Best car headrest tablet holders 2021

Get a grip on your in-car entertainment with the best car headrest tablet holders

The days of relying on I Spy and a stack of comics to keep young passengers happy on car journeys are long over. Adults and kids alike demand electronic entertainment to keep them occupied, and this inevitably means using a tablet such as an iPad. 

Holding one ends up being tiring and uncomfortable, while looking downwards for long periods can bring on carsickness, so it’s best to invest in an in-car tablet holder, which can safely secure an iPad or a similar device at eye level. 

Mounts that fix firmly to the headrest of the seat in front of a rear passenger can cost just a few pounds, and are well worth it to stop the cries of boredom and “are we there yet?”. But if they squeak, rattle or fall off in the middle of a trip, you might wish you’d never bothered. Which of the seven we tested will be best at taking the tablets?

How we tested them

We tried the seven mounts with three tablets – a second-generation iPad, an iPad Mini and a Microsoft Surface Pro, both with and without covers, to see how securely they held them. 

Points were awarded for the ability to shift between landscape and portrait views, and for ease of installing and removing the tablets, because you won’t want to be leaving them in the car when you reach your destination. Finally, we took into account the prices charged at the time of writing. 

Verdict

There’s no need to spend a fortune on a mount to keep your tablet secure on a long journey. The Viden and Tryone are almost identical and do a great job – just choose whichever is cheapest on whatever day you’re looking. The Lamicall is similar, but more expensive and not as versatile, while the pricey Targus is built to last. Don’t dismiss the AA holder though. While it won’t work for everyone, it’s great value if your tablet has a suitably large and grippy cover fitted.

1. Viden Car Headrest Mount

2. Tryone Car Headrest Holder 

3. Lamicall Car Headrest Mount

Viden Car Headrest Mount

  • Price: £8.31
  • Tablet size: 4.7-10.6 inches
  • Rating: 5/5
  • Contact: www.amazon.co.uk

BEST BUY THIS is one of the cheapest holders on test, so we were prepared to put up with a few compromises with this unbranded mount, but we were impressed. 

A spring-loaded clamp holds the unit between the headrest posts and then the holder itself slots into a ball joint, allowing the screen to be rotated. Unlike the similar Lamicall, the Viden has a double-jointed arm that allows the screen to be extended towards the viewer by 20cm. This increases the wobble movement when on the move if you’re using a heavier tablet, but it does mean the screen can be adjusted to suit the passenger.

Buy now from Amazon

Tryone Car Headrest Holder

  • Price: £9.37
  • Tablet size: 4.7-10.6 inches
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Contact: www.amazon.co.uk

RECOMMENDED When the Tryone arrived, we noticed the box looked suspiciously like the Viden’s, apart from a few extra stickers; inside, they did indeed appear to be identical products. That means the Tryone is still a great mount, but it’s just over a pound more expensive, which is a lot to pay for a sticker or two. 

In common with the Viden, the Tryone has another advantage over most of the mounts here; the rubber-lined sprung clamps will also securely hold a smaller smartphone. This makes it suitable for journeys when a tablet isn’t available, or for teenagers who insist on staying in touch via their handset. 

Buy now from Amazon

Lamicall Car Headrest Mount

  • Price: £10.99
  • Tablet size: 4.4-11 inches
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Contact: www.amazon.co.uk

RECOMMENDED The Lamicall mount is the simplest here to use and install. It uses spring-loaded jaws to clip between the headrest posts, and then a simple ball joint attaches to another spring mounting for the tablet. Like the Viden and Tryone, it will also hold a smartphone securely. 

The ball joint held up our heaviest iPad without wilting on rough roads, helped by the fact it hugs the seat to get extra support. However, this is also its downfall: larger headrests mean the top of the tablet screen will be tilted downwards, which is fine for smaller children, but less than ideal for taller teens and adults. 

Buy now from Amazon

Halfords iPad Holder & Headrest 

  • Price: £10
  • Tablet size: 7-12 inches
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.halfords.com

Assembling and mounting the Halfords mount is not the work of a moment, especially because there are only very basic instructions included. But once you’ve worked it all out and got your tablet installed, it feels substantial and secure. Yet it only really seems suited to larger tablets as the iPad Mini felt a bit lost in its bigger jaws.  

There are a couple of other problems, too. The holder sits lower than where it mounts on the headrest, meaning the screen is level with the shoulders of an adult or larger child, rather than being at eye level. More irritating was a rattle from the ill-fitting jaws. 

Buy now from Halfords

AA Universal Tablet Holder

  • Price: £5.99
  • Tablet size: 7.5-10.5 inches
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.amazon.co.uk

You can’t argue with the price of this AA-branded mount. The quality feels pretty good, too, with tough-looking hooks to anchor to the headrest, and substantial spring-loaded jaws to hold the tablet. But it simply doesn’t have the tight grip you need to secure a heavy tablet in place while driving, and the screen constantly moved and even slid out in corners. This would drive you – and your passengers – crazy on a long journey. 

The only way we could recommend the AA holder is if your tablet had a substantial and squishy protective cover which would help the jaws grip. If that suited you, then it could represent great value.  

Buy now from Amazon

Olixar Tablet Car Headrest 

  • Price: £9.99
  • Tablet size: 7-10.1 inches
  • Rating: 3/5
  • Contact: www.mobilefun.co.uk

This nicely designed mount is let down by some cheap-feeling materials. It’s complicated to set up, too, but we’d forgive this if it did a better job of holding a heavier tablet. 

There are four knobs to tighten to get the adjustment right, before the device slots between three mountings and is clamped in place using a ratchet. Once it’s all in place it looks great, allows you to get the viewing angle spot on, and the tablet can be removed easily by pressing a single release button. But on the move with a heavier iPad, the mount moved and rattled irritatingly as the plastic parts flexed.

Buy now from Amazon

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