If you’re a thrifty homeowner, you probably wait until it gets really cold to turn on your central heat—and super hot before your switch on the air. But there are better ways to conserve energy and save money on your electricity bill in the winter and summer. A smart thermostat is the most convenient way to control your home’s temperature remotely and ensure the heat or a/c isn’t blasting when you’re not even home to feel it. After all, according to Energy Star, 42 percent of the average annual electric bill in the U.S. is dedicated just to heating and cooling. With a smart thermostat, you could potentially save hundreds by scaling back your heat without freezing this winter.

Check out quick info below of the top five thermostats, then scroll deeper for more buying advice and full reviews of these models plus other high-ranking options.

What’s the Ideal Home Temperature?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what temperature you should set your thermostat to in the summer or winter. Direct Energy suggests that you can save money and stay comfortable in the winter by keeping your home between 68 to 72 degrees, while summer settings may be better between 73 to 78 degrees.

However, you can save even more by using a programmable thermostat that adjusts temperature when you’re out of the house or sleeping. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling just by turning your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher or lower for eight hours a day from your preferred normal setting. If you’re still working from home for most of the day, even just a 1-degree reduction in temperature overnight can reduce your energy bill by one percent.

Types of Thermostats to Consider

While smart thermostats may cost more up front, their remote and smart capabilities will allow you to save the most energy and money in the long run. All of these smart thermostats can be installed in your home easily if you have a common (or C) wire, but may require professional installation if you aren’t confident in basic electrical wiring. Because they use Wi-Fi, you may also want to ensure yours is close to the router, or get a Wi-Fi range extender to improve connection.

While we recommend a smart thermostat, here are the differences between all of the different types of thermostats you’ll likely encounter if you’re looking to upgrade yours.

How We Selected and Rated Them

We researched 10 expert sources, 66,000 consumer reviews, and tested a couple of options ourselves to select the top seven smart thermostats. To determine the Total Expert Score, we calculate the ratings from trusted publications such as CNET, Tech Radar, Digital Trends, and PC Mag, and convert them to a 100-point scale to make it easier for you to weigh the best options. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of customers who rated the product at least four out of five stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Best Buy.


Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

Total Expert Score: 85/100 | Consumer Score: 86% give it 4 stars or more
The fifth-generation Ecobee can be controlled through Alexa, but also integrates with other smart home systems.

Smart Thermostat with Voice Control
Ecobee amazon.com
$199.00 (20% off)

  • Many connectivity options
  • Easy installation

  • Expensive

We’ve been testing the latest smart thermostat from Ecobee for several months, and it continues to impress. The good feelings started during installation when we called customer service at 10 p.m. on a Friday and got a simple answer to a wiring question in seconds. Once the thermostat was up and running, controlling it from the app was easy and intuitive. It works with optional standalone sensors (one is included; additional units cost $79 for two) that monitor temperature and household activity to adjust the temp in the spaces you’re actually using. The free Eco+ software unlocks potential for even more savings by adjusting your thermostat’s schedule and settings based on the electricity rates in your area.

Like with other smart thermostats, you can program temperatures, and the system learns your habits to improve efficiency. Over the course of our testing, we’ve seen electric and gas bills drop about 10 to 15 percent compared to when we were using our old standard thermostat. This new model has a sleek glass finish, which adds a little style to the unit, and the sensors have longer battery life than previous ones. The Smart also supports 5GHz Wi-Fi in addition to 2.4GHz, which makes it a good choice for anyone with dual-band routers.

What’s more, the fifth-generation Ecobee also functions as a speaker and comes with voice controls with built-in Amazon Alexa. Fortunately, Ecobee doesn’t lock you into the Amazon ecosystem, since the thermostat is also compatible with Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and other smart systems.


Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Total Expert Score: 83/100 | Consumer Score: 94% give it 4 stars or more
This smart thermostat, part of Google’s Nest system, will learn your schedule and adjust temps accordingly.

Google Nest Learning Thermostat
$249.00 amazon.com

  • Auto scheduling
  • Variety of finishes

  • No room sensors
  • No built-in Google Assistant

Like the Ecobee, Google’s Nest is able to learn your habits to reduce energy use while keeping your home comfortable. Though the Nest doesn’t include remote sensors like the Ecobee Smart, there’s still a lot we like about this unit. Its auto scheduling is intuitive to set up, the dial design is pleasing to use, and installation is easy as long as you have a C wire. Even without additional motion sensors, the Nest will know when you’re home thanks to its geofencing feature that detects your smartphone. If you have issues with certain rooms in your home not maintaining the right temperature, you can purchase a Nest Temperature Sensor separately for $38, which works up to 50 feet away from the main thermostat to help make sure the room it’s in is the exact temperature you want it to be.

It’s a tight competition between the Ecobee Smart and Nest since they’re listed at similar price points, and the Nest Learning is just as simple to use with a great design. Also like the latest Ecobee, the Nest has some premium features like Bluetooth support and dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. What’s different is a feature called “Farsight” that displays the time, temperature, or weather so you can read it even across the room. Plus, this model comes in a variety of finishes, so you can match it to your home’s style. While the Google Nest is also compatible with Alexa and other smart home systems, it may be a better choice for those who use other Google Home devices, since everything can then be controlled under the same app. Otherwise, the external sensors and voice control give the Ecobee a very slight edge over this one.


Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

Total Expert Score: 80/100 | Consumer Score: 93% give it 4 stars or more
The Ecobee3 Lite is a more affordable, basic version of the latest Ecobee, with the same range of connectivity.

Lite Smart Thermostat
Ecobee3 amazon.com
$139.90 (17% off)

  • Inexpensive
  • Compatible with many smart home systems

  • No included sensors or geofencing

Though the Ecobee3 Lite doesn’t have an Alexa speaker built in, it’s designed to be adaptable in terms of connectivity, working well with any other smart home setup. Despite its abundance of connectivity options, however, the Lite just isn’t as “smart” as some other thermostats. You can certainly purchase Ecobee’s room sensors separately to use with it, but it doesn’t have any sensors included.

Unlike the most advanced Ecobee and Google Learning thermostat, the Ecobee3 Lite doesn’t have the smart tech that learns your schedule and adapts temperatures accordingly, so it mostly functions as a standard seven-day programmable thermostat—just with more smart home connectivity options to control it remotely. Like the higher-priced Ecobee, however, this basic version is still easy to install and comes with the same Eco+ software, plus has a similar design with its responsive 3.5-inch color touchscreen.


Google Nest G4CVZ Thermostat

Total Expert Score: n/a | Consumer Score: n/a
This new Google thermostat may be sleek, but it’s still one of the most bank account-friendly options here.

Nest G4CVZ Thermostat
Google amazon.com

  • Attractive design
  • Affordable

  • No advanced learning features

Google’s G4CVZ smart thermostat is available for preorder now, and will be officially released on October 30. Despite it not having reviews yet, we expect this new Nest to improve upon the old budget Nest Thermostat E. It’s an affordable option, and doesn’t have the same advanced features as the Nest Learning. But it is programmable, so you can set a schedule for it to change temperatures—or use sensors and your phone’s location so it knows when you’re home or away. You’ll be able to control it from anywhere through the Google Home app, which also has a Savings Finder feature to identify ways to help you preserve money and energy. Perhaps best of all, it’s just $129 with a stylish modern design in sand, charcoal, or snow color options.


Honeywell Lyric T5+

Total Expert Score: 71/100 | Consumer Score: 74% give it 4 stars or more
The Lyric with geofencing is great for smart-home beginners working within a budget.

Honeywell Lyric T5+ Smart Thermostat
$149.00 amazon.com

  • Accurate geofencing

  • Lower quality display and design

The Honeywell Lyric T5+ has basic smart features but also punches above its price point in some departments. While it has seven-day scheduling like most other cheap smart thermostats, it can also adjust your house’s temperature based on whether you’re home or away through geofencing—capability usually reserved for more expensive units. One Amazon user even said that the geofencing feature worked better for their household than Nest’s Learning scheduling because they didn’t keep a regular schedule. The Lyric T5+ also sends your smartphone notifications to remind you to change air filters or warn you about extreme indoor temps.

Reviewers also said the installation was easy if they already had a C wire. And the Lyric works with a variety of heating and cooling systems, though not humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators. Its design and display isn’t as attractive as the Ecobees or Nests, but it’s not an eyesore either. For those who don’t have complex heating and cooling needs, it’s got the best smart features on a budget.


Mysa Smart Thermostat

Total Expert Score: 80/100 | Consumer Score: 87% give it 4 stars or more
Compatibility with electric baseboards and electric fan-forced heaters helps you save electricity this winter.

Smart Thermostat
Mysa amazon.com
$99.00 (29% off)

  • One of the few smart thermostats for baseboards
  • Attractive design

  • Some installation requirements/restrictions

If you don’t have a central HVAC system and instead rely on an electric baseboard or fan-forced system, this Mysa is an excellent smart thermostat to consider. It’ll integrate with any of your preferred smart home systems, including Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. And it can use a combination of scheduling and geofencing to determine if you’re home, plus multiple users can operate it through the accompanying app (a good or bad thing, depending on how varied your temperature preferences are). While you may be stuck with that old electric baseboard, you can at least upgrade your thermostat to Mysa’s modern, minimalist design. While installation is generally quick and easy to DIY, keep in mind before you buy that installing the Mysa requires four or more wires (including a neutral 120-volt or second live 240-volt wire) and it’s only rated for electric heating systems up to 3,800 watts.


Emerson Sensi

Total Expert Score: 77/100 | Consumer Score: 86% give it 4 stars or more
This practical smart thermostat works just as well as other budget models but doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

Sensi Smart Thermostat
Emerson amazon.com

  • Affordable

  • No advanced smart features

Like the Honeywell Lyric T5+, Emerson’s Sensi smart thermostat includes features like seven-day scheduling and geofencing to automatically adjust the temperature. It’ll integrate with all of the most common smart home systems like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. And the large touchscreen works well, though it looks slightly outdated compared to the Nest and Ecobee budget models. The geofencing and other practical features don’t function significantly better than the Honeywell or other options under $200. But if you don’t want anything flashy and are looking for the lowest price possible for a decent thermostat, the Sensi is your best bet.