Owners of late-model iPhones — iPhone 8 and iPhone X —can go ahead and stash that old lightning cord 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.
Why choose a wireless charger?
Wireless charger pads are thin devices that lie flat on a table, letting you place your phone down on top of them, while wireless charger stands 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.
Chargers are super easy 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 ear buds through the Lightning connector, while most stand models let you read or even chat via FaceTime while your device charges.
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. Power is time: The more power a charger can deliver, the faster your iPhone 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 and 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 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.
Apple’s AirPower Charging Mat
Apple promises to release its own AirPower wireless charger soon, and with it you can charge your phone, watch, and Airpod earbuds (inside a brand new case that works with the charger) at the same time on one surface. That’s about all the information we have so far about the AirPower charger, but we have plenty of information about the competition already on the market. If there’s only one iPhone in the house — and you do not have an Apple Watch or Airpod Earbuds — some currently available chargers may be an even better fit.
Best 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 1.5m (nearly 5-foot) tethered cable to deliver the latest tech with up to 7.5W of power. A rubberized TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coating protects your iPhone and keeps it properly aligned while charging. Apple has vouched for this charger and sells it in its store. 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 — and it welcomes the Mophie Juice Pack case for charging older iPhones. Users gave the Mophie Wireless Base high praise, though there were scattered complaints about the size and positioning of the wall plug and the need to be precise in placing the phone on the pad.
Buy from: Amazon — $46.03
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 five-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 users have reported that the device must be properly centered for the charge to work. Some users also reported disappointing speeds, but most users were happy with the Boost Up.
Buy from: Amazon — $44.99
Best 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, but 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 5W, which is a bit low for the 7.5W 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 has an additional USB port.
Buy from: Amazon — $150.00
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. The 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 ships with a nearly five-foot USB cable. The device gives an audible notification to signal that it’s charging.
Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock
Best dirt cheap 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 is still good value for the price because it can charge at the faster speed, as opposed to competitors that only hit 5W and 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.
While the following devices failed to make the “best” cut for various reasons, they are still worthy of consideration. Some are capable of 7.5W charging and others only charge at 5W. Your preferences from speed, appearance, and portability may vary.
7.5W Fast 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.
Buy from: Amazon — $49.99
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 pads and provides fast charging for the iPhone at 7.5W with a QC 3.0 equivalent adapter and cable included. It supports simultaneous wired and wireless charging, and up to 5W with a second USB A port. Internal air vents reduce heat to maximize charging efficiency.
Buy from: Amazon — $49.95
Spigen Essential Fast Wireless Charger
For all-in-one quick charging, the Spigen Fast Charger puts everything in the box for a no-fuss setup. It includes a braided USB cable and 3.0 Quick Charge adapter. In no-frills minimalist style with anti-slip rubber on the top and bottom surface, the Spigen delivers the fastest speed possible — 7.5W for your iPhone.
Buy from: Amazon — $49.99
Voch Qi Wireless Charging Pad
Looking for a fast charger? The Voch features two charging modes, and the fast one accommodates speeds of up to 7.5W for the iPhone. This fashionable, ultra-modern, 0.2-inch unit is the thinnest charging pad around. Alongside a denim inspired design, its non-slip surface holds your phone, while an integrated smart chip prevents overheating, over voltage and short circuiting. A soft blue light blinks while charging, allowing for a peaceful sleep.
Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock
Veneibe 7.5W Fast Wireless Charger
If you’re looking for fast charging for your iPhone, Veneibe has you covered. This rather geeky looking minimalist unit can charge at the maximum speed of 7.5W. The slim zinc metal body with a non-slip pad should appeal to the techie crowd, and it’s small enough to tote around with you. The company says the device’s smart monitoring feature disperses heat 15 percent faster than competitors while preventing overcharging and short circuiting.
Buy from: Amazon — $19.99
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.
Buy from: Amazon — $37.99
5W standard 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 the 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.
Buy from: Amazon — $28.96
Anker Wireless Charger
If you’re looking for a less expensive option, check out the Anker Wireless Charger. Despite its low price, the hockey-puck style single coil wireless 5W charger is touts smart features like temperature control, an energy saving power-efficient idle mode, and LED indicator lights to signal ready, charging, and fully charged states, and a three-foot micro USB cable. Amazon users particularly like it for its portable size.
Buy from: Amazon — $13.99
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.
Buy from: Amazon — $18.95
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 60g, one-quarter inch thick, and four 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.
Buy from: Amazon — $25.99
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.
Buy from: Amazon — $32.99
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.
Buy from: Amazon — $18.99
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
Tronsmart AirAmp Dual Coil Fast Wireless Charger
It’s not much to look at but it can do the job. The Tronsmart AirAmp is loaded with useful features like a cooling fan and rear cooling vents that boost charging efficiency while protecting your phone against over-charging and short-circuiting. You can position your phone horizontally or vertically, and it emits a subtle indicator light when charging. It operates up to 10W for fast charging on Android, but works only at 5W speed on the iPhone. The company recommends a QC 2.0 or 3.0 power adapter, which is not included.
Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock
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
Chargers for the Car
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, and 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.
Buy from: Amazon — $25.84
Auckly Qi Fast Wireless Car Charger
While the Auckly Wireless Car Charger does support fast charging, it only covers standard speeds for the iPhone. But its flexible vent or suction cup mount, adjustable arm, and 360-degree rotation provide most of what users need while on the road — and even at home or in the office. Auckly recommends fully charging the unit with a 10W or higher QC 2.0 or QC 3.0 adapter, which is not included.
Buy from: Amazon — $29.99
Dodocool Qi Wireless Charger
Like many wireless car chargers, the Dodocool gives you a choice of attaching the unit to the air vent or using a suction mount to secure it. A 360-degree rotating ball joint provides convenient viewing angles as you drive, and an LED light indicates both standby and charging status. It comes with a micro USB cable and recommends a QC 2.0 compatible adapter, but does not ship with it.
Buy from: Amazon — $29.99