Portable laptop stands with ergonomic benefits – whether your travelling, a student, working in a co-work space or hot-desking at work.
Best Portable Laptop Stands
For over 3 years I was in the top 1% of global travellers by distance. I spent as much time on the road as I did at home and the one thing that let me work anywhere was my portable laptop stand from Roost (more on that later).
There are lots of best-of lists for laptop stands but this list is focused on one primary thing – portability.
If you can’t throw it in your bag easily and hit the road then it’s missing the point. If it looks like it should sit over your knees like a breakfast table, it’s not portable. If it folds up to be the size of a large pair of running shoes, it’s not portable.
All the recommendations on this list are about being light, portable and easy to travel with. Whether that is in your car, on a desk, a table or in a coffee shop – your laptop stand should be:
- have a small form factor
- be flexible to handle different laptop sizes
- ideally include adjustable height
Let’s go travelling!
If I wasn’t in my co-working shared workspace, I was at a hotel room desk, in a cafe or coffee shop or working out of overseas office spaces. You can never underestimate the importance of maintaining good ergonomics when working from your laptop when you travel or work remotely. This portable laptop stand list is my effort to help you stand healthy.
A laptop stand isn’t something you really think about until you do, and then you realise you probably should have thought of it earlier. We’re taught to think that if you have a laptop you’re ready to travel, and you are, but that doesn’t mean in today’s mobile world that you can’t improve the way you work, and improve things for your body and posture.
Portable laptops stands are perfect for…
If something on this list sounds like you then these stands are perfect for you:
- Need a laptop stand for travel – hotels, car, bed, couch?
- Work in a co-work or shared office space for your desk?
- Travel between different offices for work?
- Work from Cafes or Coffee Shops regularly?
- Hot desk at work and don’t have a dedicated desk space?
- Need a stand at a permanent desk but have limited desk space?
- A student who is always working from different spaces?
Benefits of a Laptop Stand that is easy to travel with
There are plenty of obvious reasons why a portable laptop stand is a good idea if you’re a regular traveller who needs to work or write a lot and move around a lot. You especially don’t want to need a cooling fan.
Some of the benefits include:
- Reduce the strain on your hands when working on a laptop keyboard. Believe it or not, it’s really not ideal for wrist angles.
- Create a better ergonomic position for your neck and back – keeping them upright.
- Place the laptop screen at the correct height
- Puts the laptop screen at a comfortable distance from your eyes for better reading
Other accessories you might need for this to work
A portable laptop stand also requires you to have a couple of other accessories to complete the best position. There are plenty of portable options for these too.
- A flat, portable wireless keyboard is ideal. No wires (Bluetooth) and something easy to throw in your laptop bag, suitcase or similar. As a Macbook user, I am a big fan of the Apple Magic Keyboard but I also know people who are happy to travel with bigger keyboards.
- Bluetooth mouse or trackpad. Mouse, trackpad or trackball are good. My go-to is the Logitech MX Ergo Wireless Trackball Mouse – it’s not small but is brilliant for reducing RSI/Tendonitis issues and you don’t need any desktop space to move it around as it stays stationary. Perfect in a tight spot or in Cafes with small tables, and good for your hands. Takes a little to get used to but once you do – awesome. I also have the wireless Apple Magic Mouse 2, if space in my bag was a premium.
What to look for in a good portable laptop stand?
I looked for a while before settling on the Roost stand. There are other stands in the list and some may suit your budget or needs more. The things I looked for in a stand included the ability to alter the height depending on where I was using it.
If it was in an office at a standing desk or in a conference room, the height needs could change. So it was very important to be able to change the height of it.
When I travel I hate having a crammed laptop bag so I really wanted something that was as slim and light as possible. This meant it wasn’t a chore to add it to my laptop bag. The Apple Magic keyboard was also light and thin so this made me feel like a true road warrior ready for business at any time, in an ergonomic way.
The final thing I knew was critical was the build quality and durability. If you’ve travelled with computer accessories a lot you know how much of a hard time they can get – even if you try your best to protect them. An accidental drop on a plane, a squashed taxi ride, crowded overhead luggage space etc. So I knew this thing had to be tough.
Best Portable Stands Compared
A comparison of portable and travel-ready laptop stands.
|Portable Laptop Stand Name||Price||Portability Score|
|1: Roost Portable Laptop Stand||$$$||●●●|
|2: Nulaxy Portable Laptop Stand||$||●●|
|3: MOFT Portable Integrated Laptop Stand||$||●●●|
|4: Nexstand Compact Portable Laptop Stand||$$||●●●|
|5: AmazonBasics Portable Foldable Laptop Stand||$||●●|
We’ll now go into more detail on each of these stands, why we chose them and what stands out about each. I have to repeat here that this list is hyper-focused on portable stands – not good for desk and could fit in a bag. We want stands that are super easy to take anywhere – light, portable and easy to use.
1. The Best: Roost Portable Laptop Stand
I know the Roost isn’t the cheapest portable stand you can buy but I can’t recommend it enough. After 4 years of constant travel and use, being thrown in my laptop bag and dragged from plane to office to coffee shop to hotel rooms, this thing is as solid as a rock.
Its form factor is small and it’s incredibly lightweight which has made it such an easy accessory slip in my laptop bag or any other carry on bag I’ve travelled with.
If it’s important to you the Roost is made in the USA. The designer who invented it has a great story and he’s really designed a portable stand of note.
