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The best iPad screen protector in 2021: keep your Apple table free from scratches

best iPad screen protector: Sparin screen protector
(Image credit: Sparin)

The best iPad screen protector isn't just a nice thing to have: it's an essential purchase for any iPad owner. It's so easy to drop, scratch or otherwise damage an iPad that not having one means you're taking a huge gamble with a very expensive piece of hardware. 

We're not even talking a lot of money either: the best iPad screen protectors are actually highly affordable. So along with the best iPad Pro cases, buying one really is a no-brainer. 

So what should you look for in an iPad screen protector? Firstly, check what they're made of. Tempered glass screen protectors are generally pricier, but provide better protection and are easier to clean than plastic ones.

Also think about size. Do you want the screen protector to cover the whole of your device, or just the screen? And, is it important to you whether it covers the camera? (This won't normally reduce the quality of your images, but it may bother you aesthetically one way or the other.)

In this article, we've brought together the best iPad screen protectors for a range of devices, and to suit a variety of budgets. We've also given you some key facts and figures to help you choose between them.

Best iPad screen protectors in 2021

(Image credit: AmFilm)

1. amFilm Glass Screen Protector

The best iPad screen protector for iPad Pro (12.9 inch)

Specifications
Materials: 9H tempered glass
Thickness: 0.33mm
Screen size: 12.9 inches
iPad compatibility: iPad Pro 12.9 (2021, 2020, 2018)
Reasons to buy
+Fits around the front camera+Quality glass+Added extras
Reasons to avoid
-Not for pre-2018 versions

Got a 12.9-inch iPad Pro? Then here’s the best iPad screen protector for your needs. It’s shaped to fit around the selfie camera, so Face ID still works fine. Its premium grade tempered glass is scratch-proof, resilient, crystal clear, and highly durable. It's compatible with the Apple Pencil. Plus it has an oleophobic coating that reduces fingerprints and smudges. 

It's great value, too: the package includes two screen protectors, along with dust removal stickers, wet and dry wipes, and a squeegee to help remove bubbles. Note, however, that while it's compatible with the iPad Pro 2021, 2020 and 2018 versions, it's not with previous versions.

(Image credit: Ailun)

2. Ailun Screen Protector

The best iPad screen protector for iPad Mini

Specifications
Materials: 9H tempered glass
Thickness: 0.33mm
Screen size: 7.9 inches
iPad compatibility: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad, iPad Mini
Reasons to buy
+Optimised for iPad Mini+Great value+Smudge resistant
Reasons to avoid
-A little fiddly to apply

There aren’t that many protectors for the iPad Mini, but there are some good ones about, and here’s our favourite. Specially designed for Apple iPad Mini 4 and Mini 5, it fits the screen perfectly. It’s made from 9H tempered glass for great scratch and drop resistance. 

Its oleophobic coating works to prevent smudges and fingerprints, and you can use it with a stylus too. The package includes two guide stickers, one wet wipe and one dry wipe, and a dust absorber. Overall, then, this iPad screen protector is excellent value for money.

(Image credit: Sparin)

3. Sparin Tempered Glass Screen Protector

The best iPad screen protector for 10.2 inch and 10.5 iPads

Specifications
Materials: 9H tempered glass
Thickness: 0.3mm
Screen size: 10.5 inches
iPad compatibility: iPad 9th Generation (2021/2020/2019, 10.2 inch), iPad Air 10.5 (2019), iPad Pro 10.5 (2017)
Reasons to buy
+High sensitivity+Attaches easily
Reasons to avoid
-No camera cut-out-Doesn't support 2nd gen Apple Pencil

If you have a 10.2 inch or 10.5 inch iPad, then here’s the screen protector we’d recommend. Coming in a pack of three, this tempered glass protector is just 0.3mm for extra sensitivity. And the air-exhausting adhesive makes it screen attach to your screen smoothly and easily. 

Note that this design does not include a cutout for the front camera, but that shouldn’t affect its performance as long as you keep the area clean. Also be aware that it's compatible with the 1st generation Apple Pencil but not the 2nd.

