If you have a smartphone and can afford it, the Nest Protect is our top choice of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, not least because it works with an Android or iOS app. The Nest Protect is far and away the most aesthetically pleasing alarm on the market and the most polite when it comes to false alarms. It also comes with way more tech than most, including a three-level LED lamp that lights the way in an emergency or when you get up in the middle of the night.
The Nest Protect is very easy to set up: simply remove the battery tab, launch the app, log into your wi-fi, give it a name (kitchen, lounge etc) and mount it in a suitably elevated place on a wall. Unlike other detectors, the Nest notifies you (and anyone else who has registered) with a notification on your mobile device, even if you’re in another country. The main unit also speaks a warning in a calm English female voice when it detects smoke or CO in a room. If the CO levels are slowly increasing, the voice will warn you before setting off the alarm. But if CO levels become dangerously high, the centre lamp glows red and a very loud, high-pitched beep is emitted along with a spoken warning letting you know which room is affected. You can temporarily cancel any alarms by holding the ‘stop’ button on the app or by pressing the unit’s big centre button.
The Nest Protect passed our sealed incense test with flying colours: the smoke alarm went off first followed by the CO alarm five minutes later; according to the app, the CO level was 414 PPM and increasing. Right now we can’t think of a more versatile smoke and CO alarm on the market. Highly recommended.