The best laptop stands of 2023

Stop hunching and slumping while you work and start using a laptop stand.

Best overall

Grovemade Wood Laptop Riser

Grovemade Wood Laptop Riser

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Best vertical

Twelve South HiRise

Satechi Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand

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Best budget

Amazon Basics Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand

Amazon Basics Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand

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If the shopping gods ever decide to compile a list of things you don’t think you need but actually do, a laptop stand for your desk will probably nab a spot near the top of it. The benefits of them, though not necessarily endless, are indeed impressive. Most importantly, they’re ergonomic—these desk accessories bring laptop screens up to eye level, so you aren’t constantly bending your neck downward and hunching your shoulders forward while you type. A laptop stand can improve your posture while you work as it eases the strain on your neck and back.

They also make it easier to use an external keyboard with a laptop. You can place it at desk level, and if you have a dual-rise laptop stand, you can pull it forward over the keyboard while bringing the laptop screen closer to you. On the non-ergonomic side, a laptop riser will help prevent your laptop from overheating by allowing the air around it to circulate more freely. This slows down the drain on your battery and helps keep your laptop working more efficiently. 

Finally, some stands can be used to make your work area similar to a standing desk, which is a great way to tackle two functions in one item. Just extend it up to a comfortable height so that you can get off your seat and stretch your torso while continuing to reap the posture and back benefits of the best laptop stand for desks.

How we chose the best laptop stands

At their core, laptop stands are single-use tools that function nearly identically to one another, so our research and testing focused on finding the ideal choice for your particular preferences. If you prioritize ergonomics (by way of height adjustment), want to reduce your laptop’s footprint on your desk while it’s connected to an external display, or aim to spend the least amount of money possible without making serious compromises, we have you covered. Our recommendations all come from well-known companies with a solid reputation, which means you shouldn’t ever have to upgrade your laptop stand unless your needs or preferences change.

The best laptop stands: Reviews & Recommendations

When it comes to choosing the best laptop stand for desks, your options might not be quite as plentiful as they are when you’re picking out a laptop to place on top of it, but that actually makes the task less daunting. Plus, you’ve got us to help! And by the way, for those who do their best work while sitting up in bed, don’t worry. We’ve got the perfect laptop stand for you, too.

Best overall: Grovemade Wood Laptop Riser

Grovemade Wood Laptop Riser

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Specs

  • Style: Riser
  • Size: 10 x 9.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Height adjustable: No
  • Price: $180

Pros

  • Beautiful, luxe materials
  • Holds laptop at the perfect height
  • Feels totally solid

Cons

  • Expensive

You’ll find a lot to like with Grovemade’s Wood Laptop Riser. This stand is made up of two pieces: A combo of American black walnut and Eastern Hardrock maple plywood attached to a brushed aluminum frame. The laptop stand is guaranteed to improve the aesthetics of any desk without compromising ergonomics. This laptop stand doesn’t support height adjustment, but it can raise your laptop to the perfect spot for use with an external display. If your computer monitor supports height adjustment, you can make your tweaks there.

One of Grovemade’s clever design decisions was to include a pair of holes in the aluminum part of this frame, which allows you to thread your charging cable through it. This is a nice touch that can help clean desk clutter and give you easy cable management. Aluminum laptop stands can scratch the bottom of your computer—Grovemade accounted for this and covered the top of this stand with soft felt. The company offers its stand in walnut or maple finishes, so select the one that best fits the color of your desk and other tech accessories.

We’ve had the opportunity to check out this laptop stand for ourselves, and the pictures don’t do it justice. The solid feeling of the wood alone can justify its high price tag. During our time with this laptop stand, we never once wished it was height adjustable, which speaks to the time Grovemade spent to make sure it was as ergonomic as possible.

Yes, this laptop stand is roughly three times more expensive than most of our other recommendations, but it’s also the best-looking and packs a lot of quality. If you’re redoing your home office and don’t want to make any compromises, Grovemade’s Wood Laptop Riser deserves a spot on your desk.

