The Best Lightning Cable in 2023

Looking for a dependable alternative to Apple’s standard Lightning cable? We’ve got you covered.

The Best Lightning Cable in 2022

When you purchase a new iPhone, Apple offers a standard 3-foot USB-C to Lightning cable. However, several aftermarket Lightning cables are longer and more durable.

For every budget and need, we examined a variety of Lightning cables, ranging from the most durable to the shortest and everything in between.

Despite the variations among these Lightning cables, they are all of top quality. Additionally, Apple has approved each of the Lightning cables we suggest as MFi (Made for iPhone). Even while being less expensive than the cables on our list, cables without this certification run the risk of harming your iPhone or simply not working at all.

How We Picked

  • Charging Speed

    Although iPhones can now charge at speeds of up to 30W, a 20W cable is still adequate.

    The effectiveness of each lightning cable was assessed based on how it performed when charging devices to their maximum capacity.

  • Durability

    The default Apple Lightning cable usually has a lifespan of 6 to 9 months before it starts falling apart.

    We searched for cables with additional strength properties that were covered in braided nylon or Kevlar to prevent snagging and fraying while maintaining flexibility and ease of bending.

  • Size/Length

    For on-the-go charging, some people prefer a short, compact cable, while others want a longer wire that can extend from a wall charger to a distant couch or desk. Each cable had to be available in at least two different length variants.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    The best Lightning cables are speedier and last a lot longer than cheap charging cables. By upgrading to a choice from our list, you're investing in an accessory that will last just as long as your phone.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

This is the best cable to suit all your charging needs.

This cable can supply maximum power to devices when used with the appropriate adapter.

Buy Now for $12.99

The PowerLine II can charge an iPhone up to three times faster than a USB-A-to-Lightning connection. This can only be found in many of our favorite laptops, power banks, and wall chargers.

Apple has affirmed that this cable will function best (in terms of charging and data transfer capabilities) with its devices because it is MFi-certified.

Runner Up

Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Is this a worthy alternative to our top pick? Yes, it is!

This lightning-fast charging cable has a long reach and can withstand regular use.

Buy Now for $29.99

This Lightning cable is created from an indestructible material. Its braided wire is very strong because of a finely woven and reinforced Kevlar jacket. It charges significantly faster than the standard Apple charger and is MFi-certified, so you won't have any trouble using it.

In addition, the cable has certain practical built-in features, such as a rubber cable tie that keeps it wrapped when not in use.

Most Cost-Effective

Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

This is the deal for you if you want to get the most for your money!

This cable offers a lifetime warranty, is MFi-certified, sturdy, and comfortable to hold.

Buy Now for $15.99

This cable is ideal for several uses because it comes in a range of lengths. The 1-foot and 3-foot versions are both portable and small enough for you to pack and carry with you.

The 6-foot model allows you to reach a desk, bedroom table, or kitchen countertop from a wall outlet without creating extra clutter. And the 10-foot variant extends even further to accommodate outlets that are difficult to access.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

This is the best cable to suit all your charging needs.

$12.99

Buy Now

Runner Up

Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Is this a worthy alternative to our top pick? Yes, it is!

$29.99

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

This is the deal for you if you want to get the most for your money!

$15.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

Anyone in search of durable and MFi-certified lightning cables for their gadgets should consider getting the products we reviewed here.

What is a lightning cable?

Apple’s exclusive cable, known as a “Lightning cable,” is used with many of its products, including iPhones, some iPads, AirPods, and the iPod Touch. They can also be utilized for data transfer when connected to a laptop, for example.

You may also use a dongle with a Lightning connector to plug your headphones in via the Lightning port if you’d like to use wired audio, as few Apple products include a 3.5mm headphone jack.

A Lightning port is not included in every Apple product. The most recent models of the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini all use the USB-C connector, which is much more common (all new Android phones and tablets have this port as well).

But starting with the iPhone 5, all of Apple’s devices, including the most current iPhone 14, have made use of this connector.

Apple may soon be forced to abandon these connectors in favor of USB-C since the European Commission has suggested that this be the standard port for all devices, citing a reduction in waste as its justification.

Do lightning cables only work for iPhones?

Apple Inc. developed and constructed Lightning, a proprietary computer bus and power connector. Connecting Apple mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and iPods to host PCs, external monitors, cameras, USB battery chargers, and other accessories requires the use of the Lightning connector.

The 30-pin dock connector, which was used with gadgets like the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4 until Lightning replaced it with 8 pins, is substantially smaller. In conclusion, Apple products are the main focus of the lightning cable.

Different types of charging alternatives

Lightning cables
The Lightning cable charging requires a lightning connector (a small connection cable used with Apple’s mobile devices) that charges and connects the devices to computers and charging bricks. It remains the standard way to charge them.

The cable itself is small and has a thin Lightning adapter and a USB-A adapter on either end. It doesn’t matter which direction the Lightning connector faces when plugged into the Lightning port because it is entirely reversible and is 80% smaller than the 30-pin connector it replaced.

Power banks
Power banks are characterized as portable batteries with electronics to regulate all power in and power out.

When electricity is available, they can be recharged using a USB charger and used to charge a variety of devices that typically use a USB charger, including mobile phones and other battery-operated devices. In essence, they serve as portable chargers.

They only require a USB charging interface. Power banks are available in a wide range of sizes and designs to accommodate a wide range of users and their needs.

Wireless charging
Without using a cable, wireless charging occurs when power is sent from an outlet to your smartphone. It entails a power transmitting pad and a receiver, which could be a casing that is attached to or fitted into a mobile device.

The foundation of wireless charging is inductive charging, which generates power by running an electrical current through two coils to produce an electromagnetic field. The magnetic field causes the receiving magnetic plate on the mobile device to conduct electricity when it comes into contact with the transmitter, or at least when it is within the designated range.

The built-in battery is then charged once this current is transformed into a direct current (DC).

Why You Should Trust Us

Working with trustworthy independent contractors who have years of expertise writing about lifestyle topics and product evaluations gives National Today a great deal of delight. We’ve tested nearly every charging option available and reviewed a variety of mobile accessories, including wireless chargers and auto chargers.

In addition to drawing from years of experience, we used professional-level techniques to gather more detailed, accurate data than we may have otherwise to be sure of the success of our picks.

How We Picked

Charging speed
Only a USB-C to Lightning cable and an 18W-plus Apple adapter (now available in 20W up to 96W, with the 140W type not recommended for iPhone) or a third-party model that supports Power Delivery is compatible with Fast Charge on an iPhone (available on iPhone 8 and above).

Regardless of the adapter it is connected to, a USB-A to Lightning cable will charge your iPhone more slowly.

Durability/material
The casing material is another aspect of design to consider. Apple’s standard Lightning cables are covered in white rubber, but you may look for a more durable cable by choosing one with a braided nylon or Kevlar cover. If your pet enjoys chewing on cables, nylon or Kevlar is a must.

Port types (USB)
The newest iPhones include USB-C to Lightning cords because Apple and the larger tech sector are moving away from the more dated USB-A connectors. If USB-C is unfamiliar to you, it is a far more powerful charging standard than USB-A.

It is compatible with bigger devices like monitors and can transfer video, acting as a kind of HDMI replacement.

Size
People ought to think about the Lightning connector’s shape as well. Most cords feature the usual straight connector, but some have a right-angle connector, which can withstand more pressure and makes the phone more pleasant to hold while it charges.

Length
You might choose a shorter or longer cable, depending on how often and where you charge as well as if you typically use your phone during this time. Lightning cables come in a variety of lengths, from 1 to 10 feet.

While playing mobile games or slouching far from an outlet while charging may require a longer alternative, charging while driving can call for a shorter cable.

Price vs. quality
The MFi certification should be taken into account to justify the price of a lightning cable. To improve the quality of aftermarket accessories and consumer trust, Apple launched the MFi Program.

To ensure the best performance with Apple products in terms of charging and data-transfer capabilities, Apple certifies that a third-party company’s product complies with its criteria. Due to the certification, many customers have noticed an improvement in the quality of MFi goods.

Remember that Apple always charges a licensing fee to maintain control over the supply chain for accessories made by independent manufacturers.

Compatibility with devices
Instead of the more traditional USB-A connectors, the most recent iPhones come with USB-C to Lightning cables.

However, keep in mind that Apple no longer includes a charging brick with new iPhones, so make sure your cable is compatible with the charging block you use (for example, if your cable has a Lightning connector on one end and a USB-A connector on the other, you’ll want a charging brick with at least one USB-A port, and the same is true for USB-C compatibility).

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

Best Pick

Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable

This is the best cable to suit all your charging needs.

This cable can supply maximum power to devices when used with the appropriate adapter.

Buy Now for $12.99

Who It’s For:

Anyone seeking a fantastic cable to charge their iPhone and other Lightning-powered devices as quickly as possible.

Why It’s Great:

The Anker PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable (six feet) is great because it allows the quickest charging rates.

The PowerLine II can charge an iPhone up to three times faster than a USB-A-to-Lightning connection when used in conjunction with a USB-C port that can output at least 18 watts of electricity, such as those found in many of our favorite laptops, power banks, and wall chargers.

Potential Flaws:

Our only issue with the Anker cable is that it isn't quite as thin as some of the others we examined, including Apple's models. We don't mind a little extra bulk, though, as it remains one of the most compact alternatives and excels in every other regard.

Other Features:

This cable comes in a slim, 3-foot length that can be coiled up to fit in a pocket or handbag. The 6-foot version works better for a desktop or nightstand charging setup because it is a little bit bulkier when coiled up.

The PowerLine II's rubber sheath is smooth yet gripping, fairly sturdy, and still looks good after more than a year of regular use. The housings, which are made from a single piece of matte-textured rubber, provide you with plenty of room to grip the plug firmly as you plug and unplug, which is the best way to prevent fraying and breaking.

Both ends of each cable stay put with no wriggling when plugged into a range of devices, assuring a reliable connection for charging and data transfer.

The hook-and-loop tie this cable comes with is a non-essential but no less valuable part. It is practical and simple to use, preventing the wire from unraveling inside your luggage or turning into a tangled mess underneath your desk.

The 6-foot length is also available in army green, and both lengths are available in either black or white. They also come with Anker's lifetime warranty.

Runner Up - Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Runner Up

Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Nomad Kevlar Lightning Cable

Is this a worthy alternative to our top pick? Yes, it is!

This lightning-fast charging cable has a long reach and can withstand regular use.

Buy Now for $29.99

Who It’s For:

Someone who likes a cable that is longer and more durable than Anker's PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable and who wants to charge their iPhone and other Lightning-powered devices as quickly as possible.

Why It’s Great:

The Nomad features the most solidly built sheath of any cable we've examined. It's constructed of thick, double-braided Kevlar that doesn't seem to wear out as quickly or catch on things as nylon does.

The plastic housings for the cable are solid and include a few bumps along the collar for more flexibility. The metal connectors of the Nomad fit most Lightning and USB-C ports snuggly, just like those in our Anker recommendations.

Potential Flaws:

This cable is less compact for storing in a pocket or a purse because it is longer and heavier than the other cables we examined. However, if you want to mainly use the Nomad in one location or you have extra space in your backpack, it shouldn't be a problem.

Other Features:

The rubber cable tie that comes with the Nomad is stronger than any we've encountered. It's got thick ridges that keep it firmly shut, so your wire is securely coiled. You may keep it coiled up by using the accompanying silicone rubber liquid cable tie.

It has a Kevlar double-braided sheath that is five times stronger than steel and heat-resistant. Although this cable isn't inexpensive, it should be one of the Lightning cables to consider.

This cable is offered in 5-foot and 10-foot lengths. The Nomad is a considerable option if you want the best charging times, length, and unmatched endurance, but note that it only comes in one color (black).

The Nomad's five-year warranty is significantly longer than most other warranties, even if it doesn't equal Anker's lifetime warranty in terms of coverage.

Most Cost-Effective - Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

Most Cost-Effective

Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable

This is the deal for you if you want to get the most for your money!

This cable offers a lifetime warranty, is MFi-certified, sturdy, and comfortable to hold.

Buy Now for $15.99

Who It’s For:

Anyone who wants a quality cable but doesn't have access to USB-C devices or doesn't need the fastest charge possible.

Why It’s Great:

The finest USB-A-to-Lightning cable we've discovered is the Anker PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable (6 feet). Apple has approved it as MFi, which means it can handle full USB 2.0 data transfer rates (up to 480 Mbps) and top charging speeds (when used with a charger that can pump out up to 12 W of power) with any of the company's products.

Potential Flaws:

With this cable, you won't be able to charge your iPhone as quickly as you could; a USB-C to Lightning cable (like our top and upgrade options) can do so up to three times as quickly.

The best choice is a USB-A-to-Lightning cable, though, if you don't already have a wall charger or power bank with fast-charging USB-C ports at home or simply want one as a backup.

Other Features:

The PowerLine II USB-A to Lightning Cable boasts a smooth yet gripping finish, similar to the PowerLine II USB-C to Lightning Cable. Its housings are the ideal size, shape, and feel to grab onto while plugging in and unplugging because they are roomy, curvy, and matte.

Once inserted, the metal connectors maintain a strong connection and slip into the appropriate ports with ease. Additionally, they include a hook-and-loop cable tie to keep them neatly coiled.

This cable is available in more colors — including black, white, red, and blue — and is slightly less expensive in the 3-foot and 6-foot lengths than our other recommendations.

Additionally, Anker offers a lifetime warranty on this cable.

Almost Made The Cut - Native Union Belt Cable USB-C to Lightning

Almost Made The Cut

Native Union Belt Cable USB-C to Lightning

Native Union Belt Cable USB-C to Lightning

Charging from a distance is easy with this Lightning cable.

This cable's weight and resilience, which prevents fraying and tangling, are its best features.

Buy Now for $39.99

Who It’s For:

If you need a lot of cord, the extra-durable 10-foot Lightning cable from Native Union is a terrific choice because it can be used from any distance.

Why It’s Great:

Another top-notch USB-C to Lightning cable that is MFi approved and has braided nylon for greater durability is Native Union's Belt Cable. Additionally, the cable has an "O-Flex" cutout towards the end to provide flexibility at the point where it connects to the connector and handles difficult bends.

Another simple alternative is the Native Union cable, which allows rapid charging and is kept tangle-free by a genuine leather strap, so you can pack it compactly into your bag.

Potential Flaws:

This cord is undoubtedly a touch pricey. However, you do receive a long-lasting, extremely durable Lightning cable for Apple devices for the price.

Other Features:

You'll have lots of freedom with this 10-foot USB-C to Lightning cord because it comes with a leather belt that's already attached. In addition, it has a weight the size of a golf ball that anchors the cable.

It has a nylon coating, like many other cables, but what sets it apart is its incredibly strong reinforced construction, which can resist two times as much stress and last up to six times as long as standard Lightning cables.

The strengthened connectors are sturdy and long-lasting, but the nylon itself is wonderfully soft. A DuPont Kevlar fiber, a TPE rubber sleeve, a tinned copper braid, and a final grounding layer all serve as protection for the cable's wires.

You won't have to worry if something breaks because Native Union offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of its products. The 4-foot cable comes in a few chic colors, including zebra, cosmos, rose, indigo, and sage, and it is also offered as a USB-A to Lightning cable.

Care and Maintenance

Cord maintenance
Any cable can have its lifespan increased with a little bit of care. Most importantly, always grab the plug housing rather than the cord when removing a cable from a USB port.

By doing this, you lessen the strain on the vulnerable junction between the cable and the plug.

How to store
When not in use, we advise loosely wrapping cables as opposed to folding or otherwise aggressively bending them. Tight coils and folds can harm the cable’s metal wires, reducing its lifespan and causing the cable to function incorrectly.

To correctly store your cables, Anker includes hook-and-loop fasteners with the majority of its products. These fasteners enable a loosely coiled wire to maintain its shape for small storage.

More advice for securely storing your cords may be found in our guides to the finest desk organizers and bag organizers.

Preventing port connector damage
The most frequent reason why your phone isn’t charging when plugged in is usually faulty charging wires. Charging cables are repeatedly wrapped, unwrapped, and bent because some of us are unable to operate without having our chargers with us wherever we go.

These may cause harm to the charging cord. To prevent damage to the port connector, try to avoid these.

Why does my charger connect but the battery still goes down?
The software on your phone occasionally fails to identify that it is charging even when your charger and power adapter are working properly, preventing the battery status meter from changing. The solution is to switch off your phone.

You may also perform a hard reset on your phone by pressing the volume and power keys at the same time. Next, try charging it; if it works, the charging process may have been the issue.

Ensuring the charger has the adequate amount of wattage input and output for your device.

The amperage is what ultimately determines how quickly a charger will charge your smartphone. Look for a wall or car charger that delivers 2100 mA of current at 5 volts (or whatever voltage the gadget you’re trying to charge is spec’d at) if you want to charge something more quickly.

Do not overcharge your device
In some circumstances, it serves no purpose to leave your gadget plugged in overnight. By doing this, you’re lengthening the time it spends on the charger and hastening the deterioration of its battery.

Although a charger shuts off the power when your phone reaches 100%, it will still top off the charge throughout the night. As a result, your phone is continuously bouncing between a full charge and a little less than a full charge.

Your phone’s ambient temperature may increase as a result of these trickle charges, which may eventually cause capacity loss. Since a high voltage stresses the battery, it is preferable to avoid a complete charge.

Electronic safety
Avoid charging your device using faulty cords or chargers to avoid a fire, electric shock, injury, or gadget damage. When using the charging cable, make sure the USB connector is inserted into a power adapter that is compatible before plugging the adapter into an electrical outlet.

When being used or charged, the iPhone, the charging cord, and the power adapter should all be kept in a well-ventilated space. When the charging cable is connected to a power source, avoid prolonged skin contact with the connection and charging cable as it could lead to irritation or harm.

Avoid sleeping or sitting on the connector or charging cable.