Make your home smart with a smart plug. Any of the best smart plugs let you control various small appliances without needing to be home. For example, connect a lamp to a smart plug, and you can then use your smartphone to turn the lamp on and off or create a schedule that will automatically turn the lamp on or off.
Because the best smart plugs are easy to use and very affordable, starting at less than $30 per switch, anyone with a smartphone can get in on the convenience (and, dare we say, fun) of using one of the best smart home devices.
After testing dozens of smart plugs, we think the best overall is the WeMo Mini. While it's not as compact as other smart plugs, it has a lot of handy scheduling features, and is one of the few smart plugs that works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. WeMo is coming out with an even smaller version, the WeMo WiFi Smart Plug ($24.99), which will be available this spring.
You can find multitudes of cheap smart plugs online, but we think the best budget model is the Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Lite by TP-Link. An individual plug is just $13, and the company's other smart home products have generally been very reliable.
1. WeMo Mini
The best smart plug overall
Size: 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT | Electrical rating: 120V~/15A/60Hz/1800W
The WeMo Mini is wide, but thin enough so that you can fit two of them per outlet without blocking electrical access. Though it doesn't have energy monitoring information, the Mini does work with HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant and more. It also has a helpful switch on the plug itself if you'd rather use manual controls.
Though it's a bit more expensive than alternatives we've reviewed, the WeMo Mini is the easiest to set up and the best smart plug for most people.
2. Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Lite HS103
An excellent and affordable smart plug option
Size: 2.6 x 1.6 x 1.5 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, IFTTT | Electrical rating: 120V/12A/1200W
At just $13 per plug, the Kasa Smart WiFi Lite is a real value; we've tested other smart plugs from TP-Link, and found them to be reliable. Plus, the Kasa app has a lot of features, including scheduling and the ability to control other TP-Link smart home devices. The one catch is that the Kasa Lite is only rated for 12 amps, so if you want to use it with a device that draws more power, you should check out the WeMo Mini or the Kasa HS105 smart plug.
3. Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug KP400
The best smart plug for outdoor use
Size: 24.9 x 2.4 x 2.3 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, IFTTT | Electrical rating: 125V/15A/1875W
TP-Link's Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug KP400 has two outlets, so you can control two devices independently. The plug is a substantial 4.9 x 2.4 x 2.3 inches, but housed inside its thick plastic housing is a Wi-Fi radio that should connect to your router from up to 300 feet away. The KP400 is IP64-rated, so it can withstand dust and most rainfall, but you should ensure that the outlets are facing downward and covered when not in use.
Aside from the hardware, it's TP-Link's Kasa app that sets this device apart from other smart outlets. The app makes the setup process exceedingly simple; it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT (no HomeKit, sorry), and it has pretty good scheduling options for letting you turn your lights on and off at certain times. The one feature it needs, though, is the ability to turn on at sunset, rather than at a set time—but you can set this using an Alexa routine.
4. Lutron Caseta Dimmer Plug
The best smart plug for lamps
Size: 2 x 5.9 x 6.8 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT | Electrical rating: 120V/300W
Most smart plugs lack one major feature: They're on/off, and can't dim your lights. Lutron's Caseta Lamp Dimmer is a rare exception. And, not only are their controls on the plug itself, but it also ships with a small remote, so you don't need to get up off your couch to adjust the lights. And, you can plug two lamps into the Caseta Lamp Dimmer. It also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, SmartThings, and HomeKit, but if you want to use any of those voice assistants to control the device, you'll need to purchase the Lutron Smart Bridge ($78), sold separately.
5. TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug, 2-Outlets (HS107)
The best smart plug with two outlets
Size: 4.3 x 2.9 x 2 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, Nest, IFTTT | Electrical rating: 120V/15A
Not only does the dual plug TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug (HS107) have one of the better designs among plugs we've tested, but its app is the most feature-packed, too. The rectangular device has three-prong sockets at both ends, so you can control two devices independently from a single outlet. This plug is narrow enough that it won't block the second wall outlet, in case you want to plug in something else, but the fit will be tight.
You manually control each plug via two LED-lit buttons on either end of the front of the switch, while a light in the middle lets you know if the plug is connected to your Wi-Fi network. The HS107 will work with devices of up to 15 amps, so you can plug in things such as coffee makers and portable heaters.
Like with TP-Link's single-plug device, you can easily create schedules, including setting up an Away mode, which will randomly turn the lights on and off to make it look like you're home; this is perhaps the plug's best feature. Kasa's app also lets you group other products from TP-Link, such as security cameras and lights, and control them with Alexa and Google Assistant.
6. Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip
Best smart plug power strip
Size: 14.2 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant | Electrical rating: 120V/15A
TP-Link's Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip is six smart plugs built into one (with three USB ports to boot). You can control each connected device individually using the Kasa app, Alexa or Google Assistant, or buttons on the device itself. And, it has a surge protector built in, which most individual smart plugs lack. That said, at $79, it's a bit pricey.
