Though many of the latest smartphones are water-resistant, you’re out of luck if you drop your phone in the pool. Sure, you could reach for a bowl of rice and try that method, but why be reactive when you can be proactive? What do we mean? We mean a waterproof case.
With the world finally beginning to re-open, many of our readers will be heading to the pool, the beach or the dock, where a ruined smartphone is one careless moment away. Unless you’re the type who enjoys living on the edge (read: lives without a phone case), you’re going to protect your phone with some sort of shield anyway. So, why not make that safety feature even safer, especially when you’re near a body of water? The best smartphones are expensive, so spend a little more now and save yourself a lot of potential money and grief if anything happens.
How Are Waterproof Phone Cases Different From Regular Cases?
Unlike a typical phone case, which utilizes a form of raised bumpers to protect your phone’s screen and hardware should it fall, a waterproof case will totally encase your phone in protective and waterproof materials. So not only is your device protected from bumps, scrapes, scratches and bruises, but it’s protected if you drop it in the sink, toilet, bath or pool. Even better, some of the best waterproof phone cases actually float in water, so you don’t need to go diving for your lost phone ala Hvaldimir the spy whale.
If you’re looking to keep your phone safe from rain and — gulp — dropping it in the pool, here are our 15 favorite waterproof phone cases. Best of all, we’ve divided our picks into three different buckets:
- Waterproof iPhone cases
- Waterproof Samsung cases
- Universal and floating cases
From ultra-thin waterproof cases to full-blown floating designs and more, you owe to your phone (and your bank account) to make sure it stays dry.
The Best Waterproof iPhone Cases
1. Otterbox Defender Series for iPhone 11
BEST OVERALL IPHONE CASE
OtterBox makes some of our favorite iPhone cases, and their cases are also consistently some of the top-rated protective cases on Amazon. If you want to provide total protection for your new iPhone 11, then go with the OtterBox Defender Series. This phone case for iPhones comes in a variety of colors and will protect your phone from all manner of accidents.
By covering your phone ports and protecting it from drops, the Defender Series will keep your phone safe. However, it’s not fully waterproof like some options. While it will protect your phone from spills and moisture, it won’t let you take underwater photos like some options. This case is also designed to go around a screen protector for added protection, but it doesn’t come with its own screen protector. Of course, because the iPhone 11 itself is water-resistant, this case is more than enough protection to safeguard your investment.
2. Catalyst iPhone XR Waterproof Phone Case
Catalyst specializes in making waterproof iPhone and AirPods cases. Quite possibly the most robust iPhone case ever made, this Catalyst model is made for XR phones and features a stunning build to offer superior protection. The fully submersible design is able to protect your phone up to an impressive 33 feet underwater, and the military-grade shock-resistant protection helps to ensure your phone’s safety no matter how many times you drop it. Plus, unlike other waterproof cases, this one doesn’t interfere with your phone’s functionality.
3. OTBBA iPhone X/iPhone Xs Waterproof Case
BEST DROP AND WATERPROOF PROTECTION
Designed for both standard X and Xs iPhone models, this sleek waterproof case is able to keep your phone safe up to 6.6 feet underwater for roughly one hour. The smart, full-bodied design helps to add more shock and drop protection, and the transparent front and back cover lets you access your camera, volume levels and more with ease. It even comes with its own front screen protector.
4. iPhone 7 Plus/8 Plus Waterproof Case
BEST PROTECTION FOR IPHONE
For those who want a little extra protection, this robust waterproof case is also dirt-proof, snow-proof and even shockproof. Designed specifically for iPhone 7 and 8 models, the built-in screen protector will help prevent scratches and smudges. What’s more, you’re still able to utilize the touchscreen’s functionality, unlike a few of the other cases on our list.
5. Lifeproof FRE SERIES Waterproof Case for iPhone XR
MOST STYLISH FOR IPHONE
This stylish option from Lifeproof is available in multi-colored options that give you choice along with unbeatable protection. These cases are completely water-, snow- and scratch-proof, so no matter what your lifestyle is, you can adventure knowing your phone is safe. It also boasts amazing shock absorbency and can withstand drops from over 6 feet. Designed to be used as a daily phone case, the FRE Series allows you to enjoy full functionality of the charging port along with its stellar defense against liquids, dust and other potential invaders.
Best Waterproof Phone Cases for Samsung
1. Oterkin Samsung Galaxy S20 Waterproof Case
Sleek, slim, shock-absorbent and yes, even waterproof, the Oterkin is easily one of the best waterproof Samsung cases on the market. Able to be submerged up to 6.6 feet for up to an hour, it features a clear and extra thin design to help it conform to your phone’s original look and feel That said, this beauty is only compatible with Samsung’s S20 6.2inch 2020, so other Samsung models won’t fit.
2. GOLDJU Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus Waterproof Case
BEST FOR FUNCTIONALITY
This gorgeous case is perfect for Galaxy S10 models and comes with a built-in screen protector to help keep your phone dust- and scuff-free. What’s amazing is that it completely encases your phone, but the latest model still supports your phone’s biometric fingerprint reader, so you can do all the things you like to do — whether you’re on land or underwater.
3. RedPepper Samsung Galaxy
Tired of reading about all these iPhone-only cases? Fret not, because this beauty is custom-designed for Galaxy geeks. Fully waterproof up to an impressive 6.6 feet, this sleek case comes in three vibrant colors and is even backed by a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.
1. 5-Pack Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch
For when you have phones to spare, these waterproof pouches are sure to be a hit. Each set comes in packs of five, and they’re all made with the same durable PC plastic. What’s more, these waterproof pouches are super thin, only .3mm thick, and can withstand being submerged up to 30 meters underwater.
2. Kona Submariner Large Waterproof Phone Pouch
BEST UNIVERSAL POUCH
For when you’re looking to dive deep but don’t want your phone to go kaput, this Kona pouch is a must-have. For starters, it’s able to protect your phone up to 100 feet underwater, which is leagues ahead of other waterproof cases. It also features a smart durable in-seam that helps provide extra protection, and it even comes with an impressive 5-year hassle-free warranty. What more could you ask for?
3. Floating Waterproof Phone Case
BEST FLOATING PHONE CASE
Unlike other waterproof cases and pouches that either propel water or help encase your phone, these Cambond cases actually make your phone float when accidentally dropped in the water, which makes it easier to keep it safe. Because each case is universally compatible, they work with almost every smartphone model, including Apple iPhones, Android smartphones and more. They even come with an adjustable lanyard so you won’t have to worry about your phone floating away.
4. SURITCH Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch
The SURITCH waterproof phone case pouch is a beaut. The extra buoyant TPU casing helps keep it safe in the water, and the slim and stylish design really helps it stand out. As a universal phone pouch, it works with most smartphone makes and models. That said, due to its smaller size it’s only compatible with phones under 7 inches, so readers with Plus and X models may want to look for a different case.
5. RANVOO Floating Waterproof Phone Pouch
BEST ECO-FRIENDLY OPTION
Able to fit most small smartphones, this awesome waterproof pouch features a sturdy TPU build and is both eco-friendly and extra easy to use. The clear transparent front and back screens are a nice touch. And the best part? You can still utilize the touchscreen so you can snap or even text to your heart’s content.
6. JOTO Universal Waterproof Pouch
BEST FOR UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY
Unlike your average waterproof phone case, this handy waterproof pouch features clear back and front windows and even comes with its own built-in credit card holder. Available in 11 fun colors, it includes its own neck strap. It may not be the slimmest case, but the JOTO will ensure your phone is protected regardless of the environment. If you’re somewhere tropical and absolutely need to document your snorkeling class, this is the case we’d recommend.
7. Hiearcool Universal Waterproof Case
This case is protective, portable and will guard your expensive tech up to 30 meters underwater. Take videos, text, send pictures and more all with the comfort of knowing your device is protected and all you need to worry about is capturing the moment. This case is made for touch screen users and designed for seamless use through its protective layer as well as any additional screen protectors you might have on. Just be sure to increase your touch screen’s sensitivity before you take the plunge.