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Best Smart Plugs for Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit

by Contributor

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If there are some non-smart electronic devices in your home that you don’t want to get rid of, there’s a cheap and easy way of upgrading them — pair them with smart plugs. Among the features that you can get from them include controlling your devices through a smartphone app, setting timers for switching on or off, and monitoring electricity usage. Smart plugs also integrate well with the different smart home platforms, which will be one of the most important factors to consider when deciding on your purchase. To help you make your choice, we’ve highlighted our top picks for the three most popular platforms: Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit.

The best smart plugs

  • Best for Amazon’s Alexa:

  • Best for Google Home:

  • Best for Apple HomeKit:

  • Best for outdoor:

  • Best for energy monitoring:

  • Best for lamps:

How to choose a smart plug

When buying a smart plug for a specific smart home platform, you need to make sure that it’s compatible with the corresponding voice assistant. Not all smart plugs will work with more than one voice assistant, which you should also think about if you like jumping between them in your everyday routines.

Smart plugs comes with various features, and you need to determine which ones are important for you. In addition to controlling the smart plugs remotely, creating schedules, and monitoring energy usage, smart plugs can also provide surge protection and extra outlets. You’ll also need to consider if you’ll be using them indoors or outdoors, as you’ll need to spend extra on outdoor smart plugs because they come with protection against the elements.

How we chose these smart plugs

We’ve reviewed smart plugs from various brands, and we’ve determined that these smart plugs provide the best balance of price, features, and performance. Their prices may change depending on the online sales that are happening, but they’re generally affordable devices that will provide you and your family with a wealth of benefits that will outweigh their cost.

Among our chief concerns when choosing smart plugs are their durability, which is important because we’re dealing with electricity here, and their ease of use, because we don’t want people going through complicated process to set up something that should make your lives simpler.

Amazon Smart Plug

The Amazon Smart Plug on a wall socket.
Amazon
Pros Cons
Works with Amazon’s Alexa Not compatible with other digital assistants
Easy to set up
Compact design
No need for smart hub

The Amazon Smart Plug was designed to work exclusively with Amazon’s Alexa, adding voice control to any outlet in your home. It’s very simple to set up — just plug it in an outlet, open the Alexa app in your smartphone, and follow the onscreen instructions. Once it’s up and running, you can turn on or turn off the device that’s on the smart plug remotely, and you can also create schedules. The Amazon Smart Plug is compact so it doesn’t hinder usage of the adjacent outlet, and it doesn’t need any smart home hubs to function.

Specifications
Connectivity 2.5 GHz Wi-Fi
Compatibility Amazon Alexa
Max Output 15A
Energy Monitoring No
Indoor or Outdoor Indoor

TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug with a power cable attached.
TP-Link
Pros Cons
Cheap price Requires separate app from Google Home or Alexa
Works with Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa
Simple setup process
Manual on/off button

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug is more affordable compared to its peers, but that doesn’t mean it sacrifices performance to keep its low cost. It works with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa for hands-free controlling of the devices plugged into it, and you can remotely access the smart plug through the Kasa app, which you’ll also use for its simple setup process. There’s also a button at the side of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug to manually turn it on or off, for your peace of mind when you’ll be gone for a while such as when going on a vacation.

Specifications
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Compatibility Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Max Output 15A
Energy Monitoring No
Indoor or Outdoor Indoor

Wemo Mini Smart Plug

An electric fan plugged into the Wemo Mini Smart Plug.
Wemo
Pros Cons
Automatically pairs with Apple Home Relatively high price
No hub or subscription required
Compact size
Away Mode deters intruders

Adding a smart plug to Apple’s HomeKit is made even easier by the Wemo Mini Smart Plug, which actually works with all the platforms that we’ve highlighted so far. It automatically pairs with the Apple Home app though, as long as you have the latest version of the Wemo app in your smartphone. There’s no need for a hub or a subscription to use the Wemo Mini Smart Plug, and its compact size will allow you to place multiples of them on a single wall outlet. It also offers an Away Mode that will randomly turn on and off the plugged in device to make it look like someone’s home when you’re all on a trip.

Specifications
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Compatibility Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit
Max Output 15A
Energy Monitoring No
Indoor or Outdoor Indoor

TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Outdoor Plug.
TP-Link
Pros Cons
Weather resistant No energy monitoring
Works with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant
Built-in power amplifier for Wi-Fi connections

If you need a smart plug outside your home for light bulbs and other electrical installations, the TP-Link Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug could be your solution. It features IP64 weather resistance to protect it from the elements, and it also has a waterproof cover that you can attach when it’s not in use. It works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, and it also has a built-in power amplifier that enables long-range Wi-Fi connections of up to 300 ft.

Specifications
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Compatibility Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Max Output 15A
Energy Monitoring No
Indoor or Outdoor Outdoor

Emporia Smart Plug

Emporia Smart Plug Installed
Jon Bitner / Digital Trends / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Energy monitoring to help save on electricity costs Requires Emporia app to set up and use
Works with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant
Affordable price

The main feature of the Emporia Smart Plug is its capability to monitor the electricity that’s used by your device sand appliances, which will allow you to eliminate wasteful standby power and save on energy costs. The Emporia app will allow you to control the smart plug from anywhere, but it also has a manual power switch at the side. The Emporia Smart Plug works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, and its slim profile doesn’t block nearby outlets.

Specifications
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Compatibility Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Max Output 10A
Energy Monitoring Yes
Indoor or Outdoor Indoor

Eightree Smart Dimmer Plug

The Eightree Smart Dimmer Plug
Eightree
Pros Cons
Zero to 100% dimming for lamps Requires Smart Life app
Works with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant No energy monitoring

The Eightree Smart Dimmer Plug works with different types of lamps, including LED, halogen, and incandescent, so you can use the Smart Life app for zero to 100% dimming depending on what you need. You’ll use the same app for setting up the smart plug, turning on and off the lamps that are plugged in, and setting schedules. The Eightree Smart Dimmer Plug works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands with their respective apps and other smart home devices.

Specifications
Connectivity 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
Compatibility Amazon Alexa, Google Home
Max Output 3A
Energy Monitoring No
Indoor or Outdoor Indoor

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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