You'll be wanting to know what the best MacBook Air cases are if you're a digital creative. Apple computers are the go to for creatives and, if you’re regularly on the move, you’ll likely be considering a MacBook rather than a Mac PC.
With the release of the M1 chip and the rumoured release of a new MacBook Air later this year, you’re spoilt for choice. Right now we think the MacBook Air M1 (2020) is the best 13-inch inch laptop money can buy, and gave it five stars in our review. It’s also one of our top picks of the best laptops for graphic design.
If you’re going to invest in a MacBook Air then it’s imperative that you protect it from damage with one of the best MacBook Air cases. Scratches and scuffs can ruin the look of your laptop, and knocks can potentially cause harm to the internal hardware as well as any charging ports.
In this guide we cover the best sleeves (soft cases) and skins (hard shell cases) that are specifically designed to fit the ultra slim MacBook Air devices. Some will fit other models, but if you’re looking for a more one-size-fits all solution, take a look at our roundup of the best laptop bags which includes backpacks, sleeves and cases for all sizes of laptop.
Our top choice of the best MacBook Air cases is Apple’s own hard shell case, but you can get the same protection for a cheaper price with MOSISO’s budget version, or some more quirky options that allow you to show a bit of personality by customising your case. We’ve also included our favourite premium and budget MacBook Air sleeves.
What are the best MacBook Air cases?
When it comes to protecting your MacBook Air, you can't go wrong with the case designed specifically for the device by Apple themselves. We've chosen the Apple Incase 13” Hardshell Case as the top of the best MacBook Air cases list because with a hard case, you're guaranteed solid protection that you can't lose, forget, or not be using at the time of an incident.
If you're a busy creative professional who's always on the go, then a hard case that snaps on to your MacBook and fits snugly means you can transport your device without any additional bulk and barely any additional weight. In our opinion, the peace of mind is worth the price tag.
If you're looking for a skin that won't set you back quite as much as Apple's own, consider MOSISO's Protective Plastic Hard Shell Cover. It offers the same snap on, hard shell protection, but at around half the cost. It's also available in a huge range of colors, including eight shades of blue (such as Serenity Blue pictured above), seven shades of green and the classics black, white, grey and space grey.
One thing to note is that other than the specific transparent case, these skins are translucent and don't have a cut out for the Apple logo, and so your skin will cover it. The degree of how translucent the skin is depends on style.
Like the Incase it has rubber feet, and it comes with additional ventilation on the underside of the skin.
While it's our view that hard case skins offer better protection than sleeves, if you're looking for a soft case then we recommend the Tolmount leather sleeve for our UK readers.
This handmade leather sleeve is our top pick of the MacBook Air sleeves due to the premium quality of the materials which make it strong and durable. The exterior is genuine leather in either black or brown, and the interior offers additional real wool padded cushioning.
That's one thing a sleeve has over a skin, and particularly this sleeve; the additional cushioning that comes from the internal padding. If you drop your MacBook, you'll get excellent shock absorption with this sleeve.
If you're looking for a MacBook Air sleeve that offers more than just protection, let us show you the Londo Genuine Leather Sleeve. It's fancy, with seven different artsy designs to choose from (or four if you're shopping in the UK), someone is bound to ask you where it's from.
It's made from leather so naturally isn't suitable for vegan shoppers, and the colorful patterns are woven from jacquard linen polyester or woven linen.
There are also two different size options; one for the 13" MacBook Air and one for the larger 16" device.
If you're looking for a simple yet effective soft case for your MacBook Air, look no further than this laptop sleeve from JETech.
It's only marginally thicker than a skin-encased MacBook Air and so is the next best thing to a hard case for lightness. It's designed for laptops and tablets up to 13.3 inches in diameter, which includes the MacBook Air 2018 through to 2020, although that does mean there's a little bit of wiggle room if yours in the thinner 2020 model.
The outer layer makes it splash proof as a hard case would be, and then the cushioning protection comes from a layer of shock-absorbing sponge and dimpled cushioning on the inside for extra grip.
What sets this particular soft case apart from some others is the additional front pocket we use to carry our charger.
Now that we've covered off the pros and cons of hard and soft cases, our next few picks of the best MacBook Air cases have been chosen with aesthetics in mind. While your key considerations are protection and durability, choosing your MacBook Air case also gives you the chance to express your individuality. We love the minimalist yet striking design of this case, with sketch lines resembling a two faces.
You can buy the hard case on it's own , or this bundle also includes two keyboard covers (one compatible with the 2018/2019 MacBook Air 13" and another compatible with the 2020 MacBook Air 13" model), as well as a clear screen protector, dust plug and 13" sleeve bag if you want the best of both worlds.
Most creatives will have heard of the theory that everyone has one more dominant side of their brain; those who are 'left-brained' tend to be more analytical and logical, but those who are 'right-brained' are more artistic and creative, thriving on visualization and imagination.
If you love this kind of creative theory, then you'll enjoy this fun and vibrant hard case. The plastic case will protect your device from scratches, and it's easy to snap on and, importantly, off, thanks to micro clips that securely fasten the skin to your MacBook Air. That said, the plastic is more brittle and a little less flexible than Apple and MOSISO's designs.
There are cut outs for all charging ports and vents, but note that there is no cut out for the Apple logo on the top of your device.
If you're looking for a more subtle design for your MacBook Air case, we like this design resembling a composition notebook. Inspiration can strike at any moment, and we love the idea of opening up our MacBook on the go and jotting down our ideas almost like we would with a notepad.
Plus, if you did accidently leave your MacBook lying around attended, it's well disguised as a plain paper notebook and less liable to theft.
Note that the very specific construction of the case and the keyboard cover means this product is only compatible with models of MacBook Air with touch ID (the newest models released between 2018 and 2020).
How to choose the best MacBook Air case
When choosing the best MacBook Air case for you, the main question you need to ask is whether you want a hard case (or skin), or a soft case (or sleeve).
We recommend hard cases over soft cases for most people when it comes to the level of protection your device will get because, unlike a sleeve that you need to take your device out of before you can use it, hard cases that click onto your device are there all the time. This way, your device is always protected whether you drop it, knock it or spill it when you're using or on the move. For ultimate protection use a hard case and then slip your encased MacBook Air in a sleeve for travelling.
Next up you need to consider compatibility. With a hard case you need to ensure it's the exact right size for your device. All of the hard cases featured in this are designed to fit 13 inch MacBook Air devices released from 2018 onwards, but manufacturers do all specify exact model numbers so always check what model numbers the case you're considering are compatible with before you purchase. If that sounds like a bit too much effort, opt for a soft case as the fit needs to be less exact.
Once you've decided on what type of case you want, it then comes down to choosing your favorite design from this list that matches the budget you have to spend. There are a couple of premium options, with a higher price point because of the materials used, or the brand-backed guarantee.