Climate Control

Hive Active Thermostat vs. Tado Smart Thermostat 3: Which Will You Choose?

(Last Updated On: November 1, 2017)

When it comes to smart thermostats, most people think about Nest or Ecobee. But those living in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom, would think about Tado or Hive.

Hive Active Thermostat

With Hive Active Thermostat, you can keep the temperatures inside your home just right and still save energy. You can control the temperature from your smartphone, allowing you to remotely set the right heating or cooling levels even before you get home.

That’s right, you can go home and not have to wait anymore for the house to get warm or cool; you can instantly feel comfortable and cozy the moment you open the door.

And if you are going on vacation, you can set your Hive Active Thermostat so that it will turn down the heating or cooling, and so you can save more.


The Hive Active Thermostat measures 3.93 inches on all sides. The square thermostat has a black screen that displays the current and target temperatures. There is a physical dial at the center of the screen, allowing you to adjust the temperature to your liking.

Under the dial, you would also find three buttons that allow you to access the thermostat’s menus, go back a page, and confirm any selections you make.

Manually setting the temperature is a matter of turning the physical dial. Turn it clockwise to increase the temperature, and turn it the other way to decrease the temperature. Heating will instantly turn on when you set a higher target temperature than the actual temperature.

If you want to customize your Hive Active Thermostat, you can choose from 11 colored frames available from the manufacturer’s Web site, for around $27. Speaking of accessories, you can also get a stand for your thermostat for only $40.


You can set your thermostat to turn the heating on or off. At the scheduled times, the Hive Active Thermostat will instantly kick in.

There are several ways to override the set schedule. If you are feeling cold, you can boost your heat just by pressing the Heating Boost button found on the top part of the thermostat. Press this button a second time to make sure that your thermostat is boosting the heat for a longer period.

The boost will stop when it reaches the desired temperature. You can also change the heating mode to manual, which would disregard any set schedule and maintain the temperature at your set temperature.

Hot water control

The Hive Active Thermostat can also make sure that you have hot water ready for use. You can even schedule it if you only want hot water during certain times of the day.

You can use the hot water boost and control the temperature of the hot water, too. Hot water control only works if you have a separate hot water tank, instead of a combination boiler.

Frost protection

Even when you turn your heating down, the Hive Active Thermostat will be able to protect your home from frost. When the temperature drops to below 44 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 degrees Celsius, the heating will kick in. This means that your home will not freeze, and your indoor plants are safe.


The Hive Active Thermostat uses your smartphone’s GPS to know when you are coming home so that it could automatically turn up the cooling or heating to a level you prefer, or if you are going out of the preset area to turn off your HVAC system.

What you would like about the Hive Active Thermostat

If you have a dehumidifier or humidifier attached to the ACC terminal, you will be able to control these devices with your thermostat. Hive Active Thermostat also works with a majority of heating and cooling systems, and can support up to three heating stages and two cooling stages.

If you live with little kids, you can set a child lock for your Hive Active Thermostat to make sure that they will not be able to change the temperatures.

You can change the temperature which will trigger the Frost Protection settings. By default, Frost Protection automatically comes on when the temperature goes below 7 degrees Celsius, but if you have houseplants that require a higher temperature than that, you can easily change it in the settings.

What could be better

The Hive Active Thermostat requires a C-wire to work because it needs to have a steady stream of power. If you do not have a C-wire, you would need to ask a professional to install the thermostat for you.

There are a lot of caveats as to the placement of the thermostat. You cannot place it near radiators, under direct sunlight, or any other area where it is near heat sources because it will affect the accuracy of the thermostat’s readings. It also needs to be placed in an area where there is free-flowing air.

You cannot hide it behind curtains or obstruct it. An internal wall away from windows and doors would be a good location for your Hive Active Thermostat. The good news is that it looks amazing enough so there is really no need for you to hide it.

There Hive Active Thermostat uses a combination of words and icons on its display. While these words and icons are easy to understand once you have gotten the hang of it, a new user might find them confusing.

Final say about Hive Active Thermostat

The Hive Active Thermostat needs the Hive Hub for its connectivity features to work. The good news is that both devices come free with the Hive heating and cooling plan, which would cost you $12.99 per month. If you want to pay for a cheaper monthly plan, you can get the Hive Starter Plan for $9.99 per month.

