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

  • Roku Ultra 4800R

  • Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen

  • Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

  • Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector

  • Govee Wi-Fi RGB LED Strip Lights

  • Arlo Essential Wire-Free Camera

  • Wyze Smart Plug

  • Wyze Plug Outdoor

  • SimpliSafe 8-Piece Wireless Home Security System

  • What makes a product great for apartment dwellers?

  • Privacy

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

The Philips Hue White + Color bulbs offer the brightest and most vibrant colors of any smart bulb we've tested.
Credit: Reviewed / Nick Schmiedicker

The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs offer some of the brightest and most vibrant colors of any smart bulb we've tested that works with Alexa.

Smart Light Bulbs
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit (Gen 3, Bluetooth)

One of the quickest ways to deck your apartment out with smart home technology is to replace your standard light bulbs with smart bulbs. 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 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.

Check out more of The Best Smart Bulbs

Pros

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

  • Rich color palette

  • Easy setup plus an intuitive app

Cons

  • Requires a hub to work remotely

Roku is almost entirely platform agnostic, putting your favorite services front-and-center, with few ads and minimal clutter.
Credit: TJ Donegan / Reviewed.com

Roku is almost entirely platform agnostic, putting your favorite services front-and-center, with few ads and minimal clutter.

Best Streaming Device
Roku Ultra 4800R

For movie nights and catching up on your favorite shows, you need the best streaming device for your apartment: the Roku Ultra. The streaming device offers built-in voice search for multiple tasks, and also works with smart assistants Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use voice control to search for shows and control your Roku on select streaming services.

Additionally, it supports 4K/HDR (including Dolby Vision), Dolby Atmos sound on select services, and popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and Prime Video.

The Ultra’s remote is one of the best out there because it is easy to use and comes with a headphone jack, allowing you to plug in headphones for wireless audio so you don’t bother your roommate. Factor that in with all of the value that the Roku Ultra offers and the Ultra is a no brainer to buy for your apartment.

Don’t want to spend that much? The Roku Streaming Stick+ is even smaller and easier to pack away, and comes with most of the same features as its powerful sibling.

Check out more of The Best Media Streaming Devices

Pros

  • Best-in-class remote

  • 4K/HDR and Dolby Vision

  • Fast, with wired internet

Cons

  • More expensive than streaming sticks

Nest Learning Thermostat
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The Nest Learning Thermostat is the best smart thermostat you can buy.

Smart Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Gen

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 Nest Learning Thermostat. It’s simple to install, easy to use, and can save you energy by adjusting the temperature when you aren't home, as determined by your phone's location and the Nest's built-in motion sensors.

The temperature can be adjusted with your voice using Alexa or Google Home or rotating the thermostat’s dial. Additionally, you can use the Nest app to adjust the temperature from virtually anywhere or set a traditional time-of-day schedule—far simpler than most non-smart thermostats. And if you’d rather let Google take the wheel, you can simply let the Nest learn your daily habits and the device will adjust the temperature automatically.

Check out more of The Best Smart Thermostats

Pros

  • Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Straightforward setup

Cons

  • Does not support Apple HomeKit

Amazon Echo fourth-generation smart speaker sits on a table.
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The indicator light turns blue when Alexa is listening.

Amazon Echo Smart Speaker
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

The 4th-gen Echo is a small but powerful smart speaker that’s the perfect size for apartments and small spaces. It looks nothing like previous generations of Echo speakers, taking on an even more modern and minimal aesthetic as a fabric-covered orb. Additionally, it features a new processor that speeds up Alexa's response time over its predecessors.

Whether you’re using it solo, as a stereo pair, or for multi-room music when connected with other Echo speakers, the sound on the 4th-gen Echo is respectable—especially for smaller spaces. It also has unique features like a built-in temperature sensor so you can open the Alexa app and see what the temperature is in the room where the Echo resides, and compatibility with Amazon Sidewalk so that it can potentially work even when your internet goes out.

It also doubles as a Zigbee for easy connection to other smart home devices like Hue Bulbs and Kwikset smart locks.

Check out more of The Best Amazon Echo Smart Speakers

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Zigbee hub

  • Clear, relatively full sound

Cons

  • Distorts at top volume

Related content

Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector is a reliable gadget to help protect your apartment from water damage.

