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Last Updated on May 1, 2023

Nest vs Hive: Which is the best smart thermostat?

Nest vs Hive are the two leading competitors in the smart thermostat market.

Each have their strengths, but when it comes to making a decision between each brand, it’s good to know as much as you can about them. What’s so good about the nest thermostat? How much does a Hive cost? And how well each one sells in the UK are all questions worth asking. But here’s the big one: How do they compare in offering you the best ways to cut down on your energy bills?

You’ll have landed on this page most likely because of one very important reason: you want to know which is the best thermostat out of Nest or Hive. And why shouldn’t you? If this winter was a costly effort, or you’ve suffered from a boiler breakdown, you’ll want to make sure you save money for the future. This could range from finding the best energy efficient combi boiler to knowing which thermostat between Nest vs Hive offers the best result.

You may already have quotes, or have been recommended by friends/family to go with a particular brand. Much like Viessmann being the top brand for combi boilers. If this is the case, then you’ve approached it with the right mindset.

If you’d like some further information on some related topics, why not take a look at some of our previously published articles:

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at Nest vs Hive!

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Nest Learning Thermostat

About Nest Labs

Nest Labs was first founded in America in 2010 by formal Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. They are a leading manufacturer of top-of-the-range smart home products such as security systems, smoke detectors and most importantly, smart learning thermostats.

Its reputation of reliable, high-end technology began with this Nest Learning Thermostat that was started all the way back in 2011. In the Nest vs Hive race, as a product with a heavy focus on programming capabilities, self-learning and wi-fi compatibility, its influence and success can easily be seen in the rest of Nest’s product range.

Here is a short list of some of the many prestigious awards and accolades that Nest Labs had earned specifically with the Nest Learning Thermostat:

  • Red Dot Design Award
  • Gold International Design Excellence Award
  • CES Best of Innovations Award in Eco-Design and Sustainable Technology Category
  • A place in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution

The Nest Learning Thermostat was developed as one of their earlier products to ensure a sleek, programmable and self-learning thermostat. In the Nest vs Hive race, this would work around the clock with your best buy combi boiler to ensure the optimisation of heating and cooling homes. The device itself uses a learning algorithm over the first few weeks of purchase.

How does the Nest Smart Thermostat save energy?

When it comes to Nest vs Hive, users have to regulate the thermostats so that the reference data has been set. With the Nest Learning Thermostat, it can:

  • Learn user’s schedules, as well as which points in the day a temperature change is required
  • Using the user’s phone location, it can shift into ‘energy saving mode’ when it recognises that nobody is home
  • Along with an energy efficient combi boiler, the potential for saving energy bills using this technology is enormous!

The Nest Learning Thermostat has saved 8 billion kWh of energy worldwide, so it’s easy to see how effective it is in the Nest vs Hive discussion. With an incredibly advanced algorithm in place, it learns from your living pattern and responds accordingly. It turns down the temperature while you’re away, and knows when to turn up when you’re arriving home. It’s a very modern, and very reliable way of cutting down on your energy bills.

Nest shows you how much energy you use every day in its ‘Energy History’, and every month in your Home Report. So you’ll see when you use more energy, such as the weekend or Monday nights, and how to use less.

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About Hive

Hive logo

As the second part of our Nest vs Hive discussion, Hive is a trademark owned by Centrica Hive Limited, whose product development focuses on smart devices in the modern home. With the Hive app, users can connect to the internet through a range of devices including the smart thermostat itself.

Before the creation of the Hive brand, British Gas was trialing a remote control heating service, using technology from AlertMe. They were able to launch their Remote Heating Control service in 2012, allowing the Hive-branded heating system to take part in the Nest vs Hive race.

Hive smart thermostat

The Hive Active Heating Kit

Hive has continually developed products such as the thermostat, smart plugs, motion sensors and window/door sensors to improve efficiency. All of their devices work from a ‘hub’ system, letting the user take control via the website or smartphone app.

Nest vs Hive Thermostat Comparison and Review

Before comparisons take place, it’s important to recognise that both Nest vs Hive are fantastic examples of smart thermostat technology. As a potential customer for either of these brands, research should be carried out fairly and dispassionately. Home comfort is important, and you can feel reassured that you’re getting the best information possible when it comes to Nest vs Hive.

