best-plug-in-timers

4 Best Plug In Timers (2021 Review)

Written by:

DIY Garden is reader-supported. If you click through using links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The best plug in timers should make light work of turning your appliances on or off. Most plug in timers on the market are digital or electrical with LCD displays, and unlike the older mechanical versions, digital timers are silent. Plug in timers feature different combinations of programs or cycles that can turn your appliances on and off several times over one day or a week, and for the same or differing lengths of time. They often feature useful functions like countdown and random timers too.

The potential uses of a timed switch are endless and there are a huge selection of options on the market right now. However I’ve whittled these down to what I believe are the best ones available right now, so read on and see what I’ve discovered…

What is the Best Plug In Timer For You?

Back To Contents

Comparing the Best Plug In Timers

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • No. of Programs
  • Different Programs for Different Days
  • Countdown Mode
  • Countdown Presets
  • Turn-off Mode
  • Random Mode
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

Back To Contents

In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Plug In Timers

ORIDGET TE02 Digital Electrical Timer PlugORIDGET TE02 Digital Electrical Timer Plug

Best digital electric timer

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
5
CHECK PRICE →

ORIDGET TE02 Digital Electrical Timer Plug Review

Specifications

  • No. of Programs: 18
  • Different Programs for Different Days: Yes
  • Countdown Mode: Yes
  • Countdown Presets: No
  • Turn-off Mode: Yes
  • Random Mode: Yes

Digital timer experts ORIDGET have created a range of handy timers for all sorts of uses. With an enormous LCD screen and tons of programmable features, the TE02 digital plug is probably the best plug in timer on the market right now.

It might look intimidating at first, but the eight buttons make it easy to set this timer to turn on or off when you need it. With a massive 18 separate programmable weekly timers, you can set this plug to automate anything you want.

The large screen makes things easy to read, and it even has its own battery to keep the settings in case of a power cut. You can use it as a countdown timer, which makes it ideal for setting a bedside lamp to go off even after you’ve fallen asleep! It’s these little things that will save you money on your electricity bill.

There are also modes for turning things on or off on specific days, multiple days of the week or your own chosen pattern. What I really like about this plug in timer is the random mode though. If you’re off on holiday, simply plug in a light and it will turn on and off randomly to confuse any would-be burglars.

It’s easy to set up, has almost every function you could ever use, and might even save you some money in the long run. What’s not to like?

Pros

  • The big buttons and even bigger LCD screen. There’s no more fiddling around with dials and mechanical functions. Compared to the BG Electrical timer, it can do just about anything!
  • It’s silent. Compared with mechanical timers that tick, the digital switching mechanism doesn’t make any sound. This makes it perfect for bedside tables and other quiet places.
  • You can programme up to 18 different cycles. That’s an enormous level of functionality, giving you full control over things like lights and other home appliances.
  • Rather than having to pre-set “random” intervals to turn on your lights when you’re not at home, you just press one button. It’s a cheap and effective home security solution.
  • You can still manually override the timer with a button. If you need to switch on or off a connected appliance, it won’t change the settings. It’s pretty fool proof.

Cons

  • Thanks to the big LCD screen, this is a rather large bit of kit. It won’t fit next to a normal sized plug on a two gang socket. You’ll need to give this beast a bit of space.
  • If you want to set sequential timers, to turn on and off for a programmed amount of time, this isn’t the timer for you. You’ll need to upgrade to the ORIDGET T319.
  • Compared with the HBN digital countdown timer, there aren’t any pre-set countdown lengths. It’s annoying that you can’t just set 10 minute or an hour easily.
  • This plug in timer doesn’t feature a child lock. If you’ve got a curious toddler at home, you’ll be resetting this plug all the time!
  • Several users have complained that some timers run slowly, which is noticeable if you buy the dual packs. Check your timer against a reliable source before using it for the first time.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

HBN Countdown Timer PlugHBN Countdown Timer Plug

Best countdown timer

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
5
CHECK PRICE →

HBN Countdown Timer Plug Review

Specifications

  • No. of Programs: 0
  • Different Programs for Different Days: No
  • Countdown Mode: Yes
  • Countdown Presets: Yes
  • Turn-off Mode: Yes
  • Random Mode: No

Another plug in timer specialist, HBN produce everything from remote control sockets to smart WiFi enabled switches. The countdown timer plug I got my hands on is sleek, simple and has a surprising level of functionality.

The first thing I like about this plug in timer is how simple it is and how smart it looks. Some countdown timers are best kept hidden away, but this one actually looks good on the wall! And with just three buttons to fiddle with, it’s easy enough for anyone to get the hang of.

All you do is plug the timer into a standard wall socket, press the “scan” button to cycle through the countdown timer lengths, and away you go. You can then press the “repeat” button to make this programme work every day. It’s handy if you want a bedside radio turn on and off for the same amount of time each day, for example.

This might not be the most feature-packed plug in timer on the market, but it’s one of the easiest to use. If you want to set repeated countdown timers, this is the best plug in timer I’ve tested out.

Pros

  • Even the most confident users can get confused by multiple timers and extra features. Compared with the ORIDGET TE02, anyone can master automatic switches.
  • It’s an incredibly quick way to set countdown timers. Instead of programming set times, you just plug it in, press the scan button to select the time, and that’s it. Simple and effective.
  • The plug is rated up to 3,000 Watts. That’s ideal if you want to use it to time heavy draw appliances. Things like electric heaters need substantial timer plugs.

Cons

  • The shape of this plug in timer means it won’t work for all plug sockets. If you have a switched socket, the body of the timer will switch the socket off. A serious design flaw!
  • You need to be there at the time you want to countdown to start. That’s fine if it’s during the day, but if you want to set a timer at 2 am, you’d best set your alarm early!
  • Like most plug in timers, they’re big bits of kit. It will take up the space of two plugs on an extension cord, so make sure you’ve got enough room for it.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Ansmann AES-1 Zero Watt Energy Saving Timer Plug SocketAnsmann AES-1 Zero Watt Energy Saving Timer Plug Socket

Best energy saving timer

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
CHECK PRICE →

Ansmann AES-1 Zero Watt Energy Saving Timer Plug Socket Review

Specifications

  • No. of Programs: 0
  • Different Programs for Different Days: No
  • Countdown Mode: Yes
  • Countdown Presets: Yes
  • Turn-off Mode: Yes
  • Random Mode: No

Well known for making quality rechargeable batteries and other energy saving devices, the Ansmann AES-1 is one of the best economical plug in timers I’ve checked out. It’s simple, not too bulky and can save you a wedge of cash over time.

Unlike some of the bulky timer plugs I’ve tried out; this one is small enough to fit two side-by-side on a lot of plug sockets. It means you’re not wasting sockets and can time appliances without resorting to extension leads.

This must be the easiest plug in timer to operate. There’s just one button to press! The single on/off button cycles through the countdown timers and sets them running too. Even if you’re a complete technophobe, this shouldn’t be difficult to master. You can set countdown timers from 15 minutes all the way up to eight hours.

Although it doesn’t have a lot of the features of the best plug in timers on my list, it’s ideal for simple countdown functions. A lot of users simply don’t need weekly programmable timers! It’s simple, not too big and does what it needs to do.

Pros

  • Simple to use and programme, this plug in timer is ideal for when you just want a countdown to switch something off. It doesn’t get easier to use than this.
  • It’s less bulky compared with the ORIDGET TE02. It doesn’t have an enormous screen that takes up extra room. It’s just about small enough to fit on a two gang socket.
  • I really like the single button operation. Press the button multiple times to select a countdown timer length. What could go wrong?
  • The plug in timer disconnects from the mains plug when the countdown has finished. It should then draw zero power, and save you money on your electricity bill.

