Top 8 Best iPad Holders for Cars
By | Last updated: February 18, 2021
best ipad holders

Try as one might to avoid excessive screen time for the kids, there will be times on a family road trip in which backseat urchins can be kept in rapt attention by some sort of tablet. It could be on the way to a far-flung location, after the nth hour of driving, or simply because you need all hands to be quiet or I’m coming back there.

All those reasons are valid, by the way – especially the last one.

So, yes. Despite all efforts of encouraging them to look at scenery or play games of Road Bingo, chances are high a tablet holder will make its way into many cars across America. On the flip side, there are also plenty of people who deploy tablets for uses other than incessant backseat pacifiers. We’ve attempted to assemble some of those options here as well.

1. Editor’s Pick: Ansteker Car Headrest Tablet Holder

This is an articulated type design which allows for a range of motion not possible with fixed holders. Great for multiple passengers to watch movies during road trips, which can maintain devices eye level to avoid neck and arm strain for more comfortable viewing experience. It’s also dirt cheap.

A multi-angle rotation allows for a wide range of different positions to adjust for the best viewing angle. Its single-arm mechanical design fits most car headrests, meaning one needn’t adjust the length to fit the distance between the two headrest supports. Of course, owners of cars with single piece seats are out of luck but, generally, if you’re rocking a Porsche Panamera you’ve probably popped for the in-car entertainment system anyway. For the rest of us, this is great.

Pros/Wide range of motion, fits tablets up to 11 inches in size, affordable
Cons/Sticks out quite far when not in use
Bottom Line/Will surely silence your ungrateful whelps

2. Positively Reviewed: Macally 2-in-1 Cup Holder Mount for Tablet & Smartphone

Let’s get one thing clear – your author dearly enjoys cup-holder-mounted car accessories. In a market where there are many more places for drinks than passengers, it only makes sense to make the best use out of available space. This product is available with two different lengths of gooseneck – eight and twelve inches. Pro tip: go for the bigger one for greater range of motion.

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Designed to effectively be inserted into a standard cup holder, it makes a great backseat companion and keeps front-seat users hands-free and legal (think Uber or delivery drivers). It goes without saying that drivers need to keep their eyes on the road and not on their tablet. That gooseneck actually goes screwed into the cup-holder insert, so it should not wobble like a drunken college student.

Pros/Great cup holder design, long gooseneck arm
Cons/Passersby might think ET has taken residence in your car
Bottom Line/Stretch it out

3. Budget Pick: Philips Car Headrest Tablet Mount

This little tablet holder comes with two different mounting methods. The first, and likely to be most widely used, is a bar-type holder that spans the uprights which appear when one extends a front seat headrest. The other? A handy air vent mount if you’re planning to use this thing for smaller smartphones.

The headrest mount is clear but you’ll have to make sure the headrest posts are between 4.5 inches and 9 inches apart in order for this thing to work. Think of it like a telescoping Club anti-theft device and you’ve got the general idea. Also, it obviously won’t work on cars with integrated headrests or those with high-backed seats.

 

Pros/Small price, decently high aggregate rating
Cons/Won't fit every single car in existence
Bottom Line/Those with a 1985 Grand Wagoneer should look elsewhere

4. TFY Car Headrest Mount for Tablets

This one touts itself as a universal mount, two words which generally mean the product ends up being anything but. In this case, however, the phrase seems to hold water. Its mounting system essentially wraps around a headrest with no protruding parts, meaning kiddos can vacate the car with tablet in hand and not leave a plastic extended arm behind.

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Its seller says this unit works with or without a case on the tablet, citing brands such as the popular Otterbox as playing well with its clamping system. Customers report the velcro straps used for mounting the thing onto a headrest is quite grippy and strong, lessening the chance of the tablet coming loose and bopping someone on the nose.

Pros/No protruding parts, strong velcro fasteners
Cons/May interfere with front-seat headrest comfort
Bottom Line/Works for modern tech like the Nintendo Switch

5. Arkon Tablet Mount - Seat Rail or Floor Base

We told you this list would have ideas for people tasked with delivery duties. With just about every transportation company deploying a digital system for route instructions, a hefty aftermarket tablet holder is an essential tool. This unit can be mounted onto a seat rail or directly onto the floor, so tools are definitely required for its installation.

Great for fleets, this mount has a 22-inch flexible gooseneck which should give plenty of articulation in the truck cab for easy viewing of the tablet screen. The slim clamping system is said to accept tablets up to a yawning 18 inches in size. Your author’s childhood Zenith television wasn’t that big. The support legs are apparently customizable and adjustable for many different applications.

