This last year, for obvious reasons, has gotten a lot more people working from home. And that means that there are more people than ever before having to treat their laptop as a home office workstation. Those who weren’t used to working at a screen all day may have found themselves feeling increasingly uncomfortable if their setup wasn’t ideal. There’s a pretty simple solution to that, though. Laptop stands can be height adjustable or simply positioned as they are, but all of them are designed to provide you with a more comfortable desktop experience while using a laptop.
With college and the resumption of business as usual on the horizon, we felt like it was the right time to provide you with a guide to the best laptop stands of 2021. Whether you’re enrolling at an online college or simply looking for a more ergonomic office setup, there’s bound to be something here for you.
TL;DR - Best Laptop Stand:
- Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand
- Ergotron – WorkFit-T Standing Desk Converter
- MeFee Laptop Stand
- VIVO Single Laptop Notebook Desk Mount Stand
- Boyata Laptop Stand
- Nulaxy C3 Laptop Stand
- AmazonBasics Ventilated Laptop Stand
- Homder Laptop Stand
- Avantree Neetto Height Laptop Bed Tray
- Roost Adjustable and Portable Laptop Stand
- HUANUO Adjustable Laptop Stand
- Soundance Laptop Stand
1. Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand
Minimalist Design & Available in 3 Colors
The Rain Design mStand blends the sleek design (and the streamlined naming) of an Apple product with a price tag to match. The lip is tilted upward, making it a more ergonomically sensible choice for a lot of desks. And that resemblance to Apple's design sensibilities is no coincidence. The Rain Design mStand is specifically designed to match Apple MacBook models both in style and size. And since it's constructed from a simple thin layer of aluminum, the Rain Design mStand minimizes traction for your laptop while accommodating a variety of different laptop sizes.
Further complementing the minimalist design of the Rain Design mStand is the inclusion of a cable organizer. It does a surprisingly good job of tucking away cables in a model that seems too small to properly hide anything. There are three different colors to choose from, and its compact design means you can even put it side by side with a smaller stand for another device (like the Rain Design mStand TabletPro accessory).
2. Ergotron – WorkFit-T Standing Desk Converter
Make More of Your Workspace
If you're in search of a monitor stand that will help you make the most of your space, the Ergotron is one of your best possibilities. That's because while this monitor stand may be big, it also really milks that real estate. The desktop surface is large enough to hold two monitors comfortably, but it can just as easily hold your laptop or critical accessories. The desktop also offers a sloped edge that gives you better access to a keyboard tray below.
If the scale of this is a bit larger than some of the other monitor stand models on our list, that's because it's designed as a sitting and standing desk. That also explains why the price tag is so high. This probably isn't the monitor stand you want if you're just temporarily working from home, but it's a godsend if you're confident you want a standing desk.
3. MeFee Laptop Stand
Easy, Breezy, and Open-Backed
MeFee is a laptop stand that's practical to a fault, and it delivers its unique blend of pragmatism and style for a retail price of well under $50. There's a pretty decent range of height adjustment at work here, a wide range of movement for the tilt, and the ability to rotate at 360 degrees. The design here is pretty unique, with a turntable connected to a simple pair of crossbars to allow for a huge amount of physical flexibility without taking up much space.
That hollow exterior also does some serious work to assist with heat dissipation. The MeFee keeps almost the entirety of your laptop's bottom exposed, and that can make a huge difference in preventing an overheating issue. Despite the slim figure it maintains, the MeFee laptop stand is pretty brawny. That simple x-shaped cradle can hold up to 44 pounds.
4. VIVO Single Laptop Notebook Desk Mount Stand
Highly Durable, Highly Adjustable
The design of this laptop stand from VIVO might not be all that pretty, but it's guaranteed to be secure. The base is a pole that clamps to the side of your desk, and that means there's a pretty significant range of articulation here. It can rotate at 360 degrees, swivel at 180 degrees, and tilt up to 15 degrees. And the fact that this laptop stand is so detached from the surface of your desktop means that you'll have plenty of extra space to work with.
The tray is flat and secure, and it holds your laptop in place with a basic raised lip. While that means it gives you a relatively modest tilt range, the ventilated surface of the plate will keep your laptop working even when you're pushing it to its limits. There are even detachable cable clips for keeping everything neatly organized.
5. Boyata Laptop Stand
Compact but Highly Flexible
You'd have to look far and wide to find a laptop stand as efficiently designed as the Boyata. The simple hinge design and mostly flat shelf mean that it can shrink down to a barely-there form factor and fit easily in your bag, and it only weighs a little over four pounds. Its sleek aluminum sensibilities lend it a futuristic aesthetic that isn't ostentatious. In that regard, it ranks among the best laptop stand models for an Apple MacBook.
This laptop stand can shrink down very small, but its compatibility is practically absolute. The platform is large enough to comfortably hold even a 17-inch laptop securely, while the Z-folding format gives you more range to adjust the height or reading angle. The frame is pure stainless steel, and the surface makes use of some serious ventilation. It also has four silicone pads to protect the surface of your desk.
6. Nulaxy C3 Laptop Stand
A Professional Profile with Professional Results
If you're on the market for a cool-looking laptop stand and don't care about portability, you should absolutely check out the Nulaxy C3. While it does break down into three component parts for easier storage, it's not really designed for just popping in your laptop bag and taking it with you. But its smooth, sleek, and minimalist design will look great on just about any desk, and it can hold almost nine pounds at a time.
The aluminum finish is smooth, precise, and black, but it's about more than just looking good. The smaller surface area and construction of the aluminum alloy do a great job of dissipating heat, and it also makes use of large and sturdy rubber pads to prevent your computer from slipping, sliding, or scratching. This stand is designed to hold laptops as large as 17.3 inches, too.
7. AmazonBasics Ventilated Laptop Stand
AmazonBasics is often a baseline for our gadget reviews due to their ability to offer a quality spin on the most streamlined version of a device for a great price. But sometimes Amazon outdoes themselves. The AmazonBasics ventilated adjustable laptop stand is undoubtedly simple, but it's also very smartly built. The mesh chassis is lightweight while also allowing your computer to circumvent the risk of overheating and shutting down, and the price is practically impossible to beat.
If you're an office manager, you can also buy them in sets of six to save more money. The adjustable frame has a decent range of movement that extends from 12 to 35 degrees, but it locks into place in a very small profile, so carrying it with you on the go doesn't have to mean investing in a larger bag.
8. Homder Laptop Stand
The Homder is a laptop stand that might be intimidating at first glance. Its larger and sharper form factor is sturdy and capable of some smooth moves, and it even comes equipped with a dedicated cradle for your work phone. Best of all, it's one of the cheaper stands on our list. This is also a laptop stand that's considerate of your time - and your posture. The nine different viewing angles can be used in conjunction with one another throughout the day to mix up your standing and sitting positions.
The larger form factor may be frustrating for minimalists, but it does come with some serious advantages. It provides you with plenty of space for storing a laptop or mouse underneath this laptop stand, and it's spacious enough to hold even the biggest of business or gaming laptops.
9. Avantree Neetto Height Laptop Bed Tray
A home office doesn't need to be a proper office at all. With the Avantree Neetto, your office can even simply be your bed. The wood-grain finish is cute, and it should fit comfortably in bed with you, but don't be fooled into thinking that it's just a toy. The two main legs provide you with easy if manual adjustment for the desk surface, and it's built for the utmost stability even in more unusual circumstances.
But just because it's built for your using your laptop in bed doesn't mean that this stand can't be of value elsewhere. This stand is very lightweight, and the legs fold back into the body. Whether you have an overnight layover or you're looking to spend your afternoon working out in the park, this is a stand that's ready to adapt to your needs.
10. Roost Adjustable and Portable Laptop Stand
The Roost laptop stand is one of the most serious models on the market, and while you may pay a premium for the privilege, you can count on it to serve you for your laptop's entire lifespan. The Roost laptop stand is large enough to hold practically any computer you can imagine, and it's completely height adjustable to suit a variety of situations. With a range of 6 to 12 inches, anyone can find an appropriate height that meets their eye level.
It's incredibly secure, too. Its appearance may be a little unorthodox, but it's a sturdy piece of equipment with rubber insets built to keep your laptop tightly in place. And despite the heavy-duty build quality, it's also very compact and fully collapsible, so it's tailored to suit the needs of everything from business travel to company presentations.
11. HUANUO Adjustable Laptop Stand
If you're looking to work from home but your laptop has a tendency to overheat, you may need more than just your run-of-the-mill ventilation. The HUANUO puts in the work with a nicely ventilated top shelf, but it also includes fans to keep things cool when your device runs a little hotter. We don't love that this stand is mostly constructed from plastic, but we'd say it's absolved thanks to the expansive angle coverage it allows for.
The plastic also helps this stand in another regard: versatility. It can travel with you just about anywhere, and you can even set it up in bed with you thanks to the portable but stable legs. It's not as flimsy as it might look, either, with six auto-locking joints to prevent any mishaps before they occur.
12. Soundance Laptop Stand
The basic cradle is a pretty standard design choice for a laptop stand, but it's that way for a reason. The Soundance laptop stand does as good of a job as any model at bringing out the strengths of that format. It minimizes the amount of wasted space on your desk and is compact and lightweight enough even to even travel with. And while it's not adjustable, it's elevated at an angle that provides strong ergonomic benefits.
The Soundance also minimizes the amount of blocked space for your laptop - a low-cost way to keep your laptop from overheating. The aluminum alloy from which this laptop stand is constructed results in a highly durable frame that also looks great. While the biggest laptops won't fit comfortably here, the majority of models should fit without any effort. It's positioned high enough to even provide you with space for a mouse and a keyboard.
Laptop Stand Buyer’s Guide
Whether stay-at-home orders have forced you to set up camp in a fly-by-night home office or if you’re just in need of something that leaves you aching less from days in your chair, shopping for a laptop stand is fundamentally pretty common sense. But the devil is in the details. We’ll walk you through the specs we employed in our best laptop stand review list above, then we’ll walk through those specifications one by one to help you understand why each is important and what your different options are. We’ll also discuss more generally the advantages of laptops stands overall.
Stationary vs. Portable Laptop Stands
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is what you’re going to use your laptop stand for, as the circumstances that define the best laptop stand will gravitate around that. We can look at the two AmazonBasics models on our list to help us put the distinction between a stationary and a portable laptop stand into perspective.
A stationary laptop stand, or a desktop stand, is essentially designed to stay where it is. These are laptop stands that are best set up at your office or home desk and left in one place. Designed more for business use, stationary laptop stands aren’t intended to be mobile at all, and many of them don’t come with the ability to tilt forward or backward. Instead, the tray of stationary stands is designed to sit at the eye level of your desk – usually somewhere between 5 and 6 inches. The AmazonBasics laptop desk stand falls squarely into this category.
Portable laptop stands, by contrast, are designed for business travelers or laptop owners who want a comfortable way to use their work laptops in any position. These are great options for a bed, couch, or armchair because they’re designed to be manipulated in any number of ways. A portable laptop stand will typically have a very wide range of movement and a lightweight and compact form factor that makes it easy for travel, and it can be situated beside or on top of your body.
The functionality of these two types of laptop stands can be similar, but they often possess contrary traits. Stationary laptop stands will typically be very sturdy and sport a form factor that’s supposed to blend into an office environment with the utmost grace. They often take the form of single sheets of metal crafted in sturdy and aesthetically appealing ways that make them impractical for taking with you. The best laptop stands for mobility prioritize flexibility over durability, but they can serve as a comfortable and adjustable laptop table in a variety of different situations.
If you’re sporting a gaming laptop or the most powerful MacBook Pro on the market, chances are that it’s going to get hot. That can lead to mechanical or hardware failures if overheating lasts for an extended period of time. It can also simply result in an unpleasant experience if you have your adjustable laptop table positioned over your lap. There are two main methods that manufacturers take to create cooling options for a laptop stand.
The first is also the cheapest: ergonomics. Rather than make use of dedicated cooling apparatuses, they use the structure and form of the laptop stand to minimize heat build-up. That involves relying on materials that don’t conduct heat, making the surface as thin as possible, and making use of shapes that will siphon unnecessary heat off the laptop stand. C-shaped laptop stands are a popular choice for this reason, while others employ an open bottom tray with arms that resemble a forklift or mesh construction to help the computer more adequately breathe.
More rare is a laptop tray with cooling fans built-in. It’s obviously cheaper and easier to create ergonomic stands rather than to put entirely mechanical fans in place, but using one or more fans can really make a world of difference. A laptop stand with cooling fans will typically be powered directly by the laptop itself through the USB port, so there’s no need to plug it into a power outlet.
- You might also like our article on the best laptop cooling pads.
- Want to optimize your workspace even more? Consider buying a monitor arm.
- Why not declutter your workspace with a dual monitor stand?
Range of Movement
Portable and stationary laptop stand models each have different objectives in terms of the range of movement. The former is all about creating a flexible work environment in any situation, whereas the latter exists to essentially transform your laptop into the sort of stationary model you’d find with a traditional computer monitor.
As such, stationary models often only pivot left to right, but that can serve a valuable purpose. A full 360-degree rotation makes viewing your computer from any angle easier and creates a more collaborative environment for your coworkers. And by limiting the range of movement, these stationary models can be sturdier and less prone to slippage.
A portable laptop stand typically offers a far more extensive range of movement. They’re more inclined to offer a wider range of height adjustment and may even offer the ability to tilt forward and backward. This is part and parcel of their purpose. A stationary model is typically positioned so you can see right at eye level, and that means that you’re generally going to want to use a separate keyboard from the one built into the laptop. That’s not usually a feasible option for a portable laptop stand, so they typically offer more flexibility. But since this type of laptop stand is essentially a table, it’s less likely to swivel left and right for more horizontal viewing angles.
Keep in mind that the line between a stationary and a mobile laptop stand is often very blurry. Many models fall somewhere between the two philosophies, so it’s important to think about what exactly you need and pick the best laptop stand accordingly.
Laptop Stand Size
The size of the laptop stand is easily one of the most obvious things to consider. If you’re looking to carry your laptop with you as you travel, you’ll want to carefully consider the dimensions for each adjustable laptop stand you look at. Consider how much space they take up both when expanded and when folded up. The best model isn’t always going to be the smallest, because you want to make sure that it can comfortably fit in the places you like to work.
If you’re getting a stationary vertical laptop stand, think in terms of the space you have at your desk. The best stationary laptop stand is fundamentally intended to help you better organize your desk, and therefore you want to make sure that it’s not dominating your workspace.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the size of the tray in your laptop stand. Most models list the minimum and maximum size that they support, and getting one that’s not built to accommodate the needs of your computer could be a recipe for disaster. The difference between a 17-inch laptop and a 15-inch model can actually mean a lot, and the perfect laptop stand won’t matter much if it can’t safely hold your computer. A lot of laptop stand specs actually show specific compatible models, so be sure to check the Amazon listing or manufacturer’s site for some helpful advice.
Almost every laptop stand you find is going to be made of an aluminum alloy. There’s a reason for that. Aluminum is generally lightweight and can sluice off heat easily. That makes it an ideal choice for both a mobile and a stationary stand. For that reason, thinner is usually better. Thinner aluminum sheets are still going to be sturdy enough to handle most laptops.
Not all laptop stands are built the same, though, and aluminum isn’t always going to be the best option. Many manufacturers hype up the quality of their materials with all sorts of buzzwords to make their models look the best. Other companies use materials like nylon and metal fittings. If you’re looking for the best model, you should pay less attention to the marketing behind the materials and pay more attention to the maximum weight load of a given laptop stand.
Another factor worth paying attention to in a laptop stand is the use of materials designed to protect your laptop. The last thing you want is for your 15 inch MacBook to go plummeting off the surface of your laptop stand. The best models offer rubber feet that prevent scratches or slippage from a laptop, and many standing models come with further protection to keep it situated firmly on your desktop. Also, look for more traditional grips and curves on the lip of the laptop stand to keep your laptop standing in place safely.
If you’re looking for a laptop stand that you’re going to use only at your desk or a mobile stand that you want to use at the office now and again, organizational tools can be a nice benefit. There are a lot of standing lift models that come with cable management organizers at the back of the tray. They help you angle your cords back in a way that prevents them from getting tangled to help you create a neater and more orderly environment. Your mileage will vary depending on how important this feature is for you, but it can be incredibly helpful. That’s especially true with a stationary laptop stand since there’s a good chance you will be using a free-standing keyboard and mouse rather than the built-in trackpad and keyboard on your laptop.
With a laptop stand, users can actually create a workspace that feels like their office rather than a coffee shop when they look at their laptop screen. And while features like cable management may not seem like a big deal to everyone, you’ll get it when you no longer have to deal with these more trivial nuisances. Long story short, get the stand you need and keep using the specs guide above when you need a new stand for your laptop.If you liked our article on laptop stands, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.