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The best Google Home accessories: Smart plugs, door locks, and more
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 you can get to automate daily life.
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
Like any media streamer, a Chromecast replaces your TV’s native interface. Current models come with a voice/button remote as well as Google TV, an OS supporting apps like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and Prime Video. So unlike previous Chromecasts, you’re no longer forced to use a phone, tablet, or PC to control media. You can still do that if you want to.
The device integrates into Google Assistant routines, and allows voice commands through any product with 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”), or 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 some long-term users. Thankfully a recent software update made it easy to clear up space, and brought various CPU, RAM, and caching optimizations.
2. Google Nest Thermostat
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 even supports Amazon Alexa, which was once a rarity for Google Nest hardware.
There are three main downsides versus the more expensive Nest Learning Thermostat, the obvious one being that it can’t automatically build schedules based on your manual adjustments. It also works with fewer wiring configurations, and doesn’t support external temperature sensors. 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
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 Bridge/Smart Hub, which can connect up to 50 lights without burdening your Wi-Fi network.
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 slight blue tint to a warm orange.
4. Kasa Smart Plug Ultra Mini
Smart plugs are an underrated category of Google Home accessory. They’re simple, cheap, and can turn any appliance into a smart one, so long as its power button (or switch) can lock into an “on” position. 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.
Voice and automation options include both Alexa and Google. 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 Wifi Pro
The Nest Wifi Pro is a mesh router, meaning you can improve coverage by scattering multiple units throughout your home. A single Pro covers up to 2,200 square feet (about 204 square meters).
Google has made some critical upgrades over the original Nest Wifi, most notably jumping from Wi-Fi 5 to Wi-Fi 6E for superior bandwidth and a much, much larger number of simultaneous connections. Each Pro has two gigabit Ethernet ports, and if you’re on the cutting edge of smart home tech, there’s support for Matter and Thread.
6. Google Nest Doorbell (Wired)
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 Wired model if you can, since while the Battery model can continue recording for an hour after a power or Wi-Fi cut, you’ll have to recharge it every few weeks or months. Both models support person, animal, package, and vehicle detection.
If there’s a 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 3 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, it may be worth getting a Nest Hub or 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.
7. 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 an app, Google Assistant, or the keypad to get inside. Frequent visitors can be assigned separate passcodes, and the app will track who’s entering your home and when.
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 with 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
It doesn’t get much better than the Roomba S9 Plus when it comes to robot vacuums. There are costlier, even more powerful models with mopping functions, but typically with diminishing returns.
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 called the Clean Base. Many vacuums rely solely on their small internal tanks, which means having to empty them 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
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 too, but really, you’re better off buying the cheaper indoor-only Nest Cam if that’s your plan.
If you don’t want to watch live video using an app, you can use voice commands to stream to a Chromecast or smart display (including Alexa models). 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 plan. As mentioned earlier, that extends event history to at least 30 days, and grants your camera the ability to distinguish familiar faces from strangers.
10. Nanoleaf Lines
Really, we could add any of Nanoleaf’s color-changing panel kits to this list, but the Lines are the company’s latest and add a futuristic flair to any room. They’re modular, meaning you can arrange them in virtually any pattern, and buy expansions to build larger designs.
On top of Google Home they integrate with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Razer Chroma, and Samsung SmartThings. You can sync them with a PC monitor using the Nanoleaf desktop app, or use the Lines’ Rhythm module to match music.
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.