Best laptop stands for Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air
Apple’s MacBooks are great, but – as with all laptops – using one isn’t that great for your back or neck.
Continual bowing of the head to see a screen can lead to a stiff neck and what doctors call spinal stenosis, which can compress blood vessels and displace nerves – cutting off blood supply to the brain. That’s not a good thing.
Your screen should be at a comfortable height that doesn’t make you bend your neck down to see it. Try to make sure your eyes are in line with the screen while sitting with a straight back.
This also helps when making video calls, so the other people aren’t staring up your nostrils. It also makes using a separate keyboard and mouse much easier. See our roundups of the best Mac keyboards and best Mac mouse.
And, after use, you can hide away your keyboard under the raised stand on some.
Some stands raise the laptop to eye level, and others – known as “vertical stands” – just keep the MacBook closed for minimal desk disruption if you have connected external displays to increase your screen size – learn how to set up a second screen for a Mac.
The eye-level laptop stands will also be more ergonomic, raising the MacBook screen so that you are not straining your neck muscles, shoulders and back. It should also reduce screen glare, which means less eye strain and fewer headaches.
Buy a vertical laptop stand to keep your desk tidy and free up space for other stuff – be that a charger for your iPhone, backup hard disk, or a cup of coffee.
Both types of stand should also raise the laptop, raising it off the desk and keeping it cooler. If a laptop gets too hot, its performance is likely to suffer.
A laptop stand also works nicely with a MacBook docking station, which can multiply the number of ports and slots available to you and allow for multiple larger displays.
UGreen’s X-Kit stand even has its own integrated USB-C hub, which is a very clever addition.
We’ve rounded up the best laptop stands for MacBook that we can find. Most mimic the clean metal lines of the MacBook range, while others think differently.
Twelve South Curve – Best open MacBook stand
Elevating your screen to an ergonomic height is important for relieving neck strain on your muscles and vertebrae. A quality laptop stand will do just that for you.
One of our favourites is the Curve, available in Apple-friendly matte black and white.
It raises your MacBook 6.5 inches off your desk so you can sit up straight and look directly at your screen – and feel less tension in your neck and shoulders.
It also keeps your laptop cool with air flowing underneath it.
It’s a one-piece metal design with non-slip silicone grips on the bottom and arms. It looks fantastic, just like your MacBook.
Twelve South now has a companion stand for the external display you might connect to your MacBook. The Curve Riser will put your second screen at a similar height to the laptop, and includes a handy shelf for a docking station or other device.
Satechi Aluminum Laptop Stand – Best portable MacBook stand
Satechi’s Aluminum Laptop Stand is more portable than most, being collapsible and lightweight (under 500g).
You can simply fold it up, and pack it in your bag or suitcase for travel.
It doesn’t raise the laptop as high as the Twelve South Curve or Beststand Cooling Stand, but it does bring the screen closer to eye level than sat flat on the desk.
It suits MacBooks in looks, as it is available in Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Space Grey and Black, but will work with any laptop 12in-17in.
The base is rubberised to keep it secure on your desk.
Ugreen X-Kit – Best portable laptop stand with built-in USB-C hub
Most of the laptop stands tested here are beautiful, ergonomically beneficial and dissipate heat well, but are otherwise dumb.
UGreen’s X-Kit hub-stand fulfils the role of both stand and USB hub. And it’s 40% lighter than the Satechi Aluminum Laptop Stand.
It’s a small, foldable laptop stand for 11-17in laptops, with an integrated 5-in-1 USB-C hub and docking station.
It’s a great X-shaped design in cool Obsidian black, but it’s the hub that really makes this stand, er, stand out. It’s lightweight (283g or 10oz) and small enough when folded for you to slip into a small travel bag.
The hub enables you to tidily connect storage drives, memory sticks, a wired mouse and keyboard, and an external display via the included USB-C cable – without a dangling dongle in sight.
It works with both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 laptops, although the 40Gbps T3 laptops will throttle back to 5Gbps when interacting with any devices connected to the X-Kit.
Compatible with both Mac and Windows laptops, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, and Android tablets, the aluminium Hub-Stand features the following ports:
- Two USB-A 3.0 ports (5Gbps)
- HDMI – 4K at 30Hz
- UHS-I SD and TF card slots for adding affordable, portable storage
It has four adjustable heights that should offer ergonomic benefits to reduce neck and wrist strain.
Slip-proof silicone bands and protective hooks keep your portable workstation stable.
Its airy construction should help dissipate heat, too.
Until January 10, 2021, it’s available via Indiegogo at a reduced US$49 – about £35. After that, it will go on sale at regular online retailers for $98 (£70). UK buyers might want to wait, as purchases from crowd-funding sites sometimes incur customs charges when the product hits the UK.
