Smart plugs are an easy and affordable way to add some intelligence to your home. Plugging them directly into an outlet, they will give you basic control over nearly anything you plug into them. Using an app on a tablet or phone, you can easily turn items on and off, and control more settings with certain devices.
In order to be smart, the plug needs to connect to the internet via a WiFi network for remote control. How "smart" a plug is ultimately depends on its features. Common capabilities include energy monitoring, away modes, and automated scheduling.
To start researching which smart plugs will give you the most control inside your home, Best Reviews has laid out the important information and considerations you need to know. Check out some of the top smart plugs listed below.
HS 100 Smart Plug
Best of The Best
Bottom Line: in spite of a few issues that are common to plug technology, this industry leader stands at the top of the pack in features and design.
Pros: a top-selling pick and a leader in smart technology. This easy-to-set-up plug doesn’t require a hub, has a “home away” mode, is voice controlled with Alexa and Google Assistant, and sports a sleek design.
Cons: drops in connectivity and occasional failures in syncing with voice control have been reported. Sometimes requires resetting, which is easy to do.
Smart Plug Mini (2-Pack)
Bottom Line: though many consumers are satisfied with their technology, “bugs” exist that need to be worked out, which is frustrating considering the high price tag.
Pros: easy to set up and control with the free Kasa app on your device. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Has “away mode” for control when not at home. Doesn’t require a hub, just WiFi.
Cons: occasionally doesn’t respond to Alexa and drops network connection. Somewhat bulky when plugged into an outlet, and is not compatible with all face plates.
Smart Socket Outlet US Plug (2-Pack)
Best Bang for The Buck
Bottom Line: half the price of some competitors with similar technology and responsiveness. You won’t find a duo of smarter plugs at a lower price.
Pros: a value-priced 2-pack with user-friendly features that tech-savvy customers love. Compatible with numerous devices, voice controllable with Alexa, and easy to set up with a free app. Handy timer function. No hub required.
Cons: a few issues with registration of the devices have been reported. The app has a few bugs that sometimes require stopping and resetting.
Mini Smart Plug (2-Pack)
Bottom Line: worth considering if you like their streamlined design and smart features, but be aware of the tech issues that may interfere with their usefulness.
Pros: small design that doesn’t take up 2 outlets and energy-monitoring capability that helps save electricity. Alexa and Google Assistant compatible. No hub needed and the app is free.
Cons: difficult to set up and sync to Alexa. Tends to drop connection. Subpar customer service.
Mini Smart Plug
Bottom Line: top-notch technology with a few “bugs” – choose if you want a mini smart plug and don’t mind the higher price.
Pros: features a streamlined design that doesn’t take up 2 outlets. Doesn’t require a hub. Voice-control compatible with Alexa. Free app is easy to set up and the customer support is attentive.
Cons: higher price – only get one for the price. Issues with the app crashing have been reported. Not as energy efficient as some competitors.
Remember that compatibility is one of the key things to check before purchasing a smart plug to ensure that you can use the device and all of its features. Smart plugs not only give you more control in your home but also give you the capability to be more energy efficient, and we can all benefit from that!