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Best iPad case 2021: Protect your iPad from nicks and scrapes with these sleek and sturdy cases

Ben Johnston
2 Sep 2021
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Put some padding on your iPad and keep your tablet safe with our carefully curated list of the best cases

Choosing the best iPad case for your needs is essential if you want to protect your precious tablet investment from harm. Unfortunately, picking one out can be a massive chore. Search for iPad cases at any online retailer and you’ll be met with more options than anybody could possibly have the time to sift through. But guess what? We’ve done it for you! Gathered below are the cream of the crop, with a range of iPad case options to suit any budget.

Whether you’re a business type who likes to catch up on work during the commute or a parent who lives in fear of the little ones destroying your iPad, there’s a case on our list for you. Even if you don’t have any particular specialist requirements, there’s a great range of simple budget options, so you can safeguard your iPad without forking out any more than is necessary.

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Best iPad cases: At a glance

  • Best budget iPad case: Moko Case | Buy now
  • Best iPad case for kids: ProCase Kids Case | Buy now
  • Best keyboard iPad case: ProCase Keyboard Case | Buy now
  • Best iPad case for drawing: ZtotopCase leather folio case | Buy now
  • Best case for protection: SupCase Unicorn Beetle Pro Series Case | Buy now

How to choose the best iPad case for you

Is an iPad case really necessary?

In short: probably, yes. These devices cost hundreds of pounds while simultaneously being made from some of the most breakable materials known to man. iPads can come to harm in all kinds of situations, from bouncing around in a rucksack to falling down the side of the sofa. Dropping a few more pounds to toughen them up is definitely worth it.

As well as preventing damage, most cases these days come with some form of stand option – usually a popout kickstand or a foldable magnetic cover – so whether you’re typing or watching a bit of Netflix, you can do so at a more comfortable, ergonomic angle.

What type of iPad case should I buy?

The main thing to keep in mind is what you use your iPad for. Versatile as they are, there are myriad ways in which iPads are used in daily life, and the range of cases is broad enough to match. While there are a few offshoots, the main bulk of cases usually fall into these categories:

  • If your iPad serves as a laptop substitute, a keyboard case can really elevate the effectiveness of your typing sessions, giving you a more familiar tactile experience, while opening up the screen to view your work. These cases usually come with detachable keyboards, so if you only need it sometimes, you can convert it into a more traditional foldover case.
  • For ultimate security, protective cases are the way to go. Robust without being overly cumbersome, these tortoise-shells are the last word in shock-resistance, and usually come equipped with a built-in screen protector, covering your iPad from all angles.
  • If you often find yourself using a stylus, and are prone to leaving it in a pocket or losing it in a bag, a Pencil-holder Case could make your life a lot easier. Offering a protective covering for your iPad, while also giving you a convenient place to store your pencil or stylus, these cases are great for keeping organised.
  • Kids' cases are self-explanatory, helping to reinforce your iPad and avert the potential for unfortunate accidents. They’re similar to standard protective cases in many ways, but are usually made of more child-friendly materials, with rounded foam corners and handy carrying handles for ease of transport.
  • If none of the above options appeals, you’re best off buying a simple smart shell case. These no-frills cases offer solid protection and typically come in as the most affordable options. As a bonus, smart shell cases tend to offer the most diverse range of design choices – ideal if personalisation is a priority.

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How much should I spend on an iPad case?

For most people, smart shell cases should be more than sufficient, and here you’re looking at anything between £9 and £16, with pricing varied based on colour and design. Simple block colours will be your most affordable options, whereas if you want to express your personality a bit by having Van Gogh’s Starry Night covering your iPad, expect to pay a little more for the privilege. Even if a speciality case is exactly what you need, there’s such a range in availability these days that you shouldn’t ever need to spend more than around £30.

The best iPad cases to buy in 2021

1. Moko Case: Best budget iPad case

Price: From £8.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking to add a layer of protection to your shiny new iPad without spending too much money, this is the case for you. Comprising a firm, snug-fitting shell and a sleek PU leather screen cover, the Moko case looks more luxurious than its price suggests, while still providing clear access to all your buttons and ports.

