Macbook on stand

The Best Laptop Stands of 2021

By Jordan Nottrodt Accessories, LaptopsNo Comments

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Working from home or other non-traditional work environments has its benefits, but good posture isn’t often one of them. Hunching over a low table, lounging on a couch, or simply using your laptop at odd angles for long enough can easily lead to neck, wrist, and back pain. Do it long enough, and repetitive strain injuries become a problem as well.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to combat RSI is by using a properly-adjusted laptop stand. A good one will help prevent pain, improve your posture, and as an added bonus, increase airflow to keep your laptop from overheating. A hot laptop is a slow laptop!

Laptop stands come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and prices. We’ve pulled together our favorite models for 2021, depending on where you plan to use them, the support you need, and your budget.

Due to high demand, many of the best laptop stands are currently unavailable or have long delivery times. If the one you’re looking for is out of stock, we suggest ordering a cheaper model that you can replace later. RSI is no joke. Get yourself something basic to start out with instead of suffering poor working conditions for weeks or months.

Best Laptop Stand For a Home Office: mStand 360
  • Dimensions: 10 x 9.3 x 6.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Elevation: 6 inches
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 17-inch screen

Best Portable Laptop Stand: Executive Office Solutions Portable Laptop Stand
  • Dimensions: 11 x 16.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Elevation: 0-19 inches
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 17-inch screen

Best Travel Laptop Stand: The Roost
  • Dimensions: 1.2 x 13 x 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Elevation: 6-12 inches
  • Compatible with: Laptops with front edge less than 3/4-inch thick

Best Cheap Laptop Stand: AmazonBasics Ventiliated Laptop Stand
  • Dimensions: 13 by 11 by 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Elevation: Approx 4.7-6.7 inches at rear
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 17-inch screen

Best Laptop Stand For Your Lap: Mind Reader Laptop Desk
  • Dimensions: 11 x 14.8 x 2.2 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Elevation: 8 positions
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 15.6-inch screen

Best Laptop Stand For a Couch: Able Life Swivel TV Tray Table
  • Dimensions: 29.5 x 18 x 24 inches (tray: 20 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 20.5 pounds
  • Elevation: 24-32 inches positions
  • Compatible with: Most laptops

What to Consider When Choosing a Laptop Stand

Is It Adjustable?

Your laptop should be set up with the top of the screen at eye level. Screens placed below your eye line can result in neck and back strain, especially if you work that way all day. An adjustable laptop stand gives more flexibility in setting your workspace up to suit your requirements.

Is It Portable?

If you only work in one designated area, you don’t need to worry about portability. You probably want to look for something less portable, in fact, since those stands are generally more stable and sturdy.

Will you want to move your laptop stand from one room to another in your home? Do you often switch between the office, bedroom, and dining room table? If you want to be able to move your work area while still staying comfortable, a portable laptop stand is more appropriate.

If you plan on taking your laptop stand out of the house to work in coffee shops or while you’re traveling, consider the weight of the stand and whether it can fold down to fit in your backpack or suitcase. We’ve included a lightweight, travel-appropriate model below.

How Much Does It Cost?

Laptop stands come in a range of prices. If you plan on using one regularly, it’s worth spending more for extra features and durability. If you only need one for a few weeks or think you’ll only use it occasionally, on the other hand, you can probably get away with a budget model.

Does It Meet Your Technical Requirements?

Before making any decision, ensure the laptop stand fits the dimensions of your computer. Most stands are made to accommodate anything up to at least a 15″ laptop, but double-check the details. They’ll also have a maximum weight rating, so make sure your laptop is well under that.

Consider how you’ll use your laptop when it’s on the stand. Some people prefer to work directly on their laptop, utilizing the built-in keyboard and trackpad. If that’s the case for you, make sturdiness a top priority. The last thing you need is your laptop bouncing around every time you press a key.

If you want to use an external keyboard and mouse, sturdiness isn’t so important as long as the stand can securely hold your laptop. If you’re using your laptop as a secondary display, the stand needs to be adjustable so you can line up the top of the screen with the top of your main monitor. 

Best Laptop Stand For a Home Office

Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand with Swivel Base, Silver (Patented) - 10036

If you have a dedicated office space, you’ll want a sturdy laptop stand you never have to move or dismantle. Rain Design’s stylish mStand360 Laptop Stand raises your laptop screen to eye level and gives it a ton of support so you can easily use the built-in keyboard and trackpad.

The stand has a swivel base that can be rotated as needed, with ridges around the edge to keep your laptop firmly in place. A large circular cable hole keeps trailing cords tidy and out of the way, and you can store an external keyboard underneath the tray to keep your desk free of clutter when you’re not typing.

The company also makes a matching tablet holder, so if you’re planning to use your iPad as a second display, you can lift it up to eye level. You can’t adjust the angle and height of the mStand360, however. This makes it more stable, but if you need a specific angle for working or just want more versatility, a portable laptop stand may be a better option.

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Best Portable Laptop Stand

Executive Office Solutions Portable Adjustable Aluminum Laptop Desk/Stand/Table Vented w/CPU Fans Mouse Pad Side Mount-Notebook-MacBook-Light Weight Ergonomic TV Bed Lap Tray Stand Up/Sitting-Black

You typically lose some stability with a portable laptop stand, but gain the ability to easily move it around and customize the height and angle of your laptop. A good example is the Executive Office Solutions Portable Aluminum Laptop Stand, which has fully adjustable legs that lock into place exactly where you want them.

You can change your setup at any time, and the stand collapses down if you want to move it between rooms or pack it away when it’s not being used. Non-slip rubber feet help prevent the stand from sliding around, while the tray’s textured surface and wide lip stop the laptop itself from moving.

This model also comes with a clip-on tray designed for an external mouse, and a pair of USB-powered fans built into the tray to draw heat away from the laptop.

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Best Travel Laptop Stand

Roost Laptop Stand – Adjustable and Portable Laptop Stand – PC and MacBook Stand, Made in USA

A travel laptop stand needs to be lightweight and compact, yet sturdy enough to securely hold your laptop. The Roost Laptop Stand is all of those things, and we’ve been happily using one for years.

It adjusts to give you between six and 12 inches of lift, while weighing less than six ounces. The stand is fully collapsible, folding up to 1.3″ in diameter and just over a foot long, so it’s easy to fit into your bag whether you’re heading to a coffee shop or the other side of the world.

The rubber feet keep the stand secure even on slippery tabletops, and the front clamps hold the laptop (or tablet) in place surprisingly well. Height adjustment is handled via a pair of clips: simply press them down, adjust both legs, and let the clips click back into place.

Although we’ve found the Roost to be fine for use in daily life as well, a travel laptop stand is really designed for when you’re on the go. If you’re looking for a laptop stand that won’t leave your house, you should opt for one that has a bit more weight to it as above.

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Best Cheap Laptop Stand

Amazon Basics Ventilated Adjustable Laptop Computer Holder Desk Stand

A cheap laptop stand won’t do anything fancy, but it’s certainly better than using nothing at all. If you don’t know how much you’ll use it or a more expensive option isn’t in your budget right now, you can pick up an AmazonBasics model for the price of a few cups of coffee.

It’s adjustable through seven different positions that hold your laptop at various angles between 12 and 35 degrees. There’s a multi-slot cable organizer at the rear to keep things tidy, and the wire mesh tray ensures plenty of ventilation.

While the stand does fold down for storage, it doesn’t become fully flat. Combined with the 2.4-pound weight, this makes this AmazonBasics model more appropriate for use at home than while traveling. It’s not the most stylish or feature-packed laptop stand you’ll find, but it does the job well and costs very little.

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Best Laptop Stand For Your Lap

Mind Reader LTADJUST-BLK Adjustable Portable 8 Position Lap Top Desk with Built in Cushions, Black

Padded laptop stands are fairly inexpensive. They won’t replace a long-term workspace, but will keep you more comfortable if you end up doing a bit of work from your bed or couch. Just don’t make working in these positions a regular habit!

The Mind Reader Laptop Desk is cushioned underneath and can be adjusted through eight different angles. It folds up so you can store it easily or move it between rooms, in case you get motivated to double your daily step count by switching from your bed to the couch.

A lap tray like this can also be used to prop up an iPad or book, and if used flat, turns into a TV tray for eating dinner on the couch. If you’re working from a car or bus, a padded stand adds some stability to your makeshift workspace while keeping a hot laptop off your legs.

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Best Laptop Stand For a Couch

Able Life Universal Swivel TV Tray Table, Portable Laptop Desk, Adjustable Couch Desk for Computers

A couch laptop stand lets you create a sturdy workspace from the comfort of your couch. Again, this isn’t meant as a long-term or full-time solution but will do the trick if you don’t have anywhere else to work from, or just want to spend some of your “office” hours in a comfortable chair or sofa.

The Able Life Swivel TV Tray Table is a sturdy option that’s adjustable in height from 24 to 32 inches, with an oversized 20×15″ tabletop. It can support up to 30 pounds of weight, swivels 360 degrees, and can be easily pivoted out of the way when you’re not using it.

You can even add a cup holder, so your all-important coffee doesn’t end up on the floor. Bear in mind that a couch laptop stand only provides a flat surface to work on, however, and doesn’t offer any ergonomic support. If you’re working for any length of time from your couch, you may also want to add a cheaper angled laptop stand on top of it.

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Looking for more gear to help you work from home? We compiled a list of our favorite products that will improve your workspace, increase your productivity, and make you a happier remote worker.

Have you come across any other laptop stands you particularly like? Let us know about them in the comments!

Main image via Nate Grant, other images via Amazon

About the Author
Jordan Nottrodt

Jordan Nottrodt

Jordan works remotely, from home or abroad, to help businesses conquer their online messaging. When she's not working or relaxing outside, she's watching movies and shows to contribute to her goal of creating the largest database of online drinking games. Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Mad Men or Game of Thrones.

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