The Best Waterproof Phone Cases of 2023

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You don’t 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.

The best waterproof phone cases also keep out sand, dust, and dirt and often provide some drop protection too. Many will also float to ensure you can easily retrieve your phone if it falls into a lake or river.

Best for Samsung Galaxy

Ghostek Nautical Waterproof Case for Galaxy S21

Ghostek Nautical Waterproof Case for Samsung Galaxy S21


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 underwater and military-grade drop protection that doesn’t get in the way of using all the great features that Samsung’s flagship smartphones provide. Precise, detailed cutouts, water-tight port covers, and tactile and responsive buttons let you operate your phone 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 mean you won’t have to worry about dropping it during your above-water adventures. 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. 

Price at time of publish: $35 for Galaxy S21 Plus

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

Best for iPhone

Lifeproof FRĒ Waterproof Case for iPhone SE and iPhone 8/7

Lifeproof Fre waterproof case for iPhone SE (2020)


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 meters of water for up to an hour—double the water resistance of the iPhone SE by itself.

The complete 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, the case is remarkably slim, so you don’t have to worry about adding needless bulk 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. 

Price at time of publish: $64.50

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

Best for Google Pixel

Lanheim IP68 Waterproof Case for Google Pixel 5

Lanheim IP68 Waterproof Case for Google Pixel 5


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 with water protection and drop resistance, so 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 offer full-body protection without bulking your phone. This includes drops of up to 6 feet and submersion in 2 meters of water for up to an hour—although you can go down to as deep as 20 feet for shorter periods. 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 transparent back cover lets you show off your Pixel.

Price at time of publish: $19

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

Best Universal

Kona Submariner Waterproof Phone Case

Kona Submariner Waterproof Smartphone Case


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 can handle 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 sealed inside. It's suitable 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. 

Price at time of publish: $10

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

Best Multifunction

JOTO Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch

joto phone pouch


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 protects your smartphone and has enough room inside for a few credit cards, cash, or even a slim wallet. This means 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 ever need to worry about how to carry it, even when you’re wearing nothing more than a set of swim trunks. 

Price at time of publish: $20

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

Best Floating

CaliCase Universal Waterproof Case

CaliCase Waterproof Smartphone Case


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 an excellent 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 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 transparent 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 colors and fits all standard sizes of smartphones.

Price at time of publish: $30

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


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 above water. Still, if you’re looking to explore the final frontier of 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 at depths of up to 50 feet, so it’s great for everything from skiing and surfing to snorkeling and diving. 

While most waterproof cases can be used to record underwater, the Willbox turns your smartphone into an underwater camera. For example, you get an external shutter release button and camera grip to snap photos quickly and easily. A standard threaded tripod mount lets you attach your smartphone to professional underwater photo equipment. However, this isn’t a case for everyday use, 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. 

Price at time of publish: $45 for The First Generation case

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

What to Look for in a Waterproof Phone Case


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. 


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. 


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. 

  • 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. 

About Our Expert

Jesse Hollington is a tech journalist with 15 years of experience writing about technology. 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.

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