Elegant design that looks great on a desktop or a bedtable. Charge a MagSafe-capable iPhone, AirPods with wireless charging case, and Apple Watch simultaneously. Delivers up to 15 watts of power. Holds iPhone in portrait or landscape orientation.
Expensive. Compatible with iPhones with MagSafe only.
Charge two devices at once. Delivers 20 watts of power per port for a total 40 watts. Can fast charge iPhones to 50 percent capacity in just 25 minutes. Offers onboard temperature control and current overload technology for safety. Plug folds for travel.
Will not power laptops. USB-C cables not included.
Delivers 20 watts of power. Capable of fast charging iPhones from iPhone 8 on up. Supplies more power than previous 5 and 12 watt iPhone and iPad chargers. Can also charge iPad and iPad Pro. Compact size fits most power strips.
Required USB cable not included.
Magnetically aligns with iPhone 12 and later. Delivers up to 15 watts of power when connected to an Apple 20 watt charger. Works with any iPhone capable of wireless charging, not just latest models. Can also charge AirPods models with wireless charging cases.
Does not come with an AC adapter.
Delivers up to 15 watts of power. Capable of iPhone fast charging. Plugs directly into the wall and charges any Qi-capable device. Low profile design with an Ultrasuede finish that fits any décor. Can charge through cases less than 3 millimeters thick.
Proprietary AC adapter. Devices need to be aligned well for best charging. This charger gets hot.
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.
The iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones available. Since its introduction, it has created its own ecosystem of accessories, from cases and cables to camera lenses and more. One of the most fundamental accessories for any iPhone is one that many people might overlook: an iPhone charger.
An iPhone charger charges the iPhone’s battery. Without an iPhone charger, your only other recourse is a computer with a USB port or a low-power, unsecured charging station in an airport lounge or cafe. With a weak or low-powered source, your iPhone could take hours to recharge. Get a poorly made or knockoff charger and you run the risk of damaging your iPhone, your cable, your belongings, or even yourself.
When shopping for iPhone chargers, you come across the terms voltage, wattage, and amps. Amps, usually expressed in milliamps (mA), measure the strength of the electric current. Volts (V) measure the amount of current a charger can supply. Watts (W) measure total power. A charger’s wattage is equal to its output voltage multiplied by its amperage. For example, a 5-volt charger at 1.1 amps gives 5.5 watts of power. The more watts a charger offers, the more powerful it is, and the faster it can charge your iPhone.
The size of an iPhone charger, particularly a power adapter, is often related to how powerful it is. Generally, larger chargers can output more power than smaller, more portable ones. Larger chargers can also offer more than one charging port. Smaller chargers, however, are lighter and often cost less.
MFi stands for Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad. It’s a program run by Apple certifying that an accessory is compatible with its products and safe to use. It’s a good idea to check if a third-party iPhone charger is MFi-certified. Chargers for non-Apple products, like Android smartphones, can often be used to charge the iPhone with an appropriate Lightning cable, but it’s better to have an MFi-certified charger. Avoid chargers that look or feel shoddy or have misspelled specifications.
Before September 2012, iPhones used a 30-pin connector instead of Lightning, which you may sometimes still see in older accessories.
Wall chargers and car chargers typically offer USB ports to connect to the iPhone via cables. These ports are almost always USB — either the familiar, flat, rectangular, non-reversible USB-A, or the smaller, reversible, rounded USB-C. USB-A and USB-C ports have different charging capabilities. USB-A cables can handle 5.1 volts at 2.1 amps, or 12 watts, at the maximum. USB-C can handle up to 95 watts, although such powerful chargers are most suitable for charging laptops.
Some iPhones feature fast charging capability. These iPhones can use chargers with higher voltage and amperage to charge to a certain level faster. A fast-charge-compatible iPhone charger must output at least 18 to 20 watts and use USB Power Delivery (USB-PD) over a USB-C-to-Lightning cable. Note that even without fast charging, a more powerful charger — such as Apple’s 12W iPad charger — will charge an iPhone faster than a 5W charger. Other fast-charging standards include Qualcomm’s Quick Charge, but Quick Charge isn’t compatible with iPhones.
Wireless charging pads compatible with the iPhone are based on two technologies: Qi and MagSafe. Qi is a widely available charging standard introduced in 2008 that maxes out at 7.5 watts. iPhones starting with the iPhone 8 are compatible with Qi wireless charging. MagSafe is an Apple-specific standard based on Qi introduced in 2020. It allows compatible iPhones, such as the iPhone 12 and later, to charge at up to 15 watts. A MagSafe-compatible iPhone can charge from a Qi charger and a Qi-compatible iPhone can charge from a MagSafe charger, but in both cases, only at Qi’s maximum watts and speed.
If you have more than one device to charge, you may benefit from an iPhone charger that can charge more than one device at a time. Look for a power adapter or car charger with more than one USB-A port, or a USB-A and a USB-C port, or some other combination. Some wireless pads offer two charging areas for two devices, or a pad for a smartphone and a smaller pad for a smartwatch like the Apple Watch. These chargers often split their total wattage or amperage among their ports.
Wired iPhone chargers like wall chargers and car chargers need to connect to iPhones with Lightning cables. These USB cables have either a USB-A or USB-C connector at one end and an Apple Lightning port on the other. Cheap and flimsy charging cables may conduct power poorly, break easily, overheat, and cause electric shocks or even fires. Good charging cables are sturdy, durable, pliable, and stand up to constant use.
International travelers may want to invest in travel adapters and outlet adapters for their iPhone charger. There are 14 socket and plug types in use in the world, with seven types being the most common in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. You can get a travel adapter that offers charging, or get a kit with the most common plug adapters for your existing charger. Line voltage (the voltage that goes into your charger) also varies internationally, usually 110V to 120V or 220V to 240V. Dual-voltage chargers, such as Apple’s chargers, can handle these line voltages without a separate transformer.
You can pick up a cheap USB charger that costs below $9 at almost any supermarket, gas station, or convenience store. There are a few good buys in this price category, but there are also many slipshod, poorly made, unbranded chargers with low wattage or amperage that lack MFi certification. It’s best to avoid these if you can.
The majority of good wall chargers and car chargers cost between $9 and $40. Among them are Apple’s own chargers, plus respected brands like Belkin, Anker, and Scosche, which often boast more wattage or more ports than Apple’s chargers do. You can also find basic wireless charging pads in this price range.
There are a few power adapters and wall chargers that cost above $50, most with the kind of power that can recharge laptops, or with multiple charging ports. Many wireless charging pads can be found in this range, particularly those with multiple pads for multiple devices, or stands and high-end finishes.
With iOS 13, Apple introduced smart charging, which allows compatible iPhones to learn your daily routine and wait to charge past 80% until needed.
A. Apple recommends recharging an iPhone when its battery hits 20% to avoid running low when you need it or emptying its battery completely. It’s recommended to charge your iPhone frequently and incrementally instead of always running it near empty and then charging it to full.
A. While the iPhone battery likes frequent incremental charges, charging your iPhone overnight won’t overload the battery. However, keeping your iPhone charging for long periods of time will eventually eat into your battery’s maximum capacity. It isn’t a huge worry, but if it concerns you, unplug your iPhone if you wake up in the night.
A. You can use any of Apple’s power adapters to charge your iPhone as long as the adapters are still in good working order, from the original 5W power adapter to the 95W USB-C power adapter that charges Apple’s laptops. Older third-party adapters should also remain compatible as long as they meet the wattage and amperage requirements and are MFi-certified.