Best Smart Thermostat 2020: Nest, Hive, Tado, Honeywell And More

Best Smart Thermostat 2020: Nest, Hive, Tado, Honeywell And More

Clever heating systems have really come into their own over the last couple of years, with several solutions available to allow you to control your heating using your smartphone.

The systems that exist all look to make it simpler and easier to control your home heating whether you’re out and about or on the sofa, while also aiming to help you save money.

Here is a round-up of the some of the best smart heating solutions available in the UK, what features they offer and how they could help you save a few pennies.

Nest Learning Thermostat 3.0


  • Features: Learns your routine, domestic hot water control, four colour options, wall mounted or table stand, shows time, temperature or weather when it sees you, away mode, compatible with IFTTT, Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Requirements: Power, Heat Link to connect to your boiler (included) and Wi-Fi
  • Boiler suitability: Most heating systems (check compatibility here)
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS and Android

Nest was created by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both previous Apple employees, and it’s known as the learning thermostat for its ability to learn how you use it and set up a heating schedule accordingly.

Over a couple of weeks, Nest will learn when you like to have the heating on, for how long and at what temperature. Eventually it will pick up patterns such as the time period where people leave the house on a Tuesday, your lie-in on a Saturday and an empty house every other Friday. Nest connects to your Wi-Fi for online weather forecasts and there is a 150-degree sensor on board to detect if anyone is home.

The UK version also offers a feature called True Radiant that aims to reduce temperature swings and starts heating early so you get the temperature you want when you want it. Nest is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant so you have a variety of customisation options.

Nest Learning Thermostat E


  • Features: Learns your routine, built-in stand, away mode, pre-set schedule, self-install, compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • Requirements: Power, Heat Link to replace existing thermostat (included) and Wi-Fi
  • Boiler suitability: Most heating systems (check compatibility here)
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS and Android

The Nest Learning Thermostat E offers many of the same features as the Learning Thermostat 3.0, including the ability to learn your schedule and routine and the True Radiant feature.

The E model features a frosted display and a white polycarbonate finish, allowing it to blend into its surroundings a little more. It also comes with a battery-operated Heat Link that replaces your existing thermostat in the UK for an easy self-install and the Thermostat E itself features a built-in stand, offering more placement flexibility compared to the Thermostat 3.0. You can put the Thermostat E anywhere in any room as long as there is a power socket and it is within 30 metres of the Heat Link.

The Thermostat E doesn’t have the Farsight feature for displaying the weather, time or temperature on the display all the time, nor does it support hot water control, but it is the cheaper smart thermostat from Nest and it doesn’t require professional installation, while still offering a premium build quality and plenty of great features including a pre-set schedule from the box.

Tado Smart Thermostat V3+


  • Features: Control of individual heating zones, uses your geolocation and weather forecasting for better efficiency, domestic hot water control, compatible with IFTTT, Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant
  • Requirements: Power, internet bridge (included) and Wi-Fi
  • Boiler suitability: 95 percent of heating systems including gas central heating and underfloor heating systems (see full list here)
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS and Android

Tado can be retrofitted to your current heating set-up and it uses a cloud-based heating app to allow you to control your heating from your smartphone. The Tado V3 system also brings home control in the form of a small square control unit with LED lights that displays the current temperature, plus it also allows you to control individual zones via Smart Radiator Thermostats. The V3+ system adds air quality control through the redesigned app.

Tado tracks your smartphone’s location so it knows when you have left the house and when you will be returning and it uses what the company calls “model predictive control”. This technology is designed to pull in a number of data points to calculate when you are on your return home, what the weather is like outside and what temperature you have requested for when you return.

Tado will then get your house ready for you in time for when you step through the door by measuring the weather forecast, time it will take you to get home and how fast your house heats up. Its compatibility with all the smart assistants, including Apple’s HomeKit, means you can use voice to turn the heating up or down too.

