The Best Smart Plugs of 2018

By Ben Keough

Smart home tech is changing the way we live, impacting everything from home security to air quality and power usage. Many new appliances are "smart" by default, but older devices in your home probably can't be controlled with your phone. That's where smart plugs (or smart outlets) like our favorite, the iDevices Switch (available at Amazon for $24.99), come in.

These cheap, compact devices plug into traditional wall sockets, upgrading them with remote control, scheduling, and power usage monitoring via smartphone apps. And if you’re already on the smart home bandwagon, you can even integrate them into your Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Nest–driven ecosystem.

We put 12 of the best smart plugs available today through a gauntlet of rigorous tests to find out which is the best of the best, and which should stay off your radar.

Here are the best smart plugs, in order:

  1. iDevices Switch
  2. Eufy Smart Plug Mini
  3. Etekcity Voltson Wi-Fi Smart Plug Mini
  4. Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini by TP-Link
  5. Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug w/ Energy Monitoring by TP-Link
  6. iHome Control iSP8
  7. iHome Control iSP6
  8. Geeni Switch + Charge Smart Wi-Fi Plug
  9. Geeni Spot Smart Wi-Fi Plug
  10. Belkin Wemo Insight Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring
  11. Elgato Eve Energy
  12. Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated August 27, 2018

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iDevices Switch best overall
Credit: Reviewed.com / Ben Keough

iDevices Switch

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  • Best of Year 2017

iDevices Switch

Best Overall

If you’re looking for a smart plug that hits all the right notes and never puts a foot wrong, the iDevices Switch is still the way to go. On top of Android and iOS compatibility, the Switch offers in-depth energy monitoring and seamless integration with the two most popular smart home ecosystems: Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.

Looks aren’t everything, but the iDevices Switch is easily the most attractive smart plug we tested. Along with its sleek, minimalist casing, it offers a unique “night light” LED strip that can be set to any color of the rainbow. Mercifully, the Switch only occupies a single outlet on your wall panel, and its own outlet is positioned on the right-hand side—a real advantage if you want to place it snugly behind a couch or bookcase. It could also be a disadvantage if you want to plug something in on the left side, but for most users the side placement will be a plus rather than a minus.

The slickly designed iDevices app is more attractive than most, and very easy to use. We never lost connection to the plug during our testing period, and even when we unplugged it and moved it to another room, the Switch was always quick to regain a WiFi connection. When we were out of the house, the remote control function made it easy to adjust schedules or turn the switch on and off. Energy monitoring functionality is robustly detailed, with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly cost and usage estimates in addition to live power draw info.

Eufy Smart Plug Mini Best Value
Credit: Reviewed / Ben Keough

Eufy Smart Plug Mini

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  • Editors' Choice

Eufy Smart Plug Mini

Best Value

You might not be familiar with Eufy yet, but don’t let that scare you off. The up and coming home automation company is actually a sub-brand of well-known electronics maker Anker. You know, the guys who make third-party iPhone cables, USB battery packs, and Bluetooth speakers.

Eufy’s Smart Plug Mini is an extremely affordable, pint-sized unit that will interface with Alexa and Google Assistant. In our testing it was quick and reliable, and its Wi-Fi connection showed great range. When we disconnected and moved it across the house, it reconnected quickly. Its looks aren’t anything special—it’s a white bar with gently rounded corners and a tiny blue status LED—but we liked how compact it is. No matter where you place it, it won’t block an adjacent socket.

The plug tracks energy usage and will even help estimate how much the device you’ve got plugged in will add to your electricity bill, but it doesn’t provide real-time monitoring, like some of the fancier models we tested. At $20, which some retailers like Amazon sell it for, there’s no denying that this plug is a phenomenal value.

Who Am I?

I'm Ben Keough, and I've been testing and writing about consumer tech for more than a decade. I previously served as Reviewed's Editor in Chief of News and Features, where I covered everything from new camera announcements to cutting-edge smart home tech. I wrote the original version of this guide back in 2016, and now I'm updating it in 2018.

How We Tested

Since we originally published this guide in 2016, many new smart plugs have come on the market. Browse the smart home section at Amazon and you’ll find a cornucopia of plugs from no-name brands, many of which feature identical specs and near-identical looks, and most originating in China.

