South Korea power adapters - what plugs are used in South Korea?

South Korean power outlet

What adapter do I need for South Korea?

Use a Type F plug adapter [3] for South Korea if the plug you intend on using won't fit into a South Korean power outlet.

The type of power adapter, power converter or charger that you'll need when visiting South Korea all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to use in a South Korean power outlet. If you're unclear about 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 you are travelling to South Korea from America then you will need to bring a power adapter to fit a US plug into a South Korean power outlet. Because the voltage is different in South Korea pack a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage and your plug fits in a South Korean power outlet then you can use it in South Korea.
  • If your device can run on 220 volts or is dual voltage but your plug doesn't fit in a South Korean power outlet then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter for South Korea such a Type F plug adapter [3]. Please be aware that a plug adapter for South Korea (or power adapter) only changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in South Korea, but isn't designed to change the voltage from 220 volts to another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 220 volts and isn't dual voltage you will also need a power converter for South Korea to convert the voltage from 220 volts to the correct voltage on your device. You will still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for South Korea if your power converter doesn't have the correct Type F plug adapter.
  • If you only want to recharge one or more USB devices such as a mobile phone or tablet then a USB travel power adapter will be more suited and it should work with any voltage, however ensure that you choose to bring a USB travel adapter which has a Type F plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to use a suitable plug adapter for South Korea.
  • Increased use of a mobile phone during a vacation to South Korea can create an extra demand on the battery, we suggest bringing a power bank [4] if you need to recharge your phone whilst visiting an unfamiliar country.

Warning: If your device won't handle the 220 volts used in South Korea you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your device in South Korea read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

South Korea power adapters

Power adapters for South Korea

When packing for a holiday it can be useful to know in advance if you can charge your indispensable gadgets when you arrive. However without knowing which power socket is used in South Korea you are likely to bring the wrong power adaptor, meaning needing to purchase a potentially overpriced power adaptor when you're there. Varying different combinations of voltages and standards can often be confusing when planning to travel to a different country to the first time traveller. However this isn't as complicated as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of plug sockets being used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to power your electronics in South Korea. This page has links to instructions showing which power adapters you'll need to charge your devices in South Korea by using the standard types F or C South Korean 220 volt 60Hz wall outlets, most South Koreans use Type F sockets in their power outlets. Most power adapters will change from country to country so please read the WikiConnections travel power adapters guide where you'll find a complete list of powering devices in different countries.

What is the best power adapter for South Korea?

The best power adapter for South Korea is a Type F power adapter [3] which is suitable for powering any 220 volt appliance or device.

What is the best power adapter for South Korea?

What is a power adapter for a South Korean power outlet?

A power adapter is a compact, cheap and lightweight plastic adapter which permits a South Korean power outlet to accept a different shaped power plug from an appliance from another region.

Also known as: an electrical adapter, plug adapter, travel adapter, electrical adaptor, mains travel adapter or power adaptor [5].

Will a power adapter convert the voltage in South Korea?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 220 volt South Korean power outlet and can't convert the power to a higher voltage. Should you need to safely use any 100-120 volt device you also need to bring a step down power converter along with the right type of power adapter.

Do I need a plug adapter for South Korea?

If the power plug that you want to use is different to the type of South Korean power outlet then you will need a power adapter.

What does a power adapter for South Korea do?

A power adapter allows visitors from a different country to use electrical appliances in South Korea simply by adapting the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Where to buy a power adapter in South Korea

Arriving at an airport

Where to buy a power adapter in South Korea

On arrival power adapters could 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.

Where to buy a power adapter for South Korea

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for South Korea

Power adapters are most likely be available in 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.

It will be 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 but for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for South Korea

Travel USB Wall Chargers

A travel USB wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Ideal if you only have to power USB devices.
  • Rather than bring lots of domestic USB power chargers travellers only have to bring a single unit which costs roughly between $10 to $15 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  • Chargers are typically supplied with swappable adapter heads which make them useful in a large number of different countries. The interchangeable adapter heads are typically small and lightweight making them easy to pack.
  • Most travel USB wall chargers should have a built in surge protector.
  • When you get back home the charger should still work.
  • The swappable plugs fit in Types A/B, E/F, G and I outlets so will work in South Korea.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB ports so you won't be able to power any electrical appliances, only USB ones.
Travel Power Strips

