In this blog, I’m taking a look at the best portable laptop stands for digital nomads, remote workers, freelance copywriters, and travellers. It’s time to stop the slouch!
Why you should use a portable laptop stand as a digital nomad
I’m a freelance copywriter, and I often have really long days at my laptop. After bouts of having a sore neck, lower back pain, eye strain, and a frozen shoulder (which I NEVER EVER WANT AGAIN EVER) – I knew it was time to invest in my health.
As a nomad, your travel and income depends on your ability to work and type comfortably, and a laptop stand is a critical part of this. We don’t get the luxury of being able to carry a standing desk, and laptop desk setups at Airbnbs and coworking spaces are rarely optimized for everyone’s heights.
Hunching over your laptop on a desk and looking down all day, especially if you’re tall – can wreak havoc on your body long term.
If you feel that a portable laptop stand is out of your budget right now – try putting your laptop on a pile of books or a box to raise your screen to eye level, and use an external mouse and keyboard to do your work. This can help you get the feel for how a laptop stand can improve your posture until you’re ready to buy one. I started out with a pile of books before I bought my stand, and it made a world of difference.
What you need to think about when you buy a portable laptop stand
Pro tip: When you buy your laptop stand – don’t forget to buy an ergonomic mouse and external keyboard if you don’t have them already! Trying to type on an elevated, slanted laptop keyboard will kill your wrists and shoulders. And yes, I have seen people trying to work like that all day 🤦🏻♀️
I personally use and recommend the:
I’m an unashamed Logitech fan, simply because I trust their gear to go the distance with the amount of work I do – and the insane amount of packing and unpacking of my backpack when I travel and visit coworking spaces and cafes.
These are the main things you need to think about when you go laptop stand shopping.
Everyone is a different height, so they need different things from their laptop stand. Your stand should raise your laptop up so your eye level is just below the top of your screen when you’re sitting down. This will ensure you’re always sitting straight when you’re working.
A stand will also help you avoid those unflattering Zoom camera angles and double chins that can happen when your laptop is sitting directly on the desk.
When you’re a nomad, you’ll be faced with lots of not-so-great desk setups at cafes, Airbnbs, hotels, and hostels. I find fixed-height stands super annoying for this reason.
It’s important that you have an adjustable, ergonomic laptop stand that gives you enough variation to compensate for all the different desk and chair situations that you’ll come across. You should be easily able to adjust your stand to the right height as needed.
Size and weight
Depending how light you want to travel, size and weight are important when you’re choosing a laptop stand. Ideally you’ll be looking forb a stand that’s as compact and light as possible, and doesn’t take up much room in your backpack.
Easy to use
Your stand should be quick and easy to put up and down – without you having to swear at it, and without it squishing your fingers in the hinges.
As a nomad, your stand is probably going to have a harder life than it would at home. So quality is pretty important. Buy the best stand within your budget. It needs to be sturdy enough to hold your laptop, and it shouldn’t wobble or slide around your desk or table while you work.
Finding a stand that fits multiple laptop sizes can be helpful as well, just in case you change laptops at any point in your travels. As a guide, most portable foldable stands only fit up to a 16″ laptop size.
The best portable laptop stands for digital nomads
I spent ages deliberating over laptop stand reviews and brands, and I finally bought the Roost. Which is why I’ve put this as my #1 choice.
After 4 years of daily work and travel, and being smashed around on planes, buses, trains, and boats in my backpack, this stand hasn’t missed a beat. It’s well worth the price, and I’d replace it again in a heartbeat if it broke. Which it doesn’t look like will happen anytime soon.
It’s touted as the lightest, most portable laptop stand available. I love it for this reason – and the fact it quickly folds flat into a stick shape, and slips into a custom pouch that fits easily into my backpack or day pack.
The Roost stand is a little more expensive than some of the other portable stands out there, but higher quality comes with a higher price tag.
- Easy to set up and fold down
- Ultra light & ultra portable
- Sturdy, stable, and durable
- Fits all sizes of PC and MacBook
- Non-slip rubber feet
- Adjustable height to give you 6 to 12 inches of lift – ensuring a perfect eye-level screen view
- Made in the USA
“This thing is amazing. After a diagnosis of herniated discs in my back, I had to do something about my posture — I’d often spend 12+ hours on the computer, most of it slouched over my laptop. The Roost stand seemed pricey for what it is, but it’s worth every penny” – Amazon reviewer
The iLevel 2 laptop stand is Wirecutter’s top choice of portable stand. Probably more suited to you if you have a home base or don’t travel so much.
I looked at this one as my second choice, but I liked the fact the Roost folded into a slim stick. While the iLevel 2 is light, it’s still a slab shape that might be awkward to get in and out of your backpack.
- Height adjusts easily with a front slider to lift your screen to eye level
- Rubber feet stop the stand from sliding on tables and desks
- The design keeps your laptop cool – this is important when you’re working long hours in hot climates!
- Slick, anodized aluminum – it looks like it was made to match an Apple MacBook
- Super stable
- High quality
“Great when using an external mouse and keyboard. I can position my MacBook to the perfect height for screen use. The added bonus is a far more flattering angle of the built-in webcam for video conferencing” – Amazon reviewer
The Nexstand was second equal with the iLevel 2 when I was laptop stand shopping. It has a similar design to the Roost, but is slightly longer and chunkier. I’m a minimalist traveller, so if I can cut weight and size anywhere, I will do it!
The extra inch of length in the Nexstand means it can hold larger and thicker laptops. It comes with clips to hold thinner laptops, so is an excellent choice if you’re worried about whether your laptop will sit securely on the stand.
Fully adjustable with up to 12 inches of lift to ensure your eyes are at screen level, no matter what your height is.
- Universal fit makes it suitable for all laptops 11.6 inches or larger
- Height adjustable with 7 settings
- Durable and stable
- Folds down easily and comes with it’s own custom pouch for safe transport
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazed I am at the Nexstand Laptop Stand. I use both a Dell XPS and a MacBook Pro. What I love is when you first fold it out, the initial stock position, is this perfect vertical height for me, being 6’3” tall. Nothing drives me a little nutty, then having to look down at my laptop screen. With this stand, not only do I have the vertical height right out of the gate, it’s super lightweight, well put together (for a plastic stand) and accommodates what I need it to do” – Amazon reviewer
The iVoler is ideal if you’re looking for a stylish foldable laptop stand. It’s a solid laptop or notebook stand holder, and also holds smaller tablets with no problem. It comes with a custom pouch for safety during travel.
If you’re working in hot, humid countries, the design of this stand ensures your laptop has good ventilation to prevent overheating.
- Supports laptops and tablets from 10 inches to 15.6 inches
- 6 height adjustments
- Quickly folds flat to a size of 9.4 inches x 1.75 inches
- Non-slip silicone feet
- Anodized aluminim frame for the style conscious nomad
- Durable and stable
“I really like how durable and simplistic this is. It weighs almost about nothing.There’s no parts to assemble. It’s durable. Its made of metal. You can use it for more than just your laptop. It works well with a tablet, a book, and I’m sure you can even use it for landscape mode for a phone, you don’t have to open it all the way for it to work. It’s very versatile and definitely a must-have for trying to ventilate a laptop and get a ton of more different types of uses with it while you’re on the go. Absolutely must buy!” – Amazon reviewer
The Nulaxy is a simple, functional aluminium laptop stand that’s stable and will hold even the heaviest laptops with no problem.
Even though this has a plate that your laptop sits on, your laptop will stay ventilated and cool.
The slim, lightweight design means you can fold the Nulaxy flat and carry it alongside your laptop. It’s also super easy to open and close
- Stable and durable
- Adjustable height settings
- Stylish aluminium design
- Silicone feet pads to prevent your stand sliding around
- Fits laptops and tablets from 11 to 17 inches
I really took my time doing tons of research to find the best laptop stand on the market to suit my needs and ended up buying the Nulaxy adjustable stand. Now that I have it am 100% happy with it. I should have got it much sooner” – Amazon reviewer
If you like this style, you can also check out the Urmust laptop notebook stand
The Jubor is another excellent option for an adjustable height laptop stand. It’s simple and effective for improving your posture and keeping your laptop screen at the right level. If you’re looking for an entry level stand, this one is well worth checking out – as is the Jubor adjustable computer stand riser.
- 6 adjustable height settings
- Opens and closes easily
- Custom storage pouch included
- Durable aluminium design
- Rubber pads to keep your laptop stable and secure and prevent slipping on desks
- Excellent airflow to ensure your laptop stays cool
- Supports devices from 9.7 to 15.6 inches
- Light weight and super portable
“I used to hold up my work laptop closer to eye level so I won’t hunch as badly. I have yet to travel with it but it looks very portable. The case is cute” – Amazon reviewer
The Besign laptop stand has a slide-out phone holder, which makes it a good choice for people who like to multi task!
It’s solid option if you’re on a budget. It’s simple, uncomplicated, and does everything you need it to do.
