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Best Apple Watch charging stands 2021: how to dock and charge your smartwatch

Best Apple Watch docks

Looking for the best Apple Watch charging stand? We've rounded up the best of the bunch available right now. We've offered a few different types because there's no size fits all solution. The right one for you depends on your style at home as well as how you like your tech to be laid out. That means we've included charging stands that have your Apple Watch dock resting on its side and acting as a bedside alarm clock, as well as ones that double up as a charging hub for your iPhone as well as Apple Watch. 

Of course, you can always stick to using the Apple Watch's magnetic charger cable that comes in the box but a charging stand often adds more functionality and style so it ends up more useful. It can also save you worrying about cables trailing awkwardly around your living space. Apple offers two charging dock products but there are plenty of others to choose from, covering all shapes and sizes, as well as budgets. 

All these charging stands are compatible with every generation of Apple Watch right up to the latest Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE, as Apple has always used the same convenient magnetic charging connector. Whether you're keen on the idea of a high rising tower stand next to your bed, subtle wood effect designs or space age metallic stylings, these are the best options for charging your Apple Watch.

Before you get buying, remember that not all these stands come with a charging cable. Many of them require you to use the charging cable that came with your Apple Watch. It's also worth bearing in mind that the Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE only come with a cable and lack a charging brick so you'll need to have one of those ready - or buy another.

These are products that we haven't had in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Our selections take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability or unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple Watch Charger

The unexciting Apple-brand charging cable

Reasons to buy
+Inexpensive+Comes in the box
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't stand the watch up-Easy for watch to slip off

The Control Option, the standard upon which all the other chargers in this lineup are based, is Apple's signature Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable that comes in the box. It's little more than that - a pad the watch snaps to and a meter-length of cable ending in a USB-A port.

The cable is functional and inexpensive, but it doesn't prop the watch up to double as a nighttime visible clock - plus, it tends to separate from Apple Watches at slight jostling. But in a pinch or if you don't have much room, this could be the right pick - at least until you see what else we have in store. 

Note that the cable also comes in a USB-C option, as well as lengths of 0.3m, 1m, and 2m options.

(Image credit: OLEBR)

2. OLEBR 3 in 1 Charging Stand

One charger for all your Apple devices

Specifications
Colors: Black, Rose Gold, Space Grey, Silver
Material: Aluminum and plastic
Reasons to buy
+Also supports iPhone and AirPods+A selection of colors
Reasons to avoid
-Bigger than some charging stands-A bit plain

If you have an Apple Watch then you almost certainly also have an iPhone and there’s a good chance you have AirPods as well, and if you have all of them, then you should definitely consider the OLEBR 3 in 1 Charging Stand, as it can charge all three of those devices at once.

It holds your Apple Watch at an angle that allows you to see the screen, so you can use it in Nightstand mode, and it supports all Apple Watch sizes, so whether you’ve got a 38mm, 40mm, 42mm or 44mm one, you’re covered.

The OLEBR 3 in 1 Charging Stand also has a reasonably stylish design, in a choice of black, rose gold, space grey or silver colors, so you should be able to get one that matches your iDevices.

3. Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock

Elegant and official

Specifications
Colors: White
Material: Polyurethane
Reasons to buy
+Elegant design+Can charge Watch flat or on its side
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Only comes in white

If you want a stylish charging solution for your Apple Watch who better to go to than Apple itself? This official dock is every bit as simple and elegant as you would expect from a company with Apple’s eye for design, and it’s a perfect companion to the Apple Watch.

The design allows you to charge the Watch flat, or on its side – the latter of which puts it into Nightstand mode, so you can use it as an alarm clock.

The only real downside to this dock is that - in typical Apple fashion – it’s expensive, but if you’re invested in the Apple ecosystem that’s something you’re probably used to.

4. Belkin PowerHouse

A pricey option that works with cases

Specifications
Colors: White, Black
Material: TBC
Reasons to buy
+Works even if your phone is in a case+Sturdy
Reasons to avoid
-Nightstand mode won’t work with it-Large plug could block other sockets

The Belkin Powerhouse isn’t cheap, but it is well thought through, letting you charge both your Apple Watch and your iPhone, with the latter working even if the phone is in a case thanks to an adjustable Lightning connector that can be moved forwards, backwards, up and down.

The PowerHouse looks sturdy too, yet it shouldn’t take up too much space, and it’s designed to charge both watch and phone quickly.

Disappointingly, the position it holds your Apple Watch in means Nightstand mode won’t work when using this dock, but if you can live without that – and live with the price – it’s a great two-in-one option that won’t force you to take your phone out of its case.

