With our mobile lifestyles, we expect to be able to take our devices with us wherever we go. We do our work on them. We play. We socialize. We research. We do anything. With this kind of use and abuse, it’s no wonder laptops seem to be quitting and dying on us sooner these days. Programs that are high on CPU utilization and memory usage cause a device to get hotter and hotter. Heat can damage the fragile electrical circuits needed to keep the device working and running smoothly, and laptop cooling fans are often not powerful enough to keep up with hours and hours of use.
Enter the cooling pad. Cooling pads have been shown to lengthen the life of laptops by avoiding overheating and shutdowns. They can help computers run quicker and keep programs from crashing. They’re a great (and inexpensive) way to protect your investment—and we know that laptops can be quite the investment. Treat your laptop as you’d like to be treated. Give it some air!
We looked for a few things when compiling our list of our 7 faves for laptop cooling pads. All of our cooling pads are USB powered and include at least one built-in USB port, so that powering the fan doesn’t take up precious USB space! They all include fans. Most are adjustable in height. We picked the top seven that we think are the best in terms of affordability, reliability, and performance. Read on to see our top picks.
[amazon box=”B005C31HC0,B008CMTPCC,B014F4SBMK,B016PMVM7Q,B00L36CEYU,B00BCSYZG4,B00NNMB3KS” template=”table”]
[amazon link=”B005C31HC0″ title=”1. COOLER MASTER NOTEPAL X-SLIM” /]
Best for Minimalists
This is an ultra-low profile cooling pad that runs a single 160mm fan through a mesh fabric layer, keeping your laptop cool as a cucumber. At only a pound and a half, it supports laptops up to 17 inches but takes up hardly any space at all in your bag. We like the cable management grooves and extra USB port. It’s simple, subtle, and effective. With an attractive price tag, it’s no wonder this cooling pad has received over 6,000 five-star Amazon reviews!
[amazon link=”B008CMTPCC” title=”2. ZALMAN LAPTOP COOLING PAD” /]
Best For Gadget Users
The Zalman stands out for its whopping FOUR extra USB ports, a built-in sound card, and dual built-in speakers. With perks like that, the cooling feature is almost just a side note here. This cooling pad is well built, hardy, and long lasting. Specially made to fit laptops from 12 to 17 inches, it’s the perfect companion to any laptop that gets lots of use.
[amazon link=”B014F4SBMK” title=”3. TECKNET ULTRA-SLIM LAPTOP COOLING PAD” /]
Best For Criss-Cross Apple Sauce
This is a laptop cooling pad made for… well, a lap. Go figure. The design is perfect for any surface, and the fan is excellent at keeping laptops cool. While that same design does make the pad a little cumbersome (and the height is non-adjustable), it’s worth it for versatility. Other laptop pads use kick-stands to change height, a design that just doesn’t work well on laps. We like the double 110mm fans that are extremely quiet, and the pass-through USB power connector. We also love the durable feel of this pad. It’s constructed in one solid piece, and it handles drops and bumps like a champ.
[amazon link=”B016PMVM7Q” title=”4. TREE NEW BEE COOLING PAD” /]
Best For Style-conscious Users
Meet the Tree New Bee. It ranks as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon, and for good reason. It features FOUR fans, it comes with two USB ports, it has multiple adjustable fan speeds, and it freaking looks like a piece of the Batmobile. The built-in cable management system makes for easy portability, and the fans do a pretty good job keeping laptops cool. It seems that the fans aren’t quite powerful enough for pro-level heavy gaming, but they work great for anyone who spends several hours a day on the computer.
[amazon link=”B00L36CEYU” title=”5. AVANTEK ULTRA SLIM LAPTOP COOLING PAD” /]
Best For Library Study Sessions
This cooling pad is an excellent choice for avoiding power-offs and overheating. It does its job well for laptops up to 17” with two large 160mm fans (a three-fan version is also available) and a lightweight construction that makes it highly portable. It’s easy to turn on and off without having to unplug it, and it features an extra USB port. We love how SILENT the fans are, especially given the low price. Our only beef is that the surface is a little slick, so tilting the pad up can make laptops slide off sometimes. For most people this shouldn’t be much of an issue, but it’s something to be aware of.
[amazon link=”B00BCSYZG4″ title=”6. AVANTEK ULTRA SLIM LAPTOP COOLING PAD” /]
Best Low Budget Option
This is the only option on our list that fits laptops as small as 9 inches (up to 17). It’s also the least expensive way to keep your laptop nice and cool. It’s somewhat unique—instead of a pad with little pegs, it props up on a 5-tier adjustable stand that can angle a laptop all the way up to 45 degrees. While this stand is not intended for lap use, it does a great job on desks and is perfect for getting just the right angle for comfortable typing. We’re impressed with the quality of this stand for such a low cost!
[amazon link=”B00NNMB3KS” title=”7. HAVIT HV-F2056″ /]
Best For Larger Laptops
We’re not totally sure what the deal is with all the blue LED lights, but we don’t mind. If you don’t like the lights you won’t notice them under your laptop, and if you do then it’s an extra little perk! This top-selling laptop cooling pad boasts two USB ports and a slim profile of only 28mm in height and 1.5 lb in weight. Super portable, effective, and made to perfectly fit larger 17” screens (it can even fit up to 21” laptops), this laptop pad holds your device snugly while providing plenty of cooling power. It’s even nice and quiet. It’ll keep both you and your laptop looking cool. See what we did there? Eh?