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Which smart thermostat IS best?

If it feels like your home is always too hot or too cold, it might be time to consider a smart thermostat. These devices integrate seamlessly into your existing smart device ecosystem and give you complete control over the temperature at all times. ;

Since their first appearance in 2007, the technology behind these devices has advanced by leaps and bounds. How do you know which smart thermostat is right for you? The Google Nest Programmable WiFi Thermostat in Charcoal is the top pick because it is sleek, simple and loaded with features. 

What to know before you buy a smart thermostat

Reasons to use a smart thermostat

In addition to the many helpful features included in most smart thermostats, there are quite a few practical benefits to consider. For a more exhaustive list of benefits, check out the complete smart thermostat buying guide from BestReviews. 

  • Precision and control: Smart thermostats let you set specific temperatures in every room so your home feels perfectly comfortable all year round. Many devices can be controlled remotely from an app on your smartphone. You could set your thermostat before leaving work to make sure your home is comfortable by the time you arrive. 
  • Saves you money: This level of control also saves energy costs, as features like lifestyle detection, temperature scheduling and remote control can reduce wasteful electricity use. 
  • Helps the environment: In addition to saving money, reduced energy consumption can also be beneficial for the environment. 

Smart home integration

If you already have smart devices in your home, introducing a smart thermostat to the existing ecosystem can give you access to additional benefits. For instance, if you select a smart thermostat that’s compatible with Alexa, you could use voice recognition to change temperature settings with a simple voice command. 


When selecting a smart thermostat, make sure the device is going to be compatible with your existing heating and cooling system. This can usually be accomplished by removing your current thermostat’s cover and checking the voltage. If you’re still unsure, call an electrician or contact a smart thermostat manufacturer to see if they can walk you through the process. 

What to look for in a quality smart thermostat

Temperature scheduling

If you commonly find yourself waking up cold or hot in the middle of the night, then you might benefit from temperature scheduling. Depending on the device, temperature scheduling is a feature that can either be auto-generated by the thermostat or set manually by the user. These schedules are meant to follow your personal routine, providing a consistently comfortable environment and reducing unnecessary energy usage.  

Usage reports

Your smart thermostat could update you with information on your electricity usage and provide you with tips on how to save money on your next power bill. 

Alerts and reminders

Some smart thermostats can alert you if they detect unusual temperature patterns or send a reminder when it’s time to replace your home’s air filter. 

Humidity sensors

Certain models are able to detect when the humidity is particularly high or low in your home and will automatically adjust the temperature accordingly. 

Energy Star-certified

If a smart thermostat is advertised as Energy Star-certified, that means that the device has met the rigorous energy performance standards set by the EPA. 


Many smart thermostats are built with an emphasis on design, from sleek and minimalist to devices with bright, colorful touchscreens.  

How much you can expect to spend on a smart thermostat

The cost of a smart thermostat can vary depending on the brand name and any features included. Most users can expect to pay around $100-$300 for a high-quality, reliable device. 

Smart thermostat FAQ

Do smart thermostats require Wi-Fi?

A. Most smart thermostats will function without a Wi-Fi connection, but they’ll only have the basic heating and cooling controls of a traditional thermostat. 

Do smart thermostats have parental controls?

A. If you’re concerned about certain members of your household adjusting temperature settings without your permission, look for a device that can be locked with a password. 

What are the best smart thermostats to buy?

Top smart thermostat

Google Nest Programmable WiFi Thermostat in Charcoal

Google Nest Programmable WiFi Thermostat in Charcoal

What you need to know: A part of Google’s ever-growing smart device ecosystem, the Nest is easy to use and Energy Star-certified. 

What you’ll love: The Google Nest has a unique, mirrored touchscreen display and comes loaded with features like temperature scheduling, smartphone control and maintenance notifications. The device also monitors your energy use and provides helpful reminders through the Savings Finder feature. 

What you should consider: Some users experienced unexpected compatibility issues once the device arrived. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top smart thermostat for the money

Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

What you need to know: A versatile thermostat that works with most smart home platforms and can usually be installed in less than 30 minutes. 

What you’ll love: This affordable Sensi thermostat is Energy Star-certified and compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and more. The companion app sends smart alerts and usage reports, and the device can be easily controlled remotely from your smartphone or tablet. 

What you should consider: While installation is relatively easy, some users had issues connecting their smart thermostat to Wi-Fi.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat

Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat

What you need to know: A stylish thermostat comes with features and fine adjustability that comparable models usually lack. 

What you’ll love: This smart thermostat has a large display that can be customized to match your existing decor. The device offers a customizable temperature schedule for every day of the week, and the companion app will notify you when your air filter or humidifier pads need changing. 

What you should consider: Installation can be difficult and the device doesn’t include an onboard battery. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


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