Giving the gift of a smart home is more affordable than you might think. In fact, a number of companies make cheap smart home gadgets for a more efficient living space. We've compiled some of the best smart home devices — most under $100 — to consider for family and friends.
Belkin Wemo Mini
The Belkin WeMo Mini is among the best smart plugs available. It's compact and capable, making it a cinch to turn a number of standard electronics into smart home devices. For $30, you can arm a friend or family member with a means to control things like a coffee maker or christmas lights from their phone.
Any of our best smart light switches would make an excellent gift, too. There are several low-cost options for letting your loved ones operate their lights from a mobile device.
Google Nest Mini
The $49 Google Nest Mini is an excellent entry-level smart home device. It's all anyone needs to get a smart home started, which is why it makes a practical holiday gift. It packs bold sound and Google Assistant, meaning you can use voice commands to control music.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
The Echo Dot with Clock is a bit pricier than the standard third-generation Echo Dot or the Google Nest Mini, but it dons a useful LED clock display. Like the Nest Mini, it's an entry-level speaker that jump-starts the process of designing a smart home. Because it enables Amazon Alexa, you can ask the Echo Dot for a weather report, sports scores and more.
Roku Streaming Stick Plus
The great thing about a streaming stick is that it makes any average TV a smart one. The $60 Roku Streaming Stick Plus is one of our favorites because of its extensive app selection and customizable interface. It's also one of the most affordable 4K HDR-capable streaming devices you'll find.
The Roku Streaming Stick Plus is just one way to give the gift of streaming. The Alexa-enabled Amazon Fire TV Cube ($120) supports voice control and several popular entertainment services, too.
Amazon Echo Show 5
The $80 Echo Show 5 smart home display combines the voice controls of a smart speaker with a useful screen for seeing the time, watching videos and more. It's best positioned on a nightstand or kitchen counter, where you can make calls, listen to music and get a glimpse at your day.
Amazon recently announced a larger Echo Show 8, which costs $130 and will be available beginning Nov. 21. The 8-inch screen makes it easier to follow along with on-screen content like how-to videos and recipes.
Philips Hue White Starter Kit
Smart lights are a simple way to increase a home's IQ. The Philips Hue White Starter Kit is among our picks for the best smart lights because it lays a foundation for illuminating an entire space. For $70, you gets the Philips Hue bridge and two bulbs. Once you have the bridge, you can easily incorporate additional Philips Hue products into your smart home's ecosystem.
The Wi-Fi-operated Wyze Bulbs are a cheaper smart-light alternative. A four-pack costs $30. They're simple to set up, but they don't provide the same reliable connection and extensive features as the Philips Hue bulbs.
Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring Video Doorbell is the most capable video doorbell you'll find for under $100. When situated on a front door, the $90 camera provides a clear-enough image to recognize visitors day or night. It's an excellent home security measure and can be monitored in real time from a mobile device.
There are several otherRing products to round out a monitoring system. If you're shopping for a Google fan, the Nest Hello doorbell, though pricey, is an excellent alternative.
Instant Pot Duo
Participate in the current Instant Pot renaissance with the $100 Instant Pot Duo. The countertop appliance can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, searing and steaming. This model is affordable and supports multiple modes.
The Instant Pot Duo is one of the best instant pots available. But for the same price, you can give the Anova Precision Cooker Nano to the chef in your life. It's the best sous vide machine available.
Sonos One Speaker
The Sonos One smart speaker is the best-sounding home smart speaker. It supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, meaning you can use it the same way you would an Amazon Echo or Google Home. Though it's a bit pricer at $200, it packs valuable sound. Two Sonos One speakers can be paired for a surround sound experience, too.
For $99, the Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf speaker provides powerful Sonos audio and several streaming options. It isn't a smart speaker, but it can be controlled by Alexa or Google Assistant from a different device.
Google Nest Hub Max
The Google Nest Hub Max rounds out a smart home. Its sleek design, smart motion tracking and handy privacy switch make the Nest Hub Max an excellent smart display. Using Google Duo, you can make video calls and send video messages right from the device. The camera also functions as a Nest security monitor, allowing you to drop in from wherever you are.
Everyone in the family will find a use for the Nest Hub Max, making it an ideal gift for close relatives. It's a one-stop device for staying in touch with loved ones who live out of range.