Best Smart Thermostat iMore 2019

The Ecobee4 is the best Wi-Fi thermostat you can buy today. Not only does it work with up to 32 room sensors, but it supports Apple's HomeKit home automation system and comes with Amazon Alexa built in! The ecobee4 isn't the only smart thermostat worth considering from Ecobee! There are also excellent smart thermostat solutions from Google Nest and Honeywell too.

Best Overall: ecobee4


The ecobee4 is for anyone who wants to control their home environment using a voice assistant. With the Alexa-enabled ecobee4, you get all the magic of the HomeKit-enabled ecobee3 and built-in Alexa voice control. Even better, thanks to the built-in speaker and microphone setup, Alexa is just as powerful on the Ecobee4 as it is on Amazon's Echo products.

With HomeKit compatibility, you also get full support for Siri control, including the ability to change temperature with your voice and trigger more complex actions with scenes, using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. The device also supports IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Alexa, and many more integrations.

The ecobee4 is a full-featured, Alexa-enabled device, which means that, on top of having all the same great features as the ecobee3 (HomeKit-enabled, satellite room sensors, energy-saving benefits), you can use the ecobee4 in the same way you'd use an Echo.

Ask Alexa to set a timer, adjust the lighting, give you the steps to a recipe, play some jazz — you can do it all right from your smart thermostat. You can also, of course, use Alexa to adjust the temperature in your home but that's just one tiny detail. It comes with embedded microphones that feature far-field voice recognition (the same technology that makes the Amazon Echo hear you from across the room) and a speaker that makes Alexa sound loud and clear, despite coming from a thermostat fastened to your wall.


  • Built-in Alexa control, complete with microphone and speaker.
  • Full Siri and HomeKit control.
  • Remote sensor compatibility


  • Cheaper alternatives available
  • Pricey if you don't need Apple integration

Best Overall


The best Wi-Fi thermostat for most people

The Ecobee4 includes remote sensors which allow you to know the temperatures all around your home and not just where the device resides.

Best for Small Locations: ecobee 3 lite

ecobee 3 lite

The Ecobee3 lite is more or less a typical ecobee3 thermostat without sensors. It has all the same great features, including HomeKit compatibility and Siri control; it's just constrained to the area where you install the main unit. However, you can buy remote sensors separately to see the temperature in other areas of your home.

The main differences between it and the ecobee4 are the lack of an integrated Amazon Alexa speaker and a room sensor. The ecobee3 lite is also slightly smaller than the newer model and isn't compatible with as many heating/cooling systems.


  • Inexpensive
  • Works with all major smart home platforms
  • Works with Android and iOS
  • Easy installation


  • Room sensors not included
  • Incompatible with certain equipment
  • Doesn't serve as an Amazon Alexa speaker

Best for Small Locations

ecobee 3 lite

Don't need sensors? Don't spend the extra cash.

If you have a small apartment, condo, or home, or just don't feel the need for extra sensors in other rooms (or having an Alexa speaker), go with the ecobee3.

Best Alternative: Nest Learning Thermostat

nest learning

The Nest Learning Thermostat remains a popular choice even though it's not one of the newest smart thermostats on the block. With a HAL-like dial that still looks futuristic, the Nest device is largely simple to use, and works great with the Nest app for iOS. It also supports the Works with Nest program, which provides integrations with dozens of other smart home products, including home security systems, cameras, locks, and more.

By definition, the Nest Learning Thermostat takes the temperatures that you like, then builds a schedules that it believes will suit you. In doing so, you'll be more comfortable in your home while also saving on heating and cooling bills. As part of its learning, the thermostat also adapts to the changing seasons in your area.


  • Compatible with 95% of HVAC systems
  • Multiple color options
  • High-quality materials


  • Notably more expensive than the Thermostat E (see below)
  • Owned by Google which might turn off some users

Best Alternative

Nest Learning Thermostat

No Apple HomeKit? No problem.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is a great alternative if you don't need HomeKit compatibility and have other "Works with Nest" products in your house.

Best Value Choice: Honeywell Lyric T5

honeywell lyric t5

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality smart thermostat. The Honeywell Lyric T5 provides most of the features of the more expensive options but for less money. The main drawback: a design that looks a little bit dated, even though this is one of the newest smart thermostats around. Beyond this, you still get to experience voice control, scheduling, smart alerts, and more.


  • Smart alerts
  • Price (look for discounts)
  • Flexible scheduling options


  • No humidity and motion sensors
  • Requires C-Wire
  • Somewhat dated design

Best Value Choice

Honeywell Lyric T5

Save some cash.

The Honeywell Lyric T5 offers both seven-day flexible scheduling and location-based temperature control.

Best No-Hassle Choice: Nest Thermostat E

nest thermostat e

The Nest Thermostat E, like its more expensive sibling, learns as you use it, creating an automatic schedule for heating and cooling. It also works with voice assistants and features most of the same sensors as the Nest Learning Thermostat. It's missing the metal casing and color options, but the real downside is that it's not compatible with quite as many HVAC systems as the Learning Thermostat.


  • Cheaper than the Learning Thermostat with most of the same features
  • Will work with "most" heating and cooling setups


  • No color options
  • Compatible with 85% of HVAC systems

Best No-Hassle Choice

Nest Thermostat E

Almost as good for a lot less.

The Nest Thermostat E is very similar to the Learning Thermostat but is significantly less expensive.

Bottom line

For most people, the ecobee4 is a full-featured smart thermostat that truly does it all and caters to folks who are all-in on Apple and those who prefer Alexa control. Over time, expand your ecobee4 footprint by adding more sensors. Ultimately, your decision should come down to how much you want to control the temperature in your home and where.

The team that worked on this guide

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

Derek Kessler is Managing Editor for Mobile Nations, where he covers tech across the spectrum. He got his start a decade ago writing about Palm and hasn't stopped since. In his desk drawer you will find way too many phones. Derek also does a fair bit of technical work (including this fancy page); he's @derekakessler on Twitter, if you dare.

Rene Ritchie has been covering the personal technology industry for a decade. An outspoken analyst and critic, he writes at, podcasts at, and you can find his show at Follow him @reneritchie on Twitter and Instagram.

Bryan M Wolfe is a dad who loves technology, especially anything new from Apple. A Penn State graduate, Bryan is also a huge fan of the New England Patriots. Thanks for reading. @bryanmwolfe

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