Best Smart Thermostat to Use: Hive Vs. Nest

Jun-2020 / 8 min read

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Since their first introduction in the 1830s, thermostats are an industrial invention that made its way into our homes. They do more than regulate the heat. They are a tool that makes homes across the UK eco-friendly without too much compromise. So we cut down on electricity and fuel bills while living in a warm and comfortable space. 
How does a small panel manage to achieve all of that? Besides heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators, the top expense for home energy consumption is our central heating system and hot water collection. These systems run like clockwork, and in the cold and wet UK weather, it is a necessity. The proper regulation of our heating system saves energy, budget, and repair costs. When you upgrade to a smart thermostat, you can have better control over these things and move towards a smart, sustainable home.

Smart Thermostats Vs Traditional Thermostats

Now, what is the difference between a regular thermostat and a smart thermostat? A smart thermostat follows the trend of creating smarter homes. Smart homes are all about control. You can control how much energy you use and plan ahead without too much effort.
The main feature of a smart thermostat is that it can connect to other devices like your mobile phone or tablets. Say good-bye to small errors like forgetting to turn off your boiler while you are away. Cold showers or long waits when you run out of hot water will be a thing of the past. 
You cannot compare smart thermostats against their traditional counterparts. It isn’t a fair fight. It is easy to sink into the new habit of checking your phone instead of walking to your thermostat. They can work with most modern homes and can pay for themselves. Smart thermostats are a convenience that is here to stay. With so many features, it is quite obvious that a smart thermostat is the way to go.
There are two stand-out brands for thermostats with smart tech: Hive and Nest. Let’s go into the nitty-gritty details and see which one between the two is the best.

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 Nest Vs Hive

Both companies have the same goals. They hope to improve your home experience by giving you more control by managing your heating schedule. From there you can use the saved money in other projects and focus on living your best life. As you read the Hive vs Nest comparison, think about your heating system and your home to see how they can fit. 

What Is Hive?

The Hive is a company that now creates smart appliances. Their first model is a riff of the British Gas remote heating control. Their current model is the Hive Active Heating 2

The Hive Active Heating 2 can control up to 3 zones of heating in your home. From your mobile phone, you can manage the schedule of your heat. Maintaining your heating schedule means that while you are away on holiday, you can keep your home warm enough for things without blasting the heat. 

There is also a frost protection feature for your pipes in the winter. Besides your pipes, your Hive thermostat can also control your floor heating. You can get into detail about their features on their website. 

In your everyday life, it can turn off the heat while you are at work, and warm up as you brave traffic on your way home. There is also a geolocation feature that reminds you to turn off your heating if you left it on. When your hands are full, you can voice activate this thermometer. Smart houses are all about the hands-off experience. 

The Hive Active Heating 2 is compatible with the majority of the boilers available in the market. You will have no problem with combi boilers. They can work with oil and electric boilers if they have a thermostat or programmer. It is a bit tricky with gas and LPG models, it’s okay for the majority, but some models are not compatible. There are so many boiler models out there. There is a chance it won’t work, so it is best to ask first. 

Design Features

The sleek version of Hive 2, both wired and wireless, is a small box with a colourful frame. You can select from 12 different colours and purchase them separately at £19.99 per piece. It has a mid-century modern vibe with its strong geometric shapes and bold colours. 

It has a dial that you can use to control the temperature. There are three buttons for your main controls. You can also opt to use the thermostat stand and keep it in the room you use it most for your convenience.

The Hive app covers all its bases. However, in the Hive app vs Nest, Nest has a more user-friendly design. Though finger-crossed that this changes in the future. Hive is steadily improving their design to catch up with the competition. First, it was their device. Maybe the app could be next? Who knows. 

What Is Unique To The Hive Thermostat?

The model is quite easy to install. You don’t necessarily need professional help since it uses batteries. The A4 batteries can last you 2 years without replacement. It is portable and there’s no messy wiring here! The Hive hub and Hive receiver that comes with your active heating purchase take care of that for you. Talk about convenient.

How Much Is Hive? 

The Hive Active Heating 2 cost £179.00. The box includes the Hive Hub and Hive Receiver. Every purchase has a 1-year hardware warranty. Right now, there is a promotion for a free Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) for every Hive active heating purchase. This price does not include installation since you can do that yourself. If you are a British Gas customer, you can get a discount with the Hive active heating packages. We, at PlumbingForce, would be more than happy to install your Hive system for you so you don’t have to do it yourself.

Hive also has a monthly subscription service for their smart house packages. The subscription aims to bridge the gap between smart houses and renters. The monthly payments make the expensive price tag that usually comes with these devices affordable. You can cancel your contract any time, but you may have to pay the remaining balance. 

The prices online for the Active Heating subscription tend to vary. It should be around £12-£27.99 depending on your setup. 

Hive In Your Home

The best way to check if a smart thermometer works for you is to see how well it fits into your smart home ecosystem. Your Hive thermostat is compatible with both Amazon and Google assistants. You should have no problem connecting it to your current setup. 

What Is Nest?

Google and Nest are now one entity since the merge in 2014, as Google Nest. It is all about taking the Nest products and pairing it with Google Assistant and Home to create the whole smart house experience. Despite its rocky start, the focus right now is to be a competitive presence that can rival Amazon. 

For the most part, their Nest Learning Thermostat accomplishes most of that. Their smart thermostat is the first to get an Energy Star certification. Surveys show that homes with Nest thermostat can save 10%-12% off of your heating bills. 

The thermostat can heat up to 20 different zones in your home. You can manage them all from an app on your phone. You can remotely control the heating and cooling inside your house while you are away. 

You can manually set your heating schedule, but it defeats the purpose. The thermostat smart, compact, and convenient – learns from your habits. It tracks how you use your boiler and adjusts. Even without pre-setting anything, it only takes a matter of months for Nest to create a customised plan for you.

Similar to other smart thermostats on the market, Nest has a geofence feature. When you get past a specific area, it will remind you about your boiler, and you can remotely adjust. Nest also controls the heating for your pipes and your floors. 

They also are compatible with 95% of the heating and cooling systems on the market. Old boiler models and certain oil boilers might not work with it, but combi boilers and condensing systems should be fine. 

Besides being a feature that adjusts so you can live an energy-efficient life, it also tries to make it a learning experience. A leaf symbol appears every time you change the temperature to save energy. The balance depends on the home and climate, so the leaf’s appearance is customised as well. 

The Nest app can show your energy history. They have daily, monthly, and yearly reports. The report is an excellent reference if you want to change your boiler and hot water habits. 

Design Features

The early models of their thermostat like the Nest Thermostat E have the same circular shape. But while they tried to blend in, the new model is here to stand-out. It now has a high-res colour display, a significant difference from the old frosted glass. You can also customise the ring/frame with 7 neutral colours. For the app interface Nest vs Hive, Nest has a sleeker, user-friendly interface. 

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What Is Unique To The Nest Thermostat?

Stand out features for the Nest thermostat is its ability to learn. No worries about the data leaking though! Since it is a part of Google, they have a strict privacy setting for your home data. The way it keeps track of your energy-saving habits is also unique to the Nest.

How Much Is Nest?

You can purchase the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen) in the Google Store for £219 with free shipping. This price does not include installation fees. You can opt to do it yourself or just call the professionals to avoid unnecessary hassle.

Google Nest does not provide installation services, but they can link you to recommended services. Or you can look for Gas Safe engineers in your area to help with your installation. Companies like Plumbingforce are based around the country and can help you with your thermostat and boiler needs. 

Your Nest thermostat comes with a 2-year limited warranty. Read the terms and conditions to know more. Always consult your sales representative if you have more questions. 

Nest In Your Home

Nest has a bunch of other smart home appliances that have a similar design to the Nest Learning Thermostat. Besides them working seamlessly together, they have a consistent look. There are no clashing styles here. 

Despite being a Google sub-company, Nest also works with Amazon or Google assistant. It can blend in your current home from the home assistant to the other smart appliances. There is no problem. 

Which Is Better, Hive Or Nest?

So, which one between the two is the best? The Nest vs Hive question is difficult because they do the same things. It isn’t a battle between the one with the unique features, but between which product does the job better. No matter the outcome of Nest vs Hive, always purchase according to the needs of your home. 


Hive Active Heating 2

Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Gen)


£179.00 or with a monthly subscription
Installation not included


Installation not included







Design Customisation 

12 different colours 

7 neutral colours 


Wall Mount or Stand

Wall Mount or Stand




Heating Schedule

Manually set



1 year

2 years limited

Heating Package



Voice Control Compatibility 

Amazon Echo and Google Home

Amazon Echo and Google Home

A couple of years ago, Nest would have blown Hive out of the water, but the steady changes and updates by Hive have put them on an even playing field. However, even with the upgrades, Nest Learning Thermostat is still the best on the market. The extra £40 is worth its self-learning abilities.

However, Hive Active Heating 2 is still a great option, especially for those who like the monthly subscription. There is always a little manual input, but it is more convenient than traditional thermostats. 

Can Nest And Hive Work Together?

Nest and Hive smart thermostats do the same thing. So there is no need to have both in the same home. However, if you are considering mixing and matching your other smart home appliances, then yes, you can make it work. 

Hive’s smart light bulbs with Nest’s wifi? No problem. Nest’s smart thermostat with Hive’s sensors or plugs? It’s okay too. You cannot, however, control Nest products through Hive and vice versa. It is best to buy the things in the same range so you can better control them.

No matter what you decide, homes that are always on the go can rest easy with Nest and Hive thermostats in their home. The smart home might still be a distant possibility for most families, but the tech is here. It will only advance more in time. 

Besides Hive vs Nest thermostats, you should also consider the other bare bones of the house. These systems cannot work well if you have a faulty boiler or damaged pipes. For any central heating and hot water needs, just contact us here at Plumbingforce and work towards building an energy-efficient home. 

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