The 7 Best iPhone XR Cases of 2021

Find the right combination of style and protection

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The Rundown
"Uses anodized aluminum and a soft rubber shell inside for two different layers of protection."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Mujjo Full Leather Case at Amazon
"A remarkably elegant leather case that matches the understated beauty of the iPhone XR."
"The multi-layer protective cover lends credence to its certified drop protection promise."
"An elegant, multi-functional folio that can hold your iPhone."
"The Speck GemShell clear case is a great way to protect your device while letting the color and design of your phone shine through."
"A timeless look, reminiscent of classic accessories like wallets and watch bands."
"The Sili-Tastic Series from Akna has a wide range of fun, vivid prints to match many different aesthetics."

Buying a case is a basic first step towards protecting your iPhone XR. Everyone knows that Apple devices don’t come cheap, and even the slimmest, most minimal case can at least provide protection from day-to-day scratches and bumps. Some of the cases on this list are super low-profile or fully transparent, highlighting the sleek aesthetics of the iPhone or letting its true color come through. Others are pragmatic, featuring card pockets or kickstands for additional functionality. And of course, there are plenty that just look great. From classic leather to unique and colorful prints, a case is a great way to express your personal style.

If protection is your priority, there is a whole market out there for cases that can guard your iPhone against the kind of drops that would otherwise shatter a screen. Some of these cases sacrifice the iPhone’s sleek and slim aesthetic in the interest of protection. But you know yourself best (and how often you tend to drop your phone) and that should help you figure out how tough you want your case to be.

Whether you go for something super slim or one built like a tank, it’s a good idea to also invest in an adhesive screen protector. Applying these protectors can be a little tricky, but we have instructions to help you through the process.

Best Overall: X-Doria Defense Shield Series

What We Like
  • Adds bend protection

  • Robust build quality

What We Don't Like
  • No screen protector

The X-Doria Defense Shield guarantees military-grade protection (up to a 10-foot drop) without getting in the way of the XR’s sleek design. This case uses anodized aluminum for sturdy protection and a soft rubber shell inside for two different layers of protection. The aluminum edge provides impact-resistance if you drop your device, and the soft rubber inside acts as a shock absorber while also protecting the beautiful surface of your XR. This case also has a raised lip in front to protect the screen from scratches. Additionally, the case’s sound channel amplifies the bottom speaker and reroutes the sound to the front for an optimized experience.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Mujjo Full Leather Case

Mujjo Full Leather Case
What We Like
  • Classy, high-quality leather

  • Different colors available

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • No real screen protection

Mujjo, a Dutch design label, delivers a remarkably elegant leather case that matches the understated beauty of the iPhone XR. The case is wrapped with full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather and lined with Japanese suede. And, just like other leather accessories, this case will take on a beautiful patina as it ages.

The design is simple, functional, and classically stylish. The leather has a 0.04-inch rise above the glass, creating a beveled frame that showcases your XR screen and helps protect the surface from scratches should you place your device face-down. The XR buttons are covered but still completely responsive, so you aren't sacrificing any functionality.

Best Protection: OtterBox Defender Series

OtterBox Defender Series SCREENLESS Edition Case for Samsung Galaxy Note9 - Retail Packaging - Dark Lake (Chinchilla/Dress Blues)
What We Like
  • Included belt clip doubles as a kickstand

  • Tank-like protection of body and ports

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky

  • No screen protection

OtterBox has been synonymous to the word protection, and the Defender Series lives up to the brand’s reputation. This case offers multi-layer protection, combining the durability and robustness of a polycarbonate inner hard shell, synthetic rubber outer slipcover, and polycarbonate holster. The multi-layer protective cover lends credence to its certified drop protection promise. The rubber outer slipcover also reduces the chance of your phone slipping out of your hand or off of a smooth surface.

The case comes with direct screen access, but a raised bezel protects the screen from drops and scratches. This detail-oriented design of this case even takes care of your iPhone’s ports — each has a cover that's designed to keep out dust, lint, and dirt. As with all OtterBox cases, this one comes with anti-microbial protection through the Otter Armor treatment. The case also includes a belt-clip holster that rotates and doubles as a hands-free stand.

Best Wallet: Shieldon Genuine Leather Wallet Folio

What We Like
  • Cutouts allow for easy access to ports

  • Built-in kickstand

  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don't Like
  • Magnetic clasp doesn't always close properly

The Shieldon Wallet Folio features a top layer of premium-quality cowhide leather that's crafted with precision to produce an elegant multi-functional folio that can hold your iPhone. The interior has an inner cushion to provide shockproof protection for your iPhone and a raised edge around the camera to defend against scratches. It has an inner thermoplastic polyurethane case, which is soft and durable, and provides the screen additional protection from scratches.

