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5 Best Home Weather Station Reviews in 2021: Our Favorites

Our weather’s always changing. Don’t trust an inaccurate app for your local weather reports or weather forecast. A weather station is a great way to know exactly what’s going on outside, and our reviews below will help you pick the right one. Installing one provides you with up-to-the-second weather conditions in your backyard, including temperature, humidity, rainfall, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, and more.

Internet connectivity allows you to monitor conditions even when you’re not at home and use your weather data to control smart devices. Home weather stations aren’t just useful for weather enthusiasts: if you’re a farmer, gardener, frequently outdoors, or want to know what the weather’s doing outside, a weather station is a great buy.

Our goal is to help you get the best bang for your buck. Our reviews are written on real hands-on experience with the product, unlike many other sites on the web. If it’s not here, we don’t recommend it. It’s just that simple.

So, what are the best home weather stations you can buy? We have reviews for all our top picks below. Use our expertise to ensure you get a good deal.

How We Choose the Top Home Weather Stations

Unlike many sites, we test the products we recommend or have direct experience with the company. You can see our testing protocol here. Many we test remain installed for several months, giving us key insight into long-term reliability, something a quick review cannot.

Our review staff has years of experience in using home weather stations and instruments: some of us are degreed meteorologists and scientists. Our editors independently research each device: we do not recommend a station simply because a manufacturer sends it to us. A candidate for our list can’t only be a great value: it must have accurate measurements, be user friendly, and have great build quality to name a few things that we look for.

To help you in choosing, we’ve listed our favorites below, along with what make them better than the rest. As a general rule, high-end home weather stations offer the most accurate readings, with all the bells and whistles, a solid sensor array, and functionality such as UV index and solar radiation measurements.

A cheap weather station won’t have as many features: for example, it might have a lower-quality display console or sensor array, less accurate temperature readings, lack UV index and solar radiation sensors, or no smart home connectivity. We recommend you purchase the best station you can afford, especially if you plan to keep it long term.

The last thing you want to do is spend hundreds of dollars on something that works great for a few months, then breaks. Our job here is to help you avoid that.

Here is our current list of the best home weather stations. We update this regularly based on our experiences.

Note: The Weather Station Experts may earn a commission as a result of clicking a link on this site.

Price current as of October 18, 2021

Best Home Weather Station of 2021: Ambient Weather WS-5000 Ultrasonic Professional Smart Weather Station

WS-5000 sensor suite
The Weather Station Experts

The Ambient Weather WS-5000 is one of the most advanced weather stations we’ve tested, as well as one of the most expandable. The WS-5000 features a redesigned sensor suite, which now includes an ultrasonic anemometer.

The elimination of the vane-and-cup anemometer found on other stations drastically reduces the number of moving parts. This should extend its useable life as the traditional anemometer requires ongoing maintenance to ensure trouble-free use.

The WS-5000’s sensors were much more accurate in our tests than previous Ambient Weather stations. The capability to add just about any sensor you can think of, including air quality, soil moisture, water temperature, and lightning sensors.

The brilliant color LCD console first introduced with the WS-2000 is also present in the WS-5000. However, the WS-5000 sends data to the console in as little as every five seconds with the new sensor suite. That’s a dramatic improvement.

Of course, there’s AmbientWeather.net and the Ambient Weather app to view your weather data remotely. The company’s made it super easy to share your data publicly through Weather Underground. Its smart home connectivity is best in class, offering IFTTT compatibility to connect your station to your smart home system.

If you’re looking for a step up from the WS-2902, with accuracy that rivals any Davis station, the WS-5000 is the weather station for you. And even with all the advanced functionality, it’s still quite affordable despite having a significantly higher price tag than the WS-2902C, Ambient Weather’s most popular model.

Features at a Glance

Standard

  • Temperature (Inside/Outside)
  • Relative Humidity (Inside/Outside)
  • Rainfall
  • Wind Speed and Wind Direction
  • Barometric Pressure
  • UV/Light
  • Fan Aspiriation

Optional

  • Lightning Detection
  • Soil Moisture/Leaf Wetness
  • Leak Alarm
  • PM2.5 Air Quality Monitor
  • Up to 7 Additional Temperature/Humidity Sensors

What We Said in Our Review

“Indeed, the WS-5000 is like no Ambient Weather station we’ve seen before. It looks and feels like a higher-end weather station. The vane and cup anemometer is replaced with ultrasonic technology, and the housing also includes UV and light sensors on the top and the shielded temperature and humidity sensors below.”

Read the Full Review

Price current as of October 18, 2021


Best Mid-Grade Home Weather Station: Davis Instruments Vantage Vue Weather Station and WeatherLink Live Bundle

davisvantagevuewide
The Weather Station Experts

The Davis Vantage Vue might be getting a “long in the tooth,” as they say. It’s been on the market for over a decade. However, the addition of the new WeatherLink Live hub has breathed new life into Davis’ entry-level weather station.

The reliability of Davis is legendary in the weather enthusiast community. I’ve had my Vantage Vue up continuously since September 2016, and I know others that have had theirs for over a decade. There is also the story of a gentleman with a Davis Weather Monitor II (a predecessor to the Vue) who recently upgraded after 27 years (that’s not a typo).

While you don’t get the unbeatable accuracy of the high-end Davis Vantage Pro 2, my experience has been nothing but positive.

With WeatherLink Live, sharing your data is super easy. While on your home network, you will be able to watch live conditions (updated every two seconds), and your data is uploaded to Davis’ platform once per minute.

While there is no smart home integration in this model, there is an Alexa app to hear your current conditions through your smart speaker. If you’d like, Davis does offer a package with the old console — but WeatherLink Live does everything the console does.

Features at a Glance

Standard

  • Temperature (Inside/Outside)
  • Relative Humidity (Inside/Outside)
  • Rainfall
  • Wind Speed and Direction
  • Barometric Pressure

Optional

What We Said in Our Review

“I admit that I’m somewhat biased: I’ve had my Davis Vantage Vue weather station installed in my backyard since September 2016. But as a result, I can provide you with a long-term review, and one that has many more positives than negatives.”

Read the Full Review


Best Pro-Grade Home Weather Station: Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2 Weather Station with WeatherLink Live Bundle

Davis Vantage Pro 2 ISS
Davis Instruments

The Davis Vantage Pro2 is one of the best high-end weather stations you can buy and is made even better by WeatherLink Live.

The Vantage Pro2 is a proven workhorse. Several years ago in the Caribbean, a VantagePro 2 recorded a 199mph wind gust in a hurricane before its mast snapped. That’s the highest wind reading ever recorded on a personal weather station!

So why is the Vantage Pro2 more accurate? The sensors in the Vantage Pro2 are of higher quality than in the Vantage Vue. A larger rain gauge collects rain more efficiently, especially in windy situations. The radiation shielding around the temperature and humidity sensor is larger, allowing for better airflow.

Another difference between the VantagePro 2 and the Vantage Vue is the anemometer. Since it’s separate from the rest of the sensor suite, you can place it in a high location to improve your wind readings.

While it takes a bit more time to set up, there’s no other personal weather station on the market that even comes close if want the most accurate weather data. As a side note, there is also a bundle that includes the console. While the Vantage Pro2’s console is much more useful than the Vantage Vue’s, it does add to the price. Whether you need it is up to you.

Features at a Glance

Standard

  • Temperature (Inside/Outside)
  • Relative Humidity (Inside/Outside)
  • Rainfall
  • Wind Speed and Wind Direction
  • Barometric Pressure
  • UV/Light (optional on Pro2, standard on Pro2 Plus)

Optional

  • Fan Aspiration
  • Soil Moisture/Leaf Wetness
  • Fan Aspiration
  • Air Quality Montoring (via AirLink)

What We Said in Our Review

“Why has the Vantage Pro2 withstood the test of time? It’s actually very simple: quality. This station is one the best you can get in that department. High-quality sensors provide market-leading accuracy, corners aren’t cut in construction. It’s truly pro-grade.”

Read the Full Review


Best Budget Home Weather Station: Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi Smart Weather Station

ambient weather WS-2902C
The Weather Station Experts

Ambient Weather gets a second mention on our list because it frankly surprised me how feature-packed and accurate the Ambient Weather WS-2902C was given its price. Many of the cheap weather stations I’ve tested over the years had issues that prevented me from truly recommending them.

The WS-2902C isn’t as accurate as the WS-5000 or either of the Davis stations, but it comes close. The connectivity is a standout feature at its price point, with full smart-home capabilities thanks to IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa support.

Like the WS-5000, connecting the station to AmbientWeather.net allows you to share your data with Weather Underground, as well as access your station data through the app or a web-based portal.

The LCD console in the WS-2902C is much improved over previous models. When we tested the WS-2902A, the console suffered from readability problems beyond a 30-degree angle. That issue is far less of a problem now.

If you can’t justify the price of any of our other recommendations above, the Ambient Weather WS-2902C is the best budget model available.

Features at a Glance

Standard

  • Indoor and Outdoor Temperatures
  • Indoor and Outdoor Relative Humidity
  • Rainfall
  • Wind Speed and Wind Direction
  • Barometric Pressure
  • UV/Light

What We Said in Our Review

“For the most part, the WS-2902C lives up to the hype. While most of the sensors perform well, the Vantage Vue still has the advantage. The LCD console is fairly basic — one of the places Ambient Weather had to compromise on to keep the station cheap.But for the casual weather observer, the WS-2902C is perfect and the best budget weather station available.”

Read the Full Review

Price current as of October 18, 2021


Best Home Weather Station for Lightning Detection: WeatherFlow Tempest Weather System

WeatherFlow Tempest sensor on pole
The Weather Station Experts

WeatherFlow is a fairly recent entrant to the home weather station market, although it has years of experience. Its coastal network of weather stations has been delivering vital information to meteorologists for years and has proven useful (and durable) in landfalling hurricanes.

The Tempest Weather System is WeatherFlow’s first attempt at a home weather station. For the most part, it’s a good start. It’s the only one of our stations with built-in lightning detection, and it’s one of the Tempest’s standout features, along with operating completely on solar power.

We found that the real-time lightning data matched up better with data from professional lightning detection networks. It regularly detected distant lightning faster than any other station we’ve tested.

Ambient Weather WS-5000 vs Tempest

Like the WS-5000, the Tempest’s anemometer uses ultrasonic technology to measure wind speed and direction. But in a first for any station we’ve seen, the Tempest uses haptics for its rain gauge. This allows for the Tempest to not only detect how much rain is falling but also the intensity. While the measurement side still needs work, we found the notification functionality extremely useful for rain and lightning. If you’re frequently outdoors, the WeatherFlow Tempest is a solid option.

Features at a Glance

Standard

  • Indoor and Outdoor Temperature
  • Indoor and Outdoor Relative Humidity
  • Rainfall
  • Wind Speed and Wind Direction
  • Barometric Pressure
  • UV/Light
  • Lightning Detection

What We Said in Our Review

“It took time to get things right [with the WeatherFlow Tempest] and there is still work to do. But overall, the Tempest is a station that is worthy of your consideration if you can deal with its quirks — which aren’t going to be deal-breaking for everyone.”

Read the Full Review


Other Manufacturers

There are other home weather station manufacturers that are worth briefly mentioning before we give you some tips. The most well known model is AcuRite, which can be found in many department and home improvement stores. While we don’t recommend those stations, we have tested the AcuRite Atlas. While its accuracy issues kept it from ranking high on our list, it does offer a lot of functionality.

Another popular model is the Netatmo Weather Station. While it was great for the smart home when it first released over a half-decade ago, the Netatmo Weather Station feels dated today, especially when for nearly the same price you can get something like the WeatherFlow Tempest.

Another big manufacturer is La Crosse Technology. We’ve had a few La Crosse Technology devices over the years, with generally good results. We like their devices for the price as a neat gift idea for the casual weather observer, but the accuracy isn’t there to call them one of the “best” in our opinion.

Choosing the Best Weather Station

What are you looking for in a weather station? Are you just interested in what the weather is in your backyard? Need to monitor for outdoor activities or gardening? A gardener wanting to make sure your plants are growing in optimal conditions? A weather enthusiast that wants superior accuracy and reliability? Reading through all of our reviews will help you make a wise decision.

How you’ll use your station does matter (and will save you some time reading through all these reviews!). At a minimum, choose a one with the following features:

  • Indoor temperature
  • Outdoor temperature
  • Indoor and Outdoor humidity
  • Barometric pressure
  • Rain gauge

However, just these features aren’t enough in our opinion. When writing reviews, I also look for the following features in more advanced personal weather stations and consider them equally important:

  • Wind speed and wind direction
  • Dew point
  • Heat index and wind chill measurements

The best stations offer functionality above and beyond the basic measurements above. Some offer UV and light measurements, useful for outdoor activities, while others can detect lightning. Others offer sensors for other uses, including measuring soil moisture and water temperatures.

Accuracy and Reliability

You get what you pay for when it comes to accuracy in personal weather stations. In our experience, price is often a good predictor of sensor quality and accuracy, although there are exceptions. One thing we don’t recommend is department store models, mainly because the vast majority are junk.

These stations are built to be inexpensive, and the sensor quality is not there. I’ve found these stations to have the most issues in measuring temperature, humidity, and rainfall accurately.

We also find higher-end stations offer far more reliable performance and don’t suffer from connectivity issues or maintenance problems as much.

davis vantage pro2 console on wal
Davis Instruments

Connectivity and Smart Home

Nearly every home weather station is wireless these days, and that helps give flexibility in weather station placement. They also are often Wi-Fi and smart home capable, which is important. When we write our reviews, we look for internet connectivity.

You can view your data from anywhere through an app or web-based portal. You can also use your data to control your smart home devices. When your weather station detects rain, it could turn your sprinklers off to conserve water, for example.

While some weather enthusiasts might not have a use for smart home connectivity, many do. And with smart home technology becoming ever more prevalent these days, our reviews will focus on this in part. To get a high rating, this connectivity is necessary.

Most of our recommendations also offer the storage of historical data. With years of use, you’ll build a useful historical weather record of your location — and be able to compare your records with nearby official stations. Some owners have decades of data stored!

Expandability

Always opt for expandability if you can afford it. Everyone’s needs change, and you might need to add new sensors. Purchasing a weather station that has this option will extend the useful life of your setup.

Durability

Most weather stations these days are made of plastic. Cheaper models are often built with less durable plastic and show their age quickly. The elements will do a number on your equipment, and the best weather stations will hold up for years (and, in some cases, decades). Many run partially on solar power with solar panels on the sensor suite, making battery changes quite rare.

Budget

Expect to spend anywhere from $150 or so to as much as $1,000 for a personal weather station. However, it’s more likely that you’ll spend somewhere in the middle of that range — given the best weather stations are often mid-range models.

We recommend using our brand guides to start, as they represent a good range of stations at various price points to fit any budget. Start with the mid-range models first, and compare with cheaper and more expensive models to ensure you’re getting the best station for your needs.

Weather Station Maintenance and Installation Tips

We recommend that you perform maintenance at least once per season at a minimum. This is especially important in the fall and winter months, as those are the hardest months on your equipment. Some may need to perform maintenance as frequently as every month, depending on weather conditions and the surrounding environment.

We’ve written an entire post on this subject, which breaks it down into easy steps, and tells you exactly what you need to do the job right the first time.

weather station installation wide shot
The Weather Station Experts

Placing Your Sensors Correctly

There are standards for how weather observations are taken. Using the National Weather Service’s Cooperative Weather Observer Program (CWOP) standards is a good place to start. We have more tips available in our installation and siting guide.

  • The temperature/humidity sensor should be at eye level, around five to six feet above the ground, according to National Weather Service specifications. Ensure that the sensor is protected from direct sunlight in some fashion: typically the sensor suite has some type of radiation shielding to keep your readings accurate.
  • The anemometer should be mounted at a height of 33 feet, and at a distance of 10 times higher than the nearest tall obstruction for measuring wind accurately. This isn’t always possible, so aim to get as close as you can.
  • Moutnain your rain gauge 4-6′ off the ground to prevent splashback from rain hitting the ground. Be sure to keep it clear of any obstructions, too.

Wrapping Up

We hope our guide was useful, as well as the tips we’ve listed. You’re about to spend quite a bit of money, and we hope you’re now armed with information that helps you get the best station for your particular needs. This is an investment, and making the wrong decision can be costly. But with the right station, you’ll get years of enjoyment out of it. And who knows, with the weather conditions you observe over time, even learn to create your own weather forecasts.

Have any questions? Feel free to contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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