As the Internet of things (IoT) explodes, soon everything in your home will be connected to one another and you’ll be able to control of it all using only your smartphone or better yet — your voice.
With so many options out there, how do you go about finding the best smart devices and appliances for your home? Well, we’ve compiled a list of the best smart products that are the easiest to use, most affordable, and will help you gain control over your in ways you never thought possible. Let’s take a look.
Best Smart Hub: Samsung SmartThings Hub
In order to get all your connected smart devices working properly and talking to each other, you first need to invest in a hub. The hub acts as a sort of home base for your connected devices, acting as a middle man and issuing orders as you see fit.
There are plenty of hubs out there and products that only work with specific hubs, but Samsung’s SmartThings is our top pick. There’s a wide-range of smart home products that support it, spanning across multiple manufacturers so you’re not tied down to one specific brand.
This means you can shop around for the best deals — just look for compatibility with SmartThings on the package and you’re all set.
Best WiFi Extender: MSRM WiFi Range Extender
In order for your smart home products to function, they’ll need to be connected to your home’s WiFi network. Because it can be a challenge to hit every spot in your home or apartment, a WiFi extender can help immensely.
By creating a solid mesh of wireless connectivity, it will help eliminate any and all dead spots in your home, ensuring all your devices maintain a steady and strong connection to the hub. We found an affordable option for around $46 that is able to repeat the signal from your router using 2 large antennas to broadcast to your devices.
All you have to do is plug it into the wall outlet and you’re ready to go. Because it’s dual-band, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a strong, reliable signal no matter where you are in your home. If you’re in the market for an entirely new router, Google WiFi is also a great solution featuring several satellite routers you place around your home for better coverage. You can find it here.
Best Smart Video Doorbell: Zmodo Greet
If you hate answering the door because you don’t know who might be on the other side (or perhaps you’d just rather not get off the couch for a door-to-door salesman), a video doorbell is the perfect way to avoid unnecessary human interaction.
The best part is even if you’re away from your home, you can still see when someone comes to the door using the companion app. The doorbell features motion detection, so you’ll know when someone approaches even before they press the bell.
The Zmodo Greet is one of the most well-reviewed video doorbells on Amazon and at $80, it’s also one of the most affordable. It comes with both the video doorbell and a WiFi extender to make sure you have a strong WiFi connection. You’ll find it via the link below.
Best Smart Security Camera: Nest Cam
Whether you’re gone for a trip or just at work, the best way to keep on eye on your home is by investing in a good security camera. Thankfully that’s getting easier these days and Nest Cam (formerly Dropcam) makes some of the best internet connected cameras on the market.
Using the companion app, the cameras can tell you when activity is being detected, send you a photo of the event, and even feature an integrated speaker/microphone that allows you to communicate through the camera. Whether you’re scaring away a burglar, or telling the dog to get off the couch, the Nest Cam pretty much does it all.
Nest Cam comes in both an indoor and outdoor model, and you can even save a few bucks by bundling them together.
Best Smart Lock: August Smart Door Lock
One of the biggest (small) hassles when coming home after a long day’s work is fumbling with your keys to unlock the door. The August Smart Lock (2nd Gen) will automatically unlock your door when you’re arriving, and lock it when you’re leaving — no physical keys necessary.
The door communicates with your phone over Bluetooth and uses a companion app to keep you notified about its status, and fully supports voice controls via Alexa or Google Assistant. In the event you ever have unexpected guests, you can also grant them access remotely by communicating with the lock using the app.
The August Smart Door Lock comes in dark grey or silver and installs directly onto your existing deadbolt for minimal setup.
Best Smart Light Bulbs: Sylvania Smart+ Tunable Light Bulb
There’s nothing quit like having complete — hands-free — control over the lighting in your home. Whether it’s the hue, brightness, or just entering a room and having them automatically turn on, it almost feels a bit like playing god.
There are a lot of smart bulbs on the market, but our top pick is the Sylvania Smart+ Tunable Light Bulb. Formerly LIGHTIFY, the Smart+ light bulbs can connect to your SmartThings Hub and allow you to easily change their color, or dim them using nothing but your smartphone and the companion app.
Smart+ bulbs are LED, so they’ll save you money on your electric bill and connect to WiFi with full Alexa support. You can even program specific “scenes”, turning on the lights as you arrive home (before you even enter the door), setting timers, or even gradually increase the brightness of your room like a visual alarm clock.
During the day, you can have them automatically set to a pure white daylight color, while at night they can provide a software, warmer light.
Best Smart Motion Sensor: Z-wave Plus
A motion sensor is a great addition to your smart home setup. By adding these to your home, you can have the lights automatically turn on when they detect motion, send emails or text notifying of you activity during a specific time (if you’re at work or asleep), or even activate an alarm.
