The Good Housekeeping Institute assesses the performance, ease of use and design of each smart heating thermostat. We also look at how intuitive they are to set up, how quickly the boiler reacts to instructions and how effective any motion and open-window sensors are.
We rate the smartphone app on how well it sets and amends schedules and how detailed energy reports are. We also assess how simple the app is to navigate and the ability to switch the heating on or off based on your smartphone’s location.
Uk If you want a smart heating system that lets you control each radiator individually, this is the best you can buy. On test, it wasn’t quite as fast as the Nest Learning thermostat at switching the heating on or off, but it is self-learning and amended our schedule to cut energy waste.
We were also able to switch the heating on or off quickly and even adjust the schedule, which is not something any other smart thermostat we tested offered. We also love the flip-out LCD screen on the radiator controls, as it means you can see the temperature of the room without needing to look at the smartphone app.
The best smart thermostat can make a big difference to your home, giving you more control, allowing you to automate heating and cooling, and saving money in the long-run. The best smart thermostats are able to learn your routines, like when you leave the house in the morning and when you go to sleep at night.
This enables you to adjust temperatures room-by-room, and even lets you control your heating using just your voice. There are a wide range of smart thermostats to choose from, and different models each have their own particular selling points.
In this guide, we've broken down the best smart thermostats you can buy from the biggest names in the business, including Nest, Eco bee, Hive, Honeywell and Tao. For each smart thermostat, we'll explain their key selling points, and which particular environment each one is best suited to.
Because of the nature of the market, a direct comparison isn't actually very helpful, so the units here aren't ranked by number according to our preference. Nest is one of the biggest names in the smart home market, and for good reason.
This means that over time your heating system can actually adapt to suit your needs, without you having to do anything. It also benefits from location-based features that track where your phone is, and will turn the heating on or off depending on your location.
But don't worry that it's going to turn off the heating and leave your guests to freeze when you're out, as its built-in sensors enable it to detect whether there's anyone at home. The main criticisms of the Nest Learning Thermostat are that it doesn't offer zonal control, and that if you're a tech novice it can be a little complicated to set up and use.
Hive is owned by Centric, one of the UK's leading energy providers, so you can rest assured that you're in experienced hands when it comes to your heating needs. The thermostat itself is a collaboration between Hive and Swiss designer Yves Bear, who's responsible for everything from the August smart lock to PayPal's brand identity.
That top-quality styling makes the Hive Active Heating thermostat something you'll be proud to have on your wall. And its thermostat is no slouch, garnering our 'recommended' tag thanks to its simple interface and easy voice assistant integration.
It's worth noting that, like the Nest thermostat above, Hive Active Heating doesn't support Apple's HomeKit, so it's best avoided if you're already invested in Apple's smart home ecosystem. With a small dial in the middle of its compact design controlling temperature, the Hive Active thermostat gives you the option of keeping things extremely simple, while being packed with features for those who want greater control of their system.
The Honeywell Home gives you total control over your home, with individual thermostats for each radiator enabling you to set an independent heating schedule for every room in your house. The control panel and radiator thermostats aren't going to win any awards for design, coming as they do in plain white plastic, but that's not really the point of the Home.
As the Nest's smaller sibling it benefits from industry-leading smarts, lacking only the most advanced features of the premium model which most users are unlikely to take advantage of anyway. Make no mistake, this isn't flagship quality for bargain price, but it's great value for what it is.
(Image credit: Eco bee) (US Only) Probably the smartest thermostat on the market Reasons to avoid If it's available where you live, the Ecobee4 is well-worth auditioning for your smart home setup.
While Eco bee may not have the same clout that Nest has garnered in the last few years, it remains one of the best thermostats on the market, bar none. But if you want the all the extras, like room sensors that can detect temperatures in certain spots in your home, you'll have to buy them separately.