Carbon monoxide (CO) gas cannot be seen or smelled but it does exists in your home. The only way to know the level of carbon monoxide inside your house is by using a detector. Though there are so many brands offering the detectors only the best carbon monoxide detector will be able to give you the right data. So how do you find the best carbon monoxide detector?
To answer that question we have created a list of CO detectors that could meet your needs. We tested 24 variants based on parameters like accuracy, connectivity, battery, etc. and also consulted 11 experts. After 142 hours of testing, and evaluation we created the list of CO detectors that actually work. To know about them scroll down.
Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors
|Product Name||WiFi||Smart Device||Power||Price|
|Nest (S3003LWES)||Yes||Nest||Battery||Check Price|
|Kidde KN-Copp-3||No||No||AC||Check Price|
|First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector||No||No||Battery||Check Price|
|Kidde 21008873 CO detector||No||No||Battery||Check Price|
|Onelink Safe & Sound||Yes||Alexa||AC||Check Price|
|Kidde KNCOB-DP2||No||No||AC||Check Price|
|Forensics CO Detector||No||No||Battery||Check Price|
1. Nest S3003LWES Protect – Best WiFi Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Phone Alerts: Nest Protect sends you a message when there’s a problem or the batteries run low.
- Smoke and CO Locator: Nest Protect speaks up if there’s smoke or CO and tells you where it is, so you know what to do.
- Detects CO: Carbon monoxide is an invisible, poisonous gas. Nest Protect tells you where it’s hiding.
Nest is a popular brand that offers home safety. The Nest S3003LWES protect is an attractive package. Our team instantly fell in love with the design of the detector. It looks elegant and modern. It also comes with a light to indicate the level of the CO gas. It detects both smoke and carbon monoxide.
It does not have a display of its own but all the data is shown on phone via its app. So, even if you are away from your home, you can keep an eye on carbon monoxide gas.
As far as the installation is concerned, it is easy and comes with both wired as well as wireless variation. Choose the one that fits your need. During tests, both variants worked fine. However, with wireless you might have to keep an eye on the battery level.
2. Kidde KN-Copp-3 – Best Home Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Digital display displays the level of carbon monoxide the unit is sensing
- Three convenient mounting options
- Peak level button displays the peak CO level recorded by the alarm since it was last reset
It is one of the most popular carbon monoxide detectors on the market. As a package it is basic but what works for the Kidde KN Copp-3 is its effectiveness.
The time it took to detect the change in the gas concentration is really fast compared to other top carbon monoxide detectors. The time it takes to detect any change in the gas concentration will always be the key. When the gas crossed the limit, it triggered the alarm and kept alarming every five seconds until we pressed the reset button. We also noticed that if the gas concentration reduces in the room, the alarm to dies down with it.
The installation is easy. You will require one detector in each room. The room we used for detection was 14 x 12 ft. and the detector was effective in every corner of the room. It doesn’t have any fancy features but has a LED display. Display only shows gas concentration.
3. First Alert CO400 – Best Budget-Friendly Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Keep your family safe with this easy to use, battery operated carbon monoxide alarm; Battery powered alarms provide...
- Features an advanced electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor that accurately detects carbon monoxide levels, no matter...
- A loud 85 decibel alarm sounds when CO levels reach dangerous levels
First Alert CO400 has lot to offer at very low price. This is what we like about the product. Though it doesn’t support any smart home devices its simplicity and accuracy makes up for it.
Being priced so low, you can install a number of detectors in your house. Thus, it allows you to cover most of your house without paying high prices. In addition, it gives you many battery options like a 10-year battery, alkaline battery, or AA battery. It can also be powered by AC but we suggest using batteries as prime sources as you can place the detector in every corner of your house.
Installation of it was very simple. With battery, we were practically able to install it wherever we liked. Even with AC power, we were able to install the detector in necessary places because of the long cord.
4. Kidde 21008873 Carbon Monoxide Detector – Carbon Monoxide Detector For Garage
- Digital Display - Displays the level of carbon monoxide the unit is sensing. Shows CO level in PPM (parts per...
- Battery Operated - Provides best protection during power outages. Battery Safeguard makes it difficult to close the...
- Test/Reset Button - Tests unit’s electronic circuitry & horn and resets the unit during alarm. Tests CO alarm...
It is another great CO detector from Kidde. This variant of the detector is more compact and simpler. It operates on battery which is what we were going for. When we were looking for a product that could perform well while running only on batteries.
