All The Information You Need to Know About a Laptop Sleeve

Updated on June 1, 2020

A laptop might have a sturdy build and look impenetrable, but this does not mean it is not at risk of damage. As the owner, this is when you may consider buying something like a laptop sleeve for protection, but first you need to understand what it is.

What Is A Laptop Sleeve?

It is a pouch made from toughened materials such as nylon or plastic for the purpose of fitting tightly over the skin of a laptop for adequate protection.

Now, there are various accessories on the market which can protect the laptop and it is easy to confuse one for the other. Such is the case for a laptop sleeve and a laptop skin which are often mistaken for each other.

How to Differentiate a Laptop Skin from a Laptop Sleeve

There are a lot of similarities between a laptop skin and sleeve. They include:

  • Placement around the body of the laptop
  • Production from similar materials such as plastic and nylon etc.

However, that is more or less where the similarities end. The major difference between the two lies in the intended use.

With a laptop skin, it is mostly used for personalization. That is why they happen to look more like stickers. They often have adhesives making it easier to stick to the body of the laptop.

On the other hand, the laptop sleeve is a separate outer covering of its own entirely. There is no adhesive for sticking to the body of the laptop rather, it is worn on the laptop. It is mainly used for protection of the laptop.

Do You Need a Laptop Sleeve?

Notwithstanding, you can find an abbreviated version below of the reasons why you need a laptop sleeve. They include:

Reasons forJustification
ProtectionAs explained above, a laptop is not impenetrable. Like most technological gadgets, the slightest mishandling can lead to damage. An accessory such as a laptop sleeve helps shield against some external factors that can destroy it.
Companion accessoryYou can always make use of a laptop sleeve alongside a case or backpack. If your backpack or case lacks a divisional compartment, the sleeve can serve as one.
PortableMost laptop bags come with various pockets and sides meaning more material and therefore adding more bulk for you to carry. On the other hand the sleeve is just one casing for your laptop and you are good to go.

Pros And Cons Of Using A Laptop Sleeve


We take a look at the justifications for and against making use of a laptop sleeve. They include:



A laptop sleeve is more or less like a jacket. For humans, we wear a jacket for three reasons which include to protect from the weather, provide decency and to look stylish. 

The functions done by the human jacket is exactly what a laptop sleeve affords. There is also the fact that some laptop sleeves have water and dust repellent properties thereby preventing damage to your laptop from the elements.

Furthermore, the nature of the chassis of certain laptops warrants the need for a laptop sleeve. The type of material used to make the chassis of a laptop can vary from plastic to aluminium. 

For laptops comprising mainly of plastic which is a brittle material, it is never too much to have the added protection of a sleeve.

Companion To Laptop Case

You may think that with a laptop case, your laptop is sufficiently protected. However, that is not always so.

If you purchase a good laptop case, then you might have less reason to worry about damage due to impact with certain surfaces. However, if your laptop case is made from less than stellar material, the laptop sleeve can provide additional protection.

There might also be a situation where you have a case but there is no dedicated slot for your laptop. What this means is that your other working tools are mixed in with your laptop thereby increasing the chances of scratches and dents.

A laptop sleeve can act as a dedicated compartment within your backpack or case.

Reduced Need For Constant Cleaning

One thing about laptops is that constant exposure to the elements will lead to attraction of dust mites. This then increases the need for constant cleaning and maintenance.

However, even with regular cleaning, there is still the possibility of not having access to tricky areas of the laptop to properly wipe out the dirt.

Due to the repellant qualities present in some laptop sleeves, the problem of having dust and dirt trapped within the hardware reduces. Therefore, the need to constantly clean the surface, edges and crevices will no longer have a need to be done often.

With the reduction of dirt, the laptop stays clean for a long time and this in turn helps increase its lifespan.

Wide Variety Of Prices


The price of a laptop sleeve will not put a dent on your bank account. However, this is dependent on the type you go for.

A laptop sleeve can be bought for as low as $15 and can go for as high as $200. What determines the price is often the material used and the properties of such material.

For example, a sleeve that only offers jacket for your laptop can have a price tag of $15. However, if you want properties such as water repellant, dust resistant, padded foam etc, you must be willing to pay a higher price.


Some laptop sleeves come with add-ons to improve functionality. As a result, you can have a sleeve that also doubles as a laptop stand. 

In a few cases, manufacturers may try to ramp up the diverse ways to use the sleeve by placing optional features such as rings for straps and handles.


A good feature of most laptop sleeves is the fact that they are made to be light. Their light nature differs from the bulk of laptop bags and cases.

The lightness is as a result of the sleeve just being a simple jacket. Unlike bags and cases which may have different compartments and are wide thereby requiring more material and in turn increasing the overall weight.

So, if you are looking for something simple that does not add to the weight of your laptop, a sleeve is a good option.


Limits In Capabilities

Although the laptop sleeve has certain features such as being water and dust repellent alongside being resistant to reasonable surface impact, it is not 100% fool proof. 

For example, if you drop your laptop from a significant height or your laptop falls into a large body of water, you cannot expect the laptop to still be protected.

