21 Best iPhone 15 Cases and Accessories (2023): Clear, Grippy, Rugged, and Stylish | WIRED

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21 Best iPhone 15 Cases and Accessories (2023): Clear, Grippy, Rugged, and Stylish | WIRED

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Titanium, shmitanium. Every year Apple touts some fancy new process to make the glass on its iPhones stronger, or the metals in the frame sturdier. And yet, a single drop is often still all it takes to shatter a handset. Titanium is present only on this year's iPhone 15 Pro models, and I like it because it genuinely makes these phones a little more lightweight. However, it does not make them shatter-proof. They're still glass slabs.

Be smart and grab a case. They're not a guaranteed defense against cracks, but paired with a screen protector, they're a smart way to give your expensive investment some protection, especially if you skipped out on AppleCare. Whichever model you have, I've tried dozens of iPhone 15 cases and accessories to help you kit out your new smartphone. Oh, and no, older iPhone cases you may have lying around will not work with the new models.

Be sure to check out our other Apple guides, including the Best MagSafe Accessories, Best Apple 3-in-1 Chargers, Best MagSafe Power Banks, and Best iPhones.

Updated October 2023: We've added accessories from Waterfield Designs, Mous, Totallee, Case-Mate, Peak Design, Twelve South, Caseology, Nomad, Nimble, and Belkin.

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Nomad's Rugged Case is what my palms gravitated to this year after testing dozens of cases. I like the curve in the thick thermoplastic urethane bumper, offering respite for my fingers. It has some of the best (aluminum!) buttons on a case of the many I tried, especially for the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro models. The polycarbonate frame is sturdy, and the backplate doesn't show smudges easily. Best of all, it doesn't rock on a flat surface but sits flat. There's a decent lip (raised edges) around the screen to keep it from touching a surface when face down. And with MagSafe support, it does a fine job with other MagSafe accessories. I just wish the blue and orange colors weren't exclusive to the Pro models.

If you mount your phone often, I suggest you get the Nomad X Peak Design version, which has Peak Design's SlimLink mounting system. It's integrated into various products like a tripod mount and a bike mount (my favorite), and it's much more secure than typical MagSafe mounts.

★ Alternative: The Caudabe Sheath ($40) is a similarly well-balanced case, though it's more svelte than the Nomad. It has a lovely texture on the back, plus MagSafe support. The buttons are quite clicky, though the Pro model I tested had a cutout for the Action Button. Caudabe now has a version with a physical button for the Action button; I think you should snag that one instead.

Spigen's Ultra Hybrid S is the best value case. There's an adhesive film you need to remove before you install the case on your phone—which is great, because the clear cases that didn't have this protective sheet picked up a lot of dust before I put them on my device. The buttons work excellently—yes, even the Action button on the Pro models. The same goes for MagSafe, and you even get a reliable kickstand you can pop out on the back that works in both landscape and portrait orientation. Unfortunately, clear cases collect dust and smudges quickly, so you'll have to wipe them down often.

I recommend you go for the Capella Mg Kick Stand case ($24) from Spigen-owned Caseology if you have the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max. It's almost identical except it has a nice grippy texture on the edges and a lanyard attachment point, though the Action button is just a bit mushy.

This is another great cheap one if you don't want a clear case. There are a few colors you can choose from (I am partial to the Magenta Lychee). The edges have some nice grippy texture, the silicone doesn't attract dust and lint like Apple's official case, and the buttons are responsive. The edges around the camera module and screen are raised fairly well, and MagSafe support rounds it out. It has it all, and it's just $20—that's great value.

Caseology has another similar case that's just as cheap, the Parallax Mag ($19). It's not nearly as grippy, but it has all the other hallmarks of the Nano Pop Mag but with a different design.

Mad that a case is going to cover the beautiful color on your iPhone? Get a clear case! The Spigen case above clutters things up with a kickstand, but this one from Totallee offers a better window to the back of your iPhone while still being thin and including MagSafe support. The buttons are super responsive, the edges around the camera module are raised, and it's easy to wipe smudges away. Totallee even includes a film you need to peel away that protects it from dust before you put it on your iPhone. My only gripe is that the edges around the display are barely raised, so you'll definitely want to pair it with a screen protector.

I already have a scratch on my iPhone 15 Pro, and I have no idea how it got there. But screen protectors can be scary! These ones were the easiest to install with no outside help whatsoever. They adhered to the iPhone with no immediate issues in the following days.

Smartish Tuff Sheet for $15: Two tempered-glass screen protectors for $15? It's hard to beat the value here. Smartish also offers up an applicator tool that makes it dead simple to apply a protector, provided you clean your iPhone first with the included alcohol wipe, dust removal stickers, and microfiber cloth. Any air bubbles that showed up disappeared fairly quickly.

Zagg InvisibleShield XTR3 for $60: Zagg's screen protector has some blue light filtration baked in if that's your thing, and it was just as easy to apply as the Smartish. Zagg's is obviously more expensive, but it claims its tempered-glass protector can survive more abuse, though I wasn't able to verify this. In Zagg's defense, the screen protector is noticeably thicker than the other two on this list. You only get one, but Zagg offers a $250 screen guarantee. For an extra $20, you'll get $250 for a screen replacement in case anything happens to your screen within the first year of use.

