Switzerland power adapters - what plugs are used in Switzerland?

Swiss power outlet

What adapter do I need for Switzerland?

You will need to pack a Type J plug adapter [9] for Switzerland if your plug doesn't fit into a Swiss power outlet.

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that's needed when visiting Switzerland all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to power in a Swiss power outlet. If you don't know which voltage your device uses then please read the section below on how to find out the voltage of your device before going any further.

  • If you are visiting Switzerland from the US then you will need to bring a suitable plug adapter to fit a US plug into a Swiss power outlet. As the voltage is different in Switzerland use a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and ensure that it can work with a 50hz power outlet.
  • If your device is 230 volts or is dual voltage and the plug fits in a Swiss power outlet then it should work in Switzerland.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in a Swiss power outlet you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Switzerland such a Type J plug adapter [9]. A plug adapter for Switzerland (or power adapter) is designed to change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Switzerland, but doesn't change the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage then you'll also need a power converter for Switzerland to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You'll still need to bring along a suitable plug adapter for Switzerland if the power converter doesn't use the correct Type J plug adapter.
  • If you only want to power USB devices such as tablets or mobile phones then a USB travel power adapter is suitable and it should be dual voltage, however ensure that you bring one which includes a Type J plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Switzerland.
  • Excessive use of a mobile phone during a trip can create an additional drain on the battery, it is practical to pack a power bank [10] if you wish to keep your cellphone or other devices charged throughout the day whilst travelling to an unfamiliar country.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts you run a risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before attempting to use your device in Switzerland read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Switzerland power adapters

Power adapters for Switzerland

If you are packing for a holiday to Switzerland it's useful to know in advance if you'll be able to use your gadgets when you get there. By not knowing which wall socket is used in Switzerland you could end up either weighing yourself down with unnecessary spare adaptors or bring the wrong power adaptor, meaning having to buy a potentially overpriced charger on arrival. Varying different standards and plugs can all be daunting when planning to travel to another country especially to the first time traveller. This isn't as complex as it first appears, with only a handful of different types of common standards used throughout the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to power your device in Switzerland. This page has links to useful instructions telling you exactly which power adapters you'll need to charge your devices when staying in Switzerland by using their types J or C Swiss 230 volt 50Hz power outlets, a majority of Swiss typically use the Type J wall outlets. Power adapters will vary depending on which area you taking a trip to so we recommend that you read the Wikiconnections world power adapters list where you'll find a full list showing powering devices in different regions and countries.

What is the best power adapter for Switzerland?

The best power adapter for Switzerland is a Type J power adapter [9] which allows you to use any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Switzerland?

What is a power adapter for a Swiss power outlet?

A power adapter is a compact and lightweight plastic adapter that permits a different type of power plug on an appliance from a foreign region to correctly fit into a Swiss power outlet.

Will a power adapter change the voltage from a Swiss power outlet?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt Swiss power outlet and is unable to convert to a higher voltage. Should you wish to safely use a 100-120 volt device you also need a more expensive step down power converter.

Do I need a plug adapter in Switzerland?

This depends on the type of plug you are attempting to use in Switzerland.

Do I need a plug adapter if I'm visiting Switzerland from America?

A US plug won't physically fit into a Swiss power outlet so you will need to bring a plug adapter for Switzerland, and because the voltage is 230 volts you will also need to use a power converter for Switzerland if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage to prevent damage or overheating.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for Switzerland allows visitors travelling from another country to use electrical appliances and devices in Switzerland by altering the shape of the power plug from one shape to another.

Do European plug adapters work in Switzerland?

Because there are 8 different types of power outlets in Europe there is a chance that a power adapter that works in another country in Europe won't fit in a Swiss power outlet.

Where can I buy a power adapter for Switzerland?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for Switzerland?

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 Switzerland

Power Plug Adapters

An easy to use Type J plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Simple to use.
  • Bringing a Type J plug adapter [9] will work in Switzerland.
  • Compact and light.
  • Cheap, prices between $10 to $15 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$40-C$45).

