iPhone in tripod on purple background
Media Whale Stock/Shutterstock.com

Choosing the Right iPhone Tripod

There are a few different reasons you might decide you need an iPhone tripod and a variety of uses you might have in mind. You might want a tripod you can use with other equipment or one that’s designed to sit on your desk for live streaming and video calls. You may only be interested in creating content with your iPhone.

What you intend to do with the tripod will ultimately help you make a buying decision and allow you to prioritize the features and characteristics that are most important to you.

The biggest question to ask yourself is whether or not you want a full-sized or compact tripod. A full-sized tripod extends to waist height or higher, with a “free-standing” design that provides flexibility when determining shooting height. These tripods are generally heavier, come with carrying cases, and should have higher payload capacities for use with larger cameras and equipment.

A compact tripod saves space and weight at the cost of height. These are generally designed to be used on a surface like a desk, but you can also set them down on the floor for low shots. They’re much smaller, lighter, easier to carry, and less suited to higher payloads and heavier cameras. Many pull double duty as a “handle” for handheld shooting and streaming.

Decide whether you want to drag a full-sized tripod with you, or whether a more compact tripod would be a better tool for the job. Flexible tripods allow you to be a little more creative with mounting and posing, but they’re generally a bit more expensive. A quality compact tripod balances price, utility, and weight.

There are a huge number of tripods available. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Higher-end models from name brands are better built and will last longer. If you don’t need the resilience, save some money and opt for a cheaper model.

Frequently Asked Questions

When would I use an iPhone tripod?
An iPhone tripod is useful whenever you want to hold your iPhone still, commonly when shooting videos or photos. They’re also helpful for holding your device in a fixed position like when watching a video, taking a video call, or live streaming.
What different types of iPhone Tripods are there?
+
Most iPhone tripods fall into three categories: compact fixed-leg, full-sized fixed-leg, and flexible-leg tripods. Compact fixed-leg tripods may incorporate small collapsible designs, ideal for traveling and occasional use. Full-sized fix leg tripods often use telescopic legs and have much more height, offering a “free-standing” experience. Flexible leg tripods are quite different and come in various sizes, with poseable legs to attach your iPhone to just about any surface.
How do I mount an iPhone on a Tripod?
+
You’ll need a tripod mount to attach your iPhone to a tripod. Some kits come with a tripod mount, others are sold separately. You can buy grips or clamps which hold your device in place, cases with built-in tripod attachments, and attachments for case systems that make it easy to mount your iPhone.
Do all iPhone Tripods support MagSafe?
+
Some iPhone tripod mounts (and by extension tripods) support MagSafe, though most do not. Many tripods are designed for various devices, from iPhones to action cameras, lights, microphones, and even mirrorless and digital SLRs. Limiting their use to MagSafe would also limit their utility and potential audience.
How many legs does a tripod have?
+
Tripods have three legs, which allows them to stand up unassisted and fold down neatly when not in use.

Best iPhone Tripod Overall: SmallRig Desktop Mini Tripod

SmallRig tripod on purple background
SmallRig

Pros

  • Sturdy aluminum design should last
  • Compact form factor and lightweight
  • Huge payload capacity
  • Includes ball head, panning base, quick-release, and bubble level

Cons

  • Pricier than many other options
  • Not a full-sized tripod
  • Doesn't include an iPhone tripod mount

There is no perfect tripod for every iPhone owner since everyone has their own list of requirements and expectations. With that in mind, the SmallRig Desktop Mini Tripod gets pretty close by our measurements, ticking many of the boxes we looked at while building this list. This is a mini, desktop tripod, so it’s small enough to carry with you at the cost of offering “full-size” freestanding functionality.

The tripod is solidly made of aluminum, with rubber grips on the plate and feet. There’s no mount included, so you’ll need to sort out your own method of mounting your iPhone.

Included with the tripod is a detachable smooth 360-degree ball head with up to 90 degrees of tilt, a bubble level, a panning base for smooth horizontal movement (great for videography), and a quick-release Arca-Swiss compatible plate and mounting mechanism.

The tripod can be used at a height of 5.5 inches or 8.3 inches, with a maximum payload of 11 pounds. That means you can mount all manner of items at once including your iPhone, a microphone, additional lights, lenses, grips, and more. Finally, the tripod’s weight comes in at only 7.6 oz.

Best iPhone Tripod Overall

SmallRig Desktop Mini Tripod

The SmallRig Desktop Mini Tripod is a small aluminum tripod that punches well above its weight in terms of build quality and payload. If you want a tripod that can take a beating and last, the SmallRig is a great option.

Best iPhone Tripod Mount: Joby GripTight PRO 2

Joby mount on Gorillagrip tripod, on green and blue background
Joby

Pros

  • Quick and easy mounting via clamp
  • Compatible with standard 1/4-inch screw
  • Opens to 3.75 inches at the widest

Cons

  • May not be wide enough for all cases (make sure you measure)
  • There are cheaper options out there

If you already have a tripod for photography or videography, you can use it with your iPhone if you have a secure mounting mechanism. The Joby GripTight PRO 2 is a clamp-style tripod mount that lets you quickly slip your iPhone in and out of it for use with just about any tripod. It adjusts for use in both portrait and landscape modes.

It uses the standard 1/4-inch screw attachment for broad compatibility across the board. Some tripods attach directly, while others use a quick-release plate that you can slide in and out with ease.

The grip expands to 3.75 inches at its widest point, which should be enough to fit most iPhones. If you use a case, it might be worth measuring to see if your setup will fit with the case still on.

Joby also makes a GripTight Magsafe Mount if you’d rather use the MagSafe magnets in the back of your device (outside of a case, unfortunately). We’re also quite fond of QuadLock cases, so if you’re invested in the Quad Lock system, the Quad Lock Tripod Adaptor is worth it for mounting your iPhone right to your case.

Best iPhone Tripod Mount

Joby GripTight PRO 2

Attach your phone to just about any tripod that uses the standard 1/4-inch mount by opening the GripTight clamp and securing your iPhone in place.

Best Budget iPhone Tripod: Amazon Basics 50-inch Lightweight Tripod

Amazon Basics Tripod on pink background
Amazon

Pros

  • Cheap and cheerful
  • Full-size, freestanding tripod
  • Three-way head with tilt, swivel, portrait
  • Includes a carry bag

Cons

  • Build quality is what you'd expect at this price range
  • May be too large for the intended use
  • No iPhone tripod mount included
  • Relatively small carrying capacity limits its use with other cameras

If you’re looking for “bang for your buck” and raw functionality is at the top of your list, the Amazon Basics 50-inch Lightweight Tripod is what you’re looking for. It’s a strictly no-frills affair that won’t break the bank. The relatively cheap aluminum and plastic tripod offer a three-way head plus arm offering tilt and swivel, and portrait shooting functionality.

This is a “full-sized” tripod with a range of 16.5 inches to 50 inches. You can place it on the floor, extend the telescopic legs using the clips, and set up your shot without worrying about placing your tripod on a desk or table.

But since this is the budget option, you should expect some wobble. It’s also likely the tripod won’t hold up to much abuse, particularly the plastic clips (a common point of failure around this price point).

The tripod is rated for a maximum load of 4.4 pounds because of its simple construction. Despite this, the Amazon Basics tripod enjoys overwhelmingly positive reviews for its “cheap but effective” nature. If your use is primarily indoors in a mostly static position with a lightweight setup, this barebones tripod might be all you need.

Since there’s no smartphone mount included, you may want to pick up something equally cheap, like the SharingMoment Smartphone Holder, to complete your budget setup.

Best Budget iPhone Tripod

Amazon Basics 50-inch Lightweight Tripod

A highly functional yet cheap budget tripod, you get what you pay for with the Amazon Basics range. In this case it's a full-sized, functional tripod that will suit a range of (gentle) uses.

Best iPhone Tripod for Photography: Manfrotto Element Traveller Small

Manfrotto Element Traveller on pink and yellow background
Manfrotto

Pros

  • Freestanding tripod that folds down for easy carry
  • Manfrotto build quality
  • Includes ball head, quick release plate, and carry bag
  • Hook for attaching your bag to add further stability

Cons

  • Expensive compared to cheaper options
  • Not quite as big as a full-sized tripod, not quite as small as a compact

If you’re serious about using your iPhone as a camera, you’re also probably serious about keeping things lightweight. The Manfrotto Element Traveller Small is a free-standing aluminum tripod that’s both lightweight and compact, while still being well-built and full of features. It might not be the cheapest tripod you can buy, but your money is well-spent on something versatile that should last.

This particular tripod kit features a ball head for fine-tuning your shot and a panning base for precise horizontal adjustment. Since it lacks an arm of any kind, it’s better suited to photography than videography. The tripod also features a portrait lock-off position, an Arca Swiss-style quick-release plate, and a bag for keeping it safe during transit.

The tripod extends to a maximum height of 56.3 inches, with telescopic screw-type legs that are less prone to failure and damage from bumps compared to clips. There’s also a hook directly under the mounting point for hanging your bag, to provide additional stability to your shot. The tripod comes in at 2.5 pounds with a maximum payload of 8.8 pounds.

Best iPhone Tripod for Photography

Manfrotto Element Traveller Small

The Manfrotto Element Traveller Small is an excellent lightweight, free-standing tripod that will suit photographers. There's a ball-head, quick-release plate, hook for added stability, and the usual Manfrotto build quality.

Best Compact iPhone Tripod: Manfrotto PIXI

Manfrotto Pixi on pink background
Manfrotto

Pros

  • A sturdy, well-built compact and lightweight tripod
  • Works as a grip for handheld use
  • Includes ballhead for adjusting composition
  • Available with or without an iPhone mount

Cons

  • More expensive than other compact tripods
  • Smaller tripods exist

The Manfrotto PIXI is an iconic smartphone tripod that offers barebones utility in a compact package. It’s as simple as a tripod gets, with short retractable legs and a maximum payload of 2.2 pounds.

It’s ideal for use with a smartphone, action camera, accessories like lights, and even some lightweight mirrorless setups. That’s impressive considering the PIXI only adds 6.7 oz to your iPhone’s weight.

The included ball head makes it easy to set up your shot, providing a +35-degree and -35-degree tilt angle, as well as full 360-degree rotation. With the legs retracted, the PIXI Mini works great as a handheld shooting rig. It may cost a bit more than the cheaper mini tripods, but you’re getting a quality Manfrotto product that should last.

The basic PIXI only comes with a standard 1/4-inch mount, ideal for attaching your iPhone if you already have a tripod mount. If you’re looking for a tripod and some way of mounting your iPhone in one, the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod Kit includes a clamp mount for a great price.

Best Compact iPhone Tripod

Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod

The PIXI mini tripod from Manfrotto is small, lightweight, sturdy, and cheap. It includes a ballhead and functions great as a handle for handheld shooting in the closed position. This version doesn't come with a grip mount.

Best Flexible iPhone Tripod: Joby GripTight GorillaPod PRO 2

Joby Gorillapod tripod on yellow background
Joby

Pros

  • Classic GorillaPod mount-anywhere functionality
  • Includes Joby's GripTight mounting clamp
  • Position, tilt, and shoot in portrait or landscape
  • Versatile design makes for a great grip for handheld shooting too

Cons

  • Only includes limited tilt adjustment, no ball head
  • Lower carrying capacity than similarly-priced full sized GorillaPod models
  • Money could be better spent elsewhere if you already have a tripod mount

The GorillaPod is a legendary tripod mount with flexible arms that turns almost any surface into a mount for your iPhone. The GripTight GorillaPod PRO 2 tailors the GorillaPod perfectly to smartphones, including a GripTight mount for quickly mounting your iPhone using a clasp mechanism.

Use the flexible legs of the GorillaPod to hang, wedge, or stand your iPhone on trees, fenceposts, tables, desks, or anywhere else you imagine. Rubber grips help secure your iPhone in place, reducing the risk of it slipping or moving during a shoot. Complete freedom lets you pick the perfect angle, whether you’re shooting video, taking pictures, or even using your iPhone to play games or watch a video.

The GripTight GorillaPod PRO 2 is rated for a kit weight of 2.2 pounds or less, has a simple tilt head, and works in both portrait and landscape. You can also use the GorillaPod as a handle for handheld shooting since it’s easy to bend into a comfortable and convenient shape.

If you already have a separate tripod mount for your iPhone and want more freedom, consider the Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit instead. This version lacks the GripTight mount in favor of a traditional ball head that allows you to fine-tune your composition after mounting your iPhone. It also has a much higher weight allowance of 6.6 pounds, which means you can use it with heavier digital SLRs and mirrorless cameras, lights, monitors, and more.

Best Flexible iPhone Tripod

GripTight GorillaPod PRO 2

Everything you need to mount your iPhone in just about any situation. Joby fuses the flexibility of a GorillaPod with the ease of use of the GripTight mount to make positioning and mounting your iPhone quick and easy.

The Best Tripods of 2023

Vanguard Veo 3+ 263AB
Best Tripod Overall
Vanguard Veo 3+ 263AB
Benro TMA28A Mach3
Best Budget Tripod
Benro TMA28A Mach3
JOBY Gorillapod 325
Best Tripod for Phones
JOBY Gorillapod 325
Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
Best Travel Tripod
Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod
Best Spotting Scope Tripod
Bushnell 784030 Advanced Tripod
Benro A373T
Best Video Tripod
Benro A373T
Profile Photo for Tim Brookes Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
Read Full Bio »