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The best iPhone accessories from cases to lightning cables

the best iPhone accessories

  • If you just bought yourself a shiny new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, you need fun accessories for your new phone.
  • Likewise, if you have an older iPhone 8, 7, or 6S at home, it’s fun to freshen things up with new accessories.
  • We rounded up the best cases, wireless chargers, lightning cords, headphones, and other iPhone accessories that we’ve tested.

If you own an iPhone, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to accessories. You can get cases in any color, style, and material. There is an endless array of lightning cables, memory expansion gadgets, screen protectors, and iPhone-related paraphernalia available for you to buy. It can be downright overwhelming.

Which accessories do you actually need? How do you know which brands to trust with your money? 

Well, to start, you read this guide. We’ve rounded up all the accessories you need to make the most of your iPhone. We’ve personally tested nearly every item in this guide (and heavily vetted the ones we haven’t) to showcase only the very best iPhone accessories that you actually need.

Here are the best iPhone accessories you can buy:

  • Best lightning cables: Anker Lightning cable
  • Best phone grip and stand: PopSocket Grip
  • Best wireless chargers: Belkin BoostUP, Mophie, Anker PowerWave 7.5 Pad, PowerWave 7.5 Stand
  • Best cases: Nomad, Otterbox, Case-Mate, Speck, Incipio, Nodus, Moshi, Incase
  • Best wireless earbuds: Apple AirPods, Jabra Elite Sport
  • Best screen protectors: TechMate screen protector and ZAGG screen protector
  • Best cleaning kit: Whoosh! cleaning kit
  • Best battery pack: Jackery Bolt battery pack
  • Best wireless headphones: Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless
  • Best iPhone docks: TwelveSouth iPhone dock and Native Union Dock+
  • Best battery pack: Jackert Bolt battery pack
  • Best gadget to expand storage: SanDisk iExpand
  • Best camera attachment: Olloclip

Updated on 08/06/2019 by Les Shu: Updated product options, prices, links, and formatting.

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

A lighting cable

The Anker PowerLine Lightning cable is the best cord for most people with its sturdy design, fast charging speed, and fair price point.

Anker’s PowerLine Lightning cable comes in tons of different lengths and a few different colors. All the cords are super sturdy, reinforced for extra toughness, and affordable. The cables have an 18-month warranty and they’re MFi certified by Apple, so you know they are safe to use.

Each cable comes with a Velcro strap for tying up extra cord when you don’t need it. PowerLine cables come in 1-foot, 3-foot, 6-foot, and 10-foot lengths to suit everyone’s needs.

If you want a different cable, check out our full buying guide to the best lightning cables.

Pros: Made from durable aramid fiber, lots of lengths, 18-month warranty, fast charging, reinforced stress points, and it’s MFi certified by Apple

Cons: None

Buy the 1-foot Anker PowerLine Lightning cable on Amazon for $9.49

Buy the 3-foot Anker PowerLine Lightning cable on Amazon for $8.99

Buy the 6-foot Anker PowerLine Lightning cable on Amazon for $9.99 and up

Buy the 10-foot Anker PowerLine Lightning cable on Amazon for $11.99 and up

A stand and grip for your phone

PopSocket grips are fun, customizable grips for your phone that double as a stand when you want to watch videos.

If you struggle to hold your phone one-handed, you need a PopSocket grip. These fun little grips stick on the back of your iPhone and pop out once or twice to give you the grip you need. You can also use your PopSocket grip as a stand when you want to watch videos or just prop your phone up on a table.

You can get PopSocket grips in a bunch of fun designs, including everything from animals and fun prints to solid colors and branded designs from franchises like sports teams and fandoms. Most cost just $9.99, though there are more expensive designs for $14.99 and so on.

I have one on my phone and I love it. I’ve bought several to give to family and friends. As someone who used to get hand cramps from an iPhone 6 Plus, I can say that PopSocket grips have actually changed my life for the better. It’s easier to hold my new iPhone XS, I have a secure grip so I don’t worry about dropping it, and I can touch any part of the screen one-handed. 

The only downside is that PopSocket grips can be hard to unstick over time, so if you need to switch cases or something, you’ll have a hard time. It also adds some thickness to your phone, so wireless charging may be a no-go with the iPhone XS, 8, or Plus when you have a PopSocket grip on the back.

