The best smart plugs could save you £100 over two years – these are our top picks

A small investment in affordable smart plugs could save you a bundle over time, and make your entire house that bit more clever in the process.

Right now we're all trying to figure out easy ways to reduce our regular outgoings, whether that's shopping around for the best energy bills or changing up our go-to supermarket. But many don't realise how much cash could be saved just by making their ordinary household technology and appliances a little smarter – with very minimal upfront costs.

So we're not talking about spending thousands on the best new smart fridge or throwing away every inefficient device in your home, but rather adding some smart plugs to minimise the energy wasted by technology left on standby, or even that lamp you always forget to turn off! You can then control your electronics using just your phone, or one of the best smart speakers if you want to dive further into the automated homeworld.

According to research by Ocean Finance, enlisting smart home products in the fight against rising bills has the potential to save you more than £400 over just two years, with smart plugs just one of the quick, inexpensive fixes available.

With a smart plug, you can set routines for your electronics to turn on only when they're needed, and some even turn your devices off and on depending on whether you're home or not – a great burglar deterrent whilst you're away on holiday. The same is true of smart bulbs, and you can read more about these in our guide to the best smart lighting.

Best smart plugs – our top picks

TP-Link Tapo P110 Mini Smart Wi-Fi Socket |  £9.49 at Amazon

TP-Link Tapo P110 Mini Smart Wi-Fi Socket | £12.99 £9.49 at Amazon

The Tapo P110 is a compact smart plug that gives you a choice between controlling your appliances and devices with a smartphone or tablet, or a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on board. Away mode automatically powers the plug down when you're not at home, and you can also monitor your power usage in real-time within the app - handy!

Wiz Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug

Wiz Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Plug

Another budget smart plug, this one from Wiz also works with Siri so, if you're in an Apple household, could be the best choice. The smart plug lets you set routines, use voice control and switch them on and off from anywhere (as long as you have your phone with you). It's also incredibly easy to set up.

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon Smart Plug

A slightly more expensive option at £24.99, the Amazon Smart Plug is still a bargain when you consider how much it could save you over time. Of course, the plug works with Echo devices, but you can use it even without a smart speaker, with the ability to set routines and schedules within the Alexa app.

Ideas for what to use with a smart plug

  • Electric blankets – even the best electric blankets take a few minutes to warm up a cold bed. Make sure your bedsheets are cosy and warm before you get in by powering up your blanket from the sofa.
  • Heated clothes airers – some of the best heated clothes airers come with timers that allow you to program an auto shut-off time, but they tend to cost more. Save money by pairing a more budget model with a smart plug that can do the same job.
  • Lamps – turn on your bedside lamp with your phone to lead the way to bed, or if you tend to leave a light on when you go out to deter burglars, using a smart plug to switch lamps on and off instead means you'll save on the cost of leaving a lamp lit all night long.
  • Coffee machines, microwaves, and other small appliances – whether it's the toaster of the kettle, appliances left in standby mode can be big energy wasters, especially when many of them aren't used after breakfast time. Have your smart plug schedule switch them off when they're not needed.
  • Space heaters and fans – ever leave the house before panicking that you've left the fan or a space heater going? Well, smart plugs not only let you check on things from the bus, the office, or a friend's house, but can often also switch off automatically when you're a certain distance from home.

Visit the Ideal Home home energy hub for more top tips for tackling the cost of living crisis this winter.

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Editor

Caroline is the smart homes editor for Ideal Home, bringing her background in ecommerce and technology journalism to the homes world since the start of 2021. She has been in the industry for more than a decade, working for magazines and websites across industries as including IT Pro, Expert Reviews, Coach and The Week. Her main passion is for how technology can make people’s lives easier and more fun, as well as how smart home devices can save us all money and time.