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The 4 Best Thermostats of 2024

We tested models from Honeywell, Ecobee, Nest, Orbit, and others to help you choose the best thermostat for your home or office
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Best Thermostat Review
Credit: Matt Lighthart
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Adam Stout  ⋅  Jul 9, 2024

The Best Thermostats for 2024


Eager to update your home's thermostat? We researched over 50 different models and then purchased the 11 best thermostats available. We then tested them side-by-side to see which products could take the heat. We have been testing, rating, and scoring these devices since 2017, comparing their installation processes, overall ease of operation, accuracy, smart features, and functions. Keep reading to discover which thermostat we determined to be the best overall, the best bargain, and the most compatible with smart home platforms.

In the market for a top-rated air conditioner or the best space heater to regulate your home's temperature? At GearLab, we offer a wealth of reviews tailored to your home and office needs, including the best best WiFi extenders, top weather stations, or kitchen gadgets like the best air fryers. If you're set on integrating smart technology into your life, our lineup of the best smartwatches can help you track your daily activity. Additionally, we've tested the best Bluetooth trackers for those who are prone to misplacing important items.

Editor's Note: This thermostat review was updated on July 9th, 2024. We bought 11 thermostats and put them all through our new test plan to assess each unit's energy savings and smart capabilities.

Top 11 Thermostats - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 11
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Awards Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award   
Price $130 List
$100.00 at Amazon
$249 List
$169.00 at Amazon
$250 List
$224.99 at Amazon
$129 List
$78.90 at Amazon
$150 List
$137.90 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good DIY installation guidance, nice features, superior scheduling and energy saving, great interface and appStraightforward DIY installation, easy operation, highly customizable schedulingHas vacation mode, lots of hold options, great display, included external sensorHelpful DIY install video, easy to use, nice app, compatible with many smart home ecosystemsVacation mode, many hold options, maintenance reminders, smart home ecosystem
Cons Some scroll controls are unintuitive, incompatible with 2-stage systemsExpensive, limited hold capabilityExpensive, screen smudges easilyPeculiar hold settings, no eco-modeScreen sometimes stutters, limited scheduling for a smart thermostat
Bottom Line A sleek and feature-dense thermostat that gives premium units a run for their moneyThis is easy to use, easy to install, and is both accurate and stylishA feature-packed smart thermostat that lives up to its premium in its name but has the premium price tag to matchThis unit bridges the gap between classic and more modern smart thermostats with high smart home ecosystem compatibilityA smart thermostat that isn't as feature-packed as its premium counterpart
Rating Categories Google Nest Thermostat Nest Learning Therm... Ecobee Smart Premium Sensi WiFi Programm... Ecobee3 Lite
Ease of Use (40%)
9.4
8.6
9.4
7.7
9.2
DIY Installation (25%)
10.0
10.0
8.0
9.5
6.0
Scheduling (20%)
9.0
7.5
8.0
8.5
8.0
Smart Capabilities (10%)
7.2
8.9
8.7
6.3
8.7
Energy Saving (5%)
7.0
5.5
4.8
1.8
4.8
Specs Google Nest Thermostat Nest Learning Therm... Ecobee Smart Premium Sensi WiFi Programm... Ecobee3 Lite
Energy Star Certification Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Learning / Adaptive Controls No Yes Yes No Yes
Need a C wire? Generally work without one Generally work without one Yes or Included Power Adapter Kit Generally work without one Yes or Included Power Adapter Kit
Color Options Snow
Sand
Fog
Charcoal
Stainless Steel
Mirror Black
Brass
Polished Steel
White
Black
Copper
Black front, silver sides and back White Black front, white sides and back
Measured Dimensions 3.3" x 1.1" 3.3" x 1.1" 4.1" x 4.1" x 1.0" 6.0" x 3.8" x 1.1" 4.0" x 4.0" x 0.8"
Compatible Smart Home Ecosystems Google Assistant, Matter Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT (If This then That), Samsung SmartThings Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT (If This then That), Samsung SmartThings
Model # Tested Thermostat - 1.4 3rd Gen (3.7) ECB601 ST55 EB-STATE3LT02
Able to hook up external sensors No Yes Yes No Yes
Able to Lock No Yes Yes No Yes


