Best Smart Thermostats Under $200 (Buying Guide 2017)

(Last Updated On: September 29, 2017)

An image of the Ecobee3 Lite thermostatLook:

It is impossible to live without a thermostat.

However, when shopping on a budget, you may have discovered there is less coverage for thermostats that retail below $200. This has made it hard for many shoppers to find the best thermostats available in the market at this price range.

It is for this reason that I spent over 50 hours testing mid-range thermostats to find the best among them. It is my hope that you will find this shopping guide useful in your bid to buy a thermostat that delivers superb performance but doesn’t go overboard on price.

Let’s face it; the best thermostats in the market at present are the Ecobee4 and 3rd Generation Nest. However, both of them go for over $250. In this buying guide, I chose to focus on thermostats that retail between $100 and $200. I chose the minimum since I already did a post covering budget thermostats for under $100.

5 Best Thermostats Under $200

Device NamePower ConnectionRemote Connectivity 
Ecobee3 LiteC-wire but can be bypassed by the power extender kitAndroid or iOS app Check Price
Nest Thermostat E C-wireAndroid or iOS app Check Price
Honeywell Lyric T5 C-wireWeb, Android or iOS app Check Price
Honeywell RTH9580WF C-wireWeb, Android or iOS app Check Price
Emerson Sensi ST75C-wireAndroid or iOS app Check Price
You will notice that some of these thermostats do require a C-wire (common wire) which makes them impossible to install on a 2 wire system. There is a fix for this. Simply get the Power Extender Kit, Venstar ACC0410, EZWire adapter, or Fast-Stat Common Maker which add additional wires to your HVAC connection. This will enable you to connect any thermostat you want to your heating system.

Ecobee3 Lite (Editor’s Choice)

An image of the Ecobee3 Lite thermostatIf you wish to spend below $200 on a thermostat, then the Ecobee3 Lite is the best smart thermostat you can get. This thermostat is creatively designed not to mess with your décor while its display is simple, clear, and non-obtrusive. Its 3.5-inch touch screen is super responsive and the software is easy to use.

Ecobee3 Lite can be controlled through voice via Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, IFTTT, and Samsung Smartthings. The best part about this thermostat is that it enables you to control temperatures in each room differently when you pair it with Ecobee remote sensors.

Although it requires a C-wire, if you are on a 2-wire HVAC there is no need to worry -this thermostat can be used with a power extender kit which acts as a C-wire.

Ecobee 3 Lite: Pros & Cons

  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung Smartthings, and IFTTT, among others.
  • Works with sensors. Although you will have to buy them separately from here.
  • Beautiful and attractive interface
  • Easy to install and configure
  • Good value for money
  • Doesn’t work with Google Assistant, which is the best home assistant in the market
  • Lacks geofencing
You may not be able to afford the Ecobee4 or the Ecobee3, but you won’t miss many features when you purchase the Ecobee3 Lite. It is hands-down the best thermostat you will ever find under $200.

Nest Thermostat E –Best Learning Thermostat Under $200

Nest Thermostat E imageIf you are longing for a learning thermostat but don’t have enough money to buy the Nest 3rd Generation Thermostat, then the good news is its parent company has created the Nest Thermostat E meant for budget shoppers.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a major difference between the 3rd Gen Nest and the Nest E. The only sacrifices you will make include; a plastic coating in the place of a metal one, and a frosty looking glass in the place of the high definition one found in the 3rd Gen Nest.

With the Nest Thermostat E, you will enjoy premium features like Geo-fencing that tells the thermostat whether you are around the house or not. This enables it to change between the home and away feature which is a major energy saver. It also has an eco-friendly mode that keeps temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to save power.

Away from home? No problem. You can operate your Nest E through an Android or IOS app from anywhere in the world. No more regrets when you forget to lower your thermostat settings before you leave the house.

The Nest E works more like the 3rd Generation Nest for the most part. Although its UI has a steep learning curve, you will enjoy the experience once you get used to it.

Nest E: Pros & Cons

  • It comes with almost all the features of the 3rd Gen Nest despite being $100 cheaper
  • It can be controlled from anywhere through its Android or iOS app
  • It can be connected to Google Assistant or Alexa for voice control
  • It comes with a geo-fencing feature to detect whether you are home or away
  • It doesn’t support Apple HomeKit
  • The UI has a steep learning curve
The Nest E is a comprehensive thermostat that delivers a superb performance and comes at an affordable price. The only thing hindering the Nest Thermostat E from ranking top on this list is that it doesn’t have remote sensors. This won’t be an issue if you like all rooms to be heated evenly. However, its performance is impressive and it is worth every penny.

Honeywell Lyric T5 –Best for Budget

Honeywell Lyric T5 thermostatHoneywell always goes to the limits to deliver robust thermostats with a superb experience. They somehow missed the point with the Honeywell Lyric Round and later developed this inexpensive yet effective Honeywell Lyric T5 (RCHT8710WF2006) to make up for their shortfall. Here is why I ranked the Lyric T5 on this list:

The Honeywell T5 will give you a superb performance for a fraction of the price you would normally shed on a smart thermostat. It is easy to install and operate thanks to the simplicity of the Honeywell UI.

