Top 25 tough iPhone cases (photos)

If you're someone who puts a premium on protecting your iPhone, check out these ultraprotective iPhone cases. They will help your iPhone survive a fall without a scratch, let alone a broken screen.

David Carnoy
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
David Carnoy
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Artwizz AZ406ZZ SeeJacket Crystal

The Artwizz SeeJacket Crystal is a polycarbonate case that has a protective screen cover built in. Polycarbonate cases do scratch easily; however, its see-through effect makes your iPhone look good--and the case is relatively compact.

Price: $24
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Belkin Leather Flip Folio

Belkin makes several iPhone cases, but this one's probably the most protective because of the flip-cover design.

Price: $25

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3 of 25

Case-Mate Carbon Fiber Holster

If you're into holsters, this stylish Case-Mate model is one of the best available. We've seen it selling for much less than its list price of $89. In the Carbon Fiber case alone, your iPhone is fairly well protected. But you get that extra layer of protection when you slide your iPhone into the holster with the screen facing inward. (Available in other colors besides black).

Price: $30-$40
4 of 25

Case-Mate Barely There Hipster combo

Case-Mate's Barely There Hipster combo is a variation on the holster theme. When in the holster, your iPhone is completely protected. When out of the holster, the Barely There case gives you some protection, but not as much as Case-Mate's Carbon Fiber or Leather cases.(Various colors offered.)

Price: $30
5 of 25

Case-Mate Leather Holster combo

This model is the same as the Carbon Fiber version, but the leather is smooth. In some ways, we like the look of this model better--it also is available in other colors--but we found the Carbon Fiber version fit more snugly in its holster because of its rougher texture.

Price: $30-$40

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6 of 25 Griffin

Griffin Elan Form

The Griffin Elan Form comes in a few different versions, many of which have stylish leather backs. This is an attractive, highly protective case, but some buyers have noted that on certain models the leather has a tendency to peel away from the plastic shell over time.

Price: $19.99

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7 of 25

Idox Traveler Series

When open, the Idox Traveler series case turns into a stand for your iPhone. When closed, it completely covers the iPhone. Thankfully, it's available in other colors besides pink.

Price: $34.95
8 of 25

InCase Slider

Like some of Speck's cases, this InCase Slider has hard-shell exterior with interior rubber guardrails for shock absorption. Available in multiple colors, the Slider was supposed to ship with S-Stand that conveniently allowed you to prop up your iPhone for movie watching. But it appears that the case is not shipping with the S-stand in the online stores we checked.

Price: $30

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9 of 25 Incipio Technologies

Incipio Silicrylic

Incipio Silicrylic mixes Polycarbonate plastic with a shock absorbing silicone core. It's available in multiple colors.

Price: $24.95

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10 of 25 Inspiretech

Inspiretech Polycarbonate

Inspiretech's Polycarbonate is another case with a hard-shell exterior and rubber shock absorbers on the inside. One thing it has going for it is that it's pretty affordable--Amazon has it listed for $11 (without shipping fees).

Price: About $15.
11 of 25

iSkin Fuze

iSkin's Fuze is made of soft rubber on the inside and hard polycarbonate plastic on the outside. It also has an integrated protective film that iSkin says helps guard the screen from scratches, scrapes, and other everyday hazards. The case provides great protection; however, we had difficulty typing on the iPhone in landscape mode--(the bottom letters of the virtual keyboard didn't seem as responsive as they should be because of their proximity to the edge of the case. iSkin offers the Fuze in multiple colors.

Price: $25-$35

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12 of 25

iSkin Revo 2

The iSkin Revo 2 has a removable plastic cover that clips over the screen (you affix it to the back of the cover when using your iPhone). It offers really good protection--particularly for your screen--but the plastic shield can be a little cumbersome to deal with. Offered in multiple colors.

Price: $25-$35

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13 of 25

Ivyskin Quattro T2

The Ivyskin Quattro T2 offers a touch-through glass protective shield that sits on top of your iPhone screen. It's a nice, sleek case with good screen protection. However, it has a hole in the back that leaves the Apple logo exposed. Offered in multiple colors.

Price: $25-$35

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14 of 25

Ivyskin Quattro T4

Ivyskin's Quattro T4 is one of our favorite iPhone cases. It has a hard plastic exterior with a rubberized finish, and--most importantly--it comes with a touch-through glass screen that covers your iPhone's screen (no, it doesn't impact the touch sensitivity of your iPhone's screen). Offered in multiple colors.

Price: $40-$60 Check prices
15 of 25

Ivyskin Xylo T3

This case is very similar to the Artwizz SeeJacket Crystal. Like that model, the Xylo T3 is a polycarbonate case that has a protective screen cover built in. Polycarbonate cases do scratch easily when encountering objects like keys, but the see-through effect makes your iPhone look good--and the case is relatively compact. Offered in multiple colors.

Price: $30-$35

16 of 25

Oakley iPhone case

Oakley's thick rubber case is ruggedly designed, but your screen won't be totally protected from drops.

Price: $30
17 of 25 unknown

Otterbox Defender

The joke about the Otterbox Defender is that it looks like it's ready for a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. The truth is, it probably is. This is one of the top three most rugged cases available. It completely covers the iPhone, including its headphone jack and charging port; however, you can still access them. It covers the screen with a layer of thick transparent plastic. Note: Some people complain about bubbles between the iPhone's screen and the protective cover. The trim comes in different colors.

Price: $31

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18 of 25

Otterbox Impact

Not quite as rugged as the Defender, but the Impact is less bulky and can be found for less than $20. Available in different colors.

Price: $15-$25
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Pelican i1015

We can't recommend the Pelican i1015 case for everyday use because of its bulk, but it should appeal to hikers and backpackers who want a sealed case that's shock- and water-resistant. You can get it for a little over $20 online, though Amazon sells it for more.

Price: $20-$25
20 of 25 Speck

Speck Pixel Skin

Not as quite as thick as the Speck Toughskin (see next slide), the Pixel Skin offers decent protection and is eye-catching.

Price: About $18

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21 of 25

Speck Toughskin

Speck's Toughskin is another case that looks like it's ready for combat.

Price: $20-$25

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22 of 25

Sena Magnet Flipper

We like Sena's cases, which are made from Italian leather and look luxurious. Like all flip-style leather cases, the Magnet Flipper covers your iPhone's screen when shut--yes, a magnet keeps the case closed. It's available in a variety of colors.

Price: $50
23 of 25

Sena Dockable

The Sena Dockable is similar to its sibling, the Magnet Flipper, but as its name implies, the iPhone is dockable even when it's in the case. Available in various colors.

Price: $50

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24 of 25

SwitchEasy Rebel

SwitchEasy makes a few different durable cases with rugged-looking designs. Our pick for the roundup is the Rebel.

Price: $25
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Vaja Ivolution

Vaja makes several expensive, but very stylish, leather cases with costs that start about $80. Available in multiple designs.

Price: $80-$130

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