The laptop stand Best 4 Laptop Stands 2021 Reviews by Wirecutter
The foldable Rain Design mBar Pro doesn’t lift laptops as high as most of our other picks do, nor is it adjustable. The only stand it’s comparable to is the mStand, which costs significantly less. It is easy to fold into a large but nearly flat design, though, which may prove useful to some people depending on their preferences. The PWR Portable Laptop Table Stand boasts a USB-powered fan and can extend up to 17 inches. However, it has a cheap-feeling plastic build, it’s difficult to adjust, and it doesn’t have non-slip feet, so it slides around too easily on a desk. As the staff writer for style coverage at Wirecutter, Justin Krajeski compares, tests, and writes about everything you can carry or wear on your person, from sunglasses to jeans. He previously wrote about tech at Wirecutter; this guide to laptop stands was one of his first to highlight the importance of aesthetics in a usually utilitarian category. The exceptional build quality and easy adjustability of the Rain Design iLevel 2 are worth paying for if you need a laptop stand. In our tests, it held 11-inch to 15-inch laptops with a sturdy grip, and it has a simple, straightforward design that looks stylish. It’s easier to adjust than every other adjustable laptop stand we tested, too: Its platform tilts upward when you slide a knob from left to right. No other laptop stand we tested was as quick and simple to set up for different heights, laptops, and postures. This isn’t a laptop stand built for frequent height adjustments: In our tests, the stiff hinges made it difficult for us to extend or fold the stand without grunting with effort. However, that stiffness made the stand sturdy enough to hold even a 7-pound, 15-inch gaming laptop without sinking under the laptop’s weight. Other similarly designed laptop stands, such as the obVus Solutions Laptop Tower Stand , weren’t as resilient under pressure. Although the Elago L4 Stand is an elegant-looking laptop stand, it lacks cable management and isn’t any more effective than the less-expensive mStand. You can adjust the Nulaxy C1 from 2.4 to 10.6 inches, but the adjustment mechanism is stiff to the point of annoyance. The Rain Design iLevel 2 is a better option for easy adjustability, and if you need a tall laptop stand, we recommend the Lifelong Upryze instead because of its wider height range. The Lifelong Upryze Ergonomic Laptop Stand can raise a laptop as high as 17 inches, so it can accommodate a wider range of people’s heights than the Rain Design iLevel 2 can. It also works well for most people when they’re standing. It’s the sturdiest of the tall laptop stands we tested , able to hold a 7-pound laptop steady whereas rivals would sink under the weight. The bluish-gray finish also helps it stand out from typical silver and black laptop stands. Just keep in mind that adjusting the height of the Upryze can be a workout because of its stiff hinges, and at its tallest heights the stand can topple backward if you type on the laptop keyboard or accidentally bump into the stand. As with other laptop stands, we recommend using it only with an external keyboard; you’ll have better ergonomics and avoid a wobbly screen. The Rain Design iLevel 2 is made of anodized aluminum, so it’s exceptionally sturdy and stylish. It’s also the easiest to adjust of all the laptop stands we’ve tested. The Ringke Folding Stand 2 , priced under $20, is another origami-like laptop stand. It weighs just 3 ounces and measures a mere 8 by 6 by 0.1 inches. All of that is great for portability, but when folded, the stand lifts a laptop just 2 inches off a desk. That’s not enough to raise the screen to eye level for most people, but if you just want something to give your laptop better airflow—something you can toss into a bag or backpack—this will do the trick. If you often bring your laptop with you to the office in the morning and carry it home in the evening, or if you need something you can take on the road, we recommend the Nexstand Laptop Stand . Even though it’s plastic, the Nexstand is nearly as sturdy as our other picks, and it’s quick and easy to set up and break down—the stand folds down to roughly the size of three Snickers bars end to end, and you can easily throw it in a bag to take it wherever you’re headed for the day. When folded, the Nexstand measures 14 inches long and 1.5 by 1.5 inches thick. Weighing about half a pound, it’s pretty light and easy to carry around in a tote bag or backpack. And it’s the most compact adjustable laptop stand we tested that’s stable and priced less than $50. If a laptop stand just isn’t in your budget, you can use pretty much anything to raise your laptop screen to eye level. We like books—except for airflow, they’re