With how much most of us rely on electronic devices these days, it’s essential that we are always able to use them. That means ensuring that we always have sufficient battery and that we have an internet connection. The latter is easy to sort out with a Korean travel SIM card. However, what about the former? What is Korea’s power plug?
While many things are universal in 2022, power plugs are not one of them. If you travel a lot, you’ll likely know that having a good power adapter is essential. If you haven’t travelled before, this aspect may not even cross your mind! From my own experience, however, arriving in a country and not being able to charge your essential devices is incredibly frustrating.
In this article, I will introduce Korea’s power plug and discuss everything that you need to know before visiting the country. If you’re looking for a travel adapter to purchase for your trip to Korea, I will also cover that in today’s post.
Although power plugs are deceivingly simple, there are some factors to keep in mind that many people overlook. While many devices today are relatively universal, this can’t be said for all. Therefore, make sure that you are fully aware of the specifications of Korean power plugs before using your electrical devices in them.
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Korea Power Plug Specifications
TLDR? Here are the quick specifications of Korea’s power plug:
Plug Types Supported: C, F (E is also compatible)
Korean Voltage: 220 volts
Korean Plug Frequency: 60hz
Visually, these devices should have two circular pins located about 20mm apart. Some plugs will also have two metal strips on opposite sides. However, not all devices will include these metal strips.
Korea Power Plug Type
The plug type in Korea is type C/F. Type E can also be used.
If you’re already familiar with power plug types, you will know that they are identified by names such as type A and type B. The power sockets used in South Korea are type C and type F. type E is also supported.
If you’re unsure what exactly these designations mean, it’s quite easy to tell visually. The included diagrams (above) are the best way to differentiate between the power plugs that will work in Korea.
If you’re coming from Europe or Asia then it’s likely you will already have devices that are supported in Korea. The big exception to this is Japan – if you are from Japan, you will need to purchase a Korean plug adapter.
The easiest way to identify if your cables will work in Korea is to look at the end of the cable. If it has two circular pins located about 20mm apart, the device is likely compatible with a Korean power plug. With that being said, there are some caveats that you need to consider – more on that soon.
Korea power plugs use a frequency of 60hz. All countries in the world use 50-60hz power sockets and while the majority of modern-day power plugs are compatible in both sockets, you will want to double-check.
To do this, look at the power brick (if the charger is for a laptop, iPad, or another large device) or the head. Somewhere out of sight, usually in small text, the exact specifications of the device will be listed. If it says 50-60hz, or 60hz then you are almost good to go!
The above image shows a MacBook charger. On the bottom, the supported plug specifications can be found. In this case, 50-60hz is supported meaning that it will work in Korean power plugs. The voltage, 100-240 volts is also shown.
If you have a device that is only 50hz, it will likely work in a Korean power outlet. However, the device may perform slightly differently if it relies on AC power. Luckily, this won’t impact most travellers as AC power is typically only used for household appliances such as washing machines and fans.
Chargers for our electronic devices use DC instead and this means that even if they support 50hz they will likely work in Korean power outlets. With that being said, it’s always worth referring to the manual or manufacturer’s website to be certain.
To conclude this section, type C, F, and E plugs are supported in Korea. Korea uses 60hz electricity but unless you are bringing appliances with you to Korea this is unlikely to impact you. To be certain, make sure to refer to each individual device.
Korea Power Plug Voltage
What a standard Korean power plug looks like.
The plug voltage used in Korea is 220 volts. This voltage is commonly used around the world with the most notable exceptions being North American countries which usually rely on 120 volts.
While many devices won’t need a converter, it’s always worth double-checking. Again, look for the small text on the power brick or head of a device. Listed on it there should be a voltage rating – if the device states 100-240 volts you are ready to start using it in Korea!
On the other hand, if the device does not state that it supports 220 volts you will need a converter for it to work safely in a Korean power outlet. Most newer devices will support a range of voltages. Older devices are the most likely to lack support.
Don’t try to use a device rated for less than 220 volts in a Korean power outlet. While it can be tempting to try, it’s far safer to buy a plug-type adapter that has a transformer built-in or to buy an adapter dedicated to converting 220 volts to 120 (or otherwise). Without this step, you risk damaging your device or worse.
Who Needs a Korea Plug Adapter?
The above map has a great overview of what socket types are used worldwide. If your country is highlighted in light blue, blue, or navy blue then you won’t need to purchase a Korean power adapter. However, if your country is highlighted in any other colour you will need to purchase some plug adapters either before coming or in Korea.
People from the U.S, Canada, and some South American countries will need a type A/B to type C/F adapter. Those from Brazil and some nearby countries will be needing a type N/C to type C/F adapter. If you are from India or one of the green African countries you will be looking for a type D/M or G to C/F adapter. Finally, if you are from Australia or New Zealand you will want a type I to type C/F adapter.
While this may seem quite complex at first glance, finding a good travel adapter that works in Korea is not difficult! In the next section, I will cover a range of adapters that are good choices for anyone wanting to visit Korea. The best bit? Many of them are universal and work regardless of plug type.
Best Korea Plug Adapters
Since Korea uses types E, F and C adapters, you don’t necessarily need to look for a specialised Korea plug adapter. Rather, you can look for more generic adapters such as U.S to EU adapters. Any adapter that states it converts to Type E, F, C, Europe plug or Korea plug with work perfectly!
JOOMFEEN Travel Adapter – This travel adapter is very similar to the one that I used when I first came to Korea. It’s a universal adapter and therefore works not just with Korean power outlets, but also in most countries around the world, Further, it comes with built-in USB ports for charging. If you are planning to travel lots, this adapter is a great choice!
Vintar Power Adapter – some travel adapters have limited output and may not be capable of keeping up with more powerful laptops or other devices. As such, an adapter such as the Vintar Power Adapter is ideal. Capable of up to 3750 watts, this device is capable of powering even a microwave! It also comes with a USB Type-C port, something that is in high demand these days!
Oeri American to European Adapter – These Adapters are very affordable (extremely so) and are a great choice for anyone wanting to get something cheap and easy to use. While they aren’t as high-quality as the other adapters on this list, they are more than capable of powering most devices and keeping you charged up and ready to go!
TROND International Electrical Power Adapter – If you expect to be charging a lot of devices and would prefer to not carry multiple adapters, this TROND Korea plug adapter is worth looking into. With three U.S plug spots along with two USB ports, this adapter is ready to power up to 4000 watts of devices!
ALLWEI International Travel Adapter – If you will be taking high-powered devices on your travels with you (hairdryers, hair straighteners, microwave, etc) then this travel adapter is your best choice. It includes a 220 volt to 110 volts (used in the U.S) converter and will ensure that your devices stay safe even when using Korean power outlets!
Surge Protection Adapter from Ceptics – Although Korea’s electricity system is very efficient and safe, there’s never harm in having added surge protection. This Korea plug adapter is capable of protecting your devices if a power surge does occur – if you’ve invested a lot into a laptop or other device it’s worth protecting it! Even better, this adapter can be used anywhere in the world!
Korea Power Plug FAQ
What Plug Type Does Korea Use?
Korea uses type C and F plugs. However, type E is also supported. Therefore, any plug with two round pins about 20mm apart will fit in Korea.
What Voltage Does Korea Use?
Korean power plugs use 220 volts.
What Korea Plug Adapter Is Best?
Where Can I Find a Korea Plug Adapter?
The best place to find a Korea plug adapter is Amazon. While you can find adapters on other websites, Amazon has the biggest selection and is the most convenient for most people.
Can I use an EU Plug in Korea?
Yes! EU plugs will work natively in Korea. However, UK plugs will not.
Can I Use a U.S Plug in Korea?
No. American plugs will not work in Korea. Instead, you will need to buy a Korea plug adapter (type C, F or E).
What Countries Have the Same Plug as Korea?
Most of Europe and many Asian and African countries use the same power socket plugs as Korea.