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IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet review

A simple smart plug that work with IKEA’s smart lighting

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet
(Image: © TechRadar)

Our Verdict

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is a simple-to-use smart plug with support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit. While it’s fiddly to set up, and can be expensive if you don’t already have a Tradfri gateway, it’s a great choice for those who have already invested in IKEA’s smart lighting system.

For

  • Simplistic smart plug
  • Easy-to-use app
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit

Against

  • Requires a gateway and steering device
  • Can become expensive
  • No energy monitoring

TechRadar Verdict

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is a simple-to-use smart plug with support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit. While it’s fiddly to set up, and can be expensive if you don’t already have a Tradfri gateway, it’s a great choice for those who have already invested in IKEA’s smart lighting system.

Pros

  • + Simplistic smart plug
  • + Easy-to-use app
  • + Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit

Cons

  • - Requires a gateway and steering device
  • - Can become expensive
  • - No energy monitoring

One-minute review

IKEA isn’t a name that springs to mind when you think of smart home devices, but the Swedish furniture giant has offered a range of gadgets to automate your home since 2017. Starting with smart lighting, it has since expanded to include smart plugs, blinds that can be controlled wirelessly, and even a range of multi-room speakers that it developed in conjunction with Sonos. 

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is a single socket that can be plugged into a power source and controlled via the IKEA Home Smart app. However, unlike other smart plugs we’ve reviewed – such as the Amazon Smart Plug and the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Slim KP105 – the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet doesn’t pair directly with your Wi-Fi network. Instead, it requires the Tradfri gateway that connects to your router, and a ‘steering device’, which essentially groups smart home devices together. As such, it could prove an expensive purchase if you only want to make one outlet smart. 

Using the IKEA Home Smart app, you can switch the outlet on or off manually, or set schedules for the smart plug to be activated automatically. The Tradfri wireless control outlet also offers interaction with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit, so you control it using your voice, and even ensure it switches on or off at the same time as other smart devices in your home. 

If you’ve already invested in Tradfri smart lights or other IKEA smart home products, or plan to, then this is the smartest option when it comes to choosing a smart plug. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet price and availability

  •  List price: $9.99 / £10 / AU$20 

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is priced at $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$20, which makes it one of the most affordable smart plugs around. However, you do need to purchase the IKEA Tradfri gateway, at a cost of $35 / £22 / AU$49, along with a ‘steering device’, before you can use and control the smart plug.

This is IKEA’s term for the remote control, wireless dimmer or wireless motion sensor. Prices start from $6.99 / £6 / AU$14.99 for the wireless dimmer and rise to $15.99 / £15 / AU$24.99 for the remote control. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Single smart socket
  • LED on/off indicator
  • No manual control button

As with most of the best smart plugs, the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet has a simple, white design. It measures 3.9 x 2.1 x 2.5 inches / 10 x 5.3 x 6.2cm (w x h x d), but unlike other smart plugs we’ve tested, the outlet is offered in the same size across the US, UK, and Australia. However, in the US it has a horizontal orientation when inserted into a power outlet, while in the UK and Australia, it sits in a power outlet vertically.  

The front of the smart plug features a single socket and a white LED that illuminates when the plug is switched on. It flashes when the plug is in set-up mode. Unfortunately, there’s no Wi-Fi indicator that alerts you to any connectivity issues, and there isn’t a manual power button, either – something many other smart plugs such as Eve Energy offer. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Performance

  • Instant control using app
  • Fiddly setup
  • Visual power-on indicator 

The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet proved fiddly to set up. In fact, it’s the most complicated smart plug with which to get started we’ve tested to date. As we’ve already mentioned, the outlet requires a gateway to work, which must first be connected to your router and then detected by the app. Next, a steering device must be paired with the gateway – and that’s all before you can start to set up the smart plug itself – this involves unscrewing the back of the steering device and pressing the button inside to pair the outlet to the gateway. 

Once that’s all been completed, you can rename it and manually control it. During testing, we found the plug switched on and off instantly when controlled via the app. The ‘click’ coupled with the LED illuminating when switching on and off was reassuring.

We were able to group devices together, although the maximum number that can be connected to a steering device is 10. If you want to add more smart home devices to the gateway, you’ll need to invest in another steering device. 

While we were able to set schedules for the smart plug to switch on and off at set times, we were disappointed to find there’s no Away mode that switches the plug on or off at random times. Nor are there any energy monitoring features. 

IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet

(Image credit: TechRadar)

App

  • Easy to navigate
  • Integration with Alexa, Google Assistant and HomeKit
  • Quickly create schedules for the smart plug

The IKEA Home Smart app is extremely easy to navigate, with the different devices grouped in ‘rooms’ visible on opening the app. The clock icon in the top left-hand corner lets you easily set schedules, with as many or as few devices as you choose controlled at once. In the opposite corner, a cog provides quick access to settings for adding new devices and enabling integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, or HomeKit.

However, as already mentioned, features such as Away mode and energy monitoring features are lacking. 

Should I buy the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet?

Buy it if...

You already have IKEA Tradfri devices
If you've already invested in IKEA Tradfri smart lighting, then you’ll have a gateway and steering device, so opting for the wireless control outlet makes sense. 

You want an easy-to-use app
The IKEA Home Smart is one of the simplest apps we’ve come across for a smart plug. If you want features such as schedules, super-quick control, and settings available with just a single tap, this is the smart plug for you.  

You want a simple smart plug
The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet is ideal for those who want to control a device in their home using their voice or a smartphone, but aren’t interested in features such as energy monitoring or an Away mode. 

Don't buy it if...

You want to keep a check on energy consumption
There are no energy monitoring features on the IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet, so those who like to keep an eye on power consumption should steer clear. 

You want a manual control button
Some smart plugs offer manual control buttons on the smart plug itself, so you don’t need your smartphone to turn it on or off. Unfortunately, the Tradfri outlet isn’t one of them 

You’re on a budget
The IKEA Tradfri wireless control outlet can prove an expensive buy once you’ve added a gateway and a steering device to your basket alongside the smart plug itself. This is one to avoid if you’re on a tight budget; consider TP-Link’s range of smart plugs instead. 

First reviewed: June 2021

Carrie Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner is Smart Home & Appliances Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, and blenders. When she’s not discovering the next must-have gadget for the home, Carrie can be found cooking up a storm in her kitchen, and is particularly passionate about baking, often rustling up tasty cakes and bread.