Best cases for iPhone

Best cases for iPhone

iMore's authoritative guide to the very best cases and covers for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4

Looking for a great case to protect your iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 investment? Because they're essentially the same form factor, and because that form factor has been on the market for almost 2 years now, there are a ton of options to choose from. But so much choice can be a good and bad thing. Which case is the best, and which case is the best for your specific needs?

That's where iMore comes in! Here's your authoritative guide to the top iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 cases, be they hard cases, soft cases, bumper cases, wallet cases, charging cases, eclectic cases, and more!

Whether you're new to the iPhone or just looking for a away to change up the old black and white base colors, check out the cases below. And as always, this is only the beginning. We'll be adding more categories and cases soon, so check back often!

Best Protective cases for iPhone

LifeProof case for iPhone

The LifeProof case for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 is simply amazing. It's waterproof, shockproof, and pretty much everything-you-can-imagine-proof. If your planet got destroyed by an angry red sun, the LifeProof case is what your scientist father would put his iPhone in to rocket it to the safety of earth. Yeah. It's like that.

$79.99 - Buy now

Otterbox Defender for iPhone

The Otterbox Defender is rugged in the rock-em-sock-em tradition, and promises protection from drops, bumps, dust, and shock. The screen is covered, the casing is covered, even the buttons and ports are covered. The silicone outer skin and the hard plastic shell are a one-two punch of protection, and notched inside its holster, it clips, it swivels, and it secures your iPhone to your belt yet lets you snap it off in an instant when needed.

$34.95 - Buy now

Best hard cases for iPhone

SGP Linear Blitz case for iPhone

The SGP Linear Blitz is simply one of the hottest iPhone cases I've ever seen. It's bulkier than ultra-light or feather cases, but offers more protection. The Apple logo cutout is simply amazing. If you don't mind trading a little extra size for incredible good looks, the SGP Linear Blitz Case is for you.

$31.95 - Buy now

Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone

I really like the look and feel of the Case-Mate Barely There Brushed Aluminum case for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. I've always been a fan of Case-Mate's Barely There line, and their metallic finishes, and this one is no exception. If you're looking for something that's stylish and sophisticated, give the Case-Mate a try.

$29.95 - Buy now

Best skin cases for iPhone

Otterbox Commuter

AD&D analogy time -- If skins are the chainmail of the case world and the Otterbox Defender (above) is the full plate armor, the Commuter is the in-between, plate-mail option. It's strong but still a but flexible, solid and secure but still snug and light.

$29.95 - Buy now

Best wallet cases for iPhone

Pad & Quill Little Luxury Book for iPhone

The Pad & Quill Little Luxury Book for iPhone takes high end, high quality accessories to the next level. If you're a fan of traditional, book-binding style iPhone cases, and you want the best, most premium finish possible, then you want this case.

$59.99 - Buy now

Twelve South BookBook case for iPhone

Twelve South BookBook for iPhone

The Twelve South BookBook case performs amazingly well. The stitching is perfect, the edging is clean, the surfaces smooth on the outside and soft on the inside. There is added bulk because of the leather and the cards but nothing over what a wallet by itself would require. (In other words, you might want to stay away from the skinny hipster jeans if you want to pocket this bad boy.)

$49.99 -- Buy now

Best bumper cases for iPhone

DracoDesign Draco IV for iPhone

The DracoDesign DRACO IV is one of the most gorgeous cases I've used on my iPhone. It has a beautiful, sculpted look and the finish of the Jewel Beatle in particular is just fantastic.

$79 - Buy now

Element-Case Vapor

The Element Case Vapor Pro is the Lamborghini Reventon of iPhone 4 cases -- cold carbon-colored aluminum chassis over space-aged, antenna insulation. And this year is works as good as it looks; on my review unit I didn't drop a bar in over a week of constant testing. Not one, not ever. So while it may still look like a hypercar, it performs even better.

$129+ - Buy now

Best alternative cases for iPhone

mophie juice pack plus

The mophie juice pack plus offers serious charging power for serious power users. If you're on the go, if your iPhone can't run down, won't run down -- if you need a case that can get you through twice the work and play, then here's your solution. It helps us make it through CES, Macworld, WWDC, you name it! It'll help you make it through your day too!

$99.95 - Buy now

Blujoos handcrafted Antique Steampunk Case for iPhone

The Antique model Steampunk Case for iPhone is one of a few handcrafted iPhone cases by Paul Marsh's Blujoos. Each model is a special edition, limited to 50 pieces, and designed to give your iPhone a unique look you just won't find anywhere else. A model and prop maker from the film industry with over 20 years and 25 films and TV series to his credit, Marsh is pouring every bit of that skill into these cases and it really shows. These aren't stickers -- these are actual 3D castings!

$64 - Buy now

White Diamond case for iPhone

White Diamonds makes iPhone cases with artistic prints embedded with Swarovski crystals. They have both patterned and artistic versions, including Angels Calling by Vince Fraser, a Rainbow collection by Livius Dietzel, and a Nafrotiti also by Vince Fraser. The crystals are well embedded, and the entire case is shiny and spectacular.

