What to Look For in a Car Phone Mount in 2022
While all car phone mounts solve the problem of propping up your phone for easy access while driving, they achieve this in different ways. Some use suction cups or adhesive tabs to attach to dashboards or windshields. Others have clips that grip onto air vents. A few are even designed to sit in cup holders.
Your choice will depend on several factors, such as how close you want your device to be, your cabin’s topography and material finish, and your state laws. That’s right—some states have laws specifying where you can attach devices, especially when windshield mounted. Make sure to check in with your local laws before picking a car mount!
Besides the surfaces to which they are attached, car mounts also vary in how they hold onto your phone. They could be magnetic, use spring-loaded arms, or even be MagSafe-compatible for iPhone 12 and 13.
Spring-loaded clamps are the sturdiest and can handle almost any phone, but they’re relatively more difficult to operate—we’ve made sure to choose the easiest options, though.
Meanwhile, using a magnetic mount is as easy as slapping your phone onto it and taking it off when done. However, they require you to attach a metal plate to the back of your phone or phone case, which isn’t always pleasing to look at.
Another factor to consider when choosing a phone mount is wireless charging. You can get mounts with built-in Qi wireless support that get power from your vehicle’s DC port, so you don’t have to plug in your phone each time you enter the car.
Most of the charging options are compatible with Android devices and iPhones, usually maxing out at 10W for the former and 7.5W for the latter. These charging speeds provide an excellent outlet to keep your phone juiced up on the move.
Lastly, it’s worth considering the maximum phone size a mount can hold to prevent your phone from falling off when you hit those pesky bumps. Smaller mounts with magnetic designs or MagSafe support tend to struggle with larger phones such as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while larger spring-loaded mounts generally do just fine. With a spring arm, check the maximum extension width to ensure it’s enough to hold your phone. And whatever you do, don’t forget to factor in the size and weight of your phone case if you use one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do vent car phone mounts damage air vent fins?
Some vent phone mounts can damage the air vents; however, these are usually mounts of poor build quality. Most vent car phone mounts will use rubber or other materials to make sure it will not damage the vents.
Will my phone case prevent my mount from working properly?
Generally not. The only time a phone case will interfere with a mount is if you’re using a magnetic mount and the magnet is not strong enough to hold through the case.
Do windshield car phone mounts leave residue on windshields?
If you’re using a windshield car phone mount with adhesive, it can sometimes leave residue on the window. If it uses a suction cup, it should not leave any residue.
Do suction-based car phone mounts work in very hot or very cold weather?
Suction-based phone mounts work fine in very hot weather. However, they do have difficulties staying stuck onto windows in very cold weather, as the rubber is less flexible and makes for a less effective seal.
Will a vent car phone mount overheat my phone with the heat on during winter?
It can! If you’re using a vent phone mount, make sure the vent the mount is attached to isn’t blowing hot air directly onto your phone.
Can I use a magnetic car phone mount without a case?
Most magnets that come with magnetic car phone mounts have an adhesive that you use to attach it to the back of your phone. If you don’t mind the magnet being visible on the back of your device, you can use this type of phone mount without a case.
Will bumpy roads cause my phone to move or fall from the mount?
Any car phone mount of decent build quality will be able to hold your phone even on bumpy roads.
Best Vent Car Phone Mount: Kenu Airframe ProKenu
- ✓ Sturdy design
- ✓ Works with large devices like the Pro Max iPhones
- ✓ Great mobility
- ✓ Easy operability for a tension-arm model
- ✗ Clip's rubber covering may wear out, exposing the metal part
- ✗ May get in the way of your car's air vents
The Kenu Airframe Pro is our choice for a mount you can use with your vents. It has a clip that securely attaches to AC vent slats with different orientations—horizontal, vertical, or angled. You press the buttons on either side of the frame to open the pinchers and then slip them over the vent slat.
The clips are made of metal but are covered in a rubberized material to ensure they firmly grasp the vents without scratching them. However, there are reports that the rubber covering tends to wear out with time, exposing the metal part. This doesn’t seem to happen with all units, though, so as long as you check the mount from time to time, the AirFrame Pro should be fine.
As for keeping your phone in place, it uses a spring-loaded expandable jaw that’s sturdy enough to hold even the largest devices on the market. No need to worry about your phone slipping out of place here! The ease of use makes the Kenu Airframe Pro stand out from most other options with the same design, as you can attach your phone to the mount with one hand.
Meanwhile, the mount can adjust in two planes, a 360-degree rotation allowing you to place your phone in portrait or landscape and an approximately 45-degree tilt to the back or sides.
Best Vent Car Phone Mount
Kenu Airframe Pro
A solid car phone mount that works well with most vents and is sturdy enough to hold very large phones. Despite the tension-arm design, it's also relatively easy to operate.
Best Dashboard Car Phone Mount: Scosche MagicMountScosche
- ✓ Adhesive pads make for a very simple installation process
- ✓ Low cost
- ✓ Can fit in places where most others won't
- ✓ Wide-range of adjustability
- ✗ Not great for textured surfaces
- ✗ Adhesive pad weakens if removed from the original position
If you want a car mount that’ll sit on your dashboard, you’ll want to grab the Scosche MagicMount. The small base uses an adhesive pad to attach to your dash. But despite its size, the bond is strong enough to keep the mount firm on smooth horizontal or vertical surfaces. Plus, the small footprint means that it can fit in many less practical locations—nooks, crannies, or crevices—making it more versatile than a suction cup.
The MagicMount uses a magnet to secure your phone, although you’ll have to slap a metal sheet on the back of your device. However, if you can look past that, the setup is even more adjustable than the Kenu Airframe Pro, thanks to its ball-and-socket design. You can see your phone perfectly whether you mount it on a sloping or vertical surface.
