Published Jun 30, 2022 3:30 PM
If you’ve ever woken up and, groggily lumbering toward the bathroom, started the day by tripping over an iPhone charging cable, you know you felt no shame audibly cheering the first time you used a MagSafe accessory. MagSafe, Apple’s magnetic connector for electronic devices, started as an improvement for MacBook power cords in 2006. But it was with the introduction of the iPhone 12 in 2020 that the MagSafe name became synonymous with the much wider world of wireless power transfer and magnetic attachment products.
Having a phone and a MagSafe-compatible charger saves you the problem of having the right cord with the right connector that’s the right length to be lined up just right; when that green circle lights up the iPhone screen, one less worry fills your mind. Not every MagSafe accessory involves power but they do all involve that feeling of security. Here’s our selection of the best MagSafe accessories to make sure your iPhone is fully charged and fastened when and where you need it to be.
How we chose the best MagSafe accessories
As gadget geeks and serial upgraders, many of us have a recent iPhone. And considering how many devices we test regularly, requiring us to keep track of yet another interconnect, being able to wrangle one less tangle is a godsend. This is why we are both fans and intimate friends with many MagSafe accessories. Combining this firsthand experience with peer recommendations, critical reviews, and user impressions, we put together a list of potential inclusions from top manufacturers—including Belkin, Mophie, OtterBox, and more—then narrowed down the dozens of options to these picks.
Things to consider before buying the best MagSafe accessories
If you have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 of any size/sort, you have access to MagSafe. And if you have a debit or credit card, you have access to the MagSafe accessories presented here. But before you invest in new accouterments, you might have some questions. And that’s why we’re here.
So, how exactly does MagSafe work?
MagSafe uses a series of internal magnets ringing an iPhone’s charging coil to snap securely to compatible accessories. This assures that any attachments are properly lined up, which is particularly valuable for optimized wireless charging. As for how magnets work in general, that is a tale of electrons spinning and atoms aligning and a miraculous mystery for another time. But when magnetized objects of opposite poles enter each other’s magnetic fields, they are as strongly attracted to each other as a long-time Apple fan is to hearing “… and one more thing.”
Do I need MagSafe accessories?
No. If you are a connoisseur of cables—each one personally, painstakingly labeled as to what it is for—then keep enjoying those curled-up keepsakes and a Jenga-like set of power bricks. USB-A to Lightning, USB-C to Lightning … you do you. Being hardwired to the wall will continue to work … for now (we have no insight into Apple’s plans to discontinue ports on iPhones). And if you always have or prefer to secure your phone in a dashboard-mounted vice while driving, don’t switch up what works for you. So, no, you don’t need MagSafe accessories. But if you’ve gotten tired of trying to find a convenient place to plug in a somehow always slightly too short cable, or finding out that the cable you desperately need to save you from an imminent power-down has a short in it, you definitely may want MagSafe accessories. And don’t even get me started as to how convenient a MagSafe car mount is … (OK, get me started but wait till we get to our top pick in that category, please.)
Do I need a MagSafe case for my iPhone?
To charge wirelessly, no, you don’t need a MagSafe case. But to attach additional accessories to your iPhone while it’s in the case, yes, you need a MagSafe case. Plus the MagSafe system in the case helps alleviate any concerns that it might fall off.
If I buy a MagSafe accessory, does it need to be “Made for MagSafe” to work?
No, though it can’t hurt. There are plenty of “MagSafe compatible” options with the magnetic ring that lets your iPhone snap to them with the precision needed to stay and/or charge properly. We even recommend some. But the “Made for MagSafe” badge does bring some benefits. It means that the device can support 15W charging (12W for iPhone mini models), rather than the 7.5W charging of “MagSafe compatible” alternatives (and more watts=faster charging). To get maximum output, however, be sure you have at least a 20W USB-C PD adapter for the charging pad. In addition, the near-field communication between “Made for MagSafe” charging devices means you get the undeniable satisfaction of seeing your iPhone’s screen light up with the curling green MagSafe animation that guarantees authenticity and efficiency.
Can I charge anything other than my iPhone with a MagSafe pad?
Sure, you can place anything with Qi-enabled wireless charging on a MagSafe pad and the battery will fill. However, the device won’t snap into place so you won’t know if it’s set down correctly and there’s nothing to stop it from getting knocked off the pad accidentally. There are Android devices, and optional cases, that do have magnetic rings in them, which solves that problem, but Android devices don’t replicate the alert an official MagSafe charger gives when it comes into contact with an iPhone.
The best MagSafe accessories: Reviews & Recommendations
MagSafe is a quality of life improvement you didn’t know you needed but once you have it you don’t understand why you didn’t this whole time. Here are our top picks for some of the best MagSafe accessories, with a particular focus on accessories that offer charging.
Best overall: Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO 3-in-1 charging pad
Why it made the cut: This unassuming silicone-clad slab packs a sweet suite of Apple device chargers into a low-profile accessory.
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 5 x 3.66 inches
- Weight: 1.74 pounds
- Power: Up to 15W MagSafe
- Charges iPhone, Apple Watch, and wireless earbuds simultaneously
- Full 15W MagSafe charging capability
- Apple Watch Series 7 fast charge supported
- Apple Watch can be charged flat or in Nightstand mode
- Not the cheapest charging pad
Fans of maximized minimalism will love this Belkin 3-in-1 charging stand. It’s an Apple enthusiast’s simplest solution for charging all the essentials, with dedicated spots for a MagSafe-compatible iPhone, an Apple Watch, and wireless-compatible AirPods.
Despite being a three-device dream, it’s an unassuming silicone-clad slab—available in Black or White with a soft-matte finish and subtle chrome accents—and it’s a lay-flat design that can be easily packed for on-the-go use. The MagSafe iPhone platform offers full 15W charging, with or without an official MagSafe case on your device (an included 40W adapter ensures the full output). While the Watch puck is adjustable, allowing any size Watch to be oriented as an alarm clock in Nightstand mode—and enabling fast charge for compatible Apple Watch Series 7 models. And the AirPods panel includes an LED indicator, so you know the wireless charging is active.
Stable without being too hefty, the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO is the top third-party MagSafe charger and fills an important gap in Apple’s own offerings.
Best charging dock: Nomad Base One Max charger
Why it made the cut: Nomad’s Base One Max is a sturdy 2-in-1 Made for iPhone-certified charger made of metal, glass, and soft-touch rubber.
- Dimensions: 7.44 x 3.54 x 1.8 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Power: Up to 15W MagSafe, Requires 30W charging brick
- Beautiful design
- Weight keeps it anchored
- Apple Watch charges in Nightstand Mode
- Doesn’t support Apple Watch 7 fast charge
- Doesn’t come with a charging brick
Nomad’s Base One Max is a hefty 2-in-1 charger that emphasizes design and utility. Available in Carbide or Silver, it features a solid metal and glass design along with subtle soft-touch accents to keep your devices protected, and it looks and feels more like a centerpiece rather than just another accessory.
The integrated Apple Watch charger props up the wearable in Nightstand Mode, while the 15W MFi MagSafe pad provides a satisfying thunk every time you place your iPhone down to charge. The charging pad is also compatible with other Qi-enabled devices so that you can charge your AirPods in between Zoom meetings.
Although the Base One Max is heavy at 2 pounds, its weight allows it to stay anchored when you reach for your device, and the rubber base ensures it won’t move around. The Base One Max comes with a 6-foot braided USB-C cable, but you’ll have to supply your own charging brick. It also doesn’t support fast charge on the Apple Watch Series 7.
While the Base One Max is pricey and not as transportable as our best overall pick, its thoughtful, high-quality design makes it one of the most elegant MagSafe options for a designated iPhone charging station.
Best charger: Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger
Why it made the cut: Simplify your packing without sacrificing anything with this elegant wireless charging solution.
- Dimensions: 0.4 x 12.3 x 3.2 inches
- Weight: 9.92 ounces
- Power: 7.5W, 15W MagSafe
- Compact yet complete charging suite
- Sophisticated aesthetics
- Apple Watch can be oriented in Nightstand mode
- As pricy as a permanent pad, but not as solid
Classy as it is convenient, the Mophie 3-in-1 travel charger with MagSafe is an easily packable trifold charger that comes with all the accessories needed, all tucked within an elegant felt organizer. Inside this backpack, briefcase, or maybe even belt bag-friendly case, you’ll find three pockets for the charger, a 30W USB-C PD wall adapter, and an included 1m USB-C to USB-C cable.
Unfurl the heathered grey fabric-wrapped hub and three pads will be revealed, with a dedicated cradle for AirPods, a magnetized disc for iPhone, and a magnetized puck for Apple Watch. This charger powers all three simultaneously from a single cable plugged into the Watch platform. Perfect for pleasurable jaunts and business trips alike, this stylish set-up starts your devices charging on contact so in the morning you’ll be ready to touch base with all your contacts.
