When you’ve paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a laptop, looking after it while you’re on the move just makes sense. Dedicated laptop bags and cases are the best options, but even a little extra protection goes a long way.
Laptop sleeves are the more stylish option, helping keep liquid out and prevent at least minor scratches and dings from damaging your expensive piece of equipment. It also helps keep it clean and dust-free as well, at least when not in use.
There’s a huge number of laptop sleeves on the market: on the upside, it means that there’s something for everyone. On the downside, it makes it much harder to know which one to choose, and what’s best for your particular requirements.
There aren’t a huge number of factors to consider when buying a laptop sleeve compared to most tech purchases, but there are still a few things to keep in mind. First, see what it’s made of: materials like leather are durable and look great, but can be more expensive than other options.
Next, consider the sleeve’s size. Measure your laptop (inside its hard shell if you use one) and compare it to the actual dimensions of the sleeve, not just the manufacturer’s description. You’re after a comfortable fit, not one that’s so tight that it’s hard to get the laptop in and out, or so big that the machine slides around inside.
Finally, think about the style of the sleeve. Some are designed to be used as standalone cases, while others are meant be stored inside other bags. Consider the amount of protection you’re looking for, and how much you care about the aesthetics.
With all that in mind, these are our picks for the best laptop sleeves that’ll help keep your laptop looking as good as new. Note that we’ve linked to the 13″ version of each sleeve to make comparisons easier, but other sizes are usually also available.
- External Dimensions: 12.6 x 9.1 x 1.1 inches
- Material: Cordura nylon
- Size Options: 13, 14, and 16-inch laptops
- Extras: front pocket
- External Dimensions: 13.3 x 10.5 inches
- Material: Nylon
- Size Options: 11, 13, 15, and 17-inch laptops
- Extras: dual fastening options
- External Dimensions: 13.6 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches
- Material: Neoprene
- Size Options: 12, 13, 15, and 16-inch laptops
- Extras: accessory case
- External Dimensions: 12.8 x 9.7 x 0.3 inches
- Material: Felt
- Size Options: 11 and 13-inch laptops
- Extras: accessory case
- External Dimensions: 15.7 x 10.9 x 0.4 inches
- Material: Leather
- Size Options: 13, 14, 15, and 16-inch laptops
- Extras: front pocket
- External Dimensions: 13.7 x 10 x 0.3 inches
- Material: Faux suede
- Size Options: 13-inch laptops
- Extras: fold-up stand
- External Dimensions: 14.3 x 10 x 1.6 inches
- Material: Faux suede
- Size Options: 13, 14, 15, and 16-inch laptops
- Extras: handles
Best Laptop Sleeve: tomtoc 360° Protective
Tomtoc is known for making high-quality, durable laptop sleeves, and its 360° Protective model is no exception. Thick padding, reinforcement in the corners, and the use of spill-resistant recycled Cordura nylon exterior help keep your machine well protected.
The double YKK zippers with soft handles are also a nice touch, making it easy to open and close the sleeve smoothly without damaging the laptop. We always like to see manufacturers using quality zips like this: they last longer and are noticeably more reliable in daily use.
The sleeve comes with a front pocket that’s ideal for holding small items like your phone, charger, and cords. There’s even space for the smaller models of iPad, and since the pocket has a soft fabric lining, you don’t need to worry so much about your devices getting scratched.
On the inside, Tomtoc uses a plush, fleecy material to help cushion your laptop in the event of a drop and stop sharp objects from getting through the scratching the lid or base.
All in all, this is a high-quality laptop sleeve that provides more protection than most at a reasonable price, and looks good doing it. The only thing worth noting is that although the sleeve comes in a few different sizes, the largest is intended for a 16″ MacBook Pro. Owners of most 17-inch laptops will need to go for something else.Buy on Amazon
Best Water-Resistant Laptop Sleeve: Aqua Quest Storm
If you live in the tropics or anywhere else that can get a lot of rain, a good water-resistant laptop sleeve is a very sensible investment. The Aqua Quest Storm Laptop Sleeve is our pick here, with heavy-duty construction despite the minimal weight, and proper water resistance throughout.
The sleeve is made from ripstop nylon that’s been treated with a water-resistant coating, protecting against anything from coffee spills to monsoon rains. The company stands behind it as well: there’s a lifetime warranty available.
Unusually, you’ve got the choice of two different types of closure: the double ziplock option keeps water out even if the sleeve gets submerged, while the Velcro fastening provides faster access in daily use.
The sleeve is pretty utilitarian in terms of design. It’s fairly slim and easy to carry thanks to the top handle, but even though it comes in a range of colors, it’s not what you’d call particularly attractive or stylish. If looks are especially important to you, you may need to consider an alternative.
Note that the sizing can be a bit confusing: the 13-inch sleeve can accommodate most 15″ laptops, and likewise the 15, and 17-inch sleeves can handle larger machines than what you might expect. If in doubt, go for a size smaller than you think you need.Buy on Amazon
Best Value Laptop Sleeve: MOSISO Neoprene Laptop Sleeve
While premium laptop sleeves typically offer extra features and protection, they also tend to be quite expensive. If you’re on more of a budget and looking for something that strikes a good balance between price and quality, the MOSISO Neoprene Laptop Sleeve is the way to go.