This plan helps you get started with your smart home with smart lights, smart plugs, and window and door sensors, and you can just add the Hive Active Thermostat as an add-on for $119.99.

The Hive Active Thermostat helps make it easier for you to stay comfortable while also saving on your heating and cooling bills. It also allows you to set up schedules and use geofencing. It also works with Amazon Alexa. You can even control your hot water using the same device.

What’s more, you can easily expand your system with other devices from Hive, including smart lights, smart cameras, and smart locks. Lastly, Hive also works with IFTTT recipes.

Tado Smart Thermostat 3

Tado is a German technology company that first made waves when it came out with the first Tado Smart Thermostat, which was one of the very few learning thermostats available in the market in 2014.


The Tado Smart Thermostat 3 has a square form factor measuring 4.1 inches on all sides. It has a minimalist look with a white plastic material.

The display uses an LED matrix of 190 LEDS, buttons, and capacitive interface. It weighs 132 grams.


The Tado Smart Thermostat 3 has three kinds of sensors. There is the temperature sensor, ambient light sensor, and the humidity sensor.

Three ways to save on your heating bills

Geolocation. Using your smartphone’s GPS location, the Tado can control heating, allowing it to turn down the heating when nobody’s home and then turn it up when you’re almost home.

Learning Thermostat. Like the Nest thermostat, Tado Smart Thermostat 3 is able to learn your behavior. Just set the temperature the way you normally would and Tado will learn your preferences and then be able to automatically adjust the heating and cooling depending on your own preferences.

It will also learn more about your home and the materials it is made of, ensuring that it can efficiently heat your home.

Weather forecasts. Tado will also check your local weather forecasts, enabling it to heat your home more when it rains or snows outside.

What could be better

The first Tado Smart Thermostat 3 did not rely on an Internet bridge. For some reason, Tado separated the Internet bridge from the main thermostat body in the second and eventually the third reiteration of its smart thermostat.

The Internet bridge looks clunky and may have problems with its range. For quite an advance thermostat, the Tado looks rather cheap with its plastic build.

Comparing the Tado Smart Thermostat 3 and the Hive Active Thermostat

Hive Active Thermostat vs. Tado Smart Thermostat 3

When it comes to comparing the Tado Smart Thermostat 3 and the Hive Active Thermostat, let us start with the obvious. The Hive looks way better than the Tado, with its updated take of the traditional dial controlled thermostats.


 Hive Active ThermostatTado Smart Thermostat 3
Monthly subscription or rental$12.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)$5.33 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Outright purchase price$239.16 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)$179.00 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Internet bridge requiredYesYes
Dimensions3.93 x 3.93 x 1.89 inches4.1 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
Weight212 grams132 grams
Remote control via smartphoneYesYes
Hot water controlYesYes
Frost protectionYesYes
Learning thermostatNoYes
Considers the weatherYesYes
Works with IFTTTYesYes
Works with Amazon AlexaYesYes
Works with Google Assistant NoYes


One key difference is that in the United States, you can get Hive Active Thermostat only by getting a monthly plan. You cannot buy the device outright. A heating and cooling plan would cost you $12.99.

If you live in the United Kingdom, however, you can buy the device outright for what is the equivalent of around $239.16. On the other hand, you can buy the Tado Smart Thermostat 3 outright for $179.

If you live in the United Kingdom, however, you have a rental option that would cost the equivalent of $5.33 per month. Prices for both rental and outright purchases would differ according to the country where you are from.

Taken at face value, however, the Tado Smart Thermostat 3 wins with a more affordable price.

When it comes to features, Tado and Hive share much of the same features: they are able to adjust your home’s temperature, help you save money, offer remote control for your smart thermostat, and use geolocation. Both thermostats also offer hot water control and frost protection.

The biggest difference between the two in terms of features is that Tado Smart Thermostat 3 has learning algorithms that can take into account your home’s materials and your own behavior to adjust the temperature. You do not need to schedule or manually adjust your thermostats!

My Final Say

If you are looking for a smart thermostat that is affordable and that packs in a lot of features, then choose the Tado Smart Thermostat 3. However, if you are one who puts a premium on how your thermostat looks, then you wouldn’t go wrong with Hive Active Thermostat.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

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