Best MacBook Air Cases

Updated August 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

40 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
180 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best MacBook Air cases

Last Updated August 2019

If you’ve got a MacBook Air, chances are the portability played a part in your decision-making — and if you’re planning on taking yours with you anywhere, you’re going to need a case.

Because the overall design of the MacBook Air hasn’t changed much over the years, there are hundreds of cases available, ranging from ultra-rugged enclosures to svelte plastic covers (and everything in between).

Whether you’ll be taking your MacBook Air on your next mountain climb or to your next work meeting, having the right case for your lifestyle can be a game-changer. Here’s everything you need to know about cases for your MacBook Air: what features to look for, how to spot cheap knock-offs, and the cases that stand out from all the rest. 

If you know that you’ll be selling your MacBook Air in the future — and it’s not a bad idea, as Macs retain their resale value well — get a case that protects the shell and all the laptop’s smooth areas. If you keep your MacBook Air in good physical condition, you’ll be able to sell it for a lot more, so get a case that treats your laptop like the investment that it is.

Key considerations

The MacBook Air case market is pretty crowded, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options. Hone in on the right case faster by considering these three key questions.

  • Do you need basic protection or a rugged shell for your MacBook Air? If you need a case that’s going to put up with some abuse, you can rule out a lot of options and just focus on rugged cases. On the other hand, if you just need basic protection, you can save money and focus on more mainstream cases.
     
  • Do you need to carry any accessories or paper with your MacBook Air? Carrying your laptop around in a case is great — but what about everything you’ll need to carry with it? If you’re one of the many of us who carry around a small army of accessories, you’ll want to get a case that’s got pockets and compartments.
     
  • Will you be using your MacBook Air with the case on, or will you take it off first? Some people prefer “always-on” cases, which are designed to provide constant protection. Those cases tend to add some bulk, so others opt for cases that are meant for transport only. There’s no wrong answer here, but if you have an idea of which type works better for you, it’ll be easier to find the perfect one.

If you’re an Apple fanatic, consider getting a case that highlights the Apple logo on the back of your MacBook Air. Every MacBook Air has Apple’s iconic logo, and you don’t have to sacrifice showing it off if you get a case — you just need to find one that lets it shine through.

Features

As you’re comparing different MacBook Air cases, keep an eye out for these features.

Zipper enclosures: If you want to keep your MacBook Air safe from the elements (or the occasional spill), it helps to get a case with a zipper.
 

Designs: A lot of MacBook Air cases are functional but cosmetically boring. If you want yours to stand out, or if you simply want one that’s a little more stylish than the norm, keep an eye out for cases in different colors and patterns.

MacBook Air case prices

If you need a case that provides basic protection, expect to spend anywhere between $20 and $50. Most models in this range offer a good value and are appropriate for just about anyone. If you need a rugged case or one made from premium materials, it’ll cost a bit more.

MacBook Air cases between $50 and $100 cover the same bases that less-expensive models do, but they add in ultra-durable shells or genuine leather exteriors. Some cases in this price range have extra storage, getting into briefcase territory.

A few cases more expensive than $100 exist. However, most consumers can find everything they need for less than this price.

EXPERT TIP

If you get a case made from real leather, you’ll need to clean and treat it occasionally. Look for leather balm or leather cleaner, and make sure to give your case a once-over at least a few times a year.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • For even more protection, get a case that includes a rubber-coated keyboard cover. Some MacBook Air cases are actually two-part sets that include both a cover for the computer shell and a rubber cover that’s designed around the contours of the keyboard. Covering the keyboard can help make sure no dust or dirt gets inside your MacBook Air’s internal components.
  • Protect against theft by using a Bluetooth tracker or laptop lock. The MacBook Air is one of Apple’s lightest laptops, which means it’s both easy to misplace and easy to walk off with, so consider investing in some security. A Bluetooth tracker is great for finding your laptop using your smartphone, and a laptop lock can physically secure your MacBook Air to a table.
  • Make sure the case you buy gives you full access to your MacBook Air’s ports. One telltale sign of a knock-off case is that it will be hard to get to one or more of your ports. Don’t diminish your laptop’s capabilities! Make sure you can access every port, so you can connect peripherals and charge your MacBook Air.
CAUTION

If you’re buying a case with a hard shell, check reviews for images from users. In some cases, if a case is prone to shattering, users will post photos of their cracked or broken cases. If you see images like this, don’t buy that case — keep looking.

Other products we considered

If you’re looking for a case that’s a bit more professional, consider Inateck’s Case. It provides plenty of protection, includes storage, and it’s even water-repellent. But the killer feature is the handle. This is the case to get if you’re looking for a very thin, very light briefcase for your MacBook Air.

If you like to take your MacBook Air completely out of its case to use it, we recommend checking out the tomtoc Protection Sleeve. It’s got foam cushioning, corner guards, and even a pouch with multiple compartments, so you can carry around an accessory (or ten). Best of all, it’s just plain stylish — its classic simplicity is a perfect match for the MacBook Air.

If you’re a frequent traveler, you’re going to want to see Smatree’s Carry Case. It’s tiny, it’s elegant, and it’s got compartments designed specifically for your MacBook Air and its accessories. Whether you get it for its incredible utility or its unassuming luxury looks, you’re going to want to make it part of your next business trip.

MacBook Airs are durable, but they’re not that durable. To protect your investment, you may want to consider a case that’s got padding.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a regular MacBook case with my MacBook Air?
A.
It depends — but when it comes to Apple laptops, it’s important to get a case that’s explicitly listed as compatible with the model you own. For example, some cases are made to fit 15-inch and even 17-inch MacBooks, and getting an oversized case is usually a bad idea. Stick to cases that fit your MacBook Air, and you can’t go wrong.

Q. Some cases look like they snap on. Are those hard to remove?
A.
Some cases are made of durable plastic to give your MacBook Air an extra layer of protection, and they usually snap together in two pieces. You can remove them if you need to, but every time you do, you’ll need to stress the plastic a little, which can get problematic over time. If you’re considering getting a shell for your MacBook Air, plan on keeping it on for a while (or until you decide to replace it).

Q. What are the difference between MacBook Air cases and MacBook Air skins?
A.
Some people like to decorate the shell of their MacBook Air with custom-fit decals, better known as skins. Skins for the MacBook Air can be pretty cool because they’re tailor-made to wrap around every inch. That said, skins don’t offer any protection whatsoever — and they can be a pain to remove. Skins make great decorations for your MacBook Air, and many users buy skins in addition to cases.

Q. Is there a good time of year to buy MacBook Air cases? Should I wait for back-to-school sales?
A.
MacBook Air cases rarely go on sale — but they’re reasonably priced, so you never really have to wait to find a bargain.

The team that worked on this review
  • Jaime
    Jaime
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey