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Technology.

18 November 2021

Nest thermostat vs Tado, Hive and other smart thermostats

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the most expensive smart thermostats we’ve tested. Find out how it compares to rivals from Tado, Hive and Honeywell.
SM
Sam Morris
Nest

The Nest Learning Thermostat (and Nest smart thermostat E) are designed to adapt to your routine, setting your heating automatically.

This could be a useful feature, but doesn’t necessarily make it the best thermostat for you, or indeed better than cheaper options. 

Thermostats from top brands such as Tado, Hive and Honeywell also sell smart thermostats with a range of features that are also on the Nest smart thermostats. These include

  • GPS tracking - to lower, or switch off, the heating when you leave the house
  • Frost Protection - to stop your pipes freezing
  • Weather responsive - to raise or lower the temperature to counteract changes in weather. 
  • Smart home compatibility - some work with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit or other smart home devices, allowing you to control your heating with your voice.

Depending on the features you want, you may find one smart thermostat stands out from the crowd. 

We've tested Tado smart thermostats, as well as Hive, Honeywell and Netatmo devices in our lab to see how they compare to Nest smart thermostats on specs and performance.

A smart thermostat can potentially save you money on gas bills, find out if you're likely to in our guide to buying the best smart thermostat

Nest vs Tado, Hive and other smart thermostats

So what separates a Tado smart thermostat from Nest Learning thermostat? Is Hive a better brand to go with than Honeywell?

The main thing that separates the main smart thermostat brands are the features they offer.

The table compares the main smart thermostats available in the UK.

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?.

 NameScoreHot water ControlInstallationCompatible withFeatures
Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)
YesProfessionalGoogle HomeLearns your routine, GPS tracking, Frost protection, Weather responsive
Google Nest Smart Thermostat ENoSelf or ProfessionalGoogle HomeLearns your routine, GPS tracking, Frost protection, Weather responsive
Hive Active Heating 2
Optional extra
Professional
Amazon Echo, Hive Hub
GPS tracking, Frost Protection, Hive Heating Plus (inc. personalized budgets and energy savings tips for additional annual payment)
Honeywell Evohome smart thermostat
Optional extra
Professional
Google Home, Amazon Echo
Learns your routine, Frost Protection, Touchscreen display
Honeywell Lyric T6R

Optional extra
Professional
Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit
GPS tracking, Frost protection, Touchscreen display
Honeywell Lyric T6
No
Professional
Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit
GPS tracking, Frost protection, Touchscreen display
Netatmo Thermostat
NoSelf or Professional
Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit
Learns your routine, Frost Protection

Found the specs you want? Read our full smart thermostat reviews to see how they shaped up in our full lab tests

Nest smart thermostats

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. You can often buy a Nest Thermostat with a Nest mini or Google Home device in a bundle.

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 the Nest Cam that send live videos to your phone, Nest doorbell that records in HD, smart alarm systems, a lock that can be opened remotely and a Nest Protect Smoke and CO alarm that tests itself automatically.

Hive smart thermostat

British Gas’s brand Hive is one of the main smart thermostats on the market. Now in its second generation, the updated Hive is better-looking with a more modern interface. Plus it can now control a multi-zone heating system.

Like Nest, Hive also offers a range of devices you can incorporate into your smart home, including the Hive Radiator Valve which lets you control temperature room by room, offering even greater savings than the Hive smart thermostat on its own.

There is also the Hive View for a livestream of your home, smart lighting, smart plugs (that 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 smart thermostat.

Honeywell smart thermostats

Honeywell has a whole range of wired and wireless thermostats at different prices, including the simple Single Zone Thermostat, the more feature-filled T6 range and the Evohome. 

The Evohome is designed to manage your home’s multi-zone heating system, which you can create by installing Honeywell Evohome Radiator Valves .

It also offers other Evohome products including an underfloor heating controller and a security bundle that comes with a selection of intrusion sensors, sirens and security cameras.

Tado smart thermostats

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, Tado smart radiator thermostat and a smart climate assistant for controlling air conditioning.

Tado compatible with a range of smart home systems, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Netatmo smart thermostats

Created in 2011, Netatmo first launched its smart thermostat two years later. Designed to save energy without compromising your comfort , the app asks you five questions when you first install the thermostat and from this creates a heating schedule you can then tweak. 

Netatmo offers many other smart devices including the Netatmo smart radiator valve for room-by-room control of your heating. 

The Netatmo smart alarm system uses the Netatmo Welcome security camera and facial recognition to spot intruders. There's also the Netatmo smart outdoor camera with siren which operates similarly, but with an outdoor camera and alarm. 

If you wanted even more, Netatmo offers smart door and window sensors to alert you if one has been opened, a weather station to monitor your home's climate and an air quality monitor to help you provide healthy air in your home. Find out more about how to improve the air quality in your home