the invisible, life-threatening gas. Without a CO detector, it’s nearly impossible to detect carbon monoxide because it cannot be identified by a color, smell, sound or taste. Luckily, the right carbon monoxide detector can help alert you before it’s too late.

 Most Affordable Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector

Ring Alarm CO and Smoke Listener

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  • 24/7 professional monitoring services to closely monitor your home when you’re away
  • Uses smart technology to work with existing smoke detectors for easy use and management
  • Creates an interconnected home carbon monoxide system at an affordable rate
 Best Easy-to-Install Carbon Monoxide Detector

Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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  • Includes a digital peak level (PL) display to read the latest carbon monoxide level easily
  • Loud 85-decibel alarm that sounds when rising carbon monoxide levels are detected
  • Quick and easy installation with the ability to plug into any bedroom wall outlet with a 6-foot extension cord
 Top Certified Carbon Monoxide Detector

Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm (2nd Gen)

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  • Meets the standards and regulations for Underwriters Laboratories, California State Fire Marshal, and the Canadian Standards Association
  • Named the first alarm with hush functionality via a mobile device using the Nest Protect App
  • Connects to the Nest Thermostat with the ability to turn off furnaces and allow time to get to a safe location

A full security system may be the peace of mind you and your loved ones need

Our Top 5 Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Ring Alarm CO and Smoke Listener- Most Affordable Smart CO Detector
  • Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm- Best Ease of Installation
  • Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm- Top Certified CO Detector
  • ADT Carbon Monoxide Alarm- Best for Home Security Connection
  • Alert Plus Carbon Monoxide Detector- Best Energy Saving Detector

Types of Carbon Monoxide Sensors

There are four commonly used carbon monoxide detecting sensors used for sensing and alerting.

  • Biomimetic sensor:

    The biomimetic sensor uses a combination of color-changing liquids or gel-like elements to detect carbon monoxide. Detectors that use this sensor last up to three years.

  • Metal oxide semiconductor:

    This sensor is created using wired circuits to monitor carbon monoxide. Most detectors that use this sensor last up to 10 years.

  • Electrochemical sensor:

    This is considered the best-in-class sensor that offers the most protection for homes when detecting carbon monoxide. Electrochemical carbon monoxide sensors are known to generate currents that show the amount of carbon monoxide detected through a scientific combination. These operate best in most home temperatures and are included in longer life span detectors.

  • Optochemical sensor:

    The most cost-effective carbon monoxide sensor that only has the power to determine whether or not the poisonous gas is detected. The sensor uses a pad that changes colors when carbon monoxide is found. Although carbon monoxide detectors with this sensor may be affordable, they are known to offer limited protection. Optochemical sensors can only detect whether or not carbon monoxide is present. Without knowing carbon monoxide levels, danger could be closer than known.

Compare Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Our 10 Picks

Most Affordable Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector

1. Ring Alarm CO and Smoke Listener

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The Ring smoke alarm and carbon monoxide listener work together with existing traditional carbon monoxide detectors to provide maximum home safety and peace of mind with smart technology. The duo uses the Ring mobile app and Ring Alarm Security Kit to send maintenance and emergency notifications to your smartphone.

Stand-out features include

  • Receive automatic mobile alerts using the Ring app when existing carbon monoxide detectors sound their alarms
  • 24/7 professional monitoring for peace of mind when away from home
  • Seamless connection to any existing carbon monoxide or smoke detector that’s less than 10 years old, regardless of the brand
Best Easy-to-Install Carbon Monoxide Detector

2. Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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This easy to install carbon monoxide alarm uses a digital display to clearly display the latest levels of carbon monoxide in the home. The Nighthawk can be powered by plugging into any wall outlet, extended using a 6-foot cord or mounted to avoid tampering. The alarm includes a backup battery to continue to detect during power outages.

Stand-out features include

  • Digitally displays carbon monoxide levels to easily read level changes
  • Uses LED blinking light in the corner of the alarm to ensure it’s working properly
  • 85-decibel alarm for a loud and clear sound if rising carbon monoxide levels are detected
Top Certified Carbon Monoxide Detector

3. Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm (2nd Gen)

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The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide duo detector is designed to be easy to use. Easy-to-read light alerts and automatic mobile notifications using the Wi-Fi and the mobile Nest Protect app make for a controlled safe and smart home even when you’re away.

Stand-out features include

  • Uses a multi-colored light ring that shines red during when detecting carbon monoxide
  • Includes a 10-year best-in-class electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor using electrodes to monitor electrical or fuel flows and detect carbon monoxide
  • Connects to the Nest Thermostat, which will automatically disable the furnace if carbon monoxide is detected to allow time for a safe evacuation

4. ADT Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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ADT’s carbon monoxide detector includes several built-in features to keep your family safe from CO. It includes a loud alarm when CO is detected, a one-press test button to test the carbon monoxide detector. It also includes an LED light that always shares the status of your detector for your home’s safety and peace of mind.

Stand-out features include

  • Built-in electrochemical sensor to detect low levels of carbon monoxide
  • Automatically receive mobile alerts from the ADT Pulse® app if carbon monoxide is detected in your home
  • Connects to a monitored ADT home security system for a safe, smart home

5. Alert Plus Carbon Monoxide Detector

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This energy saving and battery-operated carbon monoxide detector alerts using a louder than CO alarm standards at 85-decibel and flashing red LED light. The alarm includes an easy-to-read digital PPM display at all times to keep you aware of levels at all times.

Stand-out features include

  • Flashes a bright LED light with a loud and clear 85-decibel alarm if rising carbon monoxide levels are detected
  • Battery powered with 3 AA batteries for affordable maintenance and continued protection during power outages
  • Alert times up to 90 minutes ahead of danger for levels at 50 PPM

7. Instecho Carbon Monoxide CO Detector Alarm

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This affordable Instecho carbon monoxide detector is battery-operated for low energy consumption and easy installation. The easy-to-read alarm includes an 85-decibel alarm that chimes every 30 seconds until batteries are replaced.

Stand-out features include

  • Uses LED lights to clearly show both normal and dangerous conditions
  • Digitally displays a blue screen to easily read the carbon monoxide levels
  • Includes an ‘End of Unit’ life span alarm as a reminder for a new carbon monoxide detector

8. Kiddie Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm

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This easy to install, battery operated Kidde carbon monoxide and smoke detector all-in-one alarm includes voice warning to alert of danger loud and clear. The detector includes an 85-decibel alarm and an LED light to alert battery replacements and danger.

Stand-out features include

  • Rings an 85-decibel alarm for loud and clear alerts of peaking carbon monoxide levels
  • Uses voice technology alerts including ‘Warning Carbon Monoxide’ and ‘Fire’
  • Silence false alarms easily with hush functionality

9. First Alert CO605 Carbon Monoxide Detector

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These quick and easy plug-in carbon monoxide detectors meet all Universal Listing Standards for approved safe installment and use. The alarm includes a single press button to silence nuisance alarms and to regularly test the detector.

Stand-out features include

  • Uses an electrochemical sensor to accurately gauge carbon monoxide levels
  • Includes ‘End of Life’ alarm at the end of the 7-year life span as a reminder for a new carbon monoxide detector
  • Relies on a 9V backup battery in the event of an outlet outage or power failure

10. First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector

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This digital, easy-to-read carbon monoxide alarm uses an electrochemical sensor to quickly detect rising carbon monoxide levels. The alarm is equipped with a 10-year battery and chirping alarm to remind you when it’s time for a new detector.

Stand-out features include

  • Loud and clear 85-decibel sound when alarming when CO is detected
  • Digital detector display of home temperature and carbon monoxide levels
  • 10-year built-in battery lasts the life span of the detector

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Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors should be in each frequently used room in the house. Start by adding detectors outside of bedrooms, the kitchen and common areas. For multi-story properties, at least one should be placed on each level, including the attic and basement.

