Discussing the best USB-C cables may not be the most exciting prospect, but this cable is an invaluable accessory. If you use Android, Apple or Windows devices, you need USB-C – a smaller, faster version of the famous USB connector that came before it. Handily, it also works both ways up, so the need to rotate your USB pen three times before managing to slot it into your laptop is a thing of the past. Hurrah.
You may need a USB-C cable for a host of reasons (see our guide to USB cables if you're still unsure which is which). Maybe you need an extra one to charge your devices, or to hook your drawing tablet up to your computer. Perhaps you've got a mix of old and new devices you need to be ale to transfer files between, and need a cable that pairs USB-C with something older like a micro USB.
Our guide to the best USB-C cables will take you through the top options. Need something different? See our guides to the best laptops for graphic design and the best monitors and the best USB-C monitors for more advice on kit.
Best USB-C cables: USB-C to USB-C cable
The Anker Powerline cables are a clear choice for some of the best USB-C cables as they're popular for a reason. With a double-braided nylon exterior for extra protection, the Anker Powerline+ 3ft (0.91m) or 6ft (1.8m) cables are built with lasting toughness and will stand up to years of frequent use. Anker claims that the PowerLine+ has a bend tolerance up to five times greater than that of other comparable cables, making this a good one to get if you’re someone who perhaps doesn’t take as much care of your electronics as you should. The fast sync and charge functionality means nice quick transfers (up to 480 MB/s), and the package also contains a useful carry-pouch, which can be used to adjust cable length by winding the cable up inside it.
The USB-C standard received a boost when Apple announced it would be piggybacking on it for their high-speed Thunderbolt 3, so it’s not surprising to see official Apple-branded USB-C cables available for purchase. This cable doesn’t have any of the useful extra functionality of the Anker Powerline+ such as the adjustable carrying pouch, but it does its job perfectly well, and since it’s available in 1m or 2m lengths, you can choose the precise length that fits your needs (though unfortunately you’re paying for the privilege either way). It offers fast charging and speedy file transfers, and you can be sure it'll get the job done.
Best USB-C cables: USB-C to USB
It’s more than likely that you’ll find you need to pair your sophisticated new USB-C tech with a piece of kit that has a USB 3.0 connection, and for that you’ll need a USB-C to USB cable. We’d definitely recommend the Syncwire USB C Cable to USB 3.0 Charger, as it has a tough aluminium-reinforced cable capable of transfer speeds up to 5GB per second, which is also equipped with a reinforced connector that is rated for 10,000 plug-ins. With fast sync and charge capabilities, this long-lasting and durable cable is a great buy for the price – the pack as advertised contains two.
Best USB-C cables: Cheap USB-C to USB
Great for fast charging and fast data transfer, the BrexLink USB Type C cables come in pairs. The USB-C to USB 3.0 connection makes them perfect for fast-charging newer Android smartphones – simply plug the cable into the plug adapter and you’re away. BrexLink have made this model one of the best USB-C cables by reinforcing the cables, with nylon braiding to prolong their life and usability, but if anything should go wrong then there’s also manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, so you can buy with confidence.
Another affordable, well-built USB-C to USB cable, Snowkids USB-C cable provides a decent 2m of length, a twist-resistant PVC material for the cable, and durable connectors rated to more than 6,000 plug-ins. A nice little extra is a leather tie popper strap that allows you to bundle the cables together when you’re not using them, which is great for keeping everything tidy and orderly (nothing’s worse than tangled cables when you’re in a hurry). The 2m length is also handy, and is impressive given the reasonable price of this two-pack.
Best USB-C cables: USB-C to Micro USB
You may not have been aware that Amazon has its own ‘Basics’ range of cables, adapters and other techy paraphernalia, and the AmazonBasics cable one is one of the best USB-C cables around. As you might expect, the hardware on sale tends to be very affordable, as is the case with this USB-C to old-fashioned micro-USB connecting cable. If you have a device from a few generations back and need to connect it to a newer one with USB-C compatibility, this is how you’ll do it, and it’ll cost you less than a fiver. For the money you’ll get a strong nylon-braided cable that’s been thoroughly bend-tested (more than 5,000 times), and you can also pick not only the colour of your cable but also its size, with 0.3, 0.9, 1.8 and 3m versions available (at slightly different price points).
Best USB-C cables: USB-C to HDMI
Want to show off the glorious creations on your tablet on a high-definition monitor? The Uni USB-C to HDMI cable will allow you to do just that, and also opens up loads of new creative possibilities. Want to live stream to a TV without the unreliability of wireless casting? Easily done. This cable from uni is nylon-braided for extra strength, and has a premium aluminium alloy casing that provides improved heat insulation. While it’s more expensive than the others, there are two sizes available, so you can reduce cost fractionally by selecting the smaller if this is an issue.
Also read: HDMI vs DVI: A no-nonsense guide
Best USB-C cables: USB-C to Lightning
Another throwback, this Apple USB-C to Lightning cable is one of the best best USB-C cables that allows for the quick connection of new devices with older ones, this time in Apple flavour. If you have an older iPhone or iPad with the older Lightning connector, you may want to think about picking up one of these to make transfer between devices easier. It won’t come cheap though – we’d recommend picking up the 1m version rather than the 2m unless you desperately need more length, as the prices difference between the two is significant.
Best USB-C cables: Tough USB-C Cable
Though plenty of the cables on this best USB-C cables list have been equipped with nylon braiding, the UNBREAKcable USB-C to USB 3.0 cable is a league ahead. It’s been tested to support up to 50kg of weight without breaking, and is housed in a protective multi-layered polyester shell, with connectors tested for more than 10,000 plug-ins. The USB 3.0 connection means that devices will also transfer and charge nice and quickly, and the UNBREAKcable is also offered at a wallet-friendly price. Sick of cables breaking on you? This is your buy.