Smoke detectors are an essential part of any household and frequently mandated by law to be included in rental properties. Although many people associate smoke alarms with cheap units that go off way too often (especially if things go awry in the kitchen) modern alarms are generally sophisticated enough to tell when there's a real threat, reducing the amount of nuisance alarms.
Alarms can vary quite widely in their performance and price, with higher-priced models often including detection for both smoke and carbon monoxide, as well as the ability to network alarms together for a more comprehensive household alarm system. These best smoke detectors incorporate both audio and visual alarms, as well as the ability to detect smoldering fires, full flames, and carbon monoxide. They are also easy to install and test, while including a mute button to quickly handle any false alarms. Not all of our picks detect multiple types of threats due but all offer the reliable ability to detect a fire threat.
Despite being slightly on the pricey side, the Kidde KN-COSM-BA is an excellent option to provide overall peace of mind. This smoke detector alerts you to the presence of both smoke and carbon monoxide, as well as signaling when the battery is low or the unit has reached the end of its life span. Read Full Review
The Kidde KN-COSM-BA is an excellent all-around smoke detector, with the ability to detect both fires and carbon monoxide. This battery-operated alarm is quick and easy to install, and includes a test/reset button to ensure that the unit is working properly. A hush feature is also included to quiet any false alarms.
The KN-COSM-BA is a talking alarm, which means that it will verbally identify the type of hazard detected. This allows for a quicker appropriate reaction to the type of threat present. A low battery and end-of-life feature causes this smoke detector to "chirp" when the battery is low or the alarm has reached the end of its seven-year life span, allowing you to always be sure that the detector is functioning properly.
Most experts recommend having alarms that use both ionization and photoelectric sensors, to detect both smoldering and flaming fires as soon as possible. While most people are forced to purchase separate units for this, the First Alert SA320CN combines the two into a single smoke detector, making this a highly recommended choice. Read Full Review
The First Alert SA320CN is one of the relatively few smoke detectors to offer dual dire detection. This smoke detector uses both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors because while most detectors use only ionization sensors, photoelectric sensors are better able to detect smoldering fires before they erupt into large flames. Many professionals recommend that every home have either both types of detectors or an all-in-one unit such as this for utmost safety.
The SA320CN utilizes cutting edge technology to better distinguish real threats from false alarms, although a mute button allows for quick silencing of nuisance alarms. This battery-powered smoke detector does not offer carbon monoxide detection, but its dual sensor technology makes its slightly higher price tag well worth the investment.
This dual smoke and carbon monoxide detector has the ability to be networked with other detectors, allowing you to ensure that a hazard in any part of the house will be effectively broadcasted throughout the house. The First Alert SC9120B might be more expensive, but for those with a large residence, the networking capability may make it a priceless investment. Read Full Review
The First Alert SC9120B can be networked with other smoke detectors to create a household fire and carbon monoxide safety network. This ability to connect the detector with other devices allows for added peace of mind, since when one alarm goes off, it will signal to others elsewhere in the house to go off as well. The SC9120B uses both visual and audible warnings with separate indicators for smoke or carbon monoxide, while being programmed to ensure that nuisance alarms are few and far between. A silence/test button is also included.
Although the SC9120B is a wired device, it comes with a battery backup to ensure functionality even during a power outage. Although this smoke detector is pricier than most, its networking ability and smoke and carbon monoxide detection capabilities are worth the investment. First Alert backs this model with a seven-year warranty.
The Kidde KN-COSMXTR-BA is rather pricey, but offers the ability to detect smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide. This smoke detector features a talking alarm which will announce the type of threat it detects, employing both audible and visual alarms. Read Full Review
The Kidde KN-COSMXTR-BA detects smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide effectively while using a voice alarm to identify the type of hazard and speed up the appropriate reaction. This feature can save lives, since it allows for quickly determining the threat and taking the correct action to address it.
Easy to install, this battery-powered smoke detector does not include a networking feature, but uses both visual and a very loud audible alarms to announce a threat. A hush feature is included, which temporarily silences the alarm if the user believes it is a false threat. Kidde offers a ten-year warranty with this smoke detector.
The Kidde i9040 is rather different than the rest of the smoke detectors on this list, which all cost quite a bit more and include multiple features and more advanced technology. The i9040 is very simple and affordable, offering simple smoke detection functionality while costing around $10 online. Read Full Review
The Kidde i9040 is an affordable and basic smoke detector. This battery-powered device is easy to install with the included bracket, features a low-profile design, and includes a three-year warranty. Although the i9040 does not include a lot of extras and might be somewhat more prone to false alarms than more expensive devices, it offers a reliable capability to detect smoke using its ionization sensors.
A test button is included to periodically ensure the detector is functioning properly and the alarm volume is very loud, ensuring everyone nearby will hear it clearly. If something very simple and budget-friendly is what you're looking for, this is a solid choice.