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The best iPhone SE cases: Protect and cover your new phone

Will a 2022 iPhone SE case fit the 2020 iPhone SE? Yes. With that in mind, ZDNet can help you find the best iPhone SE case for either model. These top picks offer both aesthetics and function, but most of all protection for your phone.
Written by Hedy Phillips, Contributing Writer
Casely battery-powered charging case | Best for charging on the go
Casely battery-powered charging case
Best for charging on the go
View now View at Casely
Otter + Pop Symmetry series (build your own case) | Best for easy handling
Otter + Pop Symmetry series (build your own case)
Best for easy handling
View now View at Otterbox
Tech21 - Evo Check case | Best for simplicity
Tech21 - Evo Check case
Best for simplicity
View now View at Best Buy
Spigen Liquid Air Armor case | Best for protection on a budget
Spigen Liquid Air Armor case
Best for protection on a budget
View now View at Amazon
Onetop for iPhone | Best for all-in-one
Onetop for iPhone
Best for all-in-one
View now View at Amazon
Apple iPhone SE Silicone case | Best for sticking with Apple
Apple iPhone SE Silicone case
Best for sticking with Apple
View now View at Apple
Onola for iPhone SE | Best for full-coverage protection
Onola for iPhone SE
Best for full-coverage protection
View now View at Amazon
Lifeproof iPhone SE case | Best for dealing with the elements
Lifeproof iPhone SE case
Best for dealing with the elements
View now View at Lifeproof
Kate Spade New York protective hardshell case | Best for fashion
Kate Spade New York protective hardshell case
Best for fashion
View now View at Amazon
Sonix - Lemon Zest carrying case | Best for showing off your phone
Sonix - Lemon Zest carrying case
Best for showing off your phone
View now View at Best Buy
Show more (5 items)

The iPhone SE is one of Apple's most affordable phones still in production. The 2022 model of the phone is a new-and-improved version of the previously released model from 2020, and while the phone itself has changed since its last release, the size of the phone has not. That means all your cases and covers from the 2020 model will fit the 2022 model as well. 

Protecting your iPhone should be a priority, especially considering how much of an investment an iPhone SE is, even if it is a budget-friendly offering from Apple. Putting a case on your iPhone can keep it protected if you drop it or bang it against something. But your case can do more than just protect your phone. Some cases do double duty, like providing power or holding your money. Though there are a lot of phone cases on the market, some stand out against the rest. 

You're not always in a position to be able to charge your phone, especially if you're traveling or out of the house for long periods of time. Having a case that can charge your iPhone SE while you're on the go can be a huge benefit. This Casely Battery-Powered Charging Case comes in a variety of colors to suit whatever aesthetic you're going for with your tech. 

The case has a 3200mAh battery capacity for the iPhone SE and is compatible with both the 2020 and 2022 models, in case you've got the older one. It's also durable enough to offer protection to your phone as well, though it adds a bit of heft because of the battery pack. Just don't forget to charge the case before leaving the house so it functions as you expect it to.


  • Will charge your phone on the go
  • Variety of colors to choose from


  • Makes your phone heavier
  • High price tag

With this iPhone SE case created out of a partnership with Otterbox and PopSockets, you not only get protection for your phone but an easy way to hold it. The case is customizable so you can pick the color and PopSocket design. You even get an extra topper to switch out the PopSocket if you choose.

When the PopSocket is popped out, you can prop up the phone or hold it easily in your hand, but it also goes down flush with the case when not in use. With this, you don't have to worry about the PopSocket coming unstuck from your case at any point.


  • PopSocket and case all built into one product
  • PopSocket won't come unstuck


  • Limited designs to choose from
  • Can't move the PopSocket to a different spot on the case

Not everyone wants a bunch of bells and whistles in their phone case, and that's fine. If you want something simple and reliable, you'll get that with this Tech21 - Evo Check Case. It has a slim design so you're not dealing with any extra bulk in your hand.

Though it's a sleek design, it still protects your phone how you need it to. It has space for your buttons to be available, as well. 


  • Simple design
  • Budget-friendly price


  • Not as much added protection

The Spigen Liquid Air Armor Case is about as slim as a case gets. You're not adding much thickness to your phone when you put this case on it — only 0.07" of added thickness. It's also crafted with a lip around the camera and screen to keep them protected. 

It's available in black or dark blue, which isn't a ton of variety, but it's still a reliable case if you're on a budget. They're so inexpensive that you could pick up a couple and change out the colors with your mood.


  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly


  • Not many colors to choose from

If you want to keep all your belongings compact, consider this ONETOP for iPhone case. It's a wallet and phone case in one that'll hold your iPhone SE plus your money, ID, and credit cards. It still has a sleek design, with just a flap on the back to hold your things, with a snap enclosure. 

Available in a variety of colors, this phone case also folds out to create a stand for your phone. It's shockproof and protective of your phone and slides easily into your pocket.


  • Holds your phone and money
  • Has a phone stand


  • Adds some bulk to your phone

If you're an Apple devotee and want to outfit your phone with another Apple product, go for Apple's silicone case. This case is slim and soft and goes over the whole phone, including buttons. The case is available in four different colors, including (PRODUCT)RED, with a portion of those sales going toward the Global Fund to fight AIDS.


  • Slim design
  • Variety of colors to choose from


  • Not as much protection as others

This iPhone case not only offers protection around the phone itself but on the screen. Two tempered glass screen protectors are included with the case. Plus, the case is available in a wide variety of colors and at a budget-friendly price so you can have protection for a low price. 


  • Tempered glass screen protector
  • Variety of colors to choose from


  • More involved installation process

If you want to be able to take your phone with you literally everywhere, you need a case that can protect it. The Lifeproof iPhone SE Case is waterproof, drop-proof, dirt-proof, and snow-proof. It'll protect your phone when dropped up to 2 meters and can be submerged underwater up to 2 meters for up to 1 hour as well. 

The all-encompassing case keeps your phone completely covered, which means it also locks out dirt, snow, dust, and all the rest of the elements. It does all this without sacrificing aesthetics — it comes in a few different colors so it's still a fun case.


  • Waterproof
  • Variety of colors to choose from


  • High price tag

You can still be fashionable while protecting your phone. This kate spade new york case is clear so it still lets the color of your phone shine through, but you get the addition of beautiful flowers on top as well. The hardshell material will protect your phone if it's dropped without adding too much weight or thickness to the device. There are cutouts for all your buttons so you can easily access them, which is especially nice if you're someone who doesn't like the buttons to be covered by an extra layer of plastic or silicone.


  • Fashionable
  • Lightweight


  • No screen protection

When you put a clear case on your iPhone SE, you can still see the phone itself — which is nice if you picked your phone out for the color. With this cute lemon case, you get a fun aesthetic while protecting your phone from damage. It's Drop Test Certified, which means you don't have to worry if your phone takes a tumble. 


  • Fashionable
  • Drop Test Certified


  • No screen protection

How did we choose these iPhone SE cases?

We selected these iPhone SE cases primarily based on customer ratings. We also chose them based on looking for a variety to suit a large selection of consumer needs, including style and function. We understand that all iPhone users are looking for something different when it comes to protection for their phone, not to mention the need for a variety of price points. We aimed to provide a high-quality recommendation to suit as many people as possible.

Which iPhone SE case is the right one for you?

When you're trying to figure out what iPhone SE case is for you, first consider if you want it to be more functional than just for protection. If you want something that'll do double duty, one that charges or holds your money might be a better bet than one that doesn't. Also consider how durable you want the case to be. If you're someone who lives or works in an environment where your phone is often at risk of being damaged, a more protective case might be a better option. It's also important to take your budget into account — in more ways than one. You've examined your budget to purchase your phone but now you have to decide how much you want to spend on protecting it. There are a variety of budget-friendly phone cases, but not all of them will offer as much protection as a case that has a higher price tag. Weighing the price with the benefits will help you decide which case is right for you.



Casely Battery-Powered Charging Case


Otter + Pop Symmetry Series Build Your Own Case


Tech21 - Evo Check Case


Spigen Liquid Air Armor Case


ONETOP for iPhone


Apple iPhone SE Silicone Case


ONOLA for iPhone SE


Lifeproof iPhone SE Case


kate spade new york - Protective Hardshell Case


Sonix - Lemon Zest Carrying case


Will an iPhone SE (2022) 3rd generation case fit on an iPhone SE (2020) 2nd generation?

Yes, both the 2020 iPhone SE and the 2022 iPhone SE are the same size, so phone cases between these two models are interchangeable. 

Will an iPhone SE case fit on an iPhone 8?

Yes, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 7 have the same specs as the iPhone SE.

Should I put a case on my iPhone SE?

While the choice is yours as to whether or not you put a case on your iPhone SE, keep in mind that a case offers added protection for your very expensive device.

Do I need a waterproof case for my iPhone SE?

Waterproof cases are certainly not necessary, but consider your lifestyle. If you live near water and are often near it — like if you spend time on a boat or are an avid surfer — a waterproof case could come in handy. It could also be beneficial if you work around water a lot, like if you work in a kitchen or a hair salon.

Should I put a screen protector on my iPhone SE?

Screen protectors are a great added bit of security for your phone, especially considering how easy it is to shatter an iPhone face. Tempered glass protectors come with some phone cases but can also be purchased separately.

Are there alternative iPhone SE cases worth considering?

There are plenty of iPhone SE cases on the market to choose from, many of which are very similar. If you're looking for a durable phone case, a fashionable phone case, or even just a phone case that protects your phone with no frills, you can find a lot of them online to suit just about any budget. For even more protection and aesthetics, consider one of these alternatives. 

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