Belkin ScreenForce UltraGlass 2 for $40: This protector weirdly doesn't come with a wet wipe (really, Belkin?), just a dust removal sticker and a microfiber cloth. It's easy enough to apply with the included applicator, but it took considerable force to squeeze out all of the air bubbles. It's not tempered glass, but Belkin claims this one has 2.7 times the strength with better scratch resistance. It's thicker than the Smartish but not as thick as the Zagg.

OtterBox Premium Glass for $40: This glass screen protector had the most opportunity for failure, and it sits ever so slightly askew on my iPhone. You just need to be a little careful when using the applicator tool. My air bubbles completely disappeared by the following day.

Apple no longer makes a leather case for the iPhone, so you have to go with a third-party manufacturer if you want real leather. My favorite is from Nomad—the Horween model uses leather from the esteemed US tannery based in Chicago, and it oozes luxury (and smells fantastic). However, you can save some cash with the standard leather case, which employs Ecco leather, which purportedly uses less water to tan the leather and reduces the amount of chemicals used in the process. The buttons on both of these cases are clicky, including the Action button, and I like the microfiber inner to keep your phone's glass scratch-free. It works well with MagSafe accessories too.

Peak Design's case for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are being reworked right now to include an actual Action button instead of the cutout on its initial models. (iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus cases have a cutout as usual for the mute switch.) I would hold off until those versions are ready if you have a Pro iPhone, but it's an otherwise svelte and stylish case, especially in bright colors like Sun. There's a nice fabric-like texture on the back, a rigid bumper around, and a spot to attach a lanyard. The buttons are wonderfully clicky too. Just know that the screen is almost flush with the edges of the case, so definitely add a screen protector for maximum protection.

The reason to buy this case is Peak Design's SlimLink system, which has made it so much easier to securely mount the iPhone to practically anything. I've used the Universal Bar Mount to securely mount the iPhone to electric bikes and scooters, and it has never budged from its place. The Creator Kit also lets you attach the phone to almost any tripod or action cam mount. MagSafe still works excellently, so wireless charging works just fine.

You can totally get a dedicated MagSafe kickstand for your iPhone like the Moft Tripod Stand ($40), but if you don't want to fuss about with an extra thing, then a kickstand embedded in your case is the way to go. The Denali Snap is a little more rugged than the Spigen above. It has a graphene-infused backplate, which Zagg says does a better job of absorbing and deflecting impacts than ever before, though I can't vouch for this. The kickstand works in portrait and landscape orientation, though it's a bit wobbly in the former. It's easy to pull out, even for someone like me that perennially chews on nails. The buttons are snappy, the edges around the screen are raised, and MagSafe accessories hook up to it with no issues. If it's too spendy, go with the Spigen Ultra Hybrid S above.

I don't know why, but whenever I see someone hanging their phone off their body like a cross-body bag, I immediately think they're cool. It just has that laid-back, too-cool-for-school vibe. Moft's lanyard can get you there, and it's one of the fanciest systems I've tried—great for anyone whose phone is constantly flying out of their hands.

First, you'll want to use it with its Snap case. The vegan leather case has a nice feel and looks attractive with clicky buttons. At the bottom on the inside is a little dip—this is where you attach the anchor via adhesive. Then, attach the lanyard to the loops on the anchor sticking out at the bottom of the case, and voilà! Lanyard case! The adjustable lanyard is comfy across the body, and you can take it off when you don't need it. However, removing it still leaves two tiny anchors sticking out from the bottom of the case. This is why this system is best paired with a MagSafe charger or a wired cable for recharging.

★ Alternatives: The Cyrill Classic Charm Mag Case ($30) is cheaper and simpler—just attach the carabiner cross-body strap to the rings at the bottom of the case. The strap comes included with the case too! The case has a lovely leather-like texture on the back, responsive buttons, and decently raised edges.

If you're like me and you carry ID, a few credit cards, and some cash almost everywhere all the time, you'll want a more robust wallet case than what you'll get with most MagSafe wallets. That's why I love the BookBook. It's pricey, but it actually fits everything I'd want to carry around, with a large sleeve for some cash or coins too. The iPhone sits in a separate case you can easily remove from the wallet if you don't need it. The wallet portion doesn't support MagSafe, but the phone case does, so just take it off to recharge. Oh, and the whole thing looks like a little leather-bound book! It's super cute. The only flaw? Access to the Action button is via a cutout instead of a real button.

MagSafe wallets have a tendency to slip off every time you take your iPhone out of your pocket. Speck's solution is a proprietary locking mechanism called ClickLock that doesn't completely lock the MagSafe accessory into place like Peak Design's SlimLink system, but it's more secure than MagSafe alone. You need Speck's case to make this all work, and of the many Speck cases I tested, my favorite is the Presidio2 Grip. It has a soft-touch feel and clicky buttons, though the Action button on the Pro model is a bit rigid.

Attach the ClickLock Wallet for MagSafe, wait for the click, and now it'll require a good deal more force to remove it—it won't just slide off. The wallet fits three cards comfortably, and you can push them out via the gap on the side. I vigorously shook the wallet to see if any cards would slip out, but nope. The cards stay put.

21 Best iPhone 15 Cases and Accessories (2023): Clear, Grippy, Rugged, and Stylish | WIRED

KCD1 Rocker Switch The iPhone 15 range can get quite ho