Best carbon monoxide detectors

Safety & Security

For the largest amount of coverage, it is recommended to install CO alarms in every bedroom or sleeping area and at least one on every level of your home.

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Which carbon monoxide detectors are best? 

Most people have heard of carbon monoxide, but not everyone knows what it is or how deadly it can be. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas produced by burning wood, gasoline, propane or other fuel. If inhaled, it can build up inside the body and cause serious tissue damage or even death.

Because carbon monoxide is silent but deadly, having a reliable carbon monoxide detector that acts fast is essential. Many models have similar features, but some have features that separate them from the rest. It is important to know exactly which one best suits your needs.

Types of detectors

The power source of a carbon monoxide detector is one of the most important factors to consider, so it is good to know what all your options are. 

One of the most common types of carbon monoxide detectors are battery-powered, ensuring the detector will work even if the power goes out. Mounted on the wall about 5 feet from the floor, these are typically easy to install. 

Another type is hard-wired detectors, which are permanently installed. Though they use electricity, these detectors usually have backup batteries, as well.

Some carbon monoxide detectors plug into a wall outlet. These models will not work if the power goes out, but many come with battery backups for such issues.

With exhaust leaks being a cause of carbon monoxide production, it can be helpful to have a carbon monoxide detector for your car. These detectors are handheld, and some models even plug into your car charger. 

Finally, there are carbon monoxide detectors that can be connected to smart devices in your home. These detectors can send a message or alert to your smartphone if dangerous gas levels are detected.

Things to consider

Display

Digital displays allow you to watch gas levels as they rise and fall directly on the screen. Non-digital displays will beep to alert you, but only once gas levels have reached a dangerous level.

Lifespan

Most carbon monoxide detectors have a battery life of roughly 7 years. All alarms produced on or after Aug. 1, 2009, have an end-of-life warning beep that will alert you when it should be replaced.

Best carbon monoxide detectors

Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector

Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector

This detector can be plugged into any outlet in your home. The digital display makes it easy to read, and it includes an easy-to-use test button. In addition, it comes with a battery backup in case the power goes out.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot 

First Alert CO615 Dual-Power Plug-In

First Alert CO615 Dual-Power Plug-In 

From long-time trusted brand First Alert, this plug-in carbon monoxide detector comes equipped with a battery backup and an easy-to-read digital display. It gives an “end-of-life” signal when its lifespan is up at around 7 years.

Sold by Amazon

Google Nest Protect

Google Nest Protect 

The Google Nest Protect, a dual smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, can be battery-operated or wired into your home. It sends alerts of smoke or CO levels directly to your phone so that you’ll know something is wrong, even if you’re away from home. It has a 10-year lifespan.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm

With a loud alarm and flashing red LED lights, this battery-powered detector alerts you when high CO levels have been reached. It has a slide-out battery door that makes changing batteries easy and intuitive. A green LED light flashes every 30 seconds to let you know it is working properly and alerts you when it needs new batteries.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

First Alert SCO501CN-3ST Wireless

First Alert SCO501CN-3ST Wireless 

One of the best features of this dual smoke and CO detector is its ability to connect with up to 12 other alarms to create a network. If high CO levels are detected, a voice alarm will let you know where the trouble is. It is battery-operated.

Sold by Amazon

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector KN-COP-DP2

Kidde Carbon Monoxide Detector KN-COP-DP2

This detector plugs directly into any standard outlet and comes with a backup battery service in case of a power outage. It warns you if CO levels begin to reach a dangerous amount and contains a replacement alert that notifies you when you need to replace it. It has a 10-year lifespan. Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

First Alert SA3210 Sensor Smoke and Fire Alarm

First Alert SA3210 Sensor Smoke and Fire Alarm

Operating on a lithium-ion battery, this detector sounds a loud 85-decibel siren to alert you of any danger. Also, it complies with current 10-year legislation in all states and cities that require it.

Sold by Amazon

First Alert CO605 Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detector

First Alert CO605 Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detector

This plug-in detector works with standard outlets and has a battery backup function. It has a single test/silence button and an end-of-life signal, so you’ll know when it’s time for a replacement.

Sold by Amazon

First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector

First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Detector

An easy-to-read digital display that shows the temperature and CO concentration is what makes this detector stand out. Its built-in 10-year lithium battery ensures that the detector works even if there is a power outage.

Sold by Amazon

 

X-Sense Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector

X-Sense Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector

Equipped with both photoelectric and electrochemical CO sensors that work independently, this detector instantly notifies you of any smoke or CO concentration. It also has a digital display for ultimate protection. What’s more, its built-in 10-year battery saves you from having to change batteries or wonder if it’s working.

Sold by Amazon

Kidde 21026065 Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Kidde 21026065 Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Detecting both smoke and CO concentration, this detector uses a voice alarm to announce a detected hazard. It has a sealed-in lithium battery with a 10-year life.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Kidde SmartHush Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector

Kidde SmartHush Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector

This battery-powered dual detector from Kidde uses LED lights and a voice alarm to alert you if dangerous levels of smoke or CO is detected in your home. Also, its tamper-resistant technology helps prevent removal from the wall or ceiling.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Keira Hulihan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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