4 Best Smart Plugs – Buyer’s Guide

Identifying the best smart plug can be much easier said than done! Use this simple guide to figure out which smart plugs are ideal for your needs.

Keeping your home “modernized” is not an easy task by any means, which is precisely why products like the smart plug (also known as "smart outlet plug" or "smart switch") are sought after these days.

You can do so many things with the right Wi-Fi smart plug, and there are plenty of brands to choose from - all of which can be connected to a smart home device, allowing them to be used without breaking a sweat.

You can control almost any electronic device if you implemented a smart plug correctly, allowing you to breathe new life into the likes of antique lamps and other household items.

You can control fans, lamps, and anything else that uses an electrical outlet with an app; Wi-Fi smart plugs were developed to make our lives easier, after all!

What is a Smart Plug?

Not only will a smart plug make your life easier, but it will make things more enjoyable as well. When you can feel the technology that we’ve crafted at your fingertips, it’s almost surreal; some people never would have thought that controlling lights with an application would be this easy!

It’s also a significant product for anybody who has a disability or is prevented from controlling lights through “traditional” means, making smart plugs much more than just a trendy product to spice up your home.

There are many smart plugs to choose from, but most of them are going to get the job done - it’s merely a matter of how quickly (and efficiently) you want the process to happen. For example, the Wyze smart switch is held in high regard because they’re known to be a high-quality option (especially for beginners).

Smart plugs look a lot like your traditional “charge brick” for smartphones, but instead of a USB port, they offer what looks like a wall outlet. You plug it into your smart power bar or any outlet in general and anything you use with it automatically becomes a smart device!

woman putting smart plug into power socket at home

What Does a Smart Plug Do?

As the name would suggest, using a smart plug is a simple way to integrate modern technology alongside older appliances. Most of the time you’ll find that some products come equipped with “smart options”, such as the Phillips Hue Lightbulb.

You can control it through an application called “Geeni” and it doesn’t require any sort of electrical work; you can change the light bulb to whatever colour you’d like, but you can still control the power with your light switch (or the application, if you feel that’s easier).

Smart plugs allow people who would normally have a tough time controlling their household appliances to catch a break, as they no longer need to strain themselves just to turn on a light.

The best smart plugs are designed with user comfort in mind, so picking up your smartphone and controlling the lights through an application is the most common sight you’ll see nowadays.

They are the connection between old technology and modern man, something that we take for granted daily. You’ve probably got plenty of amazing appliances throughout your home that can be made even better by including smart plugs into the mix, so what are you waiting for?

Are Smart Plugs Worth It?

When you think about how easily they integrate alongside the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and SmartThings (Samsung), they’re a product that is far too often overlooked.

While most people are still controlling their appliances regularly, others are making the most out of modern technology and handling all of that through an application.

For example, let’s say that you left your lights on before heading to work and just realized it in the middle of the day; how would you turn them off if you didn’t have a smart plug enabled?

Most people would be screwed and left to foot the extra costs that come with leaving their lights on all day, but others can just open up their associated smart plug application and turn the lights off themselves!

Best Things to Use Smart Plugs For

Regular devices that have been long forgotten can now be resurrected, as a smart plug allows you to bring them into the landscape of today without any struggle.

Your everyday items can be connected to your Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or SmartThings giving you easier access to purchasing products or just controlling the product in general.

You can take an old coffee maker that you’ve fallen in love with and use it alongside a smart plug, or anything else in your home that could be automated for that matter.

If you’re looking to spice up your home and offer a more futuristic feel, but don’t have the money required to do it with renovations, you can always just purchase a few smart plugs and call it a job well done.

Best Smart Plug for Alexa

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (HS105)

Ideal to be used alongside Amazon Alexa, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (HS105) by TP-Link is an obvious choice for both beginners and tech enthusiasts.

There are plenty of advanced features included within this option, and it can be used with all of the major assistant programs (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThing, or IFTTT) - that being said, they currently do not offer Apple HomeKit support.

It’s similar to the Wyze Plug because it also offers sunrise/sunset programming, but offers it at a higher price point. Some would still say it’s worth the money, and so would we!

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini (HS105)

Buy from AMAZON

Best Smart Plug for Google Home

Wyze Smart Home Plug (WLPP1CFH-1)

Prefer to use the best smart plugs that cater to Google Home and Google Assistant users? Look no further than the Wyze Smart Home Plug (WLPP1CFH-1)!

Plugs made by Wyze are considered some of the best smart plugs available on the market right now, and they offer all of these benefits at an affordable price.

Preparing a proper smart home system calls for the best smart plugs you can find, and if you’re using Google Home, some would say it’s obvious that using a Wyze Plug is your best bet.

They come in a 1-pack, 2-pack, and 4-pack, and they even offer a line of smart thermostats. If energy monitoring and easy voice command options are a necessity in your wall outlets, Wyze has you covered.

Wyze Smart Home Plug (WLPP1CFH-1)

Buy from AMAZON

Best Smart Plug for Apple Homekit

WeMo Mini Smart Plug

Some products aren’t going to offer Apple HomeKit support, but there are plenty of alternatives to consider if that’s the case.

Not only can you use the WeMo Mini Smart Plug indoors, but it’s also a viable outdoor smart plug - it’s priced reasonably at around $24.99 (unless you catch it on sale!) and offers all of the features found in some of the best smart plugs.

Pair it up with your Apple HomeKit and create an immersive home experience that the entire family can enjoy! The space-saving design allows you to fit it almost anywhere you’d like, and it won’t block any other sockets in the process.

With the likes of Vacation Mode (Away Mode) and energy monitoring, you’re getting a diverse smart home system that can get the job done in any case. Only the best home devices make this list!

Purchasing a WeMo Smart Plug offers a sleek and non-invasive smart plug that is simple to use.

WeMo Mini Smart Plug

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Best Outdoor Smart Plug

Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug (KP400)

Although most of the options we’ve talked about already are still relatively strong candidates for outside use, the Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug (KP400) is easily one of the most durable options on the market.

You want a smart plug that’s going to stand the test of time and keep up with the weather conditions, and traditional options often lack the durability to do so.

You can use the Outdoor Smart Plug made by Kasa to create a comfortable environment for both the inside and outside of your home, which is perfect for if you’ve got a gazebo or and wanted to create a “smart environment”.

It’s said to work up to 300 feet away from your Wi-Fi source, and you can control whatever is plugged into it using your smartphone - you can even hook it up so it works with Alexa or Google Assistant and use vocal commands to control all of the smart devices on your network.

Kasa Smart Outdoor Smart Plug (KP400)

Buy from AMAZON

Frequently Asked Questions About Smart Outlet Plugs

How to Set Up and Use a Smart Plug?

Setting up a smart plug isn't that hard but it does require some explanation.

What's easier than somebody showing you how to do that? Watch the video below and you have your own smart plug outlets set up in minutes!

Do You Need a Smart Plug for Every Device?

Although some devices are going to come with smart options enabled already (such as Philips Hue Coloured Light Bulbs), there are many instances where you may need a smart plug to keep it connected with the rest of your network.

Whether you have an old lamp that you just can’t get rid of, or a lighting system that you want to control using an application, smart plugs just make the process of organizing things easier.

Some people have no other choice but to use a smart plug for every device, as it’s much easier to use applications to control everything (as opposed to controlling them through traditional means).

Living an independent life as a disabled person is tough at times, but Wi-Fi smart plugs make it much easier to remain independent - the fact that they’re affordable and offer an abundance of powerful features is merely icing on the cake.

Can You Turn on a TV with a Smart Plug?

Of course! It's an amazing feature which is particularly useful if you don’t have a smart TV yourself.

Although a lot of people are going to have televisions that offer network connections anyway, using smart plugs to bring your old television into the future is perfect.

You don’t have to worry about losing the remote or even getting up to turn your television on, and using some smart plugs can even grant you access to channel-changing features (with the right application, of course).

Connecting your television with a smart plug also grants you vocal command over its power, and in some cases, the ability to change channels using your voice. There are many benefits to connecting your TV with a smart plug, and sometimes turning it on is just the beginning.

Do Smart Plugs Need Wi-Fi?

All smart plugs need Wi-Fi to properly operate, as that’s how they receive commands from your smartphone. Without a common connection, there’s no way for your smart plug to connect with the device and tell it to turn on (or off).

