The best smart home devices in 2024

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)
(Image credit: Future)

The best smart home devices can make your home cleaner, safer, and more convenient to control. In some cases, these connected products can even help you save money.

Whether you're looking to turn your lights on from your smartphone, stream music to a smart speaker using Alexa (or Google Assistant), lock your doors remotely, or automatically vacuum your floors without lifting a finger, the best smart home devices provide complete convenience.  

The number of smart home brands is constantly growing. On top of that the universal Matter smart home protocol lets devices talk to each other regardless of platform. Still, not all smart home devices are as reliable or as smart as they claim. We've tested dozens of offerings across all different categories, from the best home security cameras to the best smart light bulbs. If a device can be controlled by an app or a voice, we’re here to help you decide if it fits your needs. 

See all of the best smart home devices below. 

The quick list

The best smart home devices you can buy today

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Best smart home device overall

Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)

(Image credit: Future)
The best smart home device overall

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable 
+
Multi-functional LED display
+
Sounds great for the price
+
eero built-in

Reasons to avoid

-
No 3.5-mm port

The name says it all: This is an Echo Dot with a clever LED clock built in its face. However, this seemingly simple addition adds a ton of functionality to the Echo Dot, making an even better smart home companion. In fact, we wish more smart home companies took Amazon's cue and make minor — yet effective — enhancements to already excellent devices.

More than just the time, though, the Echo Dot with Clock's display can also show you the current temperature, song titles and answers to math equations. It functions as a timer, too. It has an ambient sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on the lightning of its surrounding environment, as well as a built-in temperature sensor that can trigger Alexa routines. The Echo Dot with Clock costs $10 more than the Echo Dot, but based on our experience, we think it's a worthwhile upgrade for those who want to know the time without having to ask Alexa. Truly the only downgrade is that it doesn't have the 3.5mm audio out port found on the previous Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (4th Gen).

Read our full Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen) review.

Best home security camera

Nest Cam (battery)

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best home security camera

Specifications

Size: 3.3 x 3.3 inches
Resolution: 1080p/30 fps
Field of View: 130 degrees
Works with: Google Assistant,Alexa
Cloud storage: Starting at $6/month

Reasons to buy

+
Great design
+
Very sharp video quality
+
Free person, animal, vehicle detection
+
3 hours of video storage free

Reasons to avoid

-
Few accessories

The well-designed Nest Cam (battery) has a simple shape and is one of the easiest home security cameras to install, thanks to its magnetic base. Its 1080p camera captures sharp images day and night, and its microphone and speaker made conversations a breeze. That's the main reason we consider it the top choice among all the best security cameras we've tested.

The Nest Cam (battery) also offers three hours of rolling video storage for free, as well as person, vehicle, and animal detection. If you sign up for a Nest Aware subscription (starting at $6/month), you also get familiar face detection as well as the ability to store up to a month's worth of video.

Read our full Nest Cam (battery) review.

Best smart thermostat

Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

(Image credit: Ecobee)
Best smart thermostat

Specifications

Size: 4.3 x 4.3 x 1 inch
Wireless: 802.11 Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT

Reasons to buy

+
Improved remote sensors from previous model
+
Full Alexa support
+
Much improved and larger display

Reasons to avoid

-
Larger than Nest Learning Thermostat

With its zinc case and much larger touchscreen, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium looks much better than previous generations — on a par with the Nest Learning Thermostat — and is even smarter on the inside. Now, it has an air quality sensor built in, so you can see if you need to open a window or turn on a fan. The huge display also lets you look at the weather forecast for the week. 

As before, the best part of the Ecobee is its remote sensors, which make it easier for you to manage the temperature in your entire home. The Ecobee also has Alexa built in and, if you have a HomePod or HomePod mini, can also talk to Siri through the thermostat. The built-in speaker is still not great for listening to music, but it's a way to get a smart speaker in a room where you don't want to place an Echo Dot. 

Read our full Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium review.

Best smart light bulb

Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit

(Image credit: Philips)

4. Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit

Best smart light bulb

Specifications

Bulb type: A19
Wireless: Zigbee
Works with: Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, SmartThings, Google Home, Nest

Reasons to buy

+
Comprehensive app
+
Works with a ton of smart-home systems
+
Dimmable

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires hub
-
Light color not tunable

Philips Hue White starter kit includes two bulbs and a hub to connect them to other smart home devices. While you can't change these bulbs' colors, you can adjust their brightness (up to 800 lumens), and add up to 50 to a single hub. Philips' bulbs also work with a wide range of smart home systems, including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Google Home, and Nest. In fact, there's all sorts of things you can do with Philips Hue bulbs, check out these 9 things you never knew you could do with smart lights.

Philips Hue lights also have an app, Philips Hue Sync, which lets users synchronize their smart bulbs with multimedia content on their Mac or Windows PC. For example, you can set your lights to flash and change color in time with music, video and movies being played on your computer.  Users can also modify the color schemes and themes to suit their tastes. For $30 more, you can upgrade your starter kit to include 4 bulbs instead of 2.

Read our full Philips Hue White Starter Kit review.

Best smart lock

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best smart lock

Specifications

Lock type: Deadbolt
Size: 3 inches x 1.7 inches
Works with: HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Z-Wave, Nest, IFTTT
Wireless: 2.4GHz Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Smaller size
+
Wi-Fi built in
+
Easy to use
+
Works with lots of smart home devices

Reasons to avoid

-
Keypad sold separately

We were already pretty high on August's first-generation August's first-generation Smart Lock Pro — it was our top pick among the best smart locks — but the company went and made it even better, by shrinking its size and making it work even better with your other smart home devices.

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is 45 percent smaller than the original, and it also has Wi-Fi built into it, so you don't need an extra accessory to connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. 

As with the original, we found the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock just as easy to install — it took mere minutes — and it has just as many helpful features, such as DoorSense, which alerts you if you leave your door open.

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock also works with most smart home systems, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Xfinity. And, while you can open the lock with your keys or your smart phone, August also sells a wireless keypad as an additional means of entry.

Read our full August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review.

Best video doorbell

Nest Doorbell (battery) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best video doorbell

Specifications

Video Resolution: 60 x 1280p/ 30 fps
Field of View: 145 degrees
Works with: Google Assistant, Alexa
Size: 6.3 x 1.8 x 0.95 inches
Wired/Battery: Battery
Cloud storage: Starting at $6/month

Reasons to buy

+
Great design
+
Very sharp video quality
+
Free person, animal, package, vehicle detection

Reasons to avoid

-
No optional chime

The Nest Doorbell (battery) gets almost everything right, and that's why it's not just one of the best smart home devices but the best video doorbell we've reviewed. The video doorbell's 3:4 vertical aspect ratio means you can see more of your front door; it can work either wired or on battery power alone, and it has a lot of great features, such as the ability to recognize familiar faces, packages, animals, and vehicles.

Even better is that the camera also offers some of those features for free, as well as three hours of rolling video storage — things that used to require a subscription. If you want longer storage, you can still sign up for Nest Aware, which starts at $6/month. As such, it pairs nice with the Nest Cam.

Read our full Nest Doorbell (battery) review.

Best smart plug

Wemo WiFi Smart Plug review

(Image credit: Wemo)

7. Wemo WiFi Smart Plug

Best smart plug

Specifications

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 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 smart smoke detector

best smart home devices: Nest Protect

(Image credit: Nest)
Best smart smoke detector

Specifications

Size: : 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.5 inches
Detects: Smoke, carbon monoxide
Works with: Nest, Google Home, Philips Hue, IFTTT, Alexa, Wink, Lutron
Hardwired/battery: Yes/Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Detects smoke, carbon monoxide
+
Spoken alerts
+
Links to other smart-home devices

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Nest Protect is the top choice among the best smart smoke detectors. When it picks up on something in the air, it sounds an alarm and lets you know what room in your home triggered the alert. Plus an LED ring on the bottom of the alarm changes color in case of an emergency, giving you and the people you live with a visual cue.

What we like most about the Nest Protect is how well it integrates with some of the best smart home devices. When you use smart home routines, your smart smoke alarm can automatically turn on your lights, making it easier for you to get out of your house. However, these routines only work for those who have converted their Nest account to a Google Assistant account. It also does not natively work with Alexa.

Read our full Nest Protect review.

Best smart home hub

Front view of Aeotec Smart Home Hub

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best smart home hub

Specifications

Size: 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave, Matter
Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant

Reasons to buy

+
Wi-Fi makes installing this hub easier
+
Allows for more automation than other hubs
+
Works with Zigbee and Z-Wave devices

Reasons to avoid

-
No battery backup

For years, the Samsung SmartThings hub was one of our top picks for the best smart home hubs because it had both Zigbee and Z-Wave inside, so you can connect to hundreds of devices, more than most other hubs. What's more, the SmartThings app is loaded with functionality, which lets you create a wide range of different scenarios for all of the gadgets in your home. Best of all, SmartThings now works with Nest and Matter products, making it a truly complete smart home hub.

However, Samsung is no longer making its SmartThings Hub, so to use its SmartThings platform, you'll need the Aeotec Smart Home Hub, which replicates all of the same functions. It's essentially the same hardware, but with a different logo on the front, and in our testing, it worked just as well.

Read our full Aeotec Smart Home Hub review.

Best smart garage door opener

smart home devices: Chamberlain MyQ

(Image credit: Chamberlain)

10. Chamberlain MyQ

Best smart garage door opener

Specifications

Works With: Nest, SmartThings, Xfinity Home, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT
Wireless: 802.11 Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Simple physical setup requirements
+
Simple app interface
+
Works with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't work with Alexa
-
Requires subscription to use Google Assistant

If you're looking for the best smart garage door opener, look no further than the Chamberlain MyQ. It includes a sensor for your garage door as well as a hub that connects to your Wi-Fi network. When you send a command using your smartphone, it is relayed to the hub, which then goes to the sensor that activates your garage door. The MyQ app, available for Android and iOS devices, lets you check to see if your door is open, and then close — or open — it remotely. 

MyQ will work with most brands of garage door openers made after 1993 that have standard safety sensors, according to Chamberlain. Currently, MyQ works with Nest, SmartThings and Xfinity Home smart home systems. The one thing it doesn't do, though, is work with Alexa.

Read our full Chamberlain MyQ review.

How to choose the best smart home devices for you

Choosing the best smart home devices is different for every shopper. Most of the decision comes down which smart home platform you prefer - you’ll want to buy devices that are compatible with your voice assistant so you can create routines or control your gadgets hands-free.

You have three main choices: 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 generally comes out on top, as 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.

You'll also want to check out our other smart home guides below and you might also be interested in AI is coming to your home – here's how it could revolutionize your kitchen

How we test the best smart home devices

All of the best smart home devices above are top picks within respective categories. We compare and contrast each gadget to similar options, taking variables like price, ease-of-setup, voice assistant compatibility and appearance into account. For example, the third-generation Amazon Echo is our favorite smart speaker overall because it has the best sound for the value, and represents its category on this list. The same goes for the Nest Cam and fifth-generation Ecobee. 

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.

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