- Sleep Aids
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Smart home devices automate your home living environment, making it more energy-efficient, more comfortable, and more interconnected.
Not only can you program your devices to turn on and off with your voice, but you can automate them to adapt to your lifestyle. Get energized for the day, by synchronizing your lights to brighten minutes before your alarm goes off. Or schedule your indoor security camera to turn on when your child goes to bed, as your smart hub starts playing their favorite white noise playlist and their bedroom lights begin to dim. With a smart home, you can even double-check your front door is locked from the comfort of your own bed, simply by asking your voice assistant.
As you can see, smart home automation isn’t just cool and futuristic; it’s incredibly convenient and useful. At Tuck, we love smart home devices because they help you sleep better, from strengthening your natural sleep-wake cycles to providing peace of mind and worry-free sleep.
But with countless smart home brands out there, it can feel overwhelming to choose. How do you know if you’re buying the absolute best smart home device for your particular needs?
That’s why we’ve made it easy for you. We’ve reviewed over a hundred products from the top brands, and we’ve narrowed it down to our top two picks for each category. Read on to discover everything you need to know to outfit your home with the best smart home devices around.
You can think ofsmart hubs as command central for your entire smart home system. Your various devices connect to your smart hub, and the smart hub connects to your wifi. Then, you can manage all of your devices from a singlesmartphone app—or, by using your favorite voice assistant.
This centralized control is one of the largest benefits a smart hub provides. Smart hubs save you the headache of managing multiple smart home devices through their own proprietary apps. Without a hub, you’ll need to use your smart lights app to dim your smart lights, or your smart thermostat app to change the temperature. Smart homes are supposed to be easy, and a smart hub makes them that way.
Smart hubs also give you more freedom when it comes to designing your smart home system. As long as they are compatible with the hub, you can manage devices with different wireless protocols. That means you can have Bluetooth-enabled smart lights and WiFi-enabled smart locks, and you’ll be able to control them both wirelessly, simply through their connection to the smart hub.
Many smart home devices allow you to create routines, such as dimming the lights at a certain hour, or warming the temperature in the morning. Smart hubs allow you to create routinesacross your smart home devices. For example, you can tell your smart hub your ideal bedtime hour, and 30 minutes before that, it will start dimming the lights, cooling your bedroom temperature, and playing your music relaxation playlist
When choosing your smart hub, the most important thing to remember is compatibility. You want a smart hub that’s compatible with all the smart home devices you currently own, as well as any you plan to purchase in the future. Beyond that, make sure it fits your budget, and works with your voice assistant of choice.
Depending on compatibility and included features, smart hubs cost between $50 to $250. We reviewed dozens of smart hubs to find our top picks, which you can read all abouthere. Check out our Editor’s Choice and runner up below.
The Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub wins for the ultimate in compatibility. It supports all the wireless protocols you could possibly need, including less common ones like IP and Z-Wave. It also supports an impressive range of smart home brands, including Philips, Yale, Kwikset, Skybell, Ring, Honeywell, Ecobee, and more. What’s more, it works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so you can choose whichever voice assistant you prefer.
Once you configure your Samsung SmartThings hub, you can synch all of your smart devices using the intuitive SmartThings app, available on both iOS and Android. Then, it’s time to set up your routines. Our favorites are the “Good Morning!” and “Good Night!” routines, which come included with the hub. The morning routine raises your bedroom temperature and brightens your smart lights, creating a environmental alarm clock that wakes you up feeling energized. The evening routine does the reverse: dimming the lights, cooling your bedroom temperature, and double-checking your smart locks. Both routines can be customized to your personal preferences.
The Samsung SmartThings hub uses AC power to operate, with a reliable 10-hour battery backup to keep your home running smart even during a power outage. It also boasts a wireless range of up to 130 feet, which is more than enough for most homes.
Did we mention this hub is under $100? That’s a lot of functionality and flexibility for a competitive price.
The Wink Hub 2 is on par with the Samsung SmartThings hub when it comes to compatibility. This smart hub works with a wide range of wireless protocols and over 400 devices from the top smart home brands. The Wink Hub 2 even connects with Apple Watch and Android Wear.
