Home weather stations are highly convenient, tipping you off to temperature, rainfall, and other aspects of the elements before you venture outside. Typically, they are two-part devices, with an array of sensors that sit outside and a display placed indoors. Beyond those similarities, there are various types of home weather stations on the market, with a lot of features to consider, so it can be challenging to choose the right one. To help consumers find the right product, we tested a variety of home weather stations—those that connect to popular online weather servers, such as Weather Underground, as well as those that work without a Wi-Fi connection.
Ahead, learn what features to look for when choosing a weather station, and discover why the following products are well suited for a variety of weather-reporting tasks. Find out what our hands-on testing revealed, and then weigh the pros and cons to choose the best home weather station for you.
- BEST OVERALL: Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi Smart Weather Station
- RUNNER-UP: Davis Instruments 6250 Vantage Vue Weather Station
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: La Crosse Technology C85845-1 Color Forecast Station
- BEST MIDRANGE: AcuRite Iris (5-in-1) Weather Station
- MOST ACCURATE: Davis Instruments 6152 Vantage Pro2 Weather Station
- BEST DISPLAY: Newentor Weather Station Wireless Indoor Outdoor
- MOST ADVANCED: WeatherFlow Tempest Weather System with Built-In
- ALSO CONSIDER: sainlogic Wireless Weather Station with Outdoor
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Home Weather Station
If you want to know the recent rainfall total in your garden or whether you should grab a warmer jacket before heading out for the day, a home weather station can quickly and accurately give you information to help you plan your day’s activities. When shopping for one, keep in mind the power source, functions, accuracy, display, and other considerations, all detailed below.
A home weather station’s power source is essential for its function. Many are wireless, running on solar or battery power, which lets the user place the station virtually anywhere without the need for a nearby electrical outlet. Solar-powered units (which typically have a backup battery as well) absorb and transform sunlight into power to run the weather station while charging the backup batteries. Most solar-powered weather stations don’t require high levels of direct sunlight, but they do need some, so select a spot in the yard where the unit will receive an average of 2 to 6 hours of sunlight per day.
While nearly all home weather stations report temperature, precipitation, and humidity, some have extra features that detail such info as the heat index, wind chill, moon phase, solar radiation, and sunrise/sunset times. Consider your priorities to determine if these readings would be worth knowing—and paying for.
Several factors can influence the accuracy of a home weather station, including placement of the device and how often it takes measurements throughout the day. A home weather station’s materials and construction can also affect its accuracy. For instance, some models with plastic-covered sensors have a tendency to overheat and give false readings, while those with a protective shield or fan may mitigate inaccuracy. Once you choose a home weather station, make sure to follow setup instructions specific to the product to ensure the readings will be as accurate as possible.
The display on a home weather station should provide at-a-glance information that’s easy to read and manage. Consider the size of the display console: Will household members require a larger display for easy readability, or would you prefer something more compact or discreet?
Home weather stations employ a variety of sensors—small devices that detect and measure weather conditions—such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and UV intensity. These sensors, which vary from unit to unit, are located on the part of the weather station that’s kept outdoors, which is generally known as the “array.” The array’s sensor range indicates how far the sensors are able to transmit data to a receiving unit, such as a display console, hub, or wireless router. The average sensor range is about 100 feet, but some models can deliver accurate readings from 300 feet or even 1,000 feet away.
Weather station manufacturers typically denote their product’s sensor range from the array to the receiving unit without making allowances for objects between the two points, such as walls or trees. So the actual sensor range can vary, depending on the number of objects that lie between the two points. For example, a weather station with a sensor range of 300 feet may only be able to transmit data up to 100 feet if multiple walls, trees, and hedges lie between the array and the receiving unit.
Remote access enables users to view weather station readings from anywhere via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Depending on the unit, it may also allow you to view current and previous weather data, along with any alerts. Typically, this is done through a brand-specific app. Remote access doesn’t come standard on all home weather stations, so check the product information if this feature is important to you.
In addition to remote access, consider compatibility with smart-home technology such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and other programs and apps to access weather information remotely or by using voice commands. By syncing with an app and a home wireless network, the user can access weather station data via a smartphone—very convenient when at work, on vacation, or otherwise away from home. This technology can also be useful if the user has additional smart-home appliances, such as a smart furnace that can be turned on remotely if the temperature outdoors is getting cold.
Weather Station Connectivity
Some home weather stations sync with online weather services, such as PWS (Personal Weather Station) and Weather Underground. For some, this benefit is techie-driven: There’s an online community of weather enthusiasts that enjoys the ability to collect weather data and upload it to the internet, where others can see it.
For others, the benefit is more practical. Farmers can pull up these online weather services to check nearby weather stations and find out how much rain fell overnight or how hard the wind is blowing. For still others, such as family members who live out of state, being able to check on the weather conditions where their loved ones live can be reassuring.
To connect an online weather service, the user must have a wireless home network; once connected, data from the user’s weather station can be uploaded and viewed online.
Operation and Durability
Keep the following info in mind when choosing and setting up a home weather station for solid, long-lasting results.
- Smaller weather stations with sensors that detect and report only temperature and humidity must often be located where they won’t receive direct sunrays, which will skew their data.
- Home weather station arrays that detect wind and rain should be located where they have unencumbered access to wind and rain, such as in an open area at least 25 feet from structures and trees. The array should be securely mounted to a pole, roof, fence post or other immovable item.
- A quality weather station array can last up to 10 years or longer, although some sensors may require replacement if damaged from high winds or hail. Inexpensive temperature- and humidity-only units may not last as long but should give reliable readings for a few years at least.
- A manufacturer’s warranty can be an indication of durability. A weather station with a 3-year warranty on all replacement parts will likely last longer than one with a 1-year warranty that only covers factory defects.
Our Top Picks
To qualify for inclusion in this lineup of the best home weather stations, the following models had to install with relative ease. (Hooking up the Wi-Fi versions is more complex and requires a working knowledge of home networks and routers.) Each model had to be accurate and present data in an easy-to-access fashion. The following home weather stations run the gamut in price and features, but they all excelled in our hands-on tests, and each one of them is a standout in its own category.
For a home weather station that goes above and beyond, consider this Alexa-compatible model from Ambient Weather. In addition to the basics like temperature, date, time, and precipitation, the WS-2902C shows wind speed and direction, humidity, UV and solar radiation, heat index, wind chill, and dew point on its easy-to-read LCD display. Because it’s solar-powered with backup battery power (AAA batteries not included), users needn’t worry about losing power.
In terms of remote access, the WS-2902C can transmit data over the internet with Wi-Fi connectivity. The sensor has seven different points to measure the elements accurately (mounting pole not included).
The Ambient Weather’s excellent user manual details every connection step. After assembling the sensor array outdoors, we powered up the indoor console and followed the directions to sync it to the array. We mounted the weather station on a pole and then manually set the date and time. This is a WiFi-compatible model, and it easily synced with our home wireless network.
A compass was needed to record accurate wind direction. First, we used a downloadable compass app to orient the weather station to true north, but when incorrect wind direction readings came in, we reoriented the array using a highly accurate surveying compass. After installing and configuring all the weather station’s features, we collected the data (wind speed, direction, and wind chill). We compared it with the data from a nearby official weather station, and the Ambient Weather array proved very close.
We set up a temporary online account at Weather Underground and encountered no difficulties uploading the data to the web. In sum, we found that this weather station is straightforward to install (for someone with network knowledge), produces accurate weather data, and allows users to publish their local weather data online.
- Wi-Fi capable: Yes, 2.4 GHz required
- Power source: Solar-powered array with battery backup
- Weather conditions monitored: Wind speed and direction, rainfall, barometric pressure, humidity, UV ray intensity
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Remote access via Wi-Fi
- Several useful readings
- Backup batteries not included
Those wanting a lot of accurate information from a compact home weather station should look into the 6250 Vantage Vue from Davis Instruments. This self-contained home weather station features a mountable integrated sensor that’s similar to a weather vane with a smaller LCD display. It purports to wirelessly transmit data up to 1,000 feet and updates every 2.5 seconds for the most accurate readings.
In addition to measuring the temperature, this unit also displays humidity, barometric pressure, dew point, wind speed, wind direction, and rainfall. This weather station also shows the moon phases, sunset and sunrise times, forecast, and graphing of weather trends. Solar-powered with the ability to store energy for use when natural light is minimal, this home weather station is durable, easy to install, and has remote access capabilities. Mounting hardware is included, but the mounting pole is sold separately.