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • If you wish to power a USB device then you also need to pack a USB charger.
  • Only changes the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Type J Swiss power outlet and doesn't alter the actual voltage - if your appliance doesn't work with a 230 volt outlet and isn't dual voltage then you will still need to pack a separate voltage converter.
  • If you plan to travel to more than just Switzerland you might need to bring along more than one type of plug adapter.
  • Accomodation in Switzerland may only have one wall outlet available, therefore you'll only be capable of powering one device at once.
  • 1 adapter per device - for every device you will also need to bring a separate plug adapter.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A compact USB travel wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect when you only have to charge devices which use USB, for example tablet computers, cell phones or MP3 players.
  • Instead of bringing multiple domestic USB power chargers you will only need to pack one charger which costs roughly under $15 USD (under £15 GBP / under C$20).
  • Chargers come with interchangeable adapter heads which make them versatile in a large number of different locations. Interchangeable adapter heads are typically lightweight and small which makes them easy to pack.
  • Offers surge protection.
  • The charger could still be functional when you return home.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • The interchangeable heads don't include one which is compatible with a Swiss power outlet - therefore you'll still need to bring a separate power adapter for a Swiss power outlet.
  • Because they only have USB outputs you can't to power any appliances, only USB powered devices.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Fairly easy to use.
  • All in one compact design. Both small and lightweight, under $20 USD (under £20 GBP / under C$30).
  • There are some universal travel adapters that include a built in surge protector, this will prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • The pins retract so won't get caught against other items in your baggage.
  • When you return home it will still be of use as a USB charger.
  • Some universal travel adapters will include USB charging ports.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Although most universal travel adapters are designed to operate in over 150 different countries the pins don't change shape to fit in a Swiss power outlet. So you will need to bring a separate power plug adapter if you want to use universal travel adapter to benefit from surge protection and powering multiple devices from one outlet.
  • Can't be used with any high powered appliances - for example hair straighteners, vacuum cleaners, kettles, curling irons or hair dryers.
  • They don't have a voltage converter meaning they're not suitable for non-230 volt appliances.
  • Not fully universal - some adapters might not cover certain countries with less popular outlet types.
  • The internal moving parts such as pins and shutters might be fragile on some models which could make them prone to breaking whilst abroad.
  • Universal adapters only charge one plug.
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Some models have voltage conversation for low wattage devices such as laptops. So therefore if the appliance isn't dual voltage it can still work with a Swiss power outlet by using a travel power strip. This will make a travel power strip a cheap and lightweight substitute for a power converter.
  • A travel power strip is capable of charging many electronic appliances and devices at the same time via one Swiss power outlet, costing under $40 USD (under £40 GBP / under C$45).
  • Typical power strips will include a number of USB charge ports.
  • Voltage from power outlets in some countries could be unstable, a surge in power could damage your devices. There are some power strips that include a built in surge protector, this will prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • When you return home it should still be of use as a power strip and USB charger.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • Not supplied with the correct plug adapter for Switzerland therefore you need to also pack a separate power plug adapter for a Swiss power outlet too.
  • The conversion on travel power strips won't support high wattage appliances such as curling irons or hair dryers.
  • Due to their size and weight power strips might be too bulky for hand luggage.
  • A travel power strip could be excessive if you only bring a small number of devices that need powering.
Plug Adapter Sets

Plug adapter sets

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • As prices are roughly between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$20-C$25) a power adapter set typically works out more economical than purchasing multiple individual power plug adapter types costing over $15 USD (over £5 GBP / almost C$10) each.
  • Covers all eventualities and not just a Swiss power outlet.
  • If you are visiting different countries a plug adapter set is perfect.
  • Set includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so should work in Switzerland.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Will involve some planning; before any trip you will need to decide which power adapters they'll need, if you don't know every country you'll be visiting you'll need to bring each adapter type along.
  • Lots individual items to bring with you.
  • All remaining plug adapters will be useless.
  • Not every power adapter types are typically included in each set (especially rarer ones), so ensure that your plug adapter set includes one which is compatible in Switzerland.
  • Adapters only change the shape of the plug and doesn't change the voltage.
Voltage Converters

