When you're carrying a phone as large as the iPhone XS Max, you want to protect it without adding a lot of extra bulk. Plus, there's the gorgeous profile you don't want to obscure entirely. So a thin case is a compromise between bulk and protection. No, it won't be as protective as a bulkier case, but it's better than nothing. Think of it as scratch protection plus very, very light drop protection. Most of the cases on this list are 1mm or less in thickness. Here are some of the best thin cases for the iPhone XS Max.
This minimal case is just 0.02 in, which is roughly 0.5mm. This is an ultra-thin case, though it does have raised edges around the camera to protect it. Zero branding keeps the look sleek. If this is just too minimal, one color is thicker than the rest: Clear (Soft). It's made of different material, and while still very thin, it's probably about twice as thick as the other colors.
At 0.35mm, Peel is absolutely minimal. It comes in several colors, some of which are translucent or clear to allow the Apple logo to show through. It has no branding, and it does have a slight lip to protect the camera. I was charmed by the precision cut-outs, even down to a single pinhole for each speaker hole.
This is a basic thin TPU case, but not what I'd call an ultra-slim case. It's slightly frosted and comes either plain or with your choice of many different patterns on the back. The Silk Nudist has protective air-pocket corners. It's nice quality and a good buy if you're not looking for the extreme thin case.
At 2mm, this isn't the thinnest option on the list, but I wanted to explore some of the thinner leather options. For leather, this is quite a thin case. It's lined with microfiber, which is a nice touch.
One other leather option I wanted to mention is the Nodus Shell Case II. This is luxurious leather but still thin, much like the Case-Mate. It's hand-crafted from full-grain vegetable-tanned Italian leather; even the buttons are leather. It comes with a tiny magnetic dock so you can mount your phone anywhere.
Price and quality
Spigen is one of our favorite brands for its blend of price and quality. Its Thin Fit is just 0.3mm thick, which makes it an absolute minimal case. It also has a raised lip to protect the camera.
Thin and inexpensive
This case measures 1mm, so it's not the thinnest case on this list, but it's still pretty darn thin. It offers just a little more drop protection than the ultra-thin cases on this list. It's clear TPU, so your iPhone XS Max's looks are free to shine, though.
This slim, matte case is fingerprint resistant and designed to be easy to grip. While it's not among the very thinnest on this list, it still won't bulk up your phone. Choose from rose gold or black.
This is another clear, slim, soft TPU case that measures 1mm thick. It does have a raised lip around the camera and screen for a little extra protection. ESR's Slim case offers the option of some color around the edge.
If you want to add some fun color to your iPhone, this line of thin and vibrant cases from Cocomii offers a range of eye-popping designs. Slim, shiny, and protective, these stylish cases will set your iPhone apart from the rest.
Just a bumper
You can always just go for a bumper, which protects the vulnerable edges and the corners of your phone while leaving the back completely uncovered. This particular bumper is made from aluminum alloy and soft TPU.
Front and back glass protection
Just the opposite of the bumper idea, another way to minimally protect your iPhone is to get a front and back glass screen protector like this set. You get two thin (0.3mm) sheets of glass, one cut to cover the front, and one cut to cover the back. The edges and corners are not covered at all.
You can always trust iMore.
A thin case isn't terribly protective, but it's more protective than no case at all. My personal favorite and the one on my phone right now is the Totallee Case in the clear, soft version. It's not as thin as some cases on this list but does provide a little more peace of mind.
If you'd prefer no case at all, you can add a layer of protection with a set of Jingoobon glass protectors or a RANVOO bumper. While these won't protect the iPhone from significant drops, they can help prevent minor dents and scratches. Case or no case, there are many minimalist options to safeguard your iPhone XS Max on this list.
Master your iPhone in minutes
iMore offers spot-on advice and guidance from our team of experts, with decades of Apple device experience to lean on. Learn more with iMore!
Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.