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The best iPhone SE 2020 cases

best iPhone SE 2020 cases
(Image credit: Otter)

The best iPhone SE 2020 cases are important to have if you're one of the many people still rocking the older version of Apple's cheapest phone. Just because something is cheap doesn't mean it should be neglected. And even a basic case goes a long way towards protecting your phone against all the things the world can throw at it.

Keeping your phone safe, secure and stylish is pretty easy, since just about every accessory makes has something compatible with the iPhone SE 2020.That's what happens when Apple reuses popular designs, and means you are absolutely spoiled for choice. Most of these cases will even fit the iPhone SE 2022, since Apple seems very attached to this particular design. Though we do have the best iPhone SE 2022 cases to check out, in case you want specifically built for the new phone.

Whatever your need and tastes, here are the best iPhone SE 2020 cases you can buy right now

What are the best iPhone SE 2020 cases? 

There's no single best iPhone SE case, because each user is going to be looking for something different. That said, some cases rise to the forefront as good all-around options for most people. Whether you're more interested in ruggedness and protection, or keeping things in line with your own aesthetic tastes.

Better still you don't even need to go out and buy a dedicated iPhone SE case, because it shares the exact same dimensions of the iPhone 8 (and the iPhone 7 before that), So you can use the same old cases that fit those devices on Apple's latest budget iPhone. In fact, many case makers are merely reselling their old models with a new label as a result of this. 

Still, this is great news for customers, because it means you can save some cash by opting for an older iPhone case that's already been discounted after sitting on the shelves for a few years.

The best iPhone SE 2020 cases you can buy today

Apple Leather Case for iPhone se

(Image credit: Apple)

1. Apple iPhone SE Leather Case

The best premium leather case for iPhone SE

Specifications

Materials: Leather with microfiber lining
Color options: Black, Midnight Blue, Red
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Apple-quality fit and finish
+
Colors complement iPhone SE well

Reasons to avoid

-
Will age over time, as leather cases do
-
Not the cheapest

Apple may offer a cheaper $35 silicone case for the iPhone SE 2020, but we'd recommend using the leather option instead. Go to the right place and you'll find it for just $10 more, and unlike silicone it's not going to wear down quite so quickly. That's a common complaint with Apple's silicone cases, with some users reporting (opens in new tab) that that material gets stickier and chipper over time.

Leather is a lot more durable, while also looking and feeling much nicer too. In fact a good leather case can add a classy look to any phone, and the iPhone SE 2020 is no exception. It's available in black, blue, red, and has alumium-accented buttons that match the color of the leather. Plus $45 is pretty reasonably priced as far as leather cases go, making this one of the best iPhone SE cases for both style and practicality.

Tech21 Impact Clear iphone se case

(Image credit: Tech21)

2. Tech21 Pure Clear for iPhone 8/SE

A strong yet clear case for iPhone SE

Specifications

Materials: Hard plastic with TPU sides
Color options: Clear
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
6.6 feet of drop protection without adding much bulk
+
Attractive design
+
Anti-yellowing finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Back texture susceptible to scratches

Ok, so this isn't an iPhone SE 2020 case. Not really. But when the phone has the exact same dimensions as the iPhone 8, it makes sense to utilize the cases that are available for Apple's former-flagship.

Tech21's PureClear offers 66 feet of drop protection, with practically no extra bulk, which means you won't feel like you're carrying around a protective brick. Likewise the translucent edged transparent shell is pretty sleek and minimalist, and some models even offer anti-bacterial coatings that are especially useful in the post-COVID world. $30 isn't the cheapest price out there, but Tech21 has a history of offering high-quality goods, and that makes this one of its more affordable options.

