So you want to get yourself a cooling pad for your laptop. Maybe you've seen them creeping into the suggested products on Amazon, or perhaps you've been enviously eyeing the cooling stand on your co-worker's desk. To help you find the right laptop cooler for you, we've tested and ranked 12 of the best-selling laptop cooling pads on the market.
We tested every laptop cooler with a variety of laptops, looking at how each pad handles cooling, what sort of performance boost it really offers and how noisy each one is when operating at peak cooling. When ranking the various products, we not only looked at how well the cooling pad controls temperature, but also considered the feature set, build quality and any unique aspects of the individual models.
Still not sure that you want to buy one? Check out our in-depth look at them in our article Does Anybody Really Need a Laptop Cooling Pad?
The Kootek Cooler Pad Chill Mat 5 has a silly name. It doesn't have extra USB ports. But it offers a level of cooling capability that easily surpasses that of every other cooling pad we tested. Internal temperatures dropped more than 30 degrees (a combined average across multiple tests and laptops), and external temperatures were reduced by 11 degrees. While air cooling can't do much to substantially improve performance, this pad does keep things cooler better than its peers, and that's enough to garner the top spot in our reviews. The pad has an adjustable stand, with angles between 0 and 25 degrees, and the whole thing is covered by a generous three-year warranty. Test Results Internal Temp. Change: -31.8 External Temp. Change: -11.7 Dirt 3 FPS Change: +23.4 Geekbench % Change: +0.5% Noise Level: 54 dB
The CM Storm SF-17 gaming laptop cooling stand is made by Cooler Master's gaming brand and has the sort of chunky gamer aesthetic you might expect. Thankfully, most of the aesthetic elements have functional uses, such as adjustable height, a built-in handle for easy carrying, and rubber bumpers that serve as both feet for the stand and integrated cable management. The cooler boasts a built-in, four-port USB hub, along with a stepless dial for adjusting fan speed and a (relatively) understated red LED stripe that can be turned on and off. The stand's single 180-millimeter fan offers decent cooling inside and out for laptops up to 19 inches. Test Results Internal Temp. Change: -10.2 External Temp. Change: -6.3 Dirt 3 FPS Change: +28.7 Geekbench % Change: +0.7% Noise Level: 50 dB
The Targus Lap Chill Mat AWE55US is not the best laptop pad we saw for cooling your laptop; in fact, it reduced internal temperatures by only a degree or two. What it does do, however, is provide a cooling solution that will work on your lap as well as on a table. The wedge-shaped stand has open sides for open airflow and is covered with a soft layer of neoprene for unrivalled comfort when used in bed or while kicked back on a couch. A lot of the heating problems that people experience arise from setting a laptop on a blanket or pillow for casual use, so the Targus is one of the best solutions we've seen to the most common overheating problem. Test Results Internal Temp. Change: -1.2 External Temp. Change: -5 Dirt 3 FPS Change: +24.7 Geekbench % Change: +1.10% Noise Level: 50 dB
The TopMate K5 gaming laptop cooler looks very much like several other cooling pads we reviewed, with the same angular design and blue LEDs that seem made to generically appeal to gamers. The cooling pad's five fans can be used in different combinations to increase or decrease total airflow, and an easel-style bar lets you adjust the angle to one of five height settings. At 53 decibels, it's one of the louder cooler stands we tested, but it's still quiet enough that you can carry on a conversation without having to raise your voice to talk over the fan noise. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-18External Temp. Change:-10.7Dirt 3 FPS Change:+25.3Geekbench % Change:+1.50%Noise Level:53 dB
You probably haven't heard of Tree New Bee, but the company's cooling pad is pretty good. It reduced external temperatures by an average of 11 degrees Fahrenheit and reduced internal heat by a full 18 degrees, making it one of the better coolers we saw for actual cooling. Unfortunately, it also rattled like an angry snake when we first turned it on, thanks to a slightly warped chassis that caused one fan to strike the cowling on every rotation. A little manual flexing fixed the problem. The feature set is fairly plain, with one extra USB port and an adjustable angle that has two height settings. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-18External Temp. Change:-11Dirt 3 FPS Change:+25.3Geekbench % Change:+1.1%Noise Level:52 dB
Where most cooling pads opt for simplicity, the Thermaltake Massive TM notebook cooler tries the opposite, with features not offered on other laptop coolers. The TM stands for temperature monitor, as the cooler has four peg-like temperature sensors that measure the heat of the bottom of the laptop. The pad also has an automatic mode that uses this temperature data to kick into higher gear when the laptop temperature climbs too high, and our testing showed that these sensors were mostly accurate. We got more-precise readings with our IR thermometer, but higher temps produced higher readings. It's also the most stylish cooler pad we saw, with an aluminum-plate grille instead of the usual perforated metal mesh. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-15External Temp. Change:-9.7Dirt 3 FPS Change:+20.8Geekbench % Change:+0.2%Noise Level: 51 dB
The Aluratek Slim USB cooling pad ACP01FB uses a simple wedge-shaped design, with no height adjustment and a USB pass-through connection built into the power plug itself. The no-nonsense design consists mostly of black metal mesh, with a pair of 127-millimeter fans that glow blue when the pad is plugged in. The compact design should make the pad easy to travel with, but the overall cooling and performance-boosting capabilities are minimal. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-1.8External Temp. Change:-9.3Dirt 3 FPS Change:+16.7Geekbench % Change:+1.2%Noise Level:50 dB
Aicheson isn't a household name, but it does make one of the best-selling laptop coolers on Amazon. This is largely due to the $20 price, but the pad also offers adjustable fan speeds, several height settings and even a nifty, glowing display. The display, unfortunately, is difficult to read, and the adjustable settings include mention of an automatic mode that isn't actually available on the cooling pad. Designed for laptops from 10 to 16 inches, the pad has two USB ports, one for plugging in the USB power cord and a second pass-through port, so you can still connect a flash drive. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-19.8External Temp. Change:-5.3Dirt 3 FPS Change:+ 9.8Geekbench % Change:+0.8%Noise Level:48 dB
Cooler Master may be a major name in desktop cooling, but in the world of laptop-cooling pads, it's just OK. The NotePal X-Slim is built for laptops up to 17 inches, but the overall package is quite portable and should slip into a backpack or laptop bag without trouble. Two height options let you use this cooler on a desk or on your lap. A USB pass-through connection built into the USB power cable means you can still access all of your laptop's ports, but we wish it offered something in the way of adjustable fan speed. Mercifully, it is one of the few coolers we reviewed that doesn't light up like a blue glowing Christmas tree when plugged in. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-7.8External Temp. Change:-12Dirt 3 FPS Change:+24.2Geekbench % Change:+0.6%Noise Level: 55 dB
The Havit HV-F2056 has the same sort of plastic body and metal mesh surface seen on most of the cooling pads in our review, and it glows with blue LEDS illuminating the three fans within. You can use the stand either flat or raised up to a 4-degree angle, but the overall cooling is average. With this pad's noise level of 50 decibels, you'll hear the fan over the ambient sound of the room, but it won't disrupt conversation. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change: -14.4External Temp. Change:-11Dirt 3 FPS Change: +23.7Geekbench % Change:+0.4%Noise Level:50 dB
The TeckNet N5 Ultra-Slim Quiet laptop notebook cooler is a basic cooling pad with a simple wedge design, made for use on tables and laps alike. Designed for laptops up to 16 inches in size, the dual 110-millimeter fans do a passable job of cooling, dropping the internal temperatures by an average of 15 degrees and lowering surface temperatures by 7 degrees. Because of the pair of USB ports, you can plug in the cooler without losing a USB port, but there are no extras and no adjustment for either fan speed or the angle of the stand. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-15External Temp. Change:-7.3Dirt 3 FPS Change:+24.1Geekbench % Change:+0.7%Noise Level:50 dB
The Belkin CoolSpot is simple, but even in a category in which simplicity is to be expected, this pad is a bit too spartan for our liking. The small laptop cooler is made for laptops up to 15 inches in size, and it comes with a single 70-millimeter fan, with no adjustments for speed or angle. The pad has no USB output to replace the USB port it occupies, and the construction is lightweight, made from molded plastic with a stripe of grippy rubber along the top and bottom of the pad surface for traction. While most cooling pads have a full mesh surface that improves airflow even when the fans are off, the Belkin CoolSpot has only a grille for the small fan, so the rest of the stand does little to improve passive cooling. Test ResultsInternal Temp. Change:-7.2External Temp. Change: -10.3Dirt 3 FPS Change: +26.9Geekbench % Change: + 1.1%Noise Level:55 dB
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