Best smart plugs to buy in 2024

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Best smart plugs to buy in 2024

We updated this roundup in January 2024 to guarantee that our best smart plug picks are in stock and reflect up-to-date prices.

Smart plugs quickly make your home more intelligent, turning a simple appliance into one that connects to your wifi. When you think of the possibilities, it's easy to see how turning plugs on and off is useful.

Need a cuppa right away? You can get the kettle boiling before you reach the front door. If you're not home, have lamps go on and off to make it look like you are; or you can double-check you definitely switched off your hair straighteners – we've all been there.

Along with the best smart bulbs and video doorbells, these small internet-paired devices are among the simplest and most affordable ways to make your home more connected, enabling you to control your appliances remotely and set them to a schedule from your smartphone.

They might look like an ordinary adaptor or extension lead, but they can do so much more, connecting to your wifi and letting you manage your gadgets from an app on your phone.

Setup is as straightforward as popping one in a socket, pairing it with your network, and then using it to switch on and off any appliance attached to it. But they aren’t all the same. This roundup explains the key things to look out for and how to pick the one that’s best for you.

On the GH tech team, we test out smart plugs by using them as you do; we pop them in our wall plugs, connect them to our setup and look at how quickly they can turn on lights, fans, hair straighteners and slow cookers.

We also set up automations to turn on and off remotely while we're off on holiday and try out features in the companion app, such as schedules and integrations with smart home platforms such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Our roundup is a mix of our hands-on testing and rigorous research.

Why we like it: After an affordable option that works with Apple’s HomeKit? This one is much cheaper than the Eve Energy plug but still connects to Siri, as well as Alexa and Google Home. It’s compact and offers schedules in the app.

How it connects: It connects to your wifi without a hub and, as mentioned above, has wide compatibility so can be controlled through its own app, all the main assistants, and IFTTT.

Why we like it: Already have a device with built-in Alexa? We’d recommend the Amazon Smart Plug as your best buy. It’s straightforward to connect if you already have the app.

In our testing, the only downside was that we found it fiddly to set schedules.

How it connects: You just need your wifi and the Alexa app on your phone, from there you can create routines and use voice control with any other device – like a Fire TV or a wireless speaker – that also uses the Alexa app.

Why we like it: The Emporia smart plugs are easy to set up and give you lots of real-time energy monitoring data via the brand’s phone app – all for £12 per plug. But we consider it to be the best option when bought as a multipack of four. That brings the cost of each plug to under £10 – better value than the TP-Link Kasa Mini three-pack, which typically costs £49.99.

The app isn't attractive, but it lets you see energy use right down to the second (it goes as broad as per year) and you can set schedules so it turns on at specific times.

How it connects: The plug connects to your home wifi without needing a separate hub. It is controlled by the Emporia app and is compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant if you have a smart speaker or a smart speaker in your home. Setting it up took us under five minutes, and that included pairing it to our home’s wifi network and a software update.

Why we like it: We’re all keeping a closer eye on our energy bills, and smart plugs can help to keep costs under control by switching off TV recorders and consoles that consume electricity while on standby.

This compact plug is an affordable option that also monitors your energy usage, so you know more about which appliances are using the most electricity in your home. You can set schedules and countdown timers via the app, and it can turn itself on when the sun sets. It’s a discreet option that we found easy to set up.

How it connects: This plug connects straight to your wifi without a separate hub. You can control it via the Humax Smart Living app for iOS and Android, which is also where you’ll see how much energy it’s using, and it's compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa too.

Why we like it: If you like to keep track of how much energy an appliance uses, this is the plug we’d recommend.

It’s great for Apple users, as the iOS app gives you a detailed breakdown of your energy usage, though there’s no Android app if you have a Samsung or Google device.

How it connects: This one requires a HomePod mini or Apple TV as your home hub if you want to turn it on and off remotely. As it’s Apple-focused, the only voice assistant it works with is Siri too.

