The Best Sensors of 2019

Table of Contents

The word sensor can mean a variety of things when it comes to home security and environmental monitoring. Motion sensors are perhaps the most essential part of a home security system, while glass break and contact or entry sensors come in second and third. Of course, there’s also sensors to measure levels of smoke and carbon monoxide in your home, which can literally save your life. Plus, there’s even sensors for water leaks, so you can plug a hole before the damage is done. This list is a comprehensive review of the best sensors of the year, from smoke to water leaks to contact sensors and more. Let’s get started!

Best Sensors

Editor’s Pick
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors

With 24/7 professional monitoring available, the Kangaroo sensors combine motion, door and window sensing into one convenient package. 

Doesn't expire

Top Contender
Nest Protect
Nest Protect
Nest Protect

A smoke, CO, temperature, and humidity sensor combined, this Bluetooth-enabled device from Nest has incredible capabilities beyond traditional environmental monitoring. 

Doesn't expire

Best For Water Leaks
Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor
Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor
Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor

With the wireless Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor, you can prevent leaks from happening in the first place, saving you thousands of dollars. 

Doesn't expire

Best For Glass Break
Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector
Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector
Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector

With a decade-long battery life, you won't have to worry about replacing the Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector anytime soon. 

Doesn't expire

Best For Carbon Monoxide
SimpliSafe CO Detector
SimpliSafe CO Detector
SimpliSafe CO Detector

With mobile notifications through the SimpliSafe app, you'll know as soon as dangerous levels of CO are detected no matter where you are in the world. 

Doesn't expire

Editor’s Pick

Kangaroo Motion Sensor

Kangaroo Security Sensors

Kangaroo may be one of the new kids on the block when it comes to home security, but they are definitely taking the industry by storm. This package, which includes a motion and an entry sensor, is perfect for someone looking to start off with smart home security who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money. 

Pros: Those already in the Amazon ecosystem will appreciate the Kangaroo sensors’ integration with Alexa, allowing for voice commands. You’ll be able to control and monitor the sensors remotely through the highly-rated Kangaroo: Simple Home Security app, available for both iPhone and Android users. I also love that 24/7 professional monitoring is a super affordable option as well, available in monthly or yearly packages. 

Cons: Kangaroo doesn’t offer cellular backup, so remote notifications won’t work if your power goes out. 

For more, read our full review of the Kangaroo security sensors

Shop Amazon
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors
Kangaroo Security Sensors

With 24/7 professional monitoring available, the Kangaroo sensors combine motion, door and window sensing into one convenient package. 

Top Contender

Nest Protect

Nest Protect

Fast burning fires, otherwise known as photoelectric fires, are more common for house fires, although slow burning fires can also occur. Fortunately, Nest Protect can detect both, along with temperature, humidity, occupancy, and even ambient light. 

Pros: Believe it or not, the Nest Protect tests it’s over 400 times a day to make sure it’s batteries are working properly. It works with a ton of other smart devices from companies like LIFX, Philips Hue, SkyBell, Logitech, abode, you name it. Plus, if there are any dangerous levels detected, you’ll know about it through a mobile notification, color-coded light alerts, as well as voice alerts from the device itself. 

Cons: Like the majority of Nest products, Nest Protect is on the higher-end when it comes to price. 

For more information, read our full review of the Nest Secure security system

Shop Amazon
Nest Protect
Nest Protect
Nest Protect

A smoke, CO, temperature, and humidity sensor combined, this Bluetooth-enabled device from Nest has incredible capabilities beyond traditional environmental monitoring. 

Best For Water Leaks

Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor

There’s nothing worse than annoying sensors going off because they’re out of batteries. Fortunately, the Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor has a battery life of three years, so you won’t have to worry about that for quite some time. 

Pros: The Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor works in temperatures from 32 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use it inside or out. It connects through Z-Wave, meaning it’ll stay on during a power outage. Plus, installation is DIY and as easy as peel and stick. 

Cons: You’ll need the Ring Alarm base station to use the Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor, although it isn’t compatible with Ring’s professional monitoring. 

For more information, see our full review of the Ring Alarm security system

Shop Amazon
Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor
Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor
Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor

With the wireless Ring Alarm Flood and Freeze Sensor, you can prevent leaks from happening in the first place, saving you thousands of dollars. 

