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iPad hands-free watching – most practical accessories

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• If you plan to watch many movies on your iPad, don’t overpay for a stand cover.
• Get a combination of an affordable iPad case and a hands-free watching gear.

What is your favorite place to watch Netflix or Prime Video movies? I bet it’s not a desk.

Most people watch movies and TV shows in bed, with the iPad on their laps. It’s where an original Apple Smart Cover falls short.

Hands-free watching on iPad and iPhone

▸ The Smart Cover and all other tri-fold cases don’t work on uneven surfaces, such as your laps or a bed duvet. They are highly unstable. It’s because only one third of their front cover forms the base of the stand.

Apple Smart Cover not suitable for hands-free watching
Apple Smart Cover is too unstable to be used on uneven or soft surfaces Image: Apple

▸ Try to put the tri-fold cover, with the iPad in vertical position, on a pillow, duvet or any other soft surface. It’s highly unstable, and you will most probably have to keep it in one or two hands to prevent it from falling. You may end up putting a large inflexible object below, such as a large-format hardcover book.

▸ iPad kickstand covers are even worse. They are the least stable cases, as their stand construction has the least contact with the surface. Kickstands are good for video conferencing behind a desk, but they are a terrible idea for watching in bed. Most heavy-duty iPad cases have a built-in kickstand.

▸ If you are determined to use the case for watching movies on your iPad, you should pick up a folio case – the one that is formed by folding the front cover into a stand base. The base equals the size of the iPad, and it’s the most you can get from the case.

▸ Even with the most stable case, your iPad will be placed directly on the surface. When you watch in bed, the bottom part of the screen may be covered by the folds of the duvet.

▸ The stand seems like a good fix, but not all stands are suitable. Most stands have the same disadvantages as tri-fold covers. They are too small to be stable on soft and uneven surfaces. They are good for a desk or coffee table, but not bed or sofa.

▸ A suitable hands-free watching accessory should serve two purposes: it should be stable on any surface, and it should raise the iPad above the surface.

▸ The best solution for iPad movie watching is a combination of an affordable iPad case and a practical accessory for hands-free use.

▸ Here is an Amazon search list of iPad cases that cost less than $20, sorted by the highest average rating.

▸ In the following overview, I list the best hands-free watching stands and accessories. They will also work with your iPhone.

iPad hands-free watching accessories

Best iPad hands-free watching accessories

Innovative pillow stand with 6 watching angles

Sturdy pillow stand for iPad hands-free watching

▸ From Lamicall comes one of the best solutions for using the iPad hands-free in bed or on a sofa.

▸ The stand is cozy but extremely stable – it has strong resilience but is hard to deform. Therefore, it can be used on any surface, be it a desk, bed, or sofa.

▸ Best of all, it combines a convenience of a pillow with features typical for desktop stands: multi-angle functionality.

▸ You can place the book or device on each of two sides, where there are three grooves. Altogether, there are six angles to position your iPad for viewing.

▸ The stand offers a cozy and soft feel but is sturdy enough not only to hold the iPad and iPhone, but also your MacBook Pro.

▸ It’s available in five desaturated color variants, including Blackish Green and Royal Blue.

▸ The price at the time of writing the post is $20.99, but throughout the year you may see it slashed to even $18.99. Add to it a simple case, and you will have the perfect iPad hands-free watching solution for less than $40.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

Our score: 8.5/10

⇢ Amazon

Compact bean bag holder

iPad hands-free bean bag stand

▸ If you are looking for a smaller accessory that will help you watch movies with free hands, you will appreciate the soft stand from iProp.

▸ The stand is a small bean bag that will help you place your iPad on any uneven surface.

▸ The non-slip silicone shelf will hold your device even if it’s in a case, and the cradle is large enough for devices that are up to 18 mm in depth.

▸ The pillow is covered with breathable mesh fabric which can be detached and washed.

▸ The zipper lets you use the internal space for cables and other small accessories.

▸ There is also a convenient carrying handle for easy portability, and lightweight to make traveling with it easier as well.

▸ The price is comparable with larger pillow stands – $24.99.

✨ Compatible: iPad models except the largest iPad Pro 12.9, which might be too large for the stand to keep it stable on uneven surface.

⇢ Amazon

Comfortable bed table with a slot for iPad

iPad compatible bed table best for hands-free watching

▸ This handmade stand from Trimborn is designed to be comfortably used on a bed or on a sofa.

▸ The groove in the surface will let you place the iPad at the viewing angle. You can also place the iPad in a case, of the total depth is not higher than 10 mm.

▸ The stand, called by the producer “the brackets,” provides secure grip on soft and uneven surfaces. The storage area is 43 cm wide and 33 cm deep.

▸ The stand is large and comfortable. It will securely accommodate your iPad, a cup of cappuccino, and a croissant.

▸ The stand is hand-crafted from lacquered oak veneer and is equipped with a cradle for your iPad Pro (and any other tablet that’s up to 10 mm thick).

▸ You can also place it on a desk to provide an extra desk space and place the iPad Pro at the eye level.

▸ Trimborn “brackets” stand is minimalist, easy to carry, and will fit into any home style. You can use it as a bedside or coffee table when your iPad is recharging.

▸ The current price of this premium table is $99.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

⇢ Etsy

Bamboo bed tray with adjustable stand and side pocket

iPad hands-free watching bamboo table

▸ If you want a more affordable bed table, take a look at the one from Huanuo. It combines several benefits, including hands-free watching on a tablet.

▸ When you want, you can use it for a Sunday breakfast in bed, working on a laptop, or watching a movie on your iPad.

▸ The main benefit is an adjustable stand that you create by raising a left part of the desk. You can position the stand at five different angles – a great idea if you watch movies sitting on a sofa or in a bed.

▸ The right side of the desk stays flat, and you can use it for a cup of coffee and a tray of marshmallows.

▸ There is also a mesh storage compartment for office accessories or a bottle of water.

▸ All this for the price set at $39.99. Hurry, there were a few items lets at the time of writing this post.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

⇢ Amazon

Foldable pillow pad with storage compartment

iPad pillow pad with storage compartment - hands-free watching

▸ Pillow stands are usually too large to take them on a trip or hide in a drawer.

▸ From Ontel comes a clever solution – a soft stand that looks like a pillow on the outside but hides a foldable stand construction.

▸ The stand is made of soft but sturdy cover, and can be folded to a flat shape that can easily fit under a bed or in a drawer.

▸ The adjustable top side (between 0 and 90 degrees) is where you can place your iPad. The front groove is high and large enough to hold the iPad even if it’s in a thick, heavy-duty case.

▸ Best of all, the pillow features a hidden storage compartment, where you can place the iPad – and there is still some place for a few smaller accessories.

▸ The price at the time of writing this post is set at $19.99.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

⇢ Amazon

Flexible arm iPad mount holder

Flexible neck iPad holder for hands-free watching

▸ If you watch movies on your iPad in just one place at your home (probably a bed), you may like the idea of a tablet holder that you can mount to a bedside table or the frame of your bed.

▸ This gooseneck iPad mount holder from Lamicall is extremely popular on Amazon, with over 16 thousand ratings.

▸ Thanks to a flexible arm, you can place your iPad exactly at the angle, height, and distance you like. It’s a great idea for anyone who wants to use the tablet at the eye level.

▸ The holder is rotatable. You can watch movies in a landscape view and then rotate the iPad into a portrait view to take part in a Zoom meeting, or read a magazine.

▸ The stand works great for passive activities, like watching, reading, or video conferencing. It’s not suitable for working, as it’s bouncing when you touch the display.

▸ The stand is available in two colors: Gray and Black. You can get it at $24.99, but quite often the price drops to $20.99.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models, except iPad Pro 11 and 12.9.

⇢ Amazon

Affordable rolling floor iPad stand

Rolling iPad floor stand for hands-free use

▸ Rolling tablet holders are far too expensive. For a solid stand with a wooden base, you will have to pay well over $100.

▸ I have found a floor holder that’s meant for office meetings and presentations, but if you accept its professional look, you can also use it at home – especially that its price is very competitive.

