Every product we recommend is carefully researched, fact checked and tested where possible. If you buy from a link, we may earn a small commission. Learn more.

best-plug-in-timers

The UK's bestPlug In Timers2022 Review

We've reviewed the best Plug In Timers on the UK market.

Here are the products we believe are worth your consideration…

What To Look For in a Plug In Timer

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. They can turn your appliances on and off several times over one day or a week, for the same or differing lengths of time. They often feature useful functions like a countdown and random timer 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…

See the best Plug In Timers below

Comparing the Best Plug In Timers

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

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

Back To Contents

In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Plug In Timers

B01CP44AU4
5060447640134
Best mechanical timer
Defender 24 Hour Segment Timer Switch
Top Pick

Best mechanical timer

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • No. of Programs
    1
  • Different Programs for Different Days
    No
  • Countdown Mode
    No
  • Countdown Presets
    No
  • Turn-off Mode
    Yes
  • Random Mode
    No
  • Our Review

    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.

Back To Contents

B08591BCFX
Best digital electric timer
ORIDGET TE02 Digital Electrical Timer Plug

Best digital electric timer

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 5
  • No. of Programs
    18
  • Different Programs for Different Days
    Yes
  • Countdown Mode
    Yes
  • Countdown Presets
    No
  • Turn-off Mode
    Yes
  • Random Mode
    Yes
  • Our Review

    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 one of the best plug-in timers 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.

Back To Contents

B07PWL7ZD6
6933018900311
Best countdown timer
HBN Countdown Timer Plug

Best countdown timer

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 5
  • No. of Programs
    0
  • Different Programs for Different Days
    No
  • Countdown Mode
    Yes
  • Countdown Presets
    Yes
  • Turn-off Mode
    Yes
  • Random Mode
    No
  • Our Review

    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.

Back To Contents

B00YA95TZI
0609613846212
Best energy saving timer
Ansmann AES-1 Zero Watt Energy Saving Timer Plug Socket
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • No. of Programs
    0
  • Different Programs for Different Days
    No
  • Countdown Mode
    Yes
  • Countdown Presets
    Yes
  • Turn-off Mode
    Yes
  • Random Mode
    No
  • Our Review

    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.

Back To Contents

B00HEENMAA
5050765044783
Best light switch timer
Mydome Light Switch Timer

Best light switch timer

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • No. of Programs
    9
  • Different Programs for Different Days
    Yes
  • Countdown Mode
    No
  • Countdown Presets
    No
  • Turn-off Mode
    No
  • Random Mode
    Yes
  • Our Review

    Home security boffins Mydome have made it their job to create the best light timer switch around. Rather than plugging into a 13 Amp socket, it fits over an existing light switch and turns it on and off when you want. It’s a very clever device that can deter burglars when you’re not home.

    Recommended by the police and given the coveted “Secured by Design” rating, it’s a low cost solution to helping keep your home safe. Other plug in timers can control lamps, but this one will flick on and off your main lights, making it seem that you’re at home wherever you are!

    It’s a sleek looking device that isn’t an eyesore, and it simply fits on top of your existing light switches. All you do is back off the screws enough to slide the cradle behind the light switch backing plate. The device then slides into the cradle and manually presses up to three switches. It’s shipped with little spacers that should help it fit to most shapes of light switch as well.

    Programming the device is quite simple. You can programme up to nine routines per day across seven days using the seven rubberised buttons. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use all three modes: random, program, or manual. It’s an easy way to control your home lights, without learning how to wire up controllers.

    Pros

    • This plug in timer manually controls your light switches. That means you can set your house lights inside or outside your house to come on at your command.
    • Compared with the HBN digital countdown timer, you’re not just limited to controlling lamps for home security. You can light up your entire house on a random timer.
    • Power for this switch timer comes from a pair of AA batteries. Mydome claim they last for up to a year, which is plenty of light switching time.
    • Installing these switch timers is a piece of cake. Most switch plates are held in place by two screws that are easy to loosen enough to insert the cradle.

    Cons

    • Pay close attention to the list of compatible light switches. The timer is picky about what switches it can attach to. It especially doesn’t like ones with rounded corners.
    • As good as these light switch timers are, they’re nowhere near as versatile as the ORIDGET TE20. It’s no good for turning on anything but light switches.
    • Compared with the super simple HBN digital countdown timer, this takes a bit more thinking to programme. There’s a good guide included with the plug, but make sure you read it!
    • Some users have complained about the quality of the parts. It’s not the cheapest device on my list, and it looks like the moving parts are plastic. It’s a shame it’s not more robust.

Back To Contents

B00HEENMAA
5050765044783
Best weatherproof timer
BG Electrical Nexus Storm Weatherproof Time Controlled Switch
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.6666666666667
  • No. of Programs
    1
  • Different Programs for Different Days
    No
  • Countdown Mode
    No
  • Countdown Presets
    No
  • Turn-off Mode
    Yes
  • Random Mode
    No
  • Our Review

    Forming part of the London based Luceco group of companies, BG Electrical make everything electrical you could ever use. Their range of outdoor power solutions Nexus Storm produces one of the best outdoor time controllers I’ve ever seen.

    It’s a tough and robust outdoor plug on its own. It’s the sort of thing you can install to safely power up all your outdoor power tools with the added advantage of being timed. With the flick of a switch, you can turn the socket on, off or timed.

    The timed function allows you to turn it on at any 15 minute interval in a 24 hour period. Setting the manual control is effortless too. There are 96 mini switches arranged around the 24 clock dial: slide them to “on” or “off” as you wish. No need to tackle complicated digital menus or fiddly buttons!

    Pros

    • Safely power up all your outdoor lights or other devices with an IP66 rated weatherproof plug socket. The cover hinges into place to prevent moisture and dust ingress.
    • If you can’t stand the idea of programming a digital calendar or clock, this is the plug for you. The mini switches are easy to visualise and can be switched in blocks, not just individually.
    • For added security, you can lock the front cover in place with a padlock. It means you can power up outside devices without anyone else changing the timings!

    Cons

    • This isn’t a simple plug in timer. You’ll still need to wire it up to your home electrics. It’s not an extension plug that connects to an inside 13 Amp socket.
    • You’re limited to setting “on” and “off” times to 15 minute periods.
    • Compared with the ORIDGET TE02’s 18 separate programmes, this is a limited time controller. You can only set your plug to come on at the same times during a 24 hour period.
    • It might look like a two gang plug socket at first glance, but there’s only one usable socket inside the case.
    • Some users have complained that the timer dial is stiff. You can loosen it with some silicone lubricant, but it’s a pain that it’s not usable straight from the box.

Back To Contents

Plug In Timers Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Plug In Timer Prices Found Today

Back To Contents

How to Choose the Best 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

Plug in Timer FAQ's

How do you set a timer plug?

This will depend on whether your timer plug is mechanical or digital. 

To set a mechanical timer plug, you should first locate the plug socket closest to the device you are wanting to use. 

Turn the timer plug on using the switch, and insert the timer into the outlet. Turn the dial clockwise to select the current time and leave it in this position. The dial will be surrounded by small pins. When these are pushed down, the device will be turned on. Push the pins down that correspond to the hours of the day that you would like your device to switch on for. For instance, if you would like the device to come on at night, you could push the pins down between 6 pm and 6 am. Then plug your device into the timer. 

Digital plug timers are just as simple. First, reset the previous programming by pressing the reset button (normally located on the side). Set the current time using the clock button, making sure that you have selected the AM and PM hours correctly. 

Press the ‘Program’ button, then use the ‘Week’, ‘Hour’ or ‘Min’ buttons to select the days, hours and minutes you would like your timer to stay on for, as well as the time you’d like it to switch on. Then plug your device into the timer. 

Do timer plugs use a lot of electricity?

One of the benefits of a plug in timer is that they use very little electricity. In fact, you are unlikely to notice any increase in your electricity bill. 

In fact, timer plugs are far more likely to save you money. As you’ll only have your devices switched on for the amount of time you specify, your electricity consumption will be greatly reduced, as you’ll never forget to turn your devices off!

Back To Contents

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

Related Articles

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

Before you go, check out these ridiculously good gardening deals…

See Amazon Deals No Thanks
Scroll to Top