There are several reasons why you might want to automate your home heating and air conditioning systems. Whether for convenience, energy efficiency, or that "cool" factor, connected smart thermostats are a great investment. If you are in the Amazon ecosystem, there are a growing number of great options. The ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is our top choice because it has Alexa built-in, includes a room sensor, and is easy to use.
Best Overall: ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
Believe it or not, it’s only been a couple of years since ecobee launched the ecobee4 with Alexa built-in. Before that, we had to talk to Alexa from another device, like cave people! But in all seriousness, the concept was a hit, and ecobee has followed up on the success of the ecobee4 with its newer SmartThermostat with Voice Control.
So what’s new or better you may ask? It’s got a newer, cleaner design with a more vivid touch display. It has a quad-core processor (yeah, in a thermostat!), and far-field voice recognition, so you don’t have to shout to lower the AC. And with that built-in Alexa goodness, you can ask the ecobeee SmartThermostat for weather or news updates, or even play your music with Spotify connect. Are we living in the Jetsons’ age or what?!
- Faster processor
- Far-field voice recognition
- Alexa built-in
- Room sensor included
- Complicated interface
ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control
This device has pretty much everything you’d want in a connected thermostat. Alexa integration, music controls, and a smart sensor included!
Next Best: ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
The ecobee4 Smart Thermostat may be a few years old at this point, but it’s still a great value. It was one of the first smart thermostats to include a built-in smart assistant (Alexa) so that you could control the temperature without the need for a separate Echo device. This is a really nice feature to have because it means you can control your entire smart home through your thermostat!
ecobee also includes a smart room sensor to help monitor room-by-room climate and more efficiently use your HVAC system. Like other ecobee thermostats, you can pair this with additional units and sensors for full-house coverage for homes large or small.
- Comes with a sensor for your rooms
- Alexa built-in for voice commands
- Wires directly into your home
- Getting long in the tooth
- Even on sale, there are cheaper alternatives
- A Nest’s dial is easier to control the temperature
ecobee4 Smart Thermostat
Alexa for less
Coming with built-in Alexa support and a spare sensor, this older model is a steal of a deal.
Best Alternative Ecosystem: Honeywell RTH9585WF1004
ecobee and Google Nest may get all of the headlines, but they are not the only game in town when it comes to smart thermostats. Honeywell has been building great thermostats for decades, so it stands to reason that they’d have several strong entries when it comes to smart devices. The RTH9585WF1004 (wow, that’s a mouthful!) is a great alternative to ecobee and Nest and works with most of the major voice assistant platforms, including Alexa.
The design of the RTH9585WF1004 is more reminiscent of a traditional thermostat panel, albeit with a modern flair. It has a monochromatic touchscreen display, and you can change the background color to suit your tastes. At 4.5", you get more display area than other similar devices. This allows you to see more data at once, such as a five-day forecast and humidity levels for indoors and outdoors. It will send you intelligent alerts on screen and in-app to let you know when your system needs service. It also learns your heating and cooling preferences with its Smart Response Technology to optimize temperature controls at the right time.
- Huge display
- Intelligent alerts
- There are cheaper options by Honeywell
- Doesn’t directly support geofencing
Best Alternative Ecosystem
Modern conveniences from traditional player
This device builds on Honeywell’s decades-long experience in the heating and cooling industry and adds all kinds of smart home functionality.
Best Nest: Google Nest Thermostat E
Even though the Nest brand is owned and controlled by Google, their smart thermostats still work with Alexa and the Echo. The Nest Thermostat E is one of the most affordable Google Nest products and is arguably the easiest to use. Nest thermostats work with additional sensors like ecobee’s, but none are included with the device.
While Nest’s separate sensors don’t work as well as ecobee’s, that’s not really a concern if you are using them in a smaller home or apartment. Smart voice control is also not included in the device, so you’ll need an Echo to control the thermostat remotely. This device doesn’t include all of the bells and whistles of more expensive Nest thermostats, but it does a great job of controlling the temperature of your home. What else do you really need?
- Simple, pleasing aesthetic
- The dial is easy to use
- Sensors not included
- Sensors not as good as ecobee’s
Google Nest Thermostat E
If you have a smaller home or apartment, the Nest E is perfect for yours. It’s also one of the most affordable Google Nest products.
Best Basic Box: Honeywell T5 Smart Thermostat
The Honeywell T5 doesn’t have the screen real estate or display functionality of its bigger brother on this list, but this newer, more compact model does have a few tricks up its sleeve that the RTH958WF1004 does not. For starters, it includes the ability to do geofencing out of the box. This means you can set programmable routines to control the temperature based on where you are. For example, you can have it set the air to lower once you leave from work or to turn on the heat as soon as you are getting close to your neighborhood.
There are several features that this device carries over from the RTH958WF1004. It has smart alerts for maintenance, as well as adaptive recovery to learn how long it takes to achieve the right temperature so it can automatically adjust its schedule to suit your preferences. It is also compatible with various utility rebate programs.
- Allows for geofencing
- Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
- Smart alerts
- Alexa not built-in
- Basic touchscreen
Best Basic Box
Honeywell T5 Smart Thermostat
Gets the job done
The Honeywell T5 Smart Thermostat gets the basics right, with a touch screen, smart alerts, geofencing, and Alexa functionality.
Best Budget Box: iDevices Thermostat
If you are just looking to get into smart home controls, or you don’t want to fuss about with fancy touchscreens and features you may not really need, then this is the iDevice for you. The iDevices Thermostat looks like a traditional thermostat box, with familiar button controls and a small window that displays the temperature.
Well, even if you like things low-key, it is nice to be able to ask Alexa to lower the temperature by 5 degrees, or turn on the heater in an app on your phone rather than getting up off the couch. For these users, the iDevices Thermostat works great, and it sits at a very comfortable price point as well!
- Very affordable
- Easy installation
- Works with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant
- Basic box
- No touchscreen controls
- No onscreen info beyond temperature
Best Budget Box
Back to basics
The iDevices Thermostat is a basic Alexa-enabled smart thermostat that can handle all of the smart things you need at an affordable price.
The ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is the lastest and greatest, top-of-the-line, best option if you want a thermostat that works with Alexa. There’s a room sensor included to get a better feel for your home’s temperature, and you can give voice commands directly to the thermostat since Alexa is built-in. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s a great investment to help you save money in your home.
There is an ever-growing number of smart thermostats that work with voice assistants like Alexa, and the Amazon ecosystem, in particular, is perhaps the largest and most robust. When weighing your options, we recommend looking for devices that can work across multiple platforms, as you never know if/when you might change assistants or sell your home to someone comfortable with a different ecosystem. Thankfully, the ones on this list have you covered!
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about Amazon products and services, he’s defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
Tom Westrick is a U.S.-based freelancer. He’s been poking and prodding at Android phones since 2011, and covering various topics for Android Central since 2017. He can often be found with multiple laptops in his backpack and a cup of iced tea in his hand. Follow him on Twitter.
Phil Nickinson is the editor of CordCutters.com, the Head Dad behind Modern Dad and Editor Emeritus of AndroidCentral.com. He’s been a journalist since starting at his hometown newspaper in 1998, and with Mobile Nations since 2009. Follow him on Twitter: @Mdrndad.
September 15, 2019 at 08:04AM