amazon smart home
Credit: amazon.com

7 Amazon Devices That Will Make Your Home Smarter

From plugs to thermostats, these accessories will transform your home with the tap of an app.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

One of the greatest gifts that technology has given us is convenience. While in the past, creating a smart home system required professional installation—and possibly renovations—today, all you need is the right device, a smartphone, and a WiFi connection. 

Luckily, Amazon offers a wide array of smart devices and accessories that can make your home smarter with a tap in your Alexa app. Want to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee? Upgrade your old coffee maker with a smart plug. Tired of coming home to a cold, dark house? Ask Alexa to turn on the lights and turn up the heat while you're en route. Expecting a delivery while you're out of town? Tell the Amazon driver where to stash your package using your video doorbell.

If this more streamlined approach to living appeals to you, read on to discover some of Amazon's best smart home devices, all under $80. 

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Amazon Smart Plug

To buy: $25; amazon.com

Even if you don't consider yourself particularly tech-savvy, Amazon's easy-to-use smart plug is a great starter smart device. All you need is an outlet, your smartphone, and any appliance with an on/off switch. The smart plug works with everything from lights to standing fans, humidifiers, and even Christmas tree lights and coffee makers. 

Setup is simple; Add the smart plug to any outlet, plug in an appliance and connect it using the Amazon Alexa app on your phone. Voila! Now you can control the appliance using the app or, if you have a smart home hub, with a simple voice command. You can even set up routines for the appliances connected to your smart plugs so that you can wake up to freshly brewed coffee and set your lights to turn on every day after the sun goes down. 

RELATED: 5 Things You Should Always Do to Keep Your Home Safe Before You Go on Vacation

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Amazon Smart Thermostat

To buy: $48; amazon.com

Amazon partnered with Honeywell Home to create this Energy Star-certified smart thermostat. In addition to saving you money on your utility bill, the smart thermostat gives you the ability to control your home's temperature, set routines, and monitor indoor humidity levels. You can also utilize Alexa Hunches, which gives Alexa the option to predict what kind of temperature you want and when based on your usage history.  

If you'd prefer to have your Smart Thermostat professionally installed, you can hire someone from Amazon Home Services or call a local HVAC technician. The thermostat works with most 24V HVAC systems but not 110-240V HVAC systems, so be sure to confirm that your thermostat is compatible before you click the Buy Now button. 

RELATED: 5 Clever Energy-Saving Tips You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Ring Video Doorbell With Ring Chime

To buy: $72; amazon.com

The Ring video doorbell is a game changer. It's affordable, easy to install and use, and doubles as a basic home security system. Once you disconnect your existing doorbell's wires and hook it up to Ring (the package includes necessary equipment for setup), you can see everything that's happening outside your front door via your smartphone. Motion detection alerts let you know you have a visitor before they even ring the doorbell, and the two-way talk feature allows you to "answer" your door remotely. If you aren't near your phone or tablet, don't worry. The Chime box acts as a traditional doorbell notification and can be plugged into any outlet in your house. Use the Chime as an accessory, and you won't have to give up your doorbell to use the Ring.

If you're expecting a package but aren't at home when it arrives, you'll get a notification as soon as it hits your doorstep, which can help prevent package theft. You can also have contactless interactions with visitors, neighbors, and delivery drivers. At night, the motion sensors alert you to the presence of possible intruders, giving you extra time to call for help. If you purchase a Ring Protect Plan subscription, you can record videos, review footage for up to 60 days, as well as save and share videos. 

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Amazon Echo Dot

To buy: $35; amazon.com

The Echo smart home hub is, first and foremost, a speaker that can play music, podcasts, or audiobooks from partnering streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Sirius XM, Pandora, and Audible. Pair it with any Amazon-compatible device—including the smart plug or smart thermostat— to control your lighting, HVAC system, and other connected appliances using voice prompts through the Alexa assistant. 

Other cool features of the Amazon Echo Dot are Alexa Guard and Amazon Kids, and both are available for free to Echo Dot users through the Alexa app. Alexa Guard can detect problematic noises like smoke alarms and breaking glass, and alert you accordingly via mobile alerts from the app. Amazon Kids gives parents access to parental controls that filter out explicit songs from active playlists, block the ability to shop online and provide kid-friendly responses for questions posed to Alexa.

 

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Alexa Smart Switch

To buy: $20; amazon.com

Make your lighting smarter with Alexa-enabled smart switches, Turn the lights on and off, set timers and schedules, and even set up a group to coordinate lighting preferences, all through the Smartlife app.  

The product also works with voice activation on both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can buy Alexa Smart switches in packs of one, two, or three. One thing to note: this type of smart device supports 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection (check what type of in-home Wi-Fi connection you have) and is not compatible with three-way or multi-switch lights. 

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Blink Outdoor

To buy: $60; amazon.com

The best thing about this smart home security camera is that it requires absolutely no installation. The Blink Outdoor runs on batteries that last for two years, can be mounted anywhere (even in a tree), and is designed to withstand most types of weather conditions. Once it's set up, you can watch the comings and goings on your property on your smartphone using the Blink Home Monitor app. Another great feature of the device is that it has a speaker and microphone, so you can communicate with visitors who are outside from inside your home while using the live feature on the app. 

The Blink app lets users customize alerts by selecting "privacy zones" and "active zones" within its range, which can be especially helpful if you live on a busy street or a shared building where people frequently come and go. 

Amazon Smart Devices
Credit: amazon.com

Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max

To buy: $35; amazon.com

Whether you're looking to upgrade an older model television or bring a more cinematic viewing experience to a smart TV, the Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers a fast streaming speed, high-quality picture, and voice controls in a single sleek package. It's compatible with dozens of entertainment and music platforms, including Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock, Apple TV+, and more. If you have a specific show in mind, just ask Alexa to pull it up. 

This Amazon streaming device is also compatible with other electronics that offer live feeds within your home. Use the live view picture-in-picture feed to check your front door camera or baby monitor video feed without having to pause the TV show or movie you're watching. Sync it with your compatible Amazon Echo devices for a truly immersive gaming experience.