iPhones and iPads use Lightning to USB cables to charge and sometimes sync data with your computer (depending on how you have yours set up). Apple bundles a standard 3 foot (1 meter) white Lightning USB cable with all their iPhone and iPad devices but for many people that just isn’t enough. You can buy additional iPhone or iPad charging cables, whether you want an extra lightning cable for your car or bedside table, a long lightning cable for charging your phone on the couch, or just an additional fashionable iPhone charging cable to throw in your backpack that won’t be confused with other people’s plain old white iPhone charging cords.
The Best Lightning to USB Cables
AmazonBasics Lightning to USB A Cable, MFi Certified – 3-Foot
If you’re just looking for a basic cheap lightning to USB cable, then this is a great choice. It’s a two pack of three foot lightning USB cables (the same length that came with your iPad or iPhone). You can use these as extra cables or replacements for cables you’ve lost for any device with a Lightning port.
This USB cable for iPhone 2-pack is also available in black instead of white, and different lengths are also available. You can even get a set of bulk lightning cables (a 24 pack)!
Coiled Lightning iPhone Charging Cable
Ever seen a coiled Lightning cable? They can be pretty neat and useful in some scenarios, such as when you want to have a reasonably long cable with some “give” to it. This cable is compact for traveling and doesn’t take up a lot of space on a desk. Many users buy it specifically to use in their car to avoid tangling or the cable getting in the way as they drive. This coiled lightning USB cable for iPad/iPhone measures about 4 feet long and comes in black.
2 in 1 USB Charging Cable for iPhone & Android
If you have an iPhone or iPad and your significant other has an Android device you’re probably used to carrying two sets of charging cables with you. iOS devices famously use Apple’s special Lightning connector, while Android devices and common items such as cameras often use USB C or Micro USB connectors.
This ingenious 3 in one USB to Lightning cable can charge your iPhone or iPad and also Android phones and other devices! It comes with two removable caps for different devices which are both tethered to the cable so they won’t get lost. Pretty clever! Available in black.
Here’s a great USB to Lightning cable kit that comes with three iPhone/iPad charging cords in one package. It includes a short lightning cable (5 inches/13cm), a medium length lightning cable (4 feet/1.2m), and a long lightning charging cable (6 ft/1.8m). With the distinctive silver and black styling of these cables, you won’t get them confused with anyone else’s either.
Here’s a neat feature of these lightning charging cables: they have a tiny LED light built into the part that plugs into your phone. This makes it very easy to find your phone while it’s charging in a dark room, plus it helps you have confidence at a glance with the screen off that the phone is indeed charging.
These lightning-USB cords also come with cable ties so you can keep them nice and neat when you’re not using them. Also available in white/silver instead of the black/silver version pictured here. This lightning USB cable has gotten generally favorable reviews and is compatible with all iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch models with Lightning ports.
This compact USB cable for iPad/iPhone retracts into a sheath that fits into the palm of your hand. When extended it reaches 2 feet (0.6 meters) and it has a standard sized USB type A plug on one end and a Lightning connector on the other. Because it collects itself into a neat little package you won’t get it tangled up with your headphones or other cables you may have in a backpack or pocket or purse. It’s the ideal size for a phone charging cable that you can throw in a bag and take anywhere. This iPhone cable is available in black or white.
Frequently asked questions about Lightning to USB cables
Which models of iPhone/iPad do these lightning to USB cables work on?
These charging and data cables work on any iPhone or iPad that have a Lightning port. For instance, this includes iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, and iPhone X. For iPads, this includes every iPad model since late 2012 (iPad with Retina Display), and every model of iPad mini. They also work with every iPad Touches that has a Lightning connector.
Where can I find a lightning to USB adapter that lets me plug devices into my iPad or iPhone?
Check out this article on Lightning to USB camera adapters and more.
Where can I get really long Lightning cables or really short Lightning cables?
Check out these related articles: the best long lightning cables and The Best Short Lightning Cables for iPhones & iPads.
Is it safe to use third party lightning cables not made by Apple?
Apple has strict quality and safety standards for accessories as part of their MFI (Made For iOS device) program. They outline the exact amounts of power that accessories like Lightning cables should use to ensure compatibility with their devices. In our experience, the best third party lightning cables work just as well as Apple’s first party official cables.
Can you get nylon braided lightning cables for iPhone? Do they exist?
Yes, nylon braided charging cables exist for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, like this model shown at left.
Some people like nylon braided cables better because they can be more durable and less likely to fray than regular plastic or rubber cables when they’re exposed to repeated stress like the normal twisting and coiling that phone charging cables commonly experience.
This Anker brand braided Lightning charging cable comes in a variety of colors and is 3 feet long (1 meter) just like the default white cable that comes with iPhones and iPads.