As great as tablets are for portability and ease of use, they are just flat objects and often have to be propped up on your knee, or against a wall or something else both solid and stable enough to be able to be seen and used properly.
The same goes for phones, which might fit well in your pocket, but don’t have any natural support without a stand to place them in. Many tablet stands work with phones, too.
Used flat you are going to strain your neck, arm and shoulder. And they can do more harm than even laptops, which at least angle the screen from the keyboard.
A stand - or tablet holder as they are sometimes called - can improve your ergonomic situation: safety, comfort, ease of use, and productivity.
We’ve gathered the best tablet stands we can find, tested them for posture, flexibility, stability and looks.
Below our tablet-stand product recommendations, we've listed our top tips for using a tablet with a stand, explaining why these factors are most important for your comfort and health.
Read on to discover the best tablet stands that we have tested. Most work with phones, too - although an even more useful option there is to use an angled phone stand - such as the Belkin Boost Up Stand - that wirelessly charges your phone at the same time.
Lamicall Tablet Stand - Best affordable tablet stand for stability
The Lamicall Tablet Stand is made of sturdy aluminium alloy, and is available in four colours: Silver, Black, Grey, and Rose Gold to maybe match your tablet.
It’s simple but looks great.
It is flexible in tilting to different angles, and will push right back if you want the screen pointing the other way round, although I’m not sure why you’d want to do that.
It doesn’t raise the tablet very high off the desk, but you could adjust for that by putting it on top of a box or book, although that will reduce its stability.
Its height is certainly better for your neck than not using a tablet stand at all.
For stability, it comes with stick-on rubber cushions, which will also reduce scratching of the tablet.
Unlike some of the stands that can wobble when you are controlling the screen with a hand, the Lamicall Tablet Stand is sturdy and rigid, although you can move it around the desk with ease.
From an aesthetic point of view, it looks fine, and the colour options are welcome.
Supports: 5in to 13in tablets and phones.
Twelve South Compass Pro - Best tablet stand for iPad Pro
This is the classiest tablet stand we have tested.
Twelve South makes a large range of high-quality accessories, often aimed at the Apple market but working with gadgets from other companies, too.
The company even claims that it originated the very idea of the tablet stand, so it has a long pedigree.
As such, it markets its Compass Pro tablet stand as for users of the high-end iPad Pro, and its price maybe suggests that, too.
It works just as well with other tablets, too, of course.
It’s a tripod easel design that folds flat for easy portability. One of the legs folds down, and flip out a secret arm, so you can lay the tablet low as a typing or sketching stand.
With that leg upright, it works well for more passive, hands-free viewing purposes, but - unlike some of the flimsier stands reviewed here - the Compass Pro remains stable when controlling by the tablet’s touchscreen.
Pull the end of the back foot to further angle the screen.
In any of these modes, it could be connected to a USB-C docking station that might include a larger external display.
Viewing angles range from 15-52 degrees.
It folds up beautifully, and comes with a handy travel bag.
Supports: 6in to 12in tablets.
Tyrone Gooseneck Tablet Stand - Best tablet stand for flexibility
You can’t get much more flexible a tablet or phone stand than one on a gooseneck stand, such as the aptly named Tyrone Gooseneck Tablet Stand.
You can bend the metal alloy neck into any angle. It’s quite stiff, but that’s what you want for stability and the ability to take the weight of the tablet at any angle.
This stand is secured to a desk or table by its easy-to-use grip, and will fit on a surface up to 3in thick.
The tablet or phone fits into the top grip, and feels secure, although the device will wobble if you are using a finger on the screen to control.
The gooseneck really does offer flexibility, and it’s best suited for when you don’t need to touch the screen - say for watching videos or Zoom calls.
Supports: 4in to 10.6in tablets and phones.
Twelve South ParcSlope - Best for tablets and laptops
ParcSlope is a dual-purpose stand that is aimed at tablets and laptops, especially iPads and MacBooks. The company markets it as a “desktop easel for creative work” but it will do just fine for typing, too.
It’s built for active use rather than passive watching.
