A smart home thermostat is designed to learn your household energy patterns, and save you considerable time and money. But not all of these monitoring systems are created equal. Some can end up costing you even more than you budgeted for with faulty programming and technical errors.

Well, my team and I spent countless hours researching, and we put together this list of the best budget smart thermostats. Each one has nifty features that may suit your individual needs and won’t break the bank. Let’s dive in.

During the research process, I uncovered a lot of good (and bad) products when putting together this list of cheap Wi-Fi thermostat reviews.

After doing some tough comparisons, I was finally able to narrow down the top five winners for you. Keep in mind that all of the products listed below are excellent thermostats that will maintain a pleasant temperature inside your home without costing a lot of money.

I hope you find the best inexpensive smart thermostat for your home among this list.

The Top 5 Budget Smart Thermostats

1

Honeywell RCHT8612WF

Honeywell

This is my top pick for the best and affordable smart thermostat and is the same one I use at home.

It’s a good alternative to a Nest Learning thermostat too.

This smart thermostat helps you achieve great comfort without spending too much money.

You get a Mobile App, Interactive Touchscreen, GeoFencing, Weather Forecast, and Voice-Activated Control.

Voice-activation includes all of the top services such as Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and several others.

Some other key features you’re going to love are the Adaptive Recovery and Smart Alerts.

Adaptive Recovery learns how long it takes for your home to heat up or cool down and automatically adjusts itself so it reaches the optimal temperature when you need it. The smart alerts pop up on your phone and let you know when it’s time to change the air filters, as well as when the temperature becomes too extreme inside the house.

If you want it all in a Wi-Fi thermostat, without paying much for it, this could be a good option for you.

Key Features:

  • Smart Alerts
  • 7-Day Flexible Scheduling or Location Based Temperature Control (GeoFencing)
  • Adaptive Recovery
  • Works with Voice Command Assistants and Google Assistant
2

Ecobee3 lite

Pest defense

If the Lyric T5 didn’t exist, I would have bought this thermostat instead.

The main reason I ranked it as the #2 best smart learning thermostat is because it costs more. However, once you find out why it cost more you may consider it the best choice for your home.

In addition to having all of the best smart thermostat features (mobile app, touchscreen, voice control with Google Assistant, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT and more), GeoFencing and weather forecasting the Ecobee3 lite pairs with room sensors.

As you already know, every room in your home has hot and cold spots and this can cause your HVAC system to overwork itself. Not to mention increasing your energy bill too.

When you’re heating and cooling your house the HVAC system has no way of knowing if a certain room is too warm or too cold. It just makes the best guess.

By pairing this Wi-Fi thermostat with up to 32 special room sensors, it can monitor those hot and cold spots around the house and deliver the most comfortable temperature indoors. Out of the other options on this list, Ecobee 3 Lite is the only best smart thermostat that can be paired with room sensors.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in then this could be the best choice for you.

Key Features:

  • Works with Room Sensors
  • Easy to Install
  • Voice Command Compatible
  • Control anywhere with your iOs and Android Device
3

Vine Wi-Fi Thermostat

If you’re looking for a hybrid thermostat that offers the best of both worlds for the tech savvy and non-tech user, then this is a good choice.

The Vine is the best cheap Wi-Fi thermostat blends a modern app and touchscreen capability with classic dial control. This allows practically anyone who wants to use it as a smart device, and those who don’t can still have standard manual control.

Like the other products on this list it also offers voice-activated control, however, it only works with Amazon’s Alexa. So, keep that in mind if you’re an Apple, Samsung or Google Assistant user.

For those of you who enjoy getting the daily weather forecast, this device does have that feature built in. The only thing it’s lacking is GeoFencing.

If you can live with that one minor setback, this is a good thermostat to have in your home and is very affordable.

Key Features:

  • Multiple Platform Control
  • Hourly Weather Updates
  • Smart Alerts
  • Easy Installation
4

Honeywell RTH6580WF

Perhaps you’re interested in one of the cheapest Wi-Fi thermostat that can just get the job done.

Maybe you don’t need all of those other fancy add-ons and only want something that allows you to control the temperature in your house without having to get up to touch the panel.

If that’s the case, then this product might be perfect for you.

It easily connects your home’s HVAC system to your wireless network and gives you total control through a mobile app and voice-activation (only Amazon’s Alexa and IFTTT are supported).

If you ever do find the need to use it, an LCD screen with push-button controls does let you make manual adjustments. Additionally, this thermostat also provides local weather updates but doesn’t include GeoFencing.

