9 Smart Home Tech Worth The Splurge (And 7 To Skip)

smart refrigerator

Today, it’s pretty easy to find a home that uses various types of smart tech, whether it’s a monitored security alarm or a video doorbell. But not all home tech is created equal, and some of these devices don’t come cheap. When you look at the big picture, you’ll find smart home tech that’s worth the investment, like a programmable thermostat, and those that aren’t. (Here’s looking at you, smart toilet.)

Ready to add some smart devices to your home? Check out which smart tech is worth your hard-earned money and which ones are better off staying at the store (at least for now).

1. Smart Thermostat

programmable home thermostat
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Worth It: Programmable thermostats make it possible to save energy and dollars, but smart models go the extra mile. Controlling your thermostat remotely allows you to easily turn it off or adjust settings when you’re not home. For example, if you get stuck in traffic or need to stay late at the office, you can adjust your A/C accordingly so you’re not cooling an empty house.

2. Smart Security System

smart home tech - smart security system
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Worth It: Safety is one of the top priorities for many homeowners and it’s a basic human right. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home. Smart systems allow you to access your home’s security from anywhere, set your alarm remotely, view cameras, set off panic alerts, and more. Plus, having a monitored alarm system typically gets you a nice discount on your homeowner’s insurance.

3. Smart Locks

smart home tech - smart locks
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Worth It: A big advantage of smart locks is the ease and convenience of setting multiple lock codes (then deleting them) or granting remote access. Smart locks enable you to give temporary access to your home to others, unlike a traditional house key. For example, if you hire a pet sitter for the week, they use a temporary code that you erase later. But if you give keys out to people, they could lose them, make copies, etc. Many locks include additional features, including tamper detection, biometric authentication, and heightened security.

4. Smart Light Bulbs

swapping out lightbulbs for led bulbs
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Worth It: Smart bulbs offer energy efficiency, using significantly less power than incandescent bulbs. LED smart bulbs also have longer lifespans, making their higher upfront cost worth the price, and many possess sensors that turn the light on automatically when they sense motion. The ability to control your lights remotely and dim them with a quick voice command also adds convenience and safety qualities.

5. Smart Blinds

smart home tech - smart blinds
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Worth It: Although smart blinds may seem like a luxury, there are affordable options that make this smart tech well worth it. These automated window treatments make it a breeze to regulate the temperature in your home, reducing your energy costs. They offer all the perks of traditional blinds, like privacy and protection from UV rays, but with a much smoother, more convenient operation. They’re also a safe match for homes with kids and pets since there are no dangerous cords or pulls.

6. Smart Alarm Clock

smart home tech - smart alarm clock
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Worth It: Swapping to a smart alarm clock is a good investment in your well-being and quality of sleep. These clocks don’t cost much more than traditional digital alarm clocks, making the extra perks worth the purchase. 

Some models time your wake-up during a lighter phase of sleep, so you feel refreshed upon waking, and you can connect your clock to an app to track your sleep habits and times. Some smart alarm clocks also monitor various environmental aspects, like your home’s temperature, humidity, and noise levels.

7. Smart Vacuum

smart home tech - smart vacuum
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Worth It: Let’s face it — unless you love to vacuum, this smart home tech is well worth it. These robot vacuums have been around for quite some time, so they’re not as expensive as they were when they first hit the scene. Hands-free cleaning, syncing your vacuum with other smart tech, and scheduling cleaning sessions are some of the main advantages.

8. Voice Assistants

smart home tech - voice assistants
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Worth It: It would be a challenge to find a home without a voice assistant these days. True, these little smart hubs are a want, not a need, but they aren’t super expensive, making them an appealing home addition. 

Whether you have an Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, or some other popular device, it can undoubtedly make life easier. Follow recipes hands-free, check the weather, set reminders, translate languages, and get answers to pressing questions with a few simple voice commands.

9. Video Doorbell

smart home tech - video doorbell
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Worth It: When the popular Ring doorbell made its debut, people were a bit skeptical. A doorbell that acts like a camera? Well, fast-forward a few years and now you’ll find a video doorbell, whether from Ring or another brand, on quite a few front porches.

These simple devices offer a lot of security features in a small package, warning you of suspicious activity outside your home and allowing you to save footage to use as evidence if problems ever arise. The doorbell also alerts you to the presence of guests, and many models even allow visitors to leave a message if you don’t come to the door.

10. Smart Washer And Dryer

smart washer and dryer
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Not Worth It: The idea of a smart washer and dryer may sound really appealing, but this is some smart tech that isn’t worth the hype (or the cost). They don’t really reduce the amount of work you need to do, since you still need to load and unload them. In addition to their high price tag, the complicated software makes repairing these appliances pretty much impossible. If you end up with issues with your home’s wi-fi, you could also find yourself stuck with a load of wet laundry.

11. Smart Oven

smart oven
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Not Worth It: Smart ovens often require more repairs, and the intricate computer components make the repairs costly (or impossible). These ovens come with a steep learning curve (and an even steeper price tag), making them tricky for some users to figure out. Many offer limited cooking features compared to their traditional counterparts. Smart ovens are prone to privacy risks, take up more space in your kitchen, and have shorter lifespans than regular ovens.

12. Smart Refrigerator

smart refrigerator
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Not Worth It: If you’re tech-savvy and love embracing new technology, the idea of a smart fridge may seem appealing. However, for those on a tight budget, a traditional refrigerator makes much more sense. Smart refrigerators are extremely expensive, prone to more problems, and ultimately, not worth the limited bells and whistles they provide.

13. Smart Scale

smart scale
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Not Worth It: Smart scales offer the ability to monitor more than your weight, tracking various body metrics and allowing you to connect it all to an app. In theory, this device sounds like a great way to keep you on track with your health goals. However, malfunctions, data inaccuracy, and privacy concerns make them less worth it when you consider the higher price tag.

14. Smart Humidifier

smart humidifier
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Not Worth It: A humidifier typically has one job: adding moisture into the air to relieve dryness. A humidifier can help you sleep better, breathe better, and make you more comfortable, but it doesn’t need to be smart to do so. A smart humidifier seems to be trying too hard to be something more than it is, so it can charge you more.

15. Smart Microwave

smart microwave
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Not Worth It: A microwave is already a pretty convenient appliance that saves you time. Making it smart doesn’t really add to these qualities. Instead, it simply gives you more things to figure out and more pieces that can break. A smart micro might come with a few fun features, but the higher price point isn’t worth it.

16. Smart Toilet Seat

smart toilet seat
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Not Worth It: Do you really want to spend thousands of dollars on a toilet? Smart toilets often add complexity to an otherwise straightforward process and cost a lot more to maintain and repair. Also, you potentially lose the use of your toilet if you have issues with your wi-fi or power problems. This is one smart home tech that seems to add more hassle than convenience. Stick with the traditional version.