Let’s face it. Not only are laptops complex machines, but they’re also expensive and super delicate. One splash of water in the wrong place and the whole thing could sizzle. Or what happens if your laptop suddenly goes crashing to the ground? Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or a casual user, laptop sleeves can help protect your machine from accidental spills and minor drops.
To find the best, we tested nine top-rated laptop sleeves. With its chic design, durable build, and snug fit, the Kate Spade Laptop Sleeve (available at Amazon for $63.99) was our top pick. While this sleeve checked off a lot of boxes, if you’d prefer something more simple, don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of great options.
These are the best laptop sleeves we tested ranked, in order:
- Kate Spade Laptop Sleeve
- Cocoon Innovations Laptop Sleeve
- tomtoc 360 Laptop Sleeve
- Evecase Laptop Sleeve
- Incase ICON Laptop Sleeve
- Avrok Laptop Sleeve
- Case Logic Laptop Sleeve
- Moleskine 13-inch Laptop Sleeve
- AmazonBasics Laptop Sleeve
Ah, Kate Spade. Be still my fluttering heart. Between the cute design and golden Kate Spade logo, this stylish sleeve is a real head-turner. However, it’s more than just a pretty face. From stabbing the sleeve with a pair of scissors to spraying it with water, it passed all the tests with flying colors. My laptop felt secure inside this sleeve because of the thick padding and snug fit.
The only real shortcoming is the high price tag, so it may not be the best option for those on a tight budget. Out of all the sleeves we tested, my 15-inch HP Chromebook (aka my baby) felt the most secure and protected in this one. If you’re looking for a truly premium product then this is a great choice.
I like the Evecase quite a bit. It’s affordable and easy to take in and out of a backpack or messenger bag. The interior is so soft that I want to crawl inside of it and curl up. The sleeve itself is form-fitting, too. However, I have a love-hate relationship with the diamond-shaped foam bumps on the sleeve’s exterior.
While the bumps offer a good amount of padding, I’m not sure how they’ll hold up with long-term use. When I stabbed the flat side of the sleeve with scissors, the bumps burst open at the seams. The foam bits will definitely protect against scuffs and drops, but they’ll probably fray and tear open over time.
Where to Buy
How We Tested
Hi, I’m Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo, the former laptop reviewer here at Reviewed and an editor of our Best Right Now buying guides. Though Reviewed has been testing laptops for a couple of years now, I seized control of this beat (cue evil laughter) in 2017. It was the perfect category for me because I’ve been playing around with laptops ever since I was a kid. I understand the value of protecting your laptop because of my experience with the delicate internal components.
To test durability, we tried simulating the daily abuses of life (accidental spills, minor drops, and so on). From dropping the sleeve with a laptop inside of it to poking the padding with scissors, we really put these products through the wringer. We also sprayed them with water to see if it seeped through the padding.
To determine ease-of-use, we used each sleeve for a day or two. Testing involved taking the sleeve (with a laptop inside of it) in and out of a backpack. We also focused on the way the sleeve fit each laptop. For this part, we stuck to the laptop size the sleeve was designed for, switching between a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 15-inch HP Chromebook.
We also took into account design, build quality, and features like extra pockets or compartments for storing charging cables and documents.
What You Should Know About Laptop Sleeves
What Is a Laptop Sleeve?
Made of water-resistant material such as nylon or neoprene, a laptop sleeve is a pouch that fits over the skin of your laptop. They’re designed to protect against liquid spills, dusty environments, and minor falls or knocks. While sleeves help minimize damage to your laptop, they’re not suits of armor. Your laptop likely won’t survive a significant fall.
In addition to laptop sleeves, there’s also bags and hard cases. Bags are usually rectangular in shape and resemble a briefcase while hard cases are made of rigid material and have rubberized feet. Silicone laptop sleeves are cool because they are soft and typically slide over your laptop like a second skin.
How Should a Laptop Sleeve Fit?
Laptops are complex, expensive, and incredibly delicate. That’s why your laptop sleeve should be form-fitting, but not so tight that there’s no space between the two. The better your sleeve fits your laptop, the more protected it will be. That said, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what your laptop sleeve can and cannot do.
For one, they will not save your laptop from significant drops or a dunk in the pool. Laptop sleeves are designed to repel a bit of water and absorb shocks from minor drops and that’s about it. As always, you should exercise caution whenever you’re traveling with a laptop. We’d recommend sticking your laptop sleeve inside a bag or backpack for additional protection.