To update this guide, we started by checking in on the models we tested last time. We scrapped the ones that are no longer available and called in for testing both our original picks and models we had issues with, to see if they’ve improved in the interim. We then searched for new plugs with positive user and professional reviews, cross-checked their FakeSpot ratings, and bought the most promising of them for testing.

Smart Plug Testing
Credit: Reviewed / Ben Keough
Our test subjects came in all shapes and sizes.

We set up each plug using both Android and iOS, taking note of any difficulties in the installation process. Once up and running, we put the plugs through their paces, testing their apps, smart home integrations, reliability, range, and responsiveness. Where available, we checked to see if their energy consumption results were in line with the pack. We also noted any differences between features on Android and iOS, since we think all users should enjoy the same perks. We also judged each plug on its looks and ergonomics since, let’s face it, you’re probably going to be looking at and interacting with these things for a long time to come.


Other Smart Plugs We Tested

Etekcity Voltson Mini Smart Wi-Fi Plug

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Etekcity Voltson Mini Smart Wi-Fi Plug

Like Anker (and Eufy), Etekcity makes a variety of consumer electronics gadgets that are generally well-loved by users. Their Voltson Wi-Fi Smart Plug Mini is no exception, earning a 3.9 out of 5 average from nearly 1,500 Amazon reviewers. The plug has also been lauded by publications including New York Magazine's "The Strategist,", so we were eager to try it out.

What we found is a very reliable, well-designed plug with an impressive array of features at a more than reasonable price point. For just a touch more than you'd pay for the Eufy Mini, you get all the same features, plus real-time energy monitoring and the clever Away mode designed to make intruders think you're home when you're not. You can also create schedules and set timers, which is great if, say, you want your slow cooker to start working on that pot roast a few hours before you get home from work.

However, the Etekcity isn't perfect. While sitting idle, the real-time monitoring showed a power draw of 125 volts and 2 watts, which doesn't seem right. And while the circular design is cute and seems like it would save space, the plug actually blocks the second socket on a wall panel if you put it in the top position. Other plugs don't, making them more convenient.

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

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  • Editors' Choice

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini by TP-Link is a lot more elegant than its cumbersome name would suggest. This tiny plug—the smallest bar-style outlet we tested—won’t block the second outlet on a wall panel, no matter where you plug it in. It enjoys easy setup on iOS and Android, a great mobile app, and integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. And all of that comes at a very reasonable price.

Installation was dead simple on our Android and iOS devices via the intuitive Kasa app, which holds your hand through the entire process. During our long-term testing, the Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini never lost its connection to our WiFi network, and the handy remote control feature let us easily control the plug over a cellular connection when we were away from home. For the security-conscious, there’s an away mode similar to the one found in the Etekcity Voltson.

The only real downside to this plug is its lack of energy monitoring. The similarly priced iDevices Switch offers it, so if you need to know how much power connected devices are using, that plug would be a better choice.

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring

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TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring

Though it’s not the smallest plug we tested, nor the most feature-packed, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring offers a great selection of features at a reasonable price. Its energy monitoring functionality, responsiveness, reliability, Alexa integration, and well-designed app made it one of our favorites overall.

In most respects, this plug is every bit as solid a performer as its Mini stablemate: we had no issues with connectivity during the testing period, and it was very responsive to on/off commands from both iOS and Android devices, along with our Amazon Echo. Unlike the cheaper Mini, it’s also capable of accurately monitoring energy usage in real-time and over the course of days, weeks, and months.

Still, this plug isn’t without its quirks. Most notably, it will block the top socket if you plug it into the bottom one, and even when plugged into the top socket it might get in the way of larger plugs you try to cram below it. Your typical two-pronger will probably fit fine, but forget about trying to squeeze in a power brick alongside this thing.

iHome iSP8

Ihome isp8

iHome iSP8

The iHome iSP8 is a seriously feature-packed smart plug. Not only is it one of the few Apple HomeKit–compatible outlets that also works with Android, but it also supports a plethora of other platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Wink. You get robust, real-time energy monitoring, and even an included slimline remote control, for when you don’t want to fumble with your phone.

This plug works well. It’s responsive, reliable, and has good ergonomics—it’s the thinnest of all the plugs we tested, and its status lights are on the side, so they won’t light up your room when you’re trying to sleep.

