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How-To Geek’s Best Smart Home Gifts for Holiday 2021

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If someone you know is looking to upgrade their life in a tech-forward way, then now may be the best time to get them one of the best smart home gifts around and simplify their life.

Happy Holidays! This article is part of our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide where you can find the best-of-the-best recommendations from How-To Geek, LifeSavvy, and Review Geek to help you pick the perfect gift for everyone on your list!

What to Look for in a Smart Home Gift

There are a lot of different options you can buy someone when it comes to a smart home gift. The range of smart products nowadays is hard to navigate, with nearly everything having some sort of integration to consider. However, in the ever-expanding and overwhelming smart home market are a lot of products that genuinely delight or improve people’s lives.

Our aim with this guide is to find something that makes life easier for the person you’re buying it for, and also lets them show off a little to curious guests. A good smart home product balances form and function, and it should also be fun to set up. You might even find something you’d like for yourself!

So, let’s dive into the best smart home gifts.

iRobot Roomba 694: A Vacuum That Learns

iRobot

It’s easy to think of robot vacuums as something that has been around for a fair while now, but it’s only in recent years they’ve become more than a gimmick and have come down to a consumer-friendly price. The iRobot Roomba 694 was at the top of our list of best robovacs, and there’s plenty of good reasons for it.

For starters, and this is important when it comes to smart home gifts, it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. This means that most people will already have a good way of controlling it with ease. The Roomba also adapts to specific cleaning habits by paying attention to when the owner likes to clean and suggests schedules when needed. It’s truly a smart robovac.

It’s not just convenient either; the 694 also does an impressive job when it comes to cleaning, and it automatically adjusts to the surface it’s on to make sure the cleaning is as deep as it can be.

iRobot Roomba 694

A smart robotic vacuum that can even learn when and where it’s needed.

Philips Hue Light Bulbs: Smart Mood Lighting

Philips Hue light bulb on table
Margarita Young/Shutterstock.com

Upgrading the lights in a house might not be the first thing anyone thinks of when they think of a smart home. However, smart lights are one of the most useful purchases anyone can make. After all, everyone uses lights nearly every day, so making them “smarter” and more convenient is a no-brainer.

The Phillips Hue light bulbs come in many different variations, and while the ones that can change colors are definitely nice, they’re also rather pricey. Instead, we recommend going for the standard white light bulbs for most people because they’re still useful for less.

These bulbs allow your giftee to use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to choose from countless different shades of white light. If they don’t have a smart home hub, the bulbs can also be controlled via the Philip Hues app, allowing for non-intrusive light controls without moving an inch.

Echo Studio: Give the Gift of Music

Person listening to Echo Studio
Amazon

Music is something a lot of us have come to appreciate after so many months stuck at home. It’s nice to be able to work while listening to a great playlist, and having a smart speaker will make playing music a breeze.

The Echo Studio features five speakers, all of which are used to produce an incredible depth of sound for those who adore good-quality audio. It’s also effortless to use thanks to the Alexa integration.

Better yet, it even senses the acoustics of the room it’s placed in, which means that whoever gets this will always have the best possible sound no matter where they decide to put it.

Plus, the Echo Studio also has a built-in smart home hub, which means it can be used to control other smart home devices. The dual-use is a huge boon for budding smart homeowners.

Arlo Pro 4 Security Camera: Purchasable Peace of Mind

Arlo security camera outside
Arlo

While not everyone thinks they need security cameras, it doesn’t mean that the cameras won’t offer a little peace of mind regardless of the actual need.

The Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera is an absolute beast of a device that boasts a 160-degree wide-angle viewing experience. In short, this camera can and will capture everything going on around the vicinity. The built-in image correction also makes sure the image is clear by offsetting the fish-eye effect caused by the wide-angle lens.

After set up, the Arlo Pro 4 can send notifications about vehicles, people, and packages to any mobile device. The camera even allows the owner to call a friend, activate a siren, or contact emergency services if needed.

It’s a great purchase for anyone wishing for a bit more security around their home—and also for some that don’t think they need it.

Wyze Smart Plugs: Never Worry About Compatibility Again

Wyze

Smart plugs are the kind of upgrade everyone should consider in their homes. Having control of lights that aren’t necessarily smart is a great feature that even people not interested in a fully decked-out smart home can get behind.

The Wyze Smart Plugs is our favorite of the pack, and for good reason. That’s because they work with Google Home, Alexa, and IFTTT yet don’t cost as much you’d expect for that level of flexibility. Better yet, they can activate vacation mode if you’re going away to have lights turn on and off between certain, semi-random hours to make it look like someone’s still at home.

If your giftee doesn’t have a smart home hub, the Wyze app for AndroidiPhone, and iPad is one of the easiest ones to use around. So even if whoever you’re buying these for isn’t all that tech-savvy, they should still be able to benefit from smartening up their plugs.

Wyze Smart Plugs

An easy way to control plugs with ease without having to get up.

Eufy Security Doorbell: See Who’s at The Door

Person using eufy doorbell
Eufy

Even if your giftee isn’t keen on getting a security camera, having a smart video doorbell can be really helpful. We’ve all had people who come to visit that we’d rather not talk to, and having the ability to see out of the doorbell removes that worry.

The Eufy Security Doorbell has an incredibly clear 2k image along with special HDR and distortion correction technology. Basically, whoever owns this will see out of it better than most people can see out of their own eyes.

Eufy’s doorbell also has a built-in speaker, which is perfect if a package is at the door but someone is indisposed. The doorbell camera can even detect different shapes, which means it won’t alert anyone if a cat comes sniffing or a spider decides to make its home nearby. That’s really important with a smart doorbell, as false alerts can quickly make a video doorbell an annoyance.

Google Nest Learning Thermostat: Pick a Temperature and Stick to it

Google Nest Thermostat on grey wall
Google

Keeping it cool or warm (depending on a person’s preference) isn’t always easy, especially as the weather is so chaotic these days.

You can make it easy for someone by buying them the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. This is a smart thermostat that works with Alexa to allow people to control the ambient temperature of their home with ease.

This thermostat actually learns from how someone likes their heating and AC and updates the temperature accordingly. Let’s not neglect to mention its stylish smart display, either.

Along with all that, Nest’s thermostat can be used to track energy usage and controlled with ease via the Nest app (on iPhone, iPad, or Android). It’s a surefire gift for those especially sensitive to the heat or cold—or just anyone, as everyone deserves to be comfortable.

Google Nest Wi-Fi Router: All the Bandwidth

Google

Most people have Wi-Fi in their homes now, but it often comes with many compromises depending on where the modem is and how many people are using it.

Thankfully, the Google Nest Wi-Fi Router can change everything by helping to cover more of a home in strong Wi-Fi signals. This router can handle up to 200 connected devices and even provide a strong enough signal to allow for multiple 4k streams simultaneously. It’s a heavy bandwidth lifter!

Plus, if you’re thinking about the size of the person’s home and wondering if one will be enough, you can buy them in packs of two or more to help make sure they’ll have the perfect coverage.

Nanoleaf Light Panels: Red and Yellow and Pink and…

Nanoleaf set up on office wall
Nanoleaf

Now we’re getting into the more extravagant picks. While many of the above items are fancy, it can be argued they all enhance a home thanks to their convenience in everyday life. Some items aren’t really a big home upgrade but are really neat regardless.

The Nanoleaf Light Panels aren’t the kind of thing most people need in a home, but they’re the kind of thing most people will love. Let’s say your giftee loves the color red; this allows them to light up sections of the room in that radiant warmth wherever they please. If they get tired of red, though, it’s just as easy for them to change to pink, purple, or any other color under the sun.

Best of all, Nanoleaf products are straightforward to use, absurdly customizable, and can be combined with other Nanoleaf packs for even more mood lighting in the room of their choice.

Smart Dog Treat Dispenser: A Smart System for Pets

WOpet dispensing treat to puppy
WOpet

Our penultimate choice for the best smart home gifts is just as much for the pets as it is the owners you’re giving it to.

The WOpet Dog Treat Dispenser is a smart way to allow people to give their pets treats without having to leave their seats. Having pets is a weird mix of being incredibly angry with them for not listening, and then being incredibly proud of them for doing as they’re told.

When they’re in the latter camp, it’s always a good idea to give them a treat to encourage the right behavior again. This treat dispenser makes it you can award them with ease, without trying to remember where you put the treat bag.

Along with the ability to shoot out treats to keep the pets happy, WOpet’s product also has a surprisingly good HD camera that manages to work in pitch black, which means the owner can always check to see if the pet is nearby expecting a treat in real-time.

Hidrate Spark 3: Keep an Eye on Hydration

person holding Hidrate against hip
Hidrate

Finally, we have a gift for the person who’s already upgraded their home to a point where its smartness is almost terrifying. That’s right, it’s time for them to smarten up their bodies with a smart water bottle.

The Hidrate Spark 3 tracks a person’s water intake, syncs water consumption with an app that can be used via Bluetooth, and can even light up if they’re not drinking enough. Obviously, a gift like this can’t force someone to stay properly hydrated, but reminders to drink more water are something we could all do with, and a bright light is hard to ignore.

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