- 8 adjustable angles from 30 to 50 degrees of tilt
- Height lift up to 6.69 inches
- Rubber pads and a laptop holder to prevent scratches and slipping
- Sturdy design ensures no wobbles or shaking while you work
- Folds easily into a small, packable size for travel
- Compatible with laptops and devices from 10 inches to 15.6 inches
- Durable and capable of holding even the heaviest laptops
“Instantly, improved my posture and I can still use the laptop key board easily. I was able to adjust the stand to the perfect height to pair with my second monitor and a good camera angle for Zoom calls. Light weight and slim, so it will be easy to slip into laptop case for travel bag. The phone holder is a nice feature” – Amazon reviewer
The AOOU laptop stand is a different design from the previous options. It has the ability to use it from anywhere you might feel like working. Want to stay in bed all day, but also have work to do? The AOOU might be your new best friend!
To overcome the problems you might face with your laptop overheating in snuggly bed-work situations, this stand also comes with built-in cooling fans.
- Lightweight design
- Built in CPU cooling fans
- Fully adjustable with a height range up to 6.69 inches
- Adjustable angles giving between 30 and 50 degrees of tilt
- Can be used in bed, on the couch, or at your desk
- Compatiable with laptops and devices 10 to 15.6 inches
- Durable plastic design
“After reading other reviews I felt this product suit my needs best. I love how versatile it is and the many different ways you can position this stand. I can use this as a stand so I can sit and work on the couch or my bed or configure it shorter and have it on top of a desk. The added mouse tray is of great help when I am working on the couch or bed. An added plus to this stand is the built-in fan that I can just plug into the USB port of my laptop to cool it off” – Amazon reviewer
The Omoton features a lightweight aluminium frame. It folds into a stick shape that you can slip into your bag next to your laptop. There are two sizes in this model, so if your laptop is larger, you might want to size up to the bigger stand option.
- Folds up easily
- Keeps your laptop ventilated
- Supports devices from 10 to 15.6 inches
- 6 different height adjustments
- Custom storage pouch
- Anodized aluminium for light weight
- Rubber pads to avoid slippage
I received this laptop stand today. By the end of the day, I wish I had had one for years! I didn’t realize the difference in elevating the rear of the laptop. The screen is easier to see and more in front of my eyes so I don’t have to look down (hunch over) to look at it. The typing is actually easier and my hands do not get as tired at the angle. When I travel to different locations, I can collapse it and place in it’s small soft bag (10.5 inches long and 2.75 inches wide) and stick in a briefcase or carry-on bag in a few seconds” – Amazon reviewer
A great size and weight if you’re looking for something that folds flat – the Boyata aluminium computer riser is simple to use and light to carry around.
- Z-frame design to easily adjust tilt and height
- Sturdy aluminium construction
- Slide proof silicone pads and hooks to keep your laptop secure
- Airflow vents to keep your laptop cooled
- Fits laptops and devices up to 17 inches
- Sturdy and durable
“It surpassed my expectations. This is not at all like those flimsy stands that keeps on moving and changes their angle whenever the laptop is kept on them. On the contrary, this stand is actually very strong and sturdy. You need to apply quite some strength in order to even adjust it, so it won’t move or wobble at all. I am using it with my 15 inch Macbook Pro and it works flawlessly” – Amazon reviewer
The AboveTek laptop stand folds flat and easily slides into your bag for travel or a day at a cafe or coworking space. It’s both stylish and sturdy – perfect if you’re looking for something that matches your MacBook!
- Suitable for a wide range of laptops from 10 to 17 inches
- Slide-proof silicone mats
- Tilt angle adjustable to 90 degrees
- Height adjustable up to 8.27 inches
- Sturdy and durable aluminium frame
- Airflow vent to keep your hardware cool while you work
“Very portable – I can put it into my backpack and use it with my laptop in co-work office. Looks that it fits laptops perfectly from 12″ to 16″ without any problem. I put an ipad pro 12.5 inch on it, another use case and works good too” – Amazon reviewer
All of these stands will serve you well as a digital nomad, freelancer, or constant traveller – it just comes down to your personal needs, style preference, and budget as to which one you should choose.
The most important thing to remember is that a portable travel laptop stand is an investment in your long term health, and your ability to work and earn money online. Even if you start out with the most budget model I’ve talked about, it’s still better than not using a laptop stand at all 🙂
Rachael is a full-time digital nomad and freelance copywriter for B2B and SaaS companies. She’s worked with brands like Unbounce, Biteable, Datacom, Viddyoze, and Owler.
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