When the first laptop computers were released, they changed the way people thought about personal computing. Instead of being tied in to your desk, you could use your computer anywhere. You could work at the kitchen table, or use your laptop in bed, or type away on your couch. As laptops became more advanced, people started using them to watch movies, and even for gaming. Nowadays, smartphones and tablets have taken over many of those roles. To be fair, you still need a laptop for more demanding tasks. But for streaming media and light-duty gaming, a tablet or smartphone will get the job done.
There’s a small problem with this, though. Because of their design, laptops have a built-in stand. The computer itself has enough weight and surface area to support the display at any angle. With a smartphone or tablet, you don’t get that luxury. You either have to hold the device in your hands, or you’ll have to get a third-party stand. Otherwise, you’re not going to get the most out of your experience.
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Today, we’re going to review three of the best pillow stand holders for smartphones or tablets. We’ll begin with the SAIJI Phone Holder Bed Pillow Stand. This is a unique pillow stand with a hinged support bracket that can hold your phone at any angle. Next, we’ll take a look at the UGREEN Tablet Pillow Stand. This is a collapsible, washable pillow stand that supports a wide range of device sizes. Finally, we’ll check out the Flippy Multi-Angle Soft Pillow Lap Stand. This is a three-sided stand that can be rotated to change the screen angle.
These are all high-quality stands, but which one is the right choice for you? To find out, we’ll have to take a closer look at the design, and how they’re put together. We’ll need to talk about the quality of the material, and how easy it is to keep clean. And, of course, we’ll need to look at what kinds of devices each stand supports. Let’s get started!
Benefits of a Pillow Holder Stand
Before we talk about individual stands, let’s take a look at the bigger picture. What exactly is a pillow holder, and why would you want one? Simply put, a pillow holder is a soft, squishy holder that can be used when you’re lying down. Instead of being made from plastic, they’re typically made out of foam and fabric. That way, they can comfortably sit in your lap, or even on your belly. Of course, you can also use them on a desk or table like any other stand. But they’re specifically designed for comfort and relaxation.
The most significant benefit of any tablet or smartphone holder is that it keeps your hands free. Let’s say you’re gaming. Sure, you could use the on-screen controls, but for action games, those can be clunky. With a stand, you can set down your tablet, and use an external controller instead. Even for watching a movie, you probably don’t want to hold your tablet in your hands the entire time. Maybe you want to take a drink, or text on your phone while you’re watching on your tablet. Either way, it’s nice to free your hands up.
Another major benefit of a tablet or smartphone stand is the screen position itself. If the screen isn’t at an ergonomic position, you may have more than just a minor problem. In the worst case, a bad screen angle can lead to repetitive stress injury (RSI). An RSI is a type of injury caused by bad posture, and by repetitive motions. This is a broad class of injuries, and includes things like carpal tunnel syndrome. Another good example is tennis elbow, caused by repeated shocks to the elbow.
Because bad posture increases your risk of RSI, it’s important to keep ergonomics in mind at all times. A tablet or smartphone pillow holder can keep your screen at the ideal angle for viewing. If you find yourself straining your neck while you use your phone, you probably need a stand. Of course, a stand alone won’t prevent you from developing an RSI. You should also make sure to change up your position, and take breaks now and then. Even a minute of stretching every now and then can do a world of good.
There are plenty of ways to support your device, and pillow holders aren’t always the right solution. For example, let’s say you spend a lot of time working at your desk. In that case, a gooseneck tablet and smartphone holder can make more sense. They’re nice and flexible, and can hold your screen at almost any angle. Then again, they clamp to your desk, so they’re not ideal for using in bed. They’re also not easily portable, which is another benefit of pillow stands. With most stands, you have to unclamp the stand from your desk and re-clamp it somewhere else. By contrast, you can simply pick up a pillow stand and carry it around.
SAIJI Phone Holder Bed Pillow Stand
The SAIJI Phone Holder Bed Pillow Stand is truly one of a kind. The main part of the stand is a round, 6-inch thick pillow, which has a diameter of 11 inches. It’s filled with foam pellets, which seemed like an odd choice at first. Then, we saw how the pillow can change its shape to fit pretty much any surface. You can set it on one knee, or put it on your crossed legs, and it will conform. The shell material is a soft lycra, which has a smooth, velvety feel to it. It’s available in orange or grey, to fit a wide variety of cosmetic tastes.
The actual stand is mounted on top of the pillow. Around the top edge, there’s a loop, with a metal ring that fits inside and runs around the circumference. The stand attaches to this ring with a secure clip, so it remains fixed to the top of the pillow. This stand is constructed from a white plastic material, with a matte finish that’s easy to keep clean. At the back of the stand, a support arm attaches via a hinge. There’s a second hinge halfway up the arm, so you can flex it in two locations. At the end, there’s a spring-loaded clamp, which is designed to support your phone. It’s padded on the sides so it won’t damage your case, and can hold phones between 4.7 and 7 inches.
That’s great for smartphones, but what if you want the stand to support your tablet? In that case, you can fold the support arm down, and prop the tablet up against it. There’s a little nub towards the front of the stand, which can support the bottom of the tablet. To adjust the screen angle, all you have to do is tilt the support arm. This stand is rated to support tablets between 7.9 and 12.9 inches. In practice, you could probably go a little larger or smaller. You just wouldn’t have the same level of flexibility as regards the angle.
As an added bonus, it’s not just the plastic part of the stand that’s washable. The pillow portion is also washable. First, you have to unclamp the plastic portion of the stand, and pull the metal ring out of the loop. Then, you can wash the stand in your washing machine. Just be aware that it can only be dried on the zero heat setting. If it’s dried in a hot dryer, the foam pellets inside can be damaged.
UGREEN Tablet Pillow Stand
UGREEN is famous for their smartphone and tablet accessories, from earbuds to phone chargers. Most recently, we reviewed their UGREEN Power Dot 20W PD Charger. So, it made sense to take a look at the UGREEN Tablet Pillow Stand. This stand is shaped a bit like a sofa, with a thick, sloped back and a thinner front portion. The shell is fashioned from a grey flannel material, which is soft to the touch and surprisingly durable. The inner padding is an EVA foam, which is firm and springy. As an added bonus, the top of the back can fold over, forming the stand into a rectangle. In that configuration, it’s not much good as a stand. But it’s more portable, and it can even be used as a regular pillow.
The bottom portion of the UGREEN stand has three ridges running across it. These support the bottom of your phone or tablet, and allow for three different viewing angles. In terms of device size, you can position just about anything. UGREEN says 4.7 to 12.9 inches, and that encompasses most phones and tablets. One other thing to note is the back of the stand. Here, there are two pockets, which can be used for storing cables, power banks, and other small accessories.
The shell of this stand can be removed and washed in your washer. It’s even safe for your dryer, which we very much appreciated. Because of the folding design, there are actually two pieces of molded foam inside. So you’ll have to undo both zippers before throwing the stand in the wash.
Flippy Multi-Angle Soft Pillow Lap Stand
The Flippy Multi-Angle Soft Pillow Lap Stand has an unusual design, but it’s one we enjoyed working with. The basic design is an irregular triangle wedge, with three sides at three different lengths. As a result, the angle changes depending which side of the triangle is down. The three sides measure 8.5, 7.9, and 6.6 inches in length, and provide 49, 70, and 61-degree angles respectively. The overall width of the Flippy is 11.5 inches, which is wide enough to support any smartphone or tablet. At each tip of the triangle, a support nub runs across. This gives you a surface for the bottom of your device to rest on.
The shell is made of a polyester material, which has a soft, plush finish. The inner material is a soft, yet firm foam, which is comfortable on your lap while providing plenty of support. The shell is not removable, which was a bit disappointing. On the upside, the material is stain-resistant, and it’s easy to wipe down and keep clean. Not only that, but you can choose from 18 different colors, and even patterns. These range from plain black or red to camo, leopard, and starburst patterns.
If none of these three pillow holders scratch the right itch, there are plenty of other options. One of our favorite is the Lamicall PL02. This is a 2-sided tablet pillow holder with a soft, velvety fabric shell. It also sports a pair of pockets on the sides, for your cords and other accessories.
So, which one of these pillow stands is the ideal choice? Let’s review what we’ve learned. We started with the SAIJI Phone Holder Bed Pillow Stand. This stand gives you the most flexibility regarding your phone’s position. The idea of attaching a boom stand to a pillow is very innovative, and it was fun to use. We also liked the design of the pillow itself, with its ability to conform to any surface. The only real down side is that it’s a bit bulky, and requires disassembly for cleaning.
The UGREEN Tablet Pillow Stand is another solid choice. It’s easy to fold up and carry around, and can even be used as an ordinary pillow. We also appreciated the removable shell, and the storage pouches in the back. This stand might not be all that stylish. But it’s well put together, and can hold your device at three angles.
The Flippy Multi-Angle Soft Pillow Lap Stand has a quirky, offbeat design. Not only does it rotate to change the angle, but you get your choice of many colors and patterns. It’s not as washable as the others, but it’s portable, versatile, and fun to use.
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