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Our guide to buying Smart Plugs - Best 7 you can get Online

What Is a Smart Plug?

Let's be clear: Smart plugs, despite being called smart switches, smart outlets, or any other variation thereof, are simply plug-in outlets (or power strips). The plugs can be plugged directly into traditional power strips or wall outlets.

They also have an outlet that you plug into with the automation device. By plugging one into a wall outlet, you are not adding or subtracting outlets. You connect an existing outlet to your Wi-Fi network to make it smarter.

How does a Smart Plug work?

After you are confident that a smart plug fits your home, it is essential to look at what it can do. All the plugs we've reviewed let you control the power using your smartphone.

If you have plugged in a lamp to the socket, you can turn it off or on regardless of where you are. Smart plugs often offer scheduling. You can use any of these plugs to simply turn on your connected coffee machine at the same time each weekday morning. You might say that these smart plugs best be punctual with schedules - we agree and can assure you that they work flawlessly.

Scenes allow you to program multiple devices to interact with one another. You can program scenes according to temperature, humidity, sunrise, and sunset times.

Some have "away" scenes that you can use to turn on connected devices when you are away. Many scene options are available, so make sure you know what automation options best suit your lifestyle.

Look for a plug that allows energy monitoring if you are concerned about the environment and want to save some money. Keep in mind that not all smart plugs will collect the same energy data.

Some provide detailed information about how long your device was on for over the whole day, your average daily "on" time, estimated monthly and daily power costs, and your average power consumption in watts. Some provide a brief overview of how many hours you used in a given period.

With this in mind, you can now decide where to put your smart plug. Although most smart plugs are small enough to fit in a standard wall outlet, some are too large for power strips.

It is important to know where the outlet for your power strip is located if you have a crowded one. Some outlets are located on the sides. These layouts can be more or less accessible depending on which power strip is used and where it is.

High-tech homes don't need to be expensive. Smart plugs and power outlets are an affordable and easy way to transform ordinary appliances, lighting, or any other electronic devices into smart homes that can be controlled from your smartphone.

Although installing and using these plugs is easy, it is not an easy task to choose the right one for you. We've compiled a list of the top smart plugs and power outlets that we reviewed. Also, there are some tips for automating your home.

What is the Best Smart Plug?

The best smart plug works with your existing products, including any smart speakers or other smart devices. If you love Siri or are an avid iPhone user, a plug that supports the Apple HomeKit protocol will give you the best experience.

If you use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or both, ensure that your plug supports them.

Some plugs have native support for specific smart home products, while others can interface with almost anything via IFTTT. To help you choose the right plug for your needs, we have listed which features each plug supports in the chart below.

If you cannot decide on a group of smart lights or don't want a large set of new connected kitchen appliances, you might consider using a smart plug to connect the products you already have. Smart plugs are cheap and easy to use, whether you're new to smart home tech or an expert at creating IFTTT applets.

Other than it's features, the app design and installation process are two important factors for smart plugs. Most smart plugs, best ones especially, are easy to install. You simply plug them in and then connect them to your app.

Our list of the Smart Plugs - Best 7 Available Online

TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug EP10 - Our Pick

TP-Link produces great products and we the Kasa mini smart plug lives up to that reputation. These plugs perform as well as larger ones, but they are compact and can be stacked with other plugs. If you only use one, it won't block the second outlet.

It is easy to use, and you can program scenes, timers, and schedules to your heart's content. The plugs will turn on and off as per your schedule or time defined from the app.

This feature can also be user to make your home look like someone's there while you're away and deter burglars by plugging lamps into the outlets. Several of our other picks also have this setting. It's nice to set a duration and a start/end time to home appliances.

Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

More from TP-Link: We think you'll be satisfied with more products from TP-Link's Kasa range.

Nooie Smart Plug - An amazing smart home gadget

Nooie's compact plugs are simple to set up and use. Nooie smart plugs include a loop-timer as well as regular timers and schedules. A great example use case is a fish tank oxygen pump, which needs to be on for 10 mins every hour.

You can set the loop to turn the plug off after 10 minutes or turn it on for 50. Nooie, like the Kasa smart plug, has a travel mode that turns lights on at random times to imitate someone being home.

Two-factor authentication is available, and the app has a child lock feature that disables the power button. This can be used to stop curious kids from turning off appliances.

When you connect to Google Home to use it with Google Assistant, you will see both "Nooie Home" and "Nooie", depending on which service you pair.

Although Kasa plugs tend to be a bit more expensive and are made by a well-known brand, we recommend this one as well and see potential in it. Their rounded, matte design is great, and a refreshing change from many smart home devices.

Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Wyze Plug - Best affordable option

We've never been disappointed by a Wyze product. This smart plug is no exception. Although it is inexpensive, the quality and function are not compromised. The Wyze app is easy to use, and the control screen is very clear.

You can toggle on the plug or turn it off, set a timer, and see your daily and weekly run times. You can also set vacation mode (which Kasa and Nooie refer to as away mode).

Amazon reviews show that plugs can overheat to the point where they melt in some cases. Although we haven't personally seen this and have been using them since 2020. However, it is something that we are keeping an eye on.

Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Amazon Smart Plug - Ideal for Alexa

If you use Alexa, it might be worth looking into the Amazon Smart Plug. The Alexa app is used for setup and control and the Alexa voice assistant seamlessly lets you manage this gadget.

To turn the plug on or off, you will need to create a routine. It gets very easy to use if Alexa is also used with other devices in your smart home.

Alexa Guard functions as a vacation or travel mode for this smart plugs. It automatically turns the plug off and on, making it appear like you're at home.

Monoprice Power Strip & Surge Protector - Best Power Strip

Smart power strips can be helpful when you have many things to plug in one place, such as behind your TV or at work. This one has four outlets instead of the standard six, but it is affordable and works well. The device also features two USB power ports.

The Stitch app by Monoprice is simple to use and includes features such as timers and schedules. You can identify each outlet, just like smart power strips. This makes it easy to remember what's plugged in and where. You can turn each outlet on and off individually or the whole strip at once.

Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Another Power Strip we love: The T-Link Kasa Smart Power Strip, works great as well with 6 individually controlled plugs on it. Plus it is voice assistant compatible!

APC Smart Surge Protector - A great power strip

APC's power strip features six outlets, three smart, and two USB ports. The smart outlets are identified and numbered on each strip. Because it has two rows of power outlets, it is larger and heavier than the others.

However, it comes with a handy 6-foot power cord that can be mounted to keep the strip off the ground. Schedules to turn off one device at a time and turn on another work perfectly.

The device makes a satisfying click when it turns on or off, which can seem loud if used in silence. The only downside on this device is that it is limited to the Alexa voice assistant and doesn't support the Google Assistant.

Works With Amazon Alexa

Cync Outdoor Smart Plug - Ideal for outdoor use

This smart plug from Cync is an excellent choice if you want to withstand the elements. It works great to control outdoor Christmas decorations and all-year-round string lights. It gives you the added convenience of controlling outdoor lights from the comfort of your bedroom.

The cord plugs into the wall and provides two smart outlets, similar to a power strip. It comes with a nice cover that keeps water out and lets you safely smarten outdoor electricals.

Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

More Smart Plugs

There are a ton of smart plugs to choose from. It was difficult to make a short list like this one, so there are some honorable mentions that we had to leave out. These are some of the other smart plugs we liked:

  • Ezviz Plus - Ezviz, another affordable and simple-to-use brand, is something we believe you will love. It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, just like most of the others.

  • Eve Energy Strip - The sleek black and metal case of Eve will match your Apple aesthetic. It also works with HomeKit. It is a little expensive and has only three outlets despite its large frame.

A lot of low-cost smart home strategies involve using smart plugs and connecting them to appliances in the home. While this approach does have it's limitations, it makes a lot of sense if you're on a tight budget or you have a very specific use case to work with. For other cases, take a look at some other smart home gadgets that solve different domestic and lifestyle problems.

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