Just three days before my iPhone 11 Pro arrived, I was harshly reminded of how important it is to have a phone good case when my poor iPhone XS Max decided to dive into the concrete—three days before I was supposed to trade it in. The screen cracked, and in a rarity for me, I wasn’t using a case.
That’s partially why great care was taken to create this list of the best cases for the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Since the designs for the three phones (and cases) are all so similar this year, we’ve compiled them all into one listing and provided links to each model. Over on the right, you’ll see a link to “See More,” and these links will almost always go to the iPhone 11 version. If you don’t see a price listing for a particular model, that means there isn’t one.
Every case listed should work with wireless charging, but if there’s an exception, it’ll be called out. Also, we’ll keep updating this list as we receive new and better cases.
Updated 10/12/20: Added new cases from OtterBox, ESR, X-Doria, and Smartish.
Best protective cases
If you work in rough environments, like to go hiking, or you’re just prone to dropping your phone, then you’ll want to check out these tough specimens. They’re thicker, yes, but you can rest easy once your phone’s armored in them.
Smartish Gripzilla Case
Colors: Black, mint
Highlights: It’s easy to find plenty of “grippy” protective cases out there, but few are as impressive as this one. It’s got a similar grippy feel as what you’ll find in Smartish’s bare-bones (and super affordable) Kung Fu Grip case, but this one also has three grooves for your fingers subtly dented into the edges. Smartish also textured the rough but rubbery exterior for additional grip, and the case maintains a fairly slim profile even with all the grooves and the corner air pockets for additional bounciness.
Smartish says “Gravity doesn’t stand a chance,” but unfortunately the case doesn’t have a visible drop rating. Still, if you’re going for “everyday tough,” this is the case to reaching for.
Razer Arctech Pro Case
Colors: Black, white, pink
Highlights: Gamers, you’ll want to check this one out, especially now that Apple Arcade is here. Razer’s Arctech Pro boasts not only the well-known gaming peripheral company’s signature black and neon-green stylings, but it also has a “Thermapene” layer that—along with some vents—can dissipate heat from your phone if you’re intensively playing Sayonara Wild Hearts.
Beyond that, this tough little case can survive drops of up to 10 feet, and the soft, rubbery exterior material keeps your hands from slipping away. The Slim model is similar, but it doesn’t have the same degree of drop protection.
OtterBox Symmetry Case
Colors: Black, clear, sunflower, rose, rusty, pumpkin, sapphire, stone, silver flake, granite, clear/blue, “Wish Way Now”
Highlights: OtterBox is known for tough but ridiculously bulky cases that transform even the slimmest iPhone into something that looks more like a 1989 Game Boy when viewed from the side. Thankfully, with its Symmetry line, OtterBox shows it can offer similar protection in slimmer forms. You’ll find a rubbery material around the display and along the sides for better grip and bounciness in the case of falls, while the back is made from rigid polycarbonate that recalls the stout Defender line. It’s still thick, but you can comfortably slip this case into your jeans. If you’re still worried your case could get run over by a truck or make accidental contact with hammers while on the job, you probably still want a Defender. But for everything else? The Symmetry should do nicely.
Speck Presidio Grip Case
Colors: Black, blue, grey, pink
Highlights: The design of Speck’s Presidio Grip cases seldom changes from one iPhone release to the next—and for good reason, too: It’s tough, the rear ridges reduce the chances your phone will tumble from your hands, and there’s a nice “lip” around the edges for protecting the display from face-down drops.
Specks says the inside of a Presidio case is “designed for impact” and it will survive drops of up to 13 feet. Having used one for months with another iPhone model, there’s some truth to this, though the grooves will wear down over time with frequent use, but not by a lot. If you want a more “fun” variety of similar cases, be sure to check out Speck’s CandyShell line.
UAG Monarch Series
Colors: Black, carbon fiber, crimson
Highlights: Plenty of cases on this page are tough. But if you also want your case to look tough, then you’d do well to check out the Monarch Series from Urban Armor Gear. UAG’s marketing plays up how the Monarch handily meets a well-known military drop test (which isn’t as difficult to meet as you might think), and it’s hard not to admire the metal and leather used for the back place and the outsized rubber bumpers used for the corners. The rubbery edges deliver excellent grippiness, and the oversized buttons and full covering for the speakers and Lightning port represent improvements over many of the cases listed here.
Still, at $60, you might feel like you need to be a monarch to buy one. If you like the design but don’t want to spend quite this much cash, you should check out UAG’s Pathfinder series instead. You’ll miss out on those gnarly leather and metal elements, but you’ll get much the same protection for “only” $40.
Grip2ü Boost Case
Colors: Black, white, clear
Highlights: Grip2ü’s Boost case is tough on its own (if a bit dull), but it’s all the stuff attached to it that makes it stand out in the crowd. There’s a big rubber “handle” you can slip three fingers through, and you can swap that strap with different colored varieties from Grip2ü if the mood strikes you (or they wear out).
In addition to this strap, you’ll also find a little kickstand that’ll keep your phone propped in landscape mode. Impressively, you can still wirelessly charge your phone even with the strap in the way.