Super stable, it angles iPads and other tablets for more comfort and productivity, with an 18-degree sketching/typing angle.
Matte black, ParcSlope is beautifully minimalist with sexy curves and a ridged racetrack-like top for a touch of hip sportiness.
An oval cut-out in the stand’s back is handy for keeping cables tidy.
And you can use it as a laptop stand, too.
Supports: 7in to 12.9in tablets and up to 16in laptops.
Aketo Tablet Stand - Simple, affordable and portable tablet stand
This simple plastic tablet and phone stand folds up so can be carried around easily. You can take it in your purse or jacket pocket to a coffee shop, or just the next room when you need to.
It remains stable despite its low weight, and, sat on silicone pads, it won’t be pushed around too easily when you are controlling your device by its touchscreen.
The Aketo stand will adjust to just about any screen angle, but doesn’t add any more height than a few centimetres.
Supports: 4.7in to 10.5in tablets and phones.
Urmost Laptop Stand - Best tablet stand for adding height and stability
The Urmost Laptop Stand, as its name implies, isn’t built specifically for tablets but it works well where you add a wireless keyboard to create more of a desktop setup.
Where it wins is its ability to really raise the tablet up high, and it beats the tablet stands tested here in that regard - rising to 15cm at an acceptable angle.
It has anti-slip silicone pads on top and bottom, and obviously will work as a laptop stand too if you need it for different types of device. It's a little larger than some of the stands tested here, but it's perfect to create a real work station, and folds up for storage or travel.
It's stable enough for touchscreen use, and adjustable for comfortable viewing.
Available in Silver, Black, Blue, Red, Rose Gold and Grey.
Supports: 4in to 12.9in tablets and up to 15in laptops.
IBeani Tablet Bean Bag Tablet Holder - Best tablet stand in bed
The iBeani Tablet Holder is something quite different from other tablet stands we have tested. It's a small bean bag, available in a dazzlingly wide range of colours and patterns (over 21), that is altogether less metallic and angular than the rest.
It will sit on a desk, but probably makes more sense on a bed or on your lap or for use in bed. Sitting on the couch for a video call, the iBeani comes into its own.
It measures 25-x-25-x-30cm, and weighs 220g, so is very light.
Its squashability means you can angle the tablet's screen as you want it, although it will move around a bit if it's resting on you and you move about. It adds a little height and you can knead the bean bag into different angles.
The iBeani is fully machine washable, on a cool or delicate wash. There's a side pocket for a phone or other gadget, packet of biscuits or whatever you fancy snuggled up with your tablet and mini bean bag.
Amazon has the largest range of colours and patterns.
Lisen Tablet Stand - Tablet stand that rises
The Lisen Tablet Stand is great if you want to raise the tablet higher than squatter tablet stands.
It’s adjustable in height between 10-15cm. It will rotate 360 degrees and also angle up and down enough (5-85 degrees) for most needs.
There is some minimal assembly. You place the pole on the base, and then add a screw (supplied with key) to make it secure.
It’s a lot more plasticky than the metal stands, and so introduces a noticeable wobble if you touch the screen. If you add a keyboard and mouse, that shouldn’t matter, and it is stable enough for passive watching videos or reading hands-free.
The stand’s silicone pad should save the tablet from any scratching.
Supports: 4in to 12in tablets and phones.
Gritin Tablet Stand - Portable tablet stand
Folding into a compact shape, the Gritin Tablet Stand is easily portable and lightweight. It’s made of durable plastic and aluminium.
It can raise the tablet or phone height to 8cm, and can adjust lower. The stand will tilt at up to 90 degrees, but be aware that its not great at holding anything heavy past a certain angle without tipping over.
We wouldn’t recommend this stand if you want to use it when controlling the tablet with your finger, as it isn’t secure under movement.
But for watching videos or any passive viewing it is fine.
Supports: 4in to 12.9in tablets and phones.
Nulaxy KM13 Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard - Angle stand with keyboard
Another way to angle your tablet for better typing and viewing posture is to attach a keyboard to create a laptop-like setup.
There are many of these tablet keyboards available, but make sure it will work with your model of tablet.
