Explanation of IP rating for electronic devices

Everything you need to know about waterproofing and dustproofing in electronics

In a world where electronic devices are an integral part of our daily lives, the IP (Ingress Protection) rating has become a crucial aspect for consumers and manufacturers. This rating indicates the degree of protection a device provides against the ingress of solid objects (such as dust) and liquids (such as water). In this blog we dive into the details of the IP rating for electronic devices, explaining the different levels, their meanings and how it affects the durability and reliability of your equipment.

What is the IP Classification? 

The IP rating is an international standard used to define the degree of protection of electronic devices against external elements such as dust and water. The rating consists of two numbers: the first number (ranging from 0 to 6) indicates protection against dust, while the second number (ranging from 0 to 8) indicates protection against water. The higher the number, the better the protection.

Overview of the IP rating for electronic products
IP rating: first digit (protection against solid objects)
  • IP0x: No special protection.
  • IP1x: Large objects: Protects against penetration of objects larger than 50mm (for example a hand).
  • IP2x: Medium-sized objects: Protects against penetration of objects larger than 12mm (for example a finger).
  • IP3x: Small objects: Protects against penetration of objects larger than 2.5mm (for example a tool).
  • IP4x: Extra small objects: Protects against penetration of objects larger than 1mm (for example a wire).
  • IP5x: Dust control: Prevents harmful dust accumulation.
  • IP6x: Dustproof: Complete protection against dust ingressg.
IP rating: second digit (protection against liquids)
  • IPx0: No protection against liquids.
  • IPx1Vertical Drops: Resists vertically falling water.
  • IPx2: Drops up to 15 degrees: Resists water droplets up to an angle of 15 degrees.
  • IPx3: Spray: Withstands rain or spray up to 60 degrees from vertical.
  • IPx4: Splash Water: Resists splash water from any direction.
  • IPx5Water jets: Withstands a spray jet of water (6.3mm nozzle) from any direction.
  • IPx6: Waves: Withstands water waves or heavy seawater.
  • IPx7: Immersion: Withstands temporary immersion up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
  • IPx8Underwater: Withstands sustained immersion under pressure.

After these two numbers, one or two more optional letters can be added:

  • F Oil resistant
  • H High voltage equipment
  • M Movement during water test
  • S Idle during water test
  • W Weather conditions

Difference between IP67 and IP68 

Two of the most talked about ratings in the consumer electronics world are IP67 and IP68. Devices with an IP67 rating are completely dust-tight and can be immersed in water at a depth of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. IP68-rated devices offer a higher degree of water resistance, although exact specifications may vary depending on the manufacturer. These devices are also usually completely dustproof.

Importance of IP Ratings in Electronic Devices 

A high IP rating is especially important for devices used in harsh environments, such as industrial machinery, outdoor electronics and medical equipment. For consumer products such as smartphones and smartwatches, a high IP rating provides an extra layer of assurance and durability, adding to the overall value and functionality of the device.

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The process of IP certification 

To obtain IP certification, manufacturers must subject their products to rigorous testing procedures. These tests involve exposing the device to varying levels of dust and water conditions to verify the stated levels of protection. The process of IP certification ensures that products meet set international standards and provides a reliable indication of product quality to consumers.


The IP rating is an essential factor in modern technology, helping both manufacturers and users understand the protection levels of electronic devices. Whether you are a consumer looking for a durable device or a manufacturer striving for the highest standards of product safety, the IP rating provides a clear and standardized measure of water and dust resistance.

Do you need help choosing the right electronic devices?

Contact Westwood Sourcing for expert advice and support with all your questions regarding IP rating and the import of electronic devices.

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