just as effective as any fixed laptop stand. We recommend using wide, flat books to create a stable base. The biggest drawback of the iLevel 2 is its high price tag. But if you’re going to use a laptop stand at your desk every single day, it’s worth spending extra for one that allows you to adjust it to fit your exact needs, remains sturdy, and looks nice. Your neck and back will thank you. For portable laptop stands, we also considered the following: The Upryze has a greater height range than the iLevel 2, but it’s not as easy to adjust. The Rain Design iLevel 2 is the best laptop stand for the widest range of body types and laptops thanks to its simple, sturdy anodized aluminum design and its easy-to-use adjustment knob. No other laptop stand we tested was as quick and simple to set up for different heights, laptops, and postures. It also looks nice sitting on a desk. Kimber Streams is a senior staff writer and has been covering laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more for Wirecutter since 2014. In that time they’ve tested hundreds of laptops and thousands of peripherals, and built way too many mechanical keyboards for their personal collection. The sturdy mStand has a handy cable-management hole in the back and costs less than our top pick. But it’s the only stand we recommend that isn’t adjustable. We previously recommended the Roost as the best portable laptop stand because it’s about an inch shorter and 3 ounces lighter than the Nexstand . However, after comparing the Roost and the Nexstand again in our latest round of testing, we think the Nexstand is the better option because it costs a third of the price for similar features and benefits. Once locked in, the Nexstand feels sturdy—though a little wobblier than our other picks, which have solid flat bases—and we didn’t encounter any issues during our testing. After a new round of testing in which we considered 13 laptop stands, the Rain Design iLevel 2 remains our top pick. We’ve also added a new tall laptop stand recommendation, the Lifelong Upryze . If our other picks are too expensive, we recommend the ultimate budget option: a stack of books. Using books is just as effective for raising the screen as using a fixed-height laptop stand, and you can tailor the height to fit your ergonomic needs by adding or removing books. You can also customize the size, shape, and color, or you can create a cleverly themed collection of titles. We recommend using wide, flat books for stability, so gather your old textbooks and coffee-table books. The Twelve South Curve is a perfectly fine laptop stand, even though it’s neither adjustable nor foldable. But it’s typically more expensive than the similarly fixed Rain Design mStand, so we think the mStand is the better choice for most people. We like the Upryze’s blue-gray aluminum finish, and although there’s a prominent Lifelong logo on the base of the stand, it’s less obnoxious than the logos on other stands. When you’re using a computer, . This ideal ergonomic arrangement isn’t possible with a laptop alone: Because its screen and keyboard are so close together, if your laptop is sitting flat on the desk, you have to hunch forward and crane your neck to type and look at the screen, straining your shoulders and back. If you use your laptop for long periods, you should raise your screen and also use an external keyboard and mouse so that they sit at elbow level or lower. If you want a more affordable laptop stand that looks nicer than a stack of books and provides heat dissipation, the best option is the Rain Design mStand . Like the company’s iLevel 2, the sturdy, aluminum mStand comfortably held 15-inch laptops weighing up to 7 pounds in our tests, plus it has a hole for cable management and a nook to store your keyboard. Its solid one-piece design makes it less wobbly than cheaper laptop stands, which typically require assembly. But unlike our other picks, it isn’t adjustable. The Upryze’s wide height range makes it suitable for use while you’re sitting or standing. It can keep your laptop securely positioned at even the tallest heights, unless you type forcefully on the laptop keyboard or bump into the stand, which could cause it to topple backward. The stand folds down into a roughly 12-by-12-by-3-inch rectangle, which makes it less bulky than the iLevel 2 or the mStand , but because it weighs 4.6 pounds, we’d recommend the much lighter Nexstand if you want a stand that’s convenient for commuting. The sturdy mStand has a handy cable-management hole in the back and costs less than our top pick. But it’s the only stand we recommend that isn’t adjustable. The Rain Design mBar , the Rain Design mBar Pro , and the Twelve South ParcSlope are neither adjustable nor foldable, and they lift