Does Your iPad Really Need a Screen Protector?

We’ve shown you how to apply a screen protector to your iPad, but perhaps a question you should ask yourself before you even buy a screen protector is whether or not you actually need one in the first place.

The iPad Air 2 already comes with Gorilla Glass, which is to say that it’s scratch-resistant and less prone to shatter if you accidentally drop your iPad.

So essentially, your iPad’s display already comes with a screen protector of sorts, but many users feel that they need that extra protection for added peace-of-mind. And while Gorilla Glass is scratch-resistant, there comes a point where it can no longer withstand certain scratches.

On the other hand, if you’re always cautious about what your iPad’s screen touches, do you really need to worry about getting a screen protector?

Here are a few reasons as to why and why not it’s a good idea to opt for a screen protector for your iPad.

iPads Are Already Scratch-Resistant

As already mentioned, newer iPads comes with Gorilla Glass, meaning that the screen is already toughened up and ready to take whatever scratches that come its way.


Of course, it won’t stand up to anything, as a knife to the display would easily kill it, but most common household items like keys wouldn’t do much damage initially. However, if you constantly expose your iPad to the elements or you have kids or pets that would likely do some damage, you’ll most likely end up with a scratched display eventually.

In most cases, you’ll be just fine without a screen protector, especially if you’re always careful about how you handle your iPad in the first place. For instance, I have an Apple Smart Case for my iPad mini and the cover keeps the display protected when I’m not using it, and I never let my iPad get close to anything sharp in the first place.

However, accidentally dropping your iPad is about the worst-case scenario there is, and most likely your screen will crack if it’s dropped. This is where some screen protectors can be useful.

Some Screen Protectors Work Really Well…

All screen protectors are not created equally, and there are many different kinds. Most of them, however, are usually made out of a thin and flexible plastic sheet that sticks onto your device’s screen using some kind of adhesive or just static electricity.

More expensive screen protectors are made out of tempered glass, which are essentially just really thin sheets of glass that you stick on top of your iPad’s display. This makes it so that you’ll still get that natural glass feel to the device, but it does add a bit of thickness, since glass screen protectors are a bit thicker than regular plastic ones.

There are also more rugged screen protectors from companies like Zagg who specialize in military-grade screen protection. These screen protectors are made out of an incredible material that’s insanely scratch proof. They’re overkill most of the time and are fairly expensive, but they can be good for users who work in construction that would have an iPad exposed to extreme conditions.

However, when it comes to the best protection for accidental drops, we’ve had the best luck with glass screen protectors. As seen in the video above, our own Xavier Lanier accidentally dropped his LG G3, but the glass protector took the hit and cracked, while the phone’s actual display was left intact.

Of course, some commenters weren’t so lucky, so your mileage may vary depending on what phone you have, what type of glass protector is installed, and how it’s installed in the first place.

…But Many Screen Protectors Don’t Really Work

While we’ve found that the glass screen protectors usually do a better job at actually protecting a display, other types of screen protectors will only offer a minimal amount of protection.


More specifically, those cheap plastic screen protectors will do absolutely nothing when it comes to accidental drops. They’ll offer a little bit of added scratch protection, but not much else past that.

This is why you want to be careful as far as what screen protector you get for your iPad, as there are different kinds of protectors for different purposes. Cheap plastic screen protectors can give you a little bit extra peace of mind, but opting for a glass screen protector is probably the best option if you’re wanting the best coverage.

iPads Usually Don’t Get Used as Much as iPhones

You most likely take your iPhone with you everywhere, and you’re constantly fishing it out of your pocket multiple times per day, whereas your iPad might stay at home or stay in your bag until you get to the office.


Long story short, your iPad probably doesn’t get used as often as your iPhone does, or at least you keep your iPad in your bag until you’re settled down at home or in the office, thus it’s exposed less to all the things that can cause a scratched or shattered display.

This is why a screen protector on an iPad may not be as important as a screen protector on an iPhone.

Screen Protectors Decrease Usability

This could be quite subjective, but I believe that a lot of screen protectors can negatively impact the clarity of the iPad display, as well as reduce touch responsiveness while using the device.

Furthermore, I’ve never liked using plastic screen protectors or even the options offered by Zagg, simply because they eliminate the natural glass feel of the iPad’s screen, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of smooth glass on your fingertips when it comes to a high-quality touch screen.