A bad morning can ruin an otherwise perfect day. So why make your mornings hard? Automate your morning routine, from waking up to going to work, with these handy smart gadgets.
How Can Smart Devices Streamline My Morning?
A smarthome can’t cook your breakfast or brush your teeth (this isn’t the Jetsons), but it can streamline your morning by making everything just a little bit easier.
Think of the time you spend doing small things every morning. Maybe you fight the alarm, start the electric kettle, adjust the thermostat, and wonder how long it’ll take to drive to work. That’s where smarthome devices come in handy.
Most of this can be done with routines—schedules that you create through Google Assistant or Alexa. These routines can run automatically, or they can begin every morning when you say “good morning” or “morning routine.” You can even tell your smart assistant before you leave for work, and it’ll adjust your home to your liking (so you don’t have to).
Streamline Coffee, Tea, and Breakfast
There’s no reason to spend your whole morning making coffee, tea, or breakfast. A few smarthome gadgets can do most of the work before you get out of bed—you just need to add them to your smarthome routine.
Here are some time-saving smart appliances for your kitchen:
- The June Toaster Oven: The June toaster oven is an odd little invention. It can be controlled via an app, and it has warming presets for a variety of foods (chicken thighs, leftover pizza, etc). You can also schedule the oven to preheat through Alexa, although it doesn’t work with Google Assistant or IFTTT.
- GE Connected Ovens: GE’s line of connected ovens work with Google Assistant, Alexa, and IFTTT. The best part of these ovens is that they can be preheated remotely, or preheated as part of a routine. That way, your oven will be ready for cooking when you wake up in the morning. It’s an easy way to start breakfast, and it’s healthier than fried food.
- Smarter iKettle: The Smarter iKettle is a Wi-Fi connected kettle. It can be controlled via the Smarter (iOS/Android) app, and you can even program boiling schedules with specific temperatures. If you’d like, you can take things a step further by integrating the iKettle into your Google Assistant, Alexa, or IFTTT environment.
- Upgrade Your Coffee Maker: Most of the smart coffee makers sold in stores are unreliable or discontinued. So, we suggest using a smart plug with a basic one-button coffee maker instead. (Just leave the coffee maker “on” all the time and control its power with the smart plug.) That way, you can set a schedule for your coffee maker, integrate it with routines, or control it with your voice. (Or you could just use a basic programmable coffee maker.)
Wake Up Without an Alarm
Waking up is the most important part of any morning routine, so why not make it a bit easier? Smart bulbs and thermostats are popular, reliable, and great for easing into your morning.
Here are some smarthome gadgets to help you start your day on the right foot:
- Wake Up to Light, Not Alarms: Some smart bulbs, like Philips Hue and LIFX bulbs, can be programmed to gradually brighten in the morning, slowly nudging you awake without harsh alarms. You could even go a step further with the Philips Wake-Up Light, which mimics the color and feel of the sunrise.
- Automate Your Temperature: A smart thermostat can automatically lower the temperature at night and raise it in the morning. We suggest using a Nest thermostat with Google Assistant or ecobee thermostat with Alexa. Or, you can save some money and buy a Honeywell smart thermostat. (It’s not as intuitive as Nest or ecobee, but it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.)
Wake Up to the News, the Radio, Music, or YouTube
Smart assistants are a necessity for controlling your smarthome, but they’re also useful on their own. A smart assistant can read you the news and weather in the morning, or even tell you how long it will take to get to work that day. (You can automate all of this by creating a “morning routine” in your smart assistant’s app. Heck, you could even make an “I’m going to work” routine, if you really want.)
And while you might be familiar with smart speakers, we also suggest adding smart displays to your morning routine. They work great as alarm clocks or kitchen assistants, as you can use them to glance at important information, watch videos, or read recipes (plus, they double as smart speakers).
Here’s a good selection of smart speakers and smart displays to help streamline your morning routine:
Smart Speakers: Smart speakers are inexpensive, and great for adding smarthome control to any room. They can also be used to play music, radio, morning workout routines, or the news.
- For Alexa Users: Amazon’s Echo Dot is cheap and small, while the larger Echo and Echo Plus are more expensive and offer better sound quality.
- For Google Assistant Users: The Home Mini is cheap, small, and easy to use. But the larger Google Home offers better sound quality. Of course, you could shell out some extra money for the Google Home Max, which is a very large smart speaker with great sound quality.
Small Smart Displays: These tiny smart displays make for great alarm clocks, and they can be used for playing videos or reading recipes without taking too much space in your kitchen.
- Echo Show 5: The 5-inch Echo Show is an attractive little smart display that could fit in any room. For under $100, it’s one of the most affordable smart displays.
- Echo Spot: The Echo Spot has a round 2.5″ screen, and while it isn’t great for watching videos, it does make for a great smart clock.
- Lenovo Smart Clock: This 4-inch smart display is powered by Google Assistant—it’s basically the Google Assistant version of the Echo Show 5. It’s also pretty affordable, which is nice.
- Google Nest Hub: We love the Google Nest Hub. Its comfortable 7-inch display is great for watching videos, slideshows, or taking in the news. You could easily fit the Google Nest Hub into your morning routine, whether it’s on your kitchen counter or your bedside table.
Large Smart Displays: These large smart displays make great kitchen companions and are ideal for watching videos, reading recipes, or manually controlling your smarthome appliances. They’re also good for checking the time and the weather at a glance.
- Facebook Portal and Portal+: Facebook’s Alexa-powered Portal (10.1-inch) and Portal Plus (15.6-inch) are made to work perfectly with Facebook Messenger’s video chat feature. They’re also great for watching videos, checking the weather, or the news, or reading recipes.
- Echo Show: This large 10.5-inch Echo Show has a great sounding built-in speaker and a clean display. It’s great for watching videos, making video calls, or running through recipes while you cook.
- Google Nest Hub Max: The Nest Hub Max is basically an extra large Google Nest Hub. Its 10-inch display is perfect for the kitchen, whether you’re watching videos or following recipes in the morning.
- Lenovo Smart Display: The 8-inch Lenovo smart display runs on Google Assistant, and it makes for a good alternative to the Nest Hub. It has bass-heavy speakers, a hard mute switch, and a hard switch to turn off the camera. Lenovo also sells a 10-inch version of this display.
Remember, these smarthome devices are made to trim the fat off your morning routine. A single smart gadget won’t revolutionize your entire morning (unless you’re really lucky), but a handful of smart devices can work together to help you start your day on the right foot.