Laptop Stand: The Definitive Guide

A laptop is great for work freedom, but it’s not so great on your back, is it? At the end of the day, if you find yourself stiff and feeling pain, you probably need a more ergonomic workstation. The laptop stand is your answer.

These stands, aka. notebook trays, come in a variety of styles and can help you keep up your work productivity without sacrificing your health. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite types of stands to find your next work tool.

Types Of Laptop Stands

There are a few major players in laptop table styles. Each one has particular benefits for a specific type of work.

Laptop Desk Stand

Laptop Desk Stand

A laptop desk stand helps you get the angle of your laptop just right so you avoid strain. We work at desks because they position our bodies better and reduce the amount of hunching we do. With a desktop computer, the screen is usually eye level, and the keyboard is the right height for our shoulders and wrists to relax.

Laptops aren’t very ergonomic. They’re better on a desk than, say, in your bed, but the screen is rarely at eye level. The keyboard is attached to the screen instead of located in a position that’s best for your body.

A laptop holder for desks helps you adjust the laptop to eye level and tilt the keyboard to a better location for your wrists. It makes it easier to add all your peripherals, such as a mouse, without crowding your space. It also helps keep the laptop cooler by increasing airflow around the base. This type of notebook stand can be an affordable alternative to an adjustable height standing desk.

Here are a few of our favorite laptop desk stands:

VARIDESK Laptop 30 Portable Stand Up Desk

This laptop tray by Varidesk is like a little desk for your workspace. It is height adjustable and meant to be picked up when you need a change of scenery. This desk has a spring loaded mechanism that raises and lowers the workspace to nine different height settings, plus a dual handle design that’s ready right out of the box. It increases your workspace to 30 inches wide and just under 11 inches deep, and it holds up to 15 pounds. All your peripherals fit on the space and then move with you in one smooth motion.

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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Amazon Basics Ventilated Notebook Stand

This stand is an excellent option if your laptop tends to run hot. It’s a ventilated mesh design that lifts your laptop away from the desk to increase airflow on all sides. It has an adjustable height so you can control the airflow and also find the right position to ease the strain on your body. It tilts at a range of 12 degrees to 35 degrees. There’s a cord organizer on the side to reign in the mess. Tilting your laptop also makes it easier to attach an external keyboard comfortably on your existing workstation.

$19.99
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Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Rain Design mStand

If you hate the thought of pairing your Apple laptop with a clunky stand, the mStand might be a good choice. It’s designed to fit Apple’s MacBooks with 10.5-inch or smaller measurements and is made of the same brushed metal as the laptop itself. It lifts and tilts the screen to give you room to attach an external keyboard and raise the screen to eye level. It has a cable outlet in the back, and a heat sink feature that helps direct heat away from the base of the laptop.

$39.99 $49.90
47 new from $39.96
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Macally Aluminum Laptop Platform

This minimal aluminum stand by Macally adjusts to fit laptops anywhere from 10.5 inches to 17 inches. It has raised front ends and rubberized pads to keep your laptop secure despite the incline. It’s open to allowing maximum airflow and raises the laptop six inches to a comfortable eye level. There’s plenty of space underneath to store peripherals when you aren’t using them, so you always come back to a clutter-free workstation.

$34.99 $49.99
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Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

TriGear Premier 81 Adjustable Height Laptop Desk Stand

The Premier is a heavy duty stand with nine height and nine angle options. It transitions quickly from a sitting desk to a standing desk. It’s compatible with the most common laptop sizes from 10 to 17 inches. It supports up to 100 pounds and has a circulation cutout for heat regulation and to allow cords to fall through easily. It has two clips to keep things in place. It’s a heavy duty option for those who frequently change workstations.

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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Laptop Holder For Bed

Laptop Holder For Bed - notebook tray for bed

Do you work in bed? You can admit it. Sometimes your work follows you home, and that’s where you end up. While working on the computer in bed can be murder on your muscles, a laptop stand for bed can help you mitigate that pain a little better than just your lap.

Avantree Adjustable Laptop Table

This multifunctional table works in a lot of places, but it really shines in the bed. It creates a level workspace, relaxing your shoulders and straightening your back naturally. It increases the height, so you aren’t hunched over anymore. Two auto lock buttons change height from 9.4 inches to 12.6 inches and two clamps to adjust the angle from zero to 30 degrees. It folds flat when not in use, and you can quickly pick the whole thing up to move work locations.

$39.99
2 new from $38.12
2 used from $35.99
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

NNEWVANTE Large Size Laptop Tray

This bamboo tray drastically increases the length of your workstation as it raises your laptop to an ergonomic height. There are indentions for your phone, pens, and other peripherals. You can adjust the tilt easily, and a small barrier keeps your laptop in place. This one is a traditional tray and suitable if you work long hours in bed or have a lot of accessories to carry with you. Plus, bamboo is naturally cooling, and there are small holes underneath for circulation. It also works great as a laptop desk for the couch.

$52.99 $55.99
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

HomeLike Portable Laptop Table

HomeLike’s tray is a rounded, ergonomic tray that lifts your laptop and neatly fits up against your body. It’s foldable for storage and made of durable powder-coated metal. It’s light enough to carry from the bed to the counter if you need to move, and the flat surface may also be used as a TV tray, laptop table for the couch or other work/creative station.

$21.59
1 new from $21.59
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

iMountTek Portable Laptop Elevator

This is a fully loaded stand. It has a built-in cooling fan, a triple LED light, and two independently adjustable trays for different types of equipment. You can adjust the angle and the leg height. It even has a four-port USB hub, and it’s powered with either battery or through USB (cable included in the package). When you lift the trays, there are storage compartments underneath. If you require a lot of power, or your workstation is exclusively in your bedroom, this multifunctional stand gives you a lot of different work options.

$29.99
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Height Adjustable Laptop Stand

Height Adjustable Laptop Stand

 

A height adjustable laptop platform is often used as independent standing workstations. They can be a lifesaver if you spend a lot of your day sedentary. We know that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to a host of health issues and just standing up for a portion of the day can mitigate those effects tremendously.

These stands move quickly from a sitting position height to a standing height. Many can be moved over the bed if you frequently work there. Their main attraction is that you can change positions regularly throughout the day with one smooth motion and without disturbing your workspace.

Seville Classics Airlift Pneumatic Laptop Computer Mobile Desk Cart

An airlift desk cart is easily adjustable to fit a variety of sitting or standing heights. You can quickly raise or lower the hight from just under 30 inches to just over 41 inches with one smooth motion. It has four rolling casters for easy transportation and fits most common laptop sizes. It has a rectangular base for less wobble. It’s great if you need a portable station from time to time, but don’t want to be locked into one location.

$43.59 $79.99
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Tatkraft Like Portable Adjustable Laptop Stand

The Tatkraft is a little more elaborate. It has two different surfaces, one for the laptop and one for a mouse or other peripheral. The laptop surface tilts for a more ergonomic fit, but the mouse surface stays flat near your hand. It’s height adjustable from 27 inches to 39 inches, and the incline moves from zero to 30 degrees. The tray even rotates 360 degrees. It rolls on four stable castors.

$99.00
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Langria Laptop Rolling Cart Table

The Langria also has two surfaces so you can adjust your equipment independently. The height adjusts from 23.6 inches to 35.4 inches with a 180-degree tilt and a 360-degree swivel. The independent surfaces keep your laptop tilted without causing your mouse to slide. It has four lockable castors for transportation and moves from sitting to standing or working as a laptop stand for beds because of the side base and legs. It’s made of durable waterproof and rustproof materials.

$84.86 $89.99
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Foldable And Portable Laptop Stands

Foldable And Portable Laptop Stands

Moving workstations can be a hassle if your laptop stand is clunky. If you travel, you may want to invest in a small laptop stand that moves with you wherever you go. Many of the models are ultra lightweight and can fit into your gear bag.

Executive Office Solutions Portable Laptop Table

This model is a vented, ultra-light stand with foldable legs. You can adjust the height to a variety of settings and rotate the base 360 degrees. It weighs just over two pounds and works with laptops up to 15 inches. When you need to move, it folds down entirely with one smooth motion and fits into your bag.

$39.99 $79.99
1 new from $39.99
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Executive Office Solutions Portable Laptop Desk with Mouse Pad

This slightly bigger version is just like the one above but is suitable for slightly bigger laptops. It features all the same capabilities such as 360-degree rotation, tilting, and adjustable heights. It folds flat for secure storage and weighs just over three pounds. If the one above doesn’t fit your laptop, this is a good alternative for the same portability.

$38.99 $99.99
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Next and Laptop Holder

This slim profile stand folds up a lot like a projector or umbrella. It holds laptops 11.6 inches or larger and has seven adjustable height options from 5.5 inches to 12.6 inches. It’s made of industrial grade nylon with metal fittings. It can hold up to 20 pounds but weighs just eight pounds. It’s one of the smallest footprints with one of the most substantial capabilities on the portable notebook stands list.

$27.79
3 new from $25.79
1 used from $18.22
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Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Pyle Portable Folding Stand

Pyle’s universal folding stand has a secondary tray for peripherals such as a mouse. It’s easy to slide in when you need it. It weighs just over three pounds. It folds flat and comes with a carry bag. It’s best for basic eye level adjustments on a desk or other flat surface, which means it’s best for quick workstation set up. It holds most laptop sizes as well as other types of devices.

$33.08 $39.00
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Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Griffin Elevator Stand

If you don’t need anything fancy, the Griffin stand is a three-piece stand that’s open on the bottom for maximum airflow. It’s best in situations where you might be in a temporary workspace and need to elevate your laptop for few hours. It fits most laptop sizes and has a slight ergonomic incline. It lifts your laptop about five and a half inches, which should be roughly eye level for average heights.

$69.99
2 new from $69.99
Amazon Amazon.com
Last update was in: September 21, 2019 7:30 am

Benefits of Using a Laptop Stand

Benefits of Using a Laptop Stand

There’s a reason your body hurts after working in bed versus your desk. Laptops tend to cause hunching as your back and shoulders naturally slouch down to make the screen eye level. Do this for extended periods of time, and you’re in danger of causing permanent damage.

Reduce “Lap” Strain

Abnormal viewing angles cause strain and weaken your core. You’re also more likely to develop issues with your wrists because your typing position is out of alignment. If you work with your laptop in your lap, you can also damage or irritate the skin because of excess heat, and some studies even suggest that your body absorbs trace amounts of radiation. A stand keeps the laptop away from your body.

Improve Ergonomics

how laptop stand Improves Ergonomics

 

Laptops are a particular nightmare for your posture because the logical location of the screen and keyboard aren’t possible. For the best results, the screen should be eye level, and the keyboard should allow your forearms to fall parallel to the floor.

At a desk, your laptop keyboard is in a good position, but the screen draws your eyes downward. Your body unconsciously follows your eye position, and before you know it, you’ve got a hunch back. Raising the screen pulls your arms up and encourages your shoulders to tense up to keep your position. This position isn’t ideal either.

An ergonomic laptop stand gives you space to add an external keyboard and mouse so you can get your body back into a position that doesn’t cause strain on your back or your shoulders.

Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle

Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle with standing desk

We also know that staying in one position too long has dire long-term consequences. Some stands encourage you to change positions frequently. Even standing for an hour a day can alleviate the health problems a severely sedentary lifestyle causes. Many of us have office jobs and can’t go for long walks during the middle of the workday, but we can make it easier to get up from our desks without losing our productivity.

Increase Air Circulation

Increase Air Circulation for your notebook

 

Many laptops have a heat problem. The base sits flush against a surface, and sometimes the fans can’t keep up. Lifting a laptop off a flat surface and onto a surface that encourages 360-degree air circulation can seriously improve your laptop’s performance and help you avoid the dreaded blue (or black) screen of death.

The Takeaway

Your laptop is made for portability, not for body ergonomics. Do something about it with a convenient stand, and you should see improvements in those aches and pains you feel at the end of your workday. Your body and your health will thank you. This is a great alternative to more expensive standing desk converters and full-sized stand up desks.

Where do spend most of your workday? Let us know in the comments below.

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