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Do Cooling Pads Work For Laptops and Are They Worth It?

Do cooling pads work for laptops

Do cooling pads work for laptops? Well, they must work if millions are sold each and every year. A number has risen since lockdown due to many more people and gamers working from home.

So for me to get a definitive answer, I would need to buy a decent laptop cooling pad and put it through its paces and see if a laptop cooling pad does work and find out how much it helps to cool down a gaming laptop.

And, that’s, exactly what I did.

In this post, you will find a detailed answer to the question, do cooling pads work for laptops? In addition, I will explain how I tested the laptop cooling pad. And, give you my honest opinion if laptop cooling pads are worth it and should you add one to your gaming laptop accessories.

Not only that, you will find answers to other related questions, with additional tips on how to keep your laptop cool. So, if have just grabbed the latest mid-range gaming laptop, or even a decent budget laptop, you will see if it’s worth investing in a laptop cooler to help improve your gaming.


Contents of this page: 

READ NEXT: 18 Must Have Accessories | Razer Kraken Headset Review


What we used for the test

On this page, you will find the results of our testing. We only tested the temperatures differences of the components. First without the cooling pad and then with the cooling pad.

The cooling pad worked on my HP Omen laptop
The HP Omen 15 gaming laptop with an RTX 2060 graphics card paired with an AMD Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor.
A Cooling will help to raise your laptop for better airflow
The MV Power Cooling Pad we tested to see if they work with laptops
I tested the MV Power laptop cooling pad to answer the question. Do cooling pads really work with laptops?
The MV Cooling Pad has five adjustable heights
Side View of the MV Power Laptop Cooling Pad

We tested the MV Power Laptop Cooling Pad?

To test if a laptop cooling pad really works. I decided to browse Amazon, and find a decent laptop cooler, after sifting through the over 8000 results, my decision was to go with the laptop cooler listed below.

Ok, it may not be the thinnest or the lightest laptop cooling pad. But it looks good, and it has an adjustable height so you can better position your laptop. Which is ideal, because I use my laptop for work and gaming.

Additionally, the MV Power laptop cooler also comes with two USB ports, which is a nice bonus. Another deciding factor was the price because it was somewhere in between the highest and the lowest. The laptop it was tested with is 15.6, however this laptop cooler would still make an excellent 17 laptop cooling pad.

havit Cooling Pad 12'-17' Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
25,525 Reviews
havit Cooling Pad 12"-17" Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
  • [Ultra-Portable]: Slim, portable, and light weight allowing you to protect your investment wherever you go
  • [Ergonomic Comfort]: Doubles as an ergonomic stand with two adjustable height settings
  • [Optimized for Laptop Carrying]: The metal mesh provides your laptop with a stable laptop carrying surface.
  • [Ultra-Quiet Fans]: Three ultra-quiet fans create a noise-free environment for you
  • [Extra Usb Ports]: Extra USB port and power switch design allows for connecting more USB devices.Warm Tips: The packaged cable is USB to USB connection. Type C connection devices need to prepare an Type C to USB adapter .

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do Cooling Pads Work for Laptops: How we tested?

The gaming laptop we used to test to see if the laptop cooling pad really works was the HP Omen 15. A good choice for several reasons, and the first being the laptop has large ventilation grilles across the base.

So the laptop should benefit from the fans hitting directly onto the hardware. Unlike, other laptop designs that have a solid base. Secondly, the HP Omen pairs a powerful AMD 4000 series Ryzen CPU with an NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card and paired together, they will surely generate heat.

For the record, I have not had to consider a laptop cooling pad since buying the HP Omen laptop because the cooling system is so good. I have been able to keep my operating temperatures down through thick and thin. Amazingly, way below the 105°C max temps allowed for the Ryzen 4800H CPU and the 80 °C for the NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU.

However, to help others who are experiencing high operating temps I thought it would be worth accepting a helping hand to improve the cooling further. If a laptop cooling pad can do that, then so be it. And if I can help you improve your laptop cooling it would be worth it.

