Best Amazon Alexa-Compatible Smart Home Devices

CR-tested video doorbells, security cameras, smart thermostats, and more that work great with Amazon’s digital assistant

An Amazon Alexa smart speaker connected to multiple smart home devices.
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Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa lets you control a multitude of smart home devices simply by talking to it. Say “Goodnight” and Alexa can turn down the heat, lock your front door, and launch your robotic vacuum.

To get this kind of integrated experience, you need devices that work with Alexa, but with more than 60,000 Alexa-compatible devices out there, which should you choose?

“Just because a device has a ‘Works with Alexa’ badge doesn’t mean it’s a quality product,” says Bernie Deitrick, one of CR's multiple test engineers for smart home products.

In CR’s labs, our test engineers spend hundreds of hours testing all kinds of devices. We rate smart speakers for their sound quality and ease of use, security cameras for video quality and data privacy, smart locks for their features and whether they resist being picked, and much, much more.

Below are top-performing Alexa-compatible smart home devices from our ratings of smart speakers, security cameras, video doorbells, DIY security systems, smart thermostats, smart locks, robotic vacuums, and smart sprinkler controllers.

If you’re considering purchasing other smart home devices that you don’t see here, check our ratings to see if they work with Alexa and how well they perform in our tests. For step-by-step instructions on hooking up your device to Alexa, see our guide on using Alexa to control your smart home.

Go to Consumer Reports’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider shopping tips, and much more.

Best Wireless Security Camera
Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P
Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P

    Arlo Pro 2 Smart Camera VMC4030P

    CR’s take: The Arlo Pro 2 offers superb video quality and receives great data privacy and data security scores from CR’s Digital Lab. It’s also the only model in our rankings that earns a Smart IQ rating of Excellent, meaning it offers a lot more smart features than the competition.

     

    You get voice control, a siren, and a generous rolling seven days of free storage for video clips triggered by motion and audio. With an Arlo Smart subscription, you get more video storage as well as more sophisticated detection features that let your camera tell the difference between a passing car and a delivery person.

     

    Certain plans also include an e911 feature, which allows you to contact your home's local 911 dispatcher from the Arlo app, even if you’re on the other side of the country. The Arlo Smart plans range from $3 to $15 per month depending on the number of cameras you have and whether you want the e911 feature.

     

    You can also subscribe to 24/7 continuous video recording (CVR) plans for $10 to $20 per month per camera. The CVR plans do not include the Arlo Smart features, so you will have to subscribe to both services if you want all of these features. 

    Best Video Doorbell
    Ring Video Doorbell 2
    Ring Video Doorbell 2

      Ring Video Doorbell 2

      CR’s take: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 receives a Good rating for video quality and an Excellent rating for response time. Its many smart features include a removable rechargeable battery, voice control via Alexa, monitoring zones, and alert schedules.

       

      With an optional subscription to a Ring Protect plan ($3 to $10 per month or $30 to $100 per year), you’ll get a rolling 60 days of motion-triggered video clips. 

      Best DIY Home Security System
      Ring Alarm Kit 5-Piece
      Ring Alarm Kit 5-Piece

        Ring Alarm Kit 5-Piece

        CR’s take: The Ring Alarm Security Kit is a terrific system for the money. It receives strong scores in our tests, with Excellent ratings for ease of setup and motion detection. This system works with Ring video doorbells and security cameras, allowing you to set them to automatically record any activity when the alarm goes off.

         

        There’s also a good array of other smart home device add-ons to choose from, thanks to Ring’s small but growing smart home ecosystem called Works With Ring. Many of these devices work with Alexa if you connect the Ring system to the virtual assistant.

         

        There’s also optional professional monitoring for $10 per month or $100 per year. Additional contact sensors, for doors and windows, and motion sensors cost $20 and $30, respectively. 

        Best Smart Thermostat
        nest Learning Thermostat
        nest Learning Thermostat

          nest Learning Thermostat

          CR’s take: The Google Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the best smart thermostats in our ratings. While this thermostat is made by Google, it works well with Amazon Alexa.

           

          It rates Excellent for automating your heating/cooling and offers a wealth of smart features to enhance its functionality, including an occupancy sensor (so it can adjust the temperature based on whether people are present in the room) and geofencing (which allows it to use your smartphone’s location data to turn the temperature up or down when you leave and return home).

           

          One caveat: Our testers find that the manual controls aren’t the easiest to use. 

          Best Smart Lock
          August Smart Lock Pro AUG-SL-CON
          August Smart Lock Pro AUG-SL-CON

            August Smart Lock Pro AUG-SL-CON

            CR’s take: The August Smart Lock Pro is one of only two locks in our ratings to earn an Excellent rating for Smart IQ because of its impressive array of features, including electronic keys, an access log, remote control, remote alerts, and voice control. However, the remote features and voice control via Amazon Alexa require an August Connect WiFi adapter, $79, to connect the lock to the internet.

             

            This lock is a retrofit product, meaning that it only replaces the part of the lock that’s on the interior side of your door. The exterior part of your deadbolt will remain on the door. This means you can still use your keys, but also lock and unlock the door from your smartphone app. Since the August is a retrofit model, how well it withstands kick-ins or drilling is dependent on the deadbolt you have.

             

            Be sure to check August’s compatibility list to see whether it will work with your lock.

            Best Robotic Vacuum
            Samsung POWERbot R7065 VR2AM7065WS/AA
            Samsung POWERbot R7065 VR2AM7065WS/AA

              Samsung POWERbot R7065 VR2AM7065WS/AA

              CR’s take: The sleek Samsung Powerbot earns high marks, including an Excellent rating for cleaning bare floors. It’s also superb at cleaning carpet.

               

              A couple of key design details separate it from the competition, such as its ability to clean along walls: It’s equipped with a brush that extends down to sweep up dirt only when it nears a wall—an improvement over side brushes that are out at all times and can scatter debris.

               

              As for power, the Samsung Powerbot is able to pick up fine grains of sand and embedded pet hair from carpets. (You have to manually clean the pet hair from the brush.) Bottom line: You can spend a lot more on a robovac and not get this level of performance. 

              Best Smart Sprinkler Controller
              RainMachine Touch HD-12
              RainMachine Touch HD-12

                RainMachine Touch HD-12

                CR’s take: The RainMachine Touch HD-12 is a stellar controller that’s capable of handling 12 different watering zones. It receives an Excellent rating for weather responsiveness—the only system in our tests to do so—and is easy to physically install, too. To set up the WiFi, you’ll have to use the controller itself; you can't connect via the smartphone app.

                 

                The RainMachine features a 4.3-inch touch screen display for manual control, but of course, you can turn it on and off using Alexa instead. A 16-zone version is available for $269. This model lacks a weatherproof enclosure, but RainMachine recommends an Orbit controller box (around $30) for outdoor installation.

                Best Smart Speaker
                Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)
                Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

                  Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

                  CR’s take: If you want to add another Alexa smart speaker to your home, say for a bedroom or home office, consider the second generation Amazon Echo Show. It’s one of the best-sounding devices Amazon has ever brought to market, and the large, 10-inch touch screen makes it very easy to set up and use.

                   

                  The Echo Show is great for reading a recipe or watching a quick how-to video, tasks that might otherwise require you to pull out your smartphone or tablet. 

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                  Daniel Wroclawski

                  I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).