If you want a simple way to wirelessly manage your heating and cooling indoors, this is could be your top choice.

Key Features:

  • Extensive Compatibility
  • Smart Response Technology
  • Customizable Climate Control
  • Large, Easy-to-read Display
5

Radio Thermostat CT50

My last recommendation for the cheapest smart thermostat is this unit here.

Similar to my fourth pick, it doesn’t come with a ton of features and costs about the same.

The way it differs, however, is that includes a Touchscreen Panel and GeoFencing, but doesn’t have Voice-Activated Control or Weather Forecasting.

Like every other product on this page, the mobile app provides detailed reports for temperature history and usage of your HVAC system.

If you like to find a bargain and want one of the best wireless thermostat that’s easy on your wallet, this may be exactly what you are looking for.

Key Features:

  • Optimal 7-Day Programming
  • Easy Installation
  • Compatible with Various HVAC Systems
  • iOs and Android Device Compatible

Features to Look for in a Cheap Smart Thermostat

Before we dive off the deep end and take a look at my Top Wi-Fi thermostat reviews, there are a few important points to consider before you buy one.

Paying attention to these key features will help you get the exact product for your needs and ensure that you feel comfortable indoors all year round.

Mobile App

These days, it seems like everyone has a smartphone or tablet. Myself included. And that’s obviously why you’re considering a Wi-Fi smart thermostat in the first place.

A mobile app offers you the convenience of controlling the thermostat from your mobile device without having to get up or touch a dial. It also lets you make adjustments even when you’re not home. This means you can set your favorite temperature no matter where you are.

Just imagine adjusting the temperature in your house from your smartphone right before you leave work. Then, when you walk through the front door it’s already warm and toasty during those cold winter nights and refreshingly cool during hot summer stretches.

Another handy aspect of smart learning thermostat apps is that many of them provide runtime reports. This data shows you how long your HVAC system has been operating throughout the day and the hour-by-hour temperatures reached.

An app is a great way to track your heating and cooling usage, especially if you have other people living in the house. It helps you keep an eye (and control) on the thermostat settings so you don’t end up with an unexpectedly high energy bill.

Interactive Touchscreen

You’ll be happy to know that some budget smart thermostats now come with a touchscreen panel.

Having a user-friendly touchscreen on a home smart learning thermostat lets you easily see and change the settings as you wish. It’s similar to using the app on your smartphone but it’s mounted on the wall.

If you’re like me, a bright display is a very helpful feature to have, especially if you have trouble seeing in dim lighting or reading small letters.

Not only are interactive touchscreens functional, but they’re also fun to use. There’s something futuristic about being able to walk up to your thermostat and change features or temperatures with a swipe of a finger, that never gets old.

Only one of the top smart thermostats I recommend above doesn’t include this handy component. And, of course, it’s the cheapest.

Voice Control Capabilities

One of the biggest pains of having a manual thermostat is that you have to physically get up to change the temperature. Even when I upgraded to an inexpensive programmable one, I still found myself always fiddling with it.

I was so excited when I found out that some Wi-Fi thermostats also included voice control capabilities.

Depending on which setup you get, you can simply tell your smart learning thermostat what you want it to do and it will do it. You never have to use the mobile app if you don’t want to.

The only catch here is that cheaper smart thermostats must be controlled by a separate voice-activated service like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or IFTTT (If This Then That). Voice recognition is not built into the device.

4 out of 5 thermostats I review on this page include this convenient feature, but not all work with every voice-activated service. To help you compare product quickly, I pointed out which service each one does support so you can find the best top rated smart thermostat for your home.

GeoFencing

Welcome to the future!

GeoFencing is an amazing feature to ever happen to thermostat technology. This powerful feature lets your wireless thermostat track your movements through your smartphone and when you get close to the house it will automatically start your home’s HVAC system.

This means your home will heat up or cool down to the perfect temperature before you even get to the driveway, and you don’t have to do a thing.

Just think about all the money you’ll save having a thermostat like this. I’ll stated which products include this magical thing called “GeoFencing” in my reviews above.

Weather Forecast

Are you someone who likes to know what the weather forecast will be before you head out the door?

If you are, you may want to consider a cheap Wi-Fi thermostat that includes Weather Forecasting. With this feature, you’ll be able to tell the temperature, humidity, and if any storms are brewing at a quick glance.

If you’re curious about what the weather is like in other states or countries, you can also check them too.

