Smart home tech is changing the way we live—our ACs are controlled by smart thermostats, our light fixtures are stocked with smart bulbs, and smart water leak detectors safeguard us from water damage. 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 $40.42), 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 19 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.
These are the best smart plugs we tested ranked, in order:
Currant Smart Outlet
Eufy Smart Plug Mini
Merkury Innovations Smart Plug
Teckin Mini Smart Socket
Etekcity Voltson WiFi Smart Plug Mini
Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini by TP-Link
Kasa Smart WiFi Plug w/ Energy Monitoring by TP-Link
Amazon Smart Plug
Leviton Smart WiFi Mini Plug-In Outlet
iHome Control iSP8
iHome Control iSP6
Geeni Switch + Charge Smart WiFi Plug
Geeni Spot Smart WiFi Plug
Belkin Wemo Insight Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring
Elgato Eve Energy
Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug
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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.
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. But as it's one of the most affordable smart plugs we tested, there’s no denying that this plug is a phenomenal value.
I'm Monica Beyer and I've been writing about tech for over a decade. I'm an Alexa user and lived with (and extensively used) these smart plugs for a couple of months to get a full feel for how they'd be used in a typical smart home—and how well they worked.
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 (for a third time), 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. Over these three rounds of testing, we've tested 25 plugs.
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
Currant WiFi Smart Outlet
This snazzy little gadget checks a lot of boxes on our wish list, including two side-facing outlets that can be independently operated. It's attractive, and also has a really nifty orientation feature—you can switch the plate on the back so it can be plugged into your wall facing either right or left, which is incredibly handy.
Also, if plugged into the bottom outlet on your wall, it doesn't cover the top one, leaving it free to use. Each outlet has an indicator light, which only fires up if that particular one is on. When not in use, it does not emit light.
The app easily recognized the plug upon installation, and with a few taps, it was connected. A few more taps and it joined both Google Assistant and Alexa. There were no quirks to be found in its connectivity, as it responded just as effortlessly to the app as it did to the voice assistants.
The Currant outlet also offers energy monitoring via its app, which is nice if you're keeping track of energy costs and looking to see where you can cut down on usage in your home.
The iClever Mini is a simple smart plug that was very easy to set up. The manual that came with the gadget is a little clunky, but that didn't make setup any more difficult, as it was easy to get going with the Smart Life app. It also integrated easily with both Google Home and Alexa.
It features one front-facing outlet with an indicator light. Its only real flaw is that the indicator light is pretty bright, so it'd probably not be a good choice in the bedroom if you like sleeping in complete darkness. Otherwise, this is an easy-to-use smart plug that gets the job done.
This is a very straightforward smart plug from Merkury Innovations—with an inexpensive price tag. It has a front-facing plug and an indicator light on the side, but the good news is that the light is really unobtrusive—it's a faint blue, although it does turn brighter when the plug is turned on.
The manual is accurate and easy to follow, and setup was a breeze with the Geeni app. It also integrated easily with both Alexa and Google, and there were no hiccups in connection or operation.
The plug doesn't include energy monitoring. For an easy-to-setup smart plug, though, this is a good choice—and it won't break the bank.
Teckin's smart socket is another smart plug that uses the Smart Life app. It’s similar in appearance to several others we tested, with rounded edges and a front-facing outlet. If the plug will reside behind another piece of furniture, you may prefer one with an outlet that faces to the side so your cord will stick out parallel to the wall. But this one would probably work for most other spots in the house.
The Mini Smart Socket was effortless to set up and it connected smoothly with both Alexa and Google Assistant. It has a small red light that pops up when in use, but it's not overly bright or annoying.
Like Anker (and Eufy), Etekcity makes a variety of consumer electronics gadgets that are generally well-loved by users. Their Voltson WiFi Smart Plug Mini is no exception,earning a 3.9 out of 5 average from over 1,700 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.
We loved the sleek, round design of the Gosund Mini smart plug. This is yet another smart plug that uses the Smart Life app, so setup was similar to many others on this list. However, it did score lower than others for taking longer to reconnect once it was removed from the wall and then plugged back in.
Although the round shape gives this smart plug extra points, and it’s small enough that you can fit a standard plug in the outlet’s second receptacle, it does have a disadvantage—there isn't any way you can use two Gosund Minis in the same wall outlet. There just isn't enough room, so you'd be better off getting one that's a bit more narrow if you need to use more than one at the same outlet (or opt for a smart plug like the Currant, which has two outlets built in).
The Kasa Smart WiFi 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 this 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.
Though it’s not the smallest plug we tested, nor the most feature-packed, the Kasa Smart WiFi Plug with Energy Monitoring offers a great selection of features at a reasonable price. Its energy monitoring functionality, responsiveness, reliability, Alexa integration, and the 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.
Amazon has its own smart plug that works exclusively with Alexa—in other words, it will not work with Google Assistant or any other smart ecosystem. We had a difficult time getting it going, even though it doesn't need a third-party app—Alexa just didn't recognize the plug the first time and we had to try again.
Once it connected, though, it was flawless. It integrated painlessly with Alexa, had no problems connecting and disconnecting, and it was simple to control with both the Alexa app and via voice controls with an Echo Dot.
Aside from the initial setup issues, this smart plug worked great. Of course, those who don't use Alexa-enabled devices should look elsewhere.
Leviton has its own app, but when we downloaded it and tried to set this plug up, it was far more difficult than we expected. The initial setup didn't work at all, and instead of simply trying again, we had to factory reset the device. At that point, we accidentally exited out of the screen that had the factory reset directions. This meant we had to guess, as instructions couldn't be found anywhere—even online.
Once we got it going, the problems didn't exactly end there. One issue was that our test lamp's plug didn't slide into the outlet easily, so we felt like we had to force it a bit. Also, adding the plug to Google Home wasn't as straightforward as we would have liked. Alexa recognized and added it with ease, though.
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.
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.
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 WiFi 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.
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.
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 statement 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."
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.
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.
Ben is an experienced industry journalist who formerly served as Senior Editor of News and Features at Reviewed. He now contributes as a freelance writer and editor. Most recently hailing from the vast wilds of the American southwest, he is an avid photographer who is deeply disturbed by the lack of wide open landscapes in Boston.
Monica Beyer is a writer with two published books -- Baby Talk (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) and Teach Your Baby to Sign (Fair Winds, 2007). Her work has also appeared at SheKnows, Thrillist, mom.me, Mental Floss, GOOD Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and others.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.