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The 4 best smart thermostats in 2024

A lot of folks may feel that a smart thermostat device is just a gimmick for the lazy that lets you control it remotely, but there are actually quite a lot of good things when it comes to smart thermostats. Depending on which model you buy and how much money you spend, there can be some significant savings, especially if you spring for the kind that learns your patterns and adjusts the temperature to eat up less electricity. Some thermostats even know what time of day electricity is expensive and adjust to use less of it to help bring your costs down.

As such, if you rely heavily on your HVAC, then having a smart thermostat can save you money and add a ton of convenience, even if you don’t go for one of the smarter ones. Just knowing your energy usage over time can help you adjust and spend less money while also being a bit more eco-friendly. While there are a ton of options, we’ve collected four of our favorites below across various budgets and features, so be sure to check things out thoroughly and be sure a smart thermostat supports your HVAC system before taking the plunge.

The Best Smart Thermostats in 2024

  • Buy the if you want the best overall smart thermostat.
  • Buy the if you want the best premium smart thermostat.
  • Buy the if you want the best budget smart thermostat.
  • Buy the if you want the best budget smart thermostat for Google users.

Nest Learning Thermostat

Best overall smart thermostat

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat in stainless steel.
Nest
Pros Cons
Can learn and adjust to your schedule Is very pricey
Easy to set up You have to buy extra sensors for better coverage
Great app experience

If you want something high-end, then it’s hard to beat the Google Nest Learning Thermostat because it is actually pretty smart beyond your typical thermostat. While your average thermostat won’t really make a huge difference in your electricity bill without some changes on your end, the Nest Learning Thermostat has some automation that does. You see, over time, it begins to learn your schedules and your pattern and begins to adjust the temperature on the thermostat based on that. As such, if you’re leaving home or prefer to turn it down at certain times, then the Nest Learning Thermostat can automatically sense that and change according to what saves you more money.

It also does a great job of pretty much any space you want it in, whether it’s a small and cozy living room or a spacious three-bedroom apartment, although a lot of that will rely on you grabbing the extra Nest Temperature Sensor for more exact measurements. Even more importantly, it can monitor your HVAC for various irregularities, and can help give you a heads-up if something needs to be checked or maintained, which will save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s also rather easy to set up and can work with a ton of different HVAC systems, so yours is probably covered if you plan to grab it.

As for the app experience, it’s pretty great; beyond just being able to control the thermostat remotely, you can also look at your usage history or set up a schedule manually if you prefer. Of course, it is important to note that this comes at a steep price, and even when it’s on sale, you’re still looking at $200 or so. That said, it might save you more than that in automated features when it comes to electricity usage, so it’s well worth it, especially if you’re the type of person who prefers something that is set and forget.

Specifications
Compatibility
42 Lux at 1M
Power Battery
Connectivity
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Dimensions
3.3 x 1.21 x 3.3 inches

Ecobee New Smart Thermostat Premium

Best premium smart thermostat

ecobee New Smart Thermostat Premium
Ecobee
Pros Cons
Excellent smart controls and features Very expensive
Can use with many smart home ecosystems Requires a subscription service and extra sensors for some features
Integrates well with other Ecobee products

While the older Ecobee SmartThermostat was great, the new and improved Premium model blows it out of the water, especially with all the added features. In fact, you might be surprised to find out that the new Ecobee Smart Thermostat is more akin to a tablet or smart home hub than just a thermostat. You can do a lot of functions that you’d expect on a more complex device; for example, if you have an Ecobee doorbell, you can absolutely use your smart thermostat to not only see video but also to respond and have a conversation with whoever is at the door, which is nifty.

In fact, the smart features don’t stop there since you can use the Ecobee Smart Thermostat with both Alexa and Siri, and you can control things around your house with voice controls and even listen to your favorite music off Spotify from the thermostat itself. The high-end screen also lets you get more information from the provided sensor so you can get a better idea of how things are inside the house, and you also get a much more refined control of your thermostat that you can control with the touchscreen.

What takes this to the next level, though, is Eco+, which is a new system that includes five relatively related features that you might be familiar with. For example, you get Schedule Assistant, which learns when you come and go and adjusts the thermostat accordingly, just like the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Smart Home & Away also does something similar. What’s more interesting, though, is that it can adjust itself when electricity is cheaper, both on the grid and in your local community, to preheat or precool your house, so you aren’t trying to do either when electricity is at its peak cost.

Specifications
Compatibility
Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT
Power Wire
Connectivity
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Dimensions
 1.02 x 4.09 x 4.09 inches

Amazon Smart Thermostat

Best budget smart thermostat

The Amazon Smart Thermostat hanging on wall.
Amazon
Pros Cons
Excellent price No Zonal control
Some smart features Required other smart devices for additional smart features

Not every smart thermostat has to be incredibly expensive, and if you’re looking for a solid one that’s budget-friendly, then Amazon’s smart thermostat is the way to go. The most important function of being able to control the thermostat remotely is there, plus you do get to see some history and things of that nature. Also, since it’s Amazon, there’s some integration with other Amazon devices, and you can control your Amazon directly through something like an Amazon Echo. Unfortunately, there’s no microphone in the smart thermostat itself, so you would need some kind of peripheral to control it by voice.

