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A case will protect the back of your phone from getting scratched in your pocket, or getting dented if it hits the floor, but it won’t keep your smartphone’s screen safe. A study conducted by the research firm IDC found that 95 million phones are damaged each year because of accidental drops, which is why we recommend using a good screen protector.
The best phone screen protectors can act as a buffer between your phone’s display and potential hazards like your house keys, floor, or the pavement outside. They’re thin enough that you shouldn’t notice them too much, but thick enough to actually protect the most fragile part of your phone.
This is one of the few accessories we recommend to every smartphone owner, because it’s better to have a cracked screen protector than having to get your phone fixed.
What Are the Best Phone Screen Protectors?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best smartphone screen protector for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Material: All of the screen protectors we’re recommending are made out of ultra durable glass, which is significantly better at preventing scratches, cracks, and shattering, than plastic.
Compatibility: Most of the screen protectors in this guide are available for different devices — both iPhone and Android — so it doesn’t matter what smartphone platform you prefer. In some cases the manufacturer has a distinct line for each major smartphone family.
Application: Every screen protector in our guide is adhesive on one side, so you can stick it directly on top of your phone’s display for total coverage. Be sure to clean your screen first, or dust, dirt, or hairs will get stuck underneath the screen protector.
1. ZAGG InvisibleShield Glass Elite
InvisibleShield has made our go-to screen protector for years, and its brand new Glass XTR only extends that lead. The company has fused together both glass and a hyper-durable material called D3O to ensure its screen protector provides that absolute highest level of damage resistance from unwanted drops.
One feature that InvisibleShield carried over from its previous screen protectors is its antimicrobial treatment, which can keep germs from living on its surface. This coating is built into the screen protector, so it won’t wear off over time. Smartphone screens are notoriously filthy, so being protected from germs and scratches or cracks is a significant benefit.
Another wellness-focused feature of the Glass XTR screen protector is its enhanced blue light filtration. Some studies have shown prolonged blue light exposure can make it harder to fall asleep, so this is a great feature to have if you like to use your phone in bed.
If you want a screen protector that can keep your phone’s display safe, while also helping both your physical and digital hygiene, InvisibleShield’s XTR is the best choice.
2. Amfilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Amfilm’s Tempered Glass Screen Protector was designed to protect both the front and edges of your phone from getting damaged by an accidental fall.
The company says the glass it uses has a surface hardness of 9H, which means it’s as durable as precious stones like ruby and sapphire. Amfilm designed this screen protector to be friendly with most phone cases, so you won’t have any trouble if you switch yours out often.
AmFilm’s screen protector may not have a lot of flashy extras, but it delivers where it counts: keeping your smartphone’s display free from damage.
3. Casetify Anti Blue Light Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Casetify’s Tempered Glass Screen Protector has many of the same great features as our editor’s choice pick, and comes in packaging that’s 100% recyclable.
The company says the tempered glass it uses for its screen protector has a hardness of 9H, which is the level of durability commonly reached by an all-glass screen protector. But, Casetify went the extra mile by designing a screen protector that can repel 99.9% of germs and block blue light; these features make a big difference, and aren’t very common.
Casetify’s Tempered Glass Screen Protector is only .33-inches thick, but it’ll prevent scratches and display cracks from small drops. If you want an all-around screen protector that’s thin enough you’ll forget it’s there, Casetify’s Tempered Glass Screen Protector is a good pick.
4. Nomad Screen Protector
Nomad is responsible for some of the best tech accessories we’ve tried, and its new screen protector is designed to meet its typically high standards.
It’s made out Japanese-made tempered glass that’s just .33mm thick. The company said it’s made sure the screen protector doesn’t interfere with the touch sensitivity of your phone, or reduce its visibility (aka the vibrancy of your photos and videos). Nomad doesn’t go in depth into the screen protector’s materials, or call out any extra features beyond the fact that it’s easy to apply.
If you’ve traditionally shied away from using a screen protector because you’re afraid of it making your phone harder to use or worse to look at, this option from Nomad is a safe choice.
5. Moshi iVisor Anti Glare Screen Protector
Moshi’s iVisor Anti Glare Screen Protector has two standout features that none of our other recommendations have: light dispursion properties, and a totally flexible design.
The company uses a proprietary plastic-like material that can prevent your phone from accumulating scratches from common objects like loose change or keys. This material will stick to your phone’s display, but can be peeled off and washed if you get it dirty.
This material also reflects light, which will make your phone’s display easier to see when you’re using it outside. It may not offer the same level of drop protection as our other picks, but the iVisor’s strengths more than make up for that.