The 10 Best Alexa Accessories of 2020

All the add-ons you need to make your home even smarter

Best for Music: Sonos One (Gen 2)

What We Like
  • Powerful, yet compact smart speaker from Sonos, with Amazon Alexa built-in.

  • High quality, dynamic sound, or pair two systems together for stereo sound.

What We Don't Like
  • Bluetooth audio streaming not available.

The Sonos One (Gen 2) is a powerful home smart speaker, with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Setup is quick and easy, and the Sonos One fills your home with high-quality sound without taking up valuable shelf space. It’s available in both black and white color palettes.

Alexa works perfectly with the Sonos, allowing you to play music, ask questions, or check the weather. If you happen to have two Sonos One devices, you can pair them together to create a home stereo system. Although we’d like to see Bluetooth audio streaming, this is overall one of the best third-party smart speakers for Amazon.  

Best for Cars: Roav Viva USB Car Charger

What We Like
  • Effortlessly stream from your phone through your car’s radio system via Bluetooth with this easy to use tool.

  • Make hands-free calls and charge your devices quickly while on the road.

What We Don't Like
  • Only one USB port.

If your vehicle is older and not equipped with Bluetooth, a connection tool is a must for making hands-free calls and listening to music. One of the best we found is the Roar Viva USB Car Charger. Although the connection to your phone’s music via the FM radio can often mean annoying background static, the Roar Viva does a fantastic job providing clear, uninterrupted music, although in busy metro areas, there is a chance of some interference.

The device also contains a USB charger and it works well for making hands-free calls for driving. It’s a really useful device and one of the more affordable car chargers on the market and is the best way to enjoy your own tunes on a long road trip or to avoid the annoyances of radio ads. 

Best for Smart Homes: Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

What We Like
  • Easy-to-install, voice-activated smart home lights.

  • Use the Phillips Hue app to create custom lighting sequences and routines for your home.

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive.

If you’re looking to upgrade the lighting for your smart home, the Philips Hue Bulb Starter Kit is one of the best options for an all-round, easy to install, and intuitive home lighting system. Although the initial investment is high, the Philips Hue bulbs are lasting, offering light in a range of colors.

The system can be easily controlled by Alexa, or even Google Assistant or Apple Home Kit, and custom lighting routines can be designed to ensure your home lighting is exactly how you prefer at all times of the day and night. You can set timers, adjust settings and lights when you’re out of town, and create timers to sync with other activities in the home, like TV viewing. Up to 50 light points can be controlled per hub, which should be more than enough to cover most homes. 

Best Alarm Clock: Burbupps Wake Up Light Alarm Clock

What We Like
  • This smart alarm clock and night light uses gentle light to mimic sunrise and wake you up naturally, along with soothing nature sounds or your favorite radio station.

  • Works with Alexa to operate via voice commands.

What We Don't Like
  • Occasional glitches between the clock and the app.

Waking up to gentle, natural-looking light is a refreshing change, and more preferable to the old alarm clocks of the past. Consider the Wake Up Light Alarm Clock for a better way to wake up—it also functions as a night light, FM radio, and USB charging port.

Use Alexa voice control to set alarms, adjust color, to snooze, and use the clock’s app to choose from a range of natural sounds designed to help with sleeping and/or waking up, such as ocean waves or forest sounds. We can see this clock being popular with adults and kids, as the light mimics the sun and makes waking up early more enjoyable. However, users report the app associated with the clock can be a bit glitchy, so double-check any settings if you notice this issue. 

Best Camera: Wyze Cam

What We Like
  • Home monitoring and security camera, a high quality product at a fantastic value price point.

  • Automatic recording and cloud storage for up to 14 days.

  • Night-vision capabilities.

What We Don't Like
  • Recorded videos are limited to 12 seconds.

Home security can be an expensive endeavor, which makes the Wyze Cam that much more appealing. It’s an effective and high-quality home security camera, offered at a fraction of the price of their competitors. This voice-controlled camera works well with Alexa and can be used to live stream on your mobile from wherever you are, in 1080p.

The Wyze can be mounted inside or outdoors. We are impressed by its features, including night vision for distances up to 30 feet, 8x digital zoom, and clear, high definition footage from a compact camera. While you can't tilt it, multiple cameras can be used together to create a fuller picture. Video clips can also be stored and saved to the cloud, although clips are limited to 12 seconds, and they're only saved for 14 days. Still, this is the best home camera available in this price bracket.

Best Thermostat: Google Nest Learning Thermostat

What We Like
  • This smart home thermostat programs itself and adjusts accordingly, once it learns your preferences and routine.

  • Use Wi-Fi or Alexa to control the temperature, no matter where you are.

What We Don't Like
  • Homes should have a "C wire” installed to ensure consistent battery charging of the system.

Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat is an intuitive smart home thermostat that can learn your routine and automatically adjust temperatures accordingly. The sleek, futuristic design is available in a range of colors to suit any home decor, and its compatibility with any Amazon Echo device makes it a top choice for Alexa users.

After about a week of use, the system starts to recognize your patterns and can adjust the air and heating to match. It also works well to save energy whenever possible, indicated by a leaf system to show you’ve chosen an energy-efficient temperature. Once you get through the set-up and learning time, the result is a beautifully designed thermostat that works almost on autopilot, ensuring your home is heated just how you like.

Best Smart Plug: Amazon Smart Plug

What We Like
  • A simple but effective smart plug that works with the Alexa app to add smart home voice control to any home outlet.

  • Set up is simple and the Smart Plug can be used with any device with a mechanical on/off switch.

What We Don't Like
  • The design falls a bit flat.

The Amazon Smart Plug is an easy way to extend the reach of Alexa throughout your home. This small, square plug fits into any outlet in your home and works with Alexa to control your smart home with your voice—turn off the lights and create an evening or morning routine. Even if you don’t have a smart home hub, this can be done via the Alexa app.

There’s an outlet in the plug that can be used to control any device with a mechanical on/off switch, such as a fan, lamp, or a kettle, allowing that device to be easily controlled by Alexa. Set up is quick and easy and we love the convenience it provides for simple tasks like remembering to turn off the lights or turn on a fan from across the room. 

Best Smart Lock: August Smart Lock

What We Like
  • This smart lock allows you to create safe and keyless entry to your home or property.

  • Lock and unlock your door via your phone, Alexa, or grant keyless entry to guests, no matter where you are.

What We Don't Like
  • To work remotely, you must add the August Connect Wi-Fi bridge, sold separately

The August Smart Lock allows you to lock or unlock your home remotely and works alongside your current lock, so the keys will still function. It’s also particularly useful for house guests or Airbnb operators, as you can allow tenants access to the property from anywhere in the world, via your phone.

Unfortunately, remote access and Alexa compatibility are only possible with the additional purchase of the August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, but it’s still a top choice for homeowners and renters.

Installation is simple, and the Smart Lock provides security and peace of mind for any property. Control the lock via Alexa or the August app to open the door for a few minutes to a few hours, and locking can be set to happen instantly or after a set duration. Never lock yourself out again with this useful and effective lock. 

Best Smart Scale: Withings Body+

What We Like
  • Measure and track weight, body fat percentages, muscle and bone mass, and more, on this easy to use smart scale.

  • Synch your fitness data with your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or over 100 more health apps.

What We Don't Like
  • The data on the scale is in a small size.

The Withings Body+ is an Alexa-compatible smart scale, a great tool to help stay on top of your health and fitness goals. It can measure not just weight but also muscle mass, bone mass, and body fat and water percentages. Data can be synced to your Apple Watch or Fitbit, along with over 100 additional health apps. The scale also isn’t limited to just one user—up to eight people can use it regularly, with the scale’s smart technology learning to recognize the person currently using it.

It’s an accurate and reliable scale that provides more data than just weight, allowing for a more accurate picture of your health. Although the readings on the scale are a bit small, it’s still one of the best smart scales available.

Best Streaming Device: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

What We Like
  • The newest edition for the Fire TV Stick now supports 4K Ultra HD streaming.

  • Start playing your favorite shows via Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and more, via voice control.

What We Don't Like
  • Voice control doesn’t work for every app.

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K is a top choice for Alexa fans. It allows for voice-controlled 4K streaming of all your favorites, including Netflix and Prime Video. The latest edition can support 4K Ultra HD video and Dolby Vision, making it the perfect accessory for home entertainment systems. In addition to streaming, the Fire TV Stick 4K has 8GB of storage for additional games or apps.

As an Amazon product, integration with Alexa works well for playing movies or exploring the channels, but note the voice control doesn’t work for every app on the system. Still, it’s a more affordable option than Amazon’s Fire TV Cube and offers endless streaming options.

What to Look for in Amazon Echo Accessories

Battery bases: Most Echo devices aren’t mobile, but you can make both the Dot and the standard Echo mobile with a battery base. This is a great accessory if you want to take your Echo into the backyard and don’t want to mess around with extension cords.

Stands and mounts: Echo devices are designed to work right out of the box, but the right stand or mount can make them even easier and more convenient to use. Look for a mount to attach your Echo Dot to a wall and get it up off the counter or an adjustable stand for your Echo Spot to make the screen easier to see.

Smart hubs: Unless you have an Echo Plus, you need a smart hub if you want to use your Echo to control smart devices like lights, switches, and thermostats. Look for a hub that’s certified to work with Echo and Alexa, and you’ll be well on your way to turning your house into a smart home.