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9 best smart plugs for starting a smart home in 2022

These clever gadgets allow you to turn appliances on and off using your phone

best smart plugs
Good Housekeeping UK

The best smart plugs are a quick way to make your home more intelligent, turning any 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 could be 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 smart bulbs and video doorbells, these 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 phone.

What is a smart plug?

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.

Here are our top recommendations for the best smart plugs in 2022:

      How the GH Tech Team tests smart plugs

      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, and 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.

      Best smart plug for most people
      amazon.co.uk
      TP-Link Kasa Mini Smart Plug
      £40.99
      Best smart power strip
      amazon.co.uk
      TP-Link Kasa WiFi Power Strip
      £25.99
      Best smart plug for Apple lovers
      amazon.co.uk
      Meross Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini
      £16.99
      Best smart plug for Alexa owners
      amazon.co.uk
      Amazon Smart Plug
      £24.99
      Best smart plug for energy monitoring and Apple support
      amazon.co.uk
      Eve Energy Smart Plug
      £39.68
      Best installable smart plug
      amazon.co.uk
      Lightwave Power Starter Kit
      £166.95
      Best smart plug for lighting
      amazon.co.uk
      Philips Hue Smart Plug
      £25.81
      Best if you only use Apple HomeKit
      amazon.co.uk
      Wemo WiFi Smart Plug
      £24.97
      Best smart plug for the basics
      heyimhome.co.uk
      Hey Smart Plug
      £14.99
      How do smart plugs work?
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      Companion apps and connectivity: 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.

      Voice assistants and integrations: 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.

      Can smart plugs save energy?
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      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, games consoles and older TVs are some of the main culprits. Newer tellys 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.

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