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Best iPhone SE cases: how to protect your iPhone

Included in this guide:

Best iPhone SE cases
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone SE is a delight for many, striking the right balance of affordability with all the value that comes from Apple's powerful processing and long-term software support (especially if you get one of these iPhone SE deals). 

But that value is only as good as the condition of the phone, and the iPhone SE is just as vulnerable to a rough tumble on the ground as most any other phone. We highly recommend keeping your iPhone SE safe in a case.

As with the first generation iPhone SE, the best iPhone SE cases will help keep your phone safe for the long run. You might be keep your iPhone SE alive long enough to span the gap until Apple releases a third-generation of iPhone SE years down the line. 

And, as luck would have it, many of the best iPhone 8 cases (and iPhone 7 for that matter) work with the iPhone SE. So, if you want to maximize the value you get from your iPhone SE, check out one of these older cases to protect it. Plus Black Friday and Cyber Monday may drop some of these prices, alongside the best Black Friday iPhone deals if you're looking to upgrade your handset.

We haven't had all of the iPhone SE cases in our test labs, but based on our experts' opinion and knowledge of the most reputable brands around, we think these are worth looking at.

Our selections take into account online reviews, brand reputation, product capability, or unique features, to help you pick through the maze of choices available to you.

Best iPhone SE cases 2021

Spigen Ultra Hybrid

(Image credit: Spigen)

1. Spigen Ultra Hybrid

Style to match your phone

Reasons to buy
+Affordable Protection+Clear back
Reasons to avoid
-No added functionality

The Spigen Ultra Hybrid case offers classic protection for your iPhone SE without going overboard. The case wraps around your phone with a soft TPU bumper that protects it from drops on all sides by absorbing shock. 

The edges are raised as well, so it can handle a drop onto flat surfaces without letting the screen or camera hit the ground. The rear of the case features a hard, clear polycarbonate that lets your phone show through or that you can use to display your own art.

Speck Presidio Grip

(Image credit: Speck)

2. Speck Presidio Grip

Extra confidence in your hand

Reasons to buy
+Added Grip+Dual-layered
Reasons to avoid
-Basic style

There are two things you should really want your iPhone SE case to protect from: bad falls and falling in the first place. The Speck Presidio Grip has both covered. 

This case combines hard polycabonate and Speck's own Impactium rubber to protect your phone from drops up to 10 feet above the ground. Of course, grip is in the name, so Speck has added rubber ridges around the case to give your hand better purchase on the sides of the phone.

Dockem Wallet Case

(Image credit: Dockem)

3. Dockem Wallet Case

Hold your phone and a couple of extras

Reasons to buy
+Classy look+Card holders
Reasons to avoid
-Open bottom-Small lip

If you like to just grab your phone and go, the Dockem iPhone SE case might be for you. This case has a simple, leather aesthetic that offers some minor protection and a style upgrade at the same time.

It may not be the most protective because of its open bottom and lack of much lip to guard the display, but it has a handy extra. The rear of the case has two card slots, so you can ditch your wallet and keep your ID and credit card handy wherever you go.

JETech Case

(Image credit: Jetech)

4. JETech Case

As affordable as it gets

Reasons to buy
+Super cheap+Clear design
Reasons to avoid
-Very basic

If you just want to rest easy knowing your iPhone SE is protected without going overboard and paying a bunch extra, then check out the JETech case. This case offers a basic combination of soft TPU and hard polycarbonate for a case that stays snug on your iPhone SE while offering durable protection on all sides. 

The case is also entirely clear, so you won't be hiding the looks of your iPhone SE.

Apple Silicone Case

(Image credit: Apple)

5. Apple Silicone Case

A sure fit

Reasons to buy
+Apple designed+Microfiber lining
Reasons to avoid
-Apple prices-Basic

Sometimes it's easier to trust Apple to get it just right when making an accessory for an Apple product. Toward that end, there's the Apple Silicone Case. This is a fairly basic case, with silicone that wraps around the back and sides of the phone for simple drop protection. 

It has a soft-touch finish to avoid any sticky feeling that some silicone cases can have, and it's thin enough to support wireless charging while on the phone. It costs a lot more than similar cases, but you can rest assured in Apple's quality control.

i-Blason Cosmo Series

(Image credit: i-Blason)

6. i-Blason Cosmo Series

Tough and flashy

Reasons to buy
+Serious protection+Stylish
Reasons to avoid
-Adds thickness

You don't have to settle for a case that just brings protection to your phone. The i-Blason Cosmo Series cases add both style and protection. You can find a number of different looks, but you'll be getting serious defense as well. 

i-Blason manages this with multiple parts that layer together for shock absorption and scratch resistance. The protective front casing even has a built-in screen protector, keeping one of the most vulnerable parts of your phone extra safe. As a bonus, i-Blason also has a number of matching cases for AirPods and Apple Watch.

Lifeproof Fre

(Image credit: Lifeproof)

7. Lifeproof Fre

Maximum protection

Reasons to buy
+Fully sealed+Serious protection
Reasons to avoid

If you don't mind spending a bit of extra money and adding some extra bulk to make sure your iPhone SE is secure, then check out the Lifeproof Fre case. This case fully enclosed your iPhone SE to protect it from whatever you might encounter. 

It guards against drops from up to two meters, and it can go down to two meters underwater for up to an hour. It certainly adds some bulk to the phone, but that may be worth it for the peace of mind.

Spigen Tough Armor

(Image credit: Spigen)

8. Spigen Tough Armor

Tough meets affordable

Reasons to buy
+Compelling price+Built-in stand
Reasons to avoid

Spigen's Tough Armor case is just what it sounds like. This affordable case offers up serious protection by combining a hard, polycarbonate shell to resist abrasion with a TPU bumper for drop protection on all sides. While many cases use that combination, the Tough Armor case also adds in a layer of Impact Foam to further absorb the shock of a drop. 

And, even with all those layers, it's only adding 0.1 inches of extra thickness to the iPhone SE, so it can continue to work with wireless charging. As an added bonus, the case includes a kickstand on the back, so you can set it up to enjoy content hands-free on your iPhone SE.

FYY Leather Case

(Image credit: FYY)

9. FYY Leather Case

Folio for life

Reasons to buy
+Wallet case+Multi-function
Reasons to avoid
-Tight cash slot

There are a lot of perks to a folio case like the FYY Leather Case. This case combines a soft shell for the iPhone SE itself, holding it secure in the folio case and protecting its sides from drops. Meanwhile, the folio includes a magnetic clasp to help keep the front closed over the display for 360-degree protection. 

The front of the folio has three card holders and a cash slot, though this type of folio case tends not to have a lot of room for many bills. The case also can double as a stand, giving you an easy way to watch content on your iPhone SE. The case isn't just protecting your phone either, as its RFID blocking will keep your cards safe as well.

Elesnow Case

(Image credit: Elesnow)

10. Elesnow Case

Big and bold

Reasons to buy
+Secure magnetic closure+Doubles as a wallet
Reasons to avoid

If you want a case that lets you store more than your iPhone, the Elesnow case is a good-sized wallet. It has room for two cards and some cash, along with your iPhone SE. It's a comfy fit with premium leather and TPU ensuring your phone is protected from all the usual bumps and drops it could suffer from. 

It's also possible to use the case in a stand-up position which can be helpful if you want to watch video content, plus it all looks rather smart for the price tag.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.