But this is the case with most detectors, so you cannot outcast the detector for being a little slow to respond. It has two buttons test/reset and peak level. Peak level can be useful if you won’t see the highest concentration of gas it has measured even when the change in gas level is as low as 30 ppm.
As it is battery operated, you can install wherever you wish. Installation process is also very simple. We were able to install it even without looking at the manual.
5. Onelink Safe & Sound- Carbon Monoxide Detector For Alexa
- About Safe and Sound:First Alert introduces Onelink Safe and Sound, an Alexa enabled, Apple HomeKit compatible hardwired...
- Easy Mobile Controls: Get remote notifications of an emergency in your home for 24/7 safety, plus track carbon monoxide...
- No More Confusing Beeps:Track battery levels in the app and optimize safety by knowing when it’s time to replace them....
It is by far the best smart carbon monoxide detector we have tested. What we loved about it is that it can be plugged directly into the socket. This reduces the work of installing it on a wall. It connects to alexa via Wi-Fi.
The other thing that works for it, is that you require one Onelink Safe & Sound for 2-3 CO detectors. This is a great money-saving option. But we were curious to see how it would perform with the fact that you require only one or two for the house.
As for the connectivity via WiFi is concerned, it works fine with fast Wi-Fi networks. However, if you are phone is not connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you will not be able to receive the notification.
It also has small ambient light features that can be turned on during nights. You can change the color of the light depending on the mood and interior.
6. Kidde KNCOB-DP2 – Best Plugin Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Tamper Resist Feature – Can be activated to cause unit to go into alarm if it has been unplugged or has come loose...
- Two LED’s : Red - Illuminates when in alarm mode. Green – AC power is present, normal operation
- Test/Reset Button : Tests CO alarm circuit operation and allows you to immediately silence the alarm
It is the best plugin carbon monoxide detector we have tested. You can directly plug it into a standard wall outlet. Thus removing the process of installation. And during power outages, it can run on back up battery.
As far as the accuracy is concerned it is right up there with top carbon monoxide detectors. Within a few minutes of change in the CO level, it was able to detect it. Upon crossing the dangerous level of CO gas, it triggers the alarm. The Alarm is loud and clear.
The KNCOB-DP2 carbon monoxide detector placement is limited because of its plugin type but it is best for the places like car garage, store etc.
7. Forensics CO Detector – Best Carbon Monoxide detector For Car
- 🚗 USES: Exhaust leaks in vehicles (i.e. Ford Explorer ), aircraft, school buses, trucks & fleet vehicles that...
- 🔬ACCURATE: CO low-level alarm at 9ppm & 25ppm alarms WHO, EPA, ASHRAE, OSHA, NIOSH CO recommended exposure levels.
- 🔔 FAST ALARMS: Alarms at >9ppm @ 60 secs, compared to home CO detectors that only alarm >70ppm @ 60-240 minutes....
We wanted a CO detector that can be used for a car. Most of the detectors we tested were for home. But CO is a prominent issue inside a car too. If you see the build, it small in size which is required.
It comes with a LED display, showing the amount of CO concentration and battery. Thus, it gives the required information in one glance. However, unlike other CO detectors company offers only 1 year warranty on it, so make sure you change the detector after one year.
If you require a CO detector for you car, or van, without any doubt just go for the forensics.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider While Buying The Best Carbon Monoxide Detector?
When you are looking for the right CO detector, you have to know what your requirements are and the amount of money that you can spend. Once you know it, you need to keep in mind a few parameters like alarm, accuracy, battery, display, and installation.
Let’s look at each factor one by one:
This is the most important factor to consider while buying the CO detector. The main reason being, if the detector fails to detect the rising CO level in your house, you and family may be in danger. Ideally, gas takes 30 minutes to affect the human body. Hence, the CO detector must be able to detect and notify you within 30 minutes. The carbon monoxide detectors can notify of the rising of gas within 3-4 minutes. The Nest Protect (S3003LWES) and Kidde KN-Copp-3 are quick to detect the rise in CO level.
Some of the CO detectors run on AC power supply but even they use the battery as a back up in case of power outages. So to ensure that the detector continues to run, you have to keep an eye on the batteries. Almost all the CO detectors have indicator or alert that informs you if the battery is running low. We do not recommend you buying only the hard-wired detectors because most of the time CO level rises only during the power outages. A detector that uses both AC and batteries as a power source are good option.
