The best smart plugs in 2021 you'll find in T3's guide were selected for one reason: to bring non-smart devices into your smart home system in a simple and safe way. Your home is your sanctuary and a place to feel safe, secure and comfortable and thanks to smart plugs it's even easier to personalize your abode to fit your needs.
Using smart plugs and power strips gives you voice or smartphone control over a range of household items, from lamps and fans to home theater systems and dehumidifiers. While most of the devices come with their own apps, many work directly with Apple HomeKit, Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can control them from your smart speaker.
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Not all smart plugs are created equal. Much like smart bulbs, they connect differently – some using Wi-Fi, some Bluetooth, and some using specific smart home protocols such as Zigbee or Z-Wave. Support for the different voice assistants may vary between options too; there are some which support HomeKit only, so be wary of that.
There are a lot of cheap smart plugs around at the moment, but they're not all especially good, so we've selected the best smart plugs and power strips for 2021, from reliable manufacturers like TP-Link, Philips Hue, Eve and beyond, to make your purchasing choice a little easier. We've also thrown in some timely buying advice for those of you currently on the lookout for one of these incredibly useful devices.
Looking to complete your smart home setup? Take a look at our best smart video doorbells to check who's at the door, even when you're not home. Plus, we have the best smart thermostats to better control your HAVC system.
Which smart plug should you buy? Here are the best available today
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini (HS105) brings you almost everything you could want from a smart plug, and it's accompanied by a polished app too. Setup is as simple as plugging it in, and it's small and discreet enough not to mess up the aesthetics of your kitchen or your den. You don't get any energy monitoring here, but you can see how long the plug has been active, and it works with Alexa, Google Home and (unusually) Cortana.
Using the app you can have the plug turn on and off based on a regular schedule, or do it manually. There's also the option to set a simple timer: when it elapses, the plug will turn either on or off depending on your requirements. If you've got the right TP-Link accessory, you can get the HS105 smart plug to work with a motion sensor as well.
This Kasa Mini plug is already very cheap, but look at TP-Link's Tapo line if you want to save even more; the company seems to split its smart home line in two, with Kasa being the more premium of the pair.
Designed to be used with the Amazon Alexa ecosystem, the Amazon Smart Plug can be controlled using voice commands or through the Alexa app. It doesn't require a hub and takes literally two minutes to set up. If you use the Google Assistant, or if you have Apple HomeKit, you'll want to look elsewhere as it doesn't support either of these.
Keeping things very basic, this simple white device lets you power devices on or off. You'll also be able to set schedules and routines to have them switch on at certain times of day, at sunrise or sunset as well as when triggered by an Alexa-compatible motion sensor. Unfortunately, there's no IFTTT so it won't work with other smart devices like locks.
It works almost instantly, and it was very reliable. It's just a shame there's no energy usage monitoring like some of the other smart plugs on this list.
Like all Hue products released after mid-2019, the Hue Smart Plug works fine without requiring a hub thanks to built-in Bluetooth. This is great, but while it's more compact than some and, as you'd expect from Philips, impeccably well-engineered, we'd question why you'd spend on this if you were only going to use Bluetooth. There are stacks of Wi-Fi plugs that can do a lot more for a lot less.
If you're already all-in on Hue, on the other hand, we can't think of a better option. Hooking one of these up to a Hue Bridge gets you Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit support, making it just about the most compatible plug going. You can integrate it into your Hue zones and routines, it's easy to set up, and we doubt you'll find anything more reliable.
Hue works with loads of the other smart home brands too, so this will integrate with all kinds of other smart home gear outside of Philips' selection.
Created by the team made up of ex-Amazon employees that brought you the Wyze Cam, the Wyze plug is another straight-forward and well-priced device. It works directly with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices, with no hub needed. There's a Wyze app for direct control that also gives you usage figures and the ability to set a timer. You can also group plugs into rooms to control multiple devices at once.
Coming in at just $15 for a two-pack, the plugs feature a manual on-off switch on the side, while the wide and short design avoids blocking additional sockets. The plugs can also handle up to 15A, so is even good for those devices that draw more power.
There are two versions of TP-Link's smart power strip; you could opt for the six-outlet HS300, but the cheaper three-outlet KP303 is our pick here.
With three individually-addressable outlets, as well as a pair of USB Type-A connections for small appliance charging and power, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip KP303 delivers plenty of flexibility and features; it's essentially three smart plugs in one.
Surge protection, energy monitoring, and remote control via the excellent Kasa Smart app are all on tap here, as well as voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There's no Apple HomeKit, though.
The perfect smart power strip for a home office or appliance-rich family room.
Innr has broken the barrier in the past year or so: strong branding, good compatibility and quality products make the Dutch company a smart home brand to watch. And while its Hue-compatible smart bulbs (featured in our list of the best smart bulbs!) are probably the highlight of its line, don't look past the Zigbee-packing Innr SP224 Smart Plug if you're looking to add a little more flexibility to your smart home.
Not only is it compact enough to avoid clashing with just about anything else in a multi-outlet arrangement, the SP224 is flexible enough to seamlessly connect to a host of existing smart home systems like Hue, Samsung SmartThings, and anything else which anchors itself to Zigbee. That does mean you'll need a hub to use it; Innr's own hub seems to be hard to come by, but if there's a Hue Bridge, a SmartThings bridge, or even an Amazon Echo with a Zigbee hub sitting on your network already this will drop right in. Perfect for Hue users in particular.
All you really need from a smart plug is to have it work reliably from an app, whether you're turning it on and off manually or setting it on a schedule, and the D-Link DSP-W118-US delivers here. It's not the first smart plug that D-Link has released, and that expertise means the company knows exactly how to put together a smart plug like this.
It's worth mentioning the size of this particular D-Link smart plug; it's narrow in the vertical dimension, which should mean it fits well in vertically-oriented outlets, but it may overlap on, say, a horizontally-aligned power strip.
On top of that, you've got polished apps for Android and iOS to make use of, and there's integration with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and the always-useful IFTTT as well. If you're after a simple but great smart plug, then make sure you check out the D-Link DSP-W118-US smart plug.
Teckin is perhaps not the best-known tech brand out there, but its smart plugs are inexpensive, simple to use, and compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant too – so you can turn on all kinds of tech with the power of your voice.
We also like the design of the Teckin Smart Plug Wi-Fi, which is discreet and unobtrusive. The power supply can be set to work on a timer if you need it to, or operated manually through the app.
It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some of its rivals but it's still one of the best smart plugs of 2021 – and its tiny size means you shouldn't have any problems plugging it into just about any outlet.
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, this isn't for you.
In fact, Eve Systems (formerly Elgato) used to specialize 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.
This smart plug from networking specialist TP-Link has everything you need to remotely control connected devices whether you’re at home or away. The driving force here 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.
Designed to work in conjunction with the Hive Hub, the Hive Active Plug works in a similar way to other smart plugs – you can turn your sockets on and off with a tap on your phone or on a preset schedule.
In other words, 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 requires a Hive Hub to control: the Hive Active Plug won't work without one, so this is only really the best smart plug for those buying into the Hive system – but that's not a bad idea, because Hive also makes good smart bulbs and a great smart heating system (among others), so you might feel the whole setup is right for you.
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.
Ikea's Tradfri line is responsible for bringing smart home control to a whole lot of people – if you're in the vicinity of an Ikea store, it's the easiest way to pick up everything you need to get started. Because Tradfri uses Zigbee, you can control it with all kinds of hubs, which is useful given that Ikea's own Tradfri Gateway has had periods of behaving rather poorly.
We're not going to say this is the best smart plug you can get, because it clearly is not: it's huge, for a start. But it's very convenient if you've already built a Tradfri collection, and its cross-compatibility means it should be easy to transfer over to, say, being controlled by the new Amazon Echo if you happen to move on.
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What does a smart plug do?
Smart plugs provide a connection between non-smart devices and modern smart system apps, such as Amazon Alexa, HomeKit and more.
The plug itself features a wireless connection you can use to sync up to your smart device, whether it be a tablet or your smartphone. Some smart plugs will feature increased connectivity options, and will be able to work with almost all smart systems and voice assistants. There are a select few, however, that are designed to be used with specific smart systems such as the Hive Active smart plug.
Are smart plugs worth it?
That depends on whether or not you're someone who likes to use smart systems and apps. It definitely is convenient to turn on a light or appliance from your smart phone, however some may feel this isn't a necessity.
Unless you're running a specific smart system that requires a specific smart plug, the plugs that offer more open connection options are usually a better buy as well. Being able to connect to multiple smart apps and systems is a must have feature where possible.
Do smart plugs need WiFi?
Yes, most if not all will require a connection to WiFi to work properly. Smart plugs are essentially connected to your WiFi home network which can then be accessed via an application through your smart device. If a smart plug is not connected, it cannot be managed and activated or deactivated.
How to find the best smart plug for you
Smart plugs are typically operated over Wi-Fi (or occasionally Bluetooth) from an app on your Android or iOS device – 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, although Apple HomeKit is often left out.
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 outlets on or off when you leave the house.