This is due to the fact that a large body of water will lead to immersion of the body of the case thereby making it easy for the water to seep through. Also, the impact from a laptop hitting a hard surface from a far distance is not the same as a simple straight on collusion.

Therefore, when talking about all round protection by the laptop sleeve, this should be conceived within reasonable limits as explained above.

Not Travel Friendly

Most laptop sleeves lack handles and straps. Therefore, the way most users carry them is either in the crook of their hands or hanging from one hand.

However, if you are travelling a long distance, this method of carriage can prove tiring as it puts a lot of strain on the arm and wrist. Due to the discomfort, you may end up with additional costs to buy a bag or case just to relive that strain. 

So, it is not recommended for individuals who find themselves frequently traveling or moving from one location to the other.

Buying Guide for a Laptop Sleeve

What are the things you should look out for when buying a laptop sleeve? Since the primary purpose is to allow for easy carriage of the laptop as well as to protect it, it is essential that any sleeve you purchase has the following features:



..The type of material used to make the laptop sleeve will determine the type of protection you get…

The type of material used to make the laptop sleeve will determine the type of protection you get. Fortunately, laptop sleeves are made from a variety of materials but if care is not taken, to understand the properties of each material, you may end up with something you do not want.

Some of the popular materials and their properties include:

PolyesterQuick drying, chemical resistant, water repellant, easy to wash
SuedeLess durable than leather, easily pliable, absorbs water, hard to clean
MicrofiberEasy to clean, waterproof, durable, lightweight
NylonDurable, abrasion resistant, soft, water repellant
LeatherStrong, resistant to wear and tear, waterproof, durable
NeopreneGreat strength, weather resistant, aging resistance, tear resistant


Another important factor to consider in the purchase of a laptop sleeve is the substance of the materials explained above. The thinness or thickness of these materials will determine how well protected your laptop is.

That is, the degree of protection offered will depend on whether your sleeve is thick enough to absorb certain impact or just surface scratches.

For example, suede and microfiber are typical thin laptop sleeves. Therefore, the form of protection they can offer extends to scratches. On the other hand, neoprene is thick and can withstand the impact of certain bumps.



One thing you should never ignore when purchasing a laptop sleeve  is the display size of your monitor. You cannot purchase a 13’’ laptop sleeve and expect it to perfectly fit a 15.6 “ laptop.

In some cases, your laptop might enter such, but the fit will be all wrong. As a result, in the case of impact with an object, your laptop does not have the necessary protection.

This would be a different case entirely if the laptop sleeve had been the right size ensuring that the impact experienced is greatly reduced.


What type of closure do you prefer for your laptop sleeve? Are you okay with a latch, a zip of a buckle?

The type of closure also has an effect in the type of protection you get from your sleeve. For example, the flap can easily fly open in the case of a nudge thereby making it easy for the laptop to fall out.

However with a zip you can be sure that your laptop will remain within the confines of the sleeve. Even when the laptop has a sleeve, ensure that you have sufficient space between the zipper and the laptop to prevent the teeth getting stuck on the hardware.

What Differentiates A Laptop Sleeve From A Laptop Case?

The look of the laptop bag is akin to a briefcase. As a matter of fact, the laptop bag evolved from the traditional briefcase.

On the other hand, a sleeve is like a pouch but with a closure in the form of a zip or latch and large enough to fit a laptop.

..Both the laptop sleeve and case are rectangular in shape. However, to tell one apart from the other, look out for the presence of handles… 

Both the laptop sleeve and case are rectangular in shape. However, to tell one apart from the other, look out for the presence of handles. 

Most laptop sleeves are without handles however, if they do have, the length is shorter than that present in the traditional laptop case. Also, they lack shoulder straps.

Can You Wash A Laptop Sleeve?


Yes, you can wash a laptop sleeve. You can go for a light wash utilizing a damp cloth and a bit of water to clean the surface.

However, if the sleeve is really dirty, you can hand wash it. Machine wash is not advisable as it may ruin the form of the sleeve or damage the material.


When it comes to determining whether or not a laptop sleeve like the following options Aqua Quest Storm,AmazonBasics 13.3MOSISO Water Repellent is necessary, a lot of things have to be taken into consideration. For example, if you possess a laptop bag, the inclusion of a laptop sleeve might seem like overkill. However, when you realize that your bag has its limitations but with the addition of a laptop case, the limitation is reduced, it seems like a wise choice.

EveCase Diamond Neoprene Travel Bag – If you want something lightweight that can protect your laptop from the occasional bump, scratch and drop, it is a good option. Also, it is available for laptops between the sizes of 11.6 to 15.6-inches at a budget cost of $10 to $20.
Nacuwa Laptop 360 Sleeve – Unlike the EveCase, the Nacuwa’s target market is MacBook users. Apart from being shock-resistant with a better than average ability to repel water, the laptop sleeve has a handle for easy carriage.

Article by:
Sarah Adedun
Sarah Adedun is a technology enthusiast. When she is not reviewing tech products, you can find her sharing personal thoughts on Medium and researching ways to merge Finance and Technology together.

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