Whether it is to play an Irish ballad or to defeat the devil at the crossroads, we all love the idea of putting bow to string and making music. That’s why we want a good violin. And to make sure that the violin stays at its best, we want a good case for it as well.
Fortunately, purchasing the right violin case to protect these fragile instruments isn’t difficult. Not when we have done the finger-work for you. From the student’s first violin to a case worthy of a Stradivarius, we have found the top violin cases available.
- A Quick Look at Violin Cases
- Top 10 Best Violin Cases 2021
- 1. Best Overall Violin Case: Bobelock 1047 Puffy Half-Moon Violin Case
- 2. Best Premium Violin Case: Bam 2011XL Hightech Oblong Violin Case
- 3. Best Budget Violin Case: Protec Shaped MAX 4/4 Violin Case
- 4. Bam Hightech 2002XL
- 5. Bellafina Thermoplastic Violin Case
- 6. Baker Street BK-4030 Luxury Violin Case
- 7. Crossrock CRF1000DVNVBL Fiberglass Double Violin Case
- 8. Gator GC-VIOLIN Deluxe
- 9. ADM 4/4 Full Size Violin Hard Case
- 10. Tonareli Violin Checkered Special Edition VNFO 1007
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The 2021 Buyer’s Guide to the World of Violin Cases
- Final Thoughts
A Quick Look at Violin Cases
While choosing a violin case is an opportunity to show individuality and style, there are some key components that make one case better than others. It is important to consider the following elements and how they may affect which case you eventually buy.
Protection Is Paramount
Both inside and out, what a violin case is made from will tell you how well it is protected both during travel but also through longer periods of storage. Many of the cases we have selected can handle the roughest baggage handlers.
Easy to Carry
This is more of a personal preference kind of thing. While we prefer the trusty old subway grip, many cases also offer backpack straps, cushioned handles, and even feet for safely storing upright when backstage or at home.
Violins are expensive, and the last thing we want is for nimble fingers to make quick work of taking our instruments from their cases. Having a case that includes a lock that requires keys offers an extra sense of security. For those with security at the fore of their mind, our premium choice includes a hefty combination lock that would be the bane of any petty thief.
Protects From the Elements
Violins are susceptible to heat and humidity, much like many wooden instruments are, and high-end cases are designed with this in mind. The best violin case is one that is waterproof (or can be made so with a cover), uses material that keeps the instrument cool and dry, and includes a hygrometer. For more information about hygrometers and maintaining your violin, check our complete guide below.
A Good Case Offers More
The best violin cases always offer something extra. From the ability to hold spare bows to outer pockets for sheet music, what extra things a case can hold is important. Likewise, cases that have extra straps, or anti-slip pads on the outside can provide a better quality of life for the traveling violinist.
Every violinist has their unique experience. From the street busker to the school student, the orchestral virtuoso to the rock star, what a person needs from their case is going to be different. Our top ten cases have something for everyone, regardless of budget, traveling expectations, and clumsiness.
Top 10 Best Violin Cases 2021
1. Best Overall Violin Case: Bobelock 1047 Puffy Half-Moon Violin Case
Why we like it:
A stylish, comfortable case that has every feature you could want, it is clear to see why the Bobelock brand is so popular.
- Dimensions:4.5" x 31" x 9.5" (6.5lbs)
- Material:Plywood and Nylon outer, Velvet inner
- Accessories:Hygrometer, humidistat, shoulder strap, and instrument blanket
The Bobelock brand is one that has been around for quite some time and is synonymous with both style and quality. This half-moon case is made from five-layered plywood, with a waterproof cover, while the interior is velour-lined and the violin rests on a cushion above the wooden frame. It’s a case for those wanting to make a statement about the quality of the violin within, as the brass-colored hygrometer and faux-leather trim make it stand out.
We love that, for all its style, this is an extremely functional case. From the hygrometer and humidistat, to the included rainproof case, the Bobelock has every feature you would be looking for in a case while looking good doing so.
