✔️ Size: Not all smart plugs are created equally, and some are larger than others. Before buying a smart plug, make sure that it will fit in your space and outlet. For instance, if you want to use a smart plug in the outlet behind the couch, you need to ensure you have enough space for the smart plug itself as well as your device’s plug. Also be mindful that while some smart plugs might fit into one outlet on your wall, they could end up blocking the other. If this is the case, look for a smart plug with a compact design or a dual smart plug.
✔️ Voice assistant compatibility: If you plan on using a voice assistant such as Google Assistant or Alexa with your smart plug, make sure that the smart plug is compatible with that assistant and ecosystem. While most smart plugs work across multiple platforms, some may not support all of them.
✔️ Indoor/outdoor use: If you plan on using your smart plug outside to operate Christmas lights or lamps and fans on your patio, first double-check that the smart plug was created for outdoor use. Check that it has an IP rating of at least IP64, meaning it can withstand some exposure to outdoor elements. Our experts advise that you should never use an indoor-only smart plug outside.
✔️ Power: Check the smart plug’s power to see how many amps it uses and what it can and can’t be used with. Simply put, an amp is a unit measuring electricity. Lights and smaller smart devices, like the Amazon Echo, only draw about one amp, while TVs can draw about three amps depending on size.
✔️ Extra features: Some smart plugs come with more features than others. You might see smart plugs that offer energy monitoring to understand how much energy your appliances are consuming, while others offer a dimming option for your lights. Some smart plugs enable you to create schedules within the app, such as setting your coffee machine to turn on at 8 am or having your electric blanket turn on before you wake up on a cold morning.