Best Charging Station of 2020
Claiming the top spot overall, the Hercules Tuff Charging Station for Multiple Devices is our recommendation for a multi-device charging station for most people. This sleek and compact charging option has six USB ports, each capable of delivering up to 2.4 amps. It includes a selection of short USB cables to cut down on the clutter and has integrated stands for up to six tablets or phones. Each slot can accommodate a device and case up to 0.76" thick, with fairly tall dividers and non-slip padding in each slot to help keep your devices where you want them. It charges most devices at their maximum rate while exuding a simple clean aesthetic.
One drawback is that it can take a little bit of effort to keep this charger looking clean — the clear plastic dividers tend to show fingerprints and the non-slip pads can attract dirt and dust. The Hercules Tuff is also limited to a combined output of 10 amps, so your devices might charge a little slower if you put a high-power consuming tablet or phone on every port at once. This shouldn't have too much of an impact on overall charge time and we highly recommend this station to anyone who wants an all-in-one charging solution for their USB-powered devices.
The SIIG 90W 10-Port USB Station is our top recommendation for anyone who needs to routinely charge more than six devices at once. The SIIG has 10 USB ports, each capable of outputting up to 2.4 amps, and vertical holders for up to eight tablets or phones. It also sports a charging deck with a non-slip rubberized surface to hold a ninth device in optimal viewing position, perfect for keeping an eye on your phone while it's charging. It's a great way to cut down on the clutter and keep all your devices charged and organized in one place. This charging station has a fairly plain, minimalistic design with an eye-catching LED nightlight encircling the charging deck.
While the SIIG is a superb option for anyone with a lot of device charging needs, it does have a few flaws. There is no ignoring the fact that it is one of the larger products of the group and our judges were split on its visual appeal. The charging time will decrease a bit if you have a larger device on every single port at once because it can only source a combined 18 amps total. You also can't turn the LED light off, and it's bright enough to disturb some people if it is kept in a bedroom at night. The SIIG doesn't include short charging cables, and we could imagine using longer cables could result in a giant tangle of USB cords in a short amount of time. Despite these shortcomings, the SIIG is an excellent option if you have a large number of devices to charge at once and don't mind purchasing additional short cables separately.
If you're shopping on a budget or looking for a charging station with no integrated device stands, then the RAVPower 60W 6-Port Desktop Charger is a good option. Although this charger is essentially a USB power adapter with six plugs, it makes a handy charging station if you're shopping on a budget and don't mind its bare-bones nature. It's an especially good option if you are routinely charging lots of devices that wouldn't fit well into a tablet stand, such as smartwatches, drones, cameras, fitness trackers, etc. It charges devices quickly, with a listed maximum rate of 2.4 amps per port. That should be enough to charge all but the largest devices at their maximum rate. It has a simple and sleek design that looks alright in most homes, and there are a few different color options so you can match your existing decor.
The biggest problem, however, we found with this charger is the amount of clutter it tends to create. It doesn't include any built-in tablet or phone stands, so you usually end up with a spider web of devices with the RAVPower Desktop Charger at the center. This is made even worse if you use typical charging cables because that could easily leave with a combined 18'+ of USB cables when using all the ports — a situation that will inevitably lead to a tangled mess. True, you can buy short cables to alleviate this to some degree, but you're going to be hard-pressed to create the same compact and organized charging station that some other products offer off the shelf. The RAVPower Desktop Charger also has a maximum shared output of 12 amps between all the ports, so it might not be able to charge six large devices at their maximum rate all at once. Don't get us wrong; the RAVPower Desktop Charger is one of our favorite charging options for multiple devices. We recommend it to anyone shopping on a budget who doesn't mind a little clutter or anyone charging lots of non-tablet/smartphone USB devices simultaneously.
If you have a full set of Apple devices, then the Seneo 3-in-1 is a fantastic option. This sleek and compact unit has a Qi-compatible wireless charging stand for your iPhone, a cradle and Lightning cable for your Airpods, and a holder for an Apple Watch magnetic charging cable, making it a convenient all-in-one charging station for your Apple products. It holds this trio of Apple devices securely and attractively and even includes a QC 3.0 USB power adapter. You're also given the option of splitting this charging station in half if you want to charge your phone and accessory devices separately, though you will need an additional cable and charging brick.
Speaking of additional accessories, we were a little disappointed that you need to supply your own Apple Watch charging cable. We also weren't enamored with the connector between the two halves, discovering that it almost always fell apart when moving the Seneo 3-in-1 around if we weren't careful. The odd contrast between the gloss and matte finish on the charging stand also makes it look a little weird when it doesn't have devices on it. It's a great charging solution despite these drawbacks and one of our favorite choices for Apple fans.
The Anker PowerWave — wireless charging stand — is a great option if you are looking for a charging station for a single phone. It's one of our all-time favorite wireless chargers, and it's capable of charging most Qi-compatible devices at their maximum charging speed. It also doubles as an excellent phone stand with the ability to charge your phone in either portrait or landscape modes. It has a simple and clean look, with a base that's entirely covered in a non-slip material to keep it from moving around when you don't want it to.
The PowerWave Stand isn't a great choice if you need to charge multiple devices at once or want to charge your phone as fast as possible because wired charging typically outpaces wireless alternatives. We also found the PowerWave stand to be a little unstable, tipping forward fairly easily. It doesn't have any non-slip cushioning for your phone, so your smartphone can slide out when bumped, particularly if it isn't in a rubberized case. The PowerWave stand is still a great bargain option if you want a compact and portable charging stand for a single Qi-compatible smartphone.
The Satechi 7-Port USB Charging Dock is a good choice if you have a mix of high and low-power tablets or phones to charge, such as a mix of iPads and Kindles. It has seven USB ports and the device stands to match. Three of those ports boast a 2.4 Amp maximum discharge rate. The Satechi has a clean, utilitarian look that isn't particularly appealing in the style department, but it usually blends into the background well enough to avoid detracting from the overall aesthetics of your place.
Admittedly, we did prefer the looks of some other charging stations. However, it was this device's limited charging performance that kept it from claiming one of the top spots. Although it does feature three high-output charging ports, the remaining four are limited to a maximum discharge rate of 1 amp. These 1-amp ports are significantly slower at charging newer smartphones and larger tablets, but they're fine for low-power devices, like most Kindles or E-readers. The Satechi 7-port gets the job done, no doubt about it, but we believe you deserve the most from your purchase. Therefore, we suggest you go with one of the models with better charging capabilities since they generally cost about the same.
With performance similar to the RAVPower Desktop Charger, the Anker PowerPort 6 Wall Charger is another high-capacity USB power adapter that makes an excellent budget charging option. It can charge up to 6 devices at once, with a maximum output of 2.4 amps per USB port and 12 amps total, making it an effective tool for recharging most USB devices at their maximum rate. It's available with either a white or black outer case and features a fairly basic and unassuming design that blends in well to most settings. On top of all that, it costs much less than many of the other multiple-device charging options, making it an attractive bargain option.
The Anker PowerPort also shares many of the same flaws of the RAVPower Desktop Charger, namely the tendency for your devices to look cluttered and the cables to get tangled if you utilize the charging station at its maximum capacity. We also found that we slightly prefer the RAVPower Desktop Charger to the Anker PowerPort when it comes to looks — the RAVPower is available in more color options and has a less angular design. However, this does come down to personal style preferences when choosing between these two 6-port chargers. Or you could just go with whichever one has the lower price tag when it's time to buy.
The Yootech wireless charging pad is a good budget wireless station for a single smartphone. It performed decently well in our charge time test, only taking slightly more time to recharge a Samsung S8 than the Anker PowerWave stand. It sports a cool accent light that turns off after a short amount of time, so it won't disturb your sleep if it's placed on your nightstand. The raised rubberized ring does a great job of both holding your phone in position and ensuring wireless earbud cases remain in the right spot.
The Yootech can only charge a single device at a time, and they have to be Qi-compatible, so it isn't the best choice if you're looking for an all-in-one charging solution for your entire collection of devices. It's a good budget option for a single phone or other device but can't compete with the multi-device capabilities of other products on the market.
