The best smart thermostats to help you stay warm for less

Cut down on your skyrocketing energy bills by getting yourself a cutting-edge smart thermostat.


by Ryan Houghton |

If you want to keep your heating bills down, the best smart thermostats are here to save the day. Program your preferred heat settings for the week, and your heating will sort itself out, keeping the home at a cosy temperature that's best for you. You can even control the heating in separate rooms, so everyone at home has a temperature to their liking. And If you want even more convenience, many smart thermostats are compatible with Alexa, so you don't even need to bother with the app.

Are you trying to save even more money on your monthly gas and electric? We'd definitely recommend grabbing yourself a smart meter too. It's much more accurate than your old gas meter and is bound to save you hundreds in the long run.

What are smart thermostats?

A smart thermostat allows you to control your home's heating through an app or manually from the device itself. Once you select a temperature, the thermostat will maintain this condition by switching your boiler on and off periodically throughout the day, meaning you're not constantly heating your home.

Many smart thermostats allow you to use energy-saving modes that cut down your bills while keeping the house nice and warm. Want to know how much you've saved? You can also get that info from their useful apps - how great is that?

One of the best ways to save money on your energy bill is to compare how much your energy provider is charging. We've picked out some of the absolute best value energy providers so you can switch energy and save.

How do I install my smart thermostat?

Installing a new smart thermostat is pretty easy and shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes at most. A lot of smart thermostats come with comprehensive instructions to guide you step-by-step through this process, but if you don't want to follow that, then here's a fantastic guide that will answer all your questions.

The best smart thermostats in the UK

Specifications:

Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm

Batteries required: 2 x AAA

Included components: Tado° Smart Thermostat, tado° Internet Bridge, 2 sticky pads, 3 AAA batteries, 2 wall mounting screws, 2 wall plugs, Labels for wiring, UK Power supply, EU Power supply, USB cable, Ethernet cable

Name of the app: tado

Additional features: Weather Adaptation, Insightful Statistics, Energy Savings Report, multi room control (additional Smart Thermostats required), heating boost function, frost protection

Pros / cons:

Pros:

Fantastic, precise control of house temperature

Tonnes of pre-set features

Energy-saving guides available on app

Easy to use thermostat that looks great

Cons:

Fairly pricey

Overview:

Easily one of, if not the best smart thermostat available right now, tado's smart thermostat starter kit is everything you'll need for total heat control throughout the house this year. Completely compatible with basically every heating system you can imagine, including gas, oil, condensing, and OpenTherm systems, tado is perfect for everyone.

Our favourite feature is the app, which is loaded with some awesome pre-set features such as weather adaptation, energy savings reports, heat boosting, and much more - what more could you need?

Customer review: "Really impressed with tado. Great functionality via geofencing and multi room heat zones (tado radiator valves required). There’s lots of alternatives on the market and they generally all perform well but the tado was the best balance for us based on cost and functionality."

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Specifications:

Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.9 x 12.4 cm

Batteries required: 4 x AA

Included components: Smart thermostat, 4x AA batteries

Name of the app: Hive app

Additional features: Hive active heating, frost protection, holiday mode, PIN lock, geolocation

Pros / cons:

Pros:

Simple, intuitive smart thermostat interface

Great award winning app

Compatible with Alexa and Google Home

Cons:

Not a ton of features

Setup can be tricky

Expensive

Overview:

The award-winning Hive active heating thermostat is a simple, yet brilliant little device, guaranteeing you some cut-down energy bills this year. The thermostat has a wonderful, high-quality feel, with easy-to-access features that even your older relatives could manage.

If you want better control, you'll need to download the Hive app; which has some fantastic modes and features to keep the house as hot or cold as you'd like. There are even some geolocation features, allowing you to selectively heat certain rooms with ease, so everyone in the house is comfortable.

Our only minor gripe is the potential installation difficulties, which might cause some issues if you're not much of an electrician. However, for a fee, you can have the device installed by a professional - now that's service.

Customer review: "I bought the version without professional installation. I'm not a DIY expert but I do enjoy doing the odd bit here and there. The Hive was easy to install - it took me around 15 minutes, the majority of which was waiting for the Hub to connect and update its firmware. My boiler is fairly modern (Vokera 29 Compact) and it only needed 4 wires connecting to the control unit. The app is intuitive and easy to use, as is the physical thermostat."

If like us you're always looking to save some cash, then check out our incredible list of 10 ways to save money on your energy bills.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 8.4 x 3.2 x 8.4 cm

Batteries required: 1 x polymer battery (included)

Included components: Smart thermostat, 1 x polymer battery

Name of the app: Google Nest

Additional features: Auto-schedule, home/away assist, hot water, OpenTherm technology, remote control, farsight, Nest Protect

Pros /cons:

Pros:

Brilliant smart technology that syncs with Google Nest tech

Easy to use

Looks fantastic

Cons:

Requires Amazon Echo speaker to control with Alexa

May need a professional to install correctly

Overview:

Amazon's absolute best-selling smart thermostat of all time, the Google Nest Learning Thermostat is a brilliant bit of kit that is perfect for any home. Designed to be ultra-convenient for you - Google's ultra-smart thermostat learns your behaviour - the heat settings you love and will automatically adjust to at certain times of the day just for you. When you leave home, Google will automatically turn off the heating and will be ready to warm up just before you get back.
With the Nest app, you've got complete control of the house's heat, so even when you're not in, you can adjust it however you'd like.

For proper installation, Google recommends that you use a qualified electrician who will know where's best to place the device, but if you're handy with electricals, we're sure you'll do just fine.

Customer review: "Installed and working and this just oozes quality, stat was very easy to program to Wi-Fi and setup and even has a program schedule to work with the auto learning. Stat body has some weight which just backs up the quality feel and touch."

It's not just gas and electric that's pricey right now, here's the absolute best ways to save cash on petrol and diesel.

Specifications:

Dimensions: 10.3 x 6.8 x 10.3 cm

Batteries required: N/A

Included components: 1 x T6R smart thermostat and receiver

Name of the app: Honeywell Home

Additional features: Location based temperature control, touchscreen interface, programmable / adjustable, compatible with Alexa, Google Home, Apple Homekit, IFTTT

Pros / cons:

Pros:

Great touchscreen thermostat

Tailor the experience directly to you

Highly compatible with many apps and speakers

Cons:

Slightly difficult to install

Overview:

Comfort and ease are what Honeywell had in mind when designing their smart thermostat, and they have truly delivered. The Honeywell Home looks and feels fantastic, with a great little thermostat that can be placed practically anywhere around your home. While it isn't as hands-free as Google's Learning Nest, you've still got total control of your heating with a fully programmable seven-days a week schedule.

Not at home and want to warm up the place before you get back? Simply use the Honeywell Home app and crank up the heat before you return, fantastic!

Optimise your home in moments with Honeywell Home, you won't regret it.

Customer review: "Purchased and installed this product to give me and my family a modern and greater control, mainly over our heating system, but water heating schedule too. The wifi thermostat totally replaces our old thermostat and improves the heating schedules massively with the ability to control and modify almost infinitely throughout the day and night".

Specifications:

Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.6 x 3.8 cm

Batteries required: N/A

Included components: ‎Thermostat: 1pc Screws: 1pc Installation/programming manual :1pc

Name of the app: My BecaSmart

Additional features: Water heating control, gas boiler control, Alexa, Google Home

Pros / cons:

Pros:

Very affordable

Compatible with Alexa, Google Home

Easy to install

Cons:

Very few features

Feels a little cheaper than the others

App is fairly basic

Overview:

Easily our most basic yet best value pick of the bunch, Qiaoxipan's stainless steel smart thermostat offers great energy control at the most affordable price available. Compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple's Siri, you don't have to pay upwards of £200 for a great smart thermostat that doesn't just look the part.

Qiaoxipan's lovely little app, MyBecaSmart goes a long way to deliver you ultra-simple. Yet it provides effective temperature control in the house, allowing you to program heating for every day of the week.

If you're on a budget and still want to cut down on energy bills, this may be the smart thermostat for you.

Customer review: "I have had this for almost a year and am extremely impressed with it. It controls my oil fired central heating and I use it to monitor the temperature in my main living area in such a way that if it is set to 24C all the TRVs will control their room temperatures to the comfort level required and, if this is set to a lower temperature, the system will be adjusted accordingly. It is extremely accurate and reliable. I don't bother with programming it; I just tell Alexa what I want! I tell it to set 15C when I go to bed, unless it is very cold, and to set 21 - 23C when I wake up."

Do smart thermostats really save you money?

Yes, they do. Simply put, it maintains a constant temperature to your liking, but without the need for having the heating constantly on. You can also adjust the amount of heat in each room with some smart thermostats, meaning that you won't be using as much energy overall.

Smart thermostats also have energy-saving options and reports - they'll help you figure out where most of your heating money is going.

Will a smart thermostat work without Wi-Fi?

A smart thermostat will work without Wi-Fi, but it will lose a lot of its functionality. Connection to the app is usually maintained through Wi-Fi, so you won't be able to control it via your phone without it.

Can a smart thermostat work with any boiler?

Smart thermostats typically work with most boilers, but you may want to double-check the product specifications beforehand. Many of the selected products on this list are perfectly suitable for most boilers available around the globe.

Can a smart thermostat be hacked?

Practically anything with a Wi-Fi connection can be hacked. Although hackers are less likely to be interested in your heating than your other personal data.

What are the disadvantages of a smart thermostat?

Smart thermostats can be expensive, which is disconcerting for some who are planning to buy one, but usually, after a year or so, you will have quite easily saved the money you spent on the device, so we think it's worth it.

Then there's installation; if you're not fully equipped to install the smart thermostat, we'd recommend calling a professional.

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