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

Nest and Hive smart thermostats can help you take control of your heating – we compare the systems…


Around 1 in 2 of us wants to control our heating remotely using our smartphone, says Deloitte

With a smart thermostat it’s easy to adjust the heating in your home regardless of where you are. Simply access the app on your smartphone to switch on the heating so your home is warm and cosy when you arrive.

Connected home

These thermostats connect to your Wi-Fi and an app on your phone to ‘talk’ to your boiler. They’re a thermostat and programmer rolled into one. - some even program themselves.

Smart thermostats are perfect for:

  • Busy family homes wishing to use less energy and lower their bills
  • Smartphone-loving first-time buyers wanting to future-proof their homes
  • Making your home more appealing to potential buyers

Nest and Hive are 2 of the most popular smart thermostats. Here we take a look at both systems.

Nest Learning Thermostat

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

Nest is owned by Google, and its thermostats are highly recommended by most review sites.

The latest version is the Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd generation and each new model brings more sophisticated features and greater control. Its main benefit is it gets to know your routines and programs itself. Simply turn the thermostat dial up or down when you feel hot or cold, and Nest will learn how warm you like your home to be at what times.


Nest has put in research to ‘calculate realistic savings’ enjoyed by its users. From crunching data, it says UK customers saved 8.4% to 16.5%.

It’s designed to work with the Nest app so you can control your heating from anywhere – whether turning it on from your office or up from the sofa.

Its minimalist round design looks great too.

Main benefits of Nest

  • Creates a personalised schedule after just 1 week based on how you have used your heating
  • See how much energy you’re saving with the leaf icon on your thermostat’s screen and the monthly Home Report
  • Incredibly easy to change your heating schedules in the Nest app
  • Turns the heating off when you leave the house using sensor technology and your phone’s GPS (Auto-Away mode)
  • Fancy a bath? Turn the hot water on from your phone
  • Combine 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 with super simple set up and smartphone control and location-based reminders

Hive is a great option for anyone who prefers controlling their heating through a traditional energy supplier.


It’s designed by British Gas, and you can buy it in a package that includes installation by a British Gas engineer (regardless of your energy supplier). It’s super-easy to arrange – you just use the code in the box to book an engineer. There’s also a self-install option where you can arrange your own third-party engineer to install.

The earlier versions were lacking in features, but the most recent Hive Active Heating thermostat has some great benefits. It looks just as stylish as Nest with its new minimalist design.

You can control hot water as well as heating and in winter weather pipes are protected against frost. Heating schedules are easy to program using the smartphone app, however it doesn’t learn your routines to do this automatically.

It’s designed to work with the Hive app so you can control your heating from anywhere – whether turning it on from when you’re on the train home or switching it off halfway down your street.

Main benefits of Hive

  • Super-easy to connect to your Wi-Fi with clear and simple instructions
  • Set heating programs easily with the intuitive Hive app on your phone
  • Create 6 different heating zones per day – i.e. when you wake, empty house during the day, evening, then bedtime
  • Turn hot water on or off from your smartphone
  • Smartphone reminders based on where you are – i.e. to turn the heating off when you leave home (geo-location)
  • See the current temperature in LED light by pushing the dial – date and time also shown
  • Combine thermostat with Hive products like internet-connected lightbulbs and plug sensors and control from same app

Get Hive Active Heating


Smart thermostats and Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is a hands-free, voice-controlled speaker that works with the Alexa voice assistant. You can ask it questions and set reminders, make shopping lists and get weather updates – all with your voice.Amazon Echo

You can also use it to control your smart thermostat – the speaker works with both Nest and Hive. Set it up using the Alexa app in a few simple steps to: 

  • Turn your thermostat to a specific temperature
  • Turn down the heating on a warmer evening
  • Turn up the heating on a cold night

All with your voice. Simply say ‘Alexa…’ then the instruction. Learn more about Echo 

It can hear you from across the room thanks to 7 built-in microphones and beam forming technology.

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