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8 best smart plugs to save on energy bills and cut your costs

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We tested for set-up ease of use, efficiency and design (iStock/The Independent)
We tested for set-up ease of use, efficiency and design (iStock/The Independent)

The smart home is increasingly commonplace, with smart thermostats, connected smoke alarms, colour-changing light bulbs, voice-controlled speakers and much more.

But the main entry point to this world is through a simple but important accessory: the smart plug.

With the smart plug, you can make a “dumb” gadget smart. For instance, use it for the bedside lamp so instead of struggling across a dark room with your hands full, say, “Alexa, turn on the bedside light”.

Alexa is Amazon’s voice assistant, though you can also say “Hey, Google” or “Hey, Siri” for products that respond to Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit smart home set-up.

Not all gadgets get really brainy. Some kettles still need you to press a button before they start working – so getting your morning brew going from the comfort of your bed may not apply.

Read more:

How we tested

We tested a range of smart plugs for set-up, simplicity of use, compatibility with multiple platforms, and efficiency in performance, and considered price and design as well. Note that a smart plug is adding an extra layer over the regular socket, and the bulk of some means they overlap two sockets on a multi-gang socket, for instance, or may not be suitable where space is cramped.

The best smart plugs for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Meross MSS110 smart wifi plug mini: £17.99, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best for Apple households – Eve energy smart plug: £34.95, Apple.com

  • Best for multiple devices – TP-Link kasa smart KP303 power strip: £21.98, Comet.co.uk

  • Best for size – Philips hue smart plug: £24.99, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best for Amazon households – Amazon smart plug: £24.99, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best for value – TP-Link tapo P100 mini 2-pack: £13.98, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best for indoor and outdoor use – Meross smart wifi indoor outdoor plug MSS620: £34.99, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best for price – D-Link DSP-W115/B wi-fi smart plug: £12.99, Amazon.co.uk

Meross homekit smart plug mini MSS110

Best: Overall

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

  • Size: 61mm x 50mm x 31mm (not including plug pins)

The smart plug mini lives up to its name and is noticeably smaller than most here, so you can be sure it’ll only take up one socket in a power strip, for instance. As it’s HomeKit-compatible, a QR code is printed on the side of the plug. Scan that to simply connect it to your Apple device through the iPhone or iPad Home app. Meross warns that it only works with devices running iOS 13 or later, and emphasises that it’s more seamless with iOS 14. Otherwise, it’s a great versatile all-rounder, and reasonably priced, too.

Buy now £17.99, Amazon.co.uk

Eve energy

Best: For Apple households

  • Smart home compatibility: Apple HomeKit

  • Size: 72mm x 72mm x 71mm (including plug pins)

Eve energy is the best plug for anyone who has Apple products in their lives. It’s a well-built, highly effective gadget which works brilliantly with Apple HomeKit and its Siri personal assistant. To control the plug when you’re not at home you need an Apple Home Hub, in the form of either a HomePod or Apple TV, and you need an iPhone to use it. Thread compatibility has arrived recently with this latest version – thread technology is designed for smart home applications to improve connectivity so they are more robust and more responsive. It means that there’s no need for a central hub. Instead, compatible devices work together as a mesh network (the more Thread devices, the stronger the network).

The Eve companion app usefully measures energy consumption in tremendous detail. It even lets you work out how much the product you have plugged in is costing, if you enter your supplier’s rate in.

Buy now £34.95, Apple.com

TP-Link kasa smart KP303 power strip

Best: For multiple devices

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

  • Size: 63mm x 260mm x 39mm

There’s no issue with overlap here because this power strip has a regular-sized plug. The smart components are contained near the three sockets. There are also two USB sockets, too. Each regular socket has its own smart control so you can use them for regular plugs, too. The Kasa app helps you set the power strip up and includes energy monitoring as well. Of course, you may not have three gadgets which you need to make smart which will naturally sit next to each other, but if you do, this is a great solution.

Buy now £21.98, Comet.co.uk

Philips hue smart plug

Best: For size

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

  • Size: 60mm x 60mm x 64mm (including plug pins)

The Philips smart plug is small and efficient, not much bigger than a regular plug. If you own other Philips Hue devices, you’ll likely have the Hue Bridge – that is, the hub that’s needed to control the bulbs in most circumstances. If so, you can add Apple HomeKit compatibility to the Smart Plug’s capabilities.

Buy now £24.99, Amazon.co.uk

Amazon smart plug

Best: For Amazon households

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa only

  • Size: 96.2mm x 56mm x 35mm (not including plug pins)

An LED shows whether this smart plug is on, changing colour and blinking when setup is in progress or if there’s no network connection, for instance. Where other plugs are platform-agnostic, this is designed exclusively to work with Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant. There’s no microphone in the plug, of course, so you speak your commands to either a separate Alexa-capable device such as an Echo speaker or the free Amazon Alexa app, available for Apple and Android smartphones. It’s quite big but the shape is vertical so it shouldn’t overlap with adjacent wall sockets.

Buy now £24.99, Amazon.co.uk

TP-Link tapo P100 mini 2-pack

Best: For value

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

  • Size: 70mm x 50mm x 37mm (not including plug pins)

TP-Link’s Tapo app is a simple way to set up this smart plug and it has plenty of features, such as an away mode which can turn devices off and on so that it seems somebody is at home or to create a countdown until gadgets turn themselves off. The plug is compact enough to avoid spilling over to an adjacent socket but big enough to be easy to use, for instance to easily access the power button on the left side.

Buy now £13.98, Amazon.co.uk

Meross smart wifi indoor outdoor plug MSS620

Best: For indoor and outdoor use

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant

  • Size: 12.7mm x 129mm x 66mm (not including plug pins)

Suppose the socket you’d like to make smarter needs to be outside, for garden lights, a sprinkler or seasonal decorations, for instance? This useful double socket makes that possible. A weatherproof housing protects the sockets, though it’s best kept under cover when not in use. It’s chunky and robust and while the design isn’t as attractive as some here, you’ll perhaps tuck it away out of sight. Of course, it works indoors, too.

Buy now £34.99, Amazon.co.uk

D-Link DSP-W115/B wi-fi smart plug

Best: For price

  • Smart home compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant

  • Size: 95mm x 74mm x 38mm (not including plug pins)

This plug is better in an individual socket than an extension cable as it’s just that bit wider than some here, though a mini version is also available for £7 extra. But it’s effective and simple to use, with a clear LED telling you if it’s on or off. Set-up is not quite as simple as on some here but it works well. D-Link’s app is simple and wide-ranging. The plug usefully has two buttons, one for power, one for smart connectivity.

Buy now £12.99, Amazon.co.uk

The verdict: Smart plugs

Eve energy is a real winner, with great performance, though its seamless fit for Apple devices means it’s best for households with an iPhone or iPad, while our overall best buy Meross homekit smart plug mini MSS110 combines compact size with strong capabilities. If you use Amazon Echo devices, the Amazon smart plug is hard to beat.

Voucher codes

For the latest smart home offers, try the links below:

Introduce more savvy tech into your home with the best smart speakers

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