I love to use my laptop while lying down in bed.

The problem is as the time goes by, the laptop gets hotter and hotter to a point that is impossible to keep it in place without burning my body (chest or stomach).

I don't want to buy a laptop stand, so I would like to advice on ideas on how can I keep the laptop on bed without it touching my body.

Placing a pillow under it is not an option because that obstructs the air vents of the laptop and is really dangerous for the electronics...

Any ideas?

  • Use a program like PowerTop to reduce your laptop's power use, and thus its temperature.
    – jamesqf
    Mar 23, 2017 at 4:16
  • 1
    If your laptop gets to a temperature of burn your skin then it has a cooling problem
    – paparazzo
    Mar 30, 2017 at 17:00

10 Answers 10


Use an egg crate like this:

Egg Crate

Or, if you want to spend some greens.. check laptop cooler pads

  • Don't you think that the egg crate will store the heat, which leads to a hotter laptop temperature?
    – user6692
    Mar 22, 2017 at 15:17
  • I don't think so, the fan outlets are usually on the sides of the laptop, and if you look at the side view of the crate, the ridges wont allow the heat to be trapped.
    – uR2die4
    Mar 22, 2017 at 22:32
  • Great hack, perfect solution. +1
    – Stan
    Oct 26, 2019 at 22:36

For the Googlers... this does touch your body. However it might still be useful, I use an ordner (is that the english word?), it works perfectly also to keep the laptop cool...:



  • Hi Motsel, Welcome to Lifehacks. Great idea, It even has an inclined surface to make things easier to reach and use. When not being used, the laptop slips between the strong, thick binder covers to take less space and protect the computer.
    – Stan
    Oct 26, 2019 at 22:59
  • Good idea. Where I come from, this is a Ring Binder.
    – Chenmunka
    Oct 27, 2019 at 18:19

Rest the laptop on a flat surface, e.g. corrugated cardboard cut from a box. If the board is strong enough not to bend much, it will not block the vents.

BTW, I keep my laptop in a thin corrugated cardboard box (inside a computer bag) when traveling, both for the purpose of supporting the laptop and as extra cushioning.


I use my laptop often in bed. It sets on a fan platform, which sits on a thin wooden board once used for puzzles. No heat problem at all.


If you have a firm cutting board, or a large enough book, you can place that between your body and the laptop. Since it is firm, it will keep the laptop's vents free.

Bonus: You can also place that on top of a pillow if that makes it more comfortable for you or easier for you to see the screen.


I would recommend a dinner tray, or a piece of plywood if you have them spare.

Or, if you want to get creative, a wireless keyboard/mouse (this maybe?), and plug the laptop into a TV (if there's VGA/HDMI/etc slots).

  • +1 for the dinner tray as a great alternative to chest-top operation for a lap-top.
    – Stan
    Oct 26, 2019 at 22:45

Try this: lie on your side with your cheek on the bed. Turn the laptop 90 degrees and lie it next to you, so that one edge of the screen and one edge of the keyboard are on the bed, and it's stable like that. The screen will now be aligned properly for you to read it. You can even type a little if you need to, though this is best for "lean back" stuff like reading or watching.

I did this for a month or so when sitting up or lying on my back for any period of time was very uncomfortable. It works fine and requires no equipment at all.


The easiest way would be to superglue magnets (facing one way) to the bottom of your laptop. Then superglue magnets (facing the other way) to your thighs. So, when the laptop is positioned on your lap while in bed, it will magnetically levitate. As a bonus, the magnets will draw away heat from the bottom of the laptop because heat is conducted by iron molecules, and magnets cause iron molecules to be dispersed via reverse-polarity magnetic induction.

  • +1 for the attempt to harness the remarkable benefits of magnetism. May I humbly suggest strong adhesive double-sided tape rather than superglue and super magnets (neodymium) rather than the ferrous ones?
    – Stan
    Oct 26, 2019 at 22:53
  • And the magnetism erases your hard drive.
    – Judith
    Oct 30, 2019 at 12:28

Laptop fans are great, but I find they OFTEN fail after only a few weeks. They are generally cheaply made and simply don't last. My solution to this has been manifold. Depending on the ambient temperature of the room, I use different methods.

When it's hot (Los Angeles 10-11 months per year), I use a small, portable, clip-on fan (available with usb, battery, or AC) placed strategically under the laptop. I elevate the laptop with a bed tray I've modified by removing every-other slat. I will post a pic of my modified tray when I can.

portable fan bed tray

When it's cool, I use foam wedges under the laptop, on top of the tray, without the fan.

plastic foam wedges


I've always used DVD boxes for this exact purpose. Here's a quick drawing to illustrate my point:

Laptop on DVD boxes

Some remarks:

  • Obviously, the DVDs go below the laptop.
  • If your bed is quite soft, using a single DVD box on either side may not be enough (because it sinks into the soft bed, thus still covering the air inlets). The solution is simple: use taller stacks on both sides. You'll want enough clearance between the laptop and the bed. About the thickness of a DVD box should suffice.
  • Notice that the stacks are nearer to the "top" (near the screen) than the "bottom". This is to account for the added weight of the screen. If you put the stacks in the middle, your laptop will want to tip backwards (due to the screen weight)
  • If the DVD boxes block the air inlets, shift them outwards until they no longer cover the inlets. The laptop will still be stable even if it's only resting on the outer edge of the DVD boxes, but the protruding DVD boxes might be a bit more in your way (e.g. when using a mouse)

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