Finding the best leather iPad cover or case in 2023

Updated May 2024 -

Anytime you spend upwards of a thousand dollars or more on a flashy new tablet, you're going to want to make sure you keep that new hardware safe. This is where good, protective leather iPad Folio cases or covers come in. 

Whether you're looking for a premium leather 13 iPad Pro case, a leather 13 iPad Air case, a leather 11 iPad Pro case, or a leather 11 iPad Air case, you can never go wrong investing in quality. After all, if you didn't care about quality, you wouldn't have bought an Apple tablet.

But how do you choose the best leather iPad cover from the litany of iPad cases available?

What iPad Cover Should I Get?

After over 12 years of iPads, the world is littered with poorly engineered, poorly constructed, substandard cases. Maybe you've seen some on other sites? Maybe you've even owned one yourself and are looking for a better experience?

We're often asked what they'd look for when shopping for the best leather iPad case. We've distilled it down to the top things to look for.

When it comes to selecting the best leather iPad cover, you'll want to closely evaluate the following:

• Materials

• Level of Protection

• Aesthetics

• Durability

• Value.

All of these aspects of the design will add up to your perception of the overall quality. 

How much quality do you need? You purchased the most expensive tablet computer on Earth. That should provide you with your answer. If you spent $1500 on a suit, would you pair it with a $30 pair of shoes or a $5 tie? If you're a professional or someone who appreciates things of a certain quality, choosing a quality leather iPad cover supports your overall lifestyle.

Quality is an often overlooked issue when making a purchase for a cover. People are being trained to buy in discount, not value or quality. 

While there is a plethora of low end, cheap iPad Pro cases available, Apple's tablets are the premium product in that market. Again, do you really want to put the most expensive tablet in the world in the cheapest case you can find?

If not, then finding a well crafted, handmade leather iPad folio cover should be a priority. Look for iPad cases where the quality is visible on every panel and in every stitch. The best leather cover for iPad will provide an experience greater than the sum of it's parts.

Let's take a closer look at those parts.

leather ipad cover

What Material is Best for an iPad Cover?

When it comes to materials none is as sophisticated or as timeless as leather. A full-grain or top-grain leather iPad cover should last as long as you own your Apple tablet. The material is tough, durable and will patina in over time.

If you're tired of purchasing a fake leather case every 6 months, maybe it's time to step up to the real thing. That said, not all leather iPad cases are equal. Before you make your selection, there are a few things to consider first.

Top grain, full grain, vegetable tanned, analined, semi-analined and bonded are just a few of the choices when it comes to the type of hides available. Which type of leather you choose will affect the overall quality, durability and longevity of your iPad cover. It will also affect the price.

A full grain leather iPad case is much more expensive to produce than a bonded leather made from scraps and fillers. Moreover, the term " genuine leather" is often used to describe a material that might be genuine but definitely not cow leather. Price is a good indicator of the quality of the leather your case is made from.

Be wary of what what is often described at "PU leather". PU leather is not leather at all. It's plastic, pure and simple. The "PU" stands for polyurethane. There is nothing natural about it and posses none of the warmth and smell of the real thing. Many cases that are described as "genuine leather are actually PU, or polyurethane.

The latest trend in cut and sew materials is to describe plastic or vinyl sheets used to make cases as "vegan". As if the material is somehow made from plants. It's not. It's typically polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It's definitely not leather and don't be fooled into thinking it's somehow better for the environment. It's not that either. It's just marketing hyperbole.

leather ipad cover

Do Leather iPad Cases Protect Better?

The leather used for quality iPad cases should be 2-3mm thick. Hides with this thickness can provide some impact absorption and will protect better than a low-cost plastic case.

While the style of any product can be a subjective thing, most people will tell you they know something is beautiful when they see it. An aesthetic iPad case will feature a classic, elegant style that is neither bland nor trendy. 

This is easier said than done. Often products are over-styled or plastered with crazy colors or graphics to hide the fact that the designers didn't know how to create an aesthetic iPad case in the first place. Everyone wants a cool iPad case but one person's "cool" is another persons trendy, childish cover. 

If you're some who appreciates quality product design then look for an aesthetic iPad case that reflects your taste. Fortunately, with all the options available, you should be able to find a handsome leather iPad cover to meet your aesthetic sensibilities. 

leather ipad cover

Are Leather iPad Covers More Durable?

Durability is a tough thing to try and get a handle on before you purchase any product. We only know something is durable after the passage of time, not before we buy it.

There are several ways to check on durability before purchasing. Read the reviews and find the oldest one you can find. If a review is more than five years old and the company is still making the product, there is a good chance the product is solid and will last.


Because the Apple portable case market is really tough. If a substandard product is not performing and the reviews reflect that, chances are the product and company would not have lasted 5 years. 

Lastly, ask yourself what your perception is of the cover you are interested in. If it's made of plastic and the price is $9.99, how long do you really think it will last? A $100+ real leather iPad cover should last you at least as long as you own the tablet.

If you're looking for a professional leather iPad case, than hopefully the overall quality and price will reflect this. If you resell the tablet when upgrading to a new model, you can offer the case as part of the sale and re-coup some of the initial cost. 

maccase leather ipad cover with the magnetic accessory system

Are Leather iPad Cases a Good Value?

Which brings us to value. The most important factor for choosing a leather iPad folio is value. What are you really getting for your money? As mentioned, it’s worth paying a little extra for better protection. But what about evaluating the value of the design, materials and functionality?

The components of what makes something a good value are many. You can almost break it down like a math equation:

• Good Design + Good Feature Set + Good Protection Level + Quality Materials + Durability + X Factor (how the case makes you feel) ÷ Price = A Good Value. 

Value is a lot like durability in a sense that if something is more expensive it will be hard to judge the value before purchasing. Everyone can expect a $9.99 folio to be a terrible value. It's junk and will not last. But how long should a $150 leather iPad folio last? In the end, a well made, more expensive case will always be a better value.

What people don't often consider when shopping for "cheap" products is the value of their time. How much is your time worth? Is the time you spend looking over case after case because you perceive a low cost case as being a better value really better?

Could you spend that time with friends or family instead of perusing sites like amazon for another low cost, poorly made iPad cover? In the end, a leather iPad folio that honors the value of your time and respects your time represents a great value. All we really have is time and then we don't.

Leather iPad Cover: X-Factor

Another way to get a sense of the overall quality, durability, protection, and value of the product is to call the company and talk to someone. Try to speak to someone knowledgeable and who has experience using the model you are interested in. If you get a run around or a series of voice mails, maybe it's not the leather iPad cover or company for you.

Are you ready to buy a case? We can help! In 1998 MacCase created the Apple specific case market and has since remained at the forefront of Apple portable protection. Our Premium Leather iPad cases and covers have been the gold standard in Apple tablet protection since 2010.

leather ipad pro 12.9 magic keyboard cover sleeve

Jody K. Deane
by Jody K. Deane November 08, 2013
Tags: ipad case

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