Best Smart Thermostat in 2020: Top 7 models ranked Android Central 2020
Heating and cooling are the single biggest factors of your monthly energy bill, so it makes sense for most people to consider picking up a smart thermostat that better manages the temperature of your home. The Nest Learning Thermostat is the best overall option, offering a sleek and modern design that fits into any home and automated schedule creation based on your habits.
- Best Overall: Nest Learning Thermostat
- Best With a Room Sensor: Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
- Value Pick: Nest Thermostat E
- Even Cheaper: Ecobee3 Lite
- Best for Baseboard Heaters: Mysa Smart Thermostat
- Best for Multiple Rooms: Honeywell Home T9
- Best for HVAC Compatibility: Emerson Sensi Touch
Best Overall — Nest Learning Thermostat
Like most smart thermostats, Nest's offering can be controlled by your phone or through a voice assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa (though notably, the Learning Thermostat isn't compatible with Apple's HomeKit service). You can set the temperature remotely, or simply rotate the stainless steel dial around the frosted glass display. The Nest Learning Thermostat can also detect when you've left the house to automatically shut down heating and cooling, and resumes things when you return.
The Nest's defining feature, though, is its ability to learn your preferences by keeping track of when you change the temperature throughout the day, along with factors like the current temperature outside of your home, so it can automatically create its own schedule so that you never have to think about it.
It also optimizes energy with Eco Mode, where the Learning Thermostat turns on heating and cooling periodically to maintain optimal settings without wasting power. Nest even keeps track of your energy savings, and provides you with helpful analytics throughout the year.
- Sleek stainless steel design
- Controllable via phone or voice assistant
- Eligible for rebates through most energy companies
- Learns from your behavior
- Room sensors not included
- No HomeKit compatibility
The sleek thermostat that does most of the work for you.
With automatic schedule creation and Eco Mode, Nest's Learning Thermostat can shave a good amount off of your monthly energy bill.
Best With a Room Sensor — Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Ecobee is a hugely popular alternative to Nest that offers touch screens on its smart thermostats, with a flatter, more squared off design. You won't get Nest's automatic schedule creation with the Ecobee4, but most of the other features are here.
It can detect when you leave the house and turn off heating/cooling automatically, and the included room temperature sensor comes in handy for homes with multiple floors — an especially good add-on considering the Ecobee4 sits around the same price as the Nest Learning Thermostat. With Alexa built directly into the unit, you can even call out temperature change commands to it without needing a dedicated smart speaker.
- Room sensor included
- Amazon Alexa built directly in
- Touch screen display
- More affordable than Nest
- Less sleek design
- No automatic schedule creation
Best With a Room Sensor
A better value without the automated schedule creation.
The Ecobee4 is a popular alternative to Nest. For roughly the same price, it includes a room sensor and has Amazon Alexa built-in.
Value Pick — Nest Thermostat E
The Thermostat E is a great alternative to Nest's higher-end model for considerably cheaper. The display isn't as sharp and the Thermostat E doesn't work with quite as many HVAC systems, but from Auto Away to Eco Mode and automatic schedule creation, it's a nearly identical experience to the Learning Thermostat in a white plastic body.
Like its more expensive counterpart, the Thermostat E is eligible for rebates through most participating power companies, and the lower cost opens you up to buy Nest's Temperature Sensors for keeping track of the temperature throughout your house. It's simple to operate, using the same rotating bezel design, and the white hardware might blend in better with some homes.
- Still includes Auto Away and Eco Mode
- Cheaper than the Learning Thermostat
- Eligible for rebates from power companies
- Compatible with Nest Temperature Sensors
- Supports fewer HVAC systems
- Lower quality plastic design
- Lower resolution display
Automated temperature controls for tighter budgets.
If you aren't concerned with the Nest Thermostat's stainless steel design, the E variant offers almost the same features for less.
Even Cheaper — Ecobee3 Lite
Even the most affordable smart thermostat goes a long way over the ones included with your home. The Ecobee3 Lite doesn't have Alexa built in like the Ecobee4, nor does it include a room sensor, but you can still create schedules and control the thermostat from your phone or voice assistant. Unlike Nest's thermostats, the Ecobee3 Lite is compatible with Apple's HomeKit.
Visually, it's nearly indistinguishable from the more premium Ecobee4, with the same full-color touch screen interface. This is easily the best value smart thermostat around, making it easy to quickly make your money back on energy bill savings.
- Most affordable smart thermostat
- Allows for temperature scheduling
- Compatible with Apple HomeKit
- Detects when you leave the house
- No room sensor included
- No built-in Alexa assistant
Great thermostats don't have to cost an arm and a leg.
