Owners of late-model iPhones (starting with iPhone 8) can stash all their old Lightning cables in a desk drawer and start charging their phone more easily with a wireless charger. Instead of sticking a wire into your phone and attaching it to a power adapter, you just place the phone on a small charger pad — or on a stand-up charging pad — and you’re good to go.
Now that Apple officially killed off its AirPower charging mat, it’s time to take the plunge and get yourself a third-party wireless charger. And if you’ve got one of those newfangled AirPods wireless charging cases, a charging pad is even more essential to your setup.
Here are our recommendations for best wireless chargers.
Why choose a wireless charger?
Wireless charging pads are thin devices that lie flat on a table. They let you place your phone or AirPods wireless charging case down on top of them. Wireless charger stands, on the other hand, let you prop your phone upright as it charges. Wireless chargers, both the pad and stand variety, adhere to the Qi (pronounced “chee”) standard, which Apple supports.
Does that mean you can just ditch all wires? Well, no. With wireless charging, you still need a wire, but it’s not attached to your phone — it’s attached to the charger that plugs into a power source.
Wireless chargers are super-convenient because you don’t have to hunt for a cord to plug into your phone. If you’re home for the evening or ready to turn in, it’s great to just plunk your phone down on the desk or nightstand and pick it up fully charged in the morning without pulling a cord out of the wall.
Other advantages: With a wireless charger, you can attach wired earbuds through the Lightning connector, while most stand models let you read or even chat via FaceTime while your device charges. Some chargers offer options for charging Apple Watch as well.
What to look for
When you’re ready to take the plunge into wireless charging land, here are a few things to consider.
Speed: Right now, iPhones that support Qi and run iOS 11.2 or later can charge wirelessly at 7.5 watts. So, regardless of whether your charger is more powerful — the Qi standard can support up to 15 watts — that is the maximum power your iPhone can use.
With wireless charging, power is time: The more power a charger can deliver, the faster your battery reaches full charge. While additional power is of no use to your phone now, it can’t hurt, either. If you wish to accommodate Android devices with your charger, or just want to keep yourself covered for future upgrades to iPhone power and speed, there’s no problem in buying a charger with the fastest speed available.
Connector: While wireless chargers get rid of the cable link to your phone, they require cables of their own. Depending on how far your charger is from a wall outlet, be sure to check the length of the wire that ships with your charger. Chargers often ship with a power adapter, but sometimes not. If you have to supply your own adapter, make sure that it provides enough wattage to charge your phone at the full speed the charger supports for your phone.
Some chargers do not offer fast charging at the maximum 7.5W — and can charge only at a slower 5W — but that may not be an issue if the phone is charging all night. Some offer faster charging with an adapter that incorporates Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology, while others work with a variety of high-wattage USB adapters.
Style: Your charger will probably sit on a table in your living room, bedroom or home office, so aesthetics is often a big deal. Most chargers have a minimalist design and aim to be unobtrusive, while others are a little more stylish in trying to fit in with home decor. Also, consider whether you prefer a flat or upright model. It’s great if the charger has a somewhat grippy top to hold your phone securely. Some wireless chargers have fans and LED status indicator lights, so be aware of how possible noise or lights will affect you.
Price: Chargers are all over the map in terms of price, so it’s entirely possible to find a cheaper model that has all the features you’re looking for — we have a few suggestions below.
Ease of use: What could be easier than plunking your phone down? Plunking it down in the right place. Do you have to remember to position it just so on the pad so it will be sure to charge, or can you throw it down any old way? The whole point of the charger is to sit on your table. But if you’re a traveler, consider how light and easy it is to tote around.
Certification: Check to see whether your charger is certified by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). Some 220 device manufacturing companies (including Apple and Samsung) have endorsed the Qi specification and have certified various wireless charger models. Certification ensures that your charger has been tested, adheres to the standard, and is safe. It’s not strictly necessary — just another way to judge the quality of the product.
Best wireless iPhone charger overall
Mophie Wireless Charging Base
This lightweight, minimalist, low-profile wireless charger packs everything you need into the box, including a wall adapter and a 1.5-meter (nearly 5-foot) tethered cable to deliver the latest tech with up to 7.5 watts of power. A rubberized TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coating protects your iPhone and keeps it properly aligned while charging.
The device automatically determines the right amount of power for a safe, quick charge to prevent over-charging and overheating. As with most other chargers, it works with protective cases up to 3mm, but not cases with batteries or other metal. It also welcomes the Mophie Juice Pack case for charging older iPhones.
Users give the Mophie Wireless Base high praise. However, we’ve heard scattered complaints about the size and positioning of the wall plug and the need to be precise in placing the phone on the pad. Still, Apple vouches for this charger and sells it in its stores.
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Best for fast charging
Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad
Made in conjunction with Apple, and sold in its store, the Belkin Boost Up 7.5W Wireless Charging Pad is made for fast charging, and includes an AC adapter and 5-foot cord in the box. A crisp, white disc with a grippy top, Boost Up can charge with metal-free iPhone cases of up to 3mm. You get fast charging speed up to 7.5W when running iOS 11.2 and later. An LED indicator alerts you that your phone is charging, but some users report that the device must be properly centered for the charger to work. Some users also complain about disappointing charging speeds, but most users seem happy with the Boost Up.
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Best wireless charger masquerading as a lamp
Ikea Riggad LED Work Lamp
Leave it to Ikea to combine a desk lamp with a — you guessed it — wireless iPhone charger. Seriously, how cool is that? While you slave away at your desk, you can forget about having to take up a spare USB port — if you can find one — and just charge with the Riggad LED Work Lamp. The lamp charges at a maximum of 5 watts, which is a bit low for the 7.5-watt capacity of the iPhone. But hey, there’s still the lamp, which won the international iF Design Award for its birch details and top on-off switch. Heck, you can even charge two devices at once — the lamp boasts an additional USB port.
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Best stylish décor charger
WoodPuck: Bamboo Edition Wireless Charger
We’ve all gotten so used to the modern look of devices that it often doesn’t occur to us that they can also look traditional. Fonesalesman’s WoodPuck wireless charger, made of sustainably harvested bamboo, has a rich warm look that looks quite pretty on a living room or bedroom table. With a choice of light Cappuccino and dark Espresso finishes, it’s like a tiny piece of furniture — but it can still do the job, delivering iPhone charging at 5W. WoodPuck hides the micro-USB socket and plug. And it ships with a nearly 5-foot USB cable. The device gives an audible notification to signal that it’s charging.
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Best dirt-cheap wireless charger
Yootech Wireless Charger
The best low-price option is not necessarily dirt-cheap, but it offers the performance you need. While the Yootech presumes you have an adapter that can accommodate 7.5W charging — it doesn’t include one in the box — it still offers good value for the price because it can charge at the faster speed, as opposed to competitors that only hit 5W. Plus, it comes with a 3.3-foot micro USB cable. Its soft, unobtrusive indicator light stays lit for just 16 seconds after it recognizes your phone, so as not to disturb your sleep. The Yootech also features temperature control, surge protection, and short-circuit prevention.
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Other wireless charging options
While the following devices failed to make the “best” cut for various reasons, they are still worthy of consideration. Some are capable of 7.5-watt charging and others only charge at 5 watts. Your preferences when it comes to speed, appearance and portability may vary.
7.5-watt fast wireless chargers
Anker PowerWave 7.5 Stand
You don’t always have to charge lying down — your iPhone, that is — because you can charge your iPhone in horizontal or vertical orientation. The highly rated Anker PowerWave 7.5 stand has a built-in fan to keep everything chill and supports fast charging — and you never have to worry about overcharging. The unit ships with a QC 3.0 AC adapter and a three-foot micro USB cable. Don’t try to use the Apple wall charger that you got with your phone because PowerWave is incompatible with Apple’s wall chargers. The only major complaint was that the fan was audible and the cord was too short.
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iOn Wireless Plus Fast Charger
If an aesthetic change of pace is what you seek, the iOn Wireless Plus Fast Charger — with its fabric-covered case in ruby, ash or ivory — offers a stylish alternative for your desk or end table. It sits on anti-slip silicone feet and provides fast charging for the iPhone at 7.5 watts with a QC 3.0 equivalent adapter and cable included. It supports simultaneous wired and wireless charging, and up to 5 watts with a second USB-A port. Internal air vents reduce heat to maximize charging efficiency.
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RavPower 7.5W Fast Wireless Charger
If you’re on the go, the RavPower 7.5 Fast Wireless Charger promises to keep up with you. It’s extremely flat and lightweight, so it packs nicely on trips and holds your phone steady with aluminum alloy bottom panels and a non-slip rubbery base. Highly rated on Amazon, this charger not only ships with a QC 3.0 adapter, delivering the fastest 7.5W speed for your iPhone, but its pleasing square shape fits your phone and emits a dim blue light to indicate that it is charging.
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5-watt standard wireless chargers
Sometimes speed is not the the most critical element in choosing a wireless charger, especially if you’re at your desk or in for the evening. These slower models may suit you just fine.
Samsung Qi Certified Fast Charge Wireless Charger Pad
One reason you might want to go for the Samsung fast charger (aside from it being Wirecutter’s favorite) is if a housemate has one of those, it might be easier to share the charger. It only charges at 5W, even though your phone can handle 7.5W. But it’s a good option for mixed households. Aside from its elegant streamlined appearance, it has a built-in cooling fan and an LED glow as opposed to lights. And it’s somewhat cheaper then some other options.
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Pleson Fast Wireless Charger
Amazon loves this compact, anti-slip charger for some good reasons. One is that you can charge your mobile device in portrait or landscape orientation so you can do more with your phone while it’s charging. Another is the built-in over-voltage, under-voltage, temperature control, surge protection and short-circuit prevention features that protect your phone. The Pleason is cool and quiet — no audible beeping or distracting lights while you’re trying to catch some ZZZs, as the LED indicator automatically shuts off after 10 seconds. It charges at 5W for the iPhone and you’re on your own for an adapter.
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Krobot Wireless Charger
With the Krobot Charger, you get a wireless charge at 5W while gracing your home with the elegance of bamboo. The bamboo and aluminum combo adds a classy look to a utilitarian item designed for a desk, countertop, or night stand. But its lightweight, thin body — which weighs in at 60 grams and measures one-quarter inch thick and 4 inches round — is also great for traveling. Users gave it high marks for its looks and ease of use in not having to be careful where you place the phone.
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Are you on a tight budget but absolutely must have a wireless charger for your phone? You can drop as little as $9.99 for the PowerBot PB1020 and get a pretty sweet deal for the money. PowerBot is a featherweight disc topped with anti-slip padding and an agreeably dim indicator, making it easy on the eyes as well as the wallet. Sure, it’s a basic choice, but users on Amazon like it a lot. It’s small and cheap — it does not ship with a power adapter but recommends using a 2A or higher to charge at 5W.
Buy from: PowerBot — $9.99
Mophie Charge Force Wireless Charge Pad
If you want to stick with Mophie, but want to go a slightly less expensive route — or you own an older iPhone wrapped in a Mophie Juice Pack case — check out the Charge Force model, a rectangular pad with built-in magnets that help you align your iPhone just so to quickly activate the charger. The indicator light stays illuminated throughout the charging period and shuts off only when the phone is fully charged.
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Orb Wireless Charger for iPhone
It looks like an orb — your phone rests on a tilted platform for easy viewing. This unusual form factor gives the Orb a sophisticated edgy look that goes well with any room or office. Orb offers single coil wireless charging for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X at 5W speed.
Buy from: Orb — $49.99
Seneo iPhone X Wireless Charger
For an upright stand where you can rotate your iPhone orientation as you charge it, the Seneo is a respectable low-cost option. Highly rated on Amazon, it supports iPhone charging to 5W with a 5V 2A adapter. Like many of its competitors, the Seneo controls temperature to prevent overheating, and offers overcharge, over current, and over voltage protection. With the new sleep friendly model, the charging pad’s clear sides blink blue three times when you start charging, and then shuts off.
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Ikea Nordmärke Qi Charger
If you need a wireless charger for the whole family, consider Ikea’s Nordmärke, which lets you charge three phones at once at 5W. Well, it actually lets you charge a fourth one with a built-in wired USB connection. It works just like all other flat charging pads, except it’s a little bigger at 12 x 5 x 1 inches with a 6.7-foot cord, and a giant plus sign marks the exact spot where your phone should go. It’s constructed of renewable birch in a pleasing design with ABS plastic, polycarbonate plastic, and synthetic rubber.
Buy from: Ikea Nordmärke Qi Charge — $59.99
Grovemade Wireless Charging Pad
When something is designed to be showcased in a living room or family room it would help if it looked presentable. The Grovemade charger goes full-on stylish with a surface of hand-sanded cork atop a stainless steel base. The cork acts as a natural magnet to keep your phone in proper charging position. The included braided cable tucks neatly underneath the body when not in use. The unit comes with a 120V adapter, but only runs at 5W for the iPhone.
Buy from: PowerBot — $9.99
Best wireless car chargers
You may mostly be in the office or at home, but one other place you’re also likely to be spending time is in your car, and there are a few wireless chargers for that.
Xinlon Magnetic Wireless Car Charger
Just mount the Xinlon charger, an Amazon customer favorite, with its simple air vent clip, and you can quickly be on your way. It holds your iPhone firmly with magnets. (It includes a metal ring, if needed, to accommodate thicker cases.) You can rotate the charger 360 degrees and tilt it up or down to adjust the viewing angle. Made with aluminum and silicone buttressed by a strong sticker and magnets, you can easily use the Xinlon at your desk or in your living room as well.
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Update: We originally published this post on April 23, 2018. We’ve updated it with new picks and deleted some products.