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Nest thermostat vs other smart thermostats

The Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation) is the most expensive thermostat we’ve tested, so how does it compare to rivals like Hive and Honeywell?

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Owned by Google, the Nest Learning Thermostat is designed to adapt to your routine, setting your heating automatically. This could be a useful feature, but it doesn’t necessarily make it a better thermostat than other, cheaper options.

With a minimalist circular design in different colour options, it certainly has aesthetics in mind. It can manage both your heating and hot water, and comes with a child lock to stop small fingers fiddling with settings and a motion sensor that lights up the screen as you pass. As well as learning to anticipate your schedule, you can also programme it in seven-day blocks or enable the GPS tracker to switch itself off when you leave the house.

But how does it match up to its competitors? We took leading smart thermostats to the Which? test lab to see how they compared on specs and performance.

Go straight to the top performers with our Best Buy smart thermostats.

Nest vs Hive, Tado and other smart thermostats

So what separates all the main smart thermostat brands? It’s mainly down to features. The table below shows what each one offers:

  Hot water Installation Compatible with Extra features
Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen) Optional extra Professional recommended Google Home Learns your routine, GPS tracking, frost protection
Heatmiser SmartStat Optional extra Professional only N/A GPS tracking, frost protection
Hive Active Heating 2 Optional extra Professional recommended Hive Hub, Amazon Echo GPS tracking, frost protection
Honeywell Lyric T6 No Professional recommended Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Echo GPS tracking, frost protection
Netatmo Thermostat No Self or professional Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Echo Learns your routine, frost protection
Salus iT500 Yes Professional recommended N/A Frost protection
Tado Smart Thermostat v3 Yes Self or professional Apple HomeKit, Google Home, Amazon Echo GPS tracking, frost protection, weather responsive

Found the specs you want? Now see how the smart thermostats shaped up in the lab.

Only logged-in Which? members can see the results below and find out if any smart thermostats beat Nest. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

72%
£179.00
Reviewed
71%
£150.00
Reviewed
71%
£135.00
Reviewed
63%
£135.00
Reviewed
61%
£92.00
Reviewed
61%
£80.00
Reviewed
59%
£189.00
Reviewed

Nest

A leading brand in smart homes, Nest designs products that are intended to make your home safe and comfortable, and anticipate your needs.

Nest is owned by Google, so all its products are compatible with Google Home, as well as other products such as Fitbit smart watches and Philips Hue smart lighting. There’s even the option to bring home a free Google Home Mini when you purchase a Nest thermostat.

Nest might be best known for its smart thermostats, but there are many more products in the Nest family. You can add to your collection with security cameras that send live videos to your phone, a doorbell that records in HD, smart alarm systems, a lock that can be opened remotely and smoke and CO alarms that test themselves automatically.

Hive

British Gas’s brand Hive is also one of the main smart thermostats on the market. Now on its second generation, the updated Hive offers a more aesthetic, modern interface and can now control a multi-zone heating system.

Like Nest, Hive also offers a range of devices that you can incorporate into your smart home. You can buy the Hive View for a livestream of your home, smart lighting, plugs you can schedule to switch themselves off at certain times and sensors that alert you to doors and windows opening while you’re away. They’re all connected with the Hive Hub, which is installed at the same time as your thermostat.

Honeywell

Honeywell has a whole range of both wired and wireless thermostats at different price points, including the simple Single Zone Thermostat, the more feature-filled T6 range, and the Evohome, designed to manage your home’s multi-zone heating system.

It also offers other heating products, including an underfloor heating controller, thermostatic radiator valves and temperature controls. You can also install an Evohome security bundle, with a selection of intrusion sensors, sirens and security cameras.

Tado

Tado launched its smart thermostat in the UK in 2013. It’s concerned with saving energy and cutting down your monthly bills, and even offers a money-back guarantee if you haven’t made savings.

Tado just focuses on energy and home environments, with a smart thermostat for heating and a smart climate assistant for controlling air conditioning. Both are compatible with a range of smart home systems, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

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