Best smart plugs of 2018

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Every room in your house has them: power outlets, and they’re about as dumb as technology can be. To create a true smart home, you need to upgrade the way your wiring works, so that it can be controlled, managed, and monitored from afar.

You could hire an electrician to rip out your existing outlets and replace them with smart in-wall models, but there’s an easier, less-expensive way: Stick a smart plug in those outlets. They work just the way they sound: The outlet in the wall doesn’t change, you just configure the add-on plug using an app, connect it to your network, and use it to control whatever’s plugged into it.

Smart plugs are handy in all kinds of ways. Some models have built-in dimmers, so you can adjust the brightness of the lamp that’s plugged into them; others can power small appliances, such as a fan or space heater. Others can be scheduled, so you can make your home look lived in while you’re away on vacation, or so that you can limit the hours your kids can play video games or watch TV.

Which smart plug is best for your home? Here are our top choices, plus a shopping guide that will help you decide which one is right for you if none of our picks fits your needs.

Best smart plug for most people

There’s a lot to like about Belkin’s Wemo Mini Smart Plug, starting with the form factor that allows two of them to be plugged into the same duplex outlet. It’s also inexpensive, with a street price around $28, and its compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Add the $40 Wemo Bridge, and you can integrate this smart plug into a HomeKit ecosystem, too. 


For simpler needs, the Geeni Energi is a solid choice at an affordable price. While it’s somewhat lacking in the looks department (and it will block the lower outlet if installed in the upper socket), it makes up for that by piling on the features. First off, it’s hubless thanks to its Wi-Fi radio, so you won’t need extra hardware to get it up and running. Geeni’s app is also easy to work with, and while it doesn’t work with HomeKit, it does support both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so you can still enable voice control if you have the appropriate assistant. Energy tracking is also built in.

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