Water Leak Detector
Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector

Water leaks are headaches for renters and landlords alike, which is why a device like a smart water leak detector is a wise idea. The Flo by Moen Smart Water Leak Detector can alert you of a leak right away. When a leak is detected, the sensor begins playing an alarm sound and flashes red, in addition to sending alerts to your device in a matter of seconds.

The leak detector isn't compatible with any smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. However, what it lacks in voice-control capabilities, it makes up for with a beautifully designed app full of useful data insights. It also keeps track of the temperature and humidity within your home, which can help with moisture control. The detector works over Wi-Fi for an easy setup, it doesn't need a hub, and it should last up to two years. Just leave it in a leak-prone spot and forget about it.

Check out more of The Best Smart Water Leak Detectors

Pros

  • Easy-to-use app

  • Instant alerts

  • Compact design

Cons

  • Companion app lacks two-factor authentication

  • No smart assistant integration

Govee WiFi RGB LED Strip Lights wrapped around a TV
Credit: Govee

Govee's smart light strip is the perfect blend of affordability and smarts.

Smart Strip Light
Govee Wi-Fi RGB LED Strip Lights

Smart strip lights are an easy way to brighten up your apartment and you don't have to spend a fortune doing it when you use Govee's Wi-Fi RGB LED Strip Lights. The lights offer the most value of any light strip we tested thanks to a slew of fun and useful lighting features and a quick and simple setup with their adhesive backing.

In the Govee app are options to adjust the brightness, create schedules, choose between warm and cool color tones from over 16 million colors, and pick from pre-made mood-lighting scenes. But our favorite feature of these (and other) strips is the ability to use your device’s microphone to sync to the beat with whatever sound is playing—be it from a speaker, TV, or your own voice.

If you’re looking to add an affordable splash of color to your apartment, Govee’s RGB LED Strip Lights offer fantastic value.

Check out more of The Best Smart Strip Lights

Pros

  • Awesome lighting features

  • Google Assistant and Alexa support

  • Bright and colorful

Cons

  • No support for Apple HomeKit

  • Flimsy build quality

The Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera hangs on a white wall.
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The integrated camera privacy cover is one of the most appealing features of Arlo's Essential Indoor Security Camera.

Smart Indoor Security Camera
Arlo Essential Wire-Free Camera

One helpful way to secure your apartment is with a smart indoor security camera like the Arlo Essential Wire-Free Camera. It's the best indoor security camera we’ve tested thanks to its lengthy list of smart features, reliability, and attractive design that features an integrated privacy shutter.

The shutter can be toggled on/off directly from the Arlo app and offers added peace of mind that your camera isn’t recording when the shutter is enabled. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and you can pull up the live view on a compatible smart display such as the Amazon Echo Show 10 and Google’s Nest Hub (second-gen).

The camera offers four modes (armed, disarmed, schedule, and geofencing), all of which performed well during our testing, alongside excellent security features. If there’s one downside to this camera, it’s that it’s fairly lightweight and can easily be knocked over if you don’t opt to mount it with the included hardware. But its small footprint and discreet design make this camera easy to incorporate into any home without the constant feeling that you’re being watched.

Check out more of The Best Smart Indoor Security Cameras

Pros

  • Integrated camera cover

  • Intelligent smart alerts

  • Two-factor authentication

Cons

  • Doesn't work with Apple HomeKit

The Wyze Smart Plug in an outlet.
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

From data privacy to user security and reliability, the Wyze Smart Plug has everything a great smart plug should.

Smart Plug
Wyze Smart Plug

The Wyze Plug is a compact, front-facing 15 amp smart plug that works with Google Assistant and Alexa. It doesn’t block the second outlet in any position, making it a wise choice for apartments and other small living spaces.

The setup process is a cinch, and it’s one of the only smart plugs we've tested that offers two-factor authentication, a security feature that alerts you when someone tries to gain access to your account, as well as a shared device user list to help you keep tabs on who has access to your plug.

With the Wyze Plug, you get helpful features like scheduling, timers, automations, and a special setting called Vacation Mode, which can turn your devices on and off at random times to give the appearance that someone is there. The app also logs the daily and weekly runtime for the plug to help give you a sense of your average usage.

