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The average person picks up their phone 96 times per day according to a study conducted by the research firm Asurion, which means there are dozens of opportunities for you to accidentally drop yours on the ground. If you’re an iPhone owner whose device is out of warranty, you could be looking at a repair bill that can set you back up to $600 depending on which model you have.
The easiest way to avoid this unwelcome charge is to keep your phone iPhone in a case. We’ve found four cases that can substantially reduce the chances of your phone getting damaged if you accidentally drop it. Keep in mind these cases will mostly protect the back and sides of your phone, so you’ll want to pair it with a screen protector to cover its display.
What Are the Best iPhone Cases?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best iPhone case for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Materials: The cases in our guide are made out of either ultra durable plastic or leather, both of which can insulate your phone from damage if it falls.
Phone compatibility: All of the cases below are available for a wide variety of iPhone models, although we’re highlighting ones designed for the iPhone 11 Pro.
Style: Many of our iPhone case recommendations are the typical single-piece style cases you’re probably used to, but we’ve also included an ultra durable multi-piece case and a folio case to give you more options.
Wireless Charging: The iPhone cases below are all compatible with wireless chargers, but the thicker ones will reduce your iPhone’s wireless charging speed significantly.
BEST OVERALL: OtterBox Symmetry
Otterbox has been making protective cases for the iPhone since 2007, but its Symmetry series strikes the right balance between safety and a slim size. The case, which I’ve tested, feels great in the hand, and slides easily into your pocket. The sides have raised volume and power buttons, which make them easier to find and press.
Otterbox says the case’s material includes an antimicrobial technology that can be effective against some, but not all bacteria. This feature does not replace regular hand washing or the use of hand sanitizer. The Symmetry has a lip that extends over the edge of the screen to help prevent your screen from cracking if it falls face down.
The company doesn’t give an exact drop protection value, but does say the case can be dropped three times as much the current military standard. We haven’t done any independent drop tests, but the case does make the iPhone 12 Pro Max feel solid.
If you’re looking for a case that balances protection and bulk, the Otterbox Symmetry is the one we recommend.
BEST ENTRY-LEVEL PICK: Spigen Liquid Crystal
Spigen’s Liquid Crystal case offers a fair amount of protection in an ultra-thin design.
The case is made out of a single layer of flexible clear plastic. Spigen touts that the case is only .4-inches thin, and won’t impact your iPhone’s wireless charging speed very much. It only offers basic protection — think drops on carpets, or hard wood floor from a short distance — but won’t take up too much room in your pocket.
Two extra features worth noting are the case’s raised buttons, which makes them easier to find in your pocket, and the raised lip around the iPhone’s camera. Modern iPhones have a camera bump, so this feature ensures yours won’t get damaged if your phone falls flat on its back.
It may not be the most protective choice in our guide, but using Spigen’s Liquid Crystal case may still help you avoid a hefty repair bill.
BEST FOLIO: Twelve South BookBook Vol. 2
Twelve South’s BookBook Vol. 2 is a leather folio case that can help protect your phone, and leave your wallet at home.
This case has two pieces: a standalone leather case, which fits over the back of your phone, and a cover with a wallet on one side. Both parts have magnets built into them, so your case-clad phone will stay attached to the folio piece in or out of your pocket. The picture above illustrates how you would place your iPhone into the folio.
Keeping the BookBook Vol. 2 whole will protect both sides of your phone it falls out of your pocket, or gets knocked off of a table. The folio contains four slots for your credit cards or ID, and a side pocket for holding cash.
The inside of the BookBook Vol. 2’s folio has a microfiber lining to prevent your phone’s screen from scratching when its closed, and Twelve South says all of the leather used for this case will patina (age) well, and only get better looking over time. You can use the BookBook Vol. 2 with a wireless charger if you separate it from the folio piece, but won’t if you keep them together.
Twelve South’s BookBook Vol. 2 s a two-in-one case that lets you choose how much protection you’d like your iPhone to have each time you leave the house.
BEST LOOKING: Casetify Ultra Impact
The point of using an iPhone case is to keep your phone from getting damaged, but that doesn’t mean it can’t reflect your sense of style.
Casetify’s Ultra Impact case is made out of a custom material called “qitech,” which the company says is durable enough to prevent your phone from getting damaged if it falls from a height of up to 9.8 feet. Its corners have an extra layer of protection because that’s the most vulnerable part of your iPhone.
You can customize the Ultra Impact case by adding up to 12 characters of text to the back of it using a tool on Casetify’s site. You’re able to choose the color, typeface, and layout of the text to make your case really stand out. I’ve used a handful of Casetify’s cases and have had no issues with wireless charging, so you shouldn’t have a problem either.
If you’ve avoided using a case because it detracts from the look of your phone, Casetify’s Ultra Impact will keep it protected while suiting your sense of style.
BEST ECO-FRIENDLY CASE: Incipio Organicore
If you care deeply about the environment, Incipio’s Organicore case is the one to get. It’s made out of 100% compostable material, and can eventually break down naturally after a number of years (long after you’re done using it). Incipio says the case provides up to eight feet of drop protection, and uses “impact strut technology” to bolster its protection.
The case — which we’ve tried — has a pleasing, soft feeling you won’t get in a plastic case. It’s naturally grippy, and is the best feeling phone case we’ve ever used. The case’s raised buttons are easy to push, and the cutout for the iPhone’s mute button is perfectly sized.
It’s very hard to find eco-friendly technology, especially phone cases, which get replaced every two to three years. If you’d like to feel good about the case you use, Incipo’s Organicore is the one to get.
Best Innovative Design: Razer Archtech Pro
Razer’s Arctech Pro has a muti-layer cooling system that can help prevent your iPhone from overheating if you’re marathoning movies, or in the middle of an intense game.
The case uses a cooling technology called Thermaphene that conducts heat and passes it from your phone through the mesh, vented layer on the back. This is the most clever feature we’ve seen in an iPhone case for quite some time. The Arctech has an anti-bacterial coating that can reduce the amount of bacterial from Staphylococcus and E-coli that can live on its surface.
Razer says this case is certified to protect your phone from drops up to 10 feet, and the case’s material is naturally scratch resistant. This isn’t the most protective case in our guide, but it’ll keep your phone safer than most of them.
If you play a lot of games on your phone, or have gotten the error message that your iPhone is too hot and needs to cool down, Razer’s Archtech Pro is our recommendation.
BEST DROP PROTECTION: Griffin Survivor Extreme
If you’re afraid of your phone getting damaged, Griffin’s Survivor Extreme is the case to get.
The company has it offers drop protection from heights up to 16 feet. Combined with the case’s FortiCore shock absorption technology, you’re looking at a case that can help your phone survive just about any physical damage (expect screen cracking).
The Survivor Extreme comes in two pieces: A backplate, and a raise-edge front bumper. The bumper puts more space between your phone’s screen and the ground if it falls display-side down, but you’ll still want a screen protector. The tradeoff to using this case is that it’s pretty bulky, which means it may feel uncomfortable in your pocket, or slow down wireless charging. Both of these downsides are preferable to having to pay to get your phone replaced, and are definitely worth it.
Griffin’s Survivor Extreme is the right case if you never want to worry about what happens when you accidentally drop your iPhone.