The 9 Best Smart Home Devices of 2023

Make your home more efficient with these smart products

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We've researched and reviewed the best smart home devices based on ease of setup and how well they integrate with other devices, cost, and additional features. 

Best Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector

Google Nest Protect 2nd Generation

5
google-nest-protect-2nd-generation

Amazon

Pros
  • Alerts both vocally and via a notification of smoke or carbon monoxide

  • Easy integration with Nest products

  • Performs routine self tests

Cons
  • Works better as a team than standalone

  • Expensive, especially if you’re buying multiples

If you’re looking for a combined smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector, the Nest Protect may be just what you need. Part of the Google Nest smart home family, it integrates easily with other Nest products and provides you with the peace of mind that your home is safe. The Protect ensures you know what’s happening in an emergency—it changes color when something concerning is detected. It alerts you vocally as to the location of the smoke or carbon monoxide. It also sends an alert to your phone, a convenient feature if you’re not at home. 

The Protect goes above and beyond your standard home fire alarm, as it can detect heat, humidity, and carbon monoxide and also detect both fast and slow-burning fires. If you set off the alarm accidentally, such as while cooking dinner, you can quickly turn it off via the app. 

Protect also performs routine self-tests, making sure it’s functioning correctly. The setup process is also easy; you’ll need to screw the base plate into the ceiling, attach the Protect, and then sync it with your phone. While the Protect is undoubtedly more expensive than your run-of-the-mill smoke alarm, its effectiveness and ease of use make it the best smart home alarm on the market—especially if you’re already using Google Nest. 

Best Smart Display with Google Assistant

Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen

4.2
Google Nest Hub 2nd Generation

Courtesy of B&H

Pros
  • Great screen and stylish design

  • Intuitive and easy to use

  • Compatible with thousands of smart devices

Cons
  • No camera

  • Limited compatibility with apps

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) contains what we love about the original model, offering Google Assistant and a sleek, modern design that will look right in place in any room of the house. The Hub is more affordable than Amazon Echo. It is compatible with thousands of smart devices, allowing it to control your lights, thermostat, or smart home features vocally or with a touch of a button.

It offers a 7-inch screen that looks similar to a tablet, giving you touchscreen controls. Use it to enjoy YouTube music, cook as Google talks you through the recipe, or display your images as a digital photo album. It’s worth noting that even though it looks like your tablet, it has limited connectivity with apps, a design shortcoming.

We love that the Hub is not only a control for your smart home but it doubles as a personal assistant. Customize it with the daily news and weather, or have it display your first appointment, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

Best Smart Thermostat

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

4.9
Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Gen

Home Depot

Pros
  • Quickly learns your preferences

  • Support monitoring from smart home

  • Automatic scheduling

Cons
  • Requires some installation

  • Not compatible with Apple HomeKit

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat optimizes the heating and cooling of your home and also learns your preferences and times when you’re not home, adjusting accordingly. For example, if you’re out all day, the Nest will adapt your usage while you’re away to save on energy bills. Or, if you tend to turn the heat up at night in winter, it will start to do so automatically. It works in conjunction with Nest’s temperature sensors, sold separately, that the Nest can use to ensure heating is working as best it can. 

The system is easily controlled from your phone, allowing you to view usage reports to see how much energy you consume. The Nest isn’t compatible with Apple HomeKit, but for Google fans, it’s one of the best thermostats and will change how you heat and cool your home. Installation can be tricky, so many homeowners prefer to have it installed by their HVAC contractor.

Runner-Up, Best Thermostat

Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control

4.9
ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control

Amazon

Pros
  • Automatic temperature adjustment

  • SmartSensor included, with additional available for purchase

  • Full compatibility with Alexa

Cons
  • Interface can be buggy

  • Design may be a bit large for some

The Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is a top choice for your home thermostat needs, thanks to a large touchscreen, Alexa integration, and the inclusion of a SmartSensor—something its competition, the Nest Learning, only offers as a separate purchase. Use the Ecobee to control the heat of your home, but for rooms with a SmartSensor, it can also adjust temperatures automatically based on the number of people in the room, a neat feature. It does a great job of keeping temperatures steady, making it easy to control your home’s heating needs, even in challenging areas like basements or bedrooms at the far end of the house. 