If you need more wireless charging capability than the Anker PowerWave Stand or the Yootech Charging Pad offers, then you should check out the CHOETECH DUAL Wireless Charger. Its larger charging pad can charge a pair of compatible devices at once, allowing you a convenient all-in-one charging solution if you have a smartphone and set of wireless headphones, for example. The CHOETECH can also charge two phones at once if needed. It's relatively low-key in the style department with a unique texture that looks alright.
We noticed the CHOETECH can be a little finicky when it comes to the placement of your devices, particularly with larger smartphones. The surface also isn't very grippy, so phones are easily bumped out of position. It is a little on the pricey side — you could usually buy 3-4 single wireless charging pads for about the same price. However, it's hard to argue with the convenience of charging both of your devices on one pad.
We really wanted to like the Alltripal Bamboo Docking Station, but this charger falls a little short in our minds. It does look great, and many of our judges gave it top marks when it came to aesthetics. It also keeps you cable neatly hidden and provides plenty of options when it comes to the type and number of devices you can charge, including a variety of USB cables and a dedicated stand for Airpods or an Apple Watch.
Unfortunately, we found this device to be a bit deficient in terms of charging performance. Although it does claim a maximum output of 2.4 amps per port, we found that the entire unit would shut off and stop charging if we loaded it with too many devices. We also feel like it is missing a USB port because it has six devices holders but can only charge five at a time. In addition, the newer Airpods Pro won't fit in the charging cradle. This station is an option if you value appearance above all else. Otherwise, it wouldn't be our top recommendation.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our USB charging station review is spearheaded by David Wise. David graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical and Ocean Engineering in 2014 and has extensive experience with digital circuits and lithium batteries. This expertise contributed to the design and implementations of our comprehensive side-by-side charging station showdown. He has also reviewed and tested hundreds of tech products for GearLab, including portable battery banks, wireless chargers, and other battery-powered consumer devices. All of this gives him plenty of experience — and opinions — when it comes to the best USB charging products currently available.
We began by charging all manner of USB devices with these products, covering everything from low-power E-readers and wearables to large tablets and smartphones — occasionally throwing in an atypical device such as an illuminated dog collar. We looked at not only the number of devices each station can charge but also the number of devices each product could effectively store and organize. We also ranked and compared the charging performance of each product, measuring their maximum discharge rates using a dummy load, digital USB multimeter, and charge performance apps, as well as the actual time it took to charge specific devices. Finally, we compared any additional features these products had and convened a panel of judges to rate and score the visual appeal of each charging option, then aggregating their opinions to get well-rounded results.
Analysis and Test Results
We grouped the results from our head-to-head tests into a series of different rating metrics, with the performance of each charging station outlined in the following sections. We ranked and evaluated the number of devices each product can charge and hold, as well as their charging performance and visual appeal.
Number of Devices
The first thing we compared with these products is the number of devices they can both hold and charge at once. The vast majority of people not only have a phone but also myriad tablets, E-readers, and other accessories that charge via a USB port, along with the devices of anyone else they might live with.
When it comes to having the capability for the most devices, the SIIG 90W 10-Port USB Station claims the top spot. As the name suggests, this product has 10 USB ports — the most out of any product that we tested. Even better, it has dedicated spots for eight tablets or phones and then a charging deck for an additional phone or smaller device, keeping all of your electronics recharged and ready to go in one compact package. However, we did wish that it included a variety of shorter USB cables rather than forcing you to provide your own.
Following the SIIG, the Satechi and the Hercules Tuff came next when it comes to the number of devices, having seven and six USB ports, respectively. This pair of charging stations both have the same number of slots to hold tablets and phones as they do USB ports, with the Hercules Tuff offering the added bonus of including a full set of charging cables as well.
The RAVPower and the Anker PowerPort also have six charging ports as well, narrowly beating out the Alltripal Bamboo Docking Station, which only has five. Neither the RAVPower and the Anker PowerPort have any integrated device stands or include cables, with the Alltripal Bamboo Docking Station being quite the opposite. Not only does it include charging cables and have spots for four tablets or phones, but it also has a dedicated holder for an Apple Watch and an Airpods case.
