4 Best Eco-Friendly Cell Phone Cases (2022)
We recommend sustainable options to protect your iPhone or Android device.
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Where can you find the best eco-friendly cell phone cases when most cell phone cases are made of plastic?
Popular phone cases are designed to protect your phone but create more plastic waste when they need to be replaced. They also may contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Thankfully, recycled ocean plastics and plant-based composites are just a few of the eco-conscious materials that are increasingly being used to make phone cases with little environmental impact. Below, we break down the best eco-friendly phone cases for both Android and iPhone to get you started.
Best Eco-Friendly Cell Phone Cases: Our Recommendations
- Best Overall: LifeProof Wake
- Best Compostable Case: Pela Case
- Best Wooden Case: Loam & Lore
- Best Drop Protection: CASETiFY Impact Case
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. Learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission.
Why Switch to an Eco-Friendly Cell Phone Case?
The most popular cases for cell phones are made from a plastic called polycarbonate, which is often used in bulletproof windows because of its hardness. However, BPA is used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate polymers, according to the American Chemistry Council. Exposure to BPA can have negative health effects on the brains of children and issues like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults.
Many eco-friendly cases are designed to be fully biodegradable and compostable within two years, according to various manufacturers. Meanwhile, plastic phone cases (and other plastics) can take hundreds of years to decompose.
Switching to a sustainable phone case can help you cut down on your plastic pollution and
Full Reviews of Our Top Picks
The products listed below are recommended for the iPhone 13 Pro (except the Loam & Lore cover, which is for the iPhone 13). Case availability for Androids and other iPhone models are listed and linked below each product description.
Best Overall: LifeProof Wake Series
This Wake Series cell phone case by LifeProof is made from at least 85% recycled ocean plastic. A dollar from each purchase goes to one of its ocean-conscious nonprofit partners like Coral Reef Alliance or Oceana.
This cell phone case has drop protection from about 6.5 feet and is wireless charging compatible. Screen protectors are sold separately. The design is lightweight so the case fits easily into your pocket, but some buyers think it’s a bit slippery. The case features a unique wave pattern on the back and comes in solid colors. The purchase includes a one-year limited warranty.
Standout Review: “Awesome phone case, great style that fits in your hand perfectly, and for a great cause, too!” — Mitch via Amazon
Why Buy: LifeProof takes ocean-based plastic and makes the most of it, then turns around and donates more money from your purchase to ocean conservation nonprofits. Its cell phone case also hits the right points on durability, sleek design and warranty protection.
Best Compostable Case: Pela Case
When Pela phone cases hit the market, they claimed to be “the world’s first 100% compostable, eco-friendly phone case,” and while that’s a high bar to clear, the cases really do live up to the hype. Pela cases are made from compostable bioplastics, which are the most sustainable alternatives to traditional plastic (when composted correctly).
Pela donates 5% of sales to charities that improve ocean health, including Save the Waves, Surfrider Foundation and Oceana, and the company is also a member of 1% for the Planet. The company makes Android and iPhone cases with matte finishes as well as clear cases with protective, drop-proof edges.
Standout Review: “Was hesitant to buy this because I drop phones frequently, and it hasn’t been drop tested. I gave it a shot because I like the company’s ideals. Within 3 days of getting a new [phone], I dropped it from 4 feet onto asphalt screen-first. Not only is the phone perfectly fine, the case isn’t even scratched.” — Thomas via Amazon
Why Buy: Pela’s mission is one we can get behind. With certified compostable phone cases that come in a variety of designs, you can stop plastic from entering the environment or clogging a landfill in the first place.
Best Wooden Case: Loam & Lore
Loam & Lore
Made of wood and lined with biodegradable materials like wheat straw, this is one of the best eco-friendly cell phone cases if you like a natural look. This sustainable smartphone case offers drop protection from five feet and is wireless charging compatible, according to the UK-based brand. If wood phone cases are your preference, you may consider a new case from Loam & Lore.
Standout Review: “I love that it is made from recycled materials, the color is awesome and it’s affordable. The protection is 360 and provides enough lip to protect the screen when dropped.” — Alex via Amazon
Why Buy: This eco-friendly cell phone case is affordable, stylish and reduces your environmental impact. For every wooden case purchased, the company plants one tree, and it also donates 5% of profits to charities including the Amazon Conservation Team.
Best Drop Protection: CASETiFY Impact Case
CASETiFY says it relies on 65% plant-based and recycled materials for manufacturing. That means it takes discarded phone cases, manufacturing plastic scraps and bioplastic to make cell phone cases that revitalize post-consumer waste. The result reduces the company’s carbon footprint by 20%. CASETiFY cases are also military-grade drop-tested, with this eco-friendly cell phone case ensuring 6.6 feet of drop protection.
They aren’t the most eco-friendly iPhone cases, but they are eco-friendlier than traditional plastic cases.
Standout Review: “I like how slim this case is. It seems to be sturdy enough for the average butterfinger user (me). It’ll probably withstand a tumble. The phone touchscreen is not protected, so you’ll need to add that to your phone.” — Kevin L. Mcglothlin via Amazon
Why Buy: The case upcycles post-consumer waste and offers 6.6 feet of drop protection. Kevin, the reviewer, also points out that the case is compatible with MagSafe chargers if you lay it flat.
How to Choose the Best Eco-Friendly Cell Phone Cases
There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best eco-friendly cell phone cases:
- Cost: Is the cell phone case affordable for its eco-conscious value?
- Cause: Does your purchase give back to any cause aside from reducing waste based on the materials it’s made from?
- Sustainability: Is the cell phone case made from recycled, environmentally friendly or compostable materials? What about packaging?
- Durability: Will the case protect your phone? How long will it last?
- Charging: Do you need to be able to use a wireless charger?
- Style: Do you like it?
Frequently Asked Questions: Eco-Friendly Cell Phone Cases
Does buying an eco-friendly cell phone case actually help the environment?
Yes. Electronic waste makes up 70% of overall toxic waste, according to The World Counts, and only 12.5% of e-waste gets recycled. Not many people think about tech accessories, such as plastic cell phone cases, which they replace more often than cell phones.
Again, many manufacturers design eco-friendly cell phone cases to decompose within one to two years.
Are biodegradable phone cases protective?
Many manufacturers conduct tests to ensure drop protection of at least five feet. Some brands use ocean-based plastic to repurpose post-consumer waste, making the materials used just as strong. Other materials can include sustainably harvested cork, bamboo or wood, and these materials are good for shock absorption.
Can eco-friendly cell phone cases be stylish?
Yes, many of the natural and sustainable materials used to manufacture eco-friendly cell phone cases offer dynamic options for design without harm to the environment. Plant-based inks and paints can be used for decorating. University of Cambridge researchers even recently invented biodegradable glitter made from cellulose we can use in place of glitter made of microplastics.
In a recent press release, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General referred to the culture of disposal as a “tsunami of e-waste” and called for protections for children especially as digital dumpsites amass tech pollution.