In tests, the Vantage Vue was easy to set up, but it doesn’t come with data logger software or the data collection hub necessary to publish data on an internet weather service. We already had the hub and software for the Vantage Pro2 Davis Instruments weather station (see below), so we used that to connect the Vantage Vue.
We tested the Vantage Vue on the road and at home. First, we mounted it to a magnetic automobile roof stand (not included) and attached it to the top of our vehicle. We kept the display console inside the car. In addition to Wi-Fi, the Vantage Vue communicates via Bluetooth with its console, so we drove around and monitored weather conditions in different locations. This is the type of setup used by amateur storm chasers, and if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s tough to beat this weather array.
Back home, we synced the Vantage Vue to our Wi-Fi router via our Davis Instruments hub and aligned the station to true north using a surveying compass. We calibrated the rainfall collection cup following the step-by-step directions in the manual. After that, it was a simple process to create an account on Weather Underground and upload the data to the internet. When compared to the local weather data, the Vantage Vue weather data was nearly identical (a slight discrepancy is natural). This high-end personal weather station offers everything needed for the budding meteorologist.
- Wi-Fi capable: Yes
- Power source: Solar-powered array; battery-powered console.
- Weather conditions monitored: Wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall
- Simple to set up
- Compact unit
- Remote up to 1,000 feet
- Mounting pole sold separately
- Hub and data-logging software sold separately
This affordable home weather station from La Crosse Technology provides the basics, including the indoor and outdoor temperature, date, time, and humidity readings on a simple, easy-to-read display. A forecast icon also tells users what to expect for tomorrow’s weather. This battery-operated home weather station claims a Bluetooth transmission range of 330 feet. The sensor should be placed in a sheltered, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. The display can be hung or stand on its own, via the kick-out bar in the back. Basically, it should suit folks looking to monitor temperature and humidity levels in their yard.
We put two AA batteries in the small outdoor sensor and then plugged the color console into an outlet indoors. The display is bright and colorful, and the numbers and icons are large enough to see clearly from across the room. The clock and date on the La Crosse are both atomic, and it took about 20 minutes before they appeared—a bit longer than expected.
While package info claimed that the sensor can be set up as far as 330 unobstructed feet from the console, it wouldn’t transmit accurately over about 165 feet in our test. We were able to monitor indoor temperature and humidity levels, and the display allowed us to set a rather loud audible alert when the outdoor temperature dropped at night. This alert could come in handy for those needing to cover outdoor plants or bring them inside in case of frost.
- Wi-Fi capable: No
- Power source: Two AA batteries (not included)
- Weather conditions monitored: Temperature and humidity
- Provides basic data
- Forecast icon for next day’s weather
- Cannot be placed in direct sunlight
Measuring temperature, wind speed, rainfall, humidity, and wind direction, this solar-powered model uses a fan on the sensor to report on weather conditions throughout the day. Indoors, a colorful display shows the forecast, moon phase, and “feels like” temperature in addition to the actual outdoor temperature, as well as indoor temperature and humidity. While this is not a complex Wi-Fi model and only monitors the basics, it lets users see historical data, including the highest and lowest temperatures for the previous week as well as a week of rainfall data. And unlike some stations, its sensor can be placed in direct sunlight, and it features self-emptying cups to measure rainfall.
After inserting batteries in both the sensor array and the display console (eight AA batteries total, although an optional AC plug is included), we tested the Bluetooth range of the AcuRite by having one person hold the array and walk away while the other person monitored the display. At just over 120 feet, the console stopped receiving a signal—hardly the 330 feet advertised but still a decent range.
We then mounted the AcuRite and leveled it using the handy bubble level on the top. After orienting the array to true north using a surveying compass, we compared temperature, humidity, wind speed, and wind direction data to that of the nearby official weather station, and the results were good.
One pesky downside to the AcuRite is the undersize holes in the mounting base that accommodate very narrow screws, and since no screws came with the unit, a special trip to the hardware store was in order. All in all, however, this is a nice little Bluetooth weather station with an impressive enhanced display console.
- Wi-Fi capable: No
- Power source: Solar with battery backup (array), battery-powered display console
- Weather conditions monitored: Rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, humidity
- Easy-to-read display
- Measures rainfall
- Accurate wind data
- Undersize mounting holes in base
This rugged system can withstand virtually any environment and report with great accuracy. The solar-powered wireless home weather station updates every 2.5 seconds to provide precise, up-to-date weather information. It measures both indoor and outdoor temperature as well as humidity, barometric pressure, wind, rain, dew point, heat index, and wind chill. Additional sensors, such as soil moisture and UV intensity sensors, are sold separately. Like other arrays that monitor wind direction, the Pro2 must be set with a reliable compass.