We can’t overstate how much we like the half-moon shape, which provides an easy balance to carrying by the subway handle or using the provided straps. We also like the touch of having a handled accessory pocket that is easy to open in a pinch, and that it comes with an instrument blanket to guarantee no rubbing between the bow and the violin.
If we had to be picky and find something wrong with the Bobelock, our only concern would be how well it could cope with the roughest handling. The external case, being wood, is more prone to cracking if under great weight, and we wouldn’t want to test this by tossing it around with a violin inside. While great for everyday use, the seasoned traveler might be taking a small risk by letting baggage handlers at it regularly.
For the violinist who wants everything, and wants it to look good as well, the Bobelock is a wonderful option at a reasonable price.
- Hygrometer and Humidistat included
- The Half-moon shape makes it easier to carry
- Rainproof, washable cover
- Looks amazing
- Plywood construction won’t take a beating
Why we like it:
Heavy-duty outer, airtight seal, and extremely light, there is no better way to protect a valuable violin.
- Dimensions:6.2” x 30.3” x 25.6” (5.28lbs)
- Material:Patented ABS outer, Airex Foam inner
- Accessories:Backpack straps, and removable accessories pocket
Mark O’Connor, Jason Anick, and Angelo Xiang Yu. Three of the greatest violinists of our day, and they all choose Bam to protect their violins. If the instrument you use is worth the same as a car, then the case you keep it in should be of the same quality. Using a patented foam, the interior of this case will keep a violin away from any damage no matter how much you hit the triple-ply thermoplastic exterior. The combination locks are heavy-duty and would need more than a screwdriver to break open. The case is airtight with a rubber seal for protection.
For a case that is so tough, we were surprised by just how light the BAM Hightech case is, even with the instrument and accessories loaded. It is also incredibly roomy, able to hold four bows, neck-rests, spare strings, and leaving enough room to keep the sundries you require. We also really appreciated some of the smaller touches to this case, like the side handle and the anti-slip patches on the bottom of the shell.
While the BAM doesn’t come with its own hygrometer, this doesn’t surprise us. At this level of case, it is expected you would want your own, and there is more than enough room to keep it there.
- Heavy-duty case with strong locks and airtight seal
- Lots of room for accessories while no chance of damaging the instrument
- Can hold up to four bows and the outer pocket can keep a large number of papers
- Side handle and anti-slip base make the case not only stylish but functional
- No Hygrometer was provided
3. Best Budget Violin Case: Protec Shaped MAX 4/4 Violin Case
Why we like it:
A shock-absorbing foam frame and a myriad of pockets make this the perfect case for the new student.
- Dimensions:6” x 31.5” x 10.5” (6.2lbs)
- Material:Nylon outer, polystyrene foam inner
- Accessories:Instrument cover, shoulder straps, and backpack straps
Full of pockets, while providing sufficient protection, this is a case built for the everyday. With a shock-absorbing internal foam frame and suspension padding, it will take a bit of a beating from a careless kid, while the nylon exterior is water-resistant and hard to rip.
The Protec has two bow-clips, an instrument cover, as well as shoulder and backpack straps. While the zipper does not have an included lock, a simple padlock fits well. The case has two separate accessory compartments internally as well as large pockets on the outside for music and shoulder-rests.
Truly no-frills, there are no hygrometers and no fancy lining. Instead, it costs a quarter the price of most other cases (and 5% of our premium choice). At the time of writing, Sam Ash Musical Instruments even offers a price guarantee, as well as free shipping, and a return policy for over a month after purchase. If you are just starting out with a violin, we can’t find a better option out there.
- Made from shock-absorbing materials
- Lots of room for accessories
- Inexpensive and with a price guarantee
- No hygrometers
- No locks
- Not waterproof
Why we like it:
The quality protection of Bam Hightech cases but with a more reasonable price tag.
- Dimensions:7” x 31.1” 9.8” (3.5lbs)
- Material:Patented triple-ply ABS outer, house-made polyurethane foam inner
- Accessories:Anti-slip backpack straps, and a removable accessory pouch
When you are attracted to our premium option but can’t afford the price tag, it is worth looking into one of the earlier designs. The Bam 2002XL has a lot of the same features as it’s more impressive brother, including the patented foam inner and triple-ply outer shell.
