Best Heavy Duty Cases for iPhone XR iMore 2020

If you have butterfingers like I do, or you work in an environment that can be hazardous to your phone, you might be looking for a heavy-duty case for your iPhone XR. Personally, I prefer not to take on the bulk of a heavy-duty case, but once I burn through my two AppleCare+ incidents, you can bet I'll be slapping on one of these babies daily.

Protective and grippy: Speck Presidio Grip

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.

From $13 at Amazon

Tough style: UAG Plasma Series

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.

From $20 at Amazon

The tank: OtterBox Defender

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.

$55 at Amazon

Bargain option: Coolden Hybrid Case

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

Ring holder: Sunnyw Heavy Duty Case

This case has a ring holder on the back that serves several purposes. First, it gives you extra grip on your phone, especially for taking selfies. Second, it acts as a kickstand for viewing video. Third, it's metal, so it's compatible with a magnetic car mount.

$8 at Amazon

Protective brand: Lifeproof SLAM

I love how Lifeproof words this: its SLAM case is "dedicated to the drop." These cases are mostly clear and designed to complement the fabulous new iPhone XR colors. This case is drop-tested to two meters, which is about 6.6 feet. You can't go wrong with any of Lifeproof's cases.

From $51 at Lifeproof

Stylish looks: Mous Limitless 2.0

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.

From $45 at Mous

Upscale brand: Sonix Clear Case

Sonix brand cases are carried at a high-end department store, but you can get a great deal on the plain clear case on Amazon. It even comes with a glass screen protector. If you want one of the colorful designs this brand is known for, you'll be paying more like the retail price, which is more than double. Still, it might be worth it to get such an attractive and protective case, which is military drop tested to 6.6 feet.

$18 on Amazon

Lux looks: X-Doria Defense Lux

This tough case was military tested and is certified to survive 10-foot drops onto concrete—the bubble pattern on the inside cushions your iPhone. A luxurious back panel adds a classy touch. It comes in several colors.

From $30 at Amazon

Price + Protection: Spigen Tough Armor

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 $16 at Amazon

Glittery protection: Case-Mate Protection Collection

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 $21 at Amazon

Gorgeous leather: Nomad Rugged iPhone Case

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

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

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 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.

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