Having a wireless charging pad for your phone is handy no matter where you are, but it’s especially helpful when you’re driving because it helps minimize distraction. While these chargers aren’t entirely wireless – the charging dock will still need to be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter or USB port – they are wireless in the sense that matters most: You won’t have to constantly plug and unplug the cable charger.
Note that each wireless charger in this buyer’s guide is compatible with any wireless charging-enabled mobile phone, whether it’s an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel or any other Qi-enabled phone. And if you’re attached to your phone case – so long as it isn’t super thick – you can leave it on and stillyour phone. Most of these chargers even double as a phone holder with an adjustable arm. We update this list periodically and new wireless charging technology comes to market.
iOttie’s “autosense” automatic clamping wireless car charger with a phone mount is one of the best out there. While it’s fairly pricey, we’ve seen some nice discounts on it recently. The Auto Sense Automatic Clamping Qi Charging Car Phone Mount is available in a dashboard mount version or a CD and vent clip version (I tried the dashboard wireless charging mount). This wireless car charger mount has a nicely designed telescoping arm, a strong suction cup, and the wireless charging mount feature is compatible with most phone cases. You get 7.5-watt charging for an iPhone and 10-watt for Android phones, which is considered fast wireless charging.
This Qi wireless charger comes with a dual charging USB cigarette lighter adapter. My only gripe – and it’s a small one – is that the included cable is Micro-USB and not USB Type-C. Once this Qi charger is plugged into the wireless car charging mount you can basically forget about it, but if the cable accidentally becomes unplugged (which does happen), it’s easier to plug in a USB-C cable for phone charging, especially when you ‘ re driving.
If you don’t mind going with a no-name brand like ZeeHoo, its wireless car charger has most of the features you want for phone charging, including autoclamping, a secure suction cup that can be installed on your car’s air vent, windshield or dashboard. It has USB-C and up to 15-watt fast charging for Android phones that support it (iPhones are capped at 7.5-watt charging). This upgraded version has a sleeker design than the original (see below) and it costs about $ 20 less than the iOttie above. However, this wireless charger doesn’t come with a cigarette lighter adapter – only a USB-C cable.
This wireless car mount charger is one of the more popular generic wireless car chargers with an autosensing telescopic arm, and the original version I tried worked well overall, attaching securely to my car vent mount and giving my smartphone or QI enabled device a quick charge. I liked that the wireless car charger came with both a phone mount for my car’s air-vent mount (if you want just the air-vent mount, there is an air-vent only version that costs $ 30).
Note that to get fast charging, you will need a power adapter that supports it (not included).
ZeeHoo’s original wireless car charger with autoclamping remains a good value at around $ 30. Aside from some cosmetic improvements on the upgraded version, the biggest difference is that this one has up to 10-watt fast charging for Android phones instead of 15-watt fast charging (iPhones are capped at 7.5-watt charging for both chargers). Like the upgraded version, this wireless charger doesn’t come with a cigarette lighter adapter – only a USB-C cable – and to get fast charging, you will need a power adapter that supports it (not included).
If you want to go with a little more discreet-looking wireless charger, a magnetic mount phone charger is a good choice. The iOttie iTap 2 Wireless is available in versions with air-vent, CD slot and dashboard car suction mount. I tried the air-vent version, which has a locking mechanism on the air-vent clip that keeps the charger suction mount securely attached to the vent. Note that this mount is not MagSafe compatible.
For your wireless phone charger to work with a magnetic car suction mount, you either need a case with some metal built into it (which I have) or you can attach one of the included slim stick-on metal plates to the back of your phone (stick it toward the bottom so it doesn’t interfere with the wireless charge circuitry in the middle of it). You can even cover the plate with your phone case, but make sure the case isn’t too thick or your phone won’t stick to the charger mount.
The iOttie iTap 2 magnetic wireless car charger mount includes a dual USB car charger that has an extra USB port for charging a second device. The included cable is a Micro-USB cable, not USB-C, which doesn’t have accelerated charging capabilities. I tested it using an iPhone 11 Pro, which stayed on the charger securely, but for larger phones, it would probably be better to go with one of the wireless charger options above.
David Carnoy / CNET
Mophie’s Snap Plus 15W Wireless Charging Vent Mount is a magnetic mount that comes with an integrated USB-C cable (the charging puck is removable from the mount but the cable is integrated into the puck). It also comes with a cigarette lighter adapter and a magnetic ring you can stick onto the back of phones that aren’t MagSafe-enabled, including Android models. I tried it with a MagSafe charger case on my iPhone 12 Pro and the phone stuck well to the mount. That said, the magnet isn’t super-strong and I wouldn’t recommend this for heavier phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. But overall it’s an attractively designed accessory.
It can wirelessly charge Android models at up to 15-watt speeds, but with iPhones wireless charging tops out at 7.5 watts.
ZealSound’s Qi-Certified Car Charge Slim Pad Station Dock may not be the most elegant wireless charging solution, but this wireless charging pad can be placed anywhere you want and has a grippy bottom and guard rails to keep your phone from flying off the pad when you brake or accelerate suddenly or make a sharp turn. It offers up to 10-watt charging for compatible Android phones. For iPhones it charges at 7.5 watts. A cigarette lighter power adapter is included.
If you’ve already got Apple’s MagSafe wireless charging puck, this Spigen mounting accessory is a good option for bringing it into your car. As I said, the MagSafe wireless charger is not included. Nor is a USB-C cigarette lighter adapter. But at less than $ 20, this is a fairly affordable magnetic mounting accessory.
Note: Just make sure to get the right cigarette lighter adapter with it to get the maximum 15-watt charging speeds. Also, since this relies on the magnets from the wireless charging puck for your phone to stick to it (MagSafe case required if you are using a case) this isn’t recommended for the larger iPhone 13 Max Pro as it’s more likely to slip off the mount – especially if you hit a bump – because of its weight.
OK, so this isn’t a wireless charger, but a lot of wireless car chargers on this list don’t include a cigarette-lighter power adapter, so I thought I’d throw this on the list at the end. I originally had an Aukey power adapter on this list, but it’s out of stock and this low-profile Ainope mini fast USB Car Charger offers even faster charging (up 24 watts) and costs less. It has both a USB-C and USB-A port so you can charge two devices at the same time, but to get 15-watt wireless charging you’re going to be better off charging one device.
Note that to get the fastest wired charging for iPhones, you’ll need to use a USB-C to Lightning cable. That cable is not included.