Everyone needs a good thermostat.
While you may think there’s no reason to upgrade from your older version, keep in mind that newer and more efficient thermostats may reduce your energy expenses, keep you more comfortable, and even eliminate any need for physical interaction (with the thermostat, that is).
Smart thermostats are thermostats that feature inbuilt computers which continuously learn from how you live. They constantly adapt to your lifestyle to deliver the maximum comfort possible.
The smart thermostat industry exploded with the success of the Nest, and five years later, there are a ton of other companies on the scene.
And the rage isn’t going to die down anytime soon. Smart thermostats, for all their gimmicks and extras, are incredibly useful devices that, at their core, really do help reduce energy expenditures. In geographical locations and times when heating and air conditioning are necessities rather than luxuries, a smart thermostat is a gigantic boon.
And in a world where half your energy bill is controlled by your thermostat, it’s essential for that thermostat to be as smart as possible.
Luckily for everyone, there’s a whole range of smart thermostats in the market – at least when it comes to price. You can buy an extremely high-tech, expensive, and highly functional thermostat if you have the money, or you can go for a more basic model that doesn’t have as many features.
Today, we’re bringing you a list of the top five best smart thermostats. If you think we’ve missed any, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll give it some serious consideration.
Now, for the list itself:
Top-Rated Wi-Fi Thermostats - Comparison Table
Best Smart Thermostat Reviews
Five years after the release of the original Nest Learning Thermostat, the company is still going strong. With new product versions and updates occurring frequently, the third-generation Nest Smart Thermostat is more useful than ever.
In fact, independent studies have shown that the Nest can save you an average of around 11 percent on heating bills and roughly fifteen percent on cooling. With those savings, the Nest can pay for itself in two years!
The thermostat comes in three different styles: copper, stainless steel, and white. Each looks unique and gorgeous, and you’ll definitely find a style that will fit in with your home’s décor.
The Nest works with Amazon’s Alexa, although you’ll have to buy an Alexa device separately if you want the full hands-free control experience.
The thermostat swiftly starts learning what temperatures you like at what times and will program itself accordingly within a week. If that’s not enough, it also detects when there’s no one in the house and switches itself off to conserve energy.
If you connect your thermostat to your WiFi network, you can even use your mobile devices to control it remotely. And when the Nest detects you walking across the room, it lights up to display essential information – without even needing to be touched.
The thermostat has also earned the Energy Star, meaning that it’s been proven to be efficient at energy conservation. And if you want to check your energy history, all you have to do is open the Nest app and navigate to the relevant section.
The best part of all this is the Nest Leaf, which you’ll see when you set a temperature that will save you energy.
Features at a Glance
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Home/Away learning capabilities
- Remote control capabilities
- Energy Star certified
- Records energy history
- Nest Leaf lets you know when you’re conserving energy
The Ecobee3 comes in two different configurations: the cheaper one comes with a single sensor while the more expensive one has three sensors included.
The thermostat is compatible with Amazon Alexa, although you will have to buy an Alexa device separately.
It is also really smart, learning when to manipulate your heating or cooling system to ensure that it maintains optimum temperature. It uses a number of variables to determine the best time to do this, including your house’s energy profile, outside temperature, and thousands of other data values.
We talked about the sensors earlier, and this feature is what differentiates the Ecobee3 from other thermostats on the market. The sensors are discrete gadgets and can be installed in different rooms, allowing the thermostat to calculate the temperature of individual rooms and deliver the right amount of power exactly where it’s needed.
The thermostat senses whether there’s anyone at home and which rooms are occupied and adjusts the temperature accordingly. In the long run, this could save you a ton of money by cutting energy bills.
Speaking of savings, the Ecobee3 cuts customers’ yearly energy bills by a quarter - on average. If you do decide to install the thermostat, it will pay for itself in energy savings. This also means that it will save you a load of money in the long-term – after it’s done paying for itself.
The thermostat’s software has an open API, allowing it to integrate into many services such as Vera, SmartThings, the Apple HomeKit, and others. This means that you can control it from almost anywhere, using virtually any device you have.
The Ecobee3 is the third version of its kind, meaning that its manufacturers have had years to test what works and what doesn’t when it comes to smart thermostats.
Features at a Glance
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, Apple HomeKit, etc.
- Sold with room sensors which allow separate control for different rooms
- Reduces yearly energy bills by an average of twenty-five percent
- Takes a huge number of factors into account when deciding on home temperature
The Ecobee Smart Si is another smart thermostat developed by Ecobee. Let’s take a look at what makes it different from the Ecobee3, and whether this difference is significant enough to justify a separate product.
The Smart Si is a smart thermostat which doesn’t have as much functionality as its parent company’s flagship product, the Ecobee3. This doesn’t mean that the Smart Si is worthless – far from it. The thermostat actually provides great value for its price, which is way lower than that of the flagship thermostat.
The thermostat figures out how your home uses energy and tries to discover ways to cut down on your energy bills without compromising on your comfort. It’s is designed to start cutting costs as soon as possible, and customers should see significant energy bill reductions within even a year.
The thermostat comes with a connected app that you can download on your smartphone. The app is available for both major mobile operating systems and also for Blackberry OS.
The ecobee Smart Si Thermostat starts your day by showing you a weather forecast of what conditions you can expect during the day, allowing you to plan yourself accordingly. You can even preview forecasts for the upcoming four days, enabling you to plan your activities and clothing in advance.
You also get free Home IQ energy reports, allowing you to see exactly how you’re using energy in your home. It’s like a free energy audit for your home!
Features at a Glance
- Shows weather forecast for upcoming days
- Mobile app available
- Free Home IQ energy reports
The Sensi Smart Thermostat comes in two different: DIY and pro. Both versions cost about the same, and the only difference is that the pro version versions comes with a longer warranty. Weirdly enough, it’s the cheaper version that comes with the longer warranty. Hmmm...
The Sensi thermostat is meant to provide you with all the essential functionality of a smart thermostat at around half the price of most smart thermostats. Sure, it doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles, but if you’re looking to save some money, it’s going to be your best option.
The Sensi smart thermostat is compatible with most homes since it doesn’t need a C-wire, a wire that most Wi-fi thermostats require and which may not be available in your home.
The thermostat can be scheduled for up to a week in advance, allowing you to cut down on wasteful energy expenditure when there’s nobody home. And in case you forget to turn it off, you can control the thermostat from any part of the world using the companion mobile app.
You can use Sensi like a standard thermostat without connecting to it using the mobile app, but it’ll start functioning as a fully-fledged smart thermostat as soon as you establish a connection. The free mobile app is available on both major mobile platform, ensuring you don’t get left out.
Installing the Sensi is a breeze. It’s a process that should take you less than fifteen minutes. And even if you find yourself stuck, you can refer to the installation guide and video tutorial on the Sensi app.
Finally, the Sensi Smart Thermostat works perfectly well with Amazon Alexa, although you’ll need to buy a separate Alexa device. It also works with the Wink app, functionality you can take advantage of without using a Wink hub.
Features at a Glance
- Affordable price
- Doesn’t require C-wire
- Allows scheduling for up to a week ahead
- Free mobile companion app can be used to control thermostat
- Quick and easy installation process
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Wink
The Honeywell Smart Thermostat is the final product on our list, and it’s a worthy contender for the number five spot.
The Honeywell is compatible with Amazon Alexa, although you’ll have to shell out extra for a separate Alexa device if you want to take advantage of this.
The screen color can be changed and customized to match any house’s décor. The touchscreen on the thermostat can also be locked for extra security.
The thermostat is easy to set up and will give you access to smart features right from the word go. Its programmable mode will help you save on energy costs.
The thermostat calculates exactly how long it takes to set your preferred temperature and takes action to avoid unnecessary heating or cooling times and saving money.
There are a lot of other smart features which you can find on the product’s Amazon page. All in all, the Honeywell is a pretty affordable device which delivers all the smart functionality you’d require when using a smart thermostat.
The Honeywell Smart Thermostat can be controlled from any location using its companion Android or iOS app. Honeywell’s Total Connect Comfort service will also let you control your thermostat from any computer, tablet, or smartphone from any location in the world.
Features at a Glance
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Customizable screen color
- Advanced locking features for extra security
- Huge number of smart features
- Can be controlled from any location
- Total Connect Comfort service lets you control your thermostat from any smart device
Now that we’re done with our list of the five best smart thermostats currently on the market, let’s move on to the buying guide. What are some of the things you have to consider before you decide on a smart thermostat? Let’s find out!
This one should be pretty obvious. When looking for the product you want to buy, you have to make sure it falls within the price range you’ve established. You may not get access to all the fancy-pants features you may have wanted, but hey, at least you didn’t break your budget!
If you’re on a budget, then the Sensi Smart Thermostat is the best option for you. It’s extremely affordable and gives you most of the basic features you’d require from a smart thermostat.
Most smart thermostats connect to your home’s Wi-Fi, but how do you get to control your thermostat. Is there a companion mobile app for the thermostat? Is the app available on your smartphone’s operating system?
Some manufacturers, like Honeywell, allow you to connect to your thermostat from any smart device. Do you need this convenience? Think about all this, hard, before making your choice.
Also, consider the functionality you get from the app. Some manufacturers’ apps will offer you extras like free home energy audits and detailed representations of how you’re using energy in your house.
The last thing you have to consider when it comes to connectivity is compatibility with smart systems. All the thermostats on our lists work with Amazon Alexa. Some thermostats will work with Apple HomeKit, allowing you to adjust temperatures from your iPhone.
And while Nest is the only thermostat compatible with the Google Home, for now, we’re likely to see an increasing number of smart thermostats sliding into this area due to the increasing popularity of the device.
Do you want a truly smart thermostat? If you do, you’ll have to spring for one that features algorithmic learning. Programmable thermostats (which aren’t as smart), will simply ask you to key in a routine and follow that routine when manipulating temperatures.
An algorithmic thermostat, on the other hand, will consider other data points when deciding on how to adjust the temperature. The Nest Learning Thermostat, for example, will switch to an energy-efficient mode if you don’t pass in front of its sensors for a while.
If it notices that you regularly aren’t at home at a particular time, it will learn this and use this information during daily operation.
While algorithmic learning isn’t perfect, the worst-case scenario is that you’ll be mildly convenience since you’ll have to adjust the temperature manually using your smartphone. A lot of us are willing to take that chance since the positive is that you may end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
If you want cutting-edge technology, then this is what you should go for.
Some thermostats use geofencing when deciding on how to adjust your home’s temperature.
What this means is that the thermostats check your phone’s location and switch to a more efficient mode as soon as they detect that your phone is a certain distance away from your home.
This means that the thermostat will start adjusting the temperature when it senses that you’re returning home so you can come back to find your home at the perfect temperature.
Remote sensors are sensors which are separate from the thermostat itself but interface with it to exchange information. The thermostat will rely on these sensors to decide on which mode it should be in: Home or Away.
Needless to say, the Away mode is always more energy-efficient and makes sure you’re not spending money on heating or cooling your house when you aren’t even present to reap the benefits.
Putting a sensor in an area that you have to pass when entering or exiting your home is a good way to ensure that the thermostat is able to accurately predict whether you’re home or not.
Installation isn’t always easy. Some smart thermostats require a C-wire, and you may have to go through some hassle if your house isn’t already compatible with C-wire technology.
While some systems don’t explicitly require a C-wire, it may better to install one anyway since those thermostats ‘steal’ power from other wires to make up for the nonexistent C-wire. This may potentially harm your wiring or your thermostat, so make sure you do your research before making your final choice.
Before you buy your smart thermostat, figure out whether you actually need one. If you’re living in an area where thermostat expenses are minimal, you may not need to upgrade your existing system.
If you’re on a really tight budget or just require barebones control over your thermostat, then you may be better off opting for a basic seven-day programmable thermostat. These are much cheaper, but have much less functionality than their smarter cousins.
At the end of the day, however, it’s about what works best for you. Compare the options, decide what works best for you, and use those criteria to select the best smart thermostat for you.
Do this, and you won’t be dissatisfied with your purchase.