Best smart plugs for 2019 – CNET

Smart products are replacing our old light bulbs, refrigerators, speakers and more, but what about the stuff in our homes that isn't smart yet? That's where smart plugs come in.

These nifty gadgets connect your regular old coffee maker, lamp, fan or nearly anything else to your smart home for voice control and automation. There are models for every voice assistant. Some even work with all three: Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa. 

Read more: Want to buy a smart plug? Read this firstThese smart plugs are the secret to a seamless smart home

New smart plugs are popping up all the time. Wyze recently announced the Wyze Plug (we'll be testing it out soon). Picking the right smart plug means taking a look at your needs, your home and the platform you use to control it all.

We've tested dozens of smart plugs from companies large and small and these are our best bets for bringing the rest of your home online. 

Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

Chris Monroe/CNET

TP-Link's Kasa line of smart home products includes this space-saving smart plug. It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and the Kasa app offers plenty of detailed options for customizing scheduling, away modes and timers. 

What you won't get? Energy consumption data, a USB port or HomeKit compatibility. Still, if you're interested in scheduling and voice commands, TP-Link's $30 smart plug is a great choice.

Read our full review of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

At just $18, this smart plug is the most affordable on our list. It's also the smallest. Pair that with energy monitoring and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa smarts, and you've got a great option for your smart home. 

The SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug won't work with HomeKit and there's no extra USB charging port. The SmartThings app doesn't offer as many customization options and scheduling capabilities as TP-Link's Kasa smart plug above, but SmartThings did impress us by creating an easy to set up smart plug that doesn't need a SmartThings hub. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

This smart plug comes with an easy-to-use app, monitors your energy consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh), and works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for voice commands. 

The plug's design blocks the outlets above or below it, and it isn't compatible with Apple HomeKit. Still, the TP-Link's Kasa app is great, and you'll get a clear picture of how much energy your connected appliance is using. 

Unlike some smart plug manufacturers, TP-Link has a host of other Kasa smart home products including light bulbs, cameras and even a power strip, making it easy to expand your smart home in one app if you like this plug.

Read our full review of the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

At $30, the WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug is affordable and comes with native Google Assistant, Alexa and yes, HomeKit compatibility.

The WeMo app isn't our favorite, and you won't get energy monitoring with this plug. Those shortfalls aside, this space-saving design and solid HomeKit compatibility make it easy to recommend to users in Apple's ecosystem. 

Read our full review of the WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug

The $50 iDevices Outdoor Switch is a great way to automate outdoor lights, fans, lamps or other patio electronics. It works with Google Assistant, Alexa and HomeKit and includes energy tracking.  

While you will get two outlets, you can't control them individually. If that's a must-have for you, we'd recommend checking out the iClever Smart Plug.

Read our full review of the iDevices Outdoor Switch

Other models we tested

There are dozens of smart plugs out there from companies large and small, and while we haven't tested every single one, we've seen quite a few come through the CNET Smart Home. Here's a quick look at other notable options. 

  • Amazon Smart Plug: Amazon's flagship smart plug costs $25 and only works with Alexa. While setup is easy, it isn't as feature-rich as other models. 
  • Satechi Dual Smart Outlet: This HomeKit friendly smart plug is expensive at $60, but you will get two outlets and energy monitoring capability. There isn't any compatibility with Google Assistant and or Amazon Alexa. 
  • iHome Outdoor: This $40 outdoor smart plug works with all three voice assistants, but you'll only get one outlet. 
  • ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2: This $60 behemoth does it all—energy monitoring, individually controlled outlets, a USB port and LED status lighting. However, the price and unattractive, oversized design are enough to keep me from recommending it. 
  • Koogeek: This $32 smart plug works well with HomeKit, but blocks adjacent outlets. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integrations aren't as smooth as we'd like to see. 
  • Puregear Pureswitch: This HomeKit-centered smart plug is another solid choice for Apple smart homes, but it didn't perform as well in our testing. 
  • Eufy smart plug mini: This pint-sized smart plug is just slightly larger than our SmartThings budget pick above and costs just a few dollars more at $23. You'll get Amazon and Google Assistant smarts, as well.  

Things to remember

Choosing the best smart plug for you begins with voice assistant compatibility. Choose a plug that works with whichever voice assistant you're using. You can usually find this information on the product box, website or in your voice assistant's mobile app. 

Next, consider where your plug will be placed and whether blocking other adjacent outlets is a concern. If so, be sure to pick a plug that isn't too large. Most models described as "mini" will be space-saving.  

Extra features like energy monitoring and USB charging can add even more control and convenience. No matter which smart plug you choose, bringing everyday products online with a plug is one of the simplest ways to automate and smarten your home. 

Best smart plugs for 2019     - CNET

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