Best smart thermostat: the best digital controls to keep your home at the perfect temperature

The best smart thermostats for year-round seamless control over your heating, cooling and more

best smart thermostat Google Nest Learning Wi-Fi Thermostat mounted to wall beside blue vase
(Image credit: Google)

Smart devices are transforming life at home, making everyday things easier and more convenient. The best smart thermostats go a step further by actually helping households to save money on their energy bills, with the fortunate side effect of being potentially better for the environment.

Giving you the ability to control your home's heating and cooling with simple controls or an app on your phone, these thermostats ensure that you're only using what you need, and never heating or cooling an empty home. Reducing waste is something that's on all of our minds, and technology gives us a way to do it.

Many smart thermostats can be controlled via voice assistants like Alexa or Google Home, too, and for more on how you can get started building a fully functioning smart home, you can take a look at our guide to the best smart speakers.

For now, read on to see which smart thermostats we chose as our favorites, as well as some advice on choosing the ideal product for your home.

The best smart thermostats in 2022

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

(Image credit: Google)

1. Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Best smart thermostat overall

Specifications

Compatibility: 24V heating and cooling systems, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, fans, heat pumps
Power: Wired, rechargeable battery
Touch screen?: No
Works with: Nest, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, Hue, Wink
Dimensions: 1.2 x 3.3 x 3.3in
Weight: 0.54lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Works with the largest range of appliances and devices
+
Away mode and multi-zone control
+
Energy Star certified
+
Rechargeable battery
+
Sleek and lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
No touch screen
-
Expensive

The Nest Learning thermostat is probably the most recognizable device on this list, and it still holds up to the competition years after its release. The key to Nest's success in the smart heating arena is the 'learning' part of the title, with users able to set their desired temperature and go, knowing that the device will learn their habits and preferences over time.

It does this in a few ways, but most of all through the responsive app. There's also the Away Mode that switches settings to the most energy-efficient when no one is home and the Nest Leaf mode that ensures you're not wasting any unnecessary heat throughout the day.

The big drawback of the Nest Learning Thermostat when compared to others is the inability to customize settings for different rooms in the same home (at least without buying multiple expensive thermostats), which isn't hugely conducive to saving energy. Still, Nest is a fantastic option for those diving into the smart heating world looking for more efficiency without complications.

ecobee Smart Thermostat

(Image credit: ecobee)

2. ecobee Smart Thermostat

Best thermostat for Alexa

Specifications

Compatibility: Heating and cooling systems
Power: Wired, battery
Touch screen?: Yes
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Arlo, Cortana, Google Assistant, Hue, SmartThings
Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 1.2in
Weight: 0.5lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Energy Star certified
+
Away mode and auto-pause
+
Sleek and lightweight
+
Alexa built-in

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No multi-zone controls

Our second place smart thermostat, but one that was very much in contention for the top spot, the ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control doubles as an Alexa smart speaker in its own right, and uses additional sensors in some very clever ways. There's compatibility with Google Assistant and Siri, also.

The smart thermostat promises to save you up to 26% on your heating and cooling bills, and we can see how this would be possible. You can set schedules and desired temperature, as well as monitor humidity levels, and the device will know to switch off when a door or window is left open.

The aforementioned sensors have the ability to exert even further control over the temperature of different rooms across your home. For example, if your bedroom tends to get a bit chilly but you only use it in the evening, you can place a sensor there are tell ecobee to warm it up only when someone is in there.

HIVE Active Heating Thermostat

(Image credit: Hive)

3. HIVE Active Heating Thermostat

Best smart home thermostat (runner up)

Specifications

Compatibility: Gas or LPG heating systems
Touch screen?: No
Works with: Google Assistant, Alexa, HomeKit
Dimensions: 10.2 x 3.2 x 5.5in
Weight: 3.2lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Dimmer control
+
Away mode and multi-zone control
+
Energy Star certified
+
Monitor your energy use

Reasons to avoid

-
No touch screen
-
Quite chunky compared to the competition
-
Subscription required for some features

If you're looking for a smart thermostat that supports functionality across the whole home, then the Hive Active Heating Thermostat could be a great choice. The set-up works with both Alexa and Google Home, and it also supports multi-zone heating and cooling in any room with a thermostat installed.