a laptop only 2.5 to 3 inches in the back. The mStand raises the back end of a laptop about 6 inches off the desk , which puts the screen at roughly the right height for most people when they’re sitting. You can’t tweak it to fit your height, laptop, and workspace, but using it is certainly better than using your laptop flat on a desk. And if you need to raise it a little, you can always set it on a coffee-table book. Wirecutter senior staff writer Kimber Streams has been using the mStand for a couple of years and says it “shows no signs of wear and looks as nice as the day it arrived.” Even though Kimber has an external monitor, they say the mStand is “ideal for a secondary screen that I glance at occasionally that doesn’t have to be at exactly perfect ergonomic height.” We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and testing monitors of all shapes and sizes to find the best one for any need . The Rain Design iLevel 2 is made of anodized aluminum, so it’s exceptionally sturdy and stylish. It’s also the easiest to adjust of all the laptop stands we’ve tested. Justin Krajeski is a staff writer reporting on everyday carry at Wirecutter. He previously wrote about tech at Wirecutter. He carries things every day. He’s very well versed in carrying. If you need a laptop stand to take between home and the office or to use when traveling, the Nexstand Laptop Stand is the best sturdy, compact, and portable option. The plastic stand is simple to set up and collapse, yet it doesn’t sacrifice stability . Switching between the Nexstand’s six height settings is a bit tricky—you need to double-check that the stand is fully locked before placing a laptop on it. But what matters most is that you can fold the lightweight stand into a thick stick that fits easily in most backpacks or laptop bags. This model is sturdy enough for laptops up to 15 inches, easy to set up and collapse, and relatively inexpensive. Though the range will vary slightly depending on the depth of your laptop, the iLevel 2 raises the back of a laptop roughly 6.5 inches above the desk surface on its lowest setting and 8.5 inches at its highest level. That range is tall enough to raise a laptop to eye level for many people sitting at a desk . Quickly switching between height settings is also easier to do with the iLevel 2 than with other stands we tested. As with the iLevel 2, the mStand’s aluminum construction helps dissipate heat from the laptop, and the hole in the back is handy for taming wild cords. If you need something that folds down very small, laptop stand consider the MOFT Z and its unusual origami-like design. You can fold the thin board into three different angles for sitting or into a 10-inch-tall box for standing mode. Configuring the stand for the different modes can be confusing at first; the instructions are all visual, as they are for origami, but figuring out the puzzle is part of this stand’s charm. It folds down into about the size of a magazine and weighs just 2 pounds, so it’s a good option for commuting or travel . The magnets that keep the stand in position are sturdy, too. Our main concern about this stand is that the small flaps that help keep a laptop in place in the angled modes might not hold up over time with heavy use, but that’s something we’ll evaluate with long-term testing. This model is sturdy enough for laptops up to 15 inches, easy to set up and collapse, and relatively inexpensive. We’ve spent over a thousand hours testing more than 100 pieces of gear that encourage ergonomically healthy posture. Alan Hedge, Ergonomic Guidelines for arranging a Computer Workstation - 10 steps for users , Cornell University Ergonomics Web, June 13, 2015 The aluminum stand helps to conduct heat away from your laptop and looks stylish on a desk. The open-back design also provides a handy location to stash cables and other unsightly desk necessities; many cheaper stands are completely open and don’t offer room to hide anything. © 2021 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company The obVus Solutions Laptop Tower Stand has a tall, 21-inch max height. It’s more expensive than the Lifelong Upryze, however, and in our tests it wasn’t able to support heavy laptops as well. When setting up your stack of books, remember that your eye level should fall 1 to 2 inches below the top of your screen. And if you switch between sitting and standing, you may want to have a book or two on hand to swap in and out of your setup to account for different desired heights. The Upryze has a greater height range than the iLevel 2, but it’s not as easy to adjust. Senior staff writer Kimber Streams has tested and reviewed hundreds of laptops—including fancy ultrabooks, cheap Windows laptops, gaming laptops, and Chromebooks—and has written or edited every single one of Wirecutter’s laptop guides since 2014. The sturdy mStand has a handy cable-management hole in the back and costs less than our top pick. But it’s the only stand we recommend that isn’t adjustable. The Amazon Basics Ventilated Adjustable Laptop Stand is huge and takes up too much valuable desk space. Plus, its black metal mesh materials look cheap next to the sleek aluminum of the Rain Design options. The laptop stand Best 4 Laptop Stands 2021 Reviews by WirecutterThe laptop stand Best 4 Laptop Stands 2021 Reviews by Wirecutter Wirecutter senior staff writer Melanie Pinola has tested and reviewed a wide range of gear, including home-office essentials such as standing desks , standing desk converters , and office chairs . Prior to joining Wirecutter, she wrote about technology and productivity for sites such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, and Laptop Magazine. The Nexstand can raise your laptop between 5.5 and 12.5 inches, with six height settings in between. To lower and raise the stand, you have to use both hands to pull both latches on its legs simultaneously—a tricky maneuver at first, but something that gets easier to do with practice. We found that the easiest way to adjust the laptop stand was to anchor our index fingers on its latches, hold the stand in the palms of our hands, and then push the latches inward and push up or down. If the iLevel 2 is too expensive, or if you’re certain you don’t need that model’s adjustability, the fixed Rain Design mStand is a great, relatively inexpensive option. This stylish aluminum stand feels sturdy, has a hole for cable management, and even offers a nook to stash a keyboard. It isn’t adjustable like our other picks, but if you’re certain its height falls into your ideal range , that’s not a dealbreaker. It’s available in three colors to match the colors of . Though it isn’t dramatically less expensive than our top pick, we couldn’t find any fixed stands under $40 that were more stable. Save Spending hours every day hunched over a laptop is a literal pain in the neck—and shoulders and back. A laptop stand is a simple solution for raising the screen to eye level, a little tweak that can help you maintain much better posture at your desk. Just do it: Your body will thank you. After testing 13 laptop stands, we found that the Rain Design iLevel 2 offers the best combination of stability, adjustability, and sleek style. Paired with an external keyboard and mouse , the iLevel 2 is the ideal centerpiece of an ergonomic workstation. With the above criteria in mind, we considered 28 models and tested 13, including our previous top four picks. The group included eight adjustable laptop stands: the Lifelong Upryze , MOFT Z , Nexstand Laptop Stand , Nulaxy C1 , obVus Solutions Laptop Tower Stand , PWR Portable Laptop Table Stand , Rain Design iLevel 2 , and Roost . Five others were non-adjustable: the Nulaxy C3 , Rain Design mStand , Ringke Folding Stand 2 , Soundance Laptop Stand , and Twelve South ParcSlope . We tested each model with a variety of laptops—from compact 11-inch Chromebooks to bulky 15-inch gaming laptops, weighing from 3 to 7 pounds—on a variety of desks and tables. We’ve also been using our picks in a coworking space and in our home offices for years. Ergotron’s Neo-Flex has a height range comparable to that of our top pick, the Rain Design iLevel 2. But the Ergotron stand is bulky and ugly, and just as expensive. The Allsop Redmond Adjustable Curve Monitor/Laptop Stand , the AVLT-Power Lift Motion Laptop Stand , and the Furinno Adjustable Vented Laptop Table are difficult to adjust and don’t look as nice as our picks. The Rain Design iLevel 2 is made of anodized aluminum, so it’s exceptionally sturdy and stylish. It’s also the easiest to adjust of all the laptop stands we’ve tested. Melanie Pinola is a Wirecutter senior staff writer covering all things home office. She has contributed to print and online publications such as The New York Times, Lifehacker, and PCWorld, specializing in tech, productivity, and lifestyle/family topics. She’s thrilled when those topics intersect—and when she gets to write about them in her PJs. To learn about ideal workstation setups, we referred to the work of ergonomics expert Alan Hedge, director of the teaching and research programs at Cornell University at the time of our research, and editor of Ergonomic Workplace Design for Health, Wellness, and Productivity . We also interviewed Lisa Zakhari , an ergonomist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Based on their advice, following are the features you should look for in a good laptop stand, in rough order of importance: The three-piece Soundance Laptop Stand is similar in design to the Nulaxy C3. Unfortunately, the unit we got was impossible to assemble because the parts didn’t fit properly together. We were also a bit fearful when trying to set up the stand because of its rough metal edges.