Best car mount: Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE Magnetic Wireless Car Charger
Why it made the cut: This vent-mounted charger helps you steer without your iPhone sliding around and driving you crazy.
- Dimensions: 1.68 x 3.98 x 5.43 inches
- Weight: 3.35 ounces
- Power: Up to 10W
- Easily mounted/removed on a vehicle air vent
- Keeps phone secure, accessible, and charged during navigation
- Requires you to run a cable from the console in order to charge
- Placement might require some adjusting, based on vent blades
It may not quite be the jetpacks that the future promised, but having a MagSafe mount in the car definitely changed how I travel for the better. Securing my iPhone conveniently as fast, if not faster, than I fasten my own seatbelt, not having to fish out a charging cable, then detaching the phone just as expediently when I get to my destination is perhaps the greatest expression of MagSafe’s life-changing properties.
Easily clamped to an air vent, the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE magnetic wireless charging mount holds an iPhone firmly within sight even when traffic patterns shift abruptly. If you must keep an eye on a screen for navigation purposes (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt you won’t play videos or other distractions while driving), it’s far better to situate your phone in an optimal place to the side of the steering column rather than have you fumbling for it with only one hand on the wheel.
In addition to firmly holding the phone in place (in either vertical or horizontal orientation), the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE can be plugged into (what was once) the cigarette lighter with the included 20W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 car power supply and charge your iPhone while driving. This helps compensate for energy-intensive programs like Waze and Google Maps keeping your display and GPS continually active. The road may be full of bumps, but at least your phone won’t flip or its battery dip with this convenient accessory.
Best battery: OtterBox wireless 5K mAh power bank
Why it made the cut: Two-sided MagSafe compatibility adds versatility to this potent pint-sized battery backup.
- Dimensions: 6.69 x 4.25 x 0.39 inches
- Weight: 6.5 ounces
- Power: 5W Qi, 7.5W MagSafe
- Magnets on both sides allow connections to a phone and mount simultaneously
- Wireless input and wireless output
- LED indicators for charge status/battery life
- No magnetic stabilizing strip leaves the opportunity for the power bank to rotate
- Not the biggest capacity available in a wireless power bank
The Otterbox wireless 5K mAh power bank tops the battery category not only because of what it can hold and also how you can hold it. It doesn’t have the capacity of, say, Belkin’s equally recommendable BOOST↑CHARGE Wireless Charger 10K, but only holding half the charge means it also takes up less space—a huge plus for pocketability (though the battery has the potential to rotate/become unaligned if you’re power-walking with purpose). And 5K is enough to fully recharge any iPhone 13 once (or the iPhone 13 mini twice).
What really stands out with this power bank is that it has MagSafe on both sides, meaning you can attach it to a MagSafe charger with your iPhone simultaneously attached, topping off both in the process. I actually store one on a Satechi 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charging Stand so that it’s primed and ready to easily peel off in case I’m leaving the house without my iPhone at 100%. And if I was without that convenient perch and succumbed to a cable, I could use the bidirectional USB-C port to charge the power bank, as well as to charge my phone.
Q: How much do MagSafe accessories cost?
MagSafe accessories can range from a $20 case to $150 charging pads, and occupy all price points in between.
Q: Which iPhones have MagSafe?
Currently, the iPhones 12/12 Pro/12 Pro Max/12 mini and the iPhone 13/13 Pro/13 Pro Max/13 mini all feature MagSafe accessory compatibility. The iPhone SE, meanwhile, supports wireless charging but doesn’t have the MagSafe system, specifically.
Q: Does MagSafe weaken?
All magnets weaken, but not at a pace that will be measurable within the lifetime of your device.
Q: Is MagSafe magnetic?
The MagSafe array is very thin but is definitely strongly magnetic, though made in a way that means other magnets won’t stick to your phone. However, MagSafe accessories should be used with some caution by people with medical devices like pacemakers, as sensors in such devices might react to both magnets and the radio transmitter inherent in all smartphones. Avoid placing anything MagSafe directly on the skin and charge at a distance of at least six inches away, just to be sure.
Final thoughts on the best MagSafe accessories
If you’re wired to go wireless and you’re an iPhone owner, MagSafe accessories are the best way for you to get your fill of features and battery capacity. Matching convenience with efficiency, the best MagSafe accessories are as attached to your pocket computer as you are and can help empower your adventures together.