Best Smart Thermostats 2019

Product Use case Rating
Ecobee4 Best Smart Thermostat 4.5
Nest Learning Thermostat v.3 Best Smart Thermostat: Runner Up 4.5
Honeywell RTH8580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat Best Budget Thermostat N/A
Ecobee3 Lite Best For Small Apartments 4
Sensibo Sky Best for Window AC Units 4

As we approach the spring months, it can be freezing one day, and 70 degrees the next; regardless of what's going on outside, a smart thermostat can make sure it's comfortable indoors, what's more, you can control a smart thermostat from your smartphone, and it 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.

After testing a dozen models, the best smart thermostat is the Ecobee4 ($229) 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 Ecobee4 has Alexa built in, so you can interact with Amazon's voice assistant without purchasing an Echo or an Echo Dot. The cheaper Ecobee3 Lite ($164) has pretty much everything the Ecobee4 does, but without Alexa built in, and you'll need to purchase the remote sensor separately (a two-pack is $78).

If you're looking for something under $100, then we recommend the Honeywell RTH6580WF 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat. It's not as fancy as the Ecobee, but it works with many smart home systems, and can be controlled from your smartphone. 

Make sure you check out all of our top picks for smart speakers, lights, locks, and more on our best smart home gadgets page.

Latest News & Updates (May 2019)

  • Google is phasing out the Works with Nest program starting August 31, while current integrations with the Nest Learning and other smart home devices, such as Philips Hue lights and Logitech Harmony remotes, will continue to work, no new functionality will be added. Google says it will add the Nest's Home/Away functionality to Works with Google Assistant later this year. 
  • We're currently testing Honeywell's newest thermostat, the Honeywell T9 (starting at $169), which is now on sale. With the T9, Honeywell is taking a page from Ecobee with its new Home T9 Smart Thermostat, which can be linked to remote sensors so that you can monitor the temperature, humidity, and occupancy in multiple rooms of your house. You can also prioritize rooms with people in them, as well as the time of day. The T9 also works with Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings. The Honeywell T9 costs $169, or $199 with a remote sensor; additional sensors are $39.99 each. Stay tuned for our review.
  • Most smart thermostats are designed for low-voltage systems. However, if your thermostat—such as those that control baseboard heaters—requires a high-voltage unit, then the Mysa smart thermostat ($129) may be worth a look. It's controllable using a smartphone app, and works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit and IFTTT.


The Ecobee4 has all the great things in the Ecobee3—such as its slick touchscreen interface, a small wireless sensor to make sure all your rooms are the right temperature, and compatibility with most major smart home systems. However, the Ecobee4 has one more feature: Alexa. A built-in speaker and microphone let you interact with Amazon's assistant as you would with the Echo or the Echo Dot. Still, the fact that I could get all of my rooms—not just one—to the right temperature makes all the difference.

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.

 

MORE: How to Connect a Nest Thermostat to Amazon Alexa

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.

A less expensive alternative to the Ecobee3, the Ecobee3 Lite has many of the same functions, 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.

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 works with most window- and wall AC units that have IR remotes, 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.

Other Smart Thermostats We Reviewed

  • Johnson Controls' GLAS thermostat ($279) has a cool-looking glass touchscreen, monitors air quality in your home, has Cortana built in, and works with Alexa. For all that, though, it left us feeling a bit cold.
  • 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.
  • The Bosch BCC100 Thermostat has a large and colorful touchscreen, is easy to set up, and works with Alexa. At $144, it's a very good mid-range thermostat, but we prefer the Ecobee3 for its remote sensor and geofencing capabilities.
  • The best aspect of the Honeywell Lyric ($211) is that it uses geofencing to know when to turn on and off. When linked to your smartphone, it will know when you’re nearing home, and start heating or cooling your abode so that it’s toasty warm--or refreshingly cool--by the time you walk in the front door.
  • The Honeywell Lyric T5 ($129) has many of the same features as its pricier Lyric Round (Alexa and HomeKit integration, for one), but costs about half as much. You can control the T5 from Android or iOS devices, and geofencing will automatically turn your system on or off when you leave or arrive home. It can also learn and adapt to your home's heating and cooling cycles, and remind you to change the air filter. Like the Lyric, it also works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT.

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.

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.

