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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. 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 as well as sounding an alarm, 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.

Samsung SmartThings ADT Smoke Alarm

This detector is an interesting combination of brands. Technically it’s an ADT smoke detector, but it’s also fully compatible with the Samsung SmartThings platforms. That gives it the ability to send phone alerts and be controlled via app like other smart detectors, while also fitting into an existing ADT security system and using ADT monitoring services, as you prefer. If you don’t already have any ADT devices, then you will need to buy a security starter kit as well. But if you want to add professional monitoring services to your smoke alarm, there’s no better choice on the market.

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.

Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Kit with Echo Dot

On the other side of the market, buyers may be looking for a complete solution that adds protection throughout their house, including smoke detection, voice assistance, home security, and more. We happily suggest this Ring kit, which is designed to work with existing smoke and CO detectors. If your smoke or CO alarm is less than 10 years old, you should be able to connect the “Listener” device that will essentially monitor your detectors and connect them to your Ring app for alerts, disarming, and more.

The kit also gives you a set of contact and motion sensors, a keypad, a range extender, and a base station to connect everything for full home security (well, you could also add Ring cams if you wanted). The kit even throws in an Amazon Echo Dot 3rd generation for Alexa voice control. It’s a great pick for outfitting a house that doesn’t yet have a lot of smart security.

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.

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