12 best iPhone SE cases for your smaller phone

Great cases for all budgets

One of the great things about iPhones is that you can guarantee that there’ll be a wide range of cases made for them, and that’s especially true of the iPhone SE, as it also fits most iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S cases.

And now that it’s been available for a while the selection is stronger than ever, with everything from wood-backed weirdness to book-like wallets, battery cases and more.

As well as different materials and styles, these cases carry wildly differing prices too, so picking a definitive selection of the top cases is a tough job, but we’ve taken a stab at it.

Note: we've ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.

Credit: Olixar / MobileFun

1. Olixar Leather-Style iPhone SE Wallet Case

Leather-look without the price

Colors: Brown, Black | Material: Faux-leather

Premium look
Low price
Not real leather
Middling protection

You don’t need real leather to get a leather look, and this Olixar case comes in a lot cheaper than similarly styled rivals, thanks to its use of faux-leather.

It’s a convincing effect, and the wallet design means you also have slots for your cards and money, plus the case can be folded out into a stand for viewing media.

The slim, lightweight design won’t add unnecessary bulk to your iPhone SE, and the overall appearance is almost as good as the far pricier (and real leather) Twelve South BookBook, found further down this list.

2. Ghostek Cloak iPhone SE Aluminum Tough Case

A compact case made with real metal

Colors: Clear/Gold, Clear/Pink, Clear/Red, Clear/Silver, Clear/Space Gray | Material: Aluminum and TPU

Aluminum bumper
Slim design
Plastic back
Average protection

Even if you want a premium material you don’t have to spend a fortune, as the Ghostek Cloak case proves.

Granted, the back is made of plastic, but there’s an aluminum bumper for a stylish and high-end finish, and the plastic part is transparent, so the metal of your iPhone SE can shine through.

The design is fairly slim too and there’s a screen protector bundled with the case, so you can give your phone all-round protection.

3. Power Support Air Jacket for iPhone SE

Slim and minimal

Colors: Smoke, Clear, Black | Material: Plastic

Super slim
Minimal protection
Looks cheap

The great shame of cases is that they cover up a phone, that often, as in the iPhone SE’s case, has a premium design that you’d rather show off, but the Power Support Air Jacket does its best not to hide your device.

The case is incredibly slim at just 1.2mm thick, and it’s totally transparent, making it almost invisible. In fact, viewed at a distance you might not even realize the iPhone SE is in a case at all.

The downside to this minimalist design is that it doesn’t provide a huge amount of protection, but it should keep your phone safe from minor bumps and scratches.

4. Carved iPhone SE Traveler Wood Case

Real wood and real art

Colors: Various | Material: Wood and rubber

Wooden back
Stylish designs
Rubber frame
Could provide more protection

The Carved Traveler series is a gorgeous selection of cases, made from real wood with artworks carved into them.

Both the material and the designs make them different to most other cases out there and they’re certainly eye-catching.

The rubber frame detracts from the look a little, but it adds extra drop protection and makes it easier to firmly grip the case, and the phone it’s protecting.

5. Speck CandyShell Inked iPhone SE Case

Bright designs and lots of protection

Colors: Aqua Floral Blue/Ultraviolet Purple, Bold Blossoms White/Revolution Purple, Galaxy Purple/Revolution Purple | Material: Polycarbonate and acrylic

Surprisingly strong
Won't suit everyone
Only three design choices

Don’t think your iPhone is colorful enough? It will be if you stick it in one of these cases. Speck’s CandyShell Inked case comes in three different designs, all of which are almost blindingly bright in color.

They won’t be for everyone, but if any of the designs appeal and you want to stand out in a crowd this is the case for you.

The case also offers a lot of protection, with shock absorbing and impact dispersing properties, which meet or exceed military drop test standards.

6. Evutec Karbon S Series Snap Case for iPhone SE

A case made from super-strong Kevlar

Colors: Black | Material: Kevlar

Not cheap

This slim case is a lot stronger than it looks, and that’s down to being made from Kevlar – a material with five times the strength of steel. 

That means that even at just 0.7mm thick it still protects your phone, all without adding much weight or bulk and with a far more premium design than a plastic case. The case itself is also scratch resistant, so you’ll have to work hard to damage it.

7. Griffin Survivor All-Terrain Case for iPhone SE

Ultimate protection for your iPhone

Colors: Black | Material: Polycarbonate and silicone

Serious protection
Built-in clip
Very chunky
Bland design

If protection is your first, last and only priority then you can’t do much better than the Griffin Survivor All-Terrain.

This polycarbonate and silicone case is every bit as bulky as it looks in pictures, but it’s shatter-resistant, shock-absorbent, keeps dust and dirt out with hinged plugs, and of course it meets military drop test standards.

The size means it won’t comfortably fit in smaller pockets, but that needn’t be a problem as it also comes with a detachable heavy-duty clip, to attach the phone to your bag or belt.

8. Apple iPhone SE Leather Case

A simple case with a premium build

Colors: Black, Midnight Blue, Red | Material: Leather

Real leather
Snug fit
Doesn't provide loads of protection

Most leather cases tend to imitate wallets, but if you want a more conventional snap-on case that doesn’t cover the screen, Apple itself has a stylish option in black, red or blue.

As it’s made by Apple, you can be confident that this is a quality leather case, with a snug, slim fit. You can also be confident that your iPhone SE will be taken care of, thanks to a soft microfiber lining that helps protect it.

Even so, this doesn’t offer as much protection as some alternatives, including the aforementioned wallet-style cases, but it’s slim, stylish and leaves the screen instantly accessible and the iPhone SE looking every bit as good as it does without a case.

9. iPhone SE LuMee Case

Shines a light on your photos

Colors: Black, White, Rose Gold, Rose, Silver, Gold | Material: Plastic

Useful light
Loads of color choices
Cheap appearance

The LuMee case is one of the more unusual ones we’ve come across, as along with protecting your phone thanks to a tough plastic casing, it also has a light built into the frame.

This can be used as a torch, or to light up your face for selfies, and it has a variable dimmer, so you can get exactly the right amount of light from it.

10. OtterBox Defender Case for iPhone SE

Complete protection for your iPhone

Colors: Black, Glacier, Steel Berry, Berries and Cream, Morning Mist | Material: Polycarbonate and rubber

Loads of protection
Lots of color choices
Not cheap

OtterBox is famed for its rugged smartphone cases and with good reason, as for years they’ve been keeping phones safe from scrapes and falls.

Of its range, the Defender is perhaps the best, wrapping the iPhone SE in three layers of protection, including a two-piece internal shell, foam padding to cushion the handset, and a rubber slipcover to absorb the impact from drops and bumps.

But it doesn’t stop there. The OtterBox Defender also has an integrated screen protector, port covers to defend against dust, and even a holster, which can be used to clip the phone to a belt or bag, or to prop it up, by acting as a kickstand.

11. Twelve South BookBook Case for iPhone SE

A premium and stylish disguise

Colors: Brown | Material: Leather

Real leather
Disguises your phone
Unusual design won't be for everyone
Mediocre protection

There are loads of wallet cases around, but the Twelve South BookBook stands out in two key ways. First, it’s made of real leather, for a truly premium look and feel.

Secondly, the case is designed to look like a book, with a cover design on the hinge. It’s an unusual but attractive design, and one which disguises your phone as a pocket book, putting off would-be thieves.

The leather is hand distressed, so each one looks unique, and like any good wallet case there are slots for cards and cash.

12. Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone SE

Almost doubles the charge of your phone

Colors: Gold, Rose Gold, Black | Material: TBC

Built-in battery
Clever features

Battery life is one of the biggest problems faced by smartphones, and the Mophie Juice Pack Air aims to solve that, by building a battery into the case.

It’s cleverly designed, with the iPhone always draining the case’s battery first, and with a switch allowing you to choose between charging and standby, plus a four-light LED status indicator to tell you how much battery is left.

While somewhat chunky, the case is actually quite slim given that there’s a battery built in, and it promises to almost double the life of your phone.



James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps.