The Best Smart Home Devices That Are Worth Every Penny
These genius smart home devices will totally change your life. They're easy to set up too—if you can use a smartphone, you can have a smart home!
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Smart home devices you’ll wish you had sooner
Imagine a world where all your home’s devices work together to make your life easier. Your coffee maker turns on automatically. Your thermostat warms up the house when your alarm goes off. Your floors are kept clean by ambitious little bots. With the right smart home devices, you can have this (and much more!) as your reality.
Smart speakers, smart TVs, smart thermostats, smart alarm clocks and many more smart home devices are the perfect addition to any home, and they make great tech gifts too. We’ve rounded up the best of the best in every category, so all you have to do is scroll through and pick what you need. You’re welcome!
What is a smart home device?
A smart home device is a device that can be controlled using an app. Some can be connected to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Siri, and they can often be voice-controlled too.
What makes these devices really cool, other than the fact that you can control them without getting off your couch, is that you can connect them. When connected, they can be scheduled to perform tasks at certain times of the day—on their own or together. For example, when you leave for work, you could have your coffee pot turn off, your smart vacuum bot start cleaning, your smart lights turn off and your smart locks lock up.
While there are a number of smart home brands, a few are more popular than others (and for good reason):
What to consider when buying a smart device
The biggest factor to consider when shopping for smart home devices? How they will all connect. If you choose products that aren’t compatible, you won’t be able to set them up to work together as part of a larger routine.
The best smart home system works with what you already use. So, if you have a Google Assistant, choose products that are compatible with that. Same for an Alexa. Products that are IFTTT (If This Then That) compatible are the most flexible and work with just about any smart home products via a single app. Just like with devices that are compatible with Google or Alexa, devices will list if they are IFTTT compatible in their product information.
How we chose the best smart home devices
Our picks are backed by more than a decade of research into smart home products and hands-on testing in real-life situations. We also considered user reviews and industry insights when choosing the top products, so you can be sure these products will last and do exactly what they claim—including making your life easier.
- Best smart plug for Apple users: WeMo Smart Plug
- Best smart plug for Google Assistant and Alexa users: Kasa Smart Plug Mini
- Best smart doorbell: Ring Video Doorbell
- Best smart security camera: Nest Cam
- Best smart thermostat: Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
- Best smart device for pet owners: Furbo Dog Camera
- Best smart fridge: Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
- Best smart vacuum: iRobot Roomba E5
- Best smart laundry machine: LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer
- Best smart assistant: Echo Dot
- Best smart video home assistant: Alexa Echo Show 8
- Best smart lighting: Philips Hue Light Bulbs
- Best smart water leak detector: Moen Flo
- Best smart landscaping device: Rachio Smart Sprinkler
- Best smart lawnmower: Gardena Sileno Minimo
- Best smart lock: Lockly Secure Pro
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Best smart plug for Apple users
WeMo Smart Plug
If you’re looking to get your feet wet with smart home devices, the WeMo Smart Plug is a great option. “This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to branch into smart home tech,” says tech consultant Stephanie Duchaine Montgomery.
Simply plug it into an outlet and you can control any device—lamps, fans, curling irons—from your iPhone anytime, anywhere, with the Apple Home app or by using Siri or Apple HomeKit. That means you can check to see if you accidentally left your flat iron plugged in or turn off random devices on standby mode to slash energy bills. Plus, the WeMo Smart Plug’s “Away Mode” turns on and off lights in your house randomly to make it seem like you’re home when you’re on vacation.
- Pairs with all Apple HomeKit devices
- Quick installation
Works only with Apple products
Best smart plug for Google Assistant and Alexa users
Kasa Smart Plug Mini
Not an Apple person? The Kasa Smart Plug Mini is the perfect choice for Google, Alexa and Samsung devotees. It’s also newly compatible with Apple HomeKit, so even if you are an Apple person, this might be the right smart plug for you if your home setup mixes brands. Not only does this smart plug turn your “dumb” devices on and off remotely, but it can also be used to monitor your energy usage, helping you save on your electricity bill and be more environmentally responsible.
This plug is a crowd favorite with more than 37,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, and we particularly like it because it’s tiny. In a two-plug outlet, it won’t block the other plug spot, which can happen with some models. Plus, the app is intuitive and simple, so anyone can use it. Really, anyone—we promise!
- Works with Alexa, Hey Google, SmartThings and Apple HomeKit
- Easy to use, with an app or voice control
- Doesn’t hog all the space on an outlet
- A little pricier than other smart plugs
Best smart doorbell
Ring Video Doorbell
When it comes to smart home security and video doorbells, Ring was the first—and it’s still arguably the best. With more than 110,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and an average 4.7-star rating, the Ring Video Doorbell is user-friendly, reliable and crystal-clear, according to fans. You can ask Alexa to see who’s at the door, or get a mobile alert when packages are delivered or guests arrive. But, of course, getting this sort of device isn’t just about convenience; it’s also about safety. You can choose to receive an alert if someone approaches your house, communicate with anyone who rings the bell and review recorded footage later.
It also has one big advantage over similar video doorbells: It can be powered by batteries, so you don’t have to hard-wire it to your home. Plus, it works with both iPhones and Androids.
- Easy-to-use app
- Clear video and great sound
- Powered via rechargeable batteries or wires connected to your existing doorbell
The edges of the video are a bit distorted
Best smart security camera
The Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor cameras offer more features than most competitors without sacrificing video quality. They have continuous video recording (24/7), which isn’t available with most security cameras. (Most cameras just record clips when they sense motion.) This means you won’t miss a thing with your Nest Cam, whether you’re using your smart security camera to check on the babysitter and kids, see what the dog is up to while you’re at work or find out when delivery people stop by.
These cameras also send you an alert when they pick up motion or unusual sounds, and they allow you to speak directly through the cameras’ microphones to scare away intruders. They also work with Google and Amazon’s Alexa instead of just one or the other.
- 24/7 video recording
- Excellent video quality
- Night vision
- Three hours of free Cloud storage
- The indoor camera doesn’t come in a wireless version
Best smart thermostat
Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium works much like other smart thermostats, making setting the temperature in your home as easy as a tap in an app, but with one major difference: It has a built-in Siri or Amazon Alexa voice command. This device doesn’t just let you use voice commands to adjust the temperature—it also lets you hear the news or help you with your grocery list, even if you don’t have a separate Alexa or Siri device. Many people don’t like messing with multiple smart home gadgets, so this brand-new, all-in-one device has been a hit with both experts and consumers.
And here’s another cool feature: The Ecobee can tell you if the air quality in your home is poor, making it particularly great for anyone with allergies or breathing conditions. One quick glance at this smart thermostat and you’ll know if it’s time to pull out the air purifier!
- Built-in Alexa or Siri
- Also works with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant
- Built-in air-quality monitor
Somewhat pricier than other smart thermostats
Best smart device for pet owners
Furbo Dog Camera
What’s Fido doing all day while you’re away? You’ll know for sure with the Furbo Dog Camera. Livestreaming video lets you watch your pet’s every move on your phone and receive alerts when there’s barking, so you can try to figure out what your dog’s fussing about. No matter how wild your pet gets, the 360-degree camera can rotate and follow the antics. Plus, the color night vision provides a clear video, even in dark rooms.
The Furbo will even dispense treats from its canister and allow you to say “good dog!” through a two-way audio speaker. Yes, you read that right—this pet camera can actually give your pup treats when you’re nowhere near home!
- Allows you to talk to your pet from anywhere
- Dispenses treats
- 360-degree camera
- Clear video, even in the dark
- Rambunctious pets could knock it over
Best smart fridge
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator does way more than simply keep your food cold. It allows you to create shopping lists, order groceries, share schedules and send messages to family members—all from the large touchscreen on the fridge door. You can also stream music and sync with your Samsung TV so you can keep watching your show while you fix a snack. And those are just a few of the bells and whistles that landed Samsung on our list of the best fridge brands.
Our favorite feature, though? Seeing what’s inside your fridge right from your phone. Samsung is one of the few fridges on the market that has this peek-a-boo feature on its app, and it works on both iPhones and Androids. So, if you can’t remember whether or not you need milk, you can check while you’re at the grocery store. How cool is that?! But we chose this particular smart fridge because it’s more dependable and tends to last longer than similar models. “This is a little bit more of an investment,” says Montgomery, “but for busy families, it can make a huge difference.”
- Peek-a-boo feature that lets you look in your fridge when you’re away from home
- Touchscreen lets you create shopping lists, send messages and more
- Can stream music or videos with a connected Samsung TV
- Dependable and long-lasting design
Somewhat pricier than other smart fridges
Best smart vacuum
iRobot Roomba E5
Time to put up your feet, tap an app and let this little guy do the dirty work for you. The first popular robot vacuum is still the best—especially since the Roomba E5 has overcome the drawbacks of previous versions. Its multi-surface rubber brushes are less prone to getting clogged with hair, and its super-powerful suction and high-efficiency filter trap dirt and allergens even more effectively. It also automatically adjusts to cleaning between hardwood floors and carpets, as well as detects the amount of dirt in a spot, adding the right amount of suction it needs to clean it properly. Translation: You really don’t need to do anything once the Roomba is off and running. Connect it to Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control.
We also love this particular smart vacuum because of its dependability. Many smart vacuums tend to glitch (unpairing themselves from Wi-Fi, deleting themselves from the app, etc.), but you can rely on the Roomba to work when you need it to.
- Dependable and less glitchy than other models
- Works on carpets and wood floors, transitioning automatically between them
- Built-in AI senses dirt and takes more time to clean dirtier areas
Not self-cleaning, so it needs to be emptied often
Best smart laundry machine
LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer
Raise your hand if you want to spend less time doing laundry, get your clothes cleaner and receive a reminder when your wash is ready so it doesn’t languish in the machine for hours (or, um, days). The LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer is the laundry machine you’ve been dreaming about. It not only connects to your phone for those handy alerts, but it also has AI to analyze your loads and wash them properly. That means if your clothes are a little extra dirty (think: sports uniforms or gardening clothes), the washer will automatically adjust and give the load a little more washing time. The water jets are unique too. They shoot from all the way around the wash tub instead of on just one or two sides, speeding up the whole process. Many loads can take as little as 30 minutes.
For the perfect washer/dryer set, pair it with the LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Dryer, which you can also control with your phone. It senses the moisture level to determine the optimal drying time, gets wrinkles out of clothing, freshens non-washable items and more. Both are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Phone alerts when the wash is done
- AI capabilities that detect dirt and adjust the cycle
- Faster yet cleaner washes
Comes in front-load style only
Best smart assistant
Proving that good things come in small packages, the Alexa voice-command-enabled Amazon Echo Dot (now on its 5th generation) is literally like having a tiny robot home assistant. With just a simple voice command, the Echo Dot can play your favorite songs, make phone calls, research information or order a pizza. You can also use it as a smart hub that connects and controls all your Alexa-compatible smart home devices together in convenient routines. For example, you can automatically have your smart lights turn on at the same time as your coffee pot first thing in the morning. Or at night, have Alexa turn off the lights at your ideal bedtime and adjust the thermostat to your preference.
Alexa’s large ecosystem of compatible options beats out other assistants like Google Assistant, according to tech and security expert Craig Peterson. One big reason, aside from its many features? The Echo Dot is compatible with thousands (yes, thousands) of devices, more than any other smart assistant.
- Works as a smart hub
- Creates routines with other smart devices
- Compatible with thousands of devices
- No screen like with the Echo Show
Best smart video home assistant
Alexa Echo Show 8
The Amazon Echo Show 8 is everything you love about your Amazon Alexa but with video capability. That means you can ask Alexa to show you a recipe, watch live TV and sports, or see who’s at the front door. You can even make video calls with a simple voice command. You’ll be treated to your videos on an eight-inch HD screen with surround sound on this smart home device hub, which reviewers call “fantastic” and “well worth it,” since it can connect all your smart devices.
You get all this for just around $100. And it pairs beautifully with the thousands of Alexa-compatible devices on the market, like the Philips Hue lights and Ring Video Doorbell that also made this list of the best smart home devices.
- Works as a smart hub
- Video-chatting capability
- Incredibly clear HD screen
- Not compatible with Google Assistant
Best smart lighting
Philips Hue Light Bulbs
You know to use LED bulbs to save energy. Now take it to the next level with Philips Hue light bulbs, which can be programmed to go off or dim at certain times to save energy. With the app, you can also change the bulbs’ brightness and color (there are 16 million color choices!) whenever you like and even use your bedside lamp to wake you up by mimicking a sunrise. For security, you can have the app turn on lamps randomly when you’re away.
Bonus: These smart light bulbs are super simple to use. Just put the bulbs in your light fixtures, connect the Hue bridge to your Wi-Fi router and download the Hue app on your phone. Yep, that’s it.
- Millions of color choices
- Has an “away” feature that randomly turns on lights for safety
Pricey (around $90 for two bulbs, but they can last for up to 22 years)
Best smart water leak detector
Smart water leak detectors may not be what you think of when you think of “smart home gadgets,” but they are an absolute must-have. The Moen Flo will give you peace of mind, as well as save you loads of cash and grief, in case a pipe bursts, a tub leaks or your basement gets flooded during a storm. It will send you an alert as soon as it senses a problem and automatically shut off the water when it’s connected to the Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff. Hopefully, it will never come to that and you’ll just use it for monitoring your water usage and saving money on a daily basis, but if it does, trust us—you’ll be so glad you invested in this.
It’s available in single discs or discounted three-packs too, so you can buy them based on your budget and the size of your home.
- Alerts you to leaks
- Shuts off water in case of emergency
- Monitors water usage to help you save money
- Needs to be paired with the Flo Smart Water Monitor and Shutoff (sold separately) for the emergency-shutoff feature
Best smart landscaping device
Rachio Smart Sprinkler
Never get a dry patch of grass on your lawn again with the Rachio Smart Sprinkler. This handy device lets you input plant type and sun exposure, then optimizes your watering schedule to give your yard the water it needs. Even better, the Weather Intelligence feature automatically adjusts the watering schedule based on local weather conditions, so if rain is in the forecast, your Rachio will water less. And since it waters only when your plants need it, Rachio is good for your wallet too.
Bonus: It’s easy to hook up, and it connects to your existing sprinkler system and Wi-Fi network. “I truly appreciate the simplicity of the product,” says verified Amazon reviewer Justin, who gave it a perfect five-star rating. “The entire setup process—from opening the box to having water running in our yard—lasted maybe 10 to 15 minutes max, and it was only that high because I spent about five minutes creating a label on our label maker to ‘mark’ the zones on the outside of the unit.”
The Rachio Smart Sprinkler works on many smart home platforms, including Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
- Optimizes your watering schedule
- Adjusts the amount of water your lawn gets, depending on weather conditions
- Reduces your water bill
Not compatible with Apple HomeKit
Best smart lawnmower
Gardena Sileno Minimo
Why spend a perfectly nice summer day mowing your lawn when the Gardena Sileno Minimo can do it for you? Like the Roomba for your floors, the Minimo “reads” the perimeter of your lawn and automatically cuts grass to your desired height. Plus, it can handle slopes of up to 35 degrees and switches off when it’s done. Able to run for about an hour on a single charge, it can even mow in the rain. And did we mention that it’s quiet too? Well, it is. The neighbors will love you!
No need to worry about it when you’re out, as you can control the Minimo right from your phone. Collision sensors also ensure that you don’t come home to a disaster. Use the time you’ve saved to start that beautiful garden you’ve been dreaming out.
- Cuts grass to the programmed height
- Works well on lawns up to 5,400 square feet
No voice controls
Best smart lock
Lockly Secure Pro
The Lockly Secure Pro has an attractive, sleek design and a multitude of ways to unlock it. While many smart locks have only a keypad and app combo, you can use a PIN code, fingerprint, key or the app to lock the deadbolt of the Lockly. You can also lock and unlock the door with voice commands through Alexa and Google Assistant, which is great if you have your hands full carrying a child or grocery bags.
The revocable key codes are also great for when you don’t want to give someone a permanent key to your home. Does the dog walker or babysitter need to get in while you’re at work? Give them a code that can be easily changed if needed. While you’re at it, make sure to protect your belongings with one of these expert-recommended safes.
- Five ways to use the lock
- Responds to voice commands
- Comes in three colors (black, bronze and nickel)
Can take a while to install