Regular BGR readers will know that when it comes to smartphone cases, I am not a fan. Industrial design, ergonomics and materials are all hugely important pieces of the smartphone experience, and cases typical spoil all of them. As strongly as I dislike cases, however, I almost always have a case on my iPhone 6. As anyone who has ever held one knows, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the most slippery phones on the face of the planet.
Beyond that, not using a case on Apple’s new iPhones leaves them vulnerable to a few troublesome issues, namely “Bendgate” and “Dyegate.”
So, the task for me has become finding the least offensive cases out there that will protect my iPhone 6 without making it look and feel hideous in the process.
DON’T MISS: Whatever you do, don’t buy an iPhone 6 right now
It hasn’t been easy, but I have scoured the Internet and spoken to countless third-party iPhone case makers in the process.
With the holidays fast approaching, iPhone cases make the perfect inexpensive gift — so here are 10 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases I’ve found that strike a balance between form and function:
Leather Wallet Case by Mujjo
I’ll start this list off with one of my favorites: the Leather Wallet Case for iPhone 6 by Netherlands-based Mujjo. Mujjo is well-known for its leather cases and premium touchscreen-friendly gloves, and the latest addition to the company’s lineup definitely does not disappoint.
Mujjo’s new Leather Wallet case is thin and sturdy, and the leather has a nice low-profile grain. The stitching and logo stamp on the case’s pocket also add nice detail to the back.
Priced at €33.02 (about $41), the case comes in black as well as tan, my personal preference. It fits the iPhone 6 only, and shipping to the U.S. starts at about $10.
Walnut & Leather iPhone Case by Grovemade
Grovemade’s handmade Walnut & Leather iPhone Case made waves shortly after the iPhone 6 was announced in September, and it deserves all the buzz it received. The company is known for its beautiful high-end accessories, but this new case is probably Grovemade’s most impressive effort to date.
This case is very pricey at $129 for the iPhone 6 version and $139 for the iPhone 6 Plus version, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
The bad news is that Grovemade is still trying to deal with the huge demand for this wood and leather case, and new orders won’t ship until sometime later this year.
Felt Case by Fuz Designs
The Felt Case by Fuz Designs started as a fairly successful Kickstarter campaign and as of late October, the case is now a reality. This unique iPhone case gives handsets a look and feel that will definitely separate them from the pack, and at 2mm thick on the back it’s surprisingly thin for a case with both plastic and felt layers.
Of note, I have found that the exposed plastic on the front of the case looks and feels rather cheap, but the great look of the felt back will more than make up for it for many users.
Fuz Designs’ felt case is available immediately for the iPhone 6, and it costs $29.99 with free domestic shipping. A $34.99 iPhone 6 Plus version is began shipping this week.
UPDATE: Fuz reached out to BGR via email to note that the iPhone 6 case I tested was pre-production, and the plastic on the release version has been significantly improved. Here is a photo of the plastic on the updated version, which indeed looks much more sturdy:
Saddle Leather Wrap Case by Adopted
Moving from felt back to leather, the genuine leather on Adopted’s Saddle Leather Wrap Case for the iPhone 6 is absolutely gorgeous. In fact, it might be the nicest leather I’ve seen on any iPhone 6 case so far.
The bad news, unfortunately, is that the exposed plastic on this case has a “chrome” paint coating that mars the case’s premium look when viewed up close. From a few feet away though, it looks fine.
Chrome-look plastic aside, this is a great leather case that is easily one of the most sturdy and hefty cases I tested. It’s shipping now in two colors, and it costs $39.95.
iPhone 6 Gresso Case by Gresso
If leather and felt aren’t your thing and you would rather continue to see and feel metal while protecting the iPhone’s aluminum housing, Gresso’s is one of the sleekest options out there.
Or at least, it will be. The bad news is that it’s not yet available.
Once Gresso launches this beautiful iPhone 6 case, it will cost $90 and will be available in black, silver and gold.
Crash Guard by Rhinoshield
Another fantastic option if you’re willing to wait a bit is the Crash Guard by Rhinoshield. I’ll let the video do the talking.
The Crash Guard comes in six colors and it will start shipping this month.
Leather and Silicone cases by Apple
Apple’s own in-house leather and silicone cases are two options that should definitely not be overlooked as you shop for high-quality cases this holiday season. They’re both incredibly thin and they feel great in the hand.
The leather Apple uses isn’t the highest quality I’ve seen, but it’s very soft and supple, and it has a great feel. As for the silicone version, Apple’s case is definitely the best silicone case I have come across.
Apple’s leather case costs $45 for the iPhone 6 or $49 for the iPhone 6 Plus, and it comes in five colors. The silicone case is $35 for the iPhone 6 or $39 for the iPhone 6 Plus, and it is available in six different colors.
iPhone Sleeve by Cocones
For people who just can’t stomach the idea of covering up that sleek iPhone with a case, a sleeve is another option that won’t protect your handset quite as well, but it’s better than nothing.
I’ve included two great sleeve options on this list.
The first is a great looking wool felt and leather sleeve by Cocones, and it comes in four colors including Deep Caramel (brown), Smokey Gray / Black, Smokey Gray / Natural, and Black. The wool is a bit stiff but the fit is very snug and it’s not too thick.
Of course, a sleeve isn’t going to protect your iPhone if it slips out of your hand while in use, but it will have you covered in the event of a drop from a table or a spill while the phone is being pulled out of your pocket.
An iPhone 6 version of Cocones’ iPhone sleeve is available for €24 (about $29.75), and the iPhone 6 Plus version costs €25 (about $31). Shipping to the U.S. costs between $7 and $13.
Classic HG Phone Case by Hard Graft
Last but certainly not least is the Classic HG Case by London-based Hard Graft.
This gorgeous premium sleeve is composed of gray felt and sleek brown leather, and it has a fantastic look to it. It also features a front pocket that’s perfect for storing a couple of cards and some cash.
Of course, this snazzy sleeve isn’t cheap at £69 (about $110) and shipping to the U.S. costs another $20 for DHL Express.