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If you want to step into the world of smart home devices, a smart plug is a great place to start. These internet-connected devices plug directly into a wall socket. And when you plug your device of choice into the smart plug — it could be a lamp, speaker, air conditioner, even a kitchen appliance — you’ll have instant remote control. These devices typically come with a companion app that allows you to set timers, create schedules, and even monitor the energy consumption of whatever electronics you plug in. You can schedule lights to come on at certain times of the day, remotely turn off the power to potentially dangerous appliances like space heaters, and find new ways to cut back on your energy usage.
Another fun feature of these smart plugs is voice control. Most of these devices are compatible with virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use spoken commands to control your connected devices. (If you end up liking this feature, you may enjoy a smart home hub that lets you connect more devices and expand your voice control capabilities.) Many of these smart plugs only require a Wi-Fi connection and a smartphone app to use, so they are simple to set up and a great way to experiment with internet-connected “smart” devices.
Great Kasa app support
Cool scenes function
This smart plug allows you to turn electronics on or off from anywhere with your smartphone using the Kasa app, which is compatible with both Android and Apple devices. This mini-sized plug is compact so one plug won't block both sockets and allowing two smart plugs to be used side-by-side – very useful in family rooms, kitchens or other areas where many appliances are used.
Want to go hands-free? If you have Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or even Microsoft’s Cortana, you can step into the future and control your connected devices with only your voice. Create schedules for each connected device or even try out Kasa’s cool “Scenes” feature to control many devices at once – i.e., turn off all the lights when it’s time for bed or turn on your coffee maker and toaster oven at the same time to get breakfast started.
Simple to set up and use
Fairly basic functionality
When you’re looking to buy a smart plug, chances are your first stop is Amazon. Finally, the tech giant has a branded smart plug of their own, and it remains true to Amazon's proclivity for simple products at a wallet-friendly price. The Amazon Smart Plug is similar to most other smart plugs in that it connects via Wi-Fi and allows you to remotely control the power to whatever appliance or device is plugged into it. This plug also works via the Alexa app, so it’s a particularly good choice for those who already have a few Amazon devices.
Setup is simple: just plug it into the wall, then fire up the Alexa app and connect it to Wi-Fi. Then you're good to go. The plug itself is a sleek white design with a 3.2 x 2.2 x 1.5-inch footprint that will only take up one outlet. It has a bright blue LED to indicate status, a physical on/off button, and that’s about it. It's simple and easy-to-use, making it an intuitive and convenient addition to any home (but especially those that already have Alexa).
Great app support
Alexa and Google Assistant integration
Power monitoring and scheduling
Only rated for 8A
Get off to a great start transforming your home into a smart home with the Etekcity 4-pack Voltson Wi-Fi Smart Plug mini outlet set. These clever little outlets give you the power to remotely control your appliances using the VeSync app on your smartphone or tablet. If you have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can even set up voice controls to use when you’re at home. You’ll feel like you’re living in the future when you can simply ask your home assistant to turn on your hair straighter or coffeemaker.
You can even create custom schedules for devices you use all the time. Plus, use the smart plugs to track power usage for connected devices, so you can find any energy vampires in your home that might be driving up your bill. With a smart plug, you’ll know which devices are still drawing energy even when they’re not in use. As an added bonus, this four-pack of plugs come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, a two-year warranty and lifetime support – with that kind of reassurance, why not try them out?
Connects directly through Wi-Fi
Alexa and Google Assistant ready
Great timer functionality
Occasional app issues
Thinking about getting a smart home assistant, but haven’t decided on a hub yet? No worries – this smart plug connects to the Internet through your home Wi-Fi network, no hub or subscription service required. Simply plug it into a free outlet, connect a device to the smart plug and start wirelessly controlling your appliances no matter where you are. Using a home hub already? The Amysen Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug works with some of the most popular hubs on the market, including Amazon Alexa, Echo Dot and Google Home, so all you need is the power of your own voice to manage your connected devices.
Create convenient schedules for big energy users like your air conditioner or even come home to a pre-lit house after scheduling your connected lights to come on at your normal arrival time. This smart plug also has a handy timer function that is ideal for use with devices such as curling irons or toaster ovens. You’ll never have to rush home from work if you forgot to unplug a device – simply set the timer or deactivate the device using the free app on your phone.
USB charger outlet
Lacks some common scheduling features
If you’re on the fence about how a smart plug can improve your lifestyle, check out the Zentec Living Wireless Wi-Fi Smart Plug Outlet with a built-in USB port. With a Zentec Living Wi-Fi smart plug, you are in charge of your devices like never before even if you are away from home by using your mobile phone or tablet and the free Tuya Smart app.
If nothing else, you might find that these convenient plugs are worth the price, thanks to the built-in 2.1 USB charger outlet, ideal for charging smartphones, headphones, noisemakers or other mobile devices. Both space-saving smart plugs are thoughtfully designed so that they can fit into a single double socket wall outlet (or you can use them separately in different rooms of your home.) Plus, these smart plugs are backed by Zentec’s 12-month, money-back guarantee policy, too, so you can try them out risk-free.
Rated for 16A
This mini smart plug by Teckin works with any Wi-Fi router without the need for a separate hub or paid subscription service. Schedule the plug to automatically power electronics on and off as needed, including lights, small appliances or tools. With the countdown timer feature, simply set a timer for the smart plug to turn off its appliance automatically – perfect for outdoor or holiday lighting or appliances prone to overheating (read: curling irons).
Use the Smart Life app to remotely control your appliances from anywhere, even if you’re on vacation. Do you use Amazon Alexa, Google Home or IFTTT? Control your home appliances with the smart plug by simply giving voice commands. The sleek design of this little plug allows you to stack two mini plugs in the same wall outlet, too. Like most other smart plugs, this one is easy to install and requires a secured 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection. The Teckin Smart Plug works with AC110-240V and can carry a maximum load of 16A.
Link multiple plugs together
No hub required
Great starter model
If you’re looking to try out a smart plug without investing in something with a million advanced features, this one from the Samsung SmartThings series is a great budget pick. It’s simple to set up — as easy as connecting to your Wi-Fi — and lets you experience the convenience of remote device control and voice commands at a budget price. Plus, you don’t need to have a smart home hub for it to work. Just connect the plug to the SmartThings app, plug in your device of choice, and you’re ready to go. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby for easy voice control.
The SmartThings Smart Plug has a compact design that only covers a single socket. You can even fit two together in the same wall outlet. And you may end up wanting to buy more than one — link multiple Samsung plugs in the SmartThings app to coordinate all the devices in the same room. It’s a somewhat limited feature set, but its straightforward functionality makes this a solid choice for a budget smart plug.
Real-time energy reports
Randomized security timer feature
IFTTT and Nest compatibility
Requires additional device to work with Apple Homekit
If you’re looking to keep an eye on your energy consumption, the Wemo Insight Smart Plug makes it easy to monitor which devices in your home are using the most power. And it doesn’t require a smart home hub to use. View your home’s energy statistics right from the Wemo app on your smartphone, and set schedules to automatically turn power-hungry appliances on and off (and effortlessly save on your next utility bill). This is a great option for space heaters, entertainment centers, and whatever else in your home may be drawing extra power without you even knowing.
But the Wemo Insight’s features go beyond energy monitoring. Security features include a randomized timer that will turn lights on and off to make it look like you’re home even when you’re away. Like several other smart plugs on this list, the Wemo offers app and voice control features and works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s also compatible with other smart home systems like IFTTT and Nest thermostats. If you already have one of these systems in place, the Wemo will fit right in. You can also use it with Apple Homekit, but you’ll have to purchase an extra device called the Wemo Bridge in order to connect it.
Long-range Wi-Fi connection
Individual outlet control
This sturdy, Wi-Fi connected plug lets you control your outdoor devices without actually having to go outside. Like the rest of the Kasa product family, the Outdoor Smart Plug offers remote app control and voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It has an IP64 rating for water resistance, making it tough enough to withstand the elements. And with a 300-foot Wi-Fi range, your home router should be able to reach it.
The Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug resembles a power strip in that it has a cord and two individual sockets. This gives you an extra plug outside and also allows you to separately control your two connected devices. It’s perfect for outdoor lighting, above-ground pool pumps, outdoor fans, speaker systems, and more.
Built-in surge protection
Can’t remotely control USB ports
If you have a lot of electronic devices in one place, like in an entertainment center, office, or kitchen, purchasing a smart power strip is a great way to maximize the number of connected devices without using up all your outlet space. Plug the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip into a single wall socket and you immediately have six smart plugs at the ready, plus three USB ports for additional charging. There’s no smart hub required, and it comes with the added benefit of built-in surge protection to protect devices like laptops and phones.
Each socket is individually controlled, so you can use the Kasa app to monitor energy consumption and set schedules for each separate plug. It’s a great way to keep an eye on which devices are drawing the most power, plus you get the convenience of voice control with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana. The three additional USB ports are convenient if you need to top up your phone, but note that they do not have smart features and are simply charging ports.
Our favorite smart plug is the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini by TP-Link because it’s compact, affordable, and versatile. Aside from expected features like voice control and remote app control, the Mini also has a “Scenes” feature that lets you coordinate multiple device behaviors at the push of a button. If you want something more basic and budget-friendly, the Samsung SmartThings Wi-Fi Plug is a great starter option.
Our expert reviewers and testers evaluate smart plugs based on ease of installation, design, and software features. We plug the smart plug into a socket in our home or apartments, evaluating how easy it is to connect and how compatible it is with our existing "dumb" appliances. We test the plug with lamps, air conditioners, fans, and TVs, paying attention to integrations that may exist for Google Nest, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and other smart home assistants.
Finally, we look at the user experience as a whole, judging the value offered by the smart plug, and balancing it against the price and competition to make an ultimate judgment. All the smart plugs we test are purchased by Lifewire; none are provided by manufacturers.
A former editor of Lifewire’s product round-ups, Emmeline Kaser has over four years of experience researching and writing about the best consumer products out there. She specializes in consumer tech.
Patrick Hyde has been writing about tech for more than four years now and is an expert in consumer technology and electronics, including smart home tech. His work has appeared in a number of leading publications, and he has prior experience as a marketing communications director.
Platform - Make sure that any plug you buy works with your existing smart hub. If you don’t already have a hub, then choose one first and build the rest of your smart home around that. If you have a lot of Apple devices, look for plugs that support HomeKit. Another important thing to look for is IFTTT compatibility.
Scenes - Look for smart plugs that support scenes, which is a feature that allows you to set multiple smart devices to turn on or off together. This feature makes it easier to turn on all the lights in a room, turn on specific lights at the same time you activate a device like your coffee maker, or even set a slightly-randomized pattern to make it seem like you’re still at home when you’re actually on vacation.
Energy monitoring - If you want to keep track of your energy usage, look for smart plugs that have built-in energy monitoring. This makes it easy to see how much power different devices are using so you can make adjustments to save energy and money.