The alarm is an important aspect of a CO detector. Firstly, the sound of the alarm should be loud and clear enough to alert you the moment CO rises to dangerous levels. Some detectors may have beepers or voice alarms. Both work fine. The only one thing to take care is that the alarm sound should be in good condition. The reason being if the sensor detects the CO level but does not trigger an alarm, then the detector is useless. With time speakers may get compromised, so it is important to keep checking the detector every month or so. Many detectors have a test function, use the function to test it.
4. Digital Display
The display is an important factor if you wa tont keep an eye on the amount of CO level in the house. In addition, you also want to know about the battery. Therefore, many manufacturers either use LED display or connect to devices like the phone to display the data.
There are also some detectors that do not display in either way. They may have some indicators to show the necessary data. Usually these are not that reliable. We recommend only the detectors that either have LED display or use your phone as monitor.The Onelink Safe & Sound is best CO detector if you want to see every do on you phone.
The amount of CO accumulated is different every room. So you want a group of CO detectors that can cover possible corner of the house or office. Hence, the spot where the detectors are installed become important.
You want to install detectors in such a way that they do not move much or should remain out of reach of kids or pets. For installation the power source becomes crucial. If the detector uses only AC as power source, you will have to limit yourself to areas near the power source. Battery operated detectors are more free and flexible enough to be installed anywhere.
So if you have limited number of AC outlets, try to get battery operated CO detectors for you house. And if have no such limitations then, get the detectors with power cord.
6. Combo Options
Many manufacturers offer smoke detector and CO detector with in one device. This way you cover to problems with one solution. As the manufacturer about it if they have option that covers both issues. In our list Onelink Safe & Sound covers both realms.
How We Conducted The Tests?
Currently, there are so many detectors available that it is impossible to understand each of them. Hence, we started out by picking the most popular and trusted CO detectors. We designed few tests for parameters like accuracy, battery, alarm, installation etc.
For tests we used th top measurement tools to make sure the data we have is highly accurate. The biggest challenge for us was to measure the carbon monoxide. We placed the detector in different areas of a model house to understand how the readings change. Thus, giving us the good idea about the sensitivity of the detector.
In addition to tests, we also wanted to learn more about the product. So we consulted 11 experts have experience in home safety. Their views and expertise was valuable in knowing each product. In addition, we also reached out to the brand managers. This gave us the opportunity to understand the perspective of each brands.Lastly, we went through several review sites to know what the users think after using the particular model for several years.
By evaluating the results of your tests, expert views, brand manager’s perspective and user reviews, our team scored each model. Based on the score, we categorized the different carbon detectors. Here is the score card of the top carbon monoxide detector:
|Nest (S3003LWES)||96.6||95.8||98.8||97.07||Check Price|
|Kidde KN-Copp-3||95.4||97.8||95.7||96.30||Check Price|
|First Alert CO400||95.8||96.4||95.4||95.87||Check Price|
|Kidde 21008873 CO detector||96.5||95.8||94.3||95.53||Check Price|
|Onelink Safe & Sound||94.8||95.8||94.3||94.97||Check Price|
|Kidde KNCOB-DP2||94.8||96.2||93.2||94.73||Check Price|
|FORENSICS CO Detector||96.2||93.8||93.4||94.4||Check Price|
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there should at least one carbon monoxide detector outside every sleeping area. In addition to bedroom, you may also want to add a detector in kitchen and basement. Moreover, if you have garage, you may want to install one at entrance.The whole concept of install the detector is to keep the detectors close enough to hear the alarms as well as detect the CO level more effectively. Another thing that detects the installation of detector is power supply. It is better to get a battery powered detector, so that you are not restricted to areas near the power outlets.
Most of the carbon monoxide detector last for 5 years. Even though the manufacture may promise a warranty of 7 years or 10 years, the dust and moisture can make an impact on its lifetime. So you have to keep the detectors clean. Make sure that you clean the detectors as well as test them every month.Most of the models come with test button. Upon pressing it will check if the siren works or not. In addition, there are carbon monoxide test kits that can be used the effectiveness of the detector. Every five year, make sure you replace the old detectors with new one.
If the CO limit is reached and alarm is triggered, immediately leave the house and go outside into the fresh air. Check if any of your family member shows CO poisoning. It would be good idea to call 911 immediately for assistance. They will check for thee poisoning.
The thing with CO poisoning is that symptoms are not visible immediately. It develops over period of day or so. So consult a doctor. and do not go back to the house, unless until it is declared CO free.
When the safety of your house is concerned, you should never compromise on the type of detectors you use. Take as much time as possible to understand the product before you buy and install it in your home.And to help you make the right decision, we have given you all the information. All you have to do is find out what are your requirements and how much you are willing to spend for it.