Best smart plug: Our tests reveal key ways to make your dumb stuff smart
These plugs can do more than just turn things off and on again
The best smart plugs are one of the most straightforward ways to smarten up your home, yet picking the right one is more challenging than it seems. Sure, job number one is switching things on and off, but did you know they do more than that? The best smart plugs are reliable, can keep track of your power usage, or can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Paired with the best smart speakers and the best Wi-Fi router, they can also make your life way easier.
I’ll also mention the new smart home protocol, Matter, a few times. Pending a longer explainer, here’s the short version of what the new standard is: a new partnership between Amazon, Matter, Google, Apple, Samsung, and many other major players in the smart home industry has resulted in a new smart home standard, based on the HomeKit platform Apple created for its devices. Devices compliant with this standard will be compatible with any and all Matter-supporting smart home controllers, meaning that if you’re buying a product with the Matter logo on the box, you no longer have to wonder if it will work with your smart speaker, because the answer will now invariably be “yes.”
I’ve looked at several different smart plugs and will continue to do so, evolving this page as I go. These are the best smart plugs I’ve tested.
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➡️ How to pick out a great smart plug
💡 Decide if a plug or simple smart bulb is better
⛈️ Does it need to be weatherproofed, i.e. for outdoor use?
🤔 If not Matter-compliant, pick one that works with your chosen smart platform
⚡️ Careful with heavy-duty use – smart plugs usually max at 20A
1. Eve Energy smart plug & power meter
Best overall smart plug
✅ Energy monitoring
✅ Small form factor
❌ Confusing app
Of all the smart plugs I’ve used, the Eve Energy Smart Plug is the best, and easily justifies its higher-than-average price of $39, particularly now that it’s been taken out of HomeKit jail with Google and Amazon now both supporting Matter.
The reason is clear: aside from having a nice, compact form factor and being easy to set up, the Eve Energy plug has been one of the most reliable devices in my home, by far. It’s also one of the handiest to have, because I can use it to find out how much something is costing me to use – that’s because Eve’s plug has a built-in power meter that tracks the usage of whatever’s plugged into it, breaking down your projected cost, in real-time, by the year.
The only downside is this information has to be accessed through Eve Energy’s app, which is… not the best. However, it’s a delight to have so much information, and it can really help you save some money by finding out what’s sucking so much power in your house.
2. Wemo smart plug with Thread
Best budget smart plug
✅ Affordable pricing
✅ Small form factor
❌ Buggy Wemo app
Belkin company Wemo produced the first smart plug I ever used – the Wemo Mini – which was its second-generation take on the category, and which ended up mostly being a headache for me, as so many early smart home devices were. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Wemo smart plug with Thread.
Built on the back of the new smart home platform, this smart switch is more responsive than its predecessor, and more reliable, at least in my testing over the last few days. While not nearly as feature-rich as some others, given that it mostly just toggles things, it’s even tinier than the Eve Energy smart plug, which is no mean feat.
The Wemo smart plug with Thread, technically priced at $29, has been available for $24 or less since on Amazon since it’s debut in March. Though initially only HomeKit-compatible, both Samsung and Google have recently enabled Matter support on their ecosystems, and we expect Amazon to follow suit very soon.
3. Meross smart outdoor plug
Best outdoor smart plug
✅ Sturdy construction
✅ Mostly reliable connection
❌ Requires a reset if your router restarts
The Meross smart outdoor plug has been my go-to smart outlet for some time, although it’s admittedly long in the tooth, and as soon as a smart outlet with Thread is available, I’ll be replacing it. That said, this plug survived three summers in Texas without missing a beat, and remains one of the more reliable Wi-Fi plugs I’ve tested – though it does need to be restarted after a router reboot.
Meross’ plug comes equipped with two standard three-prong outlets, a hardy outer shell, and a thick, short cable. It’s designed to hang down so that, if it does get rained on, the water is diverted away from the outlets. Meross includes a rubber gasket that plugs an outlet when not in use.
Its rated for 15 amps of current, and if you use it with HomeKi, you can expect solid security, particularly if you use it with a HomeKit Secure Router, of which there are precious few. Meross sells the outlet cheaper than ever for the last year or so, having stayed at $28, with rare sales dropping it as low as $23.
Why you should trust my smart plug recommendations
I’ve been writing about smart home and network gear for over two years, and have tinkered with them far longer. My primary goals when ‘smartifying’ something in or around my home are making things easier for myself and my family and saving money through automation. Those are my goals here, too.
Let me help you pick the best smart plug
Whether you want to know more about something I wrote here or you have questions about something you already bought, I’m happy to help you. Shoot a message over to The Shortcut Twitter account, and I’ll be glad to give you my two cents.