Best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases

Best Samsung Galaxy S21 Cases
(Image credit: Nillkin)

The phone may be older, but the need for the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases hasn't disappeared. In fact, if you're holding on to your aging Galaxy S21 instead of upgrading to either the Galaxy S23 or Galaxy S24, you're definitely going to want to have a case in order to keep your current phone in good working condition.

The best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases continue to offer top-notch protection, making sure your phone won't reach the end of its life by an unexpected drop onto a hard surface. We've found cases that include the kind of drop protection you need for an older device like this.But our picks for the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases do much more than protect your phone, offering other storage features or even just a flair for design that can liven up your handset. 

Whether you want a new case for your current phone or you've just picked up a Galaxy S21, these are the cases you should consider. (We've also got picks for the best Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus cases and best Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra cases if you're more interested in those larger devices.)

Best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Otterbox Galaxy S21 Defender Series Pro Case

(Image credit: Otterbox)

1. Otterbox Galaxy S21 Defender Series Pro Case

The best Galaxy S21 case overall


Size: 6.6 x 3.6 x 1.33 inches
Weight: 0.29 ounces
Colors: Blue, pink, black
Materials: Polycarbonate, rubber

OtterBox is one of the best-known names in phone cases for a reason. The Defender Series Pro case features an outer polycarbonate shell wrapped around a soft foam insert to keep your phone safe from falls. OtterBox says this model of case is rated for four times as many drops as the military standard, and its design is raised in all the right places to deflect damage to your screen or camera.

In addition to the soft core liner and polycarbonate shell, the OtterBox Defender Series comes with a holster, which can be used as a kickstand and can be clipped to a belt. Add in the fact that the Defender is one of the few products on this list that has a lifetime warranty, and it's easy to understand why it's the top of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases list.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G LED Wallet Cover

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 5G LED Wallet Cover

The best Galaxy S21 case from Samsung


Size: 6.1 x 3 x 0.57 inches
Weight: 2.61 ounces
Colors: Black, pink, violet, gray
Materials: Plastic fabric

Samsung's LED Wallet Cover for the Galaxy S21 is the ideal option from our best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases picks for anyone on the go. The added protection of a cover gives the S21’s 6.2-inch display considerably more protection than just using a screen protector alone. The case also has a pocket inside that can fit one card, which is perfect for a transit pass or debit card.

The coolest feature of this case is the LED display on the front. Of course, it allows you to check the time quickly without having to turn your phone screen on, but that's just the beginning. The cover is touch-sensitive, so you can answer calls as well as add custom icons and functions to it. Unlike many of the other best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases, the Samsung LED Wallet Cover doesn't just protect your phone; it extends its functionality.

Case-Mate Pelican Voyager

(Image credit: Case-Mate)

3. Case-Mate Pelican Voyager Galaxy S21 5G Case

Best clear Galaxy S21 case


Size: 6.2 x 3.1 x 0.45 inches
Weight: 3.36 ounces
Colors: Black, clear
Materials: Thermoplastic rubber, polyurethane

Most cases are either thick and multi-layered for maximum protection or thinner for aesthetic purposes. The Case-Mate Pelican Voyager is among the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases becase it brings the best of both worlds. The Pelican Voyager provides a thick, four-layer outer edge but has a thinner transparent back that allows users to continue to admire their phone's design.

In addition to protecting your phone from drops, the Pelican Voyager helps keep your Samsung Galaxy S21 germ-free with a Micropel antimicrobial coating. Rounding out its feature set is a holster with a belt clip that can be used as a kickstand.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Rugged Protective Case

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Galaxy S21 5G Rugged Protective Case

Durable protection from Samsung


Size: 6 x 3.8 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 3.2 ounces
Colors: Silver, black
Materials: Plastic

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Rugged Protective Case is the most heavy-duty case that Samsung makes. The design meets military-grade standards for drop-testing but still manages to be thin and sleek-looking. An alloy-like look on the case’s back gives a bit of sophistication, making it a durable but well-rounded member of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases.

Samsung includes a novel kickstand with its Rugged Protective case. In fact, there are two kickstands — one for using the phone in the portrait and one for landscape. You can detach them, so that if too much pressure is placed on the phone, they’ll simply disconnect, instead of breaking off permanently.

Spigen Galaxy S21 5G Tough Armor Case

(Image credit: Spigen)

5. Spigen Galaxy S21 5G Tough Armor Case

Galaxy S21 protection on a budget


Size: 6.2 x 3.1 x 0.48 inches
Weight: 1.8 ounces
Colors: Black, gunmetal
Materials: Polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane

The Spigen Tough Armor case for the Samsung Galaxy S21 is an excellent alternative to the more expensive best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases. The Tough Armor case features an inner cover made of multiple layers of impact foam, which is fitted with a polycarbonate outer shell.

The Tough Armor also features a kickstand, which is sturdy enough to allow users to watch hours of video anywhere they go. Like other Spigen cases, the Tough Armor version for the S21 also features some of the best buttons you’ll find on a phone case. Nothing ruins the feeling of getting a new case worse than mushy, unresponsive buttons, which thankfully isn't a worry here.

Nillkin Galaxy S21 CamShield Case

(Image credit: Nillkin)

6. Nillkin Galaxy S21 CamShield Case

Best Galaxy S21 case for camera protection


Size: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.79 inches
Weight: 3.35 ounces
Colors: Black, green
Materials: Polycarbonate

There are plenty of cases that feature a raised edge to protect your Samsung Galaxy S21 from a drop. However, we've only found one that features a cover to protect the phone's four lenses from a head-on hit. The Nillkin CamShield features a sliding lid that completely covers the camera, which offers much better protection to that one section of the device than any of the other best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases we've covered.

Other than the camera cover, the Nillkin CamShield is an average slim protective case. However, it's the only product that matters for those who need extra shielding for their cameras.

Caseology Parallax for Galaxy S21

(Image credit: Caseology)

7. Caseology Parallax

The most stylish Samsung Galaxy S21 case


Size: TBD
Weight: TBD
Colors: Purple, black, gray, pink
Materials: Polycarbonate, thermoplastic polyurethane

Phone cases aren't always as aesthetically pleasing they could be. But that’s not something you’ll need to worry about with  the Caseology Parallax. This case has a double-layered bumper and a flexible body that offers a unique patterned look.

The Parallax comes in the standard black and gray we're used to, but it also can be purchased in a pastel purple and pink. These softer hues help this case stand out from the pack, making it the the most stylish of the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases.

Ringke Air Galaxy S21 Case

(Image credit: Ringke)

8. Ringke Air-S Galaxy S21 Case

Best low-cost Galaxy S21 case


Size: 6.1 x 2.9 x 0.43 inches
Weight: 1.13 ounces
Colors: Clear
Materials: Thermoplastic polyurethane

A case doesn't have to be expensive to be good. The Ringke Air-S has a low price at around $10, but its thin, transparent design makes it a great budget option among the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases. Ringke’s Galaxy S21 case features a no-frills design that does its job, which is all you need sometimes.

The Ringke Air-S is made of flexible Thermoplastic Polyurethane and features decent drop protection for the price. This case isn't going to match the resilience of the OtterBox or the thinness of other Galaxy S21 cases, but it's affordable and keeps your phone from getting scratched.

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G leather cover

(Image credit: Samsung)

9. Samsung Galaxy S21 Leather Cover

The best leather Galaxy S21 case


Size: 6.38 x 3.23 x 0.67 inches
Weight: 1.76 ounces
Colors: Brown, black
Material: Leather

Add a luxurious feel to your S21 with this official Samsung leather case. It adds only a minimal amount of extra thickness while adding a soft, smudge-resistant layer to the back and sides. It surrounds the camera bump too, giving extra protection to the most important part of the phone's back.

The only downside is that Samsung recommends removing this case if you use the Wireless PowerShare reverse wireless charging feature. Plus you may find that the $50 asking price is too much compared to the cheaper, non-leather options we've already covered.

Ringke Onyx for Galaxy S21

(Image credit: Ringke)

10. Ringke Onyx

The best Galaxy S21 case for a secure grip


Size: 6.1 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches (15.57 x 7.52 x 1.12 cm)
Weight: 1 ounce (30 grams)
Colors: Navy, Dark Gray, Black
Material: TPU

If you're particularly nervous about your S21 taking a sudden trip towards the ground, the Ringke Onyx case may be what you need to quell your worrying. The TPU case provides protection for all sides, including the phone's buttons, and also the display with raised bezels around the corners. However it's the coarsely-textured back that sets this case apart, making it harder for you to accidentally drop the phone in the first place.

Ringke also has two sets of holes bored through the corners of the case. These are there in case you want to add a hand strap or lanyard to your phone, making it even more secure than before.

Mous Limitless 3.0 Walnut phone case for Galaxy S21

(Image credit: Mous)

11. Mous Limitless 3.0 Walnut Phone Case

A sophisticated wooden exterior with the option for MagSafe-style accessories


Size: 7.3 x 1.2 x 15.6 cm
Weight: 46 Grams
Colors: Walnut, Aramid Fiber, Bamboo, Black Leather, Speckled Fabric
Material: Poly-carbonate and TPU

Mous' Limitless 3.0 case comes in several kinds of finish, but we particularly like the look of this walnut version. As well as a tough back, the case features a raised lip around all sides, so you can put your phone screen-down with a much smaller risk of scratches too.

Limitless means this case is compatible with Mous' various magnetic accessories, including mounts and wallets, which gives your Galaxy phone new abilities. Another unique ability is the internal SIM card and tool holder, which will let you easily swap between SIMs when travelling, for example.

How to choose the best Samsung Galaxy S21 case for you

Choosing the best Samsung Galaxy S21 case means selecting the right model, material, and grade of protection. You don't need to spend an arm and a leg on your case if that isn't anything that's important to you, but you do want to try to keep your phone safe from the hazards of the outside world.

You'll want to choose the material, case thickness, and even coloring for a product that works for you. Maybe you don't want to feel a case on your phone at all. There's a case for that. If you need something with an oleophobic outer shell because you tend to work more with greasy food or in an industry that tends to get near oils, there's a case for you as well.

As we said from the outset, pricing isn't indicative of quality when it comes to the best Samsung Galaxy S21 cases. You can find some truly fantastic cases when you least expect them. Don't worry about price and notoriety so much as what you want to use your potential case for, and start your search there. You might find a wealth of different options that not only work for you, but blow the others you’ve used in the past away. 

Just make sure that you’re shopping for a Galaxy S21 case. Samsung’s flagships come in three sizes, and cases built for the 6.7-inch Galaxy S21 Plus or 6.8-inch Galaxy S21 Ultra aren’t going to fit your 6.2-inch S21 and its smaller screen.

What is the best drop proof case for the Galaxy S21?

Both the Otterbox Defender Series Pro or the Samsung Rugged Protective Case would be ideal for saving your Galaxy S21 from severe damage after a nasty drop. There's also the Spigen Tough Armor Case if you need protection on a tighter budget, or the Nillkin CamShield Case if you're concerned about protecting your rear snappers in particular.

What is the best leather case for the Samsung Galaxy S21?

Samsung's own Leather Cover for the Galaxy S21 is our favorite leather case option, if you fancy adding a premium but practical case to your S21. It's still slim enough not to interfere with the phone's profile too much, and the leather wraps around the edges of the phone too.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.

With contributions from