Whether you want to add some extra security to your home while you're away or turn off indoor lights and other devices at night, a plug-in timer is a cheap and effective way to help regulate your energy usage. Picking the best model for your home can be a complicated task, so we've put together a ranking of the top plugs with timers available online in the UK.
We've included 24-hour mechanical timers as well as programmable digital countdown timers in our ranking, from some great brands like Defender, Masterplug, and HBN. All our picks are available online at Amazon and Argos, so you can browse from the comfort of your home, confident that you'll be choosing the right plug-in timer for your needs.
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When looking at the best plug-in timers, the first choice you'll have to make is whether you want a simple mechanical timer or a digital option that's capable of more complex programmable functions. If you're looking to add a little automation to your home, it's well worth choosing a digital timer to set up different times and programs for your switches to turn off and on.
Mechanical timers are much easier to use for any technophobes out there. Pushing in the pins can be a little fiddly, but no more so than the small buttons on a digital option. The main drawback is the ticking sound they make, which doesn't matter if you're looking for something to turn the lights on and off while you're away on holiday. But for everyday use in a bedroom or living area, it could be an issue.
Cut down your electricity bill with an energy-saving device.
Next, you'll want to make sure the timer's features fit your needs. Most will have at least one programmable setting so you can set times in increments over a twenty-four-hour period, where the switch will turn on and off. Some digital models have up to twenty different programs for different dates to fully automate your home, including a random mode that can turn lights on and off while you're on holiday to deter burglars.
If saving on energy and its costs is a goal, look for models that function as countdown timers and turn off the power after a specified time. These are perfect for things like nightlights or radios that help you get to sleep, or putting your phone on charge before bed. They can also be a good option for coffee machines, slow cookers, and the like.
Automate your home further with a set of smart plugs.
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Mini 24 Segment Timer
A Compact and Reliable Mechanical Timer That’s Simple to Set Up
Timer Plug Socket｜Pack of 2
Great for Frequent Travellers Thanks to a Random Mode to Sporadically Switch on the Lights
24-Hour Mechanical Segment Timer｜Pack of 3
A Fantastic Value 3-Pack That Can Help You Save on Energy Costs
Countdown Timer Plug
A Sleek and Simple Countdown Timer With a Repeat Function
Plug In Digital Timer｜Pack of 2
A Quiet and Reliable Digital Option With Twenty Programs
24-Hour Mechanical Plug In Timer｜Pack of 3
An Affordable Set of Three That Are Perfect for Deterring Burglars
AES-1 Energy Saving Plug Socket
An Energy-Saving Countdown Timer From the Experts at Ansmann
24 Hour Segment Timer
A Reliable Mechanical Option From One of the Best Plug in Timer Manufacturers Around
7 Day Electronic Timers｜Pack of 3
Three Digital Timers With Nicely Spaced Buttons at an Appealing Price Point
24 Hour Plug In Timer
A Tiny Mechanical Option for Those Looking to Save Space
The Defender Mini 24 Segment Timer is a compact and foolproof option for those who don't want to fiddle around with small buttons and LCD screens. The arrow on the inside points to the current time, and each segment equates to fifteen minutes for easy programming.
On the top is a manual override switch to bypass the timer, meaning you don't have to take it out when not in use. Easily fitting next to other plugs on extension leads and double sockets, this option has to be the best mechanical timer on the market today.
This pack of two digital timers from Ordiget features eighteen programmable settings as well as a countdown function. It also comes with a random mode which is perfect for turning lights on and off sporadically to create the illusion that someone is at home – great for those who travel a lot or have a holiday home.
The large screen is easy to read and the buttons are a nice size to press without catching others. It runs completely silently and even comes with a built-in battery to save your settings in case of a power cut.
If you're looking for a bargain option to help save some money on energy costs, this pack of three mechanical segment timers from Masterplug fits the bill. You'll be making back the cost in savings sooner rather than later if you're forgetful about leaving lights on or devices on standby.
Masterplug is one of the most reliable brands in the world of electronics, having over seventy-five years in the industry. There's no need to worry about the quality for the cost as these simple timers are fully guaranteed against faulty materials and workmanship.
The Countdown Timer Plug from HBN is sleek and simple to use as there are no complicated functions or menus to fiddle your way through. You just set the amount of time until you want the switch to turn off, and that's it! You can also choose to repeat the program every day.
At just 8 x 8 cm, it's one of the smaller plug-in timers on the market, meaning it's a great choice if you're worried about having something bulky sticking out of your wall. Ideal for turning off lights or a bedside radio at the same time every day.
With up to twenty programable functions, this pack of two digital timers from Dewenwils is an excellent option if you want to add a little home automation on a budget. Dewenwils specialise in consumer electronics designed to improve the home.
You can streamline your daily routine by setting up your coffee machine to start brewing when you wake up or save money by cutting out unnecessary power usage. It also features a built-in battery, meaning you can program everything while holding the timer comfortably in your hand, rather than while plugged in.
Narrowly missing out on the top five is this pack of three mechanical timers from HBN. Similar to the Masterplug offering, these represent great value for money if you're looking to set up lamps in a few rooms to turn off and on to deter burglars when you're away from home.
While they're good value for money, there are cheaper options available and they are one of the louder options around. Still, if you're away from home the noise doesn't matter, and these are well made and have a 12-month warranty.
Known for their energy-saving devices and rechargeable batteries, Ansmann's AES-1 is a plug socket designed to reduce energy consumption in your home. It has a simple one-button operation to cut off power after a set amount of time.
While it's small enough to fit on an extension lead next to other bulky plugs, the lack of programmable features really holds this timer back. If you're looking for a simple countdown timer, however, this is well worth picking up.
Defender is up there with the best plug-in timer manufacturers and the 24-Hour Segment Timer is one of the more reliable mechanical timers on the market. It also has a bypass switch on the side for when you don't want to make use of the timer function.
While this is a fantastic option and one you won't be disappointed with, the Defender Mini is available at a very similar price point. If you find the pins particularly fiddly, it may make sense to opt for this slightly larger version, but most will prefer the extra space.
There's a lot to like about this pack of three digital timers from Masterplug; the buttons are spaced nicely, the screen is clear, and it even has a countdown mode. Once they're set up you'll be extremely happy with the results!
However, setting up these timers can be a bit fiddly. And they can only hold ten functions each, which is a little low for a digital option. Getting three digital timers for this price is something of a bargain though, so they could be worth the set-up time.
Featuring a unique design with the pins around the socket itself, this tiny option from Status really makes great use of its surface area. If saving space is a key consideration for you, then this is the smallest option out there.
Unfortunately, there are a few design drawbacks that come with the small size. The pins are extra fiddly to position and it can be very difficult to set the current time, making it far from a simple set-up. Still, for a timer that must be both cheap and compact, this is your best bet.
Written and researched by David Sexton
No. 1: Defender｜Mini 24 Segment Timer
No. 2: Oridget｜Timer Plug Socket｜Pack of 2
No. 3: Masterplug｜24-Hour Mechanical Segment Timer｜Pack of 3
No. 4: HBN｜Countdown Timer Plug
No. 5: Dewenwils｜Plug In Digital Timer｜Pack of 2
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