This folio comes with three card slots lined with RFID-blocking technology to shield your personal information from unauthorized scanning. The "wallet" features also include an additional pocket for cash or receipts and a kickstand feature that allows the front phone cover to be folded back to create a horizontal stand.

Best Transparent: Speck GemShell Clear Case

What We Like
  • Shows off phone’s design

  • Wireless charging compatible

What We Don't Like
  • No rear camera protection

With the iPhone XR available in so many unique colors, you may be hesitant to cover it up with a case. The Speck GemShell clear case is a great way to protect your device while letting the color and design of your phone shine through. This case features a double-layered design with a hard plastic outer shell and an interior TPU later that provides an extra layer of shock absorption — it’s also been drop tested to military specifications. The Speck GemShell has a bezel around the screen to prevent surface scratches, but it does not provide much protection for the raised rear camera. It’s compatible with wireless charging so you don’t need to take your case on and off every day.

Best Leather: Dockem iPhone XR Virtuosa M1 Wallet Case

What We Like
  • Looks great

  • Card pocket on the back

What We Don't Like
  • Minimal protection

  • Prone to scratches

The Virtuosa M1 Wallet Case from Dockem is our favorite leather case for a few reasons. The biggest selling point is the genuine top grain leather. It’s a timeless look, reminiscent of classic accessories like wallets and watch bands. The downside is that it’s a lot more prone to scratches and superficial damage than a plastic case. It’s also super slim and doesn’t provide much in the way of shock or screen protection. The Dockem includes a single, minimalistic pocket on the back that’s perfect for a card or two. And there’s also an invisible feature: a small metal plate hidden towards the top of the case that’s meant to be used with one of Dockem’s magnetic phone mounts. If you don’t have one of these mounts, don’t worry — the plate has no impact on the look or functionality of the case.

Best Patterned: Akna Sili-tastic Series

What We Like
  • Lots of appealing prints

  • Drop-tested protection

  • Raised bezels around rear camera

What We Don't Like
  • Minimal screen protection

Your phone case is a great way to show off a little of your personal style. The Sili-Tastic Series from Akna has a wide range of fun, vivid prints to match many different aesthetics. From bold geometric blocks to brush strokes, florals, and colorful liquid swirls, the graphics are crisp and bright for maximum visual impact and have a matte finish to prevent unsightly scratches. These aren’t the most protective cases on this list, but they aren’t without their merits — the Sili-Tastic series has been drop-tested up to 12 feet and has a small raised bezel for a little bit of screen protection. It also has a bumpy texture along the sides for better grip.

Final Verdict

The X-Doria Defense Shield Series is our top pick for its no-nonsense protection and surprisingly sleek design. It also has a clear back so the color of your iPhone XR shines through.

How We Tested

We haven’t tested any iPhone XR cases yet, but when our expert reviewers and testers get their hands on them, they’ll be judging them based on several key factors: design, fit, and protection offered. We will use the cases on the same iPhone XR, and evaluate how well it fits into the case, if the case leaves ports and speakers accessible, and how the case stands up to drops and day to day use. We’ll also look at any extra features like military standard ratings, drop protection, and waterproofing. Finally, we’ll take a look at the price and how each case measures up against similar rivals in the same price range to make a value judgement. Lifewire purchases all review units; we don’t accept any from manufacturers. 

About our Trusted Experts

Emmeline Kaser is a former editor of Lifewire’s product round-ups and reviews. She has several years of experience researching and writing about consumer tech.

Geri Mileva started her career as an IP network engineer and architect before becoming a full-time tech writer and journalist with over ten years of experience under her belt. She has managed to amass a diverse portfolio, writing for multiple industries including finance, marketing, health, NGO, art, travel, lifestyle, fashion, and of course, technology.

Robert LeFebvre helps manage Lifewire's newsroom and has been a fervent Apple user since the 90s (before it was cool). He's tried tons of different computers and mobile devices but keeps running back to the house that Jobs built.

What to Look for in the Best iPhone XR Case

Size - Apple devices change their form factor slightly with every generation, so you'll likely need a new case whenever you get a new phone. However, some cases do have a little flexibility in terms of what phones they are compatible with.

Fit - Some cases will add some considerable heft and size to your phone, changing a normally slim phone into an ungainly piece of technology in a hurry.

Protection - Some cases are just for show, others will make your phone nigh indestructible. But protection often comes at the cost of making your phone larger. Another important consideration is a screen protector which isn't standard with all phone cases.

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