You probably own a ton of gear that supports wireless charging now, but if you want to make your setup as cordless as possible, a single-device pad just won't cut it. There are tons of multiple-item wireless chargers available now, but picking one can be a headache. You not only have to contend with varying levels of support, but different designs as well — the last thing you want is something that won’t fit on your nightstand or WFH desk. If you're looking for the best multi-device wireless charging pad for your needs, Engadget can help. We've tested numerous wireless charging accessories that support up to three devices simultaneously, and we have some thoughts on which are the ones that are worth your money.
Belkin MagSafe 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad
Best premium 3-in-1 wireless charger
Logitech Powered 3-in-1 Dock
3-in-1 wireless charger runner up
Anker 533 Magnetic Wireless Charger (3-in-1 Stand)
Best budget 3-in-1 wireless charger
Otterbox 3-in-1 Charging Station for MagSafe
Another good option
Mophie Dual Universal Wireless Charging Pad
Best 2-in-1 wireless charging pad
Samsung 15W Wireless Charger Duo
2-in-1 wireless charging pad runner up
Mophie 4-in-1 Wireless Charging Mat
Best wireless charging pad for two people
Do wireless charging pads work with any phone or device?
It won’t be shocking to hear that your smartphone choice influences your choice in a wireless charger. Only iPhone owners will need to consider Apple Watch compatibility. Likewise, you’ll need an Android phone if you expect to power a Galaxy Watch. Buy an iPhone 12 or newer and you can attach your phone magnetically using MagSafe, while the latest Android phones often have some form of fast wireless charging.
However, it’s not simply a question of getting the fastest charger. You should consider what you might buy in the future. Don’t buy a two-device charger if you have an iPhone and AirPods, but have been eyeing an Apple Watch. And if you think you might switch to an Android cell phone (or vice versa), you’ll want to get something more generic that doesn’t lock you into any one ecosystem.
Some chargers include cradles, trays and other features that are heavily optimized for particular products, and might not even account for year-to-year changes. Some vertical stands are too tall for small phones like the iPhone 13 mini, for instance. While you can never completely guarantee that next year’s phone or watch will work, it’s worth buying something more likely to last.
Having said all this, don’t be afraid to get a charger with vendor-specific features if you’re fiercely loyal to one brand. Apple isn’t expected to ditch MagSafe any time soon, and Samsung will likely keep making Galaxy Watches for a while to come.
How to pick the best wireless charging pad for your needs: Location, location, location
Even without a charging cable to worry about, you’re probably buying a multi-device wireless charger with one location in mind. It might sit on your nightstand or on your desk. Not everyone buys a charger just for themselves, though; you might want to use one as a shared station for you and a partner.
If the charger will sit on your nightstand, you’ll likely want a compact, stable unit that won’t swallow all your free space or tumble to the floor (and if it does fall, one with enough durability to survive). You may also prefer a lay-flat phone pad so your screen is less likely to keep you awake. The Apple Watch and some other smartwatches can double as tiny alarm clocks, so you might want a vertical charging option for any wristwear.
At a desk, however, you may want a vertical phone stand so you can check notifications. Will the charger sit on a low table? Horizontal charger pads may make it easier to grab your devices in a hurry. Travel chargers should fold up or otherwise protect the pads while they’re in your bag. And, yes, aesthetics count. You may want something pretty if it’s likely to sit in a posh room where guests will see it.
If it’s a shared charging station, you’ll want something with multiple generic surfaces, and you’ll probably have to forgo charging more than one watch at a time. In those cases, consider the handful of 4-in-1 wireless chargers on the market, or models with USB ports.
Wireless charging speed and performance
It’s no secret that wireless charging is typically slower than wired, and powering multiple devices adds a new wrinkle. As these chargers often have to support a wide range of hardware, you’ll have to forget about the fastest, device-specific options from brands like Google, OnePlus and Samsung.
That’s not to say these will be slow, but there just isn’t much separating them on the charging speed front. As a general rule, the quickest multi-device chargers tend to top out at 15W for phones. And you’ll need an Apple MagSafe charger if you want to get that full 15W on an iPhone.
It’s rare that you’ll find a truly slow example, mind you. Even some of the most affordable options we’ve seen will recharge your phone at a reasonable 7.5W or 10W, and the 5W for other devices is more than enough. If you’re only docking overnight or while you work, speed won’t make a huge difference. Just be sure that whatever you buy is powerful enough for a phone in a case. It’s also worth noting that fast charging for other devices is rare, although you’ll occasionally find speedier options for the Apple Watch Series 7.
Quality, box contents and small details
The difference between a good charger and a great one often boils down to little details. You won’t always need to pay extra to get those, but a larger outlay may be worthwhile to avoid frustrations for years to come.
A textured surface like rubberized plastic or fabric will reduce the chances your expensive gadgets will slide off their charging points. The base should have enough grip and weight that the charger won’t easily shift out of place. Any floating or vertical stands should be sturdy — steer clear if there’s any wobble.
You’ll also want to make a note of what’s included in the box. Some chargers don’t ship with power adapters, and we've seen numerous models whose Apple Watch “stands” are merely holders for your existing charging puck.
Then there’s helpful touches like status lights for confirming correct placement, although you’ll want to make sure they dim or shut off after a certain amount of time. And while it’s still true that cradles and trays can limit compatibility, you do want your devices to stay where you put them. Shelves and lips can prevent your phone or watch from sliding. Oh, and be wary of floating smartwatch mounts, as heavier timepieces might sag.