Best smart home tech for your parents

Last Updated July 2020

There’s something for everyone on Amazon — and that includes your parents. While your folks might not be into technology, Amazon has a whole host of devices that they’ll love (and you won’t mind setting up for them). Here are the deals we couldn’t resist for our own parents.

Our Picks

For Keeping in Touch: the Echo Show

Whether you want to keep your kids close with their grandparents, or you just want to check in with a quick video chat now and again, nothing beats the convenience of the Echo Show: It’s got Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, built in, a beautiful 7” screen, and a set of speakers that deliver the audio quality Amazon’s devices are famous for. Think of the Echo Show as the modern landline — but one that’s much, much easier to use.

For Keeping Them Safe: Amazon Cloud Cam

Everyone deserves to feel safe, and with a modern cloud-based security system, you can let your parents keep watch over their home from wherever they are — or you can check in on them yourself (if they give you access).

We love Amazon’s Cloud Cam: it records in full 1080p HD, it’s got night vision, and it can even send you smartphone notifications if it detects unusual movement. Whether you want to keep your parents safe from intruders, or check in on them occasionally to make sure they’re safe, Amazon’s Cloud Cam is an easy choice.

For Keeping Them Entertained: Amazon Fire TV Stick

Amazon’s Fire TV sticks are the easiest way to get digital content to your parent’s big screen. Whether they want to watch the latest WWII documentary on Netflix, or get caught up on The Handmaid’s Tale, all you need to do is plug in the Fire TV stick, hand them the voice-operated remote powered by Alexa, and the world of streaming media will be at their fingertips.

For Preserving Their Favorite Memories: NIX Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame

The NIX X08G digital photo and video frame shows off your family’s photos and movies on its gorgeous 8” screen, so your parents can enjoy their favorite memories. But beyond that, it’s a little bit smarter than most other digital frames — it’s got a motion sensor that makes sure that it’s only displaying pictures when someone is in the room, and puts the frame to sleep when there’s no activity. On top of all of that, it’s also got clock and calendar functionality, so your parents will never miss an appointment again.

For Helping Them Clean the House: iRobot Roomba 671

Your parents spent years picking up after you — isn’t it about time you repaid the favor? The Roomba 671 from iRobot is one of our favorites, because Roomba practically invented the robotic vacuum, and the 671 is Alexa-compatible. Save your parents from the sweat and headache of pushing a vacuum cleaner around the house; you’ll get major brownie points for making vacuuming as easy as saying, “Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning.”

For Keeping Them Cool: ecobee3 Smart Thermostat & 3 Room Sensors

No matter how ridiculously warm (or cold) your parents keep their house, they’ll be able to keep temperatures stable with the ecobee3 smart thermostat. The ecobee3 can set up schedules, dynamically adjust the temperature to save money, and it even works with Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa. With remote sensors, the ecobee can make adjustments based on the temperature of specific rooms — so if your parents have that one room that’s hotter than all the others, this is the combo deal to get.

For Setting Them Up with Speedy, Reliable WiFi: NETGEAR Orbi Home Mesh WiFi System

One of the joys of having older parents in the age of the smartphone is that sooner or later, most kids will end up being tech support and having to help with all kinds of devices — so it pays to give your folks tech gifts that are stable and require minimal care and feeding. When it comes to setting up strong WiFi that they can count on, there’s no better choice than to go with a mesh networking setup — a newer technology that’s recently taken the wireless networking world by storm. Mesh networking devices like the Netgear Orbi system include multiple identical nodes you can place all over your parents house to make sure they’re always getting a strong signal; but best of all, they’re super easy to set up, so you won’t have to spend more than an hour or two to get everything up and running.