Smartphone mounted in car phone holder

The Best Car Phone Holders of 2021

By Austin Meadows AccessoriesNo Comments

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These days, most of us use our phones to navigate while driving. While often convenient and necessary, this can also be distracting, particularly if you’re looking down at the phone on your lap or in your cup holder. For the safety of both yourself and other road users, it’s better to use a car phone holder. 

Staying safe on the road is no joke. Here in the United States, automobile accidents are a leading cause of death, according to the CDC. Non-fatal accidents take their toll as well, with over 4 million Americans injured in car accidents every year. It’s little different in other countries.

Car phone holders are inexpensive, easy to set up, and can drastically improve the safety of using GPS apps in the car. There are a few different types of these mounts: some attach to your windshield or dash, others clip onto air vents, while still others are designed to sit in your vehicle’s cup holders. 

When choosing a car phone holder, the biggest consideration is the type/style. Generally, holders that mount on either the dashboard or the windshield are the most popular. Keep in mind, however, that not all states allow windshield mounts: be sure to check the legality of windshield mounts in your area.

Air vent car phone mounts are also popular, but do tend to block some airflow from the vents themselves, and aren’t always as stable on bumpy roads. Cup holder mounts are less common, and generally aren’t as safe, since you still need to look down quite a ways to check Google Maps or Waze! 

If you’re on the hunt for a good car phone holder, this guide is for you. There are hundreds of options on the market, so we’ve taken the time to research all the best options. From simple magnetic options to fancy windshield mounts, these are the best car phone holders of 2021.

Best Car Phone Holder: Mpow Car Phone Mount
  • Mounting position: Dashboard or windshield
  • Max phone size: 6.5-inch screen
  • Adjustable viewing angle?: Yes (360 degrees)

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Best Car Vent Phone Holder: AINOPE Car Phone Holder Mount
  • Mounting position: Vent
  • Max phone size: 7-inch screen
  • Adjustable viewing angle?: No

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Best Car Cup Phone Holder: TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount
  • Mounting position: Cup holder
  • Max phone size: 3.5-inch phone width
  • Adjustable viewing angle?: Yes (360 degrees)

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Best Magnetic Car Phone Holder: Penom Magnetic Car Phone Mount
  • Mounting position: Vent
  • Max phone size: no specific limit
  • Adjustable viewing angle?: Yes (360 degrees)

Best Car Dashboard Phone Holder: iOttie Easy One Touch 4
  • Mounting position: Dash or windshield
  • Max phone size: 3.5-inch phone width
  • Adjustable viewing angle?: Yes (225 degrees)

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Best Wireless Charging Car Phone Holder: Mankiw Wireless Car Charger
  • Mounting position: Dash or windshield
  • Max phone size: 6.5-inch screen
  • Adjustable viewing angle?: Yes (360 degrees)

Best Car Phone Holder: Mpow Car Phone Mount

Mpow Car Phone Mount, Dashboard Windshield Car Phone Holder with Long Arm, Strong Sticky Gel Suction Cup, Anti-Shake Stabilizer Compatible iPhone 12 11 pro/11 pro max/XS/XR/X/8/7,Galaxy, Moto and More

The Mpow Car Phone Mount is a simple, versatile, and affordable phone holder. It’s able to be mounted on a car’s dashboard or its windshield, which when combined with the flexible arm provides plenty of options about how you set it up.

Designed to be used with most smartphones, it will fit any phone with a screen size of up to 6.5″. The chunky side clamps also mean that this mount will securely hold most phones with thicker cases as well. 

This phone holder attaches using a suction cup, which utilizes both suction and a sticky (non-permanent) adhesive. The cup has a strong locking lever mechanism to keep it firmly in place. The mount can be removed and re-installed several times, although do keep in mind that the adhesive will wear out eventually. 

Extending from the mounted suction cup is a long, gooseneck-style arm. At around 5.9 inches long, this flexible arm lets you bend it into any shape that works well in your vehicle. The arm also makes it easy to mount your phone almost anywhere, ensuring it’s easily visible but doesn’t block your line of sight to the road. 