We’d purchased and installed this weather station a few months prior to testing the others in this lineup and found that the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 lives up to its reputation for accuracy. We mounted it on a permanent tower that we leveled and set in a concrete base to ensure the best results. We also purchased the corresponding hub and data-logging software to create an online weather account.
In the months since we installed the Vantage Pro2, it’s given us accurate readings, and we’re publishing data to several online weather services, including Weather Underground and PWS. Several months after installing this unit, however, we noticed a discrepancy in the rainfall data—and a quick inspection revealed that birds had been perching on the unit and leaving droppings in the rainfall collector! Our mistake, as initially we didn’t attach the included bird spikes. So we removed and cleaned the unit, attached the bird-deterrent spikes, and have had no issues since.
The Vantage Pro2 has a truly impressive transmission range, advertised as being up to 1,000 feet. Ours is located just over 550 feet away (about a tenth of a mile) and we receive a strong signal. This weather station is among the top choices for serious enthusiasts. It allows users to publish their data online for friends and neighbors to see, and it stores historical weather data.
- Wi-Fi capable: Yes
- Power source: Solar and battery backup
- Weather conditions monitored: Wind speed and direction, rainfall, humidity, barometric pressure
- Updates frequently
- Measures several weather points
- Rugged and durable design
- Hub and data-logging software sold separately
Those with large yards or multiple outdoor spaces to monitor should consider this home weather station from Newentor. With the ability to connect to three different outdoor sensors (only one is included), it can monitor temperature and weather conditions in three different areas at any given time. Sensors should not be placed in direct sunlight or exposed to precipitation; under a protected roof eave is a good location.
This home weather station’s large, colorful, easy-to-read display shows both the outdoor and indoor temperature as well as humidity, time and date, moon phase, barometric pressure, and forecast. It offers a USB port for charging devices and the ability to customize alerts. The frost alert function calculates temperature and humidity levels to predict when frost will occur.
Setting up the Newentor is quick and straightforward. We inserted two AA batteries into the outdoor sensor unit and plugged in the display console. Within seconds, the sensor was transmitting data. The Newentor transmission range is advertised as “up to 200 feet,” but in our tests, it exceeded that, and we were able to transmit data up to 220 feet. Its temperature and humidity readings were both accurate.
The unit also offers a weather forecast, but unlike some models that depend on GPS location to generate a prediction, the Newentor uses barometric pressure to forecast the coming 12 to 24 hours. Though not as accurate as a professional weather service, it’s pretty handy when prepping to be out for the day. This is an atomic model, yet the display recognized time and date in just a few seconds, and once it did so, the moon phase popped up too. This is a simple but fun weather monitor for those who want accurate readings without the extra fuss of a wireless model.
- Wi-Fi capable: No
- Power source: Battery and plug-in
- Weather conditions monitored: Temperature and humidity
- Simple and effective interface
- Great for large outdoor areas
Right out of the box, the WeatherFlow Tempest was impressive. While the other WiFi-capable weather stations we tested use a weather vane or an anemometer, the Tempest’s advanced design incorporates those features right into its cutting-edge cylindrical array. It has no moving parts whatsoever, so at first we thought it wouldn’t be capable of accurately measuring rainfall. We were wrong.
The Tempest uses a haptic rain sensor that measures rainfall by vibration rather than volume. The instruction manual suggests comparing rainfall totals with another nearby gauge, so we used our Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 (see above) as the comparison model. We compared the Tempest rain data to our Vantage Pro2. The Pro2 reported 0.24 inches, and the Tempest reported 0.22 inches, which is very close. However, the manufacturer warns that high wind speeds can skew rainfall readings.
Like other Wi-Fi arrays that measure wind direction, the Tempest must be oriented to true north. WeatherFlow simplifies the process by putting an arrow on the side of the unit, and we set it with a survey compass. It uses an ultrasonic anemometer to detect and measure wind speed.
The Tempest differs from other weather stations in that it comes with additional sensors that detect nearby lightning strikes, UV ray intensity, and ambient light intensity. This unit does not come with an indoor display console, however, and we had to download the manufacturer’s app to set up the array and sync it with our smartphone and wireless router. The app quickly walked us through the steps, and we experienced no glitches.
We followed the app’s instructions to connect the Tempest to Alexa, after which we were able to use voice commands, such as “Alexa, ask WeatherFlow what is the wind speed?” The Tempest data is also easy to upload and publish to online weather services, and we connected it to Weather Underground with ease. The Tempest is just the ticket for those who enjoy devices with advanced innovative technology.
- Wi-Fi capable: Yes
- Power source: Solar, battery backup
- Weather conditions monitored: Temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, lightning strikes, wind speed and direction, ambient light, UV intensity, rainfall
- Multiple weather-condition tracking
- Good app for setup
- Smart-home enabled
- Sleek design and advanced technology
- High winds can skew rainfall data
The Sainlogic Weather Station accurately monitors weather conditions and transmits data using Bluetooth technology. While this weather station resembles models that feature Wi-Fi capability, the Sainlogic will not connect to a home network, so data cannot be uploaded to an online weather service. However, for a Bluetooth-only array, the Sainlogic is accurate and comes with multiple sensors that monitor outdoor temperature, indoor temperature, wind speed and direction, rainfall accumulation, and barometric pressure.
We checked the transmission range of the array and found it could accurately transmit data just over a 250-foot distance. We mounted the station and used a surveying compass to orient it to true north. The Sainlogic uses a traditional anemometer and weather vane to measure wind, and its data was comparable to the data of our larger weather station.
The display console is atomic; we just plugged it in, and it quickly lit up and displayed the correct time, indoor temperature, humidity, and moon phase. After a few minutes, it registered wind speed and direction. The console offers multiple functions, including programming alerts for wind gusts, dew point, temperature, and humidity. The alarm is loud but at just 4 inches by 5 inches, the display is difficult to see from across the room.
- Wi-Fi capable: No
- Power source: Solar with battery backup
- Weather conditions monitored: Indoor and outdoor temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, rainfall accumulation, barometric pressure
- Multiple weather sensors
- Accurate data
- Transmits over 250 feet
- Not Wi-Fi capable
- Display console on the small side
For a great all-around weather station, consider the Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi Smart Weather Station, which provides multiple weather measurements in an easy-to-read display, all of which can be sent remotely to your smart-home device or uploaded to the internet. For those looking for an easy-to-use model that won’t break the bank, consider the La Crosse Forecast Station, which has a large display console and an attractive price point.
How We Chose the Best Home Weather Stations
To recommend the best home weather stations, we tested a host to find those that provided accurate data and otherwise lived up to manufacturers’ claims. We tried every function each weather station offered and awarded points based on performance, durability, and accuracy. To qualify the data, we compared it to a nearby official weather station as well as to our own Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station.
For models that record wind direction, we mounted the units outdoors and oriented them to true north using a survey compass. Some users may try using a compass app on a smartphone, but we didn’t have much success with that.
We went a step further with weather stations that feature Wi-Fi connectivity by syncing them to our wireless home network and then uploading the data to online weather services. For each unit, this required establishing an individual account with the service.
We noted the overall quality of the materials and tested the transmission distance. Most weather stations did not meet the manufacturer’s advertised distance, but one exceeded it. Still, we found the range to be adequate for all models in this lineup.
Manufacturer reputation was also considered. Davis Instruments weather stations are well known for their accuracy, and many are used by serious weather enthusiasts who upload data to the internet. But we also looked at smaller, less-known manufacturers who make high-quality units with a variety of weather-monitoring options.
Want more info about the best home weather station for you? Some of the most frequently asked questions about these helpful and convenient devices are answered here.
Q. What do weather stations do?
Weather stations connect to an outside sensor that comes with the model to measure temperature, rainfall, wind speed, humidity, and in some cases much more. They give you the ability to know the weather at your particular location before heading outside.
Q. Are weather stations accurate?
When set up properly and placed in an appropriate location, weather stations are fairly accurate. Always follow the instructions for placing the sensors with the particular product you buy.
Q. How do I set up a weather station at home?
Set up the sensor (also known as the array, with multiple sensors) and then set up the indoor display. Each model requires a slightly different setup, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Q. How long do home weather stations last?
This depends on the model; some have only a 2-year warranty, while others can last for up to 20 years.