It’s pretty awesome that the iPhone 7 and above is water resistant, right? Water resistant doesn’t do you any good if you drop it right to the bottom of a lake though. Fortunately, we rounded up some floating iPhone cases to ensure you get your phone back.
Water resistance has come a long way in a short time, and the newest iPhones are pretty darn resilient when it comes to splashes and even outright dunks. Good water resistant design doesn’t, however, solve the problem of the water-tight object being denser than water. The iPhone XS, for example, is rated IP68 (the 8 is the key part here and means it can survive 30 minutes in water up to 2 meters deep). That’s really awesome but totally worthless if your phone spends 3 seconds slipping down through the 2-meter zone and eternity at the bottom of the lake. That’s where these products come in: they’ll keep your phone near the surface where you can safely snatch it back up.
Now, you’ll notice a lot of the cases listed here are from the same company, Temdan. Simply put, there aren’t as many floating iPhone cases out there as you’d expect. It’s a bit of a niche area even though having a phone that can float is definitely useful. With that in mind, don’t be surprised to see similar designs repeat through the list.
We’ve focused on some key areas such as how shockproof the case is, whether it comes with a convenient neck strap, and how versatile it is. In all cases (pun intended), these are consistently reliable cases that mean you don’t have to worry if you happen to get swept up in a wave while on the beach. Sure, you still might have to swim out a little way to snag your beloved iPhone, but at least it won’t sink to the bottom like a stone.
Here are the best floating iPhone cases currently out there.
Best All-Rounder: Temdan iPhone 7/8 Waterproof Case with Kickstand and Floating Strap ($22)
The Temdan iPhone 7/8 Waterproof Case with Kickstand and Floating Strap offers a little bit of everything, so it’s an ideal all-rounder of an iPhone case. It offers a built-in screen protector, a kickstand for propping your phone up on a desk, shockproof protection and waterproofing, of course.
Rated at IP68, the case is safe in water under 2m for up to an hour. Hopefully, that will never happen though as its floating strap means you can pull it off the water’s surface any time you want. Its shockproof protection is pretty good too with it designed to exceed Military Standard 810G-516 which means 1,000 drops from 2m height without a problem.
It’s pretty slim and lightweight too so you won’t lose style points for using it.
Temdan iPhone 7/8/SE 2020 Waterproof Case with Floating Strap and Built in Screen Protector Snowproof Shockproof Underwater Case for iPhone 7 iPhone 8 and iPhone SE 2020(Black)
Best Shockproof Floating Case: Temdan iPhone 8/7 / 6/6s Floating Case ($20)
A little cheaper than the previous Temdan case, the Temdan iPhone 8/7 / 6/6s Floating Case is a fair bit more robust than the more feature-rich alternative. Its chunkier case can withstand drops of up to 5m albeit at the expense of your pocket space. Yup, this one is chunkier to fit in your bag or pocket. It also requires you to bag up the phone to gain some extra water resistance if you so wish.
Despite this, it’s a worthwhile investment. Without the need for a separate strap, it keeps afloat in the water, potentially hanging around nearby you while you take a swim. There’s a reason why Temdan refers to it as a lifejacket—it kind of is. Just expect to take the case off any time you want a more stylish appearance. Want that sweet blaze-orange Nerf football protection for your iPhone X or XS? You can score the same style of case from Temdan here.
Temdan iPhone 8 / 7 / 6/6s Floating Case with a 0.2mm Clear&Thin Waterproof Bag Shockproof Lifejacket Case for iPhone 8 / 7 / 6 (4.7inch) -Orange
Best For Hands-Free: Cambond Waterproof Phone Case ($13)
Sometimes, you don’t want to have to hold your iPhone. Even in the water. That’s where the Cambond Waterproof Phone Case is pretty useful. It has a long strap that you can harness around your neck without worrying. It can sustain at least 20kg of tension so it’s good for pretty much all situations.
The rest of the case is fairly unremarkable if effective. It uses a dry bag mentality, with air circle padding around the pouch helping the phone float on water. That method also means it works for most other phones, as well as the iPhone, so it’s good for multiple devices. It’s dustproof, dirt proof, and snowproof too. If you want to play it extra safe, you can always snap an additional float on the case too.
Cambond Waterproof Phone Case, 3 Pack Floating Waterproof Phone Pouch, Transparent TPU Water Proof Cell Phone Pouch Dry Bag with Lanyard (Black/Blue/White, 3 Pack)
Best iPhone X / XS Floating Case: Temdan iPhone X Waterproof Case ($24)
So, you’ve spent a fortune on an iPhone X or iPhone XS. The last thing you want to do is watch it sink to the bottom of the ocean. Buy a Temdan iPhone X / XS Waterproof Case. It does pretty much everything you could need it to do.
It’s reasonably slim, it withstands thousands of drops from a 2m height, there’s a built-in screen protector, plus a kickstand. Most importantly, it includes a floating strap. If you happen to drop it in or near water, you can easily snag it back up by grabbing the strap. It’d be a pretty expensive mistake to not own something like this for your iPhone. The nice thing about this design too, as opposed to the Nerf-football style cases found above, is that you can easily remove the floating strap (it has a little plastic clasp) when you’re just lounging around the pool.
iPhone X Waterproof Case, iPhone XS Waterproof Case, Temdan SUPREME Series Shockproof Waterproof Rugged Case with Caranbiner Built in Screen Protector Waterproof Case for iPhone X/XS(Black)
The DIY Solution: Any iPhone Case With Lanyard Hole + Lanyard Float ($13)
If there isn’t a case that fits your personal style or you’re not a fan of the three case styles that crop up in the waterproof/floating niche—which are usually either giant foam blocks, plastic bags, or giant turtle-shell affairs—then you might consider rolling your own design.
How? By taking an existing case with a lanyard hole—any case with a nice snug fit will work—and adding a cheap but dependable lanyard float handle. Then you can make the case as bulky or as thin as you like. In fact, if you love your current case and just want to suit it up for a canoe trip, you might even consider getting a web-style phone lanyard and attaching the webbing + the float to it.
Remember the newer iPhones are water-resistant all by themselves, the extra water-resistance afforded by a “waterproof” case is just added insurance.