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

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

Power converters for Mexico enable you to use a 220-240 volt electrical appliance 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 travelling to Mexico from a different country please ensure your device can accept a 127 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter [4] if you are travelling to Mexico from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your appliance is incompatible with 127 volts. Read our list of world power outlets page to discover the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already use either a 127 volt single voltage device or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices which originated from a different country which use a higher voltage (such as 220 volts) and then used in a 127 volt power outlet can take longer to charge or simply won't turn on. If your device slowly recharges or doesn't turn on when travelling to Mexico from a different region check that it will work with a 127 volt Mexican power outlet otherwise you will need to use a step up power converter [4].
  • You won't need a power converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are normally dual voltage and designed for international use, but you should always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair straighteners) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5] to allow it to be used with a 127 volt Mexican power outlet.
  • Buying a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance might be more cost effective and practical than bringing a much heavier power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance in Mexico.
  • For more information read these guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, hair dryers and flat irons with a Mexican power outlet which includes advice on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Mexico from the US?

You won't need to use a power converter because the voltage in Mexico is in the same 100-120 volt range as the US.

What converter do I need for Mexico?

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

What voltage is used in Mexico?

Mexico uses 127 volts in their 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 best way to see if a device is dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the charger or on the device itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might depend on the make or model of your appliance, it could also be written in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a larger voltage 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.
  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.
  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.
  6. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.