Top Smart Home Devices in 2022 That’ll Make Your Life Easier
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Thanks to artificial intelligence and automation, smart home devices have significantly reduced the number of menial tasks and chores that require our direct involvement. With the power of the internet, we can now tap, swipe, and speak cleanliness into existence. These devices can often seem overly complex for those who aren’t tech enthusiasts; fortunately, a smart home setup is an easily attainable reality for anyone with the money to invest and a few minutes to spare. Below are some of our top smart home recommendations in 2022 for a streamlined, easy housekeeping experience.
Check out our recommendation of the best high-tech cleaning appliances to pair with your smart home devices!
Price: $299.99 $179.99 at Amazon
Used for: Lawn care, scheduled watering, water conservation
App required: Rachio app
Not all shoppers have yards, and not all yard-owners care for their yards well. If you’re one of the special few to fall into the hybrid “responsible lawn-haver" category, the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler was made specifically for you. Able to be set up in just 30 minutes, the Rachio 3 can be run from either a mobile app or a convenient web-based app. It comes packed with amazing technology to make sure you don’t waste a drop of water, like the weather–monitoring capability to avoid watering your lawn when it’s raining.
One of the most impressive features of the Rachio is its dynamic watering technology that adjusts its output based on the information you provide regarding sun exposure level, plant types, and soil types. No more drowning your succulents in a deluge of well-intentioned hydration.
Price: $149.99 $124.99 at Best Buy
Used for: Identifying guests and monitoring deliveries
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
The Arlo Video Doorbell is an essential part of starting your smart home off on the right foot. Knowing who is at your door without having to be anywhere near it is safer and more sophisticated than having to look through a peephole, right?
The advanced AI of this doorbell is able to distinguish between people, animals, vehicles, and packages, and the square aspect ratio captures a clearer picture than most landscape-oriented cameras. Just keep in mind that you must pay a subscription fee (starting at $3 per month) for many of these doorbell features, which is a financial inconvenience found in many home security devices.
One of the most convenient perks of this doorbell is the option to activate pre-recorded messages if someone is at your door. While you have the ability to directly talk to a would-be visitor, if you’re busy in a work meeting or having a phone conversation, the one-touch message response can alleviate the stress of navigating multiple interactions at once.
To get started, just create an account with Arlo and download the Arlo app. From there, you’ll receive easy-to-follow instructions on the assembly and Wi-Fi setup of your new HD video doorbell. Once your doorbell is set up, when someone presses the button, you can see who that person is right from your smartphone or via smart display like the Amazon Echo.
Price: $169 at Amazon
Used for: Petcare, surveillance
App required: Furbo app
Pet lovers are getting in on the smart home craze as well in all sorts of ways. Make sure your pet is safe and well-loved throughout the day with the Furbo Dog Camera. This fun little gadget comes equipped with night vision and a full 1080p camera so you can keep track of your favorite feline friends and canine companions. Even better, the Furbo can toss treats to your pet for long-distance entertainment.
The Furbo runs through a mobile app that gives convenient push notifications when it detects barking and even includes a microphone so you can talk to your pet while you toss treats. Users have mentioned that the microphone isn’t the best quality, but we’re willing to overlook that for the chance to play treat-catch over Wi-Fi.
Price: $249.99 $198.99 at Best Buy
Used for: Home protection, setting up smart device routines after the door is locked/unlocked
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings
If you’re looking for a smart lock with a simple installation process, the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock is loved by just about every tech reviewer out there. The lock’s sleek design avoids attracting attention and doesn’t require a connected bridge for operation thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi (which plays nicely with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant). All you need to get started is the August mobile app, and the two included CR123 batteries. The IFTTT app also lets you set up clever routines such as adjusting the smart lights and thermostats of your home after unlocking the door, or arming your home security system when activating the lock.
One drawback that consumers regularly list is the lock’s relatively short battery life. Staying connected to Wi-Fi has a price, and batteries last about three to six months, depending on how frequently the lock is used. Don’t ignore the August mobile app when you get that low-battery notification, because you won’t be able to enter your house without a functioning lock!
Price: $79.99 $46.99 at Amazon
Used for: Selectively powering multiple devices, power routines
We mentioned smart plugs earlier, but many heavier tech users enjoy powering multiple devices on one power strip. How can you maintain the flexibility of a power strip with the control of a smart plug? Enter the Kasa Smart Power Strip — this ingenious device offers the same functionality as a smart plug but on an entirely different scale. You can independently control six separate devices with enough ports left over to charge three USB-powered gadgets, all while monitoring your energy output through the convenient Kasa app. Want to power your lights and computer but leave your space heater alone? Just set a routine via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Cortana, or just manually change the outlet settings through the app.
The Kasa Smart Power Strip is a cost-effective choice for anyone looking for a bit of extra flexibility and control in their smart home setup.
Price: $129.99 at Best Buy
Used for: Home protection
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings
Part spotlight, part 1080p HD camera, there are many things to love about the Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera. Use this camera to supplement your video doorbell with a second angle above your garage. Or, utilize its bright LED spotlight and color night vision capabilities for some backyard coverage. The built-in siren will also serve as a great deterrent for uninvited guests who have overstepped their boundaries.
The Arlo Essential Spotlight camera plays nicely with voice commands from Alexa and Google Assistant and can work in tandem with smart lights and smart locks when placed in a routine with the IFTTT application. You’ll need to download the Arlo app to get things started. Like most security cameras in the industry, the camera comes with additional subscription fees for features that you’ll definitely want, such as watching recorded videos and other more advanced options. If the investment is outside your comfort zone, cheaper alternatives like the Wyze v3 camera are also worth a look.
Price: $99.99 at Best Buy
Used for: Listening to internet radio or streaming services, answering questions, and making calls and voice commands for device activation
Compatible with: N/A
Out of all the items on this list, picking the right smart speaker can be one of the hardest decisions to make. Aside from providing quality sound, these speakers are also connected to the internet and may come with a built-in voice assistant based on the speakers you choose. They function as the brain of your smart house operation and are what allows all compatible smart devices to relay information to one another.
For simplicity’s sake, we are recommending the Amazon Echo 4th Generation Smart Speakers. These smart speakers: support the majority of smart devices on the market; have an audio quality that tops their predecessor at a cheaper price point; come with Alexa assistance; and have a built-in Zigbee hub. (This means Alexa can control third-party Zigbee products directly without relying on their applications.) The Amazon Echo also lets you do many of the fun things you’ve probably seen in commercials, such as ask Alexa what the weather is, play a specific song, call a relative, set alarms, and much more.
Just remember to read the instructions because Alexa is very particular with how you phrase your questions and won’t execute if you’re off on your delivery.
Price: $19.97 at Home Depot
Used for: Making non-smart devices smart, scheduling power to your plugs
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
The most unassuming item on our list is actually one of the most powerful. Smart plugs like the Wyze Wi-Fi Smart Plug might look simple, but they have the ability to transform appliances of the past into coordinated pieces of your smart home with a few minutes of setup.
Once you set up your smart plugs through the Wyze app, you’ll be able to control when the connected outlet receives power with your smartphone or through voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant. The benefits range from the mildly impressive (turning off outlets for the night to save power) to the downright convenient (scheduling your coffee maker to brew a cup of liquid caffeine before you wake up). Through the app, you can even group multiple Wyze plugs together so that all appliances turn on/off with one command.
The only downside is that the Wyze Smart Plug is not compatible with Apple Homekit, so you’ll have to fully rely on the Wyze app for all your needs if you’re in this camp.
Price: $12.97 at Home Depot
Used for: Hands-free lighting, mood-setting, timed lighting sequences
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings
Smart light bulbs have been around for nearly a decade now, but their prices are finally starting to fall to a more accessible point for the average consumer. Even better, smart bulbs like the Philips Wiz Wi-Fi LED Smart Color Bulb don’t require expensive hubs or Wi-Fi bridges to operate, which makes these a great entry point into smart lighting with minimal investment. Once you get the initial setup of the lights handled within the free WiZ app, you can communicate with your smart bulbs using Wi-Fi voice commands through Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT.
With the Philips WiZ Wi-Fi LED Smart Color Bulb, enjoy an extensive color palette featuring millions of colors that are perfect for work, play, and everything in between. Schedule your lights to dim or brighten depending on whether it’s time for rest or action. The New York Times also enjoys the bulb’s Vacation Mode, where your lights will turn on and off while you’re away at random times to give the impression that someone is home.
Price: $129.99 at Best Buy
Used for: Remote temperature control, reducing cooling/heating costs
Compatible with: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
If you’re looking for a quality entry-level smart thermostat, a strong option that gives you all the essential functions of a smart thermostat without the bigger price tag is the Google Nest Smart Programmable Wifi Thermostat. While you need the Google Home app to adjust the temperature remotely, the Nest Thermostat is also compatible with Alexa and can be adjusted with voice commands if you have a smart hub or speaker like the Amazon Echo.
You won’t have the convenience of this thermostat learning your temperature preferences automatically like some of the more expensive models. However, you can set your home, away, and sleep temp preferences manually just the same. Its heating and cooling system monitoring will also suggest tweaks to your temperature schedule for optimal climate control, and will even tell you if a filter should be replaced. All in all, this Nest model is a great choice for those looking to explore the world of smart climate control without all the bells and whistles.
Price: $319.99 $111.99 at Walmart
Used for: Cleaning carpet and floor
Compatible with: Amazon Alexa
As convenient as robot vacuums are, they are also one of the more expensive purchases you can buy for a smart home. Some, like the iRobot Roomba s9+, can run more than $1,000. Meanwhile, cheaper robots will spare your wallet at the cost of having poor suction capabilities and leaving dust on the ground.
The Ecovacs Deebot N79S is a great compromise that is listed at an entry-level price but tackles dirt on multiple surfaces with more gusto than other robots at its price point. It has a three-stage cleaning cycle that sweeps, lifts, and vacuums dirt off your carpet and floor. The N79s come equipped with two side brushes, a main roller brush, and a powerful suction motor.
To get started, just connect the N79s to your Wi-Fi network using the Ecovacs app on Android or iOS. The N79s also has Alexa compatibility, letting you initiate and end cleaning, as well as return the device to its dock with simple voice commands.
Price: $99 at Best Buy
Used for: Weight management
App required: Health Mate app, compatible with Apple Health
The Withings Body + Composition Wi-Fi Scale, as its namesake implies, easily tracks your weight and body composition with the accompanying Health Mate app. Aside from weight tracking, the Health Mate app lets you set target goals, track your nutrition, and set up a profile for up to eight people on one scale. Compositional info such as fat mass, muscle mass, bone mass, and water retention are also included in your daily readout. The scale even gives you a localized weather forecast, incentivizing you to step on the scale to start your day.