4 Best Smart Thermostats (2024 Guide)

By Sabrina Lopez | July 11, 2023

Smart thermostat with smart home and a modern living room in the background.

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With the rising cost of energy, many people are seeking ways to save money on their utility bills. Smart thermostats learn your habits and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly, which can help lower your energy bill by a nontrivial amount.

In this review, our team evaluates today’s best smart thermostats, provides tips on what to look for when buying one, discusses the benefits of using a smart device, and answers some common questions about these products.

 


 

Top 4 Smart Thermostats

 


 

Best Smart Thermostat Overall

ecobee Premium Smart Programmable Touch-Screen Thermostat- The Best Smart Thermostats. Ecobee smart thermostat with touch screen control panel isolated on white background.
Courtesy Best Buy

ecobee Premium Smart Thermostat

$249.99 Prices taken at the time of publishing

The ecobee Smart Thermostat is a premium programmable touch-screen thermostat that integrates with virtual assistants, including Siri, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. With advanced features such as room sensors, it enables precise temperature control and energy savings for optimal comfort and efficiency in residential settings.

$249.99 on Best Buy

Fast Facts

What we like: The ecobee thermostat’s compatibility with virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant allows for convenient voice control and integration into smart-home ecosystems. Additionally, its advanced room sensors enable precise temperature monitoring and adjustment, promoting personalized comfort and energy savings throughout your home. The winning features for us are the Wi-Fi thermostat’s touch-screen interface and sleek design, which masterfully combines functionality and aesthetics.

What Customers Are Saying

The consumer-focused portion of our research indicates that buyers are pleased with the ecobee’s multizone climate control, smart-app and smart-home integration, intuitive controls, and easy installation. However, we learned that a few less-than-satisfied buyers find the instruction manual and scheduling system difficult to navigate.

This ecobee thermostat was the best investment I have ever made so far. My power and gas dropped already for the first month. It was easy to install, and the on-screen display is user friendly. I recommend it to anyone looking to purchase a new thermostat. You won’t be disappointed.—GeorgeK via Best Buy in 2024

The ecobee line of thermostats is fantastic. This is my third thermostat in the ecobee product line, and it is definitely the most polished aesthetically and the most responsive. And their service continues to be extremely reliable. My favorite feature continues to be the smart room sensors. —Chsoriano via Best Buy in 2022

The ecobee smart app is a bit buggy, and it lacks functions. For instance, I accidentally changed my time zone during setup. I went into the app to try to change the time, and the app told me this was not possible and to log on online. I logged into my account online, and I was able to change this setting. Also, there were strange schedule settings that I was not able to change well on the thermostat or on the app—meaning, I was not able to delete schedules from the thermostat itself without, again, going online via a web browser.—Veganrichy via Best Buy in 2022

 


 

Most Energy-Efficient Smart Thermostat

Google Nest Learning Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat (3rd Gen)- The Best Smart Thermostats. Google Nest smart thermostat displaying 70 degrees isolated on white background.
Courtesy Best Buy

Google Nest Learning Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat (3rd Gen)

$249.99 Prices taken at the time of publishing

The third-generation Google Nest Learning Thermostat allows users to choose between hardwired or battery-powered installation. Control it from anywhere via the Nest mobile app, and sync it with smart-home platforms—such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa—to take advantage of its voice-control function.

$249.99 on Best Buy

Fast Facts

What we like: We like that this device’s installation is uniquely flexible: You can opt for a low-commitment rechargeable battery setup or tie the device into your home’s electrical wiring. Another advantage the Nest has over other smart thermostats is its aesthetic. Choose from black, copper, polished steel, stainless steel, or white finishes to complement your space.

What Customers Are Saying

Our team found that most reviews of this device are remarkably positive, with happy customers praising its ease of use, remote-control function, and assistance in substantially reducing energy costs. Critical reviews we came across warn buyers against relying on the Nest’s rechargeable battery and recommend hardwire installation instead.

