Ecobee Vs Nest – Which is the Better Smart Thermostat?

Charlotte Miller

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The Nest Learning Thermostat grabbed all the headlines when it launched, but it wasn’t the first smart thermostat. That honor goes to Ecobee.

Ecobee’s thermostats work with Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT. Plus, you can add remote temperature and occupancy sensors to help achieve target temperatures in occupied rooms.

What’s the Difference?

Ecobee and Nest offer various features to help homeowners save energy and money. Both thermostats can be controlled through a smartphone app or voice command (Alexa for the Nest and Google Assistant for the Ecobee). The Nest has an advantage when it comes to looks, with a sleek design that makes it look more like a decoration than a traditional programmable thermostat. The Nest also has a feature that lets you know when it’s saving energy by showing a leaf icon on the screen.

The Ecobee’s design is more functional, with a large display and easy-to-use touchscreen controls. The smart thermostat has built-in Alexa and supports Apple HomeKit and other third-party voice assistants (if you add a compatible speaker). It can also be paired with a SmartSensor for door and window sensors and a SmartCamera to monitor indoor areas.

Both thermostats can be set to “Smart Home” or “Away” modes that automatically adjust settings based on whether you’re at home or away. They can also be configured to respond to motion detectors, so the system can turn on and off as needed.

The Nest has an advantage when it comes to learning capabilities. It can recognize patterns in your behavior and adjust the temperature accordingly, which can lead to significant energy savings. The thermostat will also show you how much energy it uses daily and over a month, giving you a more detailed picture of your energy use.

The Ecobee has a more complex, but still very intuitive, scheduling interface. It uses a parallel hierarchy to separate the schedule from comfort settings and allows users to drag horizontally or vertically across numbers to make changes. This design makes seeing multiple days at a glance easier than the Nest’s week-overview view.


The Nest thermostat is a little more expensive than the Ecobee 4 but has more features. The Nest has the ability to learn your temperature preferences and schedules over time, as well as multiple users’ comings and goings, so you don’t have to manually adjust the thermostat when you’re home or away. It also offers geofencing that automatically changes the temperature when you leave and return based on your smartphone’s location. The Ecobee 4 also offers this feature, but only for Android and Apple HomeKit users.

Both thermostats have a smart app that lets you control them from your phone or through voice commands. They also work with other smart home devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, but the Nest has better integrations with third-party smart speakers than the Ecobee.

Another important difference is that the Nest has a slightly nicer look. It’s smaller and more rounded than the Ecobee, with a choice of copper, stainless steel, or black finishes. It’s also available with a glossy screen that looks pretty cool.

On the other hand, the Ecobee has more features that may be important to some people. For example, it allows you to set up a vacation schedule, which uses a lower temperature to save energy while you’re gone. It also has a remote sensor that can be installed in other rooms to detect movement and check for occupancy, which is more accurate than just using the main thermostat sensor.

The Ecobee also has a unique feature called Follow Me, which uses the main thermostat and remote sensors to figure out which room people are in and change the temperature accordingly. It’s a good option for homes with several people who live in different parts of the house or for families that like to spend most of their time in the same room.


Both the Nest and the Ecobee have sleek, modern designs that blend well with most home decor. However, Ecobee looks more like a traditional thermostat with a rectangular look that mimics programmable models in the past while Nest is more circular and similar to the Honeywell Round.

The Nest comes with a display screen that displays the target temperature, current temperature, a digital or analog clock, and the weather. The Nest also supports remote sensors that track the temperature and motion in a room or areas of the house, which can help avoid hot and cold spots.

Both devices work with the same mobile app, which lets you control the thermostat with your smartphone or tablet or using voice commands. You can set three preset temperatures — Comfort for when you’re at home, Eco for when you’re away, and Sleep for when you’re asleep. The Nest is smart home compatible and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. However, it does not support Apple HomeKit.

Those who want a more pared-down device that integrates with Apple’s Siri might prefer the Ecobee. Ecobee also offers a separate suite of remote sensors that track room temperature and motion, which can help overcome issues with hot or cold spots and improve energy efficiency.

The Ecobee also has advanced DataRhythm technology that adjusts your heating and cooling based on the presence of occupants and the weather. And if you’re a parent who wants to keep tabs on a child’s home, the Ecobee comes with a SmartSensor designed for door and window security. If you’re planning to upgrade your HVAC system, Ecobee also makes a line of SmartCameras that can be mounted in a location in your home for monitoring.

Voice Control

There are plenty of options for smart home devices out there, from live-feed cameras to smart speakers and even smart thermostats. Two of the top brands are Nest and Ecobee, both of which are excellent choices for anyone who wants to upgrade their home. They function very differently but offer similar features, and both can work well in any home.

The Nest Learning Thermostat has an interesting feature called Farsight that uses the camera to determine when someone is in the room. It’s useful if you want to be able to control your thermostat with just your voice, and it can help you save energy by changing your temperature settings when you’re away from home.

The Ecobee smart thermostat is a bit more traditional in its design, but it packs a lot of features into a smaller package. It has built-in Alexa, remote sensors, and a wealth of reporting information with its Home IQ feature. While it doesn’t support Apple’s HomeKit platform, Ecobee does pair well with Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.

It also has a nice touchscreen and is available in a variety of colors, including white, black, copper, brass, mirror black, and stainless steel. If you want to play music or audiobooks through the thermostat, you can do so with a Bluetooth speaker. Another bonus of Ecobee is that it allows you to connect to Spotify for an added touch of entertainment. While the feature isn’t necessarily necessary, it can be a fun way to entertain guests or keep kids entertained while you’re on vacation.


The thermostat you choose will depend on your preferences. Both brands offer smart home integration, remote temperature and motion sensors, and easy-to-use mobile apps. Ecobee has more features and advanced options for tech enthusiasts, including detailed energy usage reports. Nest is known for its simplicity and intuitive user interface, and it integrates with Google Home, which many homeowners already use for voice control of other smart home products.

In terms of looks, the Nest is a sleek and modern device with a circular design that can be placed anywhere in your home. Its look is reminiscent of the programmable thermostats that were popular 30 years ago, but with a much better screen and more functionality.

Ecobee has a more traditional approach to smart thermostats, with a built-in Alexa speaker that allows you to check the current temperature and ask for the weather forecast using voice commands. It also offers advanced DataRhythm technology that adjusts the thermostat based on occupants and your home’s energy loss. Ecobee also offers remote temperature and motion sensors to help save energy.

Both companies make it easy to connect your thermostat to a smart speaker for convenient voice control. Nest integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Home but doesn’t support Siri. Ecobee, on the other hand, supports all major voice assistants and has a more flexible installation process because it includes a remote sensor with the main thermostat, while Nest does not include a sensor in the box.

Both companies release frequent software updates that improve functionality and security. The updates can also introduce new features or fix bugs in existing ones. Ecobee often adds additional features, such as an air quality monitor that will let you know when your home’s ventilation system is in need of cleaning.