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Nest Vs Hive: Which is the best smart thermostat?

Nest vs Hive thermostat review: Your complete guide on choosing the best for you

Smart thermostats are becoming the norm in homes that have new boilers fitted and choosing the best smart thermostat is paramount to saving you money on your bills.

Both Hive and Nest have fantastic features that will transform the way you control your home’s heating and hot water requirements.

The difference between Nest and Hive could be down to the compatibility of your heating system. Both can be used with all types of electric, gas, and oil boilers.

However, it is worth checking with an installer to confirm the model. A Nest Learning 3rd Generation thermostat is the only choice if you have a renewable heating system.

This guide will give you all of the information you need to decide on which thermostat is best for your heating system. You can get a Nest or Hive smart thermostat included as an upgrade with a new boiler a Compare Boiler Quotes.

First, let’s take a look at the benefits of smart thermostats:

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Why should you buy a Hive or Nest Thermostat?

The main factor to take into account with smart thermostats is that they can significantly reduce your energy wastage.

This is mainly down to the high level of information that you get and they alert you about your energy consumption.

If you are pumping heating out unnecessarily then the Hive and Nest will let you know.

Hive Thermostat

Your central heating bills will be reduced if you use these correctly and you will be a little happier when your energy bills come through the post.

The savings basically come from the fact that you can see how much gas you are using and you can take full control instantly if your consumption seems a little higher than you want it to be.

When a smart thermostat is used with a new energy-efficient boiler you could save a significant amount each year on your gas bills.

Just by getting a new boiler, the Energy Saving Trust states that you could save up to £340 per year on your energy bills by doing nothing. It’s important to ensure that you get the best smart thermostat for your home to further reduce energy bills.

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Do Hive and Nest thermostats reduce your energy bills?

As we have touched on above, they can reduce your bills due to some of the points below:

  • British Gas Hive (Heating Bill)You can monitor your energy usage and programme your thermostat accordingly
  • The Hive and Nest can detect when you are at home using GPS technology
  • You can use both the Nest and Hive to control the temperature by a single room
  • You can control your heating on your smartphone or on a web browser anywhere
  • The Nest and Hive can adapt to different temperatures and weather conditions

Nest vs. Hive: Prices and value

When comparing smart thermostats, price is a major consideration. There is not much to choose between the Nest Learning Thermostat or Hive Active Heating. While the average price of the Hive thermostat is about the same, you might end up spending more on it with the added extras.

The Nest thermostat is priced at £119, while the Hive thermostat is slightly more affordable at £99. If you want to upgrade to a smart thermostat you can in include this in the cost of a new boiler when you compare online.

Who makes Hive Active Heating thermostats?

British Gas makes the Hive Heating Smart thermostat.

They recognised the gap in the market and took hold of it, but just because they’re the biggest boiler installer in the UK, does that mean they’re the best?

We are not so sure going by their reviews on

However, the general feedback we get from the Hive is that they are great! Anyway, you’re in the right place for a non-bias review of these new thermostats.

Who makes Google Nest 3rd Generation Thermostats?

Google Nest 3rd Generation

Answer: Google makes the Nest learning thermostat.

What could go wrong with something made by Google you may ask? Probably not much!

Google is the pioneer of technology and is one of the most well-known companies in the world.

So now we know that both of them are owned by large companies, will the UK powerhouse’s technology beat the multinational giants?

Nest vs Hive – What do they have in common?

To summarise, they are both pretty much the same with only a few slight differences.

One of the biggest differences is their appearance.

The Hive is square in shape and black in colour, and has a digital display whereas the Google Nest 3rd Generation is round in shape, with a black outer casing and a large circle display.

You can control them both on a smartphone, or any device with an internet browser anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.

A geeky tech feature is their GPS capabilities whereby they can track you and turn on your heating if you come back within 300 yards of your home, for example.

Is Hive the same as Nest? Google Nest (Hive vs Nest)

No, not quite, they are similar in some ways but not in others.

So, let’s look at some of the features and differences that the Nest thermostat and Hive thermostat have in common:

Intelligent learning thermostats

The Nest learning thermostat is called that because it ‘learns’ about how you heat your home. Within around 7-10 days, it knows how you use your heating systems so that it can work with you and control the heating for you.

This fantastic learning technology means that you can relax knowing that Google has your back and you won’t really need to mess about with the settings going forward.

The Hive active thermostat enables you to set up to 6 periods of heating such as morning, afternoon and evening, for example. The Hive however can not ‘learn’ like the Nest learning thermostat.

Winner: The Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat

You can have different Heating Zones in the home Nest Smartphone App

With smart thermostats, you can have multiple devices in your home. Such as one downstairs and one upstairs.

These are called ‘heating zones’

The heating zones can be programmed differently.

