LAST UPDATED: May 18, 2020
The Best Tablet Holder for Car (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Drive more safely with your tablet conveniently and securely held in place
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON May 18, 2020
Automakers have been adding entertainment options into cars, trucks, and SUVs for many years. Thanks to devices like smartphones, tablets, and video games, you can take your entertainment along with you. But in order to enjoy it properly, you need a tablet holder for your car.
You can choose from a variety of accessory options and positions, from cup holder tablet holders to headrest tablet holders to vent or window tablet holders. These accessories are easy to set up and use, and they make watching TV shows and movies, playing games, and even working effortless while you're on the go.
Also, your kids will love relaxing with their favorite entertainment, whether you’re driving around town or taking a road trip. Check out the best tablet holders for cars, and find the perfect fit for your vehicle and your on-the-road entertainment needs.
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Benefits of Tablet Holders for Cars
- Safer driving. You can keep your eyes on the road and not on your tablet when you have it conveniently secured in place by a holder. You shouldn’t take your eyes off the road to use the tablet, or worry about it falling between or under the seats.
- Technology at your fingertips. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with modern technology, a tablet holder gives you easy access to your tablet’s features like Bluetooth, navigation, voice call and texting, and music streaming.
- Protected tablet. Carrying and using your tablet while on the go puts it at greater risk of getting damaged. A holder helps to keep it secure while your vehicle is in motion. This is especially helpful for when little ones are using a tablet in the backseat.
Best Tablet Holders for Car Buying Guide & FAQs
One thing about technology is that once you use it, you have a hard time giving it up. So, if you have an older vehicle without a modern head unit, you need to rely on personal digital devices for things such as navigation and music. Unfortunately, using this equipment can be dangerous when you're driving.
If you use a tablet in your car, it's a good idea to get a holder so that it's safely accessible. A holder is also convenient for backseat passengers who want to watch movies or play games during a road trip.
Our buying guide below includes the benefits of installing a tablet holder in your vehicle, the top features you should consider when shopping for one, and other useful information that will help you make a good purchasing decision.
Why Do You Need a Tablet Holder for a Car?
Many people use their cell phones while driving, which can be very dangerous because it can be hard to read what's displayed on such a small screen. A tablet is a good alternative because it's larger, and it's easier to use the interface to play music or for navigational purposes. If you have a good mount for the tablet, it makes those tasks that much easier.
Plus, many older cars lack the modern technology that a tablet provides. Instead of paying a lot of money to upgrade your vehicle's audio system, you can use a tablet you already own. It's a great tool if you need directions to a vacation spot, play your favorite songs from an app, or simply check the weather.
Another advantage of installing a tablet holder in your car is that you can entertain children. If you are planning to take a long road trip, simply load it up with your kids' favorite films, so they are less of a distraction when you're driving.
Some cities and states will give you a ticket if they see you driving around with a tablet in your hand. To avoid a fine, simply stick your iPad or other tablet in a mount that's specially made for cars. It's one way to avoid an officer's attention.
- Use the latest technology.
- Avoid spending money on an aftermarket head unit.
- Access GPS and a variety of other apps on the go.
- Entertain your children.
- Avoid a traffic ticket.
The Most Common Types of Tablet Holders for Cars
There are three types of vehicle tablet holders. Before you shop for one, decide whether you want to use the tablet in the front seat or the back seat. Some holders are designed to stick to a windshield or on an air vent, while others are affixed to the back of a headrest.
Cup Holder Mount
This type of tablet holder is designed to be mounted inside the cup holder. They often feature an expandable base, so they are compatible with most types of vehicles, including trucks and RVs with standard-sized cup holders. Many brands don't require any tools for installation and/or removal.
Some cup holder-mounted tablet holders provide a 360-degree swivel joint, so you can turn the tablet in all directions for an optimal viewing angle. One downside with this type of mount, however, is that it may not be the best option for a left-handed driver. It can be a little awkward to use a tablet in this position.
A leverage-based mount is inserted into either your vehicle's air vent slots, CD slot, or the stem of a headrest, which allows a person in the back seat to engage with the tablet. This is ideal for children and young passengers who seek digital entertainment during a car trip.
The nice thing about these mounts is you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to where you want to place the tablet. The downside is that the mount, in combination with the tablet, may be too heavy for a plastic air vent (and possibly cause it to break). Also, they are not particularly stable and can slide out of place due to bumps in the road or other vibrations.
