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There's a huge wealth of user-friendly smart home devices that work with one or more of the popular voice assistant ecosystems. And while it might seem intimidating at first, putting a smart home together isn't all that difficult and doesn't require you to go out and buy a ton of new smart electronics. For simple stuff like lights and some coffee makers, you can just pop in a smart plug and program away.

While that's a bit of a simplification, the actual process for most of these plugs is pretty easy. Some need you to set up a separate account to access all the features, but we avoid recommending any that are frustratingly difficult to set up. There's also a contingent of multi-outlet options in the form of power strips and normal plugs — some even sport built-in surge protection to keep your devices safe from electrical storms and power grid issues. With so many to choose from, we've weeded out the bad ones and found the top smart plugs, one of which is sure to be right for your situation.

  • kasa-hs300-smart-strip-1
    Source: Amazon
    Kasa HS300
    Editor's choice

    The Kasa HS300 is a six-headed monster of TP-Link's smart plug family, consisting of six smart plugs and three USB ports. It works with both Google and Amazon-centric smart homes and supports custom and premade IFTTT applets. It also boasts surge protection to the tune of 1,710 joules cumulatively. If you want a bunch of smart plugs but can only spare one outlet, this is the one to get.

  • TP Link Kasa EP25 Smart Plug
    Source: Kasa
    TP-Link Kasa EP25
    Premium pick
    $40 $50 Save $10

    TP-Link's Kasa EP25 is a popular product line for Google and Alexa smart homes. It is compact, effective, and reliable, with a user-friendly app that almost instantly responds to commands. It's also one of the few low-cost options supporting Apple HomeKit. The four-pack is the only way to buy this class-leading smart plug right now, but we're confident you'll find a use for all of them.

  • Govee Smart Plug 4 Pack
    Source: Amazon
    Govee 4-Pack
    Best value

    Govee's smart plugs are not particularly standout, but they work well and are affordable. They come in a four-pack and are usually discounted below $30. Setup is easy, commands operate quickly, timers go off reliably, and there is even a manual on/off button for when you don't have a voice assistant. While they aren't standouts, these smart plugs work great and are as affordable as they get.

  • tp-link-tapo-p125-m-smart-plug
    Source: Amazon
    TP-Link Tapo P125M
    Best Matter-enabled plug
    $18 $20 Save $2

    The TP-Link Tapo P125M is the first smart plug to support all three major smart home ecosystems. Matter is an up-and-coming smart home connectivity protocol that promises to bring together the largest competing standards under one easily controlled umbrella. It is worth considering early adoption if you already use smart devices from multiple platforms, as it will become more versatile and easier to use as the standard gets ironed out.

  • Wyze A6 Outdoor Smart Plug
    Source: Amazon
    Wyze A6 Outdoor

    The Wyze A6 Outdoor plug has an IP64 rating against dust and water, is safe between -4 and 120 degrees, has durable rubber covers, and has Amazon's Certified for Humans approval. It also has an integrated ambient light sensor, which can be programmed to dim or brighten outdoor accent lighting without needing a Wi-Fi connection or smart controls. All of these features make it the best choice for a variety of climates.

  • amazon-smart-plug
    Source: Amazon
    Amazon Certified for Humans

    The Amazon Smart Plug is a great selling point due to its smooth integration with Alexa voice control. It does its job as advertised, but power users and smart home veterans may be put off by its lack of official IFTTT support. However, Amazon has gone out of its way to streamline its own smart plug, and it does its job as advertised.

  • Meross MSS630 Outdoor Smart Plug
    Source: Meross
    Meross MSS630
    $33 $33 Save $0

    The Meross MSS630 is a powerful outdoor lighting system with three individually controllable outlets and support for the SmartThings and Apple HomeKit ecosystems. In addition, it has an IP44 protection rating and three physical covers, making it suitable for most locales. There are no drawbacks except for the 10-amp limit per socket, but most modern outdoor lighting won't need that much.

  • Philips Hue Smart Plug
    Source: Philips
    Philips Hue Smart Plug
    $30 $35 Save $5

    Philips Hue lighting is the best in the business, but you can't use a normal smart plug to connect it to a Hue Hub. This plug gives you a wide range of options for even the most straightforward wall-powered lamp. It won't give you magical control over an existing bulb's color, but it will allow you to integrate the lights you already have into scenes and timed programs — as long as you have an actual Hue Hub.

  • Monster MS400 Smart Power Strip
    Source: Amazon
    Monster MS400
    $20 $25 Save $5

    The Monster MS400's appeal lies in its simplicity. The Monster MS400 is a low-priced smart plug and power strip with four AC outlets and two USB ports. It has a six-foot cord and 1,200 joules of surge protection, making it more than most other smart plugs and power strips. Setup isn't the easiest, but it doesn't require any personal details to do so.

  • Govee Dual Smart Plug
    Source: Amazon
    Govee Dual

    Let's say you have two lamps that you want to equip with voice control, but there's only one outlet between them. Let Govee Dual come to the rescue, as it combines a pair of plugs into one standard, 15-amp adapter. You probably won't be able to plug in two kitchen appliances, but it's perfect for tight spaces lacking electrical connections. And it's not super expensive, either.

  • Powrui Outdoor Smart Surge Protector
    Source: Amazon
    PowrUI Outdoor

    It's especially hard to find weather-resistant smart plugs with surge protection, but the PowerUI Outdoor is exactly that. It also has four outlets instead of the two in most outdoor plugs. The IP44 rating means it's safe in light rain, but take care where you put this one since there are no covers for the outlets; you don't want to leave it sitting on the ground while plugged in. Otherwise, it's an easy-to-use, affordable outdoor smart plug.

Plug it in!

Three TP-Link Kasa products are at the top of our list, and for good reason. The Kasa control app is widely regarded as the best, with countless satisfied owners able to program their previously dumb appliances to their heart's content. The HS300 sports six outlets and three non-smart USB ports, the EP25 is a standard, one-outlet plug, and the Tapo P125M is the first of its kind to support all major ecosystems. If you want to save money, the Govee four-pack is notably cheaper per unit, and it's basically just as functional, with only some very minor user interface differences.

On outdoor smart plugs

When looking for an outdoor smart plug, always get one with at least an IP44 rating to ensure it's well-built enough to withstand the dust and moisture that comes with living outside. Also, pay attention to what kind of current each plug can handle; most won't be able to accommodate high-draw devices like water feature pumps. Also, take good care of your outdoor smart plug, and position it out of the way of heavy rain and drainage routes.

What about Matter?

Under development for years and just recently officially released, the Matter standard aims to combine control of all the fragmented smart ecosystems into one easily managed group. As of publication, the TP-Link Tapo P125M is the only Matter-enabled smart plug to support Alexa, Google Assistant, and Android devices. It's still a touch difficult to set up on multiple platforms at this point, but that's understandable since the protocol is still in its early stages. Nevertheless, if you want to be on the cutting edge of smart technology, the Tapo T125M offers great single-ecosystem performance and prepares your home to welcome an onslaught of newly unlocked smart devices from other electronics families.

What is Thread?

While it's slightly different in execution, Thread is similar to Zigbee and Z-Wave in that it's a non-Wi-Fi, non-Bluetooth wireless protocol meant to minimize network congestion on the 2.4GHz band and ensure consistent, reliable control. Unlike those two still-popular protocols, it's intended to serve as a critical piece of the Matter standard and help unify smart devices under a single, low-lag, low-overhead communication method. However, no Thread-enabled devices currently support Android, Alexa, or Google Assistant devices. It's limited to a few nice Apple-only smart plugs for now but will almost certainly see widespread rollout throughout 2023.