Nest or Hive – which smart thermostat is right for you?

More control and lower energy bills – what’s not to love about smart thermostats? Here we compare the Nest and Hive systems…

27 Jan 2018

With a smart thermostat you can control your home's heating from just about anywhere.

Through the app on your smartphone you can turn your heating on, off, up, down and even control your hot water. So your home – and your shower – is always nice and warm when you get in.

No wonder 1 in 2 of us want to install a smart thermostat, according to the experts at Deloitte

Nest or Hive

This may all sound like technological wizardry but it’s pretty simple really. The smart thermostat connects to your Wi-Fi and the app on your phone and ‘talks’ to your boiler.

They’re a thermostat and programmer rolled into one - some can even programme themselves.

Smart thermostats are perfect for:

  • Using less energy and lowering bills – particularly in busy family homes
  • Future-proofing your home – from heating to lighting, appliances to security, smart technology is here to stay
  • Boosting kerb appeal stats from Barclays show it can add value to your home

Fancy taking the plunge into the world of smart heating?

To help you make up your mind we’ll take a look at Nest and Hive – two of the most popular smart thermostats out there.


Nest Learning Thermostat

In a nutshell: Super-easy to set up and use – from Google-owned Nest Labs

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest is owned by Google, and its thermostats are highly recommended by most review sites. The Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation is the latest version, offering more sophisticated features and greater control than its predecessors.

Its main benefits? This clever little thermostat gets to know your routine and programmes itself.

Feeling a bit chilly in the mornings? Turn the thermostat dial up. Too hot in bed at night? Then turn it down. After about a week Nest will learn what temperature you like and when and create its own Auto-Schedule for you.

According to Nest’s data-crunchers its UK customers save between 8.4% and 16.5% on their heating bills with a Nest Learning Thermostat.

Like most smart thermostats it works with an app so you can control your heating from anywhere – whether that’s from the sidelines of your son’s football match or the comfort of your bed.

And if your home’s interior is important to you then you’ll love its minimalist and contemporary design – wave ‘bye-bye’ to that white plastic box stuck to your wall.

Nest or Hive 2

Main benefits of Nest

  • Creates a personalised Auto-Schedule after just one week based on your routine
  • It lets you know when you’re heating your home efficiently by displaying a leaf icon onscreen
  • Provides you with a monthly Home Report so you can keep tabs on your energy use
  • Saves up to 16.5% on your annual energy bills – according to Nest’s own number crunching
  • Take control through the easy-to-use Nest app
  • Auto-Away mode uses sensor tech and your phone’s GPS to turn off the heating when you leave home
  • Fancy a bath? Turn the hot water on from your phone
  • Combines with the Nest Protect smoke alarm to better protect against carbon monoxide leaks

Get the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation


Hive Active Heating

In a nutshell: British Gas smart thermostat that's simple to set up, smartphone control and location-based reminders


If you want to control your heating through a traditional energy supplier this is a great option. 

Designed by British Gas it comes with an option to be installed by a British Gas engineer – even if you’re not with British Gas. And it’s super-easy to arrange – you just use the code in the box to book an engineer.

Of course, if you’re handy with a screwdriver or already have an engineer you trust you can choose to self-install.

Early Hive models lacked in features, but the most recent Hive Active Heating Thermostat has some great benefits.

With its new minimalist design it's just as stylish as the Nest– it can control hot water, your heating and even protect pipes against the frost in winter weather.

It’s not yet smart enough to learn your routines but its heating schedules are easy to programme via the smartphone app.

And – just like the Nest – you can control your heating from just about anywhere.

Hive benefits

Main benefits of Hive

  • Super-easy to connect to your Wi-Fi with clear and simple instructions
  • Intuitive Hive app makes it easy to set heating programmes
  • Create six different heating zones per day – that could be for when you wake, when you’re at work, the evening and bedtime
  • Turn hot water on or off from your smartphone
  • Smartphone reminders based on where you are – it uses geo-location to remind you to turn-off the heating as you leave home
  • Check the current temperature in LED light by pushing the dial – it’ll also show you the date and time
  • Combines with other Hive products – such as internet-connected lightbulbs and plug sensors – which can all be controlled from one app

Get Hive Active Heating

Amazon Echo

Smart thermostats and Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo– aka Alexa – is a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker that doubles-up as your very own virtual assistant.

Check the weather, set a reminder, make a shopping list or help with the homework simply by asking Alexa.

You can evenuse it to control your smart thermostat – both Nest and Hive.

Set-up couldn’t be simpler via the Alexa app, leaving you to take voice-control of your home’s heating.

Did you know – the Amazon Echo can hear you from across the room thanks to seven built-in microphones and beam forming technology?

Learn more about Amazon voice control assistants


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