The best smart plugs and switches can make a huge difference in your smart home, allowing you to control appliances, set schedules and, in some cases, track your energy usage, even when you’re home. But don’t be
They certainly may not be the most exciting smart home devices you can buy. We know that grabbing one of the top smart speakers, setting up a color lighting system with the best smart lights or one of the best robot vacuums can sound more useful and appealing. But if you have at least one or two smart plugs or smart switches in your home, all of them will work even better.
So, where do you start with smart plugs? As with most smart home products these days, there are so many models available, and choosing the right model for you can be difficult.
With that in mind, we’ve ranked the best smart plugs and switches we’ve tested to help you decide the best smart plugs and switches for your home.
Best Smart Plugs and Switches Ranked
The Eve Energy Smart Plug is the best you can buy in our opinion, though it does have one small drawback—while it’s HomeKit-enabled, it won’t work with Alexa or Google Assistant. Easy-to-use, it keeps track of the energy consumption of devices plugged into it and – if you provide specific details from the energy provider – the total cost as well.
The Smart Plug connects to Bluetooth, or Thread smart home technology – if you have a HomePod Mini or Apple TV in your home – so you’ll be able to control it even when you’re not at home. Thread is more stable than Wi-Fi and fails to respond to smart home devices.
Like most of the best smart plugs, its white design is simple, but don’t let that fool you—it has plenty of useful features like the ability to create a schedule.
Read our full review: Eve Energy Smart Plug
If your home is all for Alexa, then opting for an Amazon-branded smart plug makes perfect sense. It may not be the cheapest smart plug on the market, but it integrates well with Alexa routines – setting up automation for your home is an easy task.
The relatively bulky Smart Plug connects to the Internet over Wi-Fi, so it can be controlled even when you’re not at home, and it was super easy to set-up thanks to the QR code that did the hard work for us.
Upon testing, it proved responsive to both when controlled by the app or Alexa. There’s no energy monitoring function, nor an away mode to help intruders randomly turn devices on or off, but it’s still a solid smart plug.
Read our full review: amazon smart plug
The Belkin WeMo Insight is a neat little device. Well, it’s not exactly “small” considering it’s bigger than it looks in the pictures, so be prepared for a big plug that covers the top outlet if you put it on the bottom one (if you order reverse it is not true)
That said, we consider the Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug to be the best light switch on the market. We like that it gives insight into your energy use, and it gives you an idea of how much you’re spending on energy. This is great if you want to cut down on your monthly electricity bill and be a little green at the same time.
One major drawback is that you do most of your work in the app with WeMo Insight, and the app leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, you can turn the device off and on from the app home screen, but once you start delving deeper, you’re in for trouble. It’s difficult to remove the device from the app, which is annoying.
One redeeming quality of the app is that you can use it to integrate your plug with other services, such as IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant, Works with Nest, and (unofficially) Samsung SmartThings.
The only one missing from this smart plug house party is Apple’s HomeKit, though you can connect using the HomeKit Bridge, which Belkin sells. For more flexibility, check out the Belkin WeMo Dimmer Light Switch.
Read our full review: Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug
For Alexa and Google Assistant-based smart homes, this compact smart plug is a worthy choice. While it lacks energy monitoring and HomeKit support, it’s slim, easy to use and even has a handy Away mode that will turn the plug on and off at random times – ideal if it’s on the radio or be connected to the lamp and you can help prevent unwanted intruders
Like all smart plugs in this line-up – the plain white design won’t win any awards for style, but it offers almost all the functions we’ve come to expect, like being able to set schedules and even build automations to be where other TP-Link branded products work in conjunction with smart plugs.
Read our full review: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim KP105
Hive started out as a maker of smart thermostats, but has grown into one of the biggest names in smart home devices of all kinds, including lights, cameras, locks and plugs. If you’re interested in trying out smart lighting, it’s one of the most affordable ecosystems out there — cheaper than Philips Hue.
The Hive Active Plug requires either a Hive Active heating thermostat or a Hive Hub, but once you have it, it’s easy to set up and use. You can create a schedule (with six time slots per day), trigger the plug using the Hive app on your phone, or link it to a Hive switch or sensor.
Not only is it one of the cheapest smart plugs around, the Hive Active Plug is also relatively small, making it one of the most discreet (if not stylish) options available.
Sure, you’ve decorated your home with smart LED bulbs like Philips Hue, but if these aren’t connected to a smart switch, you lose connectivity if the lights aren’t controlled with a smartphone.
That’s where smart switches like the TP-Link HS200 come in. This well-designed switch can be connected, but it also delivers a satisfying click like the old-fashioned model.
But that’s where the similarities end with the old school Switch. This Switch taps into an app called Casa, which is equally well designed. For example, from the app, you can create different scenes that turn certain lights on or off, or set the lights to turn on when your home’s motion sensor detects movement.
The Switch works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can ask both to toggle the TP-Link switch on or off in your home.
It may not be as good as the Belkin WeMo Smart Plug (above), but the TP-Link will make your home a more connected creature, which is great if you want to take your home into the 21st century.
Unfortunately this switch is currently only available in the US.
Read our full review: tp-link hs200 smart wi-fi light switch
If you’re looking for a cheap and simple smart plug, head to your local Ikea to see the brand’s TR toDFRI smart home products range that this minimalist but reliable smart plug on offers.
You can control it through the app, operate it manually, or program it to work on a schedule. It has HomeKit support, so it’s a solid option if you already have a few smart devices connected to the Apple ecosystem.
How do smart plugs work?
Smart plugs can be inserted into your current power outlet and connected to your home Wi-Fi network so they can be controlled using an app for your smartphone.
As well as being able to turn plugs on or off from the app, many also let you set a schedule so that they automatically turn on or off at set times, while some even track when the device is connected to the plug. How much energy is it using. .
Do Smart Plugs Save Energy?
Smart plugs can save you money, but only if you…