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The best smart smoke detectors for 2020

Old smoke detectors can still do their jobs, but they belong to a past generation of technology. With infamous battery beeps, false alarms, and clunky designs in the older models, it’s no surprise that today’s smart devices have stepped in with a new kind of smoke detector that’s connected, capable, and much less annoying. Upgrading is easy with our list of the best smart smoke detectors currently available, beginning with the all-around excellent Nest Protect.

Note: Check your state regulations for smoke detectors before buying and installing. States may have requirements for what kind of smoke detectors need to be in existing dwellings, and even where smoke detectors need to be located. Some devices offer both battery and hardwired versions because of this. You can find out more here

Nest Protect 2nd gen

Nest Protect

The Protect is part of Google’s Nest family, which means it can easily work alongside other Nest products, and it’s guaranteed to be compatible with Google’s Home app. It also works really well, with a “split-spectrum” sensor that can self-test itself for accuracy, double-check readings, and generally make sure there’s really an emergency before it goes off. It also has motion sensors, and it can light up a “Pathlight” as a nightlight when you have to grab a midnight snack. Alerts go right to your phone, and you can use the app to quiet the alarm instead of climbing up to the detector itself. Other information, like low battery warnings, is handled by the app, too. It’s exactly what today’s smart smoke detector should be, making it an easy top recommendation.

First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound

The First Alert model is, in some ways, like the Nest Protect. It has customizable nightlights, app controls and alerts, a great low battery notification, and other similar features. However, this detector is a better fit for those outside Google’s ecosystem: Specifically, it comes with a built-in Alexa and speaker, which allows you to ask the detector questions or even have it play music. You don’t even need an Echo device. It’s also compatible with HomeKit, and you can use voice alerts instead of just beeps to provide the house with more specific information.

This model is hardwired, which makes it a good choice for new developments, as most states require hardwired smoke detectors for all new construction.

Kidde Wireless Interconnect Smoke Alarm

If affordability is your priority, this Kidde detector has you covered. It doesn’t have app control and smartphone notifications like our other picks, but it still has plenty of clever features to make operation easier. It boasts wireless connectivity with other detectors and lights in the Kidde family, a test button to make sure the unit is working correctly, and a clear low battery indicator. There’s also a hush mode to keep unnecessary alarms quiet. With its twist-off mounting, the alarm is designed to be placed within arm’s reach, but it also has a locking pin to prevent unwanted messing around by kids or others.

Roost Smart Battery 2nd gen

What if you like your current smoke detector just fine, but wish it was a bit smarter, especially when it comes to alerts? There’s a solution for that thanks to this Roost battery. It’s designed for the average smoke detector, but the battery can also connect to your Wi-Fi system and provide the features of a full smart detector. That includes notifications on your phone for alarms and reminders when the battery is running low. One battery is able to last 3 to 5 years.

Minut Smart Home Sensor

This sensor is a home security hub designed to take care of general security needs. It’s a great pick for an entryway or apartment, but it can also help you detect potential fires.

First, the basics: The sensor monitors motion detection, potential break-in noises, humidity, and even mold particles. It can also serve as a nightlight. It uses a battery and is designed to be installed wirelessly in a central location (the battery needs to be recharged about every six months or so by USB).

All of that is very handy for those who don’t already have a smart security system. However, the Minut sensors can also help detect fires. If you have a traditional smoke alarm in your home, the sensor will listen for the alarm activation and send you a mobile alert so you know the alarm is going off even if you aren’t home. It can also track temperatures, and send alerts if it senses a sudden and unexpected temperature change in the home, which could help clue you in on anything from a fire to a door that was left open.

First Alert Onelink Dual Sensor

This isn’t just a smoke detector — it handles both smoke and carbon monoxide in one, while still offering support for smart features, which includes voice alerts, notifications for your phone, and specifics about what the device is detecting. Like our other First Alert pick, it plays nice with Alexa devices and is compatible with Apple HomeKit and the Home app, so you won’t have to download another app if you don’t want to. If there seems to be a problem, the sensor can also unleash an 85-decibel alarm for anyone in the house.

The battery compartment is a simple slide-off corner door that makes the battery easy to replace (a five-year version is included with purchase). If your local regulations require a hardwired model, that version is also available.

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