6 best smart plugs 2019: add intelligence to any power socket

The best smart plugs mean if you can plug it in, you can turn it on with your smartphone – and we've got the top picks for 2019

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Welcome to our guide to the very best smart plugs on the market in 2019 – plugs able to add smarts to just about anything in your home, including lamps, fans, and wireless phone chargers.

When you're thinking about making a purchase, remember that not all smart plugs are created equal: if you're going make an investment then you want the best smart plugs in the business in 2019, which is where our expertise comes in. 

Here we've listed only the best smart plugs for 2019 to make your purchasing choice that much simpler, and we've also thrown in some valuable buying advice for those of you in the market for an upgrade.

Smart plugs aren't always particularly cheap, but now could be a great time to pick one (or a few) up – many smart plug brands are discounting their socket rockets throughout 2019.

best smart plugs 2019

These are the best smart plugs for 2019.

How to buy the best smart plug for you

Smart plugs are typically operated over Wi-Fi (or occasionally Bluetooth) from your phone – you can turn that corner light on and off with a tap, or even set it on a schedule. Every smart plug has the same basic functionality.

Some products let you take the idea a little further with zones (groups of plugs) and scenes (automated settings on a schedule or based on your movements). Happily, most of the best smart plugs work with the popular smart home platforms, like Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings.

That's really your first consideration – whether a smart plug works with the kit you've already got installed (or want to get installed). Then you can look at extra features, like turning sockets on or off when you leave the house.

Our pick of the best smart plugs you can buy in 2019

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch best smart plugs 2019

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

1. Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

A smart plug for smart people

Specifications
No. of sockets: 1
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Indoor only
Connectivity: 802.11n W-Fi (2.4GHz)
Compatible with: Android 4.4 or later; iOS 9 or higher
Reasons to buy
+Wi-Fi and 3G/4G ready+Works with Amazon Alexa and Nest+Easy to set up and use+Part of modular WeMo system
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky, bland design

This is Belkin's top-of-the-line smart plug and you'll struggle to find anything better – it works with services from Amazon, Apple and Google, it can slot right into most smart home setups, and it can monitor your energy usage as well as letting you turn your appliances on and off from your phone.

Scheduling on and off times is simple – to make sure the kids turn the TV off when they're told to, for example – or you can just use it manually. It's fast, it's reliable, and as we've said it connects to a lot of different third-party apps and services, including the always useful automator tool IFTTT (If This Then That).

You might think it would be relatively easy to design a smart plug app, but you'd be surprised at the mess some manufacturers make of it. Thankfully the WeMo app is clear and straightforward on both Android and iOS, and we'd actually recommend other WeMo kit as well if you're thinking about extending your smart home.

Hive Active Plug best smart plugs 2019

Hive Active Plug

(Image: © British Gas)

2. Hive Active Plug

A great way to extend your Hive system

Specifications
No. of sockets: 1
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Indoor only
Connectivity: 802.11n W-Fi (2.4GHz)
Compatible with: Android 4.4 or later; iOS 9 or later
Reasons to buy
+Part of Hive Smart Home System+Easy to set up and use
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively expensive-Can only be used with the Hive Hub

Designed to work in conjunction with the Hive Hub developed by British Gas (though you don't have to be a British Gas customer to use it), the Hive Active Plug works in a similar way to the Belkin WeMo Insight Switch we just mentioned – you can turn your sockets on and off with a tap on your phone or on a preset schedule.

In other words, very handy for those times when you need to check whether you left the iron on, or just fancy boiling the kettle for a cup of tea while you’re still lying in bed upstairs. The only real catch is that Hive Hub requirement: the Hive Active Plug won't work without one, so this is only really the best smart plug for a specific subset of people.

Naturally the Hive Active Plug is controlled using the free accompanying Hive apps for iOS and Android, and as well as a schedule you can also create actions that work in conjunction with each other (so switching on a lamp when a door sensor is triggered, for example). If you already have Hive kit installed, it's ideal. You can control the plug with the Amazon Alexa assistant too.

D-Link DSP-W115 Smart Plug best smart plugs 2019

D-Link DSP-W115 Smart Plug

3. D-Link DSP-W115 Smart Plug

Ticks a lot of the boxes for a smart plug

Specifications
No. of sockets: 1
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Indoor only
Connectivity: 802.11n W-Fi (2.4GHz)
Compatible with: Android 4.4 or later; iOS 9 or later
Reasons to buy
+Works with several digital assistants+Smooth and easy operation+Can operate in groups
Reasons to avoid
-D-Link range not the biggest

If you list all of the features you want from a smart plug, then it's likely that the D-Link DSP-W115 Smart Plug covers many of them – you can operate it from your phone, have it turn off when you leave the house, set it to come on and off based on a schedule, and operate it through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or IFTTT.

You might think of D-Link as a router company but the firm has a growing number of decent smart home devices now, and an elegant app to tie them all together. Even if this smart plug is the only bit of D-Link kit that you buy, it should still work well with the rest of your setup.

If you buy more than one of these, you can set them up into groups to (for example) turn all the lights off in a certain room or on a certain floor when you go to sleep. It's simple to set up, it's compact and well-designed, and it's definitely worth a place on our list of best smart plugs in 2019.

Eve Energy best smart plugs

Eve Energy

(Image: © Elgato)

4. Eve Energy

Ideal for Apple HomeKit – and not much else

Specifications
No. of sockets: 1
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Indoor only
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0 Smart
Compatible with: iOS 10+, tvOS 10+
Reasons to buy
+Easy to set up and use+Part of Eve Systems' smart home range+Works with Apple HomeKit
Reasons to avoid
-Works with Apple’s iOS, tvOS only-No Wi-Fi – Bluetooth only-Bulky design

There's a lot to like about the Eve Energy smart plug, but there's also a big caveat, which is that it only works with Apple gear. You're going to need an iPhone (or iPad) to operate this, and it's going to work best as part of a HomeKit setup. Sorry, Android users.

In fact, Eve Systems (formerly Elgato) used to specialise in TV tuner and video capture products for Apple devices before switching its focus towards smart home tech instead. Even if it is Apple-centric, this is a very powerful plug: you can create geofences, triggers, actions and scenes using the free accompanying Eve app or Apple Home.

Unusually the Eve Energy relies on Bluetooth 4.0 Smart rather than a Wi-Fi connection, which means you're going to need a 4th-generation Apple TV or newer, or an Apple HomePod smart speaker as an intermediary if you want to switch connected devices on and off away from home. Otherwise, you can control the plug directly from the app.

TP-Link HS110 best smart plugs

TP-Link HS110

(Image: © TP-Link)

5. TP-Link HS110

Amazon Echo-ready smart plug

Specifications
No. of sockets: 1
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Indoor only
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz)
Compatible with: Android 4.1 or higher; iOS 8 or higher
Reasons to buy
+Elegant, minimalist design+Works with Amazon Echo (sold separately)+Easy to use via the Kasa app
Reasons to avoid
-Bulky – like most smart plugs

This smart plug from networking specialists TP-Link has everything you need to remotely control connected devices whether you’re at home or away. The driving force for the product is the free Kasa app for iOS and Android devices, which connects to the TP-Link HS110 via your wireless router. It can also be controlled with your voice, provided you have an Amazon Echo.

The Kasa app is easy to use and enables you to switch the smart plug on or off, create custom actions and set a schedule that can trigger connected devices to switch on and off automatically throughout the day. Everything works smoothly and as advertised, and you can use it on its own or in combination with other TP-Link gear.

A step up from the TP-Link HS100 smart plug, this one includes energy monitoring, so you can see how long a connected device has been active for – and how much it’s costing you when it's switched on. It lacks support for Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings, but this is otherwise a very capable plug.

Amazon Smart Plug best smart plugs 2019

Amazon Smart Plug

6. Amazon Smart Plug

The best smart plug for covering the basics

Specifications
No. of sockets: 1
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Indoor only
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz)
Compatible with: Android or iOS (iOS 10 or higher)
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for your Alexa-powered home+Nice and cheap
Reasons to avoid
-Only works through Alexa

If you don't want to spend much and already have an Amazon Echo or two set up in your home, then the Amazon Smart Plug covers the basics for not much money at all. It's simple to set up and use, and can be controlled with your voice.

That said, it only works through the Alexa app on your phone, so it's really only the best smart plug if you rely on Amazon kit – it doesn't have quite as many features and functions as you'll find on the other smart plugs in this list.

If you're all set up with Amazon gear though, it might just be the best smart plug in 2019 for you. Coming from Amazon, you know it's not going to let you down.