Many people think that upgrading your home to be “smart” is an expensive venture. While that was once the case, in 2020 it is easier (and cheaper) than ever. That’s partially thanks to the abundance of high-quality smart plugs on the market today.
These gadgets simply plug into your existing wall outlets and make it possible to turn almost anything you own into a smart version of itself. Whether it is a lamp, a coffee maker, or a fan, smart plugs give you the ability to control your devices remotely.
Most of them also integrate with digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. This lets you use your voice to control the devices in your home.
However, choosing the best smart plug isn’t always easy. Deciding which plug is right for you depends on what you want to do with it, how many devices you want to control, and which digital assistant you favor.
With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, smart plugs make a great stocking stuffer and are also a great way to treat yourself.
The Burn-In has rounded up the best smart plugs you can get to make your home smarter in 2020. They are detailed below in no particular order.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini
When you start looking at smart plugs, you’ll quickly notice that TP-Link is a popular name in the space. That’s because it was one of the first companies to make smart plugs accessible to everyday consumers. Of course, TP-Link products have stayed popular because of the many features they bring to the table.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is a great choice for those looking to get started with smart plugs and for those who just want to add another one to their home. This model is particularly nice because it features a compact design that doesn’t cover all of your other outlets.
It is compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa through your Wi-Fi network. For those who don’t care about voice control, the plug connects to the Kasa app, which is available for both iOS and Android, for easy control of your devices. The app offers a variety of features, like custom scheduling and timers, that make your life easy.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is also incredibly affordable, meaning you can stock up with several of them to make your home smarter in no time.
SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug
Another affordable and compact option for those looking to dive into the smart plug world is the SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug. For those who aren’t familiar, SmartThings is Samsung’s brand for connected devices and offers great integration with the tech giant’s products.
That being said, it is also compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. The accompanying SmartThings app (iOS and Android) doesn’t offer a ton of customization options but makes setting up the smart plug an incredibly easy process.
Since this plug is compact, you can stack two of them on a single outlet, doubling your capacity for smart devices. For those looking to invest in other smart home gadgets, this plug pairs perfectly with Samsung’s lineup of SmartThings products.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip
Sometimes, one outlet just isn’t enough. Anyone with a sprawling PC setup or entertainment stand knows this to be true. Fortunately, more manufacturers are releasing smart power strips. These offer all the benefits of a standard smart plug with the advantage of having multiple outlets available.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip is arguably the best on the market. It offers six outlets and an additional three USB ports, meaning you can connect up to nine devices simultaneously.
Each device can be controlled individually using the Kasa app mentioned earlier, Google Assistant, or Alexa. The power strip also features physical buttons that correspond to each outlet for even easier control.
On top of this, it features surge protection capabilities, which is something that most one-outlet smart plugs lack. If you have sensitive (or expensive) devices that you want to power up with a smart plug, this is the safest way to go. It’s also a great choice for anyone that wants to plug in a large number of devices in one spot.
WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug
Apple users who love the company’s HomeKit platform might have noticed that the previous devices aren’t compatible. That shouldn’t be surprising since Apple products typically don’t play nicely with third-party devices.
However, the WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug is an exception. It is one of the few smart plugs on the market that is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit. For users that don’t want to branch out from their Apple ecosystem, this is the smart plug to buy.
It is also compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa, making it incredibly versatile. The WeMo app could offer a smoother experience, but it is decent overall. Regardless, this smart plug’s HomeKit compatibility and compact design make it worth a mention.
Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug
The smallest smart plug on the list is Belkin’s WeMo Insight Smart Plug. It is one of the most compact options on the market and has some unique features that set it apart from the crowd.
For one, it boasts power monitoring capabilities that tell you how much energy you’re using each day. It also converts that information to let you know how much you’re spending to power devices that are connected to it.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug
Sometimes the devices you want to control aren’t located indoors. For instance, think of something like Christmas lights or a patio heater. Believe it or not, these things can also be controlled with a smart plug—as long as you have the right one.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug is ready for the task. It features two outlets, allowing you to control two devices independently. The plug is housed inside a thick plastic shell that protects it from the elements. It boasts a Wi-Fi radio that can connect to your network from up to 300 feet away, giving you endless ways to power your outdoor devices.
Thanks to its IP64 rating, it can also withstand dust and rain. Like the other TP-Link devices on this list, it is compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa.