Home weather stations can help you plan and manage your garden with detailed localized information about rainfall and even warn you when the UV levels are too high for your favorite outdoor activities. “Virtually all homeowners gain a benefit from a home weather station, just for day-to-day planning,” says David St. John, the CTO of WeatherFlow.
We researched dozens of home weather stations, used hands-on experience, and paid special attention to sensor types and accuracy, system expandability, and smart features like connectivity, apps, and personalized weather forecasts.
Here are the best home weather stations you can rely on for real-time weather data and personalized forecasts.
Ambient Weather WS-2000 Smart Weather Station with WiFi Remote Monitoring and Alerts & Thermo Hygrometer
Option to add more sensors
Same sensor suite as the less expensive WS-2902C
The Ambient Weather WS-2000 comes with a full suite of highly accurate sensors, the option to add additional sensors if your needs change over time, and one of the best display consoles available. This station is easy to set up and use for those who have never had a home weather station before, but it’s also quite accurate and highly customizable, which is why it’s our best overall home weather station.
This weather station comes with Ambient’s innovative osprey sensor array, which combines all of the main sensors into a single unit that’s easy to set up and install. It includes sensors for temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, UV and solar radiation, and rainfall. The sensor array has a built-in solar panel that charges a supercapacitor to keep it running at night, and you can also install optional backup batteries just in case.
The only real downside to the WS-2000 is that it uses the same sensor array as the less expensive Ambient Weather WS-2902C, which is our pick for best value. You can save some money by going with that unit instead, but then you miss out on the fantastic high-definition display that comes with the WS-2000. It’s one of the best-looking home weather station displays available, and it can even show data from any additional sensors you add to the system.
Price at time of publish: $300
Display Type: High-definition TFT LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, UV and solar radiation | Transmission Interval: 16 seconds | Transmission Range: 300 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, numerous weather services
WeatherFlow Tempest Weather System
Advanced haptic and ultrasonic sensors
Fast and accurate sensors
Powerful AI-based forecasting
No option for remote sensors
No physical display
The Tempest Weather System looks and is quite different from the competition. Instead of an anemometer (tool for measuring wind speed) and wind vane, it uses an ultrasonic sensor and measures rain with a haptic sensor. That data is available in real time, and you can access historical information through the app and website. WeatherFlow also feeds the data into its Nearcast system, which leverages machine learning to generate a remarkably accurate forecast for your exact location.
A single sensor package houses all the Tempest sensors, so the device is really easy to install and get going. You don’t have the option to install your wind, rain, and temperature sensors in different locations, but the tradeoff is that beginners can get up and running with this station without any trouble. It includes hardware for pole-mounting and for mounting on a post or fence. The other drawback is that you don’t get a physical display. Instead, WeatherFlow provides an app and a website.
However, the data is available remotely, so you don’t have to be home to check what’s happening on the Tempest sensors. You can even share the website address with friends and family in the area so they can benefit without needing to invest in their own weather station.
Price at time of publish: $329
Display Type: None | Sensors: Temperature, barometer, wind speed and direction, UV, light, solar radiation, rain, lightning (up to 25 miles) | Transmission Interval: 3 seconds | Transmission Range: 1,000 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Tempest app, Weather Underground, Alexa, Google Assistant
AcuRite Iris 5-in-1 01540M Weather Station with Wi-Fi Connection to Weather Underground
Interfaces with Weather Underground
Includes the five most important sensors
Slow sensor updates
Difficult to access advanced data on display
Wireless connectivity issues
The AcuRite Iris 5-in-1 weather station packs all the most essential sensors while offering a relatively affordable price tag. The design uses a single sensor body that bears a passing resemblance to much more expensive options like the Davis Vantage Vue, and it’s capable of measuring temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and rainfall.
The sensors in the AcuRite Iris don’t have the same accuracy and don’t send data to the display as often as the more expensive options on this list, but they’re accurate enough for home use, especially for anyone who is just starting to get into weather as a hobby.
The unit can connect to your Wi-Fi network and send data to Weather Underground, which allows you to check the sensors and see a customized weather forecast on the Weather Underground app.