Best environmentally friendly cases
It’s good to have a long-lasting case. But if you don’t want a plastic iPhone case that sticks around for centuries, then check out the case under this heading. It’s more than good enough to qualify as a protective case, but its compatibility puts it in a class of its own.
Incipio Organicore Case (iPhone 11)
- iPhone 11: $39
- iPhone 11 Pro: $39
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: $39
Colors: Black, green, gray, beige
Highlights: Normally you have to sacrifice quality if you want an eco-friendly iPhone case: Maybe it’s too hard to press the buttons, or maybe it simply won’t stay in place.
But Incipio’s Organicore case sets a new standard. It feels a lot like Apple’s grippy silicone case, but it’s made entirely from plants and is 100 percent compostable. Even better, Incipio says it can also protect your phone from six-foot drops—and that’s accurate, judging from a mishap I had. It even comes in Midnight Green. If you want a quality iPhone case that’s also friendly to the environment, this is the best you can get.
Best clear cases
The iPhone is a beautiful machine, and now that it’s tougher than ever, you’ll usually be safe with a case that offers a decent degree of protection while still allowing the world to see your midnight green wonder.
Spigen Liquid Crystal Clear Case
Highlights: Spigen makes my favorite clear case for the new iPhones. It looks a lot like Apple’s own clear case, but it also comes with “air-cushion” technology in the corners for extra bounce when you drop it.
It’s smooth but grippy, and the plastic doesn’t pick up fingerprint smudges too easily. It’s not super thin like a case from Totallee—but it does have a good “lip” that’ll help keep your display protected during a face-down drop. It’s also ridiculously inexpensive.
Gear4 Crystal Palace Case
Colors: Clear, charcoal, pink, blue, yellow
If you want a clear case with a dash of color, then you should check out Gear4’s Crystal Palace series. Gear4 makes these cases with D3O—a polycarbonate material used for bulletproof glass, among other things—and as you might expect with that kind of claim, Crystal Palace cases are reportedly able to withstand drops of around 13 feet. As a bonus, they’re also crazily resistant to fingerprint smudges.
You can get a clear version, but I’m especially fond of these cases because Gear4 makes lightly tinted models. With the neon blue case I used, for instance, my midnight green iPhone 11 Pro took on an attractive blue-green hue that reminds me of the Mediterranean Sea. Additional features include smooth edges and an attractive tapered edge surrounding the camera.
Totallee Ultra Thin Case (Transparent)
Colors: Transparent, red, frosted black, frosted clear, black, navy blue
Highlights: Totallee’s case is so rubbery and fits the iPhone so well that it feel as though you’re pulling off a old shell from an insect when removing it. This transparent case doesn’t sit quite as ridiculously tightly against the phone as some of Totallee’s other varieties of ultra-slim cases do, but this certainly one of the best quality thin and clear cases available.
For extra protection, you’ll find a short “lip” surrounding the camera, although strangely there isn’t really one around the front display. Be careful if you drop your phone while it’s in this case, as Totallee merely says it’s “durable” and offers “impact protection.” On the bright side, the rubbery material is so grippy that you usually won’t have to worry about it dropping anyway. And unlike Apple’s own clear case, it’s remarkably resistant to fingerprints.
Apple Clear Case
Highlights: Apple’s clear case is…interesting. On one hand, it’s sturdy but flexible (and so falls in a “middle range” on the hardness scale); on the other, it’s ridiculously prone to fingerprint stains. You can see how quickly this happens in our unboxing video. That’s a shame, as even Spigen’s case doesn’t do so well at gracefully smoothing out the transition from the back to the sides of the case. Also, as we’ve come to expect from Apple, it’s pricey.
Best thin cases
Thin is in, especially when it comes to cases. With cases like these, you can keep your device protected and appreciate all that work Apple put into making its phones as thin as possible.
Caudabe: The Sheath Case
Colors: Black, gray
Highlights: If Batman has a case on his iPhone, I imagine it looks a lot like the Sheath. It’s thin—not so thin as Caudabe’s 0.35mm-thick Veil case, but at 90mm, it’s so thin I barely feel as though I’m using a case at all. The extra “bulk” comes from “ShockLite” material used for the shell, which is both grippy and apparently shock-absorbent enough to help the phone survive falls of up to 6.6 feet. For me, at least, the Sheath checks all the boxes: It’s thin, it’s tough enough, and it looks fantastic. At the moment, it’s my favorite case.
tech21 StudioColour Case
Colors: Teal, black, coral, blue, mauve, rust, yellow
Highlights: Compared to many of the cases on this list, the Tech21 StudioColour is ridiculously simple—but for all that, it’s one of my favorites. It’s so thin that it barely feel like you’re using the case, were it not for the slightly rough material on the outside for a better grip. That material also has antimicrobial protection, which helps keep stains from forming because of the bacteria on your hands. And get this: Even though it’s so simple, thin, and light, Tech21’s case supposedly can survive up to eight-foot drops.
Best leather cases
Leather is one of the oldest materials used for keeping items protected, and it often looks stylish to boot.