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iPhone Case Compatibility: Can the Same Case Be Used for Different iPhone Models?

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It’s always been a pleasant surprise to learn that your old phone case still fits that cool new phone you just bought. But if you’ve noticed that it seems to be happening less and less often, you’re not imagining things — especially if you’re an iPhone user. 

Most of Apple’s newest and most popular iPhone models won’t fit in the same iPhone cases as any other model. It’s not just that there are more different sizes of iPhones than ever, from the iPhone 12 Mini up to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Even phones that are basically the same size, like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, have design differences that prevent them from using the same cases.

However, just to keep things complicated, there are still older iPhone models out there that can use the same cases. Need some help making sense out of it all? We’ve got you. Our guide to iPhone case compatibility will get you quickly up to speed on the differences in compatibility between the many sizes of iPhone cases.

Shop Our Entire Collection of iPhone Cases Here

iPhone Case Compatibility: The Short Version

To reiterate: In most instances, no, an iPhone case will not fit a different model of iPhone. This is true both of different iPhone models from the same generation (such as an iPhone 12 case and an iPhone 12 Pro Max case ) and of most iPhone models from different generations (such as an iPhone 6 Plus case and an iPhone 11 Pro case).

Some iPhone models, such as the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR, are close enough in dimensions to fit in the same case — at least in theory. However, the designs are different enough that you could be taking a chance on sacrificing a snug and protective fit. The alignment of controls and features may also be mismatched — for example, an XR case on an iPhone 11 may cover part of the camera.

However, unless you have one of the models we discuss in the next section, you should only buy an iPhone case that’s specifically designed for the iPhone model you have. Furthermore, you probably shouldn’t plan on keeping your old case when you upgrade to a newer iPhone model. Recent iPhone generations tend to have substantial size and shape differences between them, as well as between models of the same generation, eliminating iPhone case compatibility between models. Lest you think this is a problem unique to Apple, other recent flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 6 are also not compatible with the cases from older models in their respective series.

Latest iPhone XR product in red

The Exceptions: iPhones That Can Use the Same Case

However, with some older generations of the iPhone, it’s possible to use the same case between different models. iPhone models that can use the same cases include:

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 8
  • iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone SE (2016)

Unlike “almost fits” like the iPhone 11 and XR, the phones listed above do actually fit comfortably in the same cases. To make it easy to find a case that’s the right size for your iPhone, Pela groups these models together in our selection of iPhone cases.

Finding the Right Case for Your iPhone

True iPhone case compatibility is about more than making sure that your case fits your phone. It’s about finding a case that fits your lifestyle, too. When you start your search for a new case, these are some things you’ll probably be thinking about:

  • The case’s ability to protect your new iPhone from drops, bumps and scrapes
  • How the case feels in your hand and whether it’s easy to grip
  • Whether the case’s cutouts fit precisely over speakers, buttons and ports
  • The aesthetic appeal of the case’s design
  • Compatibility with other iPhone accessories such as car mounts
  • Whether the case is made of natural and eco-friendly materials

Unfortunately, when it comes to the last aspect, way too many phone cases still use substances we should have left in the last millennium, like BPA and phthalates. Plus, the vast majority of cases are still made of non-biodegradable plastics that end up polluting the Earth in landfills or the ocean. So, what’s the move when it comes to getting a case that’s free of all this nastiness?

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Pela Cases for iPhone

These are the big, fundamental questions that Pela cases are designed to address. What makes Pela cases so innovative? 

  • Fully compostable material that breaks down completely in normal kitchen compost
  • Durable construction that helps protect your phone from life’s little accidents
  • Precision cut for a perfect fit over every feature of your phone
  • Free of toxic substances like BPA, phthalates, lead and cadmium
  • Designed with a pleasant feel and a comfortable grip that makes it easy to hold onto your phone
  • Stylish, varied selection of colors and engraved design
  • Must-have accessories available, like MagSafe charger module and compostable phone grips

Shop All Compostable Phone Cases from Pela

We’re excited to show you our full selection of compostable iPhone cases. Click through to discover our coolest styles and hottest deals on the world’s first compostable iPhone cases for every current iPhone model.