Many of us rely on a litany of different electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops on a daily basis. And while you can keep many of them juiced up by way of wireless chargers, charging cables are an important staple. You’ll always want to have one on hand. You never know when your wireless charging may fail. Plus, you always need a reliable option for charging things like laptops and other electronics.
With that said, how do you know which charging cable is worth buying? It can be a bit confusing trying to find a cable that won’t disintegrate weeks after using it. It’s also hard to figure out which one is good for your particular use case. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide. It can help you decide the best charging cables for any situation.
You’ll want to keep a few things in mind when you go to buy a charging cable. Make sure you know what you need a charging cable for. Most devices are going to require USB Type-C cables. They’re the standard now for USB charging, and what we’ve mainly focused on here. It’ll work with laptops and the like, and most phones (except iPhones).
You’ll also want to consider the material your cable is crafted from. Check on how durable it is, as well as how lengthy edit is, because you don’t want to be tethered to your laptop or phone. Lastly, you’ll need to keep the devices you’re charging in mind and how they receive power. Do they require a charging brick, or can you use any old wall adapter?
It’s time to jump into our picks for the best charging cables. And when you’re done here, be sure to check out our guides on the best phone chargers or the best Apple Watch chargers so you’re always topped off and ready to go.
Best charging cable overall: Anker PowerLine+ III
Pros: Durable construction, speedy charging, plenty of length
Cons: Only USB 2.0 compatible
Anker is a reliable name in the charging cable industry. As such, you can usually depend on the brand to deliver quality. That’s what you get with the Anker PowerLine+ III, an ultra-slim cable that’s slim yet sturdy. It delivers up to 60W high speed charging for your USB-C devices. With high-speed 480Mbps transfer speeds, so you can rest assured you’ll be able to not only juice your phone back up to 100% power, but transfer data over quickly and efficiently.
One of the most impressive aspects of the PowerLine+ III is its braided nylon covering. You can bend, stretch, and even step on the cable, and you won’t run into any issues. That’s in stark comparison to the thin coating you might find on, say, Apple’s proprietary cables, which tend to begin fraying all on their own in record time.
You’ll pay a bit more for the PowerLine+ III than some of its competitors, but that’s to be expected for a cable that’s going to last you for some time. It’s also available in a few different colors, just in case you’re bored of the same old black cables that seem to come with every product you buy, too.
Best USB-C to Lightning cable: Satechi USB-C to Lightning Cable
Pros: MFI-certified, speedy charging, great for data transfer and syncing, slim profile
Cons: Braided cable isn’t as strong as other brands
If you need a replacement cable for the cable you typically use to charge your iPhone, you can’t go wrong with the Satechi USB-C to Lightning Charging Cable. It’s a much better cord than what Apple offers by default, and since you now need to purchase your own brick for the wall anyway, you may as well replace the cable, too. This charger works via USB-C to Lightning, so you can plug it into the wall and then directly into your phone for fast charging that can boost your phone in no time at all.
The cable is great for charging up your iPhone. It’s especially good if you get tired of trying to position your phone for MagSafe charging over and over again, and its capable data transfer speeds make it a great option for moving files back and forth. Plus, it’s nice and lengthy and comes with a double-braided nylon cable. It isn’t as heavy-duty as Anker’s options, but it’s still a great feature that you’ll appreciate if you’re someone who leaves cables out in potentially precarious situations.
You won’t find many other similarly solid picks for cables to replace Apple’s proprietary options at a great price, so if you’re a heavy phone user, you may even want to pick up a few.
Best long charging cable: Grtoeud USB-C to USB-C Cable
Pros: Plenty of length, braided nylon cable, fast charging
Cons: No video output support
When you buy a charging cable, most offer a few feet of space. Unfortunately, that’s not usually enough for anyone who wants to run their cable by their bedstand. It’s also not long enough for being part of a permanent fixture somewhere between a wall outlet and where they need it. That’s why the Grtoeud USB-C to USB-C Cable is such a great choice. It offers a whopping 15 feet of length so you can plug it in, maneuver it to where you need it, and leave it there. You may not think this is.a situation you’ll find yourself in often. But a few extra feet to play with when dealing with a charger you don’t want to be stuck next to does wonders.
This particular model also features a braided cable to keep it from puttering out or coming apart, as well as support for fast charging. And while it’s just USB 2.0 like many other chargers that offer similar features, it’s still competent, speedy, and a great alternative to cheaper cables or even the proprietary options you get in the box with most electronics. Pair it with your favorite charging brick and you can walk all over the room with your phone or other device charging in-hand.
Best universal charging cable: Anker Powerline II 3-in-1 Cable
Pros: Charge Micro USB, USB-C, and Lightning devices, durable cord, MFi-certified
Cons: Adapters can be slightly loose
If you need a versatile cable that can do it all, turn to Anker for another reliable option. The Anker Powerline II 3-in-1 Cable charges Micro USB, USB-C, and Lightning devices, which essentially runs the gamut of items that need to be charged. This eliminates the need for multiple cables, and you can charge the devices you need to use right now without having to swap to something else. When juggling multiple devices, this is one of the most frustrating things to have to deal with. That’s because you have to end up waiting for one thing to finish charging. Then you have to switch over and charge the other one. No need for all that with this product.
This Anker cord has a lifetime warranty should anything happen to it. It’s durable with internal reinforcements that should keep the internal wiring from being exposed for some time. The only one concern about the cable is that some of its adapters can feel a bit loose. Still, it’s never enough that you feel as though the charger isn’t being efficient. If you have a need for multiple types of chargers and don’t want to buy individual cables for each one, this is an excellent option.
Best rugged charging cable: Native Union Night Cable
Pros: Ultra strong, extra long, and comes with limited lifetime warranty.
Cons: Some may find a bit pricey
If you find that all of your charging cables tend to fray or stop working over time, you might just need an ultra strong cord. Try Native Union’s Night Cable. This 10ft reinforced and durable lightning to USB charging cable includes a weighted knot. The knot is an attractive addition to the cord. All of these things work together to make an attractive and reliable cable that you’ll actually want to keep in your rotation. Plus, it also comes in five different colors, including black, Zebra, and pink shades.
With all that said, the Native Union Night Cable is still around $40, which will be a bit expensive for some buyers. But if your main concern is a cord that continues to break or stop working due to its durability or construction, it’s worth it to pay a bit more and get a product that you don’t have to worry about rather than buying multiple cheaper cables and hoping they all live up to their worth. This one should last you for some time, and it looks great, to boot.