Variable - Buy now

Your favorite iPhone cases?

Did we miss any of your favorite iphone cases? If so, leave a comment! We'll be updating this post often, so your pick could be next!

Rene Ritchie and Leanna Lofte contributed to this article

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 34 comments. Add yours.

Zach7 says:

Need to show some love to the Speck Candyshell and igrip cases! They are phone savers!

MRF says:

Another vote for Speck's Candyshell particularly the satin versions.

Paul says:

Candyshell! Candyshell! Candyshell!
Specifically, the candyshell grip is what I'm using now.
The other day, somehow I accidentally threw my iPhone over my head probably about six feet in the air. It bounced off a steel oven vent, off the oven itself, then a couple times on the floor. 100% no damage, and I was REALLY worried.

Dr00b says:

I can vouch for the Otterbox Defender because that is what I rock. Although for my iPhone 5 I will be getting a Lifeproof case, love the smaller profile. The Defender though is awesome I spilled a cup of OJ 5 months ago on it and nada. I took the case off to get the juice out of all the grooves and such but my iPhone was dry as a bone. I've dropped it three or four times on various surfaces and again my iPhone when it's out of the case looks like the day I bought it. So I'm dying to try out the Lifeproof to see how well that one compares but I LOVE the look of it.

xultar says:

Y'all still using your SGP Glas.t? Screen protectors?

eric6052 says:

My wife uses the Otterbox Defender for her iPhone and really likes the protection, but doesn't love the bulk. We have 2 and 5 year old boys, she originally thought the Defender would be great for the inevitable drops from them playing with her phone. Turns out all 4 times the case has saved her iPhone occurred when she was using it. Either way it's a great case offering excellent protection for the money. The Lifeproof case seems great as well and I'm hoping they make an iPad version soon.

Baysic says:

Why can't you just show pictures instead of videos? I do not care to watch you interview the company's PR representative, just a picture or two would suffice.

Hainezee says:

Can't beat the Griffin Prophetik wallet case as far as I'm concerned!

N0M0reUsernames says:

georgia, look good in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You Kick Ass!

Quintus says:

I love the iFrogz Luxe Lean case for my iPhone 4S. Low profile, sleek looking and excellent protection.
http://www.ifrogz.com/product/IP4GLL

Quintus says:

I also love the "feel" of the case. Not slippery.

Mike t. says:

Ive had the griffin etch reveal on my iPhone 4 since the phone was launched. This case was one of the free cases offered by apple. It's held up perfectly, is super slim, and protect the glass from breakage if dropped. I have tried others and this is by far the best! (in my opinion.) also love the carbon fibre look on the back too!

Lisa says:

Love the incipio dual cases. It's interchangeable so I have many color combinations. It's not slippery at all and protects my phone

morgans13 says:

my favorite case so far is the incase hammered snap case. it look's and feels absolutely amazing. but besides that incase makes a lot of great cases.

Shawn81073 says:

Agreed. If no one has checked out Rokform yet you really, and I mean REALLY need to!!!

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thechoster0330 says:

My favorite case has to be the ego slide case.
It's a hard shell case, and you can mix and match the top and bottom colors.http://www.crelifestyle.com/pages/color-variation-sample.html

Desiree Sprake says:

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Shawn81073 says:

I posted with someone else about Rokform cases but I had to speak out about them. Their cases and products are second to none. I have beaten this case (not intentionally) just as hard as any Otter box and it has preformed as advertised. Plus it is not bulky, it is light, and most of all it is COOL!!!!!

Aghiad says:

Amazing Cases <3 ,,,,,,,,

majorhunadadun says:

Morning imore.com. I'm looking for a higher quality case that does the same thing as the Verizon case attached here.

http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-7293438-11365093?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.veriz...

Please note that this also stands up vertically which is the key for me. Thx!

ryangoldfire says:

www.AtelierPALL.com handcrafts unique leather cases and sleeves for iPhone.
Great protection plus a a nice look and feel, all hand stitched in a traditional leather workshop.

Kitty McKain says:

I got a great iPhone case @ www.applecases.net or you cant also try www.mobilegopro.com

Joao Cunha says:

these covers are quite beautiful, but i like to feel the cell phone in hand when I'm using it, so I bought one Kouros Torque last week..it arrived about three days later :).. it s really beautiful and fits perfectly with my phone :)

here she is.
http://www.kouroscases.com/pt/bolsa-iphone-5-torque

marzjones says:

Flex cases are my favorite. Need to find some with cool designs.

edwintech86 says:

i do like the phones with the covers but i am more of a person that likes to show my phone and case to my family and friends i work with alot of people in the filling department for virgina dare so i like to be one of a kind with cases since every one is into iphones i like to be unique check these cases out shipping was fast and the quality on the item is great. what do you guys think?

http://www.arizaimperial.com/

Danielle Patterson says:

Just found a great iphone 5 case on Amazon at a good price and has great reviews: http://amzn.to/1if7xCO - Got free shipping too.