Alexa, what are the best Amazon Alexa skills? Whether you’ve had an Amazon Echo for a while or you’re just starting off, it can be hard to explore all that Alexa has to offer. The original voice assistant, Alexa has over 56,750 skills available in the United States, 92% more than the Google Assistant, the second most popular voice assistant. The majority of Alexa’s skills fall into the Games and Trivia category, which account for over 20% of all available skills, which Education and Reference comes in second with 14% of all skills. But there are also a ton of other categories like Cooking, Shopping, and Humor and Novelty, to name a few.
This article lists the best Amazon Alexa skills from a wide variety of categories, 15 skills in total. Whether you want to practice chair yoga or hear an inspirational Bob Ross Quote, Alexa is with you every step of the way. Let’s get started!
Best Alexa Skill For Starting Off
With so many skills, getting started can be overwhelming, unless you use the Alexa Things To Try skill. Just tell Alexa to open Skill Finder and she’ll tell you the skill of the day, the newest skills in each category, or the newest skills overall. Think of it like a voice-activated newspaper, but only for Alexa skills. Genius!
Best Alexa Skill For Games
Twister is a fun game if you’re flexible, but even the most twisty person often has trouble reaching the spin wheel. With Alexa, she can call out commands for you so you can focus on the game. The last man standing is the winner! Just make sure you have the Twister game before downloading this skill, as it doesn’t make sense without it.
Best Alexa Skill For Parents
Shush My Baby
One of the hardest things about being a parent is the lack of sleep (or so I’ve heard, being childless myself). But Alexa is available 24/7 to help out with the skill Shush My Baby. She can even shush your baby for you, which is really useful if you’re in another room. Before you know it, your little one will be fast asleep and completely unaware that a robot just shushed them!
Best Alexa Skill For Sleeping
Sleep Sounds: Rain Sounds
While I don’t exactly love the rain in general, the sounds of the rain can be very relaxing. However, with this Sleep Sounds: Rain Sounds skill, you can have the best of both worlds! To get started, just tell Alexa to open Rain Sounds. The skill’s maker, Voice Apps, LLC, has a ton of other cool sounds available like thunderstorms, ocean, wind, and even fireplace sounds! Your bedtime just got a whole lot easier.
Best Alexa Skill For Relaxing
Headspace: Guided Meditation For Everybody
Meditation isn’t just for yogis on an ashram. It’s for everybody (or at least everyone with an Echo device). Just tell Alexa to open Headspace and you’ll get a new meditation every day, plus a sleep exercise for you to do at bedtime. If you’re not familiar with meditation, they even provide a Basics course to teach you the fundamentals. And if you’re not convinced of the benefits of meditation, take a look at these stats:
- 10 days of meditation with Headspace resulted in a 14% decrease in stress
- 3 weeks of Headspace resulted in more compassionate behavior by 23%, and made users 57% less aggressive and reactive to negative feedback.
While it’s not a replacement for therapy, Headspace is a great way to relax and practice mindfulness.
Best Alexa Skill For Fun
Bob Ross Quote of the Day
If you’re looking to bring more positivity into your life, another way to do it is through the Bob Ross Quote of the Day Alexa skill. Bob Ross was a painter and the creator and host of The Joy of Painting, a show that aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994. While painting landscapes, animals, and flowers, Bob Ross inspired millions to be kind to themselves and accept themselves for who they are. My personal favorite Bob Ross quote?
“There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”
Imagine hearing something as inspirational everyday! Count me in.
Best Alexa Skill For Food
Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out, the Allrecipes skill is incredibly helpful in the kitchen. Not only does it give you access to the 60,000 recipes on the Allrecipes website, but it also reads the directions out loud to you, which, for anyone that’s ever cooked using a recipe, is a blessing. You can even ask Alexa to help you find a recipe by many factors, including:
- Desired dish type: Whether you’re cooking an Israeli breakfast, an Italian dinner, or a Spanish lunch, Allrecipes has something for you.
- Ingredients available: Even if you didn’t have time to get all of the ingredients you wanted, Alexa can help you make something delicious with what you have on hand.
- Cooking time: Let’s be honest: sometimes we need to whip something together, and quick. Alexa lets you sort by cooking time, making the process of choosing a recipe even easier.
- Preferred cooking method: Writing this in the summer, I totally appreciate how Alexa can suggest a recipe not using an oven, or using that new hand mixer you’re dying to try out.
You’ll also be able to save favorite recipes, get recipes sent to your phone or printer, and see customer reviews of each recipe. All I have to say is, bon appétit!
Best Alexa Skills For Home Security
Anyone who’s been on this website knows I’m all about home security, and Alexa can be a huge help with that. Of course, many of the security systems and cameras I’ve reviewed integrate with Alexa, allowing for voice commands, but I want to focus on two skills specifically. Note: the first skill is a little out of the box, so be prepared.
While it’s no replacement for a security system, a dog can definitely help scare burglars away. But with great dogs comes great responsibilities, like walking it, feeding it, and don’t forget, picking up its…well, you know what I’m talking about. Again, Alexa provides the best of both worlds with the Guard Dog skill, which plays sounds of dogs barking and growling. Your virtual dog has officially been born!
Whether you have the Ring Alarm security system, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, or any of their other smart home security products, you’ll control it via the Ring Alexa skill. Here, you can have Alexa turn on your lights, answer the door with your doorbell camera, arm your security system, and show you recent activity via your livestream or cloud footage. It’s your home’s security, all in one convenient skill.
Best Alexa Skill For Transportation
Usually when I’m calling an Uber, I’m in a rush, still tying my shoes, making sure my hair looks okay, and making last-minute outfit changes; the process can get pretty hectic. But with the Uber Alexa skill, I can simply tell Alexa to get me an Uber, including the type of Uber and the destination address. You can also ask for your ride’s status, cancel your ride, or set your default pickup location, toggling between different Uber accounts if desired.
Best Alexa Skill For Fitness
It’s amazing what voice assistants have done for the fitness industry. Rather than just trying to flow through a yoga practice yourself, Alexa can tell you exactly what to do with the Chair Yoga skill. This type of yoga is good for seniors or anyone that wants a more gentle practice. These moves can all be done sitting or standing next to a chair, getting rid of muscle tension and keeping you properly aligned. Pro tip: it’s a perfect trick to do at the office or an airport to avoid stiffness!
Best Alexa Skill For Weather
While most weather apps usually go by your city or zip code, the Big Sky Alexa skill is hyper-local, telling you the weather at your exact street address. It forecasts weather from hour to hour and allows you to customize weather alerts for things like the heat, the cold, rain, wind, or sunny weather. This skill is so smart that you can even ask it specific questions, like the maximum temperature of the day, whether it will rain within the next few hours, and more. As the iPhone weather app has failed me over and over, I’m happy to have the Big Sky skill as a helpful alternative.
Best Alexa Skill For Education
Preparing for an international trip? Learn the basic of a foreign language with the Rosetta Stone Alexa skill. It includes French, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, or German, and can teach you words and phrases for the following topics:
- Time and Travel
- Food and Drink
While this skill is by no means going to help you become fluent in another language, it’s an easy way to start off.
Best Alexa Skill For Utilities
I don’t know about you, but my mental math skills have pretty much deteriorated over the years. But that’s ok with the Calculator Alexa skill. Simply ask Alexa for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems and she’ll give you the answer, even if it includes decimals. The skill is being updated with more advanced math like:
- Nth power
- Nth root
- Logarithmic operations
- Power or E
- Degree and radian conversions
and more. Just tell Alexa to open your calculator to get crunching!
Recap of the Best Amazon Alexa Skills
That’s it from me! To recap the best Amazon Alexa skills, let’s do a quick run through of the winners.
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Starting Off: Skill Finder
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Fun and Games: Twister
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Childcare: Shush My Baby
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Sleep: Sleep Sounds: Rain Sounds
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Relaxing: Headspace: Guided Meditation For Everybody
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Humor and Novelty: Bob Ross Quote Of The Day
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Food: Allrecipes
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Security: Guard Dog and Ring
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Transportation: Uber
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Fitness: Chair Yoga
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Weather: Big Sky
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Education: Rosetta Stone
- Best Amazon Alexa Skill For Utilities: Calculator
Got any more awesome Alexa skills? Leave them below! We’d love to hear from you.