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
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.
Style and protection
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.
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.
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.
Feather light protection
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.
Luxury leather protection
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.
Heavy duty bargain
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.
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.
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.
With a kickstand
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.
Price and protection
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.
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.
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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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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.