Happy Holidays! This article is part of our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide where you can find the best-of-the-best recommendations from How-To Geek, LifeSavvy, and Review Geek to help you pick the perfect gift for everyone on your list!
Those who’ve been in the Apple ecosystem for a while probably remember the term “MagSafe” used for the easy-release magnetic power cables that used to come with Apple products a few years ago.
The current-day MagSafe is different. The one that Apple has built into the iPhone 12 onward is meant to facilitate faster cordless charging and uses a ring of magnets embedded in the back of the device to attach to a cordless charger and hold it in place.
This magnetic ring also makes a handy mount for a variety of other accessories, some also charging your device. Apple assures users that MagSafe magnets are shielded and safe to store in your pocket with your debit card, but maybe think twice about throwing your hotel room key in there next to one.
Since its introduction, a variety of cases and accessories have been made to work with the MagSafe feature on these newer iPhones. Some products work better than others, and you’ll want to be sure your accessory actually includes its own ring of magnets that attach to the ones embedded in the iPhone.
For example, some manufacturers will say their case is “MagSafe compatible,” but that will really just mean the case is thin enough for the magnets in the phone to connect to a charging dock. These cases will almost certainly have a weaker hold, and you’ll run the risk of your phone disconnecting. If that accessory is supposed to hold the phone up, you are risking your phone taking a nasty fall!
Apple’s line of accessories is made to work with MagSafe, but there are several strong third-party options out there. This list will cover both, so let’s get to it.
- ✓ Works with other MagSafe accessories
- ✓ Complete edge and button coverage
- ✓ Not too bulky
- ✗ On the pricier side, especially for the leather version
If you need an iPhone case you know will work with MagSafe, you can’t really go wrong with the official Apple case.
Apple’s MagSafe compatible cases come in silicone and leather, both with a variety of colors to choose from. The latest run of cases was designed for the iPhone 13, and Apple says they work with all MagSafe accessories, as well as Qi-certified wireless chargers.
The case covers all the buttons and edges, including the bottom of the phone. The phone buttons fit well into the pockets designed for them, so you shouldn’t have any trouble clicking them, even through the silicone of the case. It’s thin enough not to add a lot of bulk.
Peak Design’s Everyday Case, which comes with its own line of impressive magnetic accessories, gets an honorable mention in this category. Already a standout in the photography gear world, Peak Design has come out with a set of magnetic accessories for its case ranging from bike mounts to tripods. They’ve designed a square magnetic area on the back of their case for their accessories to mount to that’s both similar to MagSafe and MagSafe compatible.
Best Magsafe Case
- ✓ Made by Apple, compatibility won’t be an issue
- ✓ Charges very quickly (15w)
- ✓ Small form factor
Once again, the official product line takes the honor of ‘best’ with Apple’s MagSafe Charger. This puck-shaped charging pad wins for overall charging speed, charging your phone at 15 watts (W) as opposed to the 7.5W or 5W rates of other products. Its slim design doesn’t take up much space, and it aligns just right with the MagSafe area on the back of the iPhone for an efficient charge.
There is one caveat with this charger, however—cord length. Apple’s MagSafe charger comes with a cord that’s only 3.2 feet long, so don’t plan on hooking your phone up for a lengthy charge unless you’ve got an outlet or extension cable nearby.
Honorable mention in this category goes to the Sonix Magnetic Link Wireless Charger—it’s almost ten bucks cheaper, charges at a rate of 10w, and the cord is about twice as long as Apple’s model.
Best MagSafe Charger
Apple MagSafe Charger
A slim cordless charging puck made by Apple that attaches to the back of a MagSafe-enabled iPhone.
- ✓ Supports 15w charging
- ✓ Charges three devices at once
- ✓ Doesn’t take up a lot of space
- ✓ Great aesthetic
- ✗ High price, especially if you don’t own all three items
If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, chances are you’ve got devices like AirPods or an Apple Watch. Belkin’s 3-in-1 Charging Stand lets you charge everything at the same time. Apple sells this stand through its official store, so you know it’ll be properly compatible with MagSafe.
The aesthetics of Belkin’s stand is in line with Apple’s signature all-white minimalism. When attached, the iPhone will even appear to float, which is neat looking. There’s a branching arm to attach an Apple Watch, and a divot in the base fits AirPods nicely.
The 3-in-1 wireless charger is one of the pricier products on our list, but it will be worth the cost if you’ll get daily use out of it.
Belkin’s 2-in-1 Stand for iPhone and AirPods gets an honorable mention here. It’s basically the same product, with one less area for charging. So if you don’t have an Apple Watch but still like the Belkin stand, this could be a fit for you.
- ✓ Strong magnetic hold, even with a case
- ✓ Acts as mount and charger
- ✓ Fairly fast charging rate for a car charger at 7.5w
- ✓ Includes cigarette-lighter USB adapter
- ✗ Cable is built into the charging unit
While there are quite a few MagSafe compatible car mounts that will hold your phone in place nicely, not many of them also act as a charger. The iOttie Velox does both, and while it isn’t the fastest charging rate (7.5w), it’s still a lifesaver on the road when your battery is low but you need directions.
Another plus for this car charger is the included cigarette lighter port adapter—other options similar to the iOttie charger offer an adapter, but don’t come with one out of the box. If you don’t have a car with a USB port built-in, the cigarette lighter adapter comes in extremely handy.
Early reviews say the hold is strong, even with a case, and it stays steady during long rides in the car. The Velox definitely won’t disappoint.
Best MagSafe Car Mount
- ✓ Comes in multiple capacities
- ✓ Cool color schemes to choose from
- ✓ Compact and easy to take with you
- ✗ Will get pricey if you want the 9,000 mAh model
MyCharge’s nifty portable Superhero MagLock Power Bank comes in a variety of colors and capacities, depending on your needs. All are MagSafe compatible, and the raised ring makes it easy to know where to connect your phone. It’ll even play a sound when charging starts and stops, so you can be sure your phone is connected.
These power banks come in 3,000 mAh, 6,000 mAh, and 9,000 mAh sizes which will get you an extra 16, 32, and 48 hours of battery life respectively. They’ll work with your iPhone 12 or 13, and prices start at $50 for the 3,000 mAh model. A USB-C port lets you charge your phone a little faster or recharge the power bank.
Honorable mention in this category goes to the Mophie Snap+ Juice Pack Mini, a 5,000 mAh bank that’ll charge your phone once at full capacity. It also comes with an adhesive to stick on the non-MagSafe side, so you can mount it to something else.
Best MagSafe Battery Pack
- ✓ Made of high-quality leather
- ✓ Doesn’t add much bulk
- ✓ Available in multiple colors
- ✓ Works with other MagSafe accessories
- ✗ Can’t fit much more than two cards in it
- ✗ No space for cash
Described as “feather-light and razor-thin,” the SurfacePad wallet by Twelve South might be a good addition to your everyday carry. Made of Napa leather, this wallet comes in three colors and is MagSafe compatible. It also comes with an extra adhesive that lets it stick even more firmly to your phone.
This wallet is folio-style, but not bulky. The downside to that is you’ll only be able to carry a couple of credit cards in it, but you don’t have to remove the wallet to get them out. There’s not much space for cash, either, so this is definitely a “just the essentials” piece of kit.
Honorable mention in this category goes to Apple’s MagSafe Wallet. Also leather for a high-quality feel, it’s basically a small pouch that attaches to the back of your phone, with enough space for a few cards.
- ✓ Small and portable
- ✓ Lets you mount your phone to other tripods
- ✓ Includes attachments for mic or light
- ✓ Good for most situations where you’d need a phone tripod
- ✓ Includes bendy tripod leg attachment
Want to film a TikTok or get a timelapse? Joby’s Griptight Tripod Mount might be the answer. Unlike other phone tripod mounts or standalone tripods, you don’t have to snap your phone into a case or clamp plastic jaws around it.
Just stick your iPhone to the magnetic attachment, and you’re set. It also comes with a pair of jaws you can use for added security if you want to use them, but you shouldn’t need to.
In addition to coming with bendy tripod legs that are fine for most situations, you can mount Joby’s attachment onto multiple other tripods. It also has threads you can screw a light or microphone onto when filming, and lets you rotate the phone 360 degrees to capture different angles.
Honorable mention in this category goes to Moment’s MagSafe tripod mount. It lets you mount your iPhone to just about any regular photography tripod, but doesn’t come with legs like the Joby version.