Adding one of the best smart thermostats to your home helps it stay just the right temperature no matter what's going on outside – and they can save you energy and money while doing it as a bonus.
Heating and cooling are often some of the largest energy expenses in any home. It doesn’t help that traditional thermostats aren’t always accurate, and their operations can be wasteful. Smart thermostats offer a solution.
The best smart thermostats can help keep you hot or cool as needed, but not just on a basic set schedule – you can control them remotely from the app, or you can use voice control from the best smart speakers, but even more importantly, they can adapt and learn from your habits in real life.
If you keep tweaking it in the evenings, it'll just change its routine, so you don't need to in the future. And it learns how long it takes your home to heat up, so it can start heating up earlier on cold days to make sure it still hits the right temperature at the time you want.
When you're out on your travels, a capable smart thermostat will look at and analyze your routine, only heating up your home when you're actually in it (and perhaps on your way back to it as well). These gadgets are more clever than you might have realized if you don't already own one.
This more granular approach to energy usage can also help you become more eco-friendly. Only 30% of the fossil fuels in electric plant operations actually generate power, so reducing your power consumption results in fewer harmful emissions. As a result, you reduce your carbon footprint when you use a smart thermostat.
There's a top entry on our list because there has to be, and it's not there for show: we really do think the Nest Thermostat E is going to be the best choice for most homes. That said, it may not be right for you – other options can make it easier to create separate heating zones, where some rooms are heated at different times and to different temperatures than others.
As you go through our extensive guide, weigh up your options, the budget you've set yourself, and the specific kinds of automation you require, and that should lead you straight to the right smart thermostat for you. You might also want to take a look at our Nest vs. Hive vs. Tado guide, which compares three of the biggest ecosystems.
The best smart thermostats: our picks
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If we were to be uncharitable, we'd describe the Thermostat E as a bargain-basement version of the Nest Learning Thermostat. There have been some obvious corners cut: the screen is a little more muddier, the case more plasticky and obviously cheaper, and there's less useful info displayed. But every one of those features is a nice-to-have rather than a must-include, and overall, the Nest Thermostat E is the better deal, premium feel or not.
It's the brains that make a thermostat, not the presentation, and this is perfectly fine in isolation, and it has all the smarts you'll need. You can always go for its more expensive cousin if you really want to wow guests with your thermostat.
You get all the smarts that are well-established in the Nest line, most impressive of which is the learning algorithm, which works out both when you're home and when you like the heat a little hotter, helping to set the right temperature at the right time. This should save you money, since you won't leave it turned up by accident. It'll also tie into individual temperature sensors, so you can make sure you're getting the heat you want in the right rooms and spaces.
Unsurprisingly, the Thermostat E plays nice with Google Assistant, but Alexa users will be glad to know it works happily with that ecosystem too. It's not, however, compatible with Apple's HomeKit platform, and you won't be able to control it with a SmartThings hub either.
Neatly, Nest will send you a smart energy report every month, to show you just how active the thermostat has been, and give you a chance to tweak its settings if it looks like it's got the learning a little wrong. In terms of bang for your buck, this is the best smart thermostat of 2022. If you want more info about how it compares to the more expensive Nest thermostat, here's our Nest Thermostat E vs Nest 3rd Gen guide.
Amazon is no stranger to smart home technology, and its thermostat brings all the utility of Alexa to your HVAC system. It’s one of the most affordable smart thermostats on the market, but keep in mind that you’ll lose some functionality for the cost.
While the Amazon Smart Thermostat is compatible with most 24V HVAC systems, you’ll need a C-wire or C-wire adapter to use it. It also comes without remote sensors like some of the other options on this list. However, for around $60, it’s hard to complain about a lack of features.
One edge the Amazon Smart Thermostat does have is Alexa. It won’t work with other smart home systems, but its Alexa functionality surpasses some others. The “hunches” feature analyzes the activity in your home to automatically adjust to your schedule. For example, the app will change the temperature if it notices that people may be away or asleep.
Overall, Amazon’s entry into the smart thermostat market isn’t the most feature-rich or compatible system, but it’s an excellent choice for its cost. It’ll be hard to find a better deal in this price range.
Nest takes Apple-like care in its product design (it was founded by ex-Apple employees), and it's definitely one of the better-looking smart thermostats out there. In fact, the Nest is largely responsible for kick-starting this whole smart home category.
This 3rd-generation Nest Learning Thermostat is able to monitor your habits and control the heating accordingly. So, for instance, if you regularly go to bed at 11pm or so, the system learns from that and starts turning the system off around that time. Before long, you're saving money, and you don't even have to touch the Nest.
Another smart feature the Nest brings to the party is an on-board activity sensor that can take an educated guess as to whether anyone is at home or not, and then adjust the heating schedule accordingly. If you want to take more manual control, over when the heating starts and stops, then the Nest is easy to schedule using the accompanying app.
