America power adapters - what plugs are used in America?

American power outlet

What adapter do I need for America?

You'll need to bring a Type B plug adapter [3] to America if the plug you intend on using won't fit into an American power outlet.

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that's needed when visiting America all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to power with an American power outlet. If you do not know what voltage your device can use then please read the section below about how can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device first.

  • If your device is 120 volts or is dual voltage and the plug will fit in an American power outlet then it can work in America without needing anything else.
  • If your device is 120 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in an American power outlet then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for America such a Type B plug adapter [3]. Please be aware that a plug adapter for America (or power adapter) will only change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in America, but won't convert the voltage from 120 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device is unable to use 120 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for America to convert the voltage from 120 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for America if your power converter doesn't include the correct Type B plug adapter.
  • If you simply want to recharge one or more USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it should be dual voltage, but make sure that you bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type B plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to use a suitable plug adapter for America.
  • Increased use of a mobile phone during a trip will leave you with a flat battery quickly therefore you should pack a portable charger [4] if you wish to recharge your mobile phone battery or other USB powered devices whilst visiting an unfamiliar country.

Warning: If your device won't handle the 120 volts used in America you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device. Before attempting to use your device in America please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

America power adapters

Power adapters for America

If you are organizing to travel to America it is helpful to know if you'll be able to power your important gadgets when you reach your destination. By not knowing which wall socket to expect you are more likely to bring the wrong power adaptor, therefore having to buy or borrow a suitable charger when you arrive. Varying different combinations of standards and plugs can all cause confusion when planning on staying in another country, especially for the first time traveller. However this isn't as complicated as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of sockets being used throughout the world this article tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in America. This page contains links to simple instructions showing you exactly how to charge your devices when you are in America using their Type B or A 120 volt 60Hz plug outlets, Type B power outlets are used by most Americans. Power is different depending on which country you are travelling to therefore we suggest reading the power adapters page for a complete list of countries.

What is the best power adapter for America?

The best power adapter for America is a Type B power adapter [3] which is suitable for powering any 120 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for America?

What is a power adapter for an American power outlet?

Power adapters are small and lightweight plastic adapters that allow a different type of power plug on an appliance from a different country to correctly fit into an American power outlet.

Do I need a plug adapter for America?

If the outlet in your home country isn't the same as the type of American power outlet then you will need a power adapter.

What does a power adapter for America do?

A power adapter for America enables a visitor travelling from another location to use their electronic appliances and devices in America simply by changing the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Does a power adapter change the voltage from an American power outlet?

No - a power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 120 volt American power outlet and doesn't convert the power to a higher voltage. Should you need to safely use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance you also need a step up power converter for America.

Where can I buy a power adapter for America?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for America?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for America

Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Able to charge several appliances and devices at once via a single American power outlet, costing around $30 USD.
  • Certain models of power strips are able to convert voltage for low wattage electronics such as laptops. Even if the electronic device isn't dual voltage it should still work with a American power outlet when using only a travel power strip, making them a cheap and lightweight alternative option to a dedicated power converter.
  • Most modern travel power strips should also feature a number of USB charging ports.
  • Offers surge protection. Voltage from power outlets in certain areas might be unstable, a sudden power surge might damage your delicate electronics. Some travel power strips will have a built in surge protector to protect your electronics from being overloaded by an unstable power grid.
  • The power strip can potentially still be of use back at home as a power strip.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in America. (Note: UK power strips include type B, F, G and I plug adapters so you will need to use it with an additional plug adapter.)