The last mounting option for a tablet holder is one that relies on suction cups. These mounts are fairly secure when it comes to slippage, but they are not very versatile. There are not a lot of places in the front of your car in which you can stick the suction cup.
Another problem with these mounts is that some vehicles have windows with a large sloping angle. If you put the mount on this type of surface, the ability to angle the tablet becomes limited. However, you can mount it on either the right or left side of your steering wheel, so it's good for both right- and left-handed people.
Founded in 1994, Macally is based in the greater Los Angeles area of California. Its product line consists of consumer electronics accessories and computer peripherals. Check out the Macally Flexible Phone Holder with Clip-on Clamp for a versatile tablet mount.
Headquartered in Cerritos, Calif., Cellet was founded in 2000. The privately held company is one of the largest producers of consumer electronics accessories and peripherals. Its product line includes cases, chargers, data cables, hands-free solutions, holders, and power banks. Check out the Cellet Lazy Bracket for a flexible option.
As one of the largest cell phone and tablet accessory makers in the world, the company strives to produce high-quality and trendy products. It focuses on building a product line of mobile car and bike mounts. The APPS2Car Magnetic Mount gives you a stronghold for your devices.
Tablet Holders for Car Pricing
- Under $20: These tablet holders are typically made of plastic and have basic adjustability. They provide you with a simple solution for a basic problem.
- Over $20: More expensive holders have more features and options. They may come with more than one installation option, durable construction, longer arms, greater flexibility, and broader device compatibility.
It can be tempting to buy a cheap tablet holder for your car, but there are other factors you should consider in addition to the price. First, you need to make sure it's compatible with both your vehicle and your tablet. Also, it needs to be stable and easy to use, whether you're the driver or backseat passenger.
Some tablet holders are larger than others, so they can accommodate a larger range of tablets. Whether you have a smaller 7-inch tablet or a larger 12-inch iPad Pro, the holder needs to have a secure grip. Some devices are even designed with adapters to hold smaller electronic devices, such as smartphones.
You also need to consider the thickness of the tablet. Some holders have clips that work well with older tablets that aren't as thin or streamlined as newer devices. Also, make sure the holder fits the vehicle. If you choose one for the headrest, for example, it needs to be stretchy enough to go around it. If you have seats without removable headrests, you want to make sure the holder will work correctly. If you choose a cup holder mount, make sure it doesn’t interfere with the shifter.
Tablets aren't cheap, so you want to make sure they're securely protected in the holder If the mount isn't stable, your tablet may vibrate, making it difficult to see what's on it, or it may drop, which could potentially break it. That’s why a product’s stability is a top priority.
Some cup-mounted holders have grommets that keep it snugly in place and nice and sturdy, even on rough roads. Also look at the arm extension. Make sure it's strong enough to keep your tablet from moving around. If you choose a headrest tablet mount, the elastic should be tight, so it keeps your iPad or other tablet firmly in place so it doesn't wobble.
Ease of Use
If you use a tablet in your vehicle, it needs to be easily accessible so you aren't distracted when you're driving. If you choose a leverage-mounted holder, take a look at the ways it can be configured. Some tilt at more angles than others, and some can pivot 360 degrees, which allows both the driver and passengers to access the tablet.
CD mounts are easy to use, particularly if you're the driver. It's not hard, for example, to reach forward and set GPS coordinates. This may be more difficult with a different type of mount. Headrest mounts, on the other hand, tend to be less adjustable. They may only allow a horizontal mounting position and may or may not have a tilting feature.
- Vehicle Compatibility. The holder you buy needs to work in your vehicle. You may find that a windshield mount doesn’t work with the slope and style of your windshield. Or perhaps the air vent mount doesn’t fit into your air vents. Confirm that your chosen mount can be installed in your vehicle.
- Portability. Do you plan on traveling with your tablet holder? Maybe you have more than one vehicle. Or you plan on renting a vehicle for a trip. This will influence the type of holder you buy. You’ll want something easy and fast to install and take out. Plus, it needs to be compact for packing into a bag or luggage.
- Durability. The conditions in your vehicle can be quite harsh. Summertime means extreme heat, and winter can bring extreme cold. The holder you choose needs to be durable enough to last throughout the seasons. Lower-quality suction cups will get hot and melt. Low-quality plastic could become brittle in the cold and crack or break.
