A power surge can strike at any time, so experiencing one can quite literally come as a shock. Compared to the cost of buying insurance or – even worse, replacing your damaged electrical items – the money spent on a decent surge protector will barely leave a dent in your wallet.
When looking for a suitable surge protector, factors such as surge protection rating (measured in joules), power rating, number of outlets and cord length all come into play. Extras such as USB ports, voice compatibility and rugged protective housing are available on certain models.
Check out our pick of the best surge protectors in 2019, listed below, which offer a healthy selection of features and protection options.
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Heavy-duty surge protection without breaking the bank
Number of outlets: 12 | Power rating: 15A | Joule Rating: 4320 | Cord length: 8ft | Size: 12.2 x 4.74 x 1.18in (L x W x H) | Weight: 2.02lbs
While there are sturdier surge protectors out there, this basic plastic model from Amazon offers the highest joule rating on our list for the lowest cost. Its 12 well-spaced outlets are protected by sliding covers and can accommodate larger transformers at its corners. Its power switch integrates with a 15Amp overload resettable circuit breaker, and built-in LEDs indicate when devices are protected, and wiring is grounded. While this is reassuring, those lights are permanently on and shine like green beacons in the dark which could irritate you when trying to get to sleep.
The best surge protector for metal heads
Number of outlets: 6 | Power rating: 120V | Joule Rating: 3330 | Cord length: 6ft | Size: 7in x 3.5in X 2.5in (L x W x H) | Weight: 2.8lbs
If you’re looking at rocking out with a heavy metal surge protector, this 6-outlet model from Tripp Lite fits the bill. With a compact design, what it lacks in space to accommodate larger transformers it makes up for in safety features. In addition to thermal fusing for fail-safe protection and a multi-component firewall, the model packs a high 3330-joule rating and a solid metal housing to prevent it from bursting into flames in the event of a major electrical spike. With its grey-and-black two-tone design, it’s arguably one of the more aesthetically appealing beefy surge protectors so it won’t look out of place in home or office.
Voice compatibility and USB ports aplenty
Number of outlets: 4 | Power rating: 10A | Cord length: 5ft | Size: 8in x 4.1in x 1.3in (L x W x H) | Weight: 1.4 pounds
If you’re seeking a surge protector that lets you control sockets and appliances with your voice, this model from Teckin is by far the more affordable option on our list. Like the TP-Link Kasa below, it lets you power sockets on or off by speaking to Amazon Alexa and Google Voice-compatible devices, and app-based scheduling functionality lets you automatically power connected appliances up or down throughout the day. Something to consider is that this model supports a maximum 10-amp load, versus the TP-Link’s 15 amps, and Teckin for reasons unknown hasn’t specified its surge protector’s joule rating. That said, it hasn’t put off more than 650 people who have left it 5-star reviews on Amazon.
Combines a space-saving design with smart charging ports
Number of outlets: 12 | Power rating: 10A / 2500W | Joule Rating: 1000 | Cord length: 6.5ft | Size: 5.5in x 6.5in x 9.5in (L x W x H) | Weight: 2.1 pounds
Short on space? Then why not opt for this 12-outlet surge protector from DoubleYI, which extends vertically. Its 1000 joule rating is enough to cope with most average electronic devices, and you get the added benefit of having five USB Type-A ports for charging smartphones, tablets and suchlike. Four of those use Smart IC tech that distributes power evenly, so the fewer appliances that are connected, the faster they charge. Two power buttons turn banks of six outlets on and off at a time, so there’s no option to them off individually which could pose a problem for control freaks.
