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The best smart plugs in 2024

The best smart plugs in 2023
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If you don't have a smart home, now's a great time to set one up. One way to start is by buying the best smart plugs, which make it super-easy to automate your lights and other small appliances.

If you're not sure how automation can benefit your home, the experts at CBS Essentials are here to guide you. Smart devices can help you pre-program your thermostat to save on energy bills or simplify your bedtime routine. They can ensure you never come home to a dark house and that you can have peace of mind on vacation with a security system that turns on and off automatically.

Building a network of smart devices might sound complex and expensive but smart plugs can help make it simple and more affordable. These small yet powerful devices plug directly into your outlets and take commands via an app or smart assistant, allowing you to control your lights and other tech with just a tap or your voice using a smart home hub like Amazon Echo or Google Nest.

Which smart plug is right for your home? Check out our picks for the best smart plugs in 2024.

The best smart plugs in 2024

The best smart plugs are easy to install, affordable and can be controlled via app or voice command. We found top-rated options to fit just about any budget.

Wemo smart plug

Wemo Smart Plug

This smart plug is one of, if not the best, you can buy. Its compact footprint and budget pricing make it an excellent pick for any household. Plus, it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, unlike some of its other brethren. Plus, it also has a special "Away" mode that you can program to turn your lights off and on automatically for while you're away.

An Amazon customer called it a great compact controller: "For what it is and does, the Wemo Smart Plug is a great device. I have no complaints and recommend it for smart home use or even something as simple as a timer or standalone appliance or light controller."

GE Cync indoor smart plugs

GE Cync indoor smart plug

This midrange plug boasts a versatile app and reliable control via app or voice. It doesn't require an additional hub for other features, and everything can be set up from your phone or smart device. It's compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa devices, and it allows for hassle-free scheduling with multiple pre-programmed light scenes to choose from.

An Amazon buyer was pleased to find there were no issues after setup: "These work well, and I feel safer using the GE brand as opposed to brands I've never heard of. Even if you just use them to trigger lamps, they're very practical and save you effort over time."

TP-Link Kasa Ultra mini smart plug

TP-Link Kasa Ultra Mini Smart Plug

This budget-priced smart plug is the cheapest on the market. It's well worth its lower price, coming with a wealth of automation features. It supports both Google Assistant and Alexa, while offering the ability to schedule lights and control them via your favorite automation platform. It also has a great app for simple, breezy setup. 

One Amazon buyer praised it for its simplicity: "I have my whole house set up with smart lights. This plug let me light up my tree. Let the laziness ensue! Very easy to set up and connects to Alexa in a snap."

Regularly $10, you can get the TP-Link Kasa Ultra mini smart plug for $8 at Amazon now.

Wyze Plug outdoor smart plug

Wyze Plug outdoor smart plug

If you're using a variety of outdoor smart devices like lighting or security cameras, an outdoor smart plug is a must. This Wyze plug is an unassuming black box with a small footprint and two outlets, each with independent LED lights to highlight what's currently active. It's rated to withstand the elements, and each outlet has a useful cover to protect it when not in use. It supports Alexa and Google Assistant and can set up schedules based on the time of day as well as motion trigger zones.

An Amazon buyer called it "so practical": "This plug is perfect to use outside, I use it to control my pool pump and have the option to turn it on or off with the app on the phone."

HBN Wi-Fi dual outlet smart plug

HBN Wi-Fi dual outlet smart plug

The HBN smart plug comes with two outlets, each controlled independently of the another. Even with an additional outlet, it's still compact enough to save room for your second outlet either above or below. You can activate one or both plugs at your convenience, with either controlled via app or voice command through Alexa or Google Assistant. You can also name the outlets to help better identify them should you have multiple smart plugs enabled simultaneously.

An Amazon buyer praised this dual smart plug's simple setup: "Make sure you use the Smart Life app. These are so easy to set up. Like having the advantage of two sockets from one outlet. Bought two and both work well with Alexa.

TP-Link Kasa smart Wi-Fi power strip

TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi power strip

This smart power strip offers six smart plugs in one for homes with the need for multiple outlets. It brings the reliability and simplicity of the Kasa line to the world of power strips, which is a great solution for anyone with large homes or families who need an abundance of devices. It has a built-in surge protector and includes three USB ports for additional connections. Setup is a breeze with the Kasa app, and it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. It includes physical buttons for further customization as well.

An Amazon buyer proclaimed "Kasa is king": "I've been buying Kasa smart plugs and switches for over 5 years now and they know how to make a good product. They are easy to program and always reconnect to Wi-Fi whenever they lose power or if the network goes down. This strip delivered and the outlet plug is flat enough that the table doesn't have to stick out all funny."

Emporia smart plugs with energy monitoring

Emporia smart plug with energy monitoring

For energy-conscious buyers, the Emporia smart plug has it all. It monitors how much power your connected devices are drawing in real-time, so you can see it all in the Emporia app. That way you can see what kind of electrical load you're dealing with at any given point. They also connect with both Alexa and Google Assistant. It's a standard smart plug otherwise, though it's important to keep in mind that it's only compatible with 120-volt outlets. It can be controlled via voice, though, and it also includes the ability to set timers.

An Amazon buyer stated that it "works perfectly": "Very easy to set up, and makes it super easy to monitor the power consumption of a device with their app. I use it together with the energy monitor in my panel. You can group this one under a circuit so that there is no double-counting. Exactly what I was hoping for."

How to choose the best smart plug

With so many different smart plugs available, it can be difficult to determine which one works best for you and your home.

Not all smart plugs are created equal. Make sure the plug you choose works with your preferred smart home ecosystem, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. That way, you'll get seamless integration with your existing devices and smoother voice control setup.

Another crucial factor is the plug's size and design. Some models can be bulky, and they can block adjacent outlets when plugged in. Look for a compact design that won't hog all the outlet space, especially if you plan on using multiple smart plugs. There are smart strips available for those use cases, so you don't have to stack plugs on top of each other in a single outlet.

You may also want to do some research on the smart plug's app and if it's compatible with voice controls. A user-friendly app will make setup and control a breeze, so look for one with positive reviews and an intuitive interface. Clarify whether you need a hub for additional features or if the app is all that's required. This may save you some frustration later on.

Energy monitoring features can also be a plus for those who want to keep an eye on their power consumption, too. Some smart plugs provide real-time usage data and even suggest ways to save energy, making your home greener and reducing your electric bill.

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