Best Heavy Duty Cases for iPhone XR iMore 2021

If you have butterfingers like I do or work in an environment that can be hazardous to your phone, you might be looking for an iPhone XR heavy-duty case. Personally, I prefer a regular iPhone XR case over the bulk of a rugged case. But once I burn through my two AppleCare+ incidents, you can bet I'll be slapping on an iPhone XR heavy-duty case daily.

Protective and grippy: Speck Presidio Grip for iPhone XR

Staff Favorite

I particularly like this Starlit Purple with Gold Glitter/Cattleya Pink case, but it does come in other more sedate colors as well. Speck's cases offer serious (10-foot drop) protection without a ton of bulk. The Grip series has the non-slip grippy strips embedded in the case to prevent drops in the first place. This is a great thinner option.

Tough style: UAG Plasma Series for iPhone XR

This tough case meets military drop-test standards from up to four feet. The look is masculine and cool, and yet the case weighs surprisingly little. The case doesn't get in the way of any of the phone's functionality. My husband has this case, loves it, and won't use any other.

The tank: OtterBox Defender Series Pro Case for iPhone XR

This is the tank-type case that comes to mind when you say heavy-duty. It comes in a variety of color combinations. Though this particular model doesn't come with a built-in screen protector, you can still use a separate glass screen protector. It is far superior in touchscreen functionality anyway. The OtterBox Defender comes with a belt holster that doubles as a kickstand for video viewing.

Bargain option: Coolden Hybrid Case for iPhone XR

This bargain case lets you see your gorgeous phone right through it. Two layers, including hard PC and soft TPU, offer plenty of protection. Choose from several colors and patterns.

From $9 at Amazon

Stylish looks: Mous Limitless 2.0 for iPhone XR

Mous is an exciting new company funded on Indiegogo to produce highly protective yet sleek cases. The cases are crafted from a high impact material, AiroShock™, which "contains tiny air pockets and cross-linking polymer chains that work like springs." The Walnut case is shown here, but Mous Limitless 2.0 cases come in several other fun materials such as shell, leather, and bamboo.

Upscale brand: Sonix Case for iPhone XR

Sonix brand cases are carried at a high-end department store, but you can get a great deal at Amazon. It even comes with a glass screen protector. The price varies quite a bit, depending on the design you choose. This is both an attractive and a protective case; it's military drop tested to 6.6 feet.

From $10 on Amazon

Price + Protection: Spigen Tough Armor for iPhone XR

My son bought an earlier model of this case for his first iPhone, and he won't buy any other. Considering that his phone survived his rough-and-tumble teen years, I get that. He also has a limited budget, and Spigen's cases won't break the bank. This case is military drop tested and has a flip-out kickstand for video viewing. Choose from several colorways.

From $17 at Amazon

Glittery protection: Case-Mate Protection Collection for iPhone XR

Who says serious protection has to look so serious? This glittery number is a two-piece case that offers 12-foot drop protection. The glitter is embedded, so you don't have to worry about shedding. Choose from Crystal Clear as shown or Crystal Blush for a hint of pink.

From $10 at Amazon

Gorgeous leather: Nomad Rugged iPhone Case for iPhone XR

Heavy-duty doesn't have to mean utilitarian. This sumptuous American Horween Leather and polycarbonate case offers more than stunning good looks. It also gives you six-foot drop protection.

$50 at Nomad

Full-featured: Smartish Folio Wallet iPhone Case for iPhone XR

Leave the wallet at home and carry all of your essentials in the Smartish Folio Wallet case. It holds up to four cards plus cash, and it doubles as a kickstand for watching videos. It wraps up securely with the elastic band. My daughter had this on a previous phone and loved it so much that she re-purchased it for her XR. Choose from two colors: Rosé All Day, as shown, or Black Tie Affair.

$15 at Amazon

Trendy: Velvet Caviar iPhone Case for iPhone XR

Who says heavy-duty has to be boring? Velvet Caviar offers tons of Instagram-worthy styles, from holographic marble to animal prints. Stay on-trend while protecting your iPhone from drops of up to 8 feet. You can even get a matching grip ring for extra security.

$30 at Amazon

Which one should you buy?

Regardless of your case budget, there is a protective case on this list for everyone. When I'm going to be in a situation where I know a drop might be more likely, such as on vacation where I'm taking my phone out of my pocket frequently for photo opportunities, I'm most likely to put a Speck Presidio Grip on my iPhone. I prefer a slimmer design, and this one is fairly slim while still offering some serious protection. It doesn't hurt that it comes in such attractive colors. For me, this is a step up in protection from my usual slim cases.

If protection matters above all else, I'd go for the OtterBox Defender. It's almost like putting two cases on your phone, a hard inner shell for solid protection and a softer outer shell for a bit of give in case of drops. The holster is removable, so you can use it or not. Thank goodness this model doesn't come with the built-in screen protector; those interfere with touchscreens in my experience. Since this case is screenless, you can use any iPhone XR screen protector you like, one that doesn't decrease the functionality of your phone. Price-wise it sits about in the middle, but what you're paying for isn't style or looks; it's heavy-duty protection.

Looking for a different sort of case altogether? We've got you covered with the best cases for iPhone XR.

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