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Temperature is an important and often overlooked part of your sleep environment. Leading sleep scientist Matthew Walker recommends your environment be at 68 degrees Fahrenheit by the time you climb under the sheets.
We know what you must be thinking. Is this Matthew Walker guy going to pay my energy bill too?
Luckily, inducing sleep via temperature does not have to break the bank. You can use a smart thermostat and set schedules based on your needs.
Our favorite smart thermostats are:
- Nest Learning – Best overall
- Nest Thermostat E – Runner up
- Honeywell Home Thermostat – Most trusted brand
- Emerson Sensi Thermostat – Best budget option
#1. Nest Learning
The Nest Learning Thermostat is currently the best thermostat on the market. The reason why is in the products name.
This thermostat learns and adapts to your environment in order to help you save money and most importantly get better sleep.
It should come as no surprise this one is the most feature-rich, given Google is behind the technology and has been making strides into smart home devices.
- Most Advanced
- Saves the Most Money According to Users
- Paired with App to set schedules, adjust temperature from wherever you are and set up home/away
- Beautiful design
- Recommended you have a professionals help to install
- Users say it can be faulty and the customer support is lacking
#2. Nest Thermostat E
Our runner up is the Nest E. This thermostat is slightly less expensive than it’s big brother above.
The price cut comes from the fact that it does not have AI packed into it like a learning thermostat. However, many buyers found that it was all they needed.
The E can also be paired with sensors that allow you to prioritize the temperature of certain rooms.
The thermostat is also aplauded for it’s simple, beautiful frosted design.
- Home/Away – Adjusts the temperature automatically when you leave your house
- Energy-saving features and allows you to see your energy history
- Unique frosted design
- The sensor add on costs extra and is not the same as zone control, which requires a professional installation
- Does not include AI / learning features
#3. Honeywell Home
Honeywell is one of the most reliable brands in the world.
This thermostat does not have the bells and whistles of some silicon valley brands, but they produce a quality product that lasts.
While other companies were working on AI, Honeywell was developing useful and actionable alerts such as air filter change reminders, temperature warnings, and humidifier pad replacement reminders.
The Honeywell Home allows you to see key metrics at a glance like the indoor/outdoor humidity and a 5-day weather forecast.
- Companion app to set schedules
- Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, Google Home, IFTTT
- Customizable touch screen
- Shows weather and humidity levels
- The screen is very bright at night
- Some users complain about the functionality of the touch screen
#4. Emerson Sensi
Emerson Sensi is your best option if you are looking for a smart thermostat under $100.
This thermostat, like the ones above, can be controlled from your iPhone or Android device. You can set schedules, making it wonderful for sleep.
The Sensi is also compatible with smart home devices like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
The Sensi is Energy Star Certified, proving even more that this thermostat will help you save money on your next electric bill.
- Saves over 20% on your HVAC Energy
- Installs in 30 minutes or less – app walks you through the install
- Companion App makes it easy to set schedules
- Compatible with the most common smart speakers
- Display is outdated compared to the others on this list
- The app is functional but very basic
Why Do I Need A Smart Thermostats for Sleep?
Two reasons. To help you induce sleep before bed via temperature and to save money while doing it.
Zeitgebers are cues that your body receives and which it uses for certain processes, like controlling your energy levels and alertness, hunger or sleepiness.
Temperature is one of the strongest zeitgebers that let your body know it’s time to sleep. Along with a lack of light and sound, a drop in temperature makes you sleepy.
Did you know that light, sound, and temperature are the 3 most important environmental signals to your body for a good night’s sleep?
Now that you know a chilly home promotes sleep, you must make sure your temperature is slowly declining in the 2-3 hours leading up to when you want to fall asleep.
This is where a smart thermostat and a smart lighting system like Philips Hue can really help.
Before you Buy
There are many “high rated” thermostats you can buy online.
However, some of these reviews can be gamed and you might not know you have a bad thermostat until after you install it.
For this reason we recommend reviewing the following before you buy.
Compatibility with your HVAC System
Perhaps one of the most important things you need to consider is whether or not you can even have a smart thermostat.
Some thermostats require you to have a C wire, which is an extra wire used to provide a return path for continuous 24V power. Companies will normally specify whether this is required or not on their product pages.
Some newer manufactures also offer a compatibility checker tool.
If you are renting an apartment or home, not every landlord will allow it. Some have outdated hvac systems that these newer thermostats could break.
Features for Sleep Enhancement
The number one feature you need to pay attention to is the ability to set schedules.
If you can set schedules by the day, that is the best as you may want the temperature setting different on your days off, especially when you see how sleepy you get as the temperature gets lower.
The sleep temperature should lower 2-3 hours before sleep and then rise an hour before you wake up.
There are many brands out there and a lot of them suck.
As we mentioned briefly above, reviews these days can be gamed. So we do not recommend going with a brand you have not heard of. Even if the brand has very high reviews on Amazon.
The brands we know are dependable when it comes to smart thermostats are Nest (Google), Honeywell, and Emerson.
These are all publicly traded companies that in some cases have been around since the 1800s.
Utility Rebates & Savings
When you use a smart thermostat, you are not only saving your money; you are saving your energy companies money as well.
Your power company may be handing out rebates to get a smart thermostat. Check the below links: