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Best iPad Air case 2022: Protect and cover your tablet

Maybe you love the iPadOS 15 interface or maybe you’re drawn in by Apple’s promise to be carbon neutral by 2030. Maybe the five color finish options for the iPad Air caught your eye or you can’t live without the leading-edge display and camera technology. Heck, maybe you read our review about falling in love with 2022’s 5th Generation iPad Air. 

Whatever your reason for choosing this tablet, though, you probably want to protect it. If you’re spending upwards of $600 on your new Apple product, you don’t want to deal with any issues. And that means buying a case or a cover, but they’re not all created equal. You may need the durability to take your iPad to the job site or a cover that can fold into multiple kickstand configurations. You might be on a budget, too. Ultimately, finding your ideal case requires some shopping around. 

We can help here. Meet the best cases and covers for your new iPad Air. Here’s a roundup of our top picks for 2022. 

Apple’s Smart Folio

Best from Apple

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Image courtesy of Apple

It’s hard to beat a case coming straight from the manufacturer. When you choose the Apple-designed Smart Folio for your iPad Air, you’re not just guaranteed a perfect fit. You also get functionality that can make it easier to both protect and use your tablet, like the ability to charge your Apple Pencil with the case on. The Smart Folio also comes with an automatic wake-sleep feature, which means that whenever you open the case, your iPad Air display automatically wakes up. When you close it, the tablet goes to sleep, saving battery (although you might not need it since the latest generation has up to 10 hours of battery life). 

The Smart Folio attaches to your tablet magnetically. That keeps the design slim and lightweight, but it does leave the edges of your iPad Air exposed to damage if you drop it. 

The cover of the Smart Folio features a tri-fold design. That lets you roll it up to serve as a small bump to make it easy to type on the surface of your tablet. Alternatively, you can fold it as a stand to hold the iPad Air almost vertical for easy viewing. 

This case option comes in eight colors:

  • Marine blue
  • Dark cherry 
  • Electric orange
  • White
  • English lavender
  • Deep navy
  • Mallard green
  • Black

The main drawback here is the price. At $79, this case has a lot of more affordable competition out there. That said, buying the case straight from Apple can give you peace of mind about fit and functionality — and can streamline the process since you can purchase it as you buy your iPad Air. 

Pros

  • Guaranteed fit
  • Two stand configurations
  • Plenty of color options
  • Ease of purchase

Cons

  • Price
  • Limited drop protection

OtterBox’s Defender Series Pro Case

Best for durability

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Image courtesy of OtterBox

Some people use their iPads to scroll on the couch, but others need a tablet in the field. Whether you work in construction, utilities, or another boots-on-the-ground industry, you might want your iPad Air to be able to venture out with you. 

Enter: the OtterBox Defender Series Pro Case. 

With raised edges, it offers drop protection for your screen and camera. If you buy it on Amazon, you’ll also get a screen protector, too. Plus, the Defender Series Pro case comes with OtterBox’s silver-based antimicrobial additive, which means your case actively fights bacteria growth. Finally, the case offers port covers to ensure any dirt and dust you encounter in the field doesn’t clog up your jacks and ports. 

You’ll pay for this level of protection, though. It’s listed for $89.95, although you can sometimes score a deal on Amazon. It’s retailing for $57.99 at the time of this writing, for example. To learn more about this case, you can dig into our review on the iteration of the OtterBox Defender for the iPad Pro. 

Pros

  • Durability
  • Edge protection
  • Port covers

Cons

TiMOVO Slim Stand Protective Cover

Best affordable case

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Image courtesy of Amazon

If you’d rather spend closer to the price of a few lattes on your iPad Air cover, this option from TiMOVO rings in at a very affordable $12.99. It does almost everything the Smart Folio does: it’s a magnetic cover that includes automatic wake-sleep functionality and allows for Apple Pencil charging. It also has a tri-fold design that enables different stand configurations. 

The case is also lightweight, which could be a perk or a drawback, depending on your needs. Its somewhat flimsy nature means the case is anything but bulky, but it also won’t offer much protection if you happen to drop your iPad Air.

On a positive note, the TiMOVO Slim Stand Protective Cover comes in a bunch of color options, including:

  • Black
  • Green
  • Lavender gray
  • Light pink
  • Magenta
  • Midnight green
  • Mint green
  • Navy blue
  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Red
  • Rose gold
  • Silver
  • Sky blue
  • Space gray
  • Taro purple

Along with a few pattern options:

  • Geometric marble pink
  • Geometric purple
  • Rose blooming

These colors all apply to the front cover, but the back of the case is translucent so people can easily spot that Apple logo. 

All told, if you’re looking for a case that’s light on price and weight, consider this option. You don’t necessarily have to take our word for it, either. With 4.6 stars from more than 10,000 Amazon reviews, this case speaks for itself.

Pros

  • Price
  • Apple Pencil charging
  • Multiple colors/designs
  • Multiple stand configurations

Cons

Moshi’s VersaCover Case

Best versatile stand

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Image courtesy of Moshi

While all of these cases can serve as a stand for viewing your iPad Air in landscape orientation, you might need — or want — to view it in portrait orientation. With the VersaCase, you can do both. In fact, the award-winning origami-inspired nature of this case means you have a wide range of options for converting your tablet’s cover into the right kickstand for your specific needs. The design is so good we were excited about it all the way back in 2014 and we still think it’s leading-edge today. 

It’s similar to other cases in that the cover is magnetic, but this one can do more. The magnet of the VersaCover is so strong that you can use it to “hang” your iPad Air on a vertical surface, whether that’s the whiteboard at your office or your kitchen fridge. 

Also like a lot of these other magnetic flip-cover cases, the VersaCover has limited drop protection. It does, however, have a little flap to go over your Apple Pencil to keep it in place while in transport.

This option comes in three colors:

  • Sienna orange
  • Charcoal black
  • Savanna beige

The VersaCover retails for $69.95. 

Pros

  • Wide range of stand configurations
  • Magnetic attachment to vertical surfaces
  • Apple Pencil-protecting flap

Cons

  • Limited drop protection
  • Price

HOLIMET Shockproof Protective Vegan Leather Cover

Best (vegan) leather case

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Image courtesy of Amazon

This cover blends a lot of the key features of other cases — like a magnetic closure, automatic wake-sleep, and a foldable cover for multiple stand options — with some new perks. For starters, the back of the case is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which means it absorbs shock. If you drop your iPad Air in this case, it will offer a level of protection. Plus, the TPU portion offers a slot for your Apple Pencil, so you’ll get a safeguard for it, too. 

This HOLIMET case comes in some traditional-looking leather finishes (namely, black and brown), but the leather is vegan so you don’t have to worry about any animal cruelty ramifications. If you want a more modern look, the case also comes in pink or blue vegan leather, along with a caramel brown, dark black, dark slate blue, and green finish with a modern arced design.

It’s also worth noting that this shockproof cover could be helpful for people on the go because it includes a pocket on the front. There, you can stash money, cards, documents, sticks of gum — you get the idea. What’s more, the case also boasts 4.7 stars from more than 430 Amazon reviews. And it does all of this for an affordable price of $32.40.

The one thing we don’t care for is the highly noticeable, somewhat-gaudy HOLIMET logo on the front cover. It’s small but its metal design makes it stand out. 

Pros

  • Shock-resistant back portion with Apple Pencil slot
  • Vegan leather cover
  • Price

Cons

How did we choose these iPad Air cases?

We picked these products by looking for reputable manufacturers, a large number of positive reviews, or both. We also looked for nice-to-have features like Apple Pencil charging capabilities, drop protection, and multiple stand configurations.

Finally, because we know style matters, we generally looked for cases that give you color options. That way, you can pick one that suits your personal aesthetic. 

Which is the right iPad Air case for you?

Finding the right iPad Air case starts with evaluating your budget. We put two picks on this list for under $35 so you have options if this isn’t an area where you want to spend a lot.

From there, though, you’ll see that a lot of the covers function fairly similarly. We’ve got multiple choices with magnetic covers, auto wake-sleep functionality, and versatile kickstand configurations. To a large extent, finding the ideal cover comes down to identifying which one you like the look and features of best. 

To help there, let’s do a quick recap:

  • If price is your main concern, pick the cover from TiMOVO. 
  • If you want a no-fuss purchasing process, opt for Apple’s Smart Folio.
  • If you need serious protection for your tablet, choose OtterBox.
  • If you use it for work a lot, the VersaCover’s multi-use stand can help.
  • If you travel with your iPad Air, HOLIMET’s vegan leather finish can match your luggage, its TPU back can offer drop protection, and its front pocket can carry your travel documents.

iPad Air case/cover

Price

Key features

Apple Smart Folio

$79

Direct from Apple, stand with two configurations, eight color options

OtterBox’s Defender Series Pro Case

$89.95

Drop protection with raised edges, port covers

TiMOVO Slim Stand Protective Cover

$12.99

Affordable, lightweight, lots of color/pattern options

Moshi’s VersaCover Case

$69.96

Versatile stand options, Apple Pencil-protecting flap

HOLIMET Shockproof Protective Vegan Leather Cover

$32.40

Shock-resistant vegan leather cover, front pocket, Apple Pencil slot

Do all iPad Air cases come with a stand?

While it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that an iPad Air case must include a stand, the vast majority of the products on the market today do. All of the options we picked here will give you a way to prop up your iPad for easier viewing. 

If I buy a case from a company other than Apple, will it fit?

The trick here is confirming that you’re buying a case designed to fit the generation of iPad Air that you’ve purchased. If you bought the 2020 4th Generation Air, it will fit cases for the 2022 5th Generation iPad Air and vice versa. Both the 4th and 5th Gen iPad Airs have the same dimensions and the same button and camera placements. 

Will the case make my iPad Air waterproof?

None of the cases we’ve discussed here will make it safe to dunk your iPad Air. What’s more, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a reputable waterproof iPad Air case on the market today, especially for 4th and 5th Gen tablets. 

It’s also worth noting that Apple doesn’t build in the same level of water resistance as many people might expect. While their later-model iPhones generally offer some water resistance, they make no such claim with their iPad Air. Long story short, your new tablet and water don’t mix. 

Are there alternative iPad Air cases worth considering?

Absolutely. While we did a lot of digging to round up the options on this list, companies release new iPad Air cases all of the time. 

Long story short, more iPad Air cases come to market all the time. Fortunately, the cases and covers we listed here don’t have to be price-prohibitive. You could absolutely buy one of the more affordable options now, then upgrade as iPad Air protection technology advances. 


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