I write about and research a metric crapton of phone cases each year, and there is one case type that I absolutely positively despise, even more than those floaty confetti abominations: expensive cases. Overpaying for a phone case is something no one wants to do, especially for a phone they just spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL aren't as popular as, say, the Galaxy S10, but there are still plenty of affordable options available for your brand new Pixel.

Pixel 4

Like Spigen, but prettier: Ciel by Cyrill Pattern Collection

Staff pick

This case features Spigen's air cushion technology but with some more fun designes etched on the back, so it's like a prettier Spigen Liquid Crystal for under $10, which is AWESOME and I want it right now, please.

$10 at Amazon

Long-lasting protection: Tudia Merge Series

Tudia's cases are affordable, durable, and can last from Day One to end-of-life if you treat them right. This heavy duty case comes in four colors and offers great protection for half the price of its competitors.

$10 at Amazon

Textured tenderness: Moko Twill

Buying affordable doesn't mean you have to buy boring or bulky. This shockproof TPU case features a lovely diagonal texture all across the back and sides, which adds tons of grip without adding bulk.

$8 at Amazon

Show it all off: ESR Essential Zero

If you don't want to hide your Pixel 4's loveliness behind a solid case, ESR has a nice thin clear case that will add grip and scratch protection while still letting that glorious Google design shine through.

$10 at Amazon

More carbon fiber for less: Dzxouui Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber cases are a popular style, but most limit the carbon fiber to these puny little accent segments at the top and bottom. Not this one! This TPU case covers almost the entire back in a shiny carbon fiber texture.

$8 at Amazon

Scartch protection: Alvari Ultra Thin

This super slim case won't offer much drop protection — it's a thin sheet of plastic, after all — but these brightly colored cases add scratch protection and some much-needed color to the Pixel 4.

$10 at Amazon

Glass, grip and kickstand: LeYi Defender

This heavy duty case comes with two tempered glass screen protectors, which is great, but the real bonus sits around back: a 360-degree rotating ring grip that doubles as a kickstand in landscape or portrait!

$9 at Amazon

Carry is all cutely: Halnziye Leather Wallet

This rather fetching little folio case sports some lovely detail work on the outer shell and inner card slots, of which there are two in addition to a large cash pocket. Available in four colors, including blue and a pretty purple.

$8 at Amazon

Upgrade pick: Spigen Liquid Air Armor

Yes, this is technically more than $10, but I'd rather recommend the improved grip and look of the Liquid Air Armor over Spigen's $10 Rugged Armor. It's worth the extra dollar and then some.

$11 at Amazon

Affordable and awesome

There are many affordable cases out there to choose, but few seem entirely and completely more improved than their more expensive cousins. That makes the Ciel by Cyrill Pattern Collection a delightful rarity, as essentially it's a Spigen Liquid Crystal with a fun geometric flair, which is even more awesome when we remember that Spigen isn't doing a Glitter version of the Liquid Crystal for the Pixel 4.

If you want a more sturdy case, the LeYi Defender offers protection for the back, the front — thanks to the included screen protectors — and your hands, because the ring phone grip can help you avoid dropping your phone and help avoid joint fatigue trying to reach all the way to the top of the screen. Phone grips run $10 by themselves, so getting one with your case is a nice twofer!

If you're willing to go up to $11, grab the leader of our best Pixel 4 cases, the Spigen Liquid Air Armor. The texture is excellent and it's still sleek and sophisticated.

Pixel 4 XL

Best in class: Spigen Liquid Crystal

Staff pick

Spigen's clear case is my favorite because it's slim but grippy, the dot matrix is very subtle but still keeps the back from splotching, and Spigen's cases are of the highest quality. A Liquid Crystal has never let me down.

$10 at Amazon

Colorful carbon: Cose Jack Carbon Fiber

Available in four colors, this flexible shockproof case covers the back of your Pixel 4 in classic carbon fiber while keeping a good chamfer around the sides to help with grip and help the case feel slimmer in the hand.

$9 at Amazon

Heavy hitter: Tudia Merge Series

Tudia makes one of my favorite cases for the Pixel 4 XL at any price, and with the classic hybrid design and some bright colors, it's a great affordable option that can go the distance.

$10 at Amazon

Unique look: JanCalm Defender

This case combines a bright-colored polycarbonate frame that holds the Pixel 4 XL tight with a flexible clear bumper case that absorbs impact force and adds grip. It's not for everyone, but it's an eye-catching combo.

$10 at Amazon

Sleek slot: DDJ Wallet

This sleek wallet may only have one card slot, but that also means you aren't going to bulk the case to infinity stuffing the folio with cards and cash. It's the perfect size for keeping some business cards handy.

$10 at Amazon

Bite my shiny metal case!: ZingCon Ring Kickstand

Like the LeYi for the regular Pixel 4, this case comes with a rotating ring grip on the back that can double as a kickstand, allowing you to keep your grip without wrecking your hands. The colors are nice, too!

$9 at Amazon

Ruggedly handsome: Sucnakp Rugged Shield

This flexible case is easy to get on and easy to get off, has some extra robust button covers, and while most phone cases usually offer bright bold colors, this series features more neutral, natural shades.

$8 at Amazon

Add some flair: Tuopuna Clear Design

Since the Pixel 4 XL doesn't have two-tone glass like the previous generations, there's no reason not to gussy up your clear case with some fun designs like flowers or these vibrant scales.

$10 at Amazon

Speckles and spots!: Aeska Hybrid

This clear case has a speckled bumper that screams 101 Dalmatians to my Disney-obsessed brain, which looks fun enough with the Orange but can go full Cruella with the White or Black Pixel 4 XL.

$10 at Amazon

Protect your Pixel for less

The larger Pixel 4 has options aplenty without breaking the bank, but it's especially nice to see name-brand options like the Spigen Liquid Crystal available under $10. Spigen's cases are top quality — and regularly lead our case roundups because of that enduring quality — and the Liquid Crystal is the one I love best.

The Tudia Merge Series is one of the best Pixel 4 XL cases with a classic look and affordable price, allowing you to keep your Pixel 4 XL pristine from day one for years to come. It's heavy duty without being super bulky, and there are both subtle and bold color options available.

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