In the world of charging devices, the charging tower is one of the newer developments, a more elegant evolution of the power strip or surge protector. It’s great for sharing outlets and a solid desktop solution for powering and charging laptops, phones, monitors, and more.
Charging towers keep outlets a little more accessible than power strips tend to be. Plus, their vertical design makes for a small footprint so they’re the perfect desktop accessory for anyone who has a ton of devices to connect or charge.
For the most part, charging towers are pretty similar in their plug-and-play functionality. That said, there are a few features worth taking a moment to consider before purchasing one:
- Lots of Outlets: The best charging towers offer an abundance of charging ports so that you’ll be able to charge all of your devices. The number of AC outlets and USB ports varies by product, however, but there are products spanning a huge range so don’t fret. Oh, and make sure you know about how many plugs you’ll need, too!
- A Variety of Outlets: Quantity is important, but so is quality! Does the tower have just AC and USB-A ports, or does it also include some USB-C ports? Does it offer wireless charging for Qi-enabled devices? Before making your purchase, don’t forget to consider which devices you want to connect and make sure the tower you choose can support all of them.
- Independent Switches: If there are certain devices you don’t need to power all the time, or if you want to have more granular control over which devices are turned on, make sure you opt for a tower with at least a couple of independent switches. These allow you to “turn on” only a portion of the tower’s outlets and ports, instead of all of them.
- High Max Power: Having a large, varied selection of ports is all fine and dandy but if the tower can’t put out much power, what’s the point? This probably isn’t a huge deal if you’re only needing to power two or three devices but a tower with a high max power rating is a must if you’ll have more.
- A Safe Design: Opt for a tower that’s constructed from fireproof materials and that has multiple built-in safety features like overload protection, surge protection, circuit protection, current protection, over-voltage protection, and overheating protection. Bonus points to towers that will automatically cut power when a voltage surge is detected.
- A Lengthy, Retractable Cable: Let’s be honest, cables are a necessary evil and can quickly clutter setups in any room. That’s why we prefer towers with a retractable cable, and with a cable that’s long enough to reach distant outlets if needed.
With a solid variety of AC outlets and USB ports, the SMALLRT 12-in-1 Tower is a well-rounded overall choice. It has twelve outlets in total: eight AC outlets (two on each side of the tower), three USB-A ports, and one USB-C port. With a max output of 2,500W and a 1,200-joule surge protector, it can handle your home office setup, gaming PCs, TVs, and more.
The AC outlets are plenty spaced apart, so you won’t have to worry about crowding. The 12-in-1 tower is made of fireproof material and features an extra-long 9.8 foot (3 meter) cord that’s nice to have in case your setup isn’t next to a plug. And rest easy, it features a safety switch; is fire-resistant (up to 1382 degrees Fahrenheit); has protection for short-circuiting, overheating, and overloading; and will even cut the power if it senses a voltage surge.
SMALLRT 12-in-1 Tower
Charge and power a variety of devices, like laptops, smartphones, and TVs with this affordable tower.
If you need to charge a truly massive amount of stuff, this imposing charging tower is ready to accommodate your charging needs. With no less than eighteen U.S. outlets plus four USB-A ports, it can output an impressive 3,000W at once—that’s enough that every single outlet could drive a 55-inch LED TV without breaking a sweat.
The design also integrates a small 780-joule surge protector to keep all those attached gadgets safe and sound in the case of a surge or spike. The central tower rotates for easy access, and each subsection has its own power switch for the associated outlets. It also boasts a 6.5-foot heavy-duty extension cord. If you absolutely have to charge every laptop in your office or dorm, this thing will do it for you.
JACKYLED Electric Power Strip
Charge eighteen gadgets at once with this expanded tower option.
For those more interested in an all-in-one solution for a home or a workshop, the Bestek USB Power Strip is the best choice. It has fewer total outlets at just eight, but keeps six USB ports (2.4 amps each) and ups the internal surge protector to a more reliable 1,500 joules for even more protection. There’s also a hidden upgrade inside the central tower: a Qi wireless charging pad integrated into the top of the case.
Newer models of smartphones—like iPhones or a Samsung Galaxy—can charge at 10 watts. This makes the design particularly handy if you or your guests want to juice your device’s battery without also having to lug around a cord. The tower itself has a six-foot heavy-duty cord that’s perfect for use in a workshop, home office, or living room setup. It’s just 5.7 inches tall and has two independent switches.
With its substantially higher price point, this pick is more suited for retail or school use rather than in homes or offices. However, if you’ve got a ton of devices in your home office, it may be worth the investment. The design offers two USB ports and two cleverly-designed international AC outlets, but more importantly, allows you to thread up to six different USB cables out for instant charging without any extra hardware.
The package comes with an assortment of Lightning, MicroUSB, and USB-C ports to start you off, but you can easily replace them with any other USB-compatible cables. You can have as many as 10 devices charging at a time, and they all plug into a locking cabinet at the rear of the station and can be retracted as needed.
ChargeTech Phone & Laptop Charging Station
Forget having to remember cables with this tower, as it features integrated cable options.