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Best Smart Thermostats 2019

The Best Smart Thermostats
Credit: Google

A good smart thermostat can make sure it's cool indoors, but what's more, 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 them 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. The cheaper Ecobee3 Lite ($169) has pretty much everything the 5th-gen Ecobee 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 less than $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 (November 2019)

  • Ecobee has rolled out a new AI engine designed to help consumers save more money on their heating and cooling costs. Called eco+, it will detect home & away patterns faster, recommend changes to your schedule, and make adjustments to heating and cooling schedules based on time-of-use and peak demand rates, depending on the utility provider. These features are now available on the Ecobee 5th gen thermostat, and will roll out to its other thermostats in the coming months.
  • Bosch's new BCC50 Wi-Fi Thermostat ($120) has a white rectangular design with a black circular 2.8-inch color display in the center. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and works with a smartphone app so that users can remotely monitor and control their in-home settings.

Ecobee (5th Gen)

Ecobee (5th Gen). Credit: Ecobee

(Image credit: Future)

1. Ecobee (5th Gen)

This smart thermostat has Alexa inside, but what really sets it apart are its remote sensors.

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
Big bezel

The 5th-generation Ecobee looks and acts much like the Ecobee4, but with a few big improvements. For one, you now get 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. Credit: Google

(Image credit: Nest)

2. Nest Learning Thermostat v.3

While a little old, Nest's thermostat has a classic design and 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.

Read our full Nest Learning Thermostat review.

MORE: How to Connect a Nest Thermostat to Amazon Alexa

Honeywell RTH6580WF. Credit: Honeywell

(Image credit: Honeywell)

3. Honeywell RTH8580WF Wi-Fi Thermostat

A no-frills smart thermostat that's less than $100.

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

Works with a lot of smart home devices
Basic design

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. Credit: Ecobee

(Image credit: Ecobee)

4. Ecobee3 Lite

This simpler smart thermostat still 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

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.

Read our full Ecobee3 Lite smart thermostat review.

Sensibo Sky

Sensibo Sky. Credit: Sensibo

(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 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.

Read our full Sensibo Sky review.

Nest Thermostat E

Nest Thermostat E. Credit: Google

(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. Credit: Resideo

(Image credit: Honeywell)

7. Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

Honeywell's thermostat also uses remote sensors, but they're not as sophisticated as Ecobee's.

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. 

Read our full Honeywell T9 smart thermostat review.

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 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.