Updated December 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

The 10 Best Thermostats

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Your thermostat is like your appendix: small and easy to forget about. But if it goes on the fritz, you'll be in a world of hurt. Luckily, the models on this list are simple to program and use while also helping control your utility costs, so you can enjoy your home in comfort year-round. They're fairly easy to install as well so, unlike your appendix, they should never land you in the hospital. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best thermostat on Amazon.

10. Ecobee 4

9. LuxPro Digital 2

8. Emerson Sensi

7. Orbit Clear Comfort

6. Honeywell 9000

5. Lux Universal 7-Day

4. Ecobee 3

3. Lux WIN100

2. Nuheat Home Radiant

1. Nest Learning 3rd Generation

Regulation And Consistency

Thermostats can be either non-programmable or programmable.

Temperature regulation can be an extremely important consideration for your home, particularly if you live in areas where the external temperature fluctuates rapidly or if you live in a place that experiences dramatic season changes. Comfort in your home is of the utmost importance when you spend so much of your time there with your family. It stands to reason, then, that you want to maintain as much control over your internal environment as possible so that everyone in the household can get through that tough season of oppressive heat and humidity in the summer, while also surviving that chilly season around the holidays.

Some people think it's easier to warm one's self than it would be to cool down, as one's body temperature is already a naturally-warm 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there's still nothing wrong with using a tool to keep the temperature as consistent as possible in each room of your home. A thermostat will be a big help in this regard. Just the same, if you have a lot of appliances, like ovens or refrigerators, independent thermostats can regulate their temperatures as well.

A thermostat is considered the main control component for either a heating or cooling system with a target internal temperature (or setpoint) that needs to be maintained. A thermostat accomplishes this temperature maintenance by switching the various heating or cooling devices on or off in order to maintain a set temperature. Examples of appliances that use thermostats include refrigerators, ovens, and central heating systems.

Thermostats typically make use of a variety of sensors that measure the internal temperature of their surrounding environments. Common sensor types can include a thermistor or a bimetallic strip. The sensor output is then responsible for controlling the appliance. In most cases, the controlled appliance will run continuously and will not shut off until the desired temperature has been reached.

Thermostats can be either non-programmable or programmable. Most non-programmable thermostats have, at the very least, a digital display readout with independent buttons for raising or lowering the temperature. For those who may not be technologically-inclined or prefer simplicity, there is still a place for the non-programmable thermostat and they're certainly easy to use. By contrast, the programmable thermostat offers additional options that include setting various temperatures at different times of the day and even on different days. This certainly comes in handy if you live in areas where the weather changes frequently.

Many modern programmable thermostats now make use of touchscreen technology, which eliminates the need for so many buttons on their main panels. Such an interface also cuts down the need for reading complex manuals, as everything you need is available right on the panel screen.

A Brief History Of Thermostats

The earliest recorded use of a thermostat control dates back to around 1620 when Dutch builder Cornelis Drebbel invented one made from mercury that was used to regulate the temperature of a chicken incubator. Drebbel was also the inventor of the first submersible submarine.

Ure patented the bi-metallic thermostat after having worked with various textile mills and recognizing the need to regulate their temperatures.

The modern form of thermostat control was invented in the 1830s by Scottish chemist Andrew Ure. Ure patented the bi-metallic thermostat after having worked with various textile mills and recognizing the need to regulate their temperatures.

Annoyed at the fact that his classroom was never warm enough, Wisconsin professor Warren S. Johnson invented the first electric room thermostat in 1883. This was in response to the fact that the building in which Johnson taught was heated by a basement furnace, which needed constant manual adjustments by a custodian. Johnson's original design included a bell that would ring as a signal for the janitor to adjust the furnace damper.

Following in his footsteps was Swiss-born immigrant Albert Butz, who patented his own thermostat design in 1885 that regulated furnace heat by opening and closing a furnace door using an automatic pulley system. Butz eventually formed the Butz Thermoelectric Regulator Company, which then became known as the Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company.

In 1906, young engineer Mark Honeywell formed Honeywell Heating Specialty Co. Incorporated, which specialized in hot water heat generators. By 1927, this company and the Minneapolis Heat Regulator Company merged to lay the foundation for the modern innovation of Honeywell International, which is still considered one of the most successful thermostat manufacturers today.

Maintaining Control

Minimalism, efficiency, and the ease of programming a thermostat are going to be the most important factors when making one's choice. When choosing a digital or wireless thermostat, the digital interface should be bright enough to read.

This feature can definitely save you time when it comes to re-programming the unit.

Some thermostats even have the ability to automatically program your temperature regulation based on your historical pattern of scheduling the device. This feature can definitely save you time when it comes to re-programming the unit.

Other thermostats can even keep track of your energy usage, which comes in handy if you want to save on the electric bill each month.

Full color and backlit touchscreens are also quite common for modern thermostats, so if those features make it easy to see, then go for it.

For large buildings with multiple floors, wireless thermostats also come in very handy, as they can be monitored and set from different locations (i.e. adjacent buildings).

Finally, if you have young kids and don't want them messing around with your thermostat's settings, your investment should include built-in security features, such as password protection.

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Quincy Miller
Last updated on December 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

After getting his bachelor’s from the University of Texas, Quincy Miller moved out to Los Angeles, where he soon found work as a copywriter and researcher, specializing in health and wellness topics for a major online media brand. Quincy is also knowledgeable about home improvement, as he’s had extensive experience with everything from insulation to power tools to emergency room trips, sometimes in that order. Sharing a home with three dogs and a couple of cats has forced Quincy to learn as much as he can about pet supplies, animal nutrition and, most importantly, the best ways to tackle the mountains of fur that accumulate in every corner of your home.


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