Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell Thermostats: A Comprehensive Comparison

Looking for a smart thermostat? Here’s our comprehensive guide to the three most popular brands, including Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell. We’ll dive into the features each brand offers, as well as the pros and cons of each of these thermostat brands.

Ecobee thermostat

summary: Ecobee is known for its focus on energy efficiency and smart home integration with advanced features and remote sensing capabilities. Ecobee has been praised for its high-quality sensors and many customizable options. However, these are some of the most expensive thermostats on the market.

Popular models:

Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice ControlThe base model has Alexa sensors and built-in remote controls. It costs between $220 and $250.

Ecobee 3 Lite:A more expensive option without built-in voice control but with remote sensor compatibility.

Feature highlights:

Built-in voice control:Comes with Alexa built-in for voice control and smart home integration.

remote sensing:Measures temperature and occupancy, which helps in managing hot and cold spaces.

Energy and Savings ReportsProvides detailed reports on energy usage.

Home/Away Feature: Automatically adjusts temperature based on occupancy.

CompatibilityWorks with most HVAC systems, including multi-stage systems.

Fusion: Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT.


Excellent energy saving features with detailed usage reports.
Alexa built-in for seamless smart home integration. You can also control it via an app if Alexa isn’t your thing.
Remote sensors for more accurate temperature control.
It has additional sensors for different areas, such as different rooms throughout the house. You can set different temperatures in different areas.
easy to use. The display information is comprehensive, so you can understand everything the thermostat is working on just by looking at the screen.
Lots of customizable options for users and manual settings, such as thresholds, temperature deltas, and phases. Perfect for people who like to customize all the features.
Detailed logs and reports on system performance.
HomeKit offers local control that works with Home Assistant.
Best for efficiency control versus comfort.
Better controls for mix/max temperature and schedules.
Other devices such as humidifiers can be controlled.
The great customer support is also said to offer helpful installation guides.


Higher initial cost compared to some competitors.
Requires C wire for installation.
It cannot be installed in a two-wire heating system only in an old house.
The preparation can be difficult, but the reward is great.
Humidity sensors aren’t always 100% accurate, but you can fix it via smart settings. In general, some users report issues accurately.
Ecobee scheduling can be confusing at first but becomes intuitive with use. Instead of adjusting temperatures based on time, you can create “comfort zones” for different scenarios, such as 76°F when home, 80°F when away, and 74°F when sleeping. You can then schedule these zones for specific times or link them to Ecobee’s outdoor room sensors, one of which is included with the Premium model.
The glass design is easily smudged.
The Ecobee3 Lite has limited remote access functionality.

Nest thermostat

summary: Nest, which is owned by Google, is known for its sleek design, advanced learning capabilities, and strong integration with Google Home products.

Popular models:

Nest Learning Thermostat:The leading model that learns your schedule and preferences. Price: $250.

Nest E thermostat: A less expensive option with a simpler design and fewer features. Price: $169.

Key Features:

Automatic scheduling: It recognizes the temperatures and your favorite programs on its own.

Energy History:This shows you how much energy you have used and why.

Home/outdoor help: It automatically adjusts the temperature when you leave or return home.

remote controlControl your thermostat from anywhere with the Nest app.

Learning algorithm: One of Nest’s most marketed features is its intelligent learning algorithm that adapts to user preferences over time.

Compatibility:Works with most HVAC systems, although compatibility must be verified.

Fusion:Works seamlessly with Google Assistant and integrates with other Google Home products.


Sleek, modern design that looks great in any home.
Advanced learning algorithms to save energy.
No C wire required.
Strong smart home integration, especially with Google products, but integration with third-party apps is limited.
Best for basic control like schedules, home/away play, etc.
Some utility companies offer Nest thermostats for free as part of their offerings.
Just as with Ecobee, additional sensors are available for different rooms throughout the home.


Higher initial cost compared to some Honeywell models.
Limited compatibility with select HVAC systems (always check before purchasing).
Does not support Apple HomeKit.
Some users report difficulties setting up the system.
The main feature missing from the Nest Learning Thermostat is the average temperature across different sensors.
Some users report not liking the flashy, mirrored design.
Others report that not enough information appears on the screen while using the thermostat, and that the user interface is not as easy to use as with other thermostats. In general, the interface is limited.
The slider is not always responsive.
Integrating your thermostat and the Google Home app isn’t always seamless.
Some complaints about customer service.
There is no local network control; everything has to go through Nest’s servers.