The best ones will allow you to angle the screen for better posture, although you gain little in height. But combined with the best laptop stands, you can get a stellar ergonomic setup.
This full-size Bluetooth keyboard is compatible with Windows tablets and Apple iPads.
It isn’t rechargeable, sadly, but takes AAA batteries.
Supports: 4in to 12.9in tablets.
Apple Magic Keyboard - Luxury iPad keyboard angle stand
iPad users with some spare cash might dream of buying a wizard iPad keyboard, Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which can angle the tablet for a more ergonomic typing experience.
It’s certainly not cheap, but it does fold-up into a protective case for the tablet, and includes full‑size backlit keys and a responsive scissor mechanism. It is specially designed for Multi‑Touch gestures and the cursor in iPadOS.
The Magic Keyboard features a USB-C port for charging an iPad Pro or iPad Air (4th generation) that frees up the iPad’s own port for other accessories.
Tips for using a tablet with a stand
For a device that makes us more mobile, the tablet’s own poor ergonomics might end up ruining our body’s mobility!
A tablet stand should improve this, eliminating discomfort and the risk of injury due to tablet usage.
Lying on the couch or bed with your tablet on your lap might initially be comfortable, but you are causing severe strain on your neck and other muscles. Imagine the weight of your head being supported by those poor muscles that expect your head to be upright.
A university study discovered that tablet use increases mechanical demand on neck muscles by 3-5 times more than a neutral position.
And it’s not just the weight of your head pulling on the neck, or the odd positions you find yourself using the tablet in. Holding the tablet too close to your face risks eye strain, made worse by the reduction in blinking that close screen use results in.
Many of these problems are solved by using your tablet with as healthy a posture as possible, and a great way of assuring good posture with a tablet is to use a stand that makes you properly sit up straight and at a healthy distance from the screen.
This is especially important if you use your tablet or phone for long video calls on Zoom or Google Meet. It should also give you the flexibility to find a more flattering camera angle.
Tablets have such a wide variety of uses - laptop substitute, web browser, photo album, video screen, music database, camera, recipe manager - that you may need more than one tablet stand depending on the way you want to use it at any one time.
And, with home fitness workouts becoming more popular, a stand will help your tablet or phone bring your virtual personal trainer down to the level of your yoga mat.
The tablet can be used as a second screen when you are in front of your laptop, or as an electronic photo frame on the mantlepiece or by the side of your bed.
if you are going to be typing a lot on your tablet, get an external keyboard. If scrolling gives you pain, try using a stylus pen to navigate your touch screen.
Posture: your back should be straight, with the screen at eye level, which means raising and angling the tablet. For best results, a case propped on your lap should be at 45 degrees; better, when sitting on a table, the tablet should be at 60 degrees.
When using the tablet for a while, placing it on a stand on a flat surface is best. Rest your feet on the floor, and sit on a chair that supports your back. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips.
Position the tablet to avoid reflection from overhead lighting and sunlight.
For passive viewing over long periods of time, make sure you are comfortable and not painfully angling your neck to see the screen.
Rather than use the tablet’s virtual keyboard all the time, if you are using it for long periods of time, consider adding a wireless keyboard and mouse, and placing the keyboard straight in front of you when typing, leaving a gap of about 10 to 15cm (4-6in) at the front to rest your wrists when not typing.
If scrolling gives you pain, try using a stylus pen to navigate your touchscreen, or a wireless mouse.
Flexibility: the stand should be flexible enough to be adjusted to your comfort levels and posture, and position in front of you. This will depend on what you are using your tablet for. A gooseneck stand is the most flexible, but make sure it can take the weight of your tablet. The best will be pretty stable but you can't always expect rock-solid firmness. when using the touchscreen.
Stability: the stand needs to not slide across your desk or whatever surface you place it on. Some stands are too wobbly to be used in touchscreen mode, and are suited to passive viewing purposes. We note these in our reviews below.
Looks: not the most important factor for your health, but key if you are going to use it all the time in your home or office. You may find you pay more for the best-looking stands, and that's often because they are better made.