It has the same airtight seal and anti-slip patches as the 2011XL and is lighter as well. Some users may even prefer this model due to its classy, contoured look and some alternative color choices that include vibrant yellows and pastel blues.
However, it is not without its drawbacks. The smaller size means a lot less space for accessories, and it doesn’t contain outer pockets. It only has room for two bows and no shoulder strap. Like the 2011XL, it doesn’t contain a hygrometer, and buying one separately will take up some of that small amount of space.
Still, for a very protective case that can handle a lot of damage, with an airtight seal and a reputation for long-lasting security, it is worth considering the Bam 2002XL as a middle-of-the-road option.
- Half the price of the 2011XL while maintaining most of the features
- Classy contoured look
- Bright colors to stand out from the crowd
- No hygrometer
- A lot less roomy than the 2011XL
Why we like it:
A good budget option for the more careless of students, this case can take a beating.
- Dimensions:4.5” x 26.5” x 9.5” (4lbs)
- Material:Thermoplastic outer, suspension wood, and polyester inner
- Accessories:Shoulder straps, and instrument blanket
Bellafina is a reliable brand when it comes to inexpensive cases that protect your instruments. Their thermoplastic violin case is the perfect example. With aluminum valence and draw-tight latches, the seal is not airtight, but better than most zip-based systems. The hard case can take a large amount of punishment without leaving a scratch while the internals allow for a snug fit. Your violin won’t move, which means it will be safe.
Small and light, rather than spacy, the Bellafina can be a great option for traveling when you are trying to not take up much space. Still, it contains two accessory pockets and holds two bows. The case also comes with a comfortable shoulder strap and rubber feet to prevent slipping.
For the violinist worried about space or the parent of a child worried about how they treat their instrument, the Bellafina provides a high level of protection in a small body. One of the least expensive cases, it is still of great quality.
- Tough thermoplastic outer offers maximum protection
- Draw-tight latches for a good seal
- Takes up very little space
- Very little internal space
- Not airtight
Why we like it:
One of the most beautiful cases you can find with all the accessories you need for long-term care. This case is the best way to show off your precious possession.
- Dimensions:6” x 32” x 10.5” (3.9lbs)
- Material:Plywood and Nylon outer, velour-like inner
- Accessories:Hygrometer, thermometer, clear string holder, instrument blanket, and drawstring bag
The Baker Street violin case is a beautiful way to carry your instrument around town, with an elegant look inside and out. With its leatherette trim and a suede-like accent to its internals, it has an old-world charm. This is only accentuated by the brass-looking hygrometer and thermometer, an impressive addition considering the price tag. The Baker Street case has enough room for accessories and can hold 4 bows. While it has a zipper close, there is also a metal latch to add a little security.
With a case made from plywood and a nylon exterior, it isn’t the most protective of cases, and would not be recommended for air travel. However, this is a great option for those wanting something classy to keep their violin at home and to pull out in front of impressed guests.
- Beautiful, old-world look
- Hygrometer and thermometer
- Roomy, with space for four bows
- Exterior not suitable for protecting against heavy use
- Only a simple zipper close
Why we like it:
For the musician on the road that always needs a backup instrument, this case offers a level of protection unlike any other.
- Dimensions:8.3” x 34” x 15” (9.9lbs)
- Material:Fiberglass outer, foam, and velvet inner
- Accessories:Hygrometer, and backpack straps
For the violinist on-the-go, we find this case to be an impressive feat of engineering. It holds two violins comfortably, with a lot of room to spare, and could be perfect for those of us who like to switch between electric and acoustic as the songs require. There are few cases out there that have the same level of protection, too. The fiberglass exterior on the Crossrock can hold over 300 pounds of pressure without denting (and we have no idea just what it would take to break). The internal lining is velvet, keeping instruments free from even minor scratching.
As if the protection wasn’t enough, this case comes with its own hygrometer, really comfortable backpack straps, and four bow holders. It has a water-tight rubber seal and lockable catches. All it really seems to be missing is a pocket for your sheet music.
