Best iPhone cases for people with kids in 2024

Child with iPod touch
Child with iPod touch (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

You bought an iPhone. Your kids want to play with it. Your iPhone is expensive. But you love your kids. They could drop and break it. But. You. Love. Your. Kids. Okay, so what's a parent to do? Protect your iPhone with an amazing case—one tough enough to withstand life with your kids. That's what!

Updated December 2016: These are still the best cases around for parents worried about their kids damaging an iPhone.

Tech Armor ballistic screen protector

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Replacing your iPhone's screen is expensive, so regardless of the case you choose, your screen should stay safe. Tech Armor's version is a well-reviewed favorite, and it has a lifetime warranty. A quality brand like this one won't hinder screen sensitivity, and you'll barely notice it.

An added bonus is that the screen comes with four-way privacy, so if your kids are playing a game on your iPhone, no one can leer over and see what they're doing. Come to think of it, your kids won't be able to peek over your shoulder to spy on what you're doing on your phone either, so that's a win in our books.

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Submariner by Kona iPhone case

The Submariner case stands out as a parental favorite for several reasons. First of all, it's waterproof, and that's everything from an accidental drop in the sink to a swim at the resort pool; plus, it floats. It's safe in up to 100 feet of water and lets you take pictures while frolicking in the waves. Submariner keeps out snow, dust, dirt, cake batter, you name it.

It comes with a five-year easy replacement guarantee and is available in two sizes to accommodate all iPhone generations. If you typically have a bulkier case on your phone, it's a good idea to remove it before putting your phone in the pouch. Pushing the integrity of the seams isn't advised if you're looking to keep your iPhone dry. Pouches may not be the case you plan to use everyday, but if you're going to be around water, it's an excellent insurance policy.

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OtterBox Defender Series iPhone case

Otterbox Defender

For an endless selection of color combinations that are also protective, try OtterBox. It does the job of warding off the bumps and drops that will happen around the house. A one-year warranty and reasonable price mean that you can afford to switch up your case or get a few so that all the iPhones in your household are safe.

The built-in screen protector will stop scratches from table edges, hardwood floors, or sippy cups. The case comes in two parts: a case and a holster/kickstand. The holster is great for clipping onto belts so your iPhone is always nearby, and using it as a kickstand means that you can put on a video or start a FaceTime call and prop up the phone, instead of handing the phone to the kiddos. If you do hand it to them, the case is thick enough for small hands to get a sturdy grip on.

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UAG Feather-Light iPhone case

When a case uses the word "military" to describe the kinds of testing it goes through, you know the manufacturer means business. UAG's Feather-Light case is military drop-tested onto concrete surfaces from a variety of heights, at a variety of angles. The case is soft where it needs to be – right around the screen – and tough along the back. The soft material surrounding the screen not only acts as a protective bumper but allows you to fit a tempered glass screen protector in there.

UAG has a loyal following, and that's not for nothing. Their prices are reasonable; the one-year warranty is appreciated, and their cases are rigid and strong without compromising on style. Just because you're kid-proofing your iPhone doesn't mean the case has to look like bubble gum and foam. It can look sleek and grown-up, and it can stay that way, no matter what your kids do to it.

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Lifeproof NUUD Series iPhone case

Life proof NUUD series case

The Lifeproof NUUD Series iPhone case is great if you need something to go from your carry or gym bag directly to a swimming play date. It looks great and keep moisture out without any switching or fussing.

The case is submersible up to 20 feet, so if your little one accidentally forgets to give the phone back before running into the shallow end, your iPhone will live to see another day. If they drop it, the case is shockproof and, let's be honest, you might drop it, too. The built-in screen protector is scratch-proof, so whether your iPhone screen bumps against plastic toys or small hands, it won't suffer. For that matter, neither will you.

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Spigen Tough Armor Tech iPhone case

The Spigen Tough Armor Tech iPhone is compatible with tempered glass screen protectors and comes in a wide variety of colors. Reviewers and fans of the brand rave about the look of the case and its durability. It can handle drops, bumps, tumbles, and a multitude of accidents, while keeping your iPhone sparkling-new.

The hard polycarbonate and flexible TPU are an ideal combination. Corner bumpers absorb the shock of a drop, and grips around the edges and the back make it easy for any hand to grab onto. A feature we wish every case had are the port caps, which cover the headphone jack and the charging plug-in. Not only will dirt and dust stay out, but the caps will prevent your kiddos from finding out what microscopic things fit into those little holes.

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The bottom line

You have some serious things to consider when your iPhone is going to be coveted by your kids. Think about how often you plan on letting them get their hands on it or how crafty they are when it comes to finding it (no matter how well you thought you hid it). How important is waterproofing? How do you want your case to look?

Our run-down includes cases that have been reviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of times. If you've found one that keeps your iPhone safe around your kids, name it in the comments below and tell us how it kept your iPhone in mint condition with the kids around.

Christine Lachance