Top Smart Thermostats - Updated December 2017

Our experts reviewed hundreds of smart thermostats and have picked the best 5 available on the market.

Best of the Best

Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation


Venstar WIFI ColorTouch High Resolution Thermostat


Best Value

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat


ecobee Smart Si Thermostat 2 Heat-2 Cool


Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF


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Simply blows every other thermostat out of the water. It's packed to the gills with the most modern technology you can find in a thermostat. Performs its job in a surprisingly energy efficient manner. And what's even better: it's quite a looker too. It regulates the temperature effectively. The user interface, although simple, is intuitive and customizable. Although it doesn't have state of the art technology, it has all the features that you might actually need. This thermostat performs its job very well. It also packs in quite a few features geared towards making it user friendly. Last but not the least, it comes with the reliability of being a Honeywell product. Its design is spartan, yet facilitates intuitive control. It does its job of controlling the temperature pretty well. And being a product of ecobee, a company that specializes in energy management systems, it does it does so in an energy efficient manner. This thermostat is made by Emerson, and as expected, it does its job pretty well. It has very low tolerance for temperature fluctuations as well. The design will appeal to people who are fond of minimalism. The controls are easy and intuitive. It's no technological marvel, but it does perform its primary task of regulating the temperature very well.
Displays the target temperature in large numerals, which is awesome because you can read it from across the room. But the current temperature is displayed in small numerals, making it impossible to read unless you're standing right in front of it. You need to install a Wi-Fi card separately. Some users have complained about chronic rebooting issues, although we didn't face any such issue during the test. The user interface of the web portal is poorly designed and lacks innovative features. Same can be said of the mobile app as well. Looks too utilitarian to be a part of a modern smart home. There's no touchscreen, and the display is small. Looks rather underwhelming: like a digital clock at first glance. Even feature-wise, it doesn't pack much punch. And it's not compatible with home automation systems as well.
If you're the kind of person who has to have only the best, it's for you. Equipped with state of the art technology, it will complement your smart home like nothing else. It performs its job well and has most of the features you'd expect in thermostat. But the issue of reliability is there, as some users have reported. There are definitely more reliable options at this price. It strikes a good balance between quality, performance and price. It offers the best value for money proposition among the thermostats we've shortlisted. If you can live with its plain Jane looks and lack of features, it's a capable product. If you are okay with its minimalist design, and the glaring omission of features that are considered standard now-a-days, you may consider it. Despite its plain-Jane looks, it does its job well.

Contenders


Thermostats have become indispensable parts of modern households by helping us to fulfill our desire to live in a comfortable home. But choosing a thermostat can be quite tricky. Thermostats now a days come with umpteen bells and whistles. But there are only a few major qualities you need to look for in a thermostat.

First of all, the thermostat must be able to control the temperature of your home effectively. Then, as heating and cooling your home consume a lot of energy, the thermostat needs to be energy efficient. An energy efficient thermostat can save you thousands of dollars in energy bills in a year. You also need to consider how user-friendly the thermostat is. An otherwise good thermostat that's too complicated to operate is of no use. You must check whether the thermostat is compatible with your current HVAC system. The after sales help and support service needs to be taken into consideration as well. And of course, the thermostat needs to priced economically.

The 5 thermostats we've chosen strike a good balance between quality, performance and price. They are:

Considerations


Price and Warranty

It's possible to find thermostats which are very cheap. But they also compromise on quality and performance. We have not considered them for this comparison as they do not meet our standards. But no matter how good a thermostat is, it needs to be priced economically. We want to help you in choosing a thermostat that offers the best value for your hard-earned money. We've also taken the warranty coverage of the thermostats into consideration.

Features

In this age of automation, thermostats have evolved too. Controlling the temperature alone doesn't cut it anymore. Features like Wi-Fi connectivity and remote operation through mobiles and tablets have become standard. Things that you wouldn't have expected even in your dreams just a few years ago have become reality. Modern thermostats can notify you when you need to change the filters, warn you about extreme weather conditions, give you a detailed history of energy consumption, and even sense it when you are away. Such an abundance of features means that you have to be very careful about not getting carried away, and consider which features are more important to you.

Ease of Use

Even if your thermostat controls the temperature of your home brilliantly, and does so in an energy efficient manner, it would be of no use if the thermostat was not user friendly. As it's an indispensable equipment that needs to be used every day, the thermostat must have an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. If it has any built-in intelligent algorithms that learn your preferences, and save you the trouble of programming, that's a plus too. The effectiveness and usability of remote operations through mobile or tablet must be taken into account as well. We've carefully considered these factors to help you in choosing a thermostat you'd love to use.

Compatibility and Installation

Before buying a thermostat, its compatibility with the existing HVAC system must be checked. You also need to check the set-up and installation process. Is the process easy enough for you to do it yourself? If you decide to get the manufacturer's help in installing the thermostat, you must account for the installation cost as well.

Price and Warranty


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Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation

At $249, it's the most expensive of the lot. But considering the technology it packs in, and its performance, we believe it's worth the price. It comes with 2 year limited manufacturer's warranty. The warranty covers only the spare parts. Labor costs are not covered.

Venstar WIFI ColorTouch High Resolution Thermostat

It's priced at $139. But the low price also reflects the lack of features. Even aesthetically, it doesn't come close to the Nest or Honeywell thermostat. It even gives a built in Wi-Fi card a miss. Cost has been cut at the cost of functionality, and that's not good. This thermostat comes with 1 year limited warranty.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

At $229, it's reasonably priced, considering the quality, performance and the assurance of being a Honeywell product it offers. Although the price may seem high when compared to other thermostats, you get very good value for money. This thermostat comes with 1 year limited warranty.

ecobee Smart Si Thermostat 2 Heat-2 Cool

It's priced very economically, at $145. But the economical pricing comes at a cost. It lacks the smart features that the thermostats by Nest and Honeywell have. Even looks-wise it's rather bland. This thermostat comes with 3 year limited warranty.

Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF

At $109, it's the cheapest of the lot. But Emerson has managed to price it so low by cutting a lot of corners. Not only does it lack smart features, it also looks like a product from the 90's. Are you really willing to live with a thermostat that looks like a digital clock just because it's priced low? Neither are we. It comes with 3 year limited warranty.

Features


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Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation

This thermostat comes equipped with all the features you'd ever want in a thermostat. It's smart, in the literal sense of the word. It comes with a feature called "Auto Schedule", which learns your preferences, and thereby eliminates the need for programming. There's another feature called "Auto-Away", which saves energy by sensing when you leave home, and adjusts the temperature accordingly. This feature alone can save you all the money you've been spending heating and cooling your empty home. With the custom-built Nest app, you can remotely regulate the temperature, check energy history and get an alert if your home is too hot or cold, right from your mobile, tablet or laptop. The "Energy History" feature allows you to make informed decisions by giving you detailed accounts of expended energy as well as how the energy is being spent. Another nifty feature called "Nest Leaf" is geared towards guiding you to save energy by letting you know the ideal temperature that saves energy by displaying a leaf. The feature called "Farsight" senses when you approach the thermostat, and lights up the gorgeous 24 bit color LCD display to show you the temperature. It's so good that it works even when you're across the room. And it works in the dark too.

Venstar WIFI ColorTouch High Resolution Thermostat

The first thing that caught our eyes about this thermostat was the screen. It looks gorgeous. Apart from the pre-installed backgrounds, which are pretty good, you can also use your own photos as backgrounds if you want to. The user interface is beautiful and responsive. It's possible to control the thermostat remotely through an app as well a dedicated web portal. It also gives you detailed accounts of your energy expenditure. But the usage history is limited to two months only.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Honeywell has equipped this thermostat with several smart features to make it more user friendly. What sets it apart from other thermostats is its unique voice control feature. You can control the thermostat with pre-programmed voice commands. So you can just talk to your thermostat! It's equipped with a bright, easy-to-read color touchscreen that's customizable. It also comes with flexible scheduling options to suit the unique needs of both homes and businesses. For business use, it even pre-loads common U.S. holidays. To improve air circulation and effectively regulate the temperature throughout your home, it comes with advanced fan control feature. The touchscreen comes with advanced locking features and password options to improve security. It also learns your habits to deliver the regulate the temperature accordingly. Moreover, the thermostat notifies you about extreme temperatures and filter change alerts via network devices, apart from displaying the notifications on the display itself.

ecobee Smart Si Thermostat 2 Heat-2 Cool

This thermostat is designed to accomplish what it requires to, and that's about it. The design is utilitarian, but effective. It comes with a small full color display. The controls are push button unlike most of its counterparts. But it must be mentioned that the user interface, despite being simple, is intuitive. That makes it very easy to operate. The thermostat supports personalized programs too. It's also possible to control the thermostat remotely through mobile, tablet and computer. It offers a live weather feed that weather forecast for up to four-days into the future. Another feature called "Home IQ" makes it easy to track your monthly energy expenditure.

Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF

Although its looks are rather underwhelming, Emerson has tried to make this thermostat user-friendly. The controls are button operated, and the user interface is simple and intuitive. It's possible to remotely control the thermostat via the mobile app or the web portal. The provision for custom 7 day scheduling helps to reduce energy costs. It also provides you with local weather information. And if you really want to do so, you can add a company logo to the mobile app. But we fear that this feature, however innovative and rare, is of no consequence to most users. And don't be fooled by its looks; it works with Alexa for voice control. It works with Wink app as well.

Ease of Use


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Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation

This is the most user friendly thermostat we've ever come across. The user interface is a magnificent amalgamation of beauty, simplicity and usability. One look at its features makes it clear that the design team at Nest has put in a lot of thought while designing the thermostat. Unlike some gadgets that have features which are mere gimmicks, the features in this thermostat actually make your life easy. Features like learning your habits to eliminate the need for manual programming, automatically going into energy saving mode when you leave home, and lighting up the display when you approach the thermostat, make it apparent that Nest has focused on making it as user friendly as possible.

Venstar WIFI ColorTouch High Resolution Thermostat

Although the thermostat does its well, it's not that user friendly. The user interface is beautiful and intuitive, but a tad slow compared to thermostats by Nest or Honeywell. Moreover, although it's sold as a Wi-Fi capable unit, you have to add a Wi-Fi card yourself. It skims on some smart features as well.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

This thermostat doesn't have as many features geared toward making it user-friendly as the Nest thermostat. But it packs in enough features to ensure hassle-free operation. It learns your preferences, doing away with the need for manual programming. It even notifies you about required filter changes via network devices. It won't dazzle you, but rest assured, operating this thermostat is a breeze.

ecobee Smart Si Thermostat 2 Heat-2 Cool

This thermostat is designed in a rather utilitarian way. It performs its job well. The user interface is simple and intuitive too. But it gives a miss to smart features like learning your habits, sensing when you leave home to save energy etc. Operating it is quite easy, but it isn't a smart thermostat to be honest. You still need to manually control almost everything.

Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF

This thermostat is too spartan for its own good. The user interface is simple and effective. The provision for custom 7 day scheduling is the only smart feature it has that will actually make a difference in your life. It does work with Alexa for voice control, as well as with Wink. But we'd rather have a thermostat that learns what we want, and delivers it effectively.

Compatibility and Installation


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Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation

It is compatible with most HVAC systems, including gas, electric, forced air, heat pump, radiant, oil, hot water, solar and geothermal systems. The company claims a 95% compatibility rate. The installation process is a breeze. It should not take more than 30 minutes.

Venstar WIFI ColorTouch High Resolution Thermostat

The thermostat is compatible with most HVAC systems. The installation process is pretty simple too.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

It's compatible with most HVAC systems. The installation process is straight-forward, and can be completed quickly.

ecobee Smart Si Thermostat 2 Heat-2 Cool

Compatibility shouldn't be an issue as it's compatible with most HVAC systems. Its installation process is easy and shouldn't take too long.

Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat 1F86U-42WF

Compatibility shouldn't be an issue with this thermostat as it's compatible with most HVAC systems. The company claims to have the highest compatibility rate, but we can't confirm that. The installation process is easy, and shouldn't pose any problem.

Best of the Best


All of the thermostats we shortlisted perform their job really well. Let us be clear about it. But still, choosing the best thermostat among them wasn't hard at all. After we thoroughly went over all the important parameters, the choice was clear: Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation. It stands head and shoulders above the rest.

First of all, it regulates the temperature effectively and saves energy. Performance is top-notch. But what separates it from its competition is the way it goes about performing its job. The unit, with its unique round shape and the gorgeous display with vibrant colors is an absolute pleasure to behold. Then comes the attention to detail the guys at Nest have put in while designing the product. Keeping the display on at all times will consume energy, and hence it's turned off while not in use. But with "Farsight", the thermostat can sense your presence even when you are several feet away, and light up the display. That's smart! And did we tell you that this feature works in the dark too? Then there's "Auto Schedule", which uses advanced algorithms to learn your preferences, saving you the trouble of programming manually. And you don't have to fuss about adjusting the temperature when you are leaving home, the "Auto-Away" feature will do it for you, automatically. It performs spectacularly, makes your life easy, and even looks awesome.

It outperforms, outsmarts and outclasses its competition without breaking a sweat. If you're the kind of person who won't settle for anything but only the best, this is the thermostat for you. Period.

Best Value


What if you're immune to the charms of technological voodoo, and treat the bewitching bells and whistles with stoic indifference? If you want a thermostat that's a package of performance, technology and quality, with a price that sits pretty in the Goldilocks zone, the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat is the answer to your prayers.

First of all, the performance is excellent. And although it won't knock your socks off with technological witchcraft, it's no fossil either. This thermostat possesses all the smart features that are necessary to make your life easy. It comes with voice control feature that enables you to control it with pre-programmed voice commands. The thermostat learns your preferences and regulates the temperature accordingly. It offers flexible scheduling options to fulfill the unique needs of homes as well as businesses. The touchscreen comes with advanced locking features for enhanced security. So no more worrying about little Tommy messing with the settings any more! And you don't have to worry about forgetting to change those filters any more. It will notify you about required filters changes as well as extreme weather conditions via the network devices. So despite not being a technological marvel, it will make your life more comfortable, and easier as well.

Among the shortlisted thermostats, this one offers the best value-for-money proposition. If you want the most bang for your buck, look no further. There's no other thermostat that can match its price to performance ratio.