Often the weather reports you see in a weather app are from stations miles away from your location. Consequently, there can be significant discrepancies in these reports compared to the actual conditions around you. This is why you should consider a home weather station.
The best home weather stations will do what smartphone apps cannot. They’ll tell you exactly what the weather’s doing at your own home, farm, school or business in real-time by measuring atmospheric conditions, such as temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, and wind direction. They can also connect to the Internet, so you can monitor your weather conditions from anywhere and share your findings with other weather enthusiasts.
Stop depending on that limited weather app and discover what the weather’s really doing outside with a fully-fledged home weather station.
A weather station can withstand the elements to provide many years of service. However, you will need to make sure that you only purchase a reliable and accurate unit from one of the leading manufacturers and avoid the cheaper imitations that won’t last.
Here is our standout pick as the best home weather station overall. Chosen for its affordability and performance advantage—we recommend the Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi 10-in-1 (click here to check the price).
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Here Are the Best Home Weather Station Reviews
We continually research all of the best weather stations on the market, perform our own tests, and read reviews from real owners to produce the analysis and ratings of the home weather stations you’ll see below.
1. Best Overall: Ambient Weather WS-2902C Osprey WiFi 10-in-1
The Ambient Weather WS-2902C Osprey provides the best value for money compared to any other personal weather station on the market right now. As a result, it is our number one recommendation.
If you’re looking for an affordable, accurate, and reliable weather station, then this best-selling model from Ambient Weather is your answer.
In 2020 Ambient Weather has upgraded the very popular WS-2902A model. The WS-2902B update added additional sensor support, and now the WS-2902C has a new, user-friendly layout on the display console to make the wind information more prominent.
The WS-2902C can support a combination of up to eight WH31 thermo-hygrometer sensors, and WH31P probed thermometers. One indoor and one outdoor PM2.5 air quality sensor can also be added to the system. However, these sensors do not display on the console. Instead, the console acts as a hub to connect the sensors and display the data on the Ambient Weather Network. If you want to add additional sensors to your station and view the data directly on the console, take a look at our premium pick—the WS-2000.
This solar-powered WiFi connectable station can measure wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, UV, solar radiation, barometric pressure, outdoor temperature and humidity, indoor temperature and humidity, dew point, heat index, wind chill, and more.
The wireless outdoor sensor transmits updated readings every 16 seconds to the LCD color display console, and it has a 330ft wireless range. The best feature of the WS-2902C is the built-in WiFi connectivity, which enables a straightforward setup with Weather Underground and the Ambient Weather Network. Through either of these networks, you will be able to remotely view real-time and historical conditions from your phone, tablet, or computer.
The weather station can also integrate with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which means you can ask a compatible device (e.g., Amazon Echo or Google Home) for the current indoor or outdoor conditions, and you’ll receive your very own local weather report. There is also IFTTT compatibility to control other smart devices throughout your home with automatic triggers.
The Ambient Weather WS-2902C is the perfect model for weather enthusiasts who need a reliable, user-friendly, and accurate weather station without breaking the bank.
Read full review: Ambient Weather WS-2902C Review
2. Best Premium Model: Ambient Weather WS-2000 Smart Weather Station with WiFi
The WS-2902C wowed us with its connectivity and value for money, and for these reasons, it still holds the top spot as our number one recommendation. However, for those looking for a premium yet affordable option that supports additional sensors, then the Ambient Weather WS-2000 is the station to buy.
The WS-2000 is a direct upgrade of the WS-2902C. It uses the same sensor array, so you get all the same instruments of the best-selling WS-2902C with the added capability to connect extra sensors and have them show up on not just the Ambient Weather Network, but the display console as well for easy viewing.
You can install a combination of up to eight additional WH31 thermo-hygrometer sensors, WH31P probe thermometers, and WH31SM soil moisture sensors. There’s also functionality to include four WH31LA leak detectors, a WH31L lightning detector, and one indoor and one outdoor PM2.5 air quality sensor.
Another major upgrade in the WS-2000 package over the WS-2902C is the display console. It comes with a full-color HD TFT display, which has excellent viewing angles and is very easy to read. It’s the best display console out of all the models we’ve tested. The setup of the WS-2000 is also completed through the console rather than an app, making it more straightforward.
