Best iPhone XS, XS Max & XR Cases of 2018: Waterproof, Drop-Proof & Shatterproof

When the iPhone X made its debut in 2017, it was dubbed Apple's most breakable iPhone ever—ouch. This year all three of Apple's new iPhones, the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, have glass backs. But Apple insists they include, "the most durable glass ever in a smartphone... and a new level of water and dust resistance." Nevertheless, these are all pricey devices, so iPhone cases are a must to protect your purchase. With that in mind, here's a review of the best iPhone cases on the market for the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR. Whether you need a cool iPhone case that's waterproof or one just tough enough to make sure those pretty glass backs and OLED screens never shatter or crack, our roundup has all the best protective phone cases for your new iPhone. First, we'll cover waterproof iPhone cases for the X, XS, XS Max, and XR, many of which also offer heavy-duty drop protection. For those less concerned about iPhone water damage, we'll also look at cases focused solely on being drop proof and shatterproof. Let’s jump in; here are the best cases for Apple's new iPhones from Otterbox, UAG, Lifeproof, and more. 

Related: Best Protective Cases for the iPhone 8 & 8 Plus: Waterproof, Rugged, and Tough

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Best iPhone Cases: How Do We Choose?

For our roundup, I’m including both heavy-duty waterproof cases for iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR, and cases that focus solely on drop protection. You can get a wider range of style options if drop protection if your sole concern. But rest assured, we’ll also include the top waterproof cases with fantastic drop protection. If the case is waterproof, we’ll be looking for a rating of IP68 (the iPhone X is rated IP67 and the iPhone XS is rated iP68). When it comes to drop protection, our iPhone cases need to be drop-proof up to at least four feet. We’ll also update this list as time goes on, including price changes, personal experiences, and wireless charging information.  

iphone cases

Will My iPhone X Case Fit My iPhone XS?

Although the height and width of the iPhone X and iPhone XS are the same, there is a slight difference in the size of the camera sensor or "camera bump." Therefore not every case that fits the iPhone X will seamlessly transfer to the iPhone XS. Don't worry, though, we'll let you know which cases fit the iPhone X, iPhone XS, or both. Also, there's no harm in trying your iPhone X case on your new XS to check the fit; But especially for the waterproof cases, even a tiny gap could allow water to seep in and using an iPhone X case on an iPhone XS is probably not worth the risk.

Best Waterproof iPhone X, XS, XS Max & XR Cases

1. Lifeproof Fre ($89.99)

The Lifeproof Fre cases are always one of the best protective cases for any iPhone. And the cases for the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR are no different. The Fre is dust proof, dirt proof, snow proof, and waterproof. It has a waterproof rating of IP68, which means it’s good in water up to 6.6-feet for an hour. It meets military standards for drop proofing and even includes a one-year limited warranty. The Fre is fantastically slim for a waterproof case and doesn't have anything covering your screen. 

lifeproof

2. Catalyst Waterproof Case ($89.99)

Compatible with iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

catalyst

Waterproof up to 33 feet and drop proof for over six feet, this Catalyst case is fully sealed against dust, dirt, and snow. It meets or exceeds military-grade drop and shock protection standards. The case's integrated screen protector keeps your screen scratch free while providing full touchscreen sensitivity. Plus, the clear back of the case allows you to admire the design of your new iPhone while keeping it safe from the perils of everyday life.

3. Dog&Bone Wetsuit Impact Case ($79.95)

Compatible with iPhone X and iPhone XS

iphone xs cases

I’m including this brand on trust factor alone. The first protective iPhone case article I ever wrote was flooded with comments of readers wondering why I hadn't included them— I hadn't heard of them! Since, I’ve tried multiple Dog&Bone cases and understand why they have such a vocal fanbase. The Wetsuit Impact for iPhone X and iPhone XS has 360-degree water, shock, dirt, drop, and snow protection, and comes in four colors including bright orange, turquoise, black, and gray.

So far, the company states that the Wetsuit Impact for iPhone XS will have the same 360-degree water, shock, dirt, drop, and snow protection as the iPhone X case. It’s already sold out, but you can message Dog & Bone here and ask to be notified when it’s available.

4. Armor-X iPhone Case with Caribener ($69.99)

Compatible with iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max

Hooray, one waterproof case that fits both the iPhone X and XS! You'll have to buy a separate one for an XS Max, of course. If you often need to dock your iPhone to your bike, belt, or armband, the Armor-X has a mounting system built into the back of the case. It is, of course, rated IP68, which means it’s good in water up to 6.6-feet for an hour. It has over six feet of drop protection, as well as being dirt proof, shock proof, and snow proof. It includes screen protection and a carabiner. 

5. Universal Waterproof Pouch ($6.99)

Compatible with iPhone X and iPhone XS

6. JOTO Universal Pouch ($6.68)

Compatible with iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
 

This is not a case that’s going to protect against drops. This isn’t a case at all. But it’s a great low-budget option if you’re solely worried about keeping your iPhone dry. This isn’t a case you’d always have on your iPhone, rather something you’d put your iPhone in for specific occasions such as lounging by the pool or going out on the lake. Again, it doesn’t offer drop protection; but the iPhone X and iPhone XS are small enough devices that it should be possible to have a case on your iPhone in the first waterproof pouch option, and the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR should comfortably fit in the second. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a nice option to have.

Best Protective Drop-Proof iPhone X, XS, XS Max & XR Cases

1. UAG Monarch Series iPhone Cases ($59.95)

Compatible with iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

This case is not waterproof, but the brand directly states that it is compatible with wireless charging. It has double the military standard for shock and drop protection, and it even comes with a 10-year limited warranty. If you’re not concerned with waterproofing and want a seriously solid iPhone X, XS, XS Max, or XR case, this is a really fantastic option.

2. Case-Mate Karat iPhone Case ($50)

Compatible with iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

If you want your drop protection to also be a show-stopper, check out Case-Mate’s huge line of new iPhone X, XS, XS Max, and XR cases. They’re beautiful, glamorous, and a lot of fun. I’ve had a chance to review and test these out in person as well, and they’re mesmerizing. The cases also offer military-grade impact protection, so it’s strength and beauty. The shock-absorbing bumper is great for protecting the edges of your phone, and the case is scratch-resistant so it’ll look good even after a few tumbles.

3. Speck Presidio Metallic iPhone Case ($44.95)

Compatible with iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

The Presidio Metallic case from Speck has a beautiful sheen with the drop protection you need. The case’s two layers of protection keep your iPhone safe for drops up to ten feet. That’s the first story of a building! The raised bezel keeps your screen safe as well. The slim design and lifetime warranty make it a hard case to pass up. Not a fan of the metallic? Speck has many other beautiful designs to check out.

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Conner Carey is a writer & joyous creator; she works with online businesses to develop their brand and as a creative consultant to help artists of all kinds get unblocked. You can reach her at connercarey.com (coming soon) or @connerleecarey on Instagram. She’s currently garage-selling all of her stuff to hit the road in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi. Follow their adventures on instagram @georgiatheRV.