Most Apple products these days will ship with a Lightning cable; the company now uses the connection on all its iPhones and iPads. Yet with everyday wear and tear, at some point you’re going to start seeing wires sticking out of the once pure white cable and will need to replace it.
You can go direct to Apple, but there are a plethora of alternatives out there - just don't buy a cheap Lightning cable. So, we’ve rounded up our favourites for your perusal. Here you go.
Apple USB-A to Lightning Cable
Not as iconic as the white ear buds, but white and useful nonetheless, you might want to buy direct from Apple. Which is fine! The standard cable that ships with most Apple products is the 1m cable and adding a tenner to the price (ouch) will get you an extra metre.
Not a lot else to say here – it’s made by Apple and it’s a Lightning cable. Does what it says on the tin. Also goes murky grey very fast, depending on your usage.
Syncwire UNBREAKcable Lightning
Maybe don't take a knife to it, but otherwise the UNBREAKcable lives up to its name. Syncwire stress tests all its products to ensure they don't fray or deteriorate over time.
Coated in thick rubber that is supposedly 40% stronger than materials used in the military, aerospace, and by the police, it is a utilitarian, rugged cable that is reasonably priced and a sensible length. What more do you need?
As well as the black model pictured you can get it in white, and either 20cm or 1m long.
Moshi USB Cable with Lightning Connector
Moshi's Lightning cable comes in a few lengths but our favourite is the longest, this 10ft/3m version. If the plug outlet in your room of choice is further away from your sprawling place of choice then this is the answer.
It's also handy for passing round in a car. The thicker than Apple cable is more durable and should last you a while - Moshi products are very well made.
Nomad Ultra Rugged Lightning Cable
While we're on tough cables, how about Nomad's 'Ultra Rugged' Lightning offering?
It's made out of 'balistic nylon', which sounds pretty exciting, along with a kevlar core, and a PVC jacket. Y'know, in case your cables are prone to spontaneous combustion.
It's available in 1.5m/5ft or 3m/10ft (£25.16/34.95), and features a built-in silicone cable tie for easy cable management.
This nifty cable by Anchor is a metal alternative to the Lightning cable you got with your iPhone. But it has a trick up its sleeve.
If you only want one cable for all your tech, then this is it. The end is magnetic and comes with connectors for Lightning, USB-C and micro-USB. It'll have you covered if you also have another phone or a Kindle for example.
The ends are very strongly magnetic and it makes for a great travelling companion. After starting on Kickstarter, it's available for worldwide shipping now.
Fuse Chicken Titan Loop
With claims to being the toughest key chain cable on Earth, the Titan Loop from the amazingly named company Fuse Chicken is a clever little charge loop. The Lightning connector end loops round and slots into a cap next to the USB connector, forming a neat metal loop.
This can be easily hooked round a bag loop, belt or used as a key chain. Or, it can just be a neat, durable cable. Another great choice as long as the plug or your computer isn’t far away from whatever it is you’re looking to sync or charge.
On Amazon US, Fuse Chicken offers the Titan Loop as a third-party seller.
AmazonBasics Lightning to USB cable
Products in the Amazon Basics range just work and they’re very cheap to boot. Cheap does not mean bad though – Basics’ 0.9m (3ft) cable is only just over a fiver, with free delivery. So you can buy three cables for around the price of one Apple version if you don’t mind not having Apple brand stuff.
Amazon does note that it works with ‘nearly all cases’, so you may want to double check, but we doubt this would be a problem for most accessories.
Belkin Lightning to USB cable
Longer cable than standard? Check. Selection of colours? Check. Trusted tech brand? Check. Belkin’s standard 1.2m/4ft Lightning cable is longer, affordable and reliable.
Anker Nylon Braided USB cable
Anker claims it’s particularly rugged, having bent the poor thing 4000 times in testing, with no changes to performance. Cables are boring, true, but if one breaks it can render your devices useless. Anker is here to change that, for a great price.
Just Mobile AluCable
This cable is not only useful (well, they all are, they are all the same) but also harks back to a simpler time of, y’know, wired phones. That coiled tangled mess on your desk, or in your hallway has managed to pass on as phones become wireless, but wireless charging isn’t quite here yet for all Apple products.
This isn’t the cheapest cable, but it’s handy for different situations – if you don’t want a load of cords bunching up then it’ll work great, but will also stretch to 1.8m if necessary. And don’t worry, it’s designed not to tangle, unlike your landline phone circa 1992.
Native Union NIGHT Cable
Possibly one of the most luxurious accessories around if you consider the basic function and the overall form. Native Union’s NIGHT cable fixes a problem you probably didn’t realize was one until they pointed it out. If you have a nightstand, or an area where you normally charge your iPhone or iPad, you no longer have to scrabble around on the floor to find the end.
The NIGHT has a weighty knot of cable that you can move up and down the length of the cord (it’s the same material but not part of the cable). We’re fans over here at Macworld HQ – it works really well, and once you’ve got one next to your bed, you’ll want one for all your other devices. The reinforced cord means no tangled wires and a long life of no frayed ends. Hopefully.
TeckNet 1m Lightning Cable
It works. It's 10cm to 3 metres long and available in six colours. It costs less than a fiver. It's a no-brainer.
Satechi Flexible Lightning to USB Cable
This Satechi cable is another great choice for anyone who just wants a simple short cable to connect their iPhone to their laptop, without unnecessary length getting tangled up everywhere.
It's available in either 6in, 10in (and 14in in the US), either white or black (£14.99/$12.99), and has a sleek, flexible silicone design.