The Hive can control 1-3 zones in your property.

The Nest can control up to a huge 20 zones. Who needs 20 zones?! Anyway… The Nest can control other properties you may have as well so this is quite a cool feature from Google.

Winner: The Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat

It’s 2-0 to the Nest so far – come on Hive what are you playing at?

How are they powered? Mains or battery-powered?

The Nest is powered by mains (pugged into a socket)

The Hive is powered by 2 x AA batteries and can last (supposedly) up to 2 years.

The verdict on this is quite hard..

Because you control these thermostats primarily on your phone, they don’t really need to be mobile, do they? Probably not..

Also, who wants to have to buy even more batteries that may get nicked at Christmas time when Duracell batteries are of the highest demand in most homes.

Winner: This one is down to personal preference so 1 point each here.

What about Hive and Nest motion sensors?

Nest has GPS tracking

Hive has nothing. No GPS and no motion sensors.

Winner: Quite simply, The Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat

Do the Hive and Nest have voice control?

Hive active heating and the Google Nest both have voice control that can be controlled with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. We’re pretty sure you can use Apple Siri too 🙂

Winner: 1 point each on this one

Can you monitor the energy usage?

The Nest from Google lets you see in up-to-date real-time the usage of gas in your home. When you are running super-efficient you get a little leaf showing on your thermostat.

You could use the green leaf as a challenge to save your energy maybe?

Winner: The Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat

Hive vs Nest – Do they look ugly? Nest vs Hive

Both of these top-end smart thermostats are quite sleek and, dare I say it, quite attractive for an active heating option.

It goes without saying that these look much better than the old and normal thermostats that are basic and definitely not user-friendly.

As we touched on above, the Google Nest thermostat is round in shape and has a large digital display that is easy to read and nice and clear.

This thermostat is smart in knowing when you enter a room as it is very dimly lit but when you enter a room it will light up brighter so you can see the display.

Nest Thermostat (Colour options)

In addition, you can choose from up to 4 colours such as:

  • Stainless steel
  • Copper
  • Black
  • White

What about the Hive? The Hive active heating thermostat is slightly smaller than Google’s option and you will have to press it to give you an indication of the temperature of your room.

With a grey casing, you can opt from a range of colours for the case. 12 of them to be precise. You can Match your thermostat to your walls, with colours from the Dulux signature range and match your home’s decor:

Choose from:

  • Rich Black
  • Mulberry Burst
  • Hive Active Heating (Colour options)Redcurrant Glory
  • Copper Blush
  • Moroccan Flame
  • Lemon Punch
  • Luscious Lime
  • Proud Peacock
  • Teal Tension
  • Sapphire Salute
  • Urban Obsession
  • Wood

Winner: The Hive Active Heating Thermostat

Who can install Hive and Nest thermostats?

Most best boiler installers that fit new boilers should be competent to install these. Many Hive installers and nest installers these days probably install 6 in 10 new installations with learning thermostat technology.

They will (usually!) show you how to use them too. Failing that, you can view guides on Youtube, see the links below to each smart thermostat provider:

How to use a British Gas Hive thermostat

How to use a Google Nest 3rd Generation

Is the Hive worth the money?

We would say the Hive is certainly worth the money. For a small investment, you can save hundreds of pounds over the years, maybe more over a longer-term. So yes, is the answer to that.

Is there a monthly fee for the Hive?

There is no monthly fee for the Hive Active heating option. The app is free you just pay for the actual unit itself, and hopefully once set up you can start saving money rather than spending it.

Our Verdict on the best smart thermostat:

So, there we have it.

Our comprehensive review of the leading smart thermostats from 2 well-known companies.

Let’s add up the points we have awarded above to give us the winner and the best thermostat.

Which is better Hive or Nest?

In order of the best…….. (drumroll please….)

  1. The Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat – 6 pointsGoogle Nest 3rd Generation
  2. The Hive Active Heating Thermostat – 3 points

To us, and everyone else including you, I think that’s a clear winner.

It must be said that these are based on their features and not how much you personally may get on with these when using them for your central heating boiler systems and hot water requirements.

British Gas is said to be on with making a 2nd generation of the Hive so maybe your heating system could be controlled by one of these in the future? You can use these with most makes of boilers including the popular Viessmann boilers or Worcester boilers on the market.

If you need any further information or advice on these ‘best in class’ options then feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help and give you advice.

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Can I get a new boiler with a Nest or Hive included?

If you are looking for a new boiler and are reading this article on Hive vs Nest then we would recommend using a company such as Boiler Central for new boilers as they are the fastest growing and most tech-savvy new boiler company in the UK.

Offering a range of boiler finance options including interest-free boiler finance spread over 2 years with zero deposit required.

Get a fixed price on a new boiler with a smart thermostat below:

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