This thermostat is the best. I saved money the first month of using it. I like that I can add additional thermostats in different rooms … to make sure a certain room is cooled.—NewPhoneuser via Best Buy in 2024

Incredible technology! It links easily to Google Home and echo devices. Leaving the house with the heater on is not a problem anymore. You can easily turn it off remotely from almost anywhere. That was my main reason for buying it. Also, soooo much easier to use than the entry level model. I really tried to love that one, but just didn’t at all. Besides, this one looks sharp as well.—Johnish3 via Best Buy in 2024

Despite claiming to operate without a common wire, I found in the winter if the furnace hadn’t run for a prolonged period, the unit ran solely off battery, which eventually led to the battery dying. Luckily, I had a common wire already in the wall (never connected since previous thermostat was battery operated), and connecting that to the Nest and the furnace solved the problem. I would caution those who do not have a common wire to be diligent in testing that their system will support the Nest’s power needs should they purchase this device. —Scott via Best Buy in 2022

 


 

Most Affordable Smart Thermostat

Amazon Smart Thermostat with Alexa- The Best Smart Thermostats. White Amazon thermostat with Alexa isolated on white background.
Courtesy Amazon

Amazon Smart Thermostat with Alexa

$79.99 Prices taken at the time of publishing

The Amazon Smart Thermostat features built-in Alexa voice control, allowing for easy temperature adjustments and smart-home integration. With features such as energy-saving modes and scheduling capabilities, it offers efficient temperature management while providing an understated form factor that should complement just about any decor.

$79.99 on Amazon

Fast Facts

What we like: Our team was hard-pressed to find a more affordable, up-to-date smart thermostat than this model from Amazon. Apart from its affordability, the unit’s seamless native Alexa voice control, Honeywell engineering, proven energy cost savings, and attractive, barely-there appearance make it worth featuring in this roundup. We also learned from buyers that the interface is intuitive and that installation is straightforward.

What Customers Are Saying

According to our research, most owners of the Amazon smart thermostat are pleased with its low price, design, rebate opportunity, and easy installation. On the other hand, we encountered a few critical buyers that found the device’s C-wire-only installation option inconvenient.

Lots of features for a low price, in a clean package. This thing is super easy to install and looks great on the wall. It almost disappears when the screen is off. The on-board controls are a little unintuitive, but you can use the Alexa app or voice controls (with an Alexa device) to more easily control it.—JamesD via Best Buy in 2022

It was a fairly easy install; I did it myself. Setup with the app was easy as well. It’s nice to be able to just set my preferred temp range and forget it. It pretty much just runs on its own now. It’s been over a month and no problems. —ChrisN via Best Buy in 2024

I couldn’t use it for my unit since it needs a common wire, and my system didn’t have it.—Vic82 via Best Buy in 2024

 


 

Best Smart Thermostat Features

Honeywell Home Smart Color Thermostat with Wi-Fi. White Honeywell smart thermostat with blue display isolated on white background.
Courtesy Best Buy

Honeywell Home Smart Color Thermostat with Wi-Fi

$179.99 Prices taken at the time of publishing

The Honeywell Home is a smart thermostat that offers Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control and access via the Honeywell Home app. Its vibrant color display provides easy-to-read temperature information and allows for customizable backgrounds, while its compatibility with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant enables convenient hands-free control of temperature settings.

$179.99 on Best Buy

Fast Facts

What we like: The Honeywell Smart Color Thermostat is packed with popular features that make it one of our top choices. The unit’s standout feature is its vibrant color display, which not only offers clear temperature information but also allows for personalized, customizable backgrounds. We also like its multizone control function and smart features that link it with Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free control.

What Customers Are Saying

Our verified buyer research revealed that most buyers are fond of the Honeywell thermostat’s comprehensive color display, remote smart-app controllability, and scheduling features. Conversely, we learned that a few buyers find the installation instructions hard to follow at times, and one buyer in particular states that the touchscreen is less sensitive than expected.

I installed this wanting to simplify my smart home system. It’s just the right size, and all information is clearly visible. I have used several brands on standalone units at my workplace. You just can’t beat the cost and control with so many features packed into this unit that in a commercial application would cost thousands. I can recommend this if you want to create or incorporate this into your smart home network. —LPGR via Best Buy in 2024

Easy to install, very simplistic, easy to schedule. The only issue was trying to figure out how to get the device to follow the schedule. I read the instructions multiple times, watched videos multiple times, then finally found where you take off the permanent hold for the device to follow the schedule. Since then, everything works great. Love that I can use my phone to control.—Tpk2011 via Best Buy in 2022

It was fairly easy to install; however, the video and instructions explaining the on-screen setup didn’t match what was on our screen 100%. There was an extra question regarding the efficiency of our fan unit. Our fan unit is over 20 yrs old, and there was no efficiency rating on the unit that I could find. I also couldn’t find the manual online. So I had to guess that it was under 90% efficient. Additionally, the touch screen is not very responsive. Sometimes it takes three to five pokes of the screen to get a touch to register. —RobR via Best Buy in 2021

 


 

What to Look For in a Smart Thermostat

When looking for a smart thermostat, there are several key features to consider, according to our research:

 


 

Smart Thermostat Benefits

Smart thermostats offer several benefits over manual thermostats, including energy savings, convenience, and more precise temperature control. Some models even qualify for ENERGY STAR rebates.

Here are some of the key benefits of using a smart thermostat:

  1. Compatibility: Smart thermostats are compatible with a wide range of HVAC systems, making them a versatile choice for homeowners.
  2. Convenience: Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely using a smartphone app or voice commands, making it easy to adjust the temperature from anywhere. They also offer features such as geofencing, which can automatically adjust the temperature when you leave or return home.
  3. Energy savings: Smart thermostats can help you save energy and reduce your energy bills. Like regular programmable thermostats, they allow precise temperature control but also learn about your temperature preferences over time. This means they can automatically adjust your home’s temperature when you’re away from home or asleep.
  4. Energy usage data: Smart thermostats provide more useful data than manual thermostats. They can track your energy usage and provide detailed reports on your energy consumption, helping you identify ways to save money on your energy bills.
  5. Long-term savings: While smart thermostats may be more expensive than manual thermostats, they can help you save money in the long run by reducing your energy bills and extending the life of your HVAC system.
  6. Precision temperature control: Smart thermostats use proximity sensors and feedback data to learn optimal heating and cooling routines. This allows for more precise control and can help you maintain a more consistent temperature throughout your home.

 


 

Our Recommendation

After putting in hours of product research and parsing through thousands of customer reviews, we’ve decided that the ecobee Smart Thermostat is our top pick for the best smart thermostat. Although it received similar reviews as the 3rd Gen Google Nest, we found that the ecobee is more user-friendly than competing models due to its sensitive and highly regarded touchscreen and intuitive controls.

 


 

Smart Thermostat FAQ

What are the differences between smart thermostats and programmable thermostats?

Although you can program both smart and programmable thermostats to adjust the temperature in your home on a schedule or set a specific ambient temperature, smart thermostats are more advanced and can learn your temperature preferences over time. You can also control smart devices remotely using a smartphone app, web browser, or voice command, and many models integrate with popular smart-home ecosystems.

Can a smart thermostat work without a Wi-Fi connection?

While some smart thermostats can function without a Wi-Fi connection, most require a Wi-Fi connection or Bluetooth connectivity to access their full range of features, such as remote control and energy tracking.

What is multizone control?

Multizone control in a smart thermostat refers to the ability to control the temperature of different areas or zones of a home independently. This feature uses remote sensors and is particularly useful for larger homes with multiple heating and cooling systems or for homes with rooms that have different temperature needs. With multizone control, you can create smart zones for different scenarios, such as an entertaining zone or a sleeping zone.

What is geofencing, and how does it work in a smart thermostat?

Geofencing is a feature offered by most smart thermostat models, including Nest, ecobee, and other popular thermostats. The technology tracks your location via your smartphone’s GPS and adjusts the thermostat settings based on your location. The main benefit of using geofencing with a smart thermostat is that it controls your home’s climate on a more dynamic basis and mostly eliminates the need to set up a schedule for your device.

 


 

How We Chose the Top Smart Thermostats

Over the years, our team has vetted thousands of products to help you select the top-rated smart thermostat for your home. We update our data points and review content regularly to account for shifts in customer consensus, product availability, new releases, and overall quality.

To steer the product selection process, our reviewers conduct detailed research that focuses on several key factors: