There are many things in this world that are underrated. The smell of freshly mown grass. A great home cooked meal. T. Rex (The 70s band, not the dinosaur– he’s still pretty BA too though). But what about in the world of reading and writing?
The unsung heroes of our realm are Book Stands. These handy devices are much more critical than many give them credit for. They allow for great hands-free operation for those with tired arms or dirty fingers. Some are even doing their part to help alleviate some of the challenges experienced by those with special needs.
So without wasting anymore time… let’s bang a gong, get it on, and discuss the 10 best book stands of 2018.
Top 10 Book Stands Ranked Best to Worst
These are our choices for the best book stands you can buy in 2018.
Top Ten Book Stand Reviews
#1. Uncaged Ergonomics Adjustable Reading Stand (Best Overall)
Out of all of our options, the Uncaged Ergonomics stand came out on top. This stand can do it all. Whether it’s reading in bed or cooking in the kitchen, the Uncaged Ergonomics reigns supreme for all your book stand needs. Let’s take a look why.
- Adjustable Height and Angle
- The height is adjustable up to 21” making it ideal for almost situations Use it in bed or on your tabletop. The angle of the holding tray is fully adjustable and locks in 15 degree increments.
- Open Space Bottom
- This is a really useful feature. When used on your desk, you can minimize and even help declutter your workstation. Place your reading material on top and your other supplies underneath. Another great thing about this feature is when reading in bed. You can place it over your legs or lap minimizing the stress on your body.
- Made out of Lightweight Aluminum
- This makes it perfect for kitchen or workshop use. It is sturdy and non-porous which makes it great for using around raw foods or chemicals.
- Collapses Flat
- Not only is it lightweight, but it has the ability to collapse completely flat. This makes it great for portability and transportation.
#2. LEVO Hands-Free Book Stand (Best for Bedtime Reading)
When it comes to bedtime reading, the LEVO Hands-Free Book Stand really shines through. This makes reading in bed a much easier experience. Let’s take a look at some of the features that enable this book stand.
- Fully Adjustable Design
- You can adjust just about every aspect of this book stand! You can adjust the height of the stand from anywhere between 30-56” making this ideal for reading from any piece of furniture.
- Cantilever Swing Arm
- Its adjustable swing arm easily extends over your chair or bed. It also is easily adjustable on a five point axis to make sure you have the best reading experience possible.
- Sturdy Wheeled Base
- The sturdy base of this unit is heavy enough to support a book weighing up to 4 lbs. Yet, it’s easy to maneuver around due to the casters mounted on its underside.
#3. ScanJig Pro Plus for Blind, Visually Impaired & Fine Motor Difficulties (Best for Special Needs)
Sometimes, life throws you curveballs. But, that doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t swing for the fences. For those who need that extra boost, this is the perfect book stand. The ScanJig Pro Plus is much more than an ordinary book stand. It can be a real game changer for those with special needs.
- Scanning Stand
- The ScanJig comes with a stable support for your phone that you can use to scan your documents. These can then be used in coordination with different text to speech apps in order to help decipher printed text.
- Open Design
- This stand is designed with with open angles to allow maximum light penetration thus minimizing pesky shadows that interfere with scanning capabilities.
- Travel Friendly
- This book stand folds up nice and neatly so it can be carried with you wherever you go. At full fold, it can be squarely place inside your backpack.
#4. Reodoeer Reading Rest (Best for Messy Areas)
Ever need a reading stand in a messy area? Maybe you’re baking cupcakes and need a helping hand to hold that recipe? Or perhaps, you’re in your auto shop flipping through user manuals and repair guides? You need a sturdy book stand to handle it and one that can be cleaned afterwards. The Reodoeer is just the stand for you.
- Sturdy Construction
- This book stand is constructed out of a sturdy plastic and metal plate. This makes this an ideal book stand to be used around rugged areas. Plus, it’s non-porous. Meaning minimal pathogens can creep inside the materials. Simply wipe down with your favorite antibacterial and you’re good to go.
- Heavy Duty Holding
- Since this book is made out of stronger materials, its weight capacity is much larger than most other stands. This allows for a very large book ranging from a your standard run-of-the-mill textbook to a Standard Operating Procedure for a turbine driven electric plant.
- The Reodoeer has seven different angles that it can be adjusted to. This ensures you always have the right angle when getting down and dirty.
#5. PSRVR Luxury Bamboo Bathtub Caddy (Best for Bath Time)
What’s better than a nice glass of wine, a scented candle, and a good book? Doing all this in the bath of course! And now you can with the PSRVR Luxury Bathtub Caddy. Keep your book safe from the bubbles with this bamboo book caddy.
- Multifunctional Trays
- This caddy holds more than just your book. There are two trays on either side of your book that you can use to hold other things such as a bookmark or highlighter. The caddy also comes equipped with two indented rounds perfect for holding that glass of Pinot and a nice candle.
- Waterproofed Bamboo
- This book holder is made out of a lightweight, yet durable bamboo. This makes it easy to move into place or take down. Along with that, the bamboo has been waterproofed as not to deteriorate your product over time.
- One Size Fits All
- The caddy can be extended lengthwise to fit just about every standard size bathtub.
#6. [SmartMe] Portable Book Stand (Best for Travel)
Reading is one of the most popular options to do on long flights because let’s face it… those in-flight movies are never really that good. But a big problem with reading on an airplane is the space. You are in a very cramped area with no room to stretch (particularly in coach). Save your arms from awkward cramps and soreness with this book stand. The [SmartMe] portable book stand is perfect for these types of situations.
- This book stand has the ability to fold into a size slightly larger than your standard flashlight. This makes it ideal for travelling in your backpack carry-on.
- Lightweight and Durable
- This book stand weighs in at just over 5 ounces. This is one of the lightest book stands on the market. You should have no problem transporting this or exceeding your weight limit due to this item. Although it is light, the [SmartMe] is constructed of a high grade ABS plastic which helps keep it tough enough for your purpose.
- Stable 4 Point Support
- This feature helps to eliminate curling and folding of books and their covers– especially near the ends of the book.
#7. A+ Children’s Book Stand (Best for Kids)
Do your kids love to read? Or do they need a little encouraging? Perhaps a book stand of their very own is just what they need! The A+ Children’s book stand is great for those little bookworms in training.
- Kid Friendly
- This book stand was designed purely with children in mind. It has smooth rounded edges with no sharp corners. It’s also made with safe non-toxic materials so you can rest easy with this around your tykes.
- Easy to Setup and Learn
- This book stand is super simple to use. There is no assembly required. Just slide the backboard into its desired position and you are ready to go.
- Certified Safe
- These stands have been tested in CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) certified laboratories in accordance with all Children’s Safety Regulations.
#8. Standing Lectern by Christian Brands (Best for Presenting)
Are you part of a book club that reads aloud? Or, do you have a presentation you need to give? Most people don’t give enough credit to the lectern. These large, but versatile book stands are ideal for reading aloud in front of groups. There’s already the pressure of an audience. You don’t need that pressure being transferred to tired arms as well.
- Beautiful and Simple Design
- This lectern’s construction is an elegant, yet simple design sure to draw the attention of those before it. It is handcrafted out of genuine maple with a rustic walnut finish.
- Wide Top
- The top of this stand is 15” x 16” making it ideal for large books.
#9. HENGSHENG Bamboo Book Stand with Retro Elegant Pattern (Best Functional Decor)
Who says function can’t be fashionable? This is definitely the case with this awesome looking book stand. The HENGSHENG book stand is made out of ornately carved bamboo sure to get noticed. But not only does it look good… it works great.
- Stable and Sturdy
- Made out of high quality bamboo, this book stand can support books of all sizes.
- Flat Folding
- Folds flat when not in use to easily be accommodated in a medium sized backpack.
- This book stand can be adjusted to 5 different angles ensuring that you can read at your leisure.
#10. Esschert Design Cast Iron Cookbook Stand (Best Iron Book Stand)
This iron stand is designed to bring life into any kitchen. Your cookbook will look just great when perched upon this stand. It does require some assembly, which may be difficult for some. Yet, when completed, this Victorian inspired piece of art is well worth it.
- Iron Cast
- Sturdy and strong. This piece is very difficult to break.
