The temperature of our home has a lot of say in how comfortable we are and having a device that makes sure it’s always at the right level can be a godsend.
The smart thermostat is just that device and it signals the future for home heating and cooling, provided you choose one with the right features.
What does a smart thermostat do?
A smart thermostat is capable of managing the temperature inside your home and it does this based on your daily schedules, weather conditions, and more. These smart devices aim to automate temperature control in your home and give you a central and remote way to control your home’s climate.
Smart thermostats have evolved over the years and with so many more choices out there, finding the right fit for your home can be a daunting task.
We’ve compiled a list of the best options on the market in 2021 and what they bring to the table, so you can be sure you’re equipping your home with a thermostat that will make life easier.
To help you navigate through the countless options all claiming to be the best smart home thermostats, we’ve hand-picked just five that are deserving of the title.
Check out what our favorites have to offer in features, function, and affordability to get the automatic climate control you’ve been looking for.
Best Smart Thermostat – Reviews for 2021
Winner: EcoBee SmartThermostat
- Style: Thermostat and sensor
- Size: 4.29 x 4.29 x 1 inches
If you want the best smart thermostat on the market today, EcoBee takes the prize. This is the best buy smart thermostat because it’s loaded with intuitive features like a presence detector, automatic temperature adjustments, and smart home system integration. The control panel measures 4.29 x 4.29 x 1 inches and it can also be controlled with the EcoBee app, giving you remote access whenever you need it.
The intuitive nature of this thermostat is what earned it the most points with customers, and also saved a lot in energy bills. People were thrilled with the Smart Home and Away sensor that detects your presence and adjusts the temperature accordingly. This means no more wasted money on heating and cooling costs for an empty room.
Another great feature of the Ecobee is its functionality and ease of use, and when you compared it to other smart thermostats on the market it’s so straightforward. All you have to do is put the SmartSensor in the room you want to control, change a few customized settings, and it’s ready to go. The user interface is fast and responsive and there’s not a lot of wait time like others, which further helps its ease of use.
Integration is a key feature to look for in any smart home accessory, and the Ecobee delivered on this front as well. You’ll be able to connect your new thermostat to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, and any iOS or Android device, giving you more ways than ever to create the comprehensive smart home you’ve always wanted.
On the downside, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat measures Measuring 4.29 x 4.29 x 1 inches so it’s not the smallest, and some customers hoped for a more compact wall unit. Even though it’s large, it’s still sleek and attractive, but understandably, if you want something more discreet it’s probably not ideal.
Some customers found issues with the automation function of this thermostat and reported that they had to spend some time getting it right. Although Ecobee gives the choice to let this device configure automatically, our advice is to do the manual setup so you can ensure it’s working correctly, otherwise, you could be looking at higher electricity bills than before.
The EcoBee Smart Thermostat offers full integration with your chosen smart home hub and comes with a three-year limited warranty, with the best price available online at Amazon. If you’re after an automatic approach to home cooling and heating, this is our favorite of the best home smart thermostats and one that can help you lower costs and make your life simpler.
Runner Up: Google Nest Learning Thermostat
- Style: Thermostat
- Size: 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.21 inches
You can always rely on Google to get it right, and this is true with their Google Nest Smart Learning Thermostat. This automatic thermostat offers home and away assistant, remote control, accessible history, and integration with many of the popular smart home hubs, including Amazon Alexa. The thermostat measures 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.21 inches and is wired into your home to control the heating and cooling systems you have in place.
The best feature of the Google Nest is its ease of use, and this is incorporated into the wall unit and the app. Any of your family members can access the app and get control of the zones and rooms they need to, and even those without any tech knowledge will find this easy to do.
Another huge selling point of the Nest Thermostat is that it gives you more than just temperature control, but a way to learn about the heating and cooling requirements of your home based on history. Using the History function, you can see how much energy you used and build a pattern so that your HVAC needs are met with this learning thermostat.
The design of the Google Nest makes it a standout and it’s instantly recognizable as well as beautiful. With a circular shape, stainless steel surface, and smaller size, you can mount it on the wall and see a noticeable improvement in your room’s décor. It hides away easily if you want it to, or you can keep it on the wall as you would a normal thermostat, and be proud to show off its sleek design.
There were some issues with programming that customers noted, and it was mainly to do with how it operates when you’re not at home. While some assumed the thermostat would learn that you were gone and turn off the air conditioner until it was close to the regular time you arrived back home, it doesn’t seem to be that easy just yet, so be prepared to do some of the work yourself.
Another negative worth mentioning is the price, which could put some people off. For this product, you’re only paying for the base thermostat and not any of the sensors, so be expected to put forward more cash to manage your entire house. When you consider the added costs, it might be out of reach for some, but if you want the features and quality that the Google Nest is known for, you’ll be happy to pay.
To get your hands on the Google Nest and make a transformation in how you manage your home’s heating and cooling, you can head online to Amazon for the best price. The Nest comes with only a one year limited warranty, which is pretty standard but has the solid reputation that Google has built for itself and millions of happy customers.
Alternative: Honeywell Home WiFi Thermostat
- Style: Thermostat and sensor
- Size: 3.7 x 4.92 x 0.94 inches
If you’re looking for a quality thermostat but don’t have a lot of cash to splash, something more budget-friendly like the Honeywell Home WiFi Thermostat is a great alternative. This affordable smart option comes with both the thermostat and one sensor, capable of reaching a signal up to 200ft. Overall, the wall unit measures 3.7 x 4.92 x 0.94 inches, and the sensor is smaller at 2.6 x 2.6 x 0.77 inches, each working separately to bring the ideal temperature to each room and zone.
Although cheap, there’s no shortage of features with this best budget smart thermostat and it’s these that impressed customers. You’ll be able to integrate the device with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, and Google Assistant, so you can control your temperature with the rest of your smart home. While connected, you’ll get alerts about filters and house temperatures so you can keep a track of things even when you’re not there.
Installing this was also a breeze thanks to the guided setup and included power adapter that saves you from having to hardwire anything. If you’re worried about using C-wire or having to pay for a professional to install a thermostat, this is the low-fuss option that suits more types of users. The room sensors are battery powered so you don’t have to worry about the installation here either.
It’s not all good news though, as some people have mentioned issues with the WiFi signal dropping out of these units, even if Honeywell claims to have rectified the problem in this later model. This is where it makes sense to use a wired smart device, but understandably, it’s not possible in every home. Just be sure to have a solid connection before you consider the Honeywell so you reduce the chance of this happening.
Another potential drawback that customers have experienced is that the thermostat and the app are sometimes in disagreement about the current temperature, and off by a few degrees. While it won’t matter once you get the temperature right it can cause a problem when you’re setting an automatic temperature or choosing a preset amount like “just right”. Keep in mind, not all users had this issue but it is possible, and you’ll need to wait for a software update before it gets fixed.
All in all, the Honeywell Home WiFi Thermostat is excellent value for money and one of the better devices found in this lower price range. The warranty period is only one year, which is to be expected, but people have found it lasts for many when you take care of it, so head to Amazon to give it a try. The Honeywell Thermostat proves you don’t have to spend a fortune for climate automation at home, and is certainly worth your consideration.
Alternative: Sensibo Sky
- Style: AC Controller
- Size: 3.23 x 2.17 x 0.67 inches
The Sensibo Sky was designed to be an affordable and efficient way to control your home’s air conditioning, and it offers many of the features a smart thermostat does. The difference is, the Sensibo is just for your AC, and it’s a compact wall unit that measures just 3.23 x 2.17 x 0.67 inches, giving you a central way to control your air conditioning, use geofencing, ditch your remote, and save energy.
According to their happy customers, people loved how easy it was for the Sensibo Sky to learn their habits and surroundings. With features like Climate React and 7-day scheduling, you had to do the bare minimum to keep temperatures perfect at home. Better still, it’s compatible with all of the major smart home hubs and assistants, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Another great thing about the Sensibo was how user-friendly it was, especially to those who have tried and failed with other smart thermostats. It will take you just 60 seconds to install it and you’ll never need to use your AC remote again, making your life a whole lot easier. There are no tricky wires or multiple steps and support teams needed to get it installed, so even an absolute beginner in tech can get it done.
On the downside, it’s limited in what it does, and when you compare to cost to other basic thermostats that can do more than just air conditioning control, it seems lackluster. While it can work with all types of ACs including split system, wall-mounted, portable, and window ACs, if you use any other type of HVAC it won’t do. Those looking for the best smart thermostat for heat pump or even heaters will have to keep on searching.
Another negative about the Sensibo Sky is that you have to pay for the added features that other companies offer for free, and when you add it to the purchase price it doesn’t seem so cheap anymore. Some unhappy customers noted that there was once a time where Sensibo didn’t charge for things like Climate React, and it came as standard when you purchased the device, however, these days, features like this unfortunately come at an extra cost.