Cons

  • If you’re looking for daily timers or anything complicated, this isn’t the plug for you. Compared with the ORIDGET TE02, there’s barely any technology for a similar price.
  • You need strong hands to plug this in. More than a few users have had difficulty trying to pull the plug out after use. The prongs aren’t too well finished.
  • The timer labels are tiny. Unless you get close to them, it’s hard to see what countdown you have chosen. Compared with the HBN’s easy to read buttons, this is disappointing.
  • Several users have complained about this timer’s build quality. Some have had units last less than a year before becoming unusable.
  • Compared to the HBN plug in timer, there’s no memory function. You can’t press a button for the plug to remember when you want something to turn on or off in a 24 hour period.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Defender 24 Hour Segment Timer SwitchDefender 24 Hour Segment Timer Switch

Best mechanical timer

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
CHECK PRICE →

Defender 24 Hour Segment Timer Switch Review

Specifications

  • No. of Programs: 1
  • Different Programs for Different Days: No
  • Countdown Mode: No
  • Countdown Presets: No
  • Turn-off Mode: Yes
  • Random Mode: No

If the idea of fiddly digital menus sends you running for the hills, this is probably the best plug in timer for you! Doing away with fancy LCD screens and relying on tried and tested mechanical switches, the Defender 24 hour segment timer switch is affordable and reliable.

It doesn’t get much simpler than this: the arrow on the inside of the dial points to the current time. If you want to set the plug to power on, you push the mini switches outwards. Each mini switch counts for 15 minutes, so you can turn a device on or off at almost any time you want.

There’s a switch on the side of the plug in timer to manually override the timer, and a little LED that tells you when the power is switched to “on”. The plug is rated for appliances up to 3,200 Watt, so you can use it for almost any device in your home.

Pros

  • This is one of the most affordable ways to time your devices. It’s much less expensive compared with the Mydome light switch timer and is even more versatile.
  • Simple, uncluttered, and easy to set. If you want an uncomplicated way to switch your devices on and off in a 24 hour period, this is the ideal timer.
  • The little LED light tells you when the plug is powered on. It makes it easy to see if your device is powered on, and that the timer is working correctly.
  • Having a manual override switch is always useful. It just means that you don’t need to unplug your device to skip the timer feature.

Cons

  • Like many timer plugs, it’s a bit bulky. It will cover two plug sockets and stop you plugging in two devices at once.
  • Some users have complained about the quality of the mechanical timer. It can get stuck, so make sure you test it thoroughly before using with electrical devices.
  • The mini switches are very small, especially if you have big hands. It might be worth using tweezers if you’re setting small time increments. Otherwise, set multiple switches at once.
  • Compared with the ORIDGET TE02, you are limited to a single 24 hour period. You can’t set a device to power up on a Tuesday at midnight, for example.
BUY HERE →

Back To Contents

Things to Know Before Buying a Plug In Timer

Plug in timers are a really handy product to have in the home. They can save you money, deter burglars and ensure you come home to a warm, bright house on cold winter nights. Timer plugs are also ideal for specialised functions such as Christmas lights, greenhouse heaters, grow lamps, fish tank pumps and any other item that needs to be turned on for certain periods of time.

When choosing a plug in timer don’t forget to consider the following features…

Digital or Mechanical

As opposed to mechanical timers, digital timers or electrical plugin timers tend to be silent. They often have a clear LCD display and some electronic timers feature a battery back up to save your settings. Some have a surge protection feature too.

On the other hand mechanical timers are very straightforward to set. These timer plugs  make a soft clicking sound when in use and do not fail in the case of a power outage.

Settings

Most timer plugs can be set for a range of times so you can, for example, turn lamps on and off twice a day. Some plug in timers also feature a countdown timer which is handy when you want something to turn off after a certain amount of time. This feature is great for charging appliances and devices.

Another setting available on the best plug in timers is an interval setting. This feature allows you to have an appliance come on for a certain amount of time periodically. This is great for fish tank pumps, grow lights, fans, heaters and anything else that you don’t want to run all day.

Childproof Option

Some plug timers have a child lock feature so look out for this if you have inquisitive youngsters in the house.

Back To Contents

Scroll to Top