Laptop cooling pad fan

The Best Laptop Cooling Pads of 2021

By Marvin Moreno AccessoriesNo Comments

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Overheating can be a real problem with laptops, especially when using demanding applications like next-gen games and video editing software. As well as making it uncomfortable to use on your lap, the heat created by constantly pushing your system to its limits slows down performance, reduces stability, and over the long term, can even damage components. 

Keeping your laptop’s temperature under control is important for increasing both longevity and performance, and the easiest way to do this is with a cooling pad.

While they all aim to do much the same thing, there are differences between the various models that affect how well they’ll work for certain people. That’s why we’ve put together our recommendations for the best cooling pads you can use to keep a variety of laptops at optimal working temperature, from high-powered versions meant for large gaming rigs to thin pads you can take anywhere.

One thing to note before we start: particularly with more powerful cooling pads, if you want to run the fans at full speed, you’ll need access to either a USB 3 port on your laptop or a USB wall adapter that puts out at least 5-10 watts. USB 2 ports and lower-power wall chargers don’t put out enough juice.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad: TopMate C11 Laptop Cooling Pad
  • Dimensions: 11.7 x 16.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Fans: 2 large, 4 small
  • Maximum laptop size: 17.3 inch

Runner-Up, Best Laptop Cooling Pad: TECKNET N11
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 15.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Fans: 5
  • Maximum laptop size: 17 inch

Sale
Best Cooling Pad for Gaming Laptops: IPOW 12-Mode Cooling Pad
  • Dimensions: 11 x 16.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Fans: 6
  • Maximum laptop size: 17 inch

Best Budget Laptop Cooling Pad: Tendak Laptop Cooling Pad
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 13.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Fans: 2
  • Maximum laptop size: 17 inch

Best Cooling Pad for 17-inch+ Laptops: Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB
  • Dimensions: 14 x 18.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Fans: 1
  • Maximum laptop size: 19 inch

Sale
Best Thin Laptop Cooling Pad: Havit HV-F2056
  • Dimensions: 11 x 14.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Fans: 3
  • Maximum laptop size: 17 inch

Best Laptop Cooling Pad: TopMate C11

TopMate C11 Laptop Cooling Pad RGB Gaming Cooler for 15.6-17.3 Inch Laptop, Laptop Fan Cooling Stand with 6 Quiet Fans and 5 Heights Adjustable, LCD Screen and 2 USB Ports, 1 Phone Stand

The TopMate C11 might be a gaming-focused cooling pad, but it’s an impressive choice no matter what you use your laptop for.

The C11 is one of the most powerful options on this list, with a total of six fans: two bigger ones that can run at a maximum of 1250 RPM each and four smaller fans that top out at 2400 RPM each. The fan speed is adjustable via the front panel, as is the number of fans in use, letting you tone things down if you’re doing less demanding tasks. This is mainly so you can control the noise level, which can get quite loud when all of the fans are running at full output.

Because the C11 is primarily a gaming cooling pad, it has RGB lighting to match a gamer’s other gear. You can turn this off using the same front panel, though, if you prefer a more subtle look. The cooling pad has a convenient (albeit somewhat flimsy) smartphone holder on the side so you won’t miss important notifications. You can also charge your phone or other mobile devices from either of the two USB slots on the rear of the pad.

One of the best features of the C11 is the adjustability of its base, which lets you tilt and raise the cooling pad through five different levels to find the perfect viewing angle. The durable pad is wide enough to accommodate laptops with screen sizes up to 17.3″.

The TopMate C11 is one of the best laptop cooling pads you can get, thanks to its combination of strong cooling power, impressive height/tilt adjustments, ability to handle larger laptops, and useful extras. Reasonably priced for everything it offers, it’s our top pick overall.

Pros
  • Six powerful, adjustable fans
  • Can accommodate up to 17.3″ laptops
  • Highly adjustable
  • RGB lights can be turned on/off
  • Phone stand and dual USB ports included
Cons
  • It can be noisy at maximum fan output
  • Phone stand is a little flimsy
Buy on Amazon

Runner-Up, Best Laptop Cooling Pad: TECKNET N11

Laptop Cooling Pad, TeckNet USB Powered Quite Gaming Laptop Notebook Cooler Cooling Pad Stand with 5 Fans and Blue LED Lights for MacBook Pro, Fits 12'-17'

The TECKNET N11 is another great laptop cooling pad, and you’ll often find it a little cheaper than some of the other models we mention here. Despite the lower price tag, though, it offers good cooling power and a number of useful features.

Five powerful fans run at up to 1500 RPM each, with a single large fan in the center surrounded by four slightly smaller ones on each corner. Fan speed can be adjusted with a control wheel on the side of the unit. Combined with the pad’s mesh design that promotes excellent airflow, the N11 has plenty of cooling power for most laptops.

The N11’s noise levels are also surprisingly low, generating only around 43dB at maximum speed. As a comparison, a quiet library will typically be about 40dB.

The base of the N11 is sturdy and wide enough to support a 17″ laptop, which is more than many. We weren’t as impressed with the limited height adjustment range, though: with just two options, you can only raise your laptop’s position by a few inches from the table surface at most. 

The TECKNET N11 is a strong alternative to our top pick, with similar cooling power at a more affordable price. The tradeoff, though, is that lack of height adjustment, so be sure you don’t need it before you commit.

Pros
  • Excellent cooling power
  • Can support up to 17″ laptops
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Limited height adjustment
Buy on Amazon

Best Cooling Pad for Gaming Laptops: IPOW 12-Mode Cooling Pad

IPOW 12-Mode RGB Laptop Cooling Pad LED Screen Gaming Laptop Cooler with 6 High-Speed Adjustable Fans, 7 Heights Stand, 2 USB Ports, Compatible up to 17'' Laptop & PS4

The IPOW 12-Mode Cooling Pad offers impressive cooling power for today’s demanding games, with six high-speed fans running at 2900 RPM each. Its mesh design also aids airflow and heat redistribution, and further improves the unit’s cooling capability.

The LED panel lets you control the speed of the fans or turn them on/off individually. You can also use it to minimize the noise level, although you probably won’t need to: even at full speed, the fans are surprisingly quiet at around 30dB.

As expected from a gamer-focused cooling pad, the IPOW includes RGB lighting with 12 different modes, although you can turn them off if you prefer a more subtle approach. With up to seven height/tilt adjustment levels, the IPOW has more options than most when it comes to staying comfortable during multi-hour gaming sessions. 

The only thing we’re not so impressed with is the width of the pad: 17″ laptops will likely extend slightly beyond the base on each side, despite the IPOW being advertised as compatible with this laptop size. 

Aside from that (literal) small issue, though, the IPOW 12-Mode cooling pad has everything a gamer needs from a laptop cooling solution.

Pros
  • Powerful cooling capability
  • Seven height adjustment levels
  • Relatively quiet at full speed
Cons
  • Slightly undersized for 17″ laptops
Buy on Amazon

Best Budget Laptop Cooling Pad: Tendak Laptop Cooling Pad

Laptop Cooling Pad, Gaming Laptop Cooler Stand with 2 Quiet Cooling Big Fans, 5 Stand Height Adjustable, Dual USB 2.0 Ports, Adjustable The Wind Speed for 11-17' Notebook, MacBook Air Pro, Microsoft

Looking to save money? The Tendak cooling pad is an inexpensive yet capable option, with two large 1400 RPM fans and a mesh design to ensure enough cooling power for most casual users. You can control the fans via a wheel at the back of the pad.

This cooling pad also doubles as a flexible laptop stand, thanks to five height levels that let you tilt it to your desired position. Supporting up to a 17-inch laptops, the base has a built-in baffle to help keep your laptop secure. The pad is relatively lightweight when you’re moving it from place to place.

The plastic body of the Tendak feels a little cheap and flimsy, though that’s more forgivable at this end of the price range. Overall, this is a good budget cooling pad option for remote workers who use their laptops for long periods of time.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Wide range of height adjustments
  • Good cooling power for the money
Cons
  • Cheap plastic body
Buy on Amazon

Best Cooling Pad for 17-inch+ Laptops: Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB

Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB Steel Mesh Panel Single 200mm Fan 10'‐19' Laptop Notebook Cooling Pad CL‐N014‐PL20SW‐A

Thermaltake is known for making impressive cooling solutions, from CPU fans and liquid coolers to high-end laptop cooling pads. The best pad in its lineup, particular for those with larger laptops, is the Massive 20 RGB.

The cooling pad can support up to 19″ laptops, making it one of the largest you can get. The base is very rugged and durable, but surprisingly lightweight for its size. That size, however, isn’t small, so don’t plan to be dropping this pad in your carry-on anytime soon.

The Massive 20 RGB opts for one large fan instead of several smaller ones as most cooling pads do. This gives it the advantage of being quieter than usual, but limits its performance somewhat. While it’s fine for casual users, it’s sadly not really powerful enough for most gaming laptops.

The RGB lights are a nice touch, located around the edges of the unit to provide a subtle lighting effect. You can turn them off or choose between five light settings.

This cooling pad does fall a little flat when it comes to height adjustments, though. It can only tilt a measly 19 degrees from the table surface, which is pretty limiting for most people.

Overall, the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB has some hits and a few misses, which prevents it from rating higher on this list. If you have an especially large laptop, however,there’s no better cooling pad for the job.

Pros
  • Large base that supports up to 19″ laptops
  • Subtle RGB lighting
  • Single large fan for quieter operation
Cons
  • Cooling power isn’t enough for demanding uses
  • Limited height adjustment
  • Expensive
Buy on Amazon

Best Thin Laptop Cooling Pad: Havit HV-F2056

havit HV-F2056 15.6'-17' Laptop Cooler Cooling Pad - Slim Portable USB Powered (3 Fans), Black/Blue

The Havit HV-F2056 is one of the best thin cooling pads we’ve found so far. Due to its thin profile and light weight, it’s a fantastic choice for digital nomads and anyone else regularly needing to cool their laptops on the go.

The HV-F2056 is powered by three fans running at 1100 RPM. They have a combined airflow output of 65 CFM (cubic feet per minute), which is above average for a pad this size.

The base, while thin, is made of durable ABS material. It has an anti-skid surface that prevents the laptop from slipping, an important consideration when you may not have a stable surface to place the pad on.

The main drawback of the HV-F2056 is the limited height adjustment, which makes it harder to find an ideal position with it. Nevertheless, it’s still an impressively thin cooling pad with good cooling power and great portability.

Pros
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Good cooling power
  • Skid-free surface
Cons
  • Limited height adjustment
Buy on Amazon

Wrapping It Up

The TopMate C11 Laptop Cooling Pad is our top pick thanks to its impressive great cooling power, wide range of supported laptop sizes, and multitude of height adjustments. It’s the only cooling solution you’ll need for most situations inside the house.

The only time you’ll ever need to look for something more powerful is for a gaming rig, which is where the IPOW 12-Mode Cooling Pad comes in.

Are you on a tight budget? You can go for either the TECKNET N11 Laptop Cooling Pad  (with more cooling power but limited ergonomics) or the Tendak Laptop Cooling Pad (less cooling power but with better height adjustments,) depending on what you value more.

Digital nomads will do well with the portable Havit HV-F2056, while the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB is the best choice for those with especially-large laptops.


Main image via Shutterstock, product images via Amazon

About the Author
Marvin Moreno

Marvin Moreno

Marvin is a tech writer and email copywriter based in Manila. A former web developer turned wordsmith, his travel dreams include a month-long cross-country Japan trip, a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and exploring Patagonia. He's also a craft beer brewer and can talk about alcohol all day.

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