10 Best Smart Plugs (Review) In 2021
Patrick has been passionate about technology for as long as he can remember. As a graduate of engineering, this allowed Patrick to expand on his passions, learning all about what goes on behind the scenes when designing some of the worlds greatest creations. After spending many years in the engineering industry, Pat now dedicates his time to writing, with a keen interest in electronics, smart devices and technology for the home.
- The Best Smart Plug
- 1. Kasa Smart Plug By TP-Link
- 2. Amazon Smart Plug - Works With Alexa
- 3. Samsung SmartThings WiFi Smart Outlet
- 4. Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug By TP-Link
- 5. Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Mini Smart Plug
- 6. Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- 7. Philips Hue Smart Plug
- 8. TP-Link Tapo Mini Smart Plug
- 9. Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip By TP-Link
- 10. Gosund Smart Outlet
Smart-everything seems to be the trend of the 21st century. From smartphones to smart cars, and smart bulbs in smart homes, there are few things that aren’t considered highly intelligent appliances, and the best smart plugs are another example of this. As if our lives weren’t getting easy enough, smart plugs take the hassle out of everything you’ve always worried about. Need to get the coffee ready before getting out of bed? Switch on the outlet. Forget to turn the lights off after heading on vacation? Use the apps to turn them off. Concerned about being burgled? Randomize the lights so thieves are tricked into them thinking people are home.
It’s even perfect for anyone far too comfortable to climb off the sofa but want to set the mood. The best smart plugs include voice commands compatible with your Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Homekit. From here, you never need to worry about handling anything again. Instead, dim or switch off the lights, schedule a timer, and even monitor your energy consumption. With a range of superb features already listed, and even more to come, it’s no wonder people are embracing everything smart about their world.
The Best Smart Plug
Countdown and Timer scheduling
Easy to set up
Check runtime and usage stats
The best choice of the best smart plugs is the impressive Kasa Smart Plug By TP-Link. It boasts an array of superb features that cement it as one of the very best smart plug options around for your smart home, including voice control and straightforward operation through the Kasa app.
It includes Countdown and Timer scheduling so you never need to switch on an appliance manually ever again, and you can also analyze your energy usage through the runtime and similar stats to help identify ways to improve energy efficiency. It’s easy to set up and you’ll love how it is compatible with other Kasa products to maximize smart home bliss.
Interacts with other Kasa products
App is quite slow
Limited to 10 amps
The app can be a little laggy, however, and the plug is limited to 10 amps. Other than this, though, it offers something for everybody and encapsulates all you could want from an efficient and effective smart plug.
Voice control capability
Easy to use
The Amazon Smart Plug – Works With Alexa includes a stress-free operation that will make your lazy Sunday afternoons that much lazier, and we mean this in the best way possible. It boasts voice commands and scheduling options, while the remote activation allows you to set up functions and adjust appliance operation even if you’re out of the house.
The compact design slots easily into your smart home, while the sleek design also prevents it from standing out too much, meaning there are no distractions. There is also a discrete On/Off button and power LED light to let you know it’s working.
Power LED light
Discrete On/Off button
Automatically signs into existing accounts
Some connectivity issues
More expensive than other options
If you have accounts already, it will automatically sign into them, saving you time, but you still might encounter some connectivity issues, especially if there is anything that could block the signal. It’s also one of the more expensive wi-fi smart plugs, but this is to be expected from a flagship product anyway, so it shouldn’t put you off too much.
Control appliances through SmartThings app
Stackable space-saving design
Automates entire rooms
No hub required
If you’re in the market for a budget pick, the Samsung SmartThings WiFi Smart Outlet could be the answer you’ve been looking for, and it may earn you plenty of compliments and admiration from those who’ve not yet jumped on the smart home phenomenon.
You can control your appliances using the SmartThings app, but you can also use voice commands to add that extra level of futurism that will make you feel you’ve stepped several centuries forward. It uses a stackable space-saving design to make it look better when plugged into the wall outlet, and as there’s no hub required, there won’t be extra space taken up.
Sleek white appearance
Set and schedule power consumption
Compatible with multiple Smart Home systems
Can be difficult to set up
Some app issues
However, this means it can be a little tricky and even frustrating to set u if you’ve never used a smart plug before. There are also some app issues that could get annoying, so you’re best off updating it first.
300 feet wi-fi range
Voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
Set schedule and timers
Our outdoor pick is the Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug By TP-Link, and this is an Amazon Alexa smart speaker that is also compatible with Google Assistant. It boasts two outlets that allow you to plug two appliances in at once, and you can control these independently of one another. There is the option for voice control as well as device grouping, while the schedule and timer options also provide further customization to give you the best smart home experience.