(Image credit: AICase)

5. AICase Bamboo Wood Charging Holder

A fusion of tech and nature

Specifications
Colors: Bamboo
Material: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Real wood+Stylish, sturdy design
Reasons to avoid
-Watch screen isn't easily viewable-Only comes in bamboo

We’re always big fans of wood here at TechRadar, and charging stands are an ideal place to use it, as shown here by the AICase Bamboo Wood Charging Holder. This dock houses both your Apple Watch and iPhone, and it looks great doing so.

That’s thanks mostly to the aforementioned wood – bamboo in this case. As well as providing a great look, the use of wood also makes this charger sturdy, so it’s not going to go skidding across your desk with the slightest nudge.

It’s quite compact too, at least for a dock that charges multiple devices. The horizontal angle it positions your watch screen at perhaps isn’t ideal, but since you can dock your iPhone at an easily viewable angle it’s not a big deal.

Just Mobile TimeStand

6. Just Mobile TimeStand

An artful option with a weighty feel

Specifications
Colors: Black, Silver
Material: Aluminum
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Reasonable price
Reasons to avoid
-Angle isn't ideal for nightstand use-Cable channel is a bit ugly

If you're not so taken by the idea of twinning your all-metal Watch with a plastic stand, take a look at this artful option from Just Mobile. Machined from a single block of aluminum, the cylindrical bar feels nice and weighty in the hand but stays kind to bedside cabinet surfaces thanks to its protective rubber-lined base.

The Apple Watch charger slots in to an angled recess in the top, which has a channel running out from the side and down to the base to route the cable neatly. And that sculpted cylindrical hole isn't just for looks - your Watch's buckled wristband tucks in here when you mount it on the stand (in portrait orientation at least). The price seems about right, too.

Mophie Watch Dock

7. Mophie Watch Dock

A simple yet stylish way to show off your Watch

Specifications
Colors: Metallic silver
Material: Aluminum
Reasons to buy
+Protects surfaces+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Only one color

This aluminum stand keeps things simple from the moment you open the box. The included quick start guide explains how to place your Watch's inductive charger into the circular cut-out and feed the cable down a rubber channel inside the vertical arm, through the base and out the back.

Faux leather padding on the angled cradle provides a safe buffer between the metal and the back of your watch, while a rubber pad on the base provides protection for your desk/table. At four ounces, it's fairly light, but provides a stable mid-size mount for both sizes of watch. Some might find the price a bit steep though.

TwelveSouth HiRise

8. TwelveSouth HiRise for Apple Watch

A premium finish without the price tag

Specifications
Colors: Black, White
Material: Brushed aluminum
Reasons to buy
+Premium design+Sturdy
Reasons to avoid
-Only two color choices-Could be more compact

TwelveSouth has taken the same brushed aluminum of its mainstay HiRise for iPhone device and machined it into a wide-base stand that gives great stability if you like to interact with your watch when it's not on your wrist.

The charging disk fits snugly into a silicone recess in the reclining stand and the cable runs down a rear channel and underneath the base's band-friendly leather-lined platform, which raises for easy routing and storage.

Silicone padding on the cut-outs protects from any mishaps when placing and removing your watch, making for a solid, yet surprisingly lightweight, stand all round.

Griffin WatchStand

9. Griffin WatchStand

A Watch and iPhone stand all in one

Specifications
Colors: Black, White
Material: Plastic
Reasons to buy
+Space for your iPhone+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Plastic construction-Plain

Your Apple Watch is a gorgeous thing to behold, so it's no surprise Griffin has designed this totemic stand to help you show it off when it's not on your wrist.

At the top of the plastic stand lies an angled cradle for your Watch's charging connector and a hole for the cable to wind around the detachable rubber inner core and slip out the rear of the base. The Watch sits securely on top with the band either buckled round the back or open and hanging down the front (hint: not the best look).

The weighted, non-slip base provides confident footing to the display and has a thoughtful lip at the front to rest your iPhone against lengthways; there's no power outlet for it, mind, but that's where Griffin's WatchStand Powered Charging Station (£41/US$60/AU$84) comes in - it takes care of your iPhone's power needs too.

10. Mercase Apple Watch Stand

Cheap, small and stylish

Specifications
Colors: Space Grey, Rose Gold
Material: Aluminum and TPU
Reasons to buy
+Low price+Compact design
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t work with most cases-Can fall if used with heavy bands

The Mercase Apple Watch Stand is a cheap option, but you get quite a lot for your money. For one thing it’s partially clad in aluminum, giving it a more premium finish than even some pricier docks.

It also has a compact design, so it won’t take up your whole bedside table, and it can charge both your iPhone and your Apple Watch at the same time.

There are some reports of it toppling over when charging a watch with a heavy band, so that’s something to be aware of, though if you charge your iPhone at the same time it should help weigh the stand down. And if you have a light watch strap there’s nothing to worry about.