Best For Glass Break

Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector

When it comes to home intrusions, robbers usually break in through your door or window. That’s why a smart glass break detector like the Honeywell 5853 is essential for your wireless home security system. 

Pros: Those of us with small children might be wondering if this thing will go off every time a cup breaks, and the answer is no; rather, it has four levels of sensitivity so you can tailor it to your home. If anyone tries to move the Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector, a tamper alarm will go off. Plus, it can sense a wide variety of glass types, from laminate to tempered to ordinary plate and more. 

Cons: To test out the Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector, you’ll need an FG-701 test which is sold separately. 

Related: The Best Glass Break Detectors of 2019 

Shop Amazon
Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector
Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector
Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector

With a decade-long battery life, you won't have to worry about replacing the Honeywell 5853 Glass Break Detector anytime soon. 

Best For Carbon Monoxide

SimpliSafe Carbon Monoxide Detector

SimpliSafe CO Detector

Carbon monoxide, more commonly known as CO, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that could be deadly if ingested in large enough doses. Meet the SimpliSafe CO Detector, a WiFi-enabled component from one of my favorite smart home companies Simplisafe. 

Pros: The SimpliSafe CO Detector works with Alexa as well as Nest thermostats and August smart locks, allowing you to automate actions in your smart home. You can either use it over WiFi or, for more security, pay for cellular backup so it stays on in the event of a power outage. The SimpliSafe CO Detector is battery-operated and has a life of five years, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. 

Cons: Although 24/7 professional monitoring, remote notifications and cellular backup are available, they’re going to cost you a monthly fee. 

For more information, read our full review of the SimpliSafe security system

Get Best Offer
SimpliSafe CO Detector
SimpliSafe CO Detector
SimpliSafe CO Detector

With mobile notifications through the SimpliSafe app, you'll know as soon as dangerous levels of CO are detected no matter where you are in the world. 

Sensor Methodology

ecobee Room Sensors
ecobee Room Sensors

Depending on the type of sensor, there’s a lot of factors to look at, but here are some things to look for across all sensors:

  • Power source and connectivity: Most sensors are wireless, and they may link to your phone via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, or ZigBee. Now, it’s important to make sure that any wireless sensor has a decent battery life so you won’t have to change it too often. I recommend getting a sensor that offers some sort of backup, which brings me to my next point…
  • Backup: In order for your sensors to stay on during a power outage, you’ll need some sort of backup, whether it’s battery, landline or cellular. For more information, check out my article on what happens to your security system in a power outage.
  • Monitoring: Some sensors are part of larger security systems that may have 24/7 professional monitoring as an option. This means that, if any of your sensors go off, not only you will be notified but also a team of professionals at a UL-certified call center. If you’re not available, the monitoring team can contact emergency services for you, whether that means the local police, the fire department, or even an ambulance if necessary. Although professional monitoring typically costs an additional monthly or yearly fee, I recommend investing in it for added protection.
  • App: I recommend getting a smart sensor so that you can monitor it remotely through a mobile application. However, before you buy your sensor, make sure that the app is highly-rated on either the Apple or Google Play stores, depending on your mobile device.
  • Self-testing: Some sensors test themselves periodically to make sure that their batteries are still in good shape and that they’re communicating properly with your mobile application, which is a huge added bonus. On the other hand, some need to be tested manually which is a bit of a nuisance.
  • Smart platform integrations: If you’re already a part of the Google or Amazon smart home ecosystems, then you’ll want sensors that work with your voice assistant, allowing for hands-free commands.

Sensor Tips

Depending on which kind of sensor you’re looking for, there are a lot of tips I can give you, but here are some quick ones:

  • First floor: All security sensors, a.k.a motion, entry, and glass break sensors, should be placed on the first floor, as a robber is most likely going to enter through a first floor door or window.
  • Siren: Some sensors have built-in sirens, but it’s important to test these out before installation to make sure you can hear them from all corners of your home.
  • Pets: If you have pets, you’ll want pet-sensitive motion sensors to avoid false alerts. Check out the best security systems for pet-owners  for more great options.

Recap of the Best Sensors of 2019

That’s it for the best sensors of the year. As always, leave a comment or question below if you still have anything to say and I’ll be sure to reach back out soon. And remember— be secure!

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.

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