Where the Wink Hub 2 falls short is customization and flexibility. It’s a bit trickier to customize settings for smart home devices with the Wink Hub 2. However, this potential downside for smart home pros makes it a perfect fit for beginners.
The Wink Hub 2 was designed to make setting up your smart home as easy as possible, and it delivers. The Wink App auto-discovers your smart home devices and walks you through setting them up, step by step. Moving forward, it’s easy to manage any of them from the app’s dashboard, which helpfully separates devices into categories like Lights or Thermostat.
You can create schedules for your smart home devices in the Wink App, although there are no sleep or morning routines built-in. The Wink Hub 2 is also lacking a battery backup. And with a range of only 50 feet, this smart hub is a better fit for smaller homes.
Still, this is a featured-packed smart hub that makes it easy to build out your smart home for a great price.
The value of a smart lock for restful sleep is fairly obvious. It’s simply easier to sleep at night when you know your home is secure.
Smart locks provide much more than peace of mind, though. They help you keep an eye on the comings and goings of your house, and remotely open or lock your front door for approved visitors. You can manage all of this in the smart lock’s connected app. If anything suspicious happens with your front door, you’ll be notified immediately via push notification.
Smart locks connect to your phone using WiFi or Bluetooth technology, and, based on your location, can open the door for you as you approach and lock it behind you on your way out. As long as you have your smartphone on you, you’ll never have to worry about losing your keys.
You can also assign temporary or permanent access privileges to others by providing them with their own digital key, which allows your lock to recognize their phone. Some smart locks include a digital fingerprint-resistant touchpad, so you can assign key codes as well.
You can synch your smart lock with your voice assistant, too, so whenever you’re ready to go to bed, you can just ask Alexa to double-check the front door is locked, shaving a minute off your bedtime routine.
Best of all, smart locks are easy to install in just 15 minutes or so, as most locks are designed to replace your existing deadbolt.
Thanks to their advanced functionality and smart features, smart locks are considerably more expensive than a traditional lock, at $100 to $250 each. We reviewed dozens of smart locks to find our top picks, which you can read all about here. Check out our Editor’s Choice and runner up below.
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect is available in a slick silver or black design that looks inconspicuous yet stylish on any door. In addition to its good looks, the August Smart Lock Pro + Connect earned our editor’s pick for its extensive compatibility and app functionality.
This smart lock is compatible with all the top voice assistants from Google, Amazon, and Apple, so you don’t have to learn a new voice assistant just to use your lock. It also supports wireless, Bluetooth, and Z-wave protocols, so you can choose whichever one fits in best with your existing smart home system. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to install, and since it fits over your existing lock, you can continue using your keys.
The August App may be the lock’s standout feature, however. The main dashboard tells you at a glance the most important thing you need to know—whether your home is currently locked or unlocked. Then, you can click through to other tabs to view detailed reports on who came, who went, and when.
August’s DoorSense Technology uses your phone’s location to automatically unlock the door as you approach, and close it from behind you, saving you the hassle of getting out your keys when you’re back from grocery shopping. Or, you could simply tell it to unlock using your voice.
The August Smart Lock Pro + Connect does come with a small wireless hub, which you’ll need to plug in somewhere in your home for the lock to work.
The Kwikset Kevo is one of the most popular smart locks, likely due to its minimal design and streamlined technology. Of all the smart locks we’ve seen, it looks the most like a traditional lock—except for the futuristic glowing blue ring around the keyhole. It’s available in gold, silver, and Venetian bronze finishes, so you’re sure to find one that looks fantastic on your door.
The Kwikset Kevo only supports Bluetooth, which does mean you won’t be able to open and lock your door remotely out of-of-the-box. You’ll need to purchase a separate Kevo Plus WiFi hub for that. The Kevo Plus WiFi hub also unlocks Alexa voice commands.
However, this lock’s default functionality is more than enough for most homeowners. It uses Bluetooth to recognize iOS, Samsung, and Android phones and smart watches. Then, it unlocks the moment you touch the door, and locks once your compatible device is inside your home.
You can set up user permissions (Anytime, Guest, and Scheduled) and view activity logs in the Kevo app, keeping you informed on the entry and exit data of your front door. The Kwikset Kevo smart lock is also notable for its compatibility with other smart home systems, such as Nest and Honeywell smart thermostats.
Smart thermostats offer two major benefits in one small, unassuming device. They help support your natural sleep-wake cycles, while lowering your monthly energy bills.
Temperature actually plays a significant role in our sleep-wake cycles. Throughout the day, our core body temperature slightly fluctuates, lowering in the evening as our body begins relaxing towards sleep, and rising in the early morning to energize us for the day.
With a smart thermostat in your home, you can help reinforce those natural circadian rhythms. Set your ideal temperatures for various points during the day, such as a cooler temperature in the evening, a slightly warmer one in the morning, and somewhere in the middle during the day. Then, you can tell your thermostat when you go to bed and when you wake up. Here’s where the thermostat gets smart: it automatically begins cooling or heating in accordance with those times.
Besides following your pre-set schedules, smart thermostats learn and adapt to your behaviors. Thanks to motion sensors and geofence technology, they’ll recognize when you’re not at home. Then, it may adjust the temperature to conserve energy, before raising or cooling it so that it feels just right when you arrive home from work.
All this adds up to a home that’s simply more comfortable to live in—and cheaper, too. Smart thermostats range from $125 to $150. While that’s pricier than a standard thermostat, consider this: Energy Star estimates smart thermostats save homeowners an average $180 per year in energy costs. That means your thermostat could pay for itself in less than a year!
We reviewed dozens of smart thermostats to find our top picks, which you can read all about here. Check out our Editor’s Choice and runner up below.
It’s common for smart thermostats to support voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, allowing you to issue voice commands instead of manually adjusting the thermostat. The Ecobee4 smart thermostat stands out because it comes with Amazon Alexa built-in.
That means this thermostat is essentially a two-in-one device: an Amazon Echo and a smart thermostat. Beyond using your voice to adjust your home’s temperature for bed, you can also use it to play a sleep playlist, listen to white noise, or set your morning alarm.
The Ecobee4 app also works with a variety of smart hubs and smartphones, including Amazon, Android, Apple Watch, and Samsung SmartThings. Yet another selling point is its three-year warranty, which is on the higher end for smart thermostats.
The Ecobee4 comes with one white room sensor, which you’ll need to plug in for the thermostat to work. To extend the thermostat’s coverage area to multiple rooms or floors, you can purchase additional sensors. This can be beneficial for homes with people who tend to sleep hotter or cooler than other individuals in the house.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is so-called because it learns your behaviors. Instead of pre-programming a heating/cooling schedule, you can answer a few questions during setup and let the smart thermostat figure it out from there with Nest’s Auto-Scheduling feature.
Built-in humidity and motion sensors help the Nest work smarter. Based on your home’s indoor air quality, it makes continual adjustments to achieve the ideal temperature. The display doubles as a digital or analog clock, and turns on whenever it senses movement nearby.
The Nest Learning Thermostat performs best when it’s part of a Nest smart home system. In the morning, it can coordinate with your Nest smart lights to brighten the indoor lighting as the thermostat warms your home’s temperature, helping you wake up for the day. If your Nest Protect Smoke Alarm goes off, the thermostat will verbally alert you to the danger using its built-in speaker.
Nest popularized the smart thermostat trend, and it still remains one of the best-selling smart thermostats today. The Nest Learning Thermostat is available in a variety of finishes to suit anyone’s home decor.
The main benefit of smart lights is the ability to truly fine-tune your indoor lighting to fit your lifestyle, including the brightness, tone, and color of your bulbs—through a feature called “scene programming.” For TV watching in the living room, a scene might include dimming two lights to different brightness levels, adjusting the color of one, and turning the rest off altogether. You can program these scenes in and turn them on with a single voice command, since smart lights are also smart for the ability to work with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa.
You can also set scenes to operate according to a schedule. For example, for your bedroom lights in the morning, you might schedule them to slowly brighten in preparation for your alarm clock to go off, just like the gradual rising of the sun. By the time your alarm sounds, your body’s already primed to wake up, simply thanks to the brightness in the room.
At night, your lights can do the reverse. Instead of going straight from light to darkness at bedtime, your smart lights can actually help you feel more tired at night. You can program them to begin dimming in the hour before bed, or to start introducing more red tones in the evening, to mimic the setting of the sun and reinforce your natural circadian rhythms.
In addition to all these cool lighting effects, smart light bulbs are also energy-efficient. These LED bulbs are designed to last long, while consuming less energy.
Due to all their bells and whistles, smart lights cost more than a standard light bulb, at around $20 to $60 each. However, many homeowners find they’re well worth it when they experience the effect smart lights have on the quality of their sleep and their daytime energy levels.
We reviewed dozens of smart lights to find our top picks, which you can read all about here. Check out our Editor’s Choice and runner up below.
The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance is the perfect starter kit for anyone ready to outfit their home with a smart lighting system. These 800-lumen light bulbs are full color, allowing you to pinpoint the exact shade of light or color you want for your scenes, out of a selection of 16 million.
Open the Philips Hue app on your phone, and you can use the slider to adjust the light to suit your preferences. The app includes 30 pre-set lighting scenes inspired by nature and sunsets, as well as the option to transform the color temperature of a photo on your smartphone into a lightscape. If you’re not into customization, that’s okay, too, as the Philips Hue app includes pre-built scenes for waking up and relaxing. Try using these as your morning and evening routines.
All Philips smart lights require a Philips Hue hub to work. To enable voice commands and allow your Philips lights to work in tandem with the rest of your smart home devices, you’ll just need to connect the Hue hub to your smart home hub.
LIFX is another big name in the smart light industry. Based on their popular LIFX Mini White bulbs, LIFX designed the Mini Day & Dusk White bulbs, engineered specifically to mimic natural sunlight from dawn to set. The “Mini” refers to the bulb’s compact design, making it an easier fit for a wider range of light fixtures.
As white-only bulbs, you do miss out on the ability to create the custom mood lighting scenes available with the Philips Hue bulbs. However, LIFX more than makes up for it in their attention to energy- and sleep-promoting lightscapes.
In the LIFX app (available on Android, iOS, and the less-common Windows 10), you can plug in your daily routines, such as when you go to bed, when you wake up, and when you get home from work. Then, the LIFX app will automatically adjust the lights in your home to suit those activities. That includes introducing bluer whites in the morning and more amber tones in the evening. In between, the LIFX bulbs brighten throughout the morning to subtly boost your energy levels.
Best of all, the LIFX Mini Day & Dusk light bulbs don’t require a hub to work. They connect directly to your home internet connection.
Modern security cameras do much more than passively record footage. They connect to your home WiFi, providing you with a constant live stream that you can watch remotely from an app on your smartphone or a web browser on your computer.
Many cameras also include two-way audio, not only recording sound but allowing you to speak through the microphone on your smartphone and have it emit through the speaker on the camera. Today’s security cameras also include night vision, some level of free cloud storage, and the ability to recognize faces and alert you of specific people arriving, such as a dog sitter or home caregiver.
Generally, home security cameras serve a dual purpose. Their mere presence tends to deter burglars, and if someone were brazen enough to still burglarize your home, you’d have the whole thing on tape.
However, many people purchase security cameras to help monitor the safety of loved ones within their home, as well. Although many eventually grow out of it, sleepwalking is a relatively common sleep disorder affecting children up to age 12. Until they do grow out of it, a security camera can ease the minds of anxious parents, monitoring their child’s movements and waking the parent up with an alert on their smartphone if the camera senses any abnormal movement.
Likewise, adults caring for an aging parent with dementia may have concerns about wandering, a common symptom among seniors with Alzheimer’s. These individuals may wander off, and in the meantime become lost, disoriented, and confused. In addition to using a smart lock, caregivers can install a security camera in their bedroom to alert them if the individual wakes up at night and needs assistance getting back to bed and calming down.
When purchasing a security camera, it’s important to get the right camera for your needs. Outdoor cameras are designed to be weatherproof, while indoor cameras are not. Do not purchase an indoor camera if you plan to place it outside.
Depending on included features, security cameras can cost anywhere from $20 to $500. We reviewed dozens of security cameras to find our top picks, which you can read all about here. Check out our Editor’s Choice and runner up below.
The Arlo Pro 2 earned our Editor’s Choice because it’s the most flexible, yet functional, camera around. This weatherproof camera can be used indoor or outdoors, and since it’s powered by a rechargeable battery, solar panel, or a power cord, you have your choice of placement options.
Plus, this smart security camera integrates with smart home systems from Amazon, Samsung, and Google. You can create trigger actions to turn on your smart lights if the camera senses unusual movement outside, or command it using your voice to display the livestream on your smart TV. You can also remotely activate the 100-decibel alarm and trigger your smart lights to flash along with it.
In the Arlo app, you can set up notifications for unusual sounds and movement, and define specific activity areas for heightened alerts (such as the bed in a bedroom of a sleepwalking child or someone with a sleep-related movement disorder). If your child or loved one is restless, you can soothe them from the comfort of your bed using your phone’s microphone and the camera’s two-way audio. The night vision automatically kicks in whenever the lighting conditions are dim.
Cloud recordings are stored privately in the cloud for up to 7 days, with the option to upgrade to an Arlo Smart subscription to unlock additional storage options, more customized alerts, and the ability to call 911 from your phone lock screen.
Home security cameras tend to be expensive, usually around $100. The Wyze Cam is unique because it still boasts a decent amount of functionality, but for a very affordable price of $25.
The Wyze Cam is an indoor-only wired camera, but the 6-foot power cable makes it easy to place safely in the bedroom of any loved ones you wish to monitor. It also comes with a magnetic base and adhesive metal base, so you don’t have to screw the camera in anywhere.
In the Wyze app, you can set up users, talk back through the two-way audio, and share video recordings. You can also zoom in up to 8 times closer on the live footage.
The Wyze Cam is only compatible with a single voice assistant, Amazon Alexa, and the warranty is only valid for 1 year. However, cloud recordings are stored for free for a lengthy 14 days. And the night vision illuminates up to 30 feet, which is longer than most security cameras offer.
All in all, this is a quality security camera that can help parents and caregivers keep an eye on their sleeping loved ones.
As your smart devices learn and adapt to your behaviors, life at home feels more comfortable and convenient. Lights turn on as you walk by, the door automatically unlocks as you approach, and the temperature automatically cools as you wind down in the evening.
While smart home devices do much to make your waking hours run more smoothly, they also help promote restful sleep. And the more well-rested you are, the better you’ll feel during your waking hours. It’s a virtuous cycle.
But how, exactly, do these devices help you sleep better? We review the top five sleep benefits smart home devices provide below.
As diurnal creatures, our internal body clock roughly follows the patterns of the sun. We’re awake during the day and asleep at night. That’s why our sleep-wake cycles are known as “circadian” rhythms, translated from “around day” in Latin. It sounds simple, but a whole host of biological functions are operating behind the scenes in accordance with that schedule.
For example, our core body temperature naturally fluctuates during the day. It begins to fall at night, before reaching its lowest point in the very early morning hours. Then, it rises again, waking us up and physically energizing our bodies to face whatever’s before us. This is why a cool temperature is best for sleep, and we toss and turn when it’s too hot at night.
A smart thermostat can facilitate these natural shifts in temperature. Program in your sleep and wake times, and it can cool your home down in the evening, encouraging your body to cool down as well. In the morning, it can warm your bedroom, preparing your body to wake up before your alarm ever goes off.
Light also plays a significant role in our sleep-wake cycle. When it’s light out, our brains assume we should be awake. When it’s dark, our brains assume it’s time for bed. As the amount of sunlight decreases in the evening, our brain begins producing melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep.
However, in our modern world full of artificial light, our brain becomes confused as to when it’s really nighttime, causing delayed melatonin production. Smart lights can counteract this confusion and keep our brains on a regular schedule. In the evening, schedule your smart lights to dim and introduce hues from the redder side of the light spectrum. While you’ll still be able to see, read, or cook, the reduction in bright blue wavelengths tells your brain it’s time to start getting tired.
Many of us wake up in a dark room to the sound of a blaring alarm. No wonder we want to hit the snooze button.
But if your thermostat is already warming up your bedroom, while your smart lights slowly brighten, your body will be more prepared to wake up. As a result, you’ll wake up feeling more energized.
Many smart home devices help boost your daytime energy levels throughout the day, too. For example, you can program light scenes that introduce bright, bluish whites as you get ready in the morning, helping you feel more alert.
Smart home devices can calm your over-anxious mind and soothe you to sleep. Ask your smart home hub to turn on a white noise playlist, play a meditation coaching session, or walk you through some deep breathing exercises. You’ll feel relaxed in no time.
Fears over the security of your home can also be significantly reduced with smart home devices. Your security cameras help defend you from burglars. Your smart locks automatically lock whenever your phone is inside, so you know you haven’t left the door open.
Even when you’re away from home, your smart home devices can help you sleep better. If you’re anxious about a home burglary, checking in on the live feed from your security camera is as easy as opening up an app on your phone.
Whenever you leave for vacation, schedule your smart lights to randomly turn on and off in different areas of the house, instead of leaving all the lights on for the duration of your trip. This is a lot more convincing to anyone casing your home that someone is actually there (and it’s much less of a drain on your energy bill, too).
Sleep is challenging when you’re living with a chronic health condition, but it can be equally as elusive for caregivers, too. Caregivers and parents may find themselves up at night, fearful of going to sleep, lest their loved one hurt themselves in the middle of the night.
If your child is prone to sleepwalking or a sleep-related movement disorder, a smart lock can help you ensure they stay safely within their bedroom at night, while a security camera can alert you of any abnormal movement.
If you care for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s who’s prone to wandering at night, smart locks can keep them safely in their room, too. The security camera will wake you up with a notification on your phone if it senses movement. You can check the live feed in the app first, to confirm they need your help, before getting out of bed to go physically check yourself—after which it’s much more difficult to fall back asleep.
In either case, you can go to sleep at night, knowing your loved one is securely in their bedroom, and that you’ll be woken up if you need to attend to them.
It takes a lot to run your home. Reduce the hassle and save time by getting your devices to work on your behalf—together—with scheduled routines and trigger actions. If you begin playing a white noise playlist, for instance, your smart hub knows to dim the lights in your bedroom, turn off the ones in the rest of the house, and confirm the front door is locked and that the security camera is on.
Even for non-sleep related activities, automating your home just makes everything more convenient. You don’t have to go manually check the doors are locked at night; you can just ask Alexa. If your dog starts barking, you can check the security camera feed on your phone, and tell him to hush through the speaker, rather than getting out of bed and investigating yourself.
Smart home automation creates all these time saving opportunities that add up to more time to sleep. In our over scheduled lives, every minute you can steal for extra sleep counts!
Do you still have questions about which smart home device is best for you? We’ve got answers.
Smart home devices connect to the internet to automate certain behaviors, enable homeowners to monitor and operate them remotely, and communicate with each other to perform coordinated routines (such as dimming the lights and cooling the thermostat simultaneously).
Your smart home can be as smart as you want it to be. Most smart home devices are equipped to communicate with a wide range of devices. You’ll just want to make sure that all of your brand’s and the wireless protocols they use are compatible with each other.
Ultimately, the best smart home devices for you depends on your personal needs. While you read through this guide, certain features probably stood out to you as must-haves. If you care for a sleepwalking child, a camera with high-quality night vision is critical, while it may not be an important factor for someone who’s primarily purchasing a security camera to deter burglars. Make a list of your must-have features before you go shopping, and research the products you’re considering to ensure they have them.
Beyond your needs, the most important thing to remember when shopping for smart home devices is compatibility. You need devices that will be able to speak together. Otherwise, you may be introducing more complications rather than convenience into your life.
It depends on how many devices you purchase. Each device you purchase can range from $20 to upwards of $250, and you may need to purchase more devices if your home is larger.
The more features a smart home device offers, the more expensive it will be. It’s important to know which features matter to you. Then, you can focus on buying devices with just those features, rather than more expensive ones with extra features you don’t need or want.
Fortunately, you can save with a bit of strategy. Most smart home brands offer sales at various points throughout the year, such as during Black Friday weekend. You can also purchase online to get a better deal or to buy bundle packs (such as a 4-pack of smart lights).
To get the best pricing year round, purchase your smart home devices through the links we’ve provided above. Tuck secures discounted pricing for our readers for all of the products we review.