If giving your child a phone wasn’t already enough of a stressful decision, now you also have to figure out how to protect that expensive investment.
After all, it would be pointless for your child to attempt calling you on a broken phone, right? Not to mention replacements don’t exactly grow on trees, and broken screens are more than just cosmetic inconveniences.
A case is an obvious solution — but how do you compromise between your need for security and your child’s desire to have something cool and “in”?
Luckily, the market intersects at the perfect place to get you both style and protection with many different models and brands to choose from.
In this article, we’ll help you identify what makes a great iPhone case for your kid, and point out the best ones along the way.
- Do You Ever Need to Get This for Your Kid’s iPhone?
- Best iPhone Case for Kids: Our Picks
- How to Choose an iPhone Case for Kids
- Useful Tips and Tricks
Do You Ever Need to Get This for Your Kid’s iPhone?
Most likely, yes.
I know many of us adults don’t use a case at all for our Apple products, be it an iPhone or MacBook. That’s probably because we’d like to let others know we’re using an iPhone or Mac with the shiny Apple logo. But for kids, design, and brand may not be their top priority. Instead, it’s protection and style.
You’ll see below that we’ve rounded up some of the most protective but also stylish cases available on the market. They’ll give peace of mind to the parents of clumsy kids and also please your child’s eye for design with fun color combinations and patterns.
These cases are usually only held back by their bulk, so they’ll work well for just about any situation and are recommended for all parents who are footing the bill on a delicate iPhone.
And even if you aren’t a parent, the cases have the same protection value and we would recommend checking them out anyways to see if your current case could benefit from an upgrade.
Best iPhone Case for Kids: Our Picks
Each part of this section looks at a top kids’ iPhone case and covers why it rises above such a crowded market.
- Best For: Overall
- Key Features: Various colors and styles. Strong design. Built to last. Plastic screen cover. Multi-layer design.
- Weight: 4.5 ounces
- Form Factor: Bumper
- Material: Polycarbonate
If your kids want a solid, well-rounded case that protects their phone from just about any drop or bump, it’s hard to beat the Otterbox Defender. The company is known for their tough, reliable products, and the Defender shows why. It’s a well-made case with a strong multi-layer design.
It’s also relatively easy to handle and has a sticky feel that keeps it in your hand. The plastic screen cover is another bonus. Something else kids will love is that it comes in different colors and styles so they can customize it to their personal preferences.
The biggest setback to Otterbox cases is that they are on the bulky side. Smaller kids may have some trouble keeping it in their pocket, but that won’t be as big of an issue with older ones.
- Best For: Sleekness
- Key Features: Slim-but-sturdy case. Shock absorbing technology. Textured, reinforced outer layer. Fingerprint-free finish.
- Weight: 2.08 ounces
- Form Factor: Basic Case
- Material: Synthetic Rubber, Polycarbonate, Thermoplastic Polyurethane
Many modern cases, while effective, tend to get in the way. The Ultra Defender Slim Fit seeks to fix that issue by giving your kids a sturdy option with a slim, easy-to-handle profile. It molds perfectly with your iPhone in a way that’s never too bulky or awkward to hold.
Backing that is an excellent rubber/polycarbonate/polyurethane construction that absorbs shocks from drops and accidents. The screen protection allows you to lay your phone on any flat surface without worries and the textured outer layer is easy to grip.
This case does not come with a plastic screen cover, which is a bit of a bummer in today’s world. Even so, that’s not a knock against the case itself, which remains one of the best ways your kids can protect their phones.
- Best For: Durability
- Key Features: Waterproof, snow proof, and shockproof. High drop rating. Built-in scratch protector. Easy charging. Dust protection.
- Weight: 1.28 ounces
- Form Factor: Bumper
- Material: Silicone
Every iPhone case is strong to a certain degree, but few options put more of an emphasis on durability than the LifeProof Fre. This case doesn’t just have a tough-but-comfortable silicone build, it also protects against just about any bump, fall, scrape, or obstacle you may encounter.
This model is shock, snow, water, and dust proof. That’s then backed up by a virtually invisible scratch protector, as well as a USB port for easy charging. It’s easy to install and even comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
This case is strong, but the way it fits around the phone can make it a bit tough to hold against your ear when making calls. Be aware that you might see some trouble in that area when using this item.
- Best For: Style
- Key Features: Scratch-resistant. Fun, cartoonish design. Lightweight and easy to use. Various colors and styles.
- Weight: 0.81 ounces
- Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.7 x 0.8 inches
- Material: Thermoplastic Polyurethane, Gel
If your kids enjoy something a bit flashier or more fun than what’s commonly on the market, they may like the Umiko iPhone Case. This model is truly unique in both look and style. Rather than going for a solid color, it comes with bright animal images as well as various patterns.
It’s a well-made option too. The polyurethane build is strong enough to take on any accidents, while the gel finish is comfortable to hold and use. You also get excellent scratch protection as well as a lightweight build that’s much more slim than other models on the market.
Younger children will love this case for the bright colors and fun images. However, older kids or teens may not be as enamored with the look. Know this is aimed at a slightly younger crowd.
- Best For: Lightweight
- Key Features: High drop rating. Soft bubble pattern interior. Raised lip design. Prismatic coloration and front-facing audio channel.
- Weight: 0.64
- Form Factor: Bumper
- Material: Aluminum, Polycarbonate, Thermoplastic Polyurethane
If you have older kids or children who want a case that’s a bit more modern, the Raptic Shield is a great buy. This affordable case comes with a scratch and shock resistant build. On top of that, it weighs almost nothing. That adds some sleekness to the design other models lack.
This also comes with a strong screen protector as well as a raised lips that defends against both drops and scratches. In terms of style, the iridescent color that runs around the edges works perfectly with the toned-down look to give it a more attractive appearance.
The only drawback is that the metal case can weaken your cell reception at times. If you have good service it’s not an issue, but your kids may see some bar drops in weaker areas.
- Best For: Fun
- Key Features: High-quality silicone build. Lightweight and thin. Dustproof. Shockproof. Many color options.
- Weight: 1.13 ounces
- Dimensions: 6.73 x 4.25 x 0.63 inches
- Material: Silicone
Kids looking for a blend of power and fun will love the Coralogo Color Cat Case. As with the Umiko above, this is a vibrant case with a large emphasis on style. It absolutely pops, but manages to do so without sacrificing any features that make it an effective item.
The model looks amazing, but it’s also drop resistant, scratch resistant, dustproof, and shockproof. It’s lightweight, thin enough to handle, and can take on just about anything that get thrown at it. Perfect for surviving long trips or clumsy kids.
Just know that if the case does get knocked hard it may get bent out of shape. In that case, you have to remove your phone to put it back. That’s annoying, but by no means a deal breaker.
7. Jowhep Case
- Best For: Grip
- Key Features: Sturdy anti-drop design. Fun, cartoon style. Comfortable grip. Unique coating. Bright colors. Friction-resistant.
- Weight: 1.58 ounces
- Dimensions: 7 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches
- Material: Silicone, Thermoplastic Polyurethane
This case from Jowhep is another vibrant, colorful option that younger kids will love. However, it also has one of the best grips around. Not only is it friction resistant, but the unique materials are easy to hold and extremely comfortable. It’s rarely going to fall from your kid’s hand.
The protective shell is also resistant to shocks, bumps, fingerprints, and scratches. That’s a great blend of features that ensures the phone stays nice and safe no matter where your kid decides to take it.
Just note that, for all of its wonderful characteristics, this case does not have the snuggest fit. It sits on the phone well enough, but extreme handling or rough turbulence may cause it to come a bit loose.
How to Choose an iPhone Case for Kids
While you’d be hard-pressed to find someone still using an iPhone 4, there’s still plenty of 5, 5C’s, 6, 6 Plus and more in circulation.
Each generation of iPhone tends to have a slightly different shape, so whether you’ve given your kid your leftovers from an upgrade or the iPhone Xs, you’ll need to check to make sure your favorite case supports the phone type.
Most of the protection of the phone is going to revolve around encasing the back and sides in a combination of shock-resistant materials, but this can be hard to judge from an image.
You should always check the product description for ratings such as drop tests to judge how strong a case is. You should also look for water and dust-resistant cases that will often include covers for the ports such as the charger and audio jack.
The most protective cases include a plastic cover over the screen that snaps onto the main body of the case.
While you can always substitute with a tempered glass protector, the built-in ones have the advantage of adding strength to the overall case and being easily removable.
While the importance of style varies from person to person, the market for cases is extremely wide and leaves you with plenty of options.
Whether your child prefers red or blue, dots or solid colors, there is a variety of choices. And if they’re still not satisfied, there’s always the potential to add stickers and other decals to make it their own.
Useful Tips and Tricks
Protection doesn’t just have to be physical. When buying an iPhone for your child, make sure to check out the AppleCare policies that offer insurance against unwanted accidents. The package is also great for getting technical support.
Since the phone is for your child, you’ll probably also want to make sure it’s age-appropriate accessible. This means enabling parental controls and other protective features that can lock down things such as the app store or certain websites.
For Apple’s official guide to using parental controls, you can click here to learn more. You can also see this video that has some helpful tips and tricks.
As more and more kids come to school with iPhones, there are more and more parents behind the scenes fretting that the screen is going to come home with a spiderweb of fractures or that the device will be showing off battle scars in the form of dents and scratches.
Fortunately, a good case can help keep the trade-in or resell value of your child’s phone high and there are plenty available to choose from.
Do you have a favorite protective case that you or your child uses? Tell us about it in the comments below!