We found one of the most affordable and well-reviewed models on Amazon that is compatible with SmartThings and other smart hubs. The built in pet immunity feature is perfect if you share your living space with cats or dogs, ignoring animals under 55lbs so you wont have any false alarms.
It’s easy to mount and only takes a few batteries to power it on and keep it running for up to 5 years. If you’re interested on picking one up, you’ll find it at the link below.
Best Smart Outlet: WeMo Mini Smart Plug
For those occasions when your devices aren’t “smart” or connected to a hub, you can still gain some control over them using a smart outlet. This will allow you to turn on/off power to a device using nothing but your smartphone.
The great part about these smart plugs is they don’t even need a hub or subscription of any kind, connecting directly to your home’s WiFi network. Most of the time these are big and bulky, but these WeMo Mini Smart Plug is stackable so you can squeeze 2 into the same outlet.
Using the companion app, you can set schedules to automatically turn on your lights at a specific time, fans to turn on, or set them to random to throw off prospective burglars. They work with Alexa and Nest, so you can even control your lights/appliances using only your voice. Check them out for yourself below.
Best Smart Thermostat: Nest
Nest was one of the first “smart thermostats” on the market and today it’s still one of the best. It’s full feature set — with auto-scheduling — learns how you like the temperature and keeps your place just the way you like it.
When you’re away, it saves energy by turning itself down and after awhile, can halve your energy bill essentially paying for itself over time. Nest is compatible with voice assistants like Alexa, and comes in copper, steel, or white. You can buy it via the link below.
Best Smart Smoke Detector: Nest Protect
Smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detectors are great for when you’re home — but what about when you’re away? Wouldn’t you want to know if there’s a fire in your home the moment it happens to minimize losses?
That’s where Nest Protect comes in. It not only works and sounds like a normal detector but can send you alerts when you’re away, or even alert your phone when the battery is running low.
Have a false alarm? Just silence the alarm using the companion app. The split-spectrum sensor uses two wavelengths of light to look for both fast and slow burning fires, so it’s smarter than your average detector. Buy one or several using the link below.
Best Smart Blinds: MySmartBlinds
If you hate the inconvenience of having to get up and adjust the blinds whenever the sun comes out, you’re not alone. Ever wished your blinds could do this automatically on their own? Well, you’re in luck.
MySmartBlinds is a simple, DIY kit that fits 2 and 2.5-inch blinds. They connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allow you to open/close your blinds remotely. Using the companion app, you can control your blinds quickly and easily and the optional solar panel means MySmartBlinds are always ready to go.
At the time of writing, MySmartBlinds only offers an iOS app, but the manufacturer says they’re hard at work on an Android app that will be available soon. If you only have Android devices in your home, you might wanna bookmark this one for the time being.
Best Smart Scale: Weight Gurus Body Fat Scale
The Weight Gurus smart body/fat scale is essential to anyone looking to monitor their weight loss. The scale connects to your smartphone using the companion app and syncs the data with FitBit, Google Fit, Apple Health, and other popular health apps.
Even without your phone, you can still weigh yourself with all your weight/body fat data being stored inside the scale. Once your connected to your phone again, all that data will by synced and logged so you can keep track of your progress.
Best Robot Vacuum: ECOVAC DEEBOT
Smart robot vacuums are pretty common these days and they’re essential to keeping your home clean with minimal effort. While there are a handful of smart vacs on the market — iRobot’s Roomba being the most popular — we found that wont cost you an arm and a leg: the ECOVAC Deebot.
It’s a fraction of the price of a Roomba and connects to your WiFi network. Using the companion app, you can use the smartphone to navigate or program targeted cleaning modes. The vacuum lasts about 1.7hrs on a single charge, using a brushless motor and strong suction to clean.
Deebot’s sensors allow it to safely navigate around furniture, cross door sills, and even move across inclines. Once the battery has been exhausted, Deebot will automatically dock itself to prepare for another round of cleaning. It’s the future of cleaning, but here now.
Best Smart Vent: Keen Home Smart Vent
Heating or cooling your home is probably the biggest expense on your energy bill. While you could always grab a ladder and close your vents manually, it’s a lot of effort and not exactly convenient. To help take this strain off of you life, there are now smart vents that can do all of that with the touch of a button.
We found the Keen Home Smart Vent that’s affordably priced, effective, and is fully compatible with the SmartThings hub. The smart vent fits directly over your existing vent and you can wirelessly control them using your smartphone. By controlling the air flow to rooms, you can heat/cool specific rooms to save big bucks on your energy bill. Reviews are sort of mixed, but it’s easily the best option currently available.