What Did We Do?

To answer the question, do cooling pads work for laptops? We carried out the following tests.

For the first test, I ran Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro video editing software. This included creating an image using dark colours and editing video clips.

In the second test, I played my favourite fast-action first-person shooter, Battle Royale game, Call of Duty Warzone and the game time was for 20 minutes.

Each test was done first without using the laptop cooling pad and then again with the laptop cooling pad. It was placed under my laptop and turned on to full power.

What We Used To Monitor The Hardware Temperatures

The software we used to monitor the hardware temperatures was a software programme called Speccy, which is a decent system information tool that will provide you with technical details about your processor, motherboard, graphics card, and your RAM.

The tool dives deep into your PC or laptop and offers you real-time temperatures of your components. Speccy is a FREE tool and will work with any Windows PC or gaming laptop.

If you are serious about taking good care of your laptop, then you should try Speccy. After all, it’s FREE to download and use, so what have you got to lose?


Idle Temps Used For All Tests to See if Cooling Pads Work on Laptops

Please Note: My laptop fans were also running during the tests. But they were set to run on the same settings for all tests and the idle temperatures were also the same.

Idle Temps: CPU 32 °C and GPU 30 °C.

Idle CPU GPU Temps Test 1 to see if coolings pads work with laptops

Test 1; Graphics Editing

After achieving the temperatures mentioned above, I waited 5 minutes for my system to settle. Then, I ran Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro and at the same time I had my browser and my email client running.

Below are the results after 20 minutes, first tested without the laptop cooling pad and then with the cooling pad turned on to full power with all fans running.

Test 1: Results after 20 mins without the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps After Test 1 NO Cooling Pad

Test 1: Results after 20 mins with the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps After Test 1 to see if the cooling pads worked on a laptop

Test 2: Gaming Scenario

Again, using my laptop’s internal fan system, I ensured the CPU temperature was 30 °C, and my GPU was 32 °C. After achieving these temperatures, I waited 5 minutes for my system to settle. Then proceeded to run Call of Duty Warzone using the Battle.net game installer and proceeded to run the Speccy software.

Below are the results after 20 minutes of gameplay.

Test 2: Results after 20 mins without the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps Test 2 no cooling pad

Test 2: Results after 20 mins with the Cooling Pad

CPU GPU Temps Test with cooling pad

Conclusion: Do Cooling Pads Work for Laptops?

TEST 1 EVERYDAY TASKSAverage CPU TemperatureAverage GPU Temperature
NO COOLING PAD49 °C45 °C
WITH COOLING PAD44 °C40 °C

TEST 2 GAMINGAverage CPU TemperatureAverage GPU Temperature
NO COOLING PAD51 °C47 °C
WITH COOLING PAD50 °C47 °C

As you can see from the results above, there are positive differences in the hardware temperatures when using a laptop cooling pad. From the first test, the CPU and the GPU temperatures improved by +5 °C. Whereas, the gaming tests were slightly different.

There were only minor differences. A +1 °C difference in the CPU temperature when using the cooling pad and the GPU temperatures were identical. 

The main point to take is that cooling pads do work with laptops, and for the small price you would have to pay, I believe they are well worth a punt.

Besides, I would much rather buy a cooling pad than result in opening up my laptop to mess around with thermal pasting or overclocking the hardware.

Which is not an easy task, and especially with AMD HP laptops. In doing so you could void the warranty and you could quite easily add too much paste. Then Boom, your laptop won’t need a laptop cooling pad as it could easily be damaged beyond repair. It’s a lot of money to waste.

Luckily, the HP Omen gaming laptop boasts a superb cooling system. Besides, cooling my laptop is not the only reason I still use my laptop cooler, it is also used to make my laptop easier to type on.

A laptop cooling pad will offer you a more comfortable position to rest your laptop, so it’s worth finding a laptop cooler with adjustable legs.