When it comes to sleeve size, that really depends on your laptop. The most common sizes are 13- and 15-inches. However, I’ve seen sleeves available in sizes as small as 11-inches (perfect for tablets or convertibles) and as big as 17-inches (perfect for gaming laptops). You definitely want a sleeve that fits the dimensions of your laptop.
Can I Wash a Laptop Sleeve?
You should never stick your laptop sleeve in the washing machine. That’s because a washing machine will likely ruin the neoprene material (most sleeves are made of this), which is very tough and rubbery. We’d recommend washing off the dirty spots with dish soap and warm water. If the whole sleeve is dirty, let it soak in dish soap and water for 30 minutes. You can also use OxiClean spot remover.
Other Laptop Sleeves We Tested
Between the sophisticated gray and black color scheme and durable build, there’s a lot to love about the Cocoon Innovations sleeve. When I poked the flat side of the sleeve with a pair of scissors, I couldn’t pierce through the ballistic nylon exterior. The roomy outside compartment, which zippers shut, is also perfect for storing charging cables or dongles. If you’re looking for a sleeve that’ll last a long time, this is a great option.
Having tried (and loved) tomtoc’s Nintendo Switch case, I was excited to try this laptop sleeve and it didn’t let me down. The matte gray tint and spacious outer pocket reminded me favorably of the Cocoon Innovations sleeve, while the inside lining felt soft and almost luxurious. I liked the stately gray color, but this one’s available in a variety of shades—there’s even a design that features Frida Kahlo. Plus, the YKK zipper is easy to grip and is known for its durability. This is a great choice for school or work.
The only downside is that it’s bulkier than other sleeves on this list. While I don’t mind the bulk (it offers more protection than most), if you’re looking for something more lightweight, we’d recommend opting for the Incase or CaseLogic.
Where to Buy
Despite the fact that I prefer bulkier sleeves, the ultra-thin Incase ICON sleeve straight-up wooed me. It’s incredibly easy to take in and out of a backpack and it’s slim enough to fit inside a tote bag. Between the faux fur lining and the rubber bumper surrounding the sleeve, it’s a really nice product. That said, I had a few issues with it.
While the rubber bumper may protect the corners of your laptop, there’s really not a whole lot of padding on the flat side of the sleeve. The magnetic snap closure is also a little confusing. I spent a good five to 10 seconds just groping the sleeve because I couldn’t figure out how to open it. The snap isn’t terribly difficult to figure out, though, so I wouldn’t say it’s a deal-breaker.
For being really affordable, the Avrok still gets the job done where laptop protection is concerned. It’s padded and bulky and will repel beads of water and condensation, but it wouldn’t survive a dunk in the pool. Although it does a lot of things right, there are still a few drawbacks.
For one, the slippery sleeve may make pulling your laptop out of your backpack a little difficult. That said, it’s not something I struggled with all the time. It’s also a little too big for my 15-inch HP Chromebook. Despite these minor drawbacks, if you’re looking for good build quality in a relatively inexpensive product, the Avrok should fit the bill.
Where to Buy
The Case Logic sleeve is simple and lightweight, and a good option for those looking for a more stripped-down experience. The only real feature is the zipper at the top of the sleeve. In our testing, we found that it absorbs water nicely, so it should keep your laptop relatively dry if you’re ever caught in light rain. While I like the bright color options and bouncy material, I’m not a fan of the loose fit.
There’s a lot of extra room in this sleeve, so you may find your laptop shifting around a lot. Personally, when it comes to laptop sleeves, I much prefer a snug fit. That said, you can always use that extra space for notebooks or charging cables.
With its soft velour lining and elegant design, the Moleskine sleeve is both simple and luxurious. In addition to looking great in an office setting, drops of water roll right off of the faux leather material, so it should protect your laptop from any unexpected spills. The “in case of loss” label sewn inside the sleeve is cool because it’s a place to put your contact info.
While this sleeve might be a good choice for the professional workplace, it’s just not my cup of tea. The elastic band that holds the opening flap down is loose and a bit flimsy. The sleeve is also quite thin and doesn’t offer much in the way of padding. On a purely subjective note, I didn’t like the overall aesthetic, as I don’t find it fresh or modern.
Where to Buy
I had high hopes for this sleeve, as I generally like AmazonBasics products (Amazon’s yoga mat is the bomb.com). It’s not a bad sleeve, per se, as the material is cushy and soft and there’s a lot of size options. However, my 13-inch MacBook Pro was “swimming” around inside due to the loose fit. When I dropped the sleeve with my laptop inside, it definitely felt the impact (the material is thin). It might protect your laptop from the inside of a backpack, but that’s about it.