Best Smart Plug 2018 – Buyers Guide

Smart plugs are an innovative way to connect your electrical mains appliances to your wifi network, allowing you to control them remotely and turn them on and off from your compatible smartphone or smart speaker. Perfect as well for those hard-to-reach sockets.

The great news is that the large majority will work with your standard appliances, such as existing lights and things like your set-top boxes and chargers. It makes starting a smart home much more accessible, without having to invest too much.

Not only can they mean you can turn off your upstairs lighting from the comfort of your sofa, but they can also be controlled from abroad while you’re on holiday, or set to a timer schedule. This makes them a great addition to your security.

Wondering what the best smart plug in the UK is at the moment? Have a read through of our guide to help you decide:

The Best Smart Plugs – Our Top Picks

Best Overall Smart Plug: HP-Link HS110
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TP-Link HS110
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  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: H14.4 x W8.8 x D9cm
Readers Pick: Hive Active Plug
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Hive Active Plug
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  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: H11 x W5.3 x D5.8 cm
Best Value: SMJ GHOMA Wi-Fi Plug
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SMJ GHOMA Wi-Fi Plug
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  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: 15 x 7.5 x 21 cm
  • Amp Rating: 13A
  • Power Voltage: 240V

Best Home Smart Plugs

TP-Link HS110

Similar to the original, well-applauded HS100 but with additional energy monitoring. Which makes it worth the little extra price in our eyes.

Simply put, this means it can analyse the real-time and historical power usage of your particular appliance. Which is handy if your bills are high and you want to see the culprit, or need to look at how much leaving appliances on standby actually uses.

This is on top of the ability to control lighting, heating and appliances from a compatible smartphone, as well as set timers. It can operate over wifi and mobile internet, so if you’re going to be out later than expected and need to turn the lights on from your phone, you can.

You can also set it only to be powered for a certain time, to make sure something like your hair straighteners won’t be on all day.

Really easy to set up, the app remembers your WiFi settings and creates a little network for if you add another TP-Link at a later date, so it connects automatically.

We like

  • Easy set up
  • Seeing energy consumption is a handy benefit
  • No other products to buy for it to work

We disike

  • Nothing to say!

Final Verdict

TP-Link knows what they are doing when it comes to wireless connections, and this socket is ahead of the game with the few extra features available

+ Specifications

  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: H14.4 x W8.8 x D9cm

+ Downloads

TP-Link HS110 User Manual

Download

Hive Active Plug

Worried you have left your hair straighteners on but well on the way to work? Check with the Hive Smart App, and turn them off if you have. Without having to return home.

You can connect the Hive Active Plug to the Hive Hub, using the central controller, if you have several products in the range, such as the heating kit and motion sensor. Up to 24 products can be connected – plenty for any home.

In the end, Belkin has been producing their WeMo for a few years now. Does the Hive bring anything new to that mix? Not necessarily. But they do promise more in the future, including IFTTT support. Could be worth getting if you have other products in the range and like the vast choice.

Plus, British Gas is the brainpower behind the Hive range, so you will be paying for quality and a product which will never fail at what it is trying to do.

We like

  • Ability to create a hub
  • It takes minutes to set up
  • A lot smarter looking than some other rivals

We disike

  • Slightly more expensive than some rivals which do the same job
  • Requires connection to the Hive Hub - more cost

Final Verdict

Pricey altogether, but Hive are a big name and you pay for quality. Great addition if you already have any of the products in the range

+ Specifications

  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: H11 x W5.3 x D5.8 cm

+ Downloads

Hive Active Plug User Manual

Download

SMJ GHOMA Wi-Fi Plug

One of the cheaper smart plugs on the market, but that doesn’t mean it is any less efficient at its job.

You can set up timers programmes for accuracy to the minute, and control your appliances from your phone in case you’re away unexpectedly as long as you have an internet connection.

With built-in security through the app, you can set up alerts to receive push notifications or emails if the plug is switched on/activated.

We like

  • Security alerts is a handy touch
  • Low price

We disike

  • Difficult to connect to WiFi
  • Basic instructions

Final Verdict

Does the job advertised well. Less technical than a lot of its rivals which allows for the lower price, but still works great.

+ Specifications

  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: 15 x 7.5 x 21 cm
  • Amp Rating: 13A
  • Power Voltage: 240V

+ Downloads

SMJ GHOMA Wi-Fi Plug User Manual

Download

YALE SR-PS Smart Power Switch

One of the frontrunning choices if security is your main priority when wanting to buy a smart plug.

It can be used in conjunction with your Yale Smart Alarm hub system and therefore you can control everything from your security cameras to motion detectors.

Because the SR-PS uses a secure 868 MHz frequency, nothing will interfere with the signal.

A big downside is that it feels unnecessary to have to connect it to an entire security system, rather than it being standalone. You can use it to operate lighting or the television if you get an alert that something has been set off, but it may not be a necessity.

We like

  • Easy to connect all together
  • Great addition to an already existing Yale Security System

We disike

  • Works with fewer third-party products than other smart plugs

Final Verdict

The Yale SR-PS is great if you already have the Yale system, but don’t necessarily rush out to buy it if not

+ Specifications

  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • Size: 4 x 6 x 9.5 cm
  • Power Output: 1200W
  • Power Voltage: 240V

Belkin WeMo Switch

The WeMo uses your existing wifi coverage to control your plugged in devices remotely. You can also operate it over mobile 3G and 4G, so you don’t have to worry about finding coverage when out.

The free WeMo app lets you schedule timings and when certain products turn off. And one of the most important aspects is that Belkin is constantly automatically updating their data, so security is never compromised.

It will control your audio and visual devices, as well as small appliances such as lighting and chargers. There is an on/off switch on the product itself in case you want to control the products manually.

We like

  • Fast to respond
  • Power button
  • No extra costs required

We disike

  • Slightly bulky and ‘old’ looking

Final Verdict

We like the data update, but there is nothing to set it apart from its basic rivals - which could be good news if you want something plain and simple

+ Specifications

  • Works with: iOS/Android
  • H 20.5 x W 14 x D 9.1 cm

+ Downloads

Hive Active Plug User Manual

Download

Help and Resources

Smart Plug Buying Guide

The Best Smart Plug For You

Think about the products you already have and will want to control before you decide on one.

If you just want a plug which will mean you don’t have to reach behind the sofa every night to turn the light on and off, you won’t necessarily need a fancy plug with a timer and security additions.

But if you want to make sure your TV or lamp comes on at 7 p.m. at night if you’re on the night shift, a timer is a necessity just in case you forget to turn it on manually via the app.

Also, think about what you’re plugging in. If it is a product which you always leave on standby, such as a gaming console, you may want surge protection.

Price

The more features you add to a Smart Plug, the more it will generally cost. But there are some great offers to be had – the TP-Link range is quite affordable when considering how much it does, and its reliability (hence why it is our top pick).

FAQ’S

Who makes the best smart plugs?

TP-Link, Hive and Belkin are some of the biggest names with a wide range of products available. There are hundreds of models out there, particularly from sites such as Amazon, but beware that a lot of unknown models and brands can be inefficient and pretty incompatible with a lot of apps.

Can I plug an adaptor into a smart plug?

Usually, no. They have a certain power input and exceeding this, like with all adaptors, will result in it not working. They can therefore only be used with single products.

Are there any items I shouldn’t use with a smart plug?

It isn’t recommended that you use one with devices of a critical nature, such as fridges and freezers which must always be on. This includes things like fish tanks and anything for medical or safety use.