There are two common installation options, hardwired and battery-operated. Hardwired carbon monoxide detectors connect to your home’s electricity and wiring – which may require a professional. Battery-operated CO detectors are usually wireless, easy to install and less of a concern during power failures. Luckily, most hardwired carbon monoxide detectors now include a backup battery to ensure protection even during an outage.

Keep carbon monoxide detectors out of reach to avoid tampering. For the best carbon monoxide detector placement, place them at knee level – often the height of a sleeper’s nose and mouth. If you have children and pets, place them at chest length or as high as needed to keep them  out of reach.

When you travel, consider traveling with a small, TSA approved CO detector for your rental property or hotel just in case one’s not installed. These can easily be plugged into a power outlet and powered on with the touch of a single button.

Benefits of Different CO Detector Features

Without warning, carbon monoxide can creep into the body and quickly become life-threatening.  Picking the right carbon monoxide detector can help save your life and home. With many options to choose from, here are the benefits of different carbon monoxide detectors. But before buying, don’t forget to check your state’s regulations.

  • Temperature adjusting carbon monoxide detectors. Alarms that keep temperatures top of mind often limits nuisance alarms in the event of humidity or fluctuating temperatures to accurately measure carbon monoxide levels.
  • Alarm clock carbon monoxide detectors. Simply put, these alarms accurately detect the carbon monoxide PPM and offer different alarm sounds based on the PPM and estimated amount of time to safely evacuate. For example, 50 PPM detection alarms giving 60 – 90 minutes to evacuate. But, just because alarms buy time, leave the home immediately. There’s no guessing how quickly carbon monoxide levels will rise.
  • Duo smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These CO detectors are cost-effective space savers to avoid maintaining different alarms. The all-in-one detector uses a smoke sensor and a carbon monoxide sensor with the same power source and alerts tailored to the danger detected.
  • Smart CO detectors. Carbon monoxide alarms with smart technology go beyond the detector basics. High-tech features such as smartphone notifications and monitoring using a mobile app ensure a safe home when away.

Popular smart carbon monoxide alarms use control panels or mobile apps to manage programmable voice location settings. The alarm’s voice clearly states the room where carbon monoxide is detected. Most of these detectors connect to other home smart devices seamlessly for a safe and closely monitored home.

Carbon monoxide continues to be a silent threat in today’s homes. Understanding the ins and outs of carbon monoxide and preventative measures can protect your valuables and loved ones. With a firm grasp on the poisonous gas, you’ll be able to decide on the right detector with ease. Start by checking out Amazon’s top carbon monoxide detectors and deals now.

Carbon Monoxide FAQs

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is created from appliances such as a gas stove, heater or other appliances that use fossil fuels such as coal or oil. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide cannot be identified by a color, sound or taste – making it difficult to detect. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 400 people die from carbon monoxide annually. Without a CO detector, both humans and animals are at risk for inhaling carbon monoxide which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning without notice.

What are carbon monoxide peak levels (PPM)?

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Carbon monoxide levels are calculated in parts per million (PPM). When levels are 1-70 PPM, people and animals may experience very slight cold or flu-like symptoms. Once levels reach 150-200 PPM, seek medical attention immediately.

What should I look for when buying a carbon monoxide detector?

Before buying a carbon monoxide detector understand your state’s laws and regulations for home alarms. Look for carbon monoxide detectors that are battery-powered or include a backup battery in the event of a power outage. All-in-one smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are popular to save space, installation time and money. Most importantly, before buying a carbon monoxide detector, look for a sticker or mention of the detector meeting UL (Universal Listing) Standards to ensure the CO detector has met the regulations and passed the authorities’ tests, guaranteeing a safe carbon monoxide detector without worry.

What are the common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Oftentimes, carbon monoxide symptoms vary by age, but a few are quite common. If carbon monoxide takes over the bloodstream there are a few carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms to look for including: nausea and/or vomiting, confusion or loss of alertness, weakness and/or dizziness, chest pain, slight headache. If you think you are experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 to seek medical attention immediately.