Pros/Useful fleet tool, accepts enormous tablet screens
Cons/Tougher to install than others on this list
Bottom Line/Fantastic for busy delivery routes

6. Oasser Car Seat Protector With Tablet Holder

More than a simple tablet holder, this product serves up an entire seatback full of storage places and organization tools. Mesh bags on both sides store drinks, while a zipped bottom pocket stands ready to accept whatever detritus the young’uns have brought back from the beach.

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Since this post is about tablet holders, it is worth noting that this backseat organizer is built with a clear pocket designed to accept devices up to 10  inches in measure. A handy flap is said to be provided for threading headphone and charging wires. A strangely specific note states it will not fit a “2010 Yukon XL”, despite that model sharing seats with a lot of other machines in the GM lineup. Make sure this thing doesn’t interfere with your car’s side airbags.

Pros/More than a tablet holder, water proof lower panel
Cons/Users will need to determine proper and safe fitment
Bottom Line/Tremendous versatility

7. Nearpow Headrest Mount for Tablets

If you’re basing a purchase solely on the entertainment value of the product’s brand name, this thing is a sure-fire winner. NEARPOW! If fun-to-say isn’t the most superfluous of reasons to buy something, I don’t know what is. As for the product itself, it’ll hold tablets up to 12.9 inches in measure, handily accommodating some of the biggest offerings from Apple and Android.

It’s angle adjustable so the tablet can be viewed by people of different heights, along with a 360-degree rotation in case you suddenly want to view everything in portrait mode. It is designed with a ‘charging entrance’ which sounds like big fun until you realize that just means there’s a space through which one can snake a power cord.

Pros/Fits many different tablet sizes, well reviewed
Cons/Requires an adjustable headrest
Bottom Line/Packs away neatly when not in use

8. Apps2Car Tabler Holder - CD Player Mount

You’ve completely switched to digital music now, right? Many – but not all – drivers have felt physical media back in the ’90s and 2000s, leaving the CD player slot as a useless hole in the dashboard. The folks at this company now think they have a use for that place … as a mount for tablet holders.

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It’s a bit of ingenuity, to be sure, and the reviews aren’t bad. The screw-lock base design is intended to grip the tablet securely while a flat plastic blade uses the CD player slot for a mounting place. In fact, one can still apparently play CDs while this thing is in use since the lip doesn’t stick into the player far enough to interfere with music playback.

Pros/Unique, easy installation
Cons/How much does this thing bounce around?
Bottom Line/Don't accidentally press eject

Tablet Mount FAQs

Can I use these things with wild abandon?

VerticalScope’s lawyers are muttering at us to remind all hands not to engage with a touchscreen tablet while driving, lest a person loses their concentration and crash into a bus full of disabled schoolchildren. They are correct, of course — hands-off until the car is stopped, okay? Those riding shotgun or camped out in the backseat are generally free to do as they please.

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Aren’t these all the same?

No, as it turns out. The physical mounting points are different (keep those lewd jokes to yourself) depending on the application, with some using seat headrests and others consuming an entire air vent. The floor-mounted unit, for example, is great for business customers but would be rather cumbersome for families.

What’s the deal with that CD one again?

That’s a new one on us, too. If you get it, send us a note with your impressions.

Anything else to consider?

Just make sure you’re buying a holder that will accept the tablet you own. Trying to adapt something for which it was not intended is a great way to create projectiles inside your car’s cabin area.


From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

3 Comments on “Buyers Guide: Best iPad Holder for Cars...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I ‘made’ my kids – all 5 of them – enjoy looking at the great expanse of the country as it rolled by when we traveled as a family. No backseat videos (but we did bring books). I’m referring to 2010, not 1970.

    The journey – not the destination – was an important part of the prize. Such an experience helps develop patience, communication, and observation skills in youngsters, and between parents and their kids.

    It seems incredibly sad to me that a kid’s memory of a long trip would include scenes from The Avengers, but not scenes from outside the car.

    (Steps down from pulpit…)

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      We had books and, at best, a discman for the occasions when we weren’t interested in what everybody else was doing. Barring that we were playing slug bug, or coming up with dirty initialisms based on passing license plates.

      I grew up when the perving vans with TVs and VCRs were popular.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Readiness test: Lie flat on the floor looking straight up. Have a responsible adult (or your significant other) hold your favorite tablet at a height of 7 feet and drop it edge-first directly above your face. Don’t move. (That was ~14.5 mph.)

    Now repeat the exercise, working from a height of 41 feet. This will be ~35 mph.

    Now take a look at these tablet ‘holders,’ and ask yourself how fast you normally drive.

    Enjoy your purchase!

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