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Metal or Plastic: Outlet Covers for Your Home

light switch plate covers

Home improvements are now different than before. In the early days, home improvements provide more safety to the house. For example, they improve the fences, more secured windows, or locks. In short, security is prioritized rather than aesthetics back in the day. However, the beauty is still there, but it concentrates on more significant areas like painting the walls, changing the tiles, changing the furniture, and many more.

Innovations made home improvements to the overall aspect of the house; even the tiniest part of the house is now part of changing. For example, switch plate covers are usually made from Plastic, the regular material used in most places. But because of innovations, metal plates can now be used. But what are the differences between metal outlets and plastic outlet covers?


The differences between Plastic and metal outlet covers are noticeable in appearance. Plastics it has a smoother and cleaner feel depending on the design. And plastic outlet covers can imitate other types of materials like wood. It doesn't feel as authentic as the actual wood, but it can resemble the appearance of wood. And lastly, Plastic outlet covers can look plain compared to metal outlet covers.

On the other hand, the metal outlet cover feels authentic. They are great for aesthetics, especially their designs like bronze, brushed nickel, etc. It looks exactly like the material used for the outlet covers. Although both materials have slight differences, the difference will be noticeable once a homeowner sees a metal outlet cover. In terms of appearance, metal outlet covers has an overall better design.

 plastic light switch plates

Retention Of Colors

Color retention is keeping the original paint used in the outlet covers. Plastic switch plates have the typical white color paint used. Color retention is visible through houses-built ages ago and very old. There are changes in the place, and the outlet covers too. The color fades over time.

Outlet covers made from Plastic tend to be yellowish over time. This is because they are making it look burnt and worn out.

Metal outlet covers, however, are much more resilient in keeping the original appearance, and the paint will not fade over time. Also, the original state of the outlet covers is expected to last several years. If you plan to invest in outlet covers with design, consider having metal switch plates. You can expect that it will stay beautiful for too long.


From the name of the material used in the outlet covers, you can already expect which is more durable. However, plastic and metal outlet covers have separated categories of being stable. Plastics are great for being more elastic and easier to install. But the downside is when the plastic outlet cover is hit by something or a heavy object and cracks easily. Even when screwed too tight, Plastic covers can break down.

Furthermore, metal light switch covers are much more durable if an object hits them. It only cracks easily if the force is powerful. It can withstand any thing that it encounters. Due to the more robust material used for an outlet cover, you can expect it to be much stronger than regular outlet covers made from Plastic. Metal can resist anything without flaws compared to less durable plastic covers.

cast metal wallplate covers

Varieties or Options

For generalities, plastic outlet covers can only have limited variations or options. The typical switch plates you can buy are regular, white-colored plastic. It can have replicas of other materials, but mostly, it is just normal white paint. But if you prefer a minimalistic appearance and simplicity, the overall design of light switch covers made from Plastic is for your taste.

While plastic covers have limited options, metal outlet covers, on the other hand, have plenty of variations and different finishes depending on what type of metal finishes you want. Even brushed nickel switch plates already have multiple designs you can choose from. So even a single outlet cover can have different designs and finishes than most houses' regular outlet covers. Lastly, switch plates made from metal have different patterns to offer.


In terms of price, Plastic covers are cheaper than metal outlet covers. However, due to the material used, the durability, and the varieties of designs of metals, it is more expensive than plastics. The one with a lot of designs will be the one to be more in demand. Also, the cost can be a factor in why metal outlet covers are more expensive. Metal is more difficult to produce compared to plastics.

Plastic, on the other hand, is cheaper since they are easier to produce. Using regular plastic outer covers is better if you are on a fixed budget. Also, producing plastic switch plates requires less skills and craftsmanship than making high-quality metal switch plates. But one thing great about plastic outlet covers is that they are recyclable.

Which one should you buy?

Choosing a material that should be used for your home can be challenging. However, choosing a switch plate cover will be based on your budget, taste, and purpose. You can go with the plastics if you want a cheaper outlet cover. But if you have a larger budget, then choose metal outlet covers. However, you must also check what do you want to with your switch plate. Is it for aesthetics or durability, or do you want to replace your old, worn-out outlet covers? So whatever material you will buy, it will depend on what your taste is.

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