It does have a couple of solid, smart options as well; for example, it can adjust the temperature settings to use less electricity when it’s more expensive and cleaner, meaning it has a lower CO2 impact. That’s great if you want to have a more carbon-friendly lifestyle with a lower impact on the environment. Also, it has some levels of smarts, so if you’re leaving the house and have your Amazon set up to know when you do, then the smart thermostat will automatically switch off and do the opposite when you come back, which is a nifty feature.

Of course, having such a budget-friendly price does mean that you give up some things, such as zonal control, which is a bit of a pain. Also, the overall look and feel aren’t that great since it’s made of plastic, and while the build is solid, it doesn’t really feel premium or like a smart device. That said, none of these issues are really deal-breakers, especially because it is a very cheap smart thermostat, so it’s worth giving up some aesthetics and zonal control for a much cheaper price tag.

Specifications
Compatibility
Amazon Alexa
Power Wire
Connectivity
2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Dimensions
3.56 x 3.56 x 0.84 inches

Google Nest Smart Thermostat

Best budget smart thermostat for Google users

Woman using Nest Thermostat.
Google
Pros Cons
Affordable cost Capacitive controls are only on one side
Smart functions mean minimal interaction
Simple DIY installation

If you’re in the Google ecosystem and the Nest Learning Thermostat is a bit too expensive for you, then the normal Nest Thermostat is an excellent option, especially since it does come relatively close to the smarter one. Unlike Amazon’s budget smart thermostat, the one from Google looks a lot smarter and sleeker, having a polished mirror finish that looks great and doesn’t actually get in the way of seeing the screen. There are no physical buttons or a touch-controlled screen, but instead, you rely on capacitive touch on the outer right side of the thermostat. This can be a bit annoying if you’re left-handed, and it makes fine control a bit more difficult, so there is a small learning curve.

Once you have it installed, which is relatively easy, we might add, you get access to almost the whole complement of features you’d expect, such as being able to control the thermostat remotely, and getting energy history, which is neat. Also, there are some levels of smart and automated controls here, such as being able to switch off when you go to sleep or leave the house, and these sorts of intelligent suggestions might pop up from time to time. Just to be clear, this isn’t like the learning aspect of the Nest Learning Thermostat, so don’t expect to get that level of automation and AI smarts.

The Nest Thermostat generally has very good HVAC coverage for something this budget-friendly, although be sure to check with Google’s page before buying. There are also some nice features that we’re surprised to see, such as multi-zone support and motion sensing, which help with things like the auto-away mode. You might also be happy to know that it integrates with Amazon Alexa, so if you have Amazon devices that have Alexa, they should be able to control and work with the Nest Thermostat.

Specifications
Compatibility
Nest, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Power Wire or Battery
Connectivity
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Dimensions
3.31 x 3.31 x 1.07 inches

How We Chose These Smart Thermostats

Smart features

There are a lot of different types of smart thermostats out there with various features that may or may not be useful. At the most basic level, smart thermostats come in two forms, ones that have zonal controls and ones that control the house as a whole. The latter tend to be a lot cheaper, and if you don’t really need to control each room individually, then going for one of those is the smart way to go. Also, some smart thermostats can switch the HVAC off if they sense a window is open or if you leave the house, but these tend to be a bit more expensive and often require some form of integration with other smart devices, such as a window sensor or something similar.

Probably the biggest feature is how they integrate with an already existing ecosystem, and that also varies greatly depending on how much money you want to spend. For example, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium can be used with echo devices to send out a message to individual rooms like an intercom or used in conjunction with an Ecobee smart doorbell to let you see who’s outside your home. So, ultimately, we’ve provided enough options where you can get a good sense of what you need and pick based on that.

Cost Savings

While thermostats don’t save you money just by being installed, some are much better at saving you money than others. For example, those who are able to learn your schedule and automatically adjust the thermostat will save you a lot more than those that you might have to schedule or adjust manually. Again, it very much depends on what you find important and how much you’re willing to spend upfront to save in the long run, but we’ve hopefully provided you with a good selection of options across the board, from the absolute basics to the very advanced.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

Editors' Recommendations

Albert Bassili
Deals Writer

Albert’s been a tech and gaming writer for almost a decade now, writing across websites such as GameGavel, How-To-Geek, and now Digital Trends. Of course, he is also generally a tech nerd, so if it’s tech-related, he’s probably heard of it, wanted to buy it, or bought it even though he probably shouldn’t have.

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