Travel power strip including plug adapters

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of charging more than one electronic appliance simultaneously via a single South Korean power outlet, costing between $35 to $40 USD (£35-£40 GBP / C$35-C$40).
  • Certain models offer voltage conversation for low wattage electronics such as laptops. So therefore if your appliance isn't dual voltage it can still be used in South Korea by using only a travel power strip, making them a cheap and lightweight substitute for a voltage converter.
  • Some models will feature a number of USB charging ports.
  • Offers surge protection. Voltage from power outlets in certain areas could be tempremental, a surge in power can damage devices. Some models also have a built in surge protector to protect your device from being overpowered.
  • It will be of some use in your home country.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in South Korea.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • The converter on a travel power strip won't work with high wattage appliances such as hair straighteners or curling irons.
  • Due to the weight of a power strip it might be too bulky for hand luggage.
  • Travel power strips might be excessive for some travellers only bringing a small number of devices and appliances to charge.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

An all in one universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Typical models work in over 150 different countries.
  • An all in one compact design. Both small and lightweight for around $15 USD (around £15 GBP / around C$25).
  • There are some models which include USB charging ports built in.
  • Relatively straightforward operation.
  • There are some models which include a surge protector built in, this will prevent any electronics from being overloaded by an unstable power grid in some countries.
  • The pins retract so won't catch against other items when packed in luggage.
  • It will be functional domestically as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so should fit into a South Korean power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Must not be used with high power appliances such as hair straighteners, kettles or curling irons.
  • Shutters and moving parts might be fragile on some universal travel power adapters which might make them prone to breaking on your trip.
  • Only charges a single appliance.
  • A universal travel power adapter might not work in some countries; some adapters might not work in some countries with less common outlet types.
  • Lacking a power converter means it won't be suitable for electrical appliances which don't support 220 volts in South Korea.
Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type F plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Cheapest option, with prices under $10 USD (under £15 GBP / under C$20).
  • Easy to operate.
  • Bringing a Type F plug adapter [3] will work in South Korea.
  • Lightweight and small.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • Only one plug adapter for each plug - for every separate device or appliance you want to bring you'll also need to pack a separate power adapter.
  • Only modifies the shape of the plug to fit in a Type F South Korean power outlet and not the voltage; if your appliance doesn't work with 220 volts and isn't dual voltage then you will also need to pack a separate voltage converter.
  • If you plan to visit more than just South Korea you may need to bring more than one type of power adapter for other countries.
  • If you wish to power any USB device then you also still need to pack a USB charger.
  • Hotel rooms in South Korea may only have a single power outlet available, therefore you will only be able to power one device at a time.
Plug Adapter Sets

Cost effective plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices roughly between $15 to $20 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$45-C$50) an adapter set works out more cost-effective than purchasing individual plug adapter types costing almost $10 USD (over £5 GBP / almost C$10) each.
  • By bringing every type of plug adapter ensures that you are covered for every eventuality.
  • Ideal for travellers travelling to different locations.
  • A power adapter set includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so should operate in South Korea.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Not flexible; you will need to decide which adapters to bring, or alternatively bring each power adapter in the set along.
  • Lots individual plug adapters to pack.
  • With only one compatible plug adapter the remaining power adapters will be useless and using up packing space.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included (especially less common adapters), so ensure that your set includes an adapter which is compatible with a South Korean power outlet.
  • A plug adapter only changes the shape of the plug to allow it to fit into a South Korean power outlet but not the voltage.
Voltage Converters

Voltage converters have surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • It will only change the 220 volts in South Korea and won't change the actual shape of the plug to slot into a South Korean power outlet, therefore you will still be required to use the correct type of power adapter.
  • The weight of voltage converters makes them too heavy and bulky for packing in hand baggage.
  • A voltage converter won't be useful when get back home.
  • Usually less expensive to purchase a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy an expensive power converter simply in order to power your existing single voltage appliance in an incompatible location.
  • Costly; between $90 to $100 USD (£80-£90 GBP / C$120-C$130).

Comparison of electrical adapters for South Korea

Type F 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 South Korea Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included F 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) 70+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type F South Korean power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Additional Type F plug adapter required to fit in a South Korean power outlet Yes
Useful when you return home 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 220 volt AC appliance in South Korea 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)
Estimated price under $10 USD (under £15 GBP / under C$20) between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$25-C$30) between $10 to $15 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$15-C$20) between $35 to $40 USD (£35-£40 GBP / C$35-C$40) between $15 to $20 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$45-C$50) almost $100 USD (almost £110 GBP / over C$60)
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

South Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in South Korea?

Type C and F power outlets

What plug sockets are used in South Korea?

There are two different types of power supply used in South Korea, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the power outlet by 2 holes next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify this wall outlet by two 4.8mm round adjacent holes next to each other and grounding clips on the top and bottom.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in South Korea?

A step down power converter will allow you to use a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in South Korea.

What electrical frequency is used with a South Korean power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a South Korean power outlet is 60Hz.

How reliable is electric in South Korea?

Though power cuts are unpredictable, the power in South Korea is dependable with no history of persistent power blackouts compared to other countries.

What is access to electricity like in South Korea?

South Korea has excellent access to power outlets throughout the country.

Do I need a portable charger for South Korea?

Even though electrical outages in South Korea aren't common and power is available to the entire population, visitors should still bring a power bank to recharge mobile phones and other USB powered devices.

  • The dependence on mobile phones for some people is high and the thought of being without a phone can cause anxiety, especially when being needed abroad. During a trip to South Korea increased reliance on cell phones for storing itineraries, taking photos, social network sharing, getting directions and streaming videos will drain the batteries excessively. A flat smart phone battery could potentially leave you without enough power to make emergency calls or being able to use satellite navigation to return back to your accommodation or hotel.
  • Using a portable charger [4] in South Korea lowers the risk as it allows you to keep your mobile phone powered on the move.
  • A typical 10,000mAh portable charger [4] can store enough energy to cover around 3 full charges while a 20,000mAh portable charger [14] should keep an average cell phone charged for roughly seven days depending on the model of phone and usage. The mAh rating (or milli ampere-hours) describes the capacity of the battery giving an indication of how many charges the power bank can do, therefore a higher value is more suitable for travellers.
  • Should you need to charge your laptop with a power bank in South Korea and your laptop it supports USB-C charging then use a portable charger for a laptop [15] marked with PD (power delivery) which supplies 20 Wh or more.
  • Before travelling be aware that some airlines prohibit portable chargers on an aircraft with more than 100 Wh of power and must be kept in carry-on luggage only so we recommended checking ahead with the airline first.
  • Small consumer power banks aren't powerful enough for high wattage items, although a rechargeable hair dryer [12] or gas hair straighteners [13] are designed for travelling.
Do I need a portable charger for South Korea?
Will a solar charger work in South Korea?

Backpack with integrated solar panel

Will a solar charger work in South Korea?

The climate in South Korea might be suitable for a solar power bank [17] but is likely to take time to recharge. Because of the smaller surface area of the cells a solar power bank will need to be kept in powerful daylight for a long period of time to provide enough energy for a single charge, and this might prove difficult to repeatedly pack and unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges between cloud cover.

  • Instead, the bigger durable solar cells found on a solar backpack [16] give the bag the ability to generate more power within a faster period of time.
  • A phone that is directly plugged into the USB charging port of a backpack should trickle charge the battery during sunny periods in South Korea, but might prove inconvenient to have a phone constantly tethered in the bag during the day should it be needed frequently. A power bank [4] plugged in a solar backpack can be constantly topped up inside the bag during sunlight, afterwards the phone can be recharged using the power bank at any time without sunshine.
  • A solar bag that is suitable for South Korea should have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, can generate a minimum of 6 watts of power and includes a 10,000mAH power bank or greater.
  • Solar bags are available in backpack, messenger and rucksack styles making them ideal for travel, work and domestic use.
  • Unlike normal solid solar panels, the flexible and durable solar cells used in solar powered bags have been built to survive bending and scratches.

Sources

  • Visit Korea [18] - Electricity and Communications (cited July 2018 and confirms that 220 volts 60 Hertz outlets are used.)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited August 2014)
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited July 2014)
  • 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)

South Korea 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 South Korea?

If travelling with more than just one device or visiting multiple countries the best travel charger for South Korea is a multiple USB charger which includes swappable plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [6]. There are two different standards of power outlets in South Korea (types F and C) and using a power adapter like this ensures that you are covered for type C. Because these chargers are supplied with interchangeable pins and handle 100 to 240 volts will mean that you can travel to over 100 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa just by changing the included heads. If your device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from faster recharging times by using one of these types of USB travel adapters, and additional support for certain power demanding devices. Unlike other chargers having a four port charger will also allow you to recharge more than one device simultaneously without needing to buy individual power chargers or using up additional wall outlets. By only needing to pack a single international USB travel charger will also keep the overall size down, making it perfect to store in hand baggage as well as being convenient for charging your devices at the airport or on the plane. Because of their space saving versatility these types of travel chargers can be used when you return home so when you're not on holiday they can be used overnight charging multiple phones and tablets without using up an additional wall outlet.

We suggest buying this type of flexible power charger online, the multipurpose power charger illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [6] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous countries with perfect reliably.

What USB charger do I need for South Korea?

Why use a travel USB charger for South Korea?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring a single charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 separate power chargers it becomes only necessary to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 individual devices, thereby reducing the weight and size of your luggage.
  • Travel USB chargers include interchangeable plug heads for different power outlet types making them perfect if travelling across multiple countries across Asia which are likely to use a different outlet to South Korea.
  • Good chargers are compact, rugged and lightweight - ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which could be impossible to repair or replace in South Korea.
  • USB travel chargers can accept both the 220 volts used in South Korea power outlets and different voltage standards across the world.
  • There is a chance that accommodation or hotel rooms in South Korea 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 waiting to charge one device at a time.
  • Due to their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the uncertainty out of visiting any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets found in airports can be sparse and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets before a flight can be high, so a USB charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Some countries power grids are unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected spikes and will help prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded cell phone or tablet in South Korea could prove to be inconvenient and expensive.
  • Higher priced USB chargers also feature power outlet strips to use low wattage domestic appliances such as laptops, however these will be unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. Refer to our section on using travel appliances in South Korea for advice and guidelines on the best power adapter to use with a South Korean power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Some mobile phones could require more than the usual 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB power adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Ensure that the USB power adapter can support fast charging should any of your devices draw additional power.
  • Travel USB chargers can also be useful back at home by recharging multiple cell phones and tablets on a daily basis using only a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for South Korea?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world wanting to charge devices via USB, 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 can be necessary when visiting counties with unreliable or unstable power supplies to prevent damage to any connected appliances from voltage spikes. These travel converters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both South Korea and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact option for travellers originating from North America going to South Korea.
  • 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 gives practically the same set of features as the BESTEK with just 1 less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 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 South Korea.

Power converters for South Korea

What does a power converter for a South Korean power outlet do?

A power converter for South Korea allows you to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electric device with a 220 volt South Korean 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 for South Korea?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in South Korea, but a heavier and more expensive power converter [19] transforms a 220 volt South Korean power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for South Korea?

If visiting South Korea from another region double check your device will accept a 220 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [10] is needed if you are travelling to South Korea from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance or device isn't compatible with 220 volts. Read our WikiConnections list of world power outlets page to see the voltage is used in your country.
  • You don't need a power converter if you already use either a single voltage device that works with 220 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices designed to use a lower voltage such as 110 volts and then used with 220 volts run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard.
  • You won't need a converter if you need to power a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are typically support dual voltage and designed for international use, however always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example hair straighteners or curling 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 220 volt South Korean power outlet.
  • It could be more cost effective to purchase a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than carrying a much heavier power converter simply to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read these comprehensive travel guides on how to use curling wands, clothes irons, hairdryers and flat irons in South Korea which includes recommendations for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What kind of converter do I need for South Korea?

You need a step down power converter [10] to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in South Korea.

How to convert 220 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [10] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 220 volt South Korean 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 South Korea before plugging that into a South Korean 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 to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 220 volt South Korean power outlet.
What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

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

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.

What voltage is used in South Korea?

South Korea uses 220 volts in their power outlets.

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

The easiest method to see if a appliance is dual or single voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the supplied charger, or on the device itself, typically near to where the power cord plugs into. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your appliance and should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices might say a specific number - such as 120V.
  • Single voltage devices might 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 normally 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.
  • Travel 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 and number of USB powers 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 South Korea?

Which type of power adapter will I need to bring to South Korea?

The type of power converter or plug adapter that is best to bring to South Korea is dependant on various requirements. Prior to deciding which one to buy we suggest using this checklist:

What types of devices do you want to charge with a South Korean power outlet?

Make a list of items to bring

What types of devices do you want to charge with a South Korean power outlet?

  • There are 3 types of electrical items:
    • Low wattage electronic devices which can be plugged into a power outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage electrical appliances which can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons and hair dryers.
    • USB devices which plug into a USB port - for example mobile phones or tablets.
  • Should you only want to bring along just USB powered devices to South Korea then a travel USB charger is ideal as you'll only need to bring one compact charger with some appropriate existing USB charging cables.
  • Travel power strips are built for providing power and converting voltage for several low wattage devices (such as cameras), but won't work with high wattage appliances (such as hair straighteners) which need voltage conversion.
How many electrical items will you be taking to South Korea?

How many electrical items are you packing

How many electrical items will you be taking to South Korea?

  • List all the electronic you intended on packing for South Korea (including cell phones, tablets, laptops, eReaders, curling irons and hair dryers).
    • Allow for more devices in the future. Do you intend on buying a new tablet computer next year for example?
    • There is a growing amount of smaller rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers which utilise USB charging as their power source. Therefore next time you buy a new device it could need a USB power adapter so please ensure your travel adapter has enough spare ports to power these additional devices too.
  • Will you be travelling with a partner who might need to charge their devices as well?

Will your devices work with 220 volt power outlets?

Will you only be charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB devices

Will you only be charging USB devices?

  • If you intend to pack USB powered electronics such as mobile phones or tablet computers for South Korea then we suggest just packing a travel USB wall charger.
  • If you only use a simple power plug adapter you'll still need to use your domestic USB power charger as well.
How many wall outlets will be available when you arrive in South Korea?

How many power outlets will be available

How many wall outlets will be available when you arrive in South Korea?

  • Your hotel might have only one wall outlet, this will present a problem when charging batteries of multiple items such as phones, tablet computers and cameras overnight as you will only be able to recharge a single device at a time then have to continually swap after each device has charged.
  • If you want to charge multiple devices simultaneously then we suggest packing either a travel USB wall charger or a travel power strip that can power multiple USB ports and outlets.

How much can you afford to pay?

  • Basic power adapters start from under $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$10) which powers one single device in only one single country (providing that works with 220 volts or is dual voltage) but paying anywhere between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$25-C$30) allows you to charge more than one device at once and be able to bring them to various different countries.

Do you plan on visiting countries other than South Korea?

  • A simple power adapter will only typically operate in a single country, therefore if you are visiting multiple countries then you may need to bring additional power adapters which can add to the weight you have to bring.
  • Alternatively, travel USB wall chargers and universal travel adapters are designed for going to multiple countries due to their interchangeable head system.

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

Are you only bringing hand luggage to South Korea?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Are you only bringing hand luggage to South Korea?

Are you flying long haul to get to South Korea?

Using a phone after a long haul flight

Are you flying long haul to get to South Korea?

  • If you're taking a long journey to get to South Korea it's worth thinking about packing an charger which is perfect for airports that works in different outlet types, one that can be carried in hand luggage and can be used to quickly power tablets and phones.
  • Not all flights have power outlets so we recommend using a portable charger [4] for recharging on the go. When you land you could need to rely on a cell phone to make a telephone call, reading emails , using mapping to find a hotel or reading your itinerary; so ensure that your phone will have enough battery power left.

Would you like to use your charger when returning home?

Are you visiting another country with reliable access to electrical power?

  • The power in South Korea is generally stable but if you need to go to another country you might need an adapter which offers protection to your appliances. Electricty will sporadically fluctuate in some countries and this can potentially cause damage to your devices, so it is advisable to use an adapter which offers surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Be prepared for power cuts and limited electrical coverage by using a solar backpack [16] and portable charger [4].

What can I connect to a South Korean power outlet

Travel appliances that can connect to a South Korean power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a South Korean power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a South Korean power outlet

Mobile phones which work with the South Korean power outlet

Apple iPhones which work with the South Korean power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a South Korean power outlet

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a South Korean power outlet

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a South Korean power outlet

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travellers visiting South Korea, 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. http://www.visitkorea.com.my/ - Korea Tourism Organization site.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage, costs around $5 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  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, costing between $30 to $35 USD (£20-£25 GBP / under C$40).
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, between $10 to $15 USD (£15-£20 GBP / under C$20).
  7. Travel power strip - A travel power strip includes surge protectors, AC power outlets, USB ports and swappable plug adapters for use in multiple countries, costing between $35 to $40 USD (under £40 GBP / under C$40).
  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, costs around $15 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$25-C$30).
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, costs between $15 to $20 USD (around £5 GBP / under C$50).
  10. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, between $90 to $100 USD (under £90 GBP / under C$130).
  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, under $160 USD (£140-£150 GBP / C$200-C$210).
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, priced at between $20 to $25 USD (around £30 GBP / under C$50).
  14. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, costing between $45 to $50 USD (£35-£40 GBP / under C$50).
  15. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, under $130 USD (£100-£110 GBP / C$140-C$150).
  16. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, costing under $90 USD (£70-£80 GBP / C$140-C$150).
  17. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, estimated price between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / under C$60).
  18. http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRV/TV_ENG_1_4.jsp - Visit Korea
  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, costs under $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / C$60-C$70).
  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, costs between $160 to $170 USD (under £110 GBP / under C$130).
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets