Our test covers photoelectric, ionisation and dual sensor smoke alarms. We include mains-powered and battery-powered models, including several with 10-year lithium batteries.
Our expert testers give every model a thorough workout to help find the ones that:
- are best at detecting real fire situations
- are not too sensitive to nuisance smoke and fumes (such when making toast)
- are easy to use and have useful features such as a hush button.
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out how each model performs in a range of fire situations and which ones are priced to suit your budget. Our Recommended models will help you see quickly which ones come out on top.
Note that a high overall score in this test is not always enough to earn a recommendation. We recommend models that score at least 70% overall, but we also set a minimum score for the smouldering foam test: photoelectric alarms must score at least 80% in this test, as this is exactly the sort of smoke they should be quick to detect. Ionisation and dual sensor models must score at least 70% in the smouldering foam test. Ionisation models are less effective at detecting this sort of smoke, and for dual sensor models, fitting both types of detector into one unit may involve a compromise in the internal space; but in either case they should still be good at detecting this common fire type.
This review includes some models now discontinued or superseded: to see those, use the "availability" filter under Related products at left.