READ: WHY USB-C IS BEST | WHAT IS A GAMING LAPTOP?


How do cooling pads work for laptops?

Understanding how cooling pads work for laptops is hugely important. This will ensure you are using the laptop cooler correctly, and you purchase the correct cooler for your needs.

A decent laptop cooling pad will reduce the operating temperature of your laptop, iPad, or gaming console. And they will also cool down the surface of your laptop so you’re less likely to suffer heat-related discomfort.

Even though gaming laptops have come a long way over the last few years with much improved cooling systems, they are still some way behind desktop computers. Which is mainly down to PCs having bigger chassis which allow for more fans. More fans equal better airflow, cooling, heat dissipation and performance.

Whereas laptops have to be thin and as portable as possible and they must contain powerful hardware to handle the latest game titles. Like, powerful processors, and GPUs, which will generate a fair bit of heat.

Because of this hardware gaming laptops have to be equipped with fans but these are loud and may surprise some with just how loud they can be but they are needed to help with cooling the powerful components.

However, on occasion this may not be enough, and if your machine is unable to cool itself, then you will need a laptop cooling pad. And there are many other benefits to adding a laptop cooler to your gaming, which I will discuss later in this post.

Do all Cooling Pads Work with Gaming Laptops?

There are several types of cooling pads, and they all have the same job. Or very similar. But for this article, I will concentrate on the two most common, passive cooling pads and active cooling pads.

  • Active Cooling Pads
  • Passive Cooling Pads
  • Multipurpose Coolers
  • Air Vacuum Coolers

Active Cooling Pads

Active cooling pads are the most common type of cooling pad used with gaming laptops. This type of cooler will have between 1 to 6 fans of varying sizes that will generate airflow around your device to help shift the heat away from your components.

An active cooling pad can be operated by either a USB port, although not recommended. Others can be plugged directly into an electricity source, recommended.

An Example: Active Cooling Pad

KLIM Wind 4 Fan Active Laptop Cooler
25,063 Reviews
KLIM Wind 4 Fan Active Laptop Cooler

  • COVERS LAPTOPS FROM 11″ TO 19″
  • RECEIVE A FREE EBOOK TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP
  • Fan speed: UP TO 1200 rpm
  • TWO USB PORTS AVAILABLE
  • DIMENSIONS: 40.1 x 27.2 x 3.1 cm

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Passive Cooling Pads

Passive laptop coolers are not as commonly used and can be more expensive than an active laptop cooling pad. They work similarly to your CPU heat sink as a conductor of heat and passively radiating heat away from your components.

This type of laptop cooler is not ideal for laptops with grilles or vents on the chassis base. But, if your laptop air vents are only on the sides, then these laptop coolers are OK.

It’s worth noting, a passive laptop cooler does not use a power source, so there’s no fan noise, unlike with an active laptop cooler.

Air Vacuum Laptop Cooler

Another type of laptop cooler is an air vacuum cooler and unlike the others that sit underneath your laptop. This laptop cooling solution plugs directly into a USB port or they can also be plugged into the side exhausts.

An Air Vacuum cooler is a small block about 17cm in length and 10cm wide and you attach the device to the exhaust vents on the side of your laptop and they can be made of metal so will act as a heat sink.

The great thing about these laptop coolers is that they are small and can be slipped into your bag without taking up to much room. But, will they be better than the Havit RGB Laptop Cooling Pad? Maybe not.

An Example: Vacuum Cooler

KLIM Air Vacuum Laptop Cooler
3,785 Reviews
KLIM Air Vacuum Laptop Cooler

  • MAXIMISES THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR LAPTOP
  • THE MOST EFFICIENT ON THE MARKET
  • COMPATIBLE WITH MOST LAPTOPS
  • NOT IDEAL ON UNEVEN SURFACES
  • Fan speed: 1000 rpm / 2000 rpm

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


What Are The Benefits Of Laptop Cooling Pad?