The dimmer control on the thermostat gives you more control over your preferred settings, and you can set routines and schedules within the app. Paired with window and door sensors, you can choose for the system to power down when these entry points are opened. There are also additional add-ons like smart radiator valves, bulbs, and plugs.

Quick Cool and Quick Heat is the cherry on top if you just can't wait for your home to reach the desired temperature.

Mysa Smart Thermostat

(Image credit: Mysa)

4. Mysa Smart Thermostat

Best smart thermostat for baseboard heaters

Specifications

Compatibility: Electric baseboard heaters
Power: Wired, battery
Touch screen?: Yes
Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant
Dimensions: 1.1 x 3.8 x 5.7in
Weight: 1lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Good price
+
Monitor energy use with reports
+
Geolocation mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Designed to work only with electric baseboard heaters

Something a little different, the Mysa Smart Thermostat works with high-voltage electric baseboards and electric fan-forced heaters and promises to save you up to 26% (which seems to be the standard claim) on your energy bill. It does this in much the same way as the other entries on the list - intelligent scheduling via the app, zoned thermostats for different rooms of the house, and geolocation.

You can also download energy reports to see how much you're saving, or just to become more aware of what you're using. The thermostat also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit for voice control, and Mysa promises it can be set up in a mere 15 minutes.

Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

(Image credit: Honeywell)

5. Honeywell Home T9 Smart Thermostat

Best smart thermostat on a budget

Specifications

Compatibility: 24V heating and cooling systems
Power: Wired, battery
Touch screen?: Yes
Works with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Cortana, Google Assistant, SmartThings
Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.7 x 0.94in

Reasons to buy

+
Energy Star certified
+
Multi-zone control and geolocation
+
One-year battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't work with electric baseboard heaters, dual fuel, or millivolt systems

A more affordable option for those who don't want to miss out on smart heating but aren't confident enough to invest in a more expensive system, this kit from Honeywell Home features most of the best features from this list but at a slightly cut down price.

You can control the thermostat with your smartphone or the touchscreen on the device itself, with scheduling available over seven days. The system will also learn your preferences over time, making it easier and easier to get the temperature just right. You can also use voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant.

The setup is Energy Star certified, so you know you're likely to save on energy bills, and you'll get a push notification when the internal filter needs changing. Honeywell Home even promises a full year of battery life.

Do smart thermostats save money?

Smart thermostats have the potential to save households money on their energy bills, but how much this applies will depend on individual usage as well as practical elements such as house size. For example, a smart thermostat that has geolocation capabilities will be able to switch to a more eco-friendly setting (or switch off entirely) when no one is home, and multi-zone features allow you to heat certain rooms of the house but not others.

All of this, as well as the manual settings you choose, have the potential to be much more efficient - and thus cheaper - to run than an ordinary thermostat.

Of course, the catch here is the upfront cost of a smart thermostat but, looking at the potential savings over several years, it could prove to be a fantastic investment.

Do smart thermostats work without Wi-Fi?

Whether your smart thermostat will work without a Wi-Fi connection will depend on which brand you choose, but most smart home devices are designed to be useable (just without access to many advanced features) even when there is an interruption in your internet connection. This is to stop users from being locked out for long periods if there's suddenly an outage.

If this is a common occurrence for your household, then you should make sure that the smart thermostat that you choose has controls on the device, rather than just within the mobile app. That said, many apps will allow you to connect to your set-up via a 4G connection if it's just your Wi-Fi that is having trouble.

It is also likely that you will receive a push notification when your thermostat becomes disconnected, so you're not caught off guard.

Caroline is the smart homes ecommerce editor for Livingetc, covering everything tech for the home, from smart speakers to air purifiers and everything in between. She is passionate about the role that technology and smart devices can play in daily life, enhancing the home without sacrificing personal style and carefully chosen interiors. In her spare time, she can be found tinkering with bulbs, soundbars, and video doorbells in an effort to automate every part of her small home. Previously, she lent her expertise to the likes of Expert Reviews, IT Pro, Coach, The Week, and more.