Needing to plug in your new gadget and not finding a free outlet is the adult equivalent of opening up a shiny new toy on Christmas day and realizing you don’t have the batteries necessary to play with it. There may be tears, there will be frustration, and your next move will be to go online and order a power strip immediately. We suggest ordering one now and saving your sobs for more important matters.
Power strips are a must-have item for home and work for several reasons. Power strips offer additional outlets, plugging into the wall and providing four to 12 extra outlets that can be used for anything from charging your phone to powering all the devices in your entertainment system.
The most obvious reason to use a power strip is for the extra outlets, with power strips offering the ability to consolidate all your gadgets and cords into one space to provide functionality, for example, powering your lamp, printer, monitor, computer, phone, and tablet all from one outlet in your home office. But power strips also offer protection in addition to functionality. All the power strips we’ve included on our list have surge protectors, which can help protect your gadgets, devices and some small appliances if there is an outage or power surge. Spending a few dollars on a power strip is a much better use of funds than spending hundreds of dollars to replace your cell phone that has just caught fire.
We never like to generalize, but in this case, we feel confident in saying that everyone (really, everyone!) needs a power strip. Check out our favorites below.
1. Belkin 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector
Find a spot for all your gadgets with the Belkin Power Strip, which has a combination of outlets for regular and oversized adapters. The strip features an intelligent circuit design that detects and accommodates power needs of various devices, with the surge protector keeping your gadgets safe during outages. Featuring an eight-foot cord, the Belkin 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector includes six regular outlets and six BlockSpace outlets that are designed for oversized power adapters.
Pros: The Belkin has a 3,940-Joule energy rating, is damage resistant and uses power filtration to ensure it runs quietly.
Cons: The power strip has a right-angle AC plug, which can make placement difficult depending on the outlet location.
2. Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector
If you’ve got big adapters and cannot lie, this is the power strip for you. The Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector has all the benefits of the first Belkin on our list, with the added bonus of eight of the outlets pivoting outwards, making it easier to fit multiple oversized adapters on the power strip at once. Designed for users with several oversized adapters, the Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector has outlets that pivot outwards to allow for larger adapters.
Pros: Like the first Belkin, this power strip also has an eight-foot cable and a space-saving design.
Cons: If you have too many large adapters, this option might not cut it.
3. AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip
The AmazonBasics offers an affordable option for anyone who needs extra outlets in multiple locations to power small electronics and appliances like smartphones, laptops and lamps. Get two power strips for a great price with the AmazonBasics six-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip, with each strip including a two-foot power cord. Users will be able to confirm their surge protector is working thanks to the bright LED indicator light that shows the 15-amp circuit breaker is working.
Pros: Each power strip has six outlets, with 200-Joules of power and a basic surge protection rating that covers phones, lamps and small appliances.
Cons: When using oversized adapters, not all six outlets can be accessed. The AmazonBasics also offers less surge protection than the first two Belkin power strips and has the shortest cord on our list.
4. BESTEK 8-Outlet Surge Protector
If you need to charge devices for a large group, the BESTEK eight-Outlet Surge Protector has a port for everyone. Not only does the power base come with eight outlets that are built with 1,500 joules of surge protection, the BESTEK also has six USB intelligent charging ports. The BESTEK is able to detect each device and deliver the fastest maximum charge available up to 2.4A per port. The BESTEK also includes two independent switches that help to save energy. Measuring just under six inches tall with a six-foot cord, the BESTEK is easy to place just about anywhere. We also like that it comes with a built-in safety door to protect fingers.
Pros: The BESTEK has no shortage of options for wired charging, but it also stands out from the crowd thanks to its wireless charging base on the top of the unit. The wireless platform works with all Qi-Enabled devices, offering a quick, wireless charge that still features safety features like over-current, over-voltage and over-temperature protection.
Cons: The BESTEK comes with a big price tag.
5. HOLSEM 12 Outlets Surge Protector Power Strip
If you want the USB charging ports of the BESTEK but not the high price tag, we recommend the HOLSEM 12 Outlets Surge Protector Power Strip. In addition to six regular outlets and six widely spaced outlets designed for oversized adapters, the HOLSEM also includes two USB ports with Smart IC Technology and one standard USB port. The HOLSEM is designed to protect your expensive gadgets with its overload protection and double break overload switch. With a 4,000 joule energy, the HOLSEM is robust enough to handle large electronics like TVs and home theater systems.
Pros: The HOLSEM includes four keyhole mounting slots on the back of the unit for easy wall mounting.
Cons: The slim design of the HOLSEM means it won’t take up much space, but it does make it difficult to use all 12 ports.
6. Bototek Surge Protector Power Strip
For the power strip that has a little something for everyone, we recommend the Bototek Surge Protector Power Strip. Featuring overload protection to combat sudden surges in power, the Bototek will keep devices and appliances safe while powering multiple units at once. The UL Listed and FCC certificated power strip comes with 10 outlets that offer several safety features, including flame-retardant casing, heat resistance of up to 1,382 degrees Fahrenheit, lightning protection, conductive integrated copper, thick rubber coating on the cord and short-circuit protection.
Pros: The Bototek includes the addition of four 18-Watt USB ports.
Cons: Unlike the BESTEK, which includes USB ports with Smart IC Technology, the Bototek USB ports charge devices at average speeds.
7. APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip
Power strips are a convenient way to plug in multiple devices and appliances at once and ensure they’re protected from power outages, but the one drawback is that they’re often bulky and an eyesore. That’s why we like the APC eight-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip, which is designed with a space-saving 90-degree angle for its fix-foot power cord, meaning no more large cords forcing your power strip to stick out from behind a desk. The APC features a 2,630 Joules surge-protection energy rating and comes with eight outlets and two USB ports.
Pros: The APC comes with a lifetime warranty and a $100,000 connected equipment protection policy to offer users peace of mind.
Cons: The APC is one of the smaller outlets on our list and only includes two USB ports, few than other power strips on our list.