Nest and Ecobee are the two biggest names in the smart thermostat arena. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a thermostat that wasn’t one of these two.
Both brands offer numerous advantages and benefits, but which one is actually the better option–and which one is the best fit for you?
Comparing Nest vs. Ecobee from a cost standpoint, there is no clear winner. Both the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Ecobee SmartThermostat (the top-tier versions of both models) are $250 each. If you’re looking for absolute top-of-the-line performance, either one of these models is a great pick.
On the other hand, if you want to save a bit of money, you can opt for lower-end models that still have smart features but do not cost quite as much. For example, Google recently released a new model of the Nest Thermostat. It lacks the learning features and isn’t quite as smart, but it also costs $130.
On the Ecobee front, you can purchase a refurbished Ecobee4 for $190, or an Ecobee3 Lite for $170. Again, both of these lack the features of the high-end model, but will still provide you with baseline smart control of your thermostat and your home’s temperature.
Both devices cost roughly the same amount, but each also appeals more to a slightly different audience.
The main reason someone invests in a smart thermostat is to cut down on energy costs and keep their home more consistently comfortable. While the actual energy savings will vary from model to model, both Nest and Ecobee provide estimated savings.
According to Nest, thermostats can save up to 12 percent on heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills over the course of a year. On the other hand, Ecobee claims that the SmartThermostat can save up to 23 percent on annual energy costs.
While both of these figures should be taken with a grain of salt (as they are both marketing ploys with a huge number of variables), there are other benefits to consider between the two devices, too.
The Ecobee SmartThermostat can be used to stream Spotify as well as music directly from your phone thanks to Bluetooth. The speaker won’t impress an audiophile, but it’s not a bad way to have some background noise. It also works with HomeKit, functions as a hands-free calling and intercom device, and learns and adapts to your routine thanks to Eco+.
The Ecobee SmartThermostat also includes a SmartSensor in the box. The SmartSensor is a remote occupancy and temperature sensor that can be placed in a different room and linked to the thermostat. This way, if you have a room in your home that never matches the rest of the house, the thermostat can automatically adjust its output to keep that room just as comfortable.
Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat has many of the same features as the Ecobee SmartThermostat. It will automatically turn itself down while you’re away to conserve power, and you can control it from anywhere through the Google Home app. It will also provide alerts if the temperature rises or drops rapidly or if it detects a problem with the HVAC system.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with 95 percent of HVAC systems, and it also works with the Nest Temperature Sensor. This sensor can be used to monitor the temperature in the home in a different room than the thermostat itself is in. Of course, the Nest Learning Thermostat can also be controlled through a smart speaker.
Ecobee takes the prize here thanks to its broader range of features and utility.
In the modern age of smart home devices, the appearance of a thermostat matters. After all, there’s no ignoring a device that sits prominently on the wall—and if you’re spending the money on an expensive thermostat, it should look better than the old square thermostats that reside in so many homes today.
Both the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Ecobee SmartThermostat were designed with aesthetics in mind. The Nest Learning Thermostat is round, with a rotating bezel that can be used to control the temperature manually. It’s a simple, elegant design.
The Ecobee SmartThermostat has a more square design with rounded edges and a busier central display. It’s slightly larger than the Nest Thermostat, but has a more futuristic look to it. There is no exterior bezel, but it does have a touchscreen that’s used to control the settings.
It is hard to declare a winner for appearance, as what appeals to someone on an individual level is highly subjective. With that in mind, know that both devices look great. Pick the one that best suits your style and tastes.
Which Is Better?
Both of the mainline smart thermostats are powerful options that can improve the comfort level of any home. However, the Ecobee SmartThermostat provides more functionality and value on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
It’s widely compatible with all three major smart home platforms and provides a wide range of functionality that sets it apart from the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Ecobee SmartThermostat also has learning capabilities that can help it better adjust the comfort level of your home.
Ultimately, the Ecombee is predicted to yield almost twice as much savings as the Nest Learning Thermostat. When all other features and considerations are stripped away, the Ecobee SmartThermostat is the clear winner, especially if you have other Ecobee devices in your home.