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 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.
MOS Spring Lightning Cable
This cable is excellent. It has springs at both ends to give the material relief from constant strain and prevents the otherwise breakable cable from fraying.
The entire length (in this case we've picked 6ft, but you can get others) of the cable is coated in the company’s Exoskeleton design, which hold shape very loosely and protects the cable simply but effectively. It also stops it tangling, which can often leads to splits and faults.
MOS also ships each cable with a lifetime guarantee, making this a superb choice for a lifelong Lightning partner. The MOS logo also, upside down, looks like the Weyland Corp. logo from the Alien series. Which is a nerdy plus.
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 kevlar, it is a utilitarian, rugged cable that is reasonably priced and a sensible length. What more do you need?
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.
Amazon Basics 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 cable is only just over a fiver, with free delivery. So you can buy three cables for around the price of one Apple one 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 and comes in a rainbow of colours suited to you.
Anker Nylon Braided USB cable
If you’re after something a bit longer, this cable from Anker is a great bet at 3ft.
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 Apple products.
This isn’t the cheapest cable, but it’s handy for different situations – if you don’t want a load of cord 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 release 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.