Does Wireless Charging Work with a Case?

May 17, 2021

man charging his smartphone

Source: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

Smartphone manufacturers made our lives a whole lot more convenient when they introduced wireless charging. It was one less cord that we had to deal with. That being said, smartphones are fragile — and, as we all know, expensive — which is why it’s only natural that many people use a phone case to protect them. But does wireless charging still work with a case? 


The short answer is: usually. Most phone cases won’t interfere with wireless charging at all. However, some can, either by slowing charging or blocking it completely. We’ll tell you which cases to avoid below and help you find stylish phone cases that are wireless charging friendly. Hint: Pela cases are a safe bet! 


Phone Cases That Don’t Work with Wireless Charging

First, let’s look briefly at how wireless charging works. 

Most major smartphone manufacturers use a technology called Qi standard wireless charging. Each brand offers slightly different chargers at slightly different wattages. But the underlying technology is the same. It works by transferring electricity to your phone through electromagnetic induction. 

charging on a wireless charger

Source: New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Now, even if you’re not a physicist or an engineer, you may have messed around with magnets as a kid, even if it was just the ones on your fridge. And if you did, you probably learned first-hand about a few things that interfere with magnets. Namely other magnets, metal and anything that’s too thick for the magnetic field to pass through. This same idea applies to smartphone cases.

Here are the main culprits:

  1. Thick Cases — Some thicker, heavier-duty phone cases can cause issues with wireless charging. Not only can they impede the electromagnetic field, but they can also cause overheating and damage your charger, case or even your phone.  
  2. Metal Cases  Metal cases can greatly interfere with the electromagnetic signal from your wireless charging pad. In fact, this is one of the main reasons Apple switched from aluminum to glass backs for iPhones as wireless charging became the standard. 
  3. Wallet Cases  In this situation, it’s not about the case itself, but it’s what’s in it. Magnetic fields can cause damage to things like credit cards, RFID chips, security IDs and other things you might keep in a wallet. 
  4. Battery Cases Battery cases, which are basically power banks that attach directly to your phone, can cause issues with wireless charging as well. That being said, some manufacturers, including Apple and Samsung, have released battery cases that work just fine with wireless charging. 

So, if you’re having trouble with slow or nonexistent wireless charging and your case is included in one of the categories above, try taking it off to see if that helps. 

Learn How to Take Off a Phone Case

One more thing: Not all wireless chargers are created equal. Some are going to be slow or weak regardless of which case you use. 

Phone Cases that Work with Wireless Charging

Don’t let the list above freak you out. Like we said earlier, most phone cases shouldn’t cause any problems for wireless charging. This includes plastic, silicone, rubber, leather and synthetic phone cases, as long as they’re not too thick. That being said, these materials all have something in common: They’re not great for the environment.

From production to disposal, they create harmful gases, leach toxins into the environment (and even your body) and usually end up in a landfill somewhere, where they last forever because they’re not biodegradable. 

green pela case

So, What’s the Solution? 

One option is to use a biodegradable phone case made from sustainable materials. At Pela, we go even further by making our Samsung and iPhone cases compostable, which means they break down much faster and more efficiently. Next time you upgrade your smartphone or buy a new case, you don’t have to worry about where your old case is going to end up. Bonus: Our cases won’t slow down your wireless charging, and they’re quick and easy to take off and put back on as needed.

Choose a Case by Your Phone Type

Whether you have a case or not, make sure you always use a screen protector. After all, your phone’s screen is its most vulnerable and important area. Liquid screen protectors will fit any phone, don’t cause unnecessary bulk in your pocket or purse and won’t block wireless charging. Finally, for maximum compatibility, either use a first-party wireless charger or one of similar quality. It’s a good idea no matter what phone case you’re using. 

So there you have it. As long as you use the right phone case and charger, there’s no reason why your case should get in the way of a thorough power-up.