It can be difficult to pin down a clear definition of smart home devices. Does it have to control all household technology or simply utilize some aspect of it? Is it required to handle important residential realities like security or climate, or can it offer non-essential services like staying in touch with friends and family? Must it connect to the outside world via the internet?
For our purposes, a smart home gadget is any product that uses technology to help a home run better, function more efficiently or provide more comfort for its residents. That opens up the field to host of imaginative, clever, useful and entertaining creations. The best smart home gadgets will do everything from keep your home clean to help you keep your home safe.
The following list of the best smart home gadgets has a wide range of price points, as we wanted to provide options for everyone’s budget. Approaching the smart home technology field from a variety of perspectives, all of these devices promise to make some aspects of life within our houses better.
1. iRobot Roomba s9+
The sci-fi films of the 1950s promised us flying cars and robot housekeepers. Wanting to get out ahead on the latter, the designers at iRobot came out with robot vacuums as far back as 2002. The Roomba s9+ is the latest creation from their shop, and it features enhanced A.I. to map a house and PerfectEdge Technology to clean corners and wainscoting. It’ll even empty itself when its work is done. There’s no doubt that iRobot makes some of the best smart home gadgets for clean freaks, and their latest invention is truly a wonder.
Of course, if you’re looking for a robot vacuum that doesn’t cost $1,000, the RoboGeek vacuum is an affordable alternative that costs way, way less but still gets the job done.
2. Amazon Echo Dot
The Amazon Echo Dot is one of the best smart home gadgets ever created, which is why you’ll find them in countless homes around the world. The concept of calling out “Alexa…Will you please…?” is now so engrained in many daily routines that many Amazon-equipped users forget that Alexa lives in a device called an Echo. The Amazon Echo Dot is the global tech giant’s latest and smallest version of the A.I.-powered, voice-activated home assistant. A thin slice off the tube of the original Echo, the Dot does everything its big sister can do.
3. Olive Smart Ear
The Olive Smart Ear is essentially a hearing aid created primarily for home use. Its design focuses on improving hearing for conversations and watching TV. Most importantly, since many people in need of hearing enhancements can be reluctant to admit that need and get on with finding help, the Olive Smart Ear employs friendly technology and an elegant aesthetic to seem like an easy-to-use home gadget as opposed to intimidating sensory equipment.
4. Konnected Alarm Panel Starter Kit
When laid out like this, the Konnected Alarm Panel Starter Kit looks more complicated than it is. This manageable collection of circuit boards and wires transforms any traditional home alarm system into a smart alarm system that will interact with your Amazon Echo, Google Assistant or smartphone home security app. Don’t let an old security system keep you from collecting the latest smart home gadgets.
5. 4K UHD Hisense Roku TV with HDR
Hisense makes some of the best smart 4K TVs, and no list of the best new smart home gadgets would be complete without a flatscreen TV. One of the fresher entries into the world of smart televisions, the 4K UHD Hisense Roku TV with HDR taps into all of the top streaming services without the need of additional plug-in devices. Fully wifi-equipped, the Hisense unit employs High Dynamic Range to boost the contrast of imagery while delivering sharp colors.
6. Nixplay Smart Digital Picture Frame
The best smart home gadgets don’t just offer convenience and cutting-edge technology. They can also help connect us to our loved ones. Digital photo frames are not new to the market, but the products coming from Nixplay add new technological elements and interactive capabilities. Nixplay frames can show off a variety of your favorite photos and videos like any other HD device. However, these new units have wifi connectivity and inbuilt storage — allowing the owner to upload, store and display photos and videos via direct connectivity or via email. With this smart home device, anyone in the family can instantly upload a picture to this frame, even from half a world away.
7. HUB6 Safe
The HUB6 Safe looks to replace your household’s need for an external home security company. Its technology replaces an existing home alarm setup with enhanced A.I. that interacts with a free app to alert the homeowner, neighbors, authorities or anyone preselected in case of trouble. The HUB6 Safe can also network with neighborhood security systems to create a home safety network.
Spinning tumblers and numbered dials are just too 20th century for Tapplock. Their line of fingerprint-activated and Bluetooth-equipped smart padlocks put isometrics to work protecting whatever you want to lock at your house. Without your fingerprint to unlock this device, the only thing a thief can do is cut this lock free — and Tapplock’s strong build quality makes that very difficult.
A smart meat thermometer, the Meater+ packs a wireless range of up to 165 feet. SPY got the chance to test this thermometer, and we came away deeply impressed with its capabilities. Meater+ allows any household chef or grill master to go about other business around the homestead while the heat-resistant probe tracks the cooking progress of protein via a free downloadable app.
10. FLEXISPOT Standing Desk Exercise Bike
The right application of smart design and engineering can make the entire concept of home multitasking surprisingly healthy. The FLEXISPOT Standing Desk Exercise Bike turns any home office into a home gym, allowing the rider to get the daily work done while also getting a workout. Powered by pedaling, the desk bike includes a readout recording workout time and distance. One of the best smart home gadgets for the stay-at-home era, you can work out and work at the same time. And if that’s not smart, then what is?
11. GuruNanda Light Globe Essential Oil Diffuser
For anyone looking to get a little bit of that spa feel at home, the GuruNanda Light Globe Essential Oil Diffuser will send out whatever scent the owner chooses. The unit also serves as a gentle light source, issuing a warm glow to its environment. Finally, the diffuser acts as a humidifier as its ultrasonic motor keeps the entire operation very quiet.
12. Hoop Cam Plus
The remote webcam meets home security standards with the Hoop Cam Plus, one of our favorite new smart home products. Cooperating with its free smartphone app, the device includes fully controllable motorized motion for panning and tracking, real-time visual communication, scheduled reminders and preset notifications if the camera detects an intruder.
13. LockSmart Keyless Bluetooth Padlock
The latest smart home gadgets include a ton of new smart locks and safes. Working in unison with a free app, the LockSmart Keyless Bluetooth Padlock from Dogs and Bone Cases does away with keys and combinations. Only the keeper of the app can communicate one-to-one with the LockSmart. The owner can open the device, share virtual keys and open the lock remotely, all via the app.
14. BLEW Razor Blade Dryer
The concept of a metal blade seems beyond the reach of smart home technology, but the designers at ToiletTree Products found a way to bring improved tech to bear on the razor’s edge. Science tells us tiny particles of rust dull a razor, not just repeated use. The BLEW Razor Blade Dryer takes care of any moisture that can rust a blade, helping razors last longer and provide a smoother shave.
15. VIVE Cosmos Elite
Easy to set up and ready to go with a suite of educational and entertaining software, the VIVE Cosmos Elite VR headset wants to become an important gadget for homeschooling, gaming and family entertainment. The Elite offers dual 3.4-inch diagonal screens, a refresh rate of 90 Hz, a 110-degree field of view, stereo headphones and integrated microphones. The VIVE Cosmos Elite proves that Occulus isn’t the only tech company that can make an affordable VR headset.
16. AUSDOM AW635 1080P Streaming Live Webcam
The new world of work from home conferences and virtual family reunions make webcams essential in modern households. This AUSDOM unit is tough enough for daily use and provides full 1080P resolution. Equipped with an onboard noise-reducing microphone, the webcam’s A.I. provides instant light correction.
17. Airthings Wave Mini
No wider than a drink coaster, the Airthings Wave Mini works with a free app to monitor the air quality in your home. After a brief setup period, the devices continually tracks humidity, chemical content, carbon dioxide and radon levels, issuing an alert if the air in your home goes sour. For germaphobes worried about indoor air quality, an air quality monitor is the must-have smart home gadget of 2020.
18. EyeQue At-Home Vision Tests
There are plenty of online, mail-order eyewear companies out there currently. Still, the convenience of ordering glasses from home comes with the comparable inconvenience of having to visit an optometrist to get a lock on your prescription. The EyeQue At-Home Vision Tests will check your visual acuity at home and record your prescription via its free app. You can share the results with your eye doctor or use them to order new glasses or contacts.
19. Google Assistant
The one item I can all but guarantee you won’t find for sale on Amazon is Alexa’s biggest rival. The Google Assistant remains one of the most popular home tech assistants in the world, and like Amazon Echo, it’s one of the best smart home gadgets ever invented. A key control point for the Google Home suite of smart tech products, the voice-activated hub interacts with other Google Home devices to do everything from controlling climate to monitoring home security.
20. Ecovacs DEEBOT
That’s right, we have another robot vacuum to consider as you shop for new smart home gadgets. This offering from Ecovacs offers that same “floor reading” artificial intelligence, ready to either vacuum or mop with a simple swap of components. The device interacts with its owner with a free app and is able to save multiple vacuuming maps in different locations. DEEBOT does all this at a fraction of the cost of other brands.
21. Goplus 2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
Goplus is known for making affordable sports equipment, and we’ve recommended their treadmills to readers before. The Goplus 2 in 1 Treadmill takes the big, bulky exercise machine you find at your local gym and makes it manageable for home use. Lighter than a full-size treadmill, the Goplus folds up for easier storage. It’s also Bluetooth equipped and packs an onboard wireless speaker to play your music while you workout.
A busy house can be a stressful house, and the TouchPoints for Calm wearable system is designed to help calm anyone experiencing anxiety. With specially tuned vibrations, TouchPoints are clinically proven to reduce stress by shifting the brain’s “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system to the calmer parasympathetic nervous system to achieve a natural state of calm and focus. And during the stressful year that is 2020, who can’t use a little more calm and focus in their life?
23. Eggtronic Power Bar
The best smart home gadgets will be useless if they run out of power. Traditionally, device chargers were only able to charge a home’s smaller smart devices, such as smartphones or tablets. To offer more charging flexibility to an Apple and iOS equipped household, the Eggtronic Power Bar can take on charging duties for an iPhone, AirPods, an Apple Watch and a MacBook simultaneously.
24. Skyroam Solis X Smartspot
In an era when wifi is not only ever-present, but constantly needed, the Skyroam Solis X Smartspot can serve as any home’s wifi insurance policy. Primarily designed for travel use, the Solis X provides a secure 4G LTE wifi in 130 countries. Still, its online capability, a remote camera, power bank, and integrated smart assistant with a free app can serve as a home internet backup system without SIMs or monthly contracts.
25. Huan Bluetooth Smart Pet Tags
For many pet lovers, their animals make their homes all the more precious. The Huan Bluetooth Smart Pet Tags help to make sure those pets remain safe home. With a battery set to last a year, the Huan’s signal works with a free app to track any pet wearing the small tag anywhere. In the worst case scenario of a lost pet, the Huan will also send out a network alert seeking help.
26. Tru+Med Touch-Free Infrared Thermometer
In this age of pandemics, health-related devices become essential sources of elusive peace of mind. The Tru+Med Touch-Free Infrared Thermometer works simply and reliably. Stand in proximity to someone, point the device at the forehead and pull the trigger. After a beep, the Tru+Med digitally displays the subject’s temperature.
27. Roborock H6 Adapt Stick Vacuum
More than just your average lightweight vacuum, the Roborock H6 Adapt Stick Vacuum is the kind of home cleaning tool Q would build for 007. Powered by a 420w motor with a suction strength of 25000Pa (or “a lot” in scientific parlance), the device breaks down into multiple cleaning devices in addition to the assembled stick vacuum. You end up with a Carpet Brush, a Dusting Brush, a Motorized Mini-Brush, a Crevice Tool and a Flex Tube.