Smart plugs are becoming increasingly popular. Combined with a home wifi, you can turn on and off any device remotely with the press of a button. You can set up on/off-schedules, and even control the plug for voice control, if you have a home automation system like Alexa or Google Home. But you don’t need that, they also work with independent apps.
In this carefully curated list, our home-automation expert and wefoundthebest editor has identified the best and most popular smart plugs in the market for you today, and crafted a guide on what to look for.
#1: Amazon Smart Plug, works with Alexa
A current best seller is the Amazon Smart Plug. It works only with Alexa and lets you add voice control to any outlet. You can set up routines and schedules through the Alexa app.
#2: Kasa Smart KP400 Outdoor Smart Plug
For outdoor use, the Kasa Smart KP400 is a good choice. It lets you control 2 independent outdoor devices such as pool pumps, garden lights or other appliances. It is compatible with Alexa or Google Home.
#3: Teckin Mini Smart Outlet, set of 4
The Teckin Smart Plug-in is a nicely rounded smart plug that allows you to remote control just about anything, schedule timers or use voice control with Alexa or Google Home. It is quite affordable and comes in a set of 4 plugs.
#4: Kasa Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Outlet
The Kasa Smart Plug is another popular smart plug.The practical and sturdy squared design fits nicely into your home style and has a switch on the side for manual on/off. You can buy them in a set of 2 or a set of 4. In reviews, the Kasas are loved by buyers for being easy to set up and high quality. They can also be controlled via an independant Kasa app, if you don’t have (or need) Google Home or Alexa.
#5: Gosund Mini Wifi Outlet
Gosund is a popular brand in smart plugs. This set of 4 smart plugs is popular due to the compact design, the side switch and the compatibility with Alexa, Google Home or the “Gosund” app.
#6: Smart Outlet, Gosund Wall Outlet Extender (15A/1800W)
Another option like this Gosund Smart Wall Outlet lets you smart-control multiple devices independently in 3 sockets, and then has 3 more always-on sockets. It also has 3 USB ports on top. Great for tidying up a crammed socket. It has surge protection, which will turn the outlet off if you are using too much power through it.
#7: Meross Smart Plug Dual WiFi Outlet
The Meross Smart plug has two independent smart outputs each with a manual switch. It comes in a two-pack. Besides the usual suspects, it also works with Siri and Apple Home Kit.
#8: Gosund extender
Another practical choice is the Gosund Extender. It has three smart outputs and then three USB ports. Great for travels so you can bring devices for smart control along, and still power your smartphone and more.
Guide: Things to consider when buying smart plugs for home automation
Compatibility: In order to work with your specific home automation system, check specs for compatibility. Most smart plugs work with Alexa and Google Home, but you might have something else.
Pack size: One smart plug is rarely enough, once you get the hang of it.
Manual switch: A smart plug needs to be powered ON constantly in order to be controlled by voice or app, so you cannot switch the wall socket OFF. For this, you still might want to use a manual switch to turn off your device when you are close. For this, you need a smart plug with a manual plug on the side, and most smart plugs comes with such an option.
Independent app: You don’t always have (or need) Google Home or Alexa. For this, the smart plug needs to be operated by an independent app (for instance, you can get a “Kasa” app for Kasa plugs. Check specs to see what independent app the smart plug supports ort needs.
USB output: A nice feature in some plugs is the ability to power USB devices from the smart plug, so you don’t need to use more sockets for the occasional phone charge or what have you.
Sharing: A smart plug can be shared with other members of the family. They just need to have the same app on their smartphone, or be recognized by voice by the Google Home or Alexa.
All-ways ON output: A nice feature with some smart plugs is to have a Always-on output. Maybe you just have one wall socket and need to power both a remote device and then have an additional socket for something else.
Grouping: Smart plugs can be set up in groups to allow you to control multiple devices at the same time, but also independently, when you need it. For instance, a couple of lamps in the same room.
Wifi-requirement: Most smart plug need to run on a 2.4 GHz wifi, and won’t work with 5Ghz wifis. Some smart plugs need a secure wifi with a password to run.
Wifi connection range: Check reviews to make sure the wifi connection range fits your need. A smart plug needs to be in constant communication with the Wifi to work. Even outdoors it needs to be able to “listen” to the wifi.
Number of outputs: Some sockets plug into 1 socket but then have 2,3 or even 4 outputs that can be controlled individually. This is great for optimizing space.
Indoor / Outdoor: A few smart plugs like are designed to work with outdoor appliances, but most are for indoor use. Make sure you don’t use an indoor plug on the outside, as it can short-circuit even in normal weather conditions.
Max Amps: Check smart plug specs to make sure that the plug can power what you need it to power. Most plugs will power around 10-15 Amp devices and are not suitable for larger systems such as powering a car charger, RV or boat.
Consumption measurement: Some smart plugs will report consumption through the independent app or into Alexa.
What can you use a smart plug for
A smart plug will power any device that plugs into the socket. Here are some examples:
- Lights and lamps
- Christmas Lights
- Kettles and coffee makers
- Phone chargers
- Pool lights, pool pumps