Looking for a case for your iPhone 5S? You’ve come to the right place. Here is a selection of wonderful (and weird) cases and covers that will protect your smartphone’s delicate glass and aluminium frame.
In general, most cases designed for the older iPhone 5 will fit a 5S, but the new dual-LED flash might be blocked by some cases which have a tight aperture for the camera and flash of the older handset.
Whether your priority is style, protection or price, you’ll find something to suit here.
Note that, although many of the images below show an iPhone 5, rest assured we have tested them with the 5S as well.
Both the iPhone 5C and 5S have official cases from Apple, which is slightly strange as the company decided not to produce one for the iPhone 5.
Of course, this case will fit a 5 just as well as the 5s. It’s smooth and doesn’t add much bulk or weight to the already lightweight iPhone 5s. Inside is a microfibre lining which does a good job of protecting your device from getting scratched by the inevitable dust and dirt that accumulates.
Although Apple calls it a leather case, it isn’t the leather most people are familiar with, nor does it smell like leather. It feels rigid, more like plastic, but still looks stylish most of the colours on offer: brown, beige, black, red, blue and yellow.
There are cutouts for the speaker, microphone, headphone output, Lightning port and mute switch. Volume buttons and the power button are covered by the case and while the former are easy to push, the sleep/wake button requires considerably more pressure.
But with that as the only real criticism, this £35 case is a good choice if you like to have the official product.
£40 inc VAT
If you want a ‘proper’ leather case, it’s hard to beat Maroo’s Pahi. You can have it in black, but the saddle brown with orange insert is without a doubt our pick.
The finish is excellent, and there’s room inside the cover for a couple of credit cards (make sure you use a screen protector, though). The iPhone is held in place by a plastic shell which is stuck to the microfibre inner lining. A magnetic clip fastens the case shut at the back, and only the top and bottom edges are left exposed.
If there’s one disadvantage, it’s that you can’t get to the volume and mute buttons with the case closed, but in every other respect, this is an excellent choice.
Twelve South BookBook for iPhone 5
£50 inc VAT
No iPhone case roundup is complete these days without the BookBook. It’s by no means the slimmest option, but the hand-stitched leather cover looks and smells wonderful.
Unlike earlier BookBook cases, there’s a big hole for the camera and flash, and room inside for four credit cards.
A brand new BookBook is stiff and unforgiving, but like a good pair of shoes, it moulds to the shape of your phone and whatever you carry in the card slots, with everyday scuffs and scratches only making the ‘aged tome’ look even more authentic.
It’s not all good news, though. The plastic clips sewn into the lining aren’t as sturdy at the Maroo’s and the clip at the top left kept popping off our iPhone. Plus, there’s nothing to keep the cover shut, so overall, we prefer the Pahi, especially as the BookBook is hard to find for less than £50.
Casetagram for iPhone 5S
$40 inc shipping (approx. £25)
Personalised cases let you have something unique, but it comes at a price. Having your photos plastered over the back of this basic plastic shell case isn’t cheap.
On Casetagram’s site you can link up your social media accounts to import photos, or simply upload them from your hard drive. There are various layouts to choose from, and you just drag and drop photos into place.
Once you’ve fine-tuned their zoom and positions, you can hit the order button and wait for your creation to arrive in the post. Ours took four days.
The results were somewhat disappointing, with grainy, blurry print quality. Colours weren’t too bad on the whole, but faces had a slightly jaundiced look.
However, all but the most pedantic photo scrutinisers will probably be happy just to see familiar faces on the back of your phone.
We wouldn’t buy one for ourselves, but the Casetagram does make a good gift if you’re stuck for ideas.
iChic Oxford Folio for iPhone 5s review
£20 inc VAT
iChic's Oxford Tweed iPhone 5S case is the one we've used more than any other from this roundup. Made from genuine tweed, this flip case not only protects the iPhone well (everything bar two small areas at the bottom are covered when the case is shut) but it's also unusual, attracting plenty of attention.
The iPhone clips into a soft-feel plastic shell, and the microfibre lining helps to protect the screen.
A magnetic popper holds the Folio shut, and there’s room for two credit cards in the flap, not that we've ever wanted to store cards in a place which might scratch the screen.
If you’re not a fan of flip cases (the flap does tend to get in the way of the rear camera), then iChic also offers the Oxford Shell which is coated with tweed. Best of all, it’s half the price at just £10.
TwelveSouth SurfacePad for iPhone 5
£30 inc VAT
Open the SurfacePad’s packaging and you’re greeted with a message congratulating you on not buying an iPhone case. It’s because Twelvesouth has designed the SurfacePad for people who don’t really want a case (especially something as bulky as a BookBook), but do want extra protection for their iPhone 5S.
The SurfacePad sticks to the back of the phone and wraps around to the front to protect front and back, but not the right-hand side, top or bottom. The napa leather cover (with microfibre lining) adds minimal weight and bulk, and even doubles as a stand so you can watch videos, or use FaceTime.
We’ve tested one for a year now, and although the cover is looking fairly scruffy, it’s done its job admirably and has survived being removed and reattached more than a dozen times. It’s expensive for what it is, but if the design appeals, you won’t be disappointed.
Griffin Survivor Clear
£19 inc VAT
It doesn’t look like you’re getting much when you unbox the Survivor Clear. It’s a rubber bumper with a clear polycarbonate rear panel. However, as is often the case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
As well as showing off the back of the phone, the enlarged corners offer enough protection to prevent any damage from drops up to six feet high. Your screen won’t get scratched if you put the Survivor face down on a table thanks to its raised edges.
All the buttons are covered – but remain easy to press – and there are cutouts at the bottom for your headphones and Lightning cable, with another for the mute switch on the side.
Offering good protection without adding too much bulk or taking away too much from the iPhone’s design, the Survivor Clear is yet another good case. Best of all, it’s around half as expensive if you hunt around online.
Goo.ey for iPhone 5
£15 inc VAT
You might put the Goo.ey in the same ‘not a case’ category as the Twelvesouth SurfacePad, and most people would agree with you.
It’s a sticker which goes on the back of your iPhone 5S and has a smooth, soft glossy finish which creates ‘microsuction’ and allows you to stick to phone to practically any smooth surface, even if it’s vertical.
That means you can stick your iPhone on a window, mirror, glass table, flat plastic panels, glossy cabinet doors and other places. You can’t stick it to your curved car windscreen, though.
It can be useful for mounting your phone for a hands-free FaceTime conversation, or simply (as the designer intended) to keep it out of reach of your kids.
It won’t protect your 5S (hence the low rating in this context), but it does provide an unusual mounting system.
Vans Wafflecup case by Belkin review
£18 inc VAT
The Wafflecup is a one-piece case that looks like a rubber sole from a Vans shoe. We prefer the white and blue version, but it’s also available in black and brown.
There’s a large camera hole which easily accommodates the new 5s flash. The iPhone’s three buttons are covered – only the mute switch has a cutout. At the bottom are three holes for the headphones, microphone, Lightning connector and speaker.
Be.ez LA cover Allure Estival for iPhone 5s review
£15 inc VAT
As plastic shell cases go, Be.ez’s LA cover Allure is one of the more stylish offerings, as long as you like stripes.
The sides of the case are transparent, but it doesn't offer total protection for your iPhone 5s due to the large cutouts on the top, side and bottom for all the buttons and ports. The camera aperture is on the small side but it’s just big enough for the 5S’s flash.
ZeroChroma Vario Clear for iPhone 5s review
£35 inc VAT
Hardly any iPhone 5S cases have a built-in stand. The Vario Clear doesn, though. It adds only 2mm to the thickness of the case, yet rotates 360 degrees so you can stand your phone upright or in landscape mode on either side.
A rubber bumper around the edge means it’s relatively easy to take off and back on, and there are cutouts for the mute switch, headphone jack and Lightning port – all three buttons are covered up.
It comes in grey, green, red and pink, with prices varying between £35 and £40 on Amazon, meaning the stand commands a hefty premium.
Tech21 Impact Band for iPhone 5s
Price: £25 inc VAT
Tech21’s Impact Band has 'D3O' - the orange around the edge - which absorbs shocks and transfers the force away from your iPhone. It does add to the width, though. The rest of the case is made from TPU which has a slightly clammy feel, really aiding grip in the hand.
There are cutouts for the mute switch and Lightning dock, while embedded plastic buttons make contact with the iPhone’s volume and standby buttons.
All the extra padding around the circumference does make using the phone’s three buttons more tricky. Namely, the power switch on top, and volume up/down keys on the side.
As well as the clear option, the Tech21 Impact Band is available in a choice of colours: Green, Purple, Blue, Smokey and Pink. The band comes with a removable clear insert which protects the back of the iPhone, but you can just use the band on its own if you prefer.
Incipio Foreman for iPhone 5s review
£30 inc VAT
Incipio has partnered with well-known tool manufacturer Stanley to launch a range of rugged cases which are also available for the iPhone 5S. Our favourite is the Foreman (far right in the image), which strikes a good balance between protection and bulk. The main case is made from silicone, but a plastic (actually Plextonium, which sounds entirely made up) frame clips onto the rear to provide additional protection.
The case comes with a plastic holster into which you can slip the case. The holster has a swivelling belt clip, so you can attach it to a belt or loop on your clothing wherever it is.
The softish silicone means it doesn't take huge effort to press the iPhone 5S's buttons (as you do with the Tech21 Impact Band) and there's good protection all round. You get a screen protector in the box as well. If you want the trademark Stanley yellow, it's also available with a yellow instead of black plastic frame.
Marc Jacobs Javier for iPhone 5s review
£16 inc VAT
Fashion statements don’t come much stronger than an iPhone case with ears. Marc Jacobs has an extensive range of iPhone 5 / 5s cases, several of which are animal cases. This owl-like case is made from silicone and will ensure no-one misses your statement when you’re on a call.
If owls aren’t your thing, there are also cat, dog and zebra (Julio) variants. The case covers your iPhone’s three buttons and has a cutout for the mute switch.