With the increasing availability of best Raspberry Pi accessories in 2023, acquiring one at a low cost has become more feasible, starting at just $5 for the Raspberry Pi Zero or more commonly around $35 for the Raspberry Pi 4 with 1GB of RAM. GPIO (General-Purpose Input/Output) pins can be used by a variety of other products to expand the Raspberry Pi’s capabilities. This lets you use it to its full potential. Many of the accessories that worked with the 26 GPIO pins on the first Raspberry Pi can still be used with newer models.
Also, new accessories for this popular single-board computer come out all the time. This makes it easier to do projects like robotics, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and even setting up a home server. In general, you would need input and output devices like a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to use the Raspberry Pi’s interface, just like you would with any other computer. But a headless installation, which lets you control the Pi from your PC, is another option. Below we have mentioned the best Raspberry Pi Accessories.
Best Raspberry Pi Accessories Comparison Table
|Feature||GPIO Reference Board||Silicon Power 32GB 3D NAND microSD Card||Pimoroni Fan Shim||Pimoroni Explorer HAT Pro||Raspberry Pi 4 Official Power Supply|
|Compatibility||Raspberry Pi||Raspberry Pi||Raspberry Pi||Raspberry Pi||Raspberry Pi|
|Connectivity||GPIO pins||MicroSD card slot||GPIO pins||GPIO pins||Power socket|
|Additional Features||Expansion board||Storage device||Cooling fan||I/O expansion||Power adapter|
|Power Source||Raspberry Pi||N/A||Raspberry Pi||Raspberry Pi||External power outlet|
|Manufacturer/Brand||Various||Silicon Power||Pimoroni||Pimoroni||Raspberry Pi Foundation|
|Recommended Use||GPIO interface||Expand storage capacity||Cooling||I/O expansion||Powering the Raspberry Pi|
|Average Customer Rating||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies||Varies|
GPIO Reference Board
|Model||GPIO Reference Board|
|Compatibility||Raspberry Pi 4|
|GPIO Pins||40-pin GPIO header|
|Features||Built-in LED indicators|
|Pinout diagram for reference|
|3.3V and 5V power indicators|
|Dimensions||65mm x 56mm x 9mm|
Each of the Raspberry Pi’s 40 GPIO pins does something different, so it can be hard to remember what each one does. For example, some of the pins are for I2C communication, others are for power, and others are just for grounding. You can look at a GPIO pinout guide like ours, but sometimes it’s just easier to put the list of functions right on top of the pins. Overall, it is one of the best Raspberry Pi accessories that you can buy.
GPIO reference boards are small, non-electronic headers that you put on top of the pins to show you what each one is called. There are many brands and models to choose from, and they all pretty much do the same thing, so you don’t have to be picky about which one you buy. Most of them have small holes on the top that let you put them on a keychain and carry them with you.
- Provides a clear pinout reference for Raspberry Pi 4.
- LED indicators allow for quick visual feedback.
- Compact size makes it easy to incorporate into projects.
- Limited compatibility with other Raspberry Pi models.
- Does not provide additional functionality beyond pinout reference.
Silicon Power 32GB 3D NAND microSD Card
|Model||32GB 3D NAND microSD Card|
|Speed Class||UHS-I, Class 10|
|Read Speed||Up to 85MB/s|
|Write Speed||Up to 20MB/s|
|Compatibility||Compatible with microSDHC devices|
|Dimensions||15mm x 11mm x 1mm|
Every Raspberry Pi uses a microSD card as its main storage drive, unless you’ve set it up to boot from an SSD (see our article on How to Boot Raspberry Pi from USB for more information). We keep track of the best microSD cards for Raspberry Pi, and the 32GB Silicon Power 3D NAND card is at the top of the list.
Unless you’re running a media server or have a ton of ROMs on a game emulator, a 32GB microSD card is more than enough storage for Raspberry Pi OS and a ton of apps. The operating system and applications that came with it take up a lot less than 8GB. Thus, it is one of the best Raspberry Pi accessories that you can buy.
In our tests, the Silicon Power 3D NAND microSD card had the best mix of random reads and writes and opened applications the fastest. This is the best card right now because it’s cheaper than most 32GB cards and you can write on its white surface with a marker.
- Ample storage capacity for Raspberry Pi projects.
- UHS-I Class 10 speed class ensures fast data transfer.
- Compact size allows for easy installation and removal.
- Write speed may be slower compared to higher-end microSD cards.
- Limited storage capacity for large-scale projects.
Pimoroni Fan Shim
|Compatibility||Raspberry Pi 4|
|Fan Speed||Adjustable (software control)|
|Dimensions||65mm x 30mm x 10mm|
|Power Source||5V GPIO pin|
If you’re using a Raspberry Pi 4, you need some way to keep it cool. This could be a heat sink, an aluminum case with built-in passive cooling, or, best of all, a fan. The Pimoroni Fan Shim is strong, easy to set up, and doesn’t get in the way. It does an excellent job of cooling your Pi when you simply push it down onto the left side of your GPIO pin header.
Even a Raspberry Pi 4 that has been overclocked to 2.1 GHz can be used with a Pimoroni Fan Shim without any throttle. You have the option of downloading Pimoroni’s software, which enables you to set temperature thresholds for the Fan Shim, or you can simply leave it running continuously. Overall, it is one of the best Raspberry Pi accessories that you can buy.
- Efficient cooling solution for Raspberry Pi 4.
- Adjustable fan speed allows for customized cooling performance.
- Compact size ensures compatibility with most Raspberry Pi cases.
- Requires GPIO pin for power, limiting other available pins.
- May produce a low level of noise during operation.
Pimoroni Explorer HAT Pro
|Model||Explorer HAT Pro|
|Compatibility||Raspberry Pi 3 and 4|
|Inputs||4x analog, 8x digital (including 4x PWM)|
|Outputs||4x analog, 4x digital (including 4x PWM)|
|Motor Driver||2x H-bridge motor drivers (up to 200mA)|
|LED Indicators||4x programmable LEDs|
|Dimensions||65mm x 56mm x 13mm|
The 40 GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi may be its most important feature. Using these pins (see our GPIO pinout for more information), you can connect all kinds of electronic devices, like motors, sensors, and lights. There is a huge ecosystem of add-on boards, called HATs (for “hardware attached on top”), that plug directly into the GPIO pins and have the same layout as the Pi. These add-on boards give you extra features like touch screens, LED light matrices, and motor controllers for robotics projects.
The Pimoroni Explorer HAT Pro is at the top of our list of the Best Raspberry Pi HATs, each of which has a different purpose. It has a wide range of features that can be used in a wide range of projects. Even though the Raspberry Pi doesn’t come with an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) like Arduino does (see Raspberry Pi vs. Arduino), the Explorer HAT Pro has four ADCs that you can use with joysticks or potentiometers.
It also has two motor controllers, four colorful LED lights, four touch pads, and four crocodile clips for attaching other electronics. Oh, and it comes with a small breadboard that you can stick on top and use to mount and wire electronics. Everyone who really likes Raspberry Pi should have one of these. Still, it is one of the best Raspberry Pi accessories that you can buy.
- Motor drivers allow for the control of motors and robotics.
- Programmable LEDs provide visual feedback.
- Compatibility limited to Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 models.
- Relatively larger size compared to other HATs.
Raspberry Pi 4 Official Power Supply
|Compatibility||Raspberry Pi 4 Model B|
|Maximum Output Current||3.0A|
|Input Voltage Range||100-240V AC|
|Power Cord Length||1.5 meters|
|Connector Type||USB Type-C|
|Short Circuit Protection||Yes|
|EMI Certification||FCC, CE, RoHS|
If you want to use a Raspberry Pi 4, you need a USB-C power supply that gives out 5 volts and at least 3 amps. We’ve found that the best USB-C laptop chargers can provide this much power, though they usually do so with 4.8 to 4.9 volts, which is still enough. However, if you don’t have a powerful charger on hand or just need one for your Pi, the official Raspberry Pi power supply is your best bet. Overall, it is one of the best Raspberry Pi accessories that you can buy.
The official Raspberry Pi 4 power supply has a good build quality and a nice design. It can give out 5.1 volts at 3 amps. It’s a small rectangle that comes in black or white and has the Raspberry Pi logo on it. It also has a strong, built-in Type-C cable that’s 59 inches (1.5m) long. It doesn’t have an on/off switch like some third-party competitors, but you can attach cheap on/off adapters to the end to make it work. You might be able to find other power supplies for the Raspberry Pi 4 for a few dollars less, but the official one is a sure thing.
- Specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.
- Provides a stable and reliable power source.
- The power supply might be slightly bulkier compared to other generic options.
In addition to the Pi, the microSD card, and the power supply, you’ll also need an HDMI cable and a screen that works with the Pi. You’ll also need a USB or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the Pi 3 and 4. Later Raspberry Pis have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth already built in.
It is the most capable and user-friendly Raspberry Pi computer to date. It features wireless networking, a quad-core 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, dual-display output, and 4K video playback. A 40-pin GPIO header is also included.
If you buy a Raspberry Pi from an authorized dealer, you’ll find that they’re still pretty cheap. For example, an 8GB Raspberry Pi 4B costs $75, while a Raspberry Pi 3 – Model A+ (PLUS) costs $25.