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Best Smart Plugs: Easy-to-Use Models That Provide Style and Convenience

How to choose the best smart plug
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best smart plugs turn ordinary devices into smart ones. They provide convenience and offer peace of mind — after all, you don’t have to be in the same room, or even at home, to turn a device off or on. 

Smart plugs are handy in all types of ways. You can schedule lights to turn on so it appears as if someone is home, and energy monitoring features help to improve your energy efficiency and thus reduce your bills. 

They're also great for checking whether or not you turned a device off once you've left the house, such as a phone charger or your hair straighteners. You can simply switch them off using an app on your phone. 

Smart plugs are easy to use and a great way to introduce some smart capability into your home.  

(MORE: Smart Home Tech for Every Budget)

Which is the Best Smart Plug?

TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best smart plug overall

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings | No. of sockets: 1 | Use: Indoor only | Compatible with: Android 5.0 or higher, iOS 10 or higher | Connectivity: WiFi | Separate hub required: No

Compact and reliable
Great app
Easy set-up
Fewer features than others on this list

The Kasa Mini Smart Plug by TP-Link (KP105) is a great little smart plug at an affordable price. What's more, its compact size means it doesn't obscure the adjacent socket when plugged into a double socket. 

You can pair it with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control and, once you've downloaded the Kasa Smart app, you can set timers while you’re out of the house — so, for example, your home will be well-lit for when you return on dark evenings. 

A sliding safety cover and overheating protection provide added peace of mind. Additionally, no hub is required; it works with any Wi-Fi router.

Buy the TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug

More Great Smart Plugs

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip (HS300)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best smart plug power strip

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant | No. of sockets: 6 | Use: Indoor only | Compatible with: Android 4.4 or higher; iOS 10 or higher | Connectivity: WiFi | Separate hub required: No

Six outlets
Monitors energy usage
Built-in surge protector
More expensive than others on the list

The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip is essentially six smart plugs built into one, and it even comes with three USB ports. 

All six outlets can be independently controlled using the Kasa App, Alexa or Google Assistant.

It also comes with energy monitoring capability, meaning that you can check on each of your devices using the app and turn off the ones using the most energy, helping you to save money on energy bills. You can set advanced scheduling options too, so you can schedule lights to turn on or off at different times of the day, for instance. 

There is a second version of TP-Link’s smart power strip: the three-socket KP303 model, if you don't need six outlets.

Buy the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip

Aoycocr Smart Plug Mini

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Aoycocr Smart Plug Mini

The best budget smart plug

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT | No. of sockets: 1 | Use: Indoor only | Connectivity: WiFi | Separate hub required: No

Budget friendly
Energy monitoring
Only one socket

The Aoycocr Smart Plug Mini is a fantastic budget option for those wanting to dip a toe into the world of smart home tech. 

Its power usage monitor lets you check the energy consumption of your appliance, and if this too high you can use the Smart Life app to manually turn it off, helping to save on your energy bills.

It's also very easy to install and use, and as with all good smart plugs you can use it to set timers and schedule devices to turn off and on. 

Its well designed too. Being compact means it won't get in the way of anything else around the socket, and it includes a sliding safety cover to protect children from inserting fingers into it. 

Buy the Aoycocr Smart Plug Mini

TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring (HS110)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best for energy monitoring

Works with: Alexa, Google Assistant and Samsung SmartThings | No. of sockets: 1 | Use: Indoor only | Compatible with: Android 5.0 or higher, iOS 10 or higher | Connectivity: WiFi | Separate hub required: No

Energy monitoring
Away Mode
Only one socket

TP-Link’s Kasa smart plugs are hard to beat. The Kasa Smart Plug (HS100), not on this list, is a very efficient device, but for a few extra quid it’s worth opting for the Kasa Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring (HS110).

The energy monitoring capability of this smart plug lets you analyse a device’s power consumption in real-time, as well as historically. And because the Kasa Smart Plug lets you schedule devices to turn off and on, knowing when a device uses the most power means you can turn it off at certain times of the day, helping to conserve energy and save money. 

The Away Mode is another neat feature. Once activated, the Kasa Smart Plug will randomly power devices on and off (such as lamps and TVs) to make it appear as though someone is home. 

Like the Kasa Mini, it is easy to use and install, and doesn’t require a separate hub — it will connect to your WiFi network and can be used via the Kasa Smart App, Alexa and Google Assistant. It also comes with a two-year warranty.

Buy the TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring

Meross Outdoor Smart Plug

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Meross Outdoor Smart Plug

The best smart plug for outdoors

Works with: Apple HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT | No. of sockets: 2 | Use: Outdoor and indoor | Compatible with: Android 4.1 or higher; iOS 8 or higher | Connectivity: WiFi | Separate hub required: No

Suitable for outdoor use
Weather-resistant
Strong WiFi connection
Shorter cables, so needs to be kept close to outlet

The weather-resistant Meross Outdoor Smart Plug is brilliant for outdoor use. You can control porch lights to deter burglars while you're out, and control water features or garden lights without having to move.

The plug's IP44 weatherproof design means it can handle light rainfall or moisture on the grass, however it cannot be used in a heavy downpour. For this reason it's best positioned under a sheltered spot, or in a shed.

Once you’ve downloaded the Meross app you can turn each socket off and on individually, and you can create on-off schedules or auto-off timers to work automatically. 

Significantly, it also has a really strong WiFi connection. Outdoor smart plugs can sometimes struggle with WiFi connectivity, but this works with any 2.4GHz or dual band WiFi router, which is great for an outdoor smart plug.

It also includes a sliding safety cover, and a safety-enhancing overload protection circuit, which will protect against short circuits and power surges.

Buy the Meross Outdoor Smart Plug

Lutron Caseta Dimmer Plug

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6. Lutron Caseta Dimmer Plug

The best for dimming lamps

Works with: Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant | No. of sockets: 2 | Separate hub required: Yes

Dimmable
Save your favourite light level
Works with two lamps
Requires a Smart Bridge hub
Can only be used for lamps
Pricey

The Lutron Caseta Wireless Dimmer plug lets you control the lighting ambience in the room via a remote control. 

Using the Pico remote control, you can adjust brightness or turn lights off and so your lighting is suitable for your tasks — whether you're working, entertaining or relaxing. 

It can be used with up to two lamps, and it's easy to use. Simply plug into a standard outlet and control both lamps directly and remotely. 

However, you will need a separate hub: specifically, the Lutron Smart Bridge or Smart Bridge PRO. Once you’re set up, you can programme the dimmer via the Lutron app (which works on iOs and Android), and schedule daily events and controlled via your smart phone. It also includes a button for saving your favourite light level. 

It works with up to 300W of incandescent or halogen bulbs, and 100W of dimmable LED or dimmable CFL bulbs.

Buy the Lutron Caseta Dimmer Plug

How to Choose a Smart Plug

Before you take the plunge, have a read of some of the criteria that will help you decide what you require from your smart plug. Factors to consider include:

Scheduling and Timer Options

These features allow you to turn devices on or off at certain times, and while most smart plugs include them, make sure that your preferred plug does too. 

Smart Assistant Pairing 

Some smart plugs only work with certain smart assistants, so make sure you check that the smart plug is compatible with your preferred smart assistant.

Surge Protection

This is an important feature for any smart power strip, and you’ll need this protection if you use your strip to run a home office or a games room. 

Outdoor or Indoor Use?

Most smart plugs are only suitable for indoor use, so if you need your smart plug to work in the garden (for example, to control patio lights), then look out for a model specifically designed to function outside. 

Energy Monitoring

Some smart plugs equipped with energy monitoring can tell you how much electricity your appliances use, helping you save electricity by scheduling devices to turn off at certain times of the day when they cost more to run. 

Hub Requirements

Not all smart plugs require a hub in order to connect your smart plug to other devices, and some plugs won’t work without one. Make sure you check before you buy so you have everything you need to smarten up your home.