A voltage converter with surge protection

Voltage Converters

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • Only changes the 230 volts in Switzerland and not the actual shape of the plug to slot in a Swiss power outlet, you will still be required to pack the right type of plug adapter.
  • The normal size and weight of most models of voltage converters makes them impractical for packing in hand luggage.
  • A power converter is redundant after your trip to Switzerland.
  • Often less expensive to buy a dual voltage travel appliance than to buy a more expensive power converter simply to bring your existing single voltage domestic appliance in an incompatible location.
  • Expensive, between $110 to $120 USD (£80-£90 GBP / C$120-C$130).
  • If you are travelling to Switzerland from the US you will need a voltage converter as the voltage is 230 volts.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Switzerland

Type J 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 Switzerland Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included J 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) 5+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type J Swiss power outlet Yes Yes
Additional Type J plug adapter required to fit in a Swiss power outlet Yes Yes Yes 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 230 volt AC appliance in Switzerland 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 $15 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$45) between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$25-C$30) between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$15-C$20) between $35 to $40 USD (£35-£40 GBP / C$40-C$45) between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$20-C$25) almost $100 USD (almost £110 GBP / over C$60)
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Switzerland power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Switzerland?

Type C and J power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Switzerland?

There are two types of power supply used in Switzerland, types J and C with the primary power outlets being type J:

  • Plug Type C - The power outlet (technically known as a type C socket or Europlug) is identified by 2 holes adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type J - You can identify the flattened hexagon shaped wall socket by the 3 large round holes in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and ground.

Do US plugs work in Switzerland?

No; an American plug won't work in Switzerland because it won't fit in a Swiss power outlet without the use of a power adapter. The voltage is different therefore use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.

Is the voltage in Switzerland the same as the US?

The voltage which comes from a Swiss power outlet is 230 volts, whereas 120 volts is used in America. If your US appliance or charger can't handle dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for Switzerland which allows a 120 volt American appliance to work with a 220-240 volt outlet.

Are Swiss power outlets the same as the US?

American plugs won't fit in a Swiss power outlet so you will need to bring a power adapter for Switzerland. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage please use a power converter for Switzerland and check that it works with a 50hz supply.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in Switzerland?

To use a 110 volt or 120 volt appliance in a Swiss power outlet you need to bring a step down power converter.

What is the frequency used with a Swiss power outlet?

The frequency from a Swiss power outlet is 50Hz.

Do European plugs work in Switzerland?

Tourists in Europe

Do European plugs work in Switzerland?

Various locations throughout Europe all use different standards of power outlet types and voltages, with 8 types of power outlets used throughout Europe (types C, D, E, F, G, J, K and L) you could discover that a plug which works with a Swiss power outlet might not work in an electric outlet in another country. When travelling to more than one country in Europe it is advised to either use a multiple power adapter travel set [17] consisting of all types of power adapters, or a smaller single international travel plug adapter [18] as both these options ensure that you are covered for all different power outlet types that you may find. When preparing to travel check our list of power outlets used in Europe to discover which power adapters and converters you will require for your journey.

Is electrical power reliable in Switzerland?

While power cuts are unpredictable, electricity in Switzerland is dependable as there is no history of persistent power cuts in comparison to other countries.

Are power outlets common in Switzerland?

100 percent of population in Switzerland has access to electricity.

Do I need a portable charger for Switzerland?

Whilst electrical cuts aren't common and electricity is available to the entire population, travellers should still bring a power bank to recharge their cell phone.

  • During a trip to Switzerland increased use of smart phones for taking pictures, storing calendars, sat nav, social network sharing and streaming videos will syphon off power excessively. Beyond the inconvenience of missed photo opportunities a flat smart phone battery could potentially leave you stranded without sufficient power to make emergency calls or being able to use a satellite navigation app to find your way back to hotel or accommodation. By packing a portable charger [10] lowers that risk as it allows you to power up your smart phone on the move.
  • Bring at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [10] which will store enough energy to power over 3 full charges whilst a 20,000mAh power bank [21] should keep a typical smart phone charged for up to 7 days depending on the model of phone and usage. A mAh rating (milli ampere-hours) shows the capacity of the battery giving an indication of the number of charge cycles the power bank can do, so a higher mAh will be better for travellers.
  • If your laptop has a USB-C charging port then packing a portable charger for a laptop [22] marked with PD (power delivery) that supplies at least 20Wh can be used to recharge your laptop when travelling to Switzerland. Be aware that some airlines won't let you bring power banks on an aircraft that supply 100 Wh of power or more and must not be left in checked-in luggage.
  • Typical consumer portable chargers won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer [19] or gas hair straighteners [20] are available for travelling.
Do I need a portable charger for Switzerland?
Does a solar powered charger work in Switzerland?

A solar bag in the sun

Does a solar powered charger work in Switzerland?

The sunshine in Switzerland could be suitable conditions for a solar power bank [24] but may take time to recharge. The compact surface area of the cells means a solar power bank will need to be kept in strong daylight for a long period of time in order to produce enough energy for a single charge, which might prove inconvenient to repeatedly unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in a sunny area.

  • The bigger durable panels used on a solar backpack [23] will give the bag the ability to generate more electricity within a shorter period of time.
  • A phone which has been directly plugged into a USB port of a solar backpack will trickle charge the power during sunny spells in Switzerland, but this could be inconvenient to have a phone continually connected in the bag during the day if it is to be used constantly. Unlike a handheld solar power bank that needs unpacking facing sunlight, a solar powered backpack is continually exposed to sunlight so will be powering up a power bank [10] during the day.
  • A bag that is suitable for Switzerland needs to have a solar cell efficiency of 22% or more, be able to generate at least 6 watts of power and be used with a compatible power bank of 10,000mAH or stronger.
  • Solar bags are available in messenger, backpack and rucksack styles making them perfect for domestic, work and travel use. Unlike normal firm solar cells, the flexible and durable solar panels used in solar powered bags are built to endure scratches and bending.

Sources

  • 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)

Switzerland 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 Switzerland?

If you are travelling to multiple countries and bringing more than just one device the best international travel charger for Switzerland to buy is a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [2]. Swiss use two different standards of wall outlets (types J and C) and using a power charger like this will ensure that you are covered for type C.

Because these chargers come with interchangeable plugs and handle 100 volts to 240 volts it makes them ideal for over 100 countries around the world simply by changing the included plugs. If your model of device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from much faster charging times with one of these types of power adapters, and compatibility with more power demanding devices.

Unlike other travel chargers this means you can recharge more than one device at once without needing to pack multiple travel chargers. Only bringing a single lightweight USB travel charger will keep the size down, making it ideal to store in hand baggage. Due to their space saving versatility these types of travel adapters can be used back at home so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple phones and tablets using just a single wall outlet.

We recommend searching for this type of flexible power adapter at an electronics retailer. The travel adapter illustrated here is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [2] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous countries around the world with good reliably.

What USB charger do I need for Switzerland?

Why use a travel USB charger for Switzerland?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you should only need to bring one charger to charge multiple devices. Instead of bringing 4 separate power chargers you only need to pack one 4 port USB wall charger to power up to 4 devices, thereby reducing the size and weight of your baggage.
  • Travel USB chargers should include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them suitable if visiting other countries across Europe which are likely to use a different standard to Switzerland.
  • Good USB travel chargers are rugged, lightweight and compact; ideal for rigors of travel instead of than risking bringing along a domestic charger which might be impossible to repair or replace in Switzerland.
  • USB chargers will accept both the 230 volts used in Switzerland power outlets plus different voltage standards in other countries.
  • There is a chance that some hotel bedrooms or accommodation in Switzerland might only have one power outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports means you can share the single wall outlet with family or other traveler instead of waiting to charge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature a travel USB charger takes the worry out of travelling to any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere on the planet.
  • Power outlets in airports are often in short supply and the demand for charging multiple cell phones before a flight can be high, therefore a USB travel charger with multiple ports and the ability to charge quickly is perect.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a travel USB charger allows for unexpected surges and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Attempting to repair an overloaded smartphone in Switzerland could prove to be problematic and expensive.
  • Premium USB travel chargers also incorporate a power outlet strip to allow you to power low wattage devices such as laptops, however these are unsuitable for high wattage domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. See the section on using travel appliances in Switzerland for useful guidelines and advice on the best power adapter for a high wattage devices with a Swiss power outlet.
  • Certain cell phones could pull more than the normal 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. More expensive USB chargers will support fast charging should any of your devices require additional power.
  • When back at home travel USB chargers can still be used by charging multiple cell phones every night using only one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Switzerland?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for those also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power adapters offer surge protection which is crucial for visitors of counties with unreliable power grids. These travel adapters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Switzerland and over 150 countries around the world:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling portable option for travellers originating from America visiting Switzerland.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Similarly having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers from North America using type B plugs and gives almost the same set of features as the BESTEK with only one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a generous 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 ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting Switzerland.

Power converters for Switzerland

What does a power converter for Switzerland do?

A power converter allows travellers to use a 100-120 volt electrical appliance with a 230 volt Swiss power outlet.

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

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

A heavy and expensive power converter [25] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Swiss power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet found in Switzerland.

Do I need a power converter for Switzerland?

If travelling to Switzerland from a different country ensure the device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [15] if you are travelling to Switzerland from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance or device isn't compatible with 230 volts. See the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to find out the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Normally electrical devices designed to use a lower voltage such as 110 volts and then used in a 230 volt outlet run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a mobile phone or laptop as these are typically designed for international use and dual voltage, however always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [6].
  • It will be more cost effective to bring a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than trying to bring a heavier high wattage power converter to Switzerland just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, blow dryers and flat irons in Swiss power outlets , along with guides for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm visiting Switzerland from the US?

The 230 volts used in a electric outlet in Switzerland is different to an 110 volt American outlet, therefore you will need to use a step down power converter if your appliance or charger doesn't support dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for Switzerland?

You need to buy a step down power converter [15] in order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Switzerland.

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

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power 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.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [15] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt Swiss 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 Switzerland before plugging that into a Swiss 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 230 volt Swiss power outlet.

What voltage does Switzerland use?

Switzerland uses 230 volts in their power outlets.

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

Is my device single voltage or dual voltage?

The way to see if a device is either single voltage or dual voltage is to look for a sticker on the supplied power plug, or on the appliance itself, typically on the rear of the unit or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your unit, it should also state on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

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 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 Switzerland?

Which type of power adapter do you need to bring to Switzerland?

The type of power converter that is suitable for Switzerland is dependant on various requirements, so before choosing which one to bring we suggest reading this checklist:

How many electrical devices are you taking to Switzerland?

Family may need to power devices too

How many electrical devices are you taking to Switzerland?

  • List all the items you'll need to bring to Switzerland (such as tablets, laptops, phones, eReaders, curling irons or hair dryers).
    • Remember to allow for more electrical devices at a later date. Are you thinking about buying a new laptop computer soon?
    • There are a growing number of rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers which use a USB port as their power charging source, the next time you buy a new device it could use a USB adapter so please ensure your travel adapter has enough spare ports to support these additional items also.
  • Are you bringing a partner to Switzerland who will need to charge their devices too?
What types of electrical items do you need to charge in Switzerland?

Make a list of items to bring

What types of electrical items do you need to charge in Switzerland?

  • There are three types of electrical devices or appliances:
    • Low wattage electrical devices that plug into a power outlet - for example cameras and laptops.
    • High wattage electrical appliances which plug into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons or hair straighteners.
    • USB electrical devices which charge using a USB port - for example phones.
  • When you only want to bring along just USB powered devices you'll find that a simple travel USB charger is ideal because you will only need to bring one compact charger and leave your domestic chargers at home.
  • Travel power strips are built for powering and voltage conversion for multiple low wattage devices (such as cameras), however won't work with high wattage appliances that need voltage conversion.
Are you only planning on charging USB devices?

Are you only charging USB devices

Are you only planning on charging USB devices?

  • Should you only plan on packing USB electronics such as phones and tablets then it is recommended to just pack a travel USB wall charger.
  • If you only use a simple power plug adapter then you will still need to pack the USB power charger that came with your device too.

Will your devices and appliances only work with 230 volt power outlets?

Is Switzerland the only location you plan on visiting?

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Switzerland?

Are multiple wall outlets available

How many power outlets will be available when you get to Switzerland?

  • A hotel may have only one power outlet on the wall. This will present an issue if recharging the batteries of multiple electronic devices such as cell phones, tablet computers and laptops overnight as you'll only be able to charge one device at a time.
  • If you wish to charge multiple devices at the same time then we recommend using a travel power strip or travel USB wall charger which can power multiple USB ports or outlets.

How much can you afford?

  • A cheap power adapter starts from around under $10 USD (under £15 GBP / under C$45) which powers only one device in Switzerland (providing that it is dual voltage or is compatible with 230 volts) but investing in roughly between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$25-C$30) allows you to power multiple devices at once and bring them to various countries.

Do you intend on visiting anywhere abroad in the future?

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Do you intend on only bringing hand luggage?

Are you flying long haul to get to Switzerland?

Arriving at an airport

Are you flying long haul to get to Switzerland?

  • If you are embarking on an extended flight to get to Switzerland think about a convenient airport-suitable charger that works in different power outlet types, one which can be carried in hand luggage and can be used to top up tablets and phones.
  • Because not all airlines have power outlets available we recommend using a travel portable charger [10] which will recharge on the go. When you land in Switzerland you may need to use a cellphone for making a call, using mapping or reading itineraries; so please make sure that your phone has enough battery power remaining.

Do you still need use your charger when returning home?

Are you visiting other countries with good access to electricity?

  • The power in Switzerland is generally stable however if you want to go to another country you might need an adapter which will protect your appliances. Voltage might occasionally fluctuate in some countries which could potentially cause damage to your devices, so use a power adapter which has surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Using a portable charger [10] and a solar backpack [23] will prepare you for travelling to countries with limited electricity or any power cuts.

What can I connect to a Swiss power outlet

Travel appliances which can connect to a Swiss power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Swiss power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Swiss power outlet

Mobile phones that can connect to the Swiss power outlet

Apple iPhones which can be connected to a Swiss power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that work with a Swiss power outlet

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

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

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting Switzerland, 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 [26].

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.

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland - wikipedia.org entry about Switzerland.
  2. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, under $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  3. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage, costing between $5 to $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / around C$40).
  4. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F power outlets without converting voltage, priced at under $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  5. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel, between $70 to $80 USD (£10-£15 GBP / around C$70).
  6. 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, priced around $140 USD (£100-£110 GBP / C$120-C$130).
  7. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, costs between $30 to $35 USD (£15-£20 GBP / under C$40).
  8. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  9. Type J plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type J power outlets without converting voltage, costs around $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$40-C$45).
  10. Portable charger - A power bank is a portable charger which can recharge USB powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets on the go, between $30 to $35 USD (£20-£25 GBP / around C$35).
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  12. 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, between $15 to $20 USD (under £20 GBP / under C$30).
  13. 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$45).
  14. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, costing between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / under C$25).
  15. 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 $110 to $120 USD (under £90 GBP / under C$130).
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  17. Multiple power adapter travel set - international travel plug adapter set , estimated price between $15 to $20 USD (£15-£20 GBP / under C$25).
  18. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries, under $10 USD (£15-£20 GBP / C$50-C$60).
  19. Rechargeable hair dryer - Rechargeable battery powered blow dryer suitable for travelling, priced at under $160 USD (£140-£150 GBP / C$460-C$470).
  20. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, between $20 to $25 USD (around £30 GBP / under C$45).
  21. 20,000mAh portable charger - High capacity 20000mAh high-speed portable USB charger suitable for charging mobile phones and some tablets for several days, priced at between $35 to $40 USD (under £40 GBP / under C$50).
  22. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, between $120 to $130 USD (£100-£110 GBP / under C$150).
  23. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, between $80 to $90 USD (under £80 GBP / under C$280).
  24. Solar power bank - Portable power bank with solar cells which can recharge when placed in sunlight and power any USB powered device, estimated cost between $20 to $25 USD (under £20 GBP / under C$60).
  25. 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, between $90 to $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / around C$60).
  26. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets