Best wireless chargers: devices that make topping up your phone's juice simple

The best wireless chargers offer a fuss free, stylish, and speedy way to top up your smartphone’s battery. Here is our pick of the finest options available for Android and Apple users

best wireless charger Twelve South PowerPic Mod
(Image credit: Twelve South)

The best wireless chargers offer the perfect balance of futuristic cool and undeniable convenience. There’s no more fiddling about looking for the right cable, you simply place your phone - or tablet, and even headphones and smartwatches - on the charging pad and their batteries top up seamlessly.

Wireless charging has actually been around for ages - take a look at your electric toothbrush for instance - but thanks to the adoption of the Qi (pronounced ‘chee’) standard by the leading smartphone brands such as Apple, Samsung, and Huawei it’s now available on the majority of new phones.

And with the launch of the iPhone 13, Apple introduced the magnetic MagSafe system of wireless charging which has meant accessory brands expanding and adapting their ranges to accommodate.

And as a consumer, you’re now spoiled for choice, with basic wireless charging mats costing less than ever. Spend a little more and you’ll find premium materials and designer finishes as well as chargers integrated into trays and multi-charging devices that simultaneously power smartwatches and compatible headphones.

We’ve tested a wide range of wireless chargers for every style and budget, and know you’ll find something that suits your home and lifestyle.

The best wireless chargers in 2022

Kensington StudioDock

(Image credit: Kensington)

1. Kensington StudioDock

Best wireless charger for iPad users

Specifications

Power: 10W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes (20V DC)
Dimensions: 1.8 x 15.5 x 10.5in

Reasons to buy

+
Unrivalled versatility
+
Fast charging
+
High quality construction

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Apple-centric

If you’re like countless other creatives and do much of your work on the fabulous iPad Pro, this all-in-one device from Kensington could well revolutionize your WFH setup.

Weighing in at 4kg, this desktop stand cradles and charges your iPad Pro via USB-C 108% faster than the Apple charger will, while underneath you’ll find two 7.5W Qi wireless chargers for your phone and headphones. The iPad can be rotated from horizontal to vertical and tilted to create the ideal viewing and working angle.

But that’s just the start of it because as well as its wireless capabilities, this desktop stand has three extra USB ports to the rear, a 15W USB-C port, WLAN for ultra-fast wired internet where available, and an HDMI port that means you can connect your iPad to a second monitor for work, or just Netflix binges. Oh and there’s also a dedicated SD Card slot for uploading and organizing photos and videos and a headphone socket, which the iPad no longer has.

Paired with a separate wireless keyboard the Studio Dock becomes a highly versatile desktop computer that takes up little space in the office, and what’s more, it’s the ideal height for flattering video conference calls.

It is expensive and not designed for Android users, but it is the most feature-packed and practical wireless charging system we’ve found that helps you work smarter, not harder.  

Livingetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Mous Wireless Charger Pad

(Image credit: Mous)

2. Mous Wireless Charger Pad

Best wireless charger for fast, reliable charging

Specifications

Power: 15W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes (USB-C mains)
Dimensions: 0.44 x 3.1 x 3.1in

Reasons to buy

+
15W charge speeds
+
Flawlessly made
+
Compatible mounts and stands available 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Needs Mous case for best results

Mous is a brand better known for its rigorously stress-tested, super stylish smartphone cases, but they also have a range of slickly designed, hardwearing wireless charging mats and MagSafe charging options well worth investigating.

Our review sample came with a sleek carbon fiber style ‘Aramid Fibre’ finish but is also available with an equally sophisticated solid walnut top, but what stands these chargers out from the rest - and justifies their rather high price - is the fact they’re compatible with Mous’s magnetic Limitless 3.0 cases, which effectively gives any QI compatible smartphone MagSafe usability without the need to invest in a new iPhone.

Magnets are hidden in the base and in the corresponding case and thanks to something they call AutoAlignPlus, your phone will automatically adjust to the ideal charging position, so there’s no risk of waking up in the morning to a flat battery. 

But that shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the 15W of power available, which means extra fast charging for compatible phones, with a generous battery boost taking no time at all. 

And to complete the collection, Mous also has compatible Limitless 3.0 windscreen and car vent mounted holders, meaning you can transfer your phone from home to car seamlessly,

Livingetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

IKEA LIVBOJ wireless charging mat

(Image credit: IKEA)

3. IKEA LIVBOJ Wireless Charging Mat

Best wireless charger on a budget

Specifications

Power: 5W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: No
Dimensions: 3.5 x 0.39in

Reasons to buy

+
Unbeatable value
+
Practical

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 5W charging
-
Lightweight

It’s cheaper than a pint but this 91mm diameter Qi-certified wireless charging pad is neatly designed, comes with a simple rubber cross to grip a phone and show where the charging coil sits and has a 5W output, which, while not the fastest, is perfectly adequate for most overnight charging.

