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Let's face it, there's never a lightning cable around when you need one, and yes, Apple is partly to blame for this for changing its charging standard so frequently. Love it or hate it, if you own an iPhone, you'd better have a lightning cable.
There are few objective differences separating one lightning cable from another, however, some include multiple adapters for different charging standards, whereas some provide some additional slack or integrated cable management solutions. So stop mooching your friend's cables and grab one of our top picks from this list.
Works with iPad and iPod touch
Reports of scalpers selling counterfeit items
Rubber coating peels to expose wires
Reports of DOA units
When choosing the best charging cable for your iPhone, the six-foot Apple Lightning cable should be your top consideration. This official Apple Lightning cable gives you a quick, reliable charge time after time. It uses a USB-A port to connect to a wall adapter to provide power or to your computer charge and sync your phone with your Macbook Pro, or Mac desktop, at the same time.
The six-foot length gives you the freedom to use just about any outlet in a room, making it perfect to keep as your main charging cable in your home to use whenever your battery gets low. The durable rubber-plastic coating protects the internal wires from damage and prevents electrical shock. This Lightning cable also works with newer iPad and iPod Touch models to act as a universal charging cable for your favorite Apple devices.
Good to use as a backup cable
Sized for travel
Works with iPad and iPod Touch
Reports of counterfeit cables being sold under the Apple brand
Reports of peeling cable sheath
The three-foot Apple Lightning cable gives you the same reliable charging power as its six-foot sister but at a more manageable size. The three-foot length is perfect for keeping in your car, purse, or travel bag as a backup charger while you travel or commute to work.
The cable length is also suited for syncing your iPhone or iPad to your Macbook or Mac desktop when table space is at a premium. The Lightning pin end will charge your Apple devices no matter how it is inserted into the charging port, eliminating the need to fumble with the connection when you need power in a pinch. Like its sister cable, the three-foot Lightning cable can be used with a wall adapter to charge your devices via AC outlet.
Reports of failing cables
Cables may run hot
The three-pack of Anker Powerline Lightning cables is the best value you can find when shopping for charging cables for your iPhone. Having three cables means you can keep one at home, one in the car, and one at work so you'll never be without a charger. You can also have one for everyone in the family to eliminate arguments over who needs the charger the most. Each cable measures three feet long, making them perfect to use with closer wall outlets and computer USB ports.
The cables come packaged with hook-and-loop cable ties for neat and damage-free storage when not in use. They also feature laser welded connection points and reinforcing on common stress points for enhanced durability. The Anker Powerline Lightning cables are certified by Apple for use with their devices to prevent error messages and ensure consistent charging and data transfer. This three-pack of Lightning cables is also backed by an 18-month warranty that covers manufacturing defects and dead-on-arrival units.
Woven nylon cord sheath
Aluminum alloy connection housings
Some cases may cause cables to disconnect from phones
Loose connections with some iPhone models
If you're looking for a charging cable that will be more durable than most others, check out the Yungsong Lightning cable three-pack. Each cable features a woven nylon sheath that resists fraying and splitting for long-lasting wire protection and is rated to withstand over 8,000 bends. They also have aluminum alloy connection housings that reinforce common stress points to prevent cracking and splitting near the phone and USB connections.
Not only will these cables give you a quick, consistent charge, but they also give you data transfer speeds up to 480Mbps, making syncing your devices fast and simple. Each cable measures six feet in length, making it ideal for when it is not possible to sit close to a wall outlet or your computer's USB ports are difficult to access. Yungsong also provides email support for customers to troubleshoot issues and refund and replace products, with responses coming in as little as 24 hours.
Dual USB slot wall adapter
Reports of failing plugs
Lightning housing might not fit all iPhone cases
The two-pack of Kozopo Lightning cables is the best choice if you're looking for a charging cord that also comes with a wall adapter. The adapter that is included in this bundle features two USB sockets so you can charge multiple devices at once. The adapter is also ETL and FCC certified for safety, featuring protection from overheating, power surges, and short circuiting.
This bundle comes packaged with two charging cables so you can use the first for your iPhone and the second for your other favorite Apple devices that use a Lightning charger. Each cable measures six feet long to give you a long reach from a wall outlet or USB port. The cables also feature a woven protective mesh underneath the rubberized plastic sheath to give them the durability and strength to stand up to daily use. The tinned copper wiring construction ensures a quick, stable charge and fast data transfer. This cable and adapter bundle is backed by email tech support.
Low price point
Good backup cable
Reports of Lighting connections breaking off inside phones
Older iPhone models may not be compatible with this cord
If you need a charging cable for your iPhone but don't want to fork over a ton of cash for a decent product, the AmazonBasics Lightning cable is here to help. With a price point that will fit all but the tightest of budgets, this cable delivers consistent charging and data transfer that is comparable to official Apple products. At a length of three feet, this Lightning charge cord is perfect to keep as a backup cable if your main charger fails or is lost, keeping in your car for your commute to work, or to have at your desk to use just for syncing your devices and transferring files.
This cable features a segmented rubber sheath near the Lightning connection to reinforce a common stress point and prevent the wire sheath from splitting or wire breakage. The AmazonBasics Lightning cable is Apple-certified to be compatible with almost any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It is also backed by a one-year limited warranty from Amazon to refund or replace damaged or dead cables.
Zinc alloy housings
Supports Adaptive Fast Charging and Quick Charge
USB-C connection doesn't fit thick phone cases
For folks looking to buy a charging cable that won't twist or tangle while they try to charge their devices and work at the same time, there is the Aukey Lightning cable. This cable features 90-degree bends at both the USB-A and USB-C connections to prevent twisting, tangling, and wire breakage. The cable also has a braided nylon sheath to provide protection against fraying and splitting.
This bundle comes with two cables so you can charge or sync multiple devices at once. In addition to supporting both Adaptive Fast Charging and Quick Charge, each cable also enables data transfer speeds up to 480Mbps to make file sharing a breeze. Each connection is housed in a zinc alloy casing for enhanced heat resistance and durability. The cables measure over six feet long to give you plenty of room to work or browse your apps while charging or syncing devices.
Reports of bad USB connections
Does not support quick charging for Android devices
If you tend to carry a lot of devices by different manufacturers, check out the Amuvec Multi-Lightning cable. This charging cable features four different connections to power and sync both iOS and Android devices: two Lightning connections, a Micro USB, and one USB-C. This eliminates the need to carry and keep track of multiple cables while traveling for work or with family.
The cable itself features a woven nylon sheath to supply long-lasting durability and strength. It also has aluminum connection housings to help insulate against heat and reinforce common stress points to prevent breakage. The four-foot length is perfect for keeping at your desk, in your car, or in your travel bag. This bundle comes with two cables so you can keep one at home and one at work for power wherever you go. The cables are backed by a 30-day return policy, a one year warranty, and 24/7 tech support.
Woven nylon sheath
Reports of short circuiting
Poor connection with thick cases
A reliable charging cable doesn't always require you to sacrifice style for function. This design will complement almost anyone's personal style and add a splash of color to your tech arsenal. The cable features a woven nylon sheath to prevent splitting and fraying for long-lasting durability. The connection housings are made of aluminum to resist heat and corrosion to provide strong and secure connections whether it's your first or 1,001st use.
This bundle comes with three cables, so you can keep one in your bedroom, home office, and car to have a reliable charge no matter where you are. Not only do these cables supply your devices the power they need, but they also allow you to transfer data and sync your phone or tablet quickly and easily. Each cord measures six feet long to give you freedom of movement whether you're working, lounging on the couch, or relaxing in bed.
50% charge in 30 minutes
Safety and Apple certified
Reports of receiving damaged units
When you need power in a hurry, the Quintis Lightning cable is here to help. This Lightning cable is designed specifically for fast charging your mobile devices. It's able to charge your iPhone or tablet to 50 percent in as little as 30 minutes so that you can keep working or having adventures without worrying about a dead battery. The cable is also Apple-certified for all iOS-based smartphones, tablets, and laptops so you won't get any annoying error messages.
Quintis has received ETL safety certification to provide you and your devices with protection from overheating, short-circuiting, and overcharging. The USB-C connection allows you to connect older iPhones and iPads to current generation Macbook laptops and Mac desktops for syncing and file transfers. It comes packaged with a hook-and-loop cable tie for hassle-free storage and travel. It's also backed by a lifetime warranty that covers dead and defective cables and email tech support.
It's difficult to say that one lightning cable is objectively better than the other, we've just presented you with a collection of solid picks that we'd heartily recommend. Apple's official cables are always a solid choice, but there are plenty of 3rd party cables that offer additional connectivity options or integrated cable management.
We bought five top-rated iPhone lightning cables that our reviewers tested for more than 200 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these lightning cables, from price to durability. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Price - The standard Apple Lightning to USB cable costs $19, though it can cost as much as $35 depending on the length and configuration. In our opinion, it’s silly to pay that much when there are cheaper and better designed cables out there. You can get a perfectly good replacement for around $8, or pony up a little extra for cool colors or other features.
Durability - If you have a hungry dog in the house, you might want to spring for a cable that has enhanced durability. Some cables have an additional layer of protection at both connector ends to prevent fraying, while others promise a 10,000+-bend lifespan.
Length - The cable that comes included with your Apple device measures 1 meter, but there are plenty of options out there if you want to opt for something longer. Coming in different lengths up to six feet, these cords make sure you’ll never have to worry about reaching the wall again. And while Apple has a 2-meter cable available on its site, it’ll cost you a pretty $29.
Alex Williams has been writing professionally for the past five years. He covers a range of tech topics and has reviewed everything from video games to wearable technologies.