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These staff-favorite phone cases will keep your device safe

Drop protection is a key feature to look for when shopping, say our experts.
These phone cases come in many sizes and designs, and can protect your phone.
These phone cases come in many sizes and designs, and can protect your phone.Bandolier; Wildflower; Amazon

Ever dropped your phone in an elevator or on the street while rushing to work? Us too. Phone cases can help protect your smartphone from bumps and bruises as long as they’re durable, made from quality materials and fit your device well, according to experts. 

Below, we rounded up Select staff’s favorite phone cases, plus tips and tricks from product specialists about what to keep in mind while you shop. For the purpose of this article, we also list which smartphone each Select staff member has while they had their case on. 

SKIP AHEAD The best phone of 2023 | How to shop for a phone case

Our top picks

How we picked the best phone cases

We spoke with industry professionals from Casetify and Otterbox on shopping guidance — because they work at brands that sell phone cases, we did not ask for product recommendations and instead asked them for general shopping advice. Any Casetify or Otterbox products on our list were made independently of our sources. Here’s what we kept in mind when sourcing products: 

  • Smartphone type and size: We included options for various smartphone types, including iPhones and Androids.
  • Wireless charging compatible: Some of our recommended cases are compatible with wireless charging functionality including Magsafe charging. Magsafe is Apple’s magnetic technology that lets you charge your phone wirelessly with a case on, according to Teppei Hatano, head of product at Casetify, a phone accessories brand. (Since Hatano works for Casetify, we only asked him for shopping guidance, not product recommendations). Qi, is another form of wireless charging, though Qi-compatible cases have no magnetic attachment so your phone can slip from the case easily, says Hatano. 
  • Drop protection: Every item on our list has drop protection, which according to the brands we recommend, should protect your phone when you accidentally drop it from a small height — usually up to 20 feet.

The best phone cases of 2023

The below options come entirely recommended by Select staff and are in line with expert guidance. 

Casetify Smiley, Black Ink. Case

I’ve been using a Magsafe version of this case for my iPhone 14 Pro for the last month, and it’s already saved it from multiple drops and falls on both hardwood and carpeted floors. You can choose from various colors and sizes — I own the iPhone 14 Pro case with a bounce impact bumper, which gives my phone added protection around its four corners. This case has ‘extreme’ drop protection up to 21.3 feet, according to the brand. While I haven’t dropped my phone from 21 feet, I can say that in the month that I’ve owned this case, I have not damaged my screen or the bezels on my phone. The case itself is also surprisingly light and not bulky. Plus, there is a raised camera ring to prevent any damage to the rear camera system, according to the brand. 

Compatible with: Apple, Samsung and Google smartphones | Weight: n/a

OtterBox Commuter Series Case

I use this OtterBox case with my Samsung S23 Ultra and like its polycarbonate shell, which easily snaps onto my smartphone. It has drop protection and antimicrobial properties that help protect the case from bacteria, according to the brand. Since it’s Qi charging compatible, I can charge my smartphone wirelessly. Plus, I like how grippy it is. While I use this with my Samsung smartphone, you can also buy a Magsafe compatible version for your iPhone — Magsafe charging is limited to Apple smartphones.

Compatible with: Samsung and Apple smartphones | Weight: 0.12 pounds

Pela London Fog Moonrise Case

Select reporter Harry Rabinowitz likes these soft Pela cases because they’re compostable,  slightly squishy, and do not slip out of his hands like smooth plastic cases do. In the four years he’s owned this case, there’s been no damage to the rear etched  design. Pela offers other versions of this case with different designs and graphics. Every case is compatible with multiple phone brands, though Rabinowitz uses it with his iPhone 12 Pro. 

Compatible with: Samsung, Google and Apple smartphones | Weight: n/a

Wildflower Jaded London Heat Map Case

“I’ve gone through 100 different phone cases and I never found one I love until this Wildflower case,” says Select associate reporter Bianca Alvarez. This particular case is strong enough to protect her phone from cracking, plus the back and front bumpers are also slightly raised for added protection — this prevents her screen from impact every time she drops her phone, according to Alvarez. She uses the case on her iPhone 12, but you can also buy it for the latest iPhones. 

Compatible with:  Apple smartphones | Weight: n/a

Otofly Silicone Case

This silicone case is a favorite of Select editorial projects manager Shari Uyehara because it protects her phone despite constant falls. She uses it on both her iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Pro Max and says that both cases withstand the test of time. “Apart from a tiny scratch in the corner, they’re as good as new,” she says. It’s both shock- and scratch-resistant, plus it has a slim-fit design that keeps your smartphone from looking bulky, according to the brand. It’s available in over 20 colors and supports wireless charging. 

Compatible with: Apple, Google and Samsung smartphones | Weight: 0.1 pounds

Bandolier Hailer

“I never carry a wallet, so this phone case holds three to four cards, which is all I need on a daily basis,” says Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin. “I can also slip folded-up cash into the pocket if I really need to.” Since there’s a strap, you can use it as a mini bag, and go hands-free.  The case, which is from one of our favorite AAPI-owned businesses, is also drop-proof, according to the brand. It’s available in both solid colors and patterns, though it’s only compatible with iPhones. 

Compatible with:  Apple smartphones | Weight: n/a

OtterBox Symmetry Series Case

“I tend to drop my phone multiple times a day and this case has yet to show signs of wear and tear,” says Select updates editor Mili Godio. This OtterBox option is both MagSafe and Qi charging compatible and weighs just 0.08 pounds — making it one of the lightest options on our list. It also has raised edges that absorb impact during falls to protect your camera and screen, according to OtterBox. 

Compatible with: Samsung and Apple smartphones | Weight: 0.08  pounds

How to shop for a phone case

If you’re in the market for a new phone case, here’s what our experts recommended keep in mind while shopping: 

  • Protection: Drop-height resistance is the most important thing to look for when buying a phone case, according to Hatano. A hard polycarbonate or soft silicone are the best materials to use because they offer protection, according to Matt Krajec, the engineering manager at OtterBox, a phone accessory brand. (We only spoke to Krajec about shopping guidance, we did not ask him for product recommendations.) Bumpers can also help reduce impact during falls, according to experts. Most brands test their cases using military drop standards, which usually involves testing the case by dropping it on its face, corner and back, according to our experts. 
  • Phone model: A phone case won’t fit your smartphone if it’s not made for it. An iPhone 13 Pro case isn’t compatible with an iPhone 14 Pro smartphone, for example. 
  • Water-resistance: Water-resistant or waterproof cases allow people to use their case in any environment, without worrying about damage, according to Krajec. “A waterproof case requires two pieces to seal tightly against each other to prevent water from coming in,” Krajec says. When shopping, look for the IP rating, which is an indicator of a product’s water- and dust-resistance rating.
  • Style and design: “A phone case can be an item of self-expression,” says Hatano, who recommends taking personal style and color preferences into account when shopping.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Teppei Hatano is the head of product at Casetify, a brand that manufactures smartphone accessories. We only asked him for shopping guidance, not product recommendations. Any inclusion of Casetify on our list was made independently of Hatano.
  • Matt Krajec is an engineering manager at OtterBox, a brand that manufactures smartphone accessories. Krajec has been with the company since 2010. We only asked him for shopping guidance, not product recommendations. Any inclusion of OtterBox on our list was made independently of Krajec.

Why trust Select?

Nishka Dhawan is an associate commerce editor at Select. For this article, she spoke to Select staff about their favorite phone cases and also interviewed product experts from brands like Casetify and Otterbox about what to keep in mind while shopping. We did not include product recommendations from either Hatano or Krajec— we only relied on our experts for shopping guidance. 

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