Photo of smart home thermostats

The Best Smart Home Thermostats That Learn Your Lifestyle

Whether it’s winter or summer, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature without racking up a huge bill is a challenge. One high-tech way to reduce your energy usage is by installing a smart home thermostat.

It’s true: Did you know that half the average American electric bill is for heating and cooling? Climate control is the single biggest contributor to your home’s energy use. But a smart thermostat can learn your family’s schedule and preferences and keep everyone comfortable while racking up energy savings.

And the benefits don’t stop there. Some smart thermostats will remind you when it’s time to change your air filter, an oft-forgotten task. They can even diagnose issues with your air conditioning system, making them an excellent household assistant.

What is a Smart Home Thermostat?

A smart thermostat is a wifi-enabled thermostat you can control from a mobile app. A smart thermostat creates automatic temperature settings based on current weather conditions and your household’s daily schedules, as well as your preferences.

Smart thermostats save energy because they learn your patterns and what time people typically come and go. This means it can use less heating and cooling when no one is home. Regular programmable thermostats only save energy if they’re programmed correctly, which homeowners rarely bother to do.

The Best Smart Home Thermostats that learn your lifestyle

Ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat

The Ecobee3 is a $169 wifi-enabled smart thermostat you can adjust from anywhere with the Ecobee smartphone app. Loaded with great features, it’s an excellent pick for homeowners who want to upgrade to an affordable smart thermostat. It’s simple to install yourself and very easy to program (a far cry from the “dumb” thermostats of yesteryear).

Impressive Ecobee3 features include a touchscreen display, a Home IQ monitor to track your cooling and heating usage, and remote sensors. With remote sensors placed in various rooms, it can control the climate of all those rooms — great for houses with hot or cool spots.

The Ecobee3 works with most one- and two-stage HVAC systems. It can control compatible humidifier and dehumidifier devices, making it an all-in-one smart climate control system. The Ecobee3 will send alerts and reminders to your smartphone app for all kinds of things, including when your air filter needs replacing or when your HVAC system needs maintenance.

You can create Comfort settings for when you’re sleeping, out of the house, and home, and use those settings to create schedules. Going on vacation? Tell the Ecobee3 when you’re leaving and coming back and what temperature it should maintain while you’re gone. Then your home will be perfectly heated or cooled for you upon your return.

ProsCons
Can be controlled via smartphone or webUnable to monitor temperature of remote rooms
Easy installationVery sensitive temperature control slider
Ability to add on remote sensors
Best Smart Home Thermostats Review

Ecobee SmartThermostat Voice Control

The Ecobee SmartThermostat Voice Control builds on the success of the Ecobee 3 and 4 with more features: Dual-band wifi, beefed-up Alexa capabilities, a better speaker, and a microphone. At $249 it’s a bit more expensive, but it also has lots of third-party support including Alexa, Google, and Siri voice commands as well as Apple HomeKit.

Like the Ecobee 3, it’s controlled using the Ecobee smartphone app. You can also control it via the device’s touchscreen, voice commands, or on the web. It also comes with one remote SmartSensor to help keep temperatures consistent through your entire home. (Additional sensors can be added on for $79 for two.) What does a thermostat need a speaker for, you might be wondering. Strangely enough, this Ecobee can stream music from Spotify and other streaming platforms. But it can also do basically everything an Amazon Echo speaker can do.

Other useful features include Auto-Schedule, which creates a thermostat schedule tailored to your daily activities. It also has a Farsight feature that makes it easy to see the thermostat reading from far away. This one is also just as easy to install as the Ecobee 3. It has the same very sensitive temperature control slider that can be a bit fiddly, though. Overall, the Ecobee SmartThermostat Voice Control is worth buying if you want all the features of the Ecobee 3 plus voice control.

ProsCons
Easy installationExpensive
Ability to add on remote sensorsAlexa Skill isn't the most intuitive
Variety of third-party integrationsVery sensitive temperature control slider
Best Smart Home Thermostats Review

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is perhaps the most popular of all smart thermostats, and it’s not hard to see why. This newer generation has all the features of earlier versions, including easy install, Auto Scheduling and Auto-Away features, and energy use reporting. It also has some great new features, including geofencing (so it doesn’t go into Away mode when you’re at home).

It also has a bigger, sharper screen that’s easier to read from across the room. And of course, you can control the temperature from your smartphone, whether you’re in the next room or the next state. You can also control it with voice commands via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.

The only real downside of the Google Nest Learning Thermostat is that it doesn’t have remote room sensors. This can be problematic if you have a home where some rooms are much colder or hotter. If that’s the case, you may want to buy an Ecobee or a Honeywell instead. But overall, Google Nest’s ability to automatically create a schedule based on your daily activities makes it a fantastic buy.

ProsCons
Easy installationExpensive
Alexa, Google Home & IFTTT compatibleNo remote room sensors
Lots of features
Best Smart Home Thermostats Review

Honeywell Home T9 WIFI Smart Thermostat

The $175 Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat makes maintaining a consistent temperature throughout your home easy. It comes with one remote sensor which can help reduce utility bills by telling the thermostat if a room is occupied or not. (You can add up to 20 sensors total, purchased separately for $39.99 each.)

You can control this thermostat with the touchscreen display, smartphone app, or voice commands via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana. The T9 has dual-band wifi and can interface with other smart home devices via IFTTT.

One unique feature of the Honeywell T9 is the Priority button, which enables you to choose which rooms contribute to the average temperature in your house. For example, if you spend most of your time in the master bedroom or living room, the T9 will base its average temperature on mainly those rooms.

The T9 is so smart, you can also have it determine the average temperature only from rooms that are actually occupied. (This saves money by not unnecessarily heating or cooling empty rooms!) Overall, the T9 is one of the best smart thermostats if you want remote room sensors and voice command capabilities.

ProsCons
Remote room sensorDoesn't support HomeKit
Easy installationIFTTT functions are limited
Alexa & Google Assistant compatible
Best Smart Home Thermostats Review

Features to look for in the best Smart home thermostats

Additional Room Sensors

If you have a large house or a room that’s always colder or hotter than the rest, look for remote sensors. These can be placed in additional rooms so the thermostat can average out the temperature between multiple rooms. This will help ensure consistent temperatures across all the rooms in your home.

Voice Control

You can’t beat the convenience of saying “Alexa, adjust the temperature to 74 degrees.” Many smart thermostats integrate with Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and/or Microsoft Cortana. Look closely to ensure the smart thermostat you buy supports your preferred digital voice assistant.

Automatic Learning

If you’re not the type of person who enjoys programming a thermostat, look for one that does it automatically. The Google Nest, for instance, learns your family’s patterns and then creates a climate schedule around it.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve perused our picks for the best smart thermostats, we hope you feel better informed about these handy devices. Smart thermostats have skyrocketed in popularity in the last several years, for good reason.

Once you’ve embraced the ability to adjust your home’s temperature and humidity from your smartphone, you’ll never go back to doing it manually. And while it requires a bit of an upfront investment, a smart thermostat will work to reduce your utility bills. By saving you money every month, the best smart thermostats can actually pay for themselves.

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