The best iPad cases to protect your tablet

Three of the best iPad cases on a purple background
(Image credit: Future / Apple / Casemade / JETech)

The best iPad cases are a worthwhile investment for most people since they can offer peace of mind as well as added functionality. As well as offering protection, some iPad cases double as a stand, which makes it easier to watch media on your tablet, and some include a keyboard, which can allow you to use your iPad as a mini laptop alternative. And they can look pretty stylish too.

There's quite a lot to consider when choosing the right iPad case: its functions, sturdiness, design and price. We've taken all of these factors into consideration when compiling the list below based them on our long experience of using, reviewing and testing iPads over more than a decade.

For more options, we have a dedicated guide to the best iPad Pro cases. We've also reviewed other iPad accessories, including the best iPad keyboards, the best iPad screen protectors and the best iPad stands.

The best iPad cases available today

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How to choose the best iPad case

The best iPad case for you will depend on your priorities and what you want to use your iPad for. If you plan to use your tablet for many of the tasks that you would normally use a laptop for, you'll probably want a physical keyboard, in which case it would make sense to combine two functions in one and with one of the best iPad cases with a keyboard included, such as Apple's own Smart Keyboard Folio or Logitech's Combo Touch. We think the latter is better value if you want a trackpad.

If you'll only be using your iPad as a tablet via the touchscreen, a keyboard will add unnecessary weight and expense, and you'll be better choosing from among the best iPad cases as your budget permits and choosing a style that you feel is appropriate for where you use your device. For more options see our pick of the best iPad case with a pencil holder.

Most importantly, you need to make sure the iPad case you buy is compatible with your tablet. Many of the options we've chosen above are available in different sizes for different models, but you'll need to make sure you select the right one from the retailer. If you're unsure of which iPad you have, our guide to the iPad generations might help. We also have a guide to the best iPad deals if you're still shopping around for tablets. Which iPad you have may also dictate how much you're prepared to pay for a case, since if you're spending around $250 on the iPad 9, spending more than $100 on a case would be an extravagant expense.

How we chose the best iPad cases

We have been reviewing hardware for creatives since Creative Bloq began in 2012, and we've reviewed almost every iPad that Apple has released in that time. Our reviewers, many of them working creatives, have built up a huge amount of experience in testing and reviewing iPad accessories, including iPad cases.

To choose the best iPad cases for this guide, we first looked to reliable brands that we know and trust and checked sales figures on Amazon. We then compared our own reviewers' evaluations on build quality, features and performance as well as customer reviews online and the opinions of our sister sites, including TechRadar and Tom's Guide.

We considered whether the keyboard provided extra benefits, such as serving as a protective iPad keyboard case, and also considered price in order to recommend options for different budgets. We particularly looked for cases that cover vulnerable parts of the iPad, most importantly the corners. We also checked that the cover of the cases functioned with the iPad’s magnetic sleep and wake feature when opening and closing, without triggering it while closed by moving around (this can lead to battery drain as well as screen damage).


Why do I need an iPad case?

A caseless iPad feels and looks great, but considering the price of an Apple tablet, a case can be reassuring. If you're only ever going to use your iPad at home, you might get by without one, but be careful with it and try to avoid dropping it or putting other objects on top of it, which can cause scratches. 

If you're going to travel with your iPad or put it in a bag for use on the go, we'd be a more nervous about using it without a case. Even inside a bag, things seems to somehow magically get bashed or scratched, often because they've rubbed against other objects either in the bag or outside. The internal components of an iPad are fairly delicate, and they're covered by glass, which can break, and aluminium, which can dent and scratch. Even a basic iPad case can offer more piece of mind, while some of the more functional options can actually improve the tablet by providing a stand or keyboard.

What are iPad cases made of?

iPad cases come in various materials such as leather, silicone, plastic, TPU, and fabric. Each material offers different levels of protection, aesthetics, and functionality. There's usually a balance to be struck, because soft materials make the case more lightweight and portable, while harder materials offer greater protection.

Does an iPad case mean I don't need a screen protector?

No. We would always recommend that you buy both a screen protector and a case for your iPad. Even if your case has a front cover over the full screen, a screen protector will provide crucial scratch and shatter protection for scenarios such as you dropping your iPad while the case is open. The cost of replacing or repairing an iPad is so high, that we would usually recommend using both, especially if you carry you iPad around in a bag. See our guide to the best screen protectors for more details.

Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.

With contributions from