cooling pad
Cool down powerful laptops, gaming consoles and other electronic devices with speedy fans, to ensure longevity. Image Credit: Shutterstock

A hot laptop is the last thing a gamer needs, or anyone trying to clear graphically intensive tasks on their portable device. Any tech-savvy user knows that heat is a kryptonite for machines. Without a reliable cooling system, dangerous temperatures can cause irreparable damage to your computer. This is where laptop cooling pads come in, to boost existing thermal solutions and keep the device comfortably cool.

Cooling pads slide under your laptop and dissipate heat, using large fans with a high RPM, or revolutions per minute. Do all computers need a separate cooling accessory? According to our expert, these pads are especially useful for gaming laptops and inexpensive counterparts that don't feature built-in fans.

"Most corporate laptops don't have intensive graphic settings, so they might not overheat as often. This can, however, become a problem for lower-end machines that don't have fans to pass out the heat. Cooling pads are also great for those who use their laptops on the bed or in their lap, where the bottom portion is blocked from dissipating heat," said Hashim Rashid, sales manager at PC accessory store Gadgetz in Dubai.

cooling pad
Overheating runs the risk of interrupting your workflow, or worse, burning the laptop's internal components. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dedicated gaming laptops do come with built-in thermal solutions, but sometimes, the fans just aren't enough for hours-long marathon sessions. Rashid describes the telltale signs of an overheated laptop: "It can shut down as you're working, to revert to a safe temperature. Overheating can slow down the system, cause hanging, and damage the internal components, like the chipset."

Your choice of cooling pad could depend on the number of ports available on your laptop. Pads plug into your machine's USB-A port, for power. If you connect other peripherals, like a mouse and a keyboard, to your laptop, then go for a cooling pad that has built-in USB ports, says Rashid.

Another aspect to consider is the RPM of the cooling fans. The higher the number of revolutions, the faster the fans will push out heat. This can be anywhere from 1,000 to 4,500 RPM, according to Rashid. "Rather than looking at the number of fans, check their placement - there are certain areas of the laptop that get hotter than others, so make sure the fans are in alignment with these," he added.

Find our expert's picks below to prevent long-term heat damage, along with the best-rated cooling pads on Amazon. Get free, same- or next-day delivery with Prime.

1. Best Overall: Havit Cooling Pad HV-F2056


  • Three cooling fans that run at a high RPM
  • Two adjustable height settings
  • Three USB ports for plugging peripherals
  • Quiet and effective fans


  • Can be slippery for the laptop, when inclined

In this cooling pad by Havit, three fans spinning at over 1,100 RPM keep your machine at safe temperatures. It only weighs 1.6 lbs (725.7 grams) and supports laptops up to 17 inches. In fact, any electronic device that needs instant cooling can be placed on the metal mesh, from PlayStation consoles to Wi-Fi routers. With two adjustable height settings, the Havit cooling pad goes anywhere with you. There are two USB ports on the pad to help you with extra plug points. Five-star ratings mention how they've been using the pad for years, and it's never failed to drop temperatures by 15 degrees Celsius. Reviews also add that the fans work quietly and stop their laptop from shutting down.

2. Best for RGB Lighting: Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB


  • Large fan tackles more airflow
  • 256-colour RGB lighting with five modes
  • Three adjustable height settings
  • Adjustable fan speed


  • Fan RPM is lower than most

Rashid loves his Thermaltake Massive 20 RGB for two main reasons: the large 200mm fan and its gaming-appropriate RGB lighting. The RPM peaks at 800, slower than others on this list, but the fan speed is adjustable via a knob, as are the LED lights with five modes. Switch from wave and pulse to blink and RGB modes, so that the accessory blends right in with your gaming setup. You're getting three adjustable height settings up to 13 inches. Reviews say the cooling pad is visually striking and brings down the heat on gaming notebooks, like the MSI laptop and ASUS TUF model. 

3. Best for Small Laptops: KLIM Wind Laptop Cooling Pad


  • A 1,200 RPM fan in each corner of the cooling pad
  • LED-lit fans
  • Drops temperature by 15 degrees Celsius, say reviews
  • Quiet 26-decibel performance
  • Works well for PlayStation and Xbox consoles


  • Small for laptops 17 inches and up

Get a four-fan cooling pad to cover all the corners of the underbelly of your laptop. They spin at a powerful 1,200 RPM below a mesh surface, promising to cool your machine in under a minute. It's ideal for laptops and devices up to 16 inches, but 19-inch notebooks can stay put on the pad, as well, with the help of the two frontal pegs. Buyers say they've played heavy titles, like the Microsoft Flight Simulator, on gaming laptops with no lag and heating. Many note the quiet performance, even saying how they've forgotten to turn off the pad because its 26-decibel fans are so silent. Console players also attest to the cooling. You'll be getting one extra USB port for peripherals.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a five-year warranty. 

4. Best Budget: TopMate C11 Laptop Cooling Pad 


  • High RPM of up to 2,400
  • Easy to control with clear display panel
  • Five height adjustments with six fan speeds
  • Seven RGB lighting modes


  • Anti-skid features might not support heavy laptops

TopMate's C11 cooling pad is fitted with fans of variable sizes - four small fans under two large fans. A sleek LED light strip around the pad turns into an RGB lighting system with seven modes. You can also tweak the fan speed across six levels using controls on the display. To save you from back and neck fatigue, the ergonomic pad elevates up to an additional eight inches, and also includes a pull-out phone holder for easy side-by-side viewing. Reviewers with work laptops say it knocks off about 10 degrees Celsius, and others with heavier gaming devices note that the pad can be a little slippery. If you want an entry-level cooling pad with straightforward controls, this is a solid buy.

5. Best Portable Pad: Targus Portable Lightweight Chill Mat


  • Excellent portable option for use around the house and at work
  • Four height levels
  • Open design for extra cooling
  • Quiet dual fans


  • Less comfortable, when propped up on the table

This low-profile cooling pad by Targus has two fans that disperse heat, while on the lap. Unlike the other pads on this list, the Targus model has a hollow base that separates the fan mechanism from your lap. This open design helps keep the accessory cool, while it works hard to keep your machine cool. It supports laptops up to 17 inches and has four adjustable height levels, with an ergonomic tilt for easier browsing anywhere. According to the reviews, the cooling pad is comfortable to use on the couch or in bed, and it's less flashy than most, making it perfect for both casual and office users. Another bonus is that the dual fans are very quiet, they say.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.