(Image credit: Olixar)

4. Olixar Screen Protector

The best cheap iPad screen protector

Specifications
Materials: Thermoplastic Polyurethane
Thickness: 0.33mm
Screen size: Various
iPad compatibility: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Added extras+Smudge protection
Reasons to avoid
-Not made of glass

If you’re on a tight budget, this iPad screen protector offers excellent value for money. Available in a range of sizes and for a variety of devices, it’s made of thermoplastic polyurethane. That might not be as strong as tempered glass, but it still does a good job of protecting your iPad from scratching and damage from drops and bumps. 

You also get an oleophobic dirt and grease resistant coating for anti-fingerprint marks, and the kit comes with a cleaning cloth, dust removal sticker, and wet wipe for easy application.

(Image credit: Spigen)

5. Spigen Glas.tR EZ Fit

The best iPad screen protector for easy fitting

Specifications
Materials: 9H tempered glass
Thickness: 0.2mm
Screen size: various sizes
iPad compatibility: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad, iPad Mini
Reasons to buy
+Installation tray+Clear instructions+Only 0.2mm thick
Reasons to avoid
-Application still requires effort

If the idea of fixing an iPad screen protector to your screen is stressing you out, then the Spigen Glas.tR EZ Fit is designed especially for you. It comes with a special installation tray that makes it easy to fit in three steps. Simply remove the protective film, fit the tray face-down on to the tablet and press to activate the adhesive onto screen. Job done! Made of 9H tempered glass, this iPad screen protector is also the second thinnest on our list, at just 0.2mm. 

(Image credit: Belkin)

6. Belkin Screenforce True Privacy

The best iPad screen protector for privacy

Specifications
Materials: Plastic
Thickness: 0.29mm
Screen size: 11 inches, 12.9 inches, 13 inches
iPad compatibility: iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad
Reasons to buy
+Stop people seeing your screen+Easy to reverse+Removable when not needed
Reasons to avoid
-Pointless if you have nothing to hide

Worried about the idea of people looking over your shoulder and seeing what’s on your screen? Then this iPad screen protector will help you chill out. 

That’s because it uses louver technology to blocks the transmission of light when you’re using your iPad in landscape mode, starting at a 30° viewing angle.  So anyone not looking directly at your screen won’t see a thing. Want to show people your screen? Just switch it to portrait mode.

What’s more, this iPad screen protector is removable and reusable, allowing you to go private only when you want to. There’s a panel for storing it when not in use. It’s also anti-glare, ultra-thin at just 0.29mm, and compatible with the Apple Pencil.

(Image credit: Paperlike)

7. Paperlike

The best iPad screen protector for the Apple Pencil

Specifications
Materials: Polyethylene Terephthalate
Thickness: 0.12mm
Screen size: 9.7, 10.2, 10.5, 11, 12.9 inches
Reasons to buy
+Making drawing more natural+Accurate stroke reflection+Optimised for Apple Pencil
Reasons to avoid
-Thinness means less protection

The problem with glass is that it feels, well, like glass. If you want to use a stylus to draw, write or take notes, though, you might prefer something that feels a bit like paper. And that’s exactly what Paperlike offers. 

Available in a range of sizes, Paperlike provides the natural feel and resistance of paper for smooth lines and accurate drawing sessions. The perfect choice for artists, illustrators and craftspeople, it was developed specifically for the Apple Pencil 1 and 2. And as the thinnest on our list (0.12mm), you’ll get very accurate stroke reflection. 

(Image credit: JETech)

8. JETech 2-Pack Screen Protector

Great value iPad screen protector in various sizes

Specifications
Materials: 9H tempered glass
Thickness: 0.33mm
Screen size: Various
iPad compatibility: Various
Reasons to buy
+Good all-rounder+Excellent value+Range of sizes
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't excel at one thing

This screen protector from JETech is another great combination of quality and value. While it doesn’t excel at any one thing, it ticks an awful lot of boxes for not much money. It’s available for a wide range of iPads. It’s made from 9H tempered glass, providing good protection for your screen. The instructions for applying it are easy to follow. And you get a cleaning cloth, dust removal stick and guide stick in the package too. 

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, T3, Heat, Company and Bella.