Wish you could max out your home with smart gadgets easily operated with only your voice or phone? Who wouldn't? And, it's not as pricey as you would imagine. In fact, it's downright affordable — if you invest in smart plugs, that is. We found high-quality smart plugs for as little as $6 a pop, and they can be used for any electrical item you have. These voice-control plugs are easy to use, turning anything you plug in into a smart home device operating within your home’s technology ecosystem. Simply connect your non-smart lamp (or coffeemaker or air purifier or...) to a smart plug, and voila, those everyday items are now synced up to the internet! Then, control your connected devices from anywhere using timers or various apps, cutting down on your energy use and therefore your energy bill. Let's modernize our homes, shall we? You can scroll for our top picks for the for the best smart plugs, all available at Amazon.
What are smart plugs anyway?
Smart plugs are essentially WiFi-enabled power adapters. That means that in addition to providing power to your various appliances, they also feature internet connectivity.
What do you use smart plugs for?
Smart plugs have a wide variety of uses! The most common one is simply the ability to remotely turn your appliance on or off with your smart phone or through automation. You can do this via an app, or if you have a smart speaker that's powered by Google or Alexa, you can control your appliances with your voice. Imagine saying, "Alexa, turn on the air purifier," instead of having to walk over to the air purifier every time. Many apps also have a scheduling function, so you can program your plugged-in electronics to turn on and off at certain times of day.
How do they work?
Getting the smart plugs to work might sound intimidating, but the process is actually very simple. In most cases, all you have to do is install the companion app and the app will walk you through the pairing and installation process. The app is also super useful if you have more than one plug, since you can control multiple devices in a centralized smart home system with just a few clicks.
Will a smart plug work with any appliance?
It depends. In order for the smart plug to work effectively, you need to be able to turn on and off the item with a simple switch. If it's an appliance that requires an additional step to work, then the smart plug won't work as effectively. For example, my coffee maker requires me to dial in a specific cup setting before it can brew coffee. Similarly, my rice cooker requires that I select a specific cook mode before it can cook rice. Those are examples of electronics that won't work that well with a smart plug. But if it's a relatively simple appliance like a lamp or a fan, then a smart plug will work.
"Hands down, the best smart plugs we’ve purchased and installed,” writes one five-star reviewer. “We have them installed throughout our home for all of our lamps, and even had several of our indoor Christmas decorations hooked up to them this past year...Being able to also control the lights through the app is nice when you’re out of town so you have even more control of making it appear like you’re home when you’re not.”
“I have owned several different brands of smart plugs, and this one was BY FAR the easiest to set up," says one convert. "I plugged it into an outlet and within a few seconds the Alexa app on my phone recognized it as a new device, prompted me to give it a name, and I was all set! Awesomeness all around. This may seem obvious, but if you are already an Alexa user, this may be the best smart plug to get simply because it integrates so easily with Alexa.”
“I bought this to use for my pool pump and it works great so far," says a five-star review. "The setup was easy and flawless, and the ability with the app to set a schedule or turn it on or off manually works perfectly for my needs. I purchased another one for outdoor lights for my Tiki Bar, and if I could give it more stars I would!"
A satisfied customer says: "The ease of use of this device is its best feature. I've been using the two outlet plug for a few weeks and liked it enough to purchase the power strip. I liked that enough to order two more, one for my house and one as a gift to my technologically-challenged mother. Alexa integration is seamless. I can say, 'Alexa, turn on the fan' and it happens without having to say, 'Alexa, ask Kasa to turn on the fan.'"
My personal favorite smart plug is from Wyze, thanks largely to its easy-to-use app. The installation process is seamless and dead simple. I like that it has a two-factor authentication setup for additional security. Like many other smart plugs, the app lets you schedule your plugs to go on and off at different times and days. Plus, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
"I've just placed my third order," writes an enthusiastic shopper. "I'm using four of the plugs and I just ordered more for a gift. They work for any device that will come on when the power is simply turned on... I use Alexa to control my plugs, but they can also be controlled through the phone app. They can also be timed or even set to a random on/off vacation mode."
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The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.