Best Apple Watch Cases

I love wearing my Apple Watch sans case. It looks good and is easily identifiable as an Apple Watch, which makes me feel like I'm part of a special club. But, I'm no dummy. I always keep a case or shell nearby in case I want to go on a nature hike, or if I'm doing some house painting. I want to be able to continue wearing my Apple Watch without fear of ruining its beautiful stainless steel shine.

If you feel the same way, take a look at these protective cases for Apple Watch. You can wear one all of the time, or only take it out occasionally to keep your Watch protected from the elements.

Catalyst Waterproof Case

Catalyst Waterproof Case

Catalyst makes the ultimate waterproof cases for your gadgets and has paid special attention to creating the perfect waterproof case for the Apple Watch.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "But, I have the Apple Watch Series 2 or and it's already waterproof." It may be waterproof (ish), but with the Catalyst for Series 2, you can swim as deep as 100 meters under water!

It is, by far, the most comfortable watch case I've ever worn. Though it looks like a serious rugged covering for your Apple Watch, it's lightweight and incredibly flexible. The bands are connected with hinges instead of a one-piece mold. Though it makes the overall look of your Apple Watch slightly larger, it's not cumbersome at all. I've worn the Catalyst on my wrist for weeks at a time without feeling like it was too big or uncomfortable.

It's got a special touch-sensitive membrane on the backside, which allows for all of the important contact features, like bio-identification and heart rate monitoring.

You Apple Watch casing is screwed tightly into the waterproof case so that the screen itself is the only thing that is exposed to water.

The Digital Crown is usable thanks to a twistable button on the outside of the Catalyst case. It's a little sticky at first, but after a few turns, it loosens up. There is also a pressable Side button covering.

If you want to swim deep (up to 100 meters) with your Apple Watch, this is absolutely the case you want.

The Series 1 (and Series 0) Apple Watches are not waterproof. With the Catalyst case, you can jump right into the deep end. It is rated at 5ATM and you can go as deep as 50 meters underwater with it. It is available for the Series 1 42mm Apple Watch (sorry 38mm owners) in Stealth Black, Rescue Ranger (gray with a red rotating crown) and Green Pod (Light gray with a neon green rotating crown) for $59.99.

You can also get Catalyst for your Series 2 in 38mm and 42mm in Stealth Black, Alpine White, Deep Plum, for $59.99. They also have a glow-in-the-dark model (my personal favorite) for $69.99.

The Series 3 Catalyst Apple Watch case only comes in black, but it's specially designed to allow LTE functionality to work properly (even under water!). It's available now for $69.99.

See at Catalyst

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen Rugged Armor

Name the phone or accessory and, chances are, Spigen makes a case for it — and a great one at that. Things are no different with Spigen's Rugged Armor case for the Apple Watch, which is made from flexible TPU so it feels smooth and comfortable on your wrist.

Stephen Chan of Superphen went hands-on with the Rugged Armor and called attention to the fact that, even though it's thick, it still looks streamline on the Apple Watch.

"The case looks quite cool and nice with the Apple Watch to be honest despite adding thickness to the watch body. It is also very light but less bulky than expected.

It goes on easily and holds tight; you won't feel it wriggling around on your Apple Watch. A metal button covers your Apple Watch's Side Button but doesn't interfere with functionality, which means the scratchable surfaces are covered all the way around. The Digital Crown is left completely open and is entirely unhindered, thanks to the Rugged Armor's great fit. Though the screen is scratch resistant, Spigen has left nothing to chance, providing you with two screen protectors.

You can get it in black or white and it comes in 42mm and 38mm versions and costs around $14, depending on the style and color you choose.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro

"Rugged" and "SUPCASE" are synonymous, especially when we're talking about their Unicorn Beetle Pro series.

This case has an easy front cover snap-on design, which makes installation a breeze; you don't have to try and slide the straps through flexible silicone. It's made from hard polycarbonate on the outside — to withstand hard bumps and scratches — and soft TPU on the inside, so that it doesn't scratch up your Apple Watch.

All of the necessary buttons are available and the great fit doesn't hinder any sensors, so Activate on Wrist Raise works every time.

You also have the added benefit of a SUPCASE band. Yep, it's a case and a band! It changes the look and feel of your Apple Watch from delicate electronic device to rugged superhero equipment*.

I have the SUPCASE for the 38mm Apple Watch and love how it makes my arm look like The Borg. It's tough and rugged. There's no way my Apple Watch is going to be damaged when I'm rock climbing.

The SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro comes in black with a black, blue, gold, red, or white accent case. It costs $17.99.

*Note: SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro does not actually grant superpowers.

See at Amazon



i-Blason's pack of soft TPU cases is all about value. You get five in a pack and they're each a different color, including clear — for those who don't want to change the look of their Apple Watch too much.

The flexibility of these cases makes them shock-absorbent and quite comfortable. They leave the Side Button and Digital Crown totally open, so there's no worry of any type of interference. It's more of a protective shell than a full case.

My mom loves these cases. She actually changes them out almost every day to match whatever outfit she is wearing. She loves that they are cute, but also protect her Apple Watch from scrapes and scuffs. They are so inexpensive that you can have fun with the colors and mix-and-match them with your various colored Sport bands.

There are options for 42mm and 38mm Apple Watches. Both five-packs come with clear, pink, green, blue, and black. The 38mm pack costs about $9 while the 42mm pack costs about $12.

See at Amazon

Twelve South's ActionSleeve

Twelve South ActionSleeve

If you're a heavy lifter, contact sport enthusiast, or don't have a wrist to wear an Apple Watch on, you will be happy to see what Twelve South has to offer. The ActionSleeve is an armband fitted with a silicon outer frame to protect your watch's casing. It has an adjustable neoprene strap for a flexible, but snug fit. The armband is designed to allow you to keep your wrists free for contact sport activities, but will still monitor your heart rate (and maybe even more accurately) while you move.

If you've always wanted to be able to use your Apple Watch while punching a bag, lifting weights, or playing rugby but don't want it getting in the way, check out the ActionSleeve. It'll keep track of your fitness while staying away from your wrist.

The ActionSleeve comes in red or black and runs about $29.99.

See at Twelve South

Your thoughts?

Do you use a case with your Apple Watch? If so, which one and why does it work for you?

Updated January 2018: Updated with a hands-on description of the Catalyst Waterproof case.

Apple Watch