Affordable. Lightning-fast speeds. Magnetically charges phone and AirPods at the same time. Rotating phone stand. Stylish. Small tabletop footprint. Available in white and black.
Made for 12th generation and newer models.
Especially inexpensive. Compact. Speedy and magnetic. Optimized for AirPods and 12th generation or newer models. Easily snaps into place on phone. Includes USB-C cable.
AC adapter sold separately.
Space to charge an phone, Apple Watch, and AirPods at the same time. Reliably speedy charge times. Wireless. Stylish. Slim profile. Phone stand. Available in black and white.
Has trouble connecting through thick phone cases.
Affordable. Secure MagSafe connection. Reliably fast charge times. Compact. Built-in phone stand. Tiny desktop footprint. Grippy rubberized base. Durable metal construction. Stylish.
Only for the 12 and newer models.
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.
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 there are dozens of options in between.
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.
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.
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.
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 looking. You’ll need to get a charging dock that can charge your iPhone even when it’s on!
All iPhone charging docks can perform the basics: keeping your phone held upright while it’s charging. Some models, however, far exceed the basics and offer additional features that add even more convenience. Here are our three favorites:
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.
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.
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.
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 better than 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.
Only get 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 getting meet their standards and are safe to use. Another way to put it: Never get 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.
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.