- A laptop stand makes it more convenient and comfortable to use a laptop on a desk.
- Of all the laptop stands we’ve looked at, the Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand is the best with its 360-degree swivel base and sturdy design.
For some people, using a laptop equals back pain, neck pain, and headaches. If this describes you, don’t blame the laptop. Instead, these problems are almost certainly related more to your desk, chair, and laptop setup.
To deal with these problems, we’d suggest swapping the ibuprofen for a laptop stand (also called a laptop riser). The stand will make the laptop more comfortable to use, limiting the aches and pains. According to Dohrmann Consulting, making workstations more ergonomic helps people stay pain-free, leading to fewer missed workdays and more productivity during work times.
Now think about how you sit at a desk and work on a laptop. As Wirecutter points out, you’re probably hunched over, tilting your head downward to see the screen. This will not be comfortable during a long working session, leading to aches in the neck, back, and shoulders.
UCLA Ergonomics says you want the top of the screen to be a few inches above your eye level when you are seated. Having the keyboard and the display screen connected makes it nearly impossible to use the laptop at a desk in a proper ergonomic position because the monitor will be too low. The laptop stand will raise the level of the screen to eye level, making it more comfortable for you to use.
With the laptop stand, you almost certainly will need to purchase an external keyboard and mouse, because the keyboard on the laptop may not be comfortable to use once the laptop is positioned on the stand. You also could use an external monitor on a stand attached to the laptop instead of a laptop stand to raise the display to eye level, but this is a much more expensive option.
Depending on your needs, you’ll want to get a laptop stand that’s fixed or has an adjustable height, a good-looking design, strong build quality, and easy portability. Some stands also have slots for cable management or bases that swivel.
Here are the best laptop stands you can buy:
- Best laptop stand overall: Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand
- Best inexpensive laptop stand: Steklo X-Stand
- Best laptop stand for travel: Roost Laptop Stand
- Best alternative stand for travel: Goldtouch Go! Travel Laptop and Tablet Stand
Updated on 10/28/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting. We are currently researching and testing new options for an upcoming update.
SEE ALSO: The best laptops you can buy
The best laptop stand overall
The Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand gives you the ergonomic benefits you need and the base swivels a full 360 degrees.
The stylish Rain Design mStand360 Laptop Stand will look great on your desk, while also holding your laptop at the ideal angle for good ergonomics. It can also swivel 360-degrees, which is a fun bonus that not many laptop stands offer.
The laptop stand is made out of a single piece of aluminum for added stability and strength. Aluminum also dissipates heat from your laptop so it doesn’t overheat mid spreadsheet. You can slide all the cables through the circular hole in the back to keep your desk clutter-free.
Although it’s primarily designed to work with Apple MacBooks, the laptop stand will work with any brand of laptop. The mStand360 has soft rubber feet and pads that ensure the laptop won’t slip around as you’re working on it.
Wirecutter included the mStand360 as one of its top picks. The only huge downside is that this is a fixed stand that is not adjustable, so if the height is wrong for you, you should get a different adjustable stand like our next pick.
Pros: Three different colors available to match Apple laptops, base can swivel 360 degrees to show screen to others, stand contains rubber feet to maintain stability, aluminum panel’s construction will help cool the laptop
Cons: Some issues with longevity, the laptop could slide off the stand if glued pads on laptop stand surface fail
The best budget laptop stand
The Steklo X-Stand has a simple design that’s lightweight and portable, plus, it’s very affordable.
The Steklo X-Stand laptop stand is inexpensive when compared to other options. It also does a nice job of lifting the laptop a couple of inches above your desk to keep it cool by allowing air to flow around it.
However, this small size means the Steklo stand may not work well for those of you who need a laptop stand that will elevate the laptop screen to your eye level. The lightweight aluminum stand is quite portable, though, so it may be good for students or frequent travelers.
You can use the Steklo stand with laptops that range in size from 12 to 17-inches. It folds down to a very small size and weighs just 5.8 ounces.
Reviewers from Portable Laptop Stands, MacInfo, and iMore recommend this stand as an affordable, portable option that works well in a pinch. An Amazon reviewer agrees, saying this laptop stand also is comfortable to work on and use in all types of situations.
Pros: Great price point for a laptop stand, good option for allowing air to flow around the unit to keep the laptop cooler, extremely lightweight and portable for use while traveling, comfortable to use
Cons: Hard plastic design doesn’t grip laptop, doesn’t provide many ergonomic benefits, materials don’t seem like they’ll hold up
Buy the Steklo X-Stand on Amazon for $22.99
The best laptop stand for travel
The fully adjustable Roost Laptop Stand collapses down to a small size when you’re not using it, plus, it’s lightweight and sturdy.
If you feel a little leery about trusting your laptop to the Roost Laptop Stand, it’s understandable. This fold-down stand weighs less than half a pound, which may have you questioning its toughness. But have no fear — this is actually a very sturdy and strong laptop stand that can hold your precious PC.
The Roost stand gives you the option of adjusting the height of the top of the laptop screen from 6 to 12 inches, so you can position the screen for your exact needs. Note: Many found it difficult to adjust the height, including Wirecutter and Amazon reviewers.
At only 5.8 ounces, this stand ranks as one of the lightest in our guide. Even so, it’s very tough and sturdy. The rubber grips ensure that it won’t move around on your desk and your laptop will stay safely in place.
It can hold most laptops with ease. One Amazon buyer successfully used it with a 17-inch laptop. According to Roost, as long as the keyboard section of the laptop measures 0.75 inches in thickness or less, this laptop stand will support it successfully.
Pros: Folds down to a small size for carrying anywhere, lightweight laptop stand that provides a sturdy base, rubber grips will hold most laptops in place tightly, works with many different models of laptops
Cons: Expensive laptop stand, difficult to adjust height
The best travel stand alternative
With six levels of height adjustment, the Goldtouch Go! Travel Laptop and Tablet Stand allows you to adjust the height of your screen, no matter where you’re working.
The versatile Goldtouch Go! Travel Laptop and Tablet Stand is perfect for people who travel a lot for work because it’s compact, lightweight, and adjustable.
The stand folds down to a small size that’s great for traveling, and it has six levels of height adjustments that are useful when you don’t quite know where you’ll be working. It only weighs one pound, so it’s easy enough to stow in your carry-on bag or suitcase.
Goldtouch’s stand is made of aluminum and although it’s small, it can hold laptops up to 17-inches in size. It’s durable and quite sturdy, too.
The Goldtouch Go! is perfect for the person who has to travel for work, while also using a laptop several hours per day. One Amazon buyer says it folds flat for easy transportation, and others say it was just right for their carry-on bag.
One Amazon reviewer says this stand doesn’t work well on airplanes, though, because it doesn’t seem to fit the airplane tray table properly.
Pros: Has six height adjustment options for good versatility while traveling, folds down to a small size, ships inside neoprene bag for easy carrying while traveling, lightweight unit can handle large laptops
Cons: Requires an external keyboard and mouse for best working conditions, doesn’t fit well on airplane tray tables