Top three smart thermostats for 2020
By Alice Williams
Find out which smart thermostats Which? rates above the others, and choose the best model for your home that will be easy to use and set up.
Our testing has revealed three standout smart thermostats that make controlling your heating a breeze.
We’ve highlighted these thermostats as they performed best in our tests. But if you’re looking for a model you can install yourself or one with GPS tracking, this roundup can also help you choose the Best Buy that stands out in this area.
Whether you want a top performer with specific features, a great smart thermostat you can install yourself or just the very best you can buy, we've selected the right product for you.
Only logged-in Which members can view the results in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.
Best thermostat overall
As the name suggests, the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation learns your routine, so unlike other smart thermostats, you're not tied into setting regular schedules. This makes it an interesting model, but you need to know that it's easy to set up and use before you commit to installing it in your home. To find out if this smart thermostat is worth investing in, read our full review.
Best thermostat for self-installation
Netatmo claims that its Netatmo Thermostat can save you up to 37% on your energy bills by learning and adapting to your daily routine. This could be a great feature for those who want a more hands-off smart thermostat, or it could make it tricky to use. For our expert verdict, read the full review.
Best thermostat for GPS tracking
Hive, the smart thermostat from British Gas, has upped its game in the style stakes with the Hive Active Heating 2, offering a sleek square design and different colour options to suit your taste. It's not just the aesthetics that have been updated though, so do the extra features make this smart thermostat a Best Buy? Find out in our full review.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at June 2018.
What makes a Best Buy smart thermostat
The very best smart thermostats are:
- Easy to use. We rate every part of the process, so you can be sure to buy a thermostat that's simple to install and set up, comes with a user-friendly app and is straightforward to operate.
- Accurate. If you're cutting energy costs, every degree counts. Our testing reveals the most precise and responsive smart thermostats on the market.
- Feature-packed. We reward smart thermostats that have extra features as standard. Devices with more added extras are simpler, quicker and more fun to interact with.
The benefits of smart thermostats
There are several reasons why you might want to install a smart thermostat in your home.
If you dread your energy bill landing on your doormat, a smart thermostat can give you more control over your usage and, over time, save you money. Some smart thermostats make cost saving a priority - look for devices that offer energy reports, which analyse your usage over time, or have eco settings, which let you know which temperatures to set to cut down your spending. The Tado Smart Thermostat v3 even offers a money-back guarantee if you haven’t noticed a drop in your monthly bill.
Not everyone will save money, though. See our advice on smart thermostats savings to see if you could benefit.
One of the main draws of having a smart thermostat is that you can control your heating from anywhere, anytime. Look out for models with a high ease of use score if you want the most user-friendly device possible. You should also consider whether it's easier to leave the installation to a professional or to do it yourself at your preferred time. Some thermostats will give you the choice, but others are only intended to be set up by specialists.
We also reward thermostats that have a well-designed app, can be used through a web portal and offer text or email alerts, so you have multiple, simple options for operating your heating. See all our smart thermostat reviews to find out which are easiest to use.
If you want your gadgets to go above and beyond, feature-packed smart thermostats can inject some fun into your heating schedule. You can find displays that change colour according to the weather, GPS trackers that respond to your location and even learning thermostats that anticipate your weekly pattern. Some less exciting, but still worthwhile, features are touchscreen displays, text or email alerts, and a child lock to keep prying fingers away.
Not sure which features to go for? See our guide to how to buy the best smart thermostat.