Best riser: Twelve South HiRise

Twelve South HiRise

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Specs

  • Style: Riser
  • Size: 11.5 x 3.3 x 4.3 inches
  • Height adjustable: Yes
  • Price: $68

Pros

  • Relatively compact
  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • Cutouts encourage constant airflow

Cons

  • Designed to work best with MacBooks

Twelve South’s HiRise was designed to match the aesthetics of Apple’s laptops, and while it’ll look best with a Mac, it’ll work just as well with a PC. The all-aluminum laptop stand can be height adjusted between 3.7 and 5.6 inches, which doesn’t seem like a lot—however, that makes a big difference when it comes to comfort. The top of this laptop stand’s V-shaped arms is covered with rubber, which will prevent the bottom of your laptop from getting scratched. This design has the added benefit of promoting constant airflow to keep your computer from overheating.

We’ve had the opportunity to try many of Twelve South’s accessories and always found them to be constructed very well—the company also says they’re designed to last a lifetime. If you need a height-adjustable laptop riser, this is the one we recommend regardless of the computer you use. If you happen to have a MacBook, even better.

Best vertical: Satechi Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand

Satechi Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand

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Specs

  • Style: Vertical holder
  • Size: 7.09 x 3.94 x 2.76 inches
  • Height adjustable: No
  • Price: $44.99

Pros

  • Takes up very little desk space
  • Adjustable clamp guarantees a snug fit
  • Doesn’t block any fans

Cons

  • You can’t use your laptop’s built-in screen with this stand

There are many vertical laptop stands available, but this one from Satechi has a unique design that helps it stand out. The stand’s grips can be widened or tightened by twisting a knob on its right side. This allows the stand to grab your laptop snugly to prevent it from tipping over while in use. Satechi says its laptop stand is compatible with laptops between half an inch and one and a half inches, which basically covers about every laptop on the market.

This laptop stand is made entirely from aluminum, except for the inside of its grips, which are lined with rubber to prevent it from scratching the lip of your computer. Your laptop will take up way less of your desktop’s real estate with the help of this vertical laptop stand. That space can be used for other peripherals like a 4K monitor or wireless mechanical keyboard. This laptop stand also helps keep your work area clean, as you can route cables to the underside of your desk, or let them hang off the back. We’ve tested this laptop stand for ourselves and found it works very well. It securely gripped our 13-inch MacBook Pro—the computer didn’t leave the stand when we performed a lift test.

You can’t use your computer’s screen while it’s inside the vertical laptop stand. If you have a big external display, this won’t be an issue, but beware if you’ve gotten accustomed to a two-screen work setup. If this isn’t an issue, you can pick up this laptop stand with complete confidence.

Best portable: MOFT Invisible Slim Laptop Stand

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Specs

  • Style: Angled
  • Size: 8.83 x 6.69 x .12 inches
  • Height adjustable: No
  • Price: $24.99

Pros

  • Foldable design
  • Ultra slim
  • Very light

Cons

  • Stand is designed to be attached to your laptop

If you like the idea of having a laptop stand everywhere you go, MOFT’s “invisible” option is right for you. The ultra-slim laptop stand attaches to the underside of your computer using an adhesive. It’s thin and light enough that you’ll still be able to fit it in the laptop pocket of a backpack, and won’t notice it while you’re walking around.

When you need the laptop stand, you can flip it out and set your computer at a 15- or 25-degree angle. It can’t be height adjusted, but we’re glad this laptop stand has that ergonomic feature. If you’re worried about MOFT’s laptop stand being a permanent addition to your computer, don’t be. You can peel this stand off of your computer at any time, though its adhesive will become less sticky over time. Ideally, you’d keep this laptop stand installed indefinitely, but that may not always be possible.

If you’re fine with the idea of adding a smidgen of weight and bulk to your portable computer in exchange for never leaving your laptop stand at home again, this model from MOFT is the right choice.

Best budget: Amazon Basics Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand

Amazon Basics Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand

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Specs

  • Style: Angled
  • Size: 9.56 x 7.91 x 0.16 inches
  • Height adjustable: No
  • Price: $19.15

Pros

  • Rubber plates prevent your computer from slipping
  • Open-back design
  • Price

Cons

  • Less ergonomic than many of our other recommendations

Amazon Basics’ Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand lives up to its name, but in this case, basic doesn’t mean bad. Its kickstand flips out from the bottom to position your laptop at an 18-degree angle while lifting it by roughly three inches. When you’re not using it, the kickstand can be retracted to save space. Layers of rubber on the front and back of this stand will prevent it from shifting around on your desk while you’re using it. This is especially important with an angled stand since you’ll likely be using your laptop’s keyboard with it.

Amazon designed its laptop stand with cutouts that both reduce its weight and leave wide open spaces for air to flow in and out continuously. This is a design feature that we wouldn’t expect from a laptop stand that costs far less than $20. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles, but Amazon Basics’ Aluminum Portable Laptop Stand can improve the ergonomics of your home office at an extremely reasonable price. If height adjustability isn’t a must-have feature for you, this laptop stand should suit your needs just fine.

What to consider when shopping for the best laptop stands

Despite having the same function—hoisting your laptop to a more comfortable level—no two laptop stands are made alike. Here’s what to look for when shopping for a new laptop stand:

Style

Laptop stands can be categorized into three distinct types: risers, vertical holders, and angled. Don’t worry, despite their differences, there’s no wrong choice here.

A riser will elevate your laptop to the height of an external display, so it’s the best choice if you’ve got a dual-screen work setup.

Vertical holders will hold your laptop upright while it’s closed, which will optimize your desk space but requires you to hook your computer up to an external display.

Angled laptop stands will prop your notebook computer slightly upward, so you can continue to use its built-in keyboard in a more comfortable way.

Ergonomics

Part of a laptop stand’s appeal is improving the overall comfort of working at a desk all day. Some stands are completely static, which means you can’t adjust the height or angle of your notebook computer, while others give you the flexibility to change both. In our experience, laptop stands that don’t support height or angle adjustments were designed to provide comfort in almost every scenario—keeping your laptop level with most people’s eye lines while sitting down. Still, if you’re particular about the positioning of your laptop screen, this is something to keep in mind.

Size

Many of us consider a laptop stand computer accessory, and while that’s true it’s also a mini piece of furniture on your desk. This means you’ll need to be mindful of how much space it takes up. If you have a large computer or standing desk, this won’t be an issue, but it’ll make a huge difference if you’re working on a smaller space. You’ll need to consider both the width of the stand’s base, and whether you’ll have enough vertical space for your laptop if you’re using an external display.

FAQs

Q: How much should a laptop stand cost?

Value is always an important consideration when choosing a piece of gear, and laptop stands are no different. A majority of our laptop stand recommendations cost less than $50, with some options falling under $20. However, they can cost upwards of $200 if it’s made of fancier materials, like wood.

Q: Is a laptop stand worth it?

Although you can get years of use out of a laptop that’s placed directly on top of a desk, a laptop stand is worth it because it boosts both your laptop and the way it functions while extending its lifespan. They’re ergonomic, so your back and neck will reap benefits, too.

Q: What makes a good laptop stand?

The main qualities of a good laptop stand are portability, adjustability, and flexibility. You should be able to at least transport it around the house with relative ease and maneuver it to suit different workspaces and multiple users.

Q: How high should a laptop stand be?

A laptop stand should be high enough so that your eye level is one or two inches below the top of the screen when you’re sitting up straight. The key is that you shouldn’t have to hunch over and tilt your neck downward while looking at the screen.

Q: Are vertical stands good for laptops?

Yes. A vertical stand is a solid choice if you’re low on desk space and don’t need to use your laptop’s built-in screen while you work.

Q: Do laptop stands improve airflow?

Yes. A laptop stand will lift your computer off a desk, where airflow is severely restricted, into the air, where the fans can continually cool down your machine more easily.

Final thoughts on the best laptop stand for desks

The best laptop stands for desks can work ergonomic wonders for your neck and back while keeping your device safe from overheating. Spend a little bit more money for an adjustable model that the whole family can enjoy and a laptop stand that you can use when you’re away from the desk, whether it’s on the couch, at the dining room table, or in bed. You won’t know how you got by for so long without one.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

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Brandt Ranj

Staff Writer, Commerce

Brandt Ranj is a commerce reporter at Popular Science. He writes about the latest and greatest gadgets, from headphones and TVs to chargers and cables. He splits his time between New York City, Long Island, and Croatia, carting test gear around the U.S. and the globe.