Let's face it, a charger is probably the most important accessory you'll ever buy for your iPhone. After all, most of us need to charge our iPhones at least once a day — sometimes even more — so it's important to have the right chargers around to get the job done.
Thankfully, the popularity of the iPhone means there's no shortage of options for both wired and wireless charging — and you have even more now that the iPhone 15 has finally made the switch to USB-C.
While a USB-C power brick will give you the fastest possible charging speeds, many folks consider wireless the way to go these days. If you have enough wireless charging stands in your life, you'll likely never need to worry too much about charging speeds, as you'll be able to regularly dock your iPhone in places where it can grab more power — and iOS 17's new StandBy mode is going to encourage you to do that even more often.
Still, the number of options to charge your iPhone can be pretty overwhelming, so we've rounded up a few of the best, along with some tips at the end for what to look for in an iPhone charger.
Apple MagSafe Charger
The best wireless iPhone charger
- Portable and versatile
- You an easily use your iPhone while charging
- Compatible with a wide range of stands and accessories
- Not ideal as a stationary desktop charger on its own
- Power adapter not included
While Apple's official MagSafe charger may not be the flashiest wireless charger available, it has a few things going for it that make it a great pick for anybody who doesn't have more specific needs. Not only do you get an Apple-certified MagSafe charger that's guaranteed to work with your iPhone, but unlike most magnetic chargers, you don't have to stop charging when you want to pick up your iPhone to check something, since the charger is small and light enough to stay attached.
This has the downside of making it a less-than-ideal desktop charger for when you just want to grab your iPhone and go. However, its popularity means that there's an impressive collection of accessories that are designed specifically to fit Apple's charging disc, from flat table docks to a wide variety of stands and car mounts. This lets you create your own custom charging solutions, and you can even change things up once in a while by moving the MagSafe charger between an assortment of accessories that are much more affordable than buying multiple chargers.
Spigen Onetap Pro MagFit Wireless Charging Stand
The best iPhone charger for StandBy mode
- Adjustable stand lets you choose the viewing angle
- Sturdy rubber feet keep stand from moving around
- Only supports 7.5W wireless charging
- Lack of MagSafe means StandBy modes won't be remembered
Apple's StandBy mode is one of the coolest and most useful features in iOS 17, and it may be enough to change the way you charge your iPhone. Prior to StandBy, it didn't really matter if you laid your iPhone flat or propped it up on a MagSafe charging stand, but now StandBy gives you a reason to opt for the latter.
While there are plenty of MagSafe and MagSafe-compatible charging stands on the market, not all of them let you take full advantage of what StandBy has to offer. However, Spigen's OneTap Pro is one of the best picks for this as it provides wireless charging, which is necessary to trigger StandBy, as well as an adjustable viewing angle and grippy rubber feet to keep it from sliding around when you're interacting with your docked iPhone.
The only downside is that it's not officially MagSafe-certified, which not only means you'll be limited to 7.5-watt charging speeds, but also that your iPhone won't be able to remember the view you've set when docked and bring it up again automatically. However, we think that's a reasonable trade-off considering how affordable this charging stand is compared to fully MagSafe-certified alternatives, most of which aren't adjustable.
ESR HaloLock Kickstand Wireless MagSafe Charger
The best portable iPhone charging stand
- Portable charger and stand combo
- Long USB-C cable included
- Very affordable
- Only supports 7.5W charging
- Power adapter not included
While Apple's official MagSafe charger is one of the most portable wireless chargers you can buy, ESR's HaloLock has it beat in two important areas. The first is the price; since it's not MagSafe-certified, there's no premium "Apple tax" to contend with.
More significantly, though, ESR's HaloLock also has another trick up its sleeve. There's a built-in kickstand that lets you prop your iPhone up while charging, letting you take advantage of Apple's new StandBy mode wherever you happen to be.
The package also includes a generous 5-foot removable USB-C to USB-C cable, although you'll have to supply your own charging brick or other power source, such as a laptop USB-C port. You won't get to enjoy StandBy mode unless it's plugged in, but you can still remove the cable and use it as a magnetically attached kickstand for watching movies or participating in video calls. The detachable cable also means you can plug that same cable directly into the iPhone 15's USB-C port when you want the fastest charging speeds, which makes the slower 7.5-watt wireless charging far less of a compromise.
Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter
The best official wired iPhone charger
- Official Apple adapter
- Clean and simple design
- Durable and reliable
- 20W limit makes it less useful for other devices
Although you can find a wide assortment of USB-C power bricks from dozens of other manufacturers, Apple's official USB-C power adapter remains an extremely popular pick among iPhone users for its clean and simple aesthetic. The traditional Apple white and gray design offers no extra frills like LED status lights or extra ports, but that's OK because it does exactly what it's supposed to do: send 20 watts of power to your iPhone over a USB-C to Lightning cable or USB-C to USB-C cable, although you'll have to supply that part yourself. It's a durable and reliable solution, and the only real downside is that the prongs don't fold in for travel.
Belkin MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand
The best multi-device iPhone charging station
- 15W MagSafe iPhone charging
- Can fast-charge an Apple Watch and AirPods
- Attractive design
- Angle of charging pads can't be adjusted
If you're like many iPhone owners, you probably have other Apple devices in your life, like a set of AirPods or an Apple Watch. In that case, Belkin's 3-in-1 stand provides an elegant alternative to fussing with multiple chargers to keep all these devices powered up. You'll also find everything in the box you need to get started, including the power adapter, which discretely connects into the back for a clear and uncluttered look.
This stand provides full-speed MagSafe wireless charging for both the latest iPhone and Apple Watch models, plus a charging spot on the base designed for your AirPods or AirPods Pro. However, it's actually a standard 5W Qi wireless charger, so you can use it to juice up anything that can fit there — even a second iPhone. There's enough room to turn even an iPhone 15 Pro Max to landscape orientation so you can take advantage of StandBy mode alongside your Apple Watch. However, the charging discs aren't adjustable, so you won't be able to tilt your iPhone up or down to get a better view.
Anker 511 Charger (Nano 3)
The best compact iPhone charger
- 30W of power guarantees maximum charging speeds
- Extremely compact size for travel
- Foldable prongs
- Folding prong mechanism can wear out after extended use
While Apple's 20W USB-C power adapter may be the most popular choice, it's far from the only game in town. If you're looking for something even more portable that's capable of delivering maximum charging speeds to an iPhone 15 Pro Max, then Anker's 511 is a great choice. You only get a single USB-C power port, but it's capable of putting out 30 watts of power — enough to satisfy the 27-watt draw of the largest iPhone Pro models from recent years.
Anker's 511 is also available in a variety of fun colors, with prongs that fold in for ultra-compact travel. The only downside is that some folks have reported problems with the folding mechanism wearing out after extended use, resulting in the prongs no longer locking into place when extended, in which case you'll have to be more careful when plugging it in.
Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe
The best travel iPhone charger
- 15W MagSafe iPhone charging
- Props up Apple Watch in Nightstand mode
- Includes carrying case for travel
- Doesn't support Apple Watch fast charging
Mophie's 3-in-1 travel charger is an ideal accessory for Apple fans who frequently finds themselves on the road. The 15-watt MagSafe charging disc for your iPhone is joined by an Apple Watch and AirPods charger in a strip that folds up into a compact package for travel and features a soft heather gray microsuede fabric on the back that's matched by a stylish carrying case that provides room for the included USB-C charging brick and cable.
As with most other chargers like this, the space designed for your AirPods is actually just a 5-watt Qi charger, so you can drop any other Qi-compatible device on there, from an alternative set of earbuds like Sony's WF-1000XM5 to another family member's smartphone. That won't charge up as much as an iPhone on the 15W MagSafe disc, but it should be more than enough to top it up overnight.
Anker 637 Magnetic Desktop Charging Station (MagGo)
The best desktop iPhone charging station
- Doubles as a USB/AC power station
- Attractive design
- Up to 65W charging
- Doesn't support 15W MagSafe charging
Anker has a solid lineup of affordable MagSafe-compatible chargers — with "compatible" meaning that they can attach magnetically to the rings on your iPhone, but won't provide 15W charging. However, the slower charging speeds may be worth living with for the Anker 637, since its unassuming design actually hides some other powerful features.
From the front, the charging station doesn't look like much more than a stylish magnetic charging dock, but around back you'll find three AC power ports, two USB-A ports, and two USB-C ports so it can replace a power bar and help reduce the clutter on your desk. The USB-C ports are also capable of delivering up to 65 watts of power, which is more than enough to keep a MacBook or other standard laptop juiced up without the need to plug in a separate power brick.
ESR 15W Car Charger with MagSafe + CryoBoost
The best wireless iPhone car charger
- 15W MagSafe charging
- Built-in cooling system
- Perfect for your car
- A bit pricey
You've probably noticed that your iPhone can warm up quite a bit when using magnetic charging, and that can be even more apparent with faster 15-watt MagSafe charging. This is just the laws of physics at work, as the energy that doesn't make it into your iPhone has to go somewhere, so it's released as heat. While that's likely a minor annoyance at your desk, it can be a real problem when you're in a hot car. Fortunately, ESR has come up with a way to help your iPhone keep its cool.
Thanks to the company's CryoBoost technology, this 15W MagSafe car charging dock powers up your iPhone while directing the heat away from it using fans and other internal cooling techniques. This also allows you to more effectively take advantage of full 15W MagSafe charging speeds, since your iPhone is less likely to slow down its power draw to avoid overheating.
While it won't compensate for a lack of air conditioning, it won't generate extra heat, and it will save you from having to fiddle with your vents on a long road trip to make sure they're blowing on your iPhone.
Ugreen 140W Nexode USB-C GaN Charger
The best wired iPhone charger for multiple devices
- 140W of charging power
- Three charging ports
- Sleek, functional design
- Might be overkill for some people
Although single-port USB-C iPhone chargers are fine when you only need to plug in your iPhone, it can be a hassle to juggle multiple power adapters and power bars when you're trying to charge your iPhone, iPad, and MacBook all at once. Thankfully, advances in charging technology have allowed companies to produce surprisingly compact chargers that can deliver all the power you need.
Ugreen's 140W Nexode charger delivers more than enough power to charge all of your devices over USB-C at maximum speeds, right up to a 16-inch MacBook Pro (with Apple's USB-C to MagSafe 3 charging cable). Like most multiport power adapters, the 140 watts is shared across all three ports, but you'll be able to charge your iPhone 15 Pro at top speeds and still supply 100 watts to fast-charge a MacBook Pro, or even connect two MacBooks to deliver 65-watt charging to both.
Apple MagSafe Battery Pack
The best iPhone battery and charger combo
- Supports 15W MagSafe charging when plugged in
- Tight iPhone integration for optimal power management
- Can reverse charge from iPhone
- Requires a Lightning cable for charging
Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack is unlike any other magnetic iPhone battery pack on the market. For one thing, it's the only battery pack that's MagSafe-certified and can therefore provide full-speed 15W wireless charging. However, that only happens when it's plugged in; while using it as a battery pack, it will power your iPhone at a considerably more modest 5 watts.
However, that's not as much of a problem as it seems, since Apple's battery pack is also tightly integrated into iOS to maximize power efficiency. Unlike other MagSafe battery packs, your iPhone knows when Apple's MagSafe battery is attached, so it will continue conserving power rather than assuming it has a relatively unlimited AC supply to draw from. It's best to think of Apple's MagSafe battery pack as an extra capacity tank for your iPhone, rather than something that you'll use to recharge the internal battery of a dead iPhone.
Unfortunately, the Apple MagSafe Battery Pack hasn't made the USB-C transition yet, so you'll need a Lightning cable to power it or charge it back up. However, it also uniquely supports reverse wireless charging from any MagSafe-compatible iPhone, including the iPhone 15 lineup. That means you can plug your USB-C cable into your iPhone 15 while the MagSafe battery pack is attached and it will charge up from there.
The obvious difference between wired and wireless charging is that wired charging involves plugging a cable directly into your iPhone while wireless charging lets you set your iPhone down on an appropriate charging pad or disc to transfer power using magnetic induction.
