Finding the best iPad accessories is a great way to turn an already-impressive tablet into a creative powerhouse. And if you're lucky enough to be getting one of Apple's shiny new devices over the Christmas period, they can be not-too-expensive gift with the added bonus that they'll help you work more productively in 2021.
In this guide we've gathered together the very best iPad accessories that can add a whole new dimension to your shiny slab of Apple tablet as well as seriously improving your user experience. If you want to use your iPad for drawing and sketching we have styluses in all shapes and sizes, and if you're tired of typing on the screen there are plenty of impressive keyboards to choose from.
We also have a range of cases and covers to help keep your iPad protected from the bump and grind of daily life, as well as the best headphones and speakers for enjoying its audio output to best effect. And to round things off we have a selection of useful stands so you can make the most of your iPad without having to use it one-handed (or risk it slipping off your lap). Basically we've picked the best iPad accessories around; all you have to do it choose the ones that are right for you.
Not got an iPad yet, or looking to upgrade? Here are the best iPad deals right now. And if you've got your heart set on a stylus, you might want to take a look at our in-depth guide to the best iPad styluses, or the best Apple Pencil deals.
iPad accessories: Styluses
While most of the latest iPads are compatible with the all-singing, all-dancing Pencil, if you have a slightly older iPad the original Apple Pencil is still a fine option. It's pressure and tilt-sensitive, allowing you to easily vary line weight and create subtle shading effects, and while it lacks the Pencil 2's more attractive features such as the touch surface for changing tools and wireless charging, it nevertheless beats most of the competition.
Being the official Apple stylus, the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) is near perfect for the job. It magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro and charges wirelessly while there. The Pencil features a double-tap sensor that allows you to switch pen styles easily. It's also both pressure and tilt sensitive so can be used more like a real pen. You can increase pressure for thicker lines or tilt for shading, all while leaning your hand on the screen without marking your work.
The Adonit Jot Pro is a great choice if you want to save some money without sacrificing on style (this bargain stylus looks good even when paired with the design perfection that is Apple's iPad). A magnetic core allows this to clip to your iPad while the precision head with clear plastic jot dot offers for super levels of accuracy – you can see exactly what you're pressing against. Of course, at this price, you sacrifice all the smart extras like pressure sensitivity and tilt support.
This is a super-budget stylus that works on all iPad devices. The Griffin Balanced Stylus Pointer, as the name suggests, is a simple way to get more control over drawing, writing and annotating on an iPad. Since it's passive, it'll work on most touchscreens, doesn't require charging or connecting and even comes with a handy clip so you don't lose it. Griffin is a well-known brand that is able to offer this quality stylus for a silly-cheap price.
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. Be aware: this only works the 6th gen iPads.
iPad accessories: Keyboards
If you have a new iPad Pro (or indeed an older one or even the latest iPad Air), you can give it a more laptop-like feel and turn it into a serious productivity machine with the 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 keyboard and multi-touch trackpad it makes your favourite apps even easier to use then before.
Here's a not-too-pricy option for making your iPad feel a bit more like a MacBook. The Brydge 10.5 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 for iPad Pro is one of the best ways to turn your iPad into a laptop. You get Apple-quality design and build, which means top-quality keys for typing, as well as 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.
While this list is geared towards iPad accessories, if you've got devices from different brands, you'll want to go for a universal keyboard – the Microsoft foldable keyboard is compatible with iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and Windows tablets. Another great feature is its ability to be paired to multiple devices – switching over to the next device is as simple as pushing a button. Plus, with this being a foldable keyboard, it's easier to store when it's not in use, and nice and portable too.
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.
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. Oh, and it comes in a variety of on-trend colours. What more do you want?
Want to give your new iPad Pro that final 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, it works as a shock-resistant shell, it'll let you stand your iPad Pro at just about any angle, and it features a safe holder for your Apple Pencil too.
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 Skech Flipper iPad case perfectly balances portability and protection meaning this won't add much bulk to your slate but it will offer protection for up to an eight foot drop. This is thanks to tough reinforced corners as well as a bezel protector for your screen. The case uses the active open and close to wake or sleep your iPad and it can also be propped up as a stand. There's even a small loop to hold your Apple Pencil and an option for a transparent rear to see your iPad in all its shiny glory.
iPad accessories: Headphones
We've rhapsodised many times about Apple's AirPods Pro, and over a 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 active noise cancellation is nothing short of miraculous in something so small, and the sound quality (enhanced by the silicone ear tips which also mean they won't fall out) is outstanding. Yes, they're expensive, but even that's been put into perspective now that the AirPods Max are out.
Apple's AirPods Max are a tougher sell than the AirPods Pro. Apple could have made something out of a pair of cans that completely out-perform heart-stoppingly expensive audiophile headphones, which the AirPods Max almost do, except for the fact that they don't support hi-res audio. That said, Apple's active noise cancellation works even better with a pair of full-size headphones, and the sound quality you get out of them is truly exceptional. Whether it's £550-worth of exceptional is up to you.
The official Apple AirPods have been designed from scratch to offer the ultimate wireless audio experience with an Apple device. That means a simple tap to connect and then automatic recognition when you pop them in your ears. 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.
And if you really fancy pushing the boat out, you can also get the new AirPods Pro .
The Bose QuietComfort 35 ii headphones offer a fantastic way to drown out the world around you with active noise cancellation while giving wireless connectivity and decent battery life. These are ideal for travelling or at home where background noise can affect concentration. Comfort levels are high, meaning they can be worn for a long time without being noticed. They're the perfect flight companion.
If you want to go for more subtle in-earphones but wish to stay wireless and on a budget, these Soundcore Spirit Sports are a great option. These sweat- and rain- resistant buds offer up to eight 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 affordable price.
iPad accessories: Speakers
Smaller than you might expect and surprisingly weighty, Apple's HomePod is another great example of how the company's using software to squeeze the very best audio performance out of its hardware. The HomePod's already well-specced, with seven tweeters at the bottom and a punchy woofer at the top, but it's the A8 chip that takes everything to the next level, helping it analyse its setting and adjust its audio output for optimum performance. As a Siri-powered smart speaker it's maybe not up to Alexa's standards, but its amazing sound quality more than makes up for that.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is a powerful yet portable Bluetooth speaker that offers 360-degree sound to fill most rooms. It even comes with Siri support allowing for easy voice controls via your connected iPad. The battery should keep going for 16-hours, while the IPX4 rating means splash and dust resistance to set your mind at ease as you enjoy the high-quality sound.
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.
Want a wireless speaker that sounds good but won't cost a fortune? This little beauty from Sony is just the ticket. The Sony SRS-XB12 is cheaper than the rest of the speakers listed here by a country mile, but it can still pump out some impressive audio, boosted by Sony's EXTRA BASS technology. Its battery should keep going for 16 hours, it's waterproof, dustproof, sandproof and mudproof, and if you want stereo sound you can simply buy another and pair them.
iPad accessories: Stands
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. The rubber feet hold the unit in place and you can even wrap it around a chair back or pole, for example, to get it in place where you need.
The Logi Base Charging Stand for iPad Pro is a typical Apple style design that uses metallic minimalism at its best. The slither of a stand not only looks good and solid but also uses the Smart Connector for easy attachment and charging of the iPad Pro. The iPad can be placed in portrait or landscape mode for use as a video player, work station or even a FaceTime video chat interface.
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 definitely 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.