Best iPad cases for every type of user

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pad and quill
The right case is not only protective, but functional, and even classy.
Photo: Pad&Quill

You have in your hands a brand new iPad. Now what? Sure, you can just go ahead and use it au natural. But consider: While iPads may look like hulking slabs of aluminum and glass, they are deceptively delicate. They cry out for protection.

Gauging which is the best case to safely secure your tablet is not for the faint of heart, given the myriad options out there. That’s where our iPad case roundup comes in. We’ve scoured the best reviews, including our own, and looked at buyers’ favorite cases on shopping sites like Amazon.

Then we gathered our picks into several categories, depending on how much you want to pay, what type of protection you need, and any extra functionality offered (like keyboard cases). And we’ve also put together a list of runners-up — cases that are pretty good, or even great, but just didn’t make our cut.

What to look for when shopping for iPad cases

The best iPad case for you depends largely on how you use your tablet — on the road, or at home, or some combination of the two. Does it make the trip solely from your bed to the couch to the kitchen counter? Or from your home to the office? Will it accompany you on an Arctic expedition?

Weight and composition

If you’re toting your tablet to and from work everyday, a case’s weight and composition might be a big deal. Cases are made from a variety of materials including silicone, rubber, real or fake leather, polyurethane, thermoplastic polyurethane (a type of plastic typically referred to by its acronym, “TPU“) and various configurations. You have choices ranging from a hard or soft back or frame, to cases offering extra padding. Or perhaps a simple cover will do the job. For outdoor or risky environments a rugged, water-resistant case — with or without a screen protector — might prove optimal.

Some iPad cases ship with screen protectors. If you’re considering one of these, try to test it at the store first to make sure you can see the screen properly, and that it doesn’t interfere with the iPad’s touch capabilities. If you’re using your iPad in hazardous environments, or sharing it with others, consider whether the case adequately protects the iPad’s plugs, ports and camera, all of which may be vulnerable to dirt, dust or moisture.

And, if you often carry the iPad around in your hand, observe how the case holds together. Does it close with magnets or perhaps a strap? Is it grippy or slippery? How easy is it to clean? How easy is it to install or remove the case — does it disengage readily or will you have to pry it off, possibly risking damage to your tablet?

If you intend to use your iPad case as a stand, make sure the case offers plenty of viewing angles, in both portrait and landscape modes. See how it works in for typing and YouTube viewing — and that it’s sturdy enough to hold your iPad steady without tipping over. Make sure you can use the camera and hear audio clearly with the case on.

iPad cover styles

Popular case configurations include Apple-style smart covers, sleeves, shells, folios, keyboard cases and rugged variations. Sleeves protect your iPad in a purse or backpack, often featuring simple slide-in designs with or without zippers or flaps. Shells and skins protect the iPad’s back and side, often shipping with a screen protector. Folio cases protect your entire iPad front to back; you flip them open to access the screen while holding the tablet snug in its case. They sometimes sport book-style designs that disguise your tablet. If you intend to use your iPad for typing, plenty of stands offer built-in or removable keyboards.

Our list covers a diversity of cases, from minimalist to rugged, from dirt-cheap to luxury, and a selection for using the iPad as a keyboard-capable laptop replacement.

Apple currently sells four iPad models — two pro, one standard and one mini. Some cases mentioned span a range of models, both current and past. Before you plunk down any cash, make sure the case you select is designed for the iPad you own.

Best iPad case overall

Targus VersaVu Classic 360-Degree Rotating Case and Stand for iPad

Targus VersaVu Classic 360-degree Rotating case
Targus VersaVu’s handy 360-degree rotating case lets you easily view your iPad at any angle.

Photo: Targus

This huge Amazon hit is a reasonably priced combination of high-end military drop protection and utilitarian functionality. Its leatherlike binding paired with a fabric cover snaps closed, while inside, a velvety textured lining safeguards your iPad’s glass. One cool feature is that you can position your tablet at any angle with the built-in rotating stand for portrait, landscape and typing, while deep grooves hold your tablet steady in any position.

This moderately priced case feels solid and looks elegant in the hand. It comes complete with a stylus pocket and Moleskine-style elastic strap that holds it all together with a cool, sophisticated, businesslike look. It comes in black or red for a variety of the larger iPad models.

