Technology is awesome—until the batteries run out, that is. Phones, tablets, smartwatches, AirPods, e-readers, power banks, etc. need to be charged at some point. Instead of deciding on which device needs to be charged first (or using every outlet in the house), consider purchasing a charging station. This way, you’ll be able to charge every device safely and efficiently—at the same time.
The best charging station is equipped with one multi-port USB charging system or a wireless charging pad that’s powerful enough to fuel all of your devices at once. Some charging stations may come with an organizer or additional compartments for unsightly cables, too. To help you sort through the options, here are some of the best charging stations available online.
- BEST OVERALL: VOGEK 50W 10A 5-Port USB Charging Station
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: USB Charger RAVPower 60W 6-Port Charging Station
- BEST WIRELESS: ZealSound Wireless Charging Pad
- BEST FOR APPLE PRODUCTS: Powlaken Wireless Charger, 4 in 1 Wireless Charging
- BEST FOR MOBILE DEVICES: COSOOS Fastest Charging Station with Quick Charge
- BEST FOR DESKS: EasyAcc Wireless Charger Desk Organizer
Before you begin your shopping spree, think about how many devices you own, how often you use them, and whether you require special features (such as fast-charging capabilities or wireless charging). To make things even easier, we’ve listed a few need-to-know shopping considerations below to help you find the best charging station for your home or office.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wired charging stations include a fiber-optic cable that’s inserted into the device. Unlike wireless devices, wired devices allow you to use them while they’re charging, as you can easily pick them up while the charging cord is still attached.
Wireless chargers generally consist of a charging pad that connects to a power outlet, but only purchase a wireless charger if your device supports it. Wireless charging can take a bit longer than wired charging, but it’s a hassle-free way to charge a phone.
Look for wireless chargers with a built-in cooling system and choose Qi-certified devices. These charging stations are tested rigorously to ensure safety, interoperability, and energy efficiency.
Power and Charging Speed
Each charging station comes with a measurement for the amount of electrical current supplied. This measurement is written in amperes or “amps” (A).
Many USB charging stations provide 1A or 2A of power for each USB port. A 1A port works for phones but it’s not powerful enough for larger devices, such as a tablet or an e-reader. If you own multiple devices, consider purchasing a charging station that has a minimum of 2A for each port. High power USB ports are 2.4A to 5A—which charge faster.
If charging speed is a must-have, opt for a charging station with high-speed ports or Quick Charge (QC) technology. Note that both the device and the charging station must support QC technology for this to work. To ensure you’re getting the best charge possible, use the charging cord the device came with as it will provide the correct amount of charge.
Number of Ports
Charging stations are designed to charge multiple devices at once. From a two-port charging station to a six-port charging station, there is likely a model on the market that will hold all of your devices. The number of ports you need depends on how many devices you own or anticipate charging at one time.
Most charging stations share power across all ports and have limitations in place for safety. These safety limitations, however, may require your devices to be charged on a lower current than they need, which can take a bit longer.
Not all USB chargers, connectors, and cables are the same. There are at least five USB specifications that require specific cords. The types of USB connectors that are common with charging stations include lightning, micro, and USB-C.
A well-designed charging station will be able to hold your devices neatly without taking up too much room. If you don’t have a lot of space, opt for a streamlined utility-focused charging station. It should include baffles, or small dividers, to keep your devices organized and secure while they charge. Some stands have removable baffles to make it possible to change the position of the device and still use it while it’s charging.
Some charging stations double as a desktop organizer. These tidy charging stations are great additions to keep desktops organized as they’re not only built to charge devices, but to store the cords too.
Before selecting a charging station, consider where and when you plan to use it. If you intend on leaving it in one place at home or at work, portability doesn’t need to factor into your purchase decision. Desktop models, for example, are usually bulkier as they’re designed to be plugged in and left alone. Some models fold down for portability, but are likely to take up more space than a modular model.
If you think you’ll need your charging station on the go, the ability to tote it around becomes a pretty important consideration. The smaller the charging station, the easier it is to transport.
Our Top Picks
Shopping for the perfect charging station is like scouting for a new coffee place—it’s an individualized experience. Choosing the best means diving into the specifics, such as which devices you’re planning to use, where you’ll be using them, and how often you use them.
Taking the above features into consideration, these are some of the top picks for the best charging station to power up your gadgets.
This charging station includes eight short mixed cables: Four lightning cables, two micro USB cables, and two USB-C cables. A 10A output gives you the power to charge five devices at full speed simultaneously, with each port giving an output of 2A. It’s a compact option that’s easy to disassemble and take with you if you need to charge on the go.
This dock has built-in smart identification technology that determines the right amount of current required for each device to give high charging output power and a fast charging speed. Safety features of this charging station include premium-grade circuitry, and protection from overheating, short-circuiting, over-current, and over-voltage all while protecting the battery of your device.
The RAVPower 60W 6-Port Charging Station is a terrific option for those who are short on space and looking for an affordable, efficient charging station. With six charging ports that work simultaneously, this station can charge many devices at once. This dock’s space-saving, lightweight design makes it a go-to charger for professionals on the move.
A combined 12A output charge gives 2A output to each port, charging all devices at full speed. iSmart Technology starts working as soon as a device is connected; this automatically identifies and delivers the right amount of power to give a safe and efficient charge. With vast compatibility for many devices and brands, the charger displays whether a device is properly connected to the power source with an LED indicator light.
One drawback of this charging station is that it doesn’t support Quick Charge 3.0 devices for faster charging, but these devices can still charge at standard speed. Safety features of this docking station are temperature control, over-voltage protection, short-circuit protection, fire-resistance, and over-charge protection.
A sleek design is one reason to purchase the ZealSound wireless charging pad. At just 0.24 inches thick, this ultra-slim leather pad also boasts safety by using a premium copper coil for worry-free charging and good heat dissipation. Charge three wireless devices at once, including your AirPods 2 case.
This is a convenient charger to have if guests need to charge their phone—there’s no hassle trying to find a charging cord that’s compatible with their smartphone (as long as they have a Qi-compatible device). No need to take your phone out of the case; the charging pad works through most cases, so you can just put your phone on the pad without fumbling with your case.
This station has a low wattage standard charge that makes charging time a little slower, but it helps your battery last longer. The included 12V/2A AC adapter charges your devices safely. Other safety features include over-current protection, foreign object detection, anti-interference, battery protection, temperature control, radiation shielding, and voltage regulation.
If you have an iPhone, iWatch, AirPods, and the Apple Pencil, this device has the ability to charge all four of them simultaneously (and even some Samsung and other Qi-enabled phones) without the clutter of cables. Enjoy fast wireless charging without the worry of overheating thanks to the built-in suspension cooling system.
The magnetic metal plates are adjustable, changing the support angle for your phone. You can position it flat, vertically, or horizontally, depending on whether you want to use it while watching a movie, reading a book, or during a video call. You can even charge most phones while they’re still in the case—as long as the case is metal-free and doesn’t have any magnetic components.
Safety features of this charging station include a fixed frequency, a V3 intelligent identity chip, a suspension cooling system with built-in holes to keep your devices from overheating, short-circuit protection, and a silicone pad to keep the charging station from slipping. When you’re ready to sleep, tap the wireless charger to activate “nightstand mode.” This will turn the LED light off.
This charging station by COSOOS is meant for virtually any smartphone or tablet and other USB devices, such as an e-reader, a smartwatch, a camera, remote speakers, a Fitbit, and more. This station is a simple way to eliminate table clutter and takes up very little room on your table, nightstand, counter, or computer desk.
A big perk of this docking station is the QC 3.0 port, which gives you a full power bank in 60 minutes. There are six charging ports in total and all of them use USB connectivity. The non-QC ports have high-power 2.4A quick charging ports, giving your device as much power as it can safely handle.
The COSOOS charging station also includes a smart chipset that automatically identifies how much power to deliver, giving up to 12A from all six ports at the same time. The built-in safety features protect against short-circuiting, over-voltage, over-charge, and over-current.
This charging station includes two iPhone charge and sync cables, two micro cables, two type-C
cables, a watch holder, and seven baffles. The detachable baffles can be reconfigured so you have the space needed to position your devices flat, sideways, or vertically if you’re using them while they charge.
EasyAcc’s charging station offers functionality and style. If your charging needs are minimal and you want an organizational solution, this charging station makes a great desk accessory. This option is built for the office, the living room, the bedroom, or wherever there is a desk or tabletop.
While it doesn’t have multiple USB ports, this charging station supports wireless QC to charge wireless devices fast so you won’t have to wait too long to reach a full battery charge. Fast wireless charging avoids cable disconnection errors and uses an output that’s suitable for the device being charged.
No matter what you’re charging, safety features are in place to protect against overloading and over-current to devices. The station has wide compatibility for charging many brands and devices. With three compartments to store your USB charger, card readers, cables, stationery, and more, this isn’t just a charging station, it’s a storage solution.
FAQs About Charging Stations
Charging multiple devices is much simpler with a dedicated charging station for handheld technology. After reading this guide, you may still have questions about what to do with your charging station and its benefits. Here are some common questions and their answers about charging stations.
Q. How many devices can I connect to a charging station?
You can charge as many devices as there are charging ports. Standard charging stations tend to have four to six ports to plug in your devices. For wireless charging, you can connect as many devices as outlined in the manufacturer’s description (usually about three or four devices).
Q. How do I choose a charging station?
Choose a charging station that’ll support the number of devices you have (or plan to have), how those devices charge (whether they’re wired or wireless), and the style of charging station that suits your lifestyle.
Q. Do I need to charge the charging station?
No. Most charging stations plug into a power outlet so they don’t need to be charged. If the charge cord for the station isn’t long enough, use an extension cord to plug it in.
Q. Can I use a USB hub as a charging station?
A USB hub is intended to provide more USB ports for your computer. It’s possible to use a hub as a charging station, but it charges at low power and is less efficient. Many USB hubs only generate 0.5A or less for each port.