The new Apple iPhone 12 is a gorgeous smartphone. So, you’ll want to keep it that way, with a decent case—read on for a round-up of the very best Apple iPhone 12 cases you can buy right now.
When it comes to phone cases, what’s your favorite style? Folio? Sleeve? Back protector? Or something so slim and smooth you think there’s nothing there at all. Do you like something bright and solid, or something light but strong and ultra-protective? How hard are they to slide on and off if you fancy a change? Do they protect the display as well as the back? How sumptuous do they feel in your hand and how much do they weigh your new iPhone down? Whatever kind of case you prefer, you’ll find them all here. I’ve been testing iPhone cases for looks, fit, effectiveness and design appeal.
Also, there’s a new element to cases this year: MagSafe. The name may be familiar from the cool way power cables connected to previous Mac laptops, but it’s now revived as a wireless charging pad. If you’ve ever used a wireless charging pad you’ll know that if you put the phone down in the wrong place last thing at night, you’ll wake to find the phone didn’t charge. MagSafe clamps the iPhone in place magnetically so that danger is gone. But MagSafe has other benefits, too: it tells your iPhone what you’re connecting to it and it holds a case in place magnetically, so it’s much easier to slip the case on and off.
I’ve been testing iPhone cases for looks, fit, effectiveness and design appeal. Happily, the iPhone 12 is the identical size to the iPhone 12 Pro, so cases for the 12 Pro fit the 12 and vice versa, and any one of the below cases would work for either phone.
Best Cases For Extra Protection
The iPhone 12 is amazingly good value, but it’s still not a cheap purchase. So, you’ll want to protect it. Even though the arrival of Ceramic Shield which means the front glass is intensely more durable and resistant to being dropped, you may feel it’s not worth taking any chances. Here are the very best cases offering extra protection (and, therefore, extra peace of mind).
Casetify Ultra Impact
Casetify makes a huge range of cases and the Ultra Impact are its toughest. The clear case has big corner buffers to work as super-strong shock absorbers. Despite that, it is lightweight and not too bulky. Casetify excels at customization and you can choose the color of the case, and then customize it further with a message of up to eight characters. The text for this comes in six different styles, four different layouts and 17 text colors. Can’t decide? Go for rainbow, where each letter is a different shade.
Gear4 Wembley Palette
Choose from discreet Navy, translucent Smoke or bold-as-you-like Saffron Yellow in the Gear4 case. It’s a solid fit on the back, but while the sides are thin and light, the top and bottom edges, plus the corners, are lined with a brilliant impact protector called D3O. D3O is a remarkable material. It’s what’s known as a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning that it behaves in an unusual way. On impact, this soft, pliable material becomes hard in an instant, dissipating the energy of the impact harmlessly.
Mous Limitless 3.0
If you Google Mous cases you can find all kinds of extreme testing videos, including inviting people queuing at Apple Stores to throw a brand new iPhone 20 feet in the air so it crashes on the sidewalk. Spoiler: the iPhone survives without a single blemish.
The Mous case has subtly raised edges which protect the screen and a special material called AiroShock which acts as a highly efficient shock absorber. The Limitless range is comfy in the hand and comes in three finishes—Aramid Fibre, Speckled Fabric or Walnut. There’s a neat extra storage slot inside which holds your SIM ejector tool, the one that you use on the first day of a new phone and promptly lose, and also for two SIM cards.
The iPhone 12 comes in five different colors including a barnstorming PRODUCT(RED) and highly appealing blue. So, you may not want to hide your chosen hue. Well, the good thing is you don’t need to sacrifice protectiveness in that case. The Mous Clarity has every bit as much protection but an entirely clear back so you can see your iPhone through it. The clear plastic has an anti-yellowing quality and is scratch-resistant so it doesn’t look damaged. The AiroShock protective material is mostly housed in the gloss-black frame of the case.
To my mind, this is the best case in the Mous range and looks just great. It feels good, too, being both pleasingly shiny but not slippy.
Pipetto Origami Snap Case
Pipetto’s excellent range includes these Origami cases where the back folds in different directions. So you can prop up the phone for FaceTime calls or sit the phone on its side for watching a video—and it’s even suitable for standing it at a useful angle on a soft surface like the bed. It’s also good for shock protection thanks to a solid bumper all the way round. At a time when cleanliness is extra important, this case is made from anti-microbial and anti-bacterial materials. The front of the case sits just in front of the display for extra protection. Choose from dark blue, black or dusty pink colorways.
Best Apple Cases
You’re buying an Apple phone, so you may want an Apple case. The cases for the iPhone 12 are all MagSafe-compatible, so they work perfectly with the iPhone 12, ensuring that putting them on and off is superbly easy to do. What’s more, there’s a cute extra: the iPhone can recognize what color case you’re putting on and as you do so, the lock screen flashes that color. It’s a surprisingly intimate feeling. And Apple has more cases up its sleeve, so I’ll add those to this post when they’re available.
Apple Silicone Case With MagSafe
The Silicone case is a staple in Apple’s own-brand range and the latest model has a decent amount of grip to it, so it won’t slide out of your hand easily. There are eight colors to choose from, including black or white if you really want to play it safe. But there are more sultry options like an eye-catching kumquat, and retina-searingly bright pink citrus. There’s a punchy PRODUCT(RED), elegant plum, subtle cyprus green and demure navy blue. Many of these colors are also available as Apple Watch straps, in case you want to match your phone and timepiece. And all are well-made and a perfect fit, of course.
Apple Clear Case With MagSafe
Want to show off the color of your iPhone 12? No problem. Apple’s clear case feels great in the hand and is completely see-through. Well, except for the ring of magnets which connect to the MagSafe charger. These sit in a ring that perfectly frames the Apple logo. There’s also a small NFC area which tells the iPhone what case you’re using and this sits underneath, like the handle to a magnifying glass. Although not as grippy in the hand as the silicone cases, it’s certainly not overly slippy.
Apple Leather Case with MagSafe
Another great Apple option, the leather case has the same sleek design and built-in MagSafe as the silicone, only in a tanned leather finish. Available in Baltic Blue, California Poppy (yellow), Saddle Brown, Black and PRODUCT(RED), expect a lovely patina over time.
Best Thin Cases
Peel Super Thin Case
Peel’s cases are astonishingly thin, just a fraction of a millimeter thick. When they’re wrapped around the iPhone 12, it’s like you haven’t got a case on at all, so tightly do they fit and so good do they feel. As such, it’s worth pairing this case with a screen protector. The cases are logo-free so they have a pure look to them and some are translucent so the Apple logo shines through.
You can choose between matte or glossy finishes. There are 10 different colors—the Jet Black finish, which resembles the Jet Black iPhone Apple came up with a few years ago, is particularly pleasing. The iPhone 12 is smaller than the iPhone 11 already but if you want a case that takes up the least space possible, Peel is it. See below for a brilliant transparent case from Peel, too.
Best Transparent Cases
Moshi’s products are consistently high-quality and appealing. The Vitros case is designed to be crystal-clear from the start and to stay that way: there is tech built in to prevent watermarks and UV yellowing. But what makes this case stand out is the feel. It is soft to the touch and flexible, with enough grippiness to ensure it won’t slide from your hand, and with a tactile finish that’s pleasing to the touch.
There are raised ridges to protect the iPhone 12’s cameras and the covering of the display is just 0.8mm above the iPhone’s screen. Moshi is also shortly to release a UV sanitizer for phones and other objects.
Casetify Glitter Case
If you want a transparent case, but fancy something rather eye-catching, then this Glitter case may suit. Yes, that’s actual glitter which as you move the case moves up and down. This color is called Monochrome Silver, but a pink-tinged Unicorn Pastel is also available. As with other Casetify items, you can customize it with lettering in different styles and colors. The trademark Casetify logo around the camera panel makes it clear which brand you’ve gone for.
Otterbox Symmetry Clear
The Symmetry comes in several colors, including Black, Stardust Glitter (no, seriously) and Earl Grey. This one is entirely clear, but still offers strong protection and has raised edges to keep the display and camera panel clear of impact if it falls. Even so, it’s a reasonably thin profile and fits tightly to the phone.
The button covers are big and highly tactile and the overall effect is very appealing. If you like Pop Sockets, there’s also a version with a built-in dip where one will fit.
Lifeproof Nëxt Case
Clad your iPhone in this classy, effective case which comes in three different versions of clear: Black Crystal, Napa and this purplish Clear Lake. The case has a two-piece design that in each color reveals the iPhone clearly, but the edge is colored and opaque. Thin and light, it protects the phone from drops of six feet, with extra protection for the speakers, microphones and ports. Lifeproof cases are consistently well-built and durable.
Gear4 Piccadilly Case
You can drop your phone from a height of 10 feet if it’s wearing a Gear4 case which uses D3O as a shock absorber. Gear4’s skill is to put this material even into clear cases like this by building the edges with D3O and coloring it in one of three shades, black, blue and rose gold. D3O is also used in lots of other protective products such as knee pads, gloves and motorcycle gear, which is a mark of just how effective it is. It also has RepelFlex, an antimicrobial agent coating the case, which protects against bacteria by preventing them from growing.
