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Best smart plug 2022: Putting the app in appliances

Smart plugs are an easy and cost-effective way to modernize your living space. Here are some of the best options to consider for your home.

Designing a smart home doesn't have to cost a fortune. With smart plugs, you can control just about any appliance with a few taps on your smartphones (or even with your voice). 

These affordable, internet-connected devices are easy to install and are one of the fastest ways to bring modern technology and automation into your home. Plus, smart plugs can help you monitor your energy usage and save money on your power bills.

Below, we've created a list of six of today's best smart plugs, including options that integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. Keep reading to explore our top picks and figure out which one is right for your soon-to-be smart home.

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip

Maximum power with six outlets and three USB ports

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Amazon

Unlike the other products on this list (single-outlet smart plugs), the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip has six independently controlled outlets. You can set individual schedules for each outlet or group them together -- all through the Kasa app or a compatible voice assistant (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant).

This smart power strip has built-in surge protection to keep your electronics safe from power surges. It also includes energy monitoring, which lets you understand your power usage habits, shut off appliances when you don't need them, and save money on your power bills. As an extra bonus, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip has three USB ports that can be used for charging smartphones, tablets, and similar devices.

This six-outlet smart plug is pricier than the others on our list. However, it presents good value if you can make use of the multiple outlets and USB ports (perhaps in a home office or with a gaming system).


Pros:

  • Six independently controlled outlets and three USB ports

  • Includes surge protection

Cons:

  • More expensive than other smart plugs

  • It doesn't integrate with Apple HomeKit


Wyze Smart Plug

Budget-friendly option from a well-known tech brand

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Amazon

With an impressive range of features and a compact design that fits nicely into most outlets, the Wyze Smart Plug was an easy choice for our list of best smart plugs. It works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to control devices with just your smartphone or voice. 

With the Wyze app, you can set up Custom Scheduling rules to turn appliances on or off at a certain time each day (for example, you can schedule your coffee pot to turn on at 7 am during the workweek). The app also allows you to turn off smart plugs remotely, helping you reduce energy usage and keep your home safe.

Overall, the Wyze Smart Plug offers excellent value for the money -- particularly if you have other Wyze smart home products. 


Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • It doesn't integrate with Apple HomeKit

  • It only includes one outlet


TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

Compact and affordable with a feature-packed app

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Best Buy

Despite being the smallest smart plug in the Kasa Smart range, this device packs a punch. Its compact rectangular design doesn't take up too much valuable outlet space, but it provides all of the important features that you'd expect from a higher-end smart plug, including voice control, automated scheduling, and app connectivity. 

Once connected to your home wireless network, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini can be paired with Alexa, Google Assistant, and other Kasa Smart devices. You can then create on/off schedules for your appliances, set up timers, and turn your smart plugs on and off through the Kasa app. It also includes an "Away Mode" setting to appear like someone is home while you're at work, on vacation, or running errands.

The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini delivers excellent value for the money. Or, if you need more than one smart plug, you can pick up a two-pack or four-pack.


Pros:

  • Budget-friendly

  • Pairs with other Kasa Smart devices to control multiple devices simultaneously

Cons:

  • No Apple HomeKit compatibility

  • Energy monitoring features aren't as robust as competitors


Amazon Smart Plug

Basic smart plug option for Amazon Alexa users

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Amazon

If you're a dedicated user of Amazon Alexa products, the Amazon Smart Plug could be a great choice for your household. It's designed to work exclusively with Alexa, allowing you to use the Alexa app or smart speakers to control it.

With this smart plug, you can turn appliances on and off -- either instantly or set to a schedule. However, you can also create more complicated Alexa routines, which perform multiple steps with a single command. For example, you could set up a bedtime routine to switch off your lights and turn on your fan when you say, "Alexa, time for bed."


Pros:

  • Easy to install and manage

  • Allows you to orchestrate Alexa routines

Cons:

  • Limited functionality compared to other smart plugs

  • Only works with Amazon Alexa


Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Highly rated and compatible with all voice assistants

screenshot-2021-12-23-184745-2.png
Amazon

The Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug is one of the most affordable Apple HomeKit-compatible smart plugs on the market. (It also works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.) On top of that, the Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug is sleek and compact, with a space-saving design that won't take over your entire outlet.

You can use this device to set timers and activate lights, fans, or appliances in your home, either through the Wemo app or a voice assistant. The Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug also comes with "Away Mode," which automatically turns lights on and off at randomized intervals for extra protection when you're out of the house.

It's hard to beat the value that the Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug delivers -- especially if you're an Apple HomeKit user. Like other smart plugs on our list, this Wemo product is available as a single device or in a multi-pack.


Pros:

  • Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri

  • Great price point

Cons:

  • It doesn't include energy monitoring tools

  • Cheaper options are available if you're looking for Alexa or Google compatibility


How did we choose these products?

There are countless smart plugs available these days, so we took a diligent approach to find the best ones on the market. We looked at several criteria, including the product's design, features, and value for the money -- just to name a few.

As part of our review process, we read extensive industry coverage of these products and brands. We also dove into consumer reviews of each product and researched customers' experiences with each supplier.

Which is the right one for you?

Many of these smart plugs share similar features, so choosing the right one comes down to a few differentiating factors.

If you're looking for a plug that integrates with Apple HomeKit, then the Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Plug is the best fit on this list. It can respond to voice commands from your iPhone, Apple Watch, HomePod, or any other Siri-enabled device. Plus, it's compact and simple to set up.

You'll have more options if you use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant or if you don't care about using a voice assistant with your smart plug. In these cases, you'll need to decide which specific features are most important to you.

For example, if you're concerned about budget, opt for a wallet-friendly pick like the Wyze Smart Plug or the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini. Or, if you'd rather have multiple outlets in a single smart plug, check out the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip.

Smart plug FAQ

What is a smart plug?

When plugged into an electrical socket in your home, smart plugs allow you to control the outlet without touching it -- either wirelessly or with your voice. Exact functionality varies by device, but in general, you can use a smartphone app or a voice assistant (like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) to switch lights on and off, activate fans and heaters, or control any other appliance that's plugged into the device.

What should I look for in a smart plug?

The right smart plug for you will depend on your specific budget and preferences. Regardless, there are a few standard features that you should look for in any smart plug that you buy.

First, you'll want to ensure that your smart plug has an app that allows you to control the appliances that are plugged into it. And if you want to use a particular voice assistant with it, you should be sure that your chosen smart plug is compatible with your preferred voice assistant (whether that's Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri).

Outside of that standard functionality, you can then decide which extra features you want from your smart plug -- whether that's multiple outlets, USB charging, or energy monitoring.

How do I set up a smart plug?

Before setting up a smart plug, you'll need a working wireless network (typically a 2.4GHz connection). The next step is to download your smart plug's mobile app (for example, the Wyze app) and connect your device to Wi-Fi. 

Once you've enabled internet access, you can connect your smart plug with your smart speaker (like an Amazon Echo) or other smart home devices. In some cases, your smart speaker app will automatically detect the smart plug once it's connected to your Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you should consult your smart plug manual for specific instructions.

After this initial set-up process, you can connect your smart plug to a wall socket and plug an appliance into it. From there, you'll launch the smart plug app, from which you should be able to view and control the appliance.

Are there alternatives worth considering?

For the purposes of this list, we focused on indoor smart plugs. However, there are also a wide variety of outdoor smart plugs that you can use for things like Christmas lights, smart doorbells, security cameras, and more. 

Here are three of our recommendations for outdoor smart plugs:

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