12 comments
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  • wolf39
    Sorry - it's simply not true that Ecobee can support multiple zones. IT definitely CAN'T! It supports multiple thermostats, however it is not able to control multiple zones, which makes multiple thermostats kind of obsolete and nonsensical (unless you want to raise room temperature everywhere if you for example your bedroom is too cold). If you need multiple zone control support you need to get evohome or tado.
  • Carl_12
    Can we install a thermostat ourselves ??
  • bukzin
    Yes, these are meant to be installed by homeowners.
  • Nguyen_13
    thank for you sharing!
  • SteveReeves
    I think the room sensors that allow for temp control in the room that you're in is great!

    I've seen some smart vents that close themselves off too.

    Wonder if Nest is doing anything to counter this in upcoming releases.
  • gardavis
    The Ecobee3 Lite now can support the sensors. In fact, they have a promotion at the vendor's site that includes 2 sensors and the Lite for $169. Also, I don't think the display is color as you say.
  • chumgrinder
    Our home has two independent HVAC units. Our power company just introduced demand pricing that makes it very desirable for us to ensure that only one unit operates at a time. I suspect there must be a thermostat product that allows two thermostats to coordinate such that they take turns. Can anyone recommend one?
  • ctn.gooners
    Nest does not make a thermostat that controls the maintenance band and does not allow users to modify and adjust the band that is stuck at +/-1°F. If you have an old cast iron heater system, DO NOT BUY a Nest. It will force your system to start up Everytime it drops a degree, and initial start ups will use more natural gas, therefore Nest does not save money. Nor does do they offer any help to remedy or fix the problem.
  • reidg99
    Mike, I see very little information about notifications due to a power outage. I’m considering a Honeywell smart thermostat because it’s monitored by an outside server. From what I was told by Honeywell support, if I have a power outage their server will notify me that the thermostat is offline. That’s important to avoid frozen pipes at second homes, in my case a ski camp, or a primary home should it be left during vacation or otherwise in the winter. This service/feature is not considered in any of the top rated or recommended thermostat articles I’ve read...but should be. With that said, are there other smart thermostats that meet the above requirements that I should consider.
  • rashisaxsena
    Thank you for this list of thermostats
  • indiecognition
    I purchased a Nest smart thermostat largely based on reviews like this, and after setting it up I found a major feature was missing which makes me intensely regret the decision. Nest is missing a Hold Temperature feature.

    In general the smart scheduling, app-based home-away location detection, and other energy-saving features are great. But sometimes it is important for a user to be able to easily override the smart/automated scheduling and lock in their own temperature setting for a while. Many of Nest's customers have told them about the problems we've encountered due to the lack of a Hold feature. Nest could add a simple indefinite hold that users could turn on and off, or an interface similar to the fan setting, where there would be options for 1, 2, 6, 12, 24, or 48-hour temperature hold that would be automatically deactivated once the time had elapsed. Either of these would be technically simple, and their technical support representatives confirmed that they would not be difficult to implement. However, Nest refuses to fix this deficiency. The ecobee--and just about every other smart and programmable thermostat--has a Hold Temp feature. Nest does not.

    Nest will occasionally respond to their customers with convoluted "workarounds" that allow users to set and hold a temperature. But the workarounds require the user to disable most of the smart features. That isn't a valid solution, and defeats the purpose of buying the Nest in the first place. They are at best neglectful, and at worst actively dismissive of their customers who are caught in a situation where we find their product lacking and are requesting a change that would genuinely improve their thermostats.

    I am posting here to ask you to reconsider your recommendation for the Nest thermostats, and that you please contact Nest to explain that as a highly-trusted and valued source of reviews, you are relaying the request of users like me to add a Hold feature. The lack of a Hold Temp feature is incredibly frustrating, and often makes it impossible to retain the smart features of the thermostat while also keeping the temperatures in my home comfortable.

    I understand that sometimes a hold temperature setting could temporarily override some energy-saving features -- however, other times the hold setting would end up saving energy. But the biggest issue is that this is a simple feature that is glaringly missing from their thermostat, which makes it work poorly. And Nest has so far ignored their customers when we reach out to them to try to get this issue fixed. I am hoping that if you would also talk to them, they might move forward with this crucial improvement.

    Here are a couple threads in Nest's community forum that go into the issue, and include some of the "workarounds" that users have had to resort to:

    https://www.nest-community.com/s/question/0D51W00005IgN8QSAV/hold-temperature?t=1538532255910

    https://www.nest-community.com/s/question/0D51W000064RtHySAK/please-add-a-hold-temperature-function-its-a-major-shortcoming-that-nest-doesnt-already-allow-this

    Thank you for considering this, and for all your excellent reviews. I'm hoping that if you could speak to Nest they would finally fix this problem.