Best Smart Thermostat: Nest vs. Ecobee vs. Honeywell vs. Glas
* We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclaimer here to learn more.
What is the best thermostat out there Ecobee VS Nest or is it something else? Well, it’s not like a few years ago where Nest completely owned the game. The game has changed, and I’m here to tell you all about it.
There are a lot of new options. If you are trying to figure out which is the better thermostat, then that really depends upon your personal situation. How many zones you have in your home, etc.
Hopefully, this guide will help you make your decision. I will update it regularly to ensure that you have the latest information to find out what is currently the best thermostat on the market.
WHAT IS A SMART THERMOSTAT?
Some people refer to them as wi-fi thermostats and some people refer to them as smart thermostats. A smart thermostat controls your home’s temperature no matter where you are on the planet all while giving you significant energy savings as well.
Ours comes in most handy when we are on a family vacation. But can be just as useful when you are out picking up some groceries and want to turn up the heat before you get home.
Whether you are on the beach on vacation or just at work and want to check the temperature of your home. Smartphone thermostats are something that you may want to consider.
WHY SHOULD YOU BUY A SMART THERMOSTAT?
So which is better Ecobee vs Nest? There are lots of reasons to get a wifi thermostat. It makes sense for just about anyone. Primarily from a cost-savings standpoint, which I’ll delve into a bit more later in this article.
If that isn’t enough reason to get one though, then just think of the convenience factor. You can check and change the temperature in your home from anywhere in the world when you aren’t home or from the comfort of your couch.
Smartphone controlled thermostats can learn your schedule and can drop and raise the temperature which makes them extremely energy efficient on a day to day basis.
If you are like me then I’m sure that you have left the AC running all day while you were gone. The best part is that you can set up geofencing and it will automatically turn off when you leave the house.
Although wifi thermostats are easy to install. There are many different heating companies that will install smart thermostats for you (for free in some cases) or even give you a better rate because you have one installed. So you may want to check with your local provider to find out what kind of deals they are running.
ARE SMART THERMOSTATS WORTH THE COST?
The simple answer is yes, they are absolutely worth it. Especially when you consider that the average home saves quite a bit according to a report by Nest.
When you consider that they are collecting a 10-12% savings on heating and 15% savings on cooling, that’s about $131-145 savings per year.
According to the readers on Nest’s forum they are saving between $10 and $20 a month on average.
Ecobee claims that they are saving their customers an average of 23% annually! But still, which is better Ecobee vs Nest?
Those are pretty big numbers when you think about the big picture. Absolutely worth every penny in my opinion as well! We installed Ecobee 3 Lite thermostats last year and over the winter we saw a $200 savings in our heating bill!
So when you ask if smart home thermostats will save you money? The resounding answer is yes based on all of the statistical data.
ARE SMART THERMOSTATS SECURE?
Network security for a connected home, whether we are talking about learning thermostats, cameras, or your Amazon Echo, are all linked to your router. Which in turn can cause security risks if you don’t know what you are doing.
There are virtually a ton of articles on the internet talking about how your smart home is hackable. Well, personally I’m tired of it. There’s no reason that you can’t have a secure network at home that keeps out hackers.
The fact of that matter is most people wouldn’t want to try and hack your home network unless they thought there was something very valuable on the back end of it. So, hacking your home network is nothing more than a way to drive you crazy.
With that being said, there are ways to make sure that your home network is secure. I would suggest that you start by reading my article on securing your smart home network and following the suggestions there. But you are here to find out which is the best Ecobee or Nest, so I digress.
WILL A SMART THERMOSTAT WORK WITH MY FURNACE?
Of course, everyone’s home is slightly different and the heating and air conditioning set up differently. Luckily there is a thermostat for just about every scenario.
Have you installed either a four- or five-wire thermostat in the past? Well, this process should be roughly the same. Making it easy for the average homeowner to install. Be careful though, most smart thermostats do require a C wire. You really need to look at Ecobee vs Nest.
I have been walking through a local big box hardware store before and seen signs that tell you that none of them require a C-wire. But most of them will.
If you aren’t sure on what to buy, you may want to check with a local electrician or other professional. In most cases, you can get a thermostat connected with very little trouble.
One workaround for getting power to your smartphone controlled thermostat if you do not have a C-wire is to use a standard 24-volt adapter. You can read more about it in my article called How To Install An Ecobee Thermostat With No C-Wire.
WHICH SMART THERMOSTAT SHOULD I GET?
Obviously, there are a lot of different brands of smart thermostats out on the market right now. Nest, Ecobee, Glas, and Honeywell just to name a few. If you are trying to figure out which one is the best smart thermostat that is the perfect fit for your home then this is the part of the article that you came to read.
When it comes to choosing which one is best for you, then you need to consider what you might be using as a hub. Are you using a Samsung SmartThings? Are you planning on just using Alexa or Google Assistant smart speaker to control your smart thermostats?
Do you have an entire house that you are heating or are you looking for the best thermostat for a small apartment?
All of these things need to be taken into consideration when you are shopping for thermostats. I have put together my top three thermostats on the market today. The wifi thermostats featured in this article are all thermostats you can buy over here on Amazon.
So let’s begin!
ECOBEE 3 LITE
THE BEST SMART THERMOSTAT HANDS DOWN
Not for nothing. This thermostat has changed my life in so many ways. I have four of them in my house which shows my devotion to the Ecobee brand (I know I’ll never hear the end of it from some of my friends who love their Nest). These will save you up to 23%* on your heating and cooling costs.
You can control from anywhere and adjust the temperature and comfort settings easily from your Android and iOS devices. They work very well with the smart thermostat Ecobee room sensors which are sold separately. Something that comes inherently with the Ecobee 4.
But the price point for these is bordering on the budget value thermostats that are out there now.
It installed very quickly and easily. Everything you are going to need is right in the box. The other nice feature about these thermostats is that they tell you what the current weather is like outside right on the thermostat.
So really though, which is better Ecobee vs Nest? I think that the Ecobee 3 is a great entry-level thermostat, that is not by any means near a “bottom of the line” type of thermostat. If you think this might be a fit for your home, then make sure you check out the reviews on Amazon before buying.
BEST SMART THERMOSTAT FOR MULTIPLE ZONES
The Ecobee 4 is the big brother of the Ecobee 3 Lite. It comes with a few more features which are actually a pretty big deal. One of those features which may mean a lot to you is that they have Alexa built right in.
So instead of having to add an echo or an echo dot into a room, you can just talk to Alexa right through your Ecobee smart thermostat. You can even ask it to read you the news or set a timer. Very handy indeed.
One of the nicest and newest features with this Ecobee thermostat is that it has room temperature sensors that you can put throughout your house if you have a heating system that supports it. These temperature sensors pick up on cold spots or hot spots in your home and adjust it as necessary to ensure comfort throughout.
They can also sense when a room is occupied and you can set the heat to go off when you leave that room. The best part is that it comes with one!
Here again, the strongest features of the Ecobee are the long-term cost savings of having one of these in your home. These are also just as easy to install. Although configuration might take a bit longer due to the added learning features that the Ecobee 4 brings.
Personally, we have had great luck with the entire Ecobee line of thermostats and I can honestly say that this is one of my favorites, although I didn’t find having the Alexa add-in particularly helpful. Even though the Nest learning thermostat is loved by most people I find the Ecobee easier to deal with overall. If you want to check out more about the Ecobee4, then make sure you look the reviews over here on Amazon.
Which Ecobee is best?
This is purely a matter of speculation. Many people find that Ecobee 3 Lite just fine for their use. If you only need to replace one thermostat on a single floor then the Ecobee Lite 3 is just fine.
However, if you needed to replace multiple thermostats on a single floor and you don’t have extra common wire’s that have been run. You may want to look into the Ecobee 4 because of it’s sensors.
Ecobee is always looking for an edge and always coming out with newer models. So I would keep an eye on Ecobee to come out with the next big thing.
BEST SMART THERMOSTAT COMPATIBLE WITH GOOGLE HOME
Nest learning thermostat has been around in the thermostat market since 2010 and is one of the top dogs. Nest recently introduced the 3rd generation in its Nest Learning Thermostat line. Nest has four vibrant colors that you can change the display to, and the display is easy to read.
The Nest thermostat spends it’s time learning your routine and can save you money by automatically adjusting the temperature in any room. It does take it a couple of days to learn your patterns. But once Nest learns it works flawlessly.
With it’s new Farsight feature, Nest can light up and show you the temperature and the time when you are approximately 10 feet away or less. Farsight brings a big beautiful display that you can see across the room and allows you to choose either a digital or analog clock face. The Nest learning thermostat comes in four colors Copper, Stainless Steel, Black, and White.
The Nest is a little more pricey, but it does come with a couple of neat features that Ecobee does not. Nest measures the humidity in the air and will turn on the Air Conditioning when it needs to automatically. Also, Nest has a neat feature that will remind you when it’s time to change your air filters on your furnace, which it bases on how many times the furnace has turned off and on.
All in all, Nest learning thermostat is probably one of the best thermostats that you can use with Google Home. But in particular, can I say that Nest is the best thermostat? I think that really depends on the layout of your house and the heating system that you are attaching the Nest into. The Nest is also a bit more money than most people want to pay to enter into the thermostat realm.
The Nest has Easy temperature adjustment
Displays humidity and outdoor temp
You can adjust the Nest temperature by setting triggers
The Nest app is pretty simple to use
The Nest set up is pretty aggravating as it is all done within the Nest thermostat app. Therefore the instructions were a bit limited for my taste. It also doesn’t tell you what the Nest won’t work with until halfway through the installation.
Sometimes you feel like you are fighting against the Nest learning thermostat. You can turn the temp down and the learning feature has the Nest turning itself back up sometimes to readjust automatically.
The Nets thermostat’s motion recognition is a bit annoying because the Nest turns on whenever you are near. That might be useful during the day, but at night it is frustrating.
App calendar scheduler isn’t easy to do multiple edits. For me wasn’t as intuitive but will be for some.
If you are interested in learning more about the Nest learning thermostat or checking out other reviews. Here is a link to the Nest over on Amazon.
Does Nest or Ecobee save more money?
There is no definitive answer as to whether Nest or Ecobee will save you more money. Personally, I have seen that it depends on the home and how it is set up and the particular use of the customer.
I have seen homes where Ecobee makes more sense because it is a larger home and the sensors can be spread out, which will more efficiently turn the heat or cooling off and on.
I have also seen homes where the use of a Nest makes more sense because it’s a smaller single floor home or an apartment. So you have no need for sensors at all in your day to day use.
The thermostats themselves (Both Ecobee and Nest) are not on the cheaper side of things, so you have to factor that in as well. Because after all, we are talking about saving change (pennies or maybe dimes) per month in most cases
That said, above Nest and Ecobee yes, there is a more affordable option and I’ll get into that more next.
BEST BUDGET THERMOSTAT
What’s your budget? If other options (like the Ecobee or Nest) don’t get you excited because they are too pricey then the Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostat might do the trick. I’m really impressed with how well Honeywell has adapted to this market and they might even be the leader one day in my opinion.
The Honeywell Lyric T5 is a programmable touchscreen thermostat with geofencing built-in. It works with Amazon Alexa and does require a common wire as most of them do. This smartphone controlled thermostat is compatible with both Alexa and Siri and well worth the money.
It also has a neat feature called “adaptive recovery”, which is where it learns how long it takes to achieve the right temperature at the right time. It automatically turns your HVAC system on to get to your desired temperature, and it auto changes from cool to heat when you need it to.
One other nice feature is that it has “smart alerts” which give you push notifications when you need a filter change and extreme temperature warnings.
I think this is a great entry-level, budget thermostat and I would highly recommend it as such. If you’d like to check out more, then I would suggest reading through the reviews over here on Amazon before making your purchase.
GLAS (JOHNSON CONTROLS)
BEST NEW SMART THERMOSTAT
There’s always a new kid on the block when it comes to smart home devices. The technology changes so fast and with each new product line it seems that there are improvements being made. The new Glas Thermostat by Johnson Controls is no exception and is one of the top smart thermostats on the market.
It offers indoor air quality monitoring, which means that it can sense humidity. That’s a big plus right off the bat!
But that’s not all…
The Glas thermostat also offers reporting of allergen levels, air quality index, and even UV index. I haven’t seen another thermostat that can do that to date.
It offers 7-day scheduling or you can use the occupancy feature to figure out when you are home and what rooms you are in. It really focuses on your use and It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Microsoft Cortana as well.
I like this thermostat. I really do! But the price point along with its lack of room sensors makes it just out of reach for the average consumer at this point. Especially when it’s competitors do more and are more affordable.
Simple installation and even has a backup battery
Futuristic looking and snappy response times
The Glas internal temperature sensor can be calibrated
Mobile app only and it is a bit slow
Screen on the thermostat turns off too quick
The biggest con is the price. It’s a bit too pricey for my blood at the end of the day
If you would like to check out user reviews or the current price point you can take a peek over here on Amazon.
SO, WHICH IS THE BEST SMART THERMOSTAT?
This is the ultimate question at the end of the day. Which is better Ecobee vs Nest or Honeywell or Glas… etc? I’m personally very cautious when choosing a thermostat. It’s a rather big investment, especially if you plan on buying more than one for your home.
Nest and Ecobee are two of the clear winners. But they are a little more pricey. Just make sure you pick the best thermostat for your lifestyle and your needs. For example, make sure that you know if you have a common wire installed in your home before you install it. Some HVAC system’s do and some HVAC system’s don’t.
That’s why I’ve listed one here for each type of user or home. I’m hoping I’ve answered your questions and if you find that I missed anything please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to try to help you out.
Also please make sure you check out my best smart home devices page for other smart home products that I endorse.
Or if you are looking for a smart home gift for someone you could check out our holiday gift guide for all your smart home tech gifts like smart lights, smart locks, voice assistants, smart plugs, and much much more. It’s truly your ultimate gift guide for all kinds of smart home devices and gadgets that the family will love.