Whether you’re constantly using your GPS on the road or want a convenient space for your phone, a car phone mount can vastly improve your driving experience. From material to color to design, it can be a bit of a headache choosing the right fit for your phone and dashboard. Let’s take a look at some of the best the market has to offer.
Before we delve into the products themselves, it’s important to get to know what you need to be looking for and what the different technical phrases might entail. Luckily, there isn’t much to it; all you really need to know are your phone’s dimensions and/or brand. Sometimes, you won’t even need to know that much (well, you should still know what phone you own).
The size question is pretty straightforward; typically, a product’s page will list the inside dimensions and/or the types of phones it is designed for. Oftentimes, you’ll see that a car phone mount can be adjusted in length to fit around wider phones (or even small tablets). Other times, phone mounts can have a “quick release” and “clamp” option, wherein it loosens and tightens the grip on your phone for easy access and secure fit.
Most often, a phone mount is designed to be clamped to an air vent; this is often the most convenient spot in terms of eyeliner and reachability and is very easy to do. However, one downside to certain phone mounts is the limited weight they can carry. If your phone is about the same size as one listed on the product page but is considerably heavier, there’s a chance it won’t stay on comfortably. In these cases, make sure to find out either through reviews or product descriptions whether your phone might fit (even if dimensions seem to match).
Other common types of car phone holders are dashboard and windshield mounts. These are typically small arms that extend from a smooth, flat surface in your car and are secured via suction cups (in some cases, adhesive patches). There are also magnetic mounts, which hold your phone by attracting a metal plate that you attach to it.
Related post: The Best Car Windshield Sun Shades
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a closer look. The 12 different car phone mounts on our list are quite diverse, something you might not expect initially. They can vary in how they secure your phone in place to where and how they are attached. Below is a quick overview of the different characteristics in a small table.
1. BEAM ELECTRONICS Universal Air Vent Mount — Editor’s Choice
Beam Electronics comes in with a superb product that is worthy of representing the car phone mount name. With a huge volume of satisfied customers and even an Amazon’s Choice label, this mount is bound to satisfy the vast majority of buyers.
Convenient and Versatile
The mount’s design allows it to hold close to any phone out there. The cradle is large enough to hold the heavier smartphones out there (such as the newer iPhone XR), and the arms can be adjusted for widths between about 2 inches to nearly 4. To put that into perspective, our iPhone XR example is just 2.8 inches wide. In addition, the mount boasts a button for quick release. To top this off, it can be rotated a full 360° to give you the viewing experience you’re looking for. The hold range and rotational ability should tell you that it’s compatible with GPS devices, so long as they’re not too heavy or thick. Otherwise, you can be sure that your smartphone or other handheld devices can rest snug and secure in the arms of this mount. The only downside, it seems, is that it’s not sturdy enough to hold heavier devices over time; if you have a very large phone (again, like the iPhone XR) over 170 grams in weight, you might have to prop it up somehow to keep its longevity intact.
| • High range in size|
• Secure cradle on bottom
• Ergonomic adjustable arms
• Full rotation
• Easy air vent mount
|• Question of durability for heavy devices|
2. IOTTIE Easy One Touch Car Phone Mount — Premium Choice
The iOttie model is certainly similar in appearance to the Beam Electronics mount, with one striking difference; it can be secured in any way—not only on your air vents. Like its competitor, it is also a very versatile product.
Versatile in Function
If there’s one word to describe this mount, it’s versatility. It comes in three different styles: Air Vent, CD Slot, Dashboard/Windshield. As you might guess, the names describe how the product is installed; whether you want to insert it into your CD slot, clip it onto an air vent, or suction it onto virtually any solid surface in your car (so long as it doesn’t obstruct your vision), this mount can meet your needs. Depending on the style you go for, it can be very compact or quite sizeable. Specifically, the air vent mount is quite light and portable, while the suction-based version can take up magnitudes more space. However, it does offer a more secure and reliable mount, so long as you have a place in mind for it. All in all, this mount is quite solid, and the fact that it comes in different styles is bound to attract some interest. However, there is one (possibly major) downside to it; for the Dashboard/Windshield model, extended exposure to the sun might damage the suction cup, so keep that in mind.
| • Good width range|
• Offered in three styles
• Very secure mount (especially with suction)
|• Suction cup might not hold up in the hot sun|
3. WIZGEAR Magnetic Car Phone Mount (Air Vent) — Compact and Nifty
If you’re looking for something a bit more flashy, the WizGear air vent mount boasts a magnetic pull that can hold any smartphone through any road conditions. There are several questions might already be on your mind: can it really hold any smartphone (or mini tablet), and does the magnet have any adverse effects on your devices?
Convenient and Affordable
This product works not by attracting the phone itself, but rather a metal plate—four of which come with the mount. After attaching the metal plate to your phone (or putting it in your case), all you need to do is place your phone onto the mount, and you’re done. Despite the simplicity, this mount actually allows you to rotate your phone as well; the air vent clamp stays put while the magnetic part can rotate any way you want. On top of all of this, it won’t break the bank as much as a few of our other picks. The downside, however, is that the clamps are reportedly quite weak; they don’t adequately stay on all types of vents, so unless you have the ideal spot for the mount, it might be an issue.
| • UniversalStrong magnetRotation ability |
• Very easy installation
• Comes with two
|• Weak air vent clamp|
4. MPOW 051 Car Phone Mount — For a Lonely CD Slot
The Mpow 051 is definitely an option for anyone looking for a sturdier and more reliable mount for their phone. The only caveat is that you need a CD slot that you’re willing to sacrifice for this product. If that’s not an issue for you, then you might just enjoy the Mpow; at an affordable price, it holds up very well.
If your CD player doesn’t get much use, it could be the perfect slot for a phone mount; it’s more secure than, for example, and air vent clamp, and you could always just play music on your phone instead. While the clamp makes sure your mount is secure, the base allows you to rotate any way you want thanks to the 360° rotating ball joint. If that wasn’t enough, the product comes with several anti-skid rubber pads to augment the fit and the existing non-slip design. The only potential issue is something many buyers echoed; the arms don’t offer the same longevity as the rest of the phone mount and might stop being able to hold your phone after months of use. On the flipside, Mpow does seem to offer great customer support.
| • Offers wide fit|
• Non-slip design
• Secure mount
• Easy installation
• Moving arm
|• Arms might deteriorate over time|
5. VANSKY 3-in-1 Universal Cell Phone Holder — Multiple Options
The great thing about the Vansky phone holder is that it comes with 3 different options for mounting: air vent, dashboard, and windshield. Essentially, it is a 3-in-1 product that competes with the more affordable models in price; as such, it sacrifices durability for versatility.
However You Want
This mount is perfect for anyone that isn’t completely sure what kind of holder they would like. Many buyers get (for example) an air vent mount, and after using it, realize that it isn’t as compatible with their interior as they hoped. The Vansky eliminates that problem by adding variety into the mix, with two suction cup-based versions and a traditional air vent clamp. This also combats another issue; the air vent model, for example, can’t support the much heavier smartphones on the market, while the dashboard arm can. Unfortunately (and perhaps expectedly), this product lacks in longevity and durability. There were numerous buyers who were happy with their purchase and came back a few months later to voice that it no longer supported their phone’s weight, often due to wear and tear. Regardless, it is still a solid purchase due to its all-in-one design.
| • Versatile functionality|
• Strong suction cup
• Offers variety in placement
|• Questionable durability|
6. MAXBOOST DuraHold Series Car Phone Mount — Budget Option
Don’t be fooled by the “budget option” tag—this mount is absolutely in the running for best overall on this list. Its main selling point is its slick and thoughtful design, from anti-slip grip to extendable arm. Overall, this product was very well-received by users.
Versatile and Durable
It’s frankly an enigma as to why this item is so affordably priced; its beauty lies in its simplicity, and it does exactly the job it’s meant for. The width range can cover most (if not all) smartphones on the market, notably the new iPhone Max Pro. Easy installation, a ball swivel that allows 360° rotation, and powerful suction make this mount both versatile and reliable. When it comes to user-friendliness, the DuraHold is one of the best mounts available right now. However, some users found it difficult to install—the suction cup and swivel ball were a pain to deal with for some. Despite this, the vast majority found the installation process to be straightforward and fast, so familiarize yourself with the product and how it’s installed if you’re considering buying this.
| • Very affordable|
• Extendable arm360° rotation
• Secure and durable
|• Tricky installation for some|
7. JUNDA Car Phone Holder — Compact Performer
The JunDa interpretation of a phone mount is nothing short of innovative. It is installed (if you can even call it that much) via a clip that can be attached to any part of your dashboard. Does its compact size offer durability, though?
Nifty But Questionable
Perhaps the three categories that this holder shines in are ease-of-installation, user-friendliness, and sturdiness. Users were thoroughly pleased with this affordable and effective product. However, one issue that arose in some cases was the inflexibility of the mount itself; users noted that it had to be centered on your dashboard for your phone to be evenly-placed. More grating yet, the clip would lose some of its gripping power when left out in the summer heat. So, if you don’t mind a fairly rigid mount and don’t experience much heat, this product is very practical and easy to use.
As a side note, several buyers described that the company contacted them with an offer of a $10 voucher in exchange for a positive review; needless to say, that is suspicious at best.
| • Very affordable|
• User-friendly360° rotation
• Secure and intuitive clip
| • Suspicious marketing practices|
• Inflexible mount
8. PENOM Magnetic Car Phone Mount (Air Vent) — Attractive Option
Penom comes into our list seeking to challenge WizGear for the title of best magnetic phone mount, and it might just dethrone it. With a very strong magnet and a generally solid performance, it’s no surprise to find it here.
Slick and Strong
With perhaps the best overall reception for any magnetic phone holders on the market, Penom’s model boasts an incredibly strong magnet. To be precise, they claim it can hold over 6 pounds of weight; for something as light as 3 ounces, that’s quite a feat. To install it, you simply need to clip the end of it (a durable spring-based construction) to your air vent—with its smart design, there’s a wide range of vent types it can clip onto. To be frank, there isn’t much to say about this product because it does it all well, from user-friendliness to functionality. The only downside, perhaps (and it’s a rarity) is that the spring mechanism is prone to defects, leaving people with broken mounts mere days after usage. In addition, many buyers received a small gift with their package, so a portion of the positive reviews might not be completely honest.
| • User-friendly360° rotation|
• Secure and durable clip
• Strong pull
| • Suspicious marketing practices|
• Clip prone to breaking
9. MPOW Car Phone Mount, Dashboard Car Phone Holder — Does the Job
Mpow’s second entrant comes in the form of a dashboard mount, in contrast to the solid CD slot model we looked at. Like the other version, however, there are some caveats to consider before buying.
To be frank, there isn’t anything that stands out about this phone mount. It’s not particularly durable or well-designed, nor does it work for all dashboards. However, what you do get is consistency. First, it must be said—there are a lot of people that bought this, realized it didn’t stick and slated the product. If you have a porous dashboard (i.e. not completely flat/smooth), then chances are adhesive and/or suction items won’t work nearly as well for you. To put it simply, if you don’t have a smooth surface to stick this onto, you should probably look elsewhere. However, if the mount style suits your needs and is compatible with your car, by all means, consider this mount. It has all the same great features of its CD-slot counterpart, such as non-slip surface and 360° rotation.
| • User-friendly|
• Non-slip design
• Secure mount
• Moving arm
|• Not a universal fit (for dashboards)|
10. VICSEED Car Phone Mount (Air Vent) — Top-Tier Option
The VICSEED mount is possibly the slickest looking choice on our list—the holder is ergonomically designed to cradle your phone from all sides. Despite the intricate design, it is one of the more universal choices as well.
This product offers a very convenient and appealing way to use your phone in the car. It has all the key features, from the rotation to security-focused design. The makers are so confident in this product’s durability that they offer a 30-day refund and 12-month warranty. The mount is also adjustable in width thanks to its spring-loaded “squeezing” arms that truly secure your phone. Despite the durability, it is quite lightweight due to its quality materials and efficient construction.
One downside, however, is that it isn’t as universal as it may seem. Firstly, it can only clip onto more conventional horizontal and vertical vents. Secondly, it’s not compatible with thicker cases (like Otter). If these aren’t an issue for you, then this mount will no doubt be a fantastic choice.
| • Tight, ergonomic grip|
• Quality materials
• Secure mount
• Rotation ability
|• Not truly universal (air vents and phones with bulky cases)|
11. LAMICALL Car Cell Phone Mount (Air Vent) — Minimalistic Design
The Lamicall product, at first glance, looks like it’s missing a few parts. Its design is nothing short of concise and simple. Despite not looking like much, it’s actually one of the most well-received mounts on the market and has an Amazon’s Choice sticker to go with it.
Simple Yet Effective
The Lamicall is designed to be lightweight and easy to use; it can’t break if there’s nothing to be broken. One design aspect that stands out is the dual mounting clips. It’s surprising that no other product on this list has this feature, as it adds considerable stability and security to the holder and vents themselves. It’s easy to use, easy to install, sturdy and offers full rotation for any angle you might want. The clips and arms are engineered to maximize padding and minimize slip. If you’re uncertain about this product, Lamicall offers you a full refund or replacement if you happen to not like it. In terms of simplicity and effectiveness, this phone mount is hard to beat.
| • Universal design|
• Durable construction
• Secure double-clip
• Rotation ability
|• Incompatible with thicker cases (10mm+)|
12. SCOSCHE MAGDMB MagicMount — Mid-Range Performer
Our final entry is another magnetic mount and a very lightweight one at that. One bonus regarding this model is its versatility; that is to say, you can get this mount in many different forms, from a stick-on dash holder to a typical air vent clip.
Lightest of the Bunch
The most striking thing about this mount is just how lightweight it is. Of course, it depends on which type of mount you get, but the adhesive dash mount version is certainly a small accessory. It’s quite adequate across the board; “strong enough” describes many aspects of this product. The adhesive/suction/clip strength is decent, and the materials aren’t too cheap either. Many were pleasantly surprised at the overall effectiveness of this product and the strength of the magnet. The only caveat is that very high temperatures could eat away at the suction cup/adhesive (if you choose one of those options).
| • Strong magnet/Lightweight|
• Sticks well to surfaces
• Decently durable
| • Not the best choice in extreme heat|
• Limited rotation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do I have to take my phone out of the case each time I want to put it in my holder?
A: It really depends on what type of case you have and what your mount allows. For example, the VICSEED model we looked at isn’t very compatible with thicker cases due to its limitations. Generally speaking, thinner cases will be compatible with most holders. It’s best to make sure that the phone mount you’re considering can accommodate, especially if you have a bulkier case.
Q: Are there any additional features I should look out for?
A: We live in times where even the simplest accessories have unique and useful features. These can range from wireless charging support to a simple quick-release button, including the features we mentioned such as the rotational ability. It’s always a good idea to read through a product’s description to get an idea for what it can do.
Q: Will a mount specifically designed for my smartphone be better than a regular one?
A: Universal phone mounts (such as the ones in the list) are designed to be able to fit a wide range of smartphones in use today. This means that they are either universally applicable (such as magnetic mounts) or can be tinkered to fit a specific size. It’s unlikely that an iPhone X-specific mount will have any major benefits over a regular mount that can hold an iPhone X.
Conclusion — Buyer’s Guide
There you have it—twelve fantastic choices to make using your phone more convenient than ever. There’s a little something for everyone in this list, with a wide range of options when it comes to mounting style.
If you’re more attracted to the magnetic options, there’s three on this list to consider. However, the choice here isn’t so straightforward. All three of WizGear, Penom, and SCOSCHE have fantastic products that aren’t too far apart. It’s essentially down to personal preference and availability; they all have their minor differences and strengths, but overall there isn’t a clear winner.
For regular air vent mounts, the Beam Electronics universal holder takes the prize. It’s convenient, versatile, and does everything well across the board. Honorable mentions go to Lamicall and VICSEED for offering quality alternatives as well; the Lamicall has a minimalistic aspect to it, while the other two simply perform and hold up very well over time.
See also: Best Windshield Wiper Blades
Finally, for alternative options (such as dashboard mounts), you could consider the Mpow mounts, Maxboost, and Vansky mounts. The Mpow products are well-designed for a specific style (including CD slot insertion), and are overall great options. The Maxboost was a surprising one, as its price tag certainly didn’t reflect how well it performs. Finally, if you’re just looking to play around with different places to have your phone, the Vansky 3-in-1 gives you several options to consider in an affordable package.