by Andrew Heinzman on
You don’t need to warm up water in the microwave or on the stove. Electric kettles are cheaper than ever, and they can help you make the most out of your tea or coffee drinking experience.
Turning “dumb” appliances and devices into smart devices is pretty easy thanks to smart plugs. And if you’re in the market for one that works with Google Assistant and your Google Home, here are the best ones you should buy.
Before we get started, take note that all of the following smart plugs can do the basics, like turn on and off remotely from your phone, timers, schedules, scenes, etc., as well as obviously work with Google Assistant for voice control.
In addition, we only focused on smart plugs with a stackable and compact form factor—some smart plugs on the market are very bulky and you can’t use two in the same outlet. All of these models, as seen in the photo above, can plug in side-by-side in either a wall outlet or a power strip.
With that said, let’s dig in and focus on what makes each of our picks stand out!
Perhaps the cheapest smart plug we’ve seen that’s worth looking at is the Sonoff S31, which retails for just $19. The great news is that the low cost doesn’t give you less features.
First off, the plug comes with energy monitoring, which you usually only find in select higher-cost smart plugs. This lets you keep track of how much electricity your devices are using, but the Sonoff lets you do more with this, such as enable overload protection—If a certain threshold of power, current, or voltage is met, it will kill the power. This is a feature that’s hard to come by in a smart plug.
The S31 is also really easy to set up with Google Assistant so that you can control it with your voice from your Google Home, which is perhaps the ultimate use for a smart plug—you can control fans, heaters, and lamps with nothing but your voice!
Read more about the Sonoff S31 in our full review.
Anker’s subsidiary Eufy offers a lot of different smarthome solutions, and the Smart Plug Mini is a great one to start off with, especially with a $21 price tag.
Eufy’s smart plug also comes with energy monitoring, but unlike the Sonoff there’s no customizable overload protection. It’s really nothing more than a tracker to see how much electricity you’re using, but that’s certainly better than nothing.
However, Eufy’s smart plugs do come with an Away Mode, which randomly turns your lamps on and off when you’re away so that it looks like someone is home. It’s a subtle feature, but one that’s extremely useful.
I also really like the app, which has a pleasant, fun-looking interface that’s laid out nicely and gives you quick access to the plug’s key features like the energy monitor, timers, and more.
TP-Link has a handful of smarthome offerings in their Kasa line of products, and the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini comes in right behind the Sonoff and Eufy as an affordable smart plug for $26.
Kasa products really fit the bill when it comes to wanting a super simple app interface with no frills, but still offers pretty much all the basics you’d want in a cheap smart plug. In other words, the app isn’t anything to write home about, but if you’ll be using Google Assistant with it anyways, it’s not a huge deal.
The Kasa smart plug is very similar to that of Eufy’s, but both companies are doing a lot of work in the smarthome industry and have their own respectable lines of smarthome gear. So it’s worth noting that if you already have other Kasa products in your home, it’s probably worth sticking to Kasa for a smart plug. That same goes with Eufy as well.
The Kasa smart plugs are well built and a great value, though, especially when they frequently go on sale for as low as $15 each. If you see them on a deep sale like that around the holidays, snatch them up.
The WeMo lineup of smart plugs has a long history in the market, but they’re considerably more expensive than other options. However, the WeMo Insight has a pretty neat feature that may be worth its $40 price tag.
The biggest selling point for the WeMo Insight is its energy monitoring capabilities, just like other models we’ve talked about. However, you can set up notifications so that when the smart plug detects a power draw higher than a specified wattage, you’ll receive an alert.
This is great for those times you forgot to switch off a space heater and it ends up kicking back on while you’re not home. You can get notified about it and turn it off.
Besides this feature, the Insight is your typical smart plug with typical smart plug features, but the peace of mind you’ll get with those energy-monitoring alerts could be worth the higher price tag for you.
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