With durable zips and made from water-resistant neoprene material, it’s resistant to mild knocks and bumps and does a good job of protecting your laptop from the elements.
Design-wise, the sleeve is pretty straightforward. The plain exterior comes in a wide range of colors, but none are particularly bright or garish: you’re unlikely to attract attention with any of them. The fleece-lined interior helps protect your laptop from scratches, and the sleeve comes with a color-matched small bag for storing accessories like a power cord or mouse.
While the MOSISO doesn’t have the advanced features of some of the other sleeves on this list, it’s a good option for anyone looking for a useful amount of protection for their laptop at a reasonable price.
The only real downside is a cosmetic one: the fabric is prone to water marks and strains if you don’t dry off any liquid spills immediately.Buy on Amazon
Best Felt Laptop Sleeve: ProCase 13-Inch Felt Storage Bag
Felt may not be the first material you think of when it comes to laptop sleeves, but it’s not a bad option. Soft and stylish, it’s durable and resistant to both dirt and dust, making it ideal for travelers who want a premium-looking sleeve that still offers a degree of protection.
One of the best felt sleeves on the market, this ProCase model is made from high-quality felt material that’s soft to the touch but offers moderate protection. The interior is lined with soft microfiber to help avoid scuffs and scratches.
The ProCase has a sleek and minimalistic design, with a professional look that’s perfect for the office or classroom. The top flap is secured by an elastic cord that fits over a large button: a stylish yet effective approach that helps stop your laptop from bouncing around inside the sleeve.
Like many other sleeves, the inner lining of the ProCase is made from a soft microfiber material that protects against scratches and scuffs. It also comes with a small accessory pouch that’s good for storing cords and other small items, but is too compact to fit much else.
There isn’t a lot of extra room in the sleeve, meaning that you may struggle to fit your laptop in if you’re using a hardshell case or it’s a bit thicker than usual. For everyone else, however, this ProCase sleeve is an attractive way of giving your machine a bit of extra protection.Buy on Amazon
Best Leather Laptop Sleeve: NATIVE UNION Stow Slim
If you want to make a fashion statement with your laptop sleeve, you can’t go wrong with leather. The material’s durability and look make it an excellent option for both protection and style, and really stands out in a sea of artificial fabrics.
Native Union’s Stow Slim snugly fits 13″ MacBooks and other laptops of a similar size, with a minimalistic, slim-fit design. The sleeve’s unique color choices set it apart from other leather options: rather than traditional brown, the Stow Slim comes in three attractive shades: indigo, slate, and sage.
A magnetic closure ensures easy access to your laptop while still keeping the lid firmly closed when in transit. The external pocket provides quick access to essential items like your charger or headphones, and the interior of both sections is lined with a soft quilt to offer protection against bumps.
This laptop sleeve is one of the more expensive options on our list, but given the high-quality construction and stylish design, we think it’s worth the investment.Buy on Amazon
Best Multi-Function Laptop Sleeve: KALIDI Sleeve Case
The faux-suede material of the KALIDI Sleeve Case is quite distinctive, the soft feel and muted pastel tones lending a touch of class. It comes in over 30 different colors, so it’s not hard to find one that matches your style.
While the marketing material for this laptop sleeve is targeted at women, we’d suggest it’s a good option for anyone looking for an understated yet attractive way of providing their laptop with a little extra protection.
The slim profile of the KALIDI makes it easy to carry, with a water and scratch-resistant surface that’s durable and easy to clean. Inside, a velvety lining provides a little extra friction that keeps your laptop from accidentally slipping out.
An attractive pouch is also included, perfect for storing accessories like cords and mice, or any small bits and pieces that you want to have with you on the move.
We liked the multi-purpose nature of this sleeve: with a bit of simple origami, you can fold the top flap to lift the back of your laptop up by an inch or two. This helps with cooling, and also lifts the keyboard into a slightly better position for typing.
On the downside, the slim nature of this sleeve means it’s not really appropriate for bulkier laptops, or those that have a hard shell case installed.Buy on Amazon
Best Briefcase-Style Laptop Sleeve: Inateck Shockproof
While you can carry most laptops around one-handed when they’re inside their sleeves, it’s not always easy to do so. That’s not the case with the Inateck Shockproof, a simple briefcase-style laptop sleeve with an inbuilt set of handles.
This laptop sleeve is made of durable polyester fabric that can withstand the rigors of daily use, and while the water-resistant exterior is fairly plain, it’s not unattractive. Having the zipper on one of the short sides helps prevent the laptop from accidentally slipping out during transit.
Inside, a soft flannelette lining protects the computer from scratches, while the five protective layers make this laptop sleeve one of the better options for keeping your laptop safe from bumps and knocks.
The sleeve has more room inside than many, but on the downside, this does make it bulkier and more cumbersome to carry than some of the other options we’ve talked about. The sleeve also looks and feels a bit lopsided when there’s a charger in the side pocket, taking away from the overall design.Buy on Amazon
Main image via Rachata Teyparsit/Shutterstock.com, product images via Amazon