We most recently updated this article in August 2022 and added newly vetted picks from Tomtoc, Mosiso, Baggu, Herschel, Thule and Incase and updated picks from Lacdo, Cuyana, Aqua Quest and Dagne Dover.
With hybrid work schedules on the rise and school starting again, more and more people are commuting with a laptop. While bags and backpacks with built-in laptop sleeves are great options, they rarely provide as much protection as a laptop case or laptop sleeve. And if you're simply shoving your laptop in your backpack or work bag without the proper protection, you can end up with scratches or worse, a cracked screen. Instead, consider investing in a laptop case or sleeve to provide a bit of protection.
Over the years, experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab have tested hundreds of bags, from laptop bags for women to backpacks for college students and more. Our scientists and engineers have evaluated qualities like durability, ease of use, comfort when wearing, innovative features and more. To find the best laptop sleeves and cases, we used our categorical expertise and surveyed laptop case and sleeve users to learn more about which brands are currently popular and the features people look for when shopping. The picks ahead are from top-tested brands in our backpack tests, personal favorites from GH analysts and editors and those with innovative features.
Our top picks:
1Best Overall Laptop Sleeve360° Protective Laptop Sleeve tomtoc Read More
2Best Value Laptop SleeveLaptop Sleeve AmazonBasics Read More
3Best Hard Shell Laptop CaseMacBook Pro 13-Inch Case MOSISO Read More
4Best Laptop Sleeve on AmazonLaptop Sleeve Case Lacdo Read More
5Most Trendy Laptop SleevePuffy Laptop Sleeve 13"/14" Baggu Read More
You can read on to learn more about what to consider when shopping for your next laptop case or sleeve at the end of this guide. Don't forget to keep your laptop screen clean as you bring it from place to place.
The scientists and engineers at the Good Housekeeping Institute have tested hundreds of bags over the years, from different types of luggage to travel backpacks and including bags specifically designed to hold laptops. When testing luggage or backpacks, our analysts evaluate the durability of each product by testing abrasion resistance, water resistance and more to ensure they'll stand up to years of use without significant wear and tear. We also consider the overall volume and weight capacity of each bag.
When testing laptop sleeves, we assess the overall construction taking note of interior padding, exterior fabric and any zipper closures, Velcro or additional compartments. Our analysts also surveyed recent graduates and current students who use laptop cases or sleeves to learn more about what they specifically look for when shopping and how the ones they've used have held up over time. These recommendations take into account the top-performing brands from our other related tests as well as personal favorites from our staff and student panel.
✔️ Size: Make sure to double-check the interior dimensions of any laptop sleeve before you purchase it to make sure your laptop can fit. Your sleeve or case should fit your laptop snugly, without too much extra space to keep it from shifting around during your commute. Note that some sleeves might be meant for thinner laptops to ensure a snug fit, so if you have a laptop that's on the bulkier side, make sure your desired sleeve can accommodate the extra height.
✔️ Exterior Material: Keeping your laptop safe is a top priority, and that means being prepared for different conditions. Opt for waterproof or water-resistant materials for extra protection in inclement weather or look for a machine washable sleeve for easy care. While most laptop sleeves are made of a softer, fabric material, those with harder exteriors typically offer more protection in case you accidentally drop your laptop case.
✔️ Padding: While some laptop sleeves are made of neoprene fabric, which typically has neoprene rubber sandwiched between two pieces of synthetic fabric, others may add extra layers of foam for protection. Some sleeves have been designed specifically to protect the corners and edges of your laptop.
✔️ Preventing Scratches: One of the worst experiences can be taking your laptop out of its sleeve to find a noticeable scratch on the surface. If your laptop is prone to scratches, consider opting for a sleeve with a faux fur or fleece lining and be careful when taking it out to use. A hard laptop case can also provide additional protection.
✔️ Pockets: If you constantly forget to bring your laptop charger, consider purchasing a sleeve with a pocket to hold any accessories you'll need. While pockets usually aren't a make-or-break feature, many students have told us they can be a lifesaver for keeping their paper notes and study guides accessible for convenient studying before an exam.
Grace Wu is a textiles product review analyst in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab and most recently updated this article. She's tested multiple laptop sleeves and cases in Lab and consulted recent college graduates and current students to gain insight on what they look for when shopping for backpacks and laptop sleeves. Prior to joining GH, Grace earned a Masters of Engineering in Materials Science & Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Fiber Science from Cornell University.
Emma Seymour is a senior textiles product analyst in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab. She’s been at Good Housekeeping for over three years. She's tested all sorts of backpacks and laptop sleeves in Lab and has written stories on laptop backpacks, laptop bags for women, phone cases and more. With a degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University, she has extensive research experience and a strong background in fashion.