The best laptop cooling pads of 2024: Expert tested

As laptops get better every year, there is one aspect of that becomes increasingly important: their cooling systems. High-end processors, graphics cards, and the like demand a lot of energy. And then all this energy becomes work which generates a lot of heat. Ask anyone who owns a gaming laptop and they will you how uncomfortably hot they get. It’s not fun. So, you’ll need something extra, and that something is a laptop cooling pad to bring temperatures down.

Also: The best budget gaming laptops

What is the best laptop cooling pad right now?

We tested and researched some top laptop cooling pads on the market. Taking the crown as ZDNET’s best laptop cooling pad overall is the Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus. Its powerful cooling is capable of reducing the temperature of even the hottest computers. Plus, it can hold 17-inch laptops, is height adjustable, and it has a four-port USB-A hub. 

As much as we recommend it, though, it may not be the best choice for you. Perhaps you’re a gamer who wants a pad that matches your lighting array. Or maybe you’re a professional and want something with a more low-key design. Check out the other models on this list to find the cooling pad that’s best for you.

The best laptop cooling pads of 2024

Show less

Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus with 4-port Hub

Best laptop cooling pad overall

Our pick for the best laptop cooling pad is the Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus with 4-port Hub and it wins our coveted top placement for multiple reasons. For starters, it’s large enough to securely hold up to a 17-inch laptop. In use, my laptop stayed in place firmly. This Targus pad also has an adjustable base height, so you can raise the device for better ergonomics. The height adjustment helps mitigate stress on your hands. Typing on a keyboard doesn’t sound super strenuous, but when you’re doing it for hours, you start to feel it.  

Also: The 5 best ergonomic keyboards

The Chill Mat comes with a pair of robust high-speed cooling fans that can lower the temperature of your laptop noticeably, turning an uncomfortably hot keyboard into something much more manageable. To work, the fans drain power from the host laptop via a USB cable. This would normally mean you sacrifice a USB port, but in fact you gain USB-A ports since the Chill Mat has four ports at the rear. The ports support USB passthrough so you can connect extra peripherals and accessories. 

Targus’ mat takes the crown because of just how useful it is. If we have to give it a knock, its plastic construction feels flimsy.

Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus Specs: Dimensions: 10.5 x 1 x 14 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Max laptop size: 17 inches | Fan RPM: 2,500 | USB passthrough: Yes | LED lighting: No 

targus-laptop-chill-mat-plus-with-4-port-hub

Show Expert Take Show less

Show less

Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad

Best budget laptop cooling pad

The Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad houses one large fan surrounded by four small ones. This five-fan array design provides better heat dissipation, according to the company.  

Even so, we found the Cooling Pad’s performance was mixed. Our hefty test laptop still felt warm to the touch after hours of use.  Don’t just take our word for it: Many user reviews on Amazon say the same thing. It was cool enough to keep on with our work, but the fans didn’t cool the laptop as thoroughly as the more powerful Targus model.

Still, if you want an inexpensive laptop cooling pad with lights and USB ports, the Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad is a good choice — especially if you have a thin, more mid-powered laptop. Like the Targus Chill Mat Plus, it’s height adjustable for better ergonomics, or you can lay it down completely flat. Kooktek doesn’t let you control the fan speed, but it does have separate on/off buttons for the fans and for the Cooling Pad’s LED lights (your choice of blue or red). We liked the extra flair of the LED lights. Another bonus, at this price: Kootek includes a pair of USB-A ports for supporting additional peripherals. The ports are along the side of the pad. 

Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad Specs: Dimensions: 14.96 x 1.38 x 11.81 inches | Weight: 2.55 pounds | Max laptop size: 17 inches | Fan RPM: Not disclosed | USB passthrough: Yes | LED lighting: Yes 

kootek-laptop-cooling-pad

Show Expert Take Show less

Show less

KLIM Wind

Best laptop cooler for gaming

The KLIM Wind laptop cooling pad has a very fitting moniker for the device since it harnesses the power of the wind. Underneath the mesh plate are four large fans located at the four corners making sure every area of the laptop stays cool. Each one rotates at a 1,200 RPM, almost half of what the fastest pads we’ve seen go. But the low RPM is why the KLIM Wind’s fans are quiet. The cooling pad also has dials at the rear so you can control the fans’ speed. Next to the dials is a button for turning off the LED lights.

