The Beginner’s Guide to the Best Smart Thermostats

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Our homes are getting smarter. Not only is this saving us from menial tasks and little issues, like struggling to remember if we have enough milk, but it’s also saving us money. The smart thermostat is the shining example of smart home technology. The best smart thermostats help us live more comfortably in our homes, conserve energy and keep more money in our own pockets. It’s a win-win-win.

But there are a lot of thermostats on the market today and all of them seem pretty smart. How do you choose the right one for your home? Which bells and whistles do you need? Is it worth paying more for the top-of-the-line option? We had these same questions, too, and now can help you narrow the field. We’ve listed six of the best smart thermostats worth checking out plus the features that really wowed us about them. Ready to get smart about this smart home technology? Check out our picks below.

best smart thermostats - ecobee

The Ecobee4 is a one of the best smart thermostats. Image: Ecobee


The latest generation of Ecobee makes your life easier through its voice control. In fact, it’s got a built-in Alexa speaker. Not only can it adjust the temperature, but it can also tell you the weather, how your favorite team is doing, a joke and more. The Ecobee isn’t Amazon specific, either. You can use it with your Google Assistant or Siri. Plus, its app is a breeze to navigate.

Aside from all the great ways the Ecobee4 can integrate with your other home tech, it’s important to note that it’s a great thermostat in and of itself. It allows you to place sensors throughout your home so it can measure temperature throughout the day, keeping different spaces the temperatures you want them on the schedule you set up. It also geofences, which means it uses your smartphone to track your location. If you leave the house, it can moderate the temperature accordingly. And it can track you as you approach, ensuring you come home to your house just the way you like it.

best smart thermostats - nest

You can program your Nest to show whichever face you prefer, including analog and digital clocks. Image: Nest

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest was the first big name in smart home technology and has been the go-to in best smart thermostats for years. Today, other companies are giving them a run for their money, but they’re still a solid choice. The Nest Learning Thermostat builds on their strong legacy. After one week it learns and adapts to your schedule, getting smarter and saving you more energy. It also geofences and works with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Plus, if you’re looking for a totally connected home, Nest also offers security cameras (Nest Cam) and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (Nest Protect).

If you don’t want to pay the bigger price tag for Nest’s top offering, check out the Nest Thermostat E. Built from plastic instead of Nest’s signature glass and stainless steel, the price is set lower.

best smart thermostats - lyric

The Lyric T5 from Honeywell gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Image: Amazon

Honeywell Lyric T5

The Lyric T5 is pretty regularly touted as the winner of the budget category for best smart thermostats. And it’s not very hard to see why. It’s got almost all of the bells and whistles of other smart thermostats for a fraction of the price. The Lyric T5 gives you total connectivity from your mobile devices so you can control it from anywhere. It has 7-Day flexible scheduling so you can set it up to work with you throughout the week. Plus, it features geofencing capability, smart alerts to let you know when you need a filter change and works with Amazon Echo and Apple HomeKit.

best smart thermostats - sensi

The Sensi‘s large, easy-to-read display is a major plus. Image: Sensi

Emerson Sensi Touch

The Emerson Sensi Touch is a little simpler than many of the other thermostats on this list – and that can be a good thing. Its streamlined features make it easy to use. The app makes it simple to control temperature from any location with wifi, it works with the usual suspects (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit) and it’s got geofencing capability. Plus it boasts a large, easy-to-read display.

That display is its main selling point. It’s got an attractive backlighting feature that can make it easier to use in low lighting, plus it glows certain colors during heating and cooling to let you know it’s on the job.

best smart thermostats - glas

The OLED display of the GLAS thermostat makes it easy to integrate into any wall. Image: Amazon

Johnson Controls GLAS Smart Thermostat

If you want a thermostat that will help you have a healthier home, GLAS is worth checking out. It’s got the basics covered – a vibrant OLED display and integration with Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana – plus it offers air quality monitoring. It measures relative humidity, VOCs and CO2 levels indoors plus pollen and other air quality indicators outdoors. Armed with that information, you can adjust the smart circulation and smart ventilation in your home to protect your air quality.

The GLAS also comes with an app that gives you voice control power over your thermostat from virtually anywhere, tracks energy usage and makes it simple to use the integrated smart scheduling feature.

best smart thermostats - kono

The KONO is designed to work with your existing decor. Image: Amazon

Lux KONO Smart

The Lux KONO Smart Thermostat seems like it was designed for Freshome readers. Before we get to the thermostat’s functionality, let’s talk about its aesthetic. Not only is the off-the-shelf option pretty attractive with its modular black stainless design, but it gives you options. The sections snap off so you can replace them with new covers that best suit your style. Whether you want a trending sage, a natural wood grain or a bolder look with mid-century blue or red, it can deliver.

As a smart thermostat, it covers the bases. The app is well-designed. It’s got geofencing capability. It integrates with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. Plus, the KONO’s current price is a steal.

Now that you know six of the best smart thermostats, it’s a matter of choosing which has the features and price that best aligns with your needs. Talk to your local HVAC dealer about how a smart thermostat can make a difference in your monthly heating and cooling bill.

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