Even if your ukulele came with a gig bag, you might want to treat it to a higher level of protection by picking up a case. This is particularly important if you plan to travel with your uke – a great case will not only prevent scratches and little dings, it will also provide protection against more serious damage such as crushing.
Good ukulele cases also protect your instrument from harsh humidity changes, accidental spills, wet weather, and other situations that might put your favorite four-stringed companion into a compromising position.
- Best Overall: Kala ABS Molded Plastic Hardshell Ukulele Case
- Best Traditional: Gator Cases Hardhshell Ukulele Case
- Budget Pick: FINO Waterproof Ukulele Case
- Best for Travel: FINO Travel Ukulele Case
- Best Affordable: Knox Gear Ukulele Padded Protective Carrying Case
What to Look for When Choosing a Ukulele Case
Start looking for a great case for your ukulele, and you’ll find that there are tons of options available. Here are some of the most important factors to consider while shopping.
Is it tough enough?
If you’re planning to take your ukulele on your next flight, you want to make sure that the case you choose has a hard shell for strength.
A well-padded soft-sided case is great for protecting your ukulele at home or while you’re on your way to class, and might offer enough protection for road tripping, too.
At the same time, keep in mind that accidental crushing still might happen. For example, a sudden stop that causes your load to shift might also cause damage to your uke.
Is it waterproof? Easy to maintain?
If there’s even the slightest chance that your ukulele case will get more than a little wet (i.e. experience something worse than an average amount of rain while you’re walking a short distance) then it’s a really good idea to pick a hard-shell ukulele case that won’t absorb a lot of moisture.
As for easy cleaning, hard-shell ukulele cases are the clear winners here. You can clean a soft-shell ukulele case but it might not be as simple as you’d like!
Your case needs to stay shut, or your uke will be exposed to the very things you’re trying to protect it from. Be sure that clasps are strong, or if it’s a soft-sided case, double-check to be sure that the zippers get good ratings.
Soft and snug inside?
Whatever you do, be sure that your ukulele case is well-padded, and double-check to ensure that it’s designed to fit your ukulele.
Too loose or too tight, and you’re pretty much begging for damage. At the same time, if you’re stuck with an option that might be too tight and another that’s way too roomy, pick the bigger one. You can always add extra padding if needed.
Room for accessories?
This might not be a huge deal if you’re simply planning to use your case for storing your ukulele when it’s not being played, but if you’re planning to go places, you’ll probably appreciate a case that has room for items like a capo, spare strings, a tuner, picks, etc.
Is the price right?
Some of the best cases for ukuleles are easy to spot right away because of their price tags. At an average cost of well over $100, you can pretty much bet that a hardshell fiberglass or ABS case from Crossrock will provide plenty of protection.
If your budget has room for that, great – these really are the best ukulele cases for unlimited budgets! If not, you’ll have to spend a little more time going over your options.
Kala ABS Molded Plastic Hardshell Ukulele Case – Best Ukulele Case Overall
The Kala ABS Molded Plastic Hardshell Ukulele Case offers outstanding durability and water resistance, plus a snug, plush interior for your ukulele’s protection while traveling. Traditional latches keep the case securely closed and a rounded handle makes carrying comfortable. A removable shoulder strap is included for added convenience.
- Very durable
- Well-padded interior
- Available in different sizes
- Small accessory compartment doesn’t hold much
Gator Cases Hardhshell Ukulele Case – Best Traditional Ukulele Case
If you don’t mind basic black and you’re looking for a good hardshell ukulele case that won’t break the bank or put your instrument at risk of being crushed, you might like this one from Gator Cases. Made with sturdy plywood covered in Black Telex PVC that’s both water-resistant and easy to clean, this case offers a plush lining and plenty of padding inside, along with a compartment for your accessories. Traditional latches keep the case securely closed, and an ergonomic handle makes carrying a snap.
- Very affordable hardshell ukulele case
- Traditional design, durable materials
- Thick, well-cushioned lining
- Great for travel, suitable for airline use
- Confusing descriptions / measurements for different sizes
- Doesn’t come in baritone size
- Very tight fit for acoustic-electric ukuleles with controls on the side
FINO Waterproof Ukulele Case – Cheapest Locking Ukulele Case
The Fino waterproof ukulele case is made with an attractive tan faux leather exterior and a wonderful interior lined with crushed velvet in a beautiful shade of royal blue. The neck support doubles as a storage space for accessories. The handle is padded for comfort, the latches snap securely into place and will lock if needed, and at just a little over five pounds, the case feels fairly lightweight in your hands.
- Fairly affordable ukulele case
- Quality materials
- Resists spills; very easy to clean
- Attractive appearance
- No compartment for music
- Can be a tight fit for some ukuleles
FINO Travel Ukulele Case – Best Casual Travel Ukulele Case
The Fino travel ukulele case features lightweight construction and an attractive blue weave cover over the hard shell. The case has light padding inside, along with a neck strap to secure your instrument.
It features a comfortable rubber handle and a pair of zippers including an outer one and an interior one. This ukulele carrying case also has an adjustable backpack-style strap so that you can sling it over your shoulder if you like.
- Very durable; does a good job protecting your ukulele
- Water-resistant, provides reliable protection against inclement weather
- Seller has a generous exchange and warranty guarantee in case your ukulele doesn’t fit right
- Zipper system can be confusing and a little tough to break in
- Not much padding inside, some users add padding
Knox Gear Ukulele Padded Protective Carrying Case – Best Cheap Ukulele Case
The Knox Gear Ukulele Padded carrying case is often advertised as a hard carrying case. It’s true that this case has a nice firm feel, but it’s more like a hybrid between a soft-sided gig bag and a hardshell ukulele case. The good news is that this bag is beautifully designed, particularly for the price.
The interior is shaped to fit a classic hourglass-shaped ukulele. The hard protective foam is covered in velvety soft fabric to protect your instrument’s finish. There’s an interior neck support, a compartment for extras, and plenty of depth to accommodate your strap as well as any electronics.
Outside, you’ll find water-resistant 600D oxford nylon fabric in black, plus a sturdy handle and a rugged carrying strap. The zippers are durable, and there’s a protective flap on the main compartment, which keeps the zippers from snagging and opening accidentally. The outside pocket is roomy enough for some sheet music. All in all, this is a great case at an amazing price. It comes in Soprano, Concert, Tenor, and Baritone sizes.
- Snug fitting and soft
- Roomy accessory compartments
- Dual carrying options
- Only fits hourglass-shaped ukuleles, not pineapples or other unusual styles
- A little too deep for some ukuleles; some players add a towel or similar fabric to make the fit tighter
- Seller doesn’t provide interior dimensions; it would be very helpful if they could change this
One last piece of advice…measure your ukulele and double-check the dimensions of the carrying case to make sure you’ve got a good match, or double-check returns policies to be sure that you can send the case back in case it’s not a good fit. After all, the best ukulele case is one that fits well and protects your instrument. Nothing less will do!