Honeywell Evohome


  • Features: Control of up to 12 individual heating zones, scheduling, domestic hot water control, IFTTT, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Requirements: Power and Wi-Fi
  • Boiler suitability: Any home with hydronic (wet) central heating system
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS and Android

Honeywell’s Evohome is a wireless-connected heating system that will let you control individual radiators and therefore specific rooms. It connects to your boiler and existing radiators and you will be able to control the entire heating system through a central console or smartphone app.

Evohome allows you to control up to 12 zones and within those zones you can control each radiator down to a set degree in temperature, but you can also set the same temperature throughout the entire house if you prefer.

There are a number of preset settings that give you the option to reduce the entire house by a few degrees or override the system entirely and the Evohome system is compatible with IFTTT, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Hive Active Heating 2.0


  • Features: Remote heating control, domestic hot water control, holiday mode, scheduling, frost protection, reminders based on your geolocation, control of individual heating zones, heating and hot water boost, compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Requirements: Power, hub to connect to your router (included), receiver to connect to your boiler (included), and Wi-Fi
  • Boiler suitability: Most gas, LPG and electric heating systems (check compatibility here)
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS and Android

British Gas offers Hive Active Heating 2.0, which replaces your existing thermostat with a wireless system and connection to your broadband. Once you have had it installed, you will be able to control heating and hot water using the Hive app as well as via the website. It means, like the others, if you want to check the temperature at home and increase it from the supermarket then you can.

You can set alerts to let you know when your house has changed temperature and the system comes with a modern-looking thermostat that you can use to change your settings or set schedules when you are at home so you don’t always need to use your smart device. You can also buy multiple thermostats if you want to set different rooms to different temperatures, but all will be controllable through the same app.

The Hive system is not dependent on British Gas supplying your energy so you can still buy it even if you have a different supplier. There are also smart lights, plugs and sensors available within the Hive range, all of which can be controlled through the Hive app. Hive Active Heating is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Honeywell Lyric T6/T6R Smart Thermostat


  • Features: Remote heating control, scheduling, location based temperature control, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT compatibility
  • Requirements: Power, receiver box (included) and Wi-Fi for Lyric T6, Wi-Fi and receiver box (included) for T6R
  • Boiler suitability: Most heating systems but not hydronic underfloor heating (check compatibility here)
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS and Android

Honeywell offers a number of connected heating products, including the aforementioned Evohome, as well as the Lyric T6 and T6R.

The Lyric T6 and T6R offer heating control via your smartphone or tablet, like the rest of the services on this list, but they do a little less than Honeywell’s Evohome offering. There is no multi-zone control for example, though they do offer location based temperature control via a Geofence.

The T6 and T6R will monitor your smartphone location to determine whether you are home or away and both are programmable with seven-day scheduling. The Lyric T6 is the wired option of the two, while the T6R is wire-free and can be moved from room-to-room around your home. Unlike Evohome, the Lyric T6R is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, as well as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT.

Netatmo Smart Thermostat


  • Features: Remote heating control, control of individual heating zones, holiday mode, tailored scheduling, auto-adapt, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit compatibility
  • Requirements: Private Wi-Fi network, individual boiler, gas, oil or wood energy source
  • Boiler suitability: Most heating systems including boilers, heat pumps, underfloor heating and flats with thermostat (check compatibility here)
  • Smartphone compatibility: iOS, Android and Windows Phone

The Netatmo Smart Thermostat, designed by Philip Starck, offers the same remote access as others available, while also claiming to be the perfect balance between functionality and design.

You can control and monitor your heating anytime and anywhere using the app and after you have answered a few initial questions at setup, the company claims it will adapt to your lifestyle by observing your habits to create a program based on them.

Temperature can be adjusted on the thermostat itself or through your smart device and you’ll also be able to find out your energy consumption. The Netatmo Smart Thermostat is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit and control of individual zones is also available with the Netatmo Smart Radiator Valves.

Source / Pocket-lint

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