Speck Presidio Pro iphone se case

(Image credit: Speck)

3. Speck Presidio Pro for iPhone 8/SE

A sturdy and stylish case for iPhone SE

Specifications

Materials: Polycarbonate with shock-absorbing lining
Color options: Black, Coastal Blue, Filigree Grey, Meadow Pink
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
10 feet of drop protection
+
Anti-microbial finish
+
Heavily raised bezel for lay-on-front protection

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit pricey

If you're looking for something that's both solid and fun, Speck has long-been a company to check out. The Presidio Pro series is no different. Sure it may be thicker than some of the other cases on this list, but that also means it offers 10 feet of drop protection to keep your iPhone SE safe and secure on the off chance that it ever took a tumble and landed in the wrong way.

This one is another one that comes with an anti-microbial finish, which is very helpful in the age of COVID and non-stop handwashing. It also comes in four different colors, with some of the same tasteful two-tone accents Speck has come to be known for. But, obviously, you're going to pay for that privilege.

Spigen Case Slim Armor CS iphone se case

(Image credit: Spigen)

4. Spigen Case Slim Armor CS for iPhone SE

A practical iPhone SE case for cheap

Specifications

Materials: TPU and hard plastic
Color options: Red, Gunmetal, Rose Gold, Black, Jet White, Blush Gold
Wireless charging compatibility: No

Reasons to buy

+
Can store two credit cards
+
Comes in a variety of colors
+
Shock-absorbing corners

Reasons to avoid

-
May not work with wireless chargers if credit cards are stored

A good wallet case can be pretty hard to come by these days, let alone one that can offer a modicum of protection. Thankfully Spigen has managed to strike a good balance with the Slim Armor CS cars, which is basically a Spigen Liquid Air Case with a hard plastic shell around the outside. Plus space for two credit cards, for the people who haven't fully converted to Apple Pay or still need to carry around an ID card.

Spigen has a reputation for its precise cutouts, tactile clicking buttons, and its trademark Air Cushion corners that can absorb drop impact without adding much bulk to the device itself. But, at $40, it is one of the pricier options Spigen has to offer, but you can get it for significantly less if you shop around. That makes it one of the more useful, and value for money, iPhone SE cases on the market.

OtterBox Defender Pro iphone se case

(Image credit: Otter)

5. OtterBox Defender Pro for iPhone SE

A super-durable iPhone SE case

Specifications

Materials: Polycarbonate shell with rubber slip cover
Color options: Dark Lake Blue, Purple Nebula
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely rugged
+
Built-in screen protection
+
Anti-microbial coating
+
Lightning port cover for total protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Otterbox has been the go-to accessory maker for durability for almost as long as the iPhone has been around, and its iPhone SE Defender Pro case is no exception. This case is just about as rugged as they come, with a dual-layer design that marries a thick polycarbonate shell with a rubber insert. There's also a built-in screen protector, a lightning port cover, and fully-concealed buttons. It too has also been coated to help repel horrible microorganisms.

Naturally Otterbox is one of the more expensive options to pick, and you can expect to pay as much as $40 in some cases. But if you're serious about keeping your phone protected from the horrors of the world, then the Defender Pro series is among the most protective cases money can buy.

Smartish Kung Fu Grip iphone se case

(Image credit: Smartish)

6. Smartish Kung Fu Grip Case for iPhone SE

A great all-around iPhone SE case for cheap

Specifications

Materials: TPU with textured sides
Color options: Black Onyx, Blue Jade
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very cheap
+
Super snug fit
+
Excellent grippy textxure

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited color selection

What was once known as the Silk Base Grip, Smartish's Kung Fu Grip Case is a personal favorite among the Tom's Guide staff. It has a super-grippy texture on the sides, to help avoid those horrible dropping incidents, extra-clickable buttons as well as a high quality finish and fit. It also costs just $12, which seems pretty incredible.

It's a sturdy beats too, with airpocket corners that help protect your iPhone SE from any tumbles. It's not the most slender case out there, but it also isn't one of the bulkier cases listed here. So it's a pretty good middle ground for people who value protection, without having to sacrifice portability or smart design. We just wish there were a few more colors available.

Incipio Organicore iphone se case

(Image credit: Incipio)

7. Incipio Organicore for iPhone SE

A great compostable case for iPhone SE

Specifications

Materials: Biodegradable polycarbonate
Color options: Black, Deep Pine Green, Oatmeal Beige
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Made from plants and 100% biodegradable
+
Attractive, earthy look and good texture
+
6 feet of drop protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

If you have a soft spot for the environment, Incipio's 100% compostable Organicore cases might be for you. It's not the first line of cases to be made completely from plant matter, but it is certainly the best one we've found.

An Organicore case feels sturdy, has a pleasing soft-touch texture, and avoids being slippery or greasy. It's also available in a wide range of colors, like Deep Pine Green and Oatmeal Beige, which mix in some more neutral tones to offer a more Earthy-aesthetic. Unfortunately being eco-conscious does come at a price, and you can pay as much as $40 for an iPhone SE case — just $5 less than Apple's leather case.

Best iPhone SE 2020 cases: Moment Thin Case

(Image credit: Moment)

8. Moment Thin Case for iPhone SE

A premium thin case for iPhone SE

Specifications

Materials: Biodegradable polycarbonate
Color options: Black
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Fully compostable
+
Relatively thin yet supports Moment's lenses
+
Attractive texture

Reasons to avoid

-
No color choices

Moment is best known for selling camera lenses for a range of popular phones, iPhones included. But the company also sells cases that let you attach or detach those lenses nice and quickly. Though these cases are still pretty spectacular as standalone purchases — lenses or not.

The iPhone SE Moment Thin Case may not be available in the same wooden option afforded to Apple's other phones, but it's still a looker. Especially with those diagonally-etched lines crossing the back of the case itself. The only downside is that it's pretty expensive, though that's the price of ensuring your equally-expensive camera lenses don't fall off at the worst possible moment.

Spigen thin fit iPhone SE case

(Image credit: Spigen)

9. Spigen Thin Fit for iPhone SE

A super-affordable thin case

Specifications

Materials: Hard plastic
Color options: Black, Jet Black, Rose Gold
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Minimalist, super-thin design
+
Pleasing matte soft-touch finish on Black and Rose Gold variants
+
Built-in slot for magnetic car mount plates
+
Inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most protective

Those who look for cheap yet well-made cases know Spigen very well. Spigen prides itself on offering excellent-feeling cases that typically cost a fraction of the price of what some other accessory makers charge, and its Thin Fit case for iPhone SE is a fine example of that.

The Thin Fit is a very simple hard plastic case, that leaves the iPhone SE's buttons, top and bottom exposed. Because it's more of a shell than a soft cushion, it's not likely to protect your iPhone much in the case of a drop. But some users prefer just having a very minimal protective layer wrapping around their handset to protect it from dings, scratches and scrapes, and the Thin Fit is suited well for that purpose. It's also very affordable, and like all Spigen products, regularly sees discounts on Amazon.

totallee slim iphone se case

(Image credit: Totalee)

10. Totallee Thin Case for iPhone SE

The thinnest soft case out there

Specifications

Materials: TPU
Color options: Frosted Clear, Frosted Black, Transparent
Wireless charging compatibility: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
The thinnest case available
+
Attractive, minimalist design with no branding
+
Frosted matte finish repels fingerprints

Reasons to avoid

-
No protection against drops
-
Pricey for what it is

If you need the thinnest possible case, Totallee has you covered. The company is well known for having some fantastically slim cases, and some rock in at just 0.3 millimeters thick. Sure it might seem to thin to make any use, but Totallee fans are generally after surface-layer protection to keep their phone safe from scratches and dints.

Totallee's Thin Case is available in three different colors: Frosted Clear, Forsted Black, and Transparent. Though the last one is slightly thicker, at 0.5 millimeters, and is glossier than your usual TPU finished case. If you want a more minimalist look to your iPhone SE, and are willing to spend $30+ on a case, this might be the one for you.

Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.