That circular glass interface is beautiful to behold and remarkably simple to use – all you require is an opposable thumb and a forefinger. While the Nest Learning Thermostat comes with everything you need to fit it, we'd say you're better off having an engineer do it, especially as the price includes installation.
With the Nest Thermostat E delivering essentially the same performance and functionality but for a much cheaper price point, potential buyers should evaluate just how much they desire the more premium aesthetic, though. Still hands down one of the best smart thermostats right now. You can see how it compares to some of the biggest competition directly in our Nest vs Ecobee and Nest vs Honeywell guides.
Johnson Controls’ GLAS smart thermostat is unlike anything else on the market. A translucent glass OLED screen makes this device look like something out of a sci-fi movie, and it has the features to back it up.
The GLAS thermostat monitors far more than just temperature and relative humidity. It also has sensors for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ultraviolet (UV) light, pollen, carbon dioxide levels and the air quality index. All this data provides some of the most robust air quality information you’ll find in a thermostat, making the GLAS ideal for those with sensitive lungs or other health concerns.
The GLAS works with Alexa and Google Assistant, the most common smart home control systems, but it lacks built-in support for other platforms. However, its excellent companion app may make up for that. It provides an easy-to-use interface, including extensive control settings, seven-day scheduling and real-time energy reports. You can also control multiple units from one app.
Johnson Controls’ entry into the smart thermostat market would easily make it to the top if it weren’t for the price. At almost $300, it’s outside many people’s budgets. You may also expect support for more smart home platforms at that price. However, if it fits within your budget, this is one of the sleekest, most functional smart thermostats you can find.
While we may have previously directed you to the Ecobee4, the company's new smart thermostat (also called the Ecobee5 in some places) has rightly ousted it from our best smart thermostats list - not because this new model is radically different, since it looks similar and acts almost identically to its predecessor, but because it includes a whole lot more.
For starters, this is an Alexa device, and one which offers the full range of Alexa features, meaning it doesn't miss out on things like drop-ins, calling or announcements - very unusual outside of Amazon's tight Echo ecosystem, but something we'd like to see more of. It carries a solid speaker, too - not world-beating, of course, but enough to get some tunes running (there's Spotify Connect support) if you're not too worried about them reverberating through your wall and annoying your neighbors.
There are also newly revamped smart sensors to go around your home, which up the range and boost the battery life, so they're pretty much just set-and-forget. It'll hook up to every major assistant, too.
Our Ecobee vs Honeywell guide compares this option to its big-name rival directly.
If you like the Ecobee Smart Thermostat but would prefer something on the cheaper end of the spectrum, the Ecobee3 Lite is the way to go. This thermostat offers many of the same features with a considerably lower price tag.
Like its more expensive counterpart, the Ecobee3 Lite works with Google Assistant, Alexa, HomeKit and more, making it accessible no matter what smart home platform you use. However, unlike the SmartThermostat, its Alexa voice support isn’t built-in. You’ll have to use the Alexa app or an Echo device to use voice controls.
The Ecobee3 Lite works with remote sensors despite its relatively low price tag. Still, these sensors are not included, so you’ll have to buy them separately, raising overall costs. It also features motion activation, offline functionality and a remarkably easy self-setup process. Its color LED touch screen also offers a surprisingly sleek and attractive interface for a budget option.
The Ecobee3 Lite requires a C-wire to work, but unlike the Amazon Smart Thermostat, it comes with an adapter. All in all, this budget-friendly pick is a great choice for anyone who likes the Ecobee platform.
Looking like a cross between the British Gas Hive and the Nest from Google, the Lyric T6 is the latest in a long line of smart connected devices from the highly-regarded Honeywell with wired (T6) and wireless table-top (T6R) versions available.
The Honeywell Lyric T6/T6R can be controlled either via its touchscreen or via the free Honeywell Lyric smartphone app, with built-in geofencing, so the system automatically knows to switch on and off depending on how close you (or other members of your household) are to home. It also works with Amazon's Alexa and is Apple HomeKit ready.
As with other smart thermostats, the Honeywell Lyric T6 is best fitted by a professional installer, since the supplied box that connects to your boiler (or second zone) needs to be connected to the mains. Once installed and set up, however, the system is easy to use — although there are some limitations.
While you can use either geolocation or a range of programmable modes to configure the heating, you can't use both these options together – a shortcoming the Tado, for example, doesn't have. That said, we do like is the Lyric's Optimized Start mode, which automatically fires up the heating early so your home is already at the right temperature when you wake up — just the job for those cold winter mornings.
Want to see another Honeywell system in our best smart thermostats list? Oh, go on then – the Honeywell Home is older and simpler than the newer Lyric models, but where it really excels is in the zonal control it offers.
You get individual thermostats for each radiator in the home, and a TRV valve is required in each case. Setup is easy on the radiator side though a little complicated when it comes to hooking up the boiler — it's best to get a professional in to do the job.
Design-wise, it's not going to win any awards, but it does the job of giving you more control over how and when your home gets heated. Each thermostat can be on a separate schedule, and the monitor is very straightforward to use.
As an added bonus, you can actually take the monitor device around the house with you for brief spells before returning it to its dock. For individual room and zone control, it's one of the best smart thermostats around.
The Sensibo Sky is an unusual one. Unlike traditional smart thermostats, this device aims to bring smart home features to older air conditioning systems. If your house uses window AC units, individual mounted units or a central remote-controlled system, this may be the one for you.
Sensibo’s retrofitting smart AC control is also highly affordable, sitting at around $100. Despite that low price tag, you get a fair amount of features. The system works with almost every smart home platform, including Google Home, Alexa, SmartThings, Siri and IFTTT. It also includes geofencing to automatically turn off or on when you enter or leave home.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Sensibo Sky is the lack of any display or controls on the device. You’ll have to use the companion app or your smart home hub to see or adjust its temperature and controls. However, this lack of on-device functionality helps the Sky maintain an elegant, small form factor, blending in with your AC units.
Like some others on this list, you can create schedules for the Sensibo Sky, which is helpful if you’d rather set an ideal temperature and forget about it. This device may not offer all the bells and whistles of other, more expensive options, but it’s an excellent choice if your house or apartment uses older AC infrastructure.
The Mysa Smart Thermostat is like the Sensibo Sky in that it brings smart home functionality to older systems. In this case, that’s electric baseboard heaters. The Mysa may be the only smart thermostat that works with your system if your home uses these high-voltage heating solutions.
Setting the Mysa up requires more wiring than some other options given the nature of its intended use case. Despite that, you can set it up in as little as 15 minutes without having to call a professional to do it for you. Once you have it in place, you’ll notice it has a lot to offer on the smart home side of things.
The Mysa Smart Thermostat is compatible with Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomeKit. That doesn’t cover every platform, but most people use one of those three systems, so you can likely integrate it into your smart home. It’s also highly intelligent on its own, using geolocation and artificial intelligence (AI) to divide your house into zones for more efficient heating.
These intelligent features can help make your old heating system far more cost-efficient. While it doesn’t come in any colors other than beige, its sleek, minimalist design will help it blend in. Its use cases are admittedly limited. However, considering that few, if any, other smart thermostats serve this market, it deserves the mention.
The Emerson Sensi Smart Thermostat doesn’t aim to stand out or make your home look more futuristic. It looks just like a traditional thermostat, complete with analog buttons and a big, white plastic box around an LCD screen. This may render it unattractive for some users, but you could also argue that it carries a retro appeal.
What the Sensi lacks in cool factor it more than makes up for in functionality. It’s compatible with HomeKit, Google Assistant, Alexa, SmartThings, Wink and most home heating and cooling systems. Perhaps most impressive is the Sensi’s companion app.
The app allows you to set up geofencing, schedules and remote access, and you can adjust the thermostat’s controls to your liking. It will also automatically alert you when it senses rapid temperature fluctuations, which could indicate poor insulation or suggest you forgot to close a door. These warnings will also alert you to dramatic humidity changes.
The Sensi is easy to set up since it’s the same shape and size as a traditional thermostat. You won’t likely have to do much paint or patching work when you replace your old system for this one. Step-by-step instructions make getting your settings right the first time a breeze.
Emerson may not be the most popular name out there, but the Sensi is a hidden gem. Consider it if you want a no-frills, highly efficient smart thermostat.
How to buy the best smart thermostat for you
There aren't a host of specs to sift through when choosing the best smart heating thermostats for 2022 because they all work along similar lines – but there are some purchasing points to make. Compatibility with other smart home kits is one important consideration to weigh up, for example, as it's a very good idea to make sure your new thermostat is going to work with your existing smart home devices.
If you're already controlling most of your smart home kit through Amazon Alexa, the most popular smart home brand, buying a smart thermostat that's also Alexa compatible makes sense. You don't need to suddenly switch to Google Assistant. If you don’t have any other smart home gadgets, look at the models you may want to ensure they’re compatible with the same systems.
We'd also recommend checking with your energy company to see if any smart thermostat deals are on the table: it might discount the price of certain models or maybe even give you one for free.
Apart from that, the right device for you will be one that adapts to your home's routine and starts saving you cash (by intelligently setting temperatures) as quickly as possible, and the associated app and platform can help here.
You can even use smart thermostats to create zonal heating in your home – many of the devices we've listed support existing zonal setups, but there are also options that enable you to control each radiator individually, so your colder rooms can get relatively more heating time.