Best Wireless Chargers

Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best wireless chargers

It’s hard to believe, but less than a decade ago consumers were forced to use charging cables for any device with a battery — and many of us ended up with big tangled messes of wires as a result. Thankfully, wireless charging is here, and more and more devices allow us to recharge their batteries simply by setting them on a wireless charging pad or stand.

Wireless chargers offer an affordable, no-hassle way to charge your smartphone or tablet, and they save you from having to remember which devices use which cables. There’s no way around it: wireless charging is the future!

There are a lot of good options on the wireless charger market, but if you know what you’re looking for, you can find the outstanding options — models that can support every device you have and get them charged up in no time flat.

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In the early days of wireless charging, there was a format war between Qi and Powermat technologies. Both charged devices wirelessly, but Qi ultimately dominated the market based on its superior charging speeds. If you’re unsure which format your device supports, it’s probably Qi, unless it’s more than five years old.

Key considerations

Before you start comparing different wireless chargers, consider how you’ll use yours. Start by answering these questions.

Does your device support fast charging?

The minimum standard for wireless charging is 7.5 watts, which can charge most devices in a few hours. However, many wireless chargers support “fast charging,” which is just branding for 10-watt charging. Fast charging means your device will charge more quickly (usually 60 to 90 minutes), but not all devices support it. Start by checking to see if your devices support it, and if they do, make it a must-have feature as you’re picking out a wireless charger.

Do you need to see your screen while your phone is charging?

Wireless chargers come in two form factors: charging pads, where you lay your device down horizontally, and charging stands, where your device is propped up while it charges. If you want to be able to see your device’s screen while it charges to monitor incoming text messages or track the time, for example, you’ll need a charging stand. Charging stands can be a little more expensive, but for many, having at-a-glance access to their phone or tablet screen is well worth it.

Does your smartphone have a bulky case?

If you’re buying a wireless charger for your smartphone, you’ll need to make sure that the one you buy is strong enough to charge your phone even when its case is on. Most wireless chargers are robust enough to work with most phone cases, but if you’ve got a rugged case or one that puts a lot of material between your phone and the charger, it may not work properly. Check user reviews closely to see which models may have problems with bulky cases.

Wireless charger features

All wireless chargers do the same thing — wirelessly charge your devices — but many add bonus features to make them even more useful. Here are our favorite features to look out for while you’re shopping.

Multi-device charging: Some wireless chargers can charge multiple devices at once, which is especially handy if you’ve got more than just your smartphone. Make a quick list of all of the devices that you charge regularly (and be sure to include wearable tech and wireless headphones), and then decide if you want a wireless charger that can charge multiple devices at a time.

Charging cables: Here’s one of the hidden secrets of the wireless charger world: very few of them include the charging cables you need. In most cases, you have to provide your own cable that you’ll attach to the wireless charger. Higher-quality units include a charging cable. The bottom line: if you don’t have any charging cables to spare, plan on buying another one, or buy a wireless charger that includes one.

Fast charging: If you’ve got a device that’s compatible with a 10-watt wireless charger (instead of standard 7.5-watt chargers), get a wireless charger with fast charging. Fast charging supplies power to your battery using 10 watts, which can help it charge up to 30% faster.

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Expert Tip
With low-budget models, it might take you a couple tries to connect your device with the charging system. An indicator light will alert you when your phone is properly aligned.

Wireless charger prices

  • Basic

Most wireless chargers cost between $10 and $20. Models in this price range offer a great value — they’re typically single-unit charging pads with LED lighting and support for fast charging. If you’re just looking for a basic wireless charger, there’s no need to spend more than $20.

  • Premium

Wireless chargers that cost between $20 and $40 offer some pretty healthy upgrades, like support for charging multiple devices simultaneously or high-quality materials. If you’ve got multiple devices to charge wirelessly, and you don’t want to have to deal with a one-at-a-time charger, this is the price range to keep in mind.


  • Plug your wireless charger into a wall rather than a USB port. Your wireless charger will need to be plugged in somewhere in order to deliver power to your device, and in most cases, you have the option of plugging your charger’s USB cable into a computer, or into a power outlet using an adapter. Not all computer USB ports can charge at the highest speeds, so if charging quickly is your goal, play it safe and plug your wireless charger into a power outlet whenever possible.

  • Check compatibility. Make sure your device is compatible with wireless charging before you buy a wireless charger. Not all devices support wireless charging! If you’re not 100% certain your device can charge wirelessly, search online or check your documentation to be sure.

  • Get a “second screen” app for your phone or tablet. Wireless charging stands are great for keeping your device upright so you can see the screen. That’s a particularly handy feature when it comes to “second screen” apps for computers, which use the device’s screen to do things like display key information or extend the user’s desktop.
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If you’re really into wireless charging, you can outfit your home with furniture with built-in wireless charging pads. Having a nightstand or coffee table that can keep your gadgets fully charged is pretty handy as long as you can get used to having furniture that needs to be plugged in to a power outlet.


Q. Which is faster: wireless charging or charging with a cable?

A. Charging with a cable is the fastest way to charge your device’s battery — for now. In general, wired charging is about 20% to 30% faster than wireless charging, but that’s certain to change as battery technology evolves. Today, wireless charging is almost as fast as wired charging, and it’s definitely more convenient.

Q. How long will it take to charge my phone with a wireless charger?

A. It depends, but usually it takes at least a couple hours to go from a nearly depleted battery to a full charge. Multiple factors impact how long it takes, such as how big your device’s battery is, whether your device supports charging at higher wattages, and how much charge is in the battery to begin with.

Q. Can I use a wireless charger with my iPhone?

A. Yes, so long as it’s an iPhone 8 or later. Apple first launched support for wireless charging on iPhones with the iPhone 8 back in 2017, and it’s been a standard feature on every iPhone released since then. If you’ve got an iPhone 7 or earlier, wireless charging isn’t a built-in feature, although in many cases you can add it with a third-party, Qi-enabled phone case.

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