Your MacBook Pro is overheating when you work, edit videos, or play? It’s not surprising, especially if you use it heavily for a long time, or maybe place it on your laps or bed. The built-in cooling system can’t cope with it on its own and needs help. A cooling pad will easily solve this problem, which may otherwise lead to irrecoverable consequences.

Let me tell you my story. I killed one of my laptops in the past that way. I was late with the cooling pad and the device just broke down, as it was constantly running hot and I didn’t pay much attention to it on time. This situation made me rethink the importance of keeping the temperature of the gadget within a reasonable range, and I highly recommend that you don’t postpone the decision of acquiring a cooling device to protect your investment.

The pads differ in the cooling method: active – with fans, and passive – without. Surely, active cooling is more effective, though it is charged from your MacBook and quite noisy. Lots of units are equipped with helpful additional features: sensors and screens, ventilation speed control, light, and other settings to adjust the cooling pad to your needs and preferences.

You’ll find a detailed breakdown of the 5 Best Cooling Pads for MacBook Pro, picked up by ordinary users and experts, and some useful tips below in the Comparison table, Buyer’s Guide, and product reviews. Take some time to read, compare, and evaluate all upsides and downsides before making your final choice.

The Buyer’s Guide

Pay attention to these essential features and recommendations to find your ideal cooling pad

  • Perfect Size 

The golden rule about the size is it has to be a perfect fit. If, for some reason, you decide to experiment you risk losing the efficiency of cooling your MacBook or suffer from discomfort while working. If the cooling pad is smaller, let’s say 13”, and your laptop is 15”, it won’t solve the problem with the heating. Because the location of the fans isn’t correct, they simply won’t be cooling the needed areas properly.

And vice versa, if you try a bigger 15” pad for a 13” machine, you’ll be disturbed by the airflow as the cooling surface is not covered completely. The laptop won’t sit well on the stand in both cases. So the right size is the first parameter to check.

  • Number of Fans and Their Location

Most models with the active cooling function have one big or several small fans. A few can boast a mix thereof. The number and sizes of fans don’t guarantee the best cooling result. Always pay attention to your MacBook Pro and identify the most heated areas. According to your specific needs, pick a pad with the required layout of fans. Don’t forget about noise rates, since constant whirr can decrease your work productivity and even provoke headaches.

  • Portability and Weight

For those who work from different locations, portability as well as lightweight and compact design are essential. Read the product descriptions carefully and consider the most suitable model for you. Choose the ones with foldable legs or other parts so that they are convenient to carry around. If you are planning to leverage it as a stationary unit only, select more heavy-duty, sturdy, and reliable cooling pads.

  • Additional Features

Many upmarket cooling pads feature additional useful perks, such as sensors and screens to show the temperature, speed settings to control the number of rotations per minute, and other customizable parameters. Additional USB ports and adapters will be of great use, too. Don’t underestimate these extras and compare a few different models before making your final choice.

Best MacBook Cooling Pads 2021 - The Comparison Table



Rating and Price

1. HAVIT HV-F2056

  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

  • Materials: Metal mesh and plastic

  • Number of fans: 3

  • Rotations per minute: 1100


  • Weight: 2.36 pounds

  • Materials: Aluminum and plastic

  • Number of fans: 2

  • Rotations per minute: 1000

3. RAIN DESIGN iLap 13-inch Stand

  • Weight: 3 pounds

  • Materials: Aluminum

  • Number of fans: No

  • Rotations per minute: No

4. KLIM Ultimate

  • Weight: 2.16 pounds

  • Materials: Metal grid panel and plastic

  • Number of fans: 1

  • Rotations per minute: 750

5. TARGUS Portable

  • Weight: 1 pound

  • Materials: Neoprene and plastic

  • Number of fans: 2

  • Rotations per minute: 1900

1. HAVIT HV-F2056 – the Best for Ultra-Slim and Portable Design

The Havit cooler features super slim, about 1 inch only, and lightweight construction. The adjustable height of the pad allows finding an optimal position to release the neck or back pain for those who have to work long hours at the monitor. 3 monster fans ensure the powerful cooling effect for your MacBook Pro and are almost noise-free.


  • Ultra-slim and lightweight for better portability
  • Adjustable to 2 different heights to fight back and neck pain
  • Foldable legs
  • The high-quality metal mesh allows air to circulate freely
  • Wear-resistant and strong
  • The laptop sits sturdily
  • 3 large but practically noise-free fans
  • Dual USB hub allows extra connectivity
  • LED light indicator
  • Ergonomic and practical design


  • The LED lights can’t be disabled, there is no switch
  • No wall power source option

The included cable is a USB to USB connection. If you need a C-type connection, search and buy a special adapter.

2. THERMALTAKE Massive – the Best for Sensor Temperature Control

Thermaltake Massive cooler uses advanced technologies to help you best customize the unit to your MacBook Pro. Two large fans are practically silent while producing powerful airflow to maintain the productivity of your laptop at its maximum. The ergonomic and durable aluminum panel will serve for a long time, giving a smart touch to the overall look and feel of the pad.


  • Powerful dual fans
  • Temperature regulation and thermal protection
  • 4 sensors to monitor the most heated quadrants
  • Fan speed can be adjusted manually or automatically
  • Smart display to control different functions
  • Lock button
  • Brushed aluminum surface
  • Has Turbo speed for quick cooling


  • Doesn’t turn on automatically, don’t forget to switch it on
  • USB ports are poor plastic and don’t last long

Note that temperature sensors are located inside the pad and are in the way of cool airflow, so they show a different number on display than the real internal CPU temperature. This is understandable, but the gap can be about 50 degrees.

3. RAIN DESIGN iLap 13-inch Stand – the Best for Passive Cooling and Unique Design

This minimalist Rain Design stand is highly recommended for those who love holding the laptop on their laps. Its special design with cushions makes it very comfy and practical. The unit lacks fans as it belongs to the passive type of coolers. Lightweight aluminum absorbs all the heat. Excellent for silent and extremely comfy working experience even on the couch or in bed. The iLap Stand perfectly matches the style of Apple products.


  • Very comfy for holding on the laps
  • Absolute silence – no fans
  • No power consumption
  • Cushions for soft touch
  • Aluminum style is aligned with that of your MacBook
  • Unique patented design
  • Created for work on soft surfaces
  • Can be used as a desk stand
  • The screen is 2.5 inches higher to release the strain in muscles
  • The front cushion provides support to the wrist during typing


  • Passive cooling isn’t enough if you have some serious problems with your computer
  • The cushion gets flatter and glossy over time and needs replacement

The front cushion is very helpful to get rid of the pain in your palm and you will forget about all wrist splints, carpal tunnel wraps, and gloves. However, if you’d like to convert the cooling pad to a desk stand, remember to remove the front cushion.

4. KLIM Ultimate – the Best for Gamers and Heavy Users

No more need to maintain a trade-off between practical sturdiness, powerful cooling, and comfort, on the one hand, and an impressive bright design on the other. It does a great cooling job even for the hottest gaming laptops not to let your fingers burn anymore. It is very quiet and looks fantastic. Don’t worry about using your MacBook Pro in bed either – even if you do it 24/7, it will still be cool.


  • 1 huge fan for quick cooling effect
  • A variety of customizable RGB effects and colors
  • Works quietly even at the maximum point
  • Compatible with all common laptop sizes
  • Reliable and durable
  • Robust and modern design
  • Metal grid
  • Shock-resistant, great for gamers
  • Great for daily use
  • Suitable for both types of surfaces: desk and soft
  • Rubber feet block sliding


  • The control buttons are at the back of the pad, not very convenient to reach

On the front part of the cooling pad, there is a special solid and strong plastic slot to keep the laptop from sliding down. The recommended size is 17”, though even a 19” laptop will sit comfortably on this pad remaining stable.

5. TARGUS Portable – the Best for Adjustability and a Multiple USB Port Hub

Targus portable chill mat can boast some useful additional characteristics, such as several height settings and extra USB ports. A dual cooling fan system lowers the temperature of the laptop significantly, protecting the hardware from overheating and extending the life of the device. Even on your laps, you won’t feel any discomfort from the hot air and the soft neoprene material feels like a soft cushion. It is equipped with four rubber stops to keep your laptop fixed in place.


  • Dual cooling fans
  • A USB hub includes 4 ports for increased connectivity to peripherals
  • 4 levels of height adjustability
  • Can be used with an external keyboard
  • Velcro straps are helpful in keeping all the cables in a bundle
  • Simple and ergonomic design
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Looks stylish
  • Soft neoprene material feels comfy on your laps
  • Rubber stops in 4 corners to secure the laptop in its position
  • Fits into a 17” laptop bag


  • Quite noisy, could be irritating
  • Thin wires of the USB cable seem cheap and low-quality

On the front part of the cooling pad, there is a special solid and strong plastic slot to keep the laptop from sliding down. The recommended size is 17”, though even a 19” laptop will sit comfortably on this pad remaining stable.


  • Does MacBook need a cooling pad?

The manufacturer indicates that MacBook Pro is designed the way that it doesn’t require a separate cooling unit and it can manage the heating successfully. However, if your computer gets hot regardless, a cooling pad is a great way out. Even without extreme heating, a cooling device is always fine. It will prevent undesirable outcomes and extend your MacBook’s life.

  • What is the best cooling pad?

Obviously, there isn’t one best model for everyone. The best cooling pad is the one that meets all your needs and tastes according to the priorities you’ve determined. These could be the type of cooling, materials, the size and number of fans, temperature sensors and a screen, dimensions, weight, light, portability, USB ports, and the design.

  • Does the cooling pad really work?

If you are facing heat-related issues, you may try downgrading the graphics settings and the processor, but it won’t address the problem completely. Cooling pads do help reduce both the external and internal temperatures of your MacBook and protect the hardware from overheating. Available at a relatively low cost, they are worth it. In hot seasons, when the ambient temperature is high, an ordinary air conditioner can be helpful. The air temperature goes down, which per se facilitates the cooling of the laptop.

  • Do cooling pads work for MacBook Air?

MacBook Air doesn’t usually overheat unless there is a serious problem. This could change if you put the device on soft surfaces that block the airflow and prevent adequate cooling of the machine. So yes, if you are used to watching films, working or playing games on the laps, in bed or on the sofa, consider buying a cooler as soon as possible.

Final Thoughts

Cooling pads or coolers are available in various modifications, can be made from metal, wood, and plastic, with different technical characteristics, for example, the speed of spinning fans, which is estimated in rotations per minute – RPM. Some may feature exquisite portability and lightweight foldable design for easy transportation. Identify your priorities, go over the best options, and compare them to have a perfect fit.

All mentioned cooling pads are compatible with all MacBook Pro models. (This list will be updated as other compatible models become available):
Sizes: MacBook Pro 13, MacBook Pro 15, MacBook Pro 16, MacBook Pro 17
Years: MacBook Pro 2006, MacBook Pro 2007, MacBook Pro 2008, MacBook Pro 2009, MacBook Pro 2010, MacBook Pro 2011, MacBook Pro 2012, MacBook Pro Retina 2012, MacBook Pro Retina 2013, MacBook Pro Retina 2014, MacBook Pro Retina 2015, MacBook Pro 2016, MacBook Pro 2017, MacBook Pro 2018, MacBook Pro 2019, MacBook Pro 2020, MacBook Pro 2021

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