It’s available in black or white, sits just 10mm proud, and works perfectly well. You will need to supply your own plug socket and USB-C cable, but most people have a drawer full of these anyway, so it shouldn't be an issue. But if it is, IKEA sells its own LILLHULT USB-C to USB Cable if you get stuck.

It’s not exciting, but it does the job perfectly well, and our only complaint is that it's quite light, so doesn’t stay in position quite as well as a premium design as the Mous can.

But here’s the great thing about IKEA, if you spend a little more you can get the NORDMÄRKE wireless charger that is fabric-covered and colorful, while a portable option of the same range has a battery pack built-in.

Livingetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Anker PowerCore III Wireless Power Bank

(Image credit: Anker)

4. Anker PowerCore III Wireless Power Bank

Best portable wireless charger

Specifications

Power: 10W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes (USB-C)
Dimensions: 5.8 x 2.6 x 0.74in

Reasons to buy

+
Huge built-in battery
+
Fast 10W charge
+
Charge three devices

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite heavy

One of the limitations of wireless charging is the fact the pads and stands still need plugging in. Thankfully Anker, the experts in go-anywhere battery packs, has added a wireless charging coil to a powerful battery.

With a 10,000mAh capacity, this battery can recharge an iPhone 11 or Pixel 4 smartphone more than twice, or charge a Galaxy S20 over 1.5 times, meaning you’ll never need to worry about battery life when out and about.

But what’s really clever about this wireless charger is the fact it also has an 18W USB-C port which can charge an iPhone 11 to 50% in 30 minutes, as well as a separate USB port meaning you can charge three devices at once. And when you are back at your desk you can still use the wireless charging pad as the battery gets topped up from the mains.

And finally, despite the battery being a bit bulky, it does have an ingenious kickstand that slides out giving you the ability to safely prop up your phone to watch videos on the go. 

Livingetc rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Nomad Base Station Pro

(Image credit: Nomad)

5. Nomad Base Station Pro

Best wireless charger for multiple phones

Specifications

Power: 7.5W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes (USB-C)
Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.7 x 5.5in

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish and protective
+
Charges multiple devices
+
Reliable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the fastest charger
-
Expensive

Admittedly it’s a lot to pay for a wireless charger, but the Base Station Pro is a premium product packed with technology and finished in gorgeously soft, protective leather. It also has a whopping 18 wireless charging coils built-in and a large 22x14cm charging area that has space enough to charge two Qi-compatible phones and a pair of compatible headphones - such as Apple’s AirPods Pro - simultaneously.

But that's not the really clever bit, because, unlike so many wireless chargers, because there are so many coils you can plonk your gadgets down to charge anywhere on the mat and know they will be positioned correctly.

Nomad has also included a small clip-on adapter for Apple Watch users, who can feed their charging cable into the mount, helping to keep all their tech tidy and topped up. It's a neat touch, although we think the base station looks better without the watch charging attachment.

With a power of just 7.5W however, it isn’t the fastest charger on the market, but we like the fact that the brand offers firmware updates via their websites so it can be adjusted to accommodate new phones (such as the latest iPhone) when they’re released, helping to extend the life of the charger.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Twelve South PowerPic Mod

(Image credit: Twelve South)

6. Twelve South PowerPic Mod

Specifications

Power: 10W max
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes (USB-C)
Dimensions: 3.5 x 4 x 6.5in

Reasons to buy

+
Compact footprint
+
Doubles as picture frame
+
Protective

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks best when personalised

TwelveSouth offers a range of practical office-style laptop and smartphone accessories, but with this, their latest wireless charger, they’ve created something with a little more personality. This two-piece stand - made for the most part from a nice slab of transparent lucite plastic - has a thin, magnetically attached perspex cover that, once removed, lets you add your own 4x6 photo or wallpaper graphic. 

We generally keep well clear of ‘personalized’ homewares, but we found that by coordinating the color of the photo we used to our room decor, we could blend it in brilliantly. Using leftover paper paint swatches worked especially well, as we could hide it, or add contrast without it looking naff.

Style aside, the stand takes up very little space, has a nice secure rubber base with plenty of grips, and because the plinth has no edges, phones can charge both vertically and horizontally, although big handsets such as the iPhone ProMax range will charge better horizontally.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger Sync

(Image credit: SanDisk)

7. SanDisk iXpand Wireless Charger Sync

Best wireless charger for photographers

Specifications

Power: 10W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes
Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.76 x 3.9in

Reasons to buy

+
Backs up your photos as it charges
+
Well made
+
Reliable charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Other back-up services are cheaper

An ingenious 10W wireless charger that not only keeps your phone juiced up but also automatically downloads your photos to its hard drive. A smart idea for anyone who likes to keep their photos and videos on a hard drive, but never seems to get around to backing them up.

You need to download the iXpand app and allow it access to your photos to make the backup work, but once done you can leave your phone overnight safe in the knowledge that your memories are being saved. We like the fact that you can also create individual backup profiles for each user, so if you charge a different phone, those images are stored in a separate file.

Admittedly there are plenty of cloud storage systems including iCloud for Apple and Google Photos, but as the iXpand wireless charger has a hard drive (128GB or 253GB) built-in, you know they’re accessible, even if the Wi-Fi goes down.

Livingetc rating: 4 out of 5 stars

MiTech MiPower 10W Wireless Bio Charging Pad

(Image credit: MiTech)

8. MiTech MiPower 10W Wireless Bio Charging Pad

Best eco-friendly wireless charger

Specifications

Power: 10W
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes
Dimensions: 4.7 x 0.62 x 7in

Reasons to buy

+
Biodegradable case
+
Fast 10W charge
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Plugging in a phone cable is arguably greener

Given that the vast majority of smartphones come supplied with a perfectly good power cable already, it’s difficult to call any wireless chargers truly eco-friendly. But with the MiPower, MiTECH has gone the extra mile by developing an entirely biodegradable plastic alternative for the pad and the cable.  

This charger casing and cable are actually made from wheat straw, and despite being as robust and well-finished as normal plastic - aside from a nice fleck caused by the composite material - it will naturally break down when put into a landfill.

It can take just 12months to break down completely, but because of the materials used it won’t add any microplastics to the soil or sea. Obviously, there’s still the problem of what to do with the cable filaments and wireless charging coil, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Eco-credentials aside, the charger works just as you would expect, with 10W of power offering fast and reliable charging to any Qi-compatible smartphone. And as you’d hope, all the packaging is also recyclable, biodegradable, and plastic-free.

Livingetc rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

INTELLI StepUp Magnetic Wireless Charging Station

(Image credit: Intelli)

9. INTELLI StepUp Magnetic Wireless Charging Station

Best MagSafe charger for Apple devotees on a budget

Specifications

Power: 15W max
Qi compatible?: Yes
Cable supplied?: Yes (USB-C)

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design
+
3-in-1 charging
+
Apple Watch charger included

Reasons to avoid

-
Build quality isn’t perfect
-
MagSafe only

The StepUp is a clever all-in-one charger for Apple that includes a super-fast 15W MagSafe style magnetic charger, plus two pop-out panels, one with a 2.5W charge for an Apple Watch and one slightly larger 5W designs that can boost the battery in a pair of AirPods.

It’s an impossibly practical solution for Apple devotees and with a single MagSafe charging puck very reasonably priced, it’s excellent value too.

The magnetic charger keeps your iPhone in place - although it isn’t as solid a connection as an Apple original charger - but will fill the battery in next to no time, while we love the fact the extra chargers can be pushed away when not needed.

The main outer case is machined from quality aluminum, but the pop-out chargers and top plate are made from plastic, and the build quality isn’t as flawless as we would have liked, but given the low price and usability it isn't a deal-breaker, especially as it has tidied our desk in an instant.

Choosing the best wireless charger for you

Nomad Base Station Pro

(Image credit: Nomad)

What power wireless charger do I need?

Most wireless chargers can provide between five and 15 watts of power to your smartphone and this should be more than enough to keep your phone juiced up efficiently. The more advanced designs can regulate the flow of power to match the needs of your phone’s battery, and also reduce the power if you’re also charging compatible headphones or smartwatches.

Charging speeds can vary enormously between devices. iPhones for instance are limited to using 7.5W from Qi chargers, but the latest magnetic MagSafe compatible iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 can receive up to 15W with the official charger.

How fast can a wireless charger charge?

Using MagSafe, you can charge from zero to 50% in about 50 minutes, and attain 100% charge in about 2.5-3 hours, compared to four-to-five hours of charge using a Qi charger. Some Android phones also use 15W charging, although they can’t make the most of the clever magnetic chargers.

Charging speeds can be impacted by how many apps are open, air temperature, battery size, and how it’s placed on the pad - but as a guide, a 10W wireless charger should fill up a phone in 2-4 hours.

But it’s worth remembering that wireless charging is not yet as fast as using a cable, so if you’re really in a rush, it’s still worth plugging in.

What is Qi?

Pronounced “chee,” Qi is a universal wireless charging standard that has been adopted by many of the world’s biggest tech and mobile companies. The vast majority of new smartphones are now compatible with Qi wireless charging, so if you see the logo you’ll know it will work with your handset. What’s also great about Qi is that an Apple wireless charger can be used to power Samsung phones and vice versa.

Chris Haslam is a UK-based journalist who specialises in writing about tech, gadgets, audio, lifestyle and eco living. He regularly writes for Livingetc, and also contributes to WIRED, T3, Stuff, Ideal Home, House Beautiful, Your Home, Homes & Gardens, Grand Designs, Real Homes, Good Homes, Beautiful Kitchens, Country Homes & Interiors, Tesco Magazine, Style at Home and British Airways High Life Shopping