The Best Smart Thermostats: Heating Made Easy

Take control of your home's heating with our handpicked selection of smart thermostats, designed for remote operation and energy efficiency.
Tried & Tested: See Our Testing ↓
Written & Tested By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
Best Smart Thermostat
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A smart thermostat is the best way to control your home’s energy usage via a smartphone, tablet or any other smart device. Not only do they provide added convenience with features such as scheduling and holiday modes but they also make controlling your heating much easier, which in the long run will help you to become more energy efficient.

To help you choose the right smart thermostat for your home, our hand-picked selection features top-performing models chosen through our first-hand experience using multiple thermostats, testing and the latest research.

tado Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3
Best Overall: tado° Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+
Nest Learning 3rd Gen Smart Thermostat
Best Quality: Nest Learning 3rd Gen Smart Thermostat
Netatmo NTH01-EN-EC Smart Thermostat
Best Value: Netatmo NTH01-EN-EC Thermostat
Hive Active Heating Thermostat
Best Design: Hive Active Heating Thermostat
Honeywell Home T6R Smart Thermostat
Best All-Rounder: Honeywell Home T6R Smart Thermostat
Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Smart Thermostat
Best Budget: Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Thermostat

How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Smart Thermostats

As we own a number of properties (Airbnb’s and rental properties), we’ve had the pleasure of installing and testing out multiple smart thermostats. Not only do they make controlling your central heating far easier, but they are also very convenient. For example, if we have our Airbnb booked out, we can schedule the heating to turn on before they arrive. We also use the thermostats daily in our personal homes as well as at the DIY Works office.

Best Smart Thermostat UK

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

In terms of the selection of smart thermostats we’ve tested over the years, they include Hive (as pictured above), as well as the Google Nest, Tado V3, Honeywell TR6 and Drayton Wiser which are pictured below.

best smart thermostats

Richard Morgan/DIY Works
best smart boiler thermostat

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

However, to keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest smart thermostats (for this article), we are continually upgrading the thermostats with the latest offerings from the brands.

best smart thermostat for combi boiler

Richard Morgan/DIY Works
best home smart thermostat

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

As well as our testing and experience of using multiple smart thermostats, we also based our recommendations upon the latest research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included the thermostat’s design, connectivity, modes, scheduling, ease of setup, compatibility, additional functionality, warranty and value for money.

If you want to see a smart thermostat in action, below is a video we posted on our YouTube channel where we are testing the Hive Active Heating system.

The Best Smart Thermostats

At DIY Works, our content is 100% independent and we would never recommend a product that we wouldn't use ourselves (read our editorial standards and how we test products).

1. Best Overall: tado° Smart Thermostat Starter Kit V3+

(How We Review →)

The tado° brand produces a wide range of smart home appliances and this is the latest thermostat they have to offer. Unlike previous models, this third-generation smart thermostat uses optimized algorithms to provide additional energy savings along with seamless integration with other smart appliances.

Included in the box is the thermostat, internet bridge, mounting hardware, installation guide and accessories. During our testing, we found it relatively easy to setup and the provided instructions were very helpful.

Pros
  • Compatible with 95% of heating systems
  • Uses your phone's location and weather forecast to tailor the energy usage
  • Works with the Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant
  • Multi-room control and smart scheduling
  • Easily expandable with other smart accessories (i.e. TRV's, plugs and so much more)
  • Features the desirable open window detection
  • Box includes everything you require to install the thermostat
  • New and improved model by the brand (third generation)
Cons
  • More expensive than other thermostats because it comes as a complete kit

Smart thermostats have improved a huge deal over the last few years and Tado’s new and improved V3+ is a prime example of the best available right now.

It really does tick all the boxes with a range of intuitive functionality to help you reduce your energy consumption. There is also a variety of other smart products that you can also connect such as the brand’s highly-rated smart radiator valves.

During our testing of this smart thermostat, we were really impressed by all of its functionality and as an added bonus, it’s relatively affordable when you consider everything that’s included.

2. Best Quality: Nest Learning 3rd Gen Smart Thermostat

(How We Review →)

Just as popular as the Tado alternative is the 3rd generation of the Google Nest thermostat. It’s the most expensive within this article but offers further functionality and is also able to control up to 20 thermostats per home. Included with the complete package is the display, base, heat link, trim plate, mounting screws and installation guide.

According to the brand, this smart thermostat is compatible with the majority of heating systems, which includes gas, oil and condensing boilers as well as underfloor heating and heat pumps.

Pros
  • Remote control from anywhere on your mobile, tablet or laptop
  • Auto-scheduling and auto-away
  • Advanced modulation using "OpenTherm" technology
  • Compatible with the majority of heating appliances
  • Can be installed with ease
  • Geo-location and built-in sensors to avoid heating an empty home
  • We liked the fact that you can change the surround to best suit the décor of your home
Cons
  • Most expensive within our roundup

If you can afford the additional upfront cost of the Google Nest, it’s an excellent smart thermostat that won’t disappoint. Compared to the previous generations, it’s far more superior with a slimmer and sleeker design and also a bigger display.

During our testing, we explored all of its functionality and really liked the fact that we could change the surround to suit our home’s décor. In the DIY Works office, it’s a split decision as to which is the best out of the Tado and Google Nest thermostats because both had their own standout features. However, regardless of your choice, both are great options to consider and when tested, we really liked using both.

3. Best Value: Netatmo NTH01-EN-EC Thermostat

(How We Review →)

The Netatmo NTH01-EN-EC is an affordable option to consider that can be activated by voice commands or using the brand’s dedicated smartphone application. Depending upon your personal preference, you can choose to mount this particular model to a wall or keep it nearby using the supplied stand.

A distinctive feature of the Netatmo smart thermostat is its unique design, which is simplistic and can even be personalized using the included adhesive coloured strips. The complete kit also includes a stand, relay, adapter, mounting plate, USB cable and three AAA batteries too.

Pros
  • Compatible with the Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit
  • Brand states that it takes less than an hour to install
  • Absent and frost protection modes
  • Compatible with most types of boilers
  • Simplistic design with four coloured stripes
  • Wall mountable or can be used with a stand
Cons
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing when compared to the alternatives
  • During our testing, we felt that the application could be more user friendly

Although the design may not be as fancy as the premium alternatives above, it’s still stylish and practical. The brand also offers a wide range of other products that can also be controlled from the same application as the smart thermostat. Therefore, if you want an affordable smart thermostat that won’t disappoint, you can’t go wrong with this Netatmo model.

4. Best Design: Hive Active Heating Thermostat

(How We Review →)

The Hive smart thermostat is by far one of the most attractive and user-friendly options on the market and it works seamlessly with the brand’s dedicated and award-winning smartphone application. From the application, you can set the heating to come on within six-time slots during the day and easily set schedules for each day of the week.

In terms of the installation, you’ll need to use a hub and receiver if you haven’t already got one. However, once the hub has been set up, you can then begin to add other accessories such as smart plugs, lights and so much more.

Pros
  • Set schedules for each day of the week
  • Six time slots per day
  • Heating boost for up to six hours
  • Automatic frost protection and “Holiday” mode
  • Intuitive and attractive thermostat
  • PIN lock that avoids tampering
  • Award winning smartphone and tablet application
  • Thermostat can be wall mounted or used as a portable unit
Cons
  • From our testing, we found that we were replacing batteries quite often (every 6 months)
  • Requires a hub to connect to the internet

To conclude, the Hive Active Heating is one of the best-designed smart thermostats that’s easy to set up and use. We’ve personally installed the Hive thermostat ourselves and we use it for controlling both our underfloor heating and radiators. Overall, we have zero complaints and it’s transformed the way we schedule the heating in our house.

5. Best All-Rounder: Honeywell Home T6R Smart Thermostat

(How We Review →)

Another affordable option is the Honeywell T6R model, which uses a simple touchscreen interface to control the heating. As with many of the alternatives, it also works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.

In terms of the installation of this smart thermostat, it’s also very straightforward. Simply download the application, follow the instructions on the screen and connect the receiver box to your router.

Pros
  • Easy to use touchscreen display
  • Location based temperature control
  • Dedicated application that's very user friendly
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomeKit
  • Option of a wired or wireless installation
Cons
  • Doesn't include a bracket to mount it to the wall

For those that like the Hive design but not the expensive price, this smart thermostat is the closest alternative. It combines an attractive design, value for money and a wide range of functionality into a single affordable package.

6. Best Budget: Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone Thermostat

(How We Review →)

Drayton produces several kits that are suitable for controlling various heating appliances throughout your home. However, their smart thermostat known as the Wiser model enables you to control all of the brand’s smart heating devices via the application and also have access to multiple smart modes.

Pros
  • Eco, away and comfort modes
  • Easily control radiator thermostats room-by-room
  • Controls up to 16 rooms, 32 radiators and 10 smart plugs
  • Integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTT
  • Fits to a standard UK back plate
Cons
  • Limited wireless range for large houses
  • Thermostat design isn't as aesthetically pleasing as the other options

Overall, the Drayton Wiser Smart Thermostat is a highly-rated option that comes with many optional extras for maximum control of your heating. If you do decide to choose this thermostat, it’s important to note that there are specific kits designed for either a combination or a conventional system. Another important consideration is that if you have a large house, you may need to use the brand’s extender device to increase the connectivity range.

Conclusion

Investing in a smart thermostat can be an expensive purchase but one that you won’t regret. It offers convenience and improves your energy efficiency, which in the long run will save you money.

All of our recommendations listed in our roundup above are suitable for a range of budgets and include many desirable features. However, to avoid disappointment, we highly advise that you ensure your Wi-Fi is fully functioning and reliable before purchasing a thermostat because they rely on a stable connection.

If you require further information regarding any of our smart thermostat recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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