A laptop sleeve will provide an extra layer of protection between your thousand-dollar machine and the cold, hard ground if you’re concerned about drops, scuffs, or spills. We looked at dozens of laptop sleeves and selected nine in a variety of styles that will suit you whether you want something simple or refined, or something with hardcore protection.
But, before you go out and buy a laptop sleeve, think about whether you really need one. The majority of backpacks, messenger bags, and briefcasesYour laptop already has a protective slot. A laptop sleeve may be necessary if you carry your laptop outside of a bag, but it may not be necessary if you already have a backpack.
- A super-affordable sleeve: Tomtoc 360° Protective Sleeve
- Cheap, straightforward, and available in nearly every size: Sleeve from AmazonBasics
- Complete protection: Thule Gauntlet 3.0
- A stylish option: The Daily Edited Laptop Sleeve
- No backpack necessary: Incase Sling Sleeve Deluxe
- How we picked and tested
- What to look forward to
- The competition
Customizable style: Society6 Sleeve
*For more designs visit society6.com
Who this is for: Someone who wants to add some visual flair to their laptop or support an artist they already enjoy.
Why it’s greatConsider one from if you’re looking for a simple, soft sleeve that comes in an almost infinite number of designs. Society6The Society6 sleeves also feature an industry-standard YKK zipper with a long track record. .. These sleeves are made of a stiff canvas-style polyester that protects against dust, scratches, and bumps, though they aren’t as soft as some of our previous favorites.
The real allure of a Society6 sleeve is its versatility. huge variety of available designsThey range in price from Artists can use the site to have their work printed on dozens of different items, including these sleeves, meaning there are literally thousands of different prints to choose from. .. classically influenced to not-quite-mid-century, and from bold and colorful to fun and funny.. Also, if you like an artist who sells on Society6, it’s a great way to support them while also showcasing their work.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The Society6 sleeve has a slightly loose fit—most 13-inch laptops we tested did not fill the height or width of the 13-inch sleeve we tested—but the substantial microfiber lining prevents the computer from moving too much.
Sizes: 13 inches, 15 inchesColors: countlessMaterial: polyester
A super-affordable sleeve: Tomtoc 360° Protective Sleeve
Who this is for: People who want a thick, snug-fitting laptop sleeve that’s affordable but still protects their laptop from scuffs and spills—and don’t mind it not looking as polished as a more expensive option and adding more bulk.
Why it’s great: The Tomtoc 360° Protective Sleeve Unlike cases from well-known brands such as is a budget-friendly laptop sleeve that fits laptops better and protects them better than most other similarly priced options. Mosiso and ProCaseThe Tomtoc closes snuggly around a variety of 13-inch laptops, keeping them locked firmly in place., which feel like they leave your computer swimming with far too much space to move. The Tomtoc is bulkier than most more expensive sleeves, emphasizing protection over size.
Its comparatively simple silhouette belies its bulk, and it includes a small pocket for carrying a few extras. While not as sleek or refined as some of our other picks, its comparatively simple silhouette belies its bulk, and it includes a small pocket for carrying a few extras. The model we tested has an attractive heather gray exterior with a stiff marled texture that provides enough grip to keep the Tomtoc from falling out of your hands, but it doesn’t feel rough or uncomfortable if you’re walking around campus with it in your hands all afternoon. The Tomtoc is surprisingly appealing for something that will cost you $20.
This stiff fabric is slightly more water resistant than some of our other recommendations. If you have to dash from your car to a coffee shop during a light rain shower, this should be plenty of protection. The water beaded on the surface and rolled off when we sprayed it with a few blasts from a spray bottle.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: If you’re using the sleeve as part of a backpack, it’s probably easier to just stuff your belongings into other pockets. The external pocket on the Tomtoc sleeve makes it bulky. The pocket is more functional than those on some of the other sleeves we tested, as it can fit the MacBook charger if the USB-C cable is unplugged from its brick, but it’s too small to carry more than one or two items.
Sizes: 15 inches, 15–15.4 inches, 15.6 inches, 12 inches, 12.3 inches, 13 inches, 13–13.5 inches, 15 inches, 15–15.4 inches
Colors: blue black, dazzling blue, grass green, gray, mint blue, and baby pink are some of the colors available.
Cheap, straightforward, and available in nearly every size: Sleeve from AmazonBasics
Who this is for: Anyone who wants to protect a device that isn’t the standard size, such as a 17-inch laptop.
Why it’s great: The AmazonBasicsFor a reasonable price, sleeve provides basic scratch and scuff protection, with size options ranging from a 7-inch tablet to a 17-inch laptop. These sleeves have a simple design and are made of soft neoprene. They have only one pocket and no extra bells and whistles, but the design is ideal for fitting the entire sleeve into a backpack or messenger bag.
However, depending on the size you need, the availability of colors and multi-packs varies significantly. The AmazonBasics sleeves are extremely affordable, costing less than $15 for a 13-inch sleeve, and they come in five-, ten-, and even 24-packs if you’re trying to outfit an entire fleet of devices at once.
Flaws but not dealbreakersIt also has some noticeable branding, but none of this matters if you’re just looking for something cheap that will get the job done. Its exterior is also a little rough to the touch, and it’s a little thin, making your laptop more susceptible to bump damage. The AmazonBasics sleeve is a little looser than the other sleeves we suggest.
Amazon customers report that the The purple version of the case has a habit of transferring color to anything it comes into contact with.—including a laptop—so you should probably avoid the blue sleeve.
Sizes7 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, 11.6 inches, 13.3 inches, 15.6 inches, 17.3 inches, 15.6 inches, 17.3 inchesColors: black, blue, gray, navy, purpleMaterial: neoprene
Complete protection: Thule Gauntlet 3.0
Who this is for: If you bring your laptop into dangerous situations like hiking, biking, or traveling in a rainy climate, you should consider this water-resistant, hard-shell case.
Why it’s great: The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 We tested the water resistance of the Gauntlet 3.0 by filling it with paper towels and spraying it with a kitchen-sink sprayer for 30 seconds. Only a small amount of water soaked through the hinge. Apart from the original Gauntlet, the inside was only slightly damp near the hinge, and the Gauntlet 3.0 let in less water than any other water-resistant case we tested. The Gauntlet 3.0 should also protect a computer from small falls or drops far better than a neoprene sleeve, though we wouldn’t trust it to keep a laptop in perfect condition after a tumble of more than a few feet—after all, it’s not certified to any shock-resistance standards. The stiff sides of the Gauntlet 3.0 provide about as much protection as a sleeve can provide, and the water-resistant zipper keeps liquids out. We wouldn’t throw a Gauntlet-clad laptop into a lake, but a computer encased in one of these should be fine in light rain and snow. has a rigid clamshell design that zips along three of its four edges and is more durable than a padding-only design.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: The weight is distributed evenly, so it doesn’t feel dense or heavy, but after a day of carrying this Thule sleeve around in a backpack, your back may notice the heft. It’s almost twice as thick as the Incase Classic Sleeve, at 1.4 inch thick and weighing almost a pound. That’s the kind of price you have to pay for this level of security.
Sizes: 13 inches, 15 inches
Colors: dark shadow, potion/Aruba, storm/lichen
A stylish option: The Daily Edited Laptop Sleeve
Who this is for: If you prefer an elegant and refined sleeve to a techy one, and you’re willing to pay a premium for a leather case that would be appropriate for a more formal business setting.
Why it’s great: The Daily Edited sleevehas the look of a Kate Spade clutch or a Coach purse—a more refined look than most of the other sleeves we recommend, and one that would suit an environment where you wear business formal clothes frequently (or wish you did). It is stout. saffiano leatherDespite the tight fit, we had no trouble stretching the sleeve open to get our computer out. not only protects against bumps, nicks, and water, but also adds a lovely eye-catching, grippy texture to the sleeve, especially when paired with the smooth zipper (available in silver or gold). The 13-inch sleeve we tested was a perfect fit for most 13-inch laptops, including non-MacBooks, which means your laptop won’t bounce around inside the sleeve while you’re traveling.
The Daily Edited lets you monogram up to four characters or choose from a variety of emojis (yes, both the eggplant and peach are available) on the sleeve for free in a variety of fonts and colors. For a little more money, you can add up to 10 characters and choose from a few font options. The initials we had monogrammed came out looking great, with clean lines and no visible flaws.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: You won’t be able to carry your laptop charger, pens and pencils, and your computer in one package with this sleeve. The quality of the leather and other materials, as well as the sleek style, justify this simplicity in such an expensive case. The Daily Edited’s sleeve is very simple in design: it’s just two sheets of leather stitched together, and it lacks the extra pockets and attachments that some other sleeves have.
Sizes: 12 inches, 13 inches, 15 inches
Colors: black, navy
No backpack necessary: Incase Sling Sleeve Deluxe
Who this is for: If you’re looking for a slimmer alternative to a backpack or messenger bag that still has enough room to carry most of your work or school essentials.
Why it’s great: The Incase Sling Sleeve Every 13-inch computer we tested fit snugly in its internal pocket, with little room around the edges for the computer to bounce around, which set it apart from the Targus Strata and other briefcase-style laptop sleeves we tested. The Incase bag is also padded and lined with soft faux fur, which aids in shock and drop absorption. combines a great laptop sleeve with enough storage to carry the majority of what you’ll need to get your work done—a laptop and its charger, your phone, a notebook, some pens, and cables.
The bag’s simple front pocket holds a lot more than it appears. We had no trouble fitting a laptop charger into it. portable USB power bankThe Incase bag’s laptop compartment and front pocket are both closed by zippers that slid smoothly in our tests and never got caught when we needed to get something out of the bag. , as well as some pens and pencils
Like other Incase bags we’ve testedThe Sling’s shoulder strap is plush, making it more comfortable than cases with thinner, non-padded straps. The Incase has a thin handle with the same grippy texture as the bag’s nylon exterior if you prefer to carry it by hand. This fabric gives the bag a slight sheen, which, combined with the absence of overt branding, elevates the bag’s simple, technical design.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Because the bag is so small, it may be difficult to fit a tablet or other larger accessory inside without taking up space from your laptop. If your second device is a smaller one, such as an e-reader, you might be able to fit it in (or use the front pocket), but otherwise you’d be better off with a backpack. briefcase or messenger bag.
Sizes: 13 inches, 15 inches
How we picked and tested
To narrow down that list to a few promising candidates to bring in and test, we used the following criteria. During our research, we discovered that there are a plethora of laptop sleeves available from a variety of manufacturers.
- Protection:We looked for sleeves that came in a variety of sizes and were specifically tailored to a variety of computers because fit is so important. The best sleeve for your computer leaves very little space around the sides and top, so your laptop doesn’t bounce around too much while you’re carrying it. However, it should not be so tight that it is difficult to insert and remove the sleeve. A laptop sleeve must, at the very least, protect your laptop from dust, scratches, and bumps. The fit of the laptop inside the sleeve is an important consideration.
- Closure system: If a magnetic clasp is used on a sleeve, the magnet should be strong enough to prevent it from opening unless you pull it open with your hands. If a sleeve has a zipper, it shouldn’t get stuck or caught easily; sleeves that used the industry-standard YKK zipper got bonus points. The majority of laptop sleeves have a zippered or magnetic closure to keep them closed while traveling.
- Exterior quality: The exterior of the best sleeves isn’t too rough or scratchy, but it does have enough grip to keep it from slipping out of your hand. We looked for sleeves with dust- and debris-proof exteriors, as well as sleeves that could stay dry when exposed to a small amount of water.
- Pockets: If a pocket isn’t big enough to hold a laptop charger, it’s just a waste of space. We didn’t specify that all laptop sleeves have pockets, but if they did, we wanted them to be large enough to hold at least one or two essentials.
- Aesthetics: We avoided sleeves with bright colors, obnoxious branding, and odd detailing, opting instead for sleeves with multiple color options. However, once we had a list of sleeves that worked well, we used their appearance to determine which ones we would choose. We prioritized function in our laptop sleeve evaluation because there are basically an infinite number of sleeves in an infinite number of styles.
We checked the fit of each computer into each sleeve (one at a time, of course). We also tested features like the smoothness of the zippers and sprayed the sleeves that promised water resistance to see how well they kept moisture out. We weren’t able to test every sleeve in every size or with every computer model, but we did put each one through its paces with a 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro. We checked to see if the sleeves we tested were available in multiple sizes and if the 13-inch sleeves we tested would fit a panel of 13-inch ultrabooks from various companies once we had narrowed down our favorites. After we narrowed down our favorites, we put them to the test in real-world settings, visiting coffee shops and coworking spaces to see how well the sleeves fit into our daily lives.
What to look forward to
We’d like to test two more styles of laptop sleeves from Leatherology for our next update to this guide: it is Gusseted Laptop Holder and the Laptop ClutchBoth are expected to have the company’s high-quality leather laptop sleeve, which we tested and do not recommend, but appear to have a more robust external structure. ..
The ones we tried in 2018 are listed below. Over the years, we’ve tested dozens of sleeves for inclusion in this guide.
Herschel Spokane: This sleeve’s fit on our laptop was extremely tight, and the magnet that held the sleeve closed felt a little flimsy. It also offers little to no protection from bumps and nicks due to its rough exterior fabric’s thinness.
Mission Workshop The SpecThe laptop does not, however, fit perfectly, and the front pocket is too small to hold anything thicker than a few sheets of paper. The Spec’s unique design, which features a fold-over closure system unlike anything else we tested, piqued our interest. The sleeve, as intended, would be a great addition to one of Mission Workshop’s bucket bags, but we wouldn’t recommend it as a stand-alone item. That feature of the sleeve worked flawlessly; our laptop didn’t fall out even when we shook the sleeve upside down.
Mosiso Water Repellent Lycra Sleeve BagInside its scratchy neoprene shell, our laptop was practically swimming. It also came with a smaller bag for storing your laptop charger and other small items. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to fit very well. : This sleeve was accompanied by positive editorial reviews and a high Amazon rating. We also believe that its garish logo makes it appear much less appealing than our other choices.
ProCase Sleeve: This sleeve underperformed in our tests despite having a convenient front pocket with a surprising large capacity. Furthermore, the handle was difficult to use. It had a rough exterior and was too big for our laptop.
If you have a MacBook and don’t like the aesthetics of The Daily Edited, consider the more technical-looking sleeve. Incase Icon with Diamond Ripstop SleeveThe nylon and polyester exterior of the Incase is lighter and water resistant than the leather of The Daily Edited’s sleeve. We never thought the laptop would accidentally slip past the magnets because the sleeve, which opens from the side, has a stronger magnetic closure than others we’ve tested (including the one on the Herschel Spokane). Because the sleeve is so thin, it doesn’t provide much protection for a computer from hits on the top or bottom, but it does have a bumper around the edge to absorb the impact of hits on the sides—which isn’t a problem if you’re using it inside another bag.
Apple Laptop sleeve: As it should have to justify its price, this slim sleeve fit our MacBook perfectly. Unfortunately, the soft leather exterior felt too thin to provide any protection, and it was completely open on one side due to the lack of a closure. You might not mind if you only plan to use the sleeve inside a bag.
Killspencer SleeveIf that’s something you want, you might be willing to overlook the usability issues. : This sleeve has a very tight fit that makes getting your laptop in and out difficult. Furthermore, the tightness of the sleeve causes the outline of your computer to be molded into the grain of the leather. Given the lack of a closure on this sleeve, this seems necessary, but it’s also inconvenient when you want to use it. However, we believe that after some time, this leather will appear more distressed than worn-in and loved.
Leatherology Laptop SleeveHowever, the leather is very nice, and the zipper moves very smoothly, so if you prefer a more worn-in look, the Leatherology sleeve might be a better choice than our other options. Even with the laptop inside, the sides of the sleeve sag and look baggy because it lacks a solid structure. : This premium sleeve looked better in photos than it did in person.
Picaso Lab Classic Sleeve: This sleeve was previously featured as one of our fashionable picks. Furthermore, the sleeve didn’t quite fit our laptop as snugly as we’d hoped—at times, it felt as if our laptop was about to fall out of the open sleeve. However, when compared to the other premium models we considered, the model we tested in 2018 appeared to be a bargain. The quality of the monogram we received on the sleeve was also disappointing. We thought it was a great value for a full-leather protector when we tested it in 2016.
Twelve South Journal: The Journal has a secure, if a little too tight, fit—especially if you use its small, difficult-to-load internal document pocket. The Journal’s exterior, despite its soft-leather appearance, feels rigid and thin. We believe one of our other premium picks would be a better fit for you.
Welden Slim Sleeve: We like the Welden sleeve’s design, which features a nice woven geometric pattern on the front and a small notebook pocket on the back. Unfortunately, the 13-inch model didn’t fit our 13-inch laptop well, causing it to slide from side to side as we moved around—our other choices were more secure.
The Tomtoc 360° Protective Laptop Sleeve Bag It shares many features with the Incase, such as a secure fit for a laptop and smooth zippers and pockets for other items. However, the pockets on the Tomtoc bag are oddly sized: both could fit laptop chargers in our tests, but neither could fit most books or notebooks. Furthermore, the Tomtoc’s shoulder strap is much less cushioned than the Incase’s, making it less comfortable to carry. is a more clunky-looking briefcase-style laptop sleeve than the Incase Sling Sleeve Deluxe, but it comes in more colors and sizes and costs about half as much—making it a good choice if you want to try the style but don’t want to spend as much.
Satechi Water-Resistant Laptop CaseIt had a lovely gentle texture on the outside, like a pair of new jeans. It’s comfortable enough, but we prefer the added flexibility that a strap provides. Its oddly sized external pockets, on the other hand, couldn’t hold the gear we’d need for a trip to the coffee shop; no pocket was big enough for our notebook or deep enough for our laptop charger. : Our computer fit perfectly in the internal compartment of this bag, which felt snug but was still easy to remove. Furthermore, the Satechi lacked any loops for attaching a shoulder strap, forcing you to carry it by the handles.
Targus Strata Laptop SleeveUnfortunately, it had a sloppy fit for our computer, making it feel insecure as we slung the bag over our shoulder, and the zipper felt cheap. The smooth texture of this laptop bag appealed to us.
About your guides
Since 2011, he’s been reviewing iPhones, iPads, and related technology, and he stopped counting after the 1,000th case. He can’t help himself from mentally cataloging every case he comes across. He once had the brilliant idea of building and burning down a room in order to put fireproof safes to the test. Nick Guy is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter, where he covers Apple and accessories.