Also: The best gaming laptops of 2024: Get your game on

The Wind’s large size can support massive laptops up to 19 inches in size. KLIM even boasts this pad can support a Sony PlayStation 5. Your computer stays in place thanks to the pad’s sturdy feet and the front stoppers. 

KLIM Wind owners on Amazon praise this cooling pad for its high value and its ability to keep their laptops cool. enjoy how great the KLIM Wind is at cooling their gaming laptops. A few users expressed concern about the build quality, since the Wind is primarily made from plastic. 

KLIM Wind Specs: Dimensions: 15.79 x 1.22 x 10.71 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Max laptop size: 19 inches | Fan RPM: 1,200 RPM | USB passthrough: Yes | LED lighting: Yes 

klim-wind

Show Expert Take Show less

Show less

KeiBN RGB Laptop Cooler

Best RGB laptop cooling pad

Many laptop cooling pads come equipped with LED lights to give them extra pizzazz. For the most part, though, the lights are static. KeiBN breaks that trend with its RGB Laptop Cooler, which provides a variety of customization options. 

The RGB Laptop Cooler has 10 different lighting modes, ranging from a single shade to unique patterns like breathing, which sees the lights rhythmically fade in and out. In addition to controlling the lights, this cooling pad has six fans. You can choose among three fan modes: One for all six fans blowing air full blast, one for only the bigger fans, and one for only the smaller fans. The fans have their own RGB lights you can tweak using on-device controls. 

KeiBN’s RGB Laptop Cooler is large enough to hold 17-inch laptops. On the back are a pair of USB 2.0 ports to make up for the single input uses on your computer. One of my favorite features on the RGB Laptop Cooler is the built-in phone holder (sans charging). 

KeiBN RGB Laptop Cooler Specs: Dimensions: 16.33 x 1.45 x 11.81 inches | Weight: 2.57 pounds | Max laptop size: 17 inches | Fan RPM: 2,800 RPM | USB passthrough: Yes | LED lighting: Yes

keibn-rgb-laptop-cooler

Show Expert Take Show less

Show less

IETS GT500 V2

Best laptop cooler design

The IETS GT500 V2 (Hub+RGB) has the most powerful fan on this list, with blades rotating at 5,000 RPM. Nothing on the guide comes close to this speed, which creates a wind tunnel instead of a focused airstream. 

The fan sits in the center of the cooling pad. Instead of blowing air up towards the bottom of the laptop, it spins the air around it like a washing machine. This causes what the company describes as “360-degree undifferentiated cooling,” which means air cools every part of a laptop equally. 

Furthermore, the fan sits recessed in a pit surrounded by foam, an unusual design that promotes maximum cooling. The foam creates a vacuum seal with the bottom of your laptop that traps the circulating air. Together with the 360 fan, the GT500 V2 can cool even the most powerful gaming laptop. This model also has a three-port USB-A hub and RGB lights for extra bling.

The drawback to that high fan speed is this device gets really loud. The fan volume is the number one criticism seen on its Amazon reviews. IETS is well aware of this issue, and its product listing states noise can reach 65dB and “if you are sensitive to noise, please buy carefully.” They’re not hiding the fact the GT500 V2 sounds like a jet engine. If noise bothers you, buy something else.

IETS GT500 V2 Specs: Dimensions: 16.93 x 2.76 x 13.03 inches | Weight: 2.54 pounds | Max laptop size: 17.3 inches | Fan RPM: 5,000 RPM | USB passthrough: Yes | LED lighting: Yes

iets-gt500

Show Expert Take Show less

The best laptop cooling pad on the market today is the Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus with 4-port Hub. Its mesh metal design allows for excellent airflow and its chassis houses four USB-A ports for external peripherals. Plus, the Chill Mat Plus has an adjustable height, so you can find the most comfortable typing angle for you. 

Look at the table below for our other recommendations. 

Best laptop cooling pads Price Fan speed Max laptop size
Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus with 4-port Hub $75 2,500 RPM 17 inches
Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad $33 Not disclosed 17 inches
Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus $37 2,000 RPM 17 inches
KLIM Wind $30 1,200 RPM 19 inches
KeiBN RGB Laptop Cooler $32 2,800 RPM 17 inches
IETS GT500 V2 $96 5,000 RPM 17.3 inches

It’s important to consider how you plan on using your laptop cooling pad. If you want something to keep your laptop cool while you work or watch a movie, then a basic cooling pad with one or two fans will suffice. But if you have many peripherals you want to connect or own a powerful gaming laptop, then you should buy a more heavy-duty cooling pad with faster fans or ports.

The table below can help you choose the best cooling pad for you. 

Choose this best laptop cooling pad… If you want…
Targus Laptop Chill Mat Plus with 4-port Hub The best laptop cooling pad. Its ergonomic design lets you prop up your machine for more comfortable typing and houses four USB-A ports.
Kootek Laptop Cooling Pad A budget-friendly option. It isn’t the most powerful option on this list, but will do the job, particularly for smaller laptops.
Cooler Master Notepal U2 Plus A flexible cooling pad. Cooler Master gave their unit adjustable fans giving you a way to control where they blow air.
KLIM Wind The best option for your gaming laptop. This beast can hold 19-inch laptops and keep them steady with ease.
KeiBN RGB Laptop Cooler The best RGB laptop cooling pad. It offers multiple configurations so you can choose among 10 different lighting modes. 
IETS GT500 A laptop cooling pad with a unique design and maximal cooling. The IETS GT500 has a powerful fan in the center of a foam pit that circulates air and ensures your device stays cool.

When it comes to picking out a laptop cooling pad, there are four key considerations. 

  • Laptop size: You need to make sure the cooling pad is big enough to accommodate your laptop. Conversely, if a pad is too big, it may require a larger footprint than your laptop alone. Plus, the fan locations may be less effective if you have a small laptop on a large pad. 

  • Comfort: Good ergonomics is important for comfort, especially if you spend a lot of time behind a computer. Hours of typing can be killer on the wrists. We recommend choosing a laptop cooling pad that allows you to adjust its height and angle so you can have a comfortable working experience.

  • Fan output: Fans can get loud, so it’s important to think about how loud the cooling pad may be when looking to buy one. The manufacturer of the IETS GT500 acknowledges their product generates so much noise that it actively recommends buyers steer clear if they’re sensitive to noise. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there that don’t make much noise. If noise is a factor, look for fans that spin slower and have a lower RPM. Such fans are typically quieter, but they also may not cool as effectively as more powerful fans. 

  • Price: Price tags for laptop cooling pads can vary, although, for the most part, they’re not very expensive. As you can see from this list, it is very easy to find a solid pick for less than $100. 

  • Also: The best laptops under $1,000 you can buy: Expert tested

Our search for the best laptop cooling pads began with judging the field using the core considerations outlined above. We looked at ergonomics, fan design and cooling performance, price, and extra features. We included the IETS GT500 despite its loud fans because of how good it is at cooling a laptop.

Once the selections were made, we tested several of the laptop cooling pads ourselves. We placed an old Alienware Area 51 laptop that frequently runs hot on the pads to see if the fans could bring down temperatures. Many of the pads were successful in bringing the temperature down, some more so than others.

We also looked at several online forums like Reddit to see what everyday people thought were the best laptop cooling pads. Reading the personal experiences from users helped us narrow the potential field and make our final picks.

Cooling pads are typically made out of plastic or metal. However, as you can see with the ITE GT500, some models come with foam padding, too. The materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Metal, and more specifically aluminum, is great at drawing heat away, but those types of pads are typically heavier and more expensive than plastic ones. Plastic cooling pads are typically the least expensive, however they may not be as durable as the metal options.

Yes, they do. Because cooling pads require a direct USB connection for power, they will drain your laptop’s battery. Many models allow you to adjust fan speeds and or disable LED lights, both of which can help conserve battery, but you  still have to contend with the battery drain.

A powered USB hub may work as an alternative. In this scenario, you can plug your cooling pad into the hub instead of your laptop.  

Absolutely. Results vary as they ultimately depend on your cooling pad’s fan speeds. But at the very least, you can keep your computer operating at lower temperatures for longer. Lower operating temperatures promote optimal performance. Plus, cooling pads don’t draw a lot of power so they won’t cause a laptop to overheat. 

Most do, but not all of them. Some laptops (for example, the Apple MacBook Air) skip a cooling fan in favor of a slim form factor. Instead, such laptops keep components cool by using more passive forms of cooling (such as heat dissipation plates).

There are definitely other ways to prevent overheating. Pay attention to where your laptop has air vents, and keep the area clear and unobstructed. Keep things clean, too: A common cause of hot laptops is an accumulation of dust and dirt clogging air vents. Poor ventilation causes the laptop to retain excess heat, which in turn makes internal temperatures rise and decreases performance. 

There are many options out there on the market if you’re looking for a laptop cooling pad. Below is a list of great alternatives.

View at TargusView at IETSView at Amazon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *