Feel like your laptop is about to burn a hole in your desk after hours of gaming? Are you having to take your laptop off of your lap when it feels like your thighs are on fire? If you are having either of those problems or are having problems with an overheating laptop in general, then it sounds like it’s time for you to look into a laptop cooling pad.
Those with gaming laptops know how much a laptop can heat up once the CPU and GPU really kick into gear after a few hours of gaming. Laptop cooling pads are created to combat that very problem: helping the laptop to –
Stay cool under pressure! ❄️
If you are expecting a plain looking cooling pad, think again. Many laptop cooling pads do a lot more than just cool down your laptop, they almost become a command center for all of your laptop gear. Cooling pads can have extra USB ports (always helpful), cord management systems, adjustable height settings, and RGB lighting, all of which can add to create a great laptop gaming setup.
Need help choosing a new laptop cooling pad? This article will show you our picks for the best laptop cooling pads in 2020. Whether you are someone who already owns a gaming laptop or someone who is looking for a new laptop and needs accessories to go with it, this article will give you some good choices to pick from.
If you are unfamiliar with what to look for when buying a laptop cooling pad, make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to check out our Laptop Cooling Pad Buying Guide.
If you are still in the market for a gaming laptop, make sure to check out our article on the best gaming laptops to help get you started.
Best Choice: Cooler Master NotePal X3
Pros & Cons
- Extra USBs are convenient for charging phone while gaming
- Big fan plus mesh surface is a great combination for cooling the laptop
- Front vent keeps your hands nice and cool
- A bit pricier than other options
- Blue LED Lighting
- USB pass-through allows you to charge your phone or other things
- 200mm fan
- Supports 15" and 17" laptops
- Mesh surface
- 1.98 pounds
Cooler Master NotePal X3 Review
The Cooler Master NotePal X3 is what we'd call the best laptop cooling pad for gaming available. It features a large 200mm fan that sits below a mesh surface. The fan speed is fully adjustable, so you can have it going as fast or slow as you want. Don’t worry about it being too loud though: this thing is pretty dang silent even when running at full speed.
Like many other laptop cooling pads out there, the Cooler Master NotePal X3 has blue LED lights under the fan that gives it a cool look. The overall shape and design of the cooling pad look great. Its size is able to hold 15-inch and 17-inch laptops and does a good job of keeping both cool.
The NotePal X3 is not short of other cool add-ons either. It has an extra USB port so you can charge your phone or attach that awesome gaming keyboard you bought, the ability to toggle LED lighting on and off, and a front vent to keep your sweaty palms nice and dry while gaming for long periods of time.
While the NotePal X3 might be a little more expensive than some other laptop cooling pads out there, it earns GameGavel’s title of “best choice” because of the combination of its great cooling ability and a nice mix of add-ons. The overall experience of the Notepal X3 is one of the best on the market.
Best Quality: Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand III
Pros & Cons
- Number of adjustment options
- Four USB ports for charging all of your stuff
- Gigantic fan
- Very expensive
- A little heavy
- Doesn’t fit 17" laptops very well
- 230mm fan: very quiet
- Four USB ports
- Cable management system
- Adjustable anti-slip holders
- Six adjustable angle settings
- 3.4 pounds
Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand III Review
Buying the Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand III for your laptop cooling pad is the equivalent of buying a BMW for your car: you may not need all the cool features it offers, but man is it nice to have them. With a combination of a big fan, a great cable management system, and four USB ports, this is truly the luxury laptop cooling pad on the market.
Let’s start with the basics: does it cool your laptop cool? Definitely. The mesh front of the cooling pad, mixed with the giant fan, makes for a ton of airflow. Your hands almost get a little cold with the fan at full blast, so it’s nice that you are able to adjust the power on it so your hands don’t completely freeze.
With the high price that you pay for the Cooler Master ErgoStand III, you get plenty of features to almost make this cooling pad your laptop “control center”. It has six different angles you can adjust to in order to help you find the best angle, which is nice for working at a desk or using it while lying down.
Having four USB ports at your disposal is very handy. That many USB ports allow you to plug in a full keyboard and your favorite gaming mouse you can't do without, making the laptop a full gaming station. You can even charge your phone along with it. Cooler Master has also included a cable management system on this thing to help you manage all of your cords.
The downside of ErgoStand III is definitely the price. All of the features are great, but with this model being over $50 more than many of its competitors, is it really that much better? That’s up for you to decide.
One additional knock against the ErgoStand III is the look of it: it’s just not that exciting. No fancy LED lighting, no sharp, sleek curves to it, just plain black paint with a diamond-pattern for an airflow grate. It’s a very professional look, but not one that many gamers will be wowed by.
For those willing to spend the money, the Cooler Master NotePal ErgoStand III will be a great addition to your gaming setup, even if it doesn’t have the most exciting look. With an effective cooling system, a multitude of USB ports, and a cable management system, this thing can become your new computer hub in no time.
Best Value: TopMate 12 Laptop Cooler
Pros & Cons
- Five fans for extra cooling
- Hinged flap helps with no slipping
- Great price
- Buttons to control the fan aren’t the most intuitive
- Only holds up to 15.6 inch computer
- Four 65mm fans, one 120mm fan, 3 fan modes
- Speed and fan mode control buttons with LCD display
- 5 height settings with anti-skid flap to hold laptop at steeper angles
- 2.2 Pounds
TopMate 12 Laptop Cooler Review
If you are looking for good quality mixed with good value, look no further than the TopMate 12. This laptop cooling pad has not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 fans. That’s right, 5. It has one larger 120mm fan in the middle and four 65mm fans surrounding it blowing strong wind at 2500 rpm. If that isn’t enough to cool your laptop down, then I don’t know what is.
The TopMate 12 has a sleek, curved design with blue LED lights illuminating each of the fans. It’s a great look, but not particularly unique to the laptop cooling pad scene. The TopMate has five different height adjustments and an anti-skid flap at the front of the pad to help keep your laptop from sliding off. That’s great for using your laptop at steeper angles.
The best part of the TopMate though is the amount of control you have over it. Top Mate has a control pad at the front of the cooling pad to help you control which fans you want going, fan speed, or to just turn the fans off. The buttons aren’t laid out in the most user-friendly way (having to long-press a button for one action and short-press for another action can lead to a lot of frustration), but I’m sure users will get used to it after a few weeks of using it.
Best Budget: Tree New Bee Gaming Laptop Cooler
Pros & Cons
- Cheap price
- Can easily cool up to 17” laptops with 4 fans
- Very lightweight
- Only two choices for heights
- Four 120mm fans
- Dials on the side that control fan speed
- Blue LEDs
- Extra USB port
- Two height adjustments
- 1.6 pounds
Tree New Bee Gaming Laptop Cooler Review
The Tree New Bee Gaming Laptop Cooler presents yet another good low-cost option for those on a tight budget. This laptop cooling pad has four fans working together underneath a nice mesh surface: the combination of which creates great airflow. The mesh surface itself is made from a non-slip material, so it should help your laptop from slipping.
The Tree New Bee sports (what seems to be) the industry-standard sleek black design with blue LED lights illuminating its four fans. One bummer is that this cooling pad only has two options for height adjustment, which is not as much as a lot of the competition. But that might not be a problem for some gamers. The best part about the Tree New Bee is its weight. At only 1.6 pounds, you can easily carry this thing around with you where you go.
Overall, the Tree New Bee offers a good amount of features for the low price that it is going for. The four fans and the mesh surface add up to creating a nice amount of air flow and should keep your laptop nice and cool.
Best for Travel: Havit HV-F2056
Pros & Cons
- Cheap price
- Lightweight design, easy to transport
- Only two height adjustments
- An extra USB port and power switch
- Doubles as an ergonomic stand with two adjustable heights
- Holds up to 17-inch laptops
- Weight: 1.54 pounds
Havit HV-F2056 Review
If you are looking for a laptop cooling pad that you can take with you on the go, then the Havit HV-F2056 would be a great option for you. Weighing just 1.56 pounds, this ultra-slim cooling pad will barely even feel like it is in your bag.
The Havit has three fans, each illuminated by a blue LED light, under a metal mesh surface. The metal mesh surface gets nice and cool as the fans are going for a while. The three fans are nice and quiet, too, so you will barely notice they are on (except for the fact that your hands are colder than normal).
The Havit doesn’t have the most exciting look on the block, but its laptop-like shape makes it very convenient for packing it away in your gaming laptop backpack compared to the crazy shapes of the other cooling pads out there. It only has two height adjustment options and the legs tuck away nicely for transportation purposes.
Honorable Mention: Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB
Pros & Cons
- Wraparound RGB lights are really cool
- 200mm fan can easily cool up to 19” gaming laptops
- 3 adjustable height settings
- Price is higher just for RGB lighting
- RGB lighting wraps around the pad
- 200mm silent fan
- 3 adjustable height settings
- Can support 10" to 19" gaming laptops
- Weight: 3.35 pounds
Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB Review
The Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB isn’t the most feature-rich option on the market, but it might just be the best looking. No, it definitely is the best looking. This laptop cooling pad is wrapped in 56 color RGB-LED lighting that has extensive customization options. You can make the light do a wave pattern, a color spectrum, pulse, blink, or just be a single color. The lights, combined with this cooling pad’s beautiful curved design, makes this thing just great to look at.
The Thermaltake Massive has one 200mm fan in the middle of its massive frame. The big fan combined with the metal mesh surface creates some great airflow. It can support up to 19” inch laptops, so it has a surface area that’s bigger than many other cooling pads on the market.
The ThermalTake has pretty middle-of-the-road customization options. First off, there are three options for height adjustments. You also get control of fan speed, a light mode button, and a color mode button. As for transportability, this isn’t the cooling pad to choose if you are wanting to take it on the go. It’s heavier than most other options at 3.35 pounds and is pretty thick.
To wrap it all up, the reason that you buy the ThermalTake Massive 20 RGB is for the look of it. All of its other features are pretty middle-of-the-road and its price is a little higher than others, but it is absolutely the best looking laptop cooling pad out there. It would be a great addition to any gaming setup.
Laptop Cooling Pad Buying Guide
Laptop cooling pads have developed into much more than just cooling pads: they can serve many different functions for you depending on what you need. There are cooling pads that serve as great ergonomic stands at work, there are cooling pads that can light up your gaming area with RGB lighting, and there are cooling pads that can be your command center for all of your different devices and gaming accessories.
Additionally, if you're like me and are looking for coolers before you even got a laptop, we can help with some recommendations. First of all, you should take a look at what is the best time to buy a laptop. Then, depending on your budget, you might want to try some of these articles:
- Best ASUS Gaming Laptop
- Best Gaming Laptops Under $500
- Best Gaming Laptops Under $1500
- Best Gaming Laptops Under $2000
- Best GTX 1080 Gaming Laptop
To help you pick out which laptop cooling pad is the best choice for you, we at GameGavel have created this buying guide to walk you through the top things you should think about when picking one out.
Weight: Will You Be Carrying It Around with You?
Laptop cooling pads coming in many different sizes and weights. When picking out a new cooling pad, think about how much you want to be carrying it around. Will this be something you want to take with you on the go?
If so, check out one of the lightweight options like the Havit HV-F2056, which weighs only 1.56 pounds. If this is not going to be something that you are going to carry around with you on the go, then the weight is less of an issue.
Laptop Size vs. Pad Size
Since laptop cooling pads come in different shapes and sizes, you need to make sure the one that you pick will fit your laptop. If you have a laptop that is 17 inches or bigger, or if your laptop is particularly heavy, take a look at the reviews to see how well each cooling pad can hold bigger laptops.
Active Cooling vs. Passive Cooling
There are two different types of cooling pads: active cooling vs. passive cooling. Active cooling pads usually have fans that blow air at your laptop to cool it down. These tend to be a more powerful solution for cooling, but also have a little bit of noise attached to it.
Passive cooling pads cool your laptop down with the type of material it is made out of and usually by elevating your laptop off of the desk to increase its ability to ventilate. These cooling pads won’t be as effective at cooling your laptop as active cooling solutions, but they are nice if you are worried about the noise level of having fans going while you’re working.
If you are debating between active or passive solutions, I would suggest going with a cooling pad with active cooling. The fans in laptop cooling pads are usually very quiet, so you barely even notice them. They make for a far more effective solution for keeping your laptop from overheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions that people have when buying a laptop cooling pad:
Do Laptop Cooling Pads Actually Work?
Yes, but it depends on the power and airflow of the cooling pad for how much it cools down your laptop. Laptop cooling pads can help cool your laptop down by a few degrees when it is at its maximum workload. A few degrees cooler can go a long way for the performance of your best budget gaming laptop.
Do Laptops Need Cooling Pads?
It depends on the laptop that you have. Older gaming laptops can have trouble with overheating after long hours of gaming, because of the amount of work that the CPU and GPU are having to do. So a cooling pad would definitely help keep the laptop cooler.
Newer models of gaming laptops, however, have very high-tech ventilation systems for their CPUs and GPUs and have become very good at keeping control of their temperature on their own. It seems that as gaming laptops become more advanced, laptop cooling pads may be less necessary. But, it would do well to know how to clean a laptop fan as the inbuilt laptop fans tend to accumulate dust quite fast, which in turn blocks the dissipation of heat.
Are Cooling Pads Good for Laptops?
If you are someone who is constantly pushing your laptop to a high workload, then a cooling pad might be a good solution for you to keep your laptop from overheating and even thermal throttling like even the best MSI gaming laptop sometimes do.
It is also important to keep your laptop on surfaces that allow it to ventilate properly and oftentimes cooling pads can help encourage that by raising your laptop up off of your desk on a mesh surface.
During hot summer days, keeping your laptop chilly should be a priority. If you're sporting an $800 gaming laptop and you're running graphically taxing games, there's a big chance that your machine will overheat. This could cause some serious damage to your laptop so it's best to avoid it.
However, lowering the temperature by 10-15% is usually enough to get out of the 'danger zone'. Getting the best laptop cooling pad available solves this problem for you.