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Unlike a normal power converter, the voltage converter on a travel power strip won't work with higher wattage appliances such as clothes irons and hair dryers.
  • Because of the weight of a power strip it might be too bulky for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips might be excessive if you only have a small number of items which need powering.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A compact USB travel wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Ideal if you only have to power devices which are USB powered.
  • Instead of carrying multiple domestic power chargers you only need to pack a single unit costing around $18 USD.
  • Supplied with interchangeable heads which means they can be used in a large number of locations. Interchangeable adapter heads are typically lightweight and small which makes them easy to pack.
  • Most models will have a built in surge protector which will protect your electronics from being overloaded by an unstable power grid in some countries.
  • The charger can still be of use back home.
  • Interchangeable heads will fit into Types A/B, E/F, G and I power outlets so will work in an American power outlet.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB outputs so you won't be able to power any electrical appliances, just USB powered devices.
Power Plug Adapters

A cheap and simple type B plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Compact and light.
  • Cheap, with prices starting at around $7 USD.
  • Easy to use.
  • Using a Type B plug adapter [3] will be ideal for America.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • A single plug adapter for each plug - for each individual device you will also need to pack a separate power adapter.
  • Only alters the shape of the plug to fit in a Type B American power outlet and not the voltage. If your device doesn't support a 120 volt outlet and isn't dual voltage you'll still need to bring a voltage converter.
  • Accomodation might only have one wall outlet, so you'll only be able to power one device at a time.
  • You will also need to bring your separate USB charger if you need to charge a USB device.
  • If you plan to visit more than just America you may need to bring multiple plug adapter types.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Typical models are designed to work in over 150 countries.
  • All-in-one design, lightweight and small, around $15 USD.
  • There are some models which include charging ports for USB devices.
  • Easy to use.
  • There are some models which include a surge protector built in, this will prevent any device from being overpowered by unstable power grids.
  • Retractable pins don't get caught against other items in luggage.
  • When you return home it will still work as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so will work with an American power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Can't be used with high power electrical appliances such as clothes irons, vacuum cleaners or curling irons.
  • The pins, shutters and other internal moving parts might be fragile on some universal travel power adapters which might make them prone to breaking whilst abroad.
  • Universal travel power adapters only provide power to one appliance.
  • A universal travel power adapter might not work in some countries; some adapters might not work in certain countries with less popular power outlets.
  • Missing an in-built voltage converter will mean it isn't suitable for non-120 volts electrical appliances.
Plug Adapter Sets

A power plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices around $15-$20 USD a set typically works out cheaper purchasing than buying multiple individual $7 power plug adapters for multiple trips.
  • Ensures that you are covered for all possibilities.
  • If you are visiting multiple locations this is perfect.
  • Includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N adapters so will be compatible with an American power outlet.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Not flexible; you will need to decide which adapters to pack, if you don't know every country you'll be visiting you'll need to pack every adapter type.
  • Means lots of individual items to pack.
  • The remaining plug adapters will be redundant.
  • Not all plug adapter types are typically included (especially less common adapters), so ensure that your set includes one that works in America.
  • Only alters the shape of the plug and not the voltage.
Voltage Converters

A voltage converter

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • Only changes the 120 volts from a American power outlet and won't change the actual shape of the plug to slot into a American power outlet, so you will still be required to bring a suitable power adapter.
  • Costly - around $128 USD.
  • The normal size of most models of voltage converters makes them unsuitable for packing in hand luggage.
  • Redundant when get back home.
  • Usually better value to bring a dual voltage travel appliance than to purchase a more expensive voltage converter just to bring your existing appliance in an incompatible location.

Comparison of electrical adapters for America

Type B Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in America Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included B A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 45+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type B American power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Useful when you return to America Yes Yes Yes
Typical combined number of USB ports and AC outlets 1 3 4 7 1 2
Powers USB devices Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of USB ports 0 2 4 4 0 0
Powers a 120 volt AC appliance in America Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical number of AC outlets 1 1 0 3 (B) 2
Converts voltage (?) Yes (C) Yes
Surge protection Yes Yes Yes Yes
Typical dimensions 2.6 x 1.9 x 1.4 inches 3 x 2.1 x 2.1 inches 4.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.5 inches 7.1 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches 11.7 x 8.1 x 6.7 inches
Typical weight 4.5 ounces 4 ounces 4.5 ounces 1.6 pounds 13 ounces 20 pounds
Typical number of items to carry (D) 1 1 5 8 12 2
Suitable for hand luggage Yes Yes Yes • (E) • (F)
Typical price $7 USD $15 USD $18 USD $30 USD $19 USD $128 USD
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

America power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in America?

