The 9 Best Waterproof Phone Cases of 2022

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You don’t want to have to leave your smartphone behind when heading out for an adventure, and if you’re planning on being anywhere near the water, you’ll want the protection offered by the best waterproof phone cases to ensure it remains safe and dry.

Whether that’s hanging out by the pool or going extreme white-water rafting, these cases will protect even the most expensive smartphones from the elements.

That’s not just water, either. The best waterproof phone cases also keep out sand, dust, and dirt, and often provide some drop protection too. They provide significantly more water resistance than even the best smartphones offer on their own, and many will also float to make sure you can easily retrieve your phone when it falls into a lake or river.

The best waterproof phone cases are a must-have for anybody with an active lifestyle, and especially those into water sports, but many are also a solid choice for anyone who’s just worried about dropping their phone outdoors. 

Best for iPhone 12 Series: Catalyst Total Protection Case for iPhone 12

Catalyst Total Protection Case for iPhone 12

Catalyst Case

What We Like
  • Adds drop protection

  • Passes through clear audio

  • Qi charging and MagSafe compatible

What We Don't Like
  • Available only in black

  • A bit pricey

Catalyst’s Total Protection Case does more than just keep your iPhone 12 dry—it offers great all-around protection against everyday bumps, scratches, and even drops. It’s good for underwater depths of up to 33 feet, and when you’re on land, it will also protect your iPhone from drops of up to 6.6 feet. So, whether you’re hanging out by the pool, white water rafting, or doing extreme sports, you can rest assured that your iPhone 12 will be safe from all the elements. 

It’s also a remarkably slim case considering the amount of protection that it offers, and Catalyst has made sure that it won’t get in the way of using your iPhone. The touchscreen is fully responsive, and the hard-coated dual optical lens covers won’t interfere with the iPhone 12’s outstanding camera capabilities. You can even make calls and listen to music without any problems, thanks to Catalyst’s True Sound Acoustic Technology. The iPhone’s Lightning port is accessible under a waterproof cover, although you’re better off with Qi wireless charging or MagSafe charging, which will work just fine through the case as well.

Compatibility: iPhone 12 Series | Drop Protection: 6.6 feet | Water Resistant: 33 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best for Samsung Galaxy S21 Series: Ghostek Nautical Waterproof Case for Galaxy S21

Ghostek Nautical Waterproof Case for Samsung Galaxy S21

Ghostek

What We Like
  • Great 12-foot drop protection

  • Grippy sides

  • Fingerprint unlock compatible

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

Active and adventurous Samsung Galaxy S21 owners will appreciate what Ghostek’s Nautical waterproof case offers, with both underwater and military-grade drop protection that doesn’t get in the way of using all the great features that Samsung’s flagship smartphones offer. Precise detailed cutouts, watertight port covers, and tactile and responsive buttons let you use your phone normally while keeping it safe from the elements. 

Certified to depths of up to 20 feet for one hour with high-quality lens covers, you’ll be able to take great underwater photos and videos without worrying about water damage. Meanwhile, the 12-foot drop protection and anti-slip hand grip means you won’t have to worry about dropping it during your above-water adventures, either. A raised bezel protects the extra camera lens, flash, and LiDAR sensor, and a built-in screen protector covers the super-AMOLED display without interfering with the visual quality or the fingerprint sensor. You can also charge wirelessly through the case, in both directions, with full support for Samsung’s wireless PowerShare feature. 

Compatibility: Galaxy S21 Series | Drop Protection: 12 feet | Water Resistant: 20 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best for iPhone SE: Lifeproof FRĒ Waterproof Case for iPhone SE

Lifeproof Fre waterproof case for iPhone SE (2020)

Lifeproof

What We Like
  • Water and drop protection

  • Touch ID compatible

  • Slim and light design

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a bit tricky to get properly sealed

Apple’s iPhone SE is technically water resistant, but it’s not something we’d recommend counting on if you plan to take it with you on outdoor adventures like boating and rafting. For this, you need a truly waterproof case like Lifeproof’s FRĒ, which offers protection in up to 2 metres of water for up to an hour—that’s double the water resistance of the iPhone SE by itself.

The full 360-degree protection that FRĒ offers will also keep your iPhone SE safe from drops of up to 6.6 feet, plus keep out dirt, snow, and other debris. Despite all this, however, the case is remarkably slim, so you don’t have to worry about adding needless bulk just to get solid protection. The front screen protector is also so thin and responsive that you’ll forget it’s even there, and FRĒ doesn’t block any of your buttons, or even get in the way of using the Touch ID sensor or cameras. 

Compatibility: iPhone SE (2020) | Drop Protection: 6.6 feet | Water Resistant: 6.6 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best for Google Pixel 5: Lanheim IP68 Waterproof Case for Google Pixel 5

Lanheim IP68 Waterproof Case for Google Pixel 5

Amazon

What We Like
  • Slim design

  • Adds drop protection

  • Full fingerprint sensor compatibility

What We Don't Like
  • Narrow opening blocks some third-party wired chargers

Lanheim’s IP68-certified waterproof case is one of the few options you’ll find that’s designed specifically for Google’s Pixel 5. It features a lightweight design along with not only water protection but also drop resistance, which means you can rely on it to keep your Pixel covered everywhere from a day at the beach to a weekend wilderness adventure. It’s also easy to take off and put on, so you don’t need to keep your phone in the case when you’re just hanging around at home or working at the office. 

The TPU material and hard plastic frame offers full-body protection without bulking up your phone. This includes drops of up to 6 feet and submersion in 2 metres of water for up to an hour—although you can go down to as deep as 20 feet for shorter periods of time. The front screen protector offers responsive touch sensitivity and even supports fingerprint authentication. An included strap and textured sides let you keep a good grip on your phone, and the clear back cover lets you show off your Pixel 5.

Compatibility: Google Pixel 5 | Drop Protection: 6.6 feet | Water Resistant: 6.6 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best Budget: Vansky Floatable Waterproof Phone Case

4.8
Vansky Floatable Waterproof Smartphone Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • Fits smartphones of all sizes

  • Floats

  • Supports wired headphones

What We Don't Like
  • Internal headphone wire can't be removed

Vansky’s Floatable Waterproof Case is a really affordable option that you’ll be able to use with just about any smartphone on the market, since it’s basically a pouch that’s large enough to accommodate even plus-sized models like Apple’s 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. While it’s not as sleek and elegant as a case designed specifically for your smartphone, the universal compatibility makes it considerably more versatile.

It’s also more protective, since Vansky doesn’t have to worry about making allowances for ports and buttons and other orifices on your smartphone. It can keep your phone safe and dry down to 100 feet for up to 30 minutes, but it also floats, so it’s great for activities where you’re concerned about your expensive smartphone going into the water, like boating and rafting. You also still get full touchscreen functionality, even through the pouch, and there’s even an external 3.5mm audio jack to pass through a connection to a set of wired headphones, so you can listen to your favourite tunes while your smartphone remains sealed safely inside the case.

Compatibility: Universal | Drop Protection: N/A | Water Resistant: 100 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best Universal: Kona Submariner Waterproof Phone Case

Kona Submariner Waterproof Smartphone Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • Universal compatibility

  • Heavy duty construction

  • Enough room for other slim objects

What We Don't Like
  • Not compatible with fingerprint sensors

Since it’s capable of handling any smartphone up to 6.3 inches in length, regardless of the model, Kona’s Submariner makes a great pick if you want a case that you can use for years—and even share with family and friends. Plus, with room inside for other small objects like hotel keys, credit cards, and a bit of cash, you can leave your wallet behind in your hotel room during your outdoor adventure tours. 

Like most universal cases, Submariner offers expanded depth protection by keeping your smartphone fully sealed inside. You’ll be good for depths of up to 100 feet, and the strong welded seam means you won’t need to worry about it popping open if it bounces off the side of your boat before hitting the water. The crystal clear case won’t get in the way of the touchscreen or cameras, so you can even use it for underwater photography. 

Compatibility: Universal | Drop Protection: N/A | Water Resistant: 100 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best Multifunction: Joto Universal Waterproof Case

Joto Waterproof Smartphone Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • Universal compatibility

  • Enough extra room for a slim wallet

  • Included neck strap

What We Don't Like
  • Included lanyard isn't ideal for rigorous activities

Adventures who prefer to travel light will like what Joto’s Universal Waterproof Case has to offer, since it not only protects your smartphone, but also has enough room inside for a few credit cards, cash, or even a slim wallet. This mean you’ll be able to head out for a day’s worth of adventures with everything you need in one place. 

Large enough screen sizes of up to 6.9 inches, there’s virtually no smartphone the Joto case can’t handle, and it’s clear on both sides, so you’ll be able to see what’s on your screen—and even access touchscreen controls—as well as taking photos and videos without any distortion. A simple snap-and-lock design makes it easy to get your smartphone out when you need to access it directly, while remaining water- and dust-proof when closed. The included neck strap also means you won’t every need to worry about how to carry it, even when you’re wearing nothing more than a set of swim trunks. 

Compatibility: Universal | Drop Protection: N/A | Water Resistant: 100 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best Floating: CaliCase Universal Waterproof Floating Case

5
CaliCase Waterproof Smartphone Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • Universal compatibility

  • Designed to float

  • Available in lots of fun colors

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't fit "Max" or "Ultra" sized phones

As the name implies, CaliCase’s Universal Waterproof Floating case is a great choice for outdoor adventurers who spend a lot of time engaged in activities like boating, rafting, or kayaking. After all, even a waterproof case with hundreds of feet of protection won’t do you much good if you can’t actually retrieve your valuable smartphone from the bottom of the lake it fell into.

CaliCase still offers up to 100 feet of water protection for up to 30 minutes, but thanks to built-in foam padding that will keep it bobbing to the surface, it’s unlikely your smartphone will ever reach that depth. Dual-layer PVC plastic makes the case sturdy enough to handle everyday bumps and drops, and clear windows on both sides let you use your phone and take pictures with it still in the case. It’s available in a whole collection of fun colours, and fits all common sizes of smartphones.

Compatibility: Universal | Drop Protection: N/A | Water Resistant: 100 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Best for Underwater Photography: Willbox Professional Diving Case

AlCase Universal Waterproof Diving Case

Amazon

What We Like
  • Camera grip and shutter button for easy photo capture

  • Standard threaded tripod mount

  • Rugged and durable build

What We Don't Like
  • Not designed for everyday use

Premium smartphones like the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra take great photos on land and even above water, but if you’re looking to explore the final frontier of amazing underwater photography, you’ll need a case like the Willbox Professional Diving Case. It’s a sturdy case that protects your smartphone for extended periods of time at depths of up to 50 feet, so it’s great for everything from skiing and surfing to snorkelling and diving. 

While most waterproof cases can be used to record underwater, the Willbox specifically turns your smartphone into an underwater camera. For example, you get an external shutter release button and camera grip, so you can snap photos quickly and easily, and a standard threaded tripod mount lets you attach your smartphone to professional underwater photo equipment. It’s worth noting that this isn’t really a case for everyday use, however, as the hard screen protector blocks a lot of the touchscreen capabilities. This is a highly protective case for underwater use, but it’s the sort that you put on before going for a dive and take off when you’re done. 

Compatibility: Universal | Drop Protection: 10 feet| Water Resistant: 50 feet | Screen Protector: Yes

Final Verdict

Catalyst’s Total Protection Case offers all-around protection against everything from water to drops for iPhone 12 users, while Ghostek’s Nautical offers the same for fans of Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series. For a really affordable option that you can use on an as-needed basis, Vansky’s floatable waterproof case will get the job done, and it works with almost any smartphone. 

About Our Trusted Experts

Jesse Hollington is a tech journalist with 15 years of experience writing about technology, and as former Editor-in-Chief for iLounge, he's used, tested, and reviewed hundreds of iPhone cases dating back to the original iPhone. Jesse has also authored books on the iPod and iTunes and has published product reviews, editorials, and how-to articles on Forbes, Yahoo, The Independent, and iDropNews.

FAQ
  • Why do I need a waterproof case when my phone is already waterproof?

    Most smartphones are water-resistant, not necessarily waterproof. This means that they’ll generally handle being temporarily dunked in the water, but all bets are off if they go over the side of your boat. Further, even though their phones promise to be water-resistant, companies like Apple and Samsung won’t cover them under warranty if any water damage is detected. A waterproof case will offer much better water protection—often to 10 times more depth—and also guard against drops, scuffs, and scratches. 

  • Can I go scuba diving with a waterproof case?

    The short answer is yes, provided you have a waterproof case that’s certified to the depth that you plan to dive—and how long you plan to be under. Many of the best waterproof cases are good for submersion in up to 100 meters of water, but you’ll want to read the fine print to see how long they’re designed to withstand that. Some cases only protect your smartphone from being dropped in the water accidentally—they’re not designed for long-term underwater use—so if you plan to take your phone down with you, make sure you get a waterproof case that’s built for it.

  • What do these IP ratings mean?

    IP, or “Ingress Protection” codes, refer to how well an enclosure is sealed against foreign particles and moisture. They’re expressed by the letters “IP” followed by two numbers, such as “IP68.” The first number represents how well a case is protected against solid particles like dust and dirt, while the second is used for protection against water and other liquids. The higher each number, the better the protection, but it’s important to note that the scale typically maxes out at IP68, which means a case is totally dust-tight, and offers a minimum of protection against immersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This means that the level of protection offered by IP68 cases and enclosures can vary greatly, so always make sure to check the specific protection levels offered by each case. 

What to Look for in a Waterproof Phone Case

Compatibility

Waterproof cases come in two general styles—those that are designed for specific smartphone models and “universal” cases that can fit several models. It’s obviously not hard to determine compatibility for model-specific cases, but when buying a universal case you’ll want to make sure that it not only fits your phone in terms of size, but also that it passes through all the necessary buttons, ports, and other functions that you may want to use while it’s in the case. 

Versatility

If you’re planning on using a waterproof case while on vacation or even just a day at the beach, it’s handy to get one that also can replace your wallet by allowing you to store a few other important items, such as the card key for your hotel room or a little emergency cash. 

Bouyancy

Protecting your phone against deep water doesn’t really help if you can’t get it back after it goes into the lake, so if you’re into activities like boating, kayaking, or rafting, you’ll want to look for a floatable case. These generally offer good depth protection too, but chances are you’ll never need it because your phone will simply float back to the surface, where you can easily scoop it up and carry on. 

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