It’s ideal for lights, pool pumps, and holiday lights, amongst a host of other outdoor items, and as its weather-resistant, you needn’t worry about it getting damaged following a sudden overnight storm. The Kasa app compatibility makes it easy to use even if you’ve lost your voice, too.
Ideal for lighting, swimming pool pumps, holiday lights
Control each outlet individually
Kasa Smart app compatible
2.4GHz wireless frequency
Overheats quite quickly
Some app issues following updates
You might find that it overheats rather quickly, though, and even though you trust it to have overload protection, it’s still not something you always want, so it’s a good idea to monitor this.
No hub reliance
Schedules lights to adjust
Compatible with IFTTT, SmartThings, Google Assistant, and more
Consistent scheduling success
The Leviton Decora Smart Wi-Fi Mini Smart Plug offers convenient no-hub reliance and instead gives you the chance to operate everything directly from your phone or through voice commands. It includes scheduling functions as well as an auto-shutoff feature that comes with consistent success, giving you fewer things to worry about.
There is a sleek and easy-to-use My Leviton app, but it’s also compatible with IFTTT, SmartThings, Alexa, Google Assistant, and more so you’ve provided unfettered control over every appliance in your home like a technological overlord drunk on power. It’s modern while also being suitable for an array of appliances as long as they are compatible with its 120 volts.
You May Also Like: Best Portable Generators
Sleek My Leviton app
Suitable for a range of appliances
120 volt compatible
Slight buzzing sound
It will run quite warm, and there are also hints of a slight buzzing sound when in operation. This is not something to be concerned about, however, even if it is annoying at first.
Free app download
Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit voice control
The WeMo Mini Smart Plug comes with a free app download so you can control it immediately. You can also use voice commands if you have an Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apply Homekit system, giving you further options to keep your smart home running smoothly.
Its compact design makes it one of the best options around if you’re short on space, and this is further encouraged with the convenient stackable design that further minimizes used-up space, allowing you to create your very own tower of tech right at the wall. There also are options for automatic scheduling and randomizing lighting to keep thieves at bay.
Remote light and appliance control
Helps make your home safer
Plug works right out of the box
Requires an immediate update due to security issues
Some wi-fi setup troubles
It’s IFTTT compatible, but we recommend updating everything as soon as you get started to overcome any awkward security issues. Once you’ve done this, though, you can enjoy the many benefits it brings to your smart home, feeling safer and more futuristic.
Control via Hue app
Voice control option
Sync with entertainment systems
For the best value smart plug, the Philips Hue Smart Plug provides everything you could need for blissful days and nights. It comes in a compact design that fits comfortably in any room, and you have two control options available to you. One is through the Hue app, while the other is, you guessed it, voice control. Besides this, there are also timer settings and the ability to customize the lighting to suit your mood, if you get what we mean.
You can sync it with any entertainment system to provide superb control over your days relaxing at home. It’s easy to install, and with a little ingenuity, you can even connect it to Alexa or similar smart home hub products to enhance usability and take your chilled vibes to another level.
Improves daily routine
Sleek and stylish
Compatible with 5GHz wi-fi
Consistent and dependable
Unable to dim plug
Not suitable for appliances over 2000 watts
However, it won’t work with anything over 2000 watts, and there are also no dimming options, which could affect some mood lighting needs.
Works with TAPO app
Reliable Bluetooth connection
This TP-Link Tapo Mini Smart Plug is one that demonstrates the excellent value and is especially useful for anyone who wants to start a smart home revolution as soon as possible. The four-pack plug set means you can install these plugs in multiple rooms of the house or even the office, allowing you to control as much as possible from your smartphone.
It works with a reliable TAPO app, although it will only work with this app, which limits the usage if you’ve got existing smart plugs around the office or home. Through this, you can control via your voice, and it comes with a simple setup and reliable Bluetooth connection to provide consistent quality and performance that you’ll come to depend on a little too much if you are not careful.
Ideal for brewing coffee or turning lights off
Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa
No hub required
Only compatible with TAPO app
Size may not suit all walls
There is scheduling functionality, too, which allows you to save precious energy on appliance usage, but the size may not be ideal for every wall outlet.
6 smart outlets
3 USB ports
ETL certified surge protection
No hub required
Our premium pick for the best smart plug is the effective Kasa Smart Plug Power Strip. This operates just like a standard extension cord, but it does so with a level of intelligence that makes all other power strips around cower with feelings of inadequacy. For offices, it’s one of the best options available.
As there will be plenty of appliances plugged into this smart power strip, it’s also vital that it comes with a surge protector to keep it from overloading and blowing up in your face. There are six outlets and three USB ports, but the ETL certified design means you needn’t worry about potential overloads, keeping your home, outlets, and circuits safe.
Control appliances from anywhere
Kasa Smart app operation
Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana
Suitable for multiple devices
Bright LED light
Not able to deactivate USB ports
It is compatible with a range of smart home hub products, including Alexa and Google Assistant, but the bright LED light can be slightly distracting at night, and there’s also no option to switch the USB ports off.
Voice command control
Schedule and Timer options
Remote control from anywhere
Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
The Gosund Smart Outlet comes in a pack of four and boasts reliable voice command control as well as compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant hubs. The 2.4GHz frequency is dependable, even if it the very least you’d expect from the best smart plug options. You can control it from anywhere as well as set up scheduling and timer functions to further save energy if you forget to switch something off.
It also boasts a range of unique features that make it stand out as one of the best choices around. These include Share to Family features and Group Creation options to simplify usage. You’re also able to create Smart Scenarios that recognize when you’re doing something and act accordingly.
Share to Families functions
Group Creation option
Create Smart scenarios
Easy to set up plug
Some support issues
Slightly bulky plug
You may struggle with support, though, and it’s also quite bulky, which means even if it is one of the very best choices, it won’t fit comfortably in every home.
Features To Consider With Smart Plugs
Ease Of Use
The best smart plugs should be easy to use, but it can be slightly more complicated than that. At first, you might think all you need to do is plug the unit into the wall outlet. However, while this is a brilliant start, there are a few further steps you'll need to take.
First, make sure the smart plug or smart plugs are switched on. You can usually tell this with an LED on the front or side. This indicates the wi-fi or Bluetooth signal is active. From here, you can use your hub or smartphone app to connect the plug to the home system. Sometimes, you will find that it connects automatically, but you might need to do a little fiddling and maybe even update the software if you are having trouble.
Once connected, you can start assigning specific scheduling, timers, and setups so you can control your desired appliances, such as lights, your coffee machine, or the TV.
An electrical rating determines whether your smart plug is compatible with the mains or with the appliance you are plugging in. You can find this by checking the manual, but you might find the necessary information on the UPC's, which is the Unique Product Code.
If a plug is compatible, you are good to go. However, not all plugs are suitable for all voltages and wattages. This can cause issues with the overall performance of the smart plugs, and it could even cause overloading or a fire hazard that short circuits the system.
It’s always important to know the Electrical Rating before doing anything else, even purchasing the smart plugs. This will make installation easier and save any serious problems that would otherwise affect the quality and ability of the smart plugs used in your home.
You May Also Like: Wireless Chargers
If you need the very best smart plug available, then one with IFTTT compatibility is something to look out for. While all smart plugs allow you to control a variety of items around the home, IFTTT, which stands for 'If This Then That' takes this a step further.
The app allows you to connect as many of your apps as possible to activate when something happens. With this, you can set up special systems, such as flashing lights when your team scores, or even have the lights automatically switch on when you come into a room, kind of like a motion detector but much cooler.
IFTTT provides an authentic and futuristic smart home experience, and anyone who wants to make the most of their smart plugs should consider one that offers this compatibility. The app is also free, so you don’t need to worry about an additional subscription on top of anything else you're already paying for.
It's useful to consider where you will place your smart plugs in your home. Mostly, they are the same size as a standard plug which means they can fit comfortably anywhere there is a wall outlet. However, as they still protrude (and some models can be slightly bulky to accommodate receivers and transmitters properly, you might find they can be a little cumbersome and not fit exactly right where you need them. This is especially true of outdoor models or smart plugs with two outlets.
You should also make sure the smart plug is plugged in close enough to the wi-fi or smart home hub. If not, the signal will not be strong enough, which means you cannot get the full effects and you might even encounter some issues with signal strength. This could mean that the system won’t work properly, meaning all you have is a very expensive plug that doesn't do what it is supposed to.
The size of the smart plug will often depend on what you need to use it for. You may want a small and compact option that nestles easily behind a sofa or next to the bed. However, while these smart plugs are ideal for single-room home use, especially if you only need to ‘smartify’ a single appliance, they are not suitable for more substantial demands.
For living rooms, kitchens, schools, or offices, you'll need something larger, and this might mean buying a smart plug with two outlets so you can plug two appliances in at once and control each of them independently. You might even need more than this, so you'll need to consider bigger options.
One of the most effective choices is a smart power strip. This works just like a regular power strip, but it will have multiple outlets for your plugs, with each one being capable of controlling an individual appliance. This will take up more space, and you'll need to find somewhere to keep it out of the way to prevent a trip hazard, but it can be convenient for improving your smart home or office experience.
