Best Power Strips

Updated November 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

33
Models
Considered
163
Consumers
Consulted
10
Hours
Researched

Buying guide for Best power strips

In today’s high-tech world, outlet shortage is an all too common experience. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem: the power strip.

Consists of several electrical outlets that can be plugged into the wall, power strips allow you to power several devices at once with limited wall outlet space. The concept is quite simple, but in practice, there are several factors to consider before buying a power strip.

Content Image
Don’t plug large, energy-sucking items like space heaters, air conditioners, or computers into power strips.

Key considerations

The two most important decisions you need to make are the size of the power strip and whether you want a surge protector.

Size

Power strips have anywhere from four to 12 outlets; the majority have six outlets. Ask yourself how many items you will need to plug into the power strip and choose one that can accommodate this. Keep in mind that the more outlets a power strip has, the larger and bulkier it will be. This could be problematic if you plan to store the power strip in a tight space.

Surge protector

Many people use the terms “power strip” and “surge protector” interchangeably. However, this is not accurate. A power strip is a collection of outlets that you can plug into a wall outlet. A surge protector is a device with technology designed to protect electrical devices from power surges. If you’re concerned about your devices being damaged by a power surge, it’s crucial that you purchase a surge protector instead of an ordinary power strip. Many power strips these days have built-in surge protectors, though, so finding one shouldn’t be difficult.

Features

Once you’ve determined the basic type of power strip you need, it’s time to drill down into the details.

Cord length

Your power strip should have a long enough cord to reach from your outlet to wherever you want to put it. If the cord is too short, the power strip may not reach far enough to be useful. You can figure out how long the cord is by checking the product page online or reaching out to the manufacturer.

Configuration

The most common power strip configuration is for all the outlets to be in a single line. However, there are power strips with two rows of outlets, and there are circular power strips that give you equal access to outlets in any direction (without the need to bend cords).

If you need to plug in a cord that’s particularly bulky, it may be difficult or impossible to use the outlets on either side in a standard power strip. In that case, you may want to think about purchasing a power strip with outlets spaced farther apart. Another option is to choose a power strip with swiveling outlets. These outlets can face straight up like a traditional power strip, or they can be rotated 90 degrees to either side.

On/off switch

Most power strips have an on/off switch that can cut power to the entire power strip without forcing you to unplug the strip itself. This is useful if you’re trying to conserve electricity. You can shut the power strip off at night, for example, and turn it on again in the morning when you want to use it.

USB ports

Most electronic devices that have a USB charger can be plugged into an adapter and used in a regular outlet. If you don’t have an adapter on hand, it’s nice to have the option to plug your device directly into a USB port. Some newer power strips have this option. It’s not essential, but it’s great for charging smartphones and similar devices without reaching for the nearest computer or hunting for your adapter.

Smart technology

The most advanced power strips on the market today employ smart technology that connects them to WiFi. In addition to using the on/off switch, you can control smart power strips through an app on your phone. This gives you the freedom to turn the power strip on and off or to set a schedule for when you want it to be on and off. You can even control each outlet individually from the app.

A smart power strip is a wise investment for those who are trying to cut down on energy usage. By shutting off select outlets or the entire power strip when you’re not using it, you can reduce your electricity bill.

Power strip prices

Power strips range in price from $10 to over $125. Cost depends on several factors, including the number of outlets included, whether the power strip has a surge protector, and what other features it offers.

If you just need a standard power strip and don’t have any special configuration requirements, you can find a suitable one for under $25. For a smart power strip, expect to spend anywhere from $25 to $75. Medical-grade power strips — those certified for use in hospitals — can cost $100 or more, but unless you’re purchasing a power strip for an institution like this, you probably don’t need to spend this much.

Content Image
Caution
If your power strip feels hot, unplug it immediately.
STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Never plug one power strip into another.
  • Double-check that the items you plan to plug in can be plugged into a power strip safely. Some larger electronic devices must be plugged directly into a wall outlet.
  • Don’t plug in too many large items that use a lot of energy, or you may overload your power strip.
  • If you have small children, be sure to childproof any outlets on your power strip that you’re not using to prevent your child from electrocution.
  • Keep your power strips away from water.
Content Image
Did you know?
Power surges may be caused by external events, like a lightning storm, or internal events, like an air conditioner starting up or shutting down.
STAFF
BestReviews
Content Image
Keep your power strip cord straight while in use. Knotted cords may be prone to fraying or breaking.

FAQ

Q. How do I reset my power strip after there has been a power surge?
A.
Consult your owner’s manual for specific information about your model. Generally, you would unplug all items from the power strip and turn it off and back on again. There may be an indicator light that lets you know when the power strip is working again. Then, you just plug all your devices back in.

Q. Can I plug an extension cord into a power strip?
A.
You may be able to, but you need to be careful to not overload the power strip, especially if it has multiple devices plugged into it. It’s best to consult your owner’s manual before plugging an extension cord into a power strip.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks