Mexico power converters - Do you need a converter for Mexico?

What does a power converter for a Mexican power outlet do?

A power converter allows travellers to use a 220, 230 or 240 volt electrical device with a 127 volt Mexican 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?

An expensive and bulky power converter [3] transforms the voltage of 127 volts from a Mexican power outlet to work with a non-127 volt appliance, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in Mexico.

Do I need a power converter for Mexico?

If you are visiting Mexico from another region please check your device will accept a 127 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter [4] if you are visiting Mexico from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your appliance or device doesn't support 127 volts. Read the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to find out the voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you are already using either a single voltage appliance that works with 127 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, devices which originate from another country which use a higher voltage such as 220 volts and then used in a 127 volt outlet may take longer to charge or won't turn on. If your device charges slowly or does not power up when you are travelling to Mexico from a different country then check that it is compatible with a 127 volt power supply otherwise you will need a step up power converter [4].
  • You don't need a power converter if you need to charge a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone or tablet as these are normally designed for international use and support dual voltage, however always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example hair dryers or curling irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5] which allows the appliance to be used with a 127 volt Mexican power outlet.
  • It will be more cost effective to bring a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a heavier high wattage power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our travel guides on travelling with curling irons, clothes irons, hairdryers and hair straighteners in Mexico , along with guides for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What converter do I need for Mexico?

You will need to use a step up power converter [4] to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance with a 127 volt Mexican power outlet.

What voltage is used in Mexico?

Mexico uses 127 volts in their standard power outlets.

How to convert 127 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter [4] to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 127 volt Mexican 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 Mexico before plugging that into a Mexican power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 127 volt Mexican 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 my device?

Single voltage hair dryer

What voltage is my device?

The easiest way to tell if a device is single voltage or dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the existing charger, or on the unit itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord goes. The location will depend on the make or model of your unit, it could also state in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might say a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. https://www.visitmexico.com/en - Visit Mexico Web Site.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. 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, priced at between $90 to $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / around C$60).
  4. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet, under $100 USD (£80-£90 GBP / C$120-C$130).
  5. 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, between $140 to $150 USD (£100-£110 GBP / around C$120).