Best Overall Thermostat


Google Nest Thermostat


91
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 9.4
  • DIY Installation 10.0
  • Scheduling 9.0
  • Smart Capabilities 7.2
  • Energy Saving 7.0
REASONS TO BUY
Great installation guidance
Nice interface and app
Superb scheduling features
REASONS TO AVOID
Some controls are unintuitive
SPECIFICATIONS
Learning / Adaptive Controls No
Energy Star Certification Yes
Need a C wire? Generally work without one
Color Options Snow
Sand
Fog
Charcoal
Measured Dimensions  3.3" x 1.1"
The Nest Thermostat stood out in our review for the abundance and excellence of its features, combined with its reasonable price. It's essentially a premium-tiered product that costs a lot less than its true competitors at the high end of the market. In fact, it outscored all of those by a decent margin. “Nest's interface is so good that it's downright pleasant to interact with,” our lead tester remarked, and the streamlined guidance and thoughtful extras provided for the installation of this product were second to none. No other thermostat could compete with the sheer flexibility and ease of programming for this one's scheduling abilities, either.

We don't have much to gripe about the Nest Thermostat, but we do have a few nitpicks. First off, coming from the other dial-based Nest thermostat, we expected this one to have a rotating physical control, too, but instead, it has a touch interface built-in to the right side of the unit. “It's very responsive and nice once you get used to it,” our tester noted, but we're not sure what left-handed folks might have to say about the ergonomics of right-side-only touch control. Along those same lines, we don't love having to scroll to back up through menus. It feels clunky compared to pressing a dedicated back button or icon. Lastly, this thermostat is not compatible with 2-stage systems and is not natively compatible with any smart home ecosystem besides Google Assistant. However, it now has Matter support, which should open it up to other ecosystems. If you like what you've read about this Nest, you might be interested in its upgraded version, the Nest Learning Thermostat.

Read more: Nest Thermostat review

There's a lot to love about the Nest Thermostat, from its ease of installation to its superb capability and interface. We also love its sleek design.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best Programmable Thermostat


Orbit Clear Comfort


56
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 7.4
  • DIY Installation 5.5
  • Scheduling 6.5
  • Smart Capabilities 0.0
  • Energy Saving 0.0
WiFi/App: No | Smart Home Compatible: No
REASONS TO BUY
7-day scheduling
Sturdy screen cover
Includes batteries
REASONS TO AVOID
Middling installation guidance
No compatibility check
SPECIFICATIONS
Learning / Adaptive Controls No
Energy Star Certification No
Need a C wire? Not Required
Color Options White
Measured Dimensions  5.3" x 3.3" x 1.2"

The Orbit Clear Comfort surpassed all other traditional, non-smart thermostats in our testing. Its simple design, durable build, and highly customizable scheduling set it apart from comparable options. “This is the model to get if you prioritize these qualities and prefer a thermostat without advanced features or remote control functions.” one tester reported. Although it lacks smart capabilities, the Clear Comfort Pro offers commendable and adaptable scheduling that is directly accessible on the thermostat. It allows programming for seven individual days with up to four daily events. We particularly valued the convenience of copying schedules from one day to another, eliminating the need for manual programming.

However, this process can feel tedious compared to thermostats with smartphone apps or touchscreen interfaces dedicated to scheduling. Additionally, it lacks a 'vacation' mode for extended periods of absence. As we've established, the Orbit Clear Comfort does not feature WiFi connectivity or any smart features. “This could be a major downside to anyone interested in energy use insights and remote access to their climate control system,” our tester noticed. If you're looking for something one step above a basic programmable thermostat to interface with a smart home ecosystem or make remote temperature adjustments, check out the Sensi WiFi Programmable thermostat.

Read more: Orbit Clear Comfort review

The Orbit Clear Comfort Pro is the best of the basic programmable thermostats, thanks to its sturdy build and solid scheduling.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best Value for a Smart Thermostat


Amazon Smart Thermostat


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 6.8
  • DIY Installation 10.0
  • Scheduling 8.5
  • Smart Capabilities 6.4
  • Energy Saving 5.3
REASONS TO BUY
Very budget friendly
Excellent installation guidance
Seamless Alexa integration
REASONS TO AVOID
Slow to load at times
Interface could be better
SPECIFICATIONS
Learning / Adaptive Controls Yes
Energy Star Certification Yes
Need a C wire? Yes or Power Adapter Kit (purchased separately)
Color Options White
Measured Dimensions  3.5" x 3.5" x 0.8"

The Amazon Smart Thermostat impresses with its remarkable ease of installation, seamless Alexa integration, and excellent value for its smart attributes. A fully featured smart thermostat for under a hundred bucks is a dubious proposition, but this excellent product exists in that space. “It delivers robust scheduling capabilities and scored well in our energy-saving assessment.” our tester noted, making it competitive with products far exceeding its price. As we mentioned, the guided installation for this unit was among the best we reviewed, and the app-based scheduling was superb.

However, the Amazon Smart Thermostat falls short in a few areas despite its tremendous value. “We found scrolling through modes to be tedious and occasionally experienced slow app response and a few app crashes.” one tester observed. Additionally, the thermostat lacks some critical features of higher-end models, such as geofencing and compatibility with other smart home ecosystems beyond Amazon Alexa. If you're already invested in the Amazon Alexa ecosystem and want a smoking deal on a smart thermostat, this is the one to get. If you'd rather use another smart home ecosystem, check out the tremendous Nest thermostat above, or have a look at the Ecobee3 Lite.

Read more: Amazon Smart Thermostat review

With its simple installation process, solid features, and budget-friendly price, the Amazon smart thermostat was a standout option in our testing.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Best Multi-Stage System Thermostat


Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Use 9.4
  • DIY Installation 8.0
  • Scheduling 8.0
  • Smart Capabilities 8.7
  • Energy Saving 4.8
REASONS TO BUY
Vacation mode and lots of hold options
Excellent display screen
Air quality sensor
REASONS TO AVOID
Very expensive
Somewhat limited scheduling ability
SPECIFICATIONS
Learning / Adaptive Controls Yes
Energy Star Certification Yes
Need a C wire? Yes or Included Power Adapter Kit
Color Options Black front, silver sides and back
Measured Dimensions  4.1" x 4.1" x 1.0"
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium shines with its exceptional feature set and user-centric design. “Adjusting settings is a pleasure with its vibrant touchscreen display and responsive controls.” one tester remarked. Vacation mode and multiple hold options add to its convenience. Moreover, its compatibility with multi-stage systems and various smart home platforms ensures seamless integration and comprehensive control over home climate for a broader range of users than many other smart thermostats.

However, despite its impressive capabilities, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium has a premium price tag, potentially limiting its accessibility for budget-conscious consumers. Our lead tester also noticed that some users may find the scheduling parameters somewhat restrictive compared to other thermostats in its price range. And, while it offers advanced features like occupancy detection and air quality monitoring, its eco-settings are more limited than some, which may disappoint energy-conscious users seeking maximum energy efficiency and carbon offsets for the products they invest in. If you like what you've read about this thermostat but don't require multi-stage compatibility, you can have nearly all of its capabilities for around one hundred dollars less in the excellent Ecobee3 Lite. The main difference will be the size and clarity of the screen, which is superior on the pricier premium unit.

Read more: Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium Review

This Ecobee stands out for its user-friendly interface, advanced features, and seamless integration with smart home ecosystems.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
91
Google Nest Thermostat
Best Overall Thermostat
$130
Editors' Choice Award
86
Nest Learning Thermostat
$249
85
Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
Best Multi-Stage System Thermostat
$250
Top Pick Award
79
Sensi WiFi Programmable
$129
79
Ecobee3 Lite
$150
78
Amazon Smart Thermostat
Best Value for a Smart Thermostat
$80
Best Buy Award
64
Honeywell WiFi Smart Color
$180
56
Orbit Clear Comfort
Best Programmable Thermostat
$55
Editors' Choice Award
54
Honeywell Home RTH6580WF WiFi 7-Day Programmable
$100
53
Honeywell Home RTH2300B 5-2 Day Programmable
$44
37
Honeywell Home CT87K1004 Round Heat Only
$54

We tested each thermostat on all of their settings.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

How We Test Thermostats


At GearLab, we've been testing thermostats for the better part of a decade, so when tasked with rounding up the best thermostats on the market to put under the microscope, we had a lot of experience to draw on. This time, we conducted controlled side-by-side testing in our lab, evaluating the top products available today. Thorough and expertly developed assessments inform our review to critique every thermostat's user experience with regard to the interface, installation, scheduling capability, smart features, energy efficiency, and environmental consciousness. If you'd like to know more about how we test, you can find further details about our in-depth testing process in our full How We Test article

Our testing is divided into these essential five rating metrics:
  • Ease of Use (40% of overall score weighting)
  • DIY Installation (25% weighting)
  • Scheduling (20% weighting)
  • Smart Capabilities (10% weighting)
  • Energy Saving (5% weighting)

thermostat - ready, set, let&#039;s install some thermostats!
Ready, set, let's install some thermostats!
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Why Trust GearLab


The testers for this review segment were Austin Palmer, and David Wise, accompanied by review editor Adam Stout. With extensive experience testing appliances at GearLab and a knack for critical and exhaustive data collection, Austin contributed a wealth of knowledge and analytical expertise to the development and execution of this assessment. Likewise, David brings years of testing experience at GearLab, along with his expertise in heat transfer and thermal fluids engineering, gained from his past role as a mechanical engineer, to shape the design of our tests. With his background in English Rhetoric and Writing, Adam brings a sharp eye for detail and presents technical information in a manner that is easily understandable on the page.

thermostat - some of the cohort lined up for side-by-side testing.
Some of the cohort lined up for side-by-side testing.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

How to Choose the Best Thermostat


We all appreciate the ease of climate control, but how do you choose the best thermostat for your own home? Most homes will have one thermostat, at the very least. But many modern homes have multiple spread throughout the house. While a new thermostat might not equate to saving you money — at least not in the same way that they're marketed — a quality thermostat can help you follow the best guidelines for energy savings by improving system efficiency. To get started down the right track, it's important to ask yourself a few key questions first.

Do I Need a Smart Thermostat?


For many years, single-temperature or programmable thermostats were your only options, with the latter representing the greatest technology available. In fact, these types of thermostats are still the norm in most homes. But with the rise of WiFi-supported technology within the past decade, there has been an increased demand for “smart thermostats”. These function very much in the same way as a classic programmable model, but offer the additional modern convenience of being able to run them through an app.

If you want to set, adjust, or monitor the temperature and any heating or cooling schedules from anywhere you have an internet connection, then you will want a smart thermostat. Of course, they can integrate with any other smart-home systems, and for those interested in monitoring their home's energy efficiency, these models are able to provide that data. Our Smart Capabilities metric identifies and ranks products based on their smart features. Under Specs in our comparison chart, we also highlight which model is compatible with which smart home ecosystem.

How Many Rooms Do You Want to Control?


While there is a certain level of convenience in having a thermostat installed in every room of your house, that could get expensive quickly and may not be entirely practical. However, if there is a major difference in the sizes of rooms in your house, you can guarantee that they will have different climates. Rather than a centralized system, imagine a true "smart house where thermostats only register the temperature where they are installed. The most notable exception is some smart systems, like the Ecobee Smart Thermostat, which is compatible with external sensors. If your house is already standing, then the setup of HVAC zones is predetermined and you already know how many thermostats you will need. But if you're building a home, it is worth considering how — and from where — you want to control the temperature in multiple rooms.

Is There A Lot of Installation Involved?


Well, that depends — how involved do you want to be? This may come as a bit of a surprise, but the most modern, smart thermostats tend to be much easier to install than classic single-temperature or even most classic programmable options. Our DIY Installation metric ranks each of these products on the technical complexity of their installation. Under Specs in our comparison chart, we've also highlighted which models require a C-Wire (common wire), which is a common requirement for WiFi-controlled systems.

There's No Harm In Hiring a Professional


If you're unfamiliar with wiring or feel uncomfortable installing your own thermostat for any reason, there's no short supply of HVAC professionals available to install one of these systems in your home.

How Often Do You Travel?


While single-temperature thermostats can only be set manually, programmable thermostats can be set with a schedule, and smart thermostats can be set from anywhere you have an internet connection. If you travel frequently, use your home as a vacation rental, or you're a second-home owner, then a smart system is particularly beneficial — especially in cold climates, where sometimes the difference of a few degrees can make all the difference. Our Scheduling metric helps break down some of the nuanced differences of programmable options — smart models included.

Our complete article on thermostat buying advice offers additional background information and further insight into selecting the best thermostat for your home.

thermostat - being able to set the temperature remotely is a benefit of modern...
Being able to set the temperature remotely is a benefit of modern, smart thermostats.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Analysis and Test Results


We split our tests into five weighted rating metrics: Ease of Use, DIY Installation, Scheduling, Smart Capabilities, and Energy Savings. Understanding where each thermostat falls concerning these five characteristics provides a holistic evaluation for informed decision-making when picking the best thermostat for your home and lifestyle.


Value


When pursuing a thermostat that balances affordability with capability, first consider your needs: do you need a WiFi-enabled device for remote access, a programmable model to set and forget, or a reliable basic thermostat that only takes orders from the person standing in front of it, and carries them out until someone tells it otherwise? Among remotely accessible smart thermostats, the Amazon Smart Thermostat stands out for its exceptional value proposition. This fantastic device leaves little to be desired and costs significantly less than you'd pay for some of the top premium smart thermostats it competes with. Conversely, the Orbit Clear Comfort offers extensive programming flexibility without relying on an app, but that means no remote access either. It's the one to get if you don't want to be bothered with WiFi setup and complex extras. Each of these thermostats provides excellent value in its own right.

We pulled out all the stops to get the scoop on these thermostats.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Ease of Use


When evaluating usability, we tested factors crucial to a positive user experience. This meant intuitive temperature adjustments and mode switching, favoring responsive touchscreen controls or strategically placed physical buttons. A well-designed app interface with advanced functionalities is also highly valued for smart thermostats.


The best user interfaces went to the Ecobee and Nest thermostats. The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium impressed us with its screen clarity and quick and intuitive interface, while the Nest Learning Thermostat gave us the feeling we were using a premium mechanical object as we rolled its metallic dial to navigate our way through its beautiful user interface. If you're into UX and aesthetically pleasing industrial design, you won't be disappointed with either of these fantastic thermostats.

We also assessed advanced fan controls and temperature-holding capabilities, preferring thermostats that offer flexibility in fan operation and seamless temperature-holding functionality. We are always interested in how exactly the hold works and what the options for interacting with it are. For example, some thermostats simply hold the given temperature until you change it without calling it a hold function, but others have to coexist with scheduling features and comfort modes. One of the best hold implementations we saw was on the Nest Thermostat. Users can choose from default temp or Eco mode. And, if you change the temperature, you can even put a time limit on it.

Clear and accurate temperature displays are also crucial, with top-tier thermostats exhibiting highly legible screens and precise temperature readings compared to ambient measurements. The most points were awarded to thermostats with high clarity and visibility from close and far from the unit. We also preferred units that had large sized numbers to show the current temperature.

thermostat - here&#039;s a look at the back of our thermostat control board, where...
Here's a look at the back of our thermostat control board, where inputs from the thermostat can trigger portable fans, heaters, and A/C units to efficiently simulate the experience of having these thermostats permanently hooked up to HVAC without having to hook them up individually.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Again, the premium products from Nest and Ecobee had some of the best displays of the bunch, with extra touches like motion-sensing to make their displays wake as we approached. Another honorable mention for screen clarity and optimized visibility of crucial information was the Honeywell Home RTH9585WF WiFi Smart Color, with its big, vibrant screen real estate and user-selectable background colors.

thermostat - here&#039;s how accurate every thermostat was compared to averages taken...
Here's how accurate every thermostat was compared to averages taken from a temperature-sensing data logger that was placed near the thermostat for 24 hours.
Credit: Austin Palmer

We measured every thermostat's displayed temperature against a temperature-sensing data logger to see how accurate and consistent the temperature was as the last piece of this metric. We were pleasantly surprised to find that all thermostats were very close to the average temperatures we logged over a 24-hour period. The only thermostats that were off by over one degree were the Ecobee and Nest, but they're still very accurate. The good news is that you can cross temperature accuracy off of your list of things to worry about when purchasing a thermostat.

thermostat - we thoroughly test the characteristics of every thermostat down to...
We thoroughly test the characteristics of every thermostat down to the consistency and accuracy of the temperature displayed on their screens.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

DIY Installation


Thermostat installations were evaluated based on their technical complexity, and the manufacturer provided guidance, usually in a paper manual, online videos, or a streamlined companion app. Preference was given to units featuring push-in wire terminals and guided app setups for smart thermostats. Bonus points were awarded for features like online compatibility checkers, easy WiFi connectivity, and thorough installation instructions, including reminders to photograph wiring from the outgoing thermostat. Thermostats with supplied tools, like built-in levels for precise wall installations, were also useful. A few manufacturers even went the extra mile and threw in a cover plate to mount their thermostat to while covering the hole left by the unit being replaced. Some other considerations were whether a thermostat accommodates a C-wire (common wire), which usually ensures the compatibility of smarter thermostats with your HVAC system.


Some of the best app-based installation guidance came with the Amazon Smart Thermostat, the Nest Learning Thermostat, and the Nest Thermostat. Thanks to app-guided, detailed step-by-step instructions with great videos, photos, and illustrations, these installations were a breeze. The latter two even came with the screwdriver necessary to screw them to the wall, and all three had push-in wire terminals instead of the more cumbersome screw-in variety. The Sensi WiFi Programmable installation felt easy thanks to its in-depth video installation tutorials. It also does not require a C-wire to install for most systems. Though, you'll have to break out a screwdriver to install this unit.

thermostat - thermostats with clip-in wire terminals were much preferred to...
Thermostats with clip-in wire terminals were much preferred to screw-in terminals, which require tedious tiny screwdriver operations.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Scheduling


Our appraisal of scheduling capabilities focused on intuitiveness and robustness, with higher scores awarded for thermostats offering versatile scheduling options, such as individually customizable days and multi-event complexities. While app-based scheduling tended to be less tedious and was therefore preferred, thermostats without apps were not penalized. Bonus points were given for features like “vacation mode.”


The two thermostats with the most outstanding scheduling features are the Nest Thermostat and the Amazon Smart Thermostat, both of which have excellent apps to work with but do not have any means of adjusting schedules from the thermostat directly. Both products allowed generous scheduling flexibility with a sufficient number of daily temperature change events that should satisfy even those with the most complicated climate scheduling needs. We also appreciated that both systems would let us copy schedules from one day to the next to bypass some of the setup tedium. The Amazon Smart Thermostat has a dedicated Vacation mode, while the Nest needs to be put in Eco mode, among other things for a work around, to achieve the same result.

thermostat - most of the time, we prefer to set schedules on a thermostat&#039;s app...
Most of the time, we prefer to set schedules on a thermostat's app, but occasionally, a programmable unit will make it pleasant enough to do on the thermostat's display.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Smart Capabilities


In our testing of this metric, smart thermostats were measured based on their smart features, and points were awarded for user-friendly mobile apps, geofencing capabilities, maintenance reminders, schedule learning, and compatibility with various smart home ecosystems.


It probably comes as no surprise that the big winners here were offerings from two companies that built themselves from the ground up as smart home ecosystem appliance developers, placing equal emphasis on striking ergonomic industrial design and streamlined user-centric software experiences. The Nest Learning, Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium, and the Ecobee3 Lite impressed us with their wide array of capabilities, including geofencing to trigger events based on presence in or proximity to home and autonomous learning capabilities to learn from your habits and preempt your thermostat inputs to improve energy-efficiency. These even come with maintenance reminders and are smart-home compatible. The Ecobee models can sync into almost any smart home ecosystem including Alexa, Apple Homekit, Google Assistant, IFTT (If This Then That), and Samsung Smart Things. However, the Nest thermostats are limited to the Google smart home ecosystem.

The smartest thermostats have streamlined companion apps, geofencing, and scheduling learning capabilities. The Ecobee thermostats have one of the best apps we tested.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Energy Saving


The assessment of eco-friendly features considered modes and indicators promoting energy efficiency, including sustainable packaging. Thermostats with eco-modes, energy-saving indicators, and reporting features for energy usage received higher scores, reflecting their contribution to sustainability and efficiency. Throughout this testing, we were less focused on how much monetary savings would be extracted from energy bills than on the given product's ability to foster best practices in energy efficiency and environmental consciousness.


We found the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest, and Amazon Smart Thermostat exhibit a commitment to energy savings through grid-demand optimization and sustainable production efforts. The Nest has an eco mode indicator that lets you know when the system is operating in its most energy-efficient temperature range, and its Nest Renew service efficiently adjusts energy consumption to correspond with times when energy is in lower demand on the power grid. Additionally, Nest sends frequent email updates with automated insights on our energy usage patterns.

thermostat - thermostats with eco-mode settings make it easier to optimize energy...
Thermostats with eco-mode settings make it easier to optimize energy savings.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The Amazon Smart Thermostat excels in energy-saving features and sustainability practices. It displays an Eco Icon when heating is set below 68 degrees Fahrenheit and cooling is set above 75 degrees, indicating energy-efficient operation. Through the Alexa app, you can access insights on carbon impact, allowing you to gauge the cleanliness of available electricity and plan usage during low CO2 emission periods. Enabling this feature allows Alexa to automatically adjust the Amazon Smart Thermostat to minimize usage during less clean electricity periods. The Amazon Smart Thermostat is also committed to sustainability as it and its accessories incorporate 34% post-consumer recycled plastics (excluding the installation tool) with no bioplastics. 93% of the device's packaging is composed of wood fiber-based materials from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources.

thermostat - the best hardware and interface design we came across in this...
The best hardware and interface design we came across in this thermostat review typically comes from dedicated smart home companies, with only a few exceptions.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Conclusion


Selecting the perfect thermostat to suit your needs, budget, and HVAC system can be a daunting task. We hope our thorough comparison and practical analyses of these eleven top thermostats on the market provide valuable insight for you to take with you when you make your next thermostat purchase decision. Whether you're searching for a high-end smart thermostat for seamless integration into a smart home ecosystem or a basic budget-friendly option to replace a unit on the fritz, we've laid out your best prospects here. Remember that we've also written individual reviews for all the thermostats mentioned here if you need more detailed coverage on a particular product. These reviews cover how each performed across our expertly developed, carefully tested metrics.

Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Adam Stout