The Amazon Echo not only kick-started the smart speaker revolution, but it spawned a whole boom in the smart home market, with dozens of companies adopting Amazon’s ecosystem of smart home devices.
But with such a plethora of Alexa-compatible devices, it can be hard to figure out which ones to buy. That, however, is why we’ve put together this guide — to help you figure out which Amazon Alexa-enabled devices are the right ones to go for.
Example command: “Alexa, set the thermostat to 70 degrees.”
Why it’s great: The Ecobee4 isn’t just a thermostat that works great with Alexa. It’s a thermostat that is Alexa. That’s right, if you’re plugged in to Amazon’s ecosystem, the Ecobee4 is probably the best thermostat to get — as it features Alexa built right into it.
Alexa isn’t the only feature that makes the Ecobee4 a great option. It’s also very smart — meaning that it’ll learn your heating and cooling routines and automatically adjust the thermostat to be comfortable. One of the best things about the Ecobee4 thermostat is that it’s compatible with external sensors, which can measure the temperature in different rooms. That’s information that the thermostat can use during the day to properly heat and cool individual rooms. It’s also pretty easy to install, meaning you won’t need to worry about hiring a professional to install it if you have a screwdriver and don’t mind doing a bit of DIY.
Shop Now: Amazon $225
Belkin WeMo Mini
Example commands: “Alexa, turn off the fan.”
Why it’s great: The great thing about smart plugs is that they can help make all the dumb appliances in your home a whole lot smarter. In other words, you don’t necessarily have to buy a new Alexa-connected fan — simply buy a smart plug and connect to it your fan and you’ll be able to control it from your phone or through Alexa.
The thing we like about the Belkin WeMo Mini is that it’s compact enough to allow for switches to be plugged in vertically, something that most don’t do. This plug doesn’t track usage, like some of the more expensive smart plugs out there, but we still think it’s well worth it.
Shop Now: Amazon $30
Philips Hue Starter Kit
Example commands: “Alexa, turn on the living room lights.”
Why it’s great: Lighting is a big part of any home, and as such it was one of the first things to get the smart treatment when the concept of the smart home first began. There are a ton of smart light bulb manufacturers out there, but we think the Philips Hue range of bulbs is probably the best way to go.
Using Philips Hue bulbs, you’ll be able to ask Alexa to turn on and off lights in specific rooms, or simply turn all the lights on in the house. Philips Hue also has a pretty nice app that recently got updated, so if you don’t want to have to use your voice all the time you can also turn to the app.
Shop Now: Amazon $100
Blink indoor security camera
Example commands: “Alexa, arm my security camera.”
Why it’s great: Google’s Nest is pretty known for its excellent integration with Google Assistant, but Amazon has high-quality security cameras of its own. The cameras are built by Amazon-owned Blink, and they’re actually pretty high-quality. You can buy the cameras individually or in packs of multiple cameras, and they’ll connect both to Alexa and to the app, which is generally pretty well-designed and easy to use.
The camera itself is capable of recording video at 720p, which is a little low, but it’s also wireless — so you can set it on a shelf and forget about ugly wires all over the place. Sure, you will have to replace the battery every now and then, but we think it’s worth it.
Shop Now: Amazon $100+
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Example commands: “Alexa, play The Office on Netflix.”
Why it’s great: The Amazon Fire TV Stick is Amazon’s answer to the Google Chromecast, and it has a lot going for it. It’s small and compact, plus it runs a full version of Amazon’s Fire TV operating system. In other words, you can install apps like Netflix and Hulu on it and watch all your favorite content.
One of the best things about using the device is how good it is at voice control. You can control it using your Amazon Echo, or with the included remote — which is a very nice touch. In general, if you’re plugged in to the Amazon ecosystem and don’t want to pay for one of the larger and more powerful Amazon streaming devices, then this is the way to go.
Shop Now: Amazon $39.99
Eight Sleep Jupiter+
Example commands: “Alexa, tell Eight my bed is cold.”
Why it’s great: Eight Sleep is known as the “smart bedding company,” and it makes sense. The company ships its mattresses with a smart cover that tracks your sleep and acts as a mattress warmer.
With Alexa, you can do a range of things. You can ask Alexa about your sleep score, tell it to start heating the mattress before you get in bed, and so on. Eight is great for couples too — it can track two sides of the bed independently and even heat only one side of the bed, if you so choose.
Shop Now: Eight Sleep $999+