The best cheap smart home devices in 2024

best cheap smart home devices in 2022: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
(Image credit: Future)

You can take your living space to the next level with the best cheap smart home devices. These gadgets create a more convenient and customizable living space without breaking the bank. We're constantly testing a number of affordable appliances that you can use to turn on your lights, change the temperature, play music, and even keep an eye on your house while you’re away. 

Of all the best smart home devices we’ve reviewed, there are plenty of options under $100. These are oftentimes just as good — if not better — than options that cost double the price. You can build your smart home for less than you’d expect as long as you know what to look for.

That’s where we can help. We’ve created this list which ranges from our picks for the best smart plugs to several of the best smart light bulbs. All of these budget-friendly gadgets work with at least one of the major smart assistants, giving you the power to control parts of your home hands-free, too. 

See all of the best cheap smart home devices below. And be sure to check out our smart home guide for tips on taking your smart home to the next level.

The best cheap smart home devices you can get today 

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Best overall

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)
The best Alexa smart speaker under $50


Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 3.5 inches
Speakers: 1.73 inch speaker
Ports: N/A
Wireless: 2.4/5 GHz, Bluetooth
Smart assistants: Alexa

Reasons to buy

Access to Alexa smart home skills
Room temperature sensor for Alexa routines
Eero built-in

Reasons to avoid

No 3.5mm audio line out

With the 5th generation Echo Dot, Amazon has once again delivered an inexpensive smart speaker that doesn’t skimp on features or quality. The spherical shape along with improved speaker hardware lets audio sound fuller despite this Echo Dot's compact size and affordable price tag. Simply put, it's the best cheap smart home device under $50.

The Echo Dot’s purpose is to be more of a personal smart speaker. No, this isn't the solution for controlling all your connected home devices or filling your space with sound, plus it no longer has a 3.5mm audio line out. But it does have eero built-in and features room temperature sensor that can initiate certain Alexa smart home routines. That's why it's a great "starter" device for a smart home. It makes a great gift, too.

Read our full Amazon Echo Dot (5th gen) review.

Best Google Home on a budget

Google Nest Mini

(Image credit: Google)

2. Google Nest Mini

The best cheap smart home device for Google Home users


Size: 3.7 x 1.7 inches
Speakers: 40-millimeter driver
Ports: None
Wireless: 2.4/6 GHz, Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

Fun color options
Loud for its size
Added microphones

Reasons to avoid

No audio line out

If you’re a Pixel smartphone owner, or simply prefer Google Assistant over Amazon Alexa, the Google Nest Mini is another one of the best cheap smart home devices for you. Our first-generation Google Home Mini review highlighted the small speaker’s ability to compete with the Echo Dot, and the Nest Mini further upped the ante.

Available in Chalk, Charcoal gray, Coral orange and Sky-blue variants, the Google Nest Mini’s cloth covers an array of touch-screen controls, which let you play and pause music and launch Google Assistant. Thanks to its added mic, it can pick up "Hey Google" commands over other noises even from the other side of the room, too. If you're growing or starting your smart home, the Nest Mini is a perfect $49 starting point. 

Read our full Google Nest Mini review.

Best smart plug

Wemo WiFi Smart Plug

(Image credit: Wemo)

3. Wemo WiFi Smart Plug

This smart plug is simple to use and works with all of the major smart assistants.


Size: 1.3 x 2.0 x 1.8 inches
Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT
Electrical rating: 120V~/15A/60Hz/1800W

Reasons to buy

Improved footprint
Physical control button
Works with Alexa, Google Home and Homekit

Reasons to avoid

Not compatible with 5Ghz Wi-Fi

The $25 Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is one of the best cheap smart home devices and our top choice among the best smart plugs. It's more compact than competing options out there, even its predecessor the Wemo Mini. And while it doesn't have energy monitoring like some other smart plugs, the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug does work with all the major smart assistants.

This smart plug has a physical switch, so if you don’t want to use your voice or an app to turn your appliance on or off, you can click the switch on the Wemo. It also has a clever Away mode. which can make it seem like you’re home even when you’re not by turning a lamp on intermittently. 

Read our full Wemo WiFi Smart Plug review.

Best security camera

Tapo C120 outside in rain

(Image credit: Future)

4. Tapo C120

This camera costs less than $40, yet offers a ton of features


Video resolution: 2K
Field of view: 120 degrees
Color night vision: Yes
Audio: half-duplex
Local Storage: Yes
Battery Powered: No
Weather Resistant: Yes
Smart Home Compatibility: Alexa, Google Assistant
Cloud Storage: Free local storage, must pay for cloud

Reasons to buy

Inexpensive 2K camera
Free intelligent alerts
Local storage

Reasons to avoid

No HomeKit support
Middling microphone

The Tapo C120 hybird security camera is a dirt-cheap smart home device that works both indoors and outside. Since TP-Link isn't owned by Amazon (Blink and Ring) or Google (Nest), all of this camera's features work with all of the best smart home device platforms including Alexa and Google Assistant. As one of the best home security cameras you can get, the Tapo C120 captures video at a rich 2K resolution which is sharp enough to let you see things like text on a package or textures on clothing.

There's local storage via a MicroSD card and intelligent AI detection is included so you don't have to pay for a subscription service. You have the option to pay for Tapo Care which nets you 30 days of cloud video storage and rich notifications with snapshots.

Read our full Tapo C120 review.

Best motion sensor

Aqara motion sensor P1

(Image credit: Future)

5. Aqara P1 Motion Sensor

Best budget smart motion sensor


Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit
Hub Required: Yes
Battery Life: Up to 5 years
Detection Radius: 170 degrees

Reasons to buy

Extra wide 170-degree field of view
Advanced automation options
5--year battery life

Reasons to avoid

Requires Aqara Hub

Aqara'a P1 ($25, Amazon) sensor is the best option for most people because it's affordable, has a battery life that lasts up to five years, and is easy to use since it plays nicely with Homekit and Alexa smart home platforms. This little guy accurately detects a wide 170 degrees of activity to kick off automations within your smart home

Instead of having to say "Alexa..." or "Siri..." every time you want to turn on lights, listen to some music, or change the temperature in your home, all you have to do is walk into the room. Simply walking past this sensor tells other connected devices what to do instead of relying on you to use voice commands or manually pull your phone out to take an action.

Best budget lighting

best cheap smart home devices: Wyze Bulb

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. Wyze Bulb

A dirt-cheap smart light bulb


Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant
Hub Required: No
Lifetime: 25,000 hours
Brightness: 800 lumens
Power consumption: 9.5 watts
Bulb Type: A19

Reasons to buy

Tunable white
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

Doesn't work with HomeKit
No color option

The biggest problem with smart lights is that they're expensive, even compared to other LED bulbs. That's why Wyze’s smart bulb is perfect for those on a budget. It’s one of the best cheap smart home devices if you’re looking for a light bulb you can control and connect to other smart home devices. You can change both the brightness and color temperature (2,700k - 6,500k) via the Wyze app or with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.

From within the Wyze app, you can create schedules for when the light should turn on and off—but only based on a specific time, not dawn or dusk—and set a Vacation mode, which turns the bulbs on and off randomly to make it look like you’re home. At $8 per bulb, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option at this price.

Read our full Wyze Bulb review.

Best budget smart scale

Best smart scales: Wyze Scale

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

7. Wyze Scale

The best budget smart scale


Connectivity: Bluetooth
Size: 12 x 12
Android/iOS: Yes/Yes
Max Users: 8
Stats: 12, incl. weight, BMI, heart rate
Max Weight: 400 pounds
MyFitnessPal Compatible: No
Batteries: 4 AAA

Reasons to buy

Extremely affordable
Supports up to eight profiles
Apple Health and Google Fit integration
‘Safe mode’ for pregnant users

Reasons to avoid

No Wi-Fi connectivity

Of all the best smart scales, the Wyze Scale is our top budget pick because it's loaded with features and costs a mere $20. The Wyze Scale supports a whopping 12 health metrics, including weight, body mass index (BMI), heart rate, muscle mass, body water percentage, lean body mass, bone mass, visceral fat and more. It looks as good as the Withings Body Plus, and while its display and app is a bit more basic, it includes Apple Health and Google Fit integrations that can help you see the full scope of your fitness journey.

We wish the Wyze Scale had Wi-Fi connectivity so we didn't need to keep our phone nearby for data syncing, but that’s a minor qualm. This is a great pick for your first smart scale purchase, and will cost you less than most other fitness equipment on the market. 

Read our full Wyze Scale review.

Best smart light knob

Best smart light switches: Lutron Aurora

8. Lutron Aurora

This dimmer knob for Philips Hue lights fits over existing light switches.


Size: 1.5 inches (dia) x 0.7 inches
Wi-Fi: Via Philips Hue Bridge
Motion Sensor: No
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Philips Hue
Dimmable: Yes
Supports three-way switches: n/a

Reasons to buy

No electrical installation needed
Voice control using Siri, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Reasons to avoid

Works only with Philips Hue lights

In some households, wall switches control an outlet, rather than a light fixture, so you can plug in a floor or table lamp, and then switch it on or off from your wall, rather than the lamp itself. But if you also use that outlet for devices that have to stay on all the time, like a clock radio, then you have to tape over the wall switch or resort to some other method to keep from accidentally flipping the switch and turning off power to everything connected to the outlet. 

The Lutron Aurora is a simple, affordable solution to that problem. It clips onto the toggle switch, but links directly to Philips Hue lights, letting you control them by tapping or turning the dial, all while maintaining power to the outlet. While this is a specific use case — and you also need Philips Hue lights — it works well. 

Read our full Lutron Aurora review.

How to choose the best cheap smart home devices for you

Choosing the best cheap smart home devices is unique to every shopper. Once you’ve determined your budget, picking which products to buy depends on which smart home platform you prefer. Devices that are compatible with your voice assistant let you create routines or control your gadgets hands-free.

Your main choices are Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant/Home and Apple HomeKit/Siri. To help you get started, we have guides on how to use Alexa and how to use Google Assistant, as well as an Alexa vs Google Assistant vs Siri face off. 

Alexa comes out on top in most of our testing because it works with the most smart home devices, and has the most third-party skills. However, Google Assistant can do some things that Alexa can't—such as control Chromecast TVs—and it's rapidly being built into a number of third-party devices in conjunction with its Works With Nest program. HomeKit’s availability is also growing, and could be the right platform for you if you use Siri often on your iPhone or iPad.

How we test the best cheap smart home devices

All of the best cheap smart home devices we tested are among the top picks within their respective categories, but also cost less than $50. We compare and contrast each gadget to more expensive options, taking variables like value, ease-of-setup, voice assistant compatibility and appearance into account. For example, the Google Nest Mini isn’t the best Google Home speaker overall, but is the best for less than $50 and represents its category on this list. The same goes for the Wyze Cam. 

That said, there are a number of excellent options within each category that are not featured on this list. If you’re looking for more buying choices, we have individual pages that detail all the best smart lights, smart doorbells, smart security cameras and more we’d consider reliable purchases for your growing smart home. 

Check each of them out for more in-depth testing information for every category of smart home devices you should consider for boosting your home’s IQ.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

With contributions from