What is IP Rating? Waterproof & Dustproof Rating Explained in Detail

What is IP Rating?

Imagine you are commuting outdoors with your gadgets and all of a sudden it started to rain. Or you are having a pool party, but you can’t play music because the speakers would get drenched. Without the speaker, there’s no meaning in having a party. Certainly, water can be an unavoidable obstacle in between enjoying our best moments to the fullest. To help you out from such situations, companies started to make their devices dust and water-resistant. You might have seen different types of IP ratings such as IPx4 or IP67, and many more on your devices. Ever wondered what these ratings are for?

In this article, we will try to explain IP ratings to you so that you can find the best IP-rated device, considering which types of devices you need.

What Does IP Rating Stand for?

IP in this segment stands for Ingress protection, or in some cases, International protection. An IP rating is a level that describes how much dust or water your device can endure up to. So now you can easily understand why this rating is so essential for your device.

But all the IP ratings don’t really make your devices dust or waterproof. There are a total of 9 levels in IP ratings which start from IPX0 to IPX8. If the device is not water protected at all, the rating is given IPX0, and the device with maximum water ingress ability is rated with an IPX8.

Dust Proof Rating Explained

Another thing you might find while looking for IP rating is devices rated with IP5. If the device is rated with IP5, it can be called dustproof but not totally. With this rating, your device can indeed protect itself from dust but if somehow dust gets inside the device, it might lack performance. That’s why to make your device fully dustproof, you need to have an IP6 rating on your device. For example, the new Samsung Galaxy Z FOLD 3 comes with an IPx8 waterproof rating, but does it make it dustproof as well? Of course not, as its foldable hinges are very much vulnerable to dust, so you need to keep it that way. Your phone might survive at the beach or pool but not tolerate the speck of dust at deserts.

Water Proof Rating Explained

The second symbol in the IP rating describes the level of protection against water ingress. The higher the number, the better the protection. So if you have plans to go outside in the rain or chill near the poolside with your devices, then make sure to check the water ingress rating clearly. On a serious note, the ratings are only for water ingress, not for any other fluids.

Which IP Rated Device Should You Get?

Now let’s talk about which IP ratings can be the ideal option for your devices. Most of the devices that we use frequently come with an IPX4 rating. IPX4 is the level where your device can protect itself from splashes and sweats. Earbuds are generally rated with the same ratings. You can have worry-free intense workout sessions with your buds on your ears, and droplets of water won’t harm it. But it can not handle much water pressure. Heavy rain or immersion into water will surely damage your device. So it’s better to have more than an IPX4 rating for outdoor roamings.

But if you are having a pool party or tend to visit the beaches too often, you will need a fully waterproof device, which must be rated with IPX6, IPX7, OR IPX8 rating. A device with an IPX6 rating can deal with extreme water jets projected from any angle, but you can not take it under the water.

In terms of taking your device underwater, you have to buy an IPX7 rated device that can be immersed into water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes approximately. But if you want to go deeper than that, then you must have the device rated with an IPX8 rating. So choose your device according to your needs.

What is 5ATM or 10ATM?

But nowadays, you can go deeper with your devices, as there are many devices that come with 5ATM and even 10ATM waterproof ratings. These are also IP ratings but with more endurance capabilities. Basically, the 5ATM rating lets you take your device up to 50 meters underwater, and the 10ATM rating lets you take the device for up to 100 meters, quite insane, right? You might think why would I need such a device that would survive this much deep underwater? That is because you might slip your device while being in the water, and if you are able to find it out somehow, your device will still be functional.

Maximum IP Rating

Apart from these ratings, if you want to have extreme endurance, you can buy rugged phones that come with up to IP69/k ratings. These rugged phones can survive from scorching heat to freezing cold. For example, you can buy Ulefone Armor 9 FLIR or Blackview BV9900 Pro, which is rated with IP69/k extreme dust and waterproofing to survive in extreme conditions. If you are an outdoor enthusiast who loves to cruise through outdoor adventures, you certainly need to make sure your devices are rated with the same IP ratings.

Is IPX4 Enough to Save Your Device?

Many companies claim their tech products or even phone cases to be fully waterproof and mention that they have an IPX4 rating. A device with such a rating can not be called waterproof, but as they mentioned already about the IP rating, you won’t be able to call them fraud instead you just got tricked. But if you just want your buds or other devices to be just splash-proof or sweatproof, IPx4 is enough. Now as you know what shall be the ideal rating for your purpose, choose your device according to that.


Undoubtedly, IP ratings serve an important purpose in protecting our daily accessories or smart devices. With a proper IP rating, your valuables will be saved from all sorts of unwanted damages. So, make sure to check out the IP rating while purchasing a product, and if it does not come up with any IP ratings, do not make the mistake of bringing them close to water.

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Nafiul Haque

Nafiul Haque has grown up playing on all the major gaming platforms. And he got his start as a journalist covering all the latest gaming news, reviews, leaks, etc. As he grew as a person, he became deeply involved with gaming hardware and equipment. Now, he spends his days writing about everything from reviewing the latest gaming laptops to comparing the performance of the latest GPUs and consoles.