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Best smart thermostat 2021: Save energy efficiently

Make your home smarter, automated, and more energy-efficient by getting one of the best smart thermostats on the market.

Do you find yourself constantly tweaking your thermostat to find a temperature that you're comfortable at? Does the prospect of coming home to a sweltering house make you keep the air conditioner running all day long? Are you dreading your monthly energy bill because you know that you're spending more than you need to be?

There are lots of reasons to get a smart thermostat, from comfort to control to conservation. They are great tools for keeping your home at the ideal temperature for you and anyone else who occupies your home. They are also an ideal option to help cut down on your monthly energy bill by operating more efficiently and energy-saving.

Take a look at your newsfeed, or just take a look outside, and you'll notice that the weather is getting more and more extreme. Hotter summer days, colder winter nights, and lots of wild swings and waves of weather can throw your day and your thermostat for a loop. You can't control the weather outside your walls, but you sure can manage how it feels inside. Smart thermostats make that possible.

So what is the best smart thermostat for you? Well, that all depends on what kind of features you're looking for, what kind of control you prefer, and what your smart home ecosystem already has. We've compiled some of the best smart thermostats on the market, and we'll walk you through which will suit your home.

Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control

The best option on the market

ecobee-smartthermostat-with-voice-control-review-best-smart-thermostat.jpg
Amazon

Specs: 3.5-inch full-color LCD touchscreen | Voice support (Alexa) | Works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT | 


It might not be the brand name or product that you most associate with smart thermostats, but there is no question that the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is one of the best smart thermostats available. A big reason for that is the ease and simplicity with which this smart thermostat integrates into your home.

Lots of smart thermostats offer some form of voice control through apps or other devices, but the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control offers it right out of the box and right from the thermostat itself. Amazon Alexa is built-in and equipped to handle all kinds of commands to adjust your heating and air conditioning. It can also handle commands for reading the news, playing music, or making calls. The Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control can be a true hub of your home.

Then there is the ability to manage your home's environment, which is the most important aspect of any thermostat. Ecobee estimates that with energy-efficient features like its eco+ mode, along with the ability to schedule heating and cooling cycles, you'll be able to save as much as 26% of your standard energy costs. This thermostat is also compatible with up to 32 smart sensors that can automatically gauge conditions around the house and tell if you're home, and adjust the temperature based on that information.

It would be nice if other voice control options like Apple's Siri or Google Assistant were built into this smart speaker, but they are supported through app-based interfaces. You only get one sensor included with this thermostat, but that will be more than enough to get you started and save you money.

Pros:

  • Amazon Alexa built-in
  • Smart scheduling features
  • Expandable with sensors

Cons:

  • Only one sensor comes with the thermostat
  • Support for other voice assistants through app only

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

The best-known smart thermostat

google-nest-learning-thermostat-review-best-smart-thermostat.png
Google

Specs: 3.3-inch full-color display | Voice support (Google Assistant) | Works with IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings


Without question, the Google Nest is the most well-known smart thermostat. It's not hard to see why. It has an unmistakable design that you would recognize anywhere and is easy to interact with. It's one of the most essential tools of a smart home, and it more than gets the job done for most people.

The latest offering, the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, goes heavy on the smart learning features to help you save money while controlling the temperature in your home. According to Google, the thermostat can pay for itself in under two years simply by tweaking the way that you heat and cool your house. That's good, as it's one of the more expensive smart thermostats in terms of up-front cost -- but if you can swing it, you'll get your money back on the back end.

The Nest Learning thermostats offer some nice touches that make you both feel at home and in total control. It lights up when you walk into the room and gives you pertinent information about the current conditions. But it's doing more than just greeting you -- it's learning your schedule. The Nest Learning Thermostat can start to automatically adapt to your life, knowing when you're home and when you're away and modifying the temperatures in the house based on the season. Google claims that after a week, it should be able to program itself to your personal schedule.

You'll be able to control your Google Nest Learning Thermostat from anywhere using the Nest app. You'll also be able to integrate it into your smart home and communicate with it using voice commands by setting up the Google Home app. The lack of direct voice control is a bit disappointing, but the Google Nest's interface is intuitive and easy to use. The fact that you can largely go hands-off in setting up a schedule as it learns your routine makes it even better.

Pros:

  • Intuitive controls
  • Automatically learns your schedule
  • Control with Nest app or Google Home

Cons:

  • No direct voice control on the device
  • Expensive up-front cost

Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat

Best budget option

honeywell-home-t5-smart-thermostat-review-best-smart-thermostat.jpg
Amazon

Specs: 3.5-inch touchscreen display | Voice support (Siri) | Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT | 


Smart thermostats have a reputation for being expensive. They don't have to break your bank, though. The Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat proves that. It's a budget-friendly option, but it doesn't skimp on the features that you would expect out of high-end smart thermostats.

The Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat integrates easily into basically any smart home platform. This means it will work with your favorite voice assistant, whether it is through a smart home app or a smart speaker. You'll just have to set it up. It also can become a part of your routines. Do you have smart lights that turn on before you get in the door? The Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat can be set to change the temperature before you arrive, as well.

