Update, 2/8/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and are confident that these are still the best lightning cables you can buy.
How to buy a new Lightning cable in 2022
Buying a new Lightning cable sounds simple. After all, the main philosophy is often just to find a wire with a Lightning connector on one end and some type of connector on the other. This is usually good enough for some, but there are a few important factors to keep in mind.
First, not all Lightning cables are created equal. While they all share similarities, some use cheaper parts than others and can wear out more quickly over time. Moreover, some will only last you so long before they shrug their shoulders and decide to stop working one day. You don’t want that, so it’s always best to buy from proven and trusted brands that use a quality material like nylon to protect their cables.
It is also important to buy a Lightning cable with the correct connector. You’ll want to make sure the cable you buy can connect to the power adapters you own, regardless of the final quality. Some have the newer USB-C connector on the opposite end, while others have the older USB-A connection. You may never need a completely different type of connector like HDMI or AUX!
Finally, consider what kind of Lightning cable you want. Need a super long one? How about one that lets you connect to an external monitor? Want an all-in-one cable that can charge every device in your bag, including your iPhone? Planning ahead will ensure you are not disappointed in the future.
Below, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled the best Lightning cable you can get based on your budget, needs, and preferences.
- ✓ Durable nylon construction
- ✓ Universal length
- ✓ USB-C and MFi certification
Our pick for the best Lightning cable you can get is Anker’s USB-C to Lightning Charging Cord. It is covered in a durable nylon surface with the Lightning and USB connectors located in aluminum.
The cable supports Power Delivery for optimal charging performance and is Made for iPhone certified. It’s also a great length at six feet and comes in three colors. USB-C is also the standard for most power cubes, so this Lightning cable will be compatible with the best chargers and power cubes.
The Anker cable is a little pricey at $22, but it’s worth it for a cable that will undoubtedly last you a long time without fraying.
Overall the best Lightning cable
- ✓ Very affordable
- ✓ Nylon design
- ✓ Certified for iPhone
- ✗ The USB-A connector is obsolete
If you want to save as much money as possible on a new Lightning cable, but still want something decent, check out this $7 cable from Amazon Basics. It’s coated in nylon for durability with well-engineered connectors and Made for iPhone certification.
Its biggest downside is that it uses the older USB-A connector instead of USB-C, but if all you need is a way to connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer or an older wall charger, this cable will work just fine.
The best cheap Lightning cable
- ✓ Length 10 feet
- ✓ Very durable design with leather strap
- ✓ USB-C with Power Delivery and MFi certification
Sometimes a really long Lightning cable is all you need, and for this scenario we recommend getting the Native Union Belt Cable XL. This USB-C to Lightning cable is 10 feet long, so you’ll have plenty of flexibility, and any additional cable can be wrapped around the pre-attached leather strap. It is available in a decent number of colors and finishes.
The best thing about this cable is its durability. It’s coated with a nylon finish like many other cables, but what makes it unique is its ultra-strong reinforced structure that can withstand 2x the stress and last up to 6x longer than regular Lightning cables.
Admittedly, this cord is a bit pricey at $40. However, for that price you get a very robust Lightning cable for Apple devices that will last you a long time.
The best long Lightning cable
- ✓ Short length 3 feet
- ✓ USB-C with fast charging
- ✓ Certified for iPhone
- ✗ They are not as durable as nylon cables
For those who need a shorter, more basic Lightning cable, check out the Anker Powerline II. It is Made for iPhone certified and supports Power Delivery to quickly charge your iPhone. It’s three feet in length, which, while short, still offers enough cable to keep it from being uncomfortably short. It also has a USB-C connector.
While it’s not as durable as other rubberized Lightning cables, there’s no doubt that it’s a solid choice if you need a short Lightning cable that doesn’t skimp on features.
The best short Lightning cable
- ✓ USB-A connectivity
- ✓ Durable nylon construction
- ✓ Made for iPhone with certification and fast charging support
- ✗ The price may be a bit high for some
While most people who need a new Lightning cable usually look for USB-C connectors, some may still find USB-A cables better suited to their needs. If you’re one of those people, Anker’s Powerline+ II is a great choice. It comes with a six-foot cable, a variety of different colors, and is Made for iPhone certified. It also supports fast charging with compatible wall adapters.
This Lightning cable is also nylon coated for extra durability and even comes with a travel case for storage. At $20, it’s a great option if you need a reliable Lightning cable that supports legacy USB connections.
The best USB-A to Lightning cable
- ✓ A first-party solution for HDMI connectivity
- ✓ Separate power port
- ✗ It’s not the right cable
- ✗ A bit expensive
If you want to connect your iPhone to a projector or external display, we recommend picking up Apple’s Lightning to Digital AV adapter. It plugs directly into the Lightning port on your device and gives you access to an HDMI connector. It also has a separate power connector, so you can always keep your phone on the go.
At $49, it’s not particularly cheap, but it’s your best bet if you need to place your iPhone’s screen on something larger for presentation or media consumption.
The best HDMI to Lightning cable
- ✓ A direct solution for connecting to external speakers
- ✓ Durable design
- ✓ Affordable
- ✗ No hi-fi music support
The days of plugging your iPhone into the auxiliary port in your car or stereo may not be over now that the headphone jack is long gone. The KINPS Aux to Lightning cable is Made for iPhone certified and connects directly to the Lightning port on your iPhone, so you can play music through external speakers without the need for Bluetooth.
KINPS uses a reinforced nylon design for durability and is very reasonably priced at $12. Obviously, you won’t be able to play the highest fidelity audio through it, but it remains a great option for anyone who still needs a wired way to play audio through a set of speakers.
The best AUX to Lightning cable
KINPS Aux to Lightning cable
If you’re looking for a straightforward solution to connecting your iPhone to a set of speakers using additional speakers, this is the cable to get.
- ✓ Lightning, USB-C and microUSB connectors
- ✓ Made for iPhone certification
- ✓ Fast charging support
- ✗ USB-A connector on the opposite end
If you need a cable that can do triple duty, you’ll want to pick up Spigen’s DuraSync 3-in-1 Universal Charger. This cable has three interchangeable connectors that support Lightning, USB-C and micro USB to charge all your devices.
It comes with a nylon finish for durability, Made for iPhone certification and supports Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging if you have a compatible adapter. It is also reasonably priced at $18.
The biggest drawback is the fact that it only supports a USB-A connection on the opposite end. That being said, if you need the Swiss Army Knife of a Lightning cable, this is the one to get.
The best 3 in 1 cable