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