It’s a nightmare scenario for phone owners: while you’re midway through a text message, the handset slips from your hand and lands screen-down on the pavement. Fortunately, there’s a way to protect against this: through a protective case designed to absorb the impact.

Phone cases do more than protect, of course. They help you to spot your phone at a glance, and lend a certain degree of visual distinctiveness that’s often a good thing in and of itself. Modern phone cases also improve the function of the phone itself, with things like built-in battery packs. Along with specialised phone insurance, they’re a great way of protecting your device against damage.

The best cases tend to come with a significant price tag attached, but they’re worth it for certain applications.

Otterbox Defender

If you need your phone to be resilient against damage, perhaps because you’re taking it out into places where it might get dropped, or because you’d simply like to protect your investment, the Defender is difficult to beat. It features a polycarbonate chassis, with synthetic rubber guarding against slips. It feels rugged, too – to the extent that you might feel comfortable taking it on a camping trip.

Totallee Thin Case

If you’d prefer something that’s a little more discrete, then you might investigate the Thin Case from Totallee. It’s mostly there for stylistic reasons, as it won’t absorb impacts in the same way as a Defender might. In fact, you might not even notice it’s there at all.

Mophie Juice Pack

The juice pack is designed for people who use their phones a lot. When your battery has almost drained, you can simply activate the juice pack and top it up again. If you need to connect to a USB or Lightning cable, then you’ll find alternative versions of the juice pack available, too.

Pela Honey Bee Case

If you’ve got an environmentalist mindset, then you might find it difficult to justify adding to the amount of harmful plastic in the world. That’s where the Pela cases come in. This is the world’s first ever compostable phone case, according to the manufacturers, and creates 80% less waste during production. Given the rise in concern about the environment, it’s likely that other phone-case manufacturers will follow this lead – but if you’d like to get in at the early stages, then here’s a great way to do it.

Casetify Aphrodite

This case is also built using sustainable materials, and comes in a range of colours. The rear comes emblazoned with a picture of one of the world’s most famous sculptures – the Venus de Milo, along with a short description, just like an encyclopaedia entry.