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Beyond the cool factor of being able to control your home with voice commands, there’s also an undeniable convenience that comes along with smart home gadgets. Whether you want to keep tabs on your home while you’re away on vacation or optimize your heating system to save money, smart home products are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to get the job done!
Today, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of smart products to use in every room of your home. Most people are familiar with popular items like voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but the smart home market extends far beyond that. In fact, you might be surprised at some of the products now available with smart functionality.
To give you an idea of all the ways you can upgrade your home, here are a selection of the hands-down best smart home products.
Amazon Echo (Fourth Generation)
If you’re looking for a voice assistant to help you control all your fancy smart gadgets, the Amazon Echo is a tried-and-true option. Try the fourth generation version of Amazon's popular Echo, which got a bit of a makeover with a chic new sphere-shaped design, as well as an upgraded speaker system.
An Echo allows you to speak to Amazon’s Alexa at any time, asking her to turn on lights, check the weather, play music, make calls, and so much more. This particular voice assistant is compatible with a huge selection of other smart home brands, so it will truly become your home’s central hub.
Samsung The Frame Smart TV
If you’ve ever wished that your TV didn’t look so much like, well, a TV, you’ll love The Frame from Samsung. This innovative smart TV is designed to look like a picture frame (hence, the name), and it displays artwork when turned off, allowing it to blend seamlessly into your decor.
Oh, and did we mention this smart TV has all the bells and whistles you could ask for? It has a QLED screen that displays over a billion shades of color for lifelike images, and its smart functionality is powered by Tizen, Samsung’s custom operating system that lets you access Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and all your other must-have apps.
Ring Video Doorbell 3
When it comes to video doorbells, Ring is arguably the biggest name out there—and for good reason! Not only are its doorbells sleek and easy to use, but they provide high-definition video and two-way talk, as well as advanced motion detection, night vision, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. What more could you ask for, really?
The Ring Video Doorbell 3 offers plenty of features that improve on the previous models, including improved connectivity, as well as customizable motion zones (so you can stop your porch flag from setting off the motion detection, for instance). The doorbell allows you to access its live camera 24/7 to see who’s at the door, and it sends real-time notifications to your phone or tablet so you never miss a visitor.
August Home Smart Lock Pro
With the August Smart Lock Pro, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your keys! Once it's installed on your door, this sleek smart lock will make your daily routine so much easier. It recognizes when you arrive home and automatically unlocks the door for you, and it will lock behind you as you leave. Plus, if you ever have that nagging feeling that you forgot to lock up, you can simply open your phone and check.
That’s not all, either. With the August Smart Lock, you can grant friends, family members, or service people temporary digital keys, and the app will keep a record of who’s coming and going. How’s that for security? It’s also compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, so you can pair it with whichever system you already use most.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
Old-fashioned thermostats can be clunky and hard to program, but not the Nest Learning Thermostat. This smart thermostat has been around for many years, and it’s a worthwhile splurge for anyone who wants to keep their home at the perfect temperature—all while saving money.
This high-tech thermostat comes in a variety of finishes, and it has a simple circular design that looks appealing on your wall. From the moment it's installed, the Energy Star-certified thermostat works to learn your habits—when you leave the house and return home, as well as your preferred temperature—and it builds its very own schedule that’s optimized to reduce energy consumption. In fact, the brand says the Nest Learning Thermostat usually pays for itself in just two years.
iRobot Roomba i7+
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is a game-changer for anyone who has pets or kids or simply likes to keep their home spic and span. This smart robotic vacuum stands out from the rest for a few reasons, most important being that it automatically empties its own dustbin into the unit’s base, saving you the hassle of cleaning out the compartment after every cycle.
The Roomba i7+ also creates a map of your home, and once the map is complete, you can add labels to each room. Thanks to this feature, you can direct the robot to clean certain areas, and of course, you can always set up an automatic vacuuming schedule.
Nest Protect Smart Smoke and CO Alarm
If you’ve ever been forced to drag out a step stool to turn off your smoke detector after burning popcorn, you’ll definitely understand the appeal of the Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm. This gadget can be controlled right from your smartphone, allowing you to silence a false alarm without climbing onto a chair, and it also offers a variety of other useful features.
For instance, the Nest Protect will send you a notification whenever the alarm goes off, giving you a heads up that something is wrong, even if you’re away from home. If you have multiple units in your home, it will tell you exactly where the problem is, and the smoke alarm even tests itself on a monthly basis and will send you a notification when its battery is low. (Read: No more 2 a.m. chirping.)
Litter-Robot 3 Connect Cat Litter Box
Despite its high price, this litter box can be life-changing for cat owners. What makes this litter box so special? For one, it cleans itself after every use, automatically cycling and dropping waste into an enclosed compartment in the base. This means your kitty will always have clean litter, and you won’t have to lift a finger. Go ahead—throw away your litter scoop!
The Litter-Robot 3 Connect also offers smart functionality, so you’ll get a smartphone notification when the waste bin needs to be emptied. It also tracks how often your cat is going to the bathroom (useful for spotting potential health issues) and allows you to adjust the cycle timer and inner light to suit your cat's preferences.
Dyson Pure Cool Link Wi-Fi Enabled Air Purifier
You can monitor—and improve!—the air quality in your home with the Dyson Pure Cool Link, a smart tower fan and air purifier combo. This high-tech fan has a bladeless design that’s safer to use around kids and pets, and it offers oscillation and a whopping 10 speed settings that you can control via its remote, your smartphone, or voice commands through Amazon Alexa.
Its air purifier uses both HEPA and carbon filters to both capture fine particles and minimize odors, and the unit automatically monitors air quality, adjusting airflow and turning on and off accordingly. The Pure Cool Link also sends air quality reports right to your phone so you can keep your home fresh and clean.