Type A and B power outlets

What plug sockets are used in America?

There are two different types of power supply used in America, these are type B and A with the primary power supply being type B:

  • Plug Type A - The power socket, technically known as a type A power outlet, is recognised by the two thin slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type B - The plug socket, technically known as a type B power outlet, is recognised by the two thin slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral blades with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the slightly longer earthed pin.

A growing number of hotels in America are upgrading their power outlets to include built in USB charging ports.

What electrical frequency is used with an American power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current found in an American power outlet is 60Hz.

How do I use a 220 volt appliance in America?

Use a step up power converter if you need to bring a 220V appliance to America.

How reliable is electrical power in America?

While power outages are unpredictable, the electricity in America is classed as reliable as there is no pattern of frequent power cuts.

What is access to electricity like in America?

Access to electricity in America is excellent which spans the entire population.

Should I use a power bank in America?

USB portable charger

Should I use a power bank in America?

Although electrical outages in America aren't regular with electricity being available throughout the country, travellers are still recommended to bring a portable charger to recharge their cell phone and other USB powered devices.

  • The dependence on mobile phones for some people is high and the thought of being offline can make them anxious, particularly when being used abroad. During a trip to America increased reliance on cell phones for taking pictures, storing calendars, GPS, social networks and staying entertained can drain the batteries excessively. As well as the simple missed photo opportunities this can possibly leave you stranded without sufficient power to make an emergency call or being able to use GPS to find your way back to accommodation or hotel.
  • Using a portable charger [4] in America eases those concerns as it means you can keep your smart phone powered without needing an American power outlet.
  • A 10,000mAh power bank [4] can store enough energy to cover around 3 full cycles and a 20,000mAh power bank [14] should keep a typical mobile phone powered for almost 7 days.
  • If your laptop supports USB-C charging then a portable charger for a laptop [15] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies 20Wh or more can be used to recharge your laptop. However be aware that some airlines prohibit power banks on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must not be kept in the hold so always ahead with the carrier.
  • Average consumer power banks won't work with high powered items that generate heat, but a rechargeable hair dryer [12] or gas hair straighteners [13] are available for travelling.
How well do solar battery chargers work in America?

A solar backpack recharging

How well do solar battery chargers work in America?

The daylight in America can be suitable conditions for a solar power bank [17], however it is likely to take time to recharge. The reduced surface area of the cells means a solar power bank needs to be left in strong daylight for a long period of time to provide enough energy for a single charge, and this might prove difficult to repeatedly unpack a solar power bank and wait for it to recharge in sunny spells.

  • The much larger panels found on a solar backpack [16] give the bag the ability to generate more power within a faster period of time, and might generate charge when cloudy.
  • Phones which are plugged directly into a USB port of a backpack should trickle charge the battery during sunny periods in America, but might be inconvenient to have it continuously connected to the bag if it is to be used frequently. A power bank [4] plugged in a solar backpack can be continuously recharged during the day, afterwards you can recharge the phone from the power bank at any time without daylight.
  • A solar bag that is suitable for America needs to have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, be able to generate at least 6 watts of energy and can be used with a 10,000mAH power bank or greater.
  • Solar bags are available in rucksack, backpack and laptop messenger styles which makes them perfect for travel, domestic and work use.
  • The flexible and durable solar cells used in solar powered bags have been built to endure scratching and bending, unlike normal firm solar panels.

Sources

  • Visit The USA [18] - Measurements and Electricity (cited July 2018)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited July 2018)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2018)
  • Index Mundi - Power outages in a typical month (cited May 2018, data collected between 2006 to 2017)
  • Index Mundi - Access to electricity (cited May 2018, latest data collected 2010)
  • WikiPedia - List of countries by average yearly temperature (cited May 2018, data averaged between 1961 to 1990)

America chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for charging multiple USB powered devices when travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for America?