On most iPhone models, wired charging requires a USB-A or USB-C to Lightning cable. The latest iPhone 15 models have switched out the Lightning port for a USB-C port, and can be charged with any standard USB-A-to-USB-C or USB-C-to-USB-C cable.
Wireless charging requires either a Qi compatible wireless charger or an Apple-certified MagSafe charger. Nearly any wireless charger on the market can be used with an iPhone, but they're not all created equal.
Wired charging is always more power-efficient than wireless charging, and if you're using the right adapter, it's guaranteed to be much faster. However, it's not as convenient.
Qi is a standard developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) that offers several different "profiles" for power deliver. While the Base Power Profile (BPP) can only deliver 5-watt charging, there's an Extended Power Profile (EPP) that can go up to 15 watts. However, Apple's implementation of EPP limits iPhone charging speeds to 7.5 watts, regardless of the Qi charger used.
In 2020, Apple developed MagSafe, a custom extension of the Qi EPP standard that's capable of delivering up to 15 watts of power, but only with an Apple-certified MagSafe charger. However, this isn't just about selling more Apple-certified chargers; since wireless charging is very inefficient, it's important to ensure proper alignment of the charging coils between the pad and the device to avoid wasting energy and generating the kind of excessive heat that would require devices to slow down charging to avoid damage.
The magnets in Apple's MagSafe technology ensure that the charger is perfectly aligned for optimal charging. Apple has worked with the WPC to roll this into a new Magnetic Power Profile (MPP) as part of the Qi2 standard. This is essentially an open-source version of MagSafe that will be managed by the WPC rather than Apple. The first Qi2 charging accessories with MPP support have already been announced and should be appearing on the market in late 2023 and early 2024.
Apple introduced wireless charging to its iPhone lineup in 2017 with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Every model released since then has supported at least standard Qi wireless charging at 7.5-watt speeds.
In 2020, Apple added MagSafe to the entire iPhone 12 lineup, offering 15-watt charging with an Apple-certified MagSafe charger. This has been a staple on its mainstream iPhones since then, although it's still missing on the 2020 and 2023 iPhone SE models, which are limited to the same 7.5-watt Qi speeds as their spiritual predecessor, the iPhone 8.
All MagSafe chargers are fully compatible with the Qi standard. The iPhone SE and pre-iPhone 12 models without MagSafe will treat them as a normal Qi charger and draw only 7.5 watts. MagSafe chargers can also be used to charge any other Qi-compatible devices.
According to Apple's official specifications, all recent iPhone models can charge from zero to 50% in around 30 minutes when using wired charging with a proper 20W or better USB-C power adapter. However, that doesn't mean you'll get to 100% in an hour.
To preserve battery health, the iPhone slows down its charging when it reaches 50%, and then slows things down even more above 80%. As a rule of thumb, you'll typically get to 80% in an hour, and then have to wait about another hour to top up that last 20%. These slower speeds avoid excessive wear on the battery.
Those higher-range times can also vary depending on which iPhone model and charger you're using. For example, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a larger battery than its smaller counterpart, which means that, all other things being equal, it will take longer to charge to full capacity. Fortunately, the iPhone 15 Pro Max can also draw more charging current, so using a 27-watt or better power adapter will give you the best possible charging speeds for that larger model.
Lastly, while MagSafe and Qi2 wireless charging is rated at 15 watts, your actual charging times will be comparatively slower since wireless charging is much less efficient at transferring power. A 15W MagSafe charger actually juices up your iPhone at about half the speed of a 20W wired USB-C connection. Wireless is great for overnight charging, or when you're sitting around at home or the office, but if you're in a hurry, plugging in with a USB-C adapter will always give you a faster charge.
Don't let the Lightning port on older iPhone models trick you into thinking that Apple requires you to use an Apple-certified charger for your iPhone. While you should definitely purchase your charger and Lightning cable from a reputable brand, what's on the other end of that cable is a standard USB connection that will work with any USB-certified charger — of which there are hundreds, if not thousands, available. For the fastest charging, pick up a USB-C charger that can put out at least 20 watts to 30 watts of power. However, if you're only charging your iPhone overnight, even an older USB-A charger can still get the job done — and the slower charging will be better for your battery's health, too.
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