As sure as the sun will rise and England will lose The Ashes, your iPhone needs charging every day.
Battery technology just hasn’t evolved as fast as the phones in our pockets and so every night we plug them in and feed them with the juice they need for whatever we plan on scrolling through the next day.
Sure, every iPhone since 2017 has wireless charging built in, but most of us haven’t got a wireless charging pad. We like to stick with what we know, the humble Lightning cable. Ironically named, considering how slow iPhones traditionally are to charge.
You get one Lightning cable in the box when you get your shiny new iPhone (or iPad), but chances are it’ll fray and break, or you’ll leave it at work, or in the car, or on a train. Basically, you need some spare Lightning cables.
Unfortunately, not all Lightning cables are the same. You could just buy some more from Apple even though they are pricier than other brands, but if you usually manage to destroy them then maybe you need something with a little more durability. You could also go cheap – but not too cheap.
That’s why we’ve rounded up the five best Lightning cables for your iPhone, iPad or AirPods to ensure you get the best possible replacement and don’t get left with a dead mobile too often.
Two different type of Lightning cable
“Wait, what do you mean there’s more than one type of Lightning cable?”, I hear you cry. Don’t worry it’s fine, just pay attention to which you need and what you’re buying.
Most iPhones come with a USB-A to Lightning cable and a small 5W charging brick that it plugs into. USB-A is the regular USB port you’ve been used to for years and is probably what all your iPhone chargers use
But confusingly the iPhone 11 Pro is the first iPhone that ships with a fast 18W charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable. USB-C is a newer standard of USB that you’ll find on modern laptops, most Android phones and even the iPad Pro now. But in the use case for the iPhone, the USB end plugs into the charger, and the Lightning end to your phone.
It’s worth noting that every iPhone since the iPhone 8 can fast charge, but not with that puny charger in the box. You need to fork out for something like this to take advantage.
If you have an iPhone 11 Pro, you’ll want a USB-C to Lightning cable if you’re replacing the one in the box but a USB-A to Lightning cable if you want a spare cable to plug into a USB-A charger than you might have hanging about.
With that, here are the best Lightning cables you can buy in Australia.
USB-A to Lightning
Apple Lightning to USB Cable, 1m
This is the exact Lightning to USB-A cable that you'll find inside the packaging of most iPhones. It’s a meter long and does exactly what you expect it to.
We personally don’t have issues with its durability, and it also comes in a AU$29 0.5m and a AU$49 2m version if you need less or more slack.
AmazonBasics Double Braided Nylon Lightning to USB-A cable, 3m
If you want to pay around the same price as what Apple charges but want a cable that’s longer, more durable and pinker, then this is the Lightning cable for you.
Amazon has its own Basics range of goods, and this cable is MFi (Made for iPhone) certified by Apple, so you can be sure it’ll work well.
At 10ft/3m it’s ideal for a bedroom or desk cable to reach from the plug to where you need it to be. The braided design should hopefully keep those frays at bay, too.
AmazonBasics Lightning to USB-A cable, 1m
This cable is about as cheap as we’d recommend you go. It’s Amazon-made and MFi certified and has a reinforced design at each end to stop them breaking as fast as Apple’s might if you yank them around. There are few length options, too.
Any cheaper cable than this in your local supermarket or similar likely isn’t MFi certified, so it might not charge your iPhone at the correct or safe voltage – so steer clear of those.
USB-C to Lightning cables
Apple USB-C to Lightning cable, 1m
If you’re using a USB-C charging brick then this is the Apple cable for you. It’s also the one to get if you want to charge or sync your iPhone form a modern MacBook, as the laptops now only have USB-C ports on them.
The three lengths available cost exactly the same as Apple’s USB-A to Lightning cable, so just double check which one you need.
Anker USB-C to Lightning cable, 1m
Anker is a very reputable third-party accessory company that makes decent quality Apple products. This cable is a fine USB-C to Lightning alternative that Anker says lasts 12 times longer than other cables and comes with a lifetime warranty.
It’s MFi certified and supports fast charging – as long as you have a fast charging brick.