Some of the more important elements of Nest vs Hive can be found in the table below. It details some of the basic differences between the two brands before we get into the nitty-gritty!

Nest Hive Active Heating
Design Options Stainless Steel/Copper/Black/White 12 different colour options (extra cost)
Positions Available Standing display/Wall mounted Wall mounted
Requirements Internet access/wi-fi connection, Nest app on
smartphone or tablet, up-to-date web browser
Internet access, existing broadband connection, up-to-date web browser on an iPhone, iPad, or Android device
Compatibility Gas, Oil, LPG Combi or System boilers, DHT, Air-source and ground-source heat pumps Heating systems with OpenTherm technology* Gas, LPG or oil central heating system and some electric boilers
Warranty 2 Years 1 year
Zone Capability Up to 20 seperate zones and 2 homes Up to 3 zones
Voice Control Compatibilty Amazon Echo, Google Home Amazon Echo

*OpenTherm technology is a digital interface that bridges the gap between boiler and thermostat. Most modern thermostats that use it understand how long a house can take to warm up. Using this information, it can set an appropriately efficient water temperature to get the job done!

Nest or Hive – What they have in common

The main selling points of the two brands is they can be controlled via your smartphone, tablet or laptop. This level of control makes a massive difference on how much you can save on your energy bills.

Temperature control and hot water is a key factor for both products. Heating can be activated if the temperature drops too low – often to combat pipe freezing over the winter period.

Learning Ability

An advantage in the Nest vs Hive battle is that the Nest thermostat learns over time about the user’s typical living pattern. Even after one week, it’s gained enough information to know what changes in temperature are needed that you would normally make yourself. Now imagine how easy that will make life – not having to even think about it!

For the Hive Active Heating, you will need to program in up to 6 heating period. This could range from ‘bedtime’ to ‘morning getup’ that will allow it to understand what specific preferences you have.

Winner: Nest

Power Supply

While you’ll need a mains supply to power the Nest, you still get a lot of freedom over it’s positioning. For the Hive Thermostat, it’s powered by AA batteries which according to British Gas, can last up to two years. However, the best part of the Nest Learning Thermostat is its ability to learn and respond to the user’s living habits. Therefore, it’s a perfectly reasonably compromise in the Nest vs Hive debate to take advantage of it’s full capabilities.

Winner: Hive

Motion Sensing

The Hive Heating Control has its own GPS tracking feature. However, the Nest’s ability to respond to people leaving and entering the home makes it much more powerful piece of technology that can keep heating down if it’s being used unnecessarily.

Winner: Nest

Monitoring Your Savings

Wouldn’t it be ideal if you could see how much money you’re saving as it happens? That’s exactly what the Nest app can allow you to do, providing you with a clear and concise way of measuring just how much you’re better off. The Hive app also makes managing your heating system an enjoyable experience with its aim to save money, and both brands offer an IOS and Android version.

However, in the Nest vs Hive debate, the more streamlined interface from the Nest offers a better experience. It’s a bit more accessible and easier to understand, which along with knowing which boiler is best, is all-important to know how you can save on those pennies.

Winner: Nest


When discussing appearance in the Nest vs Hive debate, it’s more to do with personal preference and how it suits your own home. The Nest Learning Thermostat achieves a slightly sleeker look, where its influence from former Apple Engineers is easy to identify. With the Hive Heating Control, a more functional look is achieved with several displays being shown at once. For some this may be more overwhelming angle to take, but as mentioned, it’s entirely down to personal choice.

The Nest Thermostat is built around an operating system that allows interaction with the thermostat via spinning and clicking of its control wheel, which brings up option menus for switching from heating to cooling, access to device settings, energy history, and scheduling. So betwen Hive vs Nest, which one is the victor?

Winner: Nest

Nest vs Hive Thermostat – Final Verdict

As mentioned before, in the battle of Nest vs Hive, both the Nest Learning Thermostat and Hive Heating Control are excellent showcases of modern thermostat technology. However, it’s clear based on several factors which one the clear winner is: the Nest Learning Thermostat!

In this nest vs hive debate, the Nest’s advanced learning system makes it more than just a highly efficient way of saving you money. It means that it does this without you having to even think about it. Apply that to your typical homeowner who may already have a lot on their mind. Using a thermostat that learns what temperatures you prefer at specific times means it’s one less thing to worry about, so for Nest vs Hive, the winner is quite clear!

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