What every best Smoke Detectors has:
- Battery backup.
- Reasonable installation.
- Easy maintenance.
Consumer Reports tests a variety of stand-alone smoke alarms as well as combination alarms that include both a smoke and CO detector. For smoke detection, only dual-sensor models (both ionization and photoelectric) rise to recommended status. Combination alarms are rated separately for their effectiveness against both hazards.
Amazon user reviews are a good place to gain insight on problems that annoy owners but that don't show up in expert tests. Lots of smoke detectors get ample feedback, in some cases hundreds or even thousands of reviews.
Home Depot is another top spot for user feedback on smoke alarms. Most models have received at least some feedback and some have reviews from hundreds of users. In addition to providing ratings and written feedback, owners can state whether or not they would recommend their smoke detector to a friend.
While there are fewer models listed her than at either Home Depot and, especially, Amazon, most smoke alarms sold at Lowe's have accumulated at least a handful of reviews, and some have earned much more feedback making the site another worthwhile destination for owner opinions. Owners provide an overall rating, a brief summary review, and state whether or not they would recommend the smoke detector.
The editors at Thoroughly Reviewed spend "over 36 hours researching and testing 15 different types of smoke detectors." However, the nature of the testing is not explained, and results are not generally shared. Instead the discussion is largely features based. Still, the conclusions reached seem to be reasonable, and top-rated models are also well regarded by users and other experts.
Reviewed is one of a cavalcade of reviewers that have looked at "smart" smoke and combination detectors. Testing methodology is well explained, but discussion of individual models is brief. Still, enough information is conveyed to describe where each does well, and where each falls short.
Wirecutter tests smart smoke detectors by installing them in a two story home. Focus is on ease of installation and use, though a simulated smoke condition is also created to test "real-life" alert scenarios. A top pick and runner up choice are named, and other smoke alarms tested are briefly discussed. Elsewhere on this site, the best basic smoke alarms are named, but it's based upon research only, not testing.
Top Ten Reviews spends 40 hours testing "the most advanced smoke detectors available today." Testing methodology is explained, and results are shared, though the bulk of the coverage is features based.
CNET looks at a handful of smart smoke, CO and combination smoke and CO detectors. Some are covered only in brief editor's take reports, while others are subjected to the site's typical hands-on testing and lengthy discussion.
Walmart.com is another destination for reviews of smoke detectors and combo units. Pluses and minus are similar to what we see at other sites. Some models have only a little feedback, or none at all, but others get dozens of reviews -- and nearly 100 in some cases.
In this report, posted at Yahoo News, the staff of ABC News and GMA Investigates delve into the issue of what type of smoke detectors are best. Ionization smoke detectors are found to sound fastest in the case of a blazing fire, but sometimes fail to sound at all in the case of a smoldering one. The findings echo those of a government study that says for best safety, both types should be used in most houses.