Not every budget smart thermostat gives you this information, so you have to be on the lookout for it. To make things easy for you, I’ve highlighted which products include weather forecasting on my list above.

Cheap Smart Thermostat Comparison Table

Here’s a table that lets you quickly compare the features between each of the top rated smart thermostats that I reviewed above.

Note: Mobile and tablet users must swipe to see the full contents of the table

Product Mobile App Touchscreen Weather Geofencing Voice Control
Honeywell RCHT8612WF

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Yes Yes Yes Yes Alexa, HomeKit, IFTTT, and more
Ecobee3 Lite

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Yes Yes Yes Yes Alexa, HomeKit, IFTTT, and more
Vine

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Yes Yes Yes No Alexa
Honeywell RTH6580WF

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Yes No Yes No Alexa and IFTTT
Radio Thermostat CT50

CHECK CURRENT PRICE

Yes Yes No Yes No

Additional Information about Smart Thermostats

The best smart thermostats typically come loaded with a lot of convenient features that make it quick and easy to have a comfortable home.

However, you have to understand what the features are and how they can benefit you before you attempt to use them.

Do you know what GeoFencing is? Have you ever considered that you’ll need either Alexa, Apple Homekit or IFTTT for the best smart thermostat to work to its full advantage and save you money? If not, read on.

Can a Budget Smart Thermostat Really Save You Money?

Yes, as long as your smart thermostat is programmed correctly and you utilize the multiple features it offers you to save the most money.

Inexpensive best smart thermostats can save you in electricity and heating and cooling costs because it’ll learn your usage patterns and what your comfortable living temperature is. It’ll then adjust itself according to your daily habits.

For example, if you’re not home, it can automatically lower the temperature and bring it up once again when you’re on your way home. Which leads us to our next point.

A research conducted by Tsinghua University states that the heating and cooling accounts for a substantial portion of residential energy consumption, a lot of this energy is wasted due to inefficient use. [1]

What is GeoFencing and How Does it Work on Smart Devices?

GeoFencing is a relatively new technology, but it opens up entirely new possibilities for these best smart thermostat in terms of usage and savings potential.

You can think of GeoFencing as a virtual boundary or fence around your home. Different best smart thermostats have different ranges, so it’s important to check how far your “fence” will go. [2]

Once you enable this technology, it tracks your location through the app or from GPS on your phone or tablet. When your thermostat gets notified that you’ve crossed your GeoFence boundary, you can program it to switch on your HVAC system and get your home to your comfortable temperature range before you even walk in the door.

This is great for saving money because you can set your home’s temperature to be cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer when you’re not home and it’ll regulate the temperature when it senses you’re in range of your GeoFence.

What is Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, and IFTTT

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Homekit, and IFTTT (If This Then That) are voice control devices that can add another layer of convenience to the best smart thermostats. Alexa and Homekit are the two most popular choices.

For example, say you’re comfortable on the couch, and your phone or tablet is out of your reach. If you have your thermostat linked with one of these voice control devices, you can simply tell Alexa, the Apple Homekit, or IFTTT what you want your smart thermostat to do.

With one of those services, you can control practically every aspect of your thermostat with your voice. You won’t have to get up or search for your phone or tablet to get to the app.

You’ll need either Alexa, Homekit, or IFTTT to operate these best smart thermostats because they don’t come with voice recognition software built in. So make sure to factor this in when you’re making a purchase if you don’t already have one of these services inside your home. But keep in mind it’s not a must-have feature. You can still get plenty of use out of your smart thermostat by only using the app and not having voice-activated controls.

And My #1 Pick Is …

Based on my research, the Honeywell Lyric T5 is a good cost-effective smart thermostat that I can confidently recommend. It comes fully equipped with a 7-day programmable touchscreen, Wi-Fi, GeoFencing, and works with Alexa.

Many users reported they had it set up in as little as 20 minutes. Plus, it’s a good alternative to a Nest Learning Thermostat.

If these features are of interest to you, then this could be your best choice. I hope you found this article helpful, and if so, be sure to leave a comment below.

 

Honeywell RCHT8612WF

Honeywell RCHT8612WF

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Works with Voice Command Assistants and Google Assistant
  • 7-Day Flexible Scheduling or Location Based Temperature Control (GeoFencing)
  • Adaptive Recovery
  • Smart Alerts

Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Trusty Joe. Under the guidance of his father, a general contractor, Joe has been involved with a lot of handyman projects from a very young age. He combined this love for building with another passion of his, creative writing. Trusty Joe allows him to merge these two interests and offer the best of both worlds.