Another interesting feature of this mount is the anti-shake stabilizer. This is essentially a second, smaller mount, which you can attach to your dashboard in another location. It acts as an additional stabilization point for the gooseneck mount, and reduces shaking and vibrations when you’re driving. 

Overall, this is the best car phone holder on the market. It’s budget-friendly, versatile, and surprisingly stable. The only real downside is that the adhesive can wear out over time, particularly if it gets dirty, so it’s less ideal if you’re moving between vehicles all the time.

 

Pros
  • Long gooseneck mount for optimal viewing angle and visibility
  • Compatible with most smartphones (screens up to 6.5”)
  • Anti-shake stabilizer
  • Sturdy design
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Adhesive can wear out over time

Best Car Vent Phone Holder: AINOPE Car Phone Holder Mount

AINOPE Car Phone Holder Mount, 2021 Upgraded Gravity Phone Holder for Car Vent with Upgraded Hook Clip Auto Lock Hands Free Air Vent Cell Phone Car Mount Compatible with 4-7 inch Smartphone

The AINOPE Car Phone Holder Mount is an air vent phone mount that clips on to horizontal air vents on your car’s dash. This type of holder is easy to install and works in most vehicles, but more limited in the locations where your phone can be displayed.

This particular mount is unique in its design. You simply slide the phone in, and the weight of your device pushes the lower mount component down while the sides clamp automatically into place.

When not in use, it’s a very compact mount, at about half the height of a credit card. This means that unlike many other vent-mounted models, it won’t substantially block airflow from your air vents. Of course, when your phone is mounted, airflow will be restricted a bit. 

The clips adjust to the size of most phones, with the holder designed to be used with phone sizes up to 6.7″ and thicknesses up to 14mm. This means that even larger phones, and somewhat thicker cases, should still work with this mount. 

There are two downsides, however. One is that the mount’s design can block the auxiliary ports on some phones, making it difficult to play music if you have an older vehicle without Bluetooth audio.

The other is common to virtually all vent mounts, in that your phone may get hot when you have the heater on as it’s directly in front of the air vent. Most cars have the option to close specific air vents, however. 

Pros
  • Clamps automatically adjust to the size of your phone
  • Compact design doesn’t block the full air vent
  • Fits phones with a screen size of up to 6.7” and up to 14mm thick
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Blocks access to the auxiliary port on some phones
  • Phone can get hot when heater is on
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Best Car Cup Phone Holder: TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount

[Upgraded] TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount Universal Adjustable Gooseneck Cup Holder Cradle Car Mount for Cell Phone iPhone Xs/XS Max/X/8/7 Plus/Galaxy

The TOPGO Cup Holder Phone Mount simply sits in your existing cup holder. It features a gooseneck mount for your phone, which you can rotate through 360 degrees. There’s no real installation required: you simply press the mount into your cup holder, and adjust the clamps to create a tight fit.

It’s designed to work with cup holders with a diameter of up to four inches. This will fit most standard size cup holders, which are typically 3 to 3.8 inches in diameter. 

The gooseneck arm extends up to eight inches, but because the mount sits in the cup holder, you will still need to look down somewhat to see your phone. As such, this isn’t the safest design when it comes to keeping your eyes on the road. On the other hand, some people prefer to have their phone a bit out of sight so that it doesn’t distract them. 

The other downside of this holder is that it may not fit phones with battery cases, or thick cases like OtterBoxes. The maximum thickness is listed at 0.51″ (13mm).

Pros
  • Adjustable cup attachment to fit in most cup holders
  • Gooseneck mount lets you customize viewing angle
  • 360-degree phone rotation
  • Easy to use with no installation required
Cons
  • Will not fit larger cases like OtterBoxes, or battery cases
  • Not the best viewing angle for safety
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Best Magnetic Car Phone Holder: Penom Magnetic Car Phone Mount

Magnetic Car Phone Mount, Penom Cell Phone Holder for Car, Universal Magnetic Phone Car Mount for Most Smart Phone

The Penom Magnetic Car Phone Mount is a simple, inexpensive option. It is also an air vent mount, but instead of a clamp design, it uses a strong magnet to secure the phone in place.

The mount can rotate 360 degrees, allowing for both vertical and horizontal display of your phone. Because there are no clamps, this mount should work with just about any size phone. 

