If you are looking for a new ‘smart’ thermostat the good news is you have lots of options.  The bad news is you have LOTS of options.  This sector of the market has exploded and it seems like everyone is now offering a thermostat.

What We Love:

The EcoBee4

Why We Love it:

The EcoBee4 looks great, works well, plays well with others and has all the bells and whistles you are probably looking for (and maybe a few you haven’t even thought of yet!).  We particularly like the smart little remote sensors so the temperature is controlled for the spaces you are actually using.  The addition of the Amazon Alexa voice services raise the bar from the previous version EcoBee4 that was our choice before this version arrived on the scene.

Hmmm:

We prefer physical controls and even though it has a beautiful touch screen interface the EcoBee4 will never have the tactile feedback and simplicity of control a real dial or button provides.  Our runner up, Nest has physical control pretty much perfected.  Unfortunately, the pressure we feel with Nest to stay in their ecosystem puts us off slightly and although the Nest will sense which room is occupied, it doesn’t have the elegant multi-room monitoring and temperature control provided by the EcoBee4’s useful little remote room sensors.  

Works Best With:

The EcoBee4 stands out if you are mixing and matching home automation tools and applications.  They have a wide range of partner apps and a good track record of working with other systems.  The remote sensors make the EcoBee particularly well suited for larger or highly segmented homes.  If you want to add or extend Alexa voice control and your thermostat is in a location (or could be easily moved to one) where it makes sense, this is the thermostat for you!

You Might Also Love:

Nest.  The Nest thermostat defined this market and is probably what first comes to mind for most do-it-yourself home thermostat installers.  The Nest is a great thermostat and a very good option.  

Stuff We Really Like:

There are dozens of great options for thermostats and therefore lots of good options that didn’t make it into our top two.  There may be specific reasons you need something special so here are a few additional thermostats we really like:

  1. Honeywell Lyric – what can we say: it is a Honeywell, the household name in, well household thermostats.  If anyone knows how to build a good thermostat it’s them.  The Lyric has a nice interface but is limited in features compared others.  As you might expect Honeywell has a full lineup of thermostats and a number of other ‘smart’ options including ones with touch screens, wifi, external sensors, etc.  There are loads of great choices especially if you are looking for a slightly ‘dumber’ thermostat that won’t try to out-think you and run your life on automatic. 
  2. Netatmo Smart Thermostat – limited to european markets this is a cool looking device with some neat features like a smart radiator valve for more granular control of room by room temperatures. 
  3. EcoBee3, EcoBee Lite, or Smart-Si – There are lots of other options but because these guys topped our list we figured it would not be right if we didn’t mention the rest of their lineup of thermostats.  If you don’t need all the bells and whistles or you really want some real buttons to push EcoBee offers variations that are sure to meet your needs.  They even have solutions that are designed for public spaces or commercial situations where you may need to manage multiple thermostats.

When the Alternative Might Be Better:

If you like the Nest ecosystem and are planning to add other Nest products like their smoke detectors and cameras having everything integrated may be a better solution and the Nest thermostat is probably the way to go.