A person holding the Lenovo ThinkPad T16 Gen 1 to show the vents
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

How to Shop for a Laptop Cooling Pad

Laptop cooling pads come in a variety of different sizes, build qualities, and feature sets. It’s important to sift through each model’s specs to determine which will fit your needs the best.

The basic premise of a laptop cooling pad is a chunk of plastic or metal with a fan inside of it. This gives a direct line of airflow to your laptop while also allowing hot air to escape as you run whatever processes you need to, whether that be coding, video editing, gaming, or something else intense.

Some pads offer multiple fans to hit each air vent on your laptop, while others stick with a single blade that’s large enough to cool your machine. If you need a ton of airflow, get one with multiple individual fans.

You’ll also want to make sure you can adjust the fan speed. Casual users will likely be okay with whatever default speed comes with their cooling pad, but anyone who needs to get some serious work done will benefit from dedicated controls to set the exact speed they need to cool down their laptops.

It’s also helpful to look for a model that lets you adjust the angle your laptop sits at. Not only is this better for posture and varying workspace sizes, but it also helps wasted heat from your laptop to flow out easier. You’ll also want to watch out for the amount of USB ports each cooling pad gives you; some only ship with one or two, while others can give you an entire external USB hub for connecting more peripherals.

Of course, it’s also great to shop for something fun, and by fun, we mean RGB lights. A lot of modern cooling pads offer LEDs that surround their borders, giving you a futuristic aesthetic that’s hard to beat compared to pads that don’t offer them.

Below, we’re highlighting five of the best laptop cooling pads you can get, from premium picks to budget offerings to gamer-ready rigs.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad Overall: TopMate C12 Laptop Cooling Pad

TopMate C12 laptop cooling pad on pink background


  • Six powerful fans that remain quiet during operation
  • Supports laptops up to 17.3-inches
  • RGB lights
  • Premium design
  • LCD screen for adjusting fan speed


  • Limited USB ports

Our pick for the best laptop cooling pad is the TopMate C12 Laptop Cooling Pad. It can fit laptops up to 17.3 inches and offers eight adjustable heights for the perfect angle. Inside, you’ll find six separate fans, all of which can be controlled using the LCD screen on the front.

The fans offer variable speed support, allowing you to crank them up when you need extra cooling and turn them down if you don’t need them. TopMate says they’re also pretty quiet, even when operating at full capacity. These small fans can spin at a rate of 2,400 RPM, while the larger fans can reach 1,400 RPM.

An RGB light strip sits around the border of the pad, adding a fun and futuristic component to its plastic design. The pad is sturdy enough for the desk and comfortable enough to use on your lap, so you won’t have to worry about keeping it in one spot. Moreover, a metal mesh covers the fans for improved heat dissipation, and even a removable phone dock to prop your smartphone up and keep an eye on your notifications.

The IO could be more expansive as there are only two USB-A ports, and the gamer aesthetic may turn some off. But if you need an all-around, reliable cooling pad for your laptop, this is the one to get.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad Overall

TopMate C12 Laptop Cooling Pad

With six adjustable fans, an LCD screen, RGB lights, and a bonus phone stand, the TopMate C12 takes the crown for the best laptop cooling pad you can get.

Best Budget Laptop Cooling Pad: Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad

Person using Kootek cooling pad


  • Five separate fans
  • Six adjustable heights
  • Two USB ports
  • LED lights


  • You can't adjust fan speed
  • A bit boring compared to other cooling pads

The Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad is an excellent choice if you’d like to save a few bucks. It comes with a lot of the same features as the TopMate, like the six adjustable heights, twin USB ports, and a sturdy design with a metal mesh overlay.

Inside, Kootek includes five fans and LED lighting, and the pad itself can fit laptops up to 17-inches (although it’s primarily geared toward smaller machines). The pad is also pretty portable, given its compact form factor.

Unfortunately, you can’t directly control the speed of the fans on this cooling pad, with options instead to turn off one or four of the fans if you don’t need a ton of airflow. There aren’t any fancy bonus features, making this a very basic cooling pad. If that’s all you’re looking for, it’s a solid package, especially given its sub-$30 price.

Best Budget Laptop Cooling Pad

Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad

If you're looking to save a few bucks, consider this sub-$30 option from Kootek. It comes with plenty of fans to keep your laptop cool, and it offers six height adjustments.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad for Gaming: IETS GT500 RGB Laptop Cooling Pad

Laptops on IETS GT500 cooling pad


  • Powerful fan with excellent heat dissipation
  • Removable dust filter
  • Adjustable fan speed
  • Three USB ports
  • RGB lights


  • Fan is very loud
  • A bit pricey

For the gamers out there, we recommend the IETS GT500 Powerful Turbo-Fan RGB Laptop Cooling Pad. The name is certainly a mouthful, and it may as well be given the significant capabilities of this cooling pad.

Instead of a bunch of tiny fans underneath a metal net, IETS went with a single, super-sized fan that can spin at a staggering rate of 5,000 RPM. This creates a huge amount of airflow that’ll keep the most powerful gaming laptops nice and cool during heavy gameplay. There’s also plenty of room for heat dissipation from your laptop, a detachable dust filter to protect the fans from getting dirty, and an infinite variable speed so you can run the fan as fast as you need to.

Of course, the pad also comes with RGB lights around the sides, offering seven adjustable heights to get the right angle. In addition, IETS includes three external USB ports for your accessories.

The only downside to this cooling pad—besides its price tag—is the fan itself. It’s very loud. At maximum RPM, it can reach up to 65 dB, which is very loud. If you can look past that, for any gamer with a 13 to 17-inch laptop, this cooling pad is a great pickup.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad for Gaming

IETS GT500 Powerful Turbo-Fan RGB Laptop Cooling Pad

Gamers should look no further than this cooling pad from IETS, which comes with an incredibly powerful 5,000 RPM fan that'll cool just about any gaming laptop you can find.

Best Portable Laptop Cooling Pad: Targus Dual Fan Lap Chill Mat

Laptops on Targus cooling pad


  • Sleek, lightweight design
  • Four USB ports
  • Adjustable fan speed


  • Dual fan design isn't as powerful as other cooling pads

If you need a cooling pad that’s portable enough to take anywhere, check out the Targus Dual Fan Lap Chill Mat. Its sleek design is 2.2 inches thick and 2 lbs in weight, making it slim enough to fit in a backpack alongside your laptop. Speaking of which, Targus says it can fit up to a 17-inch laptop, but it’s primarily designed for laptops around 13 to 16 inches.

This cooling pad has four USB ports, which is a lot given its compact size. Inside are a set of velcro straps so you can keep your cables tidy, and there are four adjustable height levels to get the right angle.

If there’s one downside, it’s the dual fan design. Since it’s only two individual units, you won’t get the same amount of cooling as some other pads, which might be necessary if you do a lot of super-heavy work on the go.

Luckily, the metal construction will help dissipate heat easily from your laptop, and you can adjust its speed depending on how much airflow you need. Still, if you’re looking for the most powerful cooling pad on the market, this one isn’t it.

That being said, this is still an excellent option if you need something to take on the road that won’t get in your way.

Best Portable Laptop Cooling Pad

Targus Dual Fan Lap Chill Mat

This cooling pad from Targus makes for a great option if you value portability the most.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad for Bigger Laptops: Thermaltake 20 RGB Laptop Cooling Pad

Thermaltake cooling pad in dark with RGB lights


  • Fits up to a 19-inch laptop
  • Premium design
  • Huge fan
  • Cool RGB lights


  • No extra USB ports
  • Fan is slower compared to other cooling pads

For the folks out there with huge laptops, we recommend the Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB Laptop Cooling Pad. It’s designed to accommodate laptops with up to 19-inch screens, so you should be good regardless of the size of your machine.

The cooling pad comes with a steel mesh and plastic design, with a 256-color RGB light strip around the sides that supports all kinds of lighting settings like Wave, RGB Spectrum, Pulse, Blin, and Full Lighted.

There are three height settings to adjust the angle of your laptop, which isn’t as many as other cooling pads but is still nice to see. A single fan inside can spin up to 800 RPM, making this one of the slower options on the market but still enough to keep your laptop cool.

The biggest downside is the lack of extra USB ports. All you get is a single port used to connect to your laptop to give it power. As long as you’re already okay with the IO on your laptop, this is a pretty sweet cooling pad that’ll fit nicely with the rest of your setup.

Best Laptop Cooling Pad for Bigger Laptops

Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB Laptop Cooling Pad

For laptops in the 17-inch to 19-inch range, this cooling pad from Thermaltake will be right up your alley.


Cooling pads can be bad for laptops if they're not used properly. For one, they can blow more dust and debris into your laptop if they aren't cleaned regularly. They can also act as a temporary solution for a larger issue with your laptop; if your machine is regularly overheating, a laptop cooling pad can only help so much in keeping it running smoothly.

Laptop cooling pads can certainly improve the performance of your laptop. If it starts to get noticeably warm while you're working or gaming, your CPU and GPU can begin to throttle, causing your machine to slow down. A cooling pad can aid in maintaining good airflow to your laptop's components while dissipating excessive heat, which in turn will give your laptop the boost you need.

No. While it may seem like a good idea to use a cooling pad if the fan in your laptop is broken or malfunctioning, it won't offer the same level of airflow or heat dissipation as the internal fan, regardless of how powerful the cooling pad is.

Most cooling pads can be used on your lap, but it's important to ensure there's good ventilation for both the pad and your laptop. If you're wearing sweatpants or have a blanket on, it can hinder airflow and produce more heat, which will limit the effectiveness of the cooling pad and cause your laptop to begin throttling.

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Rain Design iLevel 2
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Ergotron WorkFit-T Standing Desk Converter
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Nexstand Laptop Stand
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Lifelong Upryze Ergonomic Stand
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Havit HV-F2056 Cooling Pad
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Profile Photo for Max Buondonno Max Buondonno
Max Buondonno is a technology enthusiast and writer who’s been covering the future of computing since 2015. His blog, Matridox, serves as a creative outlet for him where he can share thoughts on the latest technology news, gadgets he reviews, and more.
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