The Best Smart Plug
Smart Plugs – simple plugs that you can control anywhere – are a great addition to any smart home. But what’s the Best Smart Plug? After testing and reviewing 13 different Smart Plugs, I want to bring you the very best Smart Plug that you can own to control all of your devices. To cut to the chase, I chose the WeMo Mini Smart Plug as the Best Smart Plug. If you’re looking for a Smart Plug that is a little more robust and integrates with more hubs and services, I recommend the iHome Smart Plug. There’s even a plug that less than $17! Read this Smart Plug Review for more the skinny on the best Smart Plugs for your home.
What is a Smart Plug?
Before you can find the best Smart Plug, you should probably know what a Smart Plug is. A smart plug is a device that connects to an existing power outlet. This allows you to control the power, typically through a Smart Phone application. Other ways a Smart Plug can be powered: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, a Home Automation Hub or a physical button.
The Best Smart Plug: Wemo Mini
I really liked the Wemo Mini Smart Plug because it was inexpensive (many sales on this smart plug can be found here), it has a great App you can use on your iPhone or Android device, and it works well with Alexa.
Table of Contents
- How I picked and tested smart plugs
- Best overall smart plug
- The best smart plug to work with Wink + SmartThings
- A less expensive (and less reliable) Smart Plug option
- Other Smart Plug Options
How I picked (and tested) the best smart plugs
I couldn’t find any great comparative reviews of Smart Plugs and Smart Outlets, so I relied on my own experience and traditional reviews to find the best ones. Smart Plugs, in general, should be easy to use, operate regularly (not going “offline” often) and just simply work.
For the purpose of this review, I’m focusing on Smart Plugs that fit OVER your existing outlets. Most people don’t feel comfortable making electrical changes. I understand. These Smart Plugs in this review don’t require any electrical work (but I’ve given you an option at the end if that’s what you’d like to do).
The most important feature of a smart plug or smart outlet is that they work. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to see one of the outlets as “offline.” Reliability in smart plugs is essential.
Most smart plugs and outlets operate off of Wi-Fi. Having a reliable connection is important for your Smart Outlet to work. Without it, most smart outlets will not work (there are a few notable exceptions, like ones that use ZWave or Bluetooth to get commands).
I tried these Smart Outlets in my home across several different floors and locations to test reliability and response. These Smart Outlets can range from about $10 to $75, depending on what you are looking for.
Overall – Best Smart Plug – Wemo Mini
The Wemo Mini Plug is currently my favorite for three main reasons: reliability, size, and price.
Wemo’s Smart Outlet Reliability
If you’ve tested many of the Smart Plugs, you know that reliability is the exception, not the norm. Wemo has been in the “smart” game a long time, and it shows. Their App consistently shows the smart plug as “online,” and it is. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s the single most important thing when looking for a plug or outlet.
Wemo’s Plug Size
The Wemo Mini Smart Plug is just as the name implies – Mini! At 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches, it’s one of the smallest Smart Plugs that I tested. Many other smart plugs don’t have nearly as small of a footprint. In fact, I’ve had people ask (about other plugs), “What the heck is that?” You don’t want you smart plug to stand out. The Wemo Mini doesn’t stand out at all.
Wemo Mini Smart Plug Price
While the Mini is small, the price tag is, too. The Wemo Mini retails for about $35. However, I’ve found many sales and great deals on the Wemo Mini on Amazon.
It’s not the cheapest Smart Plug on the block, but it’s the best for the price. These units used to cost around $99 and now are a small fraction of that price.
Other Wemo Mini Smart Plug Features
I have my Wemo Mini plugged into a white noise machine (this is my favorite white noise machine). I just need it to turn on at night and turn off when I’m away from Home. Wemo integrates perfectly with Nest. Whenever I leave home, the Wemo turns the power off. When I return, it turns the white noise machine back on. If for some reason, I turn off the White Noise Machine, it automatically turns back on at 9 pm.
If you don’t need your Smart Outlet Plug to integrate with a bunch of other services, I highly recommend the Wemo Mini Smart Plug.
Best Smart Plug for Wink and SmartThings
If you need your smart plug to do something more than responding to the App or Alexa, you’re going to want to integrate with Wink, SmartThings or something like Stringify. Read why Wink is the best smart home hub.
I, personally, use the iHome Control Smart Plug. It’s slightly more expensive, but it works with many other third-party services than Wemo plugs. It works with Nest, SmartThings, Wink, Alexa and even HomeKit (aka Siri on your iPhone).
Setting up iHome Control Smart Plug with Wink is a snap. Add it like you would add any other product, sign into your iHome Account and voila – you can use the iHome Control Smart Plug to power and trigger Robots, Schedules and a lot more.
The iHome Control Smart Plug is slightly less reliable than the Wemo plug. I’ve had a couple of issues with it staying connected, but it ultimately, eventually, fixes itself. If the Wemo Mini is a 9.5 on reliability, the iHome Smart Control Smart Plug is an 8.5.
Other Nominations for Best Smart Plug
The TP-Link Smart Plug is another smart choice for a smart plug. Over 7,100 Amazon Reviews give this and average rating of 4/5 stars. Not bad at all!
The TP-Link Smart Plug works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. You can also use their Kasa app seamlessly, with many of the features that the other smart plugs have. The TP-Link isn’t as reliable and doesn’t integrate with the other features like I would like them to.
The TP-Link Smart Plug is also rather large. I don’t like the amount of space that it takes up compared to the other Smart Plugs on this list that I reviewed. The TP-Link is only $29.99 – but I’ve found better deals periodically on Amazon.
Cheapest Best Smart Plug Worth Buying
The Martin Jerry Smart Plug is actually listed as an Amazon Choice. The crazy part? It’s only $16.91! That’s not a typo. That’s less than $20 for a Smart Plug that integrates with Amazon Alexa and their iPhone app. This Smart Plug is the least feature-filled of the whole lot, but it’s an incredible value.
Amazon Reviews give this 4.5/5 Stars, but there are less than 100 total reviews.
The main reason I can’t recommend this cheaper Smart Plug is that the brand is new to the Smart Home space. They say that “Martin Jerry has more than 10 years of experience in the design and manufacture of cell phone and computer accessories.”
For less than $16.91, it’s a pretty cheap gamble and if it doesn’t work – you aren’t out a whole lot.
Best Smart Plug for the DIYer
If you’ve got some electrical gusto AND you want to integrate with your Smart Hub, then look at the Leviton Decora Z-Wave Receptacle. This actually replaces the plug on your wall (you have to feel comfortable changing the wires, but it’s honestly not hard at all).
This Smart Plug works on the Z-Wave frequency (which tends to be less crowded than the WiFi frequency most of the other options function with).
The Leviton Receptacle pairs directly with your Wink or SmartThings Hub. Because of this, you can use this in Robots, Scenes, and Shortcuts.
The Leviton Smart Plug is, by far, the cleanest look. Most people will not be able to tell the difference between a standard receptacle. The only difference is the little Green LED that is always on (don’t worry, it draws next to no additional power).
What am I missing? What Smart Plugs would you like me to review? Leave them in the comments.