Like the AINOPE mount discussed above, the Penom clips onto horizontal air vents. It’s quite compact, and won’t substantially disrupt airflow from the vent. The powerful magnet securely holds most phones in place.

While the magnet is strong and secure, some users have noted that the air vent clip itself doesn’t have the most stable design. For heavier phones or bumpy roads, this could present a problem, but smaller phones and city streets shouldn’t cause any concerns. 

Pros
  • 360-degree rotation
  • Holds just about any phone
  • Sleek, simple design
  • Strong magnet prevents shaking
Cons
  • Magnet is strong, but vent clip itself may struggle with heavier phones
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Best Car Dashboard Phone Holder: iOttie Easy One Touch 4

iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Dash & Windshield Car Mount Phone Holder Desk Stand Pad & Mat for iPhone, Samsung, Moto, Huawei, Nokia, LG, Smartphones

The iOttie Easy One Touch 4 mount is a unique option. It can be mounted to the dashboard or the windshield, with a telescopic arm that extends 4-6.5 inches and pivots on a 225 degree arc to adjust the viewing angle of your phone.

The telescopic arm design is more secure and less shaky than the thinner gooseneck mounts, but this style is less adjustable side-to-side than a comparable gooseneck-style mount like the Mpow. 

The result of this mechanical design is a very secure fit and minimal shaking. It’s designed for any phone with a width between 2.3″ and 3.5″, which covers most phones. Most mount manufacturers use screen size, but iOttie uses phone width instead. 

This holder has a suction-cup style mount, but also requires the use of a semi-permanent dashboard pad. You first attach the pad to the dashboard, and then attach the mount to the pad. This ensures a more stable attachment, but is also a downside if you plan to move the mount between vehicles, as the dashboard pad can leave sticky residue if you try to remove it. 

The suction cup mount doesn’t always hold up very well to hot weather, either, and the adhesive may melt on very warm summer days. If you live in a warm climate, you may wish to choose a different option. 

Pros
  • Easy one-touch lock and release
  • Mounts to dashboard or windshield
  • Telescopic arm provides a stable mount
  • Compatible with most phones
Cons
  • Suction cup can “melt” in high heat
  • Dash mount requires semi-permanent sticker attachment
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Best Wireless Charging Car Phone Holder: Mankiw Wireless Car Charger

Wireless Car Charger Automatic Clamping MANKIW 10W Qi Fast Charging Car Charger Mount Compatible with iPhone 12/12pro/12 pro max/11/11pro/11pro MAX/Xs MAX/XS/XR/X/8/8p, Samsung S10/S10+/S9/S9+/S8/S8+

The Mankiw Wireless Car Charger is both a phone holder and a Qi wireless phone charger. It mounts to your car’s dashboard, and the height- and angle-adjustable arm can be moved around to suit your preferred viewing position. 

The wireless charging abilities of this holder are impressive, supporting up to 10W Qi fast charging and able to charge through relatively thick cases of up to 4mm thick. The phone holder features are basic, but functional. It’s a good choice if you want wireless charging for your phone, but if you just need a basic phone holder, there are cheaper options. 

A cord runs from the mount down to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter power source, or to a compatible QC 2.0/3.0 car charger. Note that normal car USB ports and most car phone chargers won’t supply enough power for 7.5 or 10W charging. If you’d like faster wireless charging, you’ll likely want to purchase this adapter or a similar version that supports QC 3.0 output as well. 

Other than that need for a separate power adapter, the only real downside of this device is that the suction cup mount can be a little shaky with heavier phones. For anyone with small to mid-size phones that support wireless charging, however, it’s an excellent choice.

Pros
  • Charges your phone with up to 10W wireless Qi charging
  • Can charge even through thick cases
  • Automatic clamp opening and one-touch release
Cons
  • Suction cup can struggle under the weight of heavy phones
  • Doesn’t come with cigarette lighter power adapter (sold separately)
Buy on Amazon

Main image via Shutterstock, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows

Austin is a digital nomad with a passion for exploring alternative lifestyles and testing the latest technological innovations. Rarely under the same roof for long, when he's not sampling wine and cheese in Bulgaria or downloading the latest travel app, you can find him running, gaming, or cooking up something delicious.

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