While using a Raspberry Pi without a case is fine, it's best to put it into a case. Using a case adds character, makes it easier to carry around, and protects it against accidental damage. There are also many different types of cases available.
This article lists my recommended cases for Raspberry Pi 4 (Model B) and Raspberry Pi Zero (Zero v1.3, Zero Wireless, and Zero 2).
If you don't already have a Raspberry Pi, I also list my recommended Raspberry Pi kits below.
Aluminum cases are an excellent option if you're overclocking a Raspberry Pi. These cases are usually silent and keep your device very cool. The downside is that some aluminum cases might cause some interference with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals which can weaken the signal. With that said, some cases are also designed to limit signal interference.
- Most popular Raspberry Pi case.
- The Argon ONE V2 case includes two full-size HDMI ports, a heat sink, a controllable fan, and IR for using remotes.
- Has a power button on the case for performing a safe reboot, shutdown, and forced shutdown (after installing script to enable).
- This case has a sliding magnetic top to access the GPIO ports, display module, camera module, and PoE pins.
- It has an additional fan HAT to cool your Raspberry Pi.
- It comes with an 18-watt type-C power supply.
- Top-rated Raspberry Pi case.
- The cleanly designed aluminum case keeps your Raspberry Pi cool.
- The main connectors, including GPIO, are accessible through the bottom of the case.
- Built-in heatsink with thermal pad and four screws.
- This case has a programmable power button to power on/off your Raspberry Pi easily.
- The aluminum case and core serve as a passive heatsink to keep it cool without requiring a fan.
- Easy-access ports and includes VESA wall mounting brackets to attach the Raspberry Pi to any surface or monitor.
- This case has a solid aluminum body for dissipating heat naturally without fans.
- All ports/slots are easily accessible, and it has a window for Wi-Fi to improve connection.
- It comes with three thermal pads and two aluminum blocks for extra cooling.
- Passive cooling aluminum case, so there's no need for a fan.
- Access to all Raspberry Pi ports and space for GPIO and camera cables.
- The case is designed for additional heat dissipation and comes with two heatsinks and thermal pads.
- Wall mount capable and pre-drilled mounting holes for optional antennas.
- This case provides extra cooling from a 50mm fan with the aluminum casing with top and side vents.
- Additional space for plugging the cables into the USB-C power supply and micro HDMI ports. It also has a camera slot.
Having a touchscreen on your Raspberry Pi case can add flexibility and more uses to your device. It can also reduce the space needed to see if everything is working correctly on your Raspberry Pi.
- This case includes a 4-inch IPS LCD touch screen (800x480 resolution). Touch functionality is only available with: Kali, Raspbian, Ubuntu, Octopi.
- It also includes a fan, heatsinks, and a touch pen.
Transparent cases are great for showing off your Raspberry Pi and style while keeping it protected.
- This case is made of high-quality acrylic and blue ABS material with access to all Raspberry Pi ports.
- Comes with fan and heat sinks.
- This slimline case is high-quality acrylic with a GPIO cutout and accessible ports.
- Cutout for a 40x30mm fan or heatsink.
- This case is made of 9 layers of acrylic and has access to all ports of the Raspberry Pi.
- It comes with four heatsinks, one cooling fan, 6 ft micro HDMI to HDMI cable, and micro HDMI to HDMI adapter cable.
- This neat little case makes your Raspberry Pi look like a mini desktop computer. The case is made of aluminum and clear acrylic and has access to all the ports.
- It comes with a cooling fan, a large heatsink, and adjustable light.
Plastic vented cases are a great budget option for keeping your Raspberry Pi protected and cool.
- This case has vents on the top to help cool it.
- It has accessible ports and comes with a PWM controllable fan and heatsink.
Most Raspberry Pi cases don't have space or a slot for using an M.2 SSD. The case below is the best for using an M.2 SSD with your Raspberry Pi.
This case is made for using with an M.2 SSD (B-Key or B+M Key).
It includes two full-sized HDMI ports, a built-in IR for remote functionality, and a power button.
Recommended M.2 SSDs for the Argon ONE M.2 case:
- This case is made from aluminum with a built-in heatsink.
- Compatible with the Raspberry Pi Zero 2.
- This case is made from stainless steel and acrylic. It's available in 3 color variations and is compatible with the Raspberry Pi Zero 2.
- Includes a heatsink and has cutouts for the SD card and camera ports.
- This case fits the Raspberry Pi Zero Version 1.3 & Zero Wireless.
- It comes with a GPIO cutout and access to the camera port.
- This case fits the Raspberry Pi Zero Version 1.3 & Zero Wireless.
- Includes heatsink and access to camera port, but won't fit the Pi Zero with GPIO pins.
Sometimes fans stop working or are way too loud. If you need a replacement, this fan is the best one available for keeping your Raspberry Pi quiet and cool.
- Premium quiet 5V fan.
- Rated for 150,000 hours of use.
- 40x40x10 mm.
Raspberry Pi kits are good for getting everything you need in one package. You'll be getting everything you need to start, including the Raspberry Pi device.
The Raspberry Pi 400 is the best out of the three in terms of overall performance and use/setup. This Raspberry Pi has a slightly faster processor than the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. It also runs marginally cooler due to the narrow board design. If you're planning to push your Raspberry Pi to its limits, this is the device to get.
The Raspberry Pi 400 is the easiest to get up and running, as it has Raspberry Pi OS pre-loaded and is fully assembled. There is no assembly required, so this is a good choice if you want something easier to get started on projects right away. The Raspberry Pi board in this unit is built into the keyboard, making it very portable.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is an excellent option if you don't want the keyboard of the Raspberry Pi 400 but want something with more flexibility and faster performance than the Raspberry Pi Zero W.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B kit requires some assembly, so it's a good choice if you want the experience of putting it together. It's also easier to customize if you're going to modify it later with a different case or in other projects.
The Raspberry Pi Zero W is the lowest-cost and smallest kit option that's good for starting. It has a slower processor and less RAM than the other two Raspberry Pi devices.
The Raspberry Pi Zero W is useful for projects such as robots since it requires less power. However, having fewer ports and lower speeds than the other Raspberry Pi devices may not have as much flexibility for a broader range of projects.
Some Raspberry Pi kits include most items that are required for starting. With that said, it's best to make sure you have all that you need.
Below is a list of all that is required to begin. I've also included some recommended products to make it easier to choose.
USB Power Adapter
Depending on the model, you will need either a micro USB or USB C power adapter to use your Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi 4B uses a USB C power adapter. The Raspberry Pi Zero W uses a micro USB power adapter.
Raspberry Pi 4B Power Supply on Amazon (affiliate link)
Raspberry Pi Zero W Power Supply on Amazon (affiliate link)
Lower capacity microSD cards ( 8 GB) will work for most projects, but a 32 GB or higher microSD card is recommended since there's not much price difference. A larger microSD card would allow you to repurpose the Raspberry Pi in the future or use it for multiple tasks.
I recommend the SAMSUNG 32GB microSDHC Card on Amazon (affiliate link) if you don't already have one and aren't getting one in a kit.
Ethernet or Wi-Fi
The Raspberry Pi 400 and 4 Model B both have an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi capability. The Raspberry Pi Zero W only has Wi-Fi.
Using Ethernet, which requires an Ethernet cable, may provide a slightly faster response time for some projects and a more stable connection than Wi-Fi. However, you most likely won't notice much of a difference between the two.
Mouse and Keyboard
To first set up your Raspberry Pi, you will need a USB keyboard and USB mouse. After setting up your Raspberry Pi, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse if you want to instead.
If you need a keyboard, I recommend Mechanical Keyboards on Amazon (affiliate link) for the most enjoyable experience.
If you need a mouse, I recommend getting a Logitech Wired USB Mouse on Amazon (affiliate link).
TV or Monitor
You will need a TV or monitor to view the Raspberry Pi OS desktop environment.
HDMI to Micro-HDMI Cable
To connect a display that has an HDMI port to the Raspberry Pi, you will need an HDMI to micro-HDMI cable or adapter.
I recommend the UGREEN 10FT Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable Adapter 4K 60Hz on Amazon (affiliate link) if you don't already have one and aren't getting one in a kit.
Headphones or Speakers
If your project involves anything with sound, you will need either Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
I recommend the OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker on Amazon (affiliate link) if you want a small Bluetooth speaker.
If you want some headphones, check out my other article: Are Noise-Cancelling Headphones Worth the Added Expense?
If you aren't getting a Raspberry Pi kit, which includes a case, you may want one to provide protection and easier portability. Getting a case is optional, and your Raspberry Pi will still be usable without one.
Keep in mind that there are different versions of cases depending on which model of Raspberry Pi you are going to get.
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Cases on Amazon (affiliate link).
Raspberry Pi Zero W Cases on Amazon (affiliate link).