If you predominantly use an air conditioner to handle all of your cooling needs, something basic like the Sensibo Sky will be a great investment. It does everything you want a smart thermostat to do, is reasonably priced when you shop through Amazon, and comes with a 12-month limited warranty for peace of mind. Sensibo Sky is a great way to do your part for the planet and save money as well, all the while leaving temperature control up to your new smart device.
Alternative: Bosch WiFi Thermostat
- Style: Thermostat
- Size: 5.2 x 3.08 x 1 inches
If you have a smaller house or prefer a wired smart thermostat at home, the Bosch WiFi Thermostat might be right up your alley. This device is a standalone thermostat with no additional sensors and it features a 5-inch touch screen that lets you control the HVAC systems at work in your home. The wall unit measures 5.2 x 3.08 x 1 inches and is wired into your home using a C-wire so it has endless power, and it runs on your household WiFi.
One of the coolest things about the Bosch is that it works with a broader range of HVAC systems including heat pumps, dehumidifiers, and conventional cooling systems. You simply have to wire everything so it’s connected to the smart thermostat and you can manage and adjust their settings through it. When you compare that to what most basic thermostats are doing these days, it’s miles ahead.
Another great feature of the Bosch WiFi Thermostat are the constant updates it gets, including being able to control things like evaporation steam and humidifiers. You can program it to whatever temperature you want, set it to vacation mode, check the weather, and more. If you prefer automation, let the system works its magic and come up with a comfortable temperature based on the weather conditions and what it’s learned from your habits.
The biggest disappointment of this smart thermostat is its lack of compatibility with other smart devices, and even with some common smartphones. Currently, it doesn’t work with the latest update from Android, and unless you use Amazon Alexa as your smart assistant, you won’t be able to do much with the Bosch. Considering all of the features that could be helpful, this seems to hold it back quite a lot.
There doesn’t appear to be any options for additional room sensors either, which is a huge letdown. You’ll need to use just one thermostat unit for your home which can be difficult if you want to focus on different zones or have occupancy sensors in each room. Installation can also be tricky and will almost definitely require the help of a professional, so don’t purchase this if you have no tech knowledge and plan on wiring it in yourself.
The Bosch WiFi Thermostat is almost there but doesn’t have all of the features that the top sellers do, but it does offer affordability and more HVAC system compatibility. Amazon has it listed online for the lowest price and you’ll be thrilled to learn it has a five-year warranty, which only solidifies its quality. If you have special needs for a smart thermostat, there’s a good chance the Bosch can meet them.
Smart Thermostat FAQs
Our picks for the best smart thermostats have a lot to offer, but to make sure you’re picking the right fit for your home, you need to understand the basics of these devices.
We’ve answered some commonly asked questions about smart thermostats to enable you to shop for your perfect match.
Are Smart Thermostats Worth It?
If you live in a home that relies on heating and cooling systems to monitor temperatures, you’ll probably find value in using a smart thermostat.
These devices can control the various HVAC systems you have, as well as other options like opening or closing windows and blinds, so you can get automatically comfortable temperatures to suit your needs and the occupancy of each room.
Do I Need 2 Smart Thermostats?
A smart thermostat may be able to control multiple zones, depending on its capabilities, so it’s not always necessary to have two.
However, people living in multi-story homes or with thermostats that can’t control more than two areas may find it helpful to have two smart thermostats installed, or at least more than one sensor.
Can WIFI Thermostats Be Hacked?
It is possible for any device connected to a wireless internet connection to be hacked, and this includes wireless or smart thermostats.
However, most devices have security features in place to try and prevent this, but there’s no guarantee. Alternatively, a hacker might also be able to hack the server that the smart manufacturer uses to store its customers’ data, which is another potential risk.
Can A Smart Thermostat Detect Room Occupancy?
Most smart thermostats can detect how whether anyone is in a room, and will adjust the temperature accordingly.
Using sophisticated sensors, they can tell whether the heating or cooling needs to be running and at what temperature based on the occupancy of a room, saving you from unnecessary costs when nobody is around.
Effortless Comfort With a Smart Thermostat
There’s nothing better than a piece of technology that can predetermine your wants and needs before you even have them, and that’s exactly what the smart thermostat offers.
With our recommendations and an understanding of what this smart tech is capable of, you’ll be able to install a thermostat that offers instinctive comfort for your home.