Offers voice control, scheduling and decent surge protection
Number of outlets: 6 | Power rating: 15A / 1875W | Joule Rating: 1710 | Cord length: 6ft | Size: 14.7in x 2.49in x 1.48in (L x W x H) | Weight: 1.55lbs
If you’re looking for a smart surge protector from a known brand, TP-Link’s Kasa Smart Power Strip is a costlier alternative to the Teckin. And if you are willing to pay more, you’ll benefit from knowing that this model is rated at a sufficient 1710 joules of protection. Functionality-wise it’s near-identical, offering voice control and scheduling support for owners of Amazon Alexa and Google Voice-compatible devices. In a similar manner to the DoubleYI surge protector, its three USB ports automatically prioritise charging speed depending on how many gadgets are connected.
It’ll leave you hooked on power
Number of outlets: 6 | Power rating: 120V / 1800W | Joule Rating: 1080 | Cord length: 6ft | Weight: 1.52lbs
Schneider knows that bending down to unplug appliances can be a pain, which is why it’s given this Desk Mount surge protector a nifty hookable design. Fitting it underneath a monitor will add the convenience of a rare USB-C port used for charging anything from smartphones to powerbricks, and two standard USB Type-A ones have been included underneath that for good measure. If you’re going to sling this unconventional surge protector over a desk or partition, just be aware that Schneider recommends it has a thickness of 9.98 – 2.4 inches for an optimal fit.
It will even protect your fax machine
Number of outlets: 12 + TEL | Power rating: 120V / 1875 Watts | Joule Rating: 2160 | Cord length: 8ft | Size: 10.3in x 2.72in x 1.54in (L x W x H) | Weight: 2.09lbs
It may not be much of a looker, but Tripp’s Lite surge protector is a beefy unit capable of protecting any number of electrical appliances – even fax machines thanks to built-in RJ11 jacks and a six-foot telephone cord. It comes with 12 outlets, four of which are spaced wider apart to accommodate connecting multiple bulky transformers. And if you do want to show off the Tripp Lite for any reason (hey, who are we to judge), its keyhole supports wall mounting. Other features include diagnostic LEDs that warn when surge suppression has kicked in, and child safety covers for peace of mind.
The best bang for your buck
Number of outlets: 6 | Power rating: 1875W | Joule Rating: 200 | Cord length: 2ft | Size: 11.9in x 6.5in x 1.8in (L x W x H) | Weight: 1.1lbs
When it comes to getting back for your buck, the AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector is hard to beat. With 3-line basic surge protection at a rating of 200 joules, this AmazonBasics model is suitable for connecting small appliances such as phones, lamps and other bedside gadgets. If an electrical spike occurs, the surge protector’s red status LED indicator will switch off to let you know that it’s done its job and needs replacing; which won’t be an issue, as Amazon sends you two in the box.
The portable alternative
Number of outlets: 1 | Power rating: 45,000 Amps | Joule Rating: 1080 | Size: 2.5in x 1.9in x 3.1in (L x W x H) | Weight: 3.2oz
Surge protectors with multiple outlets aren’t always needed or practical, especially when on the move. For a portable alternative to bigger wired models, the SurgeCube from Belkin plugs directly into a wall and weighs a measly 3.2 ounces, making it perfect for packing into a backpack or suitcase. It’s the most affordable type of single-outlet surge protector from Belkin, so it gives a pass on extras such as USB ports or voice compatibility but on the plus side features two LEDs to let you know when devices are grounded and protected.
Compact design meets high protection
Number of outlets: 12 | Power rating: 15A / 1875W | Joule Rating: 3940 | Cord length: 8ft | Size: 15.6in x 6.1in x 2.1in (L x W x H) | Weight: 2.1lbs
This surge protector offers a high surge protection rating and 12 outlets, each with protective covers, for connecting gaming PCs, home theatres and other treasured appliances. Belkin has done well to squeeze those plugs into a compact design, which on the flip side means there’s less room to connect larger transformers compared to rival 12-outlet models. It features power filtration to operate at whisper-quiet volumes even under full load, and if you want to place it out of sight and earshot then that won’t be a problem thanks to its long 8ft cable.
- Need more power? Also check out our picks of the best power banks of 2019