Choosing a Smart Thermostat for the Elderly (2021 Update)

My father has had the same thermostat for the last 10 years. A touch screen Lennox that he mistakenly thought he had issues with. He said to me “Why can’t I just have an old one with a dial?” and the ensuing conversation was fun. 

Actually the fan motor had gone bad but the point remains that some of us have issues operating our thermostat and we want a user-friendly solution. 

No one should be confused when trying to make their temperatures comfortable. We’ve included four smart thermostats and a comprehensive guide to help clear the air.

Quick Recommendations

Best Overall Option

Emerson Sensi

Emerson Sensi

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This was an obvious choice for its large, brightly lit, display that will help make heating or cooling the home an easy task.

Upgrade Option

Google Nest

Google Nest

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The Nest is the pinnacle of smart technology in the home. You don’t need to be smart to use smart technology. This system will learn from your habits and program itself. Perfect for the older, less tech-savvy generation.

Value Option

Honeywell Home Wifi 7-Day Programmable

Honeywell Home Wifi 7-Day Programmable

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Honeywell has been making new, large, thermostats for a while. Trusted among the seniors, this one is still wifi enabled and comes with some of the same features for half the price.

Alternative Option

Lux KONOse

Lux KONOse

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This thermostat was designed specifically to help the older generation. Brightly lit and with wifi, this thermostat is known for it’s ease-of-use.

Why go smart?

Lets touch back to why my father isn’t going to switch back to an analog thermostat. Believe it or not the new systems on the market are actually easier to use once you have got the hang of it. 

Not to mention all the added upside that you just don’t get with an analog including but not limited to the energy savings. Lets face it, we cannot be draining our parents money from their own pockets. 

Technology should not have a divide especially when it comes to seniors. One of the reasons we make the switch is so we can enjoy the features that new technology has to offer us. 

Wifi is a great example, being able to control the heating or cooling of the house from any location. Tied into that is the automation and programmability you get with a newer unit.

Which thermostat is best for the elderly?

Large display thermostats help far more than your traditional set up. We recommend something digital and easy to see. We need something that is easy to use around the home in any room. 

Having to walk to the thermostat every time you get uncomfortable is going to make a lot of trips. Pick a system that offers security and makes living more comfortable. 

Full operation heating or cooling with the click of one button. We do not need a mode for our different moods but something that will learn or can be fully programmed. 

Voice controls will help some more than others. Make the call depending on the needs of you or your parents.

Will I have to install my thermostat myself?

While some of the best thermostat for elderly are easy to install, things can still get tricky. Many manufacturers will specify if the thermostat is battery powered or requires a C-Wire. 

The C-Wire provides a constant supply of energy to the thermostat which helps keep it connected to wi fi. 

Older homes didn’t require a C-Wire so it is important to make sure everything is compatible before purchasing. Whether this thermostat is for you, your parents, or you’re a landlord, make sure to get assistance with anything you do not understand. 

Companies like Google have tried to lower the amount of expertise is takes to install their thermostats and have had quite the success. Please use high caution as to not mess up the life of your thermostat or HVAC.

Will I be able to read my thermostat?

The absolute number one grievance among seniors and thermostats is the fact that they simply just cannot read them. Companies have made a killing, simply creating easy-read thermostats even when they are designed poorly. 

Do not let this be the reason to choose from easy read thermostats. Elderly people want a large backlit display that they will need little to no help operating. This may be an important factor in the decision making process.

Top Smart Thermostat for Elderly Individuals

Emerson Sensi

This large thermostat for elderly people is easily controlled at home or on your smartphone. Energy Star certified this product meaning it is trusted for its energy efficiency. 

The Sensi line of products from Emerson just won partner of the year through Energy Star. 

This award from the EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) is the highest of its kind. A fully programmable thermostat that is easy to use and even compatible with Amazon Alexa. 

Even without Alexa, you can still operate the system anywhere from an Android in iOS device. Have updates on temperature and humidity sent right to your email or phone. 

Compatible with most heating/cooling systems and an installation guide is provided. Install usually takes 30 minutes or less.


  • Bright, large display
  • Detect temperature and humidity changes
  • Smart home compatible
  • Energy Star certified


  • issues with geofencing
  • accessibility issues with fan speed

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Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Googles line of smart thermostats use to dominate the market and for good reason. Now that competitors have had a chance to catch up, there are other great options as well but the Nest has all the bells and whistles. 

The upfront cost is mitigated from the money you save cutting down your energy output. Loaded with different features and sensors like for the furnace. 

You can cut power to the system from devices like your phone. This feature comes in handy when you leave on vacation and forget to turn your thermostat down to reasonable degree. 

Installation takes roughly an hour and the design is compatible to link the heat pump into your smart home. There is plenty of help through the provider and online. The reviews have this as an easy to use smart home thermostat.


  • Great customer support
  • Improved geofencing
  • Monitors for issues


  • Expensive
  • Accuracy

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Honeywell Home 7-Day Programmable

This is a smart, simple thermostat for seniors. It is very easy to use and control the temperature with. Use wifi to allow remote access to your system and change heating and cooling at any place or time. 

This cost effective option may not come with everything our other recommendations do but it hits everything on our list. We still get a fully programmable, wifi thermostat that works with Alexa but for a great price.


  • Easy install/set up
  • Accuracy
  • ease-of-use


  • Cycle rate

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KonoSe Thermostat for the Elderly

Johnson Controls designs tech specifically for the elderly with this visible touchscreen thermostat. It works amazing and is easy to operate. No buttons and you can schedule it how you like. 

What they did here was address a set of select consumer requirements. The seniors wanted a thermostat for them and they did just that. Super bright display with new easy-home control. 

Large dial on the front to replicate the design many elderly are use to.


  • Customizable face
  • Smart-home compatible
  • Easy install


  • No humidity levels
  • no outdoor temperature reading

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It’s not easy coming upon new products for the house. Especially when we need something specific for our families needs. These recommendations were made with the consumer in mind. 

We understand that the living situation of one does not reflect that of another and so our choices help those out with a similar issue but different overall needs. 

The upgrade choice will give you the most options but sometimes we only need the features that come from the value option. We hope that whoever is reading this whether it be a senior citizen or someone shopping for their parent, that it helps you make an informed decision all the same.