Of course, a load of people have tried to copy his design but why buy a copy when you can have the real thing. Trust me, this thing will pay you back generously, in fact, I’m writing this post using the Roost stand.
What I like (Pros)
- Build quality is solid – it doesn’t feel hefty, it just never fails
- The packaging is nice. It comes in its own little bag which is really nice, even though I don’t really use it
- Multiple height options – from 6-11 inches above the desk height
- Folds down to a fantastic slim form factor
- A small thing but a nice touch is the rubber feet and rubber covered laptop holders slots. Doesn’t slide and won’t scratch your laptop
- Is super lightweight, weighing in at about 5.8 ounces
- It’s super stable. I’ve never been concerned with my laptop on this stand in any situation.
- Great airflow to keep your laptop cool
- Brilliant for long extended working sessions or just a pop-up in a cafe for a quick moment
Roost Laptop Stand Images
Summary: This has become a staple to my travel and mobile work. It’s as much a part of my work life as my laptop itself. Its reduced tired shoulders, headaches and generally poor posture while travelling and working. Highly recommended and our first pick.
2. Great form factor: Nulaxy Portable Laptop Stand
The Nulaxy portable laptop stand is a great budget pick for a portable stand and it folds down to a good size. Available in space grey or silver you have colour choices if that is important to you.
While the Nulazy is technically a portable laptop stand its really a portable laptop lift as the front of the laptop stays close to the desk. But don’t get me wrong, this still creates important ergonomic improvements.
The Nulaxy stand has a good range of angles for the laptop which is super handy if you are in tight spots where you need a specific angle. Can also be good when you have screen glare on your screen. There are 6 angles available.
Made from aluminum, it’s made to last as well but this adds a bit more weight. It’s about 12.3 ounces which is about twice the weight of the Roost.
What I like (Pros)
- Two colour options
- Solid aluminum build
- Small form factor for travel
- Quick to open and set up
- Multiple stand height options – 6 in total
- Silicon rubber on the important bits so your laptop is protected
- Price is affordable
Summary: The Nulaxy is a great choice if you really need your laptop lifted up off the desk to a tiltable height. Great weight bearing and solid build make suitable for travel and the mobile office. While the height options are good the maximum lift is around 5.34 inches which is a lot less than the Roost. So if height is not paramount this is an affordable choice.
3. Slim and attractive: MOFT Portable Laptop Stand
The MOFT Laptop Stand reminds me of expert origami creatively adapted for commercial use. It takes portability to the next step by being attached to the bottom of your laptop permanently (can be removed of course).
This means you don’t need to pack more accessories and extras when you pick up and go – just fold it up and you’re set.
Want different colours and patterns? This thing comes in 27 different colours and patterns so you can make a personal statement without having to cover your laptop in stickers. ?
The weight is very light, coming in at 3 ounces and very very thin form factor. That’s even 2 ounces lighter than the Roost.
It only has 2 height options but that might be enough for you. Personally I find working on a laptop that is inclined is terrible for your hand tendons so this laptop stand comes with the recommendation for an external keyboard and mouse regardless of the photos MOFT use to promote is a stand you use and still type from the laptop keyboard.
What I like (Pros)
- More color options than Kanye has sneakers
- Simple and attractive
- Always attached so no ‘set-up’ when you arrive at your destination
- Use it, or don’t. The option is always there which is nice
Summary: The MOFT might not be the perfect solution for real road warriors but is perfect for students, cafe dwellers or people who carry their laptop from conference room to conference room and so on. It won’t suit people who have airvents on the bottom – this makes apple macbook users are a good audience. A good, light option for those who never spend a long time in one place but always have their laptop attached.
4. Affordable: Nexstand Portable Laptop Stand
I felt undecided about recommending the Nexstand portable laptop stand as it’s really a clone of the Roost in many ways. It’s hard to hold on to IP these days.
There are multiple height options, 7 (or 8) to be exact, which lets you micro-manage your perfect height. These go up to a max height of 12.6″ above the desk which gives really good visual eye height for taller folks.
I don’t like the laptop clasp as much on the Nexstand but it’s functional and works fine.
What I like (Pros)
- Good maximum height option
- Lightweight at 8 ounces
- Folds down small and tight
- Comes with small carry case
Summary: The Nexstand might not be made in the USA and be a clone of the Roost but it’s functional and works. Whether it can withstand the abuse that a Roost could handle is up to how you handle it. If you think you can be relatively gentle then perhaps the cheaper price point is more important for you.
5. Functional stand: AmazonBasics Portable Foldable Laptop Stand
Like the MOFT the AmazonBasics laptop stand gives you a little lift at the back.
At 10.9 ounces it’s the third lightest laptop stand on our list which makes it an attractive travel partner. It folds flat so you can fit it in your laptop case but it’s not perfectly flat with rubber protective supports that will sit up a bit.
Your laptop will like it as it provides some good airflow underneath and it can be set up in two different formats.
The tilt angle on this is 18 degrees which is oddly close to a lot of our desktop speaker stands we reviewed. This means it’s a good stand for increasing angle and while it will give you a better view of the screen it might not be ideal for some of you who suffer from tendonitis.
What I like (Pros)
- Folds flat for easy transporting – does take up some space though
- Made from Aluminum which will ensure durability
Summary: AmazonBasics is a great line of products that does what it says – the basics well. This is a great entry point for a portable stand at the price but the lack of multiple height options might put some off and its lifespan might depend on how you treat it.
This post was last updated on 2021-04-23 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.