With a high-end iPad Pro costing in excess of $1000, and even the most basic iPad model retailing at over $300, an Apple tablet is no small investment. Given those sorts of prices, protecting your new device with a case of some sort is vital for most people, especially when you’re on the move.
With hundreds of different options out there, the best iPad case for you depends on several factors including your travel needs, how you use your device, and any style preferences. A durable version is preferable if you take your tablet outside the house, whether on daily commutes or overseas adventures.
These are our current top picks for iPad cases worth buying in 2023, based on their level of protection, waterproofing, value for money, and any extras they include.
What to Look For in an iPad Case
There’s no single best iPad case for all people: the right option largely comes down to how and where your tablet is going to be used.
Where do you plan on taking it? Who else will use it? How much protection do you need? Do you need a separate keyboard? Will the whole family be using it, including young children?
If you only use your iPad case at home or work, you likely don’t need one that’s drop-proof to ten feet. You may not want a larger, bulkier waterproof model either. That said, if you’re prone to spills and fluke accidents, a durable case like this may be exactly what you’re after.
When choosing a case for long-term travel, consider its suitability for outdoor adventures and rough treatment, but don’t forget the extra size and weight that goes with it. If you’re looking for something kid-friendly, factors like drop protection become even more important than usual.
There’s a surprising amount to consider, which is why we’ve put together this guide to the best iPad cases for a range of different uses.
Best iPad Case Overall: Zugu Case
Zugu sells a few different models of attractive, well-designed iPad cases that offer protection, style, and several useful features you don’t always find elsewhere.
All of the cases are drop-proof to five feet, which is all you really need for primarily indoor use. If you do plan on taking your iPad on more of an adventure, though, you may want something a little more durable. If so, see our recommendations below for protective iPad cases and waterproof iPad cases.
Precise cutouts ensure that all ports remain accessible when the case is attached, and there’s even an indented pocket on the back that can hold and charge an Apple Pencil.
The case has eight different screen angles to choose from, via a magnetic kickstand that’s strong enough to attach your iPad to a fridge if that’s something you’d like to do. All four corners are protected, and a large lip sits out from the screen to help prevent it from hitting the ground in the event of a drop.
The company is so confident in that design that it offers to cover your out-of-pocket AppleCare+ costs if your iPad gets damaged in one of its cases. You need to have AppleCare+ already to take advantage of it, of course, but even so, we haven’t found another case company offering anything similar.
Despite its wide range of features, the case still remains lightweight, with a clean, professional look. It costs a little more than some of the basic models, but offers plenty for your money.
Cases are available on Amazon for most recent iPad models, including:
Best iPad Case for Protection: SupCase UB Pro
SupCase‘s well-priced iPad case focuses on durability, and includes useful safety features without being as bulky as some of the competition. It’s not the most attractive case we’ve ever seen, but what it lacks in style, it makes up for in protection.
The SupCase UB Pro is a multi-layered shock-resistant case, with a built-in screen protector that guards against scratches without reducing the sensitivity of the touchscreen.
The combination of a polycarbonate hard shell and flexible TPU lining helps protect against accidental bumps and drops, and it supports recent iPad features like wireless charging and the Apple Pencil’s magnetic attachment.
If your iPad is prone to jumping out of your hands or you plan to take it with you traveling, pick up this case to help keep your investment safe.
Available from Amazon for all recent models, including:
- iPad 9.7 (2017/2018)
- iPad 10.2 (2019-2021)
- iPad 10.9 (2022)
- iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)
- iPad Pro 11 (2020-2022)
- iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
- iPad Pro 12.9 (2017 - no screen protector)
- iPad Pro 12.9 (2020-2022)
- iPad Air 10.5 (2019)
- iPad Air 10.9
- iPad Mini 2 (2013) and Mini 3 (2014)
- iPad Mini 4 (2015) & Mini 5 (2019)
- iPad Mini 6 (2021)
Best Waterproof iPad Cases
Reliable waterproof iPad cases are tough to come by. Many cases have mixed reviews when it comes to actually keeping the water out, and most brands unfortunately only build a waterproof case for a few of the current iPad sizes.
Note too that despite the marketing material, no iPad case lets you keep your device submerged indefinitely or at great depths! Water-resistant? Yes. Truly waterproof? Not so much.
Best Budget Waterproof Case for iPad: Shellbox
The Shellbox is a good option if you’re on a budget and plan to use your iPad around water. It’s the best low-cost waterproof case for the iPad mini and a few other models, rated to at least IP68 for dust and water ingress. At a minimum, it should handle being submerged for up to an hour at 3.3 feet/1m.
One meter isn’t super deep, so we don’t recommend jumping in a pool or the ocean even with a case like this. The waterproofing is designed for unexpected accidents such as spills, pool splashes, or getting caught in the rain. Resist the urge to use your iPad for fish identification on your next snorkeling trip!
In addition to helping keep your iPad safe from water damage, the Shellbox can withstand a 6.6 foot/2m drop. Its built-in screen cover keeps the display safe from scratches without affecting the ability to type, slide, or scroll.
If you’re prone to these mishaps or have young children who will use the iPad, a waterproof case like this will definitely come in handy. If not, you’re likely better off choosing one of the SupCase or Zugu options (above) instead.
Available on Amazon for the following models:
- iPad 9.7 (2017/2018)
- iPad 10.2
- iPad Air 4 (2020) and iPad Air 5 (2022)
- iPad Pro 11 (2020-2022)
- iPad Mini 4 (2014) & Mini 5 (2019)
Best Waterproof Case for iPads: Catalyst
Catalyst has been in the waterproof case business a long time, and it shows. The company makes IP68-rated cases for all recent iPad models, including the iPad Pro. They’re waterproof up to 6.6 feet/2m, and drop-proof up to four feet, with a rubber bumper around the outside for shock protection.
Those protection specs are about as good as you’ll find, but despite the extra bulk of the case, your iPad’s speaker quality won’t be affected. You can’t charge the Apple pencil when your iPad is in the Catalyst case, but TouchID still works fine through the sensitive screen protector, and all of the ports remain accessible behind waterproof stoppers.
The cases are transparent front and back, and come with a removable stand for propping up as needed. Fast to take on and off, the cases have four lanyard attachment points so you can wear your tablet around your neck if you’re using it on the move.
A waterproof case is ideal for taking photos around a pool or at the beach, and Catalyst says you can use these for taking underwater shots as well. We’d still recommend not submerging your iPad in water for too long if you can avoid it, though, even with a high-end case like this. If you’re going to use it in the pool, staying above the surface is safer!
Instead, use the waterproofing to protect against accidents, let you safely use your expensive tablet at the beach or beside the pool, and help avoid the destruction toddlers and young children leave in their wake.
Available from Amazon for some recent models:
Best iPad Keyboard Case: Chesona
Chesona designed an iPad case that offers both protection and a keyboard for easier typing. The detachable Bluetooth keyboard has its own built-in rechargeable battery, so it doesn’t drain power from the tablet. The case also has a secure pencil slot for the Apple Pencil, and supports the pencil’s charging mode.
The Chesona keyboard case is adjustable for use in three different modes: typing, reading, and viewing. It’s made with thin artificial (polyurethane) leather, so if aesthetics matter to you, your iPad is protected without looking bulky or made of plastic.
You can travel with both the keyboard and the tablet inside the case at the same time, but you may want to place a microfiber cloth between them to ensure the keyboard doesn’t scratch your screen.
If you’ve got an iPad Pro specifically, and are looking for a slightly different sort of keyboard case, we have a range of other recommendations for that as well.
Available on Amazon for these models:
Best iPad Case for Kids: Gear4 Orlando
All of the cases we’ve mentioned above are designed primarily for adults, but if you’re like many parents, your kids are using your iPad at least as often as you are.
If that’s true for you as well, or the kids have got their own iPad that you’d prefer they didn’t break, take a look at Gear4’s Orlando cases. Designed specifically with children in mind, they use D3O technology to protect against drops of up to six feet. Falling from the table or sofa onto the floor shouldn’t pose a problem!
Available in a couple of fun colors, the outside of the cases are made from thick EVA foam that’s free from formaldehyde and other nasties, and have an anti-microbial coating to help keep bacteria at bay.
All of the buttons and ports remain easily accessible, and there’s a fancy carry handle on the back that makes the iPad easier for little hands to carry. The handle can also be used as a stand to prop the iPad up, or wrapped around a vehicle headrest so the kids can watch a show during a long drive.
It’s a smart design, that when coupled with the extra protection and attractive colors make the Orlando our top pick for an iPad case for kids. The only real downside is that at this stage it’s only available for recent 10.2″ iPad models: no word yet on availability for other versions.
Main image via Tyler Franta (man holding iPad in case), all product images via Amazon except Orlando case via Gear4
Zugu is misspelled in the article (should be Zugu, not Zugo).
Thanks Tim – not sure how that slipped through! Fixed now.