Apple's HomeKit smart home ecosystem might not have the same cool factor as Amazon Alexa, but it's still a compelling solution, especially if you own lots of Apple devices.
Although it's been slow to take off, new HomeKit-compatible devices keep coming to market, which can make it difficult to know which products to get for your smart home. Luckily, we're constantly reviewing new smart home products. Below you'll find the best devices we've tested that work with Apple HomeKit. And as we review more products, we'll continue to update this roundup with new recommendations.
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Unfortunately, when it comes to HomeKit hubs, you only have two options—Apple TV or iPad. Since the hub always needs to be in your home—powered on and plugged in—we think the Apple TV is the best option. It's much more affordable than an iPad and also doubles as a streaming device for your TV.
The Apple TV isn't our favorite streaming box, but it streams 4K content, plays nicely with other Apple devices, and offers Siri voice control via its included remote. You can even ask Siri to dim the lights as you decide on what movie to watch—all from the remote.
Apple HomeKit is a smart home environment, just like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. If you're a big fan of Apple products, and you're constantly chatting with Siri, then you can easily upgrade your smart home game using the many devices you already own.
As a central hub for Apple HomeKit, you'll need either an always-on iPad (that is always left at home) or an Apple TV. Since it's cheaper and more practical to leave at home, we recommend going with an Apple TV as your HomeKit hub. Once you have your HomeKit hub up and running, you'll also be able to take advantage of voice control of your smart home gadgets via Siri, as well as control all of your devices via Apple's Home app.
Imagine it: with just a few words spoken into your iPhone, you can turn on the air conditioner, switch off the lights, or even lock your front door. You can do all of this and more with the Apple HomeKit products mentioned below.
Best Smart Bulb for HomeKit
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit (Gen 3)
If you want smart bulbs for your home, you can't go wrong with Philips Hue. We've tested the system twice now over the past few years and it simply can't be beat. The initial setup is easy. The app is intuitive and highly responsive. The bulbs will change color (with millions of color options) and dim in realtime, a feat that not all smart bulbs can ace.
Philips Hue also works with Apple HomeKit, making it easy to integrate these bulbs with other smart home products. It's pretty cool to have Siri change the color of your lights, too.
If you want additional Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs for your Philips Hue and HomeKit system, you can find them on Amazon.
The best HomeKit-compatible smart plug happens to be the iDevices Switch. This nifty little plug can be used to control lamps, fans, humidifiers, and more.
Among all the ones we tested, the Switch offered the best experience thanks to reliable remote control, scheduling, and energy monitoring. It also offers a unique multi-color nightlight, which can be set to a handful of different colors via the app and Siri. Happily, this plug is also often available on Amazon at discounted prices, so it won't cost you a lot to be able to wirelessly control your lights.
Want to be able to check or change the temperature in your house while you're on the go? Think about buying a smart thermostat. Installing a smart thermostat can be tough, though, which is why our top pick was the Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat.
The Sensi Touch had the most straightforward installation, the best user experience, a touch screen, and full integration with all of the major voice assistants, including Apple HomeKit. If you want the same functionality as the Sensi Touch thermostat, but with a cheaper price tag, check out our value pick, the Emerson Sensi Wi-fi Thermostat.
Caveat: almost all smart thermostats require a C-wire; be sure your heating/cooling system is compatible before buying a smart thermostat.
For more polished smart lighting without individual smart bulbs or pesky plugs, you need to get smart dimmers. Lutron makes the very best, with a responsive and usable app experience on par with Philips Hue (high praise indeed). And of course, the Lutron Caséta Wireless Starter Kit also works with Apple HomeKit, allowing you to control lights and other appliances from the Apple Home app and Siri.
The other great thing about the Lutron system is that it will work with the wiring found in older homes, unlike many other smart dimmers and switches on the market. This is because Lutron switches and dimmers don't need a neutral power line, which isn't common in the electrical wiring found in older homes. The Lutron system isn't cheap—extra dimmers and extra switches will cost you—but it's a lot cheaper than getting your home re-wired. The polish of the system is also definitely worth the money.
The Leviton Decora Smart HomeKit Switch is almost identical to our Best Overall Smart Switch: the Leviton Decora Smart WiFi. The only difference is that this switch includes a special hardware chip that makes it HomeKit compatible. It also works with a different app that's only available on iOS called Leviton Decora Smart Home. We actually preferred the app experience of the HomeKit switch over the WiFi switch, as it was more polished and intuitive.
The only downside to this switch is that it requires a neutral wire. If you live in an older home without a neutral wire, then we recommend going with the Lutron Caséta Wireless Starter Kit and buying Lutron switches. The system isn't cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than re-wiring your home!
The best HomeKit-compatible lock you can get is the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt. It's very easy to set up. It locks and unlocks quickly and offers an intuitive app with support for up to 30 passcodes. Of course, you can ask Siri to lock and unlock the door for you too.
The Schlage Sense also recently added support for Android phones and released a WiFi adapter, meaning you can remotely control the lock without an Apple TV!
We can't really call the D-Link Omna the best HomeKit security camera, as it's currently the only HomeKit security camera on the market. However, as cameras go, it was one of the best we tested, with an impressive 180-degree field of view.
The Omna was also very easy to set up and offered up good quality video both during the day and at night. The only issues our reviewer ran into was the Omna's smartphone notifications, which offered no scheduling or snoozing and could become pretty annoying at times. The Omna also offers no cloud storage, which could be a dealbreaker for some people.
Similar to the Omna security camera, we can't call the Fibaro Flood Sensor the best HomeKit leak detector as it's the only one on the market. It only works over Bluetooth, which isn't ideal, given the range issues that might present. Nevertheless, it's one of the few detectors that can survive a real flood.
Most of the detectors we tested were not fully waterproof and would die after being fully submerged, but the Fibaro got around that problem by being airtight, causing it to float in a flood and keep sounding its alarm.
The only weird thing about the Fibaro is that it only sends alerts via the Apple Home app, not the Fibaro app. It's not a big issue because if you're investing in HomeKit you're probably using the Home app, but it seemed like a strange feature omission.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.