Peel Clear Soft Case
This is a variant of the Peel case above, and although it’s still thin, it’s not quite as super-duper-thin as the other models (though the price is the same). While many of Peel’s cases are translucent, this is completely see-through and has a different feel. It’s made of a softer TPU material than Peel’s other offerings and unlike those, here the device buttons are covered with pleasantly clickable outer coverings. Despite the extra thickness, it’s still only a fraction of a millimeter, and it still feels almost like not having a case on your iPhone.
Best Luxury Cases
Lucrin Classic Case
When it comes to premium cases, one brand leaps out: Lucrin. Not just because they are exceptionally well-made and look and feel sumptuous, but because the range is extraordinary. Would you like a sleeve that you can slide the phone out of? Or one with a pull tab or gap at the base or top corner to make that removal process even quicker? How about a sleeve that connects the other way round and attaches to your belt? Or a folio? Lucrin has them all.
And I haven’t even told you about the colors. There are so many shades, leather finishes or exotic extras that the choice is amazing. The price is for the regular leather finish but you can upgrade to vegetable tanned leather for an extra $20, or to ostrich leather, though this costs $220 more. Lucrin’s range is dizzyingly wide, but uniformly great.
Nudient Case V3
It’s not as thin as the Peel, but the Nudient is thinner than most of the competition and has a real strength and solidity to it. There are tiny cut-outs at the base of the Nudient, which are there to make it easier to slip the case on and off but still hold it tightly inside. The latest version has a soft material inside to keep the iPhone looking pristine. The rubberized finish is velvet-soft to the touch but has enough grip to ensure it won’t slip out of your hands easily. Colors are a strong point here, with seven delicious shades including a buzzy Saffron Yellow and understated Clay Beige.
Best Folio Cases
Ted Baker DIANOE Mirror Case
This is a fetching case from fashion label Ted Baker, that has an extra feature. Open the folio cover and inside you’ll find not a slot for notes and cards but a mirror to check your appearance. The look of the case itself is pretty hard to miss thanks to its high shine levels and glitter print finish. Ted Baker’s cases are known for the balance of strong design, reliable quality and striking, modish designs.
Greenwich BLAKE Leather Case
This is one of the pricier cases you’ll find, but it’s pretty luxurious. The back is protected by a shell with an electroplated finish, designed to protect the iPhone inside. But it’s the sumptuous leather that wraps around the back and the folio front that tell you this is a deluxe item. It’s soft and supple but hard-wearing. Inside the folio is a card holder which stores cards securely while making sure they’re still easily accessible. There are half a dozen colors to choose from here, from Caramel and Tahiti Blue to Burnt Oak and Beluga (which is basically black).
Snakehive Vintage Leather Wallet
Snakehive’s accessories are classy and high-end but are nonetheless affordable and include vintage-looking iPhone folio cases. Choose from a lovely Bottle Green, an attractive Vintage Teal and more. There’s room for three cards and banknotes in the front cover so it can replace your wallet easily enough. It closes magnetically with a neat magnetic clasp that folds across the front. Clever fittings inside mean you can use it to stand the screen at an angle that’s ideal for watching a video, say.
Nodus Access Case III
The Nodus Access Case is special. Italian leather wraps around the front and back of the iPhone and there’s a sleeve inside where you can store cards and cash. But it’s the slimness of the folio which stands out.
That’s down to the clever way the iPhone attaches to the case. Where most manufacturers insert a big internal case with which to cradle the phone, the Nodus system uses a panel on the inside of the folio to which the iPhone sticks as if by magic. The magic is in fact micro-suction, a slim, simple solution which works well. A rear scratch protector is also included which ensures the best bond between the phone and the case.
Best Leather shell case
Mujjo Full Leather Case
Mujjo’s cases have an elegant slimness to them, with a luscious leather on the back of the phone that stretches as far as 1mm above the display to protect the screen. The same leather wraps the buttons but are so deftly done that they work perfectly and gives the design a slick smoothness. Even the silent mode switch has a gently curved shape to make it easier to access. And there’s a soft microfiber lining to keep the iPhone safe.
The softness of the leather and the appealing feel is what sets Mujjo apart. Choose from black, blue, slate green and tan colors.
Best Biodegradable case
Tech21 Eco Slim
This case is environmentally friendly thanks to being 100% biodegradable. It has impact protection, too, so you can drop it from 10 feet and it will survive the fall, thanks to a material called FlexShock that’s slim and light, but very protective. Just as usefully, the case has a self-healing feature which means that scratches gently fade away. Colors include Moss Green, Mushroom Gray and Mindful Lavender. The finish is great to the touch, and is grippy enough to stay put in your hand.