Do iPad Screens Scratch Easily?

No. iPad screens are quite resistant and are supposed to be durable enough so that another layer of protection isn’t necessary, but if you use the tablet a lot, travel with it, or let careless people handle it, there is always a possibility of superficial damage.

iPad Pro background

Buying an iPad can be a significant investment. That’s why even if the screen itself is made to withstand most situations; it wouldn’t hurt to use an extra layer of protection just to make sure the device remains in mint condition.

There’s a full range of products that specifically address this issue, and their prices vary tremendously depending on the following characteristics:

  1. Size (each iPad requires a different size screen protector)
  2. Apple Pencil compatibility (some screen protectors will render the Apple Pencil useless).
  3. Quality (some screen protectors work only against scratches while others increase impact resistance as well).

If you feel the need to keep your iPad screen intact by using a protective case or film, check out the screen protector below.

(Check price on Amazon)

Scratch resistant iPad
Apple Pencil compatible and scratch resistant iPad screen protector

Do I Need a Screen Protector?

The iPad screen is already made of durable, thin glass which is also scratch-resistant.

There are no specific details about the screen’s materials provided by Apple, nor is there any information about how durable it is. What they do state is that the oleo-phobic coating does become less effective when the iPad is being repeatedly used for quite some time.

But while the screen has been made in such a way to be resistant to damage, it’s not indestructible.

If you happen to drop your iPad, the screen will definitely crack, and replacing it might be almost as expensive as a brand-new device. You should also keep in mind that metal and other sharp objects can indeed scratch the screen depending on the angle that come in contact with the iPad’s screen surface.

So, using a screen protector –which is not a case or a cover, it’s a sheet of clear protective material that you apply directly on your iPad’s touch screen — might seem like a good idea for you.

But also, there are some minor issues that you should consider:

  • Applying a screen protector on an iPad can be difficult, and you will most likely end up with air bubbles trapped between the protector and the screen surface unless you hire someone who really knows how to get the job done.
  • It downgrades the quality of the screen. A screen protector, when applied on the iPad’s touch screen, can change its texture and doesn’t match the high-quality material the iPad screen comes with.
  • Some screen protectors may interfere with the Apple Pencil, make sure to check if the one you are buying is compatible with the Apple Pencil you own.

If these don’t seem like big issues to you, then feel free to put on the screen protector.

But think about this: if you went ahead and invested in an expensive device that has one of the most advanced scratch-resistant glasses for a touch screen. Sticking another glass or plastic screen on it that costs just a few bucks might not seem so logical after all.

The Best iPad Protection You Can Use

Despite screen protectors, you could also use a case specifically made for the iPad.

This is by far my favorite option, as long as it’s a high-end case and not those generic ones that may cause even more damage when they open out of nowhere and let the iPad slip out and crash on the floor.

Once again, it’s important to check if the case you’re buying is compatible with your specific iPad. Size matters.

(Check price on Amazon)

iPad case
iPad case

In the End, it’s Really Up to You

If getting a protective screen will make you feel less worried, then go ahead and get one. Just remember that this is simply an extra safety measure and by no means absolutely necessary.

The advanced scratch-resistant glass will keep the iPad’s screen safe as long as you take good care of it. Also, remember to follow Apple’s instructions when cleaning your iPad screen, so that the oleo-phobic coating is properly taken care of and its lifespan is extended as much as possible.

There are people who have owned many iPads over the years and have never put a screen protector on them and only ended up with small scratches due to wear and tear. This is also normal and should be expected. Tiny scratches are bound to happen sooner or later, no matter how careful you are. Simply don’t worry so much about it.

Making the Decision

Deciding whether to spend a few bucks to get a screen protector depends on how you’re planning on using your iPad.

If you spend your days going from home to the office and your iPad travels with you everywhere, an extra layer of protection, whether it’s a thin film layer or a hard case, may be the best option.

Bruno Santos

Hi! My name is Bruno. I'm a web developer/designer based in Toronto, Canada. I've been working with drawing tablets for over 20 years and I'm among the Top 10 Most Viewed Writers on Quora in the Graphics Tablets category. Do you have any questions? Just leave a comment =)

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