As versatile as the MagicMount is, unfortunately, the adhesive pad is not great on textured surfaces. Also, you can’t move it to a new location on your dash without getting a new pad. The latter is true for most adhesive products like the MagicMunt, but it’s something to keep in mind if you need to remove the mount from its spot.
Best Dashboard Car Phone Mount
An excellent dashboard mount that fits in unusual locations with an adhesive pad that's easy to install. It also uses a simple magnetic design to hold the phone in place and is the cheapest option on this list.
Best Windshield Car Phone Mount: iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic MountiOttie
- ✓ Strong magnetic arm
- ✓ Highly adjustable
- ✓ Easily transferable to a different car or position in the same car
- ✗ Phone may swivel if the metal plate is not central
- ✗ May violate state laws depending on your location and how you mount it
If you’re looking for a car phone mount to attach to your windshield, the iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount fits the bill. So long as it doesn’t go against the laws of your state, you’ll quickly find that this model perfectly combines convenience, phone security, and flexibility. It attaches to your windshield with a powerful suction base that’s easy to set up and doesn’t lose grip over time.
The iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount can support many phone sizes, keeping them firm and steady. It uses a ball joint that allows you to rotate your phone 360 degrees between portrait and landscape orientations. It may not be as flexible as the MagicMount, but for many users, the iTap 2 will get the job done.
It’s important to note, though, that the iTap 2 is magnetic and requires you to attach a small metal plate to the back of your phone. The small size means it shouldn’t bother you too much—if it does, you can try fitting it inside a thin phone case.
Best Windshield Car Phone Mount
iOttie iTap 2 Magnetic Mount
A great car phone mount that fits snuggly on your windshield, holds your phone securely, and rotates in many directions.
Best Cup Holder Car Phone Mount: TOPGO Cup Holder Phone MountTOPGO
- ✓ Great degree of flexibility
- ✓ Long neck for slightly lower cupholders
- ✓ Snuggly fits most cupholders
- ✓ Gravity-friendly design making it nearly impossible to fall
- ✗ You lose a cup holder
- ✗ Impractical with some car layouts
The TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount is our pick for the best car phone mount for cup holders. The impressive design makes use of a base with three clamps that can be adjusted to fit the width of just about any cup holder. Plus, the base is tall, providing enough traction to support the rest of the structure even with your phone on it.
The product can handle many smartphones with its adjustable arms spanning approximately three and a half inches. With a one-key release system for controlling the arms that grip your phone, it’s easy to get your phone in and out of the mount whenever you need to, even with one hand.
Once in position, your device can rotate 360 degrees thanks to the motorized gooseneck. The neck is long enough to keep your phone at a reasonably high level, so it’s easy to see, even if your cup holder is positioned low. However, if you have your car holders in an unusual spot, the mount might be difficult to use, so make reasonably sure the mount works with your car’s layout before buying.
Best Cup Holder Car Phone Mount
TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount
Impressive design with cup holder clamps that deliver a snug fit regardless of the compartment's size. It's convenient, featuring a one-key release system that lets you attach and remove your phone whenever.
Best Car Phone Mount Charger: iOttie Wireless Car ChargeriOttie
- ✓ Wireless charging for supported phones
- ✓ Multiple attachment options so you can get the best one for your needs
- ✓ Sturdy and adjustable
- ✗ Doesn't support all phones
All the options on this list are excellent for holding your phone in a particular location or position, but you still need to plug it in to avoid draining your battery. However, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger combines a mount and a wireless charger for your Qi-compatible phone to give you the best of both worlds.
As far as charging your phone goes, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger can deliver up to 10W of power to supported Android devices and 7.5W for iPhones. The holder itself is versatile and available in multiple styles—dash, windshield, vent, or CD-slot mounts—so you pick this up no matter where you need to place the mount. Whichever you get, you can rest assured that it’ll be sturdy and easily adjustable.
For keeping your phone in place, iOttie has gone for a telescopic arm. The design features adjustable appendages that securely grasp your phone on either side. But for added firmness, the wireless charger also incorporates a two-prong base that can be pulled lower to accommodate taller devices.
Despite that, however, the iOttie Wireless Car Charger cannot support all phone types. If you have a phone on the larger side, make sure the clamp can hold it before you purchase this mount!
Best Car Phone Mount Charger
iOttie Wireless Car Charger
Up to 10W wireless charging for Android devices and 7.5W for iPhones on a sturdy design. It's available as a dash, windshield, vent, or CD-slot mount for variety.
Best MagSafe Car Phone Mount: ESR HaloLock Magnetic Wireless Car ChargerESR
- ✓ Wireless charging support
- ✓ Simple and easy to use
- ✓ Adjustable for different orientations and viewing angles
- ✓ MagSafe magnet works well with bare iPhones
- ✗ Large iPhones may fall off on bumpy rides
- ✗ Devices may fail to charge even with MagSafe-compatible cases
The ESR HaloLock Car Charger is the best car phone mount with MagSafe compatibility, allowing it to take advantage of the technology that debuted for Apple phones with the iPhone 12. It latches on to the magnetic ring on your iPhone to hold it securely, ensuring you don’t need to use those stick-on magnets that many other mounts depend on.
Designed for car vents, the ESR HaloLock Car Charger is just as easy to snap our vent car phone mount recommendation. It also holds most iPhone 12 or 13 variants firmly like a champ—although you might encounter issues with the large and heavy Pro Max models.
However, what the HaloLock lacks in magnetic strength, it makes up forwith wireless charging support at up to 7.5W for iPhones and 15W maximum. However, if your phone is covered in a case, you may suffer charging issues even if it’s MagSafe compatible. If you’re not worried about charging, this is a non-issue, but it’s important to note if you’re looking to charge on the go.
Best MagSafe Car Phone Mount