The 5 Best Smart Plugs for Your Home in 2020
Are you looking for the best smart plugs as part of your smart home solution?
A smart device is something that can connect and interact with its user (you) as well as other smart devices. Some things are born “smart” and others need a bit of help to up their IQ. That’s where smart plugs help.
Smart plugs transform “dumb” devices into “smart” devices. They enable you to control and customize “dumb” devices. You can control devices remotely and even put them on a schedule.
Different models can pair better (or worse) with different appliances and can vary in their benefits.
Here are the best smart plugs and what you should know about using them.
#1 Wemo Mini Smart Plug
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug is small in size, easy to use, and supports our favorite voice control systems including Apple HomeKit (Siri), Amazon Alexa, Nest, and more. Features include:
- Android and iOS compatibility
- Simple set-up
- Sized for one power outlet
#2 Amazon Smart Plug
If you have an Amazon Alexa and your primary goal with a smart plug is to add Alexa voice activation to your favorite devices, the Amazon Smart Plug is the best smart plug for you. Features include:
- Alexa compatibility
- Simple set up
- Small size won’t block both power outlets
#3 iHome iSP6X
The iHome iSP6X is small, easy to install, and easy to use thanks to an intuitive app. It has a variety of scheduling options so you can schedule your appliances to turn on or off specific times. Features include:
- Affordable price
- Siri, Google, and Amazon device compatibility
- Small size won’t block both power outlets
#4 Leviton DW15P-1BW Mini Plug-In Outlet
The Leviton DW15P-1BW smart plug is easy to set up and can support fans, coffee makers, and most small appliances. Features include:
- Compatibility with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Nest
- Small size
#5 Monoprice Stitch Wireless Smart Plug
The Monoprice Stitch Wireless is the best smart plug for those on a budget. It’s easy to set up, has an easy to use all, and lets you can schedule tasks by time as well as sunrise, sunset, and weather. It can support up to 1250 watts. Features include:
- Affordable price
- Small size
- Tasks scheduled by time
Editors' Choice: Wemo Mini Smart Plug
Our top pick is the Wemo Mini.
It’s incredibly easy to use. To set it up, plug it into your outlet of choice, download the app, connect it to your wireless system and you’re good to go.
This plug is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and supports our favorite voice control systems, including Apple HomeKit (Siri), Amazon Alexa, and Nest.
You can use the Wemo Mini for lamps, small appliances, and even high-watt items such as tower fans and AC units.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug Pros
- App compatibility: The app works on both Android and iOS devices.
- Small size: The size of the plug won’t block both power outlets.
- Voice-friendly: This device is compatible with Apple HomeKit (Siri), Amazon Alexa, and Nest.
- Warranty length: This plug offers a three-year warranty.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug Cons
- Bridge required: To integrate with an Apple HomeKit, you’ll need to purchase a WeMo bridge.
- WiFi only: This device will not work via Bluetooth.
Best Value: Monoprice Stitch Wireless
Our budget pick is the Monoprice Stitch Wireless.
This smart plug is an excellent all-around option. It’s one of the smallest smart plugs, so it won’t block your outlets. It lets you can schedule tasks by time as well as sunrise, sunset, and weather.
It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with Apple HomeKit.
Monoprice Stitch Wireless Pros
- Affordable price: This is one of the cheapest (yet top quality) smart plugs we’ve seen.
- Energy monitoring: You can monitor your devices with daily and monthly kilowatt-hour totals.
- Small size: It’s small enough to let you use the other outlet for a different plug.
- Voice-friendly: This plug is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Nest, and more.
- Wattage support: The plug can handle up to 1250 watts.
Monoprice Stitch Wireless Cons
- Incompatible with Apple HomeKit: Unfortunately, this plug will not work with Siri.
- Short warranty: The company offers a one-year warranty, which is less time than many companies offer.
Best for Alexa: Amazon Smart Plug
If you have an Amazon Alexa and your primary goal with a smart plug is to add Alexa voice activation to your favorite devices, the Amazon Smart Plug is the best choice for you.
The Amazon Smart plug is a small, affordable, easy-to-use smart plug that adds voice control to your favorite devices. It won’t block your second outlet, and set up is easy.
You can use this plug to schedule lights, fans, appliances, and other devices or control them remotely.
Amazon Smart Plug Pros
- Built for Alexa: This is the best plug for Alexa. Set up is simple because it automatically connects to your Alexa app
- Energy monitoring: This device lets you monitor your devices with daily and monthly kilowatt-hour totals.
- Wattage support: This plug can handle up to 1250 watts.
Amazon Smart Plug Cons
- No additional features: This smart plug does not have energy trackers or timers.
- Only compatible with Amazon: The device is incompatible with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant.
Best for Google Home: Leviton DW15P-1BW Mini Plug-In Outlet
The good news about Google Home is that it’s highly compatible. Our favorite, however, is the Leviton DW15P-1BW.
It is easy to set up and can support fans, coffee makers, and most small appliances.
Leviton DW15P-1BW Pros
- Small design: This plug won’t block other power outlets.
- Voice-friendly: The plug is compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Nest.
