CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Ecobee3 Lite: Find the Right Affordable Smart Thermostat

Does Amazon or Ecobee work best for your home?

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
2 min read
$80 at Amazon
Amazon Smart Thermostat showing 68 degrees
Amazon Smart Thermostat
$130 at Amazon
Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat displaying 72 degrees
Ecobee3 Lite


  • A responsive touchscreen and integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and IFTTT give the lower-priced $169 Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat serious appeal.

Don't like

  • "Smart" is a bit of a stretch for the Ecobee3 Lite, since it doesn't rely on activity-tracking sensors or any other sort of adaptive tech to learn your routine
  • $169 is still a lot to spend, especially on a programmable thermostat.

The Amazon Smart Thermostat is our favorite overall smart thermostat. It's affordable, easy to install and simple to use in the Alexa app -- or with Alexa voice commands. That said, the Ecobee3 Lite also has a lot to offer. It works with Google Assistant and Siri as well as Alexa, and is compatible with a remote temperature sensor that's sold separately. 

Does the pared-down Amazon Smart Thermostat or the more feature-rich (and more expensive) Ecobee3 Lite make the most sense for you? Let's investigate. 

Read more: Want to Save Money on Electric Bills? Don't Use Your Appliances at This Time of Day


The Amazon Smart Thermostat offers one of the best values of any entry-level model we've tested. For that reason, it tops our list of best thermostats and best affordable thermostats. At just $60 -- $75 if you need a C-wire adapter -- Amazon's first-ever smart thermostat nails the basics.

It works via the Alexa app, allowing for seamless integration with Alexa voice commands (if you have a compatible smart speaker or display). It doesn't work with Google Assistant or HomeKit and this model doesn't offer or support a remote temperature/occupancy sensor like some Nest and Ecobee thermostats. 

Read the full Amazon Smart Thermostat review.


At $145 for a new Ecobee3 Lite and $120 for a certified refurbished model, this entry-level Ecobee is a bit more of an investment than the Amazon Smart Thermostat. Still, in addition to working with Alexa, the Ecobee3 Lite also supports Google Assistant and Siri voice commands as long as you have a compatible smart speaker or display

It also works with the Ecobee SmartSensor, a remote temperature and occupancy sensor you can buy separately for $100 (for a pack of two sensors). Place a sensor in a room where you want to track the temperature more closely. You can even set that room as the "default" temperature rather than using the temperature sensor built into the thermostat. 

Read our Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat review.

Amazon Smart Thermostat or Ecobee3 Lite?

Both the Amazon Smart Thermostat and the Ecobee3 Lite are good options if you're searching for a reliable, entry-level smart thermostat. If you want a simple model that works with an app and Alexa, the Amazon model is worth considering. If you're hoping for something that's still relatively affordable, but offers a bit more in terms of features, the Ecobee3 Lite might be a better choice. 

If you're still undecided, our list of the best affordable thermostats has more details on both thermostats, as well as our other favorite entry-level models.

Watch this: Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills and Save Money

Here Are 23 Ways to Save On Your Electric Bills Right Now

See all photos