The Best Smart Plugs for a More Connected Home

Our favorite is the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

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Whether you're new to smart home tech or have fully embraced the lifestyle, smart plugs are a cost-effective, user-friendly way to sample the conveniences of an internet-connected home without extra electrical outlet work.

We spoke with smart home expert Marlon Buchanan, author of "The Smart Home Manual" and founder of HomeTechHacker.com, who highlighted the nearly universal usefulness of smart plugs. "Most devices in your home won't have any problem with most smart plugs. However, to be safe, I always recommend getting a smart plug that is rated to handle at least the same number of amps as the outlet you are going to plug it into. In the U.S., this means 15 amp smart plugs."

To narrow down our list of top options, we researched a broad range of options with different sizes, price points, compatibility, and features to suit a variety of homes. The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is our top overall choice for its voice assistant compatibility, which will fit most users' needs, and excellent value.

Here are our picks for the best smart plugs to make your home a little more intelligent, one outlet at a time.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Kasa Smart Plug Ultra Mini ‎EP10P2

4.7
Kasa Smart Plug Ultra Mini ‎EP10P2

Amazon

What We Like
  • Compact, minimalist design

  • Easy installation

  • Excellent value

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit

  • No energy monitoring

A smart home device should make your life easier, which means it should be easy to set up, and once installed, it should just work. That's what you get with the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, the most compact plug within the Kasa Smart brand manufactured by TP-Link. It also boasts one of the lowest prices per unit on Amazon, making it a great value, including for a pack of two or four.

To start, insert the Wi-Fi Plug Mini into your wall outlet, press the power button, and connect it to your home Wi-Fi network. Any lamp or appliance you plug into it can be controlled from anywhere through the free Kasa Smart app or voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Apple HomeKit is not supported, so iPhone, iPad, and Mac users should consider a different option.

Using the smart plug gives you several convenient functions, from setting schedules and timers to an Away mode that turns appliances on and off to make it look like you're home. You can also sync it up with other Kasa Smart devices or set up automation through If This Then That technology (IFTTT). This Kasa plug doesn't include advanced energy monitoring features, but it offers enough to save most users plenty of time and money.

Dimensions: 1.5 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT | Number of Outlets: 1

Best Outdoor: Wyze Plug Outdoor

Wyze Plug Outdoor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Weather-resistant

  • Two independent outlets

  • Energy monitoring and reporting

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit

  • Tight fit for covered outlets

Smart plugs can conveniently control things outside your house—think patio lighting, holiday decor, and water features—but a typical indoor plug won't stand a chance in the elements. You need a smart plug designed for outdoor use, usually with at least an IP44 rating of resistance to rain, wind, and snow. The Wyze Plug Outdoor goes further with an IP64 rating that indicates maximum dust protection. However, it's a bit cramped on covered outlets, and you have to plug it into an outlet with GFCI protection, which should hopefully be the case for your exterior outlets.

Despite a lower price than most competitors, the Wyze Plug Outdoor also includes several higher-end features. In addition to two outlets that you can individually control from the Wyze app or voice commands through Alexa and Google Assistant (not Apple's Siri), the plug includes an ambient light sensor so you can have it turn on or off based on how bright or dark it is. There are typical time-based schedules and a vacation mode, along with advanced energy monitoring that tracks how much power your devices are using.

Dimensions: 4.0 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT | Number of Outlets: 2

Best Power Strip: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip HS300

Amazon

What We Like
  • Six independent or grouped outlets

  • Surge protection

  • Energy monitoring and reporting

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit

  • Pricey

If you're looking for remote control of multiple outlets all in one place, smart plugs also come in power strip form. The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip has six smart outlets plus three standard USB ports for nonsmart charging. While this model is pricey, a less expensive version with three outlets and two USB ports is also available. Each outlet has its own power button and can function as an independent smart plug, supporting Alexa, Google Assistant voice commands (but no Apple HomeKit and Siri compatibility), and remote access through the Kasa Smart app.

The app is where you can set schedules and timers and monitor the energy usage from each outlet. You can even group the outlets (and other Kasa Smart gadgets) for one-tap control. Measuring more than a foot long and weighing about 1.5 pounds, the power strip is on the large side, but it leaves ample room to plug in each power cord. ETL-certified surge protection also helps guard your appliances against electrical damage.

Dimensions: 1.48 x 14.17 x 2.49 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT | Number of Outlets: 6

Best for Apple HomeKit: Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Amazon

What We Like
  • Works with HomeKit, Alexa, and Google Home

  • Easy to install and use

  • Compact size

What We Don't Like
  • No energy monitoring

  • Pricier than non-HomeKit plugs

For those using Apple's smart home platform HomeKit to connect their household devices to iPhones and iPads, unfortunately, smart plug choices are a bit limited. The Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug from Belkin is one of the more affordable options with a three-pack for better value. While it's still on the costlier side, it's a HomeKit-compatible option that works impressively well. Besides Siri and the Apple Home app, you can also control the Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands or use Wemo's free app.

You can set up schedules or use Away mode to have your lights randomly turn on and off, but this plug doesn't track or report energy usage. Though the naming is slightly confusing, Wemo's latest Wi-Fi Smart Plug is 45 percent smaller than the brand's previous Wemo Mini model. It's compact enough to use in one socket with enough space to plug a different appliance into the other.

Dimensions: 1.34 x 2.05 x 1.81 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, IFTTT | Number of Outlets: 1

What Our Experts Say

"Wemo smart plugs have been around a little longer than most smart plugs and are regarded as high-quality smart plugs by most experts. This particular smart plug hits the mark when it comes to reliability, size, and compatibility with the major ecosystems."—Marlon Buchanan, HomeTechHacker.com

Best for Alexa: Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon

What We Like
  • Smooth integration with Alexa devices

  • Very simple installation

  • Occasionally heavily discounted

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit, Google Home, or IFTTT

  • No energy monitoring

Most smart plugs are compatible with Amazon's popular Alexa virtual assistant, but the company's own Amazon Smart Plug makes the connection extra seamless. It doesn't require additional software or a hub beyond the Alexa app. After a quick syncing process, you can control the plug with voice commands via an Amazon Echo smart speaker or any other Alexa-enabled device, Amazon-made or otherwise. The smart plug's Alexa-centric nature means less compatibility with everything else. It doesn't work with Google Home, Apple HomeKit, or IFTTT automation.

In terms of functionality, the Amazon Smart Plug doesn't track power consumption, but it handles most core smart plug duties, including creating on/off routines based on the time of day or your phone's location. It can be pricey for its basic feature set, but Amazon has occasionally offered it to customers at a deeply discounted price—a deal that's hard to pass up.

Dimensions: 1.5 x 3.2 x 2.2 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa | Number of Outlets: 1

Best for Google Home: Wyze Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Wyze Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Amazon

What We Like
  • Works with Google Home and Alexa

  • Easy installation

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit

  • No energy monitoring

The growing lineup of Google Home smart devices currently doesn't include its own smart plug, but most smart plugs on the market are compatible with the platform. The Wyze Plug is one option that's effective, easy to set up, and affordable. It's often found in a pack of two, making it a nice way to start linking up your home appliances. Each plug is compact enough to fit two on a single outlet, or you can spread them out across a room or your house and group them with the Wyze app.

With the app, you can turn your Wyze Plugs on or off from anywhere with an internet connection, set custom schedules, or make it look like you're home in vacation mode. Though these plugs lack energy monitoring, with some extra work, you can sync them up with other smart devices like motion sensors or home security cameras, whether it's a Wyze Cam, Google Nest Cam, or another brand. Voice commands are supported through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa but not Siri.

Dimensions: 1.5 x 2.7 x 2.0 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT | Number of Outlets: 1

Best With Energy Monitoring: Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim with Energy Monitoring

Kasa Smart Plug Mini with Energy Monitoring

Amazon

What We Like
  • Energy monitoring and reporting

  • Easy installation

  • Good value for the features

What We Don't Like
  • No Apple HomeKit

Smart plugs don't offer very complicated capabilities compared to other smart home devices like doorbell cameras or smart thermostats. One of the more advanced features they might include is tracking and monitoring energy usage. The TP-Link offers a Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim that provides energy monitoring for a lower price than many other plugs without it.

The way it works is that the smart plug records the power consumption of whatever device you plug into it. You can view that energy data in the Kasa Smart app in real-time or review historic stats from the past week or month. Knowing which devices use the most power or draw a phantom energy load at which times can help you adjust your usage or on/off schedules accordingly, saving you money in the long run. And, thanks to the smart plug's remote access and voice controls (through Alexa and Google Assistant, but not Siri), making those adjustments is easy.

Dimensions: 1.49 x 2.61 x 1.57 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT | Number of Outlets: 1

Best Dual Outlet: ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2

ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2

Amazon

What We Like
  • Two independent outlets

  • Works with Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit

  • Energy monitoring and reporting

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky design

  • No IFTTT

  • Pricey

If you want more than one smart plug at an outlet without springing for an entire power strip, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 features a distinct design that includes two smart outlets and one always-on USB port. Its large slab-like design will cover both outlets on a receptacle and won't appeal to everyone, but it sports a fairly slim profile and a unified look for your power source.

While the Smart Outlet 2 is pricey, you can check the power consumption of each outlet in real-time using advanced energy monitoring features. The two outlets can be controlled independently and offer the rare versatility of supporting all three mainstream platforms: Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. You can also adjust the brightness of the blue LED indicator light on each outlet. It's a small but thoughtful touch you don't see on other smart plugs.

Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.0 x 1.2 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home | Number of Outlets: 2

Best Dimmer: Lutron Caseta Smart Home Plug-in Lamp Dimmer Switch

Lutron Caseta Smart Home Plug-in Lamp Dimmer Switch

Amazon

What We Like
  • Remote light dimming

  • Relatively simple setup

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

What We Don't Like
  • Bridge required for smart features

  • Only dims lamps together

  • Pricey

Adding dimming capabilities to your home's lights typically involves installing a dimmer switch into your wall, but the Caseta Wireless Plug-in Lamp Dimmer from Lutron is a unique product that lets you skip those extra steps. Simply plug the dimmer into an outlet and then plug up to two lamps into the dimmer. You can control and dim both lights (together, not independently) using the buttons on the dimmer itself or with a Pico remote control available separately or in certain bundles. It works for incandescent or halogen light bulbs up to 300 watts or dimmable LED or CFL bulbs up to 100 watts.

The big catch is that to use the smart features—i.e., controlling the dimmer with a mobile app or voice commands via Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri—a hub like the Lutron Caseta Smart Bridge is required. Because of that requirement, the Caseta Wireless Plug-in Lamp Dimmer makes the most sense if you're using a smart hub to connect to multiple dimmers or other smart devices.

Dimensions: 3.1 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches | Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home | Number of Outlets: 2

Final Verdict

The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini handles all the basic functions most people need from a smart plug and does so at a low price, making it our top choice. For broader compatibility (including Apple HomeKit) and advanced energy monitoring features, the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 offers extra versatility and a larger, dual-outlet design at a higher cost.

What to Look For in a Smart Plug

Size

A smart plug's dimensions are important since you need it to work in the space around the electrical outlet where you're plugging it in. A plug that's too big may cover up the other outlet in a receptacle and get in the way of any other devices you might want to plug in there. A thick plug may also cause your power cord to stick out too far if you want to tuck it behind a piece of furniture. A single-outlet smart plug is typically compact and leaves enough space for a second outlet, but it may be worth measuring to see exactly how much room you need.

Compatibility

In addition to controlling a smart plug from the brand's mobile app, a significant advantage of a smart plug is connecting it to other platforms you already use, but be aware of limitations. "Make sure the smart plug you get is compatible with your ecosystem of choice, usually Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa," says Buchanan. "If you use a smart home hub, make sure the device you purchase will work with it as well."

Most smart plugs are compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, but it's less common to find options that support Apple's HomeKit and Siri voice assistant. You'll often have to pay a premium for compatibility with HomeKit (or all three). Many smart plugs also support IFTTT, which lets you find or create applets that automate how various devices and services interact with each other. For example, if you have a space heater plugged into your smart plug, you can have it turn on when your smart thermostat dips below a specific temperature.

Additional Features

The average smart plug doesn't require a lot of complicated features to be effective—turning it on and off when you want it to is plenty useful. Some smart plugs, though, are designed with other specific functions in mind, like weather resistance for outdoor use or the ability to track power usage. 

"If you are interested in knowing how much energy the devices plugged into your smart plug are using, get a smart plug with energy monitoring," Buchanan says. "Many of them have apps that will tell you the energy usage over time. You can also buy smart power strips that have surge protection and allow you to control each outlet individually."

FAQ
  • What is a smart plug?

    A smart plug is a device that plugs into your wall outlet and can have one or more other devices or appliances plugged into it. It can then essentially turn the power going to that other device on or off—it has no further control of the device that's plugged into it.

    The "smart" aspect comes in because the smart plug connects to your home Wi-Fi network, opening up a world of possibilities simply related to turning the plug on or off. You can control it with voice commands or from an app on your phone even when you're not home. You can set it to a daily schedule or sync it with other smart home devices to activate under certain conditions.

  • When should you use a smart plug over a regular plug?

    Smart plugs work well for things you'd typically have to manually plug and unplug from the wall to turn on and off. They can help with certain electronics like televisions or printers that may draw energy even when on standby by cutting off power to these devices when they're not needed. Smart plugs can also add timers, scheduling, and other features to devices that would benefit from automation. 

    "Unlike standard plugs, smart plugs allow homeowners to control the power to devices from anywhere in the world," says Buchanan. "With this control, homeowners can automate holiday lights, lamps, portable heaters, electric blankets, and fans. They can remotely turn on or schedule their coffee makers."

  • Do smart plugs use more energy?

    A smart plug does use additional energy, but not a significant amount—typically about 1 watt of power in standby mode, or 8.76 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy over a year. (In comparison, the average U.S. residence consumes 10,000 kWh per year.)

    Ideally, using a smart plug would reduce power consumption from plugged-in devices since smart plugs make it easier to turn off appliances that would usually stay running or draw vampire power throughout the day. That means a net saving on energy, depending on the type of appliance and how much you're reducing its power consumption.

    "Many electronic devices are energy vampires, which means they use energy even when they aren't being used," warns Buchanan. "The only way to stop these devices from using energy is to unplug them or, using a smart plug, cut the power to them. Common vampire devices include toaster ovens, coffee makers, televisions, printers, and microwaves. Plugging vampire devices into a smart plug will save you energy (and money) if you schedule the power to these devices to be off when you are not likely to use them."

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Anton Galang, a freelance writer and product tester with a focus on smart home products and other consumer technology. He uses a number of smart home devices on a daily basis in his own house, including an Amazon Smart Plug, which has made it much easier to control a hard-to-reach primary light source in his family's living room. 

For expert insight on smart plugs, Anton consulted with Marlon Buchanan, an IT director, author of "The Smart Home Manual," and founder of HomeTechHacker.com, a website with free home technology resources. Anton further researched product listings, technical specs, and dozens of third-party and customer reviews to determine which products might suit a variety of purposes. These considerations included the manufacturer, design, compatibility, features, and pricing trends. He also did additional testing on voice commands and usability of the Amazon Alexa and Google Home apps.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Frequently Asked Questions. U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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