You don’t have to spend millions to buy the smart home gadgets you want. With the constant changes in the technological world, nearly everything in your home can now be connected to the internet and be controlled with a smart speaker or your mobile. This includes thermostats, security cameras, doorbells, light switches, and even garage doors. You can even control all the smart gadgets from one tablet or your phone.
While you’re at work or out of the house, you can operate them easily and stay updated with what’s going on in your home. For example, if you have a babysitter watching your kids, you can monitor what you’re going on from your tablet if you have a smart security camera installed. If you’re tired after work and you want a cup of hot coffee prepared before you come home, you can send instructions to your smart coffee maker from your mobile.
Setting your smart home can be confusing and mind-boggling in the beginning. There is a plethora of various accessories that work with specific products, and some that are better than other models. This is why we decided to help you sort it all out by choosing the 21 must have smart devices. We took our time to test several models from each category to come up with the best options.
1. Smart Speaker
A smart speaker can be used for other reasons than playing music, like providing answers or orders from verbally induced questions. It can be used to control other gadgets or parts of your home via a ‘’home assistant’’ feature.
Up until today, a smart speaker had to be compact, so that it can be placed anywhere around the home. A small size enables you to put it anywhere (a nightstand, bookshelf, etc.). Even though smart speakers can play music like other types of speakers, they are WIFI connected and can be used as a multi-room audio system if you buy more than one. Initial setup may need the use of a phone, which downloads a specific app that guides you through the process.
Voice control is another important feature as well. A smart speaker has built-in microphones that enable you to speak commands that it will follow. For example, you can ask your speaker about the temperature, daily forecast, or even increase the volume. Smart speakers can also serve as home assistants. Possible features can include access to lighting control, audiobook playback, shopping, ordering food, and message dictation. If you’re having a lazy day in and want to order pizza from the couch, a smart speaker is a great option.
We would advise to check out if the features you purchase are built-in or do they need additional upgrades. For example, Google Home only work with third-party control devices, whereas Apple Homepod won’t work without an Apple Home Kit so definitely take your time in researching the different models available.
What we liked about the Apple Homepod is that it can be connected with your other Apple products. So, if you’re a hardcore Apple fan, this is the perfect product for you because you can make use of all your Apple products at the same time.
However, it’s worth asking yourself if you should want to splurge money on the Apple Homepod? How much premium will you have to pay for owning it? When we reviewed it, we were confused because we were checking two things at once, how it weighs as a premium speaker and how it fares as a smart home product.
In terms of the first category, the homepod is outstanding, because it boats high-quality sounds and a really intuitive setup. The quality of the sound was better than we expected to be honest. In the second category, Siri is middling in its implementation, and the idea that you aren’t able to break out entirely from the Apple ecosystem to use it is something we didn’t like. If your Siri ends up getting stuck or breaking down, you won’t be able to use Apple Homepod, which is a drawback in a way.
If you’re looking for a smart speaker that’s affordable and sounds great at the same time, then Amazon Echo is the best choice for you. There aren’t a lot of affordable smart sound bars in the market, so this is a breath of fresh air. The newest second-generation Amazon Echo sounds even better than the first one, but it’s affordable than the Apple Homepod and other models in the market.
There is a lot of new improvements as well. The new fabric used will definitely suit better to most rooms than the brushed aluminum. At the cost though, it’s a great choice that should suit many people’s needs.
Another great option for a smart speaker is Google home. By using Google home,you’re going to be able to get answers, play music, set reminders, and even control other compatible house automation devices using your voice. In comparison to Amazon echo, Google home has less compatible home devices.
2. Sound Bar
Of all our years testing TV’s, we have found very few that sound the way they look. How many times have you seen a TV in a store, thought it was the best thing you’ve ever seen and then your fantasies vanish due to the horrendous sound quality? The easiest way you can solve the problem is by buying a soundbar. You can place them below your TV, and usually, have a fantastic sound without taking necessarily space in your living room. No need for fiddling around with wires anymore, we all know how annoying that can be.
When you have to buy a high-quality soundbar, you’re going to end with a better sound and audio functionality that enables you to stream music to different rooms in your home. You’ll find soundbars in different shapes and sizes, ranging in price from $100 to $1500, perfect for those of you who are on a budget. What’s great about smart soundbars is that even if you’re on a really low budget, you can still find one that has excellent features and options.
Designs vary from one company to another. For example, you can place some models in front of your TV, whereas others need a separate shelf (usually bigger models).
The Sonos Bean is more compact than the older models, at just 65cm wide and 2.8kg. It is smaller and lighter than the sound bars, with touch control on the top, enabling you to change volume and tracks. Also, an LED indicates the status of the soundbar. On the back of Sonos beam, you will find an HDMI connection, power connection, and a pairing button. It also works well with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
We highly recommend the Samsung HW-MS650 soundbar (powerful sound and bass, supports many sources), and the Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar (excellent quality, audio compatible, but a bit on the expensive side).
The Samsung HW-MS750 is an excellent choice for people who are looking to build a multi-speaker setup. It can be used with Samsung’s multiroom audio technology, enabling you to connect other Samsung speaker and create an immersive surround experience. It can also work on its own and has solid bass, and many connectivity choices.
Yamaha is known for its high-quality speakers, so it’s no shock that we added it here. The Yamaha YAS-108 provides an impressive amount of options and features for only $200, including 4K passthrough, various sounds modes, and HDMI. The sound is excellent as well, providing crisp highs and satisfying bass due to built-in subwoofers that boost low end without the requirement to add extra speakers.
3. Smart Thermostat
A high-quality thermostat should adjust your home’s temperature with the least programming amount and ease. The best thermostats learn your daily routines, like when you leave the house and when you go to sleep in the evening. You will be able to control the thermostat effectively from anywhere through your mobile, adjust temperatures in different rooms, and even control it using your voice. Too tired to get out of bed to change the temperature, just give your smart thermostat an order, and it will take care of everything.
We spent two months testing several thermostats, and the one we liked the most was the Nest Thermostat. it is simple to use and most importantly, cheaper than many models in the market.
Even though the Nest Learning thermostat needs professional installation, the company explains how it can be successfully installed by users. Even though it can be difficult, it can be done. The whole process will take about an hour. A Nest Pro installation service is also offered for people who couldn’t/don’t want to install on their own and need help.
Ecobee Ecobee3 Lite
The Ecobee3 Lite is Ecobee’s entry-level smart thermostat. Even though it hasn’t been on the market for long, it’s definitely provided itself to be a reliable thermostat. It comes with an app as well. Use the connected app to make changes to your settings remotely. You can also connect it using a wide variety of smart home partners.
While this specific Ecobee thermostat doesn’t come equipped with a temperature and proximity sensor accessory, you can purchase a two pack separately for $79. Adding sensors will give you the chance to keep an eye on temperature settings in other areas of your house, as well as enhance its ability to determine when you’re there or away.
The Emerson Sensi has a traditional thermostat design but adds in a connected app and integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, Wink, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. It works well overall but is missing advanced features like temperature sensors. However, its ability to work with so many other programs is a plus for us. The Sensi is still a great choice but the only thing missing is basic smart functionality. We have no doubts that the company will add it soon though!
4. Smart Light Bulbs
For many people, the first part of designing their smart home is investing in smart light bulbs. It’s a no-brainer, you can’t sit in the dark you know.
Smart lighting, combined with smart speakers, are hassle-free and will benefit you a lot. It isn’t all Philips Hue now (recommended great model), there are many alternatives you can choose from. There are a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes from different brands and for a variety of prices.
The first significant consideration you have to take into account is if you want your light bulb system to have a hub or not. The Lifx program doesn’t whereas the hue system does. Hubs do have their advantages, mainly in providing a connecting between the light bulbs, along with extra features. This will be easier for you because everything will be in one place. Systems without a hub can make buying each bulb an expensive process, mostly because every one of them has to be able to work on its own.
Hubs will also tie you into a full ecosystem. If you buy a hue hub, you’re stuck in purchasing hue lights for that hub, something to consider if your budget isn’t that high. Here is another thing you need to think. Yes, you can control smart bulbs with Alexa for example, but there are specific apps companies make with various features that make them unique.
Hubs also tie you into an ecosystem. If you get a Hue hub, you’re marking yourself to continue to buy Hue lights that work with that hub. Speaking of which, that’s another thing you should consider. An example of this would be Philips Hue, that has an app that connects lights to your movies.
You want to consider as well if the bulbs are going to use outdoors or indoors. For example, LED smart lights aren’t the best idea for outdoor use due to heating concerns, so you’ll have to learn how to manage them in hot weather or buy one specifically for outdoor use.
There is no doubt that Philips is one of the most popular players in this market, and their experience clearly shows with the Philips Hue. Its Hue color ambiance bulbs didn’t change a lot since they were first introduced in 2012, but the new bulbs last for a longer time and the organization continues to add new sizes and accessories to its lineup. The Philips Hue app has also improved significantly (no more taking forever to load), and Hue bulbs are available in a diverse range of designs, including BR30 and A19.
Honestly, we liked the LIFX 19 more than the Philips Hue. LIFX no longer has an A19 and BR30 only, the whole system is mainly based on the LIFX+, which includes infrared LED and can be connected to your home security camera. You’ll be able to transform your space with over 16 million colors, use day and dusk features to schedule lights, and even save energy with 1100 light lumens from only using 11 watts.
5. Smart Light Switch
Using a light switch, you will be able to control your lights, but you’ll get additional advantages as well, like dimming features or pop-out remotes that will give you more natural control of the lights. Also, you’ll work with existing fixtures that can’t accommodate smart bulbs. With this being said, smart light switches can be permanent (depends on the model) and easy to use.
When you choose a light switch, the next step will be deciding which smart lighting solution is the perfect choice for you. The best part about this is that you don’t necessarily have to pick only one. You can mix different styles throughout your home, fitting each light with the most suitable smart light choice.
Like any dimmer switch, make sure your smart switch is appropriately compatible with the lights you have already installed, especially if you’re using LED lights. It would be a waste of money to buy a switch and then find out you don’t have the right light bulb for it. For example, Luton has a complete compatibility tool you can use if you need to find out which light bulbs are suitable with their switches.
If you’re currently using three-way switches, consider how you’re going to tackle this as well. Lutron Caseta for example, needs a full-scale installation process merely because they act effectively like three-way switches, but don’t need that much handwork to be used.
Let’s admit it, Leviton’s switch isn’t going to win any design awards, but its features make up for it, like the large paddle switch which lets you dim lights in levels.
A row of LEDs will show you the level of brightness, and a small status LED on the bottom enables you to locate the switch easily in the dark. You will be able to shut off the small status LED at night if it’s too bright at night or bothering you when you’re sleeping.
It also comes with an app that is somewhat robust. You can set how long the LED and dimming lights remain on, specify the amount and type of bulbs you’re going to use, and set the rate at which they brighten.
The app also enables you to create schedules for when you want the lights to work, like sunsets and sunrise. The Leviton Decore works well with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Lutron’s smart starter kit comes with a one-in-wall switch, one wireless remote, and one hub. The hub can be used to control Lutron Caseta fans as well so you’ll be able to use it for two devices, not one.
The design is amazing. The switch itself looks like something from a hi-technology magazine, with many buttons laid out to control the various choices Caseta offers. The Caseta line of switches from Lutrin provides an impressive list of options like geofencing, the ability to schedule your lights, dimming capabilities, and compatibility with a list of smart home platforms.
You can also control the system using your voice through Google Home, among others. All you need to do is give it orders and it will work. The only drawback is that the switch, like all of Lutron’s products, needs to link to the smart bridge. However, the bridge itself can be plugged into the router so you can control it from your mobile.
6. Smart Doorbell
When selecting a smart doorbell, you have to choose if you want wireless devices that operate on batteries or one that gets its power from wiring. Even though there are different designs, the wireless doorbell is the easiest type to install, because it gets power from batteries and doesn’t need you to turn off power or deal with any wiring. You also don’t have to worry about figuring out the wires and putting them in the right place.
The only drawback to them is that their batteries deplete batteries quickly depending on their usage, lasting from three to six months. If you have a big house or use it a lot, you will end up spending a lot of money on replacing them. In addition, there is a risk of smart doorbells running out of batteries in winter and cold regions, so you can expect to recharge your batteries every couple of months.
Wired doorbells aren’t easy to install, but they’re far from complicated. If you look at the good side, you don’t have to worry about losing any power. The process of installing a video doorbell is easy and is similar to removing your old doorbell. All you have to do is disconnect the two wires, connect the new doorbell to the two wires, and then attach it to the outside of your home. Different designs will need different installing steps, but this is usually the norm of installing them and the process isn’t difficult at all.
Any smart doorbell worth its salt will be equipped with a video camera as well. The camera will send an alert and a live video stream right away to your mobile when someone rings your doorbell. However, you will still have to pay for doorbells that provides features like motion detection and audio. The audio feature will enable you to hear the person behind the door is saying. We would recommend looking for a doorbell cam that offers customized motion zones if you don’t want false alerts from passing people or cars, especially if you live really close to a street.
Other features you would want to look for are face recognition technology, motion-sensing technology (distinguishes people, high winds, animals), night vision, and an option of chimes that will assist you in differentiating between motion triggers and a doorbell press. With face recognition, for example, you will receive a notification with a name of who is on the door, very cool if you ask us!
Many of the latest cameras provide a pre-buffer feature that can record motion several seconds before it happens, so you can see what happened before the event as well. This can be too much, but if you have the money for it then why not?
Ring is the new successor to Doorbat, a Kickstarter project that represented one of the first smart doorbells on the market. Since it was created, Ring has launched another model, Ring Video Doorbell which has excellent features as well.
The Ring Video Doorbell has a 180-degree motion range to better sense if someone is approaching their house. Once it detects any motion, it will begin recording and send alerts to your smartphone. It also enables you to set zones around your home. This adds more security and accuracy to motion sensing capabilities.
The Skybell video doorbell offers a variety of choices. You can watch live video, and take a snapshot if you want as well. While the skybell video doorbell doesn’t have any cloud storage, you will be able to download videos from the device. This smart doorbell is tasked with keeping you safe, and the organization has guarantee replacement if the smart doorbell is stolen.
7. Smart Smoke Detectors
It is difficult to overstate the significance of having a functioning and reliable smoke detectors in your house. In the US for example, a quarter of all home-related deaths in the US happened because of non-efficient smoke alarms.
Even though any functioning smoke alarm will alert you to issues if you’re home, a smart alarm will alert you anywhere you are, as long as you have an internet connection.
A smart smoke alarm will effectively alert you on your phone when it senses smoke, and will even tell you which room is in danger. It also includes intelligent low-battery alerts and can consist of voice alerts and even being able to reach the emergency contact person automatically if you don’t reply to the notification.
A smart alarm should also connect with other alarms in the house, either wirelessly or using a hardwired connection. This means that when one of the alarms senses smoke, all of the other alarms will notify you. This is an essential safety feature that will save you time in evacuating your house. We tested several smart smoke detectors, and we found the Nest Protect alarm to be the best one.
Nest smoke alarm
Nest’s smoke alarm detects smoke and carbon monoxide, and when it picks up on smoke, it won’t only sound an alarm but will tell you in what room the issue is happening, and the type of alert. A LED ring also changes color based on how serious the problem is, giving you a visual clue.
There are two versions the Nest Protect comes in: a wired and battery powered version. If you have more than one in your house, and one starts giving you alerts, the others will alert you as well at the same time. It also works with a wide range of smart-home devices. For example, in the case of an emergency, it will automatically open your lights, so it’s easier for you to get out of your house.
The Onelink Safe and Sound
The Onelink Safe & Sound detects smoke and CO2, sending an alert to your mobile, and informs you with type and location of the fire. When your house isn’t on fire, it has a lot of fantastic uses as well. You can use it with Amazon’s Alexa to play music, listen to guide and audiobooks, and access Alexa’s hundreds of skills. Keep in mind that it’s also compatible with Apple’s HomeKit.
However, it needs a hard-wired connection to work effectively, and we found that where these connections have to be located doesn’t make it the most conducive for Alexa’s abilities sometimes. There is news that OneLink is planning to launch two less expensive versions that can work without Alexa. One of them will be hardwired, and the other one will be based on battery power.
8. Smart Weight Scale
There was a time when weighing yourself meant jumping on the scale and waiting for a number to show up, or scare you in some cases. Admit it, we’ve all been there at one point of our life. You either lost or gained weight, and this whole process can be somewhat depressing, especially that many traditional weight scales can add one or two kilos.
Well, this has now changed with the introduction of smart weight scales. Using smart scales, you’re now able to get readouts on everything from water mass, to heart, and even body fat percentage. All of this data syncs over WiFi where it monitors different aspects of your current health. This enables you to analyze long-term trends and to take control of your well-being.
The best gadgets and applications are going to convert this information into daily tips and coaching information to help you reach your weight loss or health improvement goal. This will also enable you to figure out what trends are working for you to improve your health.
Before you invest in a smart scale, there are a couple of things you have to take into consideration. Most smart scales have Bio-electric Impedance Analysis to measure body composition. Keep in mind that these scales are best used for benchmarking purposes instead of expecting lab-grade accurate measurements.
We tested several scales under identical conditions. We weighed ourselves first thing in the morning and then in the evening. We judged them based on accuracy, ease of use, design, and of course price.
Nokia Body – BMI Wi-Fi Scale
Nokia smart bathroom scales are fitted with nutrition tracking features that enable you to monitor your progress and what you eat. The nutrition tracker will motivate you to set your desired weight goal. You can also manage and track your daily calorie intake.
The scale enables a full body check as well. Most people only focus on their body weight, ignoring other vital aspects of their health. Weight is a result of various factors and the Nokia body scale body composition helps you to monitor all these factors. A full body composition assessment includes measuring actual body weight which is a result of lean mass, body fat percentage, and bone mass.
The Nokia smart scale comes with a health mate app to help you keep track of your health condition on a daily basis. Anytime you use the scale, the weight reading is reflected in the app. During the installation process, you will need to sync the scale and app using Bluetooth or wifi. The information stored in the application enables you to check your history as well so you can stay updated with any changes you need to make or improvements you’ve already made. This will enable you to go back to the app and monitor your performance. The app will even allow you to share your progress on social media and with friends.
The app can also be paired with other health apps like food tracker. If you’ve synced the scale with your WiFi connection, the scale automatically offers you with the weather forecast. This will help you plan your day. For example, if the weather forecast says it will be really rainy, you can opt for cardio exercises at the home or gym instead.
RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale
Renpho Bluetooth body scale boasts a beautiful finish and unique exterior that looks good with any home decor. This is an excellent choice for people who care about style and decor as well, all while improving their health because priorities right. The stepping area is made of plastic and tempered glass, ensuring the product will last for a long time.
Measurement inaccuracies from bathroom scales can mislead anyone. Renpho manufacturers have considered this by adding four precision sensors and four electrodes. This ensures that you will obtain correct and precise readings, unlike traditional weight scales.
Renpho bathroom scales include bio-electrical impedance analysis to assist individuals to monitor their body compositions, including skeletal muscles, weight, body mass index, and body mass.
You can connect the scale to your application using Bluetooth as well, in case you don’t have WIFI. The application can be downloaded from the Apple or Google play store. When you have downloaded the app, follow the instructions on the user manual so you can finish the setup process. The application can also be synced with other health applications like Fitbit.
9. Smart Plug
Smart plugs are an affordable way to upgrade any other electronics in your home into smart devices. While installing these plugs is simple, choosing the right one isn’t an easy job.
Let’s first make this point clear: whether they’re sold as smart switches, outlets, or any other variation, smart plugs are plug-in outlets in the end. They plug directly into the power strip, and have an outlet you then plug into the device you would like to automate. You’re not necessarily losing any outlets by plugging one in. What you’re doing is making an existing out ‘’smart’’ by connecting it to your WiFi network.
The first thing you have to consider is where you’re going to place the smart plug. While most people opt to fit them next to each other, power strips are a completely different story. If you’re using a crowded power strip, it’s essential to consider where the outlet is located. Many, like the iDevices Switch, feature various outlet on the side. However, they can be harder to access based on the power strip you’re currently using and where it is located.
Additionally, the best smart plug would be one that can be used with other products you have. For example, if you bought an Apple TV, you will get the best experience from plugs that work with Apple’s HomeKit protocol. Similarly, if you’re already using Amazon Alexa, make sure you buy a plug that supports it. There are many multi-use plugs, but it’s always better to make it match the plug with the app.
Amazon smart plug
By introducing the Amazon smart plug, it is clear Amazon wants the process of you setting your smart home easier. The company launched a smart plug device that brings Alexa’s voice control features to anything you would like to control, whether its lights or even a teapot. What makes the Amazon smart plug more interesting is that it doesn’t need a smart home hub to work.
Another great point is that it is affordable, which is beneficial for those of you on a budget. Even though it isn’t the first smart plug, but it’s an essential part of Amazon’s strategy to be the connective tissue for any smart home. It also works instantly for those of you who have an Echo at their home. For those of you with Alexa, you will recognize the machine right away. From there, you can rename it to designate which room it works on, enabling you to make it easier for you to control any devices remotely.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug enables you to control your electronic devices from your mobile or tablet. The Smart plug allows your existing home Wi-Fi network to offer wireless control of TVs, heaters, and lamps, with no subscription needed.
Simply plug it into your electric outlet, plug the device into a smart plug, and then control it using the Wemo app. The app is free to download and use. Whether you’re relaxing on the couch or on vacation, you’re going to remotely control lights from anywhere. If you pair it with Nest’s thermostat, for example, Nest’s ‘’away’’ mode can sync with the Wemo Smart Plug to save energy when your house is empty.
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug lets you easily create automatically schedule for any devices that are already plugged in. Using the app, you can schedule a fan to synchronize lamps at noon for example so you don’t come back to a dark home after work.
10. Smart Security Camera
It didn’t take long for a smart security camera to become a permanent fixture of smart homes. Whether its to secure your home or a way to check what’s happening at home, smart security cameras are the perfect way for you to ensure everything is in control. Many people have even used it as a baby monitor and a pet camera.
Since it’s an integral part of your smart home, it is important to take many factors into consideration. Many brands will provide you with a small amount of storage in exchange for nothing. Many get around the issue by recording everything using a local SD card. However, this comes with its problems because what happens when a thief comes in and pinches the camera and the proof? Off-site storage is a significant requirement and shouldn’t be overlooked.
What’s a little difficult to bear is that many manufacturers won’t enable many essential camera features, like action zones and face recognition, unless you pay a subscription. It’s necessary that you take the time to look at the different designs and models available in the market before buying one.
Amazon Cloud Cam
The Amazon Cloud Cam is the first plug and play smart camera released by the company, and based on our testing, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for a smart security. Just like other smart products, it’s really affordable when compared with competition like Nest Cam.
You’re going to be able to connect up to three cameras with 24/7 cloud storage, alerts, and unlimited sharing. If you’re looking for more advanced features or support, you will need a subscription plan.
One of the best features of the Amazon cloud cam is its compatibility with Alexa. You’re expected this, but based on the amount of Alexa-enabled products you have in your home, it can be a game-changer. You can tell Alexa to cast the cam to your Echo spot, for example, so you can see what’s happening in your children’s room for example.
Ring Spotlight Camera
Ring has the best outdoor security camera on the market, but our favorite one has to be the ring spotlight camera.
This is the simplest of them all and is powered using a rechargeable battery. The camera has slots to fit two batteries, and each one lasts about six months if used regularly, so you don’t have to waste money or time on changing them.
The fact that they’re battery powered means you can place them anywhere, but remember you will have to access it every now and then to recharge the batteries, so don’t put them in a hard place to reach. If you want to install it in a location that is less-accessible, consider the solar model.
11. Smart Vacuum Cleaner
Let’s say the truth since we all watched Breaking Bad and saw a smart vacuum cleaning Jesse’s house, we all want one. The first generation of vacuum cleaners aren’t that great and was noisy.
Smart vacuum cleaners come in different shapes and models across various brands. You’re also going to find circular, tall ones, skinny ones, and even cleaners vacuum cleaners with sensors. Some of them are well known, and tech companies have introduced others.
You’re also going to notice that various vacuum cleaners have different strategies in terms of room navigation. Some have sensors are we mentioned, and others have accessories you can put around your house so you can navigate the smart vacuum. Many even let you plan a cleaning area using a connected app. Those applications have an excess of features from schedules, to tracking it, and even integration with other products.
Finally, and this might be obvious to one, robot vacuum cleaners don’t climb stairs, as much as we want it to. They are capable of effectively detecting stairs, and many models can climb different levels (rugs for example), but not stairs. We took the time to review several smart vacuum models and chose our favorite two.
Eufy RoboVac 11c
When shopping for a smart robot vacuum, you’ve probably heard about Neato or Roomba. The truth is that you can buy them if you have $500, but that isn’t doable if someone is on a budget.
The good news is that you don’t have to worry about that with Eufy RoboVac 11c. Even though it’s a newcomer to the smart vacuum industry, they’ve been creating a buzz because of their cheap products. It offers affordable choices that enable customers who can’t afford more upscale vacuum cleaners.
The Eufy RoboVac 11c is the successor to Eufy RoboVac 11c, but with a large bin, stronger battery, and a better run time. It is compatible with both Alexa and Google assistant. We personally loved the 3-point cleaning system of counter-rotating side brushes.
iRobot Roomba 960
IRobot is known for making the best robot vacuums in the market, and the latest version is the iRobot Roomba 960. Some of its most popular features include core sensors and floor-mapping technology, so you’re able to lounge on the safe watching Breaking Bad again.
The same intelligent charging feature is still there, so while 960 features a smaller battery, the company claims it can work 75 minutes after one charge. However, the 980 version is more expensive, but it can last for two hours.
It comes with an application that you can easily download on your phone. Using the app, you can schedule the time you want to clean your home and your vacuum will take care of it. For example, if you’re going to clean your house in the afternoon, all you have to do is schedule it on your app, and the iRobot Roomba 960 will take care of the rest.
12. Smart Garage Door Opener
A smart garage door opener is an add-on that works with your garage, enabling you to control the door from anywhere using an app on your mobile, tablet, laptop, or computer. It isn’t a substitute for your existing garage opener and doesn’t prevent push buttons, keypads, or other devices from working effectively as before. This is an excellent security tool for your home or any rental property.
Chamberlain MyQ Garage (MYQ-G0301)
Chamberlain MyQ Garage (MYQ-G0301) is a leading garage door opener, mainly due to the already huge popularity of Chamberlain. The MYQ-G0301 was the first smart garage door opener to be manufactured. It is also considered to be among the easiest to install. If you’re looking for an effective way to control the garage door and check its status, then this is the perfect choice for you. Also, you can integrate it with other smart home systems you already have like Google and HomeKit.
NEXX Garage NXG-100
The features we love the most about NEXX Garage NXG-100 is that it works perfectly with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it opens and monitors your garage door using your mobile. Also, users will be alerted using a push notification if the door is open or closed, and it can be used by multiple users. It can be installed quickly, perfect for those of you who aren’t that tech savvy.
13. Smart Kitchen Appliances
We are now living in a technological age where we can connect our fridges to the internet, and our forks are WiFi enabled. I know, who would have thought.
The top smart kitchen equipment is now commonplace in the smart revolution, with a diversity of connected accessories, gadgets, and equipment you can choose from. You don’t necessarily have to completely replace your kitchen. Many of these devices will improve and enhance the cooking process, make your coffee better, and even help you out with the cleaning process.
Meater+ smart thermometer
If you continuously give your guests food poisoning or just want your meat to taste better, then this is the right meter for you. Considered to be the first wireless meat thermometer, it has many features we loved.
Its most important length is the app that comes with it. All you have to do is insert it into whatever you’re cooking, leaving the sensor an inch of room, and then choose the type of meat, and the desired finish. The app is then going to let you know what the current, ambient, and target temperature is. You can use it as well for oven cooking and BBQs. The meter probe charges through an AA battery in its box.
Wemo Crock-pot smart slow cooker
This Pot is WeMo-enabled, so you can modify cooking settings from any place you are. It comes with an app (the same application that controls WeMo switches and other gadgets created by the company. You will also be able to control the cooking time, temperature, change settings, and even turn it off.
Smarter Coffee 2.0
Even though it’s the second generation, it gives you the much-needed coffee using your tablet or mobile to get things started. You will be able to prepare as many as twelve cups at once, and you have the choice to choose the strength of your coffee brew.
One of the features we loved is the ‘’wake up’’ mode that prepares coffee based on geo-location and specific timings. Had a rough sleep? Your coffee will be made for you once the alarm rings.
Amazon Basics Microwave
Amazon is one of our favorite brands when it comes to making your home smart, and its Amazon Basics Microwave is an example. It works perfectly, and you can easily update any settings. Alexa can be used here as well, but you connect it to any compatible device for your cooking demands if you don’t have Alexa.
14. Smart Leak Detector
Anyone who’s had a water heater or a burst pipe disaster in their home understands how vital a leak detector is. Even if it isn’t an explosive disaster, even the slowest leak can result in mold damage which can be costly to repair. The more water spilled, the more money you will have to pay for the repair.
This is why many of the smart home systems added leak detectors to their connected devices’ roster. Many smart home water sensors are equipped with batteries and low-power wireless technology. The sensors can connect to your smart home hub, and can view the device’s status on your mobile or mobile. When the device detects water, you will receive alerts by a push notification or message. This will enable you to rush home if you’re at work when you see what the damage is.
Phyn was first announced at the CES technology show in 2018 and is a division from Belkin. Phyn can measure your water’s pressure every second and utilize this information to create a ‘’fingerprint’’ of your water system.
This helps Phyn to understand the difference between regular pressure changes when you take a shower or a pipe that has burst for example. Along with severe damage happening to your pipes, Phyn detects leaks because of frozen pipes, and will quickly alert you. It will also send you a notification if you forgot your tap on for example, which lead to an overflowing bath. Phyn can be connected directly to your WiFi router and comes with an app to alert you to possible leaks.
The device makers explain that it can detect and stop a leak in less than five seconds. It also alerts you using a smartphone notification when the internet is down, a feature we loved. The system provides compatibility with other devices as well as Nest smart home platforms and Wink.
However, it takes an entirely different approach to Phyn. Instead of monitoring the water flow, this system utilizes rechargeable sensors dotted around the house to detect any unexpected moisture. It can be placed anywhere in your home whether it’s on your washing machine or in your bathroom’s corner.
15. Smart TV
The main feature separating smart TVs and not smart TVs is that you can connect internet connection. Smart TVs can connect with Ethernet ports or built-in WiFi support, so they can join from where in your home. Generally speaking, WiFi has to be quick enough for many reasons, but if you want to stream games, you will need to hardwire to the network instead.
An internet connection is mainly used to effectively stream TV shows and films from different apps or services, like YouTube and Netflix. Occasionally, there will be free stuff on the smart TVs like Crackle or Pluto TV. Many have web browsers incorporated and cameras to be used for Skype or other video conferencing apps.
Smart TVs are designed to be very simple to use without advanced tutorials. As a standard feature in smart TV remotes, voice search turns navigation into a natural process, perfect for you couch potatoes. However, specific platforms like Roku provide more powerful search tools than others, and remote microphones aren’t always useful at recording and understanding your voice, so make sure you stay at patience.
