The best iPad accessories are something everyone starts thinking about once they've bought an iPad. After all, Apple's tablet is great on its own, but the right add-ons can really unleash its potential, turning it into a creative powerhouse.
A good stylus, for one, enables you to draw, sketch, scribble and digitally paint on your iPad, in a way that feels close to using a real pen, pencil or brush. A keyboard can turn it into a hybrid laptop, allowing you to do productive work while on the move. You can enjoy music and watch videos with immerse sound by investing in the best headphones and speakers. You can make yourself more comfortable with the best stands. And you can protect your precious iPad with the best cases and screen protectors.
However, with both official and third-party options on the market, choosing between all of these things can become a bit of nightmare. Our guide below aims to make choosing the best iPad accessories easy, with our top choices to accompany the device.
If you don't have an iPad yet or you're looking to upgrade to a newer model, see our guide to the best Apple Black Friday deals (check our guide to the iPad generations if you've lost track of which generation we're on now). And if you're going to take your iPad out and about, get clued up on the best power banks out there.
The best iPad accessories available now
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iPad accessories: Styluses
If you want to use your iPad for drawing, this is the best iPad accessory for you. It attaches magnetically, charges wirelessly, and features a double-tap sensor that allows you to switch pen styles. Pressure and tilt sensitivity make it great for drawing and illustration because you increase pressure for thicker lines or tilt for shading – and with palm rejection you can do all that while leaning your hand on the screen without it marking your work. Note, though, that it's not compatible with all models of iPad: some only support the Apple Pencil 1 (below). For more details, see our Apple Pencil 2 review, and to make the most of your purchase, see our pick of the best iPad Pro apps for Apple Pencil.
A lot of iPad models (listed above) aren't compatible with the Apple Pencil 2, but don't worry: the original Apple Pencil is still a fine option. It's also pressure and tilt-sensitive, allowing you to easily vary line weight and create subtle shading effects. It lacks some of the Apple Pencil 2's snazziest features like the touch surface for changing tools and wireless charging, and it does have a tendency to roll away since it's completely round, but it still beats most of the options out there. For more details, see our Apple Pencil review and our comparison of Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2.
If you plan to use a stylus only for navigating on your device and taking notes rather than drawing, then you might not want to fork out for the Apple Pencils (above). The Adonit Dash 4 is at least half the price and doesn't sacrifice on style. It still looks respectful paired with the outstanding design of the iPad and it has native palm rejection. For more details, see our Adonit Dash 4 review.
Short on cash? The Griffin Balanced Stylus Pointer is a super-budget stylus that works on all iPads, and offers a simple way to get more control when navigating and even taking occasional notes. It's a passive device, so it doesn't require charging or connecting and it comes with a handy clip so you don't lose it.
If you want most of the features of the Apple Pencil but can't justify the expense, the Logitech Crayon is a good alternative – this still offers the tilt sensor and palm recognition of the Pencil. It pairs instantly when turned on and features an anti-roll shape so can be set down easily. You lose the pressure sensing and tap features of the Pencil but you save a lot of money too. For more details, see our Logitech Crayon review.
The Adonit Pixel is another great choice drawing on an iPad. Bluetooth-enabled, it boasts 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and a range of function buttons on its body that can be assigned to specific software. We found the battery last for a decent 15 hours before needing a recharge, and the sleek design makes the Pixel stylus feel premium and genuinely enjoyable to use. On the downside, it's not that much cheaper than the Apple Pencil 2 (number one on our list).
iPad accessories: Keyboards
If you want to give your iPad a more laptop-like feel, you can turn it into a serious productivity machine with Apple's official Magic Keyboard. It attaches magnetically and features a floating cantilevered design so you can set the viewing angle to anything up to 130 degrees, and with a full-size backlit keyboard and multi-touch trackpad it makes your favourite apps even easier to use than before. For more details, see our Magic Keyboard for iPad review.
Here's a not-too-pricy option that can make the standard iPad feel a bit more like a MacBook. The Brydge 10.2 features a full-size keyboard for precise feedback and increased accuracy, with three levels of LED backlighting. Its hinges enable you to angle your iPad at anything between 0 and 180 degrees so that you can get exactly the viewing angle you want, and it also features a full set of dedicated iOS shortcut keys.
The official Apple Smart Keyboard Folio is another way to turn your iPad Pro into a laptop. It's cheaper than the Magic Keyboard, but you don't get the backlit keys or a trackpad, and the keys themselves have a canvas-like finish that makes typing less fluid. That said, you still get Apple-quality design and build and a luxurious finish to the case itself. Everything attaches easily thanks to the Apple Smart Connector, and the case is thick enough to offer protection but slim enough to stay mobile.
Logitech has been in the keyboard game for nearly as long as it has existed, which is just one of the reasons this Logitech Slim Folio Case with Keyboard is sold officially on the Apple Store. Bluetooth LE connectivity, complete iPad protection, dedicated iOS shortcut buttons, a stand mode plus a staggering four year battery life make this a winner at that low price.
Here's another great keyboard for iPad from Logitech. The Combo Touch case comes with a detachable keyboard offers a high degree of flexibility and the keys and trackpad have a lovely feel, that feels a lot like using a 'proper' laptop. It also works with Apple’s Smart Connector for super-fast connectivity. There are different versions for various models of iPad Pro, Air, and standard iPad, so make sure you pick the right one.
iPad accessories: Cases and covers
If you're after a cover for your iPad, then it's hard to make a case for anything other than the official Apple Smart cover. It attaches to your iPad magnetically, it protects your screen, it'll turn your iPad on and off when you open and close it, and you can use it as a stand, too. It even comes in a variety of on-trend colours. What more do you want?
Specially designed for the iPad and actually stocked by Apple itself, the slim OtterBox Symmetry Series 360 Folio shows off your tablet while protecting it very well, offering more protection than Apple's own Smart Folio without adding a lot of bulk to the device. This versatile folio guards your touchscreen then folds out of the way, converting to multiple stand angles for comfortable typing and hands-free viewing.
Want to give your new iPad Pro an extra little touch of class? Cuvr's leather cover could be just what you need. Not only will it sheathe your precious in great-looking, fine-smelling leather, but it also works as a shock-resistant shell and will let you stand your iPad Pro at just about any angle. It also features a safe holder for your Apple Pencil.
The Griffin Survivor is a superb way to make sure your iPad stays protected. Yes this isn't the most sleek or attractive case, but then it can go all the places that a pretty case couldn't. This iPad accessory is great for those with children, or anyone leading a hectic life who wants to be able to throw their iPad in and out of bags as they travel around.
The Targus VersaVu case balances portability and protection. It adds little bulk to your tablet but offers protection for up to a four-foot drop. This is thanks to tough reinforced corners as well as a bezel protector for your screen. It comes in a range of sizes, making it suitable for most iPads and you can use it as a stand to prop your iPad up to. There's a hole to display your Apple logo and there's even an integrated holder for your Apple Pencil.
Short on cash? Here's the budget case we recommend. JETech case looks very similar to Apple's official one, and comes in a wide range of colours, although it's a lot more plastic feeling. Still at this price who cares? You'll still be getting an extra layer of protection for your tablet, and you can use it as an iPad stand. Plus when you open and close it, you'll wake up and put to sleep your tablet.
iPad accessories: Headphones
The AirPods Pro 2nd Gen are the earbuds we'd recommend for most iPad owners, as they hit the perfect sweet spot between quality and value. They deliver excellent noise cancellation and deep, rich sound. Battery life is first-rate. They come with a great case. And of course, they're a cinch to pair with Apple hardware, including the iPad. For more details, see our full AirPods Pro 2 review.
We've rhapsodised many times about Apple's AirPods Pro, and more than two years year after they were first released we still love them to bits. Adhering firmly to the old Apple mantra of 'It Just Works', they're an absolute joy to use; they'll pair to your iPad in under a second. Their successors (above) offer best sound quality but on the upside, these are cheaper and still brilliant. For more details, see our Apple AirPods Pro review.
The standard Apple AirPods still offer a sound wireless audio experience for anyone who doesn't want to pay the price of the Pro version. They're easy to use – a simple tap to connect and they offer automatic recognition when you pop them in your ears. Also, a tap gets you Siri for voice controls without the need to touch your iPad. You get a 24-hour battery with charges from the case, plus decent audio for music and voice.
If you prefer an over-ear option, there is of course Apple's AirPods Max. However, these are a tougher sell as an iPad accessory. While support for high-res audio is limited, Apple's active noise cancellation works even better with a pair of full-size headphones, and the sound quality you get from these is truly exceptional. For more details, see our Apple AirPods Max review.
If you've balked at the price of the AirPods Max above but want quality headphones with noise cancellation, then the Bose QuietComfort 35 ii headphones may be the next best iPad accessory to consider. They offer a fantastic way to drown out the world around you with active noise cancellation while giving wireless connectivity and decent battery life. They're are ideal for travelling or at home where background noise can affect concentration. They're comfortable to wear, so you can use them for hours, making them the perfect companion or a long flight.
If you want to go for more subtle in-earphones with a strap but wish to stay wireless and on a budget, the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds 2 are a great option. These buds offer up to six hours of listening before they need a charge. That makes them not only useful at home with your iPad but also great to head out the door for a run with your iPhone, getting you even more for that incredibly affordable price.
iPad accessories: Speakers
Without question, the best iPad accessory for those who want to turn their iPad into a music player is the Apple HomePod mini. Coming in five bold colours, it measures just 3.3 inches tall, yet it fills a room with rich 360‑degree audio that sounds great from every angle. Add several around the house and people will be able to listen in different rooms and can call on Siri for assistance. You can hook it up to your iPhone too, and you'll be able to use Apple Music Voice to request any track you like.
Sonos started the multi-room speaker revolution and is still leading the way with quality products like the Sonos One. This enables you to connect using your iPad to control the speaker, or any other Sonos speaker in the home, using AirPlay for super simple access. It also supports Siri voice controls and allows you to use two speakers for stereo sound.
This Bluetooth speaker isn't just fun, colourful and attractive looking, it's also dustproof and waterproof with an IP67 rating. It also lets you customise its buttons and adjust audio settings, via a free app. And you can even connect multiple speakers together via its ‘DJ’ feature. The audio performance is very impressive too, with a loud and punchy sound.
iPad accessories: Stands
Twelve South’s HoverBar Duo allows you to hold your iPad pretty much in any position you want. Since it can hold your tablet in portrait or landscape at a range of different angles and heights thanks to its highly adjustable holder, it's a great accessory whether you want to make Zoom calls, connect a second monitor for your Mac, or watch TV and movies. It comes with a weighted desk stand and an overhead clamp, too, extending its utility further.
Despite the name, the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand Pro actually fits lots of different iPad types. Thanks to its malleable legs, it can be manipulated to hold the tablet at varying heights and angles – ideal for watching video or (thanks to side-on tilting) FaceTime chatting. It may look a bit unusual, but it's surprisingly strong and the rubber feet hold the unit in place very well. You can even wrap it around a chair back or a pole, for example, to position it just where you need it.
You'll have a hard time finding a better-value stand than this model from AmazonBasics. As the name suggests, it's pretty basic, but it totally does the job; it'll support anything up to a 10-inch tablet (with a maximum weight of 4.9kg), it has multiple viewing angles and a removable rubber pad so it won't scratch your iPad. And at that price it's an absolute no-brainer if all you need is something to keep your iPad upright.
The Satechi R1 is a premium iPad stand constructed from premium aluminium. It comes in black, silver or space grey, is sturdy in use, and would be a great choice if you were using your iPad as a second monitor. It folds down to a nice compact size, too, making it a good travel option for travel, although on the downside, angle and adjustment options are a little limited.
iPad accessories: Screen protectors
Even with the Apple Pencil, drawing on the iPad's glass surface feels rather false and strange compared to working on real paper or on a (far more expensive) graphics tablet. The Paperlike screen protector can help there. Made by design professionals and artists, it's created to give the feel of paper under your stylus. The surface is filled with tiny microbeads that give just the right amount of friction, or bite: enough to feel what you're doing, but not so much that it takes its toll on the Apple Pencil's tip. For more details, read our Paperlike review.
For serious screen protection, you might be considering a tempered glass option (most screen protectors are made from a form of polyurethane). This gives extra scratch and drop resistance. However, they can be nerve-wracking to install. You don't want to get it slightly wrong and end up with a wonky fit or trapped air bubble. Fortunately, Spigen's Glas.tR EZ Fit screen protector makes positioning the protector easy with its foolproof installation kit.
Blue light is well known for disturbing our sleep cycle. So if you want to get a best night's kip, it's best to avoid using your iPad for a couple of hours before bedtime. That's not always realistic though, so the Ocushield Screen Protector offers an investive solution. Using tempered glass construction it filters out a lot of blue light, and as well as promoting good sleep, this makes it easier and more comfortable to use your iPad at all times of day.