Best Heavy Duty Cases for iPhone XS iMore 2022

If you tend to drop your iPhone, even occasionally, it's a good idea to keep a heavy-duty case on your iPhone. Generally, a thicker case is going to be the most protective, but there are thinner options that still have some excellent drop protection. Either way, if you want your phone to be a tank, here are some of the best heavy-duty cases you can buy.


Get a grip: Speck Presidio Grip

Staff Favorite

I love this case. It's not overly bulky but offers dual-layer protection, grippy traction stripes, and 10 feet of drop protection. The rubber stripes in each corner add a touch of flexibility to the case — just enough to make it easier than most heavy-duty cases to take on and off. The Presidio Grip comes in tons of colors and patterns.

From $19 at Amazon

Style and protection: Mous Limitless 2.0

This beauty proves that protection can be stylish. It's designed to be lightweight while still offering serious protection thanks to air pockets that absorb impact. You can see Mous testing their cases in action on their website. The cases have other thoughtful touches such as magnets so you can stick on a wallet pocket, tiny slots inside for a SIM card and tool, and a screen protector included with purchase.

$60 at Mous

The tank: Otterbox Defender Pro

The Otterbox Defender Pro is just a tank. It comes with a holster that can double as a kickstand for watching videos. It has a softer outer shell, a solid inner shell, and a little cushion inside that. There's a port cover over the lightning port to keep dust out when not in use.

From $22 at Amazon

Sleek protection: Otterbox Symmetry

If you love Otterbox cases but don't quite want the tank style, check out their Symmetry line. This case is far slimmer while still offering Otterbox's certified drop protection. This model comes in lots of stylish and fun colors and patterns.

From $21 at Amazon

Feather light protection: UAG Pathfinder

Urban Armor Gear (UAG) offers this lightweight, heavy-duty case. It may sound like a contradiction, but this is one tough case that just doesn't weigh a lot due to its honeycomb design. The Pathfinder has been drop tested to four feet according to military standards.

$25 at Amazon

Luxury leather protection: Nomad Rugged Case

This elegant leather case is slim but offers military drop-tested protection up to six feet. Nomad's Rugged Case has a high-grade polycarbonate body and a TPE bumper while showcasing vegetable-tanned Horween leather. If you're looking for a protective case that doesn't look heavy-duty, this is it.

$45 at Nomad

Heavy duty bargain: Trianium Protanium Series

You'd be hard-pressed to find a heavy-duty case cheaper than this. Trianium claims military-grade protection from this case with its hard backplate and shock-absorbing frame.

$8 at Amazon

Bonus feature: SAMONPOW Case

This heavy-duty case from SAMONPOW has a bonus: a sliding compartment that holds up to two cards. It has two layers of protection: a hard PC cover and an impact-resistant, shockproof soft rubber bumper. Choose from Black, Dark Blue, or Rose Gold.

$11 at Amazon

Slim protection: X-Doria Defense Ultra Series

X-Doria's Defense Ultra Series cases offer military drop-tested protection up to 12 feet. With its dual-layer design and reinforced corners, it's still one of the slimmer heavy duty cases you can buy. You can choose from three colors: Gray, Black, and Purple.

$21 at Amazon

With a kickstand: Zizo Static Series

Zizo's Static Series case offers military-grade, drop test-certified protection in a machine-style case with a kickstand for convenient video-watching. I keep expecting it to transform into a robot or something. It comes in a bunch of colors and has a circular cutout to let the Apple logo show through.

$14 at Amazon

Price and protection: Spigen Tough Armor

My son has an earlier version of this case on his iPhone 6s and won't buy any other brand. First, he can afford it, and second, he's a phone thrower. Despite my vehement suggestions to the contrary, he'll simply toss his iPhone onto the nearest surface when he's done with it. This case has kept his phone going for years. Oh, and it's military-grade certified and has a little kickstand for videos.

$16 at Amazon

Everything ultimate: Lifeproof Frē

Lifeproof is another brand that inspires brand loyalty. My daughter's fiancé won't buy any other. He had a phone-out-the-window incident where his Lifeproof case saved his iPhone. The Frē is the ultimate in protection — it's waterproof, drop-proof, snow proof, and dirt proof. It's got a built-in screen protector, and every port is sealed up so nothing can get in. It comes in five colors.

$91 at Lifeproof

In conclusion

Whether you're a phone dropper (or, ugh, a thrower) or you just need extra protection in certain situations, a good heavy duty case might be just the thing. Though I'm not a big heavy-duty case person myself, my personal favorite of the super protective cases is the Speck Presidio Grip for its relatively thin profile, grippiness, ease of removal, and an awesome array of color choices.

If budget is no issue, try the Lifeproof Frē. It's everything-proof - water, snow, drops, slam dunks, you name it! Of course, it does also come with a pretty significant price tag. No matter your budget or lifestyle, there's sure to be a heavy-duty case on this list that's perfect for your iPhone XS.

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