- Higher price: This plug is more expensive than other smart plugs we reviewed.
Best for Apple Homekit: iHome iSP6X
While most smart plugs are easy to integrate with Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, not all are compatible with Apple HomeKits. If you’re seeking a smart plug for the sole purpose of integrating with Siri, we recommend purchasing a smart plug built for HomeKits.
Our favorite is the iHome iSP6X. It’s small, easy to install, and easy to use thanks to an intuitive app. Plus, it’s got an affordable price tag.
It has a variety of scheduling options so you can schedule your appliances to turn on or off specific times. The only thing it’s missing is energy monitoring.
iHome iSP6X Pros
- HomeKit compatible: This plug works with Siri.
- Wattage support: The plug can handle up to 1800 watts.
iHome iSP6X Cons
- No energy monitoring: This device will not monitor your energy usage.
Smart Plugs Buyer’s Guide
Not all smart plugs are created equal.
If you’re looking to up the IQ of your dumb devices, you’ll want to consider a few factors before purchasing a smart plug.
Before you begin on your purchase journey, make a list of all of the devices you’d like to use with smart plugs and where in your home you want your smart plugs to go. Then, consider the factors most important to you.
Here are smart home features and factors to consider before you buy.
Ease of Use
High-quality smart plugs are easy to use. They’re easy to connect and have user-friendly apps.
Consider the following to determine how easy the smart plug is to use:
- App: You control smart devices through apps. Look at the app before you decide on a smart plug to make sure it’s user-friendly and compatible with your preferred device.
- Customization: Some smart plugs have customizations that turn devices on and off based on sunrise, sunset, temperature, or other characteristics.
- Scheduling: All smart plugs let you schedule your devices to turn on and off at set times. Check the smart plug you’re researching to see how easy the scheduling is.
- Setup: Check to see if you can plug the smart plug into the wall or if you’ll need to connect it to a hub. If you’re looking for a smart plug for lights or other smaller appliances, you should be able to find one that doesn’t require a separate hub. If you want to connect it to your HomeKit or other smart home systems, you may need one with a hub. It’s up to you.
If you generally find smart technology easy to use, a smart plug shouldn’t be a problem. Still, do your research to make sure the plug is the right pick for you.
Some smart plugs have added features.
A few of our favorites include:
- Energy monitoring: Do you want to know how much energy your AC unit uses? This feature will let you know and help you become more energy-efficient.
- Light dimmer: Do you prefer to dim your lights rather than turn them on at 6 PM each day? Some smart plugs can do that.
Look at the list of features available before you buy a plug.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
Not all smart plugs are safe outside.
If you are 100% sure you’ll only use the plug inside, it shouldn’t matter whether the plug is compatible with outdoor use.
On the other hand, if you want a smart plug you can move around the home or are certain you’ll want to use it outdoors, invest in one that can be used both inside and outside.
Number of Plugs
How many devices do you want to connect with your smart plug?
If you only care about one, then it won’t matter how many plugs there are.
If, on the other hand, you have multiple dumb devices you want to make smart, purchase a smart plug with more than one plug.
Some smart plugs are generic, and others are designed for specific uses.
For example, some smart plugs specialize in diming lights, some are geared for Amazon’s Alexa, and others are programmed to work with Google Home and iHome.
Every smart plug has some smart home support. Some of the most common platforms a plug will be compatible with are:
- Google Assistant
- Amazon Alexa
- Apple Home Kit
Some smart plugs are compatible with all three. Many of these options will also allow voice control or give you a digital assistant.
While you can connect most items to a smart plug, you can’t plug anything into it.
Most smart plugs can only handle a few hundred watts of power. This amount of power is fine for lamps or coffee maker but likely won’t work for larger items like a hairdryer.
Before purchasing a smart plug, check to see what the maximum wattage is it can handle.
We recommended making a list of all the appliances you want to connect to your smart plugs. Look at the wattage of those items to make sure you get a plug that will meet your needs.
Size and Design
Some smart plugs are massive. When plugged into a wall outlet, they’ll block the second outlet!
If you’re not using the second electrical outlet, this may not be a big deal. However, it can be frustrating not to have full access to your outlets.
We recommend looking for a smart plug that’s on the smaller side just in case you want to use the other outlet.
The design can also help you get the most use out of your plug. Check the design to see if there is a physical on/off switch or indicator light to tell you when it’s on.
A smart device is “smart” because it can connect to other devices.
It can do so by one of two ways:
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth smart plugs are a little trickier than WiFi because you need to be in range. However, if you have a HomeKit gateway (an Apple TV, a HomePod, or an iPad that is in your home) you don’t have to be in range.
- WiFi: WiFi-enabled smart plugs are usually the most affordable options and are the easiest to use. You can find them for indoor and outdoor use.
Look at what a smart plug uses so that it’ll work the way you need it to.
Some smart plugs are guaranteed to last for three years or more, while others have only a one-year warranty.
Smart plugs can make your life easier by letting you control lights, coffee makers, air conditioners, fans, and almost anything else.
Use our buying guide and our top picks to help you decide which option is best for you.Read More