▸ You can adjust the height of the stand so that it will be useful as well when you will be watching movies in bed.

▸ The gooseneck arm is fully flexible. Thanks to that, you can position the iPad at the right angle and distance. It’s rotatable to let you use the iPad in either landscape or portrait view.

▸ Most importantly, the stand is movable thanks to the wheels. You can roll it to the kitchen during a day, and back to your bedroom for evening movie watching.

▸ The price at the time of writing this post is down to $49.99, but the stand normally costs $69.99.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

⇢ Amazon

Alternative floor stand for hands-free watching

Adjustable floor stand compatible with iPad - hands-free

▸ If you want to find an affordable solution that could be suitable not only for your iPad, but also a textbook or cookbook, think about a creative solution – a floor music stand.

▸ Surprisingly or not, the music stand has everything you need to watch movies on your iPad. It offers a high adjustment, as well as the angle adjustment.

▸ It can hold your iPad, but also a large and thick academic book. You can also use it as a cookbook stand. There are metal spring arms that will hold a book in place, no matter how think it is.

▸ Yes, but music stands are cold black. You don’t have to choose the black. Get the white one, and it will perfectly fit the light feel of your bedroom.

▸ Plus, you can detach the head of the stand and place it on a floor or sofa.

▸ The stand comes with a carrying bag. It costs $41.99.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

Our score: 7.9/10

⇢ Amazon

Spider-leg stand for watching in bed

Spider-leg iPad stand for hands-free watching

▸ Most stands and tablet pillows can raise the iPad only a bit higher. What if you wanted to place the text at the eye level?

▸ Take a look at the clever stand from Tablift. It has a construction which resembles a four-legged spider, and on the top there is a device holder.

▸ The legs are flexible, and you can form them to raise the device much higher than any other accessory.

▸ Most importantly, the legs can be folded together to take as little space as possible.

▸ The holder lets you mount a device of up to 12.9 inches (ca. 33 cm), so it will fit all iPad models.

▸ The slots allow for watching at three different angles.

▸ The updated price is $39.99.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

⇢ Amazon

Innovative iPad and iPhone pillow stand with adjustable arm

iPad and iPhone pillow holder with flexible arm - hands-free watching

▸ This patented pillow stand is intended to be used with smartphones (the movable arm can fit only smaller devices), but it also has a way to place the iPad on the base. That’s why I included it in the overview.

▸ A cozy-looking arm that ends with a device holder. The holder is compatible with your iPhone, e-readers, and tablets that are up to 7 inches.

▸ The arm can be rotated by 360 degrees, and you can also adjust its height “to meet the comfort of watching the screen in different postures, and effectively soothe your neck and spine.”

▸ Thanks to a hook in the pillow’s top side, you can place here an even larger device, and an iPad will find here a good place.

▸ The pillow is filled with odorless foam pellets. As a result, it can change its shape to closely fill the contact surface – a bed, desk, or your knees. The cover is made of stretchy and breathable Lycra fabric.

▸ The price at the time of writing this post is $59.99. You can have it in either Sand Yellow or Gray color.

✨ Compatible: The stand functionality in the base is compatible with all iPad models. The arm holder can fit only your iPhone.

⇢ Amazon

Portable iPad pillow holder with pockets

iPad hands-free watching pillow stand

▸ Here is another idea for an iPad pillow holder that can be folded to a more portable shape so that you can take it wherever you take your iPad.

▸ Designed and sold by MoKo, this soft pillow holder features a movable top side that can be unfolded to form a stable stand.

▸ The stand, together with a front cradle, should accommodate your iPad or even a paper book. Thanks to that, you can use it not only for watching movies but also reading good old books.

▸ You can fold the top back and close with buttons to form a kind of suitcase that you can carry using a convenient handle.

▸ There are pockets on two sides where you can place your smartphone or cables.

▸ When folded, the pillow can be used as a throw pillow or neck support on a sofa or bed.

▸ The price is $24.99. You can choose from three colors: Dark Gray, Peacock Blue, and Turquoise.

✨ Compatible: All iPad models.

Our score: 8.1/10

⇢ Amazon

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