Nest Learning Smart Thermostat

Last updated date: January 2, 2020

DWYM Score
9.2

Nest Learning Smart Thermostat

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We looked at the top Smart Thermostats and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Smart Thermostat you should buy.

Overall Take

There's no need to schedule the Nest Learning Smart Thermostat. It learns your preferences and automatically adjusts the temperature throughout the day. Due to its popularity, it's compatible with a wide range of smart home devices, including Google Assistant and Alexa. In our analysis of 161 expert reviews, the Nest Nest Learning Smart Thermostat placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note January 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smart Thermostat for a detailed review of all the top smart thermostats.

Expert Summarized Score
8.6
17 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.3
48,500 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The $249 Nest Learning Thermostat has a larger display, a better resolution and a far-field sensor for viewing time and temperature information from a distance. It works with Google Assistant and Alexa -- and Nest *finally* sells a temperature sensor as an optional accessory.
- CNET
May 11, 2018 | Full review
Nest's minimalist design makes it one of the most convenient wireless thermostats we tested. You can select menu items, change preferences and adjust the temperature by turning the device’s outer ring or pressing it to the wall.
- Top Ten Reviews
July 3, 2018 | Full review
You can change all of the same settings in the app from the main thermostat, too. The beautifully smooth interface and the 480 x 480 display looks fantastic.
- Trusted Reviews
November 21, 2018 | Full review
There are five different color options you can choose from to allow you to pick the best look to match your home and décor. The color options are black, silver, stainless steel, white, or copper.
- Official Top 5 Review
July 3, 2019 | Full review
Remote temperature control
- Tech Radar
The Auto-Schedule feature did a great job of creating a schedule that followed my daily routine, and the thermostat followed that schedule to a tee. It responded to my Alexa voice commands to raise and lower the heat without fail, and the Farsight feature and large display made it easy to check the thermostat from across a large room.
- PC Magazine
December 15, 2016 | Full review
Learns your behavior, creating automatic heating and cooling schedule
- iMore
July 9, 2019 | Full review
Has password protection to prevent unauthorized changes using the thermostat - app remains fully capable.
- Consumer Reports
The best feature of Farsight, we think, is the capability to choose what the screen displays when it’s not in use: You can opt for the temperature, weather, or time (using a digital or analog clock face), which you can’t do on other Nest models
- New York Times Wirecutter
October 29, 2019 | Full review
Offers a compelling combination of DIY-friendliness, sophisticated design, easy-to-use features, and automatic energy-saving settings.
- BestReviews
The ring design is a standout, evoking the look and feel of the classic Honeywell thermostat popularized last century. The display is crisp and elegant, and the twist ring comes in seven different colors (you have to make your choice at the time of purchase, you don’t get all 7 rings in the box).
- Smart Thermostat Guide
October 19, 2018 | Full review
It is a great thermostat because it shows you when you are choosing the best temperature for energy savings. It will feature a little leaf when your temperature is set at an energy-saving temperature. This means that you are saving money and the planet at the same time.
- Home Climate Center
September 4, 2019 | Full review
Its exceptional learning ability decreases the time you need to fiddle with temperature adjustment all year long
- Great Smart Gadgets
October 17, 2017 | Full review
Installation – of the Google Nest is pretty easy. You can not expect plug an play like with other home tech devices, because you have to connect different wires. But everything is perfectly labelled and described.
- Smart Home Tech Reviews
February 10, 2018 | Full review
Another nice feature is that the current temperature is always displayed in the middle of the thermometer in large digital numbers, so it is easy to see, even for those with vision impairments. And for those who are wary of connecting to the internet, Nest now allows for two-factor authentication through the Nest app so your info will always be protected.
- Energy Destination
November 21, 2018 | Full review
One of the other benefits of the Wi-Fi function with this thermostat is the manufacturer can automatically send software updates as and when they decide to release them which eliminates the need to go hunting for them manually.
- Thermostat Center
This Nest thermostat comes with a number of impressive features. The Safety Temperature Notification alerts users whenever a home is getting too hot or too cold. Filter Reminders alert users to change the filter regularly and keep track of how many hours your system runs so you get accurate measurements.
- HVAC Ninja
What experts didn't like
The Nest Learning Thermostat isn't compatible with Apple HomeKit.
- CNET
May 11, 2018 | Full review
The company’s two-year warranty is shorter than the industry average.
- Top Ten Reviews
July 3, 2018 | Full review
Nest has a lot of competition now, and the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation isn’t quite the easy choice that it once was, particularly since there’s no option to expand the system with individual radiator controls.
- Trusted Reviews
November 21, 2018 | Full review
This product is more expensive than the other options we reviewed.
- Official Top 5 Review
July 3, 2019 | Full review
It still doesn't offer remote room sensors, but it works with numerous third-party devices and supports voice commands via Google Home and Amazon's Alexa voice service.
- PC Magazine
December 15, 2016 | Full review
Notably more expensive than the Thermostat E
- iMore
July 9, 2019 | Full review
May use "power sharing" when connected to a 2 wire system.
- Consumer Reports
One of the priciest models, but its high quality will end up saving you money in the long run.
- BestReviews
Herein lies the problem for some users: they find their heat running when it shouldn’t, or the heat never turns back off, or the “pulsing” (as it’s called) damages their system in some way. Every setup is different, but we’ve noticed that the Nest has trouble holding a charge when coupled with an HVAC system that just isn’t run that often.
- Smart Thermostat Guide
October 19, 2018 | Full review
Even after the initial learning period is over, the Nest sometimes wants to push temperatures that are a few degrees warmer / colder than you’d like
- Great Smart Gadgets
October 17, 2017 | Full review
The only problem you may come across with this function is that if you install the device in a place the motion detector won’t notice you, you might find the auto-away setting will activate when you don’t want it to.
- Thermostat Center
Like any other thermostats, this should be located on an inside wall, about five feet up from the floor and must be protected from any liquids or excessive moisture.
- HVAC Ninja

From The Manufacturer

Google Nest is a smart thermostat that learns what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away and connects to your phone. It has a big, sharp display. And it’s proven to help save energy. In independent studies, the Nest Thermostat saved an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. We’ve estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year.

Overall Product Rankings

Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
1. Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 17
Honeywell Color Touch Smart Thermostat
2. Honeywell Color Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 17
Mysa Smart Thermostat
3. Mysa Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 14
ecobee lite Smart Thermostat
5. ecobee lite Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 16
Honeywell Color Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
6. Honeywell Color Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 10
Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat
7. Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 15
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
8. Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 16
ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
9. ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 20
GoControl Smart Thermostat
10. GoControl Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 13

An Overview On Smart Thermostats

When they first came along, programmable thermostats seemed like a great way to save money on electricity when you weren’t at home. However, many consumers find that they don’t keep the same hours day after day, week after week. When schedules do change, adjusting things takes extra work that they may not want to put in.

Enter learning thermostats. These innovative devices monitor the activity within your home and automatically adjust the temperature as needed. As you start shopping, though, you’ll find that many learning thermostats also have the option to control the temperature using an app or controls on the wall box itself. But as “On The Fly…DIY” writer, producer and narrator Vicki Liston says, this automation can be tricky, so it’s important to choose the right type of smart thermostat.

“I recommend shopping for a smart thermostat that uses both a motion sensor and geo-fencing input to determine settings,” Liston says.

Accuracy also relies heavily on where the thermostat is placed inside your home. Like other types of thermostats, a smart thermostat should be mounted on an inside wall, approximately five feet above the floor.

“Install your smart thermostat in a place where there is no direct sunlight from nearby windows or doors and where it is not in the path of a vent,” Liston says. “Sunlight and drafty locations can cause false temperature readings and the thermostat will not be able to operate as efficiently as it should.”

Liston also reminds shoppers that some thermostats let users set up alerts. You can set your thermostat to notify you that it’s time to change your furnace filter or schedule maintenance with a local heating and air provider.

Before you start shopping, though, note the type of unit you have. Not all thermostats will work with all systems, so you can save time by buying the right product from the start. You’ll find most often you see thermostats that are compatible only with electric heating, which means they won’t work with furnaces. Still other thermostats are universal in nature, but even with those, check to make sure they’re compatible with your system before making your purchase.

DWYM Fun Fact

When many consumers think of smart thermostats, they automatically go to learning thermostats, which gather data on your temperature preferences and household habits to automatically adjust throughout the day. However, smart thermostats fit in a broader category that encompasses all thermostats that hook to your home’s Wi-Fi. That means you can control your home’s temperature remotely, which can come in handy while you’re traveling. Learning thermostats expand that capacity, learning your preferences over time and adjusting the temperature automatically to match. Some learning thermostats also build in motion-sensing technology to detect when people are inside the house. That means if you’re home sick from work and moving around, your thermostat will remove itself from its usual schedule and adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.

The Smart Thermostat Buying Guide

  • Your thermostat’s display will likely serve as the primary source of information for your household. Some thermostats have larger displays than others, but also look for a higher resolution and easy-to-read text.
  • A thermostat will typically blend with your home’s décor, but make sure you choose one that has the look you prefer. Some have the round design found in pre-digital thermostats, while others take on the boxy look that has become popular in more recent years. You’ll also find some let you change up the color of the screen or come with colored rings.
  • With rare exceptions, you’ll probably need help or wiring expertise to install your thermostat.

“Traditional thermostats could maintain operation on a small battery or low voltage wires, but smart thermostats need a constant source of power from the ‘C wire’ or common wire,” Liston says. “If you are unsure if your current wiring set up has the C wire, please check with a qualified HVAC person.  Incorrect wiring can result in damage to both the thermostat and your heating and cooling system.”

  • Voice control is one of the best “extras” included in smart thermostats. If you have an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker, make sure you choose a smart thermostat that works with it. You’ll be able to raise or lower the temperature by simply speaking the command.
  • Smart thermostats can get a little complicated, so pay close attention to the design of the thermostat you choose. The more minimal the design, the better, especially if you choose a thermostat that monitors your household activity and adjusts accordingly. However, if you prefer to be more hands on with your temperature control, make sure you have a thermostat that makes it easy to set a schedule or adjust throughout the day.
  • Smart thermostats aren’t inexpensive, but be sure as you price them, you consider whether you’ll need multiple thermostats for your home. Some thermostats let you set up separate zones, which could save you money.
  • Most smart thermostats let you control your home’s temperature remotely using an app. You’ll need to choose a thermostat with an app for the type of devices you’ll be using for this control, whether it’s an iOS, Android or other mobile operating system. Some thermostats will even let you control them from a computer.
  • Scheduling is an important part of any smart thermostat. If you don’t want to bother with setting up a schedule, consider a thermostat that automatically adjusts temperature based on your household activity. If you do plan to use the scheduling feature, look for one that comes with a schedule built in. Then you’ll just have to adjust based on your own household needs.
  • Energy savings is one of the perks of using a smart thermostat. Some thermostats can even pull data from your local utility company and adjust the temperature to avoid using too much electricity during peak usage times, when costs are at their highest. Other thermostats will guide you to setting a temperature that is the most environmentally friendly, helping both your bank account and the environment.