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The best phone sanitizers can use UV lights to help disinfect your phone and possibly other devices and surfaces. Phones, like any object that frequently gets touched, are riddled with bacteria and virsuses. They're also not typically a device you want to scrub with soap and water, even if you do have a waterproof phone. UV-based phone sanitizers offer a good solution, letting you disinfect your device without risking any damage.
Our top pick for the best phone sanitizer is the PhoneSoap v3 at Amazon. The company's name exploded in the wake of COVID-19, with older models rapidly selling out of stock. The latest PhoneSoap 3 works even better than previous itererations, using two medical-grade UV-C lights to kill bacteria and germs on smartphones. The interior is coated with reflective paint to ensure full sanitization, and there are USB-C and USB-C ports to allow you to charge your phone while it's being sanitized.
If you're looking for other methods of keeping your phone safe, also take a look at our list of the best phone cases for Android and iPhone. Otherwise, read on to see the best phone sanitizers to get.
Destroys 99.9% of germs
Incredibly easy to use
Charges your phone while it cleans
Slightly more expensive than some alternatives
Simple, effective and easy to use, PhoneSoap 3 is undoubtedly the best phone sanitizer out there. It has even been featured on Shark Tank, ABC's popular TV series, and tested by Discovery Channel, so you don't just have to take our word for it.
PhoneSoap 3 uses Ultraviolet (UV) rays to kill 99.99 percent of all the bacteria and other germs on smartphones. Its patented design features two medical-grade UV-C lights (one at the base and the other on the lid), with the phone being placed on a transparent quartz plate between the two light bulbs.
The entire interior of PhoneSoap 3 is coated with reflective paint, which ensures full sanitization of the phone (or any other item placed on the plate) in just ten minutes. The sanitizer comes with two USB (one Type-A and one Type-C) ports, which let you conveniently charge your cell phone while it's being sanitized. PhoneSoap 3's acoustic outlets amplify sounds from the cell phone, allowing you to easily hear alarms and notification alerts even when the device is in the sanitizer.
Compatible with almost all cell phones, PhoneSoap 3 is available in multiple colors such as black, orchid, and silver. Our tester Andrew loved how spacious and effective this sanitizer was.
"The PhoneSoap 3 is an easy-to-use, bacteria-slaying machine that might save you from illness." — Andrew Hayward, product tester
Works for larger devices like tablets
Two large UV-C lamps for thorough cleaning
Charges and cleans simultaneously
The days of compact cell phones are largely behind us. Since they are the primary media consumption devices for the majority of users, most smartphones these days come with big screens. Many people also use tablets with their smartphones, which is why a phone sanitizer needs to be big enough to sterilize these sizeable devices. Enter HomeSoap.
As its name suggests, HomeSoap is meant for sanitizing all the electronic devices and other random detritus you might have kicking around the house, from utensils to books and beyond. It can easily house big tablets, including Apple’s iPad Pro. HomeSoap uses Ultraviolet (UV) rays to safely eliminate 99.99 percent of disease-causing bacteria on smartphones. With two big UV-C lamps, it can sanitize any device in about fifteen minutes.
The device features a blue indicator light that lets you know when the sterilization is done. A universal 2.4A USB port at the back of the sanitizer lets you charge any device while the sanitization process is underway. HomeSoap is backed by a one-year warranty and comes in two colors, white and black. Andrew's review praises the versatility of the XL's big chamber, making it ideal for cleaning anything from phones and tablets to jewelry or silverware.
"The four lights within douse your devices with germ-killing ultraviolet blasts, impairing bacteria’s DNA and rendering them dead and useless." — Andrew Hayward, product tester
Kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses
Pop up design for maximum UV coverage
Fits virtually any smartphone
Phone has to be flipped over
The UV-Clean phone sanitizer from Homedics is effective, compact, and very fast (and compatible with virtually any smartphone currently being sold), with a pop-up design that allows cleansing UV light to reach every square centimeter of any device (as well as keys, credit cards, jewelry, and more) that you pop inside. It's hands-down your best option for keeping your phone free of unwanted germs and other harmful bacteria, yet it's significantly cheaper than most full size, UV phone sanitizers of this kind.
This sleek, zip-up case uses 2 UV-C germicidal LEDs to eradicate germs in just under a minute, and with its awesome battery life, you can use this case up to 70 times on a single charge. The UV-Clean is large enough to fit just about any phone size, regardless of the model, but compact and light enough to take with you anywhere.
Includes an essential oil diffuser
Large enough to suit nearly all phones
No device charging capability
If you're looking for a gift for some of the trickier people to buy for on your list, and don't want to spend a fortune, this UV sanitizer from KeySmart is a fantastic choice. While disinfecting your phone may seem a bit on the practical side for an ideal gift, this little beauty doubles as an essential oil diffuser/humidifier, filling the room with lovely scents while it destroys all the germs and bacteria on your devices.
Suitable for everything from your phone to jewelry, silverware, or earbuds, the sanitizer is the perfect gift for someone who seemingly has it all, and comes in a handsome gift box. Its size means you can easily fit your phone and a number of other small items into the sanitizer all at the same time, and it's great for keys, glasses, toys, toothbrushes, and more.
Effective against 99.9% of harmful bacteria
Versatile and easy to use
Requires four AAA batteries
While a lot of UV sanitizers require you to deposit your phone inside of them for some time, this handy wand lets you just quickly wave it across the surface of a device and, presto, no more ugly germs. It kills up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria, including salmonella, e-coli, h1n1, and swine flu, all through the environmentally-friendly power of UV-C rays.
This little wand is ideal for traveling and will fit easily into a purse, carry on, or even your pocket. Even if you've got a full-sized UV sanitizing bank at home, you may want to consider grabbing this as an add on for travel or the office. It takes four AAA batteries (not included), and is a breeze to use, fully sanitizing even larger devices in a minute or less.
Lightweight and compact...
...but still large enough to fit all smartphones
360-degree UV light
Light on extras
For an effective sanitizer that's a breeze to take with you on the go, it's hard to beat Casetify's UV Sanitizer Lite. It's lightweight and very portable, but still large enough that it's compatible with all smartphones (and can easily accommodate keys, accessories, and lots of other commonly handled items). It's also USB charged, so you can plug it in just about anywhere to top it off.
Smaller size doesn't mean less disinfectant power for the Casetify: it still knocks out 99.9 percent of the germs infesting your phone. It works in a full 360-degree arc as well, so there's no need to take your phone out and flip it to make sure the entire device is bathed in cleansing UV light. Plus, for the style-conscious, it's now available in three attractive colors: white, black, or light pink.
Doesn't require power
Reusable and doesn't require frequent cleaning
Requires re-rolling to thoroughly clean a screen
UV-light based phone sanitizers are great, but it's still a hassle to replace their batteries or find a wall socket to plug them in. But that doesn't mean there aren't any alternatives. Say hello to iROLLER, a phone sanitizer that requires no power at all.
Primarily meant for cleaning touchscreens, iROLLER, as its name suggests, is shaped like a small roller. Simply roll it over your cell phone or tablet's touchscreen a few times to instantly clean all those oily fingerprints, smudges, germs, and smears from the display. Having a patented liquid-free design, Mini iROLLER is compact enough to be kept in your pocket and carried around anywhere. This one of a kind sanitizer is reusable and doesn't need to be washed after each use.
Qi wireless charging
Qi charging is slightly slow
Even a basic UV sanitizer is a fairly advanced piece of kit, but Lambor Studios has gone above and beyond. Their box boasts the same 99.9% efficiency at killing germs as most of the top models, but also includes Qi wireless charging capability, to charge your phone or any other Qi-compatible device with the absolute minimum of fuss or hassle.
It also features an aromatherapy diffuser to chill you out (or perk you up, depending on which oil you load into it) while you clean/charge your phone, and is big enough to accommodate any phone or item that's 6.5 inches or smaller. It's even got an automatic off function that will disable the cleaner anytime the lid is popped, to shield you from any accidental UV exposure.
Works with a variety of objects
Lots of settings and options
The Coral UV is a 3-in-1 sterilizer and dryer. It works not just with phones and electronics, but a wide variety of objects including keys, baby bottles, toys, glasses, kitchenware, and just about anything else that can fit. With its large capacity, it can fit up to 6 baby bottles at a time and boasts two UV-C lights to do double the disinfecting duty of standard UV sterilizers. According to Coral UV, the sterilizer has undergone lab testing to confirm its ability to eliminate e.ecoil, salmonella, staph, and other bacteria.
Using the Coral UV is simple. It has a Sterilize+Dry setting where it sterilizes items for 10 minutes, followed by an automatic and customizable drying cycle for wet or washed items like kitchenware. Sterilize Only is a good setting for electronics, phones, and sensitive devices since it just uses the UV-C lights. You can also use Dry Only for drying items, but not sterilizing them, as long as they're not electronics. Finally, you can place objects in 24-hour storage which runs a 50-minute Sterilize+Dry cycle, then a 2 minute UV sterilization cycle every 2 hours for a maximum of 24 hours. This is a nice option for something that needs thorough cleaning like face masks and hospital equipment.
Doesn't require additional cable or charger
Works on multiple surfaces/objects
Requires a phone to use
The KeySmart CleanLight Mini is a UV sterilizing solution for people on the go. It's available in two models, one that's powered through Apple's Lightning port (for iPhones) and another through USB-C for most Android devices. Both are powered directly through the phone with no additional cord or charger needed. You simply plug the KeySmart in to activate the UV light and you can run it over whatever object you desire. This includes things like other phones, pens, pencils, keyboards, mice, masks, and more. It's highly portable, comes with a wrist lanyard, and can attach to a keyring. It's one of the most compact and convenient options to sanitize your phone.
The best phone sanitizer to get is the PhoneSoap v3 (view at Amazon). It comes from a reputable brand with confirmed testing to prove it eliminates 99.9 percent of bacteria. It also has dual UV-C lights and charging options to juice up your phone while you sanitize. For larger phones and tablets, we like the PhoneSoap HomeSoap (view on PhoneSoap). It's a more costly option, but it comes with a bigger interior space, dual UV-C lamps, and allows for thorough cleaning and simultaneous charging.
Rajat Sharma is a technology journalist with over six years (and counting) of experience in covering/reviewing the latest and greatest gadgets out there, including everything from TVs to smartphones. Having been a contributor for Lifewire for almost two years now, he has worked with The Times Group and Zee Media Enterprises Limited, two of the biggest media houses in India.
Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based writer and tech journalist with more than 14 years of experience covering the industry. His areas of expertise include smartphones, wearable gadgets, smart home devices, video games, and esports.
Compatibility - Most phone sanitizers on the market have broad compatibility, but it’s essential to check that the one you want works with your phone before making a purchase. Some designs that enclose the phone entirely won’t be able to accommodate larger models. Other options are built specifically for larger devices, even tablets.
Portability - Do you plan to take your phone sanitizer on the go? After all, germs are everywhere! In that case, you’re better off with a handheld sanitizer that’s battery-powered—most work like wands that you brush over your device. There are also sanitizers that don’t even require power. These won’t defend against germs as effectively but will clean off greasy fingerprints in a snap.
Charging capability - Why just sanitize when you can charge and sanitize at the same time? If you’ve got some extra cash to spare, level up for charging capabilities. Some feature USB ports that enable charging while sanitizing, and some even have Qi wireless charging for added convenience.