If you have ever walked out of your house and wondered a few minutes up the road whether you had turned the iron or straighteners off, smart plugs are what you need in your life. For some electronics it doesn't matter if you leave them on all day, except for your utility bill at the end of the month, but for others it could be pretty dangerous.
Smart plugs are simple devices that have the ability to make your electronics that little bit cleverer by connecting them up to your smartphone so you can switch them on or off remotely. Many of them are now also compatible with smart home devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home so you can control them with your voice too. Here are a few to consider.
Belkin WeMo Switch / Belkin WeMo Mini Switch
The Belkin WeMo Switch works with both Android and iOS devices and it allows you to turn electronic devices on or off from anywhere, so long as you have an internet connection. It uses your existing home Wi-Fi network to provide you with wireless control of anything from TVs and lamps to irons and heaters, via the free WeMo app or voice control through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The WeMo Switch is a modular system so you can add multiple switches to your home and turn them all off at once or program each one to turn on or off at specific times. The WeMo Switch plugs into a standard plug socket, while the WeMo Mini Switch has a smaller form factor in order to allow for two in one US socket. The appliance you want to control wirelessly then plugs into the WeMo Switch, with the rest of the installation completed through the app.
Elgato Eve Energy
Elgato Eve Energy is available as a UK plug, EU plug and a US plug and it is the only smart plug on this list that is compatible with Apple's HomeKit, therefore allowing control through Siri.
Eve Energy will allow you to see how much energy your devices are using and understand your energy consumption and you'll also be able to switch your devices on or off with a simple tap or by using your voice and asking Siri. Elgato offers several other smart home devices within its portfolio too including door and window sensors, light bulbs and a door lock, among other things, all of which are HomeKit compatible.
TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug
The TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug will allow you to turn your electronics on or off from your smartphone, anywhere you have an internet connection, but it will also allow you to monitor energy usage of anything plugged into it from your smartphone like the Elgato Eve Energy. There is also an Away-Mode on this smart plug though, allowing you to turn devices on and off at different times to imply someone is home even if they aren't.
The HS110 Smart Plug works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and it is compatible with devices running Android 4.1 or higher and iOS 8 or higher. Like all smart plugs, you just need to plug the HS110 into a normal plug socket, followed by the device you want to control into the smart plug.
Hive Active Plug
Buy the Hive Active Plug for £35 (save £4) - see this deal in the UK
The Hive Active Plug requires the Hive Hub if you don't have Hive Active Heating in order to connect it to any other Hive devices you have and allow you to control it with your smart device, be that a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Once connected, you'll be able to turn any electronics plugged into it on or off remotely, as well as schedule up to six time slots a day to mimic someone being home.
Like some other smart plugs on this list, the Hive Active Plug is compatible with Amazon Alexa meaning you'll be able to control your electronics with your voice through an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, like the Amazon Echo. Hive also has bulbs and sensors within its smart home portfolio if you want to expand beyond plugs.
Bosch Smart Plug
Buy the Bosch Smart Plug for £44 (save £11) - see this deal in the UK
The Bosch Smart Plug will connect any electrical device you plug into it to the Bosch Smart Home System. Through the Bosch Smart Home app, you'll be given an insight into the power consumption of the individual devices and you'll also be able to individually control them and program them day-by-day with a time switch.
Its compact design means it should mean both sockets on a double socket can be used simultaneously still and although it doesn't offer Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant control, there is a manual override function on the plug if your smartphone isn't handy.
D-Link Smart Plug
Buy the D-Link Smart Plug for $29.99 - see this deal in the US
D-Link is similar to Belkin in that it offers a number of home automation products including motion sensors and smart home cameras, but it also has a Smart Plug in its portfolio. Like the others on this list, the D-Link Smart Plug allows you to monitor and control your electronic devices and appliances from anywhere when you have an internet connection.
The D-Link Smart Plug works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and you'll be able to turn your devices on or off as well as create on and off schedules. It will work with any smartphone or tablet running Android 4.1 or higher or iOS 7.0 and higher.
Samsung SmartThings Outlet
The Samsung SmartThings Outlet is a Zigbee-enabled device and it allows control over lamps, electronics and small appliances from your smartphone wherever you are. The SmartThings Outlet plug requires the SmartThings Hub to function but like Belkin, D-Link and Elgato, a smart plug isn't the only home automation product this company does so the hub will come in handy if you add more SmartThings devices to your home.
You'll receive alerts if you accidentally leave any devices on and you'll also be able to trigger lights to turn on automatically when you come home, or turn off when you leave. The SmartThings Outlet is also compatible with Amazon Alexa so you can control the devices plugged into it with your voice too.
ZettaGuard S25 Wi-Fi Smart Socket
Buy the ZettaGuard S25 Wi-Fi Smart Socket for $14.99 - see this deal in the US
ZettaGuard's S25 Wi-Fi Smart socket allows you to turn appliance and electronic devices on or off remotely through the Home Automation app, which is compatible with devices running iOS 6 and higher or Android 4.0 and higher.
The plug can be used for multiple devices throughout your home and along with being able to turn them on or off, you can also set a timer after which the power to your device will be completely cut in order to prevent overcharging. Like other smart plugs, the ZettaGuard S25 plugs into a standard US plug socket and your electronics are then plugged into the smart socket instead to provide you with the wireless control.
Edimax SP-1101W Smart Plug Switch
Buy the Edimax SP-1101W Smart Plug for £32.99 (save £13) - see this deal in the UK
The Edimax SP-1101W Smart Plug provides you with intelligent control over your home electronics, as the other smart plugs within this feature offer. You'll be able to switch devices on or off using your smartphone, as well as set schedules for them and check their status when you are out and about.
Like the others, the device you want to be connected to is plugged into the smart plug, which is plugged into your socket and set up is completed via the EdiRange app. Once everything is up and running, you'll be able to receive email notifications to keep you updated about which appliances are being switch on or off in the app.