Power strips with surge protection are essential buys if you’re looking to safeguard your valuable electronic devices from thunderstorms and power fluctuations.
Surge suppressors, as they’re also called, can absorb excess voltage and prevent your devices from shorting out. The best ones also provide plenty of power outlets to connect multiple devices, and feature LED light indicators that let you know when your devices are no longer being protected.
Luckily, surge protector power strips are relatively inexpensive. They can cost anywhere from less than $10 to over $40, depending on the number of outlets, amount of protection and additional features, such as whether it includes USB ports. Smart surge protectors — which let you control devices through an app on the phone — are unsurprisingly a bit more expensive, sometimes selling for as high as $80.
Surge Protector Power Strip Buying Guide
Yes, power strips and surge protectors all look pretty similar at first glance. But there are a series of factors you should consider before you pick one.
• Joule rating. The joule rating or surge energy rating measures how much energy the surge protector can absorb before failing. Basically, the higher the joule rating, the greater the protection.
These ratings can range anywhere from 300 joules to over 4,000 joules. If you’re getting a surge protector for electric devices such as computers, TVs and video consoles, consider a joule rating of at least 1,000 joules.
If, on the other hand, you want to protect large devices or appliances such as fridges, washing machines, power tools and home theater systems, consider higher joule ratings of 2,000 or more joules.
Do note that while some multi-outlet surge protectors with high joule ratings can be used for protecting refrigerators and other appliances with motors, it’s better to use dedicated surge protectors for this type of domestic appliances, such as the Refrigmatic, which we review below.
• UL-certified. Look for a power strip with an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certification or an Intertek’s ETL mark. This lets you know that the product has been independently tested and certified to meet performance and safety standards.
• Clamping voltage. The clamping value refers to how much voltage passes through during a power spike. Unlike the joule rating, the lower the clamping voltage the better. Most experts recommend a clamping value of no more than 400 volts.
• Number and spacing of sockets. Power strips come in different sizes and shapes, and can have anything from 3 to 12 outlets. But they can also vary when it comes to the space between outlets. Some devices have large power bricks that can take up neighboring outlets and make them useless; there are, however, many power strips that offer well-spaced outlets that fit oversized plugs easily.
• Auxiliary ports. Some power strips have auxiliary ports such as USB ports, RJ11 inputs and coaxial cable connections that can be used to protect telephones, DSL modems and satellite boxes.
We recommend surge protectors with USB connections so you can charge portable devices directly from the power strip. To ensure quick charging, look for a USB connection of at least 2 amps (often labeled as 2A).
• Power cord. Make sure the power cord is long enough to cover the desired area. Most surge protectors typically have 6 to 12-foot long power cords. A few, like the Tripp Lite TLM825SA reviewed below, have a cord length of 25 feet, which makes them ideal for covering remote areas of your house or worksite.
• Indicators. Surge protectors wear out over time, which is why you should look for one that lets you know when your devices are no longer protected. Many power strips and surge protectors include LED lights that indicate whether the devices plugged are protected or not. Others have additional LED indicators that let you know if the surge protector is properly grounded or if there’s any power problem, such as an overload or a wiring fault.
Reviewing the Top Surge Protector Power Strips of 2023
Best overall: SUPERDANNY Surge Protector Power Strip
List Price: $32.99
Number of outlets: 22 | Joule rating: 2,100 | Cord length: 6.5 ft.
The SUPERDANNY Surge Protector power strip is your answer to achieving a neat and organized space in your home or office. This power strip has 22 grounded 3-prong outlets and 6 USB ports that work perfectly for all types of electronics such as gaming or media systems, surround sound systems, TVs, phones, tablets, PCs, laptops, gamers, computers, lamps, and any other device on your wish list. The unique spaced-out design of this power strip prevents bulkier plugs from blocking other outlets, and four rows of outlets give you the flexibility of plugging in various items. With reliable overload protection, your items are safe using this surge protector power strip, making it our top overall pick.
This surge protector power strip also has five USB-A and one USB-C charging port, so you can charge multiple items simultaneously. Thanks to the built-in smart charging technology, USB C chargers can detect your devices automatically and deliver the fastest possible charge up to 5V/3A. It also comes with four keyholes on the back to mount the power strip onto your walls or furniture conveniently.
- Multiple AC outlets and USB ports
- Can handle high-power devices without worry
- Indicator lights for reassurance
- Side plug-ins could be more flexible
Most efficient: SUPERDANNY Surge Protector Power Strip
List Price: $49.99
Number of outlets: 22 | Joule rating: 2,100 | Cord length: 10 ft.
