The Best Apple Watch Cases for 2021 | Digital Trends

Your Apple Watch deserves the same protection as your phone, but many people don’t always think about putting a case on their Apple Watch. That means its risk of damage is probably much higher than you’d like.

Choosing the right cover to keep your watch safe without interfering with performance or ruining your style can be tough. This list has some of the best cases we’ve found with a variety of features to suit any wearer’s needs. Once your watch is protected, make sure you check out the best Apple Watch apps as well.

UAG Civilian Watch Case

UAG makes some stylishly sturdy smartphone cases, and its case for the Apple Watch is no different. Featuring dual-layer protection and raised edges, it will protect your device in the rare event you drop it while putting it on or taking it off. Despite a squarish design, the case is ultra-light and is easy to fit and remove, with buttons and cutouts in all the right places. It looks very sharp and won’t let your Apple Watch down.

Smiling All-Around Hard PC Case

Smiling All-Around Hard PC Case for Apple Watch

Made of a mix of hard polycarbonate and tempered glass, this case provides all-over protection for the Apple Watch. It combines a case for the rear and sides with a screen protector, so regardless of how exactly your device falls to the ground, it will protect the watch from the vast majority of accidents and impacts. The protector is also very thin, so it won’t reduce the brightness and vividness of the watch’s screen, or reduce its responsiveness.

OtterBox EXO EDGE Case

OtterBox EXO Edge Case for Apple Watch

Here’s one of the best Apple Watch cases you can find right now, offering a very modern design and battle-hardened protection. Made of PC and TPE, the case incorporates bumpers around its edges, so falls and other shocks won’t be a problem for it, or your watch. It also boasts a distinct bezel around its edge, protecting the watch’s display in the event of a direct impact. Can also be had in a variety of colors beyond the standard black.

Casetify Apple Watch Case

Casetify Apple Watch Case

Available for pretty much every Apple Watch size under the sun, this case from Casetify is offered in either black, silver, or gold. Its minimal design is complemented by very dependable protection, with the soft TPU doing a great job of absorbing falls and collisions. The material also means that it fits your Apple Watch very snugly, and can be removed and reapplied without much effort.

Monocarbon Real Carbon Fiber Case


If you want to avoid placing a cover over your watch face, but you still want that extra protection, try the Monocarbon Fiber case. Its extremely lightweight body of 0.7 grams is constructed with genuine carbon fiber material. Its glossy finish fits snugly and looks stylish on your wrist. You can get this case for Series 4 and 5 watches in both sizes. Each unit fits your watch precisely and promises to enhance your smartwatch experience and appearance. It comes in glossy black only.

RhinoShield Bumper Case

RhinoShield Bumper Case

RhinoShield’s thin, light bumper case — at just 1.9mm thin and 4 grams — provides an impact-resistant polymer exterior that gives you the ultimate in drop protection up to 4 feet, for your Apple Watch Series 4 and 5. The case rises just slightly above the screen surface to protect your watch face from damaging impacts. Precise cutouts provide full access to the watch’s digital crown, heart rate sensor, and charger. The case comes in a variety of colors to complement your watch strap.

Catalyst Waterproof Case


Engineered for adventure, Catalyst’s Waterproof Case for Apple Watch Series 4 is designed to protect your watch wherever you go and whatever you do. The case features 360-degree protection. It maintains full function IP68 waterproof protection at 330 feet (100m) and MIL-STD 810G drop protection up to 6.6 feet (2m). You get direct access to your touch screen even though it’s protected from water, dust, dirt, and snow. A raised bezel protects the screen from routine scratches and bumps. The case’s acoustic technology promotes crisp, clear audio. Not only is the case rugged, but it also comes with a comfortable hypoallergenic silicone band. The ECG functionality does not work with the waterproof case on. Similar cases for previous Apple Watch models are also available.

Sunkeyou TPU for Apple Watch


The Sunkeyou is a thin protective TPU bumper case for all generations of Apple Watch. Its curved edges offer full protection with a soft, durable, shockproof, and waterproof shield. It’s engineered with multiple plating processes to prevent the case from fading and provides easy access to all functional watch buttons and ports so you can charge your watch directly without having to remove the case. The cover is easy to install and remove. It comes in six colors to coordinate with your watch strap, or you can buy a four-pack with assorted colors.

Spigen Rugged Armor Pro Apple Watch Case

Spigen Rugger Armor Apple Watch Case

This shock-resistant case protects your Apple Watch like it’s wearing a suit of armor. It features a matte black frame made from durable, flexible TPU with fashionable faux carbon fiber accents and a gunmetal clasp. While fitting snugly, the case has tactile buttons and precise cutouts for all watch functions. The 1.2mm border around the screen shields the watch face from contact with hard surfaces. It comes bundled with a flexible strap. A similar version of this case is also available for previous versions of the Apple Watch.

X-Doria Defense Bumper for Apple Watch

X-Doria Bumper for Apple Watch

Your Apple Watch will be impervious to threats once it’s wrapped in the X-Doria Defense Bumper Apple Watch case and screen protector. Its metal frame is chip-resistant, and the tempered glass cover’s play-through design allows you to fully use your device while it’s protected in its case. It has a shock-absorbent rubber interior that holds your watch tightly and is available for Series 4 and some older Apple Watch models.

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro Rugged Protective Case for Apple Watch


If you’re a rugged outdoorsman, look no further than the Unicorn Beetle Pro—it’s ready to take on activities from rough mountain bike rides to sweltering runs. This case protects your Apple Watch incredibly well while keeping it completely functional, with all buttons easily reachable. Its raised bezel offers shock absorption and damage protection, and the snap-on design is simple to put on. The case has an anti-scratch, built-in watch band in multiple colors, and two-tones to finish the look.

Viqiv Bling Protective Face Bumper Case

Viviq bling protective face bumper

There might be times when you want to dress up your Apple Watch a bit. For these occasions, the Viqiv transforms almost any Apple Watch model into a unique piece of jewelry. Its lightweight crystal rhinestone cover and extra sparkles around the watch face will ensure that you stand out and light up the night. The watch case is simple to put on—just clip it over your watch without even taking off the band. Vacuum plating gives color to the strong plastic frame to make a distinctive look for any event, and the cover is available in gold, rose gold, pink, black, and silver. Be aware that this case is not waterproof. It’s an excellent choice for customizing your watch’s appearance, but if you’re mainly after protection, you’ll want to consider some other models.

Research and buying FAQs

Is a case or screen protector better for an Apple Watch?

Both are viable choices. If you are only concerned about scratches on the display and nothing else, a little screen protector may be your best choice. If you want to give your Apple Watch new capabilities like waterproofing, or protect it from bad knocks it might get on the job or during recreation, then a case is a better idea.

Can you change the frame on an Apple Watch?

The case or frame of the Apple Watch cannot be customized or replaced. However, it can be covered with another frame placed on top. This makes your Apple Watch bulkier, but it does allow you to customize the appearance more thoroughly. Take a look at faceplate options to see what we’re talking about.

Will all cases work across different Apple Watch Series?

No. There are different Apple Watch sizes to keep in mind when shopping. Apple Watches are measured vertically: The Series 1 and Series 2 are 38mm, and after that, the Series start to diverge. The Series 3 was available in 38mm and 42mm. The Series 4 was available in 40mm and 44mm, a trend that continued with the additional Series so far. The size options are primarily designed to fit larger or smaller wrists more comfortably.

While some companies purport one-size-fits-all cases, we advise you not to trust those claims as 100% trustworthy. It’s always best to find a case that fits your specific Apple Watch size.

Are there waterproof cases for the Apple Watch?

If you have an Apple Watch Series 3 or later, you may not need one. This Series boasts a waterproof design with a 50-meter water-resistance guarantee so that you can do pretty much anything underwater with them, from showering to snorkeling. But for earlier Series or extended use in water, a waterproof case is a good idea. These cases exist, and you can find an affordable option from Catalyst right here (and in our list). Just make sure you get the right case for your Series.

Are Apple Watch cases worth it?

That depends on what you want. If you want to waterproof an earlier Apple Watch, a case is necessary. If you just want to protect your Apple Watch from damage, you don’t need a case, but it can help. If you are paranoid about small scratches on the Watch face, investing in a case can prevent that. Lastly, you’ll want to invest in a case if you are an outdoors adventurer that wears your watch to go hiking, climbing, gardening, or camping, to name a few activities where dust and dirt are plentiful. On the other hand, if you don’t like anything between you and the Watch screen, a case may drive you crazy.

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