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Hive vs Nest – Which Is The Best Smart Thermostat in 2023?

Welcome to our 10-minute review; a Hive vs Nest comparison. Below, we’re going to everything you need to know to determine whether you need to be installing the Hive Active Heating, or the Nest 3rd Generation Thermostat.

And, before we jump straight into the actual tech, price, online reviews and features; it’s important to know where these thermostats were ACTUALLY born (it’s probably not from where you think).

Hive vs Nest thermostats review

Neither of the companies behind these thermostats is a company that specialises in heating controls.

You’d expect these smart thermostats to be coming from established and well-known heating control brands; Honeywell for instance. In fact, some do, we’ve got a detailed guide covering the best smart thermostats (Nest, Hive, tado° and Honeywell) here.

Who Makes The Hive Active Heating Thermostat

The Hive Active Heating Thermostat is manufactured by your favourite (or not) boiler installation company; British Gas.

Naturally, when any innovative technology breaks into the heating market, British Gas want a handle on it.

So, it’s a household name, but are they producing something worth your cash?

After all, they specialise in fixing boilers, not making parts for them.

Who Makes The Nest 3rd Generation Heating Thermostat

And, here’s the reason British Gas had to come up with their own smart thermostat; Nest is owned by Google. And, Google don’t share. They want to own the world : )

If you’re like the billions of other people in the world, there’s a good chance you either use Google’s search engine, or some of their other technology daily.  That’s because they’re one of the best at what they do; technology.

So, we could start and stop this review of Nest vs Hive there. After all, there’s only a few pence difference between Nest and Hive Thermostats, so why not go with the one from the tech-giant?

Hive vs Nest: Analysis

In our opinion, the Nest 3rd Generation Learning thermostat is the best smart thermostat on the market.

At the end of the day, this is a technology product. And, if you’re buying a technology product, it makes sense to go with the company that OWNS that niche; that’s Google’s Nest Labs.

Hive Active Heating is certainly a close second (there are others such as Tado), but here’s why we think the Nest 3rd Gen is the best smart thermostat for the money.

Nest 3rd Generation Thermostat

So, Nest is our top pick in the Hive vs Nest shootout, but why? 

Below, we’re going to review the Nest 3rd Generation Thermostat. We’ll drop in how that compares to Hive throughout, for a direct comparison.

Online Reviews

If you’re tossing up between Hive or Nest, there’s a good chance you’ve started looking for online reviews. And, it’s these online reviews that truly show how much more popular Nest vs Hive really is.

Check online retailers reviews for Nest? You’ll see over 2,000.

Check online reviews for Hive? You’ll see less than half of that figure, so there’s no relative comparison.


Complete with your purchase, you’re going to get a 2-year warranty.

And, that’s pretty-good, given that the Hive Active Heating unit is only offered with 1.

Which Boilers Work With Nest?

This is where Nest blows the Hive Active Heating thermostat out of the water.

With Hive, you’ll only be able to fit it onto a typical gas or LPG boiler. But, it does work with a handful of electric and oil boilers too (worth checking before you make a purchase).

Nest? It works with almost all types of boilers including combis, system, regular, air source and even underfloor heating systems.

Device & App Compatibility

One of the big pros to owning a smart thermostat like Nest, is convenience. But, for a smart thermostat to be convenient, it needs to be compatible with multiple devices. 

So, let’s start with the BAD. The Nest 3rd Gen ISN’T compatible with Siri.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the positive. First, up, you’ll get Amazon Alexa compatibility. And, for Alexa, that compatibility has been certified by Amazon themselves.

Alongside Alexa, you’ll get compatibility with Google Home and Apple HomeKit. So, although it lacks support with Siri, there are other options.

Hive Active doesn’t come with voice control from Google Home, so that’s a thumbs-up for Nest.


With the Nest 3rd Gen, you’ll be able to control both heating and hot water. You can also set up zoned areas in your property.

That means you’ll be able to heat some rooms more than others, based on which ones you use most. And naturally, that means your energy consumption is lower, and you bank balance is bigger; big cash savings to be had!

Zoning is a fantastic way to save money. And, the bigger your property is, the more that zoning is going to make a difference to your heating bills.

The Nest Thermostat offers the ability to control 20 zones. And, that’s 17 more zones than you’ll be able to control with Hive.


It’s small and lightweight, so it’s easy to move around. You can connect to the thermostat or operate using the big button on the exterior.

Using this, you’ll be able to control things such as temperature, and even set timers for your heating.

Some of the other smart thermostats are limited to being controlled via an app. That is what they’re designed for, but it’s nice to have manual functions as well.

The cool thing about Nest, is it REALLY is a learning thermostat. And, that means it’s going to slowly build-up a profile of how you use your heating and hot water. That means different temperatures and times, on different days.

The net result?

Although you can control the Nest thermostat from your smart phone, you shouldn’t need to regularly. The longer you have the thermostat, the more informed it is about your habits, so it controls your heating on your behalf.


Given this isn’t a cheap thermostat (you can pick up non-smart thermostats for around £30), the design is important.

Personally, we feel that the design of the Nest over the Hive Active Heating is sleeker, and more fitting to a modern smart home.

You’ve got 4 colour options too:

  • Black
  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper
  • White


You’ve got two options when it comes to installation:

  1. Self-install
  2. Professional install

Given this is a Google product, it’s been well designed. And, that means it’s relatively easy to install.

You’ll get the Nest Smart Thermostat in two parts being the thermostat itself, and the Heat Link. It’s the Heat Link that connects to your boiler.

It needs to be connected to WIFI, and you’ll then need to install the official Nest App on any devices you want to control it with.

Will Using A Nest Thermostat Save You Money?

The key thing here, is convenience. That means having the ability to set your heating from work on a cold day or turning it off after you’ve already left home. 

But, some of the functions that improve the practicality of your heating, also save you money. Take leaving your home without switching your heating off for instance. Having the ability to turn off your heating remotely from work could be a big money saver.

And then, there’s other cool features such as the motion sensor. You don’t even have to remember to turn off your heating; Nest will do it for you.

The Nest smart thermostat tracks your phone’s location and the motion sensor on the front of your property. Combining the two data sets, it can make an informed decision as to when you’re not at home. It turns off your heating and saves you money in the process.

It’s worth noting that whilst you’ll be able to schedule 6 different heating functions on Hive, it won’t learn your heating habits. So, if you’re tossing up between Nest or Hive and want a learning thermostat; you’ll want Nest.

Should You Buy The Nest 3rd Generation Smart Thermostat, Or Hive?

Combining design, practicality, online reviews, price and more; Nest is certainly the best smart thermostat for the money.

And, you can start the process of upgrading your property to a Smart Home, by checking prices for Nest below.

Check price on Amazon

Smart Thermostat Buying Guide

Still not sure whether a Nest or Hive smart thermostat is for you?

Check out our quick-fire buyer’s guide below.

What Do Hive And Nest Smart Thermostats Do?

Smart thermostats can be controlled remotely. That means you can turn your heating up/down from the comfort of your sofa, or even when you’re not at home.

You’ll be able to control both the Hive and Nest thermostats via electronic devices that have access to the internet/WIFI, with the suitable apps. That means laptops, PCs and even smart phones.

Will Installing A Hive Or Nest Thermostat Save You Money?

There’s no real proof that installing smart thermostats will save you money.

However, it’s pretty-obvious that being able to control your heating system remotely, has that ability.


Some smart thermostats have the ability to “zone”. That means you’ll be able to quickly adjust your heating system, to only heat sections or rooms in your property that you use the most.

And, that means saving cash.


Smart thermostats can over time, learn your daily routine. And, that doesn’t just make using them convenient, it also means that if you accidently leave your heating on, your thermostat is going to know.


You can constantly monitor energy usage from your smart phone, and that means you know when your kids (or partner!) are cranking the heat up, even when you know they don’t need to.

Remote Access

Can’t remember if you turned your heating off? Stuck late at work and want to cancel your heating timer?

No problem. You can do all this remotely, using a smart thermostat like Hive or Nest. And, that’s going to save you a tonne of money if you’re forgetful!


Thanks for reading our Hive vs Nest comparison.

Got a Hive, Nest or other smart thermostat, and have thoughts on it? Or, still have a question?

We’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

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  1. Edwin Mc'Allister says:

    Mr or Ms average will rarely use all the facilities offered by Nest – like all technology, the majority of houses do not have the facilities and is seldom used.
    Furthermore, very few installed home boilers have the thermal link facility.
    The Hive is a basic system that, whilst it nominally manually controlled (it does have the ability to recognise when you are leaving or coming home and does offer the facility for you to either leave or alter the settings), would suit the vast majority of normal homes today. Having analysed both systems, I have chosen Hive for its ease of installation and controllability.
    In the average home, having 6-8 rooms (<1000sqft), and not to the latest thermally insulated model, in many cases it can be advantageous to keep the temperature level throughout the house, as having cold rooms will create a temperature differential and will require the inhabitants to keep all the doors closed, and a subsequent temperature drop when then move from room to room, thus increasing your fuel usage.

  2. Frank says:

    I bought the Nest. Looks so easy to install. However its NOTHING like the videos etc. In the UK you get a second item called a heat link. Just look it up. This is to be wired to your boiler. The versions you see on the videos simply connecting wires w1 & Rh etc dont exist. The circular thing with those on are on the non uk eu models. Personally I find it misleading.

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