Macbook on stand

The Best Laptop Stands of 2021

By Jordan Nottrodt Remote Working2 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 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 stop 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 pick of the current crop in 2021, depending on where you plan to use them, the support you need, and your budget.

Sale
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: Luye Adjustable Laptop Stand
  • Dimensions: 10 x 1.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Elevation: 2.6-6 inches at rear
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 15.6-inch screen

Best Laptop Floor Stand: Viozon Floor Stand
  • Dimensions: 35.4 x 23.6 x 21 inches (tray: 20.9 x 14.2 inches)
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Elevation: none
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 17-inch screen

Sale
Best Laptop Stand For Your Lap: Lapgear Home Office Pro
  • Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Elevation: n/a
  • Compatible with: Most laptops with up to 15.6-inch screen

Sale
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, sturdiness isn’t so important as long as the stand can securely hold your laptop. Look for a laptop stand with a mouse pad tray (we recommend one below) if you’re short on desk space or plan to use your laptop while standing up.

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: mStand 360

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 that you never have to move or dismantle. Rain Design’s stylish mStand360 Laptop Stand raises your laptop screen to eye level and gives it plenty 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 different model may be more appropriate.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Attractive
  • Swivel base
  • Cable management built in
Cons
  • Can’t adjust the angle
Buy on Amazon

Best Portable Laptop Stand: Executive Office Solutions

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. The only real downside is that the stand can move around a bit at maximum extension, especially when typing on heavier laptops.

Pros
  • Highly adjustable
  • Easy to set up and take down
  • Clip-on mouse tray
  • Inbuilt USB fans for cooling
Cons
  • Can move around when fully extended and/or with heavier laptops
Buy on Amazon

Best Travel Laptop Stand: The Roost

Roost V3 Laptop Stand – Adjustable and Extremely Portable Laptop Stand – PC and MacBook Stand

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 daily use at home 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 may want to opt for one that has a bit more heft to it as above.

Pros
  • Small and lightweight
  • Durable and well-made
  • Very quick to set up and take down
Cons
  • Relatively expensive
Buy on Amazon

Best Cheap Laptop Stand: Luye Adjustable Laptop Stand

Laptop Stand, Adjustable Computer Stand Portable Laptop Stand for Desk, Aluminum Ventilated Cooling Laptop Holder Riser Mount for MacBook Air Pro, Dell, Lenovo, HP, More 10-15.6” Laptops

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 the Luye adjustable laptop stand for the price of a few cups of coffee.

It’s adjustable through seven different positions that hold your laptop at various angles between 15 and 40 degrees. Non-slip silicone pads prevent scratches and stop your laptop from sliding around, and the hollow design ensures plenty of ventilation.

The stand folds down nice and small in a similar way to the Roost (above), and comes with a soft pouch to store it in. Combined with the 0.6-pound weight, the stand is appropriate for use both inside and outside the house, and takes up minimal room when you don’t need it.

It’s not the most feature-packed laptop stand on the market, and probably won’t last a lifetime, but it does the job well and costs very little. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

Pros
  • Very inexpensive
  • Good adjustability
Cons
  • Basic features
  • Questionable longevity
Buy on Amazon

Best Laptop Floor Stand: Viozon Floor Stand

Viozon Floor Stand for Laptop Aluminum Height Adjustable Table for Bed Sofa, Upgraded and Reinforced Chassis,Applicable to All Laptop Notebook Tablets Pad Project 1 (Dark-Wood)

If you don’t have room for a dedicated desk, but don’t want to work from your kitchen table, a laptop floor stand is the way to go. These provide maximum flexibility about where and how you work, whether that’s in bed, on the sofa, or just pulling up a chair anywhere you can find a bit of space.

We considered a few wheeled models in this category due to the ease of moving them around, but they were all a little too flimsy for our liking. In the end we settled on the Viozon Floor Stand, thanks to its sturdy base and solid construction.

Available with a black or wood tray that’s an inch and half thick, the Viozon is a relatively simple affair. That’s a good thing with stands like these as there’s less to go wrong, especially if you’re regularly moving or assembling and disassembling it.