This smart thermostat isn't quite as smart as others that learn your schedule -- instead, you'll have to set it up manually, though geofencing technology does know when you're coming and going, so it can adjust based on what you tell it to do if you're out of the house. You can also maintain control at all times over the device through your smart home app of choice. 

The Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat is not the most stylish smart thermostat on the market and visually leaves a bit to be desired. But if you're more interested in function than aesthetics and you're on a budget, you won't be disappointed by how well this smart thermostat gets the job done.

Pros:

  • Works with most smart home platforms
  • Geofencing knows when you come and go
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Doesn't learn your schedule
  • It is not the most visually appealing

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

Best for total control

honeywell-home-t9-smart-thermostat-review-best-smart-thermostat.jpg
Amazon

Specs: 3.5-inch color touchscreen display | Voice support (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana) | Works with Samsung SmartThings, Vera, Amazon Alexa, Google Home | 


Think of the Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat as the smarter upgrade to the budget-friendly T5 model. It's a bit more expensive, but it gets upgrades across the board when it comes to automation, function, and visual appeal.

The Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat extends its understanding of what is happening in your home by introducing sensors that you can place around your home. These sensors detect all kinds of information that help to inform the device. They can detect motion, temperature, and humidity. All the data that these sensors gather help to inform the thermostat, adjusting the temperature in your home and working to make sure that each room is set to the ideal conditions.

In terms of integrating into your existing smart home ecosystem, the Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat offers plenty of variety -- though surprisingly less than the T5 provides. There is no Apple HomeKit support, so you won't be able to use Siri or control this device through your Apple HomeKit app. But there is support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, along with Microsoft Cortana.

The Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat still isn't quite as smart as other thermostats on the market, as it doesn't pick up on your schedule over time. But the sensors help, and it comes with one in the box to get you started. 

Pros:

  • Expandable sensors
  • Integrates into a smart home
  • Geofencing knows when you come and leave

Cons:

  • It doesn't work with Apple HomeKit
  • Doesn't learn your schedule over time

Wyze Thermostat

Most intuitive option

wyze-thermostat-review-best-smart-thermostat.jpg
Wyze

Specs: 2.5-inch display | Voice support (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant) | Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT |


If simplicity is a priority for you, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable option than the Wyze Thermostat. One of the newer devices on the market, this smart thermostat puts a premium on intuitive features while keeping much of the automated functionality you'd expect from a smart thermostat.

The Wyze Thermostat features a built-in motion sensor that knows when you're home and when you go, so it can adjust the temperature for you. On top of that, it'll track your comings and goings and make recommendations in the accompanying Wyze app that will help you with energy-saving. While you can make changes from the app from anywhere, a simple dial on the device also lets you make immediate changes in the home.

This thermostat also includes the ability to set a seven-day schedule, so each day reflects your day-to-day life. While it doesn't necessarily do the kind of automating that other alternatives do, it does give you plenty of control that reflects your schedule. 

This smart thermostat integrates into smart homes, is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and you'll be able to use voice controls to manage your home that way. It lacks Apple HomeKit support, but if you use any other smart home ecosystem, you should be able to make it work.

Pros:

  • Simple design
  • Recommendations for energy saving
  • Seven-day scheduling

Cons:

  • Light on automation
  • No Apple HomeKit support

How to pick the best smart thermostat for you?

Picking the best smart thermostat for you is going to depend on what you need in your home. If you'd like to go hands-off and let the thermostat learn your routine and automate the heating and cooling situation, go with a solution like the Google Nest Learning Thermostat or the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control. 

If automation is less important than total control, then you may be better off going with a simpler smart thermostat. A solution like the Wyze Thermostat or the Honeywell Home T5 Smart Thermostat lets you maintain total control over your home environment, even when you're away from home.

If you want control over every element of your home, consider the Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat. With its expandable sensor system, including one that comes with the device, it gives you even more information about your home and lets you control every element of it in nearly every room.

Is a smart thermostat worth the price?

Yes, in most situations, a smart thermostat is worth the price. While the upfront investment can feel steep, even the most basic automation features will often end up saving you a considerable amount of money in the long run. It will pay for itself over time by reducing energy costs.

What is the difference between a smart thermostat and a Wi-Fi thermostat?

A smart thermostat has automation features that help you manage your energy consumption, typically by reducing your energy usage when you are away. A Wi-Fi thermostat is internet-connected and may give you the ability to control it from your phone, but it often lacks automated tools and can't always be controlled when you are away from home.

Can I install a smart thermostat in my home?

Most home heating and cooling systems are compatible with smart thermostats. In some cases, you may have to purchase an adapter or kit to install it. This is especially true of older homes. 

Check the compatibility of the thermostat to make sure it will work with your home before you purchase it.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

There are many smart thermostats on the market, so there is almost certainly one that will work best for your home. 

Consider these alternatives: