The 5 best iPhone Lightning cables in 2021

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Even in 2021, charging your iPhone isn’t always as convenient as it should be. Sometimes the cable you own simply isn’t long enough, or perhaps it’s starting to fray or fall apart. And if you own several Apple devices, you probably often feel like you never have a Lightning cable handy when you need it.  

Whether you need an extra-long cord, a super-short one, or the most durable one in the world, there are plenty of options out there when shopping for a new Lightning cable.

It’s important to note that we only recommend Lightning cables that are MiFi-certified by Apple. Many cheap cables do not come with this certification and have proven to be dangerous or ineffective. Thankfully, our team has tested and researched many different models over the years to find the best Lightning cables available.

Here are the best Lightning cables you can buy:

The best Lightning cable overall

The Anker PowerLine Lightning cables are the best cords for most people with sturdy design, fast charging speed, and a fair price.

Pros: Made from durable aramid fiber, lots of lengths, 18-month warranty, fast charging, reinforced stress points, MFi certified by Apple

Cons: None

When it comes to Lightning cables, you can’t beat Anker’s PowerLine Lightning cables. These cables have it all: They’re fast to charge your iPhone or sync data, they’re durable, and they’re affordable. You can also get a Lightning-to-USB-C cable for fast charging your iPhone.

The cable is strengthened with Kevlar and the stress points near the Lightning charger and the USB connector are reinforced for added durability. They’re slightly wider than the connectors on Apple’s cable, but the Anker cable should fit most iPhone cases.

In testing, Anker bent the PowerLine cables more than 5,000 times to ensure that they last. The company also offers an 18-month warranty and it has a great reputation for following through when users have problems.

Anker’s PowerLine Lightning cables come with a Velcro tie to help you wrangle up any extra cord length you don’t need. It also makes traveling with your Lightning cable easier. You can get the cable in black, white, blue, red, or gray. 

Reviewers agree that Anker makes excellent cables for a very reasonable price. Digital Trends, Best Products, and The Wirecutter give Anker high marks.

Anker’s lineup of PowerLine Lightning cables is so good that The Wirecutter recommends every single length option as the best buy in its guide. PowerLine cables come in 1-foot, 3-foot, 6-foot, and 10-foot lengths to suit everyone’s needs. We can’t help but agree that Anker makes the best Lightning cables you can buy for a great price.

The best long Lightning cable

The 10-foot Native Union Night cable makes charging your iPhone super easy when you need a long, strong, stable Lightning cable.

Pros: 10-feet long, weighted so it doesn’t fall, covered in sturdy woven fabric, 12-month warranty, MFi certified by Apple, it bends but doesn’t break

Cons: Expensive

If you’ve ever struggled with a short cord, you’ll absolutely love Native Union’s weighted Night cable. Not only is it 10 feet long, it’s also durable and has a weighted knot that keeps it from pulling your iPhone off the table while it’s charging.

Native Union makes its Lightning cables out of braided nylon, which is strong and durable. It also means that the cable doesn’t tangle as much. There are four layers of material protecting the cable’s wires: braided nylon, a TPE rubber sleeve, a tinned copper braid, and a grounding layer. Inside all those layers are wires that are also protected and reinforced — some of them even have Kevlar fiber inside.

Native Union is so confident in its Lightning cables that it put them through a 10,000 bend test to see whether they would break or fray, and the cables survived. The company also offers a limited lifetime warranty, so you know this cable is built to last.

Insider Reviews’ Malarie Gokey has used the Native Union Night cable for the past five years as her main charger, and it’s never let her down. She’s bent it all sorts of ways and it still hasn’t frayed at all. She typically uses the weight to keep her iPhone on her nightstand while charging it, but notes that it’s easy to adjust when the weight anchoring the cord is needed elsewhere. The cable comes in several fun colors, too, so it looks nice in any home.

The Night cable is also highly rated by users on Amazon and Native Union’s website and is recommended by many tech publications.

The best durable Lightning cable

The Fuse Chicken Titan Lightning Cable is so strong that it can survive a chainsaw.

Pros: Made from industrial-grade flexible high-strength steel, lifetime guarantee, MFi certified by Apple, it’s pet proof, and it survived a chainsaw attack, so yeah … it’s durable

Cons: Expensive

Dog ate your Lightning cable? We’ve heard that one before. Luckily, there’s a new, nearly indestructible Lightning cable available for your iPhone. The Fuse Chicken Titan cord is so tough that its creators literally took a chainsaw to it, and it survived. 

Fuse Chicken’s cable is covered in two layers of flexible steel, so it’s extra tough, but it’s also stiffer and heavier than most Lightning cables. You can twist it into any shape you want or even tie it in knots, and the Titan cord will be just fine.

It also has a limited lifetime warranty, so if you do find a way to break it through normal use, you may be able to get it replaced. Just don’t be like The Verge and take a sword to it, hammer it on an anvil, or slice it with a sander — that kind of barbarism will, apparently, cut the cord.

The neck of the cable that’s right next to the Lightning charger is wider than Apple’s cable for added strength. The only downside is that the wider neck may not fit into the cutout for the charging port on some iPhone cases.

Although it’s not a super long cord, the Titan is 3-feet long, which should be more than enough for most people’s needs. Fuse Chicken makes other cable lengths, too, including a short keychain style.

User reviews on Amazon are positive, and the tech site Digital Trends recommends the Titan as one of the best Lightning cables you can buy.

The best light-up Lightning cable

The Monoprice Luxe Series Lightning Charge & Sync Cable lights up to let you know your phone is charging and it’s durable.

Pros: Sturdy cable, MFi certified, available in many lengths, lights up when charging, lifetime warranty

Cons: Expensive

Monoprice makes lots of great cables for charging up your phone, and it has a stellar lifetime warranty that promises to replace broken cords. Of all its cables, the Monoprice Luxe Series Lightning Charge & Sync Cable stands out with its LED status light, which glows orange or green depending on your iPhone’s charging status.

It’s nice to know the progress of your phone’s charging at a glance, and we love peeking over to see whether our iPhone is fully charged. The light is subtly placed right in the connector next to your phone, so it’s easy to see.

The cable itself is well protected by a layer of braided nylon and there are metal enclosures around the connector and LED to ensure that the cable stays strong at its weakest points. Like all of Monoprice’s cables, this one has Apple MFi Certification, so you don’t have to worry about the quality standards behind this cable.

We’ve been using the cable for a few months now without any issue and can confirm that it’s sturdy and well made. It’s quickly become our favorite for juicing up at my desk during the work day.

The best universal Lightning cable

The Universal Cable by Nomad can charge any phone with its Lightning, Micro USB, and USB-C ends.

Pros: Works with all phones, MFi certified, strong, five-year guarantee

Cons: A bit pricey

If you live in a multi-device household, you need this Universal Cable from Nomad. It has Lightning, Micro USB, and USB-C ends to charge any phone and many other devices, too.

The core cable is USB A to Micro USB, and it measures 1.5 meters in length, so it’s long enough to stretch a bit. You can also wrap up the excess cable with the included tie.

The cable itself is 10K Mil-spec flex tested and Apple MFi approved. Its braided ballistic nylon covering keeps it strong and prevents fraying even with intense use. Nomad guarantees that the cable will last at least five years, which is pretty impressive.

We tried out one of these cables and loved it. It’s the only cable you’ll ever need. No matter what devices you, your friends, and your family carry, this cable can charge them — no questions asked.

Nomad also sells regular Lightning-only cables and ones that are made of Kevlar for extra durability.

What else we considered

We try a lot of Lightning cables, and while they all do charge our iPhones, some are just more durable, well-made, and affordable than others.

We test these cables by using them day in and day out over the course of years and months to determine which ones are actually worth spending more than $10 on.

Here are some more cables we tried and liked, but didn’t end up recommending in this guide.

  • Belkin: Belkin’s duratex cable is one of our favorites for its durability and nice design, but it is more expensive than the ones from Anker and doesn’t have other standout features that set it apart. To be clear, it is still a great cable and you won’t be disappointed if you buy it.
  • Syncwire: Syncwire’s cable is good, relatively affordable, and very simple. Because Anker’s cables are both slightly more robust and also cheaper, this budget cable didn’t make the cut.
  • Apple: Apple makes a great Lightning-to-USB-C cable for fast charging iPhones, but it is more expensive and less durable than Anker’s MFi-certified cable.

Lightning cables that we’re looking forward to testing next

  • Nomad Kevlar: These cables come in 0.3 meter, 1.5. meter, and 3 meter sizes and are reinforced with double-braided kevlar. This might make it a worthy choice for those who want some durability in a Lightning cable but don’t need protection that’s as extreme as the Fuse Chicken Titan cable’s nearly indestructible design.
  • Nonda ZUS Super Duty Cable: This 4-foot Lightning cable has a right-angle plug for more convenient charging. 
  • Fuse Chicken Stainless Steel Chainmail: This Lightning cable is 1 meter  in length and is encased in stainless steel chainmail links, making it another possible choice for those looking for extra protection.
  • Anker 180-degree Lightning cable: This newly released 3-foot ft Lightning cable features a 180-degree connection that is optimized for iPhone gaming. 
  • Monoprice Atlas Flex Series: These kevlar-reinforced nylon braided cables come in lots of fun colors with lengths of up to 6 feet.

Check out our other iPhone accessory buying guides

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