Home > Guides and How To's > How to Use a Laptop on Your Lap (Safety Tips!)

How to Use a Laptop on Your Lap (Safety Tips!)

| Updated:

Generally, putting a laptop on your lap isn’t a good idea. Many people may think the term “laptop” implies using this device on the lap is best. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Continuously using a laptop on your lap can lead to various health issues. So, knowing how to use a laptop on your lap becomes necessary. Placing a laptop — or any wide hard surface — underneath your laptop is one way to safely use this device on your lap.

Furthermore, position your legs in a manner that doesn’t obstruct the laptop’s vents. However, this may be too finicky. Below, we’ll further highlight how to use a laptop on your lap and break down the risks of using a laptop on your lap.

How to Safely Use a Laptop on Your Lap

Using your laptop on your lap can become a habit that’s hard to break. Here are two ways you can safely use a computer on your lap. 

Use a Laptop Pad

If you truly need to put your laptop on your lap, this is the most straightforward approach, particularly if you need to work on the go. Laptop pads provide a protective barrier between your laptop and lap and repel radiation.

Furthermore, if you don’t have a laptop pad, find a book and use it instead. However, if you can’t find a laptop pad or book, consider positioning the intake port of the laptop away from your leg. Simply spread your legs wide enough so the intake port doesn’t fully sit on your lap. 

Summarily, if you can place the laptop on any flat surface wide enough to fit all four feet on the bottom of the laptop, this placement ensures that air flows freely through the laptop’s cooling system.

LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge, Mouse Pad, and Phone Holder - White Marble - Fits Up To 15.6 Inch Laptops - style No. 91501

Don’t Use Your Laptop While It’s Plugged In

While this isn’t a long-term solution, it is one technique to reduce the quantity of radiation your laptop releases when it is in use. When the laptop is charging, more radiation is emitted. Hence, you are exposed to most of that radiation while your laptop is plugged in. As a result, it’s best to leave your device unplugged when using it.

Risks of Using Laptop on Your Lap

Placing a laptop directly on your lap can expose you to worrying health issues. Here are three possible risks of using a laptop on your lap.

Electromagnetic Radiation

Laptops generate electromagnetic radiation, just like cell phones and practically other modern wireless gadgets. While careful use is vital to keeping radiation levels low, using a laptop on your lap increases the radiation your body is exposed to. 

Furthermore, radiation and fertility have been linked in research, particularly in men. A study found that radiation had a detrimental effect on sperm production, while another found that overexposure to laptop radiation destroys sperm cells.

On the other hand, in terms of fertility, women aren’t as vulnerable as men when overexposed to radiation. However, laptop radiation has been shown to affect pregnant women. Any heat transferred to a baby in the womb is dangerous to both the mother and the fetus.

Besides, radiation exposure can induce minor but persistent health problems, like headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and flu. These disorders may appear harmless, but they can harm your health.

Excess Heat

Laptops generate a significant quantity of heat. Although the heat isn’t high enough to burn you, continuous exposure can cause Erythema ab igne (EAI). This reaction manifests as mottling or rashes. While this is usually only a transient condition, long-term exposure might cause persistent skin discoloration.

Some more serious cases of EAI may be a symptom of cancer, particularly if they don’t disappear even after you stop placing this device on your lap. The best way to deal with this is to avoid anything that may cause the condition, laptops included, and consult a doctor if you notice anything abnormal in your skin.

Sleeping and Posture Issues

You should always ensure your laptop is situated at your eye level. When you place a laptop on your lap, you will have to bend over, which will affect your normal posture. 

As a result, you’ll experience pain in the neck, back, and shoulders. Furthermore, light from laptop screens will inhibit the release of melatonin — a hormone that brings sleep. So, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, put down your laptop and read a book before going to bed.


Summarily, we don’t recommend placing your laptops on your lap. Instead, place your laptop on a table and ensure the laptop is set at eye level. Furthermore, ensure you maintain distance between you and the laptop screen to prevent eye issues. Using a laptop on your lap might have long-term repercussions. Hence, if you constantly do this, it is best to stop to protect yourself from potential health issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my laptop damage faster if I use it on my lap?

Yes, it will. Furthermore, when a laptop is placed on a cloth, a pillow, or a couch, all hair and dust get sucked into the fan. As a result, this will clog the exhaust vents and lead to overheating.

Is using my laptop on a glass table safe?

A glass surface is ideal for a laptop. It is anti-static and does not obstruct air intake from below. Furthermore, you may want to install adhesive silicone feet beneath it to prevent it from slipping around.

How can I keep my laptop from overheating while on my lap?

We recommend setting the laptop on a flat and hard surface so that the feet slightly elevate the surface and allow the bottom vents to work. Also, the surface should be wide enough to ensure the sides of the laptop are free so that those vents can work. 

Pigtou.com is supported by its audience. When you buy through the links on our website, we may earn a small commission.
Photo of author

Pigtou Editorial Team

A group of tech enthusiasts who find pleasure in troubleshooting and resolving various issues. When we're not engaged in writing, we typically enjoy playing table football or spending time with our office dog.
NEED HELP? Drop a comment below!

You can also post your problem to the PIGTOU FORUM.

Leave a Comment