Nest vs Ecobee: The ultimate smart thermostat comparison

nest vs ecobee

For the easiest and most complete control over the comfort of your homes temperature, you need to have a high-tech thermostat instead of a manual one. This article will look at the best thermostats available from Nest and Ecobee, the two leading brands in the market. With an efficient thermostat, you can save a good amount of money on power and keep your house comfortable as smart thermostats can learn your preferences and habits. The problem is, you’ll find numerous models that are flexible, customizable, and easy to install.

We will provide for you the only comparison you need of Nest against Ecobee smart thermostats and give you our view. So which one is better? Due to the intelligent learning software and the quality of support from Google, we recommended the Nest 3rd Generation.

Related: Ecobee3 vs Ecobee3 Lite

Nest and Ecobee Comparison Chart

ModelNest Learning
Smart Thermostat
Nest EEcobee4Ecobee3
Designnest Learning thermostat 3rd gennest eecobee4ecobee3
Multiple Design
HVAC Compatibility
Air Quality Compatibility
NestNestRoom SensorsRoom Sensors
Weather Display
Voice Controller
AvailabilityCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

The first thing to realize is that each one of these smart thermostats will save you money. Their methods to achieve this but ultimately share the same principals; user various technologies to optimize the efficiency of your heating and cooling usage and therefore costs. Below we will look into some of these features in greater detail and then look into the similarities and differences. Take the savings estimations with a pinch of a salt since the figures are those published by each of the manufacturers.

Nest thermostat (3rd Generation)

nest 3rd gen
Nest thermostat (3rd Generation) Stainless Steel

The Nest Learning Thermostat is known as one of the first self-programmable and customizable thermostat that played a big role in revolutionizing the thermostat industry. The thermostat is able to learn your temperature and habits preferences and can even learn when you are away and when you are present at home.

Relatively, the Nest has an easy installation, and once you have the device setup, it instantly starts to learn based on your preferred temperature. So, after some time of installation, you won’t need to make any adjustments yourself.

Nest will automatically adjust the temperature according to the season and according to your schedule. Mobile apps also allow you to control the thermostat from wherever you are. Moreover, the Nest is able to set itself such that you save more money on energy if you are away from home for a long time. Furthermore, the mobile apps also show you energy reports so that you know how much you save using the thermostat. There is Farsight technology which displays information such as time and the weather on the screen.

Since this is a Nest device, this thermostat has very good integration with Google Assistant and Google Home.


  • Has intelligent Learning technology
  • The unit pays for itself
  • It is easy to use and install
  • It is an attractive unit which complements your décor elegantly
  • It is able to control numerous HVAC systems
  • Farsight technology displays information
  • Multiple designs
  • Geofencing


  • There are no adjustable cycles or temperature settings
  • It doesn’t work well for multistage systems

Also Read: Nest vs Nest E: What’s the difference?

Google Nest Learning Thermostat - Programmable Smart Thermostat for Home - 3rd Generation Nest Thermostat - Works with Alexa - [Stainless Steel]
  • Programmable smart thermostat that learns your schedule...
  • Home/Away Assist automatically adjusts itself to an Eco...
  • Remote control lets family members change the...

Nest E

nest e
Nest E

Next up is the model that followed from the Nest Learning Thermostat, the Nest E. With the Nest E, Google were trying to produce a cheaper and simpler option for users. There is only one design available, unlike the Nest Learning Thermostat which has multiple styles and colors. It is also compatible with fewer HVAC systems than the Google Nest, so in a case, by case style, you will have to make sure whichever option you may choose works with yours. There is no Farsight technology and the screen is smaller too.

There are many similarities between the Nest E and the original Nest, which include geofencing and Home/Away Modes. It also shares the same compatibility with AI assistants such as Google Assistant. Most importantly, it has intelligent Learning software to make the ultimate heating and cooling schedule.


  • Easy installation
  • Has intelligent Learning technology
  • Cheaper than Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Geofencing


  • Compatible with fewer HVAC systems
  • No Farsight
  • Smaller screen then Nest Learning Thermostat

Google Nest Thermostat E - Programmable Smart Thermostat for Home - 3rd Generation Nest Thermostat - Works with Alexa
  • Programmable smart thermostat that learns the...
  • Start with a simple schedule and easily adjust it...
  • Home/Away Assist automatically adjusts itself to an Eco...