The iLevel 2’s laptop platform tilts smoothly upward when you slide a knob on the front of the stand from left to right; the stand lowers your laptop when you slide the knob back to the left. Other stands we tested previously—such as the Furinno and Aidata models—had complicated, confusing, or unstable height-adjustment options. We tested the 10 best monitor arms, and we recommend the Fully Jarvis for its great adjustability, smooth movements, and long warranty. We tested the iLevel 2 with an assortment of laptops, including tiny 11-inch Chromebooks and hulking 15-inch gaming laptops. All the laptops we tested fit and sat sturdily atop the iLevel 2 without wobbling or bouncing. When we tested a heavy, 7-pound, 15-inch laptop on a less stable desk , we noticed a bit of bounce in the stand and the laptop screen while typing on an external keyboard. However, this would be an issue for all laptop stands, and it’s limited to this most extreme case; most people with most laptops on most desks shouldn’t have a problem. And unlike taller laptop stands with a fold-out Z-shaped design, the iLevel 2 isn’t susceptible to toppling backward thanks to its sturdy hinge at the front. This model is sturdy enough for laptops up to 15 inches, easy to set up and collapse, and relatively inexpensive. If you don’t want to use books but don’t want to spend a lot on a laptop stand, the Nulaxy C3 at $20 to $25 is one of the best ultracheap options. This simple, fixed laptop stand is 6 inches tall at the back. Long rubber grips at the top keep a laptop in place, and the stand consists of three assembled metal strips, which makes it more portable than the mStand. However, we found it slightly bouncier than the mStand, especially when we were typing on the laptop . Compared with other fixed-height stands we tested, such as the Nulaxy C3 , the mStand is less prone to wobbling thanks to its one-piece design. The iLevel 2’s maximum height of 8.5 inches may be too low for some people, regardless of their overall height. Once again, we strongly recommend measuring the height you need in a stand and buying accordingly. Raising your gaze by using a standalone monitor is ideal. Many monitors have a larger height range than a laptop on a stand, and a bigger screen gives you more room to work. Even if you have a separate monitor, a laptop stand can be useful for raising the laptop to a more ergonomic level as a second screen. But if you don’t have the budget or space, the next best thing for your posture and health is a laptop stand plus a separate keyboard and mouse. A well-designed laptop stand can also help with heat dissipation, creating more airflow so your laptop doesn’t overheat. The Upryze has a greater height range than the iLevel 2, but it’s not as easy to adjust. Measured average height, weight, and waist circumference for adults aged 20 years and over , National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 2, 2012 The Amazon Basics Laptop Desk Stand is similar to the Rain Design mStand and usually sells for half the price, but it’s uglier—it looks like a library bookend bent into a U shape—and less stable. The stand’s rounded back and shallower slope don’t provide enough support for 15-inch laptops, which in our tests tilted dangerously off the back of the stand. If you want to save money by going for a fixed stand, we recommend using a stack of books instead of buying this. Also, if you frequently transition between sitting and standing, the iLevel 2’s top height may not be high enough for you to use while standing. If you’re using a sit-stand desk, you’ll probably be better served by the taller Lifelong Upryze Ergonomic Laptop Stand , even though that model is much harder to adjust. We built and worked on 17 standing desk converters, and we found that the Ergo Desktop Kangaroo Pro Junior remains the best way to stand at a stationary desk. The Aidata LHA-3 laptop stand and the Goldtouch Go portable stand have too little range to be worth recommending. The best tall adjustable laptop stand we’ve tested is the Lifelong Upryze Ergonomic Laptop Stand . It raises the back of a laptop up to 17 inches—at this tallest setting, it’s suitable for most people to use while they’re standing at a desk or table, as they might when delivering a presentation via Zoom. Unlike our other picks, this stand allows you to finely adjust both the height and the angle of the laptop. It’s harder to adjust than the Rain Design iLevel 2, however, and your laptop can topple backward if you’re not careful. Wirecutter is reader-supported. laptop backpack