The 8 Best Smart Plugs of 2021

Cupertino, October 5, 2021


If you dream of making your abode respond to your every command and run like Tony Stark’s AI-filled mansion, you’ll need to invest in some smart home tech. It makes sense to start small, so we’d recommend picking up a few smart plugs. They’re affordable and quick to set up, so you’ll soon be controlling your lamps, TV, fan and more through automated schedules and voice assistance with ease.

Which one you pick will depend on whether you’re team Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant as these plugs aren’t all the same and you’ll want to get one that works with your voice assistant of choice. We’ve rounded up the best plugs below:

The real benefit of these plugs is that they can add a lot of extra functionality to any appliance that isn’t smart – like that vintage lamp you’ve got that won’t fit a smart bulb. We’d be the first to acknowledge that not everything needs to be connected to the internet and we doubt most people need a connected fridge or smart toaster, but there’s definitely a certain futuristic appeal in saying “Alexa, turn on the fan” or watching every lamp in your home automatically switch on as the sun sets.

Best smart plug

TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug

Who it’s for: This plug will be the right fit for most people – it’s compact and good value for the connectivity options that you get. We particularly like the “away mode” that turns the switch on and off at randomised times to deter burglars. The only thing it doesn’t connect to is Apple’s HomeKit, but we’ve got a recommendation below that does.

How it connects: You don’t need to worry about a separate hub as this connects straight to your router. You’ll be able to control the socket via Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as the Kasa app, which can show you how much energy it’s using.

Connection: Wifi – no hub
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant
Dimensions: 5.15 x 3.75 x 7.25 cm
Weight: 90g

Best smart plug for Alexa

Amazon Smart Plug

Who it’s for: If you’ve already got a Fire TV or a compatible Alexa speaker like the Sonos One, you’ll be used to barking commands at Amazon’s voice assistant. This basic plug connects to all your other Alexa gadgets and is especially easy to set up if you already have the app.

How it connects: There’s no hub required, you just plug in and fire up the Alexa app to get it connected to your wifi. Then you can create some routines – for example, to turn on the lamp at 6pm on weekdays – and control the device with your voice from any Alexa-enabled speaker. Unsurprisingly, this one is exclusive to Alexa and won’t work with other assistants.

Connection: Wifi – no hub
Voice assistants: Alexa
Dimensions: 9.62 x 5.6 x 6.3 cm
Weight: 162g

Best cheap smart plug

TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug (Without Energy Monitoring)

Who it’s for: Like the idea of our top pick but not fussed about energy monitoring? This version lacks that tracking but doesn’t skimp on other features – it’s more affordable at £9.99 and has the same compatibility with Alexa and Google, scheduling, timers and the “away” mode.

How it connects: This one works exactly the same way as the Kasa Mini above. That means there’s no separate hub and it’ll connect to the Kasa app, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant – but not Apple’s HomeKit.

Connection: Wifi – no hub
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant
Dimensions: 5.15 x 6.03 x 7.25 cm
Weight: 150g

Best smart plug for Apple HomeKit

Meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

Who it’s for: This one’s the best pick for iPhone users. There’s usually a bit of an “Apple tax” to get something that’ll fit seamlessly into Apple’s ecosystem, but the Meross plug comes at a sensible price and will connect to HomeKit and Siri with ease. It also leaves you with options if you want to use a different assistant, as it works with Alexa and Google Home too.

How it connects: You won’t need a hub for this one – it connects to your wifi and you’ll be able to control it through its app and, as mentioned above, all the main voice assistants.

Connection: Wifi – no hub
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Dimensions: 6.2 x 5 x 5.5 cm
Weight: 100g

Best smart power strip

TP-Link KP3030 Kasa WiFi Power Strip

Who it’s for: Noticed that the appliances you want to make smarter are all clustered nearby each other? An extension cord with smart functionality will be more straightforward than individual plugs, and you’ll make a saving too. This one has three individually controlled AC outlets and two always-on USB slots, and its cable is a metre long.

How it connects: It works in the same way as the two TP-Link plugs above so you don’t need a separate hub and it’ll connect straight to your wifi router. It’ll work with Alexa or Google Assistant, but doesn’t support Apple HomeKit, and also lacks the energy monitoring feature of our top pick.

Connection: Wifi – no hub
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant
Dimensions: 26 x 6.34 x 3.85 cm
Weight: 1kg

Best smart power strip for Apple HomeKit

Meross Smart Power Strip

Who it’s for: The TP-Link strip above doesn’t have HomeKit connectivity, so if you want an extension block that’ll talk to Siri, you’ll need to pick the Meross option. You get a fair bit for the slightly higher price too – including a longer 1.83-metre cord (almost twice as long as the TP-Link), four individually controlled outlets and four group controlled USB slots for charging phones or headphones. As with the plug, it has a wide compatibility so it also works with Alexa and Google.

How it connects: This works in the same way as the other Meross plug in our roundup, so you don’t need a separate hub to get it connected to your wifi router. You’ll be able to control your devices from the Meross app, and also through HomeKit, Alexa and Google Home.

Connection: Wifi – no hub
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Dimensions: ‎27.94 x 6.1 x 2.79 cm
Weight: 630g

Best smart plug for Philips Hue lights

Philips Hue Smart Plug

Who it’s for: We’d recommend you pick this one if you’ve already started to build a system of Philips Hue smart lights at home. It’ll be ideal for adding that stubborn old-fashioned floor lamp that won’t take a smart bulb into your connected setup.

How it connects: This is one of the few plugs that require a hub. If you’ve already got Hue bulbs, you’ll already have got the Hue bridge in the starter kit. If the plug is your first piece of tech from the system, you’ll need to pick it up separately. Once it’s all linked up, your plug can be controlled in the Hue app and via Alexa, Google and Siri.

Connection: Wifi - needs a Hue bridge hub
Voice assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Dimensions: ‎7.5 x 9 x 14.3 cm
Weight: 180g

Best smart plug for energy monitoring

Eve Energy Smart Plug

Who it’s for: If you want to not only control appliances over the internet but, for whatever reason, you also want to have a detailed breakdown of how much energy they’re using, pick this plug from Eve Energy as it gives you all the stats you’re after in the app.

How it connects: Eve has designed this just for Apple users. It doesn’t even offer an Android app and requires using a HomePod, HomePod mini or Apple TV as your home hub. It’ll also only work with Siri for voice control.

Connection: Wifi – needs an Apple device as a hub
Voice assistants: Siri
Dimensions: ‎7.1 x 7.2 x 7.2 cm
Weight: 158g

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