From the front door to the back porch, these clever (literally) finds will make your home almost as smart as you are.
With the rise and rapid growth and development of smart home products, it can be hard (or nearly impossible) to keep up with the latest updates and clever home buys. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your smart home assistant or just thinking about bringing your first smart product into your home, here are seven smart buys worth knowing about right now.
Google Home Max
An incredibly powerful speaker comes in a relatively small package in the Google Home Max. The smart speaker tunes itself to suit the space, so your favorite songs—or podcasts, or recipes—sound crystal clear no matter where you are in the room. The volume can reach an explosive volume, perfect for losing yourself in a workout or your favorite song. Plus, it’s all powered by the Google Assistant, so you can control your music hands-free, ask about traffic, the weather, the day’s schedule, and more.
To buy: $399; walmart.com
Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller
Extend your smart home’s reach to the outdoors with this sprinkler controller, which connects your preexisting sprinkler system and control box to your smartphone or voice assistant. You can start and stop the sprinklers or set a schedule from anywhere, and the app can automatically adjust your sprinkler settings based on the latest weather forecast—no more accidentally running the sprinklers in the rain. Best of all, installation is easy, and the item is eligible for rebates thanks to its propensity for water conservation.
To buy: $176; amazon.com
Make it clear that your home is a smart one from the moment visitors arrive with the Nest Hello. This smart doorbell works in tandem with the Google Assistant (in the Home Mini, Home Max, or other smart Google Home device) to keep you up-to-date on what’s happening at your home, even if you aren’t there. The doorbell has a built-in camera, so you can see hi-res video and images of everyone who has come and gone from your home or keep an eye on delivered packages. Its motion alert capabilities will let you know you have visitors before they even ring the bell, and it can identify faces so frequent guests (friends, family, neighbors, etc.) get special treatment.
To buy: $229; nest.com
Sobro Coffee Table
Start stocking your home with smart furniture with Sobro’s ingenious coffee table (or the side table, available starting in November), which boasts a slew of entertaining-friendly abilities, plus an attractive modular shape (available in white, black, or black with a wood finish). The table has built-in Bluetooth speakers, LED lighting, USB and outlet charging spots, a refrigerator, storage, and a durable glass top. Everything can be controlled through a panel on the table’s surface. With this in your living room, you really will never need to get off the couch.
To buy: $1,300; amazon.com
Nurture a flourishing (mini-)garden with GROW, a smart planter that makes the process easy from start to finish. The planter shares data with a smartphone app that then offers step-by-step guidance, and a sensor in the soil manages automatic watering. The starter pack includes two produce-growing kits (plus soil, batteries, watering heads, and a hose connector), so you can get started right away.
To buy: $199; hellogrow.com
Amazon’s beloved Echo gets a compact upgrade in the Spot, which features a small screen as the “face” of what is charmingly similar to an old-school table-top alarm clock. The Spot is fully equipped with the Alexa assistant and its many abilities, and the screen shows headlines, fun facts, tips, weather forecasts, and more. It can even double as an analog clock face when the device isn’t in use. At the top of the “face” is a small camera, so you can video chat friends and family with capable Echo devices (such as the Echo Show).
To buy: $130; amazon.com
Take cleaning and sanitizing the items in your home to a whole new level with the LG Styler steam clothing care system. This laundry room addition sanitizes everything from pillows to plush toys to comforters with chemical-free steam, making it possible to get everything in your home clean and refreshed. The Styler neutralizes odors and reduces allergens (it’s even been certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America); it can also gently dry delicate clothing items and reduce wrinkles in dry clean–only items, extending time between cleanings. Laundry has never been smarter.
To buy: $1,554; lg.com for retailers