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Best USB-C cables 2022

Because USB-C Power Delivery allows for higher charging speeds, when you're using the best USB-C charger, you should trust your devices with only the best USB-C cables because when they break, they can fry your device or start a fire. Back in the early days, you had to be extra sure your cables were adequately made, but these days USB-C cables have reached a safe, stable standard (for the most part). So whether you need a USB-A port on the other end or you've gone full USB-C to USB-C, there are great, safe USB-C cables to be had out there without spending an arm and a leg!

Best USB-C to USB-C cables

Watch your generations when buying USB-C cables

It's hard to go wrong with an Anker cable like the Powerline II, but the carrying case that the 6-foot Powerline+ comes with is beneficial in keeping your cables tidy in your gear bag. The Powerline+ is still USB 3.1 Gen 1, and it does charge the best Chromebooks at full speed. As USB-C becomes the industry standard, having a durable cable you can use for everything is more than convenient: it's an investment.

USB 3.1 Gen 1/Gen 2 isn't the end-all-be-all of C-to-C cables. After all, short of outputting 4K video or charging a laptop, it's more than most users need. So if all you need a USB-C cable for is to charge your phone, you can save a few bucks by opting for a USB 2.0 charging cable like the WiRoTech with its many color options.

Best USB-C to USB-A cables

While C-to-A doesn't offer nearly the speeds C-to-C Power Delivery 3.0 does, Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 is nothing to overlook. More importantly, most computers and chargers we already own have USB-A ports but might not have USB-C ports, so it's worth keeping some C-to-A cables around, especially if you own a phone by OnePlus or Oppo — their fast-chargers use USB-A ports.

Buy USB-C cables that last — USB-A is on its way out

USB-C to USB-A cables are getting safer these days — though noncompliant cables still slip through from time to time — and it's hard to go wrong with any of the cables listed above. However, I'm partial to the Volutz 5-pack with its multiple lengths and spares, as this is a bundle you can buy and probably never have to repurchase a C-to-A cable unless you lose cables once a month or your dog gets into them.

If you just need one, it's hard to beat the value of the Monoprice Palette Series, and after all, life's too short for boring tech, so get yourself a colorful cable that's easy to spot in your gear bag.

What you need to know before buying a USB-C cable

There are a lot of different specifications out there with USB-C cables, and some of them overlap, so let's go over a few things real quick:

  • USB Type-C rules are only for the physical connections — data speeds are covered by other rules. You can think of USB-C as a set of rules that only exist to make smarter USB plugs, cables, and connectors. Just because a cable says it's Type C doesn't mean that it works with every standard. It just means it plugs in with a Type C connector.
  • USB Power Delivery is a USB-certified standard designed to improve charging speeds and flexibility when charging devices, as power can be sent or received by a PD device. Unfortunately, power Delivery chargers can go up to or above 100 watts, which can cause serious damage if not used the right way. Still, PD's standards are designed to help prevent overheating and overcharging when using a wide array of devices with different power needs.
  • USB PD 2.0 and 3.0 are different than USB 2.0 or 3.1, and many cables will include both certifications since USB Power Delivery is part of the USB 3.1. Power Delivery can also extend beyond USB to other types of connectors, but since we're talking about USB-C cables here, let's not get too far down the rabbit hole.
  • If you plug a USB 2.0 cable into a USB PD 2.0 wall charger, the highest charge rate will only be 15W — the cable's maximum. 15W is a fast enough charge for charging a phone, but it won't be fast enough for many tablets, Chromebooks, and other laptops. If you want to buy a single C-to-C cable that can charge your laptop and your phone, buy yourself a USB 3.1 cable with PD charging; 2.0 is okay, 3.0 is better.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

With contributions from