Case, or no case?
For most of us, phone cases are a necessary evil. They add extra weight and thickness to your iPhone, and they cover up the pretty gold, silver, rose gold, or space gray exterior you spent an extra five minutes picking out. But, failing to put a case on your iPhone means you risk dropping it or getting it all scratched up if you leave it bare.
So, if you have to put a case on it, might as well make it a good case. We try out a ton of cases, but there are some that we just keep coming back to, despite our differences in taste. Here are some of our favorite cases for the iPhone 6/6s and and 6 Plus/6s Plus.
Case-Mate Naked Tough
Case-Mate’s Naked Tough ($35) protects all parts of your iPhone—including its buttons—while still maintaining a discreet profile. The Naked Tough has a two-piece design that makes it extremely easy to put on and take off. A soft silicone bumper with metal press-through button overlays for your sleep/wake and volume buttons fits around the edge of your iPhone, and a hard plastic back snaps over that. The Naked Tough doesn’t sacrifice translucence for protection, and once it’s on it looks like it’s a part of the phone.
Casetify Shine Through Collection
Looking for something quirky and colorful? Check out Casetify’s Shine Through collection of slim see-through cases designed by independent artists. These $40 single-piece snap-on shells feature colorful designs printed on frosty translucent impact-resistant plastic. There are hundreds of designs to choose from, but some of our favorites include the Watercolor Pond case, the Simplicity White Transparent case, and the Aqua and White Mandala - Transparent case. If you can’t find a Shine Through case you like, you can also use Casetify’s site to make your own translucent case.—Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Dodocase Durables Wallet
Dodocase’s Durables Wallet ($50) has been a favorite of ours since the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012. It’s perfect for those who prefer to use their iPhones without a case, but want to keep it covered when not in use. The Durables Wallet is a well-crafted little pouch made of leather and waxed canvas. It has a pocket on each side to hold a few cards or some cash (we typically stash our public transit passes here for easy access), and fits your phone well enough that it shouldn’t slip out without some effort.—Leah Yamshon
Incipio’s NGP ($20) isn’t the prettiest of the bunch, but it’s an all-around solid choice: It’s affordable, it protects your iPhone’s buttons, and it comes in five translucent colors (and one solid color). The NGP is a soft-shell, flexible case—it’s made of a smooth, grippy shock-absorbing polymer—which makes it easy to put on and take off. The NGP comes in translucent neon orange, neon pink, blue, frosty white, and teal, as well as opaque black. If you’re looking for a soft, simple case that lets you see your device, this is it.—Sarah Jacobsson Purewal
Let’s face it: Carrying a wallet in one pocket and an iPhone in the other can be awkward. While there are many folio cases that keep all your necessary items together, few match the flexibility and panache of the JimmyCASE iPhone wallet. Its elastic pocket, which comes in a variety of cool color combos, stretches just enough—but not too much to accommodate six cards plus cash for any excursion, all without stretching out of shape. A lightweight wood backing is made from military-grade mahogany, augmented by a protective silicone bumper. JimmyCASE offers all the advantages of a folio case but without the flap that gets in the way of calling people or shooting photos. Prices range from $39 to $59 for the iPhone 6 series, with custom wood backings and color schemes available.—Jackie Dove
Moshi iGlaze Napa
In some—heck, mostly all—respects, your iPhone case is a reflection of your personality, an opportunity to express your aesthetic sensibilities while protecting one of your most critical possessions. If you want to exude posh, then check out Moshi’s new iGlaze Napa faux leather case ($45 for the iPhone 6/6s; $50 for the Plus models). The leatherette material is vegan but looks sleek, while a raised matte bumper covers the sides of the phone to fortify its vulnerable edges.
The case’s hybrid construction binds the inner shell to a tough polycarbonate outer shell, which keeps it strong. Precise cutouts and button covers complete the thin, elegant package. The case comes in four leather-analog colors: Black, tan, burgundy, or dark blue.—Jackie Dove
Moshi iGlaze Luxe
Yes, we have two Moshi cases on our list, but each one brings something different to the mix. The iGlaze Luxe ($50 for the iPhone 6/6s; $55 for the Plus models) is a no-nonsense bumper case constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum with an iridescent sheen that makes your iPhone pop, with your choice of four lovely metallics. This case was engineered to assure optimal antenna performance, and to protect the phone without marring its natural beauty. The metal bumper pairs with a shock-absorbing inner frame and scratch-resistant acrylic backplate. With these components in place, your phone is sure to share your adventures unscathed. It may take a bit of muscle to get the case securely on or off the phone, so read the manual to properly mount all the components or remove them. You won’t be sorry.—Jackie Dove
Speck CandyShell Grip
For those of you who seem to automatically develop butterfingers when handling your iPhone, the Speck CandyShell Grip ($35) has you covered. With this case, it’s almost impossible to drop your phone by accident, as rubber edges around the case practically seal your paw to the phone. However, should gravity take hold, the CandyShell Grip’s multi-layer construction will absorb the shock—it even meets military (MIL-STD-810G) drop test standards, and its thin bezel rises just enough to prevent glass-shattering impact.
The CandyShell Grip sports a slim profile and feels naturally good in the hand with its easy-to-press button overlays. And if that’s not enough, Speck has gone crazy for colors, offering 11 dual-color combos for every taste.—Jackie Dove
Tech21 Evo Mesh Sport
The Evo Mesh Sport ($40) is our favorite kind of case—slim, lightweight, and comfortable in the hand, while providing a soft, protective fit for the phone. Its smooth, glossy bumper comes in a choice five Apple Watch Sport-coordinated colors—blue, green, pink, black, and white. You can even see the FlexShock protective liner mesh padding—designed to absorb and dissipate force at drops of over six feet—through the case’s acrylic back. The Evo Mesh Sport fits securely but slips off the phone easily, which is another plus.—Jackie Dove
Trident Kraken A.M.S.
Do you frequently throw your phone off of cliffs? If so, Trident’s ultra-rugged Kraken A.M.S. case is the best $50 you’ll ever spend. (If not, this is still a great case for outdoorsy types.) This military-grade case turns your phone into a superhero that can withstand drops, dust, vibration, and rain (but not immersion). It’s bulky, but in that cool, I-just-went-off-roading-on-the-moon kind of way. It has a built-in plastic screen protector, a detachable screen cover with a belt clip, a detachable aluminum stand, and a lanyard loop. The Kraken A.M.S. covers all ports and buttons, and comes in black, blue, gray, pink, red, green, and white.—Sarah Jacobsson Purewal