Best USB-C cables 2024

Finding the best USB-C cable for your needs can be challenging, namely because most of us don't really know much about Type-C wires. You might think it's intimidating, but we're here to help you figure out the difference between one USB-C wire and another, what makes a Type-C cable better than the rest, and all the important bits, such as wattage, length, and data transfer speeds.

So whether you're trying to juice up one of the best Android phones or connect to your car's Android Auto with a cable, the best USB-C cables that money can buy will be found below.

Now that the iPhone 15 series comes with USB-C, you can grab one of the best USB-C cables for iPhones as well. Keep in mind that the base iPhone 15 and 15 Plus support USB 2.0 with 480Mbps data transfer. Meanwhile, the iPhone Pro and Pro Max support USB 3.2 Gen 2 with 10Gbps data transfer.

At a glance

Best overall

Anker PowerLine II USB-C Cable connected to phone and laptop

(Image credit: Anker)

1. Anker PowerLine II USB-C Gen 2 Cable

Best overall

Reasons to buy

+
USB 3.1 Gen 2 supports 10Gbps including 4K video
+
 E-marked cable compatible with 100W
+
USB-IF Certified
+
Lifetime warranty
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one color
-
No additional reinforcements for durability

If you want the best specs and high data speeds within a reasonable budget, you want USB 3.1 Gen 2, which can support up to 10Gbps data speeds on both Android phones and iPhones. This includes 4K video transmission and up to 100W charging speeds. The Anker Powerline II USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Cable can give you exactly that.

This three-foot-long cable from Anker may look bland and unremarkable, but its spec sheet makes this a worthwhile purchase. You can rely on that USB-IF certification for safety, even if it doesn't have the most robust build. As this is an E-Marked wire, you can rest assured that it'll deliver the fastest charging speed with your 60W or 100W USB-C charger.

Anker issues a lifetime warranty with the Powerline II, which is another undeniable plus. Whether you need to charge your smartphone, laptop, or Chromebook, this Type-C wire is the optimal choice. I just wish this cable came in a variety of colors, like the adorable Anker Flow series of USB-C wires.

Best for iPhone

UGREEN USB-C to USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Cable

(Image credit: UGREEN)

2. UGREEN USB-C to USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Cable

Best for iPhone

Reasons to buy

+
USB 3.2 Gen 2
+
Robust Nylon braided
+
Good value for money
+
Supports up to 140W PD fast charging
+
Thunderbolt 3

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't work with Thunderbolt 3 docking stations

The iPhone 15 finally switched over to USB-C, and we can all thank the EU for that. While Apple could have been a good sport about it, the tech giant decided to add the outdated USB 2 spec on the cheaper iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. If you want USB 3.2 Gen 2, you'll need to fork over more cash for the Pro or Pro Max models.

Naturally, these specifications are useless unless you get the right cable. Now, it doesn't make sense to get an ancient USB profile like USB 2.0. Instead, get something future-proof like the value-packed UGREEN USB-C to USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Cable. Not only can it deliver the highest 10Gbps transfer speeds to the Pro and Pro Max iPhone 15 models, but it's also an e-marked cable.

E-marked cables or 5A USB-C cables can take loads over 60W, all the way up to 140W. So you can fast charge other devices such as Chromebooks or MacBooks with this. It also has Thunderbolt 3, which is a sweet benefit.

Best cheap cable

Amazon Basics USB Type-C to USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 Cable

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Amazon Basics USB Type-C to USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 Cable

Best cheap cable

Reasons to buy

+
USB 3.1 Gen 2 enables 10Gbps data rates
+
USB-IF Certified
+
USB 3.0 and 2.0 backwards compatibility
+
Extra-long 10-foot option
+
Cost effective

Reasons to avoid

-
No QC fast charging
-
Limited to 15W

Amazon Basics caters to the budget side of USB-C cables, and you'd be surprised how decent the brand's offering is. This one-foot-long USB Type-C to USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 Cable (there's a super-long 10-foot option as well) comes in two plain shades: dark gray or silver.

The Amazon cable support 5V and 3A power output which equals to a 15W charging speed. While you don't get crazy fast charging speeds, transferring files is swift business thanks to USB 3.1 Gen 2 bundles with USB 3.0 and 2.0 backwards compatibility. Impressively, the Amazon Basics C-to-A wire is capable of up to 10Gbps transfer speeds, and it is USB-IF Certified.

Seeing as USB-A is already pretty outdated, it's okay that you can't use the Amazon Basics cord with monitors, and there are no fancy extras like Qualcomm's QC fast charging tech. Chances are, you'll only use this cable to move media and files to an older device and not for charging purposes. From that perspective, this is a decent basic Type-C to A cable that provides some value for your coin.

Best cheap cable for iPhone

CONMDEX USB 3.1 Gen 2 Android Auto USB-C Cable

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. CONMDEX USB 3.1 Gen 2 Android Auto USB-C Cable

Best cheap cable for iPhone

Reasons to buy

+
USB 3.1 Gen 2 with 10Gbps transfers
+
QC 3.0
+
Set of two cables
+
Various sizes and colors available
+
Nylon braided

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 3A
-
No USB C-to-C

It's hard to believe that the CONMDEX USB 3.1 Gen 2 Android Auto USB-C Cable costs so little. For less than $15, you get a set of two USB-C to USB-A wires that are perfectly compatible with the iPhone 15's lower-specced 480Mbps as well as its higher-specced 10Gbps data transfer speeds.

This USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C cord is nylon braided and can survive 12,000 bends or more, according to CONMDEX. You can use this in your car with Android Auto or top up your iPhone with it. The cables support QC 3.0 for fast charging.

There are plenty of sizes and colors available to purchase. You can get a two-pack in 1, 2, 3.3, 6.6, and 10-foot options. The assortment of shades up for grabs ranges from dark hues like black and gray to bright colors such as orange, blue, green, red, and white so you can even match it to your car.

Best premium cable

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Cable

(Image credit: Belkin)

5. Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Cable

Best premium cable

Reasons to buy

+
Three sizes including lengthy 6.5ft option
+
Thunderbolt 3
+
40Gbps and 100W speeds
+
4K and 5K video output

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Only one color
-
Only 1.6-foot shorter option

The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable offers super-fast data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps, and charging outputs of up to 100W. It connects to Thunderbolt 3 hosts, which isn't something you'll find in your everyday bargain-bin USB-C wires.

Belkin's Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cord boasts High Gloss Polycarbonate connectors, which looks fantastic. You can buy this Type-C cable in 1.6-foot, 2.6-foot, and 6.5-foot lengths. As is the case with most of these awesome wires, you only get a single color model. This cord works with both Android and iOS phones that have Type-C ports.

The USB-C cable promises to deliver video output in 4K and 5K resolutions. If you need a versatile wire that can juice up your USB-C devices, and also hook up your monitor, the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 is a great choice. But keep in mind there's only a 1.6-foot option, so this is only for short distances, but perfect for use in your home office.

Best premium cable for iPhone

Cable Matters 10Gbps USB C to USB C Cable with USB-C 3.2

(Image credit: Cable Matters)

6. Cable Matters 10Gbps USB C to USB C Cable with USB-C 3.2

Best premium cable for iPhone

Reasons to buy

+
USB-C 3.2
+
10Gbps data transfer
+
4K at 120Hz and 8K at 30Hz video support
+
100W PD e-marked 5A cable

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one color
-
Longer 6-foot option offers slower data speeds

Cable Matters makes some of the best cables and cords of all sorts on the planet. This 10Gbps USB C to USB C Cable with USB-C 3.2 cable is extremely versatile because it has so many high-end USB specifications. First, it's a USB-C 3.2 type-C wire, so of course, it supports the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max's 10Gbps data speeds.

You can use this 3-foot cable to stream video as well, with support for 4K video at 120Hz and 8K at 30Hz. While there is a 6-foot option available, it does not have the same specs, limiting data transfer speeds to 5Gbps, so it's important to take note of this trade-off if you need something longer in length.

The good news is that the Cable Matters 10Gbps USB C to USB C Cable has a very high rating. You can charge at speeds as high as 100W because this is a PD e-marked 5A cable. We just wish it had Thunderbolt 3 to complete the picture.

Best short cable

Cable Matters USB4 Cable product white background

(Image credit: Cable Matters)

7. Cable Matters USB4 Cable 2.6 ft

Best short cable

Reasons to buy

+
USB 4 with Thunderbolt 4 and 3 included
+
Speedy 40Gbps data transfer
+
100W charging and 8K video
+
USB-IF Certified

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very long
-
One color option

This unassuming black cable boasts the cutting-edge USB 4 spec, so it too can support 40Gbps data speeds at a fantastic price. Cable Matters also included Thunderbolt 3 and 4 support, as well as backward compatibility for USB 3.2, 3.1, and 2.0. The wire is also USB-IF Certified, making it a surefire-compatible cable for Android and iOS devices.

With such an advanced USB-C wire in your hands, transferring media files or large chunks of data will be reduced to a considerably lower time frame. You can use the Cable Matters USB4 Cable to charge devices at up to 100W speeds, so things like your laptop are sure to top up exceedingly fast.

Cable Matters also added support for 8K and 4K high-res videos. Hook it up with your compatible monitor and enjoy crispy footage with this compact and future-proof cable. Again, this cable only comes in a single hue. If you find the 2.6-foot length to be too short, there is another size option that measures 3.3 feet, but it costs a few more dollars.

Best durability

UGREEN USB C to USB C Cable 240W (6ft)

(Image credit: UGREEN)

8. UGREEN 240W USB-C Cable

Best durability

Reasons to buy

+
PD 3.1 with 240W support
+
E-marker chip
+
Six feet is a good length
+
Nylon braid makes it durable
+
Cheap

Reasons to avoid

-
USB 2.0 means dated 480Mbps transfers
-
Comes in single shade

Looking for something that can handle insane charging speeds without setting your house on fire? Try the UGREEN USB-C Cable that's rated for 240W speeds. This e-marked USB-C cable is resilient in more ways than one, owing to the nylon braiding in its design. Breakage will be a far-off dream thanks to such sturdy construction.

You also get Power Delivery 3.1 with this UGREEN cable. This thing can stretch out across six feet of space, allowing you to sit comfortably while topping up your phone. On top of that, it's compatible with many devices like laptops and tablets.

The one caveat of this cheerfully cheap Type-C cable is its USB 2.0 specification. You won't get higher than 480Mbps data transfer speeds with USB 2.0. While no modern Android phone has such a dated cable, the two basic iPhone 15 and 15 Plus phones have a USB 2.0 Type-C port with this limited data speed. Just like Anker, this USB-C to USB-C cable is also limited to a single colorway.

Best style

Powerline plus cable in use

(Image credit: Anker)

9. Anker Powerline+ USB-C to USB-A

Best style

Reasons to buy

+
Available in three feet and six feet lengths
+
Two colors including a stylish red shade
+
5Gbps data transferring
+
Double-braided nylon exterior
+
Great price
+
Lifetime warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 15W charging

Anker has mastered the craft of charging solutions, be it chargers, cables, wireless charging pads, or anything else. I've used the brand's products for years, and not one has ever failed me. With the Anker Powerline+ USB-C to USB-A cable, you know you're getting a quality product.

Usually, Anker's products sit in the mid to upper-tier price bracket. Since the Powerline+ USB-C to USB-A cable is an older model, I'm pleased to report that it is delightfully cheap now. You get a heavy-duty double-braided cord available in six feet and three feet measurements. You can get the Anker Powerline+ in a common black and grey color combo, but there's also a second red colorway that is sure to excite you.

Aesthetics aside, this USB 3.0 Type-C to USB-A wire can handle 5Gbps data transfer speeds, and you get Anker's lifetime warranty. You won't get more than 15W charging speeds, but it's still a great cable for the price. You won't benefit from this cord if you're a Pro or Pro Max iOS user, but there are plenty of other devices that are limited to 5Gbps or lower speeds.

FAQ

USB-C cable on a table

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

What is a USB-C cable?

A USB-C cable is essentially any cable with a 24-pin USB connector developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), a foundation that regulates, develops, and advocates for all things USB in the world.

A USB-C cable can be used to deliver power and transfer data to compatible devices that have a Type-C port. This includes phones, tablets, accessories, laptops, monitors, and gaming devices like the Oculus Quest 2. Thanks to the EU's strict policy, all iPhones — including the recently released iPhone 15 — will have USB-C ports.

Not all USB-C cables are the same, as the amount of power they can deliver and the speed of data transfer varies. Since the wattage — aka amps multiplied by volts — differs across these cables, not every USB-C wire is compatible with fast charging.

Also, some Type-C wires have a C connector on both ends. This is what we call a USB-C to USB-C cable. Meanwhile, the other sort has your typical USB-A connector on one end and a USB-C connector on the other. Generally speaking, C-to-C cables are faster than USB-C to USB-A cables for charging and data transfer.

Next, you need to know that the length of a Type-C wire is another variable factor. The maximum possible length of a USB-C cable depends on its specifications. I'll explain that in depth below, after you've understood the different specifications found in USB-C cables. 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.
  • While a normal C-to-C wire is rated 3A, an Electronically Marked Cable (or e-marked cable) is rated 5A. A 3A USB-C cable has a maximum wattage of 60W. For higher speeds, you need a wire with an e-marker chip, as these Type-C cables can deliver up to 100W speeds.
  • USB-IF's Type C-to-C cable length compliance — to ensure you get the cable's full features — dictates that USB-C cables with USB 2.0 can be up to four meters long; USB 3.1 wires can stretch up to one meter; USB 3.2 Gen 1 and USB 4 Gen 1 cables can measure up to two meters; USB 3.2 Gen 2 and USB 4 Gen 2 wires can be as long as one meter; and USB 4 Gen 4 Type-C cables are limited to 0.8 meters in length. USB-C to USB-A cable lengths are limited to a maximum of four meters for USB 2.0, and one meter for USB 3.2 Gen 2. It's not that these wires cannot be longer, but crossing these lengths prevents you from getting their maximum possible power and data transfer speeds.
  • The upper limit of data transfer speeds is 480 Mbps for USB 2.0, 5 Gbps for USB 3.0, and 10 Gbps for USB 3.1.
  • Thunderbolt 3 and 4 are completely separate specifications that enable much higher data transfer rates through compatible Thunderbolt ports, usually found in laptops and monitors. Unless explicitly mentioned, a USB-C cable does not come with these features.

How do I choose a USB-C cable?

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. There's nothing more future-proof than a PD 3.0 wire.

Since it's part of USB 3.1, you know you'll get up to 10 Gbps data transfer speeds. If you're planning on plugging your cable into a 60W USB-C charger or above, a 3A cable won't do. Grab something that has an e-marker chip so you know it can handle up to 100W of power passing through it safely.

Remember, if your USB 3.1 cable is more than one meter long, you won't be able to use all of its features properly. Purchase a USB-C cable that measures one meter or three feet long if you want to tap into your cable's full potential.

When they break, charging cables can fry your device or start a fire. Back in the early days, you had to be extra sure your cables were adequately made. 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!

Which type of USB-C cable should I choose?

It's hard to go wrong with an Anker cable like the Powerline II, even if it isn't equipped with the latest and greatest specifications like the Cable Matters USB4 Cable. Normal people don't need such an advanced wire, which is why the Anker PowerLine II USB-C to USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Cable is more than sufficient for all your needs.

Anker's USB-IF Certified cable features USB 3.1 Gen 2, so you get impressive 10 Gbps data transfer speeds and 4K video support. The 100W Type-C cable charges the best Chromebooks at full speed. If you're looking for more colorful options, there's the Anker 643 USB-C to USB-C Cable. However, you'll have to forgo most of the best features of a stellar USB-C wire if you're gunning for style alone.

As USB-C has become the industry standard, having a durable cable you can use for everything is more than convenient; it's an investment. For a more durable wire, grab the Baseus 100W PD USB-C Cable or the 20W USB-C to USB-C cable from UGREEN. Both nylon braided cords are robust and sure to last you many years. Also, they both share that generous six-foot length at such a low price point.

While C-to-A doesn't offer nearly the same speeds C-to-C Power Delivery 3.0 does, it's worth keeping some C-to-A cables around. Most computers and chargers we already own have USB-A ports but might not have USB-C ports.

If you're in the market for one, the Anker Powerline+ USB-C to USB-A Cable is a no-brainer. You get USB 3.0 that delivers fast 5 Gbps data transfers, it comes in two colors, the price is really low, and the entire cord is reinforced with a double-braided nylon exterior.