Apple might have been slightly behind the curve in adding wireless charging to the iPhone, but the Qi standard is now common across the 2019 line-up, supported by iPhone 8, iPhone XR and all versions of iPhone 11.
For older iPhones it is possible to add a wireless charging receiver that plugs into the Lightning port and tucks away neatly inside the case, though it does render the Lightning port unusable while the phone is charging. We like this Choetech example that costs just £6.99.
Apple's own AirPower wireless charger never saw the light of day, but any third-party model will work. That said, not all wireless chargers are created equal, and those that are not specifically certified for use with iPhone may not support the phone's top wireless charging speed of 7.5W. There is also a range of designs, with wireless charging docks, stands and pads to choose between.
How much power do I need?
With iOS 11.2 Apple raised the top wireless charging speed of its iPhones from 5W to 7.5W. To this day no iPhone will wirelessly charge faster, so you might think there is no need to buy a wireless charger that can accommodate a higher output.
That would be to assume Apple is stopping at 7.5W, however. With some Android phones now capable of 30W wireless charging, we can;t see Apple waiting too long to raise the bar. Buying a faster model now will afford you some future-proofing, but be sure to look for an Apple-certified model.
Do note that most wireless chargers are not sold with a wall plug, and that wireless power doesn't come from thin air. In order to deliver a 7.5W output there must be at least 7.5W of power going into the other end, so you'll need a matching USB adaptor. Apple's own 30W USB-C adaptor is more than ample.
Now that we've explained the technical stuff, let's take a look at some of the best wireless chargers for iPhone.
1. Choetech Dual Fast Wireless Charger
One of the best alternatives to the distant memory that is AirPower is Choetech's Dual Fast Wireless Charger. It can support two iPhones (or other Qi-compatible phones) at their full 7.5W.
Considering how much we thought Apple would charge for the AirPower, this Choetech seems devilishly cheap. But this is anything but a cheap product.
With five coils tucked away inside, the charging pad is about the same size as an iPhone 11 Pro Max. It's sleek in design, with a meshed top surface not unlike what you'd expect to find on a speaker, which aids grip.
There's also a subtle LED to signal operation on the front edge, rubber strips to hold it to the desk and vents to aid heat dissipation.
2. Native Union Dock
The Native Union Dock lets you charge compatible iPhones standing up rather than flat on a surface, which is handy if you want to glance at notifications or even use Face ID without picking up the phone. (If flat charging is more your thing, consider the company's smart and grippy Drop charger instead.)
It offers up to 10W fast charging speeds but only comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, so you'll have to use your own plug or fork out for a larger power supply if you want 10W. But it's the most premium wireless charger we've used and it works excellently, with a nice fabric texture to the unit and the power cable.
Perfect for desk or bedside table.
3. Dodocool Fast Wireless Charger
Dodocool's Fast Wireless Charger operates at up to 10W: that's actually faster than iPhones can handle right now, but adds a bit of future-proofing. It's almost unbeatable at this price, but doesn't look or feel cheap.
Just 69g in weight and only 10mm thick, this compact wireless charger is square in shape with soft rounded corners. It has a matt surface and a C-shaped rubber strip that helps hold an iPhone in place. It won't move on a desk thanks to some handy rubber feet, and vents allow heat to escape.
With just a small LED that lights up green when charging is in operation, there's no chance of this tiny device keeping you awake at night. A great deal.
4. Anker PowerWave 7.5W Pad
Anker is well known in the world of charging and offers lots of wireless pads and stands. Our pick would be this slightly more expensive option which has a great spec and comes bundled with a Quick Charge 3.0 mains adapter.
If someone in your household is an Android user, it's also good to know that (despite the product's name) it can ramp up to 10W on supported devices.
The pad is well designed, with a fan in its base to prevent overheating and a small blue activity LED that is functional but won't keep you awake at night. We like the light grey non-slip surface too, and it can charge wirelessly through cases up to 5mm.
5. Belkin Boost Up Bold Wireless Charging Pad
Belkin was first out the door with a pad marketed for iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X, and the Boost Up Bold Charging Pad is compatible with later iPhones too. It offers up to 10W, but you can find the 7.5W version, which costs slightly less, via the Apple and Amazon links above.
Belkin's offering is a neat black or white disk that has an LED to indicate when your phone is charging, and an AC adapter is included.
6. Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand 10W
Another model in the Belkin Boost Up line, this Wireless Charging Stand is arguably more practical as it allows you to continue using your iPhone as it charges. You can place your iPhone in an upright or horizontal position, and the cradle is wide enough to support all models. It's sturdy too, so there's no fear of your iPhone toppling over as you're tapping away.
Belkin's Boost Up products are certified for Apple use, so a top wireless charging speed of 7.5W is guaranteed. However, it also works with other Qi-compatible phones and can deliver up to 10W. We also like the three-year warranty, and the fact a mains adaptor is included in the box.
7. Moshi SnapTo Magnetic Car Mount
Something a bit different here. Moshi's in-car wireless iPhone charger holds your handset magnetically - a convenient function if you want to use it as GPS - while topping up its power levels wirelessly.
This is wonderfully convenient. The mount slots into the vents on almost any car model's air conditioning, or sticks to the windscreen, and can be rotated through portrait or landscape mode. When you get to your destination the phone pops easily off the mount and you're away - no more fiddly unplugging; and instead of being drained from a long journey's navigation duties, your handset has more power than ever.
One thing to note: as well as the car mount, you'll need a compatible SnapTo case (iGlaze or Altra), which has the magnets built in. (We've been using the iGlaze, which is decent enough but slightly heavier than our usual leather option.) And the mount is also available without wireless charging.
8. Ted Baker Connected wireless charger
It isn't really surprising that this Qi-compatible charging pad is at the upper end, price-wise, bearing in mind its fashionable label.
You're definitely paying for the brand, then, but the product does its best to justify the price tag in other ways. It looks great, has just the right weight and texture so it doesn't move around annoyingly on your desk or bedside table, and doesn't force you to be overly fussy about placing your phone on exactly the right part of the pad (the shape of the pad under your fingers also helps guide the device on to a chargeable area, we found).
It's rated at 10W, which will be handy if Apple raises the limit for iPhones beyond the current 7.5W or if you want to use it with Qi-compatible Android devices as well.
9. Mophie Wireless Charging Base
Mophie's Wireless Charging Base is a simple black disk capable of charging the new iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, as well as older models including iPhone 8, XR and XS/XS Max.
The charging indicator is a small light that shines downward on to the surface of whatever you've rested it on, which we expect could be a bit tricky to spot but at least it can't get covered up by the phone itself, unlike the Belkin charger.
10. Moshi Symbus Q
If all you want is a wireless charger, then the Moshi Symbus Q is overkill - you can get one for a lot cheaper than this.
But what makes the Symbus Q interesting is that it doubles as a USB-C dock, making it ideal if you want to expand the functionality of a modern MacBook while keeping your iPhone topped up.
The charge base is coated in a soft fabric with rubber ribbing to prevent slippage, and supports speeds up to 15W - faster than the current iPhone top speed, so there's plenty of future-proofing here.
Beyond that, you get two USB-A ports, HDMI, and ethernet, and it will double as your MacBook charger too.