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The best smart plugs and smart power strips of 2020

best smart plugs and smart power strips

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.

best smart plugs - WeMo Mini

(Image credit: WeMo)

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

Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit
Home/Away Mode
Wider than most smart plugs

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.  

best smart plugs - Kasa smart plug

(Image credit: TP-Link)

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

Small, compact
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Robust app
Rated for 12A

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. 

best smart plugs - Kasa KP400 outdoor plug

(Image credit: Future)

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

Water resistant
Two outlets can be controlled separately
No HomeKit support

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. 

best smart plugs - Lutron Caseta smart dimmer

(Image credit: Lutron)

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

Lets you dim lamps
Remote included
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit
Bridge required for smartphone control
Only works with two-prong lamps
More expensive than other smart plugs

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. 

best smart plugs - TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug

(Image credit: TP-Link)

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

Independently control two devices
Supports up to 15 amps
Good scheduling in app
A bit bulky

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.

best smart plugs - Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip

(Image credit: Best Buy)

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

Several plug options
USB ports

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.

best smart plugs - Monoprice Wireless Smart Power Strip

(Image credit: Amazon)

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

USB ports
Fewer outlets

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.

best smart plugs - TP-Link Kasa HS105

(Image credit: TP-Link)

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

Lots of scheduling options
Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Only one plug

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.

best smart plugs - Amazon Smart Plug

(Image credit: Amazon)

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

Simple to set up
Integrates easily with Alexa routines
Only works with Alexa

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

iHome ISP6XView Deal

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.

iDevices SwitchView Deal

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.

  • phantom8
    Missed the Tp link Hs 110. Good switch
  • beyeriii
    Do any Smart Switches turn on device based upon a yearly rather than weekly schedule?

    For example turn on a device four times a year (e.g. January 1, April 1, July 1, November 1) for one hour?
  • evanstm
    My priorities are wifi and precise power monitoring. You should highlight power monitoring and make it more clear which competitors have it. You say wemo insight, but you don't use a consistent term to describe it. A table with amperage would also be nice (third priority 15 amps).