10 Best iPhone XS and XS Max cases
Keep your pricey new gadget protected with our top pick
What kind of phone case do you like? A folio with a front cover that opens like a book? Or maybe you just want something that clips on to the back of the phone – especially now all new iPhones have glass backs?
And then there’s the sleeve, which you can slip off, so you can use the iPhone naked, as it were. Some folios include pockets for credit cards, even.
All such kinds are represented here, and as you’ll see, the range in prices is quite wide. There is a trade-off between robustness and thinness, subtlety and big statement, all of which are down to personal taste.
The only thing that’s certain about an iPhone case is that you’ll regret you didn’t have one when you drop it. After all, these new phones are the same price as or higher than last year’s iPhone X, starting at £999 and £1,099 respectively.
Even though the latest iPhone XS and XS Max have the most durable glass yet for a smartphone, that doesn’t mean it’s shatterproof.
All the cases here are compatible with iPhone XS or iPhone X, with a larger version available for the iPhone XS Max.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Peel Super Thin iPhone XS: £19, Peel
Peel’s case lives up to its name. It is so thin that anyone looking will think your iPhone doesn’t have a case on it.
It comes in a bunch of colours and some of them, especially the Jet White option, which really gleams, are fantastic looking.
It’s so thin that it doesn’t offer protection to the screen, though Peel makes screen protectors made of glass, too (£22).
But in terms of getting as close as possible to how it feels to use the iPhone without a case, Peel is hard to beat.
Mous iPhone XS Limitless 2.0: From £29.99, Mous
There are plenty of videos which show the Mous case protecting an iPhone successfully, even if it’s been dropped from a huge height.
It works thanks to a special material called “AiroShock” which has tiny air pockets across a polymer material like a spring mattress.
The case is slim and has a useful front edge to protect the screen, too. It fits very tightly, so if you’re one of those people who keeps a gym membership card inside the phone case, this is not for you.
But there are optional add-ons for cards which attach magnetically to the back. You can pick from different exotic materials: carbon fibre, walnut, leather, bamboo and seashell.
Apple iPhone XS Leather Folio: From £99, Apple
Apple’s deluxe leather case is opulence itself. And it has extra features, such as a front cover that when you open it wakes the iPhone inside. It fits perfectly, as you’d expect, with a microfibre lining to keep the phone pristine.
There’s room for bank notes (though British ones are a better fit in the XS Max case), cards and so on. It comes in six colours: forest green, peony pink, cape cod blue, black and red.
Unlike most iPhone cases, there’s a premium for the extra leather needed for the Max version – it costs £129.
Proporta Flex Switch Case: £34.95, Proporta
Functional and highly protective, the Flex Switch build includes carbon fibre, which is very strong and sounds cool. There’s decent anti-shock protection from a slim case.
A kickstand swings out of the top edge so you can set your iPhone up to watch videos on it – something that really works well with the larger 6.5-inch display on the XS Max.
There are also usefully grippy ridged sides and, like the Mous above, there’s a raised lip to protect the front of the iPhone.
Apple iPhone XS Silicone Case: £45, Apple
This is the most affordable case Apple makes and it comes in bunch of colours, from the demure (midnight blue, lavender grey, black) to the eye-catching, such as nectarine and pink sand.
Microfibre lining keeps the rear of the iPhone smart. The silicone case is also the least slippy, and it feels soft and comfortable in the hand. Like other cases here, it works with the iPhone’s wireless charging capabilities.
Gear4 Piccadilly: £29.99, Gear 4
D3O is a special material which hardens when it is hit, dissipating the energy. This means that you can drop your iPhone in this case from a height of 10 feet without damage. But it’s still slim and light.
The D3O sits in the edge of the case but there’s also polycarbonate and other materials which add impact protection, too. Choose from white, black or rose gold for the D3O edge colour.
Lucrin Classic Case: From £47, Lucrin
Swiss manufacturer Lucrin has 60 or more shades on offer in various styles including this sleeve. The leather is rich, and you can pick from granulated, smooth, goat, vegetable tanned or metallic finish leather.
Or the deluxe versions which include ostrich leather (£204), and crocodile style calfskin. All are slim and supple, fitting perfectly and sliding off the phone quickly enough when a call comes in.
The top edge of the iPhone protrudes by a millimetre or two, making it easier to get at the phone. The leather sleeve is an excellent protector against scratches, of course. Lucrin also makes a wallet case, a pouch with pocket, zipped leather pouch and a case with a pull tab, among others.
The Max version has different designs, such as an elegant pouch where the top and side are partly open.
Nodus Access Case III: £39.99, Nodus
The newly announced Access case is the third version from Nodus – available for pre-order now and delivery late next month.
The iPhone attaches by suction so there’s no bulky cradle holding it in place. The leather comes in four colours including a delightful dark teal and there’s a pocket in the front for notes and cards. This is beautifully made.
Apple iPhone XS Leather Case: £55, Apple
Not to be confused with the Leather Folio, this is a leather case that fits the back of the phone only, though with a lip to protect the screen.
The cape cod blue is especially attractive, we’d say, but there are seven other colours to choose from too. The leather ages gently – the saddle brown version becomes dark and deeply attractive as it wears in.
Like all Apple cases, the logo is indented on the back and after a few months this wears almost smooth, though is still unmissably there.
Mujjo Full Leather Wallet Case: From £44.41, Mujjo
Classy build quality makes the Mujjo cases stand out, this newly redesigned version of a popular case includes an integrated slot for credit cards on the back without bulking the case out too much.
The leather edges protrude 1mm above the glass to protect the display. Buttons like the mute switch are easy to find thanks to the way the openings around them curve gently in.
Choose from tan, black and olive finishes. An elegant and useful case.
The Verdict: Best iPhone XS And XS Max Cases
The iPhone XS and XS Max are pricey items, so it’s no surprise that some of the cases and sleeves aren’t that cheap either – though the Peel case is highly affordable and offers the ultimate in slim protection.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.