Personal Tech

Materials Commonly Used in Phone and Tablet Cases

The number of phone and tablet cases on the market is staggering, and they come in a variety of colors, designs, and materials. Below is a quick look at some of the materials that are commonly used.

PU Leather

PU leather is also known as bicast leather and is a type of synthetic leather. It is comprised of a split leather backing that is covered with a layer of polyurethane, and the polyurethane keeps it looking new, which means that cases made with it tend to be dirt-resistant. New PU leather cases may give off a chemical smell, but that should dissipate in no more than a week. These types of cases are usually good at protecting against bumps and scratches and tend to be fairly low in price.

Genuine Leather

Unsurprisingly, genuine leather is also used in phone cases. While PU leather does contain some genuine leather, it only makes up a small part, and thus, differences between the two materials do exist. Both full-grain and top-grain leather are used to make phone cases, with full-grain leather considered the highest-quality leather and top-grain the second highest. Full-grain leather is a strong, durable, and breathable material and is extremely wear-resistant, while top-grain leather has less breathability because of the finish coat added to its surface. This coat does make top-grain leather more resistant to stains, however, as long as it remains intact. Like PU leather, genuine leather cases are adept at protecting against bumps, scratches, and scuffs, and though they cost more, they are also a more luxurious and elegant adornment for phones and tablets.


Polycarbonate is often used for the housing bracket within phone cases because it is a durable material. These housing brackets tend to be hard to break and will reduce the impact of drops. However, polycarbonate fares poorly against scratches, and for this reason, it usually only comprises part of a phone or tablet case when used, with another material that can better protect against scratches making up the majority of the case.


Microfiber is a type of synthetic fiber that is often used on the interior of phone and tablet cases. As a synthetic fiber, microfiber can be selected for specific characteristics, and the type used in protective cases is made to be soft in order to prevent damage to phone and tablet screens. In this respect, they are similar to the microfiber cloth included with new MacBooks that are used to clean the laptop screens. The microfiber used for protective cases is usually colorfast as well, ensuring that stains will not occur on either one’s phone or tablet or on the case on itself.


TPU is the acronym for thermoplastic polyurethane and is a catch-all term for a wide range of polyurethane plastics. Cases made with TPU are usually at least semi-transparent and tend to be very flexible-they can usually be bent in any which way without changing shape. These cases are also resistant to dirt, oil, scratches, and abrasions and can be cleaned with water, making them easy to care for as well as long-lasting. TPU cases generally will not offer any protection to screens, however, and a screen protector will need to be used in conjunction with such cases in order to achieve complete protection.

As can be seen from this brief overview, the materials used in phone and tablet cases, while offering different advantages and disadvantages, do all help in the protection of smart devices in some way. Thus, what type of material is best suited for a person will depend on what they are looking for from their protective case. And with so much on offer, one is sure to find something suitable.

Author Since: May 25, 2018

Related Post