The Ecobee 3 is a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat which makes use of remote temperature sensors to make the thermostat improve its motion control around the house. To adjust the temperature automatically when you are not home, the thermostat must be able to know if anyone’s home or not. This is where the remote sensors come in if your thermostat is not located centrally.

With the remote temerature sensors, the thermostat is able to figure out whether you are not at home or you’re just sleeping in one of the rooms. Another notable feature of the thermostat is that it can support Apple’s HomeKit.

As you continue using the Ecobee 3, it learns more about adjusting the temperature of your house based on your activities and schedule like when you leave home, when you come back and when you go to sleep. Moreover, the thermostat also promises reduced energy bill because of its ability to make smart temperature adjustments.

The Ecobee 3 also features a dashboard which shows the average temperature, how the thermostat has adjusted the temperature for you, and the amount of energy you’ve saved, approximately. It also shows other data and allows you to program times, temperatures, and zones.


  • Efficient remote sensors
  • Easy installation with the option of checking the system compatibility on the company’s website
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Smart away/home feature eases the hassle of changing the temperature and helps save finances


  • Unsatisfying customer service
  • Many users complained about how it stopped working after a few months

ecobee3 Smarter Wi-Fi Thermostat with Remote Sensor, 2nd Generation
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold...
  • Smart, really smart - intuitively understands when to...
  • Knows you have a life - senses whether anyone's home...


Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

The Ecobee4 smart thermostat comes with built-in sensors and Amazon Alexa smart speaker. Measuring one pound, it is made from plastic and has an intuitive interface. It also displays the temperature which can be adjusted manually using the 3.5-inch touchscreen display or with voice over too. Similarly, you may also call Alexa to regulate or change the temperature.

The Ecobee4 is not just a smart thermostat. It is a multi-purpose device that can also read the news and perform other functions like tell a joke. Moreover, the thermostat also comes with a sensor that works to optimize the temperature. The room sensors measure the occupancy and temperature and set up the most comfortable temperature accordingly.

This is the second-best device of its kind available at the moment. By using external weather data and advanced sensing and by learning your HVAC system, this thermostat helps you save a good amount on both your cooling and heating bills.


  • Easy to installation
  • Multi-purpose
  • High compatibility with various ventilation systems
  • It is able to work with other smart home devices
  • Basic smart speaker


  • Poorly integrated with Alexa
  • Poor customer service

ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa, Room Sensor Included
  • SAVE MONEY: Homeowners save up to 23% annually on...
  • ROOM SENSORS: Place them in the rooms that matter the...
  • EASILY INSTALL YOURSELF: It only takes about 30...


This section reflects how these smart thermostat models share many similar principals although they may achieve them through different means.

While these four thermostats are different in terms of how they function, there are certain similarities. Of course, each one of these adjust the temperature to make savings on heating and cooling. The four of these either use a software or an app to regulate and monitor the temperature.

Moreover, the app also sends smart alerts and notifications to inform the users about issues or problems with the system. Furthermore, each one of these models are cloud-dependent which means that they need an internet connection to work.

All four of these work well with smart voice control like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant. Moreover, these four support different smart home devices like locks and lights. What exactly is included is different between each brand.

All four are relatively easy to set up and help to save more on energy. While they do have different designs, each are intuitive and easy to use.

Main Similarities

  • Adjust temperature intelligently
  • Dedicated apps
  • Push notifications
  • Require internet connection
  • Voice control options
  • Easy installation
  • Save
  • Intuitive

Other Similarities

  • Family sharing that allows other members to adjust the thermostat too
  • Weather forecast data
  • Motion detection
  • Control the thermostat from anywhere in the world using your phone
  • Set up a schedule for your heater or air conditioner
  • Motion detection and geofencing so that it can figure out whether you are home or not


Ecobee vs Nest vs Honeywell - Best Smart Thermostat

Two alums of Apple, Matt Rogers, and Tony Fadell were responsible for designing the Nest thermostat. While most thermostats have a standard plastic white finish because of which they can blend into any environment, the Nest has an aesthetically pleasing look. The Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 also left behind the traditional look of a thermostat and instead have an aesthetic look along with advanced functionality.

  • They all look good
  • The design is a matter of preferences


The main differences between these two brands include their features and installation processes.

Usable features

Out of the four, Nest is the most flexible option with numerous useable features. It is compatible with nearly all HVAC systems. Yes, it doesn’t work with Apple’s Home Kit; however, it does have responsive sensors and numerous modes, making it more versatile than the other three.

Nest has algorithmic learning, making it much smarter than Ecobee’s smart thermostat. It learns based off your behaviors, rather than more simplistic scheduling.

On the other hand, both Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 address diverse compatibility in voice control and OS, however, it does lack other features, and the sensors are sub par.

  • Nest has algorithmic learning
  • Nest is most compatible with HVAC
  • Nest is not compatible with HomeKit but the other 3 are
  • Ecobee 3 & 4 are widely compatibility but lack the depth of features of others
  • Ecobee 4 has built-in Alexa
  • Nest, Ecobee 3 & Lyric T5 require external devices such as the Echo Dot

Installation process

The easiest to install is the Nest. This is particularly because of the help that the Nest’s compatibility check tool provides. Present on the website, you only need to enter the wires that your thermostat setup includes and the company will tell you where the wires are supposed to go.

Moreover, setting up the Nest only involves the unit while the Ecobee needs the accompanying app to be set up. Meanwhile, both the Ecobee models may also be installed only using the unit. Plus, setting up Ecobee models is easier because of the touchscreen display.

However, the Ecobee 4 does require a Power Extender Kit that should be installed on the circuit board of the furnace. Despite Ecobee flawlessly guiding you throughout the process, setting it up was still annoying as you need to put in more time. But if you are lucky, you may not have to install the kit as it depends on the HVAC system you have.

  • Nest has algorithmic learning
  • Nest is easiest to install
  • Nest has compatibility check tool
  • Nest, Ecobee 3 & 4 can be used without the app
  • Ecobee 3 & 4 has touchscreen display to make set up easy
  • Ecobee 3 & 4 models require power extender kit

3. The Verdict of Ecobee vs Nest

Nest thermostats are the better model thermostats, especially the Nest thermostat relies on algorithmic-based learning, unlike the other three. So apart from entering the basic parameters of your schedule like a traditional programmable thermostat, the Nest has the ability to learn more about your schedule with time. It can  then adapt to the changing patterns automatically. For example, there is an Auto-Away feature in the Nest.

So, if you don’t go past its light sensors and 150-degree motion for some time, it will assume you are not home and change to the energy efficient away mode. If the thermostat finds you gone during that time period for a few days continuously, then it will learn this new pattern and then adjust the schedule accordingly. This is cutting-edge technology in this market and makes the Nest the true best smart thermostat.

  • Nest has algorithmic based learning
  • Nest can, therefore, can know the most about you
  • Nest has the Auto Away feature which can learn if you’re away

Final Word

Ecobee and Nest are the two most popular brands of smart thermostat and the two choices buyers will want to get. To build on what has been said, this section will give you a quick roundup of the perks and cons of each. The battle is undoubtedly won by Google’s smart home offering. The Nest Third Generation Learning Thermostat is the most advanced you can get.

Google Nest Learning Thermostat - Programmable Smart Thermostat for Home - 3rd Generation Nest Thermostat - Works with Alexa - [Stainless Steel]
The Nest Leaf appears when you choose a temperature that saves energy; Beautifully designed, with polished metal finishes and bright, high resolution display

As mentioned previously the learning AI of the Nest is the key selling point of the Nest thermostat which makes it the most complete and intelligent device. The Nest Learning Thermostat is also the easiest to install and has the widest HVAC compatibility.  There are some other major similarities of between the two brands which we have already outlined above. These will achieve the same outcome; save you money. It’s just the Nest device is easier and more impressive.

Given that the price of these thermostats are similar, going for our top pick is highly recommended. The Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 do their job well but in a less sophisticated way.


What’s the best home thermostat?

In our opinion, the Nest Learning thermostat is the better offering on the market currently.

Do smart thermostats really save you money?

Smart thermostats are effective in saving money, unlike smart meters. This is because they can actually action changes to your heating or cooling which in turn make savings on your cooling and heating costs.

Which is the best Nest thermostat?

The Nest Learning Thermostat is the most complete and offers the most intelligent learning software. It is better than the Nest E, which isn’t far behind.

How much does a smart thermostat save?

The annual saving on heating and cooling costs from using a smart thermostat depends on many factors. The savings can be around 10-20% which can typically equate to a couple hundred a year.

What does a smart thermostat do?

These smart devices automatically adjusts the temperature in your home use programming or AI to optimize your costs.

Does Nest thermostat work with wifi?

Without Wifi the Nest thermostat operates as a basic thermostat, so it is better to use them with an online connection.

Photo of Rupert Pople

Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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