We Compare Smart Thermostats by Type, Brand & Price

Quick guide summary

Which is the best smart thermostat for my home & heating system?

The aim of this guide is to help you find the right smart thermostat for your home/heating system and then compare models by brand and price to find the best value. To make life easier, we have categorised smart thermostats into three groups: 1) Simple controls; 2) Complex controls; and 3) Hybrid home automation. To find out how boiler branded smart thermostats such as the Worcester Wave and Vaillant VSmart compare, read our other 'insider' guide: Nest & Hive V Boiler Brand Smart Thermostats. For conventional heating controls, read our Guide to Thermostats, Programmers and Timers.

Overview of smart thermostats

1) Simple Smart Thermostats

such as Nest and Hive. Suitable for any property with a combi, regular or system boiler

2) Complex Smart Thermostats

such as Honeywell Evohome or Heat Genius. Good for larger properties or where there is a mix of radiators and underfloor heating.

3) Home Automation Controls

such as Devolo or HeatMiser Neo. Good for anyone that wants to combine heating controls with other home automation systems

How to use this Guide

Review types of smart thermostat

Compare Prices and Function

Make an informed choice

Jargon Buster

Find the right type of Smart Thermostat for your home

Smart Heating Control Type Product Examples When are they suitable Description
1) Simple Smart Thermostats Nest and Hive Any property with a combi, regular or system boiler Like a traditional thermostat, this is a single unit that calls for the boiler to come on to meet a room temperature. Some have additional functions such as geo-location, hot water boost and the capacity to work with smart radiator valves
2) Complex Smart Thermostats Honeywell Evo Home, Heat Genius, Drayton Wiser Good for larger properties or where there is a mix of radiators and underfloor heating. These are sophisticated heating control systems capable of setting different temperatures in different 'zones' and controlling the temperature and timing of hot water.
3) Hybrid Smart Controls Devolo and HeatMiser Neo Anyone who wishes to automate multiple aspects of their home. These are easonably sophisticated heating control systems that form part of a wider home automation system for security cameras and electronics.

Review Products, Prices and Function

1. Simple Smart Thermostats

Popular simple smart controls include Nest and Hive, as well as controls offered by some boiler manufacturers. These controls work like traditional thermostats that call for the boiler to come on in order to meet a pre-set room temperature. The two drop down tables below show Prices and Function for this range of products.

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Prices
Manufacturer Nest - Learning thermostat Hive - Active Heating Netatmo - Smart Thermostat Momit - Home Thermostat Inspire Home Automation - Room Thermostat
 
Price for heating controls £179 3rd Generation £179 (£249 installed) £ 99.00 £99 (£128 for wireless extension) £159.00 (£179.00 wireless)
Price for hot water time kit Included Included Not available Not available Not available
Price for hot water time and temperature kit Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
Price for additional room stats Not available Not available Not available Not available Not available
Price for individual temp sensors on radiators Not available Not available £ 59.99 Not available Not available
Presense detection and/or geo location? Both Not available Not available Both Not available
Available to buy John Lewis Nest AO Screwfix Inspire Home Automation
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Function
Manufacturer Nest - Learning thermostat Hive - Active Heating Netatmo - Smart Thermostat Momit - Home Thermostat Inspire Home Automation - Room Thermostat
 
Heating Features Can control 2 zones Can control 3 zones One Zone One Zone One Zone
Can also control hot water? Yes - timer only Yes - timer only No No No
Options with basic unit The unit can control a second heating zone but only with pipework adjustment The unit can control upto three heating zones but only with pipework adjustment The unit can only control one zone control The unit can only control one zone control The unit can only control one zone control
Other zoning options Nest can now work with third party individual temperature sensors on radiators None Can work with Netatmo individual temperature sensors on radiators None None
Overall review The Nest includes the ability to automatically adjust according to anyone is home using motion sensors and phone GPS. Will also control Nest Cam and Nest Project CO detector. Fewer features than the Nest, no options to work out your home patterns Voice activated via Siri and Alexa Better features on other producst for a similar price Attractive, basic internet thermostat for smaller homes. Better features on other products for a similar price.

Product Review

  • Of the five products featured here, the Nest has the most function, including the ability to control two separate radiator circuits (zones) and bring the hot water on.
  • Nest have also introduced geo-location and motion sensors to know when you are home, or close to home, to turn the heating on, and the ability to work with third party smart radiator valves (although it does mean using a second app).
  • Of the remaining four, only Hive can control the hot water and only Netatmo has brought out compatible smart radiator controls.
  • For those with a combination boiler that would like smart radiator valves, the Netatmo and Nest will make for a very decent control system.
  • For those with a hot water tank, it will be have to be Nest.
  • The remaining three are well priced heating only smart phoned controlled thermostats for combi boiler systems, but no more than that.

2. Complex Smart Thermostats

These are sophisticated systems capable of setting different temperatures in different ‘zones’. They can also control hot water times as well as temperature. We have reviewed: Honeywell Evohome, Heat Genius, Drayton Wiser and Tado Smart Thermostat.

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Prices
Product Honeywell - Evohome Heat Genius - Genius Drayton - Wiser Multi-zone Tado- Smart Thermostat
 
Price for heating controls £249.99 Wireless Connected Thermostat Pack: Incl. room thermostat, relay & mobile access kit for internet £249.99 Genius Starter Kit: Includes a room thermostat, relay and mobile access kit for internet connection £129 Wiser Thermostat Kit 1: for one-channel (combi boilers only) heating control £ 139.00
Price for hot water time kit Included £ 45.00 +£10 (£139 total price for two-channel 'Kit 2') £ 79.00
Price for hot water time and temperature kit £ 94.99 £ 99.99 Not available Not available
Price for additional room stats £ 106.99 £ 69.99 £ 79.99 £ 109.00
Price for individual temp sensors on radiators £ 60.00 £ 59.99 £ 34.99 £ 59.00
Presense detection and/or geo location? NA £44.99 - motion sensors, must be fitted with individual temp sensors NA Geo location
Available to buy Screwfix Heat Genius Website Screwfix Currys
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Function
Product Honeywell - Evohome Heat Genius - Genius Drayton - Wiser Multi-zone Tado- Smart Thermostat
 
Heating Features Controls multiple zones Controls multiple zones Controls multiple zones Can control 2 zones
Can also control hot water? Yes - both timer and temperature Yes - both timer and temperature Yes - timer only Yes - timer only
Options with basic unit The Evohome can control a one zone system without alteration and multiple zones with pipework alteration The Genius starter kit and Stater Kit + Hot Water will only control a one heating zone The basic control packs will do one or two (Kit 3) plumbed zones with hot water timer. The unit can control upto two heating zones but only with pipework adjustment
Other zoning options It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Honeywell's individual temperature sensors on radiators. It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Heat Genius' individual temperature sensors on radiators. Option for motion sensors to 'learn' occupancy and temperature levels. It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Drayton's individual temperature sensors on radiators. It is possible to create more zones without altering the pipework by fitting Tado's individual temperature sensors on radiators.
Overall review The Evohome is expensive if you are only going to use it as a one-zone programmer with standard TRVs. Unless you plan to zone the system or use the individual temperature sensors, one of the standalone products below might be better value. Will work with Alexa. The Genius is expensive if you are only going to use it as a one-zone programmer with standard TRVs. Unless you plan to use the individual temperature sensors, one of the standalone products below might be better value A well priced one or two zone controller with options to create zones at a much lower cost to the Genius and Evohome systems. Not as sophisticated but easy to use. Will adjust temperature according to how far away you are from home (GPS). Can be voice activated via Siri, Alexa

Product Summary

  • The Honeywell Evohome and Heat Genius products are by far the most sophisticated home heating and hot water smart controls on the market.
  • Both offer options to either control separate (zoned) radiator/underfloor heating circuits or individual rooms (or groups of rooms) via smart radiator valves.
  • Both provide hot water timer AND temperature controls.
  • Both are quite expensive and both are heating control systems only, with no option to control other home systems.
  • The Drayton Wiser range and Tado offer much cheaper alternatives to the Honeywell and Genius, but with many of the important functions.
  • Neither offer an option to control the hot water temperature, but the Tado does allow for geo-location activation. Neither are capable of controlling other home systems.

3. Hybrid Smart Thermostats & Home Automation

These are reasonably sophisticated heating control systems that form part of a much wider home automation system, including security cameras and electrics. We have reviewed: Devolo Home Control and HeatMiser Neo.

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Prices
Product Devolo - Home Control HeatMiser - Neo
 
Price for heating controls £258.99 Home starter pack including thermostat £286 Heatmiser NeoKit 2 Gen 2 Platinum Silver
Price for hot water time kit Not available Included
Price for hot water time and temperature kit Not available Not available
Price for additional room stats Not available £ 59.99
Price for individual temp sensors on radiators £ 59.99 Not available
Presense detection and/or geo location? NA Geo location
Available to buy Devolo Heatmiser
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Function
Product Devolo - Home Control HeatMiser - Neo
 
Heating Features One Zone Controls multiple zones
Can also control hot water? No Yes - timer only
Options with basic unit The unit can only control one zone control The Evohome can control a one zone system without alteration and multiple zones with pipework alteration
Other zoning options Can work with Devolo individual temperature sensors on radiators Not available
Overall review Home starter pack forms the basis for whole house controls, including security and electrics Good platform for whole house controls, limited functions for heating zoning and no hot water temperature control.

Product Summary

  • The Devolo and Heatmiser systems form part of whole house control systems and for many these are the future of home heating controls.
  • Both offer reduced heating functionality compared with the Evohome and Genius products.
  • The Devolo offers no hot water controls and the Heatmiser no option to zone via smart radiator controls.
  • However, these systems offer the homeowner other add-on functions, including security cameras and electric controls.

Our Jargon Buster

  • Smart Heating Control: usually a thermostat and programmer connected via the internet & controlled remotely from your smart phone
  • Smart Thermostat: a central heating temperature control connected via the internet that can remotely control your heating 
  • Remote Heating Control: usually a thermostat & programmer connected via the internet & controlled remotely from your smart phone
  • Remote Thermostat: a central heating temperature control connected via the internet that can remotely control your heating 
  • Wifi Thermostat or Wifi Heating Control: thermostat/programmer connected via the internet, controlled from your smart phone
  • Zoning/Zones: where your heating system is split into two or more heating circuits and controlled by separate thermostats
  • Smart Radiator Valves: individual temperature controls on each radiator that can be adjusted by the smart heating control system 
  • One channel programmer: controls a single heat source, such as a whole house heating system - works with combi boilers
  • Two channel programmer: controls two heating circuits or a single heating circuit and hot water tank - for regular/system boilers
  • Three channel programmer: controls two heating circuits plus a hot water tank
  • Hot water temperature kit: required if you want to control the temperature of your hot water remotely as well as timing.
  • Geo location: turns the heating on as you approach home - uses GPS signal on your phone
  • Motion sensors: bring the heating on and off by detecting activity in the home.
  • Home Automation: control systems that operatre more that just your heating system, e.g. security, lighting and fire alarms.

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