The foldaway cover features an automatic wake/sleep function, so you can just close it over and not worry about running down the battery, and it also folds neatly into a stand, offering two modes of propping up your iPad. The best thing about this is the sheer customisation available, with a wide range of colours and patterns to spice up your tablet.

Key specs – Material: Polycarbonate; Dimensions: 25.5 x 18 x 1.4cm; Weight: 202g; Styles available: 13 colours, 9 patterns; Additional features: Stand cover, auto wake/sleep

2. ProCase Kids Case: Best iPad case for kids

Price: £16 | Buy now from Amazon

Dilemma: iPads offer an enormous range of entertaining and educational content for children, but excitable young kids can’t always be trusted not to damage this delicate device that can cost as much as a month’s rent. Solution? ProCase Kids case has got you (and the iPad) covered. The impact-resistant EVA foam is working double duties here: first, it’s sturdy enough to prevent bumps and scratches, with the double padded silicone corners providing excellent shock-proof protection; second, the foam is child-friendly and non-toxic, so toothy toddlers can play away with no concerns for safety.

As well as anti-slip textures on the sides for maximum grip, the case also features a 180-degree rotatable handle. Primarily for convenient carrying, this handle can also be used as a stand to prop up the iPad in one of two positions for hands-free watching.

Key specs – Material: Ethylene vinyl acetate, silicone; Dimensions: 24.9 x 17.3 x 0.7cm; Weight: 85g; Styles available: 7 colours; Additional features: 180 degree rotatable grip handle/stand, child-friendly non-toxic foam

3. ProCase Keyboard Case: Best keyboard iPad case

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Closing the gap between tablets and laptops, ProCase’s sleek keyboard case features an innovative magnetically detachable keyboard, allowing you to remove it quickly and easily, and a stable wireless connection to keep your setup simple.

While this case includes a wake/sleep function, it’s worth noting that it only works when the keyboard has been removed, so you’ll want to keep on top of that to make sure you’re not leaving the screen on and running down the battery needlessly. There’s also little variety in colour here, so this is definitely a case of function over fashion.

Key specs – Material: PU leather; Dimensions: 24.89 x 17.27 x 0.74cm; Weight: 284g; Styles available: 3 colours; Additional features: Auto wake/sleep, stand cover

4. SupCase Unicorn Beetle Pro Series Case: Best iPad case for heavy-duty protection

Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon

Stop us if this sounds familiar: you’re on your iPad, enjoying a spot of gaming or photo editing, when it suddenly slips between your fingers, bounces off the ground and ends up under the tracks of a passing tank. Okay, it may not hold up to that kind of damage, but SupCase’s wonderfully named Unicorn Beetle Pro is still your best bet for protecting your iPad from all the other hazards of life. This juggernaut envelops your iPad between the rigid, shock-resistant shell and a built-in screen protector that has raised edges to keep your screen off the floor, even when it’s face-down.

Precise cutting allows for easy access to all ports, buttons, sensors and cameras, and the built-in kickstand locks rigidly for a bit of extra support when propped up. While pretty much the most robust thing you can wrap your iPad in, the Beetle isn’t without its drawbacks. The backplate is prone to sliding around on smooth surfaces, and the screen protector, while a neat inclusion, is no match for tempered glass alternatives.

Key specs – Material: Thermoplastic polyurethane, polycarbonate; Dimensions: 26.8 x 18.8 x 2.2cm; Weight: 113g; Styles available: 1; Additional features: Screen protector, popout kickstand

5. ZtotopCase Leather Folio case: Best pencil-holder iPad case

Price: £14 | Buy now from Amazon

For the artists out there, Ztotop’s leather folio case is definitely one to check out. The side of the case features an elastic loop to keep your pencil secure, and inside the cover you’ll find a discreet pocket for storing sketches, notes, cards and so on. The cover itself folds to form a fairly solid stand, and on the backside you’ll find a sturdy hand-grip for a little more security when moving it around.

Like other cases in this list, the Ztotop features an auto wake/sleep function, so you’ll never lose your work due to the screen zapping the battery while the case is closed. As an added bonus, the slick leather exterior on this case adds a sophisticated flair that not many other cases can match.

Key specs - Material: PU Leather; Dimensions: 14 x 170 x 255mm; Weight: 330g; Styles Available: 4; Additional Features: Handle, pencil-holder

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