We tested and reviewed some of the best smart thermostats on the market of this year. We found the Nest Learning T3007ES Thermostat to be the most capable one. It’s packed with features, stylish, and surprisingly affordable, considering everything that it offers. It also helps you save money by using energy efficiently.
This intelligent thermostat learns your habits and adapts to them. You don’t have to program it, like you would many other smart thermostats. Instead, it’s able to learn from you and come up with an accurate schedule. It’s well-built and has a modern look that will complement most homes.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Smart Thermostats
|Name||Technology||Works with Alexa||Price|
|Nest T3007ES Learning Thermostat||Learning Algorithm||Yes||Check Price|
|Emerson Sensi Touch ST75||Geofencing||Yes||Check Price|
|Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat||Remote Sensors||Yes||Check Price|
|Honeywell RTH9580WF||Learning Algorithm||Yes||Check Price|
|Ecobee Smart Si||Learning Algorithm||No||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Smart Thermostat
Nest T3007ES Learning Thermostat
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
Nest is the pioneer of smart thermostats, so it comes as no surprise that their solution is our favorite pick. The third generation of the Nest learning thermostat is reliable, well-built, and offers a variety of features that can make sure your home temperature is just right.
The first feature worth mentioning is Farsight, which allows you to see the display at a much longer distance than you normally can. This is due to the very bright display, which offers clear visibility from afar.
Another important thing that gives this device an advantage over its competition is the Energy Star certification. It’s the proof that this thermostat can help you save energy, and therefore lower your bill. This is due to the algorithms that learn your home’s temperature patterns.
It’s fairly easy to set up, which shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. After going through a few basic questions regarding your home temperature and environment, you can start letting it get to know your home and finding the perfect temperature for it.
As far as durability goes, there’s not much to worry about. This thermostat features a stainless steel ring and feels solidly built.
The only potential drawback is that it sometimes doesn’t work as well if you don’t have a C-wire. Although it runs on batteries, which should give it enough power, it a C-wire installation to work seamlessly. Also, the algorithm can sometimes make mistakes with turning the power on or off.
- Conserves energy
- Compatible with most smart home systems
- High build quality
- Bright display
- C-wire recommended
- Algorithm not foolproof
2. Best Affordable Smart Thermostat
Emerson Sensi Touch ST75
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
If you’re looking for a reliable device that can save you a couple of bucks, Emerson’s Sensi Touch ST75 could be a great option. It offer some neat features that you can’t find in just any thermostat, with only a couple of small drawbacks.
Unlike the solution from Nest, this device doesn’t use algorithms to find the right temperature. Instead, it uses geofencing, which uses your phone’s location to determine when to turn on and off. You set the distance, and as soon as you’re out of range it will turn off on its own.
It also allows you to customize temperature patterns based on different parameters. You can set a different pattern for specific days or hours, so you can fit the temperature to your needs.
Another good thing about this thermostat is how accurate it is. Once you set a temperature, it will make sure your home stays within one degree.
The first downside to using this device is that it doesn’t work without the C-wire. Since not every HVAC system has it, this can be quite an issue. The company does offer a common wire kit, but you need to buy it separately. Also, you might experience some Wi-Fi issues when setting it up, or when switching networks.
- Easily customizable
- Intuitive controls
- Requires a C-wire
- Potential Wi-Fi issues
3. Best Smart Thermostat Design
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
In our opinion, this is one of the most stylish smart thermostats out there. It features a sleek design that will fit most homes, and add a modern look. Aside from this, it offers a range of features to ensure comfort and convenience.
First of all, this device uses proximity sensors to determine whether the room needs temperature changes. It comes with three sensors, so you can use it to control a central AC or heating system.
It also works with all major voice assistants and smart home systems. It also works with all IFTTT (If This, Then That) systems, so you can automatize many processes that you otherwise would have to do yourself.
It runs on four Lithium batteries which are included in the package, so your thermostat will be ready to go out of the box.
Of course, all these features come at a price. This device is on the expensive side, but has the features to justify it, if you think that these features would be of use to you. Another issue is that you need to trigger the proximity sensors in order for the thermostat to react, which might be an issue if your home has more rooms than sensors.
- Sleek design
- Great compatibility
- Easy integration in smart home systems
- A bit expensive
- Sensor triggering needed
4. Best Versatile Smart Thermostat
Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Thermostat
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
The Honeywell RTH9580WF is designed for both home and business purposes. It allows you to customize the temperature patterns based on whether it’s being used in a home or a commercial building. You just set up the desired temperature for when the building is occupied, and another one for when it’s not, and you’re good to go.
It features a Smart Response Technology which learns the area’s heating and cooling cycles and adjusts itself to them. It provides optimal temperature throughout the day, and saves energy whenever it can.
A handy feature that we haven’t seen on other devices is the locking screen. This can prove very useful, especially if you’re using this device as a business thermostat. Just set up the passcode and your thermostat is secured.
To match different environments, you can change the screen color. This allows you to match the thermostat to your home.
Unfortunately, this thermostat isn’t battery-powered, and for a versatile thermostat it’s not as compatible to different HVAC system as we’d like it to be. Also, sometimes there are issues with the Wi-Fi connection and schedule.
- Customizable patterns
- Lock screen
- Smart Response Technology
- Not compatible with all major HVAC systems
- Occasional connectivity issues
5. Best Easy-To-Use Smart Thermostat
Ecobee Smart Si
Reviewed by: Max Perzon
If you don’t need a smart thermostat that is packed with all kinds of features, but rather a simple one that does the job right, the Ecobee Smart Si can be a good option. It’s simple, easy to set up and use, and offers enough features to make it smart.
Unlike our other top picks, this one doesn’t have a touch screen. Instead, it has a screen that shows you all the important information, along with buttons for basic controls. Of course, you can still use your phone or tablet to control it.
Another great thing about this device is that it can help you save up to 23% on your HVAC-related bills. Simply answer a couple of questions to configure it, and it will make sure to conserve energy. It also gives you monthly reports, so you can track the usage easily and make changes if necessary.
A pretty big drawback of this device is that it doesn’t support Alexa, or other smart home systems for that matter. The phone app also doesn’t allow the variety of adjustments that our other options do, which might be an issue for some. Still, if you’re not looking for top-notch technology, this one could satisfy your needs.
- Simple to use
- Good energy consumption
- Monthly reports
- Lacks support for smart home systems
- Not very customizable
Smart Thermostat Buyer’s Guide
Thanks to the constant development of new technologies, many thing are becoming smarter these days. This allows us to live a more comfortable life, full of convenient solutions to our problems. Who would have thought in the last century that we’d be able to simply tell our home to heat up and cool down? Well, this is exactly what the best smart thermostat should ensure. Of course, there are more options to choose from. We’ll go into them a bit later, to show you why each of them can be good for you. But before we do that, let’s take a look at a brief overview of our favorite picks.
We’ve shown you our favorite picks for the best smart thermostat, and now it’s time to go over everything you should know about them. To help you understand why some options might be better for you than others, let’s dig a bit deeper into these devices.
Who Needs a Smart Thermostat?
A smart thermostat can be a great investment for everyone that likes to keep up with the newest trends in technology. It’s also good for those in need of a convenient way to regulate their home temperature. It can be a great upgrade from your current thermostat, since it will make sure your home is set at the right temperature, without the need for too much programming.
Of course, it could be a perfect addition to other smart appliances or systems, if you own them. If you’re all about automating and integrating different systems that make your life easier, a smart thermostat can be a good idea.
As you could see in our reviews, all good smart thermostats also save you money. Thanks to the ability to maintain optimal temperature without you having to do anything, they can conserve quite some power. This makes them a great device for people who care for the environment and their expenditure.
Smart Thermostat Types
Based on the technology used, there are three main types of smart thermostats. Each of them offers a different set of features, so the one you go with will depend on what features you find the most useful. To give you an idea of how they work, let’s take a look at all 3 types.
Many of our choices use algorithm-based learning. This means that they gather and learn the data about your home temperature changes and habits. Once they have enough data, they are able to change the temperature automatically. This can be very convenient, as they basically do all the work on their own, after you initially type in some basic info about your schedule.
Of course, the system isn’t perfect, so you can’t really expect it to deliver accurate changes at all times. It can get confused at times, but should be reliable enough most of the time.
Geofencing helps your thermostat determine your location and change the home temperature accordingly. You set a specific distance, and as soon as it registers that you’re out of range, it changes the heating or cooling pattern. It might not be as smart as algorithmic learning, but can definitely provide a lot of convenience.
Same as the previous type, this one is sometimes easy to confuse. For example, if you have multiple phones connected to it, it won’t always change the temperature accurately. The same happens if you forget your phone at home, or work from home one day. Despite this, it’s very easy to get used to this system and its minor flaws, so it can still be a great option.
A good example of this type is the Ecobee3 thermostat. As we mentioned, it uses proximity sensors to go into Home Mode when it notices any movement. If it notices inactivity for some time, it goes into Away Mode. In addition, the sensors also measure temperature.
The only downside of this mechanism is that it requires frequent movement. If you’re not within its range for a longer period of time, it will presume that you went away. Ecobee3 solves this problem by offering multiple sensors to place in different rooms.
Now that you know the basics of how they work, you can find your favorite type and narrow down the options. Of course, there’s a lot more to take into account, so let’s go over some other important factors.
C-wire, otherwise known as a common wire, is a part of the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. Despite the name, it’s not really that commonly found in homes. This is why you should always check to see if your thermostat requires a C-wire in order to work properly.
Most of our choices don’t, since they can either operate using batteries, or be connected to an R (Power) wire. Even if you don’t have a C-wire, most thermostat companies offer solutions that will ensure their devices are compatible with your home. Nonetheless, always check if a thermostat works with your HVAC system before you pull the trigger.
Despite the complex technology under the hood, every good smart thermostat should offer a user-friendly interface. You wouldn’t really want to be confused by all kinds of controls that are hard to grasp. Both the interface of the thermostat, and the phone app if it supports it, should be easy to understand.
Thankfully, most manufacturers know this, so they make sure their devices are easy to use. However, when choosing your thermostat, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the UI, just to make sure you won’t have any problems with using the device.
Since a smart thermostat is something you’ll use for quite a long time, you’re going to want to make sure that it suits the style of your home. These thermostats come in a variety of shapes and finishes, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Whichever thermostat from our list that you decide to go with, it can give your home a more modern and futuristic look. Some of these models fit into virtually any home interior, while some would look better in a minimalist environment. Depending on the style you prefer, you can choose the design that works for you.
You shouldn’t have to be an experienced handyman to install a smart thermostat into your home. This is why you should always make sure that the manufacturer of your thermostat offers comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions.
It usually doesn’t take long to install most smart thermostats, and once you do it will likely ask you to configure it by entering relevant information. Keep in mind that this is mostly basic information, so you won’t have any trouble configuring your thermostat. In case you get stuck at any point, you can always contact customer care for help.
Integration with Smart Home Systems
Virtually all smart thermostats give you an option to control them with your phone using a mobile app. Although this is definitely a neat feature, you should go with the ones that go beyond this and work with other smart home devices and systems.
Some of the popular systems include Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. If you are able to integrate your thermostat successfully, you can expect a lot more convenient and intuitive way of controlling it. For this reason, we believe that your device of choice should have this ability, even if you don’t use any other smart devices, since you never know when you might decide to add them.
Even though this might not be a deal-breaker, it’s certainly a useful features that might come in handy. Depending on the device, it usually gives you information such as how long the timer was running, how long it took it to reach the desired temperature, and similar information.
Some of the more advanced thermostats also provide insights into outside temperature and humidity, so that you can see the impact that these conditions have on your HVAC system.
These are all the features that you should have in mind when choosing your smart thermostat. Now let’s go over some tips for getting the most out of your device.
Set up Remote Access
Remote access allows you to control your thermostat using a phone, tablet, or any other compatible device. The first thing you should do after you set up the thermostat is connect it to your phone. This is very easy to do, and you’ll find all the instructions in the manual.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a full control over your thermostat no matter where you are. So even if their automatic mechanisms become confused, you’ll be able to correct them.
Teach It to Conserve Energy
Depending on the type of thermostat you decide to go for, you’re going to have to do some programming to teach it how to use energy most efficiently. This is where learning thermostats are a better choice than others, since they tend to learn pretty quickly.
This doesn’t mean that other types can’t do this. Whichever type you decide to go for, you can configure it to save energy. Just create usage patterns, and you’ll be good to go. This is why many people consider smart thermostats to be a good investment.
Don’t Use Manual Mode
The main purpose of buying a smart thermometer is to make sure you don’t have to think a lot about the temperature of your home but automate it instead. For this reason, you should always steer clear of the optional manual mode.
If you enable it, you’ll have to do all the programming yourself, so it wouldn’t be that different from owning a standard programmable thermostat. Instead, give the thermometer some information in the beginning, and then automate the process as much as you can.
We hope you now have a better grasp of what to look for in a good smart thermostat, and that you know everything you should in order to make an informed decision. As you can see, there are many reasons to adopt these devices into your home. They can be very useful, convenient, and energy-efficient.
Remember to check your HVAC system type before you decide to buy this device to make sure it will be compatible. Pretty much everything else will depend on your desired features.
If you already have a smart home, finding the best smart thermostat can be a great way of adding more convenience to it. And if you don’t, it can be a great starting point. Once you see how easy and convenient it is, you’ll likely want to invest in other smart devices.