Updated March 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
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.Read more 
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best iPad cases

It doesn't matter if you are making a video, writing a screenplay, recording a hit song, or balancing the budget. You can accomplish virtually anything with an Apple iPad.

While iPads are powerful, flexible, and stylish tablets, there is one thing they do not excel at: durability. Just as you would not go out without a protective case on your iPhone or other smartphone, responsible tablet owners do not leave home without their tablet secured in an iPad case.

A quality iPad case is versatile, allowing you to comfortably work at a variety of angles. It is sturdy, allowing you to carry around accessories such as a keyboard or Apple pencil holder. Several core styles are available, so before making a purchase, it helps to get an overview of what’s available and to understand how to find an iPad case to fit your particular device.

iPad cases
iPad cases with an integrated stand are highly adjustable, so you can easily choose an angle that best fits your comfort level.

iPad case types

Folio

A folio case protects the iPad like the front cover of a book.

There are usually some straps to hold the iPad in place against the back side of the case. The front flap can be closed over the iPad or opened and tucked behind it.

Some folio cases have a zipper, strap, or magnetic closure so you can securely store the iPad when not in use. Pricier options may include the convenience of a tactile smart keyboard for precise ergonomic typing wherever you take your iPad.

Shell

Available in plastic, polycarbonate, polyurethane, silicone, and other rugged materials, a shell case goes over the back and around the sides of the iPad. It has a raised lip that helps to protect its screen against drops.

Combined with a screen protector to shield against direct impacts, a shell case is one of the best options available to protect your iPad.

It is common for these rugged cases to cover existing iPad buttons with integrated buttons of their own. Sometimes, these do not sit flush to the iPad’s original buttons. As a result, you may have to press a bit harder to get them to work.

Sleeve

These simple, soft cases protect your iPad and keep it from getting scratched inside your bag or backpack.

Sleeve cases generally do not offer much protection against falls. But, some iPad owners prefer the lightweight design and additional storage that comes with a sleeve.

iPad case features

Size and weight

When choosing an iPad case, the most important thing to consider is if it was made to fit your particular iPad.

Every iPad model is a slightly different size and shape. The most durable and feature-packed case is worthless to you if it does not fit your iPad.

Information about fit and compatibility should be clearly indicated in the product’s marketing material.

You should also pay attention to the case’s weight and bulkiness. The case should be sturdy and durable. It also needs to be slim and lightweight enough to fit easily inside a bag or purse.

Case manufacturers should provide information about case weight with other product information.

Material

iPad cases are produced in a variety of different materials. Some of the most popular materials are leather, plastic, and polyurethane.

  • Leather: These iPad cases are stylish and usually well-made. You should not have to worry about the case falling apart. Leather cases are usually expensive, and you may have fewer choices in terms of design or color. But,  for some people, the polished look and smooth feel of leather makes it worth the price.
  • Plastic: Plastic iPad cases are usually designed for heavy-duty protection. However, durability often depends on the case manufacturer. Thicker plastic cases stand up to a lot of abuse, but the sturdiest iPad cases are fairly pricey.
  • PolyurethanePolyurethane iPad cases are particularly popular. These cases are flexible and durable with superior drop protection. They come in a variety of colors and are easy to clean.

Optional iPad case features

Here are some other features to consider when choosing an Apple iPad case.

Not everyone will be interested in the extra functionality of a premium iPad case. But these convenient features place them above the competition as premium iPad cases.

iPad stand: Some cases come with a built-in stand. You can use it to prop up an iPad at a comfortable viewing angle. This is especially useful when you’re watching videos, web browsing, or typing. Most folio cases include a stand. However, cheaper options have a tendency to fall over if bumped.

Stylus holder: If you regularly use a stylus with your iPad, you’ll want to look for cases that have a built-in Apple Pencil holder. This will securely hold your stylus in place.

Built-in screen protector: Some cases feature a soft and smooth microfiber screen protector. This layer of microfiber shields the iPad screen. What’s more, it actively wipes away debris and smudges.

Carrying handle or strap: If you often travel with your iPad and don’t have a separate bag, look for a case that comes with a convenient carrying handle or strap.

Keyboard: The iPad’s touch keyboard can be a little cumbersome for some users. If you do a lot of typing on your iPad, think about getting a case that comes with a built-in keyboard.

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Did you know?
Some iPad cases will automatically put aniPad into sleep mode when the cover is closed.
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iPad case prices

iPad cases can range in price from around $12 to over $100.

Inexpensive

Basic folio cases under $20 can be found in a large variety of colors and patterns. For a little more, you can get a heavy-duty plastic shell case. These start at around $25.

Mid-range

The more stylish, sturdy, and feature-packed iPad cases are often worth the extra money. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to around $100 for one of these. The price depends on the manufacturer.

Expensive

If you plan to buy a high-tech Apple iPad with an integrated keyboard, plan on spending between $150 to over $350 for a quality case to protect your investment.

You should clean the interior of your iPad case periodically to prevent dirt and debris from building up inside.

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Tips

  • Consider your environment. If you have small children who may handle your iPad, it’s important to purchase a heavy-duty case that will easily withstand falls.
  • Think about the inside of a folio case as well as the outside. If you plan to buy a folio case, the inside should be made of a soft material that actively protects the iPad’s screen.
  • Plan for the kids’ entertainment ahead of time. If you will be using an iPad to entertain kids during car rides, consider a case that can be attached to the rear headrest of a car seat. Kids can then enjoy movies and TV shows at eye level.
iPad cases
Some iPad models share the exact shape and size, so you may be able to reuse your case if you upgrade to a compatible model.

FAQ

Q. Does my iPad need a case?

A. Whether you own an Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini, or iPad Pro, it is a good idea to keep your new iPad safe and secure in a case, especially if you plan to take it outside of your home or office.

Accidents happen, and if you accidentally scuff its metallic finish or scratch its slick Liquid Retina display, you will wish that you had invested in an iPad case.

Q. Will a case obscure the iPad camera?

A. No. If you purchase the right case size for your iPad, there will be a small cutout in the back for the rear-facing camera.

Q. Can I charge my iPad while the case is on?

A. If you purchased a quality iPad case, absolutely. A good iPad case features cutouts for every port on the tablet. You should have no problem accessing its USB-C port for charging.

 

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