The benefits of adding a laptop cooling pad to your gaming laptop accessories collection will most definitely outweigh the price. Ok, a cooler will not replace your laptop’s cooling system and especially not in a gaming scenario when your fans are hitting full speed.

What a cooling pad will do, is control your laptop’s temperatures when running in normal mode. Therefore, reducing the noise levels created by your internal fans. So, if your just typing an email, letter, or working on an assignment then switching on your laptop cooling solution would help.

Additionally, if your cooler has an adjustable height, it will help position the laptop at a more workable angle and possibly reduce neck strain as it will bring the display closer to your eye level.

Then there is the ergonomic benefits of placing a cooling pad under your laptop are huge. I find this to be the best part of owning a laptop cooler and the main reason I have decided to hold onto the MV Power device after this post.

Other benefits include enjoying a slightly better performance from your CPU and GPU by reducing the operating temperatures and the additional USB ports will help charge or power other devices you may have.

However, only some laptop coolers will have more than one USB port. The MV Power cooling pad has two and I’ve been able to charge my iPad using the port and attach my camera and phone.

8 Benefits with a Laptop Cooling pad

  1. Additional USB Ports
  2. Reduce Operating Temperature
  3. Faster CPU & GPU Performance
  4. Low Ambient Temperature
  5. Positioning for Gaming & Writing
  6. Help Keep the Laptop Raised Up
  7. Increase Life Span of Components

How to choose a laptop cooling pad?

Now you know cooling pads work it’s time to choose a laptop cooling pad. Which is one of only a few gaming laptop accessories that are not expensive costing anywhere between $30 and $50. 

Your choice of cooling pad will come down to the kind of laptop you have. If your laptop base is solid and the exhaust vents are on the sides, then you would need to go with an air vacuum cooler, like the one I mentioned earlier, or even a passive laptop cooling pad. Whereas, if your gaming laptop has grilles across the base, then an active laptop cooler would be a better fit.

Another thing to consider is where your laptop components are seated and see if you would benefit from one big fan or three fans spread across the base, or even five fans. You may even benefit from a laptop cooling pad with adjustable fans, this way you can position the fans to suit the layout of your laptop.

Another thing to consider before deciding which laptop cooling pad would be best. Do you need more USB ports? If so, then check out cooling pads that come with more than one USB port, like the Havit cooling pad above which has two.

Also, will you be carrying the cooling pad around in your backpack? If so, look for a lighter cooling pad like the TopMate C11 Laptop Cooling Pad 

But the main feature to get right is the size of the laptop cooling pad. However, most laptop coolers would be suited for all sizes ranging from 11″ to 19″. But, there are some cooling pads that will only cater for laptops up to 15.6″. So make sure you choose the right size for your laptop.


5 Tips for Laptop Cooling Solutions

Ensuring the hardware stays below the maximum temperature allowed is hugely important. Literally, your laptop’s life depends on your CPU and GPU not overheating.

Luckily, my Omen gaming laptop is a superb thermal performer, even in decent settings. I can comfortably enjoy 130+ FPS in COD Warzone and still stay way below max temps.

And when I say below, I mean 20-30 °C below.

But, before we go any further, I have to confess. I have tweaked my power settings and optimized my game settings to achieve this. Although, that’s a story for another day.

Cooling Tips

  1. Raise your laptop from the surface
  2. Clear clutter from around your laptop
  3. Regularly clean your air vents and fans
  4. Turn settings down that don’t affect performance
  5. Edit Power Plan: Lower your processor management numbers

Common Questions: Do cooling Pads Work?

Are cooling pads good for laptops?

A cooling pad will definitely not be bad for your laptop, which can only mean cooling pads are good for laptops. Just as long as they work how they should and cool down your operating temperatures, then it can only be a good thing. Even if you manage to choose the wrong cooling pad, it just won’t work as intended. But it definitely won’t do any harm.

As long as you consider the right cooling pad for your laptop. I mean, if you have vents on the base then an active laptop cooling pad would be best. Whereas, if your laptop’s base is solid a passive cooler would be best. Most importantly, make sure you pick the right size to fit your laptop.

Do cooling pads help with FPS?

Keeping your laptop cool is a must, if you are continuously running at high temps your laptops performance will suffer. Fortunately my gaming laptop has adequate cooling, so I don’t really need a cooling pad to help with cooling. I use mine to improve my laptop’s position making it easier and more comfortable to type on.

When it comes to frame rates (fps), this will depend on many factors, and placing a cooling pad under your laptop is possibly at the bottom of that list. A laptop cooling pad will only reduce your operating temps by a few degrees, and the testing I have done during a gaming scenario has highlighted it doesn’t make a huge difference.

If a cooling pad was to improve your fps it will only be by a small margin. There are many other things you can do to improve your fps, like reducing your in-game settings or overclocking and Undervolting your hardware will improve cooling, performance, and potentially improve fps.

Does anyone really need laptop cooling pads?

If you have a laptop and it’s continuously running high temps a laptop cooling pad may help to some degree. However, if your laptop temps are extreme there could be problems with your laptop. They could be problems a laptop cooling pad just won’t be able to fix.

You could have issues with your own fans, which you can check to see if they are running how they should. Or you may need to look at the BIOS settings and ensuring your drivers are up to date.

I own a laptop cooling pad, and I cannot remember the last time it was turned on, simply because the cooling solution inside my own laptop is superb. However, I still use the cooling pad each and every day. It’s only used to prop up my laptop which makes it easier to type on and it also helps with allowing better airflow under my laptop and makes my laptop more comfortable to use.

Whereas if you own an older laptop that doesn’t have laptop fans and you’re experiencing high temps it may be worth investing in a laptop cooler. They will help bring down your operating temps by a few degrees and which may just be enough to save you a trip to the retailer to buy a new laptop.

Best Selling laptop Cooling pad

havit Cooling Pad 12'-17' Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
25,525 Reviews
havit Cooling Pad 12"-17" Laptop Cooler with 3 Ultra Quiet Fans, Ergonomic Comfort Notebook Cooler with 2 USB Ports, HV-F2056
  • [Ultra-Portable]: Slim, portable, and light weight allowing you to protect your investment wherever you go
  • [Ergonomic Comfort]: Doubles as an ergonomic stand with two adjustable height settings
  • [Optimized for Laptop Carrying]: The metal mesh provides your laptop with a stable laptop carrying surface.
  • [Ultra-Quiet Fans]: Three ultra-quiet fans create a noise-free environment for you
  • [Extra Usb Ports]: Extra USB port and power switch design allows for connecting more USB devices.Warm Tips: The packaged cable is USB to USB connection. Type C connection devices need to prepare an Type C to USB adapter .

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Thoughts..

There we go, laptop cooling pad test complete and the results confirm cooling pads do work with laptops. Ok, you are not gonna pull up trees from investing in a laptop cooling pad for your gaming laptop.

Nor will you climb to the top of Everest. But, what you will do, is take more control over the life span of your pride and joy because a laptop cooling pad will help reduce the operating temperature of your laptop and it will help extend the lifespan of your hardware.

Additionally, a decent laptop cooling pad with an adjustable height will offer you a more comfortable platform to work from which is possibly the biggest thing I can take from this laptop cooling pad test.

Just remember, to ensure the size is suited to fit your laptop and if you need help choosing a laptop cooling pad you can check out our guide to the best cooling pads in 2021 or if you want some ideas on what gaming laptop accessories to buy check this guide.


Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading our cooling pad test and if you have any questions related to laptops, gaming or anything in between please do not hesitate to get in contact with us or you can drop me a comment below and I will reply ASAP.

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Happy Laptop Gaming!

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