Looking to buy a tablet that can do it all? The iPad is one of the most versatile, feature-rich and high-quality options on the market — and the mini and Pro versions are two of our three top picks for tables. Ever since its debut in 2010, the iPad has offered a blend of productivity, reliability and sturdiness in a larger, yet perfectly portable package. Now, the iPad, iPad Pro and iPad mini mean more choices for buyers than before.
But an iPad is a fairly hefty investment. You get what you pay for, and though you're getting Apple quality with great screens, responsive touch screens and apps that you and the whole family will love, these are somewhat delicate pieces of tech that need additional protection. If you don't want to deal with scrapes and scratches, broken screens or smudges, a protective case is a necessity. Here are some of our top picks for the best iPad cases you can buy in 2021.
The Defender Series is Otterbox's sturdiest line. These cases offer an inner hard shell, soft outer cover and a built-in screen protector. It also features a versatile stand for hands-free use and Apple Pencil storage. Plus, it comes with an Otterbox lifetime warranty that offers quick and easy replacements.
- Features shock-absorbent material
- Versatile stand to change viewing angles and store Apple Pencil
- Built-in screen protector
- Lifetime warranty for simple replacements
- Limited design and color options
- Can be difficult to put on and remove
The Smart Cover comes in sizes to fit all iPad models, while offering thin, lightweight protection. It snaps onto your device to protect the screen, and can automatically wake your iPad when opened or put it to sleep when closed. Plus, it can be folded to be used as a stand.
- Simple to put on iPad
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Automatically wakes and puts iPad to sleep
- Folds to make a stand
- No back to device, will need separate protection
- Not a good option for younger users who need more rugged support
This minimalist case is ultra-thin, with a wrap-around TPE bumper that still offers reliable protection. It's soft to the touch, with raised edges and bumpers, with a protective microfiber lining.
- Leather construction with polymer finish
- Polycarbonate frame
- Microfiber lining
- Compatible with Apple Pencil
- Simple design with fewer features than other cases
- Lacks a stand to prop the case up for different viewing angles
This clean-looking case comes wrapped in Horween leather, designed to develop a patina that will become unique over time. It also combines a high-grade polycarbonate body with a raised TPE bumper for max protection. It comes in both black and brown options, and it's Apple Pencil compatible.
- Lightweight and sleek
- Supple leather that will form a patina over time
- Protective inner and outer materials
- Not compatible with iPad Pro 12.9 - 5th Gen
- No stand on case
Go beyond a simple case with this slim option, complete with keyboard. It pairs automatically with Smart Connector tech, eliminating the need for charging as well. Use four different ways with a flexible kickstand. On top of everything else, its shock-absorbent materials offer military-grade protection.
- Keyboard included
- No need to charge or sync keyboard
- Rugged case exterior
- Military-grade shock protection
- A bit pricier than most iPad cases
- No version available without keyboard
The incredibly slim case is packed with features: it's shockproof with proprietary qitech material, slimmer than a dime, fingerprint and scratch-resistant, and it looks great. Its antimicrobial surface helps ward away germ growth, and it supports Apple Pencil charging. Plus, it's crafted from sustainable materials with recyclable packaging.
- Great protection against drops
- Antimicrobial coating
- Fingerprint and scratch resistant
- Apple Pencil charging
- Not crafted from real leather
- No stand
This unique case is made with salvaged fishing gear, with a special sculpted wave pattern exterior. It features a DropProof rating of 1.2 meters and remains ultra-thin while still offering rugged protection against scratches, scuffs and drops. With each purchase, a dollar goes to Lifeproof's nonprofit partners.
- Sustainable materials
- Ultra thin
- DropProof rating of 1.2 meters
- Purchases help nonprofit partners
- No Apple Pencil support
- No alternate colors
- No stand
This tough case is unique in that it combines harder materials with a soft leather hand strap. Its rear rubber TPU and soft polycarbonate materials combine with the front screen protector to offer reliable durability. Plus, there's a metal kickstand you can use for different viewing angles.
- Rugged rubber TPU and soft polycarbonate mixture
- Leather hand strap
- Metal kickstand
- No Apple Pencil support
- No alternate colors
For kids with an iPad, a nice, rubbery option works best. This kid-friendly option is crafted from EVA flexible foam. It's lightweight, soft, and easy to grip for little hands. Plus, it comes with a flip-out stand. It's available in fun, whimsical colors little iPad users will love, too.
- Soft, flexible material
- Grippy for little hands
- Protective corners
- Comes in fun colors
- No antimicrobial coating
- Too garish for older users
This budget pick comes in a wide variety of colors and offers front and back protection. It also remains lightweight and slim when attached. The cover can also be used as a stand when folded up. It's not the most protective case, but it will stave away scratches and smudges.
- Multiple colors
- Front and back protection
- Cover doubles as kickstand
- Very affordable
- Weaker magnet on cover
- Not meant for heavy, rugged use
From AirTag cases to watch bands, this is everything you need to make the most of your Apple gear.