The Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors sense dangerous levels of this odorless and colorless gas in your home. Whether you’re looking for a hardwired or battery-powered CO detector, we feature our top 10 picks, their prices, and what to look for when purchasing one for your home.

 Top Certified Carbon Monoxide Detector

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

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

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Our Rating

  • 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

 Best Smoke & Co Detector

X-Sense Combination Smoke & CO Detector

X-Sense Combination Smoke & CO Detector

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Our Rating

  • Up to 10 years of battery life
  • Detects dangerous levels of CO and smoke
  • Red light indicator with alarm

 Best Easy-to-Read CO Detector

Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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Our Rating

  • 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

The Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The 10 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors
How to Choose a Carbon Monoxide Detector: 3 Things to…

How to Choose a Carbon Monoxide Detector: 3 Things to Consider

  • Power

    You can choose between a wired, battery, or plug-in connection for most carbon monoxide detectors. The best option will depend on what’s most convenient and helpful for you. While a wired carbon monoxide detector provides consistent energy without battery replacement, one perk to battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors is power during an outage. Plug-in CO detectors are the easiest to install.

  • Digital Display

    Purchasing a carbon monoxide detector with a digital display makes it easier for you to monitor the CO levels in your home. Dangerous levels of carbon monoxide register above 101 parts per million (PPM). You’ll be alerted by siren or voice in the event these dangerous levels are detected in your home.

  • Dual-Sensing

    Today, you’ll find a number of carbon monoxide detectors with dual-sensing capabilities. From smoke to gas, these detectors can help you identify more than one dangerous element in your home. These detectors typically have specific alerts so you’ll know which problem needs to be addressed.

Types of Carbon Monoxide Sensors

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

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

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X-Sense Combination Smoke & CO Detector

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Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector

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First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector

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Kidde Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm

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Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector Alarm

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Ring Alarm CO and Smoke Listener

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ADT Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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Wewalab CO Detector

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Rating 4.5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 5 stars 4.5 stars 4.5 stars 4 stars 4 stars
Installation DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY DIY Professional DIY
Power Battery Battery Power cable and battery Battery Battery Battery Battery Battery Wired or battery Battery
Digital Display No No Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes
Voice Notifications Yes No No No No No No No No No
Dual-Sensing Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No No
Compare Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Our 10 Picks

Compare Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Our 10 Picks

  1. Top Certified Carbon Monoxide Detector
    Nest Protect Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm (2nd Gen)

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

    Our rating

    Our take

    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
  2. Best Smoke & Co Detector
    X-Sense Combination Smoke & CO Detector

    2. X-Sense Combination Smoke & CO Detector

    Our rating

    Our take

    This X-Sense smoke and CO detector has built-in photoelectric and electrochemical sensors for catching smoldering fires and CO levels in your home. The battery is made to last for 10 years, and this product has been tested to meet UL standards.

    Stand-out features include

    • Detects both smoke and CO levels in your home
    • Battery is made to last for 10 years
    • Has a photoelectric sensor and electrochemical sensor
  3. Best Easy-to-Read CO Detector
    Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

    3. Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

    Our rating

    Our take

    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
  4. First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector

    4. First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector

    Our rating

    Our take

    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
  5. First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector

    5. First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector

    Our rating

    Our take

    The First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector is designed with an electrochemical sensor for monitoring and detecting dangerous CO levels in your home. This device features a loud 85dB siren and has been tested to meet UL safety standards.

    Stand-out features include

    • 85dB (about as loud as a lawn mower)
    • Built-in electrochemical sensor for detecting CO levels
    • Tested to meet UL safety standards
  6. Kidde Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm

    6. Kidde Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Kidde Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm features a loud 85dB alarm and voice alerts specific to the hazard identified. This smoke and CO alarm is wireless and battery-operated, making it easy to install. It also features a red LED light to notify you of dangerous levels of smoke or CO in your home.

    Stand-out features include

    • Voice alarm specifies the type of hazard
    • 85db alarm (about as loud as a lawn mower)
    • Wireless and battery operated
  7. Best Carbon Monoxide and Gas Leak Detector
    Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector Alarm

    7. Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector Alarm

    Our rating

    Our take

    This plug-in gas detector by Kidde detects dangerous levels of gas and carbon monoxide in the home. It features a digital display and a loud, 85db alarm. The Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide & Gas Detector also remembers the highest level of carbon monoxide detected in your home.

    Stand-out features include

    • Detects both natural gas and carbon monoxide
    • Digital display for levels of CO
    • 85dB alarm (as loud as a lawnmower)
  8. Most Affordable Smart Carbon Monoxide Detector
    Ring Alarm CO and Smoke Listener

    8. Ring Alarm CO and Smoke Listener

    Our rating

    Our take

    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
  9. Best for Home Security Connection
    ADT Carbon Monoxide Alarm

    9. ADT Carbon Monoxide Alarm

    Our rating

    Our take

    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
  10. Wewalab CO Detector

    10. Wewalab CO Detector

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Wewalab CO Detector has a digital display for showing the carbon monoxide levels in your home. If a threat to you and family’s health is present, a red LED light will flash for an alert and the detector’s loud 85dB alarm will sound.

    Stand-out features include

    • 85dB alarm (about as loud as a lawn mower)
    • Digital display
    • Flashing LED light for alerts

Showing 5 of 10 products

Showing 10 of 10 products

How to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in frequented rooms of your home. 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.

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 height or as high as needed to keep them out of reach.

When you travel, consider taking a small, TSA-approved CO detector with you 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

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.

Carbon Monoxide FAQs

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.


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