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How Much Electricity Do Wireless Chargers Actually Use?

Wireless chargers are becoming popular amongst smartphone users due to their convenience and design. However, many people prefer wired chargers because they are supposedly more efficient. But how much electricity do wireless chargers use, and are they really less efficient than wired ones? 

Wireless chargers use around 20-25 W of electricity when charging a phone. They also use about 0.25 W of power when not charging. However, this is negligible, and the latest wireless chargers have features that increase their efficiency. 

While wireless chargers won’t be as effective as wired ones anytime soon, they have other benefits that make them a great alternative to wired chargers. Let’s look at what makes wireless chargers less energy-efficient and what you should consider before buying one. 

Are Wireless Chargers Always Using Electricity? 

Charging mobile phone battery with wireless device in the table

As long as they’re plugged in, wireless chargers like Samsung’s Fast Charge Stand (on Amazon) or Apple’s MagSafe charger (also on Amazon) will continue to use electricity, even if they’re not charging a device. Even wireless chargers with batteries will use power when not on charge, and the battery will get depleted if you leave the charger off charge for long enough. 

Wireless chargers use around 0.25 W of energy when not charging a smartphone. While this energy is negligible, it can be significant when multiplied by the number of people who could potentially use wireless chargers as they become mainstream. 

Wireless chargers use electricity when not charging because they constantly send signals to connect to a device. Unfortunately, this function is automatic, and the charger will continue to detect devices as long as it’s plugged in. 

While you can save a slight amount of wasted energy by switching your charger on with the power socket whenever you need to charge your phone, it’s inconvenient. In comparison, cable chargers don’t use electricity when they’re not charging a device, which makes them the more eco-friendly option. 

How Much Electricity do They Use Daily?

Wireless chargers use a minimal amount of electricity if you look at the total energy usage of an individual charger. The total amount of electricity used by a wireless charger in a month is hardly going to register on your electricity bill. 

The average wireless charger uses between 16-24 W of electricity to charge a phone fully. But the actual amount of energy used depends on the type of charger, the type of phone, whether the phone and charger are correctly aligned, and a range of other factors.

However, this is based on a relatively efficient wireless charger. Some chargers will use less electricity when charging certain phones due to perfect alignment. Circular chargers without magnetic pads to keep the smartphone perfectly aligned usually use more electricity since the charger will still deliver output. 

While even low-efficiency wireless chargers won’t use a considerable amount of electricity, if everyone switched to wireless charging, it would result in significant wastage of electricity. So, even though the daily electricity usage of a wireless charger is negligible, it has a negative environmental impact on a large scale. 

Do Wireless Chargers Use More Electricity Than Wired Chargers?

Wireless chargers use considerably more electricity than wired chargers since a lot of energy is wasted through heat dissipation. Some experiments show that wireless chargers use at least 50% more electricity than wired chargers. However, this is usually higher when the wireless charger isn’t perfectly aligned with the phone. 

The average wired charger uses around 15 W of electricity to charge a phone fully. On the other hand, an average wireless charger uses about 20-25 W of electricity to get the phone’s battery to 100%. If the charger isn’t perfectly aligned or it’s not compatible with the smartphone, it may use 80% more electricity than a wired charger. 

The Design

The design of a wireless charger will also affect how much electricity it uses. For example, stand charging docks are usually more efficient since they are easier to align with the phone. However, some flat charging pads with a magnet allow for perfect alignment when you place your phone to charge. 

Tightly coupled wireless chargers are also more efficient than loosely coupled ones since less heat is wasted. However, some of the most efficient wireless chargers are loosely coupled ones that can charge the phone from a distance of a few millimeters from the charging pad. 

Regardless of which wireless charger you use, it will still take more electricity than a regular wired charger. The only benefit you’ll have is that wireless chargers stop charging when the phone is fully charged.  

How Efficient Are Wireless Chargers?

While wireless chargers aren’t as efficient as wired chargers, the latest models don’t waste that much energy either.

For example, some of the earlier wireless chargers would only deliver around 60% of the power input to the phone, but later models have over 80% efficiency. Wired chargers, on the other hand, have over 95% efficiency since a negligible amount of electricity is wasted as heat. 

Inefficient Design

The reason why wireless chargers are relatively inefficient is because of their design. Wireless chargers have a copper coil that transfers energy with electromagnetic induction. So when you place your phone on the charging pad, the charger and phone’s coils will heat up, resulting in energy wastage. 

Wireless chargers will also be less efficient the further your phone is away from the charger. If you have a thicker phone case or there’s something between the charger and the phone, more energy will be lost.

The Newest Chargers 

However, the latest wireless chargers are more efficient, and many have magnets that align the charger’s coils with the phone’s receiver module. They also have other safety features that don’t come with regular wired chargers. Without these safety features, wireless chargers would be more efficient but more dangerous. 

For example, many of the latest wireless chargers will switch off automatically when they reach a maximum temperature limit. Qi-compatible wireless chargers also have a metal detector that will ensure the charger switches off when a metal object is placed on the charging pad.

Nevertheless, it’s best to avoid placing metal objects on wireless chargers since it may cause the charger to overheat. 

So, while wireless chargers aren’t as efficient as wired chargers, they aren’t energy-intensive appliances either. Some of the latest wireless chargers are also more efficient than wired ones and are fast charging compatible.

Which Type of Charger Should You Buy?

Charging mobile phone battery with wireless charging device in the table

While wired chargers are still more efficient than wireless ones, there are some benefits to wireless chargers which make them attractive to tech-savvy people. However, while wireless chargers are becoming popular, many people still prefer to use wired chargers.

However, which charger you choose to buy largely depends on when you charge your phone, whether you prefer convenience over efficiency and your personal preference. Here are some things to consider when purchasing a new charger: 

Charging Time 

This is the main thing that most people will check when choosing between different chargers. Most wireless chargers will take longer to charge your phone than a fast cable charger.

If you’re in a hurry and only have a few minutes to charge your phone, a fast wired charger is usually the batter option. 

However, many of the latest wireless chargers are faster than regular wired chargers and also support fast charging in android phones. For example, Apple’s MagSafe charger has an energy output of 15 W, which is better than most wired chargers. 


If you prefer convenience and aesthetic appeal, wireless charging is the ideal option. Simply place your phone on the charging pad and pick it up when it’s charged.

You don’t even have to worry about energy wastage since the charger will stop charging when the battery is full. Wireless chargers are also aesthetically more advanced, and many blend in with the furniture. 


If you prefer an environmentally friendly option and don’t want to waste electricity, it’s better to use a wired charger. Wireless chargers aren’t going to have a noticeable effect on your electricity bill, but they are less efficient than wired ones.  


Wireless chargers are still a relatively new technology, and the best wireless chargers are priced at several hundred dollars. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, wired chargers are best. However, wireless chargers may last longer, and you won’t have to replace them often.


While all approved chargers undergo extensive safety tests and both wired and wireless chargers are safe, wireless chargers are considered safer than wired ones. Fewer cables mean less likelihood of exposed wires, and short circuits and wireless chargers also have additional safety measures.