5 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Dubbed the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide (CO) is odourless, tasteless and colourless. It is still one of the most prominent causes of death due to poisoning, especially in the developing world.

With this in mind, it makes sense to buy the correct type for your home, right? We'll discuss the in more depth below, but if you're short on time, allow us to give you our winner, runner-up and one that you should probably avoid!
Nest Protect (Smoke & CO)
Kidde 10LLDCO
X-Sense CO03M
nest protect
kidde co2 detector

Which Carbon Monoxide Detector Should I Buy?

As you can see, we have our favourite, but if you want a more in-depth read, then we give you our opinion on the 5 best carbon monoxide detectors below. 

Elsewhere, you might be interested to read our discussion and a safety checklist for carbon monoxide or where to place a CO detector in your home.

1. Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

nest protect
  • Manufacturer: Nest
  • Weight: 0.3 kg
  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 7.2 cm
  • Cost: ££££
  • Rating: ​⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
  • Availability: In stock

The king of smart tech when it comes to smoke alarms and CO detectors. We weren't going to include this in our list, but we needed to include one smart device otherwise we'd get complaints from those that are looking for smarter devices.

The nest looks very nice and can be mounted on a ceiling. It is visible and will get visitors talking about it. The alarm unit comes with self-tapping screws i.e. no need to pre-drill on plasterboard walls or traditional walls.

Nevertheless, we don't think most homes need such a device, especially at the price point that they're usually available for. It is quite gimmicky for what it's supposed to do e.g. the light ring on the device's central area will light up every time you walk past it when it's dark.

For most homeowners, one of the four devices below would be more than adequate.

  • Detects both smoke and carbon monoxide.
  • Phone alerts: low battery, Smoke, CO, failure.
  • 10-year product lifetime
  • Very expensive
  • 6 x AA batteries required (not rechargeable)
  • A bit gimmicky for most households

2. Kidde 10LLDCO Carbon Monoxide Alarm

kidde co2 detector
  • Manufacturer: Kidde
  • Weight: 0.16 kg
  • Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 4 cm
  • Cost: £
  • Rating: ​⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
  • Availability: In stock

This economical option gets really good reviews. With a built in lithium battery – which is designed to last for up to 10 years – this lightweight alarm comes with a digital display. There are 3 LEDs indicating alarm, operate and fault. An end of life warning will come on, but this is something to be expected towards the end of a 10 year term.

The digital display will show CO levels between 11 to 999 parts per million (ppm). Hopefully your reading will be edging towards zero, but it’s nice to see a read out on the display.

The alarm is priced competitively and comes with a long term guarantee – what more can you ask for?

  • Digital display that shows current CO levels.
  • 10 year sealed battery.
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Some say the battery doesn’t last for 10 years.
  • Customer service isn’t great for replacements.
  • Installation guide isn't the clearest.

3. FireAngel CO-9X Carbon Monoxide Alarm

fireangel co detector
  • Manufacturer: Fire Angel
  • Weight: 0.14 kg
  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 11.7 x 4.6 cm
  • Cost: £
  • Rating: ​⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
  • Availability: In stock

We’ve found very few faults with this alarm. It’s a really simple to install and use. It’s a good compact size and fits into the palm of your hand.

If you’re looking for an economical and functional CO detector that does exactly what it says on the tin, then you can’t go far wrong with the FireAngel CO-9X. The instructions are clear and it’s easy to maintain.

It is wall mountable, but we also decided to leave it next to the boiler on top of a wardrobe. You don’t need to really drill this into anywhere and it looks fine being placed on a shelf.

Two thumbs up from us.

  • Sealed in power – no need to change battery
  • 10 Year warranty.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Some are 7 year lifetimes – check yours is 10.
  • Some inauthentic ones being sold on eBay
  • Some complain that it's a bit too light.

4. X-Sense Carbon Monoxide Detector

X Sense Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Manufacturer: X-Sense
  • Weight: 0.26 kg
  • Dimensions: 17.6 x 4.2 x 14.2 cm
  • Cost: ££
  • Rating: ​⭐⭐⭐ 
  • Availability: In stock

This is a very stylish and futuristic looking detector. It comes with a backlit digital display, easily visible during the day or the evening. Easy to set up in minutes and easy to install. It comes supplied with all the screws and plugs and 3 AA batteries.

As for functionality, we tested it out and the readings are very accurate. It reads CO concentration build-ups from 30 to 300+ ppm.

On the downside, this alarm comes with a 5 year warranty, which is a little less than other like for like CO alarms.

  • Easy to set up.
  • Supplied with 3 x AA batteries.
  • Looks stylish with a premium feel.
  • High pitched beeping sound can be irritating.
  • Isn’t suitable for ceiling mounting.
  • Warranty is only for 5 years.

5. Fireangel CO-9D Digital Carbon Monoxide Alarm

fireangel co-9d alarm
  • Manufacturer: Fire Angel
  • Weight: 0.12 kg
  • Dimensions: 4 x 12.5 x 7.4 cm
  • Cost: ££
  • Rating: ​⭐⭐⭐⭐ 
  • Availability: In stock

We have another FireAngel CO alarm on our list and for good reasons. This well priced and functional CO aarm doubles up as a thermometer, meaning you can monitor the temperature as well as CO levels.

The FireAngel CO-9D provides early warning of both low or high levels of CO in your property via an LCD display and beeping. The alarm shows low levels of CO from 10 ppm, but maybe this isn’t low enough for some?

The small, portable nature of the alarm means you can use it at home in addition to taking it on holiday to your hotel room, holiday home, caravan or canal boat. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

  • 7 year lithium battery supplied.
  • Large multi-function digital screen.
  • Additional temperature feature.
  • Issues with battery failure – rare, but happens.
  • Not great for low CO readings
  • LCD screen isn't visible from certain angles.

BONUS 1: Best Portable Carbon Monoxide Detector For Your Car, Caravan or Boat

While the focus of this article is staying safe at home, CO poisoning has been known to occur in cars, trucks or caravans.

Most of these reported incidents are while the vehicle has its engine running in an enclosed space. The other significant way is from fumes leaking into the seating area e.g. a leak or blockage in the exhaust pipe. 

There have also been reported cases of manufacturer caused faults such as the incident by Ford motors in the USA whereby 1.3 million Ford owners received notification of a faulty exhaust, causing carbon monoxide to seep into the compartment.

The first thing to do if you think that your vehicle might have  an exhaust leak, take it to a garage or mechanic for inspection.

But how are you able to detect any leakage? Well, you can actually use any of the carbon monoxide detectors listed above, but there are also three other types that are designed for cars. We list these below in terms of portability as this is what most people are seeking when they're buying one for their vehicles.

quantum eye co card
1. Quantum Eye Multi-Level Carbon Monoxide Detector (18 months)
handheld Carbon Monoxide detetctor
2. Portable Carbon Monoxide Inspector by Sensorcon
3. ​Portable Carbon Monoxide Detector

Just so you're aware, we haven't tested any of the three items above for cars or caravans. Once we've done some testing, then we'll do a full write up.

In the meantime, please do let us know if you have used any of the above in your cars, trucks, carvans, boats or other areas where portability is an important factor.

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