Pros: Tons of fun designs, affordable, effective, good grip, work as a stand

Cons: Hard to unstick over time

Buy PopSocket grips for $10 and up based on design

A wireless charger

If you just bought an iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus, you need a wireless charger like the Belkin Boost Up Qi Wireless Charging Pad, the Mophie Wireless Charging Base, or Anker’s PowerWave pad and stand.

Both the Belkin and Mophie wireless charging pads are compatible with iPhones that support wireless charging. Simply place your phone on the pad and watch it start charging — it may seem like magic, but it’s a technology called Qi, and it’s also compatible with most Android phones. Both of the chargers charge at 7.5 watts so that your iPhone juices up more quickly.

They look beautiful and have a smart design with a good grippy surface so your phone won’t fall off while charging. Both should work with slim cases, though bulkier cases may make it harder to charge wirelessly, so keep that in mind.

The Mophie charging pad comes in black, while the Belkin one is white. Otherwise, the differences are negligible. I’ve tested both of these charging pads with great success and highly recommend them.

We also really like the Anker PowerWave 7.5 Pad and the PowerWave 7.5 Stand because these chargers can charge your iPhone even when it’s in a thick case.

However, if you prefer another model that’s cheaper or has a different look, check out our full guide to all the best wireless chargers you can buy.

Pros: Sleek design, rubbery grip, optimized for iPhone

Cons: A bit pricey

Buy the Belkin 7.5 Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad on Amazon for $34.99 (originally $49.99)

Buy the Mophie Wireless Charging Base from Amazon for $34.99 (originally $59.95)

Buy the Anker PowerWave 7.5 Pad on Amazon for $45.99

Buy the Anker PowerWave 7.5 Stand on Amazon for $49.99

A case

Otterbox, Case-Mate, Speck, Incipio, Nodus, Moshi, Incase, and Nomad make some of the best iPhone cases in the business.

A good iPhone case must be beautiful and strong. Whether you need a rugged case or a slim one, there’s an iPhone case for you here.

  • Otterbox makes the best rugged cases and really puts them through the wringer in stress tests. You can get super-rugged cases if you’re the adventurous type who takes your iPhone hiking and backpacking, but Otterbox also has slimmer, more stylish cases that maintain a similar level of protection.
  • Case-Mate makes fun, stylish, feminine cases in fun colors and patterns. The brand also has simple clear cases and more traditional looking cases to appeal to those who don’t want glitter and flowers.
  • Speck cases are iconic for their simple style and excellent grip. These cases are tough even though they appear relatively thin. 
  • Incipio cases are simple, often slim, and well made. They are great basic cases for people whose taste is more subtle.
  • Nomad’s beautiful cases are made with Horween leather or carbon fiber, depending on the design. These cases are tough and classy at the same time. The quality really shines through.
  • Nodus makes exquisite leather cases, but they are a bit hard to get ahold of on Amazon.
  • Moshi is known for its unique, simple, on-trend cases. Moshi also makes great folios that are attractive.
  • Incase makes high-end cases with an eye toward cool design and slim profiles — very Apple in spirit. It’s protected many of our iPhones from damage during accidental drops. Incase also makes terrific bags and other accessories.

Shop Otterbox cases on Amazon

Shop Case-Mate cases on Amazon

Shop Speck cases on Amazon

Shop Incipio cases on Amazon

Shop Nomad cases 

Shop Nodus cases on Amazon

Shop Moshi cases on Amazon

Shop Incase cases on Amazon

A pair of wireless earbuds

The Apple AirPods are the best wireless headphones for iPhone owners, but the Bragi Dash and Jabra Elite Sport are excellent alternatives if AirPods are out of stock.

If you’re an iPhone user, the Apple AirPods are the best truly wireless earbuds around. They’re built specifically to work with the iPhone, so they connect flawlessly without the hassle of pairing via Bluetooth.

The real draw for these headphones is their excellent connectivity and wireless reliability. The AirPods almost never drop the connection because of Apple’s dedicated W1 chip, which is inside the earbuds.

The AirPods have a great battery life, too. You get five hours of listening time or two hours of talk time. With the charging case, you can get 24 hours of listening time, though you’ll have to wait for the AirPods to charge each time they run out of juice.

The latest AirPods are available in two options: one with a standard charging case that uses a Lightning cable, and another that comes with a wireless charging case that uses either a Lightning cable or Qi wireless charging pad.

If the AirPods are sold out or the styling isn’t for you, the Jabra Elite Sport is a great alternative.

You can also check out our full guide to the best truly wireless earbuds you can buy to see more options.

Pros: Great battery, excellent connectivity, good sound, less pricey than some of the competition, easy to pair

Cons: Slightly expensive

Buy the latest Apple AirPods with charging case from Amazon for $144.99

Buy the latest Apple AirPods with wireless charging case from Amazon for $179

Buy the Jabra Elite Sport on Amazon for $148.99 (originally $249.99)

A screen protector

TechMatte makes excellent screen protectors for less, while ZAGG’s screen protectors come with special features like blue light blocking and privacy shields.

When you spend $1,000 or more on a phone, you want it to last. Once you buy a great case, you need to get a sturdy screen protector. TechMatte and ZAGG make our favorite screen protectors.

ZAGG is famous for its screen protectors, and it has interesting options like privacy shield protectors that prevent snoopers from looking at what’s on your screen and another protector that blocks blue light to protect your eyes without altering the color of the screen.

TechMatte makes excellent tempered glass screen protectors that are much cheaper than ZAGG’s but still of excellent quality. The protectors are just 0.3mm thick, but very strong. The glass has a surface hardness of 9H, which should guard your investment against scratches and breakage. The surface is covered with an oleophobic coating to reduce fingerprint smears on your screen.

In the package, you get three screen protectors in case you mess up the first one, an installation tray, wet wipes, an installation guide, and dust removal stickers. It’s a great deal for such a low price. These screen protectors also have great reviews from buyers and experts alike.

Pros: Affordable, easy to install, strong against scratches, made to fit iPhones

Cons: None

Shop all ZAGG iPhone screen protectors on Amazon for $16.10 and up

Shop all TechMate screen protectors for iPhone on Amazon for $4.99 and up

A cleaning kit

Whoosh! makes the best cleaning kit you can buy with its perfect cleaning cloths and safe cleaning spray.

I hate to break it to you, but your iPhone is filthy. In fact, it’s filthier than your toilet seat. I know, I know. This is hard to hear. But don’t worry: Whoosh!’s cleaning kit is here to safely clean your phone in lieu of boiling water or rubbing alcohol — both of which will destroy your phone.

Whoosh safely cleans your phone with a simple spray that kills germs without destroying your screen. The included cleaning cloths leave no streaks or lint behind, so your iPhone sparkles like it did before you took it out of the box for the first time.

I’ve used Whoosh! on my gadgets weekly since I first tried the spray back at a particularly grimy technology show called CES in Las Vegas, where products are manhandled by thousands of attendees.

Pros: Cleans safely, great cloth included, no streaks kills germs

Cons: None

Buy Whoosh! on Amazon for $9.99 and up

A battery pack

The Jackery Bolt 6,000mAh External Battery Pack can juice up your iPhone twice, and it has built-in lightning and Micro USB cables. Plus, it’s affordable.

The Jackery Bolt 6,000 mAh External Battery Charger with built-in Lightning and Micro USB Cables is the best external battery pack you can buy if you have an iPhone. It’s affordable, comes with the cable you need to charge built-in, isn’t too bulky, and it’ll charge your iPhone at least twice.

It comes in two different capacities, so you can choose between a 6,000mAh/6,700mAh pack that can fully charge an iPhone 7/8/XS twice and a 10,050mAh pack that can fully charge an iPhone 7/8/XS three times.

The Micro USB cable is just a bonus if you have wireless headphones or another gadget that uses Micro USB to charge up.

If you want a prettier one or a battery pack with other features, read our full guide to the best battery packs you can buy.

Pros: Comes with lightning and Micro USB cables, charges your phone more than once, it’s relatively slim, it’s and more affordable than the competition

Cons: Kinda chunky

Buy the Jackery Bolt 6,000mAh External Battery Charger with Built-in Lightning and Micro USB Cables on Amazon for $25.49 (originally $29.99)

Buy the Jackery Bolt 10,050mAh External Battery Charger with Built-in Lightning and Micro USB Cables on Amazon for $39.99

A pair of wireless headphones

If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, you no longer have a headphone jack, so buy our favorite wireless headphones instead.

We have tested so many great wireless headphones that picking just one pair is really hard. Our favorite pair if money is no object is the Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless over-ear headphones. They’re gorgeous, they sound great, and they’re very reliable to use every day, thanks to good battery life. 

If you’re looking for something different, you should also consider the great noise canceling Bose QuietComfort 35, the portable AKG N60 NC Wireless, the fitness-friendly Jaybird X3, the affordable JBL E55BT headphones, and more in our full guide. Read our full guide to wireless headphones on Insider Picks.

Pros: Incredible sound, wireless connection, look cool

Cons: Expensive

Buy the Sennheiser HD 1 Wireless over-ear headphones on Amazon for $299.95 (originally $399.95)

 

A dock

The Twelve South HiRise 2 and the Native Union Dock+ both simplify the way you charge your iPhone and look fantastic on any desk or nightstand.

A good iPhone dock makes charging your phone easy, plus, it cleans up your nightstand or desk. We have a full buying guide with five excellent iPhone docks, but two of our favorites are the TwelveSouth HiRise 2 and the Native Union Dock+.

These two docks are sturdy and attractive enough to have on your desk or nightstand at all times. You can get both docks with lightning cables included so you don’t have to worry about buying extras. 

The TwelveSouth dock is more simple and industrial looking, but it’s also cheaper. Native Union’s Dock+ comes in two forms: weighted silicone and metal or real marble and metal. It looks more like a work of art than a piece of tech, which will help justify its price to the artistically minded. 

Pros: Attractive design, weighted, cable usually included (not always with TwelveSouth)

Cons: Pricier than cheaper models

Buy the Twelve South HiRise 2 on Amazon for $39.99 (no cable) or $59.99 (with cable)

Buy the Native Union Dock+ on Amazon for $39.99 (originally $59.99)

Buy the Native Union Dock+ in marble on Amazon for $139.99

A gadget to expand storage

The SanDisk iExpand plugs into your iPhone to store and transfer files to and from your computer.

First of all, I really hope you didn’t buy a 16GB iPhone back when Apple cruelly offered that low storage capacity to buyers. But if you did, it’s okay, because the SanDisk Expand helps alleviate your storage woes. 

This nifty little gadget has a lightning connector at one end that plugs into your iPhone and a USB at the other to connect to your computer. With these two ports and the storage built into the stick, you can store and transfer files to and from your iPhone.

The iExpand automatically backs up photos, contacts, and videos so nothing gets lost. You can offload important pictures and videos to your computer and free up space on your iPhone to download a movie for your flight or something as mundane as the new software update. Everything is easy to manage right in the iXpand Drive app.

Pros: Expands storage, makes storing and transferring files easy, available in large capacities

Cons: Expensive

Buy the 64GB SanDisk iExpand on Amazon for $34.99

A camera attachment

Olloclip makes one of the best camera lens attachments you can buy for the iPhone.

There are a lot of iPhone lens attachment kits out there, but Olloclip’s offerings have long been some of the best. Olloclip has different attachments that fit each iPhone model and a series of lenses that you can add, including fish-eye, wide-angle, and more.

You’ll have to remove your case to put the lens attachment on, but it’s easy to take on and off. (If you can’t live without a case, Olloclip sells ones that are compatible with its lenses.) The lens kits are great for travel or people who are serious about iPhone photography. Olloclip has many different sets you can buy, including a filmmaker’s kit that gives you the Fisheye, Super-Wide, Macro 15x lenses, Telephoto 2x, and Ultra-Wide lenses; a 225° articulating mobile video grip; and a nice case to hold it all.

Pros: High-quality lenses, easy to attach and remove, variety of lenses, kits for filmmakers

Cons: Pricey

Buy Olloclip lens attachments for $59.99 to $99.99

Buy Olloclip lens attachments on Amazon starting at $79.99