It offers complete 360-degree cleaning and completes a cycle in only 10 minutes with a success rate of 99.99%. It can charge any device that uses a USB-A or USB-C charging port while it sanitizes.
Some of the largest phones on the market won’t fit inside. There’s no power button.
It measures 7.28 by 4.64 inches from the outside, so it will fit anything slightly smaller than that. It uses a rechargeable battery so it can be used on the go, and the battery can last for up to 70 cleanings.
It doesn’t double as a phone charger. Some people had issues with finicky controls.
The box is larger enough to fit most of the biggest phones on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. The wireless charger uses Qi technology to fast-charge compatible phones.
Some customers had issues getting the wireless charging to work. Others noted that some devices need to be cleaned twice, once on each side.
It measures 6.8 inches tall and 5.3 inches wide. It takes 20 minutes to run a full cycle. It includes a wireless charging function that can fully charge compatible devices in three hours.
Taller phones won’t be fully cleaned unless they’re placed back in upside down for a second cycle.
It has four disinfection modes that clean with varying degrees of intensity. The lowest mode cleans 25% and takes only a minute while the 100% clean takes only nine minutes. Its exterior wireless charging pad has a non-slip surface.
There’s no indicator that a cleaning cycle has finished. The wireless charging can be slow.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
You rely on your smartphone for dozens of tasks every day. Because you use it so frequently, it can collect unwanted contaminants like bacteria. Not a pleasant thought considering the fact that you hold your device to your face and touch it between bites of food. A UV phone sanitizer can keep your phone clean and free of germs that could make you sick.
The sun naturally generates UV light, and small doses of focused UV light don’t affect the integrity of items like smartphones. UV phone sanitizers use a particular type of UV light (UV-C) to generate electromagnetic radiation that damages or kills bacteria and microbes. UV-C bulbs provide the most effective way to destroy bacteria because of the light’s short wavelength.
There are a few key features to consider to find the best model for your needs, and a good shopping guide and recommendations can get you started.
Make sure the UV phone sanitizer you select is the right size to accommodate your phone. This is especially important if you have a large one. If you have a small or average-sized phone, pretty much any sanitizer should work.
Most of these products take 5 to 10 minutes to sanitize the phone, phone case, or other items. However, there are some fast-cycle products that claim to finish the job in as little as 30 seconds.
High-quality units automatically turn off the device after the sanitizing cycle. This prevents the phone from being damaged by too much intense UV-C light. The automatic shutoff is especially useful for sanitizing your phone while you’re sleeping.
If you want to put earbuds or keys inside the UV phone sanitizer, make sure the items aren’t touching each other so the UV-C light can reach all surfaces.
You can only sanitize one side of the phone at a time in a UV phone sanitizer that only has UV-C bulbs inside the lid or at the bottom of the case. If you want to speed up the sanitizing process, select a case that has lights at the top and bottom so it can sanitize both sides of the phone at once.
Most of these products have one or two bulbs in the lid and one or two bulbs at the bottom, but you can find some that have several bulbs (and as many as a couple dozen) in both locations. More bulbs means faster results.
Most UV phone sanitizers have an interior lined with aluminum, which reflects the UV-C light around your phone. Cases with an aluminum exterior are sturdier than plastic ones.
Some UV phone sanitizers have a case that accommodates a USB cable, so you can charge your phone while sanitizing it. Some units allow for inductive charging during the sanitizing process if you have a phone that supports this.
Some of these devices are large enough to hold other items. If you’d like to sanitize eyeglasses, earbuds, keys, smartwatches, jewelry, or wallets, look for a unit that can handle your items.
If you plan to keep your UV phone sanitizer on a nightstand, you might want a case that matches your décor. Most of these devices are white, gray, or black, but you can find some in other colors like turquoise, purple, or beige.
The least expensive devices cost $5 to $20. These may only have one or two UV-C bulbs, so they might not work as quickly or effectively as a unit with more bulbs. Some of these devices may only be able to clean one side of the phone at a time. Not all inexpensive sanitizers offer automatic shutoff.
These units cost $20 to $50. Many of these devices use multiple UV light sources for a more effective sanitizing process. Units in this price range clean both sides of the phone at the same time. These devices are typically larger than less expensive ones and are able to accommodate phones of different sizes, as well as other items like earbuds at the same time. These devices have automatic shutoff too.
The priciest UV phone sanitizers cost $50 to $200. Many of these units fit a specific type and size of phone. They can clean all sides of the phone efficiently using several UV-C lamps throughout the interior of the box, often in 5 minutes or less. You can find devices at this price that allow you to charge the phone while sanitizing it. Manufacturers of pricey UV phone sanitizers offer cases in several colors too.
Although the UV light can kill or damage bacteria and microbes on smooth surfaces, it doesn’t reach inside crevices on the phone or case.
A UV phone sanitizer is a great tool, but you need to use it correctly. You also have other options for keeping your smartphone clean and sanitized.
A. Yes, these sanitizers use a relatively low-power UV-C lamp, so the chances of the lamp harming you are small. However, the FDA points out that some UV-C lamps contain small amounts of mercury. You should clean up any broken lamp or bulb carefully following the EPA’s guidelines.
A. Because ultraviolet lamps are electronic products that emit radiation, manufacturers must follow FDA regulatory requirements. UV lamps intended for medical device disinfecting must follow more stringent regulatory requirements than phone sanitizers.
A. You can wipe down the surface of the UV-C bulbs with a dry microfiber cloth every month or so. If the bulbs are dirty, put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the cloth before you wipe them down.
A. It’s hard to independently measure the exact percentage of bacteria and other microbes that an average UV phone sanitizer damages or kills. However, most manufacturers claim to remove at least 99.99% of these contaminants. We haven’t found a device made for sanitizing phones at home that claims 100% removal.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.