The best MagSafe cases for 2024

Keep your iPhone protected and maximize its wireless charging potential with one of the top MagSafe cases.

Best overall

A OtterBox Symmetry Series Clear Case sitting on a table

OtterBox Symmetry Series Clear Case

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Best folio

A black Nomad Modern Leather Folio case on a table

Nomad Modern Leather Folio

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Best budget

A black ESR Silicone Case With Kickstand on a table

ESR Silicone Case With Kickstand

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An iPhone is a multi-hundred dollar investment (even if you’re on a monthly payment plan), and MagSafe cases add ample protection without hindering the full functionality of the device. These sturdy cases allow you to wirelessly charge your iPhone on either a Qi charger or MagSafe charger. As its name suggests, MagSafe cases are outfitted with magnets, so they snap onto MagSafe chargers to keep your phone aligned in the most efficient spot for charging. These magnets will not damage your phone, even if you keep the same MagSafe case on daily for several years. The best MagSafe cases will save you from shelling out hundreds of dollars to Apple to get a broken iPhone replaced.

How we chose the best MagSafe cases

A MagSafe case is one of the simplest iPhone accessories because it only has one job: keeping your device safe. We’ve tested all of our recommendations, and every one passed the most common tests. All of these MagSafe cases held a strong connection on a MagSafe charging stand and pad. None of them significantly reduced the wireless charging speed on a MagSafe charger or Qi charger. Every case fit in our pocket—for reference, this was the front right-hand pocket of a men’s pair of jeans and an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Ultimately your choice will come down to protective preferences (bulky cases are more protective but weigh more) and aesthetics.

The best MagSafe cases: Reviews & Recommendations

Whether you’ve just gotten your new iPhone, or have been rocking the caseless lifestyle for a bit and want some extra protection, we have you covered. Our recommendations cover a wide spectrum of cost, drop protection, and additional features and styles, so you’ll be able to find the one that best suits your needs.

Best overall: OtterBox Symmetry Series Clear Case

OtterBox Symmetry Series Clear Case

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Specs

  • Materials: Polycarbonate, synthetic rubber
  • Military-grade drop protection: Yes
  • Price: $49.99

Pros

  • Raised edges for screen and camera protection
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Available in multiple styles

Cons

  • Non-textured sides

It may look a little simple, but OtterBox’s Symmetry Series Clear Case is the best MagSafe case we’ve tried so far. The case fit perfectly in the hand, adding minimal bulk or additional weight to the iPhone. The raised bumps over the volume, action, and power buttons made them easy to find by feel, and Otterbox’s cutout around the iPhone’s charging port was large enough to accommodate a wide range of charging cables.

Similarly, this case has raised lips that curl over the front side of the iPhone and camera module, offering some protection to both areas. You’re still better off using a screen protector to fortify the iPhone’s display, but it’s better to have some additional protection than none. Our only complaint is that the sides of the MagSafe cases are smooth, which make it more comfortable to hold, but a little easier to drop with sweaty or wet hands.

If you find this clear case’s look somewhat lackluster, don’t worry. OtterBox offers it in 16 additional styles, ranging from solid colors and tye dye to a number of different prints. All of these cases offer the same protective benefits as the clear case with a more visually interesting look. Additionally, every case in OtterBox’s Symmetry Series is made from 50% recycled plastic, which is nice if you’d like to be eco-friendly. As an all-around MagSafe case, you won’t find a better choice than one from the OtterBox Symmetry Series.

Best splurge: Casetify Custom Case

Casetify Custom Case

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Specs

  • Materials: Re/CASETiFY Pellets
  • Military-grade drop protection: Yes
  • Price: $82

Pros

  • Infinitely customizable
  • Available in multiple styles
  • Built-in stand

Cons

  • Cost
  • Action button cutout

If your budget allows, the best splurge-worthy MagSafe case comes from Casetify’s Custom series. There are three models within this series, which range in price between $42 and $112 based on their features, but the one we tested costs $82. Casetify’s Custom Case has a lot of aesthetic and design commonalities with our top pick from OtterBox. It’s also made out of Casetify’s Re/CASETiFY Pellets, which come from 65% recycled and plant-based materials. It has raised bumps on top of the power and volume buttons, but notably has a cutout where the action button is.

Some case makers didn’t know whether Apple would keep the mute switch found on previous generations of iPhones or move to a button. Casetify was in the former category. This does make the action button a little more difficult to hit. The case does reach over the top of the display to provide some screen protection, and the lip around the iPhone’s camera module is a lot larger—but for a very good reason.

The ring around the camera module can be pulled out and used to prop up the iPhone on a tabletop. This is enormously helpful if you’d like to watch videos on it without finding a wall or other object to prop it up against. Portable iPhone mounts have existed for years, but having a slim one built directly into the case is clutch. You’re guaranteed to have this stand with you, and it doesn’t add too much extra bulk to the case.

The real reason to get this MagSafe case is the ability to customize it with text (up to eight characters), shapes, and designs that can be arranged in several different ways. There are hundreds of different possible combinations, so in all likelihood you’ll end up with an iPhone case that’s unique—at least amongst your friend group. If standing out matters to you, this MagSafe case is worth the extra cost.

Best folio case: Nomad Modern Leather Folio

Nomad Modern Leather Folio

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Specs

  • Materials: Horween leather
  • Military-grade drop protection: No
  • Price: $80

Pros

  • Space for three cards and cash
  • Includes locking strap
  • Classic look

Cons

  • Cost
  • Bulky

If you’re looking to ditch your wallet for a MagSafe case that’ll hold your cards and cash for you, Nomad’s Modern Leather Folio is the way to go. When it’s fully opened opened, the case has a slot for your iPhone on the right-hand side, and what looks like the inside of a wallet on the other. There’re three horizontally oriented slots for credit, debit, or ID cards, and a large vertical slot for holding cash. Nomad also includes a little strap that fits through a cutout at the outside edge of the cash slot. This is an optional accessory, but using it allows you to magnetically latch the folio shut. Be mindful that the strap attaches to your phone’s MagSafe magnets, so you’ll have to move it out of the way when charging your phone.

Apple abandoned the leather iPhone case market this year, but Nomad has stayed the course, offering both this folio and a standard MagSafe case. Nomad’s MagSafe case is more expensive than most of our other recommendations, but it’s absolutely worth the additional cost. The folio looks gorgeous, feels supple to the touch, and there’s not a stitch out of place. Credit and ID cards fit snugly—but not tightly—in their respective cutouts, and both U.S. dollars and Euros fit neatly in the cash slot. This attention to detail is one of the reason we’ve consistently recommended Nomad cases and other accessories over the years. The company goes above and beyond to deliver excellent gear.

All that said, there are tradeoffs to choosing this MagSafe case that are inherent to any folio-style iPhone case. The biggest one comes down to size. This MagSafe case takes up a lot more pocket space than our other recommendations. This is evened out by the fact that we didn’t have to carry a wallet around in another pocket, but it’s something to be mindful of if you wear tighter pants. Using a folio case also means making your iPhone a little less accessible, as you need to open the MagSafe case after taking it out of your pocket, and flip the front part over the back of your iPhone to type two-handed.

This only takes a couple of seconds, but that could add up if you constantly take your iPhone out of your pocket. On the upside, using Nomad’s Modern Leather Folio does mean both the front and back of your iPhone will be protected in your pocket, and any time the device drops while the case is closed. If you’re lamenting the lack of a leather MagSafe case from Apple, or want a case that keeps all the valuables from your daily carry in one place, Nomad’s Modern Leather Folio is the one to get.

Best protective: OtterBox Defender Series XT Clear Case

OtterBox Defender Series XT Clear Case

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Specs

  • Materials: Polycarbonate shell, synthetic rubber slipcover
  • Military-grade drop protection: Yes
  • Price: $69.95

Pros

  • Two-piece protective design
  • Textured sides
  • USB-C cover

Cons

  • Tricky to assemble

If you’re worried about your clumsiness causing an iPhone accident, keep your device in OtterBox’s Defender Series XT Clear Case. It has every feature that we liked from the company’s Symmetry Series Clear Case and then some. This case’s raised buttons are even easier to find and hit because the top, sides, and bottom of the phone are covered in a texture slipcover made from synthetic rubber. This makes the iPhone easier to hold even with wet hands. This additional layer of protection around the outer rim of the phone also improves its durability and rigidity in case the iPhone falls on its side or a corner.

This case has a two-piece design: The outer case, and an inner plastic cut out fits between it and the iPhone. This additional buffer puts another literal layer between your iPhone and the outer case, and absorbs some of the impact when the device is dropped. Getting the outer layer to fit over some parts of the plastic insert can be tricky—you have to lift the outer layer over the plastic insert, which requires some finesse around the buttons and charging port—but the iPhone feels solid once the case is fully assembled.

A couple of design features struck us during our testing period with this case. The first is the larger raised lip around the camera module, and the second is a little door that fits over your iPhone’s USB-C port, which prevents water, dust, or other debris from getting inside. It’s these little touches that set the Defender Series XT Clear Case apart from other protective MagSafe cases. The biggest reason we’re recommending this MagSafe case over bigger, bulkier protective cases is that it balances protection and usability. Bigger cases may offer more protection, but they’re harder to fit inside a pocket, or add so much weight that holding your iPhone feels like a chore. OtterBox struck the right balance between usability and protection with this MagSafe case.

Best budget: ESR Silicone Case With Kickstand

ESR Silicone Case With Kickstand

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Specs

  • Materials: Silicone, Polycarbonate
  • Military-grade drop protection: Yes
  • Price: $24.99

Pros

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Built-in stand
  • Price

Cons

  • Feels slippery

ESR’s Silicone Case With Kickstand is the least expensive MagSafe case we’re recommending, but it doesn’t look, feel, or perform noticeably worse than our more expensive recommendations. The outside of the case is covered of silicone, which feels soft to the touch, but the back and sides are made out of a hard plastic, so it feels rigid when bent. That said, the case did feel a little more slippery to hold than our other recommendations, which have hard plastic or leather outer shells. The case’s raised fit over each of the iPhone’s buttons, which makes them easier to hit, a raised rim over the top of the display to provide some screen protection, and a large ring over the iPhone’s camera module.

The large ring around the iPhone’s camera module extends to act as a stand, which is a feature we liked with Casetify’s Custom Case. The stand felt just as rigid as the one built into Casetify’s case, and we were able to watch videos on it without the iPhone tipping over even if we accidentally bumped into it a little. This is a feature typically found on much more expensive MagSafe cases, so we were happy to see it here. There are no significant downsides to ESR’s Silicone Case With Kickstand, and it’s an excellent choice if you’re interested in MagSafe charging, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.

What to consider when buying the best MagSafe cases

There are many factors to think about when deciding which MagSafe case is right for you. Below are the ones we considered most important while deciding which ones to test and recommend. Cost was also factored into our decision.

Materials

MagSafe cases are made out of a number of common materials, which impact their durability and look. Durability is the most important aspect of the two, and we only chose MagSafe cases made from rugged materials, be they hard plastic or leather. Aesthetics are important when choosing a MagSafe case, as everyone you know (and don’t) will see your iPhone when it’s out on a table or in your hands. It’s important not to base your choice entirely on how a MagSafe case looks, but this should be a factor nonetheless.

Drop protection

Many MagSafe cases list their drop protection as a key durability specification. Previously, case makers provided a maximum height (in feet) at which an iPhone could fall inside a given case without sustaining damage. However, the material of the floor, velocity at which the iPhone falls, and the specific angle of its impact play too great a part in whether your device gets damaged. Since then, companies have moved on to using the term “military grade protection” and citing the MIL-STD-810H 516.8 or MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standards. These standards were developed in labs within the U.S. military to determine how susceptible an object is to sustaining damage from shockwaves caused when one object collides with another.

Supported models

We’re linking to MagSafe cases for the iPhone 15 because that’s the latest generation of Apple’s smartphone, but if you’re rocking an older model you’re still in luck. Most of these MagSafe cases are also available for older models, too. So if you need an iPhone 12 MagSafe case, or iPhone 14 Pro Max MagSafe case, you’re still in good shape.

Additional features

Some MagSafe cases have extra features that don’t impact their durability or aesthetics, but make them a little nicer to use nonetheless. An extra that’s becoming more popular, and is present in one of our cases, is a built-in flip-out iPhone stand, which allows you to prop the device upward on a table. This kickstand makes watching videos on a desk or airplane tray table more comfortable.

FAQs

Q: Are MagSafe cases worth it?

Yes. A MagSafe case has the same protective quality as a non-MagSafe case, but was designed with wireless charging in mind.

Q: Do AirPods stick to the MagSafe case?

No. AirPods do not stick to the MagSafe case.

Q: Will the MagSafe case stick to metal?

No. MagSafe cases do not stick to metal.

Q: What’s the difference between MagSafe and Qi charging?

The biggest difference between the two is that MagSafe charging is twice as powerful. An iPhone’s wireless charging speed tops out at 7.5 watts on a Qi charger, but 15 watts on a MagSafe charger.

Q: Does a MagSafe case reduce battery life?

No. A MagSafe case has no impact on the iPhone’s battery life.

Q: How much does a MagSafe case cost?

This generally depends on the material it’s made out of, but our recommendations cost between $25 and $80.

Final thoughts on the best MagSafe cases

There are thousands of iPhone cases on the market, but our recommendation is to consider one that supports MagSafe before moving on. There’s no downside to choosing a MagSafe case—and they’ve even fallen in price significantly in the past couple of years—and you’ll be all set up to take advantage of the fastest wireless charging speeds the iPhone offers. A MagSafe case will keep your iPhone protected and its battery filled for the entire life of the device. A well looked after iPhone can last several years, so even investing in a slightly more expensive MagSafe case is worth it if you keep your device until it no longer receives software updates.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Brandt Ranj

Staff Writer, Commerce

Brandt Ranj is a commerce reporter at Popular Science. He writes about the latest and greatest gadgets, from headphones and TVs to chargers and cables. He splits his time between New York City, Long Island, and Croatia, carting test gear around the U.S. and the globe.