- Weighted Page Holders
- This stand comes equipped with elegant weighted page holders ready to keep your pages flat and easy to read.
Things to Consider when Purchasing a Book Stand
Purchasing a book stand doesn’t have to be the most difficult decision in your life. Let’s take a look at a few factors to consider when purchasing a book stand to make your process a little easier.
Height and Weight
When purchasing a book stand, you must take into consideration the dimensions that you need. Some book stands are great for tabletop reading, while others excel for other places. But what is the ideal height for you?
Did you know that if you focus on something too close to your eyes that you are putting undue strain on them? Or that looking at something too far away does the same? It goes beyond just nearsightedness or needing bifocals. Those with perfect vision can also fall prey to these conditions. This can lead to future eye problems or worsening of current ones.
According to healthguidance.org, the book or paper you are reading should generally be between 16 and 21 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level. It’s actually easier to read looking down than looking up. Remember to keep this in mind when searching for a new book stand.
Another thing to take note of is the weight. For instance, would you want to get a cast iron book stand for an elderly individual or a child. Obviously, the answer is no. But besides from that why else should you worry about weight?
Let’s say you are reading in bed. You are following proper guidelines with the book stand on your lap with the book balanced inside. How heavy is your book? How heavy is the stand? Depending on the combined weight of the two, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. That could be just enough pressure to push down on your legs to reduce blood flow or place unwanted pressure on your nerves.
By keeping height and weight factors in mind when shopping, you are sure to make a better decision with your book holder selection.
Adjustability and Portability
Some people have a designated reading area. They have a special chair or bed they go to when ready to curl up with their next new adventure. But… others don’t. Some can just plop down anywhere and get right into it.
Now for those stationary readers using book stands… adjustability and portability becomes less of an issue. Simply find the right size with the right angle, and you’re all set. However, for those less static, these factors can become very important.
For instance, those using e-readers would love angle adjustability. We all know how it goes… sometimes the angle of our laptops or e-readers isn’t quite suited for the ambient light. Well with laptops, the solution is easy. Just angle your screen accordingly. E-readers or tablet-like electronics are a different story. These must be adjusted by being held differently and sometimes in awkward positions.
An adjustable book stand definitely can help with those kinds of situations.
Portability is another huge consideration. Is it practical to carry a full size lectern from the living room to the kitchen just to hold your cookbook? No. What about travelers? Is it practical to bring a non-collapsible wrought iron book stand? Absolutely not.
Speaking of travelers, do you know the weight limit for international carry on baggage? It’s roughly 40 lbs. That includes the bag and its contents. Those who intend on doing some reading on a long flight may want to consider using their book stand. One designed for travel may be just what you need.
Material considerations are definitely something you should pay attention to. Here are two reasons why.
Material strength can be very important when choosing a book stand. Let’s just say you spend most of your time reading heavy textbooks. A simple plastic stand just isn’t going to cut it. The plastic may easily snap under the weight of the heavy book. But if you are using the book stand for smaller books (such as bedtime stories for children), maybe a plastic stand is a better option. One common lightweight material used is bamboo. Bamboo combines the best of both worlds allowing for maximum weight with minimal strain on the stand. As we will see next though, bamboo is not necessarily the best for all situations.
- Intended Use of Stand
There are many reasons why one would use a reading stand. Some use them in bed. Others at a desk. But what does this have to do with the material of the stand itself. Everything. For example, you use your book stand in the kitchen to hold up your recipe book. You are making your Grandma’s world famous chicken pot pie. YUM! Now, in this recipe, it calls for cleaning and preparing a whole chicken. As those who cook know… cleaning a chicken can get a little dirty sometimes. But that’s ok. We can just clean it up, right? Well, yes and no.
Let’s just say some of that chicken juice went flying and got onto your book stand. With wooden or bamboo book stands… this may not be desirable. You see, the wooden or bamboo stand may actually soak up some of that chicken juice along with whatever bacteria may be hiding in it. Wiping this down will help, but the risk of contamination is definitely still there. In this case, a metal or sturdy acrylic may be best. The Spruce Eats puts out an interesting article on this as it applies to cutting boards, but the principle is still the same. Use non-porous materials for kitchen use.