We have noticed that there is some movement of the internal structure when only one violin is used, and do wish we could more confidently say it was safe for players of only one instrument. For light travel, we’d take the risk.
You can trust even the most reckless of roadies with this extra-protective case that really does suit the traveling professional.
- Fiberglass case that can handle the toughest situations
- Room for two violins and more
- Comfortable backpack straps
- Own Hygrometer
- Not as safe internally when only one violin
- No music pockets
Why we like it:
An emphasis on protection makes this a great street-ready case that is waterproof and crack resistant.
- Dimensions:5.5” x 31.25” x 11.5” (7lbs)
- Material:ABS and aluminum outer, polystyrene, and plush polyester inner
Gator is a well-known brand for mid-range cases, equipment, and accessories for many instruments, and has developed a reputation for providing quality products at reasonable prices. For its Deluxe violin case, Gator has emphasized protection over style.
An aluminum frame is wrapped by an ABS plastic exterior that is crack-resistant and waterproof. This shell protects an interior of polystyrene and soft foam that cushions the violin comfortably. The subway handle is through-bolted into the frame, and it is backed by a full plate of metal.
While the seal is not airtight, you certainly wouldn’t be worried about dropping your case in a puddle or running down the street in the rain, and the sturdy latches will not be breaking open easily (especially if they are locked).
The Gator Deluxe violin case isn’t the roomiest of cases, though it does come with an accessories pouch. What is really missing is any room for sheet music, with no external pockets or internal folds to put them in.
- The tough case is made from ABS plastics and aluminum plating
- Soft foam to cushion the violin
- Strong latches and water-resistant seals
- Handle that is bolted into the frame
- Little room for accessories
- No extra pockets for sheet music
Why we like it:
A good budget choice for students, we like the amount of room for accessories in such a light case.
- Dimensions:5.5” x 32” x 10” (2.6lbs)
- Material:Nylon outer, foam, and velvet-like interior
- Accessories:Instrument blanket, and two shoulder straps
The ADM has everything that is a necessity while keeping its price down by ignoring anything that isn’t. It uses a nylon outer fabric to keep it rainproof, and it has a plywood frame.
This offers the protection an ordinary violinist would need, even if it isn’t enough for the traveling professional. It has the two bow holders, a music pocket, and room for accessories that we come to expect.
It also comes with a subway handle. While it doesn’t have a lock, and is closed by a zipper, it is a strong and reliable zipper that doesn’t break like cheaper cases can. It is one of the lightest and cheapest cases on our list too.
While we still prefer to recommend our budget option, if the price is your main focus you are not making a mistake by going with the ADM Violin Case.
- Waterproof outer fabric
- Lots of accessory room
- Extremely good value for money
- Zipper closed with no locks
- Soft case
- No “extra functions” or accessories
Why we like it:
The only budget case we found that includes a hygrometer, the Tonareli lives up to the reputation of its brand.
- Dimensions:6” x 31” x 10.25” (5.6lbs)
- Material:Fibreglass outer, wood, and polyester inner
- Accessories:Hygrometer, backpack straps, instrument blanket, and removable accessories pouch
The Tonareli is another case that is worth considering when traveling. A fiberglass outer that doesn’t bend or dent easily protects a foam and fabric inner, with a rubber seal for bad weather. It has four bow holders, a hygrometer, and a large accessory compartment. While the latches are not lockable, small padlocks could be affixed easily.
The biggest problem with the Tonareli is the price. The Bellafina has much the same specifications while being a bit cheaper. That said, the Tonareli often appears on special and, when it does, we have to say it is worth grabbing.
- Fiberglass outer and rubber seals for good protection
- Hygrometer included
- A lot of room for a smaller case
- Is not lockable
- Could be better value for money
Frequently Asked Questions
Taking care of your first violin can be a daunting experience, so we’ve tried to make life easier for you by compiling some of the most common questions about violin care and safety so you don’t need to go looking for yourself.
Congratulations! Buying your first violin is an exciting experience. However, put the bow across the strings for the first time and it might put you off doing it ever again. If you are lucky enough to get any sound from it, it will be a horrible one.
That doesn’t mean your violin has anything wrong with it, of course. It just means you need to make sure it is ready. Check out this amazing video that helps you with the first baby steps.
Rosin is a solid form of tree resin. It provides texture to the hairs on the bow, allowing friction to occur between it and the strings. This way, it helps the instrument “sing.” Most violinists apply rosin to their strings daily. For a helpful guide on how to rosin your bow, check out this wonderful video. To buy high-quality rosin, check out the D’Addario VR200 Violin Rosin.
Yes. Having at least one spare bow is essential for even the beginner violinist. Breaking the hair on a bow is common for all violinists, and cannot be fixed on the spot like a broken string can. For this reason, a spare bow is a necessity, not a luxury. We recommend the Carlo Robelli as an affordable and high-quality choice for newcomers to the instrument.
Spare strings should be kept each in separate small containers, with glass being better than plastic (to avoid sweating). Small bottles from variety stores work well for this. Another option is to keep the spare strings within the paper envelopes they often come in.
While there are online guides that can help you choose the best violin for a child, the best way to find the right fit is to try it. However, it is very easy to find out if you are suitable for a full size (or 4/4) violin. Measure the length from your neck to the tip of your outstretched fingers. If this is over 24 inches, you are ready for the full size.
If you require a smaller violin, you will also require a smaller case. Fortunately, many of the cases we’ve listed come in all the sizes you may require.
The 2021 Buyer’s Guide to the World of Violin Cases
If you’re still looking for some extra pointers as you finalize your decision, then this guide will give you some detail on the accessories, best practices and situations that you find yourself in, and how to find a case that matches your needs.
What Type of Case Do You Need?
A “Violinist” may be any person who plays the violin, but the lifestyle of an orchestral performer is far different from that of the elementary school student or the itinerant busker.
Having a clear idea of the world the violin will live in, and the challenges its case may face will help you find the correct choice for you.
For example, the busking violinist who goes back and forth from the sidewalks to home rarely has their case out of their sight, but they want it to be able to handle the odd kick, be easy to carry around on trains, trams, and buses, and have enough room for all those coins.
When money is a major consideration, but you want that tougher exterior, we recommend the Bellafina Thermoplastic Case.
Meanwhile, the orchestral virtuoso is more concerned about keeping sticky fingers away from their prized possession when not in sight, and whether or not a case thrown fifteen feet from the cargo hold of a plane will survive the impact.
When the violin can be worth tens of thousands of dollars itself, shelling out for the Bam Hightech 2011XL for traveling is an investment you must afford.
Of course, some violins will never leave the house. They are “the family instrument,” pulled out on special occasions. Long-term care and an aesthetic appeal are far more important than if it can take a beating. The Baker Street case is beautiful while also offering those important functions for long-term care, like the hygrometer and thermometer.
Water, Humidity, and Violins
A Hygrometer is a device that measures the humidity, or amount of water in the air. Long-term exposure to areas that are too humid or dry can cause serious damage to violins in the form of warping, cracking, and breaking of seams. The best humidity for a violin is generally considered to be 40-60%, and either side of this can be cause for concern.
It is for this reason that we recommend cases that come with hygrometers for long-term care and encourage all users to have them. Fortunately, cases that do not come with built-in hygrometers can easily fit a small digital device in their accessories pocket just as easily. We personally recommend the Oasis HH, as it has a built-in humidifier to adjust to the levels around it.
Adding Your Personal Touch
Did you know that the Bobelock case of world-famous violinist Hilary Hahn had its own Twitter page? Or that Paul Biss keeps miniature elephants in his accessories case? Playing the violin can be a very enjoyable experience, and that includes having a case that reflects who you are. Pick the shape and color that suits you, stick a couple of fun decals on, and let the case be as much about fun as protection.
Owning a violin is an amazing privilege and protecting such a delicate instrument means having a case that can handle a beating. We want our cases to be so much more than that, though. We want space, style, and accessories that make our lives easier. From the professional Bam Hightech to the student-friendly Protec, we are certain that the right case for your violin is right here.