Whether you have the original revolutionary iPad, the slimmer iPad 2, or the high-resolution third iPad, we’ve rounded up our favorite cases that fit them all. We have chosen our favorite iPad cases from the many that we’ve seen, and our list has something for everybody, whether you’re a cash-strapped minimalist or want your iPad to be wrapped in luxurious leather. Take your pick from the list below and give your iPad, iPad 2, or third-generation iPad the extra protection and style it deserves.
Also check out our picks for the Best iPad accessories.
This article was originally written by Kelly Montgomery in Dec. 2011. It has been updated with contributions by other writers since.
LifeProof nüüd ($100)
If you want to be able to take your iPad anywhere with you and never fear for its safety, then this Lifeproof case is a good investment. You’ve got protection against dirt, water, snow, and shock. There’s a sound enhancement system, built in buttons for all the functions, and the touchscreen remains fully functional with the case on. Considering the level of protection on offer, it’s also relatively slim and lightweight.
Protex iPad Cover ($40)
For people who use an iPad in the workplace, this cover could be ideal. The basic idea is to make it easy and comfortable to hold the iPad in portrait or landscape view, with just one hand. There’s an x-shaped elastic strap on the back to slip your hand through. The actual case is TPU and it offers protection from bumps and shocks. There’s also a raised bevel on the front to protect the screen. It’s ideal for presentations and you have full access to all the iPad’s features.
SlateShield Case ($55)
You get to cover a few bases with the SlateShield. It offers basic protection from bumps; it has a kickstand that allows you to angle the iPad for viewing or typing; and it has a loop that you can slide your hand into. The difference with this design is that the loop is on a 360 degree pivot, so you can get the exact angle you want, or just spin your iPad like an old Wild West gunslinger.
At $92, you’ll expect real quality, and you won’t be disappointed. This leather folio case from Spigen looks gorgeous in an understated way. It has a premium, genuine leather finish with suede on the inside. You’ll also find a couple of options for angling your iPad and a magnetic sleep/wake function built-in. It has all the cutouts you need, including a hole for the camera, and it’s hand-finished for that premium feel
If you’re on the move a lot and you want to be able to throw your iPad in a bag without having to worry about bumps and knocks then this rugged case from Ballistic brings you the protection you need. There is an inner silicone layer for shock absorption, a tough polycarbonate shell, and then an outer layer of shock absorbent polymer. The corners have been thickened for extra protection where you need it the most and the removable cover that protects the screen can double up as a kickstand for watching movies.
Don’t like the idea of covering up the iPad’s design aesthetic? Maybe a matching case in aircraft grade anodized aluminum might tempt you. A thin layer of foam in the interior protects the iPad and it’s surrounded by a stylish aluminum jacket in black or silver. There’s a dual hinge design so the magnetic cover can fold back to support two viewing angles. There’s also a latch to keep it securely closed. Opening and closing the cover auto wakes the iPad or sends it to sleep.
SwitchEasy Nude for iPad ($30)
A lot of people are frustrated by the fact that most cases cover up Apple’s design; after all it’s one of the attractions of buying an iPad in the first place. With the SwitchEasy Nude case you won’t add much bulk and the coverage is minimal. The case is only 1.8mm thick and crafted from tough polycarbonate. It comes in various colors, but the ultra-clear version is best for people who want to be able to enjoy the iPad design. It comes with a screen guard and optional plugs for your ports.
Speck FitFolio for iPad ($40)
This is a smart folio style case from Speck which offers the right blend of protection, functionality, and decoration. There is a polycarbonate shell and a magnetic fold around cover that comes in various materials including leather. The inside of the cover is micro-suede and the magnets keep it snugly closed and enable the sleep/wake function on the iPad. Fold the cover back and you’ve got four different viewing angles to choose from. It comes in a huge array of different colors and patterns.
Moshi iGlaze VersaCover ($60)
The iPad is such a great device for consuming content that it makes sense to get a protective cover that can also double up as a stand for reading or watching movies. Moshi’s iGlaze with VersaCover protects the back of the device and features a magnetic, textured front cover which can be folded to act as a stand for portrait or landscape mode. It is slim and stylish, and offers three stand positions which Moshi has dubbed movie angle, reading angle, and typing angle. The magnets also support the iPad’s auto-wake and sleep feature. Check out our hands-on video with the Moshi iGlaze VersaCover to see it in action. (This product is built for the third iPad.)
A dual layer case (for iPad 2 or third-gen) that can stand up to a busy lifestyle could just save your iPad from disaster. The Seidio Active case is made of an easy-grip polymer which is shock absorbent, but also has a hard skeleton to protect the corners and sides of your device. It looks good and offers great protection without adding too much bulk. The multi-purpose cover protects the screen and doubles up as a stand, which offers a variety of viewing angles in portrait or landscape mode.
Griffin AirStrap ($50)
This is a fairly simple molded frame case with a minimal profile. The focus is on making your iPad 3 more comfortable to hold. To that end, you have contoured grips around the edges and a neoprene strap on the back. Slip your hand through the strap and your iPad is snugly secured, which is ideal for a busy commute on the subway. Be warned, the strap is tight so it may not be comfortable for anyone with big hands. A bonus with this case is that all your ports and controls are accessible.
Killspencer iPad Case ($190)
This luxurious leather case (for your iPad OR iPad 2) by Killspencer has plenty of pockets for a little extra storage and sleek black ninja styling that definitely suits our fancy. The case has a handy removable shoulder strap and also features a fabric-lined neoprene interior and water-resistant zippers. The case is also available in the brand’s signature waxed canvas.
For those who like a luxurious look paired with a simple design, we like the classic aesthetic of this case from Michael Kors. The envelope-style clutch case comes in red, camel, or black faux-leather and has a gold-plate logo as well as a two-snap closure. There aren’t any extra bells or whistles hear, but we like the classy look that this case offers.
We like this case, specifically designed for the iPad 2, for its simple sleek design and helpful functionality. The portfolio-style case features a an elastic band to secure the case, suede lining, and bumpers to prop your ‘pad up at three different angles for viewing or typing. The case also includes a precision-cut camera hole so that you can keep snapping away.
Rustic Case iPad 2 Case ($50)
For something that’s simple but adds a little bit of coziness to your shiny, high-tech toy, this option from Rustic Case is the perfect compromise. Handcrafted in New England from wool and natural leather, the simple sleeve-style case offers great protection and will fit your iPad 2 with or without a smart cover.
Grove iPad 2 Case ($139+)
This clever case for the iPad 2 is made from beautiful bamboo and includes an integrated leather smart cover that can be used as a stand and can also be engraved in a variety of fun and artistic designs. The precision-cut wood perfectly holds your ‘pad and the smooth suede inside cover will help keep your screen scratch-free. Choose a plain cover, an artist design, or custom-design your own.