Price at time of publish: $139
Display Type: LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, rain | Transmission Interval: 18-60 seconds | Transmission Range: 330 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Weather Underground
Ambient Weather WS-2902 WiFi Smart Weather Station
Same sensor suite as more expensive WS-2000
Additional sensors can be added later
Works well with Alexa
Display has limited viewing angles
Confusing setup for sending data to internet
Additional sensors aren’t displayed on console
The Ambient Weather WS-2902C Smart Weather Station punches well beyond its weight class, mostly thanks to its full suite of sensors, expandability, and connectivity. The sensor suite monitors temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, UV, and solar radiation. That kind of array is often referred to as a 5-in-1, and it includes all of the most important sensors you need in a home weather station.
The best thing about the Ambient Weather WS-2902C is that you can add more sensors later on if you feel the need. It has all the basic bases covered right out of the box, but you can add up to eight additional thermo-hygrometer sensors (to measure temperature and humidity), soil moisture sensors, and even air quality sensors.
The catch is that the fairly basic display isn’t capable of showing data from these sensors, but you can connect the unit to Wi-Fi and check that additional data on the Ambient Weather website.
Price at time of publish: $190
Display Type: LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, UV and solar radiation (additional sensors available) | Transmission Interval: 16 seconds | Transmission Range: 100-300 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Alexa, Google Assistant, Ambientweather.net, various weather services
AcuRite Atlas 01001M Weather Station with Direct-to-Wi-Fi Display and Lightning Detection
Full suite of sensors
Expandable anemometer for more accuracy
Limited smart home support
Add-on sensors aren’t shown on the display
The AcuRite Atlas 01001M stands out in a crowded field thanks to its high-definition liquid-crystal display (LCD). Most so-called color displays for weather stations make use of static color stickers that act as backgrounds to basic clock-radio-style LCD numbers and graphics. Instead, the Atlas features a beautiful high-definition display with bright colors, automatic dimming, and great viewing angles.
Beyond the first-rate display, the Atlas features a number of improvements over other AcuRite units. It uses a single sensor body that houses all of the instruments, but you can extend the anemometer for more accurate wind readings.
If you add an optional wind extension kit, you can raise the anemometer an additional 30 feet in the air. In addition to the basic sensors, it includes a lightning sensor that can detect strikes up to 25 miles away.
Price at time of publish: $250
Display Type: High-definition LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV, light intensity, barometric pressure, rain, lightning (up to 25 miles away) | Transmission interval: 10-30 seconds | Transmission Range: 330 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Weather Underground
Davis Instruments Vantage Vue 6250 Wireless Weather Station
Best-in-class instrument accuracy
Fast data transmission
Long transmission range
Display has a high learning curve
No internet connectivity without an accessory
The Davis Vantage Vue is a long-time front-runner in the world of home weather stations. It doesn't have the lead it used to, especially in areas like ease of use and connectivity, but Davis still makes the most accurate sensors available on the consumer market. The Vantage Vue comes packed with all of those best-in-class instruments and a solar panel that keeps the unit running year after year without any batteries.
The display console that comes with the Davis Vantage Vue is a bit of a stumbling point, as it looks and feels like a relic from the past. It packs tons of useful data into a small amount of space, but it has a steep learning curve and lacks the visual flair offered by much of the competition.
The Vantage Vue also lacks any internet or smart home connectivity out of the box, so you can't send data to the internet without an expensive add-on.
Price at time of publish: $340
Display Type: LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, wind direction and speed, rain | Transmission Interval: 2.5 seconds | Transmission Range: 1,000 feet | Connectivity: Requires an accessory
Netatmo Weather Station
Option to add additional sensors
Monitors CO2 levels
Doesn’t measure wind or rain
The Netatmo Weather Station is equal parts smart home device and weather station. It’s built from the ground up to integrate with your smart home, with excellent support for Alexa, HomeKit, and IFTTT. It doesn’t include a rain or wind sensor out of the box, but you can add those later if you feel the need. That makes it a good entry point if you’ve never had a home weather station before, as you can decide later if you want or need those additional sensors.
This weather station doesn’t have a display, but it does have a well-designed mobile app that serves the same purpose. The lack of a display is a bit of a letdown if you’re used to having an always-on display that you can check for weather information at a glance, but the app looks and works great.
However, the one thing the Netatmo Weather Station includes that the competition doesn’t is an indoor CO2 sensor. This sensor helps you monitor the indoor air quality in your home, and the unit will send you an alarm if the levels get too high and it’s time to air out your house.
Price at time of publish: $177
Display Type: None | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, barometer, CO2 | Transmission Interval: 5 minutes | Transmission Range: 328 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, IFTTT, Alexa, Homekit
Ambient Weather WS-5000 Professional Smart Weather Station & Thermo Hygrometer
Full suite of accurate sensors
Ultrasonic wind sensor
Tons of optional sensors
Each sensor needs batteries
Wind and temperature sensors mount together
The Ambient Weather WS-5000 is a serious weather station for those who are serious about tracking the weather. This system comes with a full suite of sensors out of the box, including an ultrasonic wind sensor that's faster and more accurate than traditional anemometers, plus a huge variety of add-on sensors, including up to eight thermo-hygrometers and soil moisture sensors, as well as air quality, leak, and lightning detectors.
Unlike other Ambient Weather stations that accept add-on sensors, the WS-5000 comes with a display that shows all the additional sensor inputs. It can even show data from a lightning sensor if you add one to the system, though that functionality is completely absent from the base unit. Most of the sensors that come with the WS-5000 are separate units, allowing you to place each in its ideal location. The wind and temperature sensors aren't separate, which isn't ideal, but this is an expandable system.
If you want the most accurate readings possible, you can mount the wind sensor up high where it needs to be. You could then add an additional thermo-hygrometer sensor (to measure humidity and temperature) closer to the ground—or even multiple thermo-hygrometers in different places around your yard.
Price at time of publish: $450
Display Type: Full-color TFT LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, rain, wind direction and speed, UV and solar radiation | Transmission Interval: 4.9 seconds | Transmission Range: 1,000 feet | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant, Weather Underground, other weather services
Davis Wireless Vantage Pro2 Weather Station with Standard Radiation Shield
Top-notch instrument accuracy
Fast data transmission
Expandable with additional sensors
Needs an accessory for internet connectivity
The Davis Wireless Vantage Pro2 straddles the line between hobbyist home weather stations and the sort of weather stations used in agricultural and commercial applications. While this weather station is more complicated to set up than most of the other options, it offers the precision and reliability that serious hobbyists need and professionals can rely on. It includes separate wind, rain, temperature, and humidity sensors, allowing you to place each sensor exactly where it needs to be for the most accurate readings.
Not only are the sensors included with the Vantage Pro2 some of the most accurate you can get in a home weather station, but the data from each appears on the console and also updates quickly—every 2.5 seconds. That means when you look at the display console, the numbers you see are a more accurate representation of the conditions at that very moment than other stations provide.
While the display console is monochrome and isn’t as attractive to look at as many other home weather stations, it provides a ton of data with dangerous weather alarms, historical graphs, and an accurate local forecast.
Price at time of publish: $613
Display Type: LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity, rain, wind speed, wind direction, barometer | Transmission Interval: 2.5 seconds | Transmission Range: 1,000 feet | Connectivity: Requires an accessory
Best for Basic Indoor/Outdoor
La Crosse Technology C85845-INT Weather Station
Good for beginners
Basic local forecast
Only has basic sensors
No wireless connectivity
Display has poor viewing angles
The La Crosse Technology C85845 is a basic weather station that’s perfect for beginners, and anyone who wants a quick look at the local weather conditions at a glance. It includes indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity sensors and a barometer, which allows it to offer a rough preview of your upcoming weather. It doesn’t provide the same level of detail as more expensive weather stations, but it is enough to warn you that you might want to grab an umbrella on the way out the door.
While this weather station doesn’t have any advanced sensors, that makes it easier to install if you’re new to the weather hobby or don’t need all those other readings. Setup requires mounting the sensor and plugging the display into an outlet or supplying batteries.
The outdoor sensor unit has a range of about 300 feet from the indoor display, depending on the construction and layout of your home. The display is big, bright, colorful, and easy to read from most viewing angles, with all the most important information front and center.
Price at time of publish: $54
Display Type: LCD | Sensors: Temperature, humidity | Transmission Interval: Not listed | Transmission Range: 300 feet | Connectivity: None
Our top pick for the best home weather station is the Ambient Weather WS-2000. It features an accurate and easy-to-install sensor suite, allows you to add additional sensors as the need arises, and comes with one of the best displays around. If you want to check out the most cutting-edge technology available in a home weather station, and you don’t mind not having a dedicated display, the WeatherFlow Tempest Weather System provides excellent results.
What to Look For in a Home Weather Station
For ease of installation, look for units that include a single sensor array or integrated sensor suite and all the necessary installation hardware. Weather stations that include individual instruments that you can place separately from each other provide more accurate results, but they’re also more challenging to install.
At a minimum, you typically need to purchase and install a standalone pole or a house- or roof-mounted pole, if you don’t already have one on your property. Some weather stations also have alternate mounting hardware to attach the sensor unit to your fence or a free-standing wood post.
The types, accuracy, and update frequency are the three things to look for in sensors. The most essential basic sensors are wind, rain, temperature, and barometric pressure, and UV, solar radiation, and lightning also quite useful. More accurate sensors are better, and sensors that transmit more often are better. Some home weather stations receive updated data every couple of seconds, while others can go between 30 seconds and an entire minute between updates.
Some weather stations include more advanced technology, like ultrasonic and haptic sensors. “Haptic rain sensor technology quantifies rainfall by measuring the force of raindrops hitting the top of the device,” explains David St. John, the CTO of WeatherFlow. “This means minimal maintenance and a more compact design.”
And in ultrasonic sensors, “the ultrasonic anemometer measures wind parameters based on the time of flight of ultrasound pulses between pairs of transducers, essentially using the difference in the speed of sound to determine wind speed and direction,” says St. John. These sensors cost more than traditional instruments but don’t have any moving parts and are less likely to break down.
Home weather stations are, by definition, exposed to the elements. These devices sit outside, in the wind, sun, rain, and everything else, so they must be durable. The manufacturers featured here are all known for producing durable products, with the higher-end models known to last longer than lower-end units.
Some weather stations include smart features and connectivity, like the ability to send your weather data to the internet and access it via an app or integration with your smart home. Others use machine learning and other advanced technologies to provide extremely accurate and localized weather forecasts. None of these features are absolutely necessary, but they can make your weather station much more useful.
Where is the best place to install a home weather station?
Different sensors have different ideal installation sites. For example, it’s best to place wind sensors up high, while temperature sensors are best closer to the ground. That isn’t always possible, especially with home weather stations that use integrated sensor suites. “I would tell new owners not to worry if your siting options aren’t ideal for every measurement,” explains St. John. “You don’t need an elaborate installation to achieve useful measurements.”
“In general, it’s best to place your weather station in an open location with good exposure to direct sunlight throughout the day,” says St. John. “For most locations, the recommended installation is between 6 to 8 feet above the ground and away from obstacles.”
How does a home weather station work?
Home weather stations consist of various sensors that send data to a base station. Most of these stations include an indoor console where you can check the current weather conditions and see a basic weather forecast based on current and historical data. In some cases, there is no dedicated display, and you can check all the data on a website or in an app instead.
What are the benefits of a home weather station?
Home weather stations used to be the exclusive domain of weather enthusiasts and hobbyists, but modern units are so easy to set up and use that everyone can benefit from these devices. “Recent innovations have resulted in simpler, yet more feature-stuffed models compared to what was available even just a few years ago,” says St. John. “However, investing in a station that can integrate with your smart home and irrigation tech, or one that provides a customized forecast using your data, significantly increases its functionality.”
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Jeremy Laukkonen, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. He’s had experience testing and reviewing a variety of home weather stations throughout his career, including hands-on experience with several of the stations featured here. In addition to The Spruce, his reviews can be found in other outlets including Lifewire and DigitalTrends.
To gain a deeper understanding of the most important home weather station sensors and features, Laukkonen contacted David St. John, the CTO of WeatherFlow. With St. John’s expert insights, Laukkonen looked at factors like durability and extensibility, sensor design and accuracy, and connectivity.