Voice Assistant Compatibility
Voice assistant functions are arguably one of the key reasons why the best smart plug products are so popular. Just like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit, and other smart home hubs, it takes the hassle out of standing up and operating an appliance manually. Instead, all you need to do is calibrate your voice, as well as anyone else’s voice, to recognize when you are making a command.
With voice commands, you never need to get up ever again. Furthermore, you don’t need to touch your phone. While this isn’t exactly inconvenient most of the time, we don’t always have our phones in reaching distance. You can use your voice command to adjust settings, switch off lights, switch on other appliances, and feel in complete control of your home from the comfort of your sofa.
We’ve already seen regular plugs with USB ports built into them, so it’s no surprise that smart plugs have continued the trend. USB charging is massively convenient, as it allows you to keep your phone charged without taking up a whole outlet, and the more USB ports you have, the more everyone can stay connected. You find them most commonly on power strips.
There is a slight issue with some USB ports, and you can’t switch the power off like you can for the rest of the plug. This doesn't use a lot of energy, and as you can monitor how much energy consumption occurs, you will be able to decide whether it is a serious problem. It is, however, something we thought you should be aware of when searching for the best smart plug.
You May Also Like: Outlet Timers
Smart Plug FAQ
Q: Do smart plugs use a lot of electricity?
The very point of smart plugs is so that you can start saving energy. With this in mind, it wouldn’t be much help if they proved to be severe energy drains.
The good news is that the best smart plugs do not use a substantial amount of energy in standby mode. Despite this, as they will need to be On to work properly, such as connect to the smart home hub like an Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Homekit or the smart plug app. This means they will need to use a slight amount of energy, otherwise, they would be no different from a regular ‘dumb’ plug.
Still, even though they will use some energy, this is a small amount, and you’ll find that it is only usually about 1 watt. Such a negligible amount of energy consumption won’t make a dent in your monthly payments, and the benefits of using a smart plug, like being able to make sure lights are off while you’re out, or schedule the lighting and appliance switch on, means that you’ll save far more than you can expect the smart plug to use.
In fact, a smart plug that is used correctly could save you nearly 5% on your energy bills.
Q: Can I use a smart plug to turn on my TV?
Of course, you can. Your TV is just like any other appliance you will have in your home, and as long as you have the TV plugged into the smart plug, you are able to switch it on.
There are some things you should be wary of, however. Some smart plugs are not as powerful as others, which means they will not be capable of handling the power required by the TV to switch on. As with any electrical appliance, it's crucial that you check the wattage and voltage compatibility prior to switching the television on, as you could risk damaging your smart plug and the wall outlet it is plugged into.
You may still need to use the remote to turn the TV on properly, but a smart plug system will allow you to eliminate the Standby energy that is consumed by putting your TV to sleep. The same could go for computers, laptops, and consoles, further saving energy and decreasing monthly energy bills.
Q: Are smart plugs a fire hazard?
The best smart plugs Amazon has to offer are specially designed to prevent any fire hazards. They are carefully constructed to be fitted with overload protection that avoids fires and overheating, which could cause the plug to spark, melt, and cause general mayhem throughout your home.
Despite this, just because they are designed to avoid fire hazards doesn't mean you are entirely safe. Your wi-fi plug will still have problems if you try to feed too much power through it. Think of it similar to an extension cord. These products also come with surge protection that stops short-circuiting even though there is current from a range of appliances plugged in at once.
It's crucial that you don’t plug too much into your smart plug and always make sure the appliance wattage and voltage are compatible with the plugs you use. You should always take care when using electrical components and appliances, and a wi-fi smart plug is no different. Use them sensibly, and you can feel confident your home will remain safe and fire-free.
Q: Can you control smart plugs away from home?
Just like your wireless doorbell, you can control your wi-fi smart plugs away from home. This is one of the most important and appealing features of a smart plug. For one, it provides plenty of peace of mind. Even if you're going on vacation, you'll know you can switch off appliances and lights if you've left them on. This is ideal for anything that could cause a fire, such as a set of straighteners, or just the living room lights.
Furthermore, you can also control it while on your way home after a day out. If you want to cool down the home before coming through the door, a smart plug connected to a fan or plugged-in AC unit will allow you to make the home comfortable as soon as you walk through the door.
There are also crucial safety features to think about. Everyone worries about their home being burgled while they are away. With lights set up to a smart plug, you can schedule the lighting to switch on and off at specific times, which may earn you some peace of mind. This can fool potential thieves into thinking people are at home, as it works better than merely leaving them on for the entire time, which becomes obvious that nobody’s in, while also wasting electricity.