Since the first iPad, Apple has relied on Corning — the makers of Gorilla Glass — to provide the glass panel screens for their tablets. Although Apple and Corning don’t comment on the specific type of glass used in their production, iPad screens have long had a reputation of being damage and scratch resistant. Unfortunately, regardless of how well-engineered it may be, glass is still glass. Even the toughest glass can still scratch or break.
Tablets are especially vulnerable since, unlike computers, touch is the primary form of interaction. Under the right circumstances, dirt or particulates on the tip of your finger, stylus or Apple Pencil can scratch your iPad’s screen. In addition, because an iPad doesn’t come with a case, the screen is always exposed by default. It’s easy to accidentally place or drop an iPad face-down on a rough surface that can scratch or damage the display, and something can be placed or dropped on an iPad’s screen with similar results.
For many people, Apple’s iPads are the only tablets worth buying. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they sport premium materials. Of course, you’ll want to keep your shiny new Retina display safe from harm. One of the best ways to do so is with a tough screen protector. Here are our picks for the best iPad screen protectors you can buy.
5 Best iPad Screen Protectors of 2021:
Screen protectors can be costly, but it’s possible to get a quality product without spending big. The amFilm Glass Screen Protector is one such example of that. It ships with two protectors in the box, which can be of real benefit if you are concerned about getting the application right the first time. It also gives you a backup when the original is damaged.
The amFilm screen protectors are very popular and with good reason. At less than $10 for two and 99.99% clarity, it’s difficult to knock. It’s super thin at just 0.33mm thick as well, ensuring reliable protection without removing you from your apps and content.
Ultimately, this is the best iPad screen protector for most people, and if you have two iPads to protect, it’s even more of a bargain. We like tempered glass screen protectors because they retain the firm smooth feel of the iPad beneath, but if you’d prefer something made of film, read on.
The button below will take you to the screen protector for 9.7-inch iPads, but you can also get the same protector for the iPad Pro in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, as well as the iPad mini.
If you prefer drawing on a smooth surface and need good protection for your iPad Pro screen, going with a glass screen protector is the best way to go. ZAGG creates some of the best phone accessories on the market to protect your devices, and the ZAGG InvicibleShiled Glass Plus tempered glass screen protector is one of the best options out there. The InvisibleShield uses tempered glass protection, and it is scratch resistant to most daily objects such as coins and keys.
One of the key advantages of a glass protector over a matte screen protector is that the colors will be true to display and not fade away. The glass surface has good shatter protection, smudge resistance, and prevents fingerprints. Slit cutouts ensure you can use your Face-id and camera using the glass screen protector and the glass protector covers edge-to-edge to the iPad.
The glass protector offers good sensitivity for the Apple Pencil for drawing and creativity and also note-taking. ZAGG provides a limited lifetime warranty. Easy apply tabs make installation easy and accurate for everyone.
Here’s a screen protector for the iPad (2021) that comes in a high-value pack of three. It’s not quite as hard as other protectors on this list, given that it’s made of PET film rather than tempered glass.
However, it will still protect the iPad from the vast majority of abuse you’re likely to hurl at it. The fact that it’s made of plastic rather than glass also means that it’s more transparent and sensitive than other protectors, allowing you to continue using your iPad as if it weren’t even there.
Be warned, though, that some buyers have warned of the difficulty of applying this protector (at least in comparison to other products), with the use of PET film increasing the chances of bubbles if you don’t install it carefully enough.
Not all screen protectors are there just to protect your screen. The PaperLike screen protectors will help keep scratches at bay, but as the name suggests, their real job is to make your screen feel like paper.
Writing and drawing on a glass screen is a very different experience than doing so on paper, and that’s why the PaperLike screen protector is popular with artists. By providing extra friction and resistance, this film makes the iPad’s screen less slippy when using an Apple Pencil and the tip of the stylus doesn’t feel like it’s perpetually gliding away from you.
Anyone who has been put off by the Apple Pencil feels would do well to give one of these a try. You can click our button below and select the right size for your iPad.
Omoton’s Screen Protector for the iPad (2020) is the thinnest protector on this list that’s made of glass. At a thickness of only 0.26mm, it provides pretty much the maximum possible amount of transparency and responsiveness you could hope to find from a glass protector, ensuring full compatibility with the Apple Pencil.
Not only that, but with a 9H hardness rating, it will guard your iPad against everyday damage. Unlike some protectors, it lacks a hole for the selfie camera, something that should help to protect the camera from dust and debris. It also has a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating, making it resistant to water and fingerprint smudges.
As for anyone worried about installation, it’s designed to be bubble-free, while its slightly rounded edges make it easier to hold it while applying it to the iPad. Comes in a pack of two.
Key considerations for ipad screen protectors
The single biggest consideration when choosing a screen protector for your iPad is the material it’s made of. The two types of material primarily used are glass and plastic, each with their own set of advantages.
- Glass: The biggest advantages to glass screen protectors is how they look and feel. Similar to your iPad’s screen, a glass protector offers a high level of clarity, without washing out your device’s colors or HD. Similarly, glass protectors offer the best feel, in terms of the touch interface. Like the iPad’s display, your finger slides smoothly across a glass protector.
- Plastic: Plastic screen protectors offer a different type of durability. The thicker the material, the more durable they are and the more they protect your iPad from both scratches and impacts. In effect, a thicker, plastic protector provides a small degree of shock absorption. While they scratch much easier than glass protectors, there’s virtually no risk of a scratch to the protector damaging your iPad in any way.
If you use an Apple Pencil and miss the feel of writing on paper, a plastic protector may help. While nothing will perfectly mimic the feel of a pen on paper, a plastic screen protector offers more “grab” for your Pencil than a glass screen. This makes it a closer experience to pen and paper.
Many glass screen protector kits will include a wet cleaning cloth to use before applying the protector. Be sure your iPad’s screen is completely dry before you put the screen protector on, otherwise the moisture strapped underneath will create a rainbow shimmering effect.
A tempered glass screen protector is one of the best ways to protect the screen on your iPad. I have used the amFilm tempered glass screen protector on plenty of other devices, and they are fantastic. They fit snuggly, are super clear, and the installation is pretty easy.
If you don’t like thickness and want the thinnest protector possible, the IVSO screen protector gives you two screen protectors that are as thin as possible! The 0.26mm thick screen protector will not only have great responsiveness but also be easier to fit in cases. As a result — it will feel like there’s not even a screen protector at all. Any of the best iPad 10.2 screen protectors on this list will serve you well.