A central aluminum pole sits overtop a pair of wide, angled feet that help ensure the stand doesn’t move around while still being easy to fit under a chair, bed, or couch. Rubber pads on the bottom protect your floorboards, and also help ensure there’s no chance of sliding.

You can adjust the height of the tray to sit anywhere between 30-90cm (roughly 12-35″), which handles most seated or reclining positions. At nearly 21″ wide, the tray has more than enough room to use a mouse with all but the largest laptops if you want to. The maximum weight rating is 17.6lbs.

The only caveat with the Viozon is that it’s not intended to be used as a standing desk (for adults, at least,) and doesn’t extend high enough for that purpose.

If you’re looking for a laptop floor stand that you can use while standing upright, or that’s a more portable option for taking outside the house, check out the AmazonBasics Adjustable Workstation instead: reasonably priced and quick to fold up and down, it extends all the way up to 55″.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Flexible usage options
  • Plenty of height adjustability
  • Room for a mouse as well
Cons
  • Doesn’t extend far enough for use as a standing desk
Buy on Amazon

Best Laptop Stand For Your Lap: Lapgear Home Office Pro

LapGear Home Office Pro Lap Desk with Wrist Rest, Mouse Pad, and Phone Holder - Black Carbon - Fits Up To 15.6 Inch Laptops - style No. 91598

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 Lapgear Home Office Pro has plenty of room for a 15.6″ laptop, with space left over for a dedicated mouse pad. There’s also a slot to hold your smartphone. Cushioned both underneath and along the front edge, it’s more comfortable than many other similar models.

The elevated rear cushion provides a better viewing angle and also allows for a reasonable amount of airflow. Compact enough to store easily, it’s easy to move the desk from room to room in case you get motivated to double your daily step count by switching from the bed to the couch.

A lap tray like this can also be used to prop up an iPad or notebook, making it a versatile investment. 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.

The only potential downside is that the cushioning material on the bottom of the lap desk can spread out after extended use, making it less comfortable on the knees over time.

Pros
  • Enough room for both mouse and laptop
  • Slot for a smartphone
  • Easy to move and store
Cons
  • Cushioning material can spread out over time, making it less comfortable
Buy on Amazon

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 with height adjustment from 24 to 32 inches. That’s important, since it lets you comfortably accommodate a much wider range of people and couch types than fixed-height models.

The stand has a pair of flat, 18″ wide feet designed to sit underneath the front and back legs of your sofa. They’re also adjustable, anywhere from 25-35 inches, which easily covers the depth of most couches. Much more stable than a typical lap desk, it’s a far better approach for regular use.

The oversized 20×15″ tabletop provides plenty of space for even large laptops, with enough room alongside for a mouse if you use one. You can even add an optional cup holder, so your all-important coffee doesn’t end up on the floor. The steel frame can support up to 30 pounds of weight.

The desk section swivels through 360 degrees, so it can easily be swung out of the way when you’re not using it or while getting up and down from the sofa. This also means the stand can be mounted on the left or right hand side of virtually any chair or couch.

Bear in mind that a couch laptop stand only provides a flat surface to work on, and doesn’t offer any ergonomic support beyond the tray height adjustability. If you want to lift the display up to eye level or angle your laptop keyboard, you’ll need to add one of the portable laptop stands we mention above.

Pros
  • Sturdy
  • Good height adjustability
  • Plenty of room for large laptops, even with a mouse
Cons
  • No angle adjustment
Buy on Amazon

🏠 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.

Comments

  1. Avatar

    The Luye looks smaller than the Roost when folded. Why is the Roost better for travel?

    1. Dave Dean

      It’s lighter and more durable. Personally I’ve had a Roost stand for about six years now, carting it around in my backpack for months at a time when traveling and using it every day at home the rest of the time, and it’s still as good as new.

      That’s not to say you couldn’t travel with the Luye – it’s certainly a cheaper option – but it’s just not our top pick in that category.

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