No matter what iPad you use, you’ll want a case to protect it. But if you’re feeling fancy, or you’re looking for a gift for an iPad user who would appreciate something more premium, you can’t beat leather.
We’ve selected the best genuine leather cases on the market. There’s no “PU” or “vegan” leather here: this is the real McCoy, genuine dead cow. That’s not for everyone, of course. Some might object to the material on environmental grounds or not want a case that needs a little care to keep looking great, so make sure your gift recipient is okay with leather before making your choice. But for most users, these are all great options for more elegant protection.
We’ve found the best general leather case option, the best for those who prefer a larger “folio” style or a more minimal integrated stand, the best sleeve design, and a novelty “book” case that makes a great gift if you’re looking for something unique. Note that we’re not breaking down our selections by iPad model: for each choice below, you should be able to find versions that will fit the standard iPad, the iPad Mini, and the various iPad Pro models.
The Best All-Around Leather iPad Case: Noreve Tradition ($86-185)
For the general user, this design from French case maker Noreve is the best choice. It includes a full wrap-around shell that protects the tablet itself, a fold-over cover for the screen, and integrated organizer sleeves for extra trinkets like a screen cleaner cloth and notes. The back of the case has a small fold-out kickstand for hands-free viewing, though the Story Leather case below is probably a better choice if you frequently watch videos on your tablet. There are cutouts for the buttons and camera, and a stylus can be secured in the cover snap.
The Noreve case comes in a variety of leather qualities, from PU (read: fake) up to aged and patinated leather in a wide selection of colors. The sweet spot is Noreve’s “Illumination” patent leather, which comes in black, grey, or natural leather for a little over $100 on the standard 9.7-inch iPad. Some of the more expensive leathers and colors may take longer to ship; click the “In Stock” tab on Noreve’s online shop if you’re in a hurry.
The Best Leather Folio iPad Case: Pad and Quill Oxford ($110)
Folio cases are a bit bulkier than a standard case, but they offer more protection and an appealing fold-out design. Pad and Quill’s Oxford, which goes for $110 on the standard iPad, is the one to beat. Its natural leather finish looks fantastic and feels even better, with premium stitching on all seams and a loop for your stylus.