Though the iPhone 15 models haven’t quite shipped yet, there are already plenty of cases available for the new phones. We’ve tried many of them, or we’ve used earlier versions of them with earlier iPhone models. It’s hard to anoint one case the best overall right now, but I do like the new Otterbox Symmetry Series Soft Touch case, and the Speck Presidio ClickLock cases have an innovative design that works with both standard MagSafe accessories and Speck’s own ClickLock MagSafe accessories that “lock” onto the back of your phone.
People’s taste for cases varies, so I’ve put a selection of different options on this list, including some value picks for folks who don’t want to spend too much money on a new iPhone 15 case. I’ll be adding new picks as I test more cases.
Note that the dimensions of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Max are slightly different from their iPhone 14 counterparts, so iPhone 14 cases likely won’t quite fit iPhone 15 models. However, some iPhone 15 cases may fit iPhone 14 models (we’re still trying to sort that all out). Whatever new iPhone 15 model you have, make sure you buy a case that’s specifically designed for it.
Best iPhone 15 cases of 2023
Speck has brought many of its iPhone 14 case designs to the iPhone 15, including such popular transparent models as the Presidio Perfect-Clear and Perfect-Clear Grips, and the Presidio2 Pro. But it’s also developed a new ClickLock case system that’s built on MagSafe: it’s compatible with any MagSafe accessory, but has an interlocking system that secures Speck’s ClickLock accessories to your case. In addition to adhering to the case magnetically, the accessories — which range in price from $30 to $40 — click into a little slot. It’s not so different from Peak Design’s locking system but Speck’s cases are superior and are more MagSafe accessory friendly..
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
Otterbox has brought its expansive line of cases to the iPhone 15. That includes everything from the tough Defender Series XT to the colorful Figura to the Symmetry Series Clear and OtterGrip Symmetry Series.
The ESR Kickstand case is not your typical silicone case with an integrated kickstand. That’s because the kickstand doesn’t flip out the backside of the case at the bottom. Instead, it serves as a protective ring around your camera lenses when it’s retracted and not in use. Note that you can also get the case in a clear version and ESR also sell a variety of MagSafe accessories for decent prices.
MagSafe cases can get pretty pricey, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive clear MagSafe case for your new iPhone 15 series phone, Spigen’s Ultra Hybrid MagFit is a good value at around $20.
Caseology makes some decent budget cases, including the NanoPop, Parallax, Skyfall and Vault. Its new Capella Mag Kickstand is one of the cheaper transparent MagSafe cases we’ve seen — and it’s got a built-in kickstand that retracts into the case when not in use so you can attach MagSafe accessories.
Cyrill is a sister brand to Spigen, and its cases are arguably slightly more stylish, although they cost a few bucks more. I like the new UltraSheer Mag that comes in a few bright color options, including neon yellow, pink and blue.
A few years back Zagg bought British case-maker Gear4 and continued selling Gear4 cases under its original brand name. With the introduction of the iPhone 15, Gear4 cases have officially become Zagg cases, but the quality hasn’t changed — they’re right up there with OtterBox and Speck, all of them lined with the company’s D3O shock-absorbing material and featuring beveled edges to protect your phone. I like the new Milan Snap in iridescent (pictured left top) and Santa Cruz Snap with built-in kickstand (pictured center top in black), both of which are MagSafe-equipped and rated for 13-foot drop protection. However, several other case styles are available, most of them with eye-catching designs.
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
Peak Design’s Everyday cases are MagSafe-compatible in that you can connect a MagSafe wireless charging puck and other magnetic MagSafe-compatible accessories to the case, including wireless charging batteries, wallets and more. But they have Peak Design’s own built-in magnetic locking system — the company calls it SlimLink — that connects to a wide assortment of Peak Design’s mobile mounts and accessories. That includes bike mounts, charging stands, tripods, car mounts and more. The only accessory I don’t recommend is the wallet, which doesn’t lock onto the case and doesn’t stick to it that securely.
Like Lifeproof, Catalyst made a name for itself with waterproof cases, but it now focuses on standard protective case options and currently offers one case for the iPhone 15: the Influence. It comes in MagSafe and non-Magsafe versions in a few color options. Rated for 10-foot drop protection, the Influence has perforations on the corners that allow you to attach various accessories (a lanyard is included, but Catalyst also sells other accessories).
Apple has said it won’t make leather cases for the iPhone 15, but others, including Nomad, still are. Nomad’s line of leather cases for the iPhone 15 once again comes in two grades of leather — the standard variety and a higher-end Horween that costs $20 more ($70 rather than $50). At least the Horween version is designed to develop a “rugged” patina as the oils from your skin interact with the leather over time. The Modern Leather Case is available in black, brown, English tan and a lighter natural color that I like. They’re rated for 10-foot (3-meter) drop protection and equipped with MagSafe. Meanwhile, the Modern Leather Folio goes for $80 in black or brown (the one drawback to the Folio case is that it it doesn’t convert into a kickstand like some wallet cases do).
Rokform’s been making tough iPhone cases for years, and aside from their durability, their key feature is the ability to use them with various mounts, including bike and motorcycle mounts, that are sold separately. The design of its new iPhone 15 cases — I personally prefer the Crystal series, but the Rugged case is slightly more, well, rugged — has been “refined and updated” (I like the updates) and the cases feature arguably the strongest magnets for MagSafe accessories (the accessories really stick to the case).
Smartish’s affordable, simple, slim cases and wallet cases return for the iPhone 15. The Wallet Slayer Vol. 2 case (pictured) comes in a few different designs beyond the basic black shown here. It holds three credit cards plus cash, and you can use one of your credit cards as a kickstand. However, its one downside is that it’s not compatible with wireless and MagSafe chargers.
Some people prefer not to have a case on their phone or just want something that’s very thin that offers minimal protection. If you’re that type of person, a Totallee case may just be what you’re looking for.
Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET
Clckr, which makes some nifty MagSafe accessories for iPhones, including the excellent Stand & Grip (shown in photo but must be purchased separately for $30), has partnered with G-Form, known for its protective sports gear, to make some new iPhone 15 cases with good good drop protection. The Onyx (13-foot drop protection) has the most eye-catching design but the the Force case is the most protective with 16-foot drop protection. Clckr MagSafe cases start at $50 for the clear Diamond case with MagSafe while the Onyx, Force and Carbon cost $60.
You can save about $8-$10 by getting a case that doesn’t have MagSafe support (the metal ring built into the case). But I generally encourage people to spend the extra money for a MagSafe-enabled case because of the number of MagSafe accessories on the market, some of them quite useful.
Thin or thicker?
Some people like minimal cases that add little to no bulk to their iPhone, but the majority of people are looking for a case that offers good protection — or even maximum protection. I personally tell people to find a case that’s not too thick and maybe even pretty slim and that offers at least 6-foot drop protection (and good corner protection).
Do you want a clear case?
Clear cases are popular because they show off your phone (and its color). But clear cases, especially cheaper ones, can become less clear over time and slowly start to yellow. Many case makers now add UV protection to their clear cases to prevent yellowing.
How we test the best iPhone 15 case
Several of the cases on this list were previously available for the iPhone 14 models and we added them to the list based on our previous testing with the iPhone 14. Typically, we try to use the case on the phone for at least a day and make sure the buttons on the phone work properly with the case on. With some cases, we uses them for several days or even weeks to see how they wear over time.
Design: We evaluate the more superficial and cosmetic aspects of cases. considering how aesthetically pleasing it is because people do buy cases solely for their colors and the artwork on the cases.
Durability: We look at the durability of the case, paying particular attention to corner and camera protection (raised corners on case can help your phone survive face-down falls).
Grip factor: We review the material the case is made of so we can talk about such factors as how grippy the phone feels in your hand and how protective it is.
Extra features: Some iPhone cases have extra features such as MagSafe, integrated kickstand or grips and, in the case of folio models, slots for storing credits cards and cash.
Long-term testing: While we don’t do long-term testing for most cases, we do use some of the most popular cases for longer periods to gauge how they wear over time and see how well our phone holds up during accidental drops with the case on it. That said, we don’t do formal drop tests.
Waterproof cases: Only a few fully waterproof cases are available, but If the case is supposed to be fully waterproof, we test it by submerging it in water.
iPhone 15 case FAQs
How protective of an iPhone 15 case should I buy?
I personally like cases that aren’t too thick but offer decent drop protection, with a lip over the edge of the screen (sometimes referred to as a “screen bumper”) and raised corners that help prevent your screen from cracking if your phone should fall face down. A folio case will more fully protect your screen.
Should I get a MagSafe case for my iPhone 15?
All the iPhone 15 models are equipped with Apple’s MagSafe feature, which offers faster wireless charging with compatible chargers. It also supports optional accessories — including Magsafe wallet, mini wallets and various mounts — that adhere magnetically to the back of your phone. Like the iPhone 14, the iPhone 15 has “an array of magnets” (Apple says they’re recycled) embedded around a charging coil that can pull up to 15 watts of power.
Are MagSafe cases more expensive?
In general, yes — about $10 more. There are some more affordable MagSafe cases that cost around $20, but most cost upwards of $30. We see cases from certain companies that are essentially the same, but one has MagSafe and the other doesn’t, and the MagSafe version usually sells for $10 more. It may seem like a little too much to pay for something that doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade, but in time MagSafe compatibility may command less of a “tax.”
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