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Best smart thermostats 2020

The Best Smart Thermostats
Credit: Google

Smart thermostats can make sure it's the right temperature indoors and can help reduce your energy bill, too. That’s because these devices can monitor temperature and humidity inside and outside your home, your comings and goings, and tailor heating and cooling cycles accordingly. And, because they're connected to your home Wi-Fi network, you can monitor, program, and control smart thermostats using your smartphone.

After testing a dozen models, the best smart thermostat is the 5th-generation Ecobee ($249) for one main reason: It comes with a wireless sensor you can place in a remote room in your house—such as one that doesn't heat or cool as fast—and lets you set the Ecobee to keep the system on until that room comes up to the temperature you want. Plus, the Ecobee has Alexa built in, so you can interact with Amazon's voice assistant without purchasing an Echo or an Echo Dot. 

If you're looking for something less than $100, we recommend the Honeywell RTH6580WF 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat. It's not as fancy as the Ecobee, but its still one of the best smart thermostats and works with many smart home systems.

See all of our top picks for the best smart thermostats below.

Best smart thermostats to buy now

Ecobee (5th Gen)

Ecobee (5th Gen) (Image credit: Future)

1. Ecobee (5th Gen)

The best smart thermostat overall

Works With: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Logitech, Wink, IFTTT | Remote Sensors: Yes | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: Yes | Works Offline: Yes

Better speaker
Full Alexa support
Improved remote sensors
Works with Spotify
Large
Big bezel

The best smart thermostat overall, the 5th-generation Ecobee looks and acts much like the Ecobee4, but with a few big improvements. It's among the best Alexa compatible devices because it offers all of Alexa's features, including calling, messaging, and Drop-In.  The new Ecobee also has a much better speaker and Spotify support, so it's now good for playing tunes if you're looking for a device to provide some background music. Most importantly, the new Ecobee has redesigned remote sensors that have much better range and battery life.

Read our full Ecobee (5th gen) smart thermostat review.

Nest Learning Thermostat v.3

Nest Learning Thermostat v.3.  (Image credit: Nest)

2. Nest Learning Thermostat v.3

Nest's thermostat is a cinch to set up.

Works With: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Logitech, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, WeMo, Wink, Xfinity | Remote Sensors: No | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: Yes | Works Offline: Yes

Large display
Works with multiple smart home systems
Intuitive Interface
Easy to install
Can't monitor temperature in multiple rooms
Doesn't work with Apple HomeKit

The third version of this Google-owned thermostat has a larger and sharper display than its predecessor. Like before, the Nest Learning Thermostat can talk to hundreds of other smart home devices—from the Logitech Harmony remote to the Amazon Echo to the Nest Cam—so it can automatically change the temperature when someone comes home, or if you’re about to watch a movie. While it has a retro-style circular design, its brushed stainless steel finish and turning mechanism all feel premium. This thermostat combines the best of the past with the future, and is one of the best smart thermostats that's Google Home compatible.

Read our full Nest Learning Thermostat review.

Honeywell RTH6580WF (Image credit: Honeywell)

3. Honeywell RTH8580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat

Our favorite cheap smart thermostat

Works With: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, | Remote Sensors: No | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: No | Works Offline: Yes

Inexpensive
Works with a lot of smart home devices
Basic design

This is the best smart thermostat for those on a budget. The Honeywell RTH6580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat offers much of the same functionality as the Nest and Ecobee, but for less than half the price. While it looks like a run-of-the-mill thermostat on the outside, a Wi-Fi link lets you control this thermostat from your smartphone, just like the more expensive models. Plus, it can link to other smart home gadgets, such as smart locks, and can be controlled via voice. In all, it's a great bargain.

Read our full Honeywell RTH6580WF smart thermostat review.

Ecobee3 Lite

Ecobee3 Lite (Image credit: Ecobee)

4. Ecobee3 Lite

A simple smart thermostat that lets you use remote sensors

Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Logitech, Wink, IFTTT | Remote Sensors: Yes | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: Yes | Works Offline: Yes

Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit
Attractive interface
Easy installation
works with remote sensors
Lacks geofencing

The Ecobee3 Lite is the best smart thermostat for those with less-involved heating and cooling systems. Still, it has many of the same functions as the Ecobee 5th gen, including a color touchscreen, intuitive interface and deep smart home integration. Ecobee also updated the Lite model to work with remote sensors (as with the full-price Ecobee4), so you can set it to keep the heat on until a room in a far corner of your house reaches a certain temperature.

Read our full Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat review.

Sensibo Sky

Sensibo Sky (Image credit: Sensibo)

5. Sensibo Sky

An inexpensive way to make your window AC units smart

Works With: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT | Remote Sensors: No | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: No | Works Offline: No

Easy to set up
Has robust scheduling, geofencing
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT
No controls or display on device

If you don't have central air conditioning, then it's a bit harder to regulate the temperatures in your home during the summer. The Sensibo Sky is the best smart thermostat for those with in-wall or window air conditioners that have IR remotes. It's inexpensive, can be controlled remotely, and lets you create schedules for when they should turn on and off. It even has geofencing, so it can turn your AC on as you get home. Now that's cool.

Read our full Sensibo Sky review.

Nest Thermostat E

Nest Thermostat E (Image credit: Nest)

6. Nest Thermostat E

A lower-priced Nest thermostat

Works With: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT | Remote Sensors: Optional | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: No | Works Offline: Yes

Cheaper than original Nest
Simple installation
Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
Does not support two-stage heating/cooling
White display can be hard to read

The Nest Thermostat E ($169) is another excellent smart thermostat for less than $200. It's easier to set up than the pricier Nest Learning Thermostat, but still has many of the same features. However, it doesn't support as many HVAC systems, such as two-stage heating and cooling, and its all-white display can be hard to read from a distance.

Read our full Nest Thermostat E review.

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat (Image credit: Honeywell)

7. Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

A thermostat with useful remote sensors

Works With: Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT | Remote Sensors: Optional | Self-Installation: Yes | Motion Activation: No | Works Offline: Yes

Responsive sensors
Easy to set up
Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
App could be more intuitive
No Apple HomeKit integration at launch

The Honeywell T9 incorporates what we think is one of the best features for smart thermostats: Remote sensors that can measure the temperature and see if there's a person present, so that the thermostat can better adjust your HVAC system to make sure all rooms are comfortable. However, the Honeywell app could be easier to use, and this smart thermostat doesn't support Apple HomeKit.

Read our full Honeywell T9 smart thermostat review.

How we test smart thermostats

We install each thermostat in a home or apartment and live with it for at least one week, to see how it handles different conditions. This includes not just changing the temperature, but also evaluating its accompanying app and web portal, if available. If the thermostat works with other smart home devices or Web-connected services (such as Alexa), we test that functionality as well.

How to install a smart thermostat

For the most part, installing a thermostat, smart or not, is a fairly easy process, usually involving nothing more than a screwdriver and about half an hour of your time. Here's our video guide for installing a Nest thermostat, however, the procedure is similar for almost any thermostat.