Every night, the last thing I do before bed is plug my phone in to charge overnight. After all, it guarantees that I'll wake up to a full battery (all the better for checking my email and scrolling through Instagram all day!).
But apparently, according to some experts, my all-night-charging habit could actually be harming my phone. Here's why it's not good for your devices to be fully charged 24/7, plus how to charge them the right way.
Why you shouldn't charge your phone overnight
It's not so much the issue of how long you charge your phone for but how full the battery is. When you charge it overnight, it likely gets to 100 percent and stays there for hours—which can age your battery faster. Business Insider reports that lithium-ion batteries (a.k.a the kind that are in your smartphone) age slowest when they're kept at 30 to 50 percent battery life. And even Apple's website agrees, noting that to extend the life of your battery, it's ideal to keep it half-charged.
And while the overnight charging isn't the root of the problem, if you charge your phone on your bed while you sleep, it's a serious fire hazard. The vents on your phone get blocked by blankets so it can't cool down properly and it ends up overheating and possibly even catching fire.
How to charge your phone safely
Make sure your phone is in a well-ventilated area when it's charging, and keep in mind that it doesn't need to—and in fact, shouldn't—be at 100 percent all the time. "I would advise people to let their phone's battery drain as much as possible before they start the charging cycle," our home theater editor, Lee Neikirk, explains. "Batteries have a sort of memory process and the ability to recharge will weaken over time if you're constantly recharging when you're at 75% or 50% battery life."
And if you're worried about your phone dying during the day, particularly if you have an on-the-go lifestyle, consider a portable charger or wireless charging pad, which tend to charge smartphones much quicker.