Nobody likes bulky surge protectors. They protrude from walls, refuse to hide behind furniture, and look as ugly as sin. So, why not clean up your cable management issue with a space-saving surge protector instead?
Before Buying a Space-Saving Surge Protector
Different situations call for different surge protectors. There are all kinds of things to consider, like the number of outlets you want, or the joule rating you need to keep things safe. The fact that you’re looking for a space-saving surge protector doesn’t make things any easier, as some low-profile surge protectors can be pretty niche.
Here are a few things you should consider before shopping for a surge protector:
- Location: Surge protectors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are great for hiding behind furniture, while others work best on a countertop. Make sure that whatever surge protector you buy works for a specific location in your home—don’t just buy whatever looks nice.
- Joule rating: A surge protector’s “joule rating” determines how much energy it can absorb before it fails. For most applications, you’ll want a surge protector with a rating between 200 and 400 joules. Naturally, heavy-duty situations call for higher joule ratings.
- Outlets and USB ports: Make sure that your surge protector has enough outlets, and that it has USB or USB-C ports (if you need them). All the surge protectors in this article have three-prong outlets, so you don’t have to worry about incompatibility.
- Plug shape: Surge protectors with bulky power cables are a genuine eyesore, and they’re difficult to tuck behind furniture. So, for your convenience, every power strip included in this article has a space-saving L-shaped plug.
Now that you know what you need from a low profile surge protector, it’s time to get into it. Here are the best space-saving surge protectors for every situation.
For Behind Furniture: GE 3-Outlet Extended Surge Protector
Got an outlet that’s hidden behind a couch or bookshelf? Skip the typical power strips and consider picking up a GE 3-port extended surge protector. It’s basically a nice looking 8′ extension cord for indoor use (a 15′ version is also available), with a tangle-proof braided cable to boot.
The GE extended surge protector has a 250-joule rating, so it’s ideal for most indoor applications. You could easily use this surge protector to gain access to your hidden outlets or to add some outlets for the modem and router you’ve strategically tucked behind your couch. (By the way, you shouldn’t put them back there.)
GE Designer Extension Cord With Surge Protection, Braided Power Cord, 8 ft, 3 Grounded Outlets, Flat Plug, Premium, Gray/White, 38433
The GE Designer indoor extension cord has a surge protection rating of 250 joules, a flat head plug, and an 8' braided cable. It's great for making the most of that outlet behind your couch.
For Everyday Use: Belkin 6-Outlet Surge Protector
The Belkin 6-outlet surge protector is an affordable, low-profile power strip. Its L-shaped plug and thin design set it apart from most surge protectors, and its 6-foot cable is long enough to work well in most situations without getting tangled.
This surge protector has a 600-joule rating, which makes it great for lightweight or heavy-duty applications. You could safely use this surge protector behind your desk, in the garage, or even as a part of your media center.
Belkin 6-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector, Flat Rotating Plug, 6ft Cord (600 Joules)
The Belkin 6-outlet power strip is a space-saving, all-purpose surge protector. With a 600-joule rating, you can expect it to work safely during lightweight or heavy-duty use.
For Desk Use: APC 6-Outlet USB Desk Power Station
No, this device doesn’t sit on your floor like some cursed space-wasting electric horseshoe. It’s an APC desk power station, and you can clamp it to the side of your desk. Bear with us, it’s pretty cool.
The APC’s top side (which sits on top of your desk) has an easy-access kill switch, a USB-C port, and two 12-watt USB ports. Its bottom side (which hides below your desk) has six outlets, so you can neatly tuck away your computer cables or rearrange them on the fly.
But how does this thing work as a surge protector? Well, it has a 1080 joule rating, so we’d say it makes for a pretty good surge protector. You could easily use this to power your complicated computer setup, or to safely power the tools in your garage.
APC Desk Mount Power Station PE6U21, U-Shaped Surge Protector with USB Ports (3), Desk Clamp, 6 Outlet, 1080 Joules Black
The APC desk power station clamps to your desk, bringing six outlets, two USB ports, and a USB-C port to your workstation. With its 1080 joule rating, this power station is perfect for most computer setups.
The Flush Option: POWRUI 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector
You know, most people wouldn’t need surge protectors if wall outlets had more than two ports. And that’s basically the idea behind the POWRUI surge protector. A flush device that adds extra ports to your typical wall outlets, it even has four built-in 30-watt USB ports to eliminate your need for bulky USB power bricks.
This surge protector has a 1680-joule rating, more than enough for everyday applications or heavy-duty use. Just keep in mind it uses up two wall outlets (and only has three outlets built-in), so it won’t work great for messy computer setups or media centers.
POWRUI Multi Wall Outlet Adapter Surge Protector 1680 Joules with 4-USB Ports Wall Charger, Wall Mount Charging Center 3 Outlet Wall Mount Adapter for Home, School, Office, ETL Certified
The POWRUI flush surge protector adds three outlets and four USB ports to your wall without looking messy. With its 1680-joule rating, this surge protector is safe to use in just about any situation.
For Countertops: GE 5-Outlet USB-C Surge Protector
The GE 5-outlet surge protector strikes a good balance between size and usability. It isn’t a “flush” surge protector, but it sits against your pre-installed wall outlets to save space. The slightly triangular design makes it great for plugging in appliances on a kitchen countertop.
This surge protector has a 560-joule rating, which makes it great for powering small kitchen appliances. It also has a 17-watt USB port and a USB-C port, so you don’t have to leave USB power bricks in the kitchen.
GE 15W USB-C Surge Protector Outlet Adapter, 5 Outlet Wall Tap, for iPhone 11/Pro/Max/XS/XR/X/8, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, 17W USB-C & USB Total Power, White, 43650
The GE 5-outlet surge protector sits against your wall and is ideal for powering countertop appliances without making a mess. It has a 560-joule rating, a USB port, and even a USB-C port.
The Bendy Option: Quirky 6-Outlet Flexible Surge Protector
Sometimes the tried-and-true power strip design just won’t cut it. If you need a power strip that can snake between furniture legs or bend to the will of awkward power cables, you should check out the Quirky flexible 6-outlet surge protector.
This is a great all-purpose surge protector with an all-purpose 672-joule rating. It’s a little weird, but it’s the best way to keep those power bricks and laptop chargers from tangling into a giant rat’s nest.