Overall, the Wyze Plug is a well-priced, feature-filled smart plug that can give you remote control over your apartment’s lamps, dehumidifiers, TVs, and more.

Check out more of The Best Smart Plugs

Pros

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Shows total runtime for devices

  • Simple app

Cons

  • No energy monitoring

  • No support for Siri

The Wyze Outdoor Smart Plug is plugged into an outside socket.
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The Wyze Outdoor Smart Plug has a Wi-Fi range of up to 300 feet. It's a compact and lightweight, offers two independently-controlled, and can withstand heat, humidity, and rain.

Outdoor Smart Plug
Wyze Plug Outdoor

Got a balcony or other outdoor space? Jazz it up with a set of outdoor string lights and plug them into the Wyze Outdoor Smart Plug for remote access via the Wyze app or hands-free voice control using Alexa or Google Assistant. A smart outdoor plug works just like an indoor plug except it’s rated for outdoor use.

The plug offers two independently controlled outlets, which can be set to a schedule and incorporated into home automations. The app also offers helpful insights like daily, weekly, and monthly breakdowns of the plug’s energy usage.

On the front of the plug is a sensor that can detect ambient brightness which, when enabled, overrides manual controls so you can set your patio string lights to turn on when it’s dark and turn off when it’s bright outside instead of at specific times, which is a really intuitive and useful feature for an outdoor smart plug. Overall, the Wyze’s outdoor plug is the best option for your outdoor needs thanks to its mix of convenient features, usability, and value.

Check out more of The Best Outdoor Smart Plugs

Pros

  • Energy monitoring

  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Two independently-controlled outlets

Cons

  • Doesn't support Apple HomeKit

A SimpliSafe home hub sits on a wooden dining room table.
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

SimpliSafe's Wireless Home Security System is a no-fuss way to protect your home from anywhere.

DIY Home Security System
SimpliSafe 8-Piece Wireless Home Security System

SimpliSafe is the best DIY home security system you can buy for your apartment thanks to its blend of serious smarts and impressive performance. The security kits come in a variety of sizes depending on the number of bedrooms in your apartment.

The installation process is quick thanks to the simple peel-and-stick installation of entry sensors, motion detectors, and a keypad. It doesn’t require any tools, so you don’t have to worry about causing any damage to your rental. The system supports up to 100 sensors and SimpliSafe offers plenty of options to pick from including water leak detectors, temperature/freeze sensors, glass break sensors, and more.

The alarm system supports Alexa and Google Assistant. While it doesn’t fully support Apple HomeKit, you can control some aspects of the system on an Apple Watch like arming and disarming the system and receiving alerts.

A paid plan isn't required to use SimpliSafe, but it's the best way to get the most out of your alarm system. Self-monitoring is available at no cost. Overall, this is an apartment-friendly alarm system that offers the right amount of flexibility, security, and smarts.

Check out more of The Best DIY Home Security Systems

Pros

  • Alexa and Google support

  • Easy setup

  • Affordable plans

Cons

  • No smart alerts with self-monitoring

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.

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.

Privacy

There’s always a potential privacy risk involved when you use internet-connected devices at home. To help safeguard your smart home, there are some steps you can take. First, look for devices that offer two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your mobile device to verify it’s really you. That way, if someone tries to hack into your account, you will receive an alert and can quickly take care of the problem. Many devices also allow you to activate email or other push notifications in the settings to alert you if someone has logged on.

Additionally, make sure to use a unique, strong password composed of multiple characters, numbers, and letters for each of your smart home accounts. Data breaches feel like the norm as of late, making it all the more important to use different passwords across multiple websites and apps.

When using any devices with smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, you can further protect your privacy by regularly deleting your voice recordings and muting the speaker’s mic when it’s not in use. You’ll also want to be sure any video devices offer end-to-end data encryption, while additional privacy methods such as camera shutters can further keep your privacy secure.

Looking for more privacy tips? Read our guide to securing your smart home.

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Reviewed Staff

Reviewed Staff

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The Reviewed staff is based in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Backed by our knowledgeable writers and rigorous test labs, we're working hard to make sure you can make the right decisions about what to buy.

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