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Google Nest vs Hive Thermostats


Since its launch in 2011, Google Nest thermostat has been the undisputed champion of smart thermostats. However, of late, it has been facing stiff competition from the recently released British Gas Hive Active Heating thermostat that is attempting to wrestle the top spot from it. Although it hasn’t managed this yet, Hive Active Heating has succeeded in winning over 52% of the market and is currently UK’s most popular smart thermostat.

Given that both thermostats integrate cutting-edge technology and have innovative features, it is easy to see why in your search for a smart thermostat, you ended up in the Nest vs Hive debate.

In this article, we aim to draw attention to the main differences between these two thermostats. To achieve this, we compare the key feature of the Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat and the Hive Active Heating Thermostat across several parallels such as design, compatibility, and installation.

But before we get down to that, let’s first do a recap on some of the benefits you’ll reap by installing a smart thermostat in place of the regular one.

What are the benefits of a smart thermostat?

Saves on money

Smart thermostats will track the performance of your heating system and give you detailed weekly or monthly reports of your energy uses. From these reports, you can identify how energy wastage happens in your system and implement measures to curb it. Moreover, it will grant you the ability to set heating schedules and models to reduce your energy expenditure, thus saving on energy bills.

Remote control

As smart thermostats can be controlled via a mobile, tablet or laptop, you can monitor and control your heating system even when you are not home.

Tracking Local Weather

With how sophisticated these thermostats are, they can easily monitor outside weather conditions and modify indoor temperatures accordingly. For example, you can leave for a walk on a chilly evening and come back to a much needed warm room, all thanks to your thermostat.

Nest vs Hive Thermostats


Nest thermostat’s circular shape, surrounded by a metal rim and a large, clear display is a picture of class and sophistication. The thermostat also happens to sense when you enter the room and will display the current temperature.

The Hive thermostat, on the other hand, is square and has a smaller display compared to that of the Nest thermostat. Hive thermostats cannot detect when you enter the room, and to view the current temperature, you have to press the display screen.

Nest thermostats offer a quick way of instantly adjusting temperatures. All you have to do is twist the entire device and push in the thermostat to activate your heating settings. On the other hand, Hive lacks this instant functionality and requires you to press a few buttons and the main dial to adjust your temperature settings.

Another plus for the Nest thermostat is that it is available in different colours. You can choose to go with silver, copper, black, or white. On the other hand, Hive thermostats are dark grey, and their frames come in 12 different colours. With 12 colours to choose from, you can colour-coordinate the thermostat frame with your walls to achieve aesthetic balance.

Generally, despite both thermostats spotting sleek and modern designs, if aesthetics is what you are after, the Nest thermostat will meet the cut.


As both Nest and Hive are smart thermostats, there is bound to be many similarities between the two of them.  For instance, both thermostats will give you greater control over your heating system, including temperature and hot water.  Also, both thermostats allow you to control your energy uses via your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Another similarity between the two market leaders is that both allow you to programme your heating schedule to improve heating efficiency and lower energy wastage. The programming option of the two thermostats also has a holiday mode that prevents the pipes from freezing while you are away.

Additionally, both the Nest and Hive thermostats have a frost protection feature that kicks into action when temperatures in the heating system drop too low. This feature will activate the heating system, preventing the pipes from freezing.

The two thermostats also utilize geofencing and geolocation features to determine when you leave the property and when you come back. If the thermostat detects that you are not home, it will switch off the heating to prevent energy wastage. On the other hand, when it detects that you are heading home, it will switch on the heating so that the house will be sufficiently warm when you get back.

Unique features      

Given all these similarities, how can you differentiate the two thermostats? The answer is simple.  With Nest thermostats benefiting from the massive backing and research of Google, naturally has some extra features that Hive thermostats can’t currently match.

For instance, the Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat, as the name suggests, can learn your home’s heating habits and automatically programme itself to match your routine.  Using its algorithmic learning feature, it monitors your activities and temperature preferences for two weeks after installation. The thermostat will then use this data to create a schedule that perfectly suits your needs.

