Canada to Mexico power adapters - do you need to bring a plug adapter to Mexico?

Mexican power outlet

What adapter do I need for Mexico?

Use a Type B plug adapter [3] for Mexico if the plug you intend on using doesn't fit into a Mexican power outlet.

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that you'll need to use when visiting Mexico all depends on the voltage and type of device that you're attempting to use with a Mexican power outlet. If you do not know what voltage your device uses then please read the section below on how to tell the voltage of your device first.

  • Be prepared for regular power blackouts and limited access to power in certain areas of Mexico, it is advised to bring a power bank [4] if you wish to keep your phone battery charged whilst in a region without access to electricity or during a power cut.
  • If you're from the US travelling to Mexico all US appliances and devices should work without a power converter or power adapter. However it may be practical to bring along a USB travel power adapter as it will allow you to charge more than one device by only bringing a single power charger.
  • If your device can run on 127 volts or is dual voltage and your plug will fit in a Mexican power outlet then you can use it in Mexico without needing anything else.
  • If your device can run on 127 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in a Mexican power outlet you'll need to bring a suitable plug adapter for Mexico such a Type B plug adapter [3]. A plug adapter for Mexico (or power adapter) will change the actual shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in Mexico, but but is unable to convert the voltage from 127 volts to use with another voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 127 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for Mexico to convert the voltage from 127 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Mexico if the power converter doesn't have the correct Type B plug adapter.
  • If you simply need to power your USB devices such as cell phones or tablets then a USB travel power adapter is recommended and it should work with any voltage, but ensure that you bring a USB travel adapter which includes a Type B plug adapter otherwise you'll still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for Mexico.

Warning: If your device won't handle 127 volts you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your device in Mexico read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Mexico power adapters

Power adapters for Mexico

When packing for a trip it's useful to know in advance if you'll be able to power any your appliances and gadgets when you get there. By not knowing which power socket is used you may end up either bringing unnecessary adaptors or bring the wrong one, therefore having to purchase a suitable power adaptor when you get there. Varying different voltages and plugs can all be daunting when planning to stay in a different 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 being used throughout the world this guide tells you exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your electronics in Mexico. This page contains links to useful instructions which shows exactly which power adapters you'll need to supply power to your devices when travelling to Mexico by using their standard Type A or B 127 volt 60Hz plug outlets. Type B plug outlets are normally used by most Mexicans but 2-pronged Type A outlets are still found in some hotels. Most power adapters will vary from country to country so please read our WikiConnections world power adapters list for a full list of destinations if you plan to stay in multiple locations.

What is the best power adapter for Mexico?

The best power adapter for Mexico is a Type B power adapter [3] which allows you to use any 127 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for Mexico?

What is a power adapter?

Power adapters are compact and cheap plastic adapters that permit a Mexican power outlet to accept a different shaped power plug from a different country.

What does a power adapter do?

A power adapter for a Mexican power outlet enables visitors travelling from another country to use their own electronic devices in Mexico by changing the shape of the plug.

Can a power adapter convert the voltage from a Mexican power outlet?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 127 volt Mexican power outlet and doesn't convert to a higher voltage. Should you wish to safely use any 220-240 volt appliance then you will also need a step up power converter for Mexico along with the right type of adapter.

Do I need a power adapter in Mexico?

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

Do I need a plug adapter if I'm visiting Mexico from Canada?

A Canadian plug does not need a plug adapter because it will already fit in a Mexican power outlet.

Where to buy a power adapter in Mexico

Arriving at an airport

Where to buy a power adapter in Mexico

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 Mexico in Canada

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where to buy a power adapter for Mexico in Canada

Mexico to Canadian power adapters will most likely be available in most major Canadian International 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 such as Relay, The Source or 6&Sundry, but expect to pay 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. Best Buy, Costco, Home Depot and other high street electrical stores normally sell a limited range of travel adapters to popular locations however for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

Electrical adapters for Mexico

Power Plug Adapters

A cheap and simple type B plug adapter

Power Plug Adapters

Canadian travellers using any domestic 2 pin Type A or 3 pin Type B plugs will not need a power plug adapter for Mexico as these fit a Mexican power outlet.

Benefits of a power plug adapter

  • Small and light.
  • Cheap, prices under C$20.
  • Straightforward design makes this power adapter simple to use.
  • Using a Type B plug adapter [3] will work in Mexico.

Disadvantages of a power plug adapter

  • 1 power adapter per plug - for every device you'll also need to pack a separate adapter.
  • A plug adapter only modifies the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Type B Mexican power outlet but doesn't modify the actual voltage. If your appliance doesn't support 127 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need to pack a voltage converter.
  • Hotel rooms in Mexico might only have a single power outlet, so you will only be capable of powering one device at once.
  • You will also still need to bring your separate domestic USB charger if you need to power any USB device.
  • Should you intend to visit more than just one country you may need to bring along multiple power adapter types.
Universal Travel Power Adapters

A universal travel adapter

Universal Travel Power Adapters

Benefits of a universal travel power adapter

  • Perfect when travelling to multiple countries. Typical models will work in over 150 different countries.
  • An all-in-one compact design which is both small and lightweight, around C$25.
  • Some models have USB charging ports.
  • Easy to use.
  • Some models have a surge protector to prevent your device from being overpowered by an unstable power grid.
  • The pins retract so won't get caught against other items when packed in your luggage.
  • When you return to Canada it will still be of use as a USB charger.
  • Changes shape to Types A/B, E/F, G and I plugs so should work with a Mexican power outlet.

Disadvantages of a universal travel power adapter

  • Cannot be used with high powered appliances such as hair straighteners, microwaves, vacuum cleaners or hair dryers.
  • Shutters, pins and moving parts might be fragile on some universal travel adapters making them likely to possibily fail whilst abroad.
  • Universal adapters only charge a single appliance.
  • Not completely universal, some models might not cover certain countries with less popular outlets.
  • Universal travel power adapters lack a built in power converter meaning they're not suitable for non-127 volt appliances in Mexico.
Travel Power Strips

A travel power strip kit

Travel Power Strips

Benefits of a travel power strip

  • Capable of powering more than one electical appliance or device simultaneously from only a single power outlet, costing C$35-C$40.
  • Some types of travel power strips will convert voltage for low wattage electronics. So therefore if your appliance isn't dual voltage it can still function with a Mexican power outlet by using just a travel power strip, making them a lightweight and cheaper substitute for a power converter.
  • Typical travel power strips also feature multiple USB charge ports.
  • Offers surge protection. The voltage from power grids in certain countries can be unstable, a sudden surge in power might damage your electrical items. Some models also include a surge protector which will prevent your device from being overloaded.
  • When you get back home the power strip will still be of use.
  • US and Canadian power strips include Type A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N plug adapters so should work in Mexico.

Disadvantages of a travel power strip

  • The conversion on travel power strips won't support high wattage appliances such as hair straighteners and curling irons.
  • Because of their size travel power strips might be too heavy for hand luggage.
  • A travel power strip could be excessive for some travellers only bringing a small number of devices and appliances which need charging.
Travel USB Wall Chargers

A USB travel wall charger

Travel USB Wall Chargers

Benefits of a travel USB wall charger

  • Perfect if you only need to charge USB devices such as iPads, phones or MP3 players.
  • You only have to bring a single charger instead of carrying lots of domestic power chargers which costs on average C$15-C$20.
  • USB wall chargers are typically supplied with interchangeable heads which make them useful in a large number of different locations. The interchangeable adapter heads are usually small and lightweight making them easy to store in hand luggage.
  • Most travel USB chargers have a surge protector built in which will protect any electronics from being overpowered by unstable power grids in some countries.
  • The charger will still be useful back home.
  • The interchangeable plugs will fit into Types A/B, E/F, G and I outlets so will work in a Mexican power outlet.

Disadvantages of a travel USB wall charger

  • Restricted to USB ports so you will be unable to charge any electrical appliances, only USB powered devices.
Plug Adapter Sets

A power plug adapter set

Plug Adapter Sets

Benefits of a plug adapter set

  • With prices roughly C$20-C$25 a power adapter set typically works out more economical than buying multiple individual plug adapters costing almost C$20 each.
  • Covers every eventuality.
  • The most flexible option for travellers visiting different countries.
  • Set includes Type A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N plugs so should work in Mexico.

Disadvantages of a plug adapter set

  • Not flexible - you'll have to choose which adapters they'll need in advance, if you don't know every country you'll be visiting you'll need to bring each adapter type along.
  • Means lots of individual adapters to pack.
  • All remaining plug adapters will be useless using up space.
  • Not all plug adapter types are typically included (and especially the less common ones) - so ensure that your plug adapter set includes one which works in Mexico.
  • A plug adapter only modifies the shape of the plug but not the voltage.
Voltage Converters

A voltage converter

Voltage Converters

Canadian travellers will not need a converter as the voltage from a Mexican power outlet is 127 volts.

Benefits of a voltage converter

Disadvantages of a voltage converter

  • It only changes the 127 volts in Mexico and not the actual shape of the plug to fit in a Mexican power outlet, therefore you will still need to use a suitable plug adapter for Mexico.
  • Costly - over C$120.
  • The weight of most models makes them impractical for packing in hand baggage.
  • Redundant after your visit to Mexico.
  • It is often better value and more practical to buy a dual voltage travel appliance than to purchase an expensive voltage converter just in order to use your existing domestic appliance in an incompatible country.

Comparison of electrical adapters for Mexico

Type B Power Plug Adapter
Power Plug Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Universal Travel Power Adapter
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel USB Wall Charger
Travel Power Strip
Travel Power Strip
Plug Adapter Set
Plug Adapter Set
Voltage Converter
Voltage Converter
Can be used in Mexico Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Types of plug included B A/B, E/F, G and I A/B, E/F, G and I A, B, D, E/F, G, H, I, L and N A, B, C, D, E/F, G, H, I, J, L, M and N B
Compatible number of countries (A) 45+ 150+ 150+ 200+ 230+ 230+
Fits in a Type B Mexican power outlet Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Useful when you return to Canada 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 127 volt AC appliance in Mexico 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 C$20 C$25-C$30 C$15-C$20 C$35-C$40 C$20-C$25 over C$60
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Mexico power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in Mexico?

Type A and B power outlets

What plug sockets are used in Mexico?

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

  • Plug Type A - The wall outlet, technically called a type A power outlet, can be recognised by the 2 adjacent slots next to each other for live and neutral. Please be aware that that Type A power outlets aren't as commonplace but still used in some hotels in Mexico.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise this power socket by two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earthed pin. Type B electrical outlets will be the most common outlets found in Mexico.

Do Canadian plugs work in Mexico?

Yes, a Canadian plug will work with a Mexican power outlet so doesn't need a power converter or power adapter.

What frequency is used in Mexico?

The frequency of the current used in a Mexican power outlet is 60 Hz.

Is a plug socket in Mexico the same as in Canada?

A Canadian plug will fit into a Mexican power outlet, the voltage range and frequency are both the same as Canada.

How do I use a 220 volt appliance in Mexico?

To use a 220V appliance in Mexico you will need a step up power converter.

What is access to electrical power in Mexico like?

Almost 5% of the population of the country doesn't have access to electrical power.

Does Mexico have many power outages?

Every month in parts of Mexico power cuts are reported.

What areas are without power in Mexico?

Access to electricity in Mexico can be gauged by the size of the population of a location:

  • 99.7% access to electricity for urban areas with 100,000 inhabitants or more.
  • 99.3% access to electricity for areas with between 15,000 to 100,000 inhabitants.
  • 98.8% access to electricity for areas with between 2,500 to 15,000 inhabitants.
  • 96.1% access to electricity for areas with fewer than 2,500 inhabitants.
Should I use a power bank in Mexico?

A USB power bank

Should I use a power bank in Mexico?

Because electrical power isn't available in all areas of Mexico alongside the lack of a reliable power grid, travellers are advised to use alternative charging options if they wish to continue charging devices such as cellphones or cameras.

  • During a trip to Mexico increased use of smart phones for storing calendars, taking pictures, sat nav, social networks and playing games could syphon off power excessively. A flat smart phone battery can potentially leave you without sufficient power to make an emergency call or being able to use a satellite navigation app to find your way back to hotel or accommodation. Using a power bank [4] in Mexico alleviates those concerns as it allows you to power up your cell phone without needing a Mexican power outlet, especially when travelling to a country with limited access to power and power outages in some areas.
  • We recommend using at least a 10,000mAh portable charger [4] which can store enough power to cover around three full charging cycles whilst a 20,000mAh portable charger [14] should keep a typical cell phone charged for almost a week.
  • If you need to charge your laptop in Mexico and your laptop has a USB-C charging port then bring a portable charger for a laptop [15] marked with PD (power delivery) and a model supplying at least 20 Wh.
  • Be aware that some airlines don't let you bring portable chargers on an aircraft with more than 100Wh of power and must be kept in hand luggage only so always ahead with the carrier first.
  • Average consumer power banks won't work with high wattage items, but a rechargeable hair dryer [12] or gas hair straighteners [13] are designed for travelling to locations with both power cuts and limited access to electricity such as Mexico.
Will a solar battery charger work in Mexico?

Solar backpacks are ideal in hot weather

Will a solar battery charger work in Mexico?

The climate in Mexico will be suitable enough to charge solar power bank [17] dependably, however it needs to be exposed to strong sunlight to produce suitable power for a single charge. It could prove inconvenient to continually unpack a solar power bank then wait whilst it recharges in sunny spells.

  • Instead, the bigger solar cells found on a solar backpack [16] give the backpack the ability to generate more power within a shorter period of time, meaning they should perform well in Mexico.
  • A phone which has been plugged directly into a USB charging port of a backpack should gradually recharge the battery during sunny spells in Mexico, but this could be inconvenient to have the phone continually connected in the bag if it is to be needed constantly. Unlike a handheld solar power bank which requires unpacking facing sunlight, a backback with solar panels is continuously exposed to daylight therefore can be powering up a regular power bank [4] during the day.
  • Even though the sunlight in Mexico is strong, a bag should ideally have a solar cell efficiency of at least 22%, be able to generate a minimum of 6 watts of energy and includes a 10,000mAH power bank or stronger. The durable and flexible solar panels used in solar powered bags are made to survive scratches and bending, unlike regular solid solar panels. Solar bags are available in backpack, rucksack and messenger styles which makes them ideal for domestic, work and travel use.

Sources

  • International Electrotechnical Commission - World plugs by location (cited May 2018). States 127 volts.
  • Wikipedia - Mains electricity by country (cited May 2018). States 127 volts.
  • Know Mexico [18] - General information (cited May 2018). States 110 volts.
  • Wikipedia - Electricity sector in Mexico page on WikiPedia (cited June 2018 based on data collected 2015)
  • 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)

There is a discrepancy with the Know Mexico site stating 110 volts is used, for the purposes of this article we are referencing that 127 volts is used as this is stated by both the IEC and Wikipedia. For the safest operation please ensure that your appliance is either dual voltage or can be powered within the 110-127 voltage range in case regional fluctuations in voltage are found.

To present the most accurate information we welcome corrections from readers as to the correct voltage used in Mexico.

Mexico 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 Mexico?

When travelling to multiple countries or bringing more than just one device the best international travel charger for Mexico to buy is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs such as a 4 port USB travel charger [8]. Mexicans use two different standards of power outlets (B and A) and using a power charger like this will ensure that you are covered for type A. Because these types of chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle from 100 to 240 volts it makes them ideal for multiple countries around the world simply by changing the included plugs over. If your device can support Fast Charge then you will benefit from faster charging times with one of these types of power adapters, plus additional compatibility with certain power hungry devices like tablets. Unlike other adapters this will allow you to recharge multiple devices simultaneously without needing to bring seperate power adapters. By only packing a single international travel charger will keep the overall weight down, making it perfect to store in hand baggage whilst travelling. Because of their flexibility these types of power adapters can be used when back at home as well as abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple phones, tablets and speakers without using up an additional plug socket.

If you travel to Mexico we recommend buying this type of flexible travel charger at your preferred electronics retailer, the travel adapter illustrated is the 4 Port USB Wall Charger [8] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries on a daily basis.

What USB charger do I need for Mexico?

Why use a travel USB charger for Mexico?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include multiple USB charger ports, this means that you now only need to bring one charger to charge all your devices. It helps reduce the size and weight of your baggage by only packing one USB wall charger instead of bringing multiple power chargers with you.
  • All travel USB power chargers include swappable plug heads for various countries thereby making them perfect if visiting multiple countries which will probably use a different outlet to Mexico.
  • Good USB travel chargers are rugged, lightweight and compact - ideal for the rigors of travel rather than risking packing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair or replace in Mexico.
  • USB travel chargers will accept both the 127 volts used in Mexico power outlets plus different voltage standards in other countries.
  • It's possible that hotels in Mexico might only have a single 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.
  • Due to their versatile nature they take the worry out of visiting an unknown destination as they are guaranteed to work almost anywhere in the world.
  • Power outlets in airports are often scarce and the demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets during departure can be high, so a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to fast charge is ideal.
  • The power grid in some countries can be unstable, a good travel USB charger allows for unexpected surges to prevent damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded smartphone or tablet in Mexico might prove difficult and costly.
  • Higher priced USB travel chargers will also feature a power outlet strip to allow you to power low wattage devices such as laptops, but note these are unsuitable for high powered domestic such as hair dryers or clothes irons. For further information read the guide on using travel appliances in Mexico for useful guidelines and advice on the best power adapter to use with a Mexican power outlet for high powered appliances.
  • Some mobile phones and tablets could pull more than the normal 500 mA (milliamps) produced from a normal 5 volt USB power adapter to charge or provide fast charge. More expensive USB travel chargers will support fast charging incase any of your devices draw additional power.
  • Travel USB power chargers can also be useful when returning home by recharging multiple mobile phones and tablets every day using only one power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for Mexico?

The is the most compact option for travellers from any country who only have USB devices, but for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power strips provide larger but more versatile solutions. All 3 power converters offer surge protection which is necessary when visiting regions with unreliable power supplies to prevent damage to any connected devices. These travel converters come with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering both Mexico and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK international travel adaptor has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the most popular compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting Mexico.
  • 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 originating from the US using type B plugs. This is a much more cost effective alternative to the BESTEK with just one less AC outlet for almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has 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 perfect for a wide range of travellers from around the world visiting Mexico.

Power converters 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 [19] 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 [10] 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 [10].
  • 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 [20] 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.

Do I need a power converter if I'm visiting Mexico from Canada?

You won't need to bring a power converter as the voltage from a Mexican power outlet is in the same 100-120 volt range as Canada.

What converter do I need for Mexico?

You will need to use a step up power converter [10] 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 [10] 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.

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 Mexico?

Which type of adapter do I need for Mexico?

The plug adapter or power converter that is suitable for Mexico depends on various requirements, before choosing which adapter to bring we recommend using the following checklist:

How many electrical devices are you bringing to Mexico?

How many devices are you packing

How many electrical devices are you bringing to Mexico?

  • List how many applicances and devices you intended on bringing with you to Mexico (including tablets, laptops, cell phones, eReaders, hair straighteners and curling irons).
    • Take into account that you might own more electrical devices in the future. Are you thinking about buying a new laptop computer soon?
    • There is a growing number of USB powered rechargeable electronics such as electric shavers that utilise USB charging for their power source, the if you buy a new device it could use a USB power adapter so please check that your travel adapter has enough spare ports for these as well.
  • Are you also bringing family along who will need to charge their devices too?
What are the types of electrical devices do you need to charge with a Mexican power outlet?

Make a list of items to bring

What are the types of electrical devices do you need to charge with a Mexican power outlet?

  • There are three types of electrical devices or appliances:
    • Low wattage electrical devices that can be plugged into a power outlet - for example a laptop.
    • High wattage appliances that can be plugged into an electrical outlet - for example clothes irons or hair straighteners.
    • USB powered electrical devices that connect to a USB port - for example mobile phones and iPads.
  • When you only intend to bring along just USB powered devices you'll find that a simple travel USB charger is perfect because you'll only have to pack that single compact charger rather than packing lots of domestic chargers.
  • Travel power strips are most suited for powering and converting voltage for multiple low wattage devices of any voltage, however unsuitable for high wattage appliances (such as hair straighteners) that need voltage conversion.
How many power outlets will be available when you arrive in Mexico?

