Matter Explained

What is Matter?

Matter is a new open-source standard for smart home devices that improves interoperability and compatibility between different manufacturers. It offers enhanced security features and allows local control of devices from one or more Matter controllers at the same time.

source: Connectivity Standards Alliance

What devices support Matter?

Currently, there are Matter-enabled devices available on the market in the following categories:

  • lighting products (plugs, light bulbs , switches, etc.).
  • thermostats and HVAC controllers.
  • blinds, shades and window coverings,
  • sensors (such as door and window sensors, motion sensors, etc.)
  • door locks
  • televisions and streaming video players.

The recently announced Matter 1.2 update will make available an additional nine new device types:

Matter Device Roles


A smart home hardware product that supports Matter, so that it can be connected to and controlled by a Matter Controller.


A Matter Controller is a device or app that can control Matter devices the user has connected to it. It can be built into many types of hardware devices like phones, always-powered smart home hubs that provide local and remote control, or even mobile apps. (Hubitat Elevation hub model C-8 can be enabled as a Matter Controller.)


Matter bridges translate from one protocol to another, allowing non-Matter devices (such as Zigbee or Z-Wave) to participate in a Matter ecosystem. These bridges can be built into a number of devices like controllers and hubs, providing a seamless user experience across existing devices and new Matter devices. Examples include the Philips Hue Bridge.


Matter devices are typically "commissioned" using Bluetooth LE (often from a mobile app with your smartphone near the device, or from a hub/platform with built-in Bluetooth). For Wi-Fi or Thread devices, this involves giving the device credentials to your Thread of Wi-Fi network, then normally pairing the device to the Matter controller you are using to commission the device. This could be Apple Home, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, or another Matter controller. (Hubitat Elevation does not currently support commissioning, but read on for how to pair devices.)

Matter device being commissioned via Bluetooth over Wi-Fi (locally) or Matter device being commissioned via Bluetooth, possibly to Thread network in smart speaker/hub

Matter Fabrics

Matter networks, or "Fabrics" as they are technically termed, use IPv6 over your LAN for communication. Your Matter controller, such as the Hubitat Elevation model C-8 hub, "speaks" Matter over IPv6, and all Matter devices function similarly on your hub, regardless of underlying protocol.

Diagram of Matter and underlying network layers: Wi-Fi, Thread, etc.; IPv6 on top of that; TCP and UDP on top of that; and finally, Matter

Thread devices need special devices on your network called border routers to make Thread traffic accessible over your regular LAN. (Thread uses IPv6 internally, however, so there is no "translation" happening, unlike with Matter Bridges, for example.) You can have multiple Thread border routers on your network. You may have some of these in your home already! Examples include:

  • Apple TV 4K (3rd generation with Wi-Fi and Ethernet; or 2nd generation)
  • Apple HomePod (2nd generation)
  • Apple HomePod Mini
  • Amazon Echo (4th generation)
  • Google Nest Hub (2nd generation), Next Hub Max, Nest Wifi Pro (6E), or Nest Wifi
  • SmartThings Station

Thread and Thread Border Routers

Without a Thread Border Router, you may will use Wi-Fi (or Ethernet) devices that support Matter:

Matter Fabric consisting of several Wi-Fi devices

Adding a Thread border router allows the use of Thread devices:

Matter Fabric consisting of multiple Wi-Fi and Thread devices, including multiple Thread routers

Similar to Zigbee, Thread also uses routers to create a mesh network and extend the range of your Thread network, so not every device needs to be in direct range of a border router. Most mains-powered Thread devices are routers. Special routers, often smart speakers are hubs, may offer border router functionality.

Device Support

Hubitat Elevation is a Matter Controller (hub model C-8 only with platform version 2.3.7 or newer):

This means you can add supported Matter devices to Hubitat Elevation in a similar manner to way in which you have always been able add Zigbee, Z-Wave, and other devices. As with all devices, a compatible driver is required. We have included drivers for many common "generic" types of Matter devices as well as built-in drivers for specific devices with features that warranted a separate driver. Check the List of Compatible Devices to be sure. (In particular, support for Matter bridges via built-in drivers is limited at the moment. But as with all protocols, user drivers are possible.)

Note that Hubitat Elevation is not a Matter Bridge itself. It will not create Matter devices from existing Z-Wave, Zigbee, etc., devices on your hub for use with other Matter controllers. It is a Matter Controller that allows the use of Matter devices on your hub as described above.

Additionally, note that not all Thread devices and certainly not all Wi-Fi devices are Matter-capable. Look for Matter capability in the device specifications, or look for the Matter logo:

For more information