The Ecobee’s display also doubles as a smart speaker, with built-in Bluetooth to stream Spotify, plus you can pair it with external speakers for boosted audio quality. We also like that the Ecobee can easily integrate with many other home systems, including Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Amazon. The display screen is quite large, which may be off-putting for some, but its ease of use makes it worth the size.

Best Smart Plug

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon

Pros
  • Simple and convenient design

  • Supports Alexa

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Only works with Amazon Alexa

  • Only one outlet included on each smart plug

A smart plus is an easy way to transform any device or appliance, like a coffee maker or lamp, into a smart device. Once plugged into a smart plug, the devices can be controlled by your smartphone. One of the best smart plugs on the market is the Amazon Smart Plug, an affordable and easy-to-use device that plugs into your power outlet. You then plug your device into the smart plug. You can purchase as many as you need for your home, but not that only one outlet is provided for each plug, which limits their use. We love that the plugs are slim, as they can easily fit behind tables or kitchen appliances. 

The Smart Plug is only compatible with Alexa, but it’s your best choice if you’re already using the Amazon ecosystem. However, with Alexa, you can control any device via voice controls or digitally, plus you can use Amazon’s Alexa app if you don’t already have a home hub. As long as your Wi-Fi works, controlling your entire home is simple with smart plugs—plug them in, connect via the app, and go away. They are a great way to dip your feet in smart home technology if it’s new to you, as the simplicity and low price are great entries into the market. 

Best Robot Vacuum

iRobot Roomba s9+ 9550 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum

4.2
iRobot Roomba s9+ 9550 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Pros
  • Holds up to 30 bins of dust

  • D-shape body for edge cleaning

  • Lots of options for custom programming

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Works best when paired with Braava smart mop

The iRobot Roomba S9+ is the company’s top-of-the-line cleaning robot that hopes its convenience outweighs its cost. Vacuuming is a chore many of us hate, making robot vacuums one of the more desirable pieces of smart home tech. If you can look past the steep price, the S9+ takes care of housekeeping, so you don’t have to: Its docking port serves as a charger and empties its dustbin. It can also hold up to 30 bins of dust and dirt, so you don’t need to empty them after each use. 

Unlike previous models, the S9+ has a D-shaped body, ideal for reaching all the corners and crevices of your room. It uses something called PerfectEdge technology to ensure no spots are missed, using sensors to guide the robot tightly along your walls. Through the iRobot app, you’ll be able to customize when each room is cleaned, and the robot’s Smart Mappings help it learn the layout of your house, so it knows where to go and how to tell different areas apart. There are plenty of options to program and customize, with the S9+ designed with budding programmers in mind. The S9+ is meant to be paired with iRobot’s Braava Jet M6, which mops up after the Roomba has vacuumed.

Best Smart Mop

iRobot Braava Jet M6 Ultimate Robot Mop

iRobot Braava Jet M6 Robot Mop

Amazon

Pros
  • Can easily mop large spaces

  • Great navigation skills

  • Quiet and small 

Cons
  • Works best when paired with Rooma S9+

  • Big messes may still require some scrubbing the old fashioned way

You may benefit from a robot map if your home is mainly tile or wood rather than carpet. Similar in functionality to the robot vacuum, but for mopping, the iRobot Braava Jet M6 is one of the best smart home tools for mopping. The M6 can easily tackle sticky spills, kitchen grease, and other messes throughout multiple rooms, as it can clean up to 1,000 square feet in each session. It navigates easily and operates quietly, a great feature if you’re trying to relax or get work done while using the mop. Thanks to its smart mapping technology, the M6 learns the different rooms in your house and navigates between them based on the cleaning schedule you set in the iRoomba app. It can also be paired with the iRobot Roomba S9+ to commence mopping after the Roomba has finished vacuuming.

While there’s no getting around the fact that this is the most expensive mop you’ll ever buy, it works amazingly. It makes life easier by doing the dirty work for you—the M6 pairs with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control. 

Best Smart Light System

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 E26 LED Smart Bulb

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 E26 LED Smart Bulb

Amazon

Pros
  • Connect up to 50 bulbs to one hub

  • App to customize lighting

  • Plenty of options to automate home lighting

Cons
  • Pricy

  • Can take some getting used to not having light switches

If you’re looking to set up a smart home lighting system, the Philips Hue system could be what you need. A smart home lighting system is an investment, as it requires a hub—the Hue is no exception. You’ll want the Philips Hue with Bridge to control your entire home, giving you control of up to 50 bulbs per hub. The Hue provides an easy setup, an intuitive app, and plenty of customization apps—with the Hue, your only limit for your home lighting is your imagination, with seemingly endless options to automate and personalize your lighting. 

There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular home lighting systems, as users love the ability to adjust brightness, color, and timing and even create lightning scenes to dim and alter your home lighting over the day. Controlling your lighting system via an app may take some time, but it’ll soon become natural. While the Hue is an investment, it’s an all-in-one smart lighting solution that suits many homeowners. 

Best Doorbell

Remo+ RemoBell S Smart Video Doorbell Camera

4.2
Remo+ RemoBell S

Amazon

Pros
  • Two-way talk lets you speak to anyone at the front door

  • HD video and night mode helps you see who’s outside

  • Connects via your existing doorbell wiring

Cons
  • App can be confusing to figure out

  • Video quality isn’t always the best 

A smart doorbell helps you see who’s outside the home, even if you’re not home. With the Remo+ RemoBell S WiFi Video Doorbell Camera, you get an affordable doorbell that’s simple to install and lets you see who’s outside, no matter where you are. Even better, you can have a two-way conversation, ideal for telling the mail carrier where to leave a package or letting the neighbor know when you’ll be home. The Remo system connects through your existing doorbell wiring, so installation isn’t overly complex. 

With this smart doorbell, you can send alerts to your phone each time the bell rings or whenever motion is detected̦—plus, you can enjoy live streaming of your front door anytime. Up to five users can have access--helpful for families--and the system is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. If you’re purchasing the Remo, note that the app itself can be confusing, so it may take some time to wrap your head around all its features. However, for the price, it’s hard to beat this one for value for money and usefulness. 

What to Look for When Buying Smart Home Devices 

Consumers have never had so many smart home options.

You can set up a home hub through popular systems like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, which allow you to control your home's functions, including kitchen appliances, vacuums, home lighting, and smoke detectors, with a voice command or the touch of a button.

Ecosystem

The most critical factor to consider when purchasing a device for your smart home is whether or not it’ll work with your existing setup. Whether you select Amazon Alexa, a Google Home, or Apple’s Siri to be the controller for your devices, you’ll want to make sure that your new gadgets can communicate.

Hub vs. no hub

Some devices (such as Philips’ Hue lighting system) require a central hub to communicate on your Wi-Fi network. Be sure to check whether or not specific products need you to purchase an additional hub or will work right out of the box.

Smartphone apps

Most smart home devices will need to be set up via your smartphone. Be sure to check whether the device you’re purchasing has an app available for your device of choice before buying.

About our Experts

Andy Zahn was a Lifewire writer with expertise in smart home and general consumer tech.

Ajay Kumar was an editor at Lifewire who has reviewed thousands of consumer tech products, including smart home devices, phones, tablets, hubs, and smart lights.

Katie Dundas is a freelance writer and journalist who wrote for Lifewire.

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