Honeywell thermostats

summary: Honeywell is a well-established brand known for its wide range of thermostats, from basic programmable models to advanced smart thermostats. Honeywell thermostats are praised for the quality of their sensors. There are Honeywell thermostats that are cheaper than Nest and Ecobee.

Popular models:

Honeywell Home T9: Smart thermostat with remote sensing capabilities. Current price is $143 on Amazon.

Honeywell Lyric T5Budget-friendly smart thermostat with geofencing technology.

Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Color

Key Features:

user interfaceHoneywell thermostats typically feature touch screens with user-friendly interfaces.

Remote sensorsModels like the T9 have remote sensors that help manage hot and cold spots by measuring temperature and humidity.

Geolocation:Adjust the temperature based on your location using your smartphone.

Compatibility: Works with most HVAC systems, including multi-stage heating and cooling systems.

Fusion: Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and IFTTT.


A wide range of models to meet different needs and budgets.
Great integration, especially with Alexa.
Reliable performance.
Advanced features like remote sensors and geo-fencing. High quality sensors for humidity, proximity and temperature. It contains an ambient temperature sensor that is not available in other systems.
Remote access function is good.


Some models can be complicated to install.
The user interface may not be as sleek or modern as the Nest.

Key Considerations for Choosing a Thermostat (Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell)

Determine your heating and cooling system

Make sure your system is compatible with the thermostat you are considering.

Recommended Thermostats:

For central air: Ecobee smart thermostat, Nest Learning thermostat, and Honeywell Home T9
For ductless systems: Honeywell Home T9 (with remote sensors)

Verifying HVAC Systems Compatibility with Smart Thermostats

Make sure your current setup supports smart thermostats. It is recommended to consult a specialist.

Recommended thermostats:

General Compatibility: Honeywell Home T9, Ecobee Smart Thermostat, Nest Learning Thermostat

Determine if you have a C wire

Most smart thermostats require a C-wire to provide continuous power. Some models may work without it or may require a conversion kit.

Recommended thermostats:

Without C wire: Nest Thermostat E (using energy theft), Ecobee3 Lite (with PEK)
With adapter: Ecobee SmartThermostat (PEK included), Honeywell Home T9 (with C-wire adapter)

Select the desired smart features

Consider whether you need advanced features like geolocation, learning capabilities, or basic remote access.

Recommended thermostats:

For advanced features: Ecobee Smart Thermostat
Basic remote access: Honeywell Home T5, Ecobee3 Lite

Check smart assistant compatibility

Make sure your thermostat works with your favorite smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant.

Recommended Thermostats:

Compatible with Alexa: Ecobee smart thermostat, Honeywell Home T9
Google Assistant Compatible: Nest Learning Thermostat, Honeywell Home T9
Compatible with Siri: Ecobee SmartThermostat, Ecobee3 Lite

Consider your installation preferences

Decide whether you will install the thermostat yourself or hire a contractor. Note that contractors may prefer certain models.

Recommended Thermostats:

DIY installation: Nest Thermostat E, Honeywell Home T9
Professional Installation: Ecobee Smart Thermostat, Nest Learning Thermostat

Assess the user’s technology savvy

Choose a thermostat that matches the technical comfort level of all users in your home.

Recommended Thermostats:

Easy to use: Nest Thermostat E, Honeywell Home T5
Advanced users: Ecobee Smart Thermostat, Nest Learning Thermostat



Best for: Users who want advanced energy-saving features, detailed energy reporting, and built-in voice control.

Ideal for: Homes that need precise temperature control using remote sensors for different zones and users who enjoy customizable options and smart home integration.

Not ideal forHomes that do not have a C wire or old homes with simple heating systems. Initial setup can be complicated.


better forUsers who prefer a sleek design and seamless integration with Google products.

Ideal for:Those who are already invested in the Google ecosystem and are looking for a thermostat that adapts to their schedule and preferences.

Not ideal for: Users need integration with Apple HomeKit or prefer more manual control of their system.


better for: Users who need a wide range of options, reliable performance, and features like remote sensors and geofencing.

Ideal for:Budget-conscious users who want strong integration with multiple smart home ecosystems and a reliable thermostat at a lower price.

Not ideal for: Users looking for the most elegant design or the most advanced smart features.

ecobee vs nest vs honeywell

Choosing between Ecobee, Nest, and Honeywell thermostats depends on your specific preferences and current smart home settings. All three brands offer reliable, advanced thermostats that can greatly improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. You can also ask your HVAC contractor for recommendations on your thermostat.

As for cables, NNC offers: Wires For different heat settings, including those with and without a C wire. You can read more about the types of thermostat wires on our website Thermostat wire color coding Guide.

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