Bestand Aluminum Cooling Stand – Best stand for cooling laptop
If you need a stand that keeps the MacBook open with screen showing, the Bestand Aluminum Cooling Stand looks the part in either Silver or Grey to match your Apple laptop.
It lifts your MacBook to eye level, which should be better for your posture, back and neck.
There are three strip-shaped holes to the pad that the MacBook sits on, which should offer some degree of cooling compared to stands without such basic ventilation.
Another hole at the back allows for cable management and can be used as a handle, too.
There are optional extras that allow you to add your iPhone to the stand.
Rain Design mTower – Best minimal closed stand
The mTower from Rain Design is a simple, minimal vertical (closed) stand that saves you desk space and elevates the MacBook’s vent to keep your laptop cool.
Its anodised aluminium body – that allows the MacBook to “float” above it – neatly matches the design and colour of the Space Gray and Silver MacBooks.
It raises the laptop 88mm (3.5in) off the desk, and fits the 12in MacBook, 13in and 15in MacBook Pro and 11in and 13in MacBook Air. It includes a number of inserts to make sure your MacBook fits snuggly.
It’s for use in setups where you have a second or third screen as the screen remains closed.
Twelve South BookArc – Most elegant laptop stand
The BookArc, from Twelve South, is a simple, elegant stand that lifts your closed Apple laptop off your desk, and supports the MacBook in closed-display mode for a less cluttered desk when paired with one or two external displays.
It has been designed to match the design aesthetic of Apple’s laptops, and works with the MacBook, MacBook Air (2018-2020) and MacBook Pro (2016-2020) including 13in, 15in and 16in models.
An insert is included with the BookArc so that each laptop fits perfectly.
Henge Vertical Dock – Best closed MacBook stand dock
Matching perfectly with its stablemate the Henge Stone tethered dock, the Henge Vertical Dock is a stand of real beauty, and one that has visitors to my desk salivating over in jealousy.
It’s a dock in that it has fast Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports (one or two depending on the model of MacBook you buy it for), but it doesn’t boast extra USB-A ports, or other connections to add extra displays or devices.
You can pull it out when you need to move your laptop, and then just place it back in when you’re back at your desk – without having to touch a cable.
Standing proudly upright, it features intake and exhaust vents that move additional air to and from the MacBook’s cooling system.
Of course, it will work alongside other non-Henge docks, such as the CalDigit TS3 Plus.
Satechi Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand – Simple closed stand
Satechi makes some fine accessories that are “universal” but clearly styled to fit with the design aesthetics of Apple’s products.
This elegant but sturdy Universal Vertical Aluminum Laptop Stand might not have a fancy name but it does tick both the “Universal” and MacBook boxes. It’s adjustable, with a knob that tightens or loosens the stand width from half an inch to 1.25in so will fit all but the fattest laptops. It will even take a laptop in a shell case.
As a “vertical” stand it will save you valuable desk space, although of course it requires an external display as the laptop will remain closed. Twin it with a Docking station that includes HDMI or DisplayPort for the ultimate MacBook setup.
There’s a chamber at the bottom of the weighty anodised aluminium body (7.05-x-3.9-x-2.75in) to allow air to flow and keep the laptop cool.
It’s available in Silver, Space Grey and Black.
Belk MacBook Laptop Stand – Best wooden stand
The curved Belk MacBook Laptop Stand doesn’t follow the trend for stark metal design like most of the stands reviewed here.
Instead, it is a pleasing arc in either Walnut or Black Walnut wood. This natural look might not look much like your laptop, but it may well fit in with your desk more sympathetically.
It comes with two different silicone gaskets so it should fit most laptops. The slim MacBook Pro wobbles a little in even the thinnest, but it’s not a problem unless you are in the habit of violently shaking your desk.
Underneath, there’s cable management to keep your desk a little tidier.
It measures 26.4cm x 12.5cm x 7.5cm, and weighs 195g.
OMoton Vertical Laptop Stand – Simple closed stand
The OMoton Vertical Laptop Stand is a simple, small-footprint design, but with a clever underside.
Flip the aluminium stand over and you’ll find four adjustable screws (it comes with a tool to turn them) so you can determine its width to fit your laptop – from 14mm to 40mm.
Really skinny laptops will still feel some wobble, but you wouldn’t want it gripped too tight anyway. It’s reassuringly heavy at 600g.
The inner (and bottom) features anti-slip silicone, which should also stop any scratching of the laptop shell.
The OMoton stand is available in Black, Grey, and silver.
It measures 150mm x 97mm x 47mm.
There’s also a double version, if you want to keep your tablet nearby.
Lention Aluminum Laptop Stand – Best adjustable closed stand
There are a lot of very similar laptop stands out there, and Lention makes one that looks and works just like the Omoton.
It’s a closed design that can be adjusted from 0.36 to 1.2 inches in width to fit most laptops.
It has a non-slip protective rubber mat.
Available in Space Grey or brushed Silver.