If travelling to more than one country the best travel charger for America is a multiple USB charger which includes swappable plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [7]. Americans use two different types of plug sockets (B and A) and using a travel charger like this ensures that you are covered for type A. Because these chargers are supplied with interchangeable pins and handle 100 - 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world simply by switching the plugs. If your device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from quicker charging times with one of these power chargers plus support for certain power demanding devices. Having a four port charger will allow you to charge more than one device simultaneously without needing to buy individual travel adapters on your trip to America or occupying additional power outlets. By only needing to pack a single international USB travel charger will also keep the overall size and weight down, making it ideal to fold up in hand luggage whilst travelling and suitable for recharging your devices at the airport or on the plane. Because of their space saving versatility these types of power chargers can be used at home as well as abroad so when you're not travelling they can sit under your bedside table charging multiple smartphones and tablets without using up an additional power outlet.

If you travel frequently we recommend searching for this type of versatile travel adapter online - the multipurpose travel adapter illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [7] which has been tested successfully with multiple USB devices in numerous different countries with perfect reliably.

What USB charger do I need for America?

Why use a travel USB charger for America?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, meaning you now only need to bring one charger to charge multiple devices. This helps reduce the weightand size of your luggage by only packing a single USB wall charger rather than bringing numerous chargers.
  • Most travel USB chargers include interchangeable plug heads for different power outlet types making them suitable when visiting other countries which will probably use different standards to America.
  • Good chargers are compact, rugged and lightweight - ideal for rigors of travel rather than risking bringing a domestic charger which might be hard to replace in America.
  • USB chargers will accept the 120 volt power outlets in America and different voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a chance that accommodation or hotel bedrooms in America might only have a single wall outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share out the single power supply with family or other traveler rather than having to wait to recharge each device one by one.
  • Because of their flexible nature they take the worry out of travelling to an unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports can be sparse and the demand for charging multiple cell phones from other passengers during departure can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the capability to fast charge is perect.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a good quality travel USB charger allows for unexpected surges and will help prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded cell phone or tablet in America could prove to be difficult and costly.
  • Premium USB travel chargers will also include a power outlet strip to allow you to plug in multiple low wattage domestic appliances such as laptops, however these will be unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Read the guide on using travel appliances with an American power outlet for useful advice on the most suitable power adapter for an American power outlet for high powered devices.
  • Certain mobile phones and tablets could require more than the normal 500 milliamps supplied by a normal 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Higher priced USB chargers will support fast charging incase some of your devices require additional power.
  • On back at home travel USB chargers can also be useful by charging multiple mobile phones every day using one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for America?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, but for visitors also wanting to use their domestic plugs these power converters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which is useful for visitors of regions with unreliable power grids. These travel converters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both America and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable power converter for travellers originating from America visiting America.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from the US using type B plugs and is a more cost effective alternative to the BESTEK with one less AC outlet for almost half price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it perfect for most travellers from around the world visiting America.

Power converters for America

What does a power converter for an American power outlet do?

Power converters enable travellers to use their 220-240 volt electric device with a 120 volt American power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

A heavy and expensive power converter [19] will convert the voltage of 120 volts from an American power outlet to work with a non-120 volt device, however a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet in America.

Do I need a power converter for America?

When you are visiting America from a different country check your device will accept a 120 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter [10] if you are travelling to America from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 120 volts. See the world power outlets guide to discover which voltage your country uses.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage device that works with 120 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices which come from another country which use a higher voltage (for example 240 volts) and used in a 120 volt outlet can take longer to charge or won't turn on. If your device doesn't power up or recharges slowly when you are travelling to America from a different region please check that it is compatible with a 120 volt American power outlet or you will need to bring a step up power converter [10].
  • You don't need a power converter if you wish to charge a smaller electrical device such as a laptop as these are typically support dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • When powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as hair dryers and clothes irons) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [20] to allow the appliance to be used with a 120 volt American power outlet.
  • It could be more cost effective to purchase a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a much heavier high wattage power converter to America in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read these comprehensive travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling irons, blow dryers and hair straighteners with American power outlets which includes recommendations for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What kind of converter do I need for America?

You will need to use a step up power converter [10] in order to use any 220-240 volt appliance in America.

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

How to convert 120 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter [10] to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with an 120 volt American power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for America before plugging that into an American power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with an 120 volt American power outlet.

What voltage is used in America?

America uses 120 volts in their standard power outlets.

What voltage is my appliance?

Single voltage hair dryer

What voltage is my appliance?

The easiest method to see if a appliance is dual voltage is to look for numbers printed on the power plug or on the unit itself, typically near to where the power cord plugs into. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your unit but could also state in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

Substantiations

How we compared products

Typical figures based on top 5 popular electrical adapters for each form-factor from different manufacturers with prices as of October 2018.

  • Power Plug Adapters - Ceptics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter, TESSAN Grounded Universal Travel Power Plug Adapter, Tmvel Universal International Power Adapter Plug, EnriQ Plug Adapter, Ckitze Travel Power Plug Adapter.
  • Universal Travel Power Adapters - BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter, NEWVANGA International Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, Bluegogo Universal All in One Worldwide Travel Adapter, HAOZI All-in-one International Power Adapter, UROPHYLLA Universal European Adapter Dual Fuses.
  • Trvel USB Wall Chargers - iKits 4-Port USB Wall/International Charger, LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, PISEN USB Wall Charger, Anker 27W 4-Port USB Wall Charger PowerPort 4 Lite, USB Plug Travel Charger Adaptor, Turata 4 Port Universal World Wall Charger.
  • Travel Power Strips - BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip, TESSAN 3 Outlet Surge Protector travel Power Strip, Portable Travel Adapter Power Strip Charging Station, GR-8 Power Compact & Slim Travel Charging Station, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station.
  • Plug Adapter Sets - Ceptics GP-12PK International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set, Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set - 11 Pack, BESTEK Grounded Universal Plug Set, OREI 7 World Travel Adapter Plug Set, Ceptics Adapter Plug Set for World Wide International Travel Use.
  • Voltage Converters - Power Bright VC2000W Voltage Transformer Step Up/Down converter, LiteFuze LT-3000 3000 Watt Voltage Converter Transformer - Step Up/Down, SEYAS 1000W Auto Step Up & Step Down Voltage Transformer Converter, Rockstone Power 5000 Watt Heavy Duty Step Up/Down Voltage Transformer Converter, KRIEGER 1700 Watt Voltage Transformer Step up/down 120V / 230V AC outlet American European Converter.

Weight, dimensions, number of AC outlets, number of USB powers and prices were all based by calculating and rounding an average figure for each attribute where known.

Key to electrical adapter comparison

  1. Compatible number of countries based on data from the International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs page (cited November 2018).
  2. Assuming only a single plug adapter from the plug adapter set will be used at any one time in a compatible location.
  3. Depending on if the power strip supports voltage conversion for low wattage items. All travel power strips tested do not convert voltage for high wattage appliances.
  4. Including the device itself, any supplied plug heads and power cords.
  5. Some travel power strips featuring less AC outlets may be small and lightweight enough to be suitable for hand luggage.
  6. Number of items if bringing an entire set of plug adapters for use in multiple locations to cover all eventualities (unless bringing only the necessary single plug adapter).

What type of adapter do you need for America?

Deciding which type of electrical adapter you need for America

The type of plug adapter or power converter which is suitable for America will depend on your requirements, so before choosing the right adapter to bring we suggest using this checklist:

How many electrical items will you be bringing to America?

How many devices are you packing

How many electrical items will you be bringing to America?

  • Trying counting how many devices and applicances you'll need to bring to America (such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, eReaders, hair straighteners or curling irons).
    • Remember to take into account that you might own more electrical devices at a later date. Are you thinking about purchasing a new tablet computer soon?
    • There are an increasing number of USB powered rechargeable devices such as electric shavers which utilise USB as their power source. Therefore next time you replace a device it might use a USB adapter so check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports to support these as well.
  • Will you be travelling with a partner who might need to charge their phones?
What are the different types of electrical devices do you need to use in America?

Make a list of items to bring

What are the different types of electrical devices do you need to use in America?