The SUPERDANNY Surge Protector Power Strip is a game-changer when it comes to powering multiple devices efficiently and safely. With its impressive features and certifications, it stands out as a reliable solution for all your power needs. What sets this power strip apart is its incredible versatility. With 22 grounded three-prong outlets and six USB ports, it provides an abundance of power options for all your devices. Whether you're setting up a gaming or media system, connecting your surround sound, or simply need to charge your phone, tablet, laptop, or other devices, this power strip is a true powerhouse.
The widely spaced outlets eliminate the hassle of bulky plugs blocking adjacent outlets, ensuring you can make full use of every port. With four rows of outlets, you have ample flexibility to plug in a variety of cords and adapters. The unique design of this best overall power strip not only maximizes functionality but also helps organize your cords, reduces clutter, and saves valuable space.
- Versatile with multiple outlets and USB ports
- Clever design with widely spaced outlets for convenience
- Efficient charging with smart USB fast charging technology
- Takes up a lot of space
Best design: Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot Plug
List Price: $42.95
Number of outlets: 12 | Joule rating: 4,320 | Cord length: 8 ft.
The Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot Plug may look bulky, but it’s one of the best options if you have a lot of large plugs, such as those that come with the latest iPads and iPhones.
The Pivot Plug has four outlets with standard spacing on the middle and eight rotating outlets, four on each side. This gives you plenty of options for connecting a wide array of oversized plugs without having to lose neighboring outlets.
This Belkin model includes 1-in, 2-out RJ11 inputs (DSL or telephone ports), which can be used to connect telephones, fax machines or modems and protect them from power fluctuations. In addition, you get coaxial cable connections so you can protect your cable or satellite box.
One drawback, however, is that it doesn’t have USB ports, which can be very useful for charging portable devices that don’t come with power bricks, such as some smartphones and tablets.
- Eight rotating outlets and phone line protection
- Rotating outlets improve flexibility and versatility
- Sturdy extension cord included with flat pivot
- Heavy-duty construction for durability
- Doesn’t have USB ports
- Can only plug in six large devices
Editor’s pick: APC Surge Protector (P12U2)
List Price: $44.79
Number of outlets: 12 | USB ports: 2 | Joule rating: 4,320 | Cord length: 6 ft.
A great alternative to the Belkin Pivot Plug is the APC Surge Protector P12U2, which offers the same surge protection with a joule rating of 4,320.
Retailing for about $45, the P12U2 is a good choice for protecting your home electronics — including game consoles, computers and TVs — from electricity spikes and lighting.
Like the Belkin Pivot Plug, it has 12 outlets, four of which are widely spaced so you can plug in power bricks without compromising adjacent outlets. It also comes with two USB-A ports with 2.4amps of charging power, enough to fast-charge your devices.
- Well-spaced outlets provide room for larger plugs
- Compatible with transformers and AC plugs
- Indicator light for convenient
- Total output of 2.4amps
- Power cord may be too short for some
- Large size makes it difficult to hide
Best for low prices: AmazonBasics 8-Outlet Power Strip
List Price: $22.53
Number of outlets: 8 | Joule rating: 4,500 | Cord length: 6ft.
If you’re looking for the best value, the AmazonBasics power strip offers the highest joule energy rating for the lowest cost — less than $25.
It has eight outlets, three of which are widely spaced so you can plug in a couple of oversized bricks without having to worry about blocking neighboring outlets. In addition, it has a 6-foot power cord and a green LED light that indicates whether devices are protected and grounded.
As its name suggests, the AmazonBasics power strip is, well, basic, but it has the capabilities needed to keep your gadgets safe. There are also a few other options you can choose from. For instance, if you have more area to cover, you can opt for the 12-foot cord model, which costs about $22.
Or if you need more outlets, you can choose the AmazonBasics 12-outlet power strip, which has an 8-foot cord, a 4,320 joule rating and costs roughly the same.
- Costs less than other models
- Operates quietly for near noiseless use
- Priced affordably compared to other models
- Indicates when power lines are broken
- Green LED light is very bright
- Plugs may need to be forced in
Best wall surge protector: Addtam USB Wall Charger
List Price: $21.99
Number of outlets: 5 | USB ports: 4 | Joule rating: 1,800
If you want to avoid dealing with long power strip cords and tangles, a wall adapter power surge protector, like the Addtam USB Wall Charger, might be a good choice.
The Addtam extender features five widely spaced outlets, which are strategically placed — two on each side and one on the front. This makes it easy to plug in large power bricks, such as those that come with laptops and the newest iPhones and iPads.
Additionally, it has three USB-A ports and one USB-C port with a maximum charging speed of 2.4amps and 3.1amps, respectively. This means you can fast-charge four portable devices at once.
Another good choice is the CyberPower Surge Protector (CSP600WSURC2). It has six swivel outlets that can rotate up to 90°, which is highly convenient for tight places such as behind a nightstand or desk. It also comes with two 2.4amp USB-A ports to fast-charge devices. It costs about the same as the Addtam adapter, but it only offers 1,200 joules of protection.
- Sufficient space between outlets, four USB ports
- Simple installation (plug and use)
- Ideal for charging phones and other devices
- Light indicator to identify outlet in the dark
- Requires two power sockets to plug in
- Doesn’t include clear explanations of certain features
Best smart power strip: TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip (HS300)
List Price: $79.99
Number of outlets: 6 | USB ports: 3 | Joule rating: 1,710 | Cord length: 6 ft.
Yes, even power strips can be smart. Just like you can control other smart devices with a simple voice command or through an app, the TP-Link Kasa HS300 power strip lets you control your electronics from anywhere and in a variety of ways.
This ETL-certified surge protector offers 1,710 joules of protection against sudden power surges and overloads. It features six smart outlets that can be independently controlled through the Kasa Smart app and three 2.4Amp built-in USB ports for charging smartphones and tablets.
The Kasa Smart app not only lets you remotely control your devices with a single tap, but also program them to turn on and off at specific times. It even allows you to monitor their power consumption. In addition, it’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which means you can control the outlets with voice commands.
The $80 price tag may be a deal-breaker for some users, but it can sometimes be found on sale for about $50.
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Scenes feature to turn on/off a group of plugs
- Power consumption breakdowns track energy efficiency
- High-quality and well-constructed design
- Pricey option, though it's often on sale
- No USB-C outlets
Best for large spaces: Tripp Lite 8-Outlet Surge Protector (TLM825SA)
List Price: $103.20
Number of outlets: 8 | Joule rating: 3,900 | Cord length: 25 ft.
Selling for around $100, the Tripp Lite TLM825SA is not the cheapest surge protector, but with a 25-foot cord, it’s the best choice if you have a lot of space to cover.
This model has a joule rating of 3,900, which is high enough to protect equipment from spikes and surges. Its rugged black and yellow metal case features eight power outlets and a built-in cord wrap to facilitate cord management and prevent tangles.
It includes four safety covers to protect unused outlets from debris and integrated keyhole slots so you can mount it on a wall or desk. Additionally, it’s said to withstand harsh conditions, making this surge protector power strip ideal for industrial or automotive worksites, as well as any outdoor environment, such as the garage or porch.
- Long cord suitable for any placement
- Heavy-duty metal housing designed for rigorous use
- Good reputation for quality, reliability and safety
- Beveled sides to wrap cord for storage
- Power switch is easy to bump on/off
- Only offers basic power protection features
Best for appliances: Refrigmatic WS-36300
List Price: $26.99
The Refrigmatic WS-36300 is a dedicated appliance surge protector that’s ideal for protecting refrigerators, ice makers and air conditioners from voltage drops and power spikes.
The WS-36300 can protect refrigerators up to 27 cubic feet in size, and air conditioners of up to 5,000 BTU. It features four light indicators that let you know if there’s normal, high or low voltage; most importantly, if voltage is unstable, the protector creates a delay of about three minutes, letting the power stabilize before powering the fridge back on.
Unlike most multi-outlet power strips, dedicated appliance surge protectors don’t necessarily work with a joule rating. Instead, surge protectors like the WS-36300 use a system that allows it to shut down power when there are voltage fluctuations that go above or below the one that’s needed (typically 100 to 120 volts for refrigerators).
The Refrigmatic WS-36300 costs about $30 for a one-outlet unit. However, a pack of two costs roughly $39, which is a great deal if you want to protect both a fridge and an A/C unit. The Refrigmatic is also available in a Mega edition that features a 90° rotating plug and is designed to protect two-door refrigerators and large freezers (27 cubic feet or more).
- Protects appliances from voltage fluctuations
- Reduces the risk of refrigerator compressor problems
- Decreases the chance of costly repairs/replacements
- Increases efficiency and longevity of electrical devices
- Not suitable for multiple appliances
- Installation may require some expertise and reading
Why Trust Us
Our commitment to the consumer begins with product selection and ends with the last word we write in each article. Each surge protector power strip is carefully vetted quantitatively through star ratings and the number of reviews qualitatively through careful examination of reviews and the features each one has to offer. Leveraging our team of bargain hunters, we’re also always sure to keep your budget in mind while we find the best surge protector power strips on the market. Our team of experts is dedicated to accurately depicting the pros and cons of each surge protector power strip translating technical product specifications into information you can understand. We strive to provide quality tools and accessories that protect your appliances and devices when plugged in but don't break the bank.