Image credit to Jan Hammershaug (Flickr)
Remember when everyone had those Suburbans with TVs in the headrest or the minivans with a DVD player that flipped down from the roof? Or how about when large panel GPS and music displays started becoming a standard feature on newer cars?
Those little luxuries are no longer just for people who bought the more expensive, upgraded model of a car. Now your iPad Pro/Air/Mini can fill all those roles and more, and it’s very simple to find a way to mount it in your car.
Whether you want it hanging off the back of a headrest or right up front for the driver and passenger to utilize, there are plenty of holders that will keep your iPad secure and functional wherever you need it.
In this review, we will help you decide which iPad holder is best for you, and we’ll point out why it’s great and how to choose one that fits you, along the way too.
Need the basics you should know about each of our recommended options? Grab them all right here:
- For the driver who needs a larger GPS or is hooking an iPad up to the backup cam, the OHLPRO Dash Tablet Holder can mount easily anywhere on the dashboard or windshield while remaining sturdy and extremely adjustable.
- Just need something quick and easy? The TFY Universal Car Headrest Mount Holder attaches onto a single headrest and makes for easy backseat viewing. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it will keep your iPad secure and steady during a long drive.
- If the backseat is demanding entertainment, make sure everyone can see it with the iKross Universal Headrest Extendable Mount, which can fit just behind the headrest or extend to the middle of the backseat for everyone to view.
Who Should Get This?
Obviously, you should never use your electronics in any manner that creates distracted or dangerous driving. This means any sort of electronics (not just iPads — iPhones and other devices too!) is not advised for young or inexperienced drivers since these are the most likely to not be able to manage the distraction.
However, if you’re an experienced driver and comfortable with hands-free tech, then having an iPad mount up front should be no problem. iPad holders designed for passengers are ideal for anyone driving children or other passengers since it makes the device harder to accidentally drop when the door opens and provide much more comfortable experience, especially if the entire backseat is sharing a single movie.
iPad Car Holder: What to Look for in 2020?
Regardless of where your device is mounted, stability is key. A weak mount means your iPad will bounce around and make it hard to quickly and efficiently view any of the information on the screen, and could potentially stress the area of the car that it is connected to. This would make for an especially annoying situation, so look for a holder that is well supported wherever it goes.
Once you’ve made sure the holder isn’t going anywhere, make sure your iPad isn’t either! The mechanism that keeps your iPad firmly in place should be sturdy, and in some cases, childproof so that you can be sure you won’t be paying to replace a broken screen anytime soon. Pocket style holders are a great backseat option; clamp, magnet, or vent mounts for the front seat should all be examined before purchasing for their security.
Depending on where you want to have your iPad, there are a few options for how it can be mounted. In the backseat, there are pockets that hang over passenger or driver’s seat, as well as others that fit over the headrest. There are also clamping models that mount on the headrest supports.
For the front seat, you can use a mount that attaches to the vent or uses suction to adhere its base to your dashboard or console. There are even some models that fit into the cup-holder. With such a variety, decide where you want your iPad and what available space you have in your car before making any purchases.
Best iPad Car Mount in 2020: Our Picks
Need something for the driver? This dashboard mount suctions onto your car and then clamps your iPad into place while still offering 360 degrees of rotation. You won’t worry about your iPad moving anywhere, and you’ll always be able to see what you need.
What We Like:
- Very sturdy design and adjustable, so it could be used with a phone if you don’t have your iPad one day.
- Can be mounted to the dash or to the windshield.
- The base has 360 degrees of rotation while the arm has 180.
- Great to hook up to your backup cam.
What’s Not So Great:
- If you do not have a smooth dashboard you may have trouble mounting it securely.
For a simpler approach, the TFY holder will let you attach an iPad to the back of any headrest without special tools or funny clamps. Simply wrap the sleeve around your headrest of choice and slip your iPad into place for some backseat entertainment.
What We Like:
- Easy to attach and detach, harmless to the seat and doesn’t require any additional tools.
- Very secure for your iPad, which won’t bounce around or risk falling out easily.
- Doesn’t block any ports on your device, so you can still use the earphone or charging port.
What We Dislike:
- Not adjustable, your iPad is fixed at the same angle as the headrest.
Is your iPad being used by those in the backseat? Whether it’s a single passenger or multiple, this mount is flexible enough to accommodate both, since the clamp can slide to the middle of the two seats or remain comfortably behind one. Ideal for those who need road trip entertainment for the backseat.
What We Like:
- The adjustable mount gives you several options, and it latches very sturdily onto your headrest.
- Your iPad will be secure inside the clamp, which can also be adjusted for other devices as needed.
- 360 degrees of rotation allows you to fix the viewing angle to whatever is most comfortable.
What’s Not So Great:
- Does not easily mount or unmount from the headrest, so expect to take your time if you need to remove it.
Additional Tips & Tricks
While most people are familiar with using their phone for music in the car, not many think of their iPad as an option as well. Your iPad is just as capable of using Bluetooth or AUX to play your favorite tunes, and getting it set up isn’t hard at all.
If your car supports Bluetooth devices, use its manual to sync up your iPad (this process tends to vary between manufacturers). If you don’t have Bluetooth, you can use an AUX cord to connect your iPad to the stereo.
This cord looks like the end of your headphones – only on both sides instead of just one. It plugs into your iPad’s earphone port and the matching port in your car (sometimes inside the console but frequently on the dash).
Once everything is plugged in, you simply select the AUX channel on your stereo and you can play any music you want!
Does your child love playing with iPad on your car? It might be a great idea to get him/her an iPad case that’s kid-friendly for safety and convenience.
Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip to grandma’s or just need the iPad’s interactive features on a day to day basis, getting a mount will make things so much simpler. No worrying about who can see the screen or if it’ll slide around when you take that sharp turn – everything is held perfectly in place for your use.
Do you have a favorite iPad mount or brand that we missed? Tell us in the comments below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.