Best iPhone Charging Docks

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
336 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best iPhone charging docks

Last Updated October 2019

For many iPhone owners, the hardest part about owning one is having to set it down or put it away, which can make keeping the battery charged a nuisance. Thankfully, there’s a solution for that: iPhone charging docks.

iPhone charging docks are small stations that give you access to your iPhone’s screen by keeping it upright while it’s charging. Whether you want to keep your music going, keep an eye on your text messages, or use your iPhone as a second screen for your computer, a charging dock is the perfect way to do it.

The market for iPhone charging docks can get a little tricky, though. Some models are made of cheap plastic and barely keep your charging cable in place, while others are elegantly designed works of art that can charge multiple devices at the same time. (And of course, there are dozens of options in between.) Ready to find the perfect charging dock for your iPhone? Here’s everything you need to know.

Don’t forget that iPhone charging docks will work with just about any iOS device, like an iPad or iPad Mini. If you’ve got other Apple devices that use Lightning connectors, find a device that can hold up more than just your phone. You never know when you’ll want to use your charging dock with your other gear!

Key considerations

Before you start looking at iPhone charging docks, ask yourself these three questions. They’ll help you find the right dock by filtering out the ones that aren’t right for you.

Wired or wireless?

The first big thing to decide is whether you want a dock that charges your iPhone wirelessly or one that works with a Lightning cable for wired charging. Wireless charging is available on iPhones starting with the iPhone 8, but it’s not an option for models older than that. Wired charging is an option for every iPhone, and it provides a charge faster than a wireless charger can. Many users prefer the convenience of wireless charging, but if you need to charge your iPhone’s battery as quickly as possible, go with a wired model.

Do you have other Apple devices to charge along with your iPhone?

Some iPhone charging docks differentiate themselves by supporting multiple devices — including Apple’s HomePod headphones and the Apple Watch. If you’ve got all the Apple gear, look for a multi-device charging dock; many of them show off the Apple Watch’s face so you can use it as a desktop clock. If you’ve got an iPhone and a handful of other non-Apple devices, look for one with multiple USB inputs, so you can charge those simultaneously. If you’re just going to be charging your iPhone, save some money and look for a charging dock that’s made for a single iPhone.

How bulky is your iPhone case?

Many iPhone charging docks are made to hold your iPhone up, but they don’t leave much room for anything else like a case, which may add bulk. Keep your iPhone’s case in mind as you’re shopping. You’ll need to get a charging dock that can charge your iPhone even when it’s on!

The AirPower Mat dream realized

Apple announced, and then later canceled, the AirPower Mat — a solution for charging your iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch all at once. Beacoo’s charging dock is here to make good on the original promise, and they do a remarkably good job. You’ll need to bring your own cables, but once you’re set up, you’ll be able to charge all three devices simultaneously and see your watch and phone screens easily, too.

Features

All iPhone charging docks can perform the basics: keeping your phone held upright while it’s charging. But some models go above and beyond that to offer additional features that add even more convenience. Here are our three favorite.

Multi-device support

Many charging docks support more than just an iPhone — so if you’ve got a tablet, smartwatch, or wireless headphones to keep charged as well, it’s worth it to get a dock that can charge them all simultaneously.

Premium materials and designs

Apple fans know that design matters, and that even extends to charging docks. Some models are made from high-end materials like bamboo or walnut, while others are made from brushed aluminum in colors that match your iPhone. If you’re looking for a charging dock that matches your iPhone’s simple design aesthetic, you’ll need to pay a little more, but there are plenty of good options.

Wireless charging

If you own an iPhone 8 or later, you can take advantage of wireless charging — often referred to as Qi wireless charging. It’s as convenient as it sounds: just drop your iPhone onto the dock, and it immediately begins charging, no cables needed. If you’re ready to ditch all of the wires, get a charging dock that supports wireless charging.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re worried about your charging cable getting in the way or tangled, get some cable clips. You’re going to have at least one wire going between your iPhone charging dock and your power source, and if you want to keep it from getting tangled up (or if you just want it out of sight), cable clips are an ideal cable management solution.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you’re using a wired iPhone charging dock, keep your phone’s charging port clean with a can of compressed air. Applying compressed air to blow out stray dust and dirt is useful for ensuring your iPhone can always charge quickly and without a problem.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you have an older iPhone that has a headphone jack, you can listen to music while your phone is charging in your charging dock, as long as you’ve got space to get to the jack. Many people connect their iPhones to their stereos while they’re charging in a dock, effectively turning their phones into mini jukeboxes.


Staff  | BestReviews

iPhone charging dock prices

Most iPhone charging docks cost between $15 and $30. Models in this price range are generally good bargains — although you’ll definitely have to bring your own cable, or cables, if you get a multi-device unit. If you’re looking for a straightforward unit that keeps your iPhone in view and charging, you don’t need to spend a lot, but if you’re looking for one with wireless charging or a fancier form factor, you’ll need to pay a little more.

iPhone charging docks between $30 and $60 are great if you want a model that looks as good as it functions. Charging docks in this price range often include wireless charging, support for charging other Apple devices, or premium materials. If you need an iPhone charging dock that’s a cut above the rest, plan on spending at least this much.

Models that cost $60 and up usually include their own charging hardware, so you don’t have to supply your own cables. If you’re looking for an iPhone charging dock that’s got every bell and whistle and is made by a name brand, expect to pay top dollar.

Luxury design, budget price

We love the Rerii Bamboo Charge Stand because it offers everything we need from a wired charging dock with stunning good looks and an entry-level price point. It comes with multiple inserts so it can work with any size case you might have on your phone, and it’s got a lip for keeping your iPhone in place, even when you’ve got it set horizontally.

Tips

  • Only buy iPhone cables that meet Apple’s “Made for iOS (MFI)”-certified standards. Apple’s “Made for iOS” program means that you can rest assured that the cables you’re buying meet their standards and are safe to use. Another way to put it: Never buy iPhone cables from a product listing that doesn’t include their MFI standard. Shoddy phone cables can be a fire hazard!

  • If you own other non-Apple devices, look for a charging dock that’s platform-agnostic and supports multiple devices. It’s OK if not all of your devices are Apple devices! Many iPhone charging docks have generic USB ports that you can use to charge other devices, like an Android tablet or a fitness tracker.

  • If you’ve enabled Siri, you can use your iPhone as a voice-activated digital assistant while it’s charging on your dock. Your iPhone will still respond to “Hey, Siri,” when it’s charging on your dock, so you get an Alexa-like experience. If you’re a fan of using Siri to play music or answer questions, a charging dock is the perfect way to make that happen hands-free.

Other products we considered

Although it’s pricey, we love the Belkin Powerhouse Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone. Belkin has been a long-time partner of Apple’s, and they’ve got a strong reputation for building high quality gear that’s both functional and durable. The Powerhouse Charge shows all of that off: it’s slick and glossy enough to look as good as your iPhone, and it’s got its own charger built in, so you don’t need to supply a Lightning cable. It’s also got an adjustable Lightning connector, so it will work with just about any case, and a custom charger for your Apple Watch. If you don’t want to spend time worrying about whether a charging dock will work with your phone and its case, this is the one to get.

If you’re more into wireless charging, Belkin offers the Boost Up Wireless Charging Dock. It too supports charging both your iPhone and Apple Watch simultaneously, but it charges your phone wirelessly, which makes it a lot easier to just grab it and go when you need it. It’s also got a spare USB port, so you can charge a third device at the same time, even if it’s not an Apple device.

Always triple-check to make sure that the iPhone charging dock you buy is explicitly compatible with the version of the iPhone that you own. Each product page will list the iPhone models it supports. If you don’t see yours listed, don’t buy it.

FAQ

Q. Do I have to plug my iPhone charging dock into a power outlet, or can I plug it into a USB port on my computer?

A. It’s up to you. Most iPhone charging docks require you to supply your own charging cable, so you can plug that into any USB port — including one on a “wall wart” that plugs into a power outlet on the wall.

Q. Which will charge my iPhone faster: wireless charging or wired charging?

A. For now, wired charging is the fastest way to recharge your iPhone’s battery. In general, a wired charging connection will charge your phone about 30% faster than a fast wireless charging pad can. Your charging time will vary based on which iPhone you have, and how big the battery inside it is, but expect it to take at least a couple of hours no matter how you charge it. As wireless charging standards evolve, this is likely to change, but for now, nothing beats wired.

Q. Why do some iPhone charging docks have adjustable mounts?

A. Despite many iPhone charging docks claiming to be “universal,” they often have the same problem: they don’t work great with iPhones that are in cases. Even moderately thick iPhone cases can prevent the charging dock from connecting to your phone’s Lightning port. That’s where adjustable mounts come in — they allow you to adjust the height of the dock’s Lightning cable so you can use it with any case. If you’re worried about how a dock is going to work with your iPhone’s case, get one with an adjustable mount.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jaime
    Jaime
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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