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.
If you have an Echo and want to be able to control some appliances around your house, a smart plug can make that happen. Luckily, most smart plugs work with Alexa. Here are the best ones to buy.
Keep in mind that the following smart plugs can all do the basics, like turn on and off remotely from your phone, create timers and schedules, activate scenes, and obviously work with Alexa for voice control. We also only focused on smart plugs that are compact and stackable so that you can fit two to an outlet, which is actually pretty common for smart plugs nowadays—our last pick is an exception to that, but even though it isn’t stackable you can place it on the upper outlet and keep the lower outlet free.
Since we’re talking about smart plugs that work with Alexa, it only seems fitting to discuss Amazon’s own smart plug that sells for $25.
There’s nothing insanely special about it, but the one great thing is that it connects seamlessly to Alexa, since the smart plug is made by the same company—the Alexa app will immediately recognize the smart plug during the setup process and connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network. From there, it’s instantly ready for voice control. It’s about as convenient as it gets.
It’s not quite the cheapest smart plug on the block (as we’ll prove down below), but if you use Alexa heavily and are wanting to jump on the smart plug train, Amazon’s own smart plug is a good way to go to ensure 100% compatibility with zero headaches or configuration woes.
It’s not the most well-known smart plug brand on the market, but the Sonoff S31 retails for just $19, making it one of the cheapest options out there. Even better, that low cost doesn’t give you fewer features. In fact, it comes with a really neat feature that we don’t often see in smart plugs.
It comes with energy monitoring, which you can find in a lot of smart plugs, but the Sonoff lets you enable overload protection. So if a certain wattage draw is met, the plug will kill the power. If you’re using the plug in a situation where a space heater or other high-draw appliance might cause a problem, the wattage draw safety feature is pretty handy.
And of course, the S31 works with Alexa for controlling fans, heaters, and lamps with your voice, making it the cheapest smart plug we’ve seen that’s compatible with Amazon’s voice assistant platform.
Read more about the Sonoff S31 in our full review.
TP-Link’s Kasa brand already offers a handful of different smarthome products, so if you already have a few installed in your house, the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is a great addition that works with Alexa for $26.
The Kasa smart plug is your basic, no-frills model, but it does come with an Away Mode that can randomly turn on and off your lamps when you’re away so that it looks like you’re home and active. A feature like this is super handy, especially if you don’t want to just set an easily-guessed light schedule.
Furthermore, you’ll frequently see Kasa products go on sale, and with the holidays coming up, I don’t doubt that you’ll be able to find these cheaper in a no time.
Belkin’s WeMo brand of smarthome products has been around for a while now, and even though there are more companies on the block competing with WeMo, the WeMo Insight still has some unique features that could justify its higher price tag.
The biggest selling point isn’t just its energy monitoring capabilities, but rather the ability to set up notifications in a way so that when the smart plug detects a power draw higher than a specified wattage, you’ll receive an alert.
It may not seem like a big deal, but this is great for when you forget to switch off something like a space heater and it ends up turning back on after you left the house. You can get notified about it and turn it off before it wastes any more electricity or, more importantly, before it causes a major hazard.
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