The Nest thermostat also has in-built motion sensors that detect when you are home and when you’re not. The motion sensors also work hand-in-hand with the Farsight feature, and when they determine your presence, the thermostat display automatically comes on for you to read from across the room. There is also a light sensor that detects the presence of the sun and modifies the room temperatures to ensure they are within acceptable limits.

Lastly, the Nest Learning 3rd Generation thermostat has a powerful multi-zone feature that allows you to set up to 20 heating zones in up to 2 properties. The Hive Active Heating thermostat also has the same feature but on a reduced scale. Hive Multizone allows you to set up three heating zones in your home, and the Hive Radiator Valves enables you to control temperatures in individual rooms.

So, in terms of features, Nest bags is another win thanks to its unique ability to learn your heating habits.


Both Nest Learning Thermostat and the Hive Active Heating thermostat can be installed by a professional or yourself through DIY installations. However, it is always advisable to let professionals do the job.

We recommend that you let a Nest Pro Installer fit in your Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat. The thermostat is usually installed directly in place of the existing wall-mounted thermostat or on a movable stand.

We also recommend leaving the installation of the Hive Active Heating thermostat to a Gas Safe engineer. And since the thermostat is portable, you can place it on a stand or anywhere else you can easily access it.

Compatibility with heating systems

Regardless of how many features your preferred thermostat has, it will all be for nought if the thermostat is not compatible with your heating system. But luckily, both Nest and Hive are compatible with most gas, oil, LPG, and electric boilers. However, before you settle down for either of the two, consult an installer to confirm whether the thermostat is compatible with your boiler model.

However, if you are using a renewable energy heating system, you have no option but to use the Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat. The reason is that the Hive thermostat is not compatible with renewable energy heating systems such as air source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, and biomass boilers.

So when looking at the compatibility of the thermostat with central heating systems, the Nest thermostat scores more points than Hive.


Both Google Nest and Hive thermostats offer a high level of automation and voice control using popular platforms like Alexa, IFTTT, and Google Assistant. Google Nest thermostats are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and IFTTT. Hive isn’t left behind either, integrating seamlessly with systems like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Philips Hue, IFTTT, and Hive Actions.

When it comes to automation, the two thermostats go toe-to-toe and are tied.

Ease of use

Both two thermostats have user-friendly devices and smartphone apps. However, Google Nest’s features such as Farsight which allows one to read the thermostat from a distance and the ‘self-learn feature makes it easy to use without even coming in contact with it. The fact that the entire thermostat acts as a dial makes it easier to read through options and adjust settings.

The biggest flex of the Hive thermostat lies in its simplicity of installation and portability. Since the thermostat runs on batteries, you can place it anywhere you want as there is no need to hardwire it.

Although the Hive thermostat is easy to master, and anyone can use it to set heating schedules, you have to admit that manually adjusting the heating schedule

is tiring and time-consuming.

The two thermostats are matched on ease of use as they are by far the easiest thermostats to use in the market.

Customer support

You can reach out to Nest customer support via mobile phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, and online chat. There is also the Nest Community in which you can converse about thermostat issues with other Nest users. They also have a Google Nest Help platform for troubleshooting problems, FAQs and accessing manuals.

On the other hand, you can reach Hive customer support through phone, email, and social media. You can also head to the Hive Support platform to read through FAQs, general help, and product guides.

Although the two thermostats have excellent customer support, users feel that the Nest customer support is more active than Hive.


Google Nest thermostats usually come with warranties ranging between 1-2 years. The Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat comes with a 2-year warranty. If a Nest Pro installer does the installation, you get an extended 5-years warranty.

Hive products, on the other hand, come with a 1-year standard warranty.  The warranty can, however, can be extended indefinitely if you subscribe to the Hive Live membership.

From the above, you can easily conclude that Nest thermostats have better warranties than Hive thermostats.

Final Thoughts

Although the two thermostats are closely matched, the Nest Learning 3rd Generation Thermostat manages to pull ahead of Hive Active Heating in almost every aspect. But as much as we’d recommend going for Google Nest, the final decision rests with you. So our final advice to you is to go with the one that you feel best suits your needs.

However, if you are still unsure on which one to go with, contact a professional heating engineer to evaluate your central heating system and recommend a suitable smart thermostat.

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