The 4 Best Laptop Stands of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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After a new round of testing, we’ve added the Tonmom Laptop Stand as a pick for an ultraportable option, and the HumanCentric Laptop Stand to Other good laptop stands. Portable Laptop Stand Foldable

The 4 Best Laptop Stands of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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. Once you get one, you might realize that sitting up straight actually is more comfortable than slouching.

After testing 20 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.

This laptop stand 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.

This stand has a greater height range than the iLevel 2, but it’s not as easy to adjust.

This stand has a handy cable-management hole in the back and costs less than our top pick. But it’s the only model we recommend that isn’t adjustable.

This model is sturdy enough for laptops up to 15 inches, easy to set up and collapse, and inexpensive.

This laptop stand 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 Rain Design iLevel 2 has exceptional build quality and a polished look. In our tests, it held 11-inch to 15-inch laptops with a sturdy grip.

It’s easier to adjust than every other adjustable laptop stand we tested, too. Its platform simply tilts upward when you slide a knob from left to right. The height lift from desk to bottom of the laptop screen is 6.5 to 8.5 inches, which should accommodate many people’s ergonomic needs.

This stand has a greater height range than the iLevel 2, but it’s not as easy to adjust.

The Lifelong Upryze Ergonomic Laptop Stand can raise a laptop as high as 17 inches, so it can be a better fit for taller people than the Rain Design iLevel 2. It also works well whether you’re sitting or standing at your desk.

It’s the sturdiest of the tall laptop stands we tested (models with over 9 inches of vertical adjustment), able to hold a 7-pound laptop steady whereas rivals would sink under the weight. Just keep in mind that adjusting the height of the Upryze can be a workout because of its stiff hinges.

This stand has a handy cable-management hole in the back and costs less than our top pick. But it’s the only model we recommend that isn’t adjustable.

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 aluminum mStand comfortably held heavy laptops 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 has a fixed height lift (5.9 inches), so it might not be the best ergonomic fit for all.

This model is sturdy enough for laptops up to 15 inches, easy to set up and collapse, and inexpensive.

If you need a laptop stand that you’ll carry back and forth between home and the office, or to use when traveling, the Tonmom 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 much stability (although it’s easier to push over than our other picks, which are made of heavier aluminum).

Switching between the Tonmom’s seven height settings to raise a laptop from 4 to 7 inches 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, 0.6-pound stand into a thick stick that fits easily in most backpacks or laptop bags.

Senior staff writer Melanie Pinola has tested and reviewed home office gear for Wirecutter since 2011, including essentials such as standing desks, standing desk converters, and office chairs. Prior to joining Wirecutter, she wrote about technology and productivity topics for sites such as Lifehacker, PCWorld, Laptop Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Consumer Reports.

When you’re using a computer, the ideal ergonomic arrangement is to have the top of the screen just above eye level and your keyboard just below elbow level. (If you wear progressive lenses, however, you might need the top of the screen to be a bit below eye level.)

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.

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. But if you don’t have the space or budget for an external monitor, 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.

But 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 (think textbooks, cookbooks, or coffee-table books) to create a stable base.

To learn about ideal workstation setups, we referred to the work of ergonomics expert Alan Hedge, who served as director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics teaching and research programs at Cornell University at the time of our research, and was 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:

For portable laptop stands, we also considered the following:

With the above criteria in mind, we considered 41 models and tested 20 over the course of three years. We used each model with a variety of laptops—from compact 11-inch Chromebooks to bulky 15-inch gaming laptops, weighing anywhere 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.

This laptop stand 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 Rain Design iLevel 2 is the best laptop stand for the widest range of body types and laptops thanks to its 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.

Its height range can accommodate many people. Though the height 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 (but, again, because everyone has different torso sizes, we recommend measuring the height you would want your laptop raised to).

It’s easy to adjust. Quickly switching between height settings is also easier to do with the iLevel 2 than with other stands we tested. 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.

It’s sturdy. 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. And unlike taller laptop stands with a foldout Z-shaped design, the iLevel 2 isn’t susceptible to toppling backward thanks to its strong hinge at the front.

No other laptop stand we tested was as quick and simple to set up for different heights, laptops, and postures.

It’s very well-designed. The aluminum stand looks stylish on a desk and helps to conduct heat away from your laptop. 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.

This stand has a greater height range than the iLevel 2, but it’s not as easy to adjust.

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, not the 20 inches Lifelong claims, but that’s still 8.5 inches higher than our top pick. At this tallest setting, it’s suitable for most people to use while they’re standing at a desk or table.

It’s versatile. 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. (Other stands with a similar fold-up design have the same fundamental issue.)

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.

It’s (technically) portable. 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 smaller and lighter Tonmom (which collapses into a stick and weighs just 8 ounces) if you want a stand that’s convenient for commuting.

It’s easy on the eyes. We like the Upryze’s blue-gray aluminum finish, which separates it from common silver and black stands. And although there’s a prominent Lifelong logo on the base of the stand, it’s less obnoxious than the logos on other stands.

But it’s hard to adjust. 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.

This stand has a handy cable-management hole in the back and costs less than our top pick. But it’s the only model we recommend that isn’t adjustable.

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.

Its fixed height should accommodate many people. The mStand raises the back end of a laptop about 6 inches off the desk (again, this can vary a bit depending on the size of your laptop), which puts the screen at roughly the right height for most people when they’re sitting. If you need to raise it a little more, you can always set it on a coffee-table book or a simple monitor riser.

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. Though it isn’t dramatically less expensive than our top pick, we couldn’t find any fixed stands less than $40 that were more stable.

It’s stylish. This aluminum stand is available in three colors (gold, space gray, and silver) to match several colors of laptops from a certain popular brand.

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 note that the mStand is “ideal for a secondary screen that I glance at occasionally that doesn’t have to be at exactly perfect ergonomic height.”

It can keep your laptop cool and your desk less cluttered. As with the iLevel 2, the mStand’s material helps dissipate heat from the laptop, the hole in the back is handy for taming wild cords, and the nook in the front can stash a keyboard when you’re done with your workday.

This model is sturdy enough for laptops up to 15 inches, easy to set up and collapse, and inexpensive.

If you often commute with your laptop or if you need something you can take on the road, we recommend the Tonmom Laptop Stand.

It’s compact (when folded) and lightweight. The Tonmom is quick and easy to set up and break down—the stand folds down to roughly the size of three credit cards end to end, and you can easily throw it in a bag to take it wherever you’re headed for the day.

More specifically, when folded, the Tonmom measures 10.5 inches long, 2 inches wide, and 0.75 inches thick. It weighs about half a pound.

It’s simple to set up. To unfold the stand, you use both hands to pull the legs apart, and then to adjust the height setting, position the latches into the holes on the bottom legs. (The Amazon description says there are eight height settings, but we discovered that the eighth notch is a round rather than a rectangular cutout, which the latches don’t fit into.) Setting up the stand is quite intuitive and can raise your laptop between 4 and 7 inches.

It’s sturdier than it looks and can secure most laptops. Despite its plastic build, the Tonmom feels sturdy once locked into place—though a little wobblier than our other picks. The top of the stand is covered in long, grippy anti-slip strips to hold the laptop in place. Similar portable stands, such as the iVoler, have less anti-slip surface area.

Note that because of its wide angle, the Tonmom’s clamp at the front might not be able to hold very thick laptops in place. This is a notable difference from the more closed, C-shaped clamps of previous picks, such as the Roost, which is several times more expensive, and the Nexstand, which has been only intermittently available online.

But we’re not sure it’ll stand the test of time. This is the first time we’ve come across anything from the Tonmom brand, which to our knowledge doesn’t have a website and sells random things like tin foil pans and audio cables, in addition to laptop stands. We don’t expect great customer support for this laptop stand, so we’ll keep a close eye on its durability during long-term testing.

If you don’t want to spend a lot on a laptop stand: The Nulaxy C3 ($20 to $25 as of this writing, depending on the color) 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 (which we don’t recommend for ergonomic reasons).

If you want to splurge on a stylish wood laptop stand: The HumanCentric Laptop Stand is an attractive, fixed laptop stand that has a black walnut or maple wood top and a sturdy cylindrical metal base. But it lacks the heat dissipation and cable organization that the mStand offers.

If you need something that folds down flat and very small: Consider the MOFT Z and its unusual origami-like design. You can fold the thin board (made of fiberglass and polyurethane leather) 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 (though it’s less compact than the Tonmom and weighs four times as much).

If you need a tall portable laptop stand: The Roost offers greater height adjustment—up to 14 inches—than the Tonmom while weighing about the same. But it costs almost 10 times as much. If you need the additional height and are okay with the Roost’s trickier unfolding and setup mechanism, it’s a good option for working on the go.

This is not a comprehensive list of all laptop stands we’ve tested. We have removed models that are discontinued or no longer meet our criteria.

The Nexstand Laptop Stand, a former portable laptop stand pick, is remarkably sturdy and compact when folded. It’s a better fit for thick laptops than the Tonmom, and if you can find the Nexstand for sale, it’s a solid option for working on the go.

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 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.

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.

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 Ringke Folding Stand 2, priced around $20, is another origami-like laptop stand. It weighs just 3 ounces (about as heavy as a deck of cards) 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.

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 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.

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.

Although the Elago L4 Stand is an elegant-looking all-metal laptop stand, it lacks cable management and isn’t any more effective than the less-expensive mStand.

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.

This article was edited by Ben Keough and Erica Ogg.

Melanie Pinola covers home office, remote work, and productivity as a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. She has contributed to print and online publications such as The New York Times, Consumer Reports, Lifehacker, and PCWorld, specializing in tech, work, and lifestyle/family topics. She’s thrilled when those topics intersect—and when she gets to write about them in her PJs.

by Kevin Purdy and Melanie Pinola

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The 4 Best Laptop Stands of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Laptop And Screen Stand Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).