Best Smart Thermostats iMore 2020
With Smart Home gear being as big as it is, one of the main components these days is a smart thermostat. One of the best options right now is the Nest learning thermostat with schedule building based on how you use the device. The Nest is a great choice, but you might have different criteria that this product might not meet. Check out our other options for what you may need for your own smart home.
- Best Overall: Nest Learning Thermostat
- Best Value: Honeywell Lyric T5
- Best Mid-Range: Drayton Wiser Smart Thermostat
- Best Stand: Honeywell T6R
- Best Physical Attribute: Hive Active Wi-Fi Thermostat
- Best Simple Interface: tado Smart Thermostat
Best Overall: Nest Learning Thermostat
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 schedule 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 colour options
- High-quality materials
- Learning features may not work for all
- Limited integrations
Perfect for any home.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is an excellent choice if you don't need HomeKit compatibility and have other "Works with Nest" products in your house.
Best Value: 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 of this lower cost: a design that looks a little bit dated, even though it features all of the smart goodies. Beyond this, you still get to experience voice control, scheduling, smart alerts, and more through integrations with HomeKit and Alexa.
- Smart alerts
- Flexible scheduling options
- No humidity and motion sensors
- Requires C-Wire
- Somewhat dated design
Despite its dated design, the Honeywell Lyric T5 offers flexible scheduling and location-based temperature control. HomeKit and Alexa offer voice control.
Best Mid-Range: Drayton Wiser Smart Thermostat
The Drayton Wiser smart thermostat is a good middle-of-the-road choice for anyone who has a combination boiler or is looking to control your thermostat with your voice. With the ability to work with Alexa and Google Home, you can set this up with your home devices to control it all. It doesn't state that you will be able to use it on your Apple HomeKit, which is a rather big downside.
It is also a stand-up thermostat, which means you don't have to install into your wall. There is a control panel you put in that blends in, and you use the thermostat itself to control everything. The only downside is that it doesn't have a wide range, which makes this better for apartments than a full house.
The app for this thermostat is not well-made, and customer service from Wiser is just as poor. However, the ability to control it with your voice or your home device makes it almost unnecessary to use the app. With that and the ability to be attached to virtually any heating and cooling system, this is a great middle choice for any apartment or townhome.
- Works for combination boilers
- Control with voice commands
- Stand up thermostat
- Poorly made app
- Not great range
- No support for HomeKit
Not just average.
This thermostat is a perfect choice for anybody who may not need long-range for their thermostat. Add in voice controls, and this could be yours.
Best Stand: Honeywell T6R
This standing thermostat is a great option for a stand-alone thermostat if that's something that you're looking for. It's Homekit ready, and it can be controlled from your Apple device if it's iOS 8.1 or newer. You can add it to your multiple HomeKit devices, and access everything right from your phone.
The stand means you can place it anywhere in your home, whether that be your office or the living room, and be able to control it with the touch screen. It's a great option if you want to be able to control your heat or air anywhere in your home.
Some have said that they've had a hard time connecting it to your Wi-Fi and setting up schedules for the temperature. Although the app is not the greatest, you can bypass that by using the HomeKit app or the touch screen to adjust the temperature as needed. It's also nice to be able to place it anywhere you want for ease of use at any moment. It's a great option for a stand thermostat, and you won't regret purchasing this item to add to your already-existing smart home products.
- Great touch screen
- Homekit ready
- Stand for easy placement
- Terrible app
- Not easy to connect to WiFi
- Hard to set up schedules
Stand it up.
The Honeywell Home smart thermostat is a great stand option for any home. With the touch screen and Homekit integration, you can't go wrong.
Best Physical Attribute: Hive Active Wi-Fi Thermostat
There is something nice about having an old school knob and buttons on a smart thermostat. Along with the physical buttons, this product uses your location to set the temperature, and everything is completely controlled through Hive's app. It makes it super simple to set up and use by having everything in a central location, and it's quite a nice app to use for this thermostat.
This product is only compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can't set it up with your HomeKit. That's a bit of a drag if you're someone who is already invested into HomeKit devices. If you have devices set up with these other competitors, you can integrate it with those Smart Home experiences.
People have said that it's not worth paying someone else to set up, even if it is a bit difficult to install. It also doesn't work with all boilers, so make sure to check if your system will work with this thermostat. There have been issues setting up the device on electric boilers and oil-fired boilers.
If everything pans out, this old-style thermostat adds a great touch to any home. With physical buttons and a simple-to-use app, it makes a great addition to any home looking to get into the smart home lifestyle.
- Physical nob and buttons
- Uses location to set temperature
- Hive app to control and setup
- Paid installation is not worth it
- No HomeKit integration
- Hard to set up
- Does not work on all boilers
Best Physical Attribute
Why not add some buttons?
This thermostat is great to add a little old school touch to new school technology. There are also a lot of wonderful additions that make this a must.
Best Simple Interface: tado Smart Thermostat
The simplicity of the tado Smart thermostat makes it quite nice in any home, considering its sleek, white surface. You can control everything from the tado app, and it works with just about any home heating and cooling system. It makes it a great option for any modern home since it has such a smooth design to it.
This particular thermostat is set up to be able to fit into any smart home integration system. That even includes your Apple HomeKit, so you can start integrating your thermostat with all of your other smart items.
Although it's a great option, you do have to pay extra for the geofencing, which allows the thermostat to change functions once you leave home. This means you get the basic functions of any thermostat without paying the extra pounds. If that's something that doesn't bother you, this would be the perfect option for your home. With the integration of other smart home items and the sleek look, it's a perfect addition to your home.
- Clean look
- HomeKit integrated
- Works on 95 percent of home heating
- Pay extra for Geofencing
- Basic usage
- Slow customer service
Best Simple Interface
Sleek and simple.
The tado smart thermostat has a beautiful look with it, and it keeps it nice and simple. It also works on almost all heaters, so it's well worth it.
There's a lot to look into when it comes to smart home items, and a thermostat is one that's usually at the top of the list. With tons to choose from, it's no wonder we chose the Nest learning thermostat as the best of the best. With compatibility with almost any HVAC system and the high-quality build, it is the absolute best choice among the thermostat stomping grounds.
If that doesn't suit all of your needs, there is a thermostat out there that will give you all you need to make your home the best it can be. Enjoy the feeling of saving some money on your bills and making your home a whole lot smarter.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Kennedy Maring Kennedy Maring is a freelancer who loves playing games and telling you about ways to cut out cable. Although she is a nerd through and through, she is looking to complete her cosmetology certificate in the next year.
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