After spending hours of research comparing dozens of models, we determined the best wifi thermostat is currently the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation). We chose this model based on its attractive design, build quality, ease of use, advanced features, and overall reliability out of all the thermostat models on the market today. 

For those looking for more in-depth information, the remainder of this article will supply you with everything you will need to know about wifi thermostats including what they are, why to buy one, what you need to get started, features to look for and includes our top five wifi thermostats to consider.

We strive ourselves on providing the best technology-related information on the web for the consumer's benefit to help you make better purchase decisions. If you are reading this article and find yourself with a question or concern regarding the topic of wifi thermostats, feel free to share in the comments section below. We will do our best to reply with any assistant as soon as possible.

What Is A Wifi Thermostat?

While the name is self-explanatory, the term 'wifi thermostat' is also often referred to as a 'smart thermostat' and defined as a device used to automatically regular your home's temperature while wirelessly connecting to the Internet.

The term 'smart thermostat' might be confusing as you typically see it associated with things like smartphones. In this case, the level of "smart" is meant to be significantly less.

So you won't be browsing the web via your thermostat (not sure why you'd want to) yet the connectivity via Wi-Fi allows you to do some cool and convenient things related to heating/cooling.

Why Are Wifi Thermostats So Popular?

Over the past five years, the smart home industry has been booming and new thermostats are typically one of the first devices that consumers are upgrading to get more connected with their home. For someone that doesn't understand the concept, let me run through three reasons why consumers end up buying a thermostat with wifi capabilities:

Monetary Savings (Optimal Efficiency)

Probably the most common reason for purchasing a wifi thermostat is for higher savings on heating or cooling your home. Well, you might be thinking "my traditional thermostat is already programed for efficiency and I paid under $25 for it."

That may be true, but when you experience the power of a wifi thermostat you will be able to reap the advanced savings capabilities which will further enhance your cooling or heating schedule without any further tinkering. 

The way it can accomplish this is through machine learning and advanced algorithms which will learn your personal heating schedule through manual adjustments during the first week of use then automatically predict your desired thermostat adjustments throughout the day.

Furthermore, advanced features like geofencing (Nest calls this 'Home/Away Assist') allows the thermostat to know when you are in the home based on several factors (motion sensors and app connectivity) to automatically turn down your heat or cooling when you leave your home.

Tip: Your home's energy provider may offer rebates towards a wifi thermostat!

Select power companies including gas, electric or oil provide a rebate to help offset the cost of a wifi thermostat. Availability of rebates depends on your power company as well the smart thermostat model (not all listed here may be eligible). Visit your energy supplier's website or this link for a list of energy company rebates. Terms & conditions apply.

Convenience & Piece Of Mind

Beyond cost savings, the ability to control your thermostat from anywhere we have a network signal adds great convenience to being a homeowner.

For example, say you have a second home in a hot climate like Florida. If your AC unit malfunctions, the high humidity levels could cause toxic mold to grow inside your home (my friend experienced this exact situation).

With a wifi thermostat, you can connect to your home at any time to see a real-time display of the current temperature and make adjustments as you see fit.

This also includes turning up your heat at the end of your work day to make sure your home is warm and toasty before you get home (depending on the thermostat model, a machine learning algorithm can set this automatically for you based on your day to-day routine).

Smart Home Integration

For many of you, a wifi-enabled thermostat is likely the first piece of smart home technology that you will invest in. For those who are already into smart home tech, these popular thermostat models might be able to further integrate with your existing devices or services.

For example, it is possible to setup your Amazon Echo to control your thermostat via voice commands, turn off your household lights when your thermostat senses you aren't home or have your thermostat automatically adjust to the current outside temperature via IFTTT (If This Then That).

What Else Do I Need To Use A Wifi Thermostat?

Switching from a traditional thermostat to a wifi version sounds complicated, but it isn't a huge burden. The most significant issue you'll run into is making sure the model you use is compatible with your HVAC system.

Since there are many different ways homes are configured for heating or cooling, I won't be able to go into much detail here, especially as I have no professional HVAC expertise. However, if you do a bit of research on your current setup, you should be able to find out which models will or won't work with your configuration.

Beyond this, all you'll need is an active home Wi-Fi network that extends far enough to reach your thermostat's location. A mobile device running Android or iOS is not a necessity as there are still benefits to utilizing a smart thermostat without mobile access. However, owning a compatible mobile device will make your heating/cooling that much more convenient as you'll be able to access it remotely while on the go.

Things To Consider Before Choosing A Wifi Thermostat

At this point, there are dozens of wifi thermostats on the market and choosing one can be a complicated process. To help sort out a better idea of what you are getting for the price, we've come up with a list of things to look out for when determining the right model for your needs:

  • Price - what is your budget? Higher-end thermostats with all the bells and whistles will cost more than an entry-level model with less features
  • Size - how much room do you have for a thermostat? You might run into trouble with some of this units with a large screen if your current thermostat is too close to windows, doors, pictures, etc.
  • Touchscreen - a convenient feature that allows you to change thermostat settings without the use of any physical buttons
  • Auto-schedule - beyond setting up a normal time schedule, these models will automatically adapter your settings based on the average changes throughout the week
  • Geofencing - an advanced feature that maps an area around your house (not just your thermostat) to determine whether you are home or not (for maximum efficiency)
  • Mobile App - a must have for a wifi thermostat, but you want to ensure there is support both Android and iOS
  • Amazon Alexa - support for voice control of your thermostat via Amazon's Echo line-up
  • Apple Homekit - support for Apple's native smart home app
  • Wink - aftermarket hub that allows control of many smart home products under one app
  • IFTTT - stands for 'If This, Then That', a free service for advanced settings or commands

Keep in mind, some of you may never need aspects like 'Alexa' or 'Wink' support so if that's the case you won't need to take this into consideration or towards the resulting "value on the dollar" on your thermostat search. 

How Do The Top Wifi Thermostats Stack Up?


A head-on view of the Nest 3rd Generation Smart Learning Thermostat.
A front view of the Ecobee4 With Sensor Smart Thermostat.
Front look at the Honeywell RTH9580WF Thermostat.
A head on view of the Emerson Sensi ST75 Thermostat.
A forward view of the new Nest Thermostat E.

Company

Nest

ecobee

Honeywell

Emerson

Nest

Model

Smart Learning (3rd Gen)

4 (With Sensor)

RTH9580WF

Sensi ST75

Thermostat E

Price

Touchscreen

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Auto-schedule

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Geofencing

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Mobile App

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Amazon Alexa

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Apple Homekit

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Wink

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IFTTT

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Best Wifi Thermostats (2018)

A head-on view of the Nest 3rd Generation Smart Learning Thermostat.

Nest (3rd Generation) - from $194.49 (Amazon)

Specifications

Touchscreen: yes

Auto-schedule: yes

Geofencing: yes

Mobile App: yes

Smart Integrations

Amazon Alexa: yes

Apple Homekit: no

Wink: yes

IFTTT: yes

As one of the pioneers in the wifi thermostat industry, Nest Labs unveiled their first iteration back in 2011 and are now on their third generation. The company's products were such game changers that Google acquired them in back in January of 2014 for $3.2B in cash. 

The third-generation model listed here takes the strengths of their previous Nest thermostats and takes it up a notch. Sporting a sleek physical appeal thanks to the thin design and the ability to chose from copper, stainless steel or white color variations. 

Nest has designed their latest thermostat to be deeply integrated with existing smart home technology including Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, IFTTT and Wink's smart hub. We've been Nest users since the first generation and have only had positive experiences using the device.


A front view of the Ecobee4 With Sensor Smart Thermostat.

ecobee4 - $209.00 (Amazon)

Specifications

Touchscreen: yes

Auto-schedule: yes

Geofencing: yes

Mobile App: yes

Smart Integrations

Amazon Alexa: yes (built-in)

Apple Homekit: yes

Wink: yes

IFTTT: yes

The ecobee4 is the latest and greatest wifi thermostat from the company with the fourth iteration in the line. The design is sleek yet simple with a large 3.5" touch screen and elegant black profile. 

This thermostat comes with a room sensor bundled with it, but you can purchase a bundle that includes an additional sensor or a standalone two-pack of sensors (making three total) if you wish. By using room sensors, the ecobee4 can help manage hot and cold spots in your home giving priority to the rooms that matter most (requires multiple zones). 

Not only does the ecobee4 offer Alexa support, it actually goes a step further and integrates Amazon's Alexa voice assistant right into the thermostat. This allows you to carry out more than just temperature-related commands,  but there is currently no Alexa support for music services (Pandora, SiriusXM or Spotify) as well as no Alexa calling or messaging. 


Front look at the Honeywell RTH9580WF Thermostat.

Honeywell RTH9580WF - $179.99 (Amazon)

Specifications

Touchscreen: yes

Auto-schedule: yes

Geofencing: no (only vacation mode)

Mobile App: yes

Smart Integrations

Amazon Alexa: yes

Apple Homekit: yes

Wink: yes

IFTTT: yes

Honeywell has been around the longest out of all the manufacturer's here, founded way back in 1906. Their RTH9580WF is a wifi thermostat that offers a large touchscreen display with customizable color options. Due to this large display, you are able to get the most amount of real-time data on the screen at one time without being overwhelmed or overcrowded.

There are native apps for Android and iOS as well as built-in auto alerts for humidity or temperature alerts. Additionally, you can setup reminders for filter changes after so many days to ensure your HVAC unit is performing optimally. 

Honeywell packed the RTF9580F with all the bells and whistles, but there is currently no dedicated support for geofencing. Interestingly enough, the company did add geofencing support to their newer Lyric model which is smaller yet less advanced overall. 

This means that while the unit will track your temperature changes and develop a routine, it won't determine when you are home or away from your property. It does however offer a 'vacation' or away mode that turns down your HVAC when you tell it you will not be around. 


A head on view of the Emerson Sensi ST75 Thermostat.

Emerson Sensi ST75 - from $178.42 (Amazon)

Specifications

Touchscreen: yes

Auto-schedule: yes

Geofencing: yes

Mobile App: yes

Smart Integrations

Amazon Alexa: yes

Apple Homekit: yes

Wink: yes

IFTTT: no

Emerson is not as popular as the other brands on this list, but that doesn't mean they don't offer great products. Their Sensi ST75 thermostat offers competitive specs and a decent design if you can get pass the large black bezels surrounding the HD touchscreen.

As you'd expect, there is mobile device support as well as smart alerts for things like extreme temperature or high humidity warnings. Additionally, you can enabled geofencing for increased efficiency as well as 7-day flexible scheduling and remote access.

Third-party integrations are present with native support for Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Wink. If you setup and install the free Wink app, you'll be able to utilize Google Assistant/Google Home for voice control of the thermostat as well. 


A forward view of the new Nest Thermostat E.

Nest Thermostat E - $169.00 (B&H)

Specifications

Touchscreen: no

Auto-schedule: yes

Geofencing: yes

Mobile App: yes

Smart Integrations

Amazon Alexa: yes

Apple Homekit: no

Wink: yes

IFTTT: yes

The newest product from Nest Labs, aimed at the budget conscious consumer. Their Thermostat E lacks the appeal and craftsmanship of its older, more premium sibling in exchange for a price-point under $170. 

You'll get almost the same amount of features with full support for mobile connectivity, voice commands and third-party integrations. The thermostat's screen is a bit underwhelming with no touch screen support as well as a duller frosted display that lacks high-resolution color.

Compatibility is lesser than the previous models with four less wire terminals so you'll have to verify your HVAC system is supported or opt for the higher-end model that offers support for a wider range of systems. 


Final Thoughts

If you've made it this far into the article, we hope you have learned a lot about wifi thermostats and have a clearer understanding of which model you should buy for your needs and budget. 

If you are unclear on anything related to this wifi thermostats, feel free to use the comments section below to share any questions or concerns. We'll do our best provide a helpful answer to them as quickly as possible. 

Also, if you are new to the smart home concept or simply want to expand your knowledge and purchase more compatible accessories, be sure to check out our related articles including the best smart light bulbs and best wifi camera models.

Best of luck on your search for the best wifi thermostat and hope we were able to help you figure out your best options!