LG B7A 4k- OLED
This is the best smart TV we tested. It is versatile and has impressive features, and its bright interface is considered to be some of the best in the market. It has an excellent selection of apps, with more available in LG’s content store. One thing we didn’t like however is that there are many ads in the content store and you can’t disable them.
OLED’s panel can create perfect blacks by turning off individual pixels, leading to an unlimited contrast ratio. This leads to an ideal viewing experience in a dark room. It also has an outstanding motion handling and low input lag, perfect for you movie lovers and video gamers.
It also has the widest viewing angles and superior reflection handling, a perfect choice for those of you who like watching games with their friends. One thing we noticed though is there’s always a risk of permanent burn-in, but this won’t happen to many people.
If you’re looking for a high-quality 4K TV, but you’re on a tight budget, then Sony X900E is the perfect choice for you. Not only is it featured packed, but it can be easily use using Android 7.0.
The smart interface is simplistic, and we noticed it could be slow sometimes. However, there is an excellent apps selection, and the built-in apps play most, if not all the common file types.
We loved the picture quality as well and is suitable for different room types. The performance of dark rooms is excellent because of the excellent native contrast ratio and black uniformity. It looks good in a bright room because of the high peak brightness and excellent reflection handling. However, we noticed that the picture loses accuracy when it’s viewed from an angle though.
16. Smart Fan
Think of a smart fan as a regular ceiling fan that can spin itself. Just like smart TVs, they can be controlled remotely, and it can be programmed based on preset temperatures. You can even schedule if you want the fan to work at a specific time and it can be connected to your smart thermostats like Ecobee.
Even though smart fans can be sounds like an expensive purchase, but they assist with your home’s indoor climate control as well. Think about all the money you will be able to save. For example, for every degree raised by smart fans, you are saving on unneeded cycles of your AC compressor by 10%, decreasing your overall energy consumption.
Many switches are used to substitute for your in-wall switches too. There are many easy ones that you can plug in front of you smart fan’s remote control. Regarding costs, they range from $300 to $1000.
Bond remote control
Remember that time when your sibling covered your remote control’s IR sensor so don’t switch the channel? This is the exact issue with remote controls. You always have to put it somewhere close to you for it to work. That’s not smart.
The Bond remote control works with WiFi and can pick up on IR and RF signals sent from your remote control. You can make it work with your beloved Alexa and other smart home products like Honeywell, Nest, and others.
GE Z-Wave Plus Switch
If the fan you’re using is having a remote control, you can substitute your fan’s switch using the GE Z-Wave Plus Switch to make it smart. It transforms your old ceiling fan into a smart fan that works wirelessly, and there’s an app you can use too. The app lets you control the fan’s speed on your mobile or computer.
For advanced automation, you can connect it with smart home devices from Alexa, Honeywell, Trane, and a lot more. What we loved it the most with your voice and offers wiring flexibility too. Also, you can use with up to six switches.
17. WiFi Router
Let’s admit it, many routers are still stuck in the dark ages. Lists of network-connected routers are cryptic and very difficult to understand. It is difficult to install and route them yourself.
This is where WiFi routers come in and have many benefits. It also provides interaction with various mobile applications. For example, apps can effectively change router setting, restrict access to specific websites (useful for parents), monitor networks, and view smart cameras live.
Smart WiFi routers enable you to manage users and devices. It’s difficult to understand why the biggest manufacturers didn’t try to simplify their products yet, but it’s apparent that they’re facing stiff competition. You will also be able to receive alerts when someone attempts to access restricted content and deny access to it.
Google WiFi system
The Google WiFi system is a smart WiFi system that replaces your router and offers seamless coverage for your home. You will still require internet service providers and modem to be able to connect to the internet.
You can quickly install and set up the device to bring the internet where you need it, whether it is in your office, basement, bedroom, or even garage. The router is built based on Google’s WiFi technology. When you set up the network, the router will create a high-powered connection to ensure your devices remain on the clearest channel. As a result, you’re going to fast WiFi everywhere in your home, not only when you sit next to your router.
ASUS Whole Home Dual-Band AiMesh Router (AC1900)
The ASUS Whole Home Dual-Band AiMesh Router (AC1900) is another excellent router model. Since AiMesh has to be adapted based on dual-band system, the traffic will be handled by one of the two radio bands. If you end up using a tri-band system, AiMesh will automatically select one of the two radio bands available for traffic.
18. Smart Sprinkler
Smart sprinklers belong in the must-have category when you’re trying to upgrade your home. Seriously. If you already have a sprinkler system, then the smart sprinkler is a great idea especially if you live in an area that rains a lot.
Instead of letting excess water go waste or running to your shed to turn it off, you can shut them down quickly using an app connected to your smart sprinkler. Also, they also monitor weather conditions for you and can adapt based on your watering schedule.
The Rachio 3 is the latest version of the Rachio family and improves on previous models by placing onboard controls. This means you don’t need to remove the cover to access them. It also has a brighter LED indicator to inform you which zone is watering. It also provides straightforward plug-and-play features for the gardener and the master landscapers’ flexibility to fine-tune an irrigation system through advanced features.