Why we like it: If you’ve got three plugs near each other that you’d like to smarten up, buying this extension block works out as better value.

On test, it quickly turned devices on or off (within one second) and it has two always-on USB ports for charging phones too, making it a perfect choice to put in your study.

How it connects: Like the plug above, you don’t need a separate hub and it connects via your wifi router. It’ll link up to Alexa or Google Assistant, but doesn’t support Apple HomeKit, and doesn’t have the energy monitoring feature of the Kasa Mini.

Why we like it: Just after the basics? This is a worthwhile option for £15. It’s got a practical and small design that won’t obstruct the plug socket next to it and can fit in places some larger smart plugs can’t.

How it connects: It connects straight to your wifi without the need for a hub – you can control the plug via the Hey app and it connects to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home for voice control too.

Why we like it: This is a good choice if you’ve already got some Philips Hue bulbs set up and want to turn a floor lamp into a smart light too.

It’s a little plug that isn’t as bulky as some on our list, but it’s a bit pricier than the competition too. We like how you can also grab a bundle with a Hue bulb that reduces the price of the smart light too.

How it connects: This needs a separate Hue Bridge to get connected, although you’ll already have this if you have some existing Hue smart lights. Once the hub is connected, it works through the Phillips Hue app and the three main voice assistants.

Why we like it: This one is a discreet, neat smart socket that fully replaces your existing wall fitting. You'll need some DIY knowledge or an electrician to set it up, though.

On test, it worked well with all the major voice assistants and we think it’d be well-suited to a kitchen countertop or your desk.

How it connects: It uses an included hub to connect to your router, and from there, you control it via an app and also through voice assistants. Once it’s all set up, you can control each socket individually.

Why we like it: If you’re only ever planning to use Apple HomeKit, the versatility of other plugs on this list won’t matter to you. Aside from the Meross option, it’s the most affordable HomeKit-compatible option at £24.99.

This simple boxy plug connects directly to HomeKit only and is compact enough that it doesn’t get in the way of your other sockets.

How it connects: Just scan the QR code to add it to the Apple Home app on your phone. You’ll need an Apple TV 4K or HomePod Mini to act as your HomeKit home hub, enabling you to command the plug when you’re away from home.

You’ll be able to control your plug and create schedules using a smartphone app from the brand. Some of these are also compatible with a platform called IFTTT, which stands for “if this, then that”.

This service can get devices and services from different brands working together. For example, you could set it up so that your wifi security camera could automate a lamp switching on, but only if the camera spots someone outside your house.

In addition, you can use voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant to switch plugs on and off.

If you prefer to keep everything in one place, you can also create “automations” and schedules within the app for the voice assistant.

Not all plugs work with all assistants though, so we’ve covered that in our reviews.

Smart plugs can help you save energy by helping you to switch off appliances that may be consuming electricity while on standby. Set-top boxes, older gaming consoles and ageing TVs are some of the main culprits.

Newer TVs are more energy-efficient, but it still can help to switch a few appliances off overnight to save precious pennies on your energy costs.

Models from brands like TP-Link and Eve will offer you energy-monitoring capabilities too, helping you to know how much energy you’re using and what it costs.

Simon Cocks is our Technology Ecommerce Editor, overseeing tech shopping content and strategy across a range of titles including Good Housekeeping, Esquire, Digital Spy and more. 

Simon specialises in testing the latest smart gadgets, home entertainment gear, headphones, speakers, charging kit and smartphones. 

Previously, Simon was part of Good Housekeeping’s Consumer Affairs Team, conducting price comparison research, writing detailed advice guides and editing thousands of in-depth reviews for the Good Housekeeping Institute.

When not testing out the latest gizmos, you’ll find Simon either catching up with the newest releases at his local cinema or out shooting with his beloved compact camera.

You can follow Simon on Instagram at @simonrcocks and on Twitter at @simoncocks.  

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Best smart plugs to buy in 2024

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