Just like the WS-2902C, you will still get the best-in-class connectivity to a wide variety of smart home platforms, including IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. You’ll also have the ability to upload your weather data to Ambient Weather’s cloud service and Weather Underground.
If you have the extra funds, this station should be on the top of your list. The WS-2000 addresses a lot of the issues we had with the WS-2902C and is definitely worth the higher price tag.
3. Most Accurate: Davis Instruments 6152 Vantage Pro2
The Davis Vantage Pro2 is as close to a professional-grade station as you’ll get without paying thousands of dollars for it. It’s also one of the only remaining stations with a cabled option in case wireless doesn’t work for you. While its accuracy is unparalleled and its construction top-notch, internet connectivity is an extra expense.
You can purchase the WeatherLink Live Hub to stream data to the WeatherLink cloud via WiFi. The hub also offers the capability to add a combination of up to 8 sensor transmitters or weather stations. You’ll spend a little more time setting up the Davis Pro2 over more basic models. However, we highly recommend the Davis Vantage Pro2 for its superior accuracy, fast reporting intervals, and durability.
For those who require precise readings, the Vantage Pro2 will be the best weather station for you. The Pro2 is one of the very few weather stations on the market where the anemometer is separate from the temp, humidity, and rain sensors so you can mount it on a roof or a tower for the most accurate wind readings. The other sensors can then be placed at 5-6 feet in accordance with the official guidelines.
Read full review: Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Review
4. Best Ultrasonic Model: Ambient Weather WS-5000 Ultrasonic Weather Station
The Ambient Weather WS-5000 is one of the most advanced personal weather stations we’ve tested, as well as one of the most expandable. Ambient Weather has redesigned the sensor suite, which now includes an ultrasonic anemometer.
The WS-5000’s sensors were much more accurate in our tests than previous Ambient Weather stations. The ultrasonic anemometer is a welcome addition, which has proven to be a much more precise method to measure wind speed and direction. The anemometer also has no moving parts to wear out, which should extend its useable life.
The rain gauge includes an extra-large funnel that improves accuracy, and it’s also wireless so that you can place it close to the ground in an optimal position for measurements and cleaning.
The capability to add just about any sensor you can think of, including air quality, soil moisture, water temperature, and a lightning sensor, makes the WS-5000 one of the most expandable stations on the market.
The best-in-class color LCD console first introduced with the WS-2000 is also the WS-5000’s console, but with the new sensor suite, the station can send data to the console in just 4.9 seconds. That’s a dramatic improvement.
Of course, there’s the Ambient Weather Network and the app to view your data remotely, and the company has made it super easy to share your station’s data publicly through Weather Underground. Its smart home connectivity is best in class, offering IFTTT compatibility to connect your station to dozens of other smart home devices.
If you’re looking for a step up from the WS-2902C, with accuracy that rivals any Davis station, the WS-5000 is the home weather station for you. And even with all the advanced functionality, the WS-5000 is still quite affordable.
Read full review: Ambient Weather WS-5000 Review
5. Best Budget Model: AcuRite 5-in-1 01512 Wireless Weather Station
The AcuRite 5-in-1 01512 is an excellent starter model for weather enthusiasts of all ages. It includes most of the features you will see in the value range weather stations at a budget price. You won’t get internet connectivity with the 01512. However, you can upgrade to the ‘Internet Connected’ model on Amazon. The ‘Internet Connected’ version comes with an AcuRite Access module for connectivity with the My AcuRite platform where you can monitor conditions from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
The AcuRite 01512 can measure nearly everything that the higher-end Atlas does, but it falls behind when it comes to precision and build quality. The 5-in-1 sensor suite can measure temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and rainfall. The display is basic but easy to read with an adjustable dimmer, and it also features a battery backup should the power go out.
We’ve tested the AcuRite 5-in-1 sensor unit and found its accuracy to be acceptable as long as the station wasn’t in direct sun. Direct sunlight caused temperatures to read higher and humidity lower than it was supposed to.
If you’re looking for a very affordable model with all the essential features for monitoring the weather at your home, then the AcuRite 01512 is going to be the best cheap weather station for you. Just don’t expect the same degree of accuracy or durability as the more expensive weather stations.
If the high-end Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 is a bit too rich for your blood, stepping down to the Vantage Vue model is a smart move. You’ll still get the accuracy Davis is known for, but in an integrated package that is much easier to set up due to its all-in-one sensor suite. That said, the desktop console still feels dated, and the all-in-one sensor suite means you won’t be able to place some sensors in an optimal position for the most accurate readings.
This is why we have the Vantage Pro2 listed ahead of it. Although, as it retails at a more affordable price point and still maintains a high level of performance, we highly recommend the Davis Vantage Vue for serious weather enthusiasts on a budget. Like the Pro2, the Vantage Vue can also connect to the Internet and allow additional sensors via the WeatherLink Live Hub, which sells separately.
Read full review: Davis Instruments Vantage Vue Review
The AcuRite 01007M Atlas Weather Station is a top contender among the value range weather stations. We found that the accuracy of the AcuRite is where this particular station shines above the competition.
In our tests, the Atlas scored favorably against other stations in its class, even besting the Vantage Vue in temperature and humidity accuracy in direct sunlight. The Atlas includes an aspirating fan in the thermometer and humidity sensor housing, ensuring heat isn’t building up inside the shielding, where the Vantage Vue does not.
If you previously owned an older AcuRite 5-in-1 model, you will appreciate the upgraded sensors of the Atlas which provide far more accurate readings. AcuRite has also rated the Atlas wind vane to work at speeds of up to 160mph and increased reporting frequency to every 10 seconds.
Installation of this station is straightforward, thanks to the integrated tightening knob on the sensor suite for pole mounting setups. The My AcuRite app and Access module make connecting to the Internet, and remote monitoring for mobile devices a breeze.
The Atlas weather station’s expandability and the HD touchscreen display console are also noteworthy features. We especially appreciate the optional wind extension kit. A feature that no other weather station in this price range offers right now.
Read full review: AcuRite Atlas Review
La Crosse Technology has several entry-level stations, and the C85845 is one of our favorite small weather stations. You’ll get the bare minimum in weather readings—indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, along with barometric pressure trends and a weather forecast. The display is easy-to-read, and the brightness can be adjusted. You can also set customizable alerts for temperature and humidity and quickly view the daily minimum and maximum readings on the console.
La Crosse’s C85845 is a nice station for those just looking for the basics—temperature, humidity, and expected weather. We also like the atomic clock option, so you never have to set the clock again. That said, functionality is limited, and without any expandability, you may find yourself purchasing a full weather station in the future.
Important Factors to Consider When Buying a Home Weather Station
Let’s take a look at the factors you need to consider and the features you need to look for when buying a personal weather station.
Purpose and Sensor Requirements
The biggest consideration is what you need a weather station for. Are you looking for something basic to get an idea of the weather in your backyard? Are you a farmer or gardener looking to monitor weather conditions to make sure your crops are growing in an optimal environment? Or are you a weather enthusiast that wants to track the weather closely and compare your observations to others nearby? This all matters in deciding what features and sensors you need when you're searching for the best weather station.
At a minimum, you’ll want a weather station that provides the following:
- Indoor and Outdoor Temperature and Humidity
- Barometric Pressure
- Rainfall Measurements
- Wind Speed and Direction
These are the basics that any weather station should have. From here, other features depend on your preferences.
If you’re outdoors often, stations that measure UV index, solar radiation, or can sense nearby lightning are useful, while gardeners and farmers might find leaf and soil moisture/soil temperature sensors worthwhile. If you just need to monitor the temperature and humidity inside your home, then you might want to consider using a WiFi thermometer with remote monitoring capabilities or a hygrometer.
Accuracy and Reporting Frequency
A personal weather station is worthless if it incorrectly measures weather conditions. Now is a good time to mention that you will get what you pay for. The weather stations and indoor outdoor thermometers you see at local department stores are usually far less accurate compared to professional grade weather stations such as the Davis Pro2.
The best weather stations will also update observations more frequently, some as quickly as every 2.5 seconds versus 30 seconds or more for lower-end models.
Your station needs to be installed within a certain distance to communicate with the console. Most wireless weather stations have a transmission distance of 330 feet between the console and the sensors. Some premium stations can work up to 1000 feet away.
Internet Connectivity and Smart Home Features
The best WiFi weather stations allow you to connect to them via an app or website. Most of them also enable you to upload your weather data to places like Weather Underground where your data will be displayed alongside other personal weather stations around the world.
Some models have smart home capabilities that let you do all kinds of cool things, like connect to IFTTT. For example, when it rains, your weather station could trigger your smart sprinkler system to turn off and conserve water.
A solar powered weather station will give you years of use with minimal maintenance as you won’t need to worry about changing the batteries very often. The solar panels in these stations power the sensors during the daytime, and some models also have a supercapacitor which is charged at the same time for use as a power source. Batteries are also used for backup power.
We recommend installing lithium batteries, especially if you live in a colder climate. Lithium batteries are much more resilient in extreme temperatures, and they generally last longer than alkaline batteries.
Don’t just think about the present when you invest in a home weather station. Our needs change, and the last thing you want to do is be stuck with a model that has no expandability. If you can afford it, opt for a model that allows you to add additional sensors as your needs grow.
Lower-priced weather stations cut corners to reduce the overall cost. One of these areas is construction, by using cheaper and subsequently less durable materials, the manufacturers can offer inexpensive models. Remember that your weather station is going to be out in the elements year round, and in potentially extreme conditions. If you can afford to purchase a high-end home weather station, do it, you’ll have something that lasts a whole lot longer as a result.
We understand that you’re not made of money, and in the end, the price is still going to play a role in your purchasing decision. That said, you’ll need to at least expect to spend somewhere in the order of $150-$200 USD for a decent home weather system. The best personal weather stations can easily approach $1,000 USD with all the bells and whistles. Figure out what you can spend before you start your search and work from there.
Where Is the Best Location to Install a Personal Weather Station?
Proper siting is the most critical factor in ensuring accurate readings from your sensors. You’ll need to keep a few basic things in mind when choosing a location.
- Your temperature and humidity sensors need to be in full shade or partial shade if you don’t have a station with radiation shielding, with optimal placement at “eye level” (5-6 feet).
- Your rain gauge needs to be level and high enough so that it doesn’t get splashback from the ground, and away from obstructions.
- Official wind speed and direction measurements are taken at the height of 33 feet, and well above any obstructions. We understand that this may be unachievable for most people. Therefore, mounting your anemometer on your roof above the roofline will deliver the best results.
- If you have a station with an all-in-one sensor suite, you will have to make a compromise between the ideal height of the anemometer and temp/humidity/rain sensors. The best option is to go somewhere in between, 10 feet or higher is ideal.
- If you are mounting the weather station to a house or structure, be sure to run a ground wire.
- Remember that wherever you place your station, it should be in a place that’s easy to access. Weather stations need to be maintained and cleaned.
For more help, read our definitive guide on siting instructions with mounting ideas and solutions here.
The home weather station market continues to advance each year. The latest and best home weather stations now incorporate smart home features, expandability options, and user-friendly internet connectivity. Observing the weather at home with a personal weather station has never been easier.
If you are looking for the perfect mix of value and functionality, the Ambient Weather WS-2902C Osprey WiFi 10-in-1 will be the best weather station for you. The built-in WiFi connectivity allows a straightforward setup, and the smart home options are unrivaled. The WS-2902C is an excellent unit for aspiring weather enthusiasts and first-time weather station owners.
If you need to add additional sensors to your station, then we recommend the Ambient Weather WS-2000 Smart Weather Station. It has the same sensor suite as the best-selling WS-2902C, with the added capability to connect additional thermo-hygrometer sensors, soil moisture sensors, probed thermometers, leak detectors, a lightning detector, and an indoor and outdoor PM2.5 air quality sensor. This upgraded model also has one of the best display consoles we’ve seen.
If you are an avid weather enthusiast and money is not an issue, we recommend the Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2. It is by far the most accurate home weather station available. This station is in a class of its own.