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If you’re heading out on a trip to the U.K., you’re going to want to be sure your gadgets can stay charged while you’re overseas — after all, you don’t want your laptop dying during a work trip or your phone shutting off while you’re trying to make dinner reservations. Buying a power adapter before your trip is a lot cheaper than buying one on the ground, and you can purchase them for a variety of gadgets, from sleek USB-only strips for tablets, cameras, and smartphones to all-in-one universal adapters with multiple ports for charging all your gadgets not just in the U.K., but around the world.
Plugs in the United Kingdom are quite a bit different than elsewhere in the world: They have three long, flat prongs versus Europe’s two or three round ones and the United States’ two flat prongs with an occasional third round one. They come sold in a variety of types, including both sets of basic adapters and one-off ones built to last during long stays. We’ve done the research to find the best U.K. adapters out there — read on for our picks.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Travel Ready High Quality AC Power Travel Adapter
This British adapter is built to last, with heavy-duty high-quality construction that will endure plenty of jaunts to England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It’s built to be able to charge two devices at the same time. The durability of its design — great for long stays in the U.K. — is aided by a lack of moving parts. The prongs don’t spring out of any central housing, instead, they’re affixed securely to the adapter to hold up against the wear and tear of travel, and the prongs fit snugly into the outlet without looseness or wobbling. Best of all, the main input receptacle can handle any type of plug, not just domestic ones, so if you have to buy a spare part elsewhere on your travels, you won’t have any issues charging it while you’re in the United Kingdom. The second outlet, at the top of the adapter, accepts U.S. and European plugs.
Best For Home and Abroad: BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter
The BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter will be a great companion both at home and abroad. It has three domestic outlets for use at home; for heading abroad, just unplug it and bring along the U.K. adapter. The ports can charge up to seven devices at the same time. In addition to the outlets, it also has four USB slots. The setup also has a 110V voltage converter, so you’ll never worry about having to bring yet another gadget in your suitcase. Should you not need the converter, however, you can just bring the U.K. adapter and leave the rest of the kit at home. We also love the relatively low profile; it’s not too bulky or awkward to pack. Best of all, the product is protected with a 24-month warranty — and with over-current, over-loading, overheating, and short-circuiting protection.
Best Budget: PowerBright US to UK 3-Prong Travel Outlet Plug Adapter
If you just need a more inexpensive plug — and only one, versus a set of adapters — this one offers great value. At just 2.4 ounces, it doesn’t add a lot of weight to suitcases or bags, either, and you can use both two- and three-prong U.S. plugs in its input receptacle. Like with other Type G plugs, this won’t just work in the United Kingdom, but also in some other countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia as well, so once you’re back, keep it on hand for future travels. Do keep in mind that it won’t switch voltages automatically, so if you’re using it with devices like hair dryers or curling irons, make sure it’s compatible before plugging it in — otherwise you might get a spark or two. (We suggest getting a travel-size hair dryer to be on the safe side.) The adapter comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty, too, so in case something doesn’t work right, you can get a replacement.
Best U.K.-Specific Set: HTTX Grounded Type G Power Converter
Averaging out to less than $2.50 each, this set of three British converters is great for those who want inexpensive adapters that they can spread out around the hotel room, whether they’re traveling with a partner or simply want to be able to plug in their laptop at their desk and phone next to the bed. Although it looks pretty basic, the plug has recently been redesigned with better metal interfaces on the inside for increased connectivity. This shape of the plug will also work in Northern Ireland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and several other countries. What's more, the adapter comes with a 12-month warranty, so if something doesn’t work properly, the company will resolve it. The three adapters together weigh just 2.4 ounces, so they won’t take up too much from your airline’s weight restrictions if you have to travel light.
Best Universal Adapter: Haozi Universal Power Adapter
If you head to the U.K. often but also pop around to different continents or countries, a universal adapter might be the right choice for you. It comes in a sleeker black or more conspicuous electric blue with black sides, which we actually prefer for standing out in hotel room outlets when it’s time to pack. You’ll be able to travel to most countries with this charger too: Just slide the buttons on the side to unlock (and then lock in place) the correct prongs for wherever you find yourself, including the EU and Austria. The main receptacle is also universal, should you ever pick up a spare part or new electronic device while you’re abroad — and you can unlock U.S. prongs to charge the new device when you’re back at home. It’s also certified for safety so devices don’t overheat, and there are safety shutters built in so people don’t get a shock if they touch a live part.
Best USB Strip: USB Wall Charger Travel Plug
This USB strip is great for friends traveling together or for those who travel with their phones, tablet, and camera and prefer to charge all their devices at once. The plug is smart, too, taking an input of either 100v or 240v and then figuring out the correct current for each device so it charges as quickly as possible. It will work at home, too, thanks to the U.S. plugs that come standard, and then you can add on the included U.K. and European chargers. It comes in black or white, so if you’re buying for you and your partner, each of you can keep your cords and gadgets separate. It’s built with overheating, overloading, and overcharging protection, so your devices are safe if you’re out and about. Plus, it weighs only 6.7 ounces, so it’s not too heavy in your carry-on or purse.
Best International Slimline Converter: Mu Dual USB Universal Charger
If packing space is tight with airline restrictions on suitcase sizes and weights, Mu’s portable charger is branded the world’s thinnest portable charger. It’s lightweight and streamlined to tuck easily into a purse or even pocket with no more bulk than a standard phone charger. It measures about 3" x 2" and weighs only .16 ounces. The design, which won the British Design of the Year award, is truly innovative; the charger has two USB ports for a couple’s phones or a tablet and phone, and then you just slide the interchangeable plug heads on and off. It comes with one for the U.K., one for Europe, and one for the U.S., so you can use it when you’re back home too. With plenty of light travel devices using USB devices, including cameras, phones, and tablets, this will help you stay connected and powered up without the bulk of more old-school adapters.
Best Adapter Set: BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Worldwide Set
Adapter sets are great for travelers going to the U.K. but also have their sights set on further foreign travel — and don’t want the bulk of having a chunky, heavy universal adapter in their bag. They often offer the best value for money, too, with each adapter in this set averaging just $2. There’s no voltage converter, but with most modern technology, you won’t need that. This set comes with plugs for the U.K., Italy, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Northern Europe, and Israel. Although each prong set is specific to a country, each adapter does have a universal input, so if you have to pick up a gadget in France, like a new camera charger, you can still use it and plug it into the U.K. adapter on your next trip. Although they might look basic, these adapters are also very well constructed, with connections that are solid and trustworthy.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular UK travel adapters on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 40 different adapters and read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.
What to Look for in a Power Adapter for UK Travel
Weight Power adapters can be surprisingly heavy so consider how many you really need to take on a trip. Are you willing to take turns with the devices you’re charging or do you need one for each? Carrying multiple can sneak up on you and really add weight to your checked luggage or carry-on.
Cost If you’re tethered to your electronics for work or just getting around town, don’t risk a cheap adapter that’s going to spark or otherwise fizzle out after a couple of uses. Use our guide to find one that’s built to last, even after a few years of keeping you connected.
Voltage conversion Most electronic gadgets and devices these days come with built-in automatic voltage conversion—but double-check before plugging a device into your adapter. Although converters do exist, they can be pricey.