How many power outlets will be available

How many power outlets will be available when you arrive in Mexico?

  • Accommodation in Mexico might offer only a single power outlet on the wall. This will present an issue when charging multiple items such as mobile phones, tablet computers and laptops overnight as you'll only be able to charge a single device at a time then have to swap every few hours.
  • If you need to recharge multiple devices simultaneously then we suggest bringing either a travel power strip or USB wall charger that are capable of charging multiple USB ports or power outlets.

Do your appliances and devices work with a 127 volt power outlet?

Are you only planning on charging USB devices?

Will you only need USB items

Are you only planning on charging USB devices?

  • If you intend to bring USB devices such as mobile phones or cameras to use in Mexico then it is recommended to just pack a travel USB wall charger.
  • If you only use a simple power plug adapter then you'll still need to pack your domestic USB power charger as well.

Do you plan to visit elsewhere in the future?

How much can you afford to pay?

  • A cheap power adapter starts from around under C$10 to charge a single device from a Mexican power outlet (providing that it is dual voltage or works with 127 volts) but investing in anywhere C$25-C$30 means you can power more than one device at once and be able to use them in various different countries.

Do you plan on visiting countries other than Mexico?

  • A simple power adapter only typically operates in the one country which it is made for, therefore if you want to travel to more than just one country then you'll need to carry additional plug adapters which in turn adds to the weight you'll have to carry.
  • Alternatively, travel USB wall chargers and universal travel adapters are made for going to more than one country becuase of their interchangeable heads.

Does the area of Mexico you are staying in have good access to electrical power?

  • The power in Mexico might occasionally fluctuate and this might cause damage to your devices, so it is advisable to use a power adapter which has surge protection such as a travel power strip.
  • Due to Mexico having power cuts or having partial access to electricity you might find that whatever power adapter you use doesn't function anyway. Prepare for areas of limited electrical coverage and power cuts in Mexico by using a solar backpack [16] or portable charger [4].

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

How long will it take to get to Mexico?

Are you flying long haul

How long will it take to get to Mexico?

  • If you're embarking on a long flight to get to Mexico consider bringing an airport-friendly power charger that can be used with different power outlet types, one which can be carried in hand luggage and can power phones and tablets before a long flight.
  • Not all airlines and airports actually have power outlets for customers so think about using a battery portable charger [4] which will recharge on the go. When arriving in Mexico you could need to rely on a phone to make a telephone call, sending emails , using mapping or viewing an itinerary; please ensure that your phone will have ample power left.
Are you intending to bring hand luggage?

Are you bringing just hand baggage

Are you intending to bring hand luggage?

What can I connect to a Mexican power outlet

Travel appliances which can be connected to a Mexican power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a Mexican power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a Mexican power outlet

Mobile phones that work with a Mexican power outlet

Apple iPhones that work with the Mexican power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a Mexican power outlet

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

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

Corrections

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

Disclaimer

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

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

  1. https://www.visitmexico.com/en - Visit Mexico Web Site.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage, priced at under 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, costs C$35-C$40.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  6. 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, estimated price around C$25.
  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, C$35-C$40.
  8. 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters, under C$20.
  9. Plug adapter set - Plug adapter set containing a number of different power plug adapters for use in different countries, costing under C$25.
  10. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet, estimated price around C$120.
  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, priced under C$470.
  13. Gas hair straighteners - Cordless ceramic hair straighteners powered by gas cartridges, costs C$45-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, under C$50.
  15. USB-C PD power bank - Power Delivery charger suitable for charging laptops with USB-C support, C$140-C$150.
  16. Solar backpack - A solar backpack will charge USB devices or an internal power bank when left in sunlight, C$270-C$280.
  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 C$50-C$60.
  18. http://www.knowmexico.com/geninfo/ - Know Mexico
  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, estimated price under 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 around C$120.
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets