Top 11 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors In 2020

There are many silent killers out there today and carbon monoxide is one of them. The unique feature that distinguishes it from others however is the fact that most people in many parts of the world hardly ever give attention to its protracted effects on their health.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is colorless, tasteless, odorless and produced from preliminary combustion of carbon-laden fuels including gas, coal, wood, and oil. Given that these fuels are integral to our existence, exposure to the release of this hazardous gas is quite inevitable. While everyone is susceptible to inhaling carbon monoxide, pregnant women, especially those with chronic heart diseases and asthma, and infants are more at high risk.

Once carbon monoxide is inhaled, it goes into the bloodstream and restricts the access of oxygen to the heart and brain. Invariably, the heart and brain cannot function properly without sufficient oxygen.

The effects of poisoning from this hazardous gas include shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, confusion and stomach pain. If the level of Carbon monoxide poisoning is high, it could lead to seizures, loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, loss of physical coordination, loss of balance and possibly loss of vision.

Owing to the imminent dangers of CO, many governments have strong legislation against exposure to this gas. For instance, most states in the United States of America have passed laws that necessitate the use of Carbon Monoxide detectors in households, factories, hospitals, and the likes.

A Carbon monoxide detector is your often unacknowledged security guard against the “silent killer”, quietly performing its function, somewhere in the room unnoticed.

Some of them are fixed to walls and ceiling, some taken around at workplaces and many others attached to automobiles and planes. We have compiled the best carbon monoxide detectors and hereby provide a review of 11 different brands of the device, furnishing you with the pros and cons of each item.

11 Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors

#01. GLBSUNION Carbon Monoxide Detector

GLBSUNION

This device, which smartly detects Carbon Monoxide, is quite portable and appears durable. It comes in white color, has a disk-like shape and has product dimensions of 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.8 inches. The product is sold two in a pack, meaning you have two rooms covered with a single purchase.

GLBSUNION Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm is useful in bedrooms, offices, schools, hospitals, hotels and just about everywhere people visit or reside. It is also useful to detect outdoor CO levels from activities that involve gaseous releases such as barbecue or garage.

The main features of this Carbon Monoxide detector include an LCD display of the level of CO2 in the room to which it is attached and an alarm with an LED flashlight to indicate if the CO2 at a hazardous level. If the CO2 detector is malfunctioning, it is easily noticeable as LED flashes red rather than green while the display indicates “err”.

Pros
  • Easy to install. Completely do it yourself.

  • If the battery power is low, it still gives a faint chirp, CO detection alert.

  • 2 units in a pack.

  • It has a voice alarm that is audible enough.

  • It has a digital display for monitoring CO

Cons
  • It requires 3 batteries but does not come with free batteries.

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#02. First Alert CO710 Carbon Monoxide Alarm Detector

First Alert CO710

This brand of Carbon Monoxide detector is suitable for indoor places such as bedrooms, Kitchens, shops, offices, factories, workshops, and the likes. It boasts of having a lithium battery that can last up to 10 years. This appears to be a big selling point for the device.

The First Alert Carbon detector, like other products of similar function, it is a portable and handy device that can be installed quite easily. Simply remove from the pack, slot in batteries in their compartment and place on the wall.

Another unique selling point is the voice alarm function which departs from the beeping sounds of regular CO detectors. The voice alarm tone is 85 decibels, covering a wide range within the home once a dangerous level of CO is sensed.

Pros
  • Long-lasting battery. Boosts of a 10-year lifespan

  • It has automated voice alarm

  • Fairly large digital display

Cons
  • No strong enough to survive an inadvertent drop on the floor.

  • It may not last for as long as the manufacturer claims.

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#03. First Alert CO600 Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detector

First Alert CO600

This brand of First Alert carbon monoxide Detector has a slight difference from the rest of the series from the manufacturer. It is designed with a plug-in option, where it can be plugged into a 120 volts power outlet for use. The implication of this is that the device does not require the use of the battery.

It also has end of life notifier, telling you that you need to get another CO Detector. The life span of this brand is put at 7 years, though one would imagine such longevity to be dependent on good use. The same button that performs this function is also used to either test or silence the detector.

When the detector beeps 4 times it means that carbon monoxide has been detected, urging residents to go out and call 9911. A single beep means a low battery while 5 beeps signify the end of life of the detector.

Pros
  • It works with electricity.

  • Portable and easy to install.

Cons
  • No battery to act as a substitute.

  • It has no display.

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#04. Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Kidde Plug-In

Kidde Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm has the regular feature common to all products with similar primary function, which is the ease of installation and usage afterward. All the user needs to do is plug in a 120 v power outlet. This source of power for the device is backed up by a 9V Battery.

The device comes with a digital display to showcase the level of carbon monoxide in your environment. If the level is hazardous, an 85 decibels alarm calls out for your attention.

In addition, there is a button for testing the functionality of the device as well as do a reset. Right beside the test/reset button is another which is used to check the peak level of CO.

Pros
  • It has dual power sources.

  • It has three mounting options from which you can choose.

  • It has buttons for reset/test and peak level respectively.

  • It has a digital display.

Cons
  • It does not come with battery, though there is an option for it if you wish to purchase one.

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#05. Forensic Car, Vehicle, Aircraft carbon detector.

Forensic Car, Vehicle, Aircraft carbon detector

The manufacturer, Forensics specifically designed this detector for mobility especially traveling. It is useful for automobiles, ranging from small saloon cars to large trucks. CO levels in aircraft, as well as trains, can also be checked using this device.

It has a portable size and seems easy to use. There is a 3M stick-ON and plastic protective sleeve mount at the back of the device. These make for easy attachment to any convenient part of the vehicles.

On the front side of the detector, there is a digital display that indicates the battery level (in 3 bars) and CO level (from 0 to 1000pmm). There is also an on-and-off button and a large red alarm light. The alarm buzzes at 70 decibels whenever a dangerous level of CO is detected.

Pros
  • It is good for mobility, especially traveling.

  • It is portable

  • It has relatively good accuracy.

  • Reliable for low-level detection.

Cons
  • You have to remove the battery for memory to reset. A button for reset would have been great.

  • The battery cover is not easy to remove.

  • It has no ” end of life” signal.

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#06. Vitowell Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Vitowell Combination

This product, rather than focus on detecting carbon monoxide, similarly detects smoke, providing dual protection for you and your household. While giving optimal functionality for domestic environments, the device is also useful for small factories.

So, do these two combinations get in each other’s way? The device relies on a photoelectric sensor to detect smoke and electrochemical CO sensor to detect carbon monoxide. But then, only a single alarm works for both functions, with you not really knowing the exact of the two threats until you get to the alarm.

Some other features of this 2-in-1 product include a 9V battery that gives you a peep and flashes a red indicator to let you know it needs to be replaced; an alarm with adjustable frequency; and a test button that is also used to silence the alarm.

Pros
  • It provides double protection.

  • It is compact and easy to install.

Cons
  • It does not have a display.

  • It is not UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certified.

  • Single-button for the test, reset and alarm.

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#07. Hobbit Carbon monoxide and explosive gas detector

Hobbit

This detector is a 2-in-1 device that works with 240V of AC power and 9V rechargeable battery as an alternative. It seems to have an elegant design with the main features visible on the front side. These on including the power light, fault light, digital display, test/reset button, air inlets by either side and alarm light.

Hobbit Carbon monoxide and explosive gas detector are easy to install just like most of the other CO detectors. Simply mount on any part of the walls or the ceilings without requesting for an electrician’s service. Besides, given that the necessary features (alarm, reset, display and light indicators) can be found on it, the device is easy to use.

In addition, the device does not only have an alarm, but it also has an automated voice that is triggered once the alarm senses gas that could lead to an explosion or fire outbreak. Hobbit Carbon monoxide and explosive gas detector seems to be the ideal brand but comes with a couple of cons nevertheless.

Pros
  • It has power, fault and alarm light indicators.

  • It works with electricity.

  • It has a dual function button for test and reset.

Cons
  • It does not come with battery, even though there is an option for it.

  • Prone to raising a false alarm.

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#08. X-sense Carbon monoxide alarm detector

X-sense

X-sense Carbon monoxide alarm detector comes with a compact design that gives it a good attraction. Like most CO detectors, it has an alarm that buzzes whenever there is a high concentration of carbon monoxide leaks in every given enclosed environment.

The device has three more features that are worth mentioning. First, it comes with a large LCD display to show sensed CO levels. The display updates every 10 seconds and this is actually quite unique.

Second, it has an LED that indicates its operation status, with a green light indicating normal operation, red light showing the status of the alarm and yellow light indicating a fault. Third, the detector comes with a lithium battery that is said to last for 10 years.

Pros
  • It has a long-lasting lithium battery.

  • It has an LCD display light.

  • It has a test/mute button.

  • It has a 3-color LED light indicator.

  • Great design and quite portable.

Cons
  • The display doesn’t show a battery bar.

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#09. Kidde AC hardwired operated carbon monoxide detector

Kidde AC hardwired

This is another carbon monoxide detector from the stable of Kidde but with a very basic appearance. It comes in spherical shape and white. The detector is easy to installing and can be placed on either the wall or ceiling.

One important function of the device is its digital display that shows the level of carbon monoxide leaks in the room. For those who are interested in observing the changes in the level of CO leaks, this device is for you. This actually helps them prepare for potential issues that may occur as consequences of the leaks.

Perhaps the most important feature of Kidde AC hardwired operated carbon monoxide detector is the fact that it has interconnection with other Kidde CO detectors in a building. In fact, it can be connected with nothing less than 24 of similar devices.

Pros
  • It has a 3-color LED display for constant monitoring of CO.

  • It comes with a mounting bracket that is adjustable.

  • It comes with a 9V battery

  • The display stores up the most recent CO reading.

Cons
  • It may not last for up to 7 years promised by the manufacturer.

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#10. Sensorcon Inspector CO carbon monoxide monitor

Sensorcon Inspector

Sensorcon Inspector carbon monoxide monitor was designed for industrial and commercial workers, as it can be applied for personal use. It has LED alarm lights, a sensor in-let, an LED display screen, and an on-and-off button. The sensor inlet can be used with an optional pump or probe to reach selected areas, especially those that cannot be easily reached.

The visual and audio alerts are interesting features of the device. There is an LCD display that shows CO level from 0 – 1, 999pm. Apart from that, the alarms buzz at low at 35 ppm (low) and 200 ppm (high).

The fact that it is waterproof does not really do much more than making it more durable if used in water prone areas or duties. All the same, it acts as a unique feature that sets the device apart from several others.

Pros
  • It is truthfully waterproof.

  • It has a clip for fastening to clothes.

  • Low-level CO detection. Detects as low as 1ppm.

  • It has a digital display.

Cons
  • It can be too sensitive at times.

  • It does not have the memory to store up readings.

  • Recalibration may be required after a while.

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#11. Universal security instrument carbon monoxide smart alarm

Universal security instrument

This is altogether different from the usual CO devises that you simply purchase, open and place on a ceiling or wall. The Universal security instrument carbon monoxide smart alarm is essentially a mobile tool, looking like the 90s or early 2000s mobile phone. It also reads CO levels in PPM (Parts Per Million), giving you assurance of the effectiveness of range, if you decide to get one.

It comes with a holster clip that is attached to clothes. As a consequence, it is very useful for a working environment, especially for factory or construction workers. If your schedule involves moving around places you’re not sure of the air safety, this type of CO detector may be considered.

Other features of the detector is a 9V battery life, display that shows a reading of up to 999 ppm and preset alarm that goes off whenever the CO level gets to a hazardous level.

Pros
  • It is handy and easy to move around.

  • It has a digital display with lights.

  • it has a low battery indicator.

  • It comes with a holster and belt clip.

  • It comes with one 9V battery.

Cons
  • Difficult to read below 30 ppms.

  • Needs recalibration after some months.

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5 Features To Look Out For In Co Detectors.

At this juncture, the importance of carbon monoxide detectors has been clearly stated. But then, making a pick from our selection may not be that easy. Therefore, it can be useful for you to get an idea of a few necessary features to look out for.

Certification: You need to know if the detector has safety certification. There are various certifications but UL is often reckoned with. This will guarantee the safety and effectiveness of the device.

Battery: Most CO detectors rely on batteries but some can be used with electricity. You need to know if what you are about to purchase comes with battery or otherwise. If it doesn’t come with one, maybe you should consider another CO detector.

Digital Display: The importance of digital display cannot be overemphasized. It often shows the level of CO within a given environment, and sometimes the battery level. Without displays, the function of a CO detector is limited. So, you have to be sure that what you are about to purchase has a digital display.

Mobility: More often than not, CO detectors, especially those in a household are fixed onto the wall or ceiling. Nonetheless, mobile one more protection to your health, particularly if your activities revolve around CO prone areas.

The loudness of Alarm: It is enough to have an alarm on your CO detecting device. You have to be sure that the alarm is loud enough to get you alerted about potential danger.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are CO detectors good for travel?

Many of the carbon monoxide detectors are made for indoors. However, some are mobile detectors are available for those that work in factories and wish to avoid areas with high levels of CO.

What is the lifespan of this sensor?

This is dependent on the particular product. Some of the products last for up to 10 years. It is nevertheless instructive that you are not too expectant. Some will tell you 7 years but end up lasting for only a couple of years.

Will CO detectors show exact CO levels or when it is dangerous?

Normally, they are meant to display or alert on CO levels, irrespective of whether they are high, low or moderate. Detectors will give you an alert when the level of CO is dangerously high but a number of them detect 1ppm level.

Can this device also detect smoke or leaks that can lead to fire outbreaks?

Some CO detectors are built along with smoke detecting functions.

Is this device UL approved?

It is ideal for smoke and CO detectors to be UL certified. This is to show that the safety of the devices has tested and certified. Many detectors are yet to be UL certified even as they lay claim to it.

Can this be used in a vehicle?

Yes, most can be used in vehicles. Nevertheless, some are specifically developed for automobiles.

How accurate is this CO detector?

Most of the CO detectors available are quite accurate.

Final Verdict

Carbon monoxide detectors are pretty important. But getting the best decice to perform this function is just as important. This will allow you to make save money.

It is not okay to get one that does not come with a 9V or more batteries or display lights. In addition, not everything seen in the manual should be believed. This sufficiently underlines the importance of the list that we have compiled.

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