Buy from: Amazon — $34.08

Best dirt-cheap iPad case

ESR iPad 2017 9.7-inch Case

ESR iPad 2017 9.7-inch Case
ESR’s feature-rich, lightweight protective case is easy on the wallet.

Photo: ESR

The ESR, another huge Amazon favorite, may not be the rock-bottom cheapest case option out there, but the price is minimal for its benefits. Made of durable polyurethane combined with a soft microfiber lining and hard back, the cover protects your tablet from both the elements and your klutzy self.

A tri-fold front cover props it up for reading, watching videos, or typing with a Bluetooth keyboard. Its magnetic cover controls the iPad’s sleep/wake function and comes in a variety of colors, including black, champagne gold, lavender, mint green, navy blue, pink, red, rose gold, silver gray and sky blue.

Buy from: Amazon — $14.99

Best protective iPad case

OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Pro

OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPad Pro
The Otterbox Defender rugged case shields your iPad from the elements.

Photo: OtterBox

If you’re traveling through dangerous terrain — the streets, your office or maybe climbing Half Dome — the OtterBox Defender ensures your iPad is protected from the elements, drops, dust and scratches. This Amazon 4.5-star favorite feels solid, with a two-part construction and a hard plastic case that clips on four sides. All buttons are covered, while your iPad’s glass front stays safe behind a built-in screen protector. The OtterBox Defender is available for an assortment of iPad models, offering a flexible design with multiple screen angles.

Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock

Best iPad Pro keyboard case

Logitech Slim Combo

Logitech iPad Pro 12.9 inch Keyboard Case Slim Combo
Logitech’s comfy removable keyboard offers the best, most flexible option.

Photo: Logitech

Say you want to use your iPad with a keyboard — just not all the time. The Logitech Slim Combo gives you the option of attaching the keyboard for typing, and then removing it for viewing, FaceTime sessions and reading.

The generous, full-size, backlit keys feel really nice, with a decent amount of travel, a comfortable palm rest and iOS shortcuts. When you’re done typing, just snap the whole thing closed — it stays put with magnets. Thanks to the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector, you can forget about Bluetooth pairing and recharging — a real bonus. The Slim Combo is available for the 12.9- and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models.

Read our full review: Logitech Slim Combo gives iPad Pro a comfy keyboard

Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock

Best luxury iPad case

Pad & Quill Contega Linen iPad Pro 10.5 Case

Contega Linen iPad Pro 10.5 Case
Pad & Quill’s Contega Linen iPad Pro series is chic and pricey.

Photo: Pad&Quill

Old meets new in an elegant, handcrafted package with Pad & Quill’s Contega case for the newest iPad 9.7-, 10.5- and 12.9-inch models. The Contega is made with traditional bookbinding techniques: The tablet sits in a Baltic birch wood frame covered with Buckrum linen, the same material used for hardbound books at the Library of Congress. Patented bumpers protect the edges from bumps and drops, while a soft liner guards against scratches. An elastic band closure secures the Apple Pencil. A self-propping multi-angle stand makes the Contega case easy to use as well as practical, beautiful and durable. It comes in Linen Gray, Charcoal and Cranberry.

The competition

While the rest of the iPad cases we surveyed didn’t quite rise to the top of our list for numerous reasons, many are worthy competitors that you may even prefer to our picks based on your specific preferences and uses. We present these in no particular order.

Apple Smart Keyboard case

apple smart keyboardYou can’t go wrong by going all-in with Apple, so check out the company’s detachable keyboard/cover for 9.7-, 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. While exceptionally thin and light for toting around, these iPad keyboard cases have a flatter frame than most. The keys are extremely low-travel — heavy-handed or hunt-and-peck typists beware. However, the Apple Smart Keyboard case makes up for that with never-worry Smart Connector compatibility and auto-charging via the iPad. And, hey, it conveniently folds back for use as a stand.

Buy from: Amazon — $143.00

Dodocase iPad 2017 Solid Case

dodocase solidGot a little extra cash? What’s a few extra dollars for a genuinely handsome, durable, premium case for your iPad? Available for most iPad models, the artist-inspired Dodocase Solid outwardly resembles the Pad & Quill Contena Linen case just a bit, as both are constructed with traditional bookbinding techniques with fabric covers. With the Solid Case, your tablet fits into a slim, corner-shielding polymer tray while allowing access to device ports and buttons. The frame lets you adjust the tablet for different viewing angles.

Buy from: Dodocase — $64.95

Supcase — Unicorn Beetle Pro Series

supThis highly protective iPad case garners top ratings on Amazon for its screen protection, fortified bumpers, reinforced polycarbonate outer shell and inner lining. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, blue, gold, pink, rose gold and white. A few buyers complain about the fragility of the kickstand, but that didn’t detract from most users’ admiration.

Buy from: Amazon — $24.99

Zagg Rugged Messenger 7 Color Backlit Case and Bluetooth Keyboard

Zagg Rugged MessengerThe concept of this protective case that guards your iPad against drops of up to 6.6 feet is good. That it’s combined with a detachable, multicolored, backlit keyboard that sets aglow the second you touch it is even better. Standout feature for this keyboard case: It allows multi-device pairing and toggling, while a built-in stand allows multiple viewing angles. Most complaints about this case refer to its heft. So if that’s not an issue, go for it.

Buy from: Amazon — $99.95

UAG Folio iPad Pro Metropolis

ughUrban Armor Gear’s Metropolis offers heavy-duty protection with a folio smart cover that doubles as a stand. An impact-resistant soft core combines with corner bumpers for protection against drops and bumps. The case has cutouts for the camera and speakers, plus you can detach the front for reading or viewing. This model gets some stellar reviews from some users, but not all. Some people had problems fitting their iPads into the case, while others did not find it protective enough.

Buy from: Amazon — Check on Amazon

Moshi VersaCover Origami Case for iPad

Moshi VersaCover OrigamiIf you don’t mind the fairly hefty price tag, it’s worth having a look at the luxury VersaCover from Moshi. Its microfiber cover protects your display and provides your iPad with drop protection, thanks to a shock-absorbing frame and hardshell case. The cover, which is available for many iPad models, doubles as an origami-inspired stand for multiple viewing modes including typing, reading and browsing. It also supports the iPad’s automatic wake and sleep function.

Buy from: Amazon — $49.93

Mofred Black & Tan

Mofred Black n TanWhile moderately priced, the Black & Tan iPad case sports a tasteful, businesslike design. It’s fashioned from manmade leather, lined with microfiber, and topped with a screen protector. The case also works as a stand and can be positioned at different angles for typing or viewing. A built-in wallet pouch holds documents, while the magnetic strip activates the iPad’s wake/sleep mode. It even comes with its own stylus — but you already have an Apple Pencil, right?

Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock

Fintie 360 Degrees Rotating Case Cover

Fintie 360 Degrees Rotating Case CoverWith Fintie’s line of cases, which are available for a variety of iPad models, you get a range of visually compelling covers to suit any taste. But don’t let outward looks fool you. These hardshell cases are highly functional, complete with 360-degree rotation, built-in stand, auto sleep and wake, and soft liner to prevent damage to the iPad’s glass. While it is easy to transition between landscape and portrait orientation, a number of users complained that the slots were not deep enough to hold the tablet steady.

Buy from: Amazon — $15.99

UZBL ShockWave

UZBL ShockWaveThis sturdy, attractive ShockWave protective case combines shock absorption and screen protection to keep your tablet safe. Available for several iPad models, the case features a six-angle, integrated, removable kickstand; a built-in screen protector, and construction designed to amplify audio. You can swap out the kickstand with a Velcro rotating hand strap.

Buy from: Amazon — $39.95

Gumdrop Cases Hideaway Stand

Gumdrop Cases Hideaway

This cute but rugged case of grippy, soft-touch silicone both protects your iPad and features a built-in stand that is camouflaged into its rubber grip pattern for a smooth tablet experience. While secured with a magnetic snap, the stand can be engaged with a flip and click. The case comes with replaceable screen covers and port covers.

Buy from: Amazon — $59.43

Griffin Survivor Slim

Griffin Survivor SlimHere’s a cool item in a slim package, if you happen to be looking for heavy-duty, military grade, 8-foot-to-concrete drop protection, plus port and integrated screen protection, in a case that also works seamlessly with the Apple Keyboard. The Survivor’s polycarbonate shell is wrapped in silicone with a curved, textured exterior that’s easy to grip. A built-in, flip-out kickstand locks in place to hold your iPad for viewing, drawing or typing. It comes in an assortment of two-toned hues with a slot to hold your Apple Pencil.

Brydge

Brydge 10.5 Bluetooth KeyboardThe Brydge keyboard — complete with tactile keys, backlighting and iOS function keys — seamlessly adapts to the iPad aesthetic, facilitating a natural transition from tablet to quasi-laptop with 0- to 180-degree rotation. In its closed position, the keyboard, which is available for all large iPads, also serves as a front cover. One possible downside is that it connects via Bluetooth, as opposed to the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector. Despite a few complaints about key sensitivity from some Amazon buyers, it gets overall high marks for its functionality.

Buy from: Amazon — Out of stock

MoKo Case for iPad

MoKo Case for iPadWith its large assortment of gorgeous patterns, this low-key, low-priced Amazon favorite is an Apple Smart Cover clone with a smart-shell, translucent, frosted back that offers additional light protection for your iPad. The synthetic leather exterior provides sleep/wake functionality and folds back for reading or typing. The microfiber interior protects the iPad’s glass screen.

Buy from: Amazon — $11.99

Incipio Octane Pure Folio

Incipio Octane Pure FolioIncipio’s Octane Pure Folio — with its eye-popping, iridescent colors — ensures you will never lose track of your case in your backpack or anywhere else. Designed to complement the aesthetic of your iPad, it protects every corner of the tablet with a translucent back shell and a contrasting, impact-absorbing bumper, while the synthetic leather front cover shields the screen.

Buy from: Amazon — $39.99

Speck Balance Folio Case and Stand

Speck Balance Folio CaseThe Speck Balance Folio’s slim, hardshell polyurethane case is an aesthetically pleasing companion for everyday iPad use. Its raised edge encases the screen to protect your tablet from drops up to 4 feet, while a soft liner guards against scratches to the front glass. Built-in magnets automatically govern the sleep/wake function, and a secure clasp keeps the cover closed. The case, which comes in several intense jeweled hues, offers multiple viewing and typing angles.

Buy from: Amazon — Check on Amazon

BookBook for iPad

book bookIt’s an iPad, but it looks like a book — by design. The BookBook disguises your iPad as a vintage book, adding an extra layer of theft protection as well as aesthetic beauty. Each BookBook is a handmade, original, luxury leather case that protects your tablet with two hardback book covers and reinforced corners attached to a rigid spine. A padded interior, built-in display, and typing stand facilitate popular iPad functions. BookBooks are available for all iPad sizes, including the mini.

Buy from: Amazon — $78.07

Fintie iPad Keyboard Case

Fintie iPad Keyboard CaseFintie offers many varieties of iPad coverings, but this case has a detachable Bluetooth keyboard built in. The keyboard’s spring-key mechanism underneath ensures a tactile response that’s easy on the fingers. An adjustable stand lets you find the proper angle for reading or viewing, allowing access to all iPad features. The slim shell design, with numerous artistic patterns, adds maximum protection with minimal bulk.

Buy from: Amazon — $32.99

CaseCrown Power Sleeve

CaseCrown Power SleeveNow for something a little different. The all-in-one Power Sleeve provides a built-in MFI-certified USB-to-Lightning cable — routed inside the sleeve — that lets you connect to your device at the top. At the bottom, a small zipper pocket allows storage and access to the other end of the cable. The attractive canvas exterior and neoprene interior protects your iPad from bumps and scrapes, is large enough to fit an Apple keyboard, and includes an Apple Pencil slot. The Velcro closure keeps it all together.

Buy from: Amazon — $33.99

Dodocase Durables Sleeve

Dodocase Durables SleeveThe super-stylish Durables Sleeve collection — fashioned of waxed canvas, felt padding, cotton twill liners and leather accents — offers no muss/no fuss access for numerous iPad models, including the mini. It features a leather tab snap closure and an interior elastic loop to hold your Apple Pencil, accented by a leather hand grip for toting around. The iPad slips in nicely with or without an Apple keyboard. Sleeves are available in Sage, Midnight and Navy with a contrasting interior color.

Buy from: Dodocase — $59.95 to $69.95

MoKo Sleeve Bag

MoKo Sleeve BagSometimes, you just want a touch of warm, cuddly felt and flannel in your life — and maybe your iPad feels the same way. MoKo’s reasonably priced felt-outside/flannel-inside clutch purse-style sleeve comes in light or dark gray hues for various iPad sizes. Slim and lightweight, it has a main compartment for your iPad, another for magazines or documents, and two pockets for cellphone, earphones, wallet and keys.

Buy from: Amazon — $11.99

Apple Leather Sleeve

Apple Leather SleeveLest we forget, Apple makes a genuine leather sleeve for Pro iPads. It’s pricey, but at least you know the fit is true. Leather outside and microfiber inside, with a choice of Black, Midnight Blue, Saddle Brown or Taupe, it also stores your Apple Pencil and will fit even with a Smart Keyboard attached.

Buy from: Amazon — $99.99

Byrd & Belle iPad 9.7-inch 2017 iPad Felt Sleeve.

byrd belleAnother soft-touch felt iPad case, at a welcome moderate price, the byrd & belle felt sleeve is available for nearly all large iPads. It’s all wool, with a full-width pocket (split in two) across the front. There’s a little fabric flexibility to fit an iPad alone, or paired with a smart keyboard. A narrow pocket holds your Apple Pencil or stylus, and it is deep enough to protect that long, thin device. The second pocket is suitable for small notebooks, cards, cords and whatnot.

Buy from: byrd & belle — $48 to $56

ProCase Vintage Folio Stand Cover Case

ProCase Vintage Folio StandWhile this case is an overwhelming winner on Amazon, and there’s nothing especially revolutionary about its classic look, it does offer a wide range of cover designs. ProCase is a solid product with a leather exterior and soft interior for protection against the elements and hard knocks. The cover supports sleep/wake functions, and offers multiple slots enabling a variety of viewing angles, cutouts for easy access to ports, and a front card pocket for documents and business cards. Topping it off is a stylus that fits in its own holder — or you can use your Apple Pencil.

Buy from: Amazon — $20.99

Zugu Case Prodigy X

Zugu Case Prodigy XIf you like heavy-duty protection but prefer a lightweight, low-profile look, the Zugu Case Prodigy X has your full-size iPad covered. The exterior rocks a dual injection synthetic matte leather shell for a rich feel. While thin, and sporting an adjustable magnetic kickstand, the case also provides drop protection up to 5 feet. The internal structure is made of fiberglass and microfiber that stays put with a magnetic cover. An elastic pocket secures your stylus.

Buy from: Amazon — $59.99

VRS Design Layered Dandy

VRS Design Layered DandyIf you fancy the look of rich leather, the Layered Dandy series for 9.7- and 12.9-inch iPad models is a treat for the eyes in black, wine red or coffee brown with contrasting stitching. The folio cover — made of PU leather as opposed to full grain — converts to an adjustable kickstand with the front cover compatible with the tablet’s sleep/wake function. It covers and protects the four corners of your iPad with raised edges, has cutouts to access tablet functions, and shuts with a magnetic closure. Inside pockets hold notes, cards, cash and other small items.

Khomo Dual-Color iPad Mini 4 Case

Khomo Dual-ColorWith the Khomo, you get a large selection of jewel and two-toned color combos to wrap around your iPad mini. The slim outer shell of rubberized polycarbonate combines with a polyurethane cover, soft inner lining and reinforced corners to protect your iPad. It offers multiple viewing angles, and you can access all ports and buttons and the sleep/wake feature without removing the case.

Buy from: Amazon — $14.00

Jetech Slim-Fit Smart Case Cover

Jetech Slim-FitIf you like the general look of Apple’s Smart Cover, but want to save some cash, consider the Jetech case, which offers a similar look for a quarter of the price. Another hit with the Amazon crowd, the Jetech does pretty much everything Apple’s smart cover does and more: Unlike Apple’s current iPad protectors, this one also covers the tablet’s back. Constructed in various hues of synthetic leather on the outside and a soft interior, it supports two viewing modes and the iPad sleep/wake feature.

Buy from: Amazon — $9.95