7. Monoprice Wireless Smart Power Strip
An affordable smart plug power strip
Size: 14.8 x 4.2 x 1.8 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant | Electrical rating: 120V/15A/1875W
Our favorite smart power strip value is the Monoprice Wireless Smart Power Strip. With four outlets and two USB ports, it can't accommodate quite as many devices as some surge protectors can. But at only $32, it's less than half the price of some of its upscale competitors, such as the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip.
The Monoprice power strip also offers more features than most of its more-expensive competitors. Using Monoprice's Stitch app, you can remotely monitor and control your appliances, and can control and schedule each outlet individually. You can set each outlet to turn on or off based on various environmental factors such as time, temperature, humidity, sunrise and sunset or the actions of other smart-home devices. And if you're not using a voice assistant, you can still create scenes using all of your Stitch products to easily set the mood in your home.
8. TP-Link Kasa HS105
An older, but still great smart plug
Size: 2.6 x 1.6 x 1.5 inches | Works With: Alexa, Google Assistant | Electrical rating: 120V/15A/1875W
TP-Link's Kasa smart plug HS105 is an older model, but it still works well, and costs less than $20. It has a compact design, which makes it possible to add two to an outlet, and has an LED that lets you know at a glance if the switch is on. We liked the Kasa app, which was easy to use and has a robust set of features, such as the ability to create schedules and an Away mode that turns your lights on and off at random intervals while you're out of your house.
9. Amazon Smart Plug
A simple smart plug, but it only works with Alexa
Size: 3.2 x 2.2 x 1.5 inches | Works With: Alexa | Electrical rating: 120V/15A
Amazon's smart plug is simple, compact, and a great value purchase for a low price. It comes packed with all the features of Alexa, including compatibility with routines, schedules, timers, and other advanced automations. It also has a physical on/off button and an LED to indicate its status.
We'd love this smart plug even more if it were compatible with voice assistants besides Alexa.
Other Smart Plugs Tested
While the iHome ISP6X smart plug doesn't have the Away feature we like so much in the TP-Link app, the iSP6X works with many more smart home systems, including Nest, Wink and Samsung SmartThings.
Aukey Wi-Fi Smart PlugView Deal
Aukey's plug is not only very compact, but it's very inexpensive, too: You get two for $24, about half that of most other plugs. While it only works with Alexa and Google Assistant, Aukey's app has a good number of automated features for the price.
The iDevices Switch has a number of advanced features, including scheduling, scenes, geofencing and other home automation (if you have an Apple TV or iPad), and energy monitoring. But it's a bit bigger than other plugs, and it took a while to set up in our testing.
How we test smart home plugs
Reviewing a smart plug isn't as simple as plugging it in. Well, it almost is. In addition to making sure the plug actually turns on the thing that's plugged into it, we also evaluate the plugs on several factors:
- Design: Can you fit more than one plug into an outlet? Does it have a physical on/off switch or indicator lights?
- Setup: How easy is it to connect the plug to your Wi-Fi network, and to its app?
- Scheduling: How robust is the scheduling feature in the app?
- Features: Are there any other features that distinguish the plug from others?
- Smart Home Connectivity: How many other smart home systems does the plug work with? Alexa and Google Assistant should be givens.
What to look for when buying a smart plug
There are tons of smart plugs available on Amazon and other online retailers, many of which cost less than $30, and work with Alexa. So how do you decide which is best? Here are some things to consider.
1. Will it block my other outlet? Some smart plugs are so big that if you plug them into a wall outlet, it will block the second outlet. That's a design fail. TP-Link's HS105, the iHome ISP6X, and the Belkin WeMo Mini are all plugs that are small enough to keep the other outlet free.
2. Will it work with more than Alexa? It's great to be able to say "Alexa, turn off my lights" and have the smart plug shut off your table lamp. But the better plugs will also work with Google Home, and some—such as iHome's—also work with Apple HomeKit.
3. Is the app any good? Many of the cheaper plugs have cheaper apps, which make it difficult to schedule when the plug should turn off and on. We've even found some that haven't been fully translated into English. While you'll need to download the plug's app before you purchase the plug, this step could save you a lot of frustration.
Smart plugs vs. smart switches vs. smart lights
When does it make sense to get a smart plug versus a smart light switch or a smart light bulb? For one, most smart plugs can be used to control more than just lights. For example, you could plug a coffee maker or floor fan into a smart plug, and have it turn that device on at a given time.
If you're using a smart plug primarily for lighting, it's best for floor and table lamps because you can use less-expensive bulbs. However, if you want bulbs that can change color or color temperature, then a smart bulb may be a better way to go. If all your lights are controlled by a wall switch, then you'll want a smart switch.