When it comes to smart thermostats there are three key players, Tado, Hive and Nest. Here are Stupid Lemon HQ we have used both the Tado and Hive systems so let’s compare them… Tado vs Hive. Which should you choose?
What Does a Smart Thermostat Do?
Before we dive into the ins and outs of smart thermostats let’s talk about what one actually does.
Most readers will be familiar with thermostat / heating controls. Traditionally these are either a temperature dial which turns on your heating when the temperature falls below the temperature you’ve set or a programmable device that lets you choose when your heating and your hot water comes on. Traditional thermostats work but can easily be left on when you’re not at home and often their interfaces are difficult to get your head around.
A smart thermostat takes these concepts of heating your home to a certain temperature and places the controls for this thermostat on your phone, allowing you to adjust your heating controls in a much more precise way than before and switch it on/off when out of your home.
Both the Hive and the Tado smart thermostats offer this app-based experience but with slightly different approaches.
Tado vs Hive – Design
The design of the Tado and Hive devices is probably the biggest separator. Whilst both have rounded edges and aim to look modern the Tado takes a minimalist approach with a fully white design and a simple white LED display whereas the Hive looks more like a traditional thermostat. In our opinion the Tado has the edge when it comes to the design because it embraces the modern whereas the Hive design is certainly beginning to look a little dated.
Cost & Installation?
The cost of the two devices is relatively similar although not as simple as just comparing costs. The Hive costs £175 and comes with everything you need but the Hive does recommend professional installation which will add upwards of £100 to the cost.
The Tado on the other hand has a few different options depending on your heating system and existing thermostat. This means the cost of the Tado will cost between £130 and £180 and Tado have a helpful tool to help work out which version you need. When it comes to installation costs Tado believe you should be able to install it yourself and have a brilliant app which guides you through the set up based on your boiler and thermostat brand. We self-installed our Tado and it took about an hour and a half, it was a little fiddly at times but Tado’s instructions were easy to follow and well explained.
Once again, when it comes to Hive vs Tado this certainly gives Tado the edge making it more affordable but also empowers the user to install it themselves if they wish to.
Tado vs Hive – The Smartphone Apps
When it comes to smart home tech the usability of the app is one of the key things to make or break a piece of smart home tech and, thankfully, both the Hive and Tado have excellent apps but with slightly different focuses.
The Hive app is focused around your smart home as a whole as Hive offer a whole range of products including light bulbs and sensors whereas the Tado app is focused around heating (and cooling if you have their smart air conditioning controls too).
Both of the apps let you set schedules for your heating and hot water, allow you to boost and allow you to turn off your heating and/or hot water. Out of home control is great for turning your heating off when you forget or even for boosting it on a cold day during your walk home.
When it comes to the whole Hive vs Tado thing we have going on in this articles it’s pretty difficult to choose which is best. The Tado focuses on heating alone and does that well whereas the Hive does a good job of bringing together multiple devices…I think it’s probably a draw on this one!
However, we should also mention Tado’s ‘Auto Assist’ which is an optional subscription costing £25 a year. This gives you automatic geofencing (meaning that your heating is automatically off when the last person has left) and also keeps track of your heating system’s health. These features are nice ideas but I’m not sure they’re worth an extra £25 a year.
At this point we should also mention that both are HomeKit compatible and work with Alexa and Google Assistant. Both do this well and so again, it’s a draw on this one!
Finally, we should talk about daily use for both of these and in having used both of these for extended periods of time I have to say both work just as well as each other. Heating schedules work, hot water is ready when you need it and connection remains good.
Both offer ‘You’ve left home’ notifications which work well and being able to boost your heating, turn it off and monitor the temperature from your phone is incredibly useful.
This means that, once again both the Hive and Tado are equally great choices.
There are however, some optional extras that give the Tado the edge. Both Tado and Hive offer smart thermostatic radiator valves for room based control however, the Tado ones are the only ones that actually seem to work well. This means, for room-based heating and the opportunity to save more money the Tado has the edge with it’s extra accessories.
Tado vs Hive – Which should you buy?
If you’ve worked through this article then you’ll know that overall the Tado has the edge over the Hive however this is largely to do with installation, design and optional extras. When it comes to the app and functionality they are pretty much the same and both excellent smart heating systems.
You can pick one up using our links below (these are affiliate links) or read more of our reviews here.