Best Tablet Holders for Car Reviews & Recommendations 2021
This tablet holder fits a variety of devices, from the iPad Pro 12 and iPad Mini to the 9.7 Samsung Galaxy Tab and 10.1-inch Google Chromebook. It features an extra-strong arm that extends to 13.5 inches. The device is easy to install due to its adjustable base, and it fits in cup holders that are 2.86 inches to 3.47 inches wide. The holder features a protective soft grip on the back, so it won't scratch your device. It’s very flexible and can rotate 360 degrees from the cradle. The holder is stable even when the car hits a few bumps, and it sits at the perfect spot so you can look at maps or use other apps on the tablet's interface.
One downside of this mount is that it may not fit your cup holder. It’s adjustable, so it has broad compatibility, but you’ll just want to confirm that it works with the size of your cup holders. Another drawback is that with this mount, you lose the use of your cup holder. If you have more than one holder, it may not be a big deal.
The affordable price, no-skip stability, and ease of use all make the Tryone Tablet Headrest Holder one of the best tablet holders for the price. With a budget-friendly price, this tablet holder is ideal for almost any vehicle. It can be installed with one hand in just two seconds. It fits onto any headrest, giving backseat passengers the perfect point of view for any kind of entertainment. It’s compatible with tablets, smartphones, and even Nintendo Switch devices up to 10.5 inches in size.
Unfortunately, this tablet holder doesn’t extend outward. This can make it awkward to view in some larger vehicles where you sit farther away from the seat in front of you. However, this may not be a drawback for smaller vehicles. You also want to make sure it’s compatible with the distance of your headrest bars. It needs to be able to fit between them to install it.
If you need to entertain young backseat passengers, you need the kid-friendly Macally Car Headrest Mount Holder. This tablet holder for cars has been tested by kids and approved by parents, so you’ll rest easy on long drives knowing your children are entertained. It fits most headrest posts, can cradle and securely hold tablets up to 10 inches in size, and keeps any tablet (and even most mobile phones) stable even with a case in place. You don’t have to worry about bouncing or slips and falls while the car is in motion.
The long bar of this tablet holder can make it unstable. If you have it fully extended, you may notice the tablet bouncing or shaking while driving. This doesn’t happen as much when the bar isn’t as extended.
Passengers sitting in the front seat often miss out on in-car entertainment, but the APPS2Car Tablet Car Mount Holder offers the perfect solution. This tablet holder is mounted via a suction cup and unique sticky pad that’s strong enough for all kinds of surfaces, and it’s reusable, too. Simply stick the sticky gel pad and suction cup to a window, dashboard, or other smooth vehicle surface, and its two-stage locking system will hold the mount in place, keeping your entertainment where you need it.
One downside of this holder is that the dashboard support may not secure well to your dashboard. This can cause it to move and shift while driving. This sounds like a bad thing, but it actually spares your dashboard by not using adhesive and protects the support arm by not applying additional stress.
Drivers who need to entertain backseat passengers will love the TFY Universal Car Headrest Mount. Compatible with both smartphones and tablets up to 10.5 inches, this tablet holder uses a silicone holding net to secure your devices to a car headrest. You can adjust the angle of the screen for comfort, and the stretchy net won’t scratch or damage your phone or tablet. It’s also case compatible, which means you can easily use this mounting gadget with a case that’s already on your tablet.
One drawback of this holder is that it uses a silicone net to hold your tablet. This makes it less durable than other holders. However, it also makes it safer because it eliminates the need for protruding hard plastic pieces or brackets.
You have the option of installing this tablet holder on your windshield or in your air vent. The windshield holder has a strong and sticky suction cup. It has a two-step process for securing it to your windshield. Then there are three ways you can adjust the holder. You can extend and rotate the arm and use the ball joint at the grip to rotate and angle the tablet 360 degrees. You can use this holder with tablets that are 7 to 10.5 inches in size or cell phones that are 4.5 to 6.5 inches.
Unfortunately, the arm on this holder is shorter than others, which can cause your tablet to block your field of vision out the windshield. The good news is that if this happens, you can use the air vent mount instead.
This easy-to-use tablet holder will securely hold your tablet to the back of your front headrest. It has a single strap that wraps completely around the headrest that’s made of elasticated Velcro. To hold it on the headrest, there are Velcro and metal clips. The design is streamlined and made from durable materials to be stain-resistant and long-wearing. There are two bars that your tablet will hook into. Devices that are between 7 and 11 inches should comfortably fit. What’s nice about this holder is that you can use it with tablets that are in a protective case or cover.
The downside of this holder is that it’s black and may not match your vehicle's interior. However, the high-quality material will look nice. The strap is also slim and unobtrusive to the passenger in the front, which makes it well worth it.
Give your backseat passengers a convenient way to hold their tablet with this headrest mount. It can rotate 360 degrees and extend outward up to 8.6 inches. You can mount this on headrests with posts that are between 4.7 and 5.9 inches apart. There are also two knobs for adjusting the arm’s length. The grip can hold tablets that are between 6 and 10.5 inches in size. What’s really nice about this holder is that the tablet and headrest post grips are lined with rubber. This protects both your device and your vehicle.
One downside of this mount is that it’s difficult to adjust. You’ll need to use the two screw knobs. But once you get it adjusted, you don’t have to worry about it moving out of place. Those knobs also give it a longer, extendable range than other tablet holders provide.
Do you have a CD player in your vehicle that you never use? Then give your vehicle an upgrade with a tablet holder that mounts into it. This one can give you a secure hold with a screw-lock base that provides a stronger hold than other CD mounts. It’s also shallow enough not to interfere with the playback of your already-loaded CDs. It has broad compatibility with the ability to hold tablets that are 7 to 11 inches and cell phones that are 3.5 to 7 inches. You’ll have 360-degree rotation and a cable notch for charging while your device is mounted.
This holder’s downside is that it won’t work if you don’t have a CD slot to insert it into. However, if you do have one, this is a great way to modernize your vehicle without interfering with the performance of the stock features.
Know that your tablet holder isn’t going anywhere when you permanently install it. This holder has a 22-inch arm that extends from the seat rail upward. You can then adjust the gooseneck to angle your tablet into the perfect position. This makes it ideal for trucks and fleet vehicles that need the tablet for commercial use. The secure grip holds the tablet on the top and bottom to accommodate tablets that are 7 to 18.4 inches in size. You can use it to hold the Apple iPad 2, 3, 4, and Air. It’s also compatible with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Motorola Xoom. It comes with all of the necessary installation hardware.
The downside of this tablet holder is that it does require more labor-intensive installation. However, this is well worth it because you have a more secure and stable holder.
- Get the exact measurement of your tablet before you buy a holder. Devices with a screen are measured diagonally on the screen only.
- Consider the design of your vehicle when buying your holder. Some air vent mounts work only with certain types of vents. Others work only with headrest support bars that are a specific size and distance.
- Consider the total weight of the tablet and its case when buying your holder. The support arm needs to be able to hold the entire weight. Otherwise, it will begin to droop and put extra stress on the holder.
Best Tablet Holders for Car FAQs
By now, you know that not all tablet holders are the same. They have different mounting options, and some can hold larger devices than others. We answer some commonly-asked questions about tablet holders for cars below, such as whether it's really necessary to invest in a tablet holder, how to install one, and what makes one better than another.
Q. How do I install the tablet holder for a car?
A: In general, it's not difficult to install a tablet holder in your car. Some stick in the air vent, CD slot, or cup holder, while others you strap to the headrest. Some brands use suction cups and stick on the window.
Q. How do I choose the best tablet holder for a car?
A: First, decide whether you want to access the tablet in the front or back seat. Then you need to decide what type of mount will work best in your particular vehicle.
Q. Should I get a tablet holder for the car?
A: If you use a tablet while you're driving, or you want to entertain children in the backseat, a tablet holder is very convenient and easy to use.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the Cellet Cup Holder Tablet Mount. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices, is easy to install, and has an extra-strong arm for durability. It's designed so it won't scratch your tablet or rattle when the vehicle is in motion. It also provides a perfect perch to read maps or interact with your tablet when you're driving.
While we chose the Cellet Cup Holder Tablet Mount as our top selection, we also really like the Tryone Tablet Headrest Holder. It's very affordable and takes just seconds to install. It also fits a variety of headrests and tablets that are as large as 10.5 inches. It has a charging hole and an anti-scratch surface to protect your tablet.