The Ecobee3 Lite is similar to the Ecobee4, though it doesn't have Alexa built-in, and you won't find a room sensor in the box.
Best for Baseboard Heaters — Mysa Smart Thermostat
Mysa isn't a name that you would think of when looking for a smart thermostat, but this company is leading the way home owners who have baseboard heaters. This thermostat is capable of tying into your existing system, while providing a sleek and minimal design that won't stick out on the wall.
Other than adjusting the temperature, the mobile app will provide the remaining of the controls including integrating with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and others. The mobile app itself will provide energy usage reports, along with making it possible to set up scheduled heating sessions, and setting up a vacation mode.
While having a sleek and minimal design is great, some will miss out on having more controls on thermostat directly. But with the Mysa, you will be "limited" to just using the mobile app on your Android device. Additionally, you won't be able to integrate the Mysa Thermostat with any boilers or furnaces that may be in the home.
- Sleek and minimal design
- No additional hardware required
- Integrates with Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homekit and more
- Sends regular energy usage reports
- All extra features available only in mobile app
- No touch screen interface
- Not compatible with furnaces or boilers
Best for Baseboard Heaters
This is perfect for those who want smart controls for baseboard heaters
The Mysa Smart Thermostat is a great pick for those who still have baseboard heaters but want more control and smarter features.
Best for Multiple Rooms — Honeywell Home T9
Unlike other smart thermostat options, Honeywell is a name that many have come to know and trust over the years. As expected, the company moved into the smart thermostat market with the Home T9 coming as the latest product.
This smart thermostat works best if you pick up a few of the Smart Room Sensors to give you better control over temperatures across the home. These sensors are quite impressive, with a range of up to 200 feet from the thermostat "hub". The thermostat itself is easy to install, so you don't need to hire anyone else to do it for you. Plus, there are additional features such as smart home integration, Auto Home and Away, and Monthly Energy Reports.
The biggest downside here is that you will have to purchase multiple sensors if you really want to control the entire home. Plus, these sensors can only be added directly through the T9, instead of through the mobile app.
- Smart Room Sensor provides range up to 200 feet
- Easy, DIY installation
- Intelligently learns heating and cooling patterns
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Sensors detect when people are in room
- Need multiple sensors for multiple rooms
- Must add sensors to system through thermostat
Best for Multiple Rooms
Great for whole home temperature control, provided that you get enough sensors
Honeywell's Home T9 smart thermostat offers complete control by itself, but even more if you pick up more Smart Room Sensors.
Best for HVAC Compatibility — Emerson Sensi Touch
Emerson's Sensi Touch has been on the market for a few years but still provides a solid and generally good experience. You won't find a lot of extra frills here, other than integration with smart home systems, automatic schedules, and even geofencing capabilities.
The biggest benefit of the Sensi Touch comes with the fact that it is compatible with most HVAC systems. This is thanks to the "c-wire" which is found in most systems that have already been installed. Just take down the old thermostat, match the wires to the Sensi Touch, and start saving on your energy costs.
Unlike other options on the market, the Emerson Sensi Touch does not have any add-ons. This means that you can't just buy a sensor to place in your various rooms to control specific room temperatures. And while the mobile app works, it's a bit simple and outdated when compared to the competition.
- Intelligently works to help save on energy costs
- Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and others
- Geofencing capabilities will automatically change mode based on your location
- Can create Automatic Schedules
- Compatible with most HVAC systems
- No additional sensors can be used to provide more per-room controls
- Mobile app is basic and a bit out-dated
Best for HVAC Compatibility
This is the pick of many HVAC professionals with its no nonsense approach.
With the Emerson Sensi Touch, you will get the bare necessities with a few extra goodies for a great overall experience.
Even without an included room sensor, the Nest Learning Thermostat is hard to beat with its sleek aluminum design, Google Assistant integration, and automatic schedule creation based on your usage habits. The screen turns on as you walk up to the thermostat, and you can easily adjust the temperature manually by rotating the dial around the display. With remote control via your phone, you'll never have to come home to an icebox in the winter — or a sauna in the summer — again.
As we previously mentioned, the highlight feature is still its learning abilities, which allows it to track your habits and create a schedule for you. This not only makes your life easier, but can save you money by helping you to conserve energy.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and writer for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.
Andrew Martonik is the Executive Editor, U.S., for Android Central. Keeping you up to date with mobile news and analysis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @andrewmartonik.
Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012, and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. He's on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.
Andrew Myrick is a writer for Android Central out of the mid-Atlantic area, based in the DMV. Writing is a passion but he'll be ready to get into a heated debate about how the Ravens are Super Bowl bound in the next few years. You can find him on Twitter at @andymyrick.
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