The 14 best smart home gifts to give for the holidays
Shop smart this holiday season with our favorite smart home gifts.
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There are a lot of gifts you can give for the holidays, and smart home gadgets are among the most useful and practical. They can be controlled using smart assistants or from a smartphone or tablet, making tasks like turning the lights off or locking the front door much easier.
With oodles of Alexa-, Google-, and Siri-enabled smart home products on the market, it can be tough to know which ones are worth the money—and which ones are worth skipping. We’ve rounded up our favorite smart home gadgets we’ve ever tested and compiled them into one guide to help you find the perfect present.
1. For the person who doesn’t like chores: Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C
The Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C is the best smart robot vacuum you can get for the money, and it makes a great gift. Its suction is on par with a light cleaning from a regular vacuum and works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
2. For the person who loves colors: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit (generation 3)
The bulbs in the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit are the best smart light bulbs you can buy. What makes these such a great gift? Smart home can seem intimidating to some, but these bulbs are easy to set up, come with a robust suite of features, and integrate with an intuitive app—all while playing nice with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Once you throw in the additional rainbow of possible light colors (up to 16 million), these are without a doubt the best smart bulbs you can buy anyone on your list.
3. For the person who needs a hand with their out holiday light display: Meross MSS620 Smart Outdoor Plug
An outdoor smart plug isn’t what you might expect to find wrapped under the Christmas tree, but it’s certainly a useful one. From managing holiday light displays to controlling backyard market lights, the Meross outdoor smart plug can handle it all. It’s our favorite outdoor smart plug because it’s durable enough to stand up to the outdoor elements, easy to use, and it has two separate plugs that can be controlled independently.
It’s simple to create routines in the Meross app that will either power the plug on or off according to a schedule or turn your plug off after a specified amount of time.
4. For the person who enjoys good ambiance: Lutron Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit
The best in-wall smart dimmer we’ve ever tested is Lutron Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit. One of the coolest features is that the lights automatically adjust as the seasons change, meaning they won't come home to a dark house after work. And, unlike every other smart dimmer we tested, Lutron also offers the only dimmer that doesn't require a neutral power line, something that isn't common in the electrical wiring of older homes. This switch is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
5. For the person who is always asking questions: Amazon Echo (third generation)
Alexa can answer just about any question—and she can help a busy friend or relative keep track of their schedule, check the weather, get commute times, read headlines, play music, and more. The most recent model of Echo, which happens to be our favorite Echo speaker yet, uses far-field voice recognition so Alexa can hear someone even if they are in a nearby room. It may not have a screen like the Echo Show, but there’s still a ridiculous amount of stuff Alexa can do without a camera or display.
6. For the person who is concerned about leaky pipes: Honeywell Lyric WiFi Water Leak and Freeze Detector
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like expensive pipe repairs. Help a friend or family member avoid leaky and frozen pipes this winter with the best smart leak detector we’ve tested, the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Water Leak and Freeze Detector. 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 ft. The detector works over WiFi for easy setup, doesn't need a hub, and should last up to three years on AA batteries.
7. For the person who wants to know what’s going on outside: Google Nest Cam Outdoor
Know someone who is always traveling for work and wants to check in on the house while they’re away? The Google Nest Cam Outdoor is the best outdoor smart security camera you can buy them. When coupled with a Nest Aware subscription, the camera can differentiate between people and pets, create clips that you can share, and it even has a video history feature that records to the cloud 24/7. With a fast enough connection, you can scrub through the remote footage like it’s on a local DVR. It’s absolutely magical.
8. For the person who wants to drop in on Fido during the day: Logitech Circle 2
Saying “hi” to their dog during the day isn’t the only perk of using our favorite indoor smart security camera. Much like an outdoor security camera, a smart indoor security camera lets them check in at home to make sure everything is as it should be. We love the Logitech Circle 2 for its easy setup, wire-free convenience, free 24-hour cloud storage, and well-designed app with its clever Daily Brief feature that creates a montage of the day’s events. They will appreciate the high-quality night vision video and the fact that it works with Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
9. For the person who forgets to turn the lights off: Leviton Decora Smart WiFi Switch
Nothing’s worse than settling in for the night and realizing the kitchen lights are still on. With our favorite smart in-wall switch, they can ask Alexa or Google Assistant to turn the lights off or take care of it using the My Leviton app. And since it works over WiFi, it doesn't require any extra hubs or hardware to get started, so they can set it up immediately after opening.
10. For the person who forgets to turn off the TV: Eufy Smart Plug
Do you know someone who is always forgetting to turn off their curling iron, TV, bedside lamp, or other at-home electronics when they leave the house? With our favorite smart plug, Eufy’s Smart Plug, they can shut off whatever is plugged in from anywhere using the EufyHome app. This plug also offers energy monitoring, scheduling routines, and seamless integration with Alexa and Google Assistant. For under $25, this makes a great gift for your holiday office gift exchange.
11. For the person who is too cold to get out of bed in the morning: Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference, like being able to turn on the heat before getting out of bed in the morning. With our favorite smart thermostat, they can use Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri to adjust the temperature—or do it right from their phone using the Sensi Smart Thermostat app. It might not be the most fun gift they’ll find under the tree, but it’s only a matter of time before they will be thanking you for this awesome gadget.
12. For the person who is remodeling their home: Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Keeping your loved ones safe is always a top priority, which is why you should give them the best smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector on the market: the Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. It sends them push notifications when it senses smoke or carbon monoxide and offers voice alerts, which are helpful in the event of an emergency because the detector can tell you things like, “There’s smoke detected in the hallway,” and give other specific alerts. There’s also a night light option, low-battery alerts, and a monthly self-test feature to ensure everything is working properly.
13. For the person who always forgets their keys: Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
At some point, we all forget our keys, but with the very best smart lock, they will never get locked out of the house. This lock can store and remember up to 100 permanent, temporary, or recurring passcodes for everyone to use. They’ll love this gift not only because it’s easy to set up, but it works with Alexa and Google Assistant. And, unlike most other smart locks, the Schlage Encode has WiFi built into the lock itself. That means that, even without a hub, Encode can connect to the internet, voice assistants, and their phone when they are away from home.
14. For the person who dislikes watering the grass: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
Some people like watering the lawn, while others see it as a chore. The second-generation Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is currently our favorite smart sprinkler controller because it offers a ton of easy to use options and isn't intimidating to install. They can set a water schedule and leave it at that. Or, with what really makes this sprinkler controller shine, the Weather Intelligence feature enables the sprinkler system to automatically skip a session if rain or excessive wind is underway. There's also Smart Cycle, which splits watering times into shorter, more frequent cycles to prevent runoff.
And they will love that the system easily integrates with popular smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.