The 9 Best IFTTT Applets for Alexa

Time-saving, task-managing, and entertaining recipes

Alexa is an incredibly powerful digital assistant that's compatible with a wide variety of devices. Boost Alexa's power and capabilities by using IFTTT recipes, or applets, to activate Alexa skills and save even more time and effort.

IFTTT is an acronym for If This Then That. It's a free, third-party service that uses simple scripts to help you do more with hundreds of the apps and devices you use every day. To use IFTTT recipes, head to the IFTTT website and select Get Started. After registering, select three or more devices or services you use often, including Alexa. Then choose from a wide selection of IFTTT applets.

We've compiled a list of the nine best IFTTT applets for Alexa. Try them out and see just how easy and fun it is to automate mundane tasks.

You may need to enable IFTTT on your smartphone, apps, and other devices before an applet can be turned on. The IFTTT site will notify you with instructions on how to enable the applet. 

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Turn on the Lights When the Alarm Goes Off

Screenshot of the IFTTT app for Alexa
What We Like
  • Easty to set up.

  • Works with Philips Hue smart light bulbs.

What We Don't Like
  • Hitting the Snooze button isn't as relaxing with lights blaring.

Your alarm might be loud, but the bed is so cozy and your room is nice and dark. Alexa can help you get up on time by switching on the lights as soon as your alarm begins to sound. If you are already using Alexa's alarm feature to wake you up, adding this smart light bulb feature is easy, helping you beat that morning sluggishness and stop oversleeping.

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Make a Cup of Coffee

IFTTT app to turn on coffee with Alexa
What We Like
  • Incredibly convenient and easy.

  • You can get up a few minutes later.

What We Don't Like
  • There isn't yet a wide variety of Alexa-enabled coffee makers.

  • You still have to remember to add coffee grounds and water the night before.

Have a fresh, hot pot of Joe waiting for you when you step out of bed if you have an Alexa-connected brewer and this IFTTT app. All you have to do is say, "Alexa, trigger brew coffee,” and your coffee maker will start.

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Find Your Phone

IFTTT applet that tells Alexa to find your phone
What We Like
  • Compatible with any type of phone.

What We Don't Like
  • If phone is on vibrate, or silenced, you may not be able to hear it.

Misplacing our phones is a common problem, but when Alexa calls your phone for you, it's easy to find. With this applet, provide your phone number and then accept a phone call from IFTTT to get a PIN. Enter the PIN, and then choose whether to create a custom command or use the default command to activate this skill.

If you use the default, then when you need to find your phone, you simply say, "Alexa, trigger find my phone," and she will call your phone. 

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Adjust the Temperature

Screenshot of IFTTT applet that tells Alexa to adjust Nest Thermostat
What We Like
  • Set up a custom phrase so adjusting your thermostat is quick and easy.

What We Don't Like
  • You have to make sure your thermostat is set to the right mode, such as Cool or Heat.

A smart thermostat, such as Nest, connects to your smart home network and can be programmed to adjust automatically on a schedule you define. But what if it's still too warm or not warm enough? With this applet all you have to say is, "Alexa, trigger Nest to 72 degrees," add Alexa will adjust your thermostat.

Works with the Nest Learning Thermostat.

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Pause Your Child's Internet Access

Screenshot of IFTTT applet that lets you pause your child's Internet
What We Like
  • Easy and convenient if you have any Circle with Disney smart device and app.

What We Don't Like
  • If your kids are savvy enough, they can use another IFTTT applet to unpause their internet (or even to block yours!). 

Homework, chores, or dinnertime? If you have a Circle with Disney device and app, restrict your child’s screen time simply by saying, "Alexa, trigger pause [kid's name]." Circle will shut off internet access for that person’s device.

Works with Circle With Disney.

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Send Your Shopping List to Your Phone

Screenshot of IFTTT applet that lets Alexa send shopping list to phone
What We Like
  • You don't have to carry a shopping list around with you.

  • Easy and convenient.

What We Don't Like
  • Works only with Android phones.

  • Must use Alexa to create your grocery shopping list.

You head to the grocery store but realize you don't have your list. Thanks to this IFTTT applet, Alexa can send your shopping list to your Android phone as a text message.

Works with Android smartphones.

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Screenshot of IFTTT app that blinks lights when timer goes off
What We Like
  • It's easy to connect Philips Hue lights to IFTTT.

  • Set timers for any length of time.

What We Don't Like
  • Blue is the only option, which may not be especially noticeable during the day.

Want to listen to an audiobook while your tea steeps, or rock out while your cake bakes? With this applet, your Philips Hue smart light bulbs blink blue when your Alexa timer goes off. Simply say, "Alexa, set a timer for X minutes.”

Works with Philips Hue Lights.

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Lock Up at Night

Screenshot of IFTTT App that tells Alexa to lock up at night.
What We Like
  • If you are using any other Philips Hue applets, you will only need to provide access to your Garageio controller.

  • Setting up your phone is simple.

What We Don't Like
  • This applet does not apply to smart locks, which would round out the recipe nicely.

  • It only works with Android smartphones.

If you've ever laid in bed at night wondering if you locked the front door, closed the garage, or turned off a light, this is the skill for you. Once enabled, all you have to do is say "Trigger lockdown" (or set up your own custom phrase). Alexa will lock up the house by turning off the lights, closing the garage door, and even muting your phone.

Works with Philips Hue lights, the Garageio Smart Home Garage Door Controller, and Android Smartphones.

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Lights Out at Bedtime

Screenshot of IFTTT Applet Telling Alexa to Turn Lights Out for Bed
What We Like
  • Quick setup.

  • No special software needed.

  • Add all of your lights to a single group and this recipe shuts them all down at one time.

What We Don't Like
  • You will have to set up groups and adjust the settings if you want to turn multiple lights out at once.

If it feels like you spend 10 minutes wandering around turning off lights before bed each night, you'll love this recipe. All you have to say is, “Alexa, trigger bedtime,” and all connected lights will turn off immediately.

Works with Philips Hue lights.

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