• Amazon Echo Show 5

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit (Gen 3)

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (2019)

  • What makes a product great for apartment dwellers?

  • Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat

  • D-Link DIR-878

  • Currant WiFi Smart Outlet

  • Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector

  • Related articles

Echo Show 5
Credit: Amazon

The Echo Show 5 fits into small spaces while still bringing all Alexa has to offer.

Smart Speaker
Amazon Echo Show 5

The Amazon Echo Show 5 offers Alexa’s visual cues and video functionality without taking up much room, which makes it perfect for apartments where space is at a premium. The combination of the small but super useful screen with a sleek, modern design makes this little smart speaker look just as at home on a bedside table as it does on a home office desk, a living room shelf, or a kitchen counter.

The screen displays a customizable clock but also cycles through useful information to give you insights at a glance. It also gives you the ability to make video calls, which are surprisingly perfect even on the 5-inch screen. You can also check in on video feeds from smart cameras, video baby monitors, and video doorbells. And it can stream TV and movie content, though it's not really designed as a media streaming device.

Read more of The Best Amazon Echo Smart Speakers

Pros

  • Full Alexa capabilities

  • Minimal footprint

  • Integrated camera cover

Cons

  • None that we could find

Philips Hue White + Color
Credit: Reviewed.com / Nick Schmiedicker
Smart Lightbulbs
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit (Gen 3)

One of the quickest ways to deck your apartment out with smart home technology is to replace its standard light bulbs with smart lightbulbs. They can dramatically change the ambiance of a room, enhance your movie nights, and even keep your home safe while you’re on vacation with smart schedules. Across the board, the Philips Hue smart bulbs topped all of our tests thanks to an easy setup, a robust suite of features, and an intuitive app.

Additional support with smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri add tremendous benefit to an already impressive portfolio. Once you throw in the additional rainbow of possible light colors, these are without a doubt the best smart bulbs you can buy.

Read more of The Best Smart Bulbs

Pros

  • Easy setup

  • Intuitive app

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit

Cons

  • Requires hub

Amazon Fire TV Interface
Credit: Reviewed.com / TJ Donegan

The Amazon Fire TV interface is a bit busier, with more promos for Amazon Prime and its content partners, or movie rentals if you don't have Amazon Prime.

Streaming Device
Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote (2019)

If you don’t have much room for a streaming box next to your TV, Amazon’s Fire TV is just about perfect. It sticks out of your TV’s HDMI port and offers access to all your favorite streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The Fire TV’s biggest advantage is its inclusion of the Alexa voice assistant for voice searching.

Though we think the new Roku Ultra and Apple TV are better all-around streaming options, the Fire TV Stick is a much better option if your main goal is creating a smart home. Alexa can just do so, so much more like set reminders, control smart gadgets, or re-order you popcorn. You can even use the Fire TV app to control your Fire TV if you misplace the remote or want to type in a password without much effort.

Read more of The Best Media Streaming Devices

Pros

  • Alexa-enabled

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as fast as other Fire Sticks

What makes a product great for apartment dwellers?

There are lots of great smart home products out there, but why did we recommend these picks for those who live in apartments?

Installation—Living in an apartment means that you can't always permanently mount or install your new favorite gadgets. All of our picks in this list can be easily uninstalled without leaving a mess.

Related content

Portability—Housing situations can change on a dime, so it's best if all of your favorite tech devices are easily portable from your old home to your new home. Our selections can all be stowed away relatively easily.

Small Footprint—In a rental, space is at a premium. These products can help you to get the most out of your smart home environment without taking up valuable real estate on your TV stand or on your living room table.


sensi_touch_big
Credit: Sensi
Smart Thermostat
Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat

You might have to run this one by your landlord, but if they’ll give you permission to install a smart thermostat, the one you want is the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi thermostat. While Nest and Honeywell may be better known smart thermostat brands, we love this one for its smooth installation process, helpful app, and functionality across multiple “smart” assistants.

The installation directions in the Sensi app were fantastic and foolproof: the Sensi app actually checks which wires are connected (which tells you if a wire isn’t touching its contact properly), and then checks the viability of that wiring configuration. If you're new at playing around with thermostat wires, this will be hugely reassuring, as will the easy-to-access contact push tabs.

Read more of The Best Smart Thermostats

Pros

  • Works with Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google

  • Clear directions and easy setup

  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Nothing we could find

D-Link DIR-878 Hero
Credit: D-Link

The D-Link DIR-878 is the best wifi router for most people according to our tests.

Currant Smart Outlet
Credit: Currant

Currant's Smart Outlet can control and monitor two devices independently.

Smart Plug
Currant WiFi Smart Outlet

Having a few smart plugs throughout your apartment is a quick way to make some of your “dumb” appliances and accessories smart. The Currant Smart Outlet was the best smart plug we tested. This snazzy little gadget checks a lot of boxes on our wish list, including two side-facing outlets that can be independently operated. It's attractive, offers energy monitoring, and it also has a really nifty orientation feature—you can switch the plate on the back so it can be plugged into your wall facing either right or left, which is incredibly handy.

Also, if plugged into the bottom outlet on your wall, it doesn't cover the top one, leaving it free to use. Each outlet has an indicator light, which only fires up if that particular one is on. When not in use, it does not emit light.

There were no quirks to be found in its connectivity, as it responded just as effortlessly to the app as it did to Alexa.

Read more of The Best Smart Plugs

Pros

  • Controls two plugs independently

  • Has energy monitoring

  • Recommends smart schedules

Cons

  • None that we could find

Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

The Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector offers easy setup, a solid app, temperature and humidity readings, and an optional cord sensor attachment that expands the detection area up to 150 feet.

Water Leak Detector
Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector

If you’re going to lose your security deposit, lose it over something fun like a raucous party – not a water leak from some appliance. The Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector can alert you right away if there’s something leaking.

It offers easy setup, a solid app, temperature and humidity readings, and an optional cord sensor attachment that expands the detection area up to 150 feet. The detector works over WiFi for easy setup, doesn't need a hub, and should last up to 3 years on AA batteries. Just leave it in a leak-prone spot and forget about it.

Read more of The Best Smart Water Leak Detectors

Pros

  • Detection area includes up to 150 feet

  • Easy to set up

  • No hub required

Cons

  • Cannot be submerged

The Best Smart Bulbs

The Best Apple HomeKit-Compatible Smart Home Devices

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Meet the tester

Sarah Kovac

Sarah Kovac

Editor, Smart Home

@sarahkovac

Sarah Kovac is an award-winning author and smart home editor for Reviewed. Previously, she worked with a multitude of outlets such as Wirecutter, TIME, PCMag, Prevention, The Atlantic, Reviews.com, CNN, GOOD, Upworthy, Mom.me, and SheKnows.

See all of Sarah Kovac's reviews

Checking our work.

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.

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