The remainder of the products is much more limited when it comes to the number of devices they can charge at once, making them much more appropriate as a personal device charging station rather than one for the whole family. The Seneo 3-in-1 also has a dedicated holder for a pair of Airpods and an Apple watch, as well as a wireless charging stand for — presumably — your iPhone.
The CHOETECH is the only other product that can charge multiple devices at once, pairing two wireless chargers into one convenient docking station. It's a great way to charge two Qi-compatible wireless charging phones at once or your smartphone and a wireless charging accessory, like Airpods or other true wireless earbuds.
The Anker PowerWave Stand and the Yootech charging pad can only wireless charge a single device at a time, making them convenient for personal use as well but a far cry from a one-stop charging shop for the whole family.
After comparing the number of devices each of the charging stations could recharge at once, we took a more in-depth look at how easy it is to keep your devices organized and securely connected when hooked up to these USB docking stations. We looked at the range of devices each product can comfortably hold, if it is easy to keep the cables neat and uncluttered, and if your devices are held securely and stably.
When it comes to keeping your device in place and charging in an organized way, in our minds, it's hard to beat the Hercules Tuff, the Satechi Charging Dock, and the Alltripal Bamboo Docking Station. These three products can all comfortably hold most smartphones and tablets, even having high enough dividers that they can even keep a full-size Macbook in place, though the entire unit might tip over from the weight if you use any of the outer slots. It feels like you will break the divider before you can get even the tallest tablets to fall over.
Even better, both the Hercules Tuff and the Satechi Charging Dock include some non-slip cushioning in each slot, helping protect your electronics and keep them from sliding out when someone is adding or removing a device. We also liked that the Alltripal Bamboo Docking Station and the Hercules Tuff include a set of short (8"-10") charging cables, which we feel is the only way to keep your charging station from getting overly cluttered. Even carefully managed, typical 3'+ charging cables end up creating a giant tangle and an eyesore with this many devices in one place.
The Alltripal Bamboo Docking Station also has a holder for an Apple Watch and a cradle for a pair of Airpods in their case. While we did like the Apple Watch Holder — though you need to provide your own magnetic charging cable — we were less enamored with the Airpods cradle. The cradle itself is fine, but the charging cable is prone to falling inside the base, requiring you to disassemble the entire unit to rescue it.
Of the multi-device wired chargers, the SIIG brought up the rear in this metric. While it does a great job of organizing a plethora of devices — provided you purchase the appropriate amount of short charging cables — it doesn't fare as well when it comes to stability. The dividers on this charger are triangular, with taller devices prone to tipping forward if they aren't slid in all the way and bumped from the back. There also isn't any non-slip material inside the slot, making it much easier for your tablets and phones to slide around. However, the charging deck does do a fairly good job of keeping a smartphone in place while plugged in and letting you easily see the screen.
The Seneo 3-in-1 comes next in our minds when it comes to organization and stability. It holds your suite of Apple products — iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watch — securely in place in a very clutter-free way. The cords are hidden neatly out of sight — though you again need to provide your own Apple Watch magnetic charging cable — and your iPhone charges wirelessly, removing a cord entirely. The Airpods case sits neatly in its cradle, and you even have the option of splitting this product in half to charge your phone or the accessories separately. True, you can knock your phone out of position if you bump the charging stand too hard, but we generally didn't find this to be a huge issue.
It's very hard to keep your devices organized with the Anker PowerPort or the RAVPower since the natural tendency is for the devices to fan out and take over whatever surface they are on, no matter how hard you try to keep them neatly stacked.
The remaining chargers — the Yootech Charging Pad, the Anker PowerWave Stand, and the CHOETECH Dual Wireless Charger — only wirelessly charge one or two devices, so they are at a bit of an advantage when it comes to keeping the charging devices organized. However, we will note that it doesn't take a ton of force to knock your phone or other devices out of the proper charging position, particularly with the Yootech and the CHOETECH.
Our third metric focused on the actual electrical and charging performance of these products, looking at the time it took to charge a certain device, max power output per USB port, and maximum shared power output for all devices.
Starting with the wired chargers, both the RAVPower 6-Port and the Anker PowerPort excelled in this metric, both capable of a combined 60 watts of output according to the manufacturer. Each of these products can output up to 2.4 amps per port to fast charge even larger devices and have a shared output of 12 amps, meaning the maximum output per port will only drop to 2 amps if you have six devices all drawing the maximum power at once.
The SIIG 90W 10-Port USB Station followed, also capable of outputting up to 2.4 amps per port. However, this unit can only source a maximum of 18 amps among its 10 USB ports, so the maximum output current will drop to 1.8 amps if using all the ports at once with high-power consumption devices. This product also delivered one of the better performances in our test, taking around 1 hour and 42 minutes to completely recharge a Samsung S8 with minimal use and showing an average charging rate of 67.2% per hour, according to the Accubattery app.
The Hercules Tuff and the Satechi Charging Dock came next for the wired options. The Hercules Tuff can output a maximum of 2.4 amps per port as well but only has a maximum combined output of 10 amps, dropping the max output to around 1.67 amps if all six ports are in use. The Hercules Tuff also took a bit longer than the SIIG 90W 10-Port USB Station in our charge time test, taking about five minutes longer to recharge the same phone, dropping the charge rate to around 63% per hour in the Accubattery app.
The Satechi Charging Dock differs in that it doesn't evenly allocate the power output, with three ports set for a maximum of 2.4 amps and four set for 1 amp. Unfortunately, while the Alltripal Bamboo Charging Station seemed on track for an award, we feel it cratered in this metric. We found this charging station would turn off if we loaded it up with larger devices, forcing us to remove every device and unplug the unit before it would start charging again. Upon further research, we found this to be a somewhat common complaint, giving us some significant concerns about this product in general.
The wireless chargers — the Seneo 3-in-1, the Yootech Charging Pad, the CHOETECH, and the Anker PowerWave Stand — all are going to be slower than a wired charger but not by too much. These four devices all can fast wireless charge most Samsung and Apple Qi-compatible devices at their maximum rate — either 7.5 or 10 watts. However, we did find that the Anker PowerWaver is particularly speedy, fully charging our test Samsung S8 in around 2 hours and 18 minutes — significantly faster than the Yootech's 2 hours and 53 minutes and the CHOETECH's 3 hours and 18 minutes.
Our last metric looked at the aesthetics of these charging products. Admittedly, there isn't a ton of diversity when it comes to appearance, and none are all that sleek and stylish in our minds, but a few do stand out as having slightly more visual appeal than others.
The Alltripal Bamboo Charging Station definitely received the most positive accolades from our judges and has one of the most unique appearances, but it's hard to recommend after its poor performance in our charging tests, even if it does look great.
The SIIG 90W 10-Port USB Station came next according to our judges when it came to looks, scoring just a tiny bit higher than the Hercules Tuff and the Satechi Charging Dock. It has a minimalistic, clean design and we think the accent LED light around the charging deck is a nice touch.
The Satechi Charging Dock and the Hercules Tuff are fairly run-of-the-mill when it comes to appearances, with clear plastic dividers putting the visual focus on your devices and not the charger itself. One of the dividers on the Hercules Tuff does light up though, giving you a quick visual indication that it is powered on.
The remaining products all have a fairly nondescript appearance and seemed designed to fade into the background rather than make any style statements. However, we did appreciate that the RAVPower 6-Port, the Anker PowerPort, and the Yootech Charging Pad at least are offered in a few color options to better match your current decor and preferences.
We hope this has been a helpful breakdown of the most compelling device charging stations currently available and has been useful in your search for a system to keep all your devices juiced up and ready to go. Our expert recommendations are here to help you find the perfect charging solution, regardless if you want a bare-bones budget option for just a few devices or a top-tier heavy-duty charger that can handle an entire collection of smartphones, tablets, E-readers, and much more.
— David Wise