The Best Cheap Smart Thermostats of 2019

Not every "smart" thermostat is a learning thermostat.

If you want a thermostat that automatically adjusts itself to your schedule, be prepared to spend $200 or more. On the flip side, if you have a predictable schedule, you can buy a simple programmable thermostat with good reviews for around $25.

(A basic programmable thermostat can save money and energy, too. The trouble is that 89% of people who own a programmable thermostat don't take the time to program it!)

This article is focused on WiFi-connected programmable thermostats that allow you to make adjustments on your smartphone or tablet. Some are even compatible with home automation systems like Alexa, SmartThings and Google Home.

Before you buy a thermostat, it's worth it to look for rebates. Many states and utility companies offer discounts on Energy Star-certified models. Some utility companies may even buy a smart thermostat for you (like Con Edison, for example).

Here are the best-reviewed smart thermostats that have sold for $100 or less in the last 12 months:

Good Price: $98 | Great Deal: $72

Emerson's thermostat is easy to install and use, according to several Amazon customers who say that the Sensi app works well and that the thermostat pairs well with Alexa devices. Some reviewers complain that their thermostat randomly loses its WiFi connection and is difficult to reconnect.

Sorry for the slim pickings, but many WiFi thermostats seem to have dealbreaking bugs and quirks. You may want to check out these mid-priced thermostats from Honeywell and Ecobee.


John DeFeo