You can make a smart plug work without Wi-Fi, although we would recommend that only experienced “techies” even attempt to do that; it calls for the use of a Smart Home Hub and the likes of a Z-Wave (or Zigbee) smart plug, which is more expensive than a regular one.

If you’re focused on getting your smart plugs set up to work without the internet, be sure to look up a more detailed guide online and remember that you’re basically creating an internal network.

It’s much easier to have Wi-Fi and connect all of your smart plugs (and devices) to the router!

Are Smart Plugs Dangerous?

It depends on a matter of factors!

Smart plugs were designed to make your life easier, and there’s nothing about them that could be considered “dangerous”. Realistically, there’s always going to be some sort of issue to be had with technological products, and the smart plugs industry is no different.

Like anything else, it’s connected to your router and that is something that will always be prone to hacks - while someone having control over your lights may not seem like a big deal, we can imagine it would get annoying quite quickly.

If you’re using them in a cluttered area that isn’t organized, there is a slim chance that they may heat up and cause an electrical fire! With that being said, using any kind of electrical product in a cluttered area is not the smartest idea!

Do Smart Plugs Use a Lot of Electricity?

Smart plugs are only going to draw power when you’ve activated them, so they aren’t going to use any more electricity than you would regularly.

As a matter of fact, they could even help you save money by making it easier to turn off the lights at the end of the night! If you’ve ever left your lights on and came back home to be met with disappointment, smart plugs are something that you should have already incorporated into your house.

The best smart plugs aren’t just voice assistants, they offer features like power usage protection and you could always use them alongside a smart power strip for the ultimate “energy conservative” option.

Wasting electricity is a thing of the past when you’ve included smart plugs all over your home!

Remember, that this is often a warning that only applies to specific smart plug products. If you haven’t seen a press release or news article that suggests you stop using them (like the Hictkon Smart Plug), odds are you’re never going to be dealing with a smart plug-based house fire.

How Do You Control a Smart Plug?

There are two main ways to control your smart plug, both of which are much easier than any other traditional option you could think of.

Some people just don’t have the energy necessary to go around the house turning all of the lights off, so why bother with it? You can control all of your smart devices using your smartphone or through vocal commands (voice control), giving you the most flexible solution possible to your smart device needs.

Using your voice to command appliances throughout the house makes it feel like you’re in a movie at times, especially when you tell your coffee maker to start up the morning brew.

Of course, all voice commands are pre-programmed into the smart plugs and you’ve got to stick to these phrases, but it’s still tons of fun (and easy to use). With an application, controlling your smart devices is also relatively straightforward.

Can You Control Smart Plugs Away From Home?

You can control smart plugs away from home, and that’s one of the largest selling points.

Although some of the cheaper options won’t work if you’re too far away from your network connection (the internet at your house), anything that works with Alexa or Google Home is also likely going to offer “away from home” support.

This is ideal because there are many situations where you may have left an application on and need to turn it off, or even when you want to turn something on just before you get home (and don't have access to the Wi-Fi network).

Voice assistant compatibility is obviously not available when you’re away from home, but you can always use the application that supports controlling your devices to get the job done.

Whether you’re about to go to bed at the cottage and want to double-check things, or you just want to shut off your sons’ video game console because it’s bedtime, smart plugs are a foolproof way to do it.

closeup on smartphone with smart home app in hands of woman

Other Smart Plug Brands

Finding the best value is a tough process with anything you buy in life, and searching for the best smart plug is no different.

You don’t want to feel like you’ve wasted money on an inferior product, and although most of these items seem like they do the same thing, the differences are massive.

The intricacies of each smart plug are what make them sought after, and there are several names that we may have left off this list that still offer a viable product.

We don’t want to feel like we’re leaving our readers hanging by refusing to cover these amazing smart plug brands, so you can consider this the “Honorable Mention” section of Zuli to Wi-Fi smart plugs:

Final Verdict: Buy a Smart Plug NOW!

If you don’t already have smart devices in your home, you’re missing out on the benefits that come with living in these modern times. All it takes is a D-Link router!

Sure, we’ve gone through plenty of medical advancements and other amazing things, but a technological advancement like smart plugs simply cannot be overlooked.

Do yourself a favour and join the smart plug family today - odds are you’ll save yourself tons of time (and maybe even money) in the process.

© 2021 Zuli Inc.