The 9 Best iPhone Lightning Cables of 2021

Make sure your iPhone never runs out of juice with these Lightning cables

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The Rundown
"It's 6 feet long, which means it'll be able to reach just about anywhere you might need it."
"It will work perfectly with your iPhone or iPad, just as Apple wants it to."
"Our reviewer found them to feel more study than official iPhone cables."
"This two-pack of lightning cables comes with a dual-USB-A charging brick so you can charge two devices at a time."
"You get a simple and reinforced USB-A connector on one end and a lightning connector on the other end of this MFi-certified cable."
"This cable is 2 meters long with 90 degree-angled ports on both ends."
"You can basically charge any phone or accessory with this one cable."
"The gold color gives the cables a sense of style that's lacking from other black and white cables."
"The included 18W charger allows for fast charging and data transfer speeds."

Your iPhone is one of your most-used devices, so it's important to find the best iPhone lightning cable to charge it up as fast as possible. Apple includes a single charging cable in the box, but if you're on the go or you just want a spare, we've got you covered.

Apple isn't the only company that makes Apple-compatible charging cables. There are a ton of them out there, so it can be hard to know what to buy. We've rounded up the best lightning cables we can find, and we've included them all below.

Some of these cables come directly from Apple. Others come from third parties and are MFi certified. We'll cover that in more detail at the end, but it basically means the cable is Apple-certified that it works as it should. Still, other cables in this list can charge multiple devices with the same cable, so there's a lot to choose from. Without further ado, read on for our picks!

Best Overall: Apple 6ft. Lightning to USB-A

What We Like
  • Long cable

  • Durable

  • Comes directly from Apple

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to keep clean

  • Difficult to manage

Our top pick comes directly from the source. Apple does indeed make and sell its own cables. The general rule of thumb, especially when dealing with Apple products, is to go with the manufacturer's accessories. Apple is able to build these cables so they work perfectly with all of their products. From the power outlet on your wall to the phone, Apple can design these cables so they work in the best possible way.

The cable is made from a durable rubberized coating that picks up stains pretty easily which is unfortunate. It's 6 feet long, which means it'll be able to reach just about anywhere you might need it. Longer cables are also great for using your phone while it charges. You have more freedom of movement. However, 6 feet of cable can get easily tangled and be harder to manage.

Cable Length: 2 meters | Cable Casing: Plastic | Connections: USB-A to Lightning | MFi Certified: Yes

"The Apple Lightning to USB Cable (6 foot) is the cream of the crop when you need a top-notch and reliable charging cable for your iPhone and other Apple devices."Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Apple 6ft. Lightning to USB-A

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Official: Apple 3ft. Lightning to USB

What We Like
  • Durable

  • First-party cable

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to keep clean

This cable is the exact same one as our top pick, but it's half the length. Making the cable shorter can make it easier to manage, but at the cost of versatility. A 1-meter cable is best suited for your nightstand or your desk. The shorter length means that there isn't so much cable getting in the way, but it also means there's less play when you're using the phone while charging.

Like our top pick, this cable's rubberized casing gets dirty very easily and is not easily cleaned. Unlike the top pick, there isn't the length to worry about, so it will probably stay off the floor (and perhaps stay cleaner for longer). But you still get all the same benefits having been designed and sold by Apple. It will work perfectly with your iPhone or iPad, just as Apple wants it to.

Cable Length: 1 meter | Cable Casing: Plastic | Connections: USB-A to Lightning | MFi Certified: Yes

"It’s natural to expect consistent charging from this official accessory, and this cord delivers." Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Apple 3ft. Lightning to USB-A

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Braided: YUNGSONG 6ft. Lightning to USB-A iPhone Charger (3-pack)

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Durable build

  • Three-pack

What We Don't Like
  • Not MiFi certified

  • No warranty

YUNSONG has a three-pack of iPhone lightning cables if you're looking to save a few bucks. These cables are not MFi certified, but they're very inexpensive and sturdy. The cables are made with an aluminum alloy sheathing and braided nylon and feel super strong. Our reviewer found them to feel more study than official iPhone cables, both in the feel of the cable and the connectors on each end.

It's hard to be sure about durability since the cables are missing MFi certification, and YUNSONG doesn't offer a warranty. They charge as well as the official iPhone cable, which is good news. But if you want a little more assurance from your purchase, you might want to look elsewhere.

Cable Length: 6 feet | Cable Casing: Braided nylon, aluminum alloy | Connections: USB-A to Lightning | MFi Certified: No

"If you like to have backup charging cords in your car and travel bag, this product could suffice." Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

YUNGSONG 6ft. Lightning to USB-A

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best with Power Block: KOZOPO 6ft. Lightning Cable (2 pack)

What We Like
  • Included 2-port power brick

  • 12-month guarantee

What We Don't Like
  • Not MiFi certified

  • Imprecise construction

If you're looking for a pair of cables to charge two devices, KOZOPO has a good choice for you. This two-pack of lightning cables comes with a dual-USB-A charging brick so you can charge two devices at a time. It's a little off-putting that the cables don't sit flush with the plug, but it's a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things. The cables come with a 12-month guarantee which is great for peace of mind, even if the cables aren't MFi certified.

Dual port power bricks are handy to have because you often don't have to charge just one device. Having a second cable and a place to plug it in is valuable. Whether you're charging a second iPhone, iPad, or using your own cable to charge a different device, getting more out of a single outlet is always better.

Cable Length: 6 feet | Cable Casing: PVC | Connections: USB-A to Lightning | MFi Certified: No

"The KOZOPO 6-Foot USB to Lightning Cable (2-Pack) packs a double punch with two charging cables and a power block, but it’s a bit bulky and overall quality is underwhelming." Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

KOZOPO 6-Foot USB to Lightning Cable (2-Pack)

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Budget: Amazon Basics Lightning Cable 6 Feet

What We Like
  • MFi certified

  • Reinforced connectors

  • Inexpensive (for MFi cables)

  • Grip texture on the connectors

What We Don't Like
  • Not very flexible

Amazon Basics is one of the good names in cables. It's what the name suggests—basic. There are no frills here. You get a simple and reinforced USB-A connector on one end and a lightning connector on the other end of this MFi-certified cable. Considering the cable is MFi certified, the price is right. It's less expensive than Apple's own cables, so you get to stick it to the man as well!

One nice touch is in the grippy pattern etched into each end. It makes it easier to properly unplug the cables by grabbing the connector as opposed to the cable, which is how you should always unplug cables. In case you don't, this cable is thicker and a little more reinforced, but that also makes it a little hard to bend and maneuver. Still, a little extra protection is important and will help keep your phone safe from shorts and cable damage.

Cable Length: 6 feet | Cable Casing: Plastic | Connections: USB-A to Lightning | MFi Certified: Yes

"AmazonBasics’s budget Lightning cable is a great choice for those looking to save on their charger as long as you keep your expectations modest." Jason Schneider, Product Tester

AmazonBasics Lightning Cable

 Lifewire / Jason Schneider

Best 90-Degree: AUKEY 6ft. USB-A to USB-C (2 pack)

What We Like
  • 90-degree plugs are convenient

  • Braided nylon

  • Included velcro strap

What We Don't Like
  • Will not work for iPhone

  • Not MFi certified

Not all iDevices have lightning jacks. Recently Apple's iPad Pro line of tablets switched over to USB Type-C charging and data ports. It was a welcome change. So when putting this list together, we wanted to include all of Apple's products. Please note: This cable will not work with iPhones. All the same, this is an important change in Apple's lineup, and deserves a mention.

The cable is 2 meters long with 90 degree-angled ports on both ends. It makes the tablet easier to use while plugged in. Of course, this cable is not MFi certified, since it's not made for iPhones at all, but beyond that, the braided nylon makes for a durable cable that will stand up to the rigors of everyday use. Plus, it includes a velcro strap to easily wrap up the 6.6-foot cord.

Cable Length: 6.6 feet | Cable Casing: Braided nylon | Connections: USB-A to USB-C | MFi Certified: No

"This product comes in a two-pack that sells for about $15 at its most expensive. That’s quite a steal since these cords are well made and come from a brand that’s well known in the charging cable market." — Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

AUKEY 90-Degree USB-C Cable

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Multi-Cable: USAMS Multi-Charging Cable (2 pack)

What We Like
  • Four chargers in one

  • You can charge any smartphone

What We Don't Like
  • Not MFi certified

  • Cables are short

If you have multiple devices that you need to charge, this multi-cable charger from USAMS might be a good solution for you. Near the end of the cable, it splits into four different cables—two lightning cables, one USB-C, and one microUSB. You can basically charge any phone or accessory with this one cable. Each of the ends is a little on the short side, so your devices will have to be near one another, but aside from that, it's really handy.

If you travel often, or if you just have a lot of devices, this is a great cable for you. You can charge your Android phone, iPad, and even an accessory that uses microUSB all at once. The cable doesn't sync data, which is important to know. This is just for charging. You're going to want a pretty powerful power brick as well if you plan to charge four devices at once.

Cable Length: 4 feet | Cable Casing: Braided nylon and aluminum alloy | Connections: USB-A to USB-A to 2x Lightning, 1x USB-C, and 1x microUSB | MFi Certified: No

Best Style: Hiway 6ft. Braided Nylon Lightning to USB-A Cable (3 pack)

What We Like
  • Three pack

  • Reinforced connections

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Not MiFi certified

If you're looking for a simple and inexpensive set of cables, Hiway has a nice three-pack for less than $10. The braided cable and reinforced connection that joins the cable to the connectors makes it durable and tough. The braided nylon helps the cable stand up against pulling and stretching. 

The cables are not MFi certified, but they are highly rated on Amazon. The gold color gives the cables a sense of style that's lacking from other black and white cables. They'll also hide dirt well and stay looking nice longer. Considering that regulation Apple cables can start to look rough fairly soon after purchasing, that's a major bonus. Plus with three cables in this pack, you can keep one at work, or in several places around the house.

Cable Length: 6 feet | Cable Casing: Braided nylon | Connections: USB-A to Lightning | MFi Certified: No

"In a few days with this Lightning  cord, it held up to any bending and manipulation." Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Hiway Nylon Braided Lightning Cable

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Best Fast Charger: Quntis PD Charger and Lightning to USB-C Cable (18W)

Quntis USB-C PD Wall Charger with 6ft Lightning Cable
What We Like
  • Included 18W wall charger

  • Fast charging and data

What We Don't Like
  • Questionable MFi certification

Apple may not include a charger in the box, but Quntis does. It's an 18W charger to be precise, and it allows for fast charging and data transfer speeds. Quntis advertises this cable and charger as being MFi certified, but we couldn't independently verify this using Apple's MFi certification database. The charging pair is highly rated on Amazon, though, so it's probably safe to use. 

The cable uses the less common USB-C to lightning connection, so if you need a cable that also works with your computer, be sure that your computer has a USB-C port. Of course, the included wall charger will work, but if you're looking for data transfer as well, that's an important consideration. Overall, for the price, this is a pretty decent deal, and it comes in black or white.

Cable Length: 6 feet | Cable Casing: Plastic | Connections: USB-C to Lightning | MFi Certified: Unknown

"One thing the Quntis PD Fast Charger and Cable does have going for it is performance." Yoona Wagener, Product Tester

Quntis PD Fast Charger and Cable

Lifewire / Yoona Wagener

Final Verdict

Overall, our best recommendation has to be Apple's own charging cable (view at Amazon). Apple delivers quality, and it does indeed come at a premium price. But you can't argue with using the manufacturer's own products. Who knows the iPhone and what it's capable of better than Apple, after all?

If you prefer something a little less expensive, it's hard to go wrong with Amazon Basics (view at Amazon). The cable is MFi certified so you get that peace of mind. Plus, it's inexpensive compared to the first-party cables. The connectors are also a little bigger, so they're easier to grab when plugging in and unplugging, which you'll appreciate if you have to do that often.

About our Trusted Experts

Adam Doud has been writing in the technology space for almost a decade. When he's not hosting the Benefit of the Doud podcast, he's playing with the latest phones, tablets, and laptops. When not working, he's a cyclist, geocacher, and spends as much time outside as he can.

Yoona Wagener has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. She has a background in consumer technology, mobile devices, and technical writing.

Jason Schneider has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. Boasting almost ten years' experience writing for tech and media companies, he's reviewed hundreds of products and specializes in mobile and audio devices.

FAQs

Can you use the same cable to charge and to transfer data to your computer?
In most cases, yes. MFi certification is important here, since that will ensure the cable is data ready. You'll read more about MFi certification down below, but suffice it to say it's important. Most cables will work for both data and power, but not all of them. Pay attention to reviews if you're not sure.

Can you use any of these cables to get your phone's video on a TV?
For the most part, these cables will not help you get your iPhone's picture onto a TV. For that, you'll want to use a wireless protocol such as Airplay if your TV is compatible. Otherwise, for a wired solution, you can use Apple's Digital AV adapter, but there are better ways to spend your money. There are a number of less expensive lightning to HDMI adapters you can pick up as well.

What wall outlet should you use to charge?
Any wall plug that has the right kind of connector will charge your phone. The real question is speed. You can use the USB-A ports on your computer, or pick up any third-party wall plug to charge up your phone. Some wall outlets also have built in USB-A ports. Bottom line, if you have a plug with the right kind of connector, you'll be able to charge your phone.

What to Look for in an iPhone Lightning Cable

MFi Certification

MFi stands for "Made For iPod," and as the name implies, it was first set up in 2005 when iPods were still common. These days, the MFi program ensures all cables that get the certification meet Apple's exacting standards for construction, durability, and safety.  We have a full explainer article about the MFi program, but the gist of it is, MFi certification ensures that the cable will remain structurally sound, will not be tampered with or hacked, and will work well for power and data.

Durability

If you go with a cable that is not MFi certified, you'll want to check on the build quality and materials the cable uses. Braided nylon is great for stretching and pull resistance. Plastic and PVC can fray over time. Most cables will say how many bends they're rated for. You'll want a number in the thousands or higher.

Length

Of course, length is a key factor in your cable choice. If you want a cable for your bedside, longer is probably better. If you need a cable for your desk, shorter will probably be OK.  Most of the cables in this list are 3 or 6 feet long, so be sure you choose one that's appropriate for your situation.

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