Best Smart Coffee Maker: Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Smart Coffeemaker
For many people, preparing a hot cup of coffee is the first thing they do in the morning. If you hate waiting, you can actually have one ready for you right when you wake up using a smart coffee maker.
The Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Smart Coffeemaker can automatically prepare a hot cup ‘o joe when you wake up, or you can remotely connect to it using the companion app when you’re out and having guests.
The app gives you remote access to all the brewing functions on the coffee maker, and is WeMo enabled, making connecting through the app a breeze. Now you’re living in luxury.
Best Smart Fridge: Samsung Family Hub 2.0 Refrigerator
If you thought having an internet connected smart fridge probably doesn’t sound like much of a necessity — you’d be totally right. Its definitely a luxury. For some folks, the fridge is the one place where every heads at some point in their day, so Samsung figured why not throw a giant tablet on the door.
They call it Smart Hub 2.0, and the giant touch screen literally runs the Android OS meaning there are a handful of apps at your fingertips. You can create shopping lists as you run out of items, share calendars, notes, or memos.
There’s even 3 integrated cameras inside the fridge, allowing you to remotely connect and take a quick inventory on-the-go. Samsung’s voice activated smart assistant Bixby is also integrated into the fridge, allowing you to speak commands, stream music, or watch videos. Yes, straight from the fridge door because… why not?
Best Smart Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot
There are a lot of smart kitchen appliances, but few as well reviewed as the Instant Pot 7-in-1 smart pressure cooker. The cooker connects to your device via Bluetooth and, using the companion app, allows you to control and monitor your cooking progress, browse recipes, and write cooking procedures.
The Instant Pot replaces 7 kitchen appliances (pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice/porridge cooker, yogurt maker, sauté/searing, steamer, and warmer) and includes 14 Smart Programs, dual pressure settings (low/high), 3 temperatures for sauté and slow cook, as well as automatic keep warm.
There’s even a handful of accessories that come bundled with the cooker including a steam rack with handles, recipe booklet, serving spoon, soup spoon, measuring cup, and mini red mitts. If you’re convinced you need one in your life, just follow the link below.
Best Robot Lawn Mower: WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower
Nobody likes vacuuming or mowing the lawn, but it’s just one of those things in life you have to spend valuable time keeping up with. While robot vacuums are quickly becoming the norm, robot lawn mowers are just now taking off. They’re still on the pricey side but if time is money, the WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower can save you a lot of it.
The robot lawn mower works just like a Roomba, traveling around the yard keeping your grass evenly cut. Out of the box, the Landroid comes fully programmed and ready to roll, traveling across inclines and declines of up to 20 degrees, around obstacles, and navigating narrow passages. Once the battery has been depleted, the mower will return to the base station for a recharge.
Smart Sprinkler: Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
Making a trip to the garage to tweak your sprinkler system is never convenient but with the Rachio Smart Sprinkler controller, you can manage your sprinkler system directly from your couch using nothing but your smartphone.
Installation is quick and easy, requiring no special tools or expertise and is compatible with any sprinkler system. Upon setting it up, the companion app allows you to control run zones and rain skips, pulling in local weather info to adapt as the seasons change. You can even input zone details, soil types, plant type, and sun exposure. Rachio will automatically set up the best water schedules for your lawn and its specific needs.
The Ranchio is fully compatible with Alexa, allowing you to control watering with more than 100 different voice commands and actions. If you’re sold on the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, hit up the link below to pick it up.
Best Smart Garage Door: Nexx Garage Remote Garage Door Opener
Garage door openers are a dime a dozen and while you can find a few that connect to your WiFi network (for remote opening/closing), and entirely new system can get pretty costly. The Nexx Garage Remote Garage Door Opener allows you to monitor and control your garage door from anywhere in the world using your smartphone. The companion app allows you to control the door in multiple ways, with a beta feature that can automatically open as you come down the driveway.
Nexx Garage is compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can even perform opening/closing functions completely hands-free. Using multi-user accounts, you can authorize access to the door using the Nexx Garage app, keeping a log of who’s coming and going. With constant status updates, you’ll never again have to wonder if you forgot to close the door
Installation is quick and easy, requiring no special tools or expertise and is compatible with most garage doors. You can buy the Nexx Garage using the Amazon link below.
What are your favorite smart home devices?
We think we’ve done a pretty good job at listing our favorite smart products but we knew there’s hundreds more out there, some you might already own. If you have a smart home product in you’re in love with, feel free to shout it out down below. We’d love to check it out and who knows, maybe it will end up on this list in the future and help others with their buying decisions.