To investigate the non-covalent interaction between cyclodextrins (CD) and lithium ion, a stoichiometry of α-CD, β-CD, heptakis(2,6-di-O-methyl)-β-CD (DM-β-CD), or heptakis(2,3,6-tri-O-methyl)-β-CD (TM-β-CD) was mixed with lithium salt, respectively, and then incubated at room temperature for 10 min to reach the equilibrium. In posi-tive mode, the electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) results demonstrated that lithium ion can conjugate to α-, β-, DM-β- or TM-β-CD and form 1:1 stoichiometric non-covalent complexes. The binding of the complexes was further confirmed by collision-induced dissociation. The dissociation constants Kd1 of four complexes (Li+α-CD, Li+β-CD, Li+DM-β-CD, and Li+TM-β-CD) were determined by mass spectrometric titration. The results showed Kd1 were 18.7, 26.7, 33.6, 30.5 μmol/L for the complexes of Li+ with α-CD, β-CD, DM-β-CD, and TM-β-CD, respectively. Kd1 for the Li+ complexes of β-CD is smaller than that of DM-β-CD due to its steric effect of the partial substituted -CH3. The Kd1 for the Li+ complexes of DM-β-CD is nearly in agreement with that of TM-β-CD, indicating Li+ is more likely to locate in the small rim of DM-β-CD's hydrophobic cavity. The DFT results showed through electrostatic interaction, one Li+ can strongly conjugate to four neighboring oxygen atoms. For the (α-CD+Li)+ complex, one Li+ may also situate the small rim of α-CD's hydrophobic cavity to form a non-specific host-guest complex.