  • There are 3 types of electrical items:
    • Low wattage electronic items that plug into an electrical outlet - for example laptops and cameras.
    • High wattage appliances that plug into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons and hair dryers.
    • USB devices that charge with a USB port - for example phones.
  • When you only intend to take just USB powered devices then a travel USB charger is ideal as you'll only need to bring that single charger .
  • Travel power strips are built for providing power and converting voltage for several low wattage devices, however unsuitable for high wattage appliances that require voltage conversion.
Will you only be charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB items

Will you only be charging USB devices?

Will your devices work with 120 volt power outlets?

Is America the only location you intend to visit?

  • Single power adapters will typically only operate in a single country which they are made for, so if you want to travel to more than a single country then you may need to bring additional power adapters which can add to the weight you have to pack.
  • On the other hand universal travel adapters and travel USB wall chargers are perfect for visiting more than one country becuase of the inclusion of interchangeable heads.
How many American power outlets will be available?

How many power outlets will be available

How many American power outlets will be available?

  • The accommodation in America may only offer one wall outlet, this will present a problem when recharging the batteries of more than one electronic device overnight as you'll only be able to recharge a single device at a time after each device has finished charging.
  • To charge multiple devices simultaneously we suggest using a travel power strip or USB wall charger which can charge multiple USB ports and outlets.

Are you intending on visiting anywhere else abroad in the future?

What is your budget?

  • A cheap power adapter starts from around $7 which powers only one single device in America (provided that is compatible with 120 volts or is dual voltage) but paying around $20 allows you to charge multiple devices simultaneously and use them in multiple countries.

Will you always have good access to electricity?

  • The voltage in America is stable however if you want to visit another country you may need an adapter to protect your electrical devices. Voltage can sometimes fluctuate in some other countries and this can potentially cause damage to your devices, so you will need to look for a power adapter which has surge protection built in such as a travel power strip.
  • You can prepare for a power cut and countries with limited electricity access by packing a portable charger [4] or a solar backpack [16].

Would you like to use your charger when returning to America?

Do you bringing just hand luggage?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Do you bringing just hand luggage?

Are you flying long haul to get to America?

Are you flying long haul

Are you flying long haul to get to America?

  • For extended journeys think about an appropriate charger which is perfect for airports that works in different outlet types, one that can be packed in carry-on luggage and can charge phones and tablets.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets we recommend bringing a battery portable charger [4] for recharging on the go. When arriving you could need to use your mobile phone for making calls, sending texts, using sat nav or reading your itinerary; therefore please ensure that your phone will have enough battery power left.

What can I connect to an American power outlet

Travel appliances that can be connected to an American power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to an American power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with an American power outlet

Mobile phones that can be connected to an American power outlet

Apple iPhones that can be connected to an American power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to an American power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which can connect to an American power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with an American power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting America, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [21].

Disclaimer

WikiConnections is not responsible for any injury or damage caused due to using any type of suggested product with any other electrical device or appliance in any location, full details are available on the disclaimer page. All functions and capabilities should be checked prior to purchasing or using any power adapter. Assumptions on if any power adapter, charger, converter or power strip works in any location is based on data from publicly available sources and if it fits the primary power outlet used in that country. WikiConnections has not taken into consideration other less common power outlets which might be found as these might only be used in certain areas or in the process of being phased out.

Where possible, WikiConnections only recommends the type of product as being suitable along with alternatives and does not make any endorsement for any specific brand or product. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure full compatibility prior to attempting to use any device. Always check the reputation of the manufacturer and product to ensure the quality and safety of any electrical device being used.

  1. https://www.visittheusa.co.uk/ - Visit The USA.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage.
  4. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries.
  7. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  8. Universal travel power adapter - A typical universal travel power adapter can be used in over 150 different countries for use with appliances and USB devices.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries.
  10. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling.
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges.
  14. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days.
  15. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support.
  16. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight.
  17. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device.
  18. https://www.visittheusa.co.uk/info/measurements-electricity - Visit The USA
  19. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  20. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets