The best charging cables

The best charging cables

September 11, 2020
  • The best charging cables are durable, long enough for most uses, and available in a range of different types, which is exactly what makes the Anker PowerLine+ II series the best charging cable out there. 

More phones support wireless charging with every release, but wireless charging won't replace the speed and affordability of charging cables for some time. A great charging cable ensures that your device is always charged up and ready for the day — without breaking.

We've all experienced struggles with charging cables. How is it that there always seem to be a ton of charging cables around the house, but they hardly ever actually work? That can be a huge problem considering how many devices you probably have to charge. Between phones, headphones, tablets, and more, great charging cables are essential.

Third-party charging cables can add convenience, too. Some of them are more durable than the ones that come with your devices, while others are longer. Some even have multiple connectors on them, allowing you to charge all kinds of different devices with the same cable. 

Of course, before you buy charging cables you'll want to consider the type of cables that you actually need. If you want to charge your iPhone, you'll need a Lightning cable, while most Android devices these days use the new USB-C standard. Other devices, like headphones, will use either MicroUSB or USB-C if they're newer — unless they're made by Apple, in which case they'll use Lightning. Some of the cables we cover below are available in all three standards.

Here are our top picks for the best charging cables:

  • Best overall: Anker PowerLine+ II
  • Best long charging cable: Native Union Night Cable
  • Best universal charging cable: Anker PowerLine II 3-in-1 Cable
  • Best durable charging cable: Fuse Chicken Titan lightning cable

Prices and links are current as of 9/10/20. We removed our previous budget pick from AmazonBasics due to recent reports of AmazonBasics electronics catching fire or melting. We advise that you discard any damaged charging cables.

The best charging cables overall

The Anker PowerLine+ II series offers excellent durability and fast charging speeds, making it easily the best standard charging cable out there.

Anker has long made some of the better cables out there, and the Anker PowerLine+ II series of charging cables are the best out there. 

There are a number of factors that make the Anker PowerLine+ II cables so great. Perhaps the best feature, however, is the fact that they're extremely durable. The cables are built with a braided nylon covering, ensuring that no matter how much you bend and stretch the cables, they won't break. That's in stark contrast to normal charging cables.

The cables also come with a carry pouch and a Velcro cable tie to ensure that they don't get tangled. The PowerLine+ II cables come at a length of 6 feet, or 1.8 meters.

When it comes to the actual specs of the cables, they support charging speeds of up to 60 watts, which is pretty impressive, and should ensure that your devices are charged quickly.  

If there's any downside to the Anker PowerLine+ II series, it's the fact that they only support data transfer speeds of USB 2.0, or 480 Megabits per second (Mbps). Still, considering you're likely buying the cables for charging, and not for data connectivity, that won't matter to most. They're also a little expensive compared to many other charging cables, and there's no USB-C to USB-C model – though there is one in the even more expensive PowerLine+ III series. We've included a link to that below.

Despite the downsides, the vast majority of users love the Anker PowerLine+ II series of cables.

I've personally used Anker PowerLine+ II cables in the past, and found that they are indeed stronger than the average cable, and certainly lasted longer than the cables that probably come with your phone, plus the fact that they're available in a range of models is a bonus, even if you don't necessarily need all those different models. 

Pros: Durable, available in a range of colors, fast charging speeds

Cons: USB 2.0 only

Anker PowerLine+ II USB-C Cable

Anker PowerLine+ III USB-C to USB-C Cable

Anker PowerLine+ II Lightning Cable

The best long charging cable

The Native Union Night Cable offers a long 10-foot design, plus it's durable, and offers a weighted design to help keep your devices safe.

Sometimes you need a little more from your charging cables. Perhaps you want one plugged in near the couch that you can use while watching TV. Or, you want one near your home desk. Whatever the reason, if you want a longer charging cable, it's worth considering Native Union's 10-foot charging cables, which are available in a range of different types.

Like the Anker PowerLine+ II cables, Native Union's cables have a braided nylon covering – helping ensure that they don't break. That's even more useful for longer cables, since you'll likely be pulling on them and twisting them more. The Native Union Night Cable supports charging speeds of up to 2.4 amps.

This particular cable has an extra design feature to help keep your devices safe – a weighted knot. This should help ensure that the cable doesn't pull your phone off the table – which is a smart touch. Native Union stands behind its cables too. The company offers a lifetime warranty to cover any material defects. 

There is a downside to Native Union's charging cables: they are pretty expensive. Despite that, Business Insider Malarie Gokey used the Night Cable for five years as her main charging cable, and found that it never let her down. She typically uses the weight to keep her iPhone safely on her night stand while it's charging, and found that it's easy to adjust if needed.

Pros: Durable, weighted design, long

Cons: Expensive

The best universal charging cables

The Anker PowerLine II 3-in-1 cable supports Lightning, USB-C, and MicroUSB — all in one cable.

Perhaps you simply want one charging cable to charge up all your devices — in which case it's time to revisit the Anker PowerLine series. The Anker PowerLine II 3-in-1 cable can charge your Lightning, USB-C, and MicroUSB devices, thanks to the simple adapters at the end of the cable. 

By default the cable uses MicroUSB, while the adapters bring support for Lightning and USB-C connections. It's certified for Apple devices through Apple's MFi program too — so it should offer reliable performance when you're using it with iOS devices.

The cable is 3 feet in length, which isn't the longest — but should be enough for most basic uses. The only other potential issue is the fact that the cable isn't quite as durable as the likes of the PowerLine+, but it should still last — and Anker offers a lifetime warranty with the cable in any case. 

Despite those potential issues, Android Central hailed the cable as the best 3-in-1 cable out there, thanks to the fact that it comes from a trusted brand, offers great versatility, and even has Anker's "hassle-free lifetime warranty."

Pros: Works with all kinds of devices, MFi certified, inexpensive

Cons: Not very long

The best durable charging cables

The Fuse Chicken Titan is literally made from stainless steel – and as a result even your dog won't be able to chew its way through the cable.

Always seem to break your charging cable, or want to make sure that your pet can't chew through the cable? The Fuse Chicken Titan cable is the way to go. This cable swaps out the braided nylon covering for a stainless steel one, ensuring that the cable will never break.

The Titan is unfortunately really only available in a Lightning model, however the company does sell an ultra-strong USB-C cable as well. That cable isn't made from metal, but it should still last longer than most.

The Titan+ comes in at 3 feet, or 1.5 meters, which is fine for most users, but will be a little short for others. Despite that, however, the cable has received positive reviews: Digital Trends includes Fuse Chicken cables as some of the best out there, thanks to their layers of flexible steel. The cable is available in three colors – Black, Gold, and Rose Gold.

Pros: Extremely durable, MFi certified, lifetime warranty

Cons: Expensive, a little short

Check out our guides to the best phone accessories

The best phone chargers you can buy

Without a charger, your smartphone is nothing more than a pricey paperweight, so we've rounded up the best phone chargers of all kinds.

Some people might need only one of the units from this list to meet all their charging needs, while others who are always on the move might be wise to grab two or even three of the chargers to cover their bases.

The best iPhone cases for every model

We've rounded up the best iPhone case companies so you can find an excellent case for your iPhone no matter the model number or your style.

Whether you want a fancy leather case, a folio, a rugged case or a basic no-frills one that gets the job done — we have a pick for you. We also have advice on how to figure out which iPhone model you have and which cases will fit it here.

The best iPhone accessories for every model

If you own an iPhone, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to accessories. You can get cases in any color, style, and material. There is an endless array of lightning cables, memory expansion gadgets, screen protectors, and iPhone-related paraphernalia available for you to buy. It can be downright overwhelming.

Which accessories do you actually need? How can you know which brands to trust with your money?

We've rounded up all the accessories you need to make the most of your iPhone. We've personally tested nearly every item in this guide (and heavily vetted the ones we haven't) to showcase only the very best iPhone accessories that you actually need.

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

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