Apple HomeKit is booming. The Cupertino company has made it easier than ever for smart home companies to get their products working with HomeKit in newer versions of iOS, and the list of compatible devices is growing fast.
It's the tech in the background that lets all of your gadgets talk to each other, and everything is controlled from one place: Home, a dedicated app that makes it easier than ever to get started.
And what's more, changes made back in iOS 11 mean there are even more HomeKit devices available, as backwards compatibility is now an option for companies with existing products.
How to choose HomeKit devices
If you're an existing Apple user who wants to be part of the HomeKit smart home revolution, you'll need to know what works and what doesn't.
HomeKit accessories and devices are sold with a 'Works with Apple HomeKit' badge. Some older devices that rely on Apple's old hardware-based HomeKit capability also use 'HomeKit edition' as an identifier, while newer products are getting software updates and, as such, might not even mention HomeKit on the box. What's more, you'll need an Apple HomeKit hub for full functionality β more on that in our explainer.
All of this can make jumping into HomeKit a bit of work. For some help with getting started, check out our list below of the best Apple HomeKit devices β and we'll keep things updated as time goes on.
Best HomeKit hubs
Buy now: Apple | $299
If you're looking for a HomeKit-compatible smart speaker, there really is no alternative but Apple's own HomePod. Siri hosts proceedings, allowing you to control your other HomeKit devices and better leverage Apple Music to play your tunes. It also works as a HomeKit hub β something you'll want to have if you're serious about building a HomeKit house. A hub isn't strictly essential, but it means you can control devices remotely.
There's no doubt that the Cupertino giant has created a fantastic sounding speaker, but it's still pretty half-baked when it comes to smarts. While iOS 13 will finally bring the ability to add audio to your automations, Siri isn't a patch on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in terms of features and performance, but that doesn't mean it will always lag behind. If you're an Apple fan looking to build out a HomeKit ecosystem, it's your only choice β you'll just need to strap yourself in for the ride.
Buy now: Amazon | $179.00
The Apple TV is a great streaming box, yes, but it also works as a HomeKit hub. And as we've mentioned twice already, a hub is key to the full HomeKit experience. Only the 4th-gen and 4K versions of Apple TV are HomeKit-ready - so make sure you have the right one.
Alongside this you've got a great little streamer, especially if you go for the 4K model. Apple's TV box is well fed with all the major services and the biggest library of Dolby-supported movies right now.
Best HomeKit lighting
Lighting is a good place to start in any smart home and Apple HomeKit works with smart bulb systems like Philips Hue, Ikea Tradfri, C by GE, and Lifx, as well as some smaller names.
Buy now: Amazon | From $69.90
Why would you want purple lighting in the bedroom and fuchsia in the living room? Because you can, of course. Colours and brightness can now be controlled within the Apple ecosystem through Siri and, if you're an existing Hue user, it's simple to port all the info needed from your old bridge.
If you're already got Hue, you'll need to pick up the new HomeKit Upgrade bridge, otherwise go for the HomeKit compatible starter kit. Then you can also add a Lightstrip Plus, Downlight or Hue Go to the mix.
Buy now: Amazon | From $39.99
If you've wanted to jump into smart lights but didn't want to deal with hubs or pay for Philips Hue, Lifx's bulbs come with with HomeKit support, so you can control them from Siri or the dedicated Home app.
You won't have to buy any of the new bulbs, either, as this is all done via software update. You can check out Lifx's complete lineup of compatible bulbs on its website, which include the Ambient-recommended Lifx Mini.
Buy now: Amazon | From $199.99
Nanoleaf Light Panels is a modular smart lighting system that you can stick to your walls and windows to make beautiful designs. It comes as a set of triangles which will glow and/or flash whatever colours you wish and, just to top it all off, it's entirely voice controlled. Buy a starter kit and add panels as you go. Not a fan of triangles? The most recent Nanoleaf Canvas offers square panelling instead.
Here's where HomeKit comes in: you can use Siri (or Alexa) to control your lights with your voice, plus its new dodecahedron Remote can be used with Nanoleaf lighting and other HomeKit gadgets. And the new Rhythm module, which senses music playing in the room and then puts on a show to match, is HomeKit-friendly too.
Best HomeKit thermostats
Buy now: Amazon | $246.99
Ecobee should be your first stop if you're in the market for a HomeKit thermostat. Its range of smart thermostats does everything you'd expect β geofencing, smart Home/Away, easy scheduling with an app β plus they come with a room sensor that detects motion and temperature.
These sensors (you can pair multiple ones) can optimise the temperature in specific locations and "follow" you around your home, making sure the temperature is how you like it whichever room you're in.
On top of all that, the Ecobee SmartThermostat has Alexa built in, so you can control it using Siri on your phone or using Alexa right on the device. If you don't feel the need for another voice assistant in your house, the Ecobee 3 Lite has all the same features, just no Alexa, and for a lot less.
Honeywell Lyric T5
Buy now: Amazon | $246.99
The Lyric T5 is a nice, inexpensive HomeKit-compatible thermostat that integrates with the Home app so you can set the temperature, tie it into automations, and enable geofencing so the Lyric will know when you enter and leave your house. It can also be integrated with other HomeKit devices, such as Honeywell's Lyric smart cameras and security systems, plus the smart thermostat is compatible with Alexa too.
The new Lyric T9 adds room sensors, like Ecobee, however HomeKit compatibility isn't coming until later this year.
Tado Smart Thermostat
Buy now: Amazon | $113.99
Tado's Smart Thermostat, its wireless receiver and its Smart Radiator Thermostats all work with Apple HomeKit. The additional radiator valves mean you can set up zones around your house and Tado puts a big emphasis on geo-location so that as you get closer to home, its system starts to warm your home up so it's ready. This works well, but is a problem if you're staying local.
The app is clean and easy, the set-up can also control your hot water and Tado is ecosystem agnostic, so pretty future-proof, too.
Buy now: Amazon | Β£149.99
Netatmo has a HomeKit edition of its smart thermostat, so look out for that label specifically. This allows for remote control of your heating via iPhone/iPad both at home and away.
The Auto Adapt program is designed to learn your habits by predicting when you'll turn the heating on β we haven't tested this yet but look out for a review soon. The design is quite funky (thanks Starck), you get an Energy Savings report and it's on the cheaper end of connected HomeKit thermostats. HomeKit friendly radiator valves are on their way.
Best HomeKit door locks
No one wants keys anymore, and with a smart door lock you can have your door unlock when you walk up to it, thanks to HomeKit's geofencing capabilities (although you will need to give it permission first, just in case someone else has your phone). Integrated into HomeKit automations you can have your door lock when you say good night, and control it remotely when you're away from home.
Buy now: Amazon | $229
August's Smart Lock Pro uses a Bluetooth connection to your device to open up as you approach, and when connected to HomeKit can be controlled from anywhere. Its DoorSense feature checks if your door is actually closed, so if you're locking it remotely you can be sure the door is shut first.
August has alerts that tell you if your door has been opened for a longer time than normal, too. And of course, it also works with a key, if your phone runs out of battery. With HomeKit you can also use Siri to lock and unlock doors using voice commands.
Buy now: Amazon | $199
If you want the outside of your door to look as tech-savvy as the inside of your home, consider the Kwikset Premis Contemporary HomeKit smart door lock.
Probably the best-looking HomeKit compatible smart door lock on the market, the Premis gives you multiple ways to access your home β key, touchscreen keypad, app or HomeKit geofencing. It also integrates with Apple's Home app to add it to scenes and automations, plus you can control it with your voice and even your Apple Watch.
Best HomeKit smart cameras
There are still a fair few gaps in the HomeKit list when it comes to smart security cameras β Netatmo, Arlo, D-Link and Logitech are all present and correct but Nest, Canary and Somfy are missing (although Somfy has announced compatibility is coming).
Buy now: Amazon | $329.99
Arlo finally has brought HomeKit integration to its Pro and Pro 2 cameras, and will soon be doing the same for its Ultra model.
The Pro 2 system is therefore its most up-to-date to feature HomeKit, and is a really impressive package. The cameras themselves are waterproof and completely wireless, so it's really up to you where you put them, and offer all the perks you'd hope for. That includes motion detection, low-light and night vision modes, and battery life that really impresses.
With HomeKit integration, you'll be able to see your cameras and their livefeeds in the Home app, as well as being able to set up rich notifications that can include video clips.
On top of that, the cameras include a seven-day recording plan for free, storing motion-triggered clips for a week in case of need. It's a compelling package if you're looking for a camera system for HomeKit.
Buy now: Amazon | $179.99
HomeKit is still starving for smart security cameras, so it's good news that the Circle 2 is available with HomeKit support. Logitech's versatile, weatherproof camera can work indoors and out, with wired and wireless options, and can stick on all manner of walls and surfaces. However, only the wired version is HomeKit-compatible.
You'll be able to use its motion sensing powers to trigger home automation, tell Siri what to show you and even control it from your Apple Watch. There's also a $99.99-per-year subscription that gives you person detection and activity zones. The Circle 2 works seamlessly though the accessories do jack up the price.
Netatmo Presence Outdoor
Buy now: Amazon | $299.99
There's no denying that Netatmo's outdoor security cam looks the part. And by that we mean ugly as sin, but it should deter any wrong'uns about the place. The biggest plus here is that there are no costly subscriptions to pay for β you can record to an SD card, Dropbox or a server. The Full HD camera also has a built-in floodlight which you can remotely control via the app or set up to come on if it detects motion.
Netatmo's other trick comes via its person detection algorithms which can distinguish between a person, animal and car and ping an alert to your phone to keep you informed.
D-Link Omna 180
Buy now: Amazon | $129.99
One of the first HomeKit friendly gadgets, the D-Link Omna isn't as fully featured as some smart home cameras but it is on the affordable side. It records in 1080p and has a 180-degree lens, as the name suggests, with extras like night vision and two-way talk as well as a microSD slot.
HomeKit support means you can view your D-Link feed and control the camera away from home via the Apple Home app.
Best HomeKit switches
Control your lighting through HomeKit without buying a whole load of new light bulbs by installing a smart light switch. These require some wiring, but for larger rooms such as living rooms and kitchens, are a more affordable way to bring Apple's smarts into your home.
Buy now: Amazon | From $79.00
Ecobee's smart switch is crammed with so many features, it can be overwhelming. But we mean that mostly in a good way. Its big thing is that it comes with Alexa built in, but it also has full HomeKit integration. So you have a choice, or hey, maybe you want to use both side by side β that works too. Google Assistant is an option, but it's not built in like Alexa is.
The Ecobee Switch+ is one of the more expensive options, but you're getting some great features for the price, including a motion sensor that turns lights on when you enter a room, and off when you leave. Just be aware that it won't work with a three-way switch β single switch setups only.
Lutron Caseta Dimmer
Buy now: Amazon | $159.90
This HomeKit-enabled Dimmer Kit lets you chat to Siri to control your smart bulbs, and we think it's one of the best dimmer switches out there. You will need the Caseta bridge to connect to HomeKit, but once you're hooked in you can create scenes and schedules, as well as geofencing when you leave and enter the house.
The Caseta line also includes smart shades (Serena), and works with just about everything: HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, Logitech remotes and Honeywell thermostats, so you don't need to worry about locking yourself in to one smart home system.
Eve Light Switch
Buy now: Amazon | $49.35
The Eve Light Switch is not the most innovative light switch on the planet, but if you're hunting for a HomeKit compatible switch it's a solid bet. It doesn't require a hub and you'll get a good number of features, such as Siri voice control and the Home app to set schedules, scenes and automations.
Best HomeKit plugs
For those dumb devices in your home, a smart plug is a great upgrade. Plug TVs, curling irons, lamps, the kettle and portable heaters into these HomeKit-compatible plugs and you can control them with your voice using Siri, schedule them to turn on or off at a certain time, and control them remotely using the Home app. Plus you can integrate them into Apple's automations, so the kettle can pop on every morning when you get out of bed.
Buy now: Amazon | From $42.40
With UK and US versions available, the Eve Energy is a top pick for our HomeKit-enabled smart plugs. The units connect to the Eve app, and work via Wi-Fi, so there's no actual need to go out and buy the Eve hub. You get Siri and schedule control of the plug itself, and there's energy monitoring built in as well.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Buy now: Amazon | $23.99
Wemo's Mini Smart Plug is one of the few devices to get updated with HomeKit support via software, and we couldn't be happier. The Smart Plug also works with Google Assistant and Alexa.
Naturally, you'll be able to control your device from anywhere, and even use your voice assistant should you not want to pull out that Home app. The best feature, however, may be how small it is. The Mini Smart Plug doesn't take up much space, so you won't have a problem slipping it behind couches or whatever else you put in front of your wall outlets. And bonus: it's small enough to not block the second outlet.
Buy now: Amazon | $29.95
iDevices is one of the companies that's led the way in HomeKit-compatible smart plugs. The iDevices Switch (which is actually a plug) offers the complete set of smart plug features, with control, scheduling and energy reporting all thrown into the mix. Of course, you can control the iDevices Switch via Siri, but also set up schedules and add it to your scenes.
Best HomeKit sensors
Sensors hang around your home sniffing out danger (smoke detectors, leak sensors), motion, temperature, air quality, and whether your doors and windows are open or closed. Not the sexiest of smart home devices, they are probably the most useful, especially when connected to a smart home system like HomeKit.
When your smoke detector goes off it can tell HomeKit to turn all the lights on and unlock the doors. A motion sensor can tell you if your child got out of bed before they were supposed to, and turn a light on so they can find their way to the bathroom. A door/window sensor can shut off your heating when someone opens a window. Here are some of our favourite HomeKit sensors:
First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound
Buy now: Amazon | $215.65
The Safe & Sound is First Alert's fanciest smart smoke and CO detector, and it's also the smartest. Not only does it have HomeKit support, but it's also got Alexa built in should you want to sport two digital assistants. There's also a groovy night light that lights your way in the dark, plus a loudspeaker for playing some music.
Its main job, however, is to replace your wired smoke detector and alert you with notifications in the event of a smoke or carbon monoxide emergency. The HomeKit support is largely for running tests and controlling that light.
Eve Room 2
Buy now: Amazon | $99.95
The second-generation Eve Room air quality monitor comes with an all-new aluminum design and a 1.54-inch e-ink display, and it's keeping that sweet HomeKit support too. That display will tell you the temperature, air quality and humidity.
It can work with its rechargeable battery, or you can just plug it in and leave it in a select room and never worry about it again. There are touch controls on the device, but you can also simply rely on Siri to find out your air quality.
Fibaro Motion Sensor
Buy now: Amazon | $69.99
Looking a lot like the Eye of Sauron, Fibaro's top motion sensor detects movement and also doubles up as temperature sensor β stick one by your bed and have your lights turn on when your feet hit the floor.
With HomeKit you can have alerts will pop up on your iPhone when motion is detected and you can also integrate motion detection into HomeKit automations.
Onvis Motion Sensor
Buy now: Amazon | $25.99
An inexpensive HomeKit motion sensor, Onvis is a decent device for sticking in a room to trigger lights or other HomeKit automations, and it also has a temperature and humidity sensor built in. It's quite big, but for less than $30 you get a lot of sensing and you could stick these all over your house to trigger lights and scenes based on your movements alone.
Best HomeKit kit for the garden
Buy now: Amazon | $222.13
The Rachio 3 has been out for a while now, but it's only recently got around to adding HomeKit support. So if you're walking in your garden and suddenly get sprayed, you can quickly ask Siri to turn off the sprinklers.
The smart sprinkler control system will let you manage your home irrigation in two versions: 8 zones and 16 zones. You can set your own watering schedules on your phone, or let it create one for you, and it links up with local weather reports to make sure your lawn gets fed the right amount of water.
MyQ Garage Door Controller
Buy now: Amazon | $48.61
"Hey Siri, open the garage door." With the MyQ garage door controller plugged into your existing garage door opener you can say those six magic words and life will seem so much simpler. Yes, you can use the remote control on your visor but this is just cooler, plus you can check on your door's status from anywhere, and even have HomeKit close the door automatically for you when you drive away.
Read this: The best smart garage door openers
For HomeKit compatibility you will need to buy the MyQ Home Bridge, which at $69 costs more than the controller, but it's the only HomeKit door opener available, so it's your best choice for a smart garage.
Philips Hue Outdoor Lighting
Buy now: Amazon | $127.99
Your friends might be on top of home automation behind closed doors but what about outside? Light up your back yard with a voice command, or have everything illuminate as you pull into the driveway, thanks to HomeKit's geofencing capabilities paired with Philips Hue's line of outdoor lighting.
HomeKit compatible outdoor motion sensors can also trigger lights like these Calla path lights to turn on one by one as you walk along, and then have already turned all the interior lights on before you open the door. Now that's pretty smart.
Hunter Symphony Ceiling Fan
Buy now: Amazon | $299
Hunter's Wi-Fi enabled Symphony ceiling fans work with Apple HomeKit too. That means Siri control, as ever, and integration with other HomeKit products for creating scenes for fans and smart bulbs as you move from room to room.