This thermostat gives you the ability to set a 7-day flexible schedule that it will follow accurately. With continuous use, it will learn your preferred settings including how long it takes to achieve your preferred temperature and automatically adjusts at the right time.

You will enjoy using the Honeywell IOS or Android app which allows you to control the thermostat from anywhere. You will also take advantage of GeoFencing which informs the thermostat whether you are home or away and it adjusts accordingly.

In the event of extreme temperature changes or need to change the filter, the Lyric T5 will send you push notifications that will keep you informed.

 

Lyric T5: Pros & Cons

  • Installation is easy and it is even easier to connect it to the Amazon Echo via its Android or iOS app. Just make sure your Wi-Fi connectivity is working well.
  • You can control the thermostat even if you are away from home
  • It has a flawless geo-fencing feature that enables it to know when you have left or coming back home. It will then know whether to turn on or off.
  • It is cheaper than most smart thermostats
  • You must have a c-wire in order to use the Lyric T5. If you don’t have one, make sure to purchase a power extender kit.
  • It doesn’t have many features for the echo, except raising and lowering the temperatures.
The Honeywell Lyric T5 is a good enough thermostat that comes with a 7-day programmable scheduling and location-based temperature control. At its price, it is one of the best smart thermostats you can get while shopping on a budget. You can connect it to Alexa, Android app, or its iOS app for additional functionalities. It is also way cheaper that the Ecobee3 Lite or the Nest E thermostats listed above.
Note: The Honeywell Lyric T6 has just been released. I will write a review once I have tested it.

Honeywell RTH9580WF –Best Programmable Thermostat Under $200

Honeywell RTH9580WF ThermostatIf you need a thermostat with a big screen that can accentuate your décor and with a variety of impressive smart features, then you shouldn’t look any further than the Honeywell RTH9580WF.

This smart thermostat may not have the best design, but its functionality and features will definitely wow you. It gives you complete control of your temperatures and allows you to control them from wherever you are. You can view the current readings via the official Honeywell website or its Android or iOS app. It can also be paired with Alexa to enable voice control.

Other features you will enjoy in the RTH9580WF include password protection and security options that prevent unauthorized persons from messing with your settings.  You will also be able to lower your heating costs thanks to this thermostat’s energy-saving programmable mode.

Honeywell RTH9580WF: Pros & Cons

  • It comes with a large easy-to-read and customizable touchscreen and you can easily change the screen color to match your home décor
  • In addition to voice control, you can control this thermostat remotely through its Android and iOS apps
  • You will get temperature alerts and reminders via the native thermostat app or though the manufacturer’s website.
  • You will enjoy features such as an advanced level fan and comfort control as well as an indoor humidity sensor
  • It requires a c-wire to install. However, you can purchase a power extender kit to draw power to the thermostat.
  • Gets some problems with its Wi-Fi connectivity. However, I haven’t seen the problem being listed on many websites online so it might just be a minor defect on my thermostat.
Ever since it was released a couple of years ago, the Honeywell RTH9580WF has retained its top position as the best programmable thermostat you can find in the market. It is easy to operate and offers durability that isn’t easy to find in newer thermostats. If you are looking for the best programmable thermostat that goes for less than $200, don’t hesitate to pick this one.
A newer model, the Honeywell RTH9585WF1004 has been released. I will do a review once I lay my hands on it.

Emerson Sensi ST75 –Simple Yet Effective

Emerson Sensi ST75Emerson is widely known for their impressive range of programmable thermostats like the Sensi Smart UP500W. When they ventured into Wi-Fi smart thermostats that come with touch screens, there was a feeling they were going to produce an awesome product –which came in the form of the Emerson Sensi ST75.

The Sensi ST75 checks many boxes for factors like build quality, performance, and display. Emerson gave attention to simplicity and usability hence its design. This thermostat is so simple and easy to use that will take you only 10 minutes to install and a further 10 minutes to program in a DIY.

Unlike the Nest E, the Sensi UI is simple and easy to use. Its huge display makes it easy to see even for people with visibility problems. The ST75’s hardware is robust, which reminds you of the qualities Emerson and White Rodgers are renown for.

You will enjoy a flexible 7-day programmable scheduling as well as impressive features like GeoFencing with this thermostat. It will also send you alerts in case there are extreme temperature and humidity readings recorded.

You can configure the Sensi ST75 remotely through its smartphone app or connect it to Alexa, where you can easily use voice commands.

Emerson Sensi ST75: Pros & Cons

  • You will enjoy a seamless integration with Alexa that makes it simpler for you to set, increase, or decrease the temperature any way you like through voice commands.
  • No matter where you are, you can control this thermostat without having to stop whatever you are doing by simply using the Sensi iOS or Android app or Amazon Echo.
  • Easy to install. You don’t even have to call a technician if you have a c-wire
  • It requires a c-wire to install. However, you can purchase a power extender kit to draw power to the thermostat.
If you are looking for something simple yet modern looking that won’t distort that interior décor that you’ve spent a fortune on, then go for the Emerson Sensi ST75. It is easy to install and program and you can control it remotely. At its price, you will be getting real value for money without doubt.

Conclusion

When shopping for a thermostat below $200, the aforementioned devices are the best you can get in the market. Both of them can be paired with Alexa for voice control and do come with their native apps for remote viewing and controlling. Depending on your budget and taste, any of these thermostats will do a great job in your home.

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