The Roku is one of the most popular streaming devices out there today. It’s affordable and comes in a variety of form factors.
But the remote that comes with any of the Roku devices is just ok at best.
If you want to integrate your Roku with your home theater setup and be able to control it all without having to juggle remotes, then you’ll need a universal remote that works with your Roku.
You can also check out our more complete guide to the Best Universal Remotes.
Keep reading for the best universal remotes for Roku (1, 2, 3, 4, Express, Stick, and Plus).
Logitech Harmony Elite (Best Overall)
The Logitech Harmony Elite is by far our top pick. In fact, it’s hard to find a review site that disagrees.
Logitech is well known for making excellent, feature-packed computer peripherals, and their top-notch design and market-leading innovation can be seen extended outside of the PC space in their line of amazing universal remote controls.
What exactly makes the Logitech Harmony Elite such a great remote to use with Roku?
The Harmony Elite represents a balance between both worlds. In the Elite, you get a traditional ‘physical button’ remote, in addition to advanced remote functionality, such as Bluetooth connectivity, voice controls, and a touchscreen.
The Harmony Elite features a hub-based design, where the remote controls the included hub, and the hub separately control all of your devices. This makes it so you don’t even have to point the remote at each device, the hub takes care of all of that for you.
Also, this remote is fully programmable, allowing you to create ‘activities’ that can perform complex functions in a set sequence, making switching between media sources a breeze.
Although pricey, the Logitech Harmony Elite really is a fantastic remote that will do everything you need it to.
The Logitech Harmony Companion (Runner up)
Coming in second place is the Logitech Harmony Companion.
The Harmony Companion includes the remote, the hub, and one IR blaster; it can connect to a total of eight devices. The remote has a somewhat simple design. Even though it was a really nice soft and textured design, it feels a bit too wide in the hand. Also, the top of the remote seems to pick up more fingerprints than the rest of it.
Because the remote is kind of wide, reaching all the buttons can be a hassle. The buttons feel good to press, It would just be nice if they were easier to get to. It would be nice if they had different shapes so you wouldn’t have to look down at the remote to see what buttons you are pressing.
The battery life is good, needing about a year between battery changes, and the included hub makes life a lot easier when dealing with multiple devices.
The Harmony App
While the Companion doesn’t have a touch screen, having the hub does let you use a smartphone in place of the remote.
The Harmony app lets you use your smart devices, such as your phones and tablets, to control your home theater. This is a great bonus when you just can’t find that remote! This also gives you additional flexibility. For instance, you can make one button perform two different actions, by either short or long pressing on it, and you can also set up ‘activities’ for the hub to carry out. The experience is fully customizable, and even though the initial setup process can be a bit tedious, it’s well worth it.
The Logitech Harmony Express (Best With Voice Control)
The Harmony Express has a simple design with powerful features. It’s easy to set up, and it makes good use of Alexa’s ability to control different hardware. Using the voice command system is extremely easy and straightforward.
This remote has the ability to use voice commands to control just about anything you would ever need to, and this feature is very popular.
The remote features a minimal design, and won’t overwhelm you with a ton of buttons, but this can become a limiting factor.
The Harmony Express can do just about anything the other Harmony remote systems can do, and the built-in Alexa feature is actually really convenient to use.
The express looks like a more high-end Roku remote if Logitech would have designed one for them. It’s got backlit buttons that even light up when the remote is lifted. The remote looks and feels good, and the layout is simple and easy to use.
The Logitech Harmony 665 (Best Budget Option)
For those on a tighter budget, take a look at the Logitech Harmony 665. This remote from Logitech is priced very competitively and will work just fine with your Roku. This remote can only control your Roku via infrared, as it is not equipped with Bluetooth.
This remote does a great job of controlling every device in your entertainment center. It also has the ability to set up activities. As mentioned above, activities are a feature that allows you to pre-program tasks such as ‘Watch a movie’, to turn on all the relevant devices and set them to the right input.
The activities feature will work with your TV, sound system, Tivo or Roku, etc. It will even work with your old VCR! This remote does a great job of consolidating all remotes you have laying on your coffee table. It can control up to 10 devices at a time out of almost 300,000 supported devices!
If you are on a tight budget and want a remote that works well with your Roku, and plays nice with all your other home theater components, then the Harmony 665 will be a great choice for you.
IKR Roku remote (Standard Roku Remote Replacement)
It’s only fair to include the standard Roku remote in this review, so here we go:
The standard Roku remote features a sleek and minimalist design and has easy to reach buttons. Roku designed their remote for simplicity and ease of use. It will work great with any Roku, but it won’t work with any of your other home theater devices.
If all you need is a remote that will definitely work with your Roku, and you don’t need it to work with any other devices, then the IKR Roku remote is the one for you.
What to look for when buying a Roku remote
Roku remotes come in all kinds of different shapes, sizes, and feature-sets.
Figuring out which one to buy isn’t so easy. There are Roku remotes that have screens and ones that do not. Remotes that support voice commands, and those that do not. Voice supporting phones that include Amazon Alexa, and those that include their own voice recognition engine. With so many factors and variables to consider, picking the perfect Roku remote for you can be difficult.
We’re here to help. If we are anything alike, you probably want the best Roku remote for your money. In the above article, we’ve broken them all down by features, starting with the most advanced Roku remote.
When choosing a Roku remote, it’s important to remember that all Roku models have some form of Infrared receiver built-in, so any of the hub-based remotes in our review will work great with your Roku, regardless of which model you have.
It’s also important to not overspend on a remote. If you simply need a remote that can control your Roku, then don’t buy a remote that has a lot of bells and whistles that you don’t need.
The weight and material of the remote control are very important. It’s a device that you pick up and set down several times a day. For the most comfort, choose a Roku remote that is light-weight and comfortable to hold.
Is there a universal remote app for Roku?
Yes! All you need to do is download the Roku app and use it as a remote.
Here’s how to do it:
- Download and install the Roku app.
- Launch the Roku app on your device.
- Tap Remote.
- Connect to your Roku Device.
How do I pair my universal remote to my Roku?
Universal remotes that support Roku all have different ways of connecting to devices, but the process usually goes like this:
- Switch On the Roku
- Press and hold the Setup button on your remote.
- Release the button after the Indicator light turns red.
- Tap the appropriate Device button and then enter the three or four-digit code.
- Once you type the code correctly, the Indicator light will power Off.