There's little extra bulk with these iPhone XR cases
Sometimes you want a little bit of protection without a lot of bulk. The thin cases on this list aren’t going to provide much in the way of drop protection, but they will prevent scratches on your beautiful new iPhone XR. There’s always going to be a trade-off between bulk and protection.
An ultra thin choice
Peel Super Thin Case
A case this thin is only for careful users, not for major drop protection. It measures just 0.35mm and has no branding for the most “barely there” appearance. Peel’s cases are minimalist, though it does have a subtle lip around the camera to protect it.
Spigen Ultra Hybrid
The TPU bumper and durable PC back make this a protective hybrid case that won’t add a ton of bulk to your phone. It isn’t the thinnest option, but it’s not bulky, either. Spigen cases generally offer high quality for the price, so based on brand reputation, you can’t go wrong.
Clear protective shell
This isn’t super thin, but it’s not too bulky. There’s a dual-layer protective bumper and clear back to show off your phone while protecting it from drops. It meets MIL-SPEC (military) drop standards while still maintaining a pretty slim profile.
Protective and grippy
Speck Presidio Grip
I particularly like this Starlit Purple with Gold Glitter/Cattleya Pink case, but it does come in other more sedate colors as well. Again, Speck’s cases are certainly not ultra-thin, but if you want serious (10-foot drop) protection without a ton of bulk, they are a great thinner option.
Totallee Thin Case
Totallee’s cases are 0.5mm thick but still have a camera lip. With zero branding on it, this case doesn’t distract from the iPhone. The clear glossy case, which is not quite as thin as the matte options, is great for showing off the fun new iPhone XR colors.
SURPHY Silicone Case
Modeled after Apple’s iconic silicone case, this one is similarly thin and lined with microfiber. Since it is not an ultra-thin case, it will still offer some drop protection. I like that they put the branding on the inside of the case instead of printing it on the outside. It comes in a handful of appealing colors.
Just a bumper
ESR Metal Bumper
One option to consider is to get a bumper. It will leave the back of your phone completely exposed so that it won’t offer scratch protection. The metal bumper comes in Silver or Space Gray. Since it covers the vulnerable corners of your phone, it will provide some drop protection.
Case-Mate Barely There
It’s all in the name: this barely-there leather case doesn’t add a lot of bulk, but it still protects your phone with a leather exterior and microfiber interior. A rectangular camera cutout gives this case a distinctive look. It comes in Black, Blush, and Cardinal.
This cheap little thing is a clear case that will encompass your whole phone. At 1mm thick, it’s not the very thinnest, but it will provide some drop protection with much bulk. A raised bezel around the camera offers some protection there.
Keeping your phone safe
As a general rule, the thinner the case, the less protective it’s going to be. If you want the sleekness of a thin case, you are compromising on protection. The Speck cases, which are the thickest on this list, are certainly the most protective. I use the clear glossy Totallee Thin Case on my own iPhone. I have dropped it a couple of times from either a low height or onto the carpet, and it’s been fine. However, I assume that if I drop it onto concrete from several feet, I’ll need to utilize that AppleCare+.
The Surphy Silicone case is an excellent alternative to the overly-pricey case from Apple. It provides a similar soft feel while also protecting your phone from drop damage. If you don’t want a full-coverage case, then the ESR bumper case is a perfect choice. Since it only wraps around the edges, you’ll forget that you even have a case on to start with.