When renovating or designing your home, even the smallest details like electrical outlets matter. Decora and traditional outlets are two prominent options from which you can make a choice. These outlets come with a wide range of unique features and specifications that make them stand out. Let’s explore decora outlets.

If you are also looking for these outlets then this comparison guide is for you. This guide breaks down all the key differences of both outlets, from design to cost, ensuring you make a well-informed decision. So, let’s continue to deeply learn everything about the Docora outlet and traditional outlet.

Decora Outlets

Decora outlets are known as “Designer outlets” for their sleek design and appearance. You can also call them as modern age outlets. Though Decora is a trademark name by Leviton it has become a generic term for a style of electrical outlets, switches, wall plates that give a modern appearance. These outlets are flat and rectangular with clean lines giving an aesthetic appeal. Similarly, integration of technology has made Decora popular and a favorite among homeowners. They prefer to install these outlets in new homes or plan a redo just for Decora outlets.

Traditional Outlets vs Decora Outlets

Traditional or standard outlets, commonly referred to as “Duplex receptacles” are old style outlets. These are the most common types of outlets found in homes and offices. In fact, traditional outlets have been used for decades in residential and commercial buildings. These outlets lack modern sleek features and look average. These are mostly circular shape with a flattened top and bottom. 

FeatureDecora OutletsTraditional Outlets
Design & AppearanceRectangular face, flat profile, Uniform and aesthetically pleasingCircular shape, flattened top and bottom, vintage themed
FunctionalityUSB integration, smart features, can be controlled via apps or voice assistantsStandard duplex, no digital or multi-functionality
Colors & MaterialsAvailable in black, white, gray, almond, and ivory, metallic finishesAvailable in almond, white, and ivory, made of durable plastic or thermoplastic with average finish
Ease of UseEquipped with USB port & internet connectivitySmaller face plate, exposed screws can be a hindrance
CompatibilityCompatible with Decora switches or dimmersUnique wall plates that aren’t interchangeable
InstallationCareful wire arrangement, Option of screw-less face plateTypically comes with screw terminals on the side
Safety ConsiderationsTamper resistant feature, GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) featureTamper resistant feature, GFCI and AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) features
Price & AvailabilityGenerally higher pricedCost-effective

Decora vs. Traditional Outlets

After learning the basics of Decora and Traditional outlets, now is the time to get into this detailed comparative analysis.

So, here are all the features of both outlets:

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Designs and Appearance of Decora Outlets

One of the most distinguishing features of Decora outlets is their rectangular face. These outlets maintain a flat profile across their entire face. Similarly, the screw less face plates are optional. You can eliminate the visible screws for a more seamless appearance. By doing so, your outlets not only look more integrated into the wall but also complement your interior design. Similarly, when you use Decora style outlets, switches, and other fixtures throughout your space, it gives more uniformity and increases overall aesthetic appeal.

On the other hand, traditional outlets have two rounded receptacles for standard 2-prong or 3-prog plugs. You can clearly see a screw in the center which holds it to the outlet. Unlike Decora outlets, the traditional outlets’ face is more recessed and molded around the individual plug receptacles

 The design gives a 3-D effect on the wall and suits well in vintage themed houses.

Functionality of Decora Outlets

There is no doubt in the functionality of both outlets and they provide power to the electrical equipment. Still, there are some key differences in both types of outlets. For instance, you can find advanced features in Decora like:

USB integration: Décora outlets have USB integration and smart features to meet modern requirements. As you know most gadgets rely on USB for charging now so Decora outlets eliminate the need of bulky adapters and give one-plug solutions for smartphones, tablets and other devices. Similarly, this feature is extra valuable in thekitchen or bed side table where power supply is required.

Decora smart features: In this age of smart homes, Decora outlets have incorporated smart technology. You can control outlet’s power remotely with smartphone apps or voice assistants like Alexa, Google assistant or Siri. You can even monitor energy consumption and integrate it with other smart home devices for automation.

On the other hand, traditional outlets have different features. You cannot find any digital integration in these outlets as they come in a standard duplex design that allows two devices to be plugged in simultaneously. There is no more flexibility or multi-functionality in this type of outlets.

Colors and Materials

You have more color varieties in Decora outlets as compared to traditional ones. These include black, white, gray, almond and ivory. Similarly, there are more metallic finishes available for Decora type to match different interior decors.

Traditional outlets have no vast range of colors and are mostly available in standard colors like almond, white and ivory. Likewise, they are made of durable plastic or thermoplastic material with average finishing.

Ease of Use

There is no doubt in the fact that Decora and traditional outlets do the same job. They supply power to the electrical appliances to work properly. But their ease of use may vary depending on the design and features.

Decora outlets are equipped with more advanced features like USB port and internet connectivity that make them easy to use. Everyone can operate it with no risk of damage. Similarly, Decora outlets have large face plates that makes it easier to plug in or unplug devices.

Bulkier plugs or adapters often give us a tough time. But Decora outlets make plugging or unplugging easier. The smooth surface also allows secure connection with no need to check it repeatedly.

Traditional outlets, on the other hand, need your patience. Their small face plate and exposed screws can sometimes be a hindrance especially when you plug in large adapters in tight spaces. 


If you already have Decora switches or dimmers and now want an outlet then its better to go for Decora outlet. It has standardized face plate design that means you can cover both (switch and outlet) with the same face plate. It will ensure harmony to your place.

On the contrary, traditional outlets have their unique wall plates that is only compatible to their receptacle. There is no chance of interchangeability as in Decora designs.  


electrician holding screwdriver, installing Decora Outlets
Installing Decora Outlets

The installation process of Decora and traditional outlets vary and entirely depend on their design or manufacturing. Decora outlets need wires to be nicely arranged for their sleek design. You need to fold or arrange wires in the electrical box to avoid any bulging. This proper setting of wires prevents pushing against the back of the outlet. Similarly, this ensures the outlet sits nicely with the wall and the face plate.

You can also use screw terminals or push in terminals to connect.

As mentioned earlier, there is an option of the screw-less face plate. But it does not mean there will be no mounting involved. There is a base plate that is first screwed onto the outlet. After that, the main face plate is snapped on creating a clean screw-free appearance.

In contrast to the Decora, traditional outlets typically come with screw terminals on the side where the stripped end of the wire is wound around and secured. Some models also offer push-in terminals for quicker connections.

Traditional outlets use a center screw to attach the face plate. This design, while functional, means the screw remains visible, which can sometimes detract from the aesthetic appeal.

Safety Considerations

electrician measuring voltage before installing Decora Outlets
Installing Decora Outlets

When you are distinguishing Decora and traditional outlets, do not forget to consider about safety. The safety of the power outlets is mostly dependent on the quality and material. But incorporated safety features also make these outlets worth it.

Decor and traditional – both types of outlets come with a tamper resistant feature. This is a safety mechanism that prevents accidental insertion of foreign objects into the outlets. This feature is particularly valuable for homeowners with children to ensure their safety. Similarly, you will find GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in Decora and traditional outlets. This safety feature especially works to prevent electric shocks from faulty appliances or when moisture is present. This system detects the fault and immediately cuts off the power supply to prevent any disaster.

Similarly, traditional ones have AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets that detect any potential electrical arcs that may cause fire. This feature is mostly required in areas where the wiring might be older or susceptible to damage.

Price and Availability 

When it comes to the price and availability of outlets, you notice a clear difference in both types of outlets. As mentioned earlier, Decora outlets come with advanced features and have a modern outlook so you can expect high prices for them. Similarly, smart technology, USB ports and Wi-connectivity make these outlets expensive. You can find these outlets in store and online.

Traditional outlets comparatively cost less. Though they perform equally well in power supply so you can call these outlets economical or cost effective.  You can have a long lasting outlet in budget friendly price. Like Decora, traditional outlets are also available in store and online.

Decora vs. Traditional Outlets – What’s the Best?

Now that you have deeply understood all the features and specifications of Decora and traditional outlets, now is the time to find a winner between the two.

Decora outlets come with advanced features and their fine designs fulfill your requirements. You get functionality and looks in the same outlets. Similarly, you can plug in multiple gadgets, home appliances and electrical devices with no physical handling.

All these advanced features are not present in the traditional outlet so you can call Decora winner but with some extra bucks.

Conclusion – Decora vs. Traditional Outlests

Decora and traditional outles are both good. The main difference lies in their look and some enhanced features. Like internet connectivity or USB ports in Decora. But remember, extra features come with the price. If you are looking for a modern look then go for Decora, otherwise traditional outlets are good enough to keep the electrical circuit working.

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