So what’s not to like? For one thing, the price is high. You can get an iDevices Switch for half the cost and enjoy all of the same features, plus a sexier design. For another, the iHome Control app isn’t as easy to use as iDevices’ more slickly designed software. We also didn’t like the way it segregated some features between platforms; real-time energy monitoring, for instance, is only available on iOS, leaving Android users feeling like second-class citizens.

iHome iSP6

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iHome iSP6

This model has all the same pros and cons as the iSP8, but it doesn’t provide energy usage tracking and or come with a remote control. (You can purchase one separately.) In exchange for passing on those two features, you get a plug that’s almost half as expensive, but we still prefer the similarly priced iDevices Switch.

Geeni Switch + Charge Smart Wi-Fi Plug

Geeni

Geeni Switch + Charge Smart Wi-Fi Plug

The Geeni Switch + Charge is every bit as easy to use as our top picks, like the iDevices Switch and Eufy Smart Plug Mini. It's simple to set up, extremely responsive to commands from the Geeni app on iOS and Android, and has great Wi-Fi range. Like those plugs, it integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, though it won't hook up with SmartThings or Nest, like some more advanced models.

This plug has one unique feature: a pair of standard USB ports, so you can easily charge your mobile devices. However, it's worth noting that these ports are always on—the on/off setting for the plug itself doesn't affect them. Despite tossing in the USB ports, the bar-style design of the Switch + Charge is thin enough that it doesn't block a second outlet in either position.

The Switch + Charge's biggest failing is that it doesn't offer any kind of energy monitoring. Given the low cost, that's not necessarily a deal-breaker, but both the Eufy and Etekcity models manage it with a slightly lower price point. Geeni does offer a smart plug with energy monitoring—the Geeni Energi—but it costs almost twice as much.

Geeni Spot Smart Wi-Fi Plug

Geeni spot smart wi fi plug

Where To Buy

$19.24 Amazon Buy

Geeni Spot Smart Wi-Fi Plug

Ok, so that Geeni Switch + Charge we just described? Imagine the same thing, but circular and without the two USB ports. Boom! You've got the Geeni Spot. A little cheaper, same performance, more compact design, but still no energy monitoring.

Belkin Wemo Insight

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Belkin Wemo Insight

On paper, the Belkin Wemo Insight ought to be a strong contender for the best smart plug on the market. Not only does it offer power monitoring and a huge array of smart home integrations (including Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, SmartThings, and IFTTT), but it has a sleek design and endorsements from respectable publications.

Unfortunately, setup was a notable pain point on Android, and the Wemo app was a tedious chore to use—especially compared to the slickly designed apps from some rivals. Like the Elgato Eve Energy and D-Link plugs below, the Wemo Insight also has a rounded design that blocks both wall outlets if you don’t plug it into the right one. Functionality was just fine in general, and we couldn’t fault the plug’s reliability, but the Wemo app needs work.

Editor's Note: In May, security researchers identified a security flaw that could allow hackers to gain remote access to the WeMo smart plug. It's unclear what the ramifications are or if a patch is on the way, but when we reached out to Belkin for more information, they responded with the following statementm released August 21:

“Wemo is aware of this vulnerability from Doug McKee AKA 'fulmetalpackets' and researchers at the McAfee Labs Advanced Threat Research. We have been working together to address the exploit and plan to release firmware in the coming month."

Elgato Eve Energy

Elgato eve energy

Elgato Eve Energy

The Elgato Eve Energy is a cute little plug, with gently rounded corners and a glowing LED button on the front. Unlike the bar-style smart plugs we tested, it blocks your second wall outlet if you position it incorrectly—make sure to plug it into the bottom socket to avoid a conflict.

Like some other HomeKit plugs we tested, it’s iOS-exclusive, so Android users need not apply. The Elgato app is well-designed (with unusually in-depth power monitoring stats), but not as user-friendly as iDevices’. The plug itself is responsive and reliable, but it’s quite expensive compared to most rivals, and just doesn’t have enough to stand out in a very competitive market.

Belkin Wemo Mini

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Belkin Wemo Mini

The WeMo Mini is exactly what you'd expect from the name: a smaller version of the WeMo Insight, without the Insight’s power monitoring functionality. On the plus side, it’s a well-made device, and very skinny so that you shouldn’t have any issues with it blocking a second plug. It also has the lowest MSRP of all the plugs we tested. But on the downside, it has all of the same disadvantages as the Insight and fewer features. We’d pass, unless the WeMo app somehow tickles your fancy.

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