Out of all the models we tested in the last months, Rachio 3 integrates with a wide variety of smart home systems. You can ask your voice assistant or connected app to control your sprinklers. There is an optional wireless flow meter to enhance the efficiency of your system and alerts you to possible leaks.
We chose this model because it’s the least expensive sprinkler you can purchase and offers many features for our top picks, like smart scheduling, an excellent application, and a slim design.
It’s WaterSense accredited as well and has various basic controls. The unit can act as a Bluetooth hub for other types of smart products you already have. However, something we didn’t like is that it doesn’t have customizable alerts. For example, it doesn’t let you select a local weather station, and provides minimal smart-home incorporation.
19. Smart Air Conditioner
There’s no doubt that smart thermostats are becoming a popular device to control your temperature, but what do you do when you want to turn down the heat? This is when smart ACs come in, the cooler friend (literally) to thermostats that will save you money.
Smart ACs aren’t as internationally needed as smart thermostats, mainly because they’re useful in hot climates instead of cooler ones. We will forgive someone who lives in Greenland.
The first thing you need to do is look at your house and understand what you need because they come in different shapes, designs, and sizes. One of the most popular choices is the window-based smart AC. They are better in cooling rooms, but you will have to sacrifice skyline views. They aren’t hard to install; you fit it to your window and then plug it.
An excellent measure to track your smart AC is British thermal units (BTU). When you use one, don’t forget to get the room’s square footage first. For example, if you end up using a BTU per square foot in a small room, this will be a freezing room.
If your room is more substantial, you would want to use a portable unit. These tend to have you plugging hose or something similar through the window. They are movable too so you can get all the coverage you want.
If you have an AC unit you like already, a better choice would be to install a smart wall mounted AC manager that turns existing AC units. They tend to connect to the current AC unit using infrared; the same technology used to control it. Perfect choice for those of you who rent.
GE smart room AC
GE’s diverse line of connected air conditioners is an industrial-looking as it can get. Let’s admit it: they’re grey, plastic, and look. On the other hand, they’re compatible with HomeKit and Alexa. It also comes with various power ranges you can choose from.
While the models are somewhat the same, depending on three fans, they offer various amounts of cooling depending on how big the room is.
Frigidaire cool connect
If the GEs are somewhat plain for you, Frigidaire Cool Connect is slightly more comfortable on the eyes. Its 8000 BTU has to handle many rooms and the companion app will allow you to create cooling schedules and then turn it off remotely, but will also inform you when you need to change the filter.
A unique thing about Cool Connect we loved is its two louvers, which distribute the room circularly. The concept is to cool the room evenly, so you don’t feel too cold or too hot.
20. Smart Weather Station
Whether you’re an aspiring meteorologist, a gardener, or a hobbyist, buying a smart weather station is very useful. Many smart weather stations can capture data like humidity, temperature, pressure, and other features. More advanced models can track specific measures like rainfall and the condition of the soil.
Ambient Weather WS-2902
Ambient weather is a brand that commands the industry. The WS-2902 is considered to be the best model the company has ever released, and the specs in it are proof. Specs include wind speed, outdoor temperature, barometric pressure, solar radiation, and indoor temperature to round out the measurements. The specs are great, but what we loved the most is that it connects with WiFi so that you can have access to all the information from your mobile or tablet.
The console includes a sleek and color-coded LCD display which demonstrates all the measurements. The WiFi connection pulls information from Ambient weather’s vast network of weather meters called Wunderground, so you are going to have the crowdsourced data scale on your side.
Outdoor sensors are a necessity from a tech perspective, and indoor controls are compatible with other devices like Google Assistant and Alexa. We felt like legit meteorologists when we tested it.
AcuRite 01036 Pro Weather Station
The AcuRite 01036 Pro Weather Station is a 5-in-1 wireless sensor that effectively measures temperature, rain, wind speed, and humidity. It has a self-calibrating technology to deliver an accurate forecast. Wind speed is updated every eighteen seconds, wind direction every 30 seconds, and temperature/humidity every 36 seconds.
Using the PC connection feature, you’ll be able to hook up the display to your computer using a USB. This will enable you to remotely monitor weather conditions and even download data to share or save it.
You can set up notifications for weather alerts. For example, if there is a predicted increase in temperature, you’ll get a text, an e-mail, or whatever notification you choose. The distance of transmission is standard, so you’re going to have to place the unit within 330 feet of the display. It is affordable to purchase, perfect for those of you who are on a tight budget.
21. Smart Car Accessories
There is nothing better than getting the right accessories for your smart car. There are many accessories you can choose from no matter what you need, not to mention the endless designs and shapes.
Amazon has put Alexa in every vehicle with Echo Auto. The Echo Auto includes an eight-mic array as the Echo Show and connects to your car by a 3.5mm aux jack. You can also connect it over your mobile’s existing Bluetooth setup.
It also includes a dashboard mount and effectively runs on a new real-time operating system from Amazon. When it comes to the WiFi connection, it depends on mobile for a connection, and you’ll be able to use Google maps as well.
ChargePoint Home Wifi Enabled Vehicle (EV) charger
ChargePoint Home is considered to be the most advanced EV charger in the market, enabling cars to charge up six times faster than a faster outlet. Using the charger, you will be able to set reminders, monitor energy use, schedule a charging plan, and even connect to your smart home using the charger’s app. You will also be able to receive current updates on your charger’s status and manage home charging simply by using your voice through Amazon Alexa.