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The best Google Home accessories: Smart plugs, door locks, and more

Just say the word and these Google Home accessories will clean the living room, unlock the front door, and more.
By
August 31, 2022
Google Nest Audio smart speaker bathroom
Lily Katz / Android Authority

While Google Home and Google Assistant are closely intertwined, let’s be clear: Home is now Google’s smart home app/platform rather than just a speaker, and arguably, where Assistant often shines best. We’ve rounded up some of the best Google Home accessories money can buy, so you can get the most out of your smart speakers and displays.

Note: These products should work with any Google-based speaker or display. From Google itself, that includes the Home Mini and Max, as well as the Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Audio, and Nest Hub Max. Some accessories may specifically require a smart home hub, but once you’re set, you can control them with anything linked to Google Assistant — even your Pixel Buds.

Here: What is a smart home and why should you want one

The best Google Home accessories:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Google Home accessories regularly as new ones launch.

1. Google Chromecast with Google TV

Google Chromecast with Google TV box
David Imel / Android Authority

Like any media streamer, a Chromecast replaces your TV’s native controls. The current model comes with a voice remote, and Google TV, a standalone interface with apps like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, Prime Video, and HBO Max. So unlike previous Chromecasts you’re no longer forced to use a phone to control media, although you can still do that if you want to.

See also: The best media streaming devices you can buy

The device integrates into Google Assistant routines, and supports voice commands on any linked device that has Assistant onboard, not just the remote. You can control playback, ask for a specific app or video (e.g. “Hey Google, play They Shall Not Grow Old on the TV”), and even change dubbing and subtitle settings if a service supports it. If you have compatible security cameras, you can watch live feeds. 

There is limited onboard storage, which has contributed to performance complaints from long-term users. Thankfully an impending software update should make it easy to clear up space, and bring various CPU, RAM, and caching optimizations.

2. Google Nest Thermostat

google nest thermostat review display temperature on wall 2
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The entry-level Nest Thermostat is nice-looking, easy to use, and cheaper than some other competing products. Don’t expect the absolute best here, but it offers amazing bang for the buck in terms of Google Home accessories. It also supports Amazon Alexa, which was once a rarity for Google Nest hardware. 

There are three main downsides versus the more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat. It lacks the learning features that made Nest’s name, doesn’t support external temperature sensors, and works with fewer wiring configurations. That said, you still get scheduling, automation, voice control, and more efficient heating and cooling, which can help the accessory pay for itself.

3. Philips Hue light bulbs

A Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
Philips

Philips Hue is practically the de facto option for smart lighting, since you can buy everything from basic white A19 bulbs to color-changing lightstrips and outdoor fixtures. Hue products also tend to be pretty reliable, mostly because of the Hue Smart Hub, which can connect up to 50 lights without overburdening your Wi-Fi network.

Read next: The best smart light bulbs

We recommend buying a Starter Kit, which includes a Smart Hub and one or more bulbs. If a White and Color Ambiance kit is too expensive, there are also plain white and “White Ambiance” kits, the latter of which offer “shades” of white from a cool blue tint to a warm orange.

4. Kasa Smart Plug Ultra Mini

The Kasa Smart Plug Ultra Mini

Smart plugs are an underrated category of Google Home accessories. They’re simple, cheap, and can turn any appliance into a smart one, so long as it has an on/off switch. The Ultra Mini is more compact than most, which avoids encroaching on other outlets. All you need is a reliable 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection and you’re good to go.

Read next: The best smart plugs on the market

Voice and automation options include both Alexa and Google Assistant. Kasa plugs are also surprisingly affordable, even among alternatives — you can get two Ultra Minis for what some other brands might charge for a single plug.

5. Google Nest Wi-Fi

google nest wifi review on top of box
Andrew Grush / Android Authority

The Nest Wi-Fi is a mesh router, meaning you can improve coverage by scattering extenders throughout your home. Google calls its extenders “points,” and even the most basic router/point bundle can cover up to 3,800 square feet. As a bonus each point doubles as a Google Assistant speaker, though you’ll still want dedicated speakers if you care about music quality. 

More: The best mesh Wi-Fi routers

There are some drawbacks. Google has yet to update its hardware with Wi-Fi 6 — especially important in homes with a large number of Wi-Fi devices — and the only Ethernet jacks are two on the router, so you’ll probably need to add an Ethernet switch if you have a lot of wired connections. You’re out of luck if you want wired connections to the points.

Everything else about the Nest Wi-Fi is great. Setup is as simple as it gets, and it’s thoroughly integrated with both Google Assistant and Home. You can ask Assistant to check internet speeds, pause Wi-Fi for a device group, or remind you of the guest password.

6. Google Nest Doorbell (Battery)

Nest Doorbell battery Ash lifestyle
Google

There are two Nest Doorbell models, both of which let you see who’s at the door, communicate with them, and receive alerts about people and general movement. We strongly suggest going with the Nest Doorbell Battery, since it can continue recording for an hour after a power or Wi-Fi cut, and its alerts go a step further with animal, package, and vehicle detection. Wiring it to your home is purely optional.

If there’s a major downside to Nest Doorbells, it’s that some features are walled behind a Nest Aware subscription. That includes recognizing friends and family, and recording more than three hours of event history. You do get at least 30 days of history with Aware however, and you can add as many Nest cameras to a plan as you like without jacking up fees.

Should you buy a Doorbell or any other Nest camera, we suggest getting a Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max as well. While you can always tune into video feeds with a phone or tablet, an Assistant-capable smart display is sometimes more convenient.

Here: The best smart video doorbells to protect your home

7. Nest x Yale Smart Lock

An official image of the Nest x Yale Smart Lock.

The Nest x Yale lock replaces your deadbolt and does away with the need for a key, since you can use Google Assistant, the Nest app, or its keypad to get inside. Frequent visitors can be assigned separate passcodes, and the app will track who’s entering your home and when. 

More: These are the best smart locks around

For most people, the biggest benefit should be automation. It’s convenient having your door lock or unlock based on your presence, especially when you’re carrying something heavy. You can also link it to other smart home accessories, for instance turning on the lights whenever you unlock.

Something to be cautious about: if you let the Nest x Yale’s AA batteries die, you’ll need to find a 9V battery to make the lock run long enough to let you in. Thankfully, the Nest app will warn you well in advance before your AAs are depleted.

8. iRobot Roomba S9 Plus Robot Vacuum

robot vacuum roomba s9 plus - Google Home accessories
Amazon

It doesn’t get much better than the Roomba S9 Plus when it comes to robot vacuums. There are costlier, even more powerful models, but typically with diminishing returns.

Also read: How robot vacuums work and which ones should you buy

There are a few things that make the S9 Plus great, the biggest being the ability to empty its own trash into a large container base, called the Clean Base. Many vacuums rely solely on their small internal tanks, which means having to empty them manually on a weekly basis. iRobot claims you can go months without emptying the Clean Base.

Using Google Assistant, you can ask the vacuum to start, stop, and resume cleaning, return to its base, or even clean specific rooms and zones. It’s the height of luxury.

9. Nest Cam Battery

Nest Cam battery outdoor rain
Google

The Nest Cam Battery is a jack-of-all-trades amongst Google Home cameras. It’s weatherproof, works wired or wireless, and uses a magnetic outdoor mount for easier installation and removal. You can get a stand to use the camera indoors, though really, you’re better off buying the cheaper indoor-only Nest Cam if that’s your plan.

Next: The best smart security cameras

If you don’t want to watch using the Nest app, you can also use voice commands to stream live video to a Chromecast or smart display (including Alexa models!). You don’t have to watch like a hawk, either, since notifications tell you whether the camera is detecting people, animals, or vehicles. If it loses Wi-Fi, it can record event footage for up to an hour.

With Wi-Fi active, the Nest Cam still records only three hours of event footage, so you may want to consider a Nest Aware subscription. As mentioned previously, that extends event history to at least 30 days, and grants your camera the ability to distinguish familiar faces from strangers.

10. Nanoleaf Canvas

Nanoleaf Canvas panels over a desktop
Nanoleaf

Really, we could add any of Nanoleaf’s color-changing panel kits to this list, but the square Canvas design is probably the easiest to blend into home decor. You can also rearrange or expand a layout at will, and animate the panels using presets, user-created patterns, or reactive audio sync. You can even sync them with your TV or PC using a desktop app. 

Beyond Nanoleaf’s desktop and mobile apps, the Canvas integrates with Google, Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings. If you want manual control, the panels have dedicated touch gestures for power, brightness, and scenes.

After you decide on a layout you like, the one tricky aspect is mounting. Nanoleaf supplies mounting tape, but it’s not effective on every wall, and even when it is you might not like the mess tape can leave behind. One solution is to mount panels on a board or frame, which you can then hang on any wall like a painting.