Since iPads are notoriously slow to charge, finding a fast charger for your device can save you a lot of time in the long run. The best iPad chargers charge your tablet significantly faster than the Apple charger that came with your device, and feature a higher wattage power adapter and a fast-charging cable compatible with your model. But with any iPad accessory, whether that’s a great iPad stand, a screen protector, or tablet-friendly headphones, there are a lot of options. So where do you start?
Any iPad charger is a story in two parts: the USB power adapter and the charging cable. But, let’s start with the USB power adapter, or the port of your charger. The first measurement you’ll want to pay mind is wattage. While the standard Apple-brand USB power adapter offers 5 watts of power, by upgrading to a higher wattage adapter, you’ll harness a bit of extra power when you’re charging your iPad.
So the higher the wattage, the better? Not exactly. While there’s no downside from a safety perspective to using a higher wattage charger, they tend to cost more. And, since each of your devices has a maximum wattage it can receive and utilize from a charger, there’s no need to grab the highest wattage you can find. Apple recommends their 20-watt power adapter for their iPad Pro and Air models, and that’s the charger that is issued with many of today’s iPads. But, when independently tested, an iPad Pro takes over an hour to charge fully with a 20-watt power adapter. Since iPad Pros that are 2018 or newer can actually charge at 30 watts, opting for a higher wattage adapter to the tune of at least 30 watts can facilitate faster charging for certain iPads. These high-wattage adapters also have the benefit of providing more power for charging even larger devices like a Macbook or Macbook Air.
And, what about the cable? Keep in mind, depending on your iPad model, you’ll need to look for a different style of cable. While newer iPad Pros and iPad Airs use USB-C cables, a lot of older tablets and the classic iPad and iPad Mini use Lightning cables. Pay mind to which one you need when shopping.
And, if your iPad model facilitates fast charging (most new iPad Pros and some new iPad Airs do, but here’s a helpful thread if you’re unsure) you’ll want to look for both a power adapter and a cable that offers USB Power Delivery, also known as USB-PD or just PD. All the chargers below offer Power Delivery or are PD compatible, so your bases are covered with each of these picks.
Beyond those features, keep your needs top of mind. The length of the charging cable, number of ports offered, and overall wattage of the power adapter will also affect how you use these and how many devices you can charge at once.
Not sure which charger is best for an iPad? Here are a few favorites to help you narrow it down.
1. The Best Overall iPad Charger
- Wattage: 30 Watts
- Cable included? No
This adapter features a 30-watt power supply, is outfitted with Power Delivery, and even comes with three ports, for your iPad charger or any other devices you need to charge. While there are other chargers on this list that offer more wattage, they come with higher price tags, and given that many iPads only need 30 watts of power anyway, this is a great choice that won’t set you back a lot. While this doesn’t come with any of the cables you’ll need, there are some further down on this list you can buy to use with this, or you can use the iPad charging cable that came with your device, along with this adapter.
Positive Amazon review: “This charger is awesome. I have had bad experiences with off brand chargers before. However, this one charges fast and well. It also is very long and easy to use while charging.”
2. The Expert Pick
- Wattage: 60 Watts
- Cable included? Yes, USB-C cable
When independently tested, this 60-watt Nekteck adapter was voted the best replacement for your Apple iPad charger by Wirecutter, and comes with a few extra benefits that may make it worth your money. This charger comes with a USB-C cable included, is Power Delivery compatible for fast charging, and offers 60 watts of power to charge your tablet or laptop. It’s also been certified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) that it accurately charges and meets safety specifications. There are two reasons this charger didn’t end up higher on this list. First, the single port is limiting, and while 6o watts is enough power to charge multiple devices, you’ll only be able to charge one at a time with this adapter. And, since the included, 6.6-feet cord is a USB-C cable, it may not be the right choice for those of you with the classic iPad or the iPad Mini, which charge via Lightning cables.
Positive Amazon review: “This charger is great! Finally, I have a compact but powerful unit that adequately charges my [devices]. I try to get USB C charging ports in the items I use most, and this one fits the bill. I didn't realize a cord came with it raising the value of this purchase even more.”
3. The Most Compact
- Wattage: 30 Watts
- Cable included? No
From the tried-and-true brand Anker, this 30-watt charger is a compact alternative to the others on this list, for a slightly higher price. Not only is this outfitted with Power Delivery for fast charging, but it’s roughly the size of a golfball, so you can easily throw it in a purse on carry-on bag when you’re on the go. For the price, there’s better value on this list. But, for anyone looking for a small power adapter that you can pair with your existing cable (a charging cable is not included), this is a standout choice.
Positive Amazon review: “I needed a small spare/travel charger for my iPad Pro (2018). This is smaller than the stock Apple charger, easier to pack and/or squeeze into my travel ‘go’ bag, and it works great. It charges the iPad Pro quickly without getting too hot, and at a decent price. Anker always seems to make reliable products, and this is no exception.”
4. The Cult-Favorite
- Wattage: 20 Watts
- Cable included? Yes, Lightning cable
This charger has a lower wattage than the others on this list, but it has earned over 14,000 Amazon reviews and counting, making this one of the most popular iPad chargers on Amazon. For less than $20, you’ll get a 20-watt power adapter and a Lightning cable (20 watts is actually the wattage of the iPad charger most often issued with your iPad). The 6-foot Lightning cable is a generous length, and it features Power Delivery for fast charging. (Note: If you have a recent iPad Pro or iPad Air, you will need a USB-C to USB-C cable, not a Lightning cable to charge your device.)
Positive Amazon review: “This charger is so good that this is the second one I've purchased in the last month. We have an iPad Pro 12" and it burns through a full charge MUCH faster than its provided charger can keep up with. I bought the first of these chargers, a white one, to see if it'd solve the problem and it did. It charged [the iPad] faster, by far, than the Apple charger.”
5. The Best For Multiple Devices
If you have multiple devices you want to charge at the same time, this charging station features four USB ports that emit 12 watts of power each, which exceeds Apple’s standard 5-watt iPhone charger, as well as an 87-watt USB-C port outfitted with Power Delivery. Made by the same brand as the expert pick above, this charging station is also USB-IF certified for accuracy and safety compliance. And because this device is so slim and lightweight, it can tuck into corners or tight spaces in your home. It’s pricey, but this charging station is definitely the most powerful choice if you plan on charging multiple devices.
Positive Amazon review: “This charger is AMAZING for its price, especially considering the higher watts and voltage regulator. I've been using it for over a week now to power various devices at my desk. [...] This device allows me to replace several charging bricks and longer cables. I can charge my iPad, iPhone, MacBook, AirPods, or other devices with a lot less clutter, and a lot less heat. This thing runs pretty cool even when every port is in use.”
6. The Original Lightning Cable
- Type? Lightning cable
- Length: 1 meter or 3.28 feet (also available in 2-meter length)
Since a few of the power adapters above are sold without charging cables, this Apple lighting to USB-C cable can be a good purchase for charging earlier model iPad Pros and Airs, or the classic iPad or iPad Mini. (Be sure to check your own device before buying any charging cable.) This Lightning cable is a standard 1-meter or 3.28-feet in length and is Power Delivery compatible. That said, this cable is pretty expensive for what you’re getting. But if you want the sense of security of using Apple brand cables, this cable will get the job done.
Positive Amazon review: “Works great with my new charger to keep my iPad Pro fully charged no matter how long I use it. I had been very frustrated that the charge kept running out while I was working for long stretches in Procreate. Now I can work as long as I want and the charge stays at 100%. Apple really should make this combo standard equipment.”
7. The Best Value Lightning Cables
- Type? Lightning cables
- Lengths: 6 feet
If you’re looking for a more cost-conscious solution, this three-pack of 6-foot Lightning cables is the way to go and is PD compatible. They’re also MFi certified (that stands for Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod, and is generally something to look out for when shopping for off-brand Lightning cables, in order to protect your device). They’ve also earned over 1,000 Amazon ratings, with many satisfied reviewers praising how well these work on their iPads. For less than the price of a single Apple branded cord, you can get three Lightning cables, making it a steal for iPad owners.
Positive Amazon review: “Everything charges faster now... iPhone and iPads. Will buy more of these cables to go with my new high speed chargers. I first bought 20 watt chargers and adapter cables from lightning to USB C to use them. Then I learned only true USB C cables would carry the higher power from the charger to my iPhone. This, this purchase finally delivers the speed I was looking for.”
8. The Original USB-C Charge Cable
- Type? USB-C cable
- Lengths: 1 meter or 3.28 feet (also available in 2-meter length)
To charge iPad Pros third generation or later (2018 and later), or iPad Airs fourth generation or later (2020 and later), you’ll need a USB-C cable like this Apple branded one. It’s identical to the one you’ll receive with the purchase of your tablet, and offers Power Delivery and a standard 3.28-foot (1-meter) length. But if you’re in need of a replacement charger and would rather invest in one made from Apple as opposed to another brand’s cable, this is the one for you.
Positive Amazon review: “Apple does it again. There cable is definitely better than the others I have tried. When you spend a $1000 on a new iPad you do not want to make a mistake on the cable. I needed a longer cable to Connect my iPad Pro to charger while I watch movies on the big screen that I play through the iPad Pro. This did everything I needed.”
9. The Best Value USB-C Cables
- Type? USB-C cables
- Lengths: 6.6 feet, 3.3 feet, 1 foot
For a bit more value, this three-pack of USB-C cables is just $13 and comes with three different lengths: 6.6 feet, 3.3 feet, and 1 foot. These are PD compatible and feature a braided cord, designed to be more durable than a standard cable. With over 2,000 Amazon ratings, this best-selling pack of cables is one of the most popular USB-C to USB-C cables you’ll find.
Positive Amazon review: “So far they are working fine, they can quickly charge my Pixel 3 XL, as well as for my Nintendo Switch and iPad Pro 11. The connector is compact and well made. And the cable is very durable.”