Plenty of products for our homes have gotten smart makeovers in recent years. But what about the ones that haven't? That's where smart plugs come in. These nifty gadgets connect your regular old coffee maker, lamp, fan or nearly anything else to your smart home for voice control and automation.
Picking the right smart plug means taking a look at your needs, your home and the platform you use to control it all. We've tested dozens of smart plugs from companies large and small and these are our best bets for bringing the rest of your home online.
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TP-Link's Kasa line of smart home products includes this space-saving smart plug. It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and the Kasa app offers plenty of detailed options for customizing scheduling, away modes and timers.
What you won't get? Energy consumption data, a USB port or HomeKit compatibility. Still, if you're interested in scheduling and voice commands, TP-Link's $30 smart plug is a great choice.
Read our full review of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini.
At just $18, this smart plug is the most affordable on our list. It's also the smallest. Pair that with energy monitoring and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smarts, and you've got a great option for your smart home.
The SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug won't work with HomeKit and there's no extra USB charging port. The SmartThings app doesn't offer as many customization options and scheduling capabilities as TP-Link's Kasa smart plug above, but SmartThings did impress us by creating an easy to set up smart plug that doesn't need a SmartThings hub.
This smart plug comes with an easy-to-use app, monitors your energy consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh), and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice commands.
The plug's design blocks the outlets above or below it, and it isn't compatible with Apple HomeKit. Still, the TP-Link's Kasa app is great, and you'll get a clear picture of how much energy your connected appliance is using.
Unlike some smart plug manufacturers, TP-Link has a host of other Kasa smart home products including light bulbs, cameras and even a power strip, making it easy to expand your smart home in one app if you like this plug.
Read our full review of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring.
At $30, the WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug is affordable and comes with native Google Assistant, Alexa and yes, HomeKit compatibility.
The WeMo app isn't our favorite, and you won't get energy monitoring with this plug. Those shortfalls aside, this space-saving design and solid HomeKit compatibility make it easy to recommend to users in Apple's ecosystem.
Read our full review of the WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug.
The $50 iDevices Outdoor Switch is a great way to automate outdoor lights, fans, lamps or other patio electronics. It works with Google Assistant, Alexa and HomeKit and includes energy tracking.
While you will get two outlets, you can't control them individually. If that's a must-have for you, we'd recommend checking out the iClever Smart Plug.
Read our full review of the iDevices Outdoor Switch.
Other models we tested
There are dozens of smart plugs out there from companies large and small, and while we haven't tested every single one, we've seen quite a few come through the CNET Smart Home. Here's a quick look at other notable options.
- Alexa. While setup is easy, it isn't as feature-rich as other models. : Amazon's flagship smart plug costs $25 and only works with
- : This $40 outdoor smart plug works with all three voice assistants, but you'll only get one outlet.
- : This $60 behemoth does it all—energy monitoring, individually controlled outlets, a USB port and LED status lighting. However, the price and unattractive, oversized design are enough to keep me from recommending it.
- HomeKit, but blocks adjacent outlets. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integrations aren't as smooth as we'd like to see. : This $32 smart plug works well with
- Apple smart homes, but it didn't perform as well in our testing. : This HomeKit-centered smart plug is another solid choice for
Things to remember
Choosing the best smart plug for you begins with voice assistant compatibility. Choose a plug that works with whichever voice assistant you're using. You can usually find this information on the product box, website or in your voice assistant's mobile app.
Next, consider where your plug will be placed and whether blocking other adjacent outlets is a concern. If so, be sure to pick a plug that isn't too large. Most models described as "mini" will be space-saving.
Extra features like energy monitoring and USB charging can add even more control and convenience. No matter which smart plug you choose, bringing everyday products online with a plug is one of the simplest ways to automate and smarten your home.