Best smart home gifts for 2021

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

The holidays are rolling around soon — as well as some of the biggest sales of the year — which means its prime gift-buying time. These smart home devices will provide a fun surprise for your tech-savvy family members and friends, whether they’re loyal to Apple, Google or Amazon.

You can find clever gadgets at a wide range of prices, including smart home security devices to keep your house secure, and smart speakers and displays to keep the holiday music streaming. Here are all of our favorites for this year.

Chris Monroe/HDOT

The newest Nest Hub, out this year, is a super smart device that brings convenience to nearly every dimension of the Google Assistant-powered smart home. Whether you’re streaming music, checking who’s ringing your video doorbell or playing YouTube videos, the Nest Hub’s got you covered. What’s more, it’s half off right now at a bunch of retailers.

Read our review.

Chris Monroe/HDOT

If your friend or family member prefers Alexa to Google Assistant, the Echo Show 5 — which got an update earlier this year — is a fantastic first smart display. It brings all the smarts of Amazon’s voice assistant, along with the ability to video chat, watch cooking videos and catch some cool kids programming with Amazon Kids Plus (especially if you get the kids edition). It’s also seeing some hefty discounts this holiday season, so check out those deals.

Read our review.

Apple

Apple hasn’t launched a smart display to compete with the Nest Hub or Echo Show devices, but it does have a great looking and sounding smart speaker for the Siri lover in your life. While the Homepod doesn’t have a screen, it does boast some solid sound design, and it works really well with other Apple devices, like iPhones, Apple TVs and Homekit-compatible smart home gadgets. What’s more, it comes in a handful of new colors.

Read our review.

Hobie Crase/HDOT

The Ring Alarm Pro is a DIY home security system, but you’ll get the most out of it if you’re looking to upgrade your whole home’s smarts. It comes with a built-in Eero router, so adding an extender can turn your network into a Wi-Fi 6 mesh system. Plus, it brings cellular-supported backup Wi-Fi, so if you lose power or network connection, your internet stays intact. Finally, you get local video processing and storage — and cool integrations with Alexa, if you have an Amazon Echo device.

In short, it will turn a regular old home into a surprisingly robust smart home in no time flat.

Read our review.

Juan Garzon/HDOT

If you’ve got a┬ábad Wi-Fi connection — or a house with serious dead zones — a mesh system could help. Google’s Nest Wi-Fi mesh system not only brings great performance, but also a bunch of cool perks, like built-in Google Assistant for the satellite devices and a surprisingly affordable price.

Read about our favorite mesh routers.

Amazon

This is kind of an odd pick, but Amazon’s smart soap dispenser plays tunes for twenty seconds after you use it to encourage you to wash for as long as the CDC recommends. It works with Alexa, it delivers concise drops of soap, it feels sturdy and it can survive two months on a single charge. Plus, it’s on sale right now.

Read our review.

Chris Monroe/HDOT

Google’s latest thermostat is affordable, clever and surprisingly straightforward to use. It works with Google Assistant and Alexa, and it will help you keep the house at your desired temperature all through the colder months — and save you money along the way. Right now, it’s also on a solid sale.

Read our review.

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