Laptops are small convenient computers designed to be portable. The benefit of laptops over traditional computers is that they are even used in the comfort of a warm bed.
But, is it dangerous to use a MacBook on a bed?
Using an intel MacBook on a bed can be dangerous if there is a lack of airflow for the MacBooks fans, which can cause overheating or risking a fire. If you use a MacBook on a bed, you should opt for a lap desk or a laptop riser for improved airflow.
I’m writing this article on a sofa covered in blankets, a very similar situation to a bed. I have an M1 MacBook Air, which runs a LOT cooler than an intel MacBook. I remember my 2015 13 inch MacBook used to get hot. Using an older MacBook in a bed without a riser or lap desk is very risky.
ESPECIALLY if the MacBook lithium-ion cells reach 302°F/150°C, this releases flaming gases.
What causes laptop batteries to overheat and cause a laptop fire? When laptops are plugged in, charging, and placed on a flat surface like a bed or a couch cushion, they can quickly get very hot. When lithium-ion cells reach 302°F, the cell becomes thermally unstable, and flaming gases are released.
Keep reading for more information on if you can use a MacBook on a hard surface and if you should use your MacBook on a bed.
Does MacBook Need to Be On a Hard Surface?
Any hard surface like a table or desk is good for optimal temperature control. However, using a MacBook on a soft surface like a couch, pillow bed, or lap blocks the fans, causing the fans to work harder due to higher temperature. So put your MacBook on a hard surface or use a laptop riser/lap desk for best results.
Look at Apple’s quote.
Some Apple products have vents that let fans blow cool air and expel hot air. Ensure that the vents aren’t blocked to allow your device to perform at its best. Use your device on a hard, flat surface like a table or desk for optimal temperature control. If you use your device on a soft surface like a couch, pillow, bed, or lap, its fans might run more.
Soft surfaces like blankets or a sofa are designed to trap body heat, keeping you nice & warm while it’s nice for you; it’s TERRIBLE for your MacBook!
MacBooks fans are designed to expel hot air. If blankets or a sofa blocks the air, the fans cannot do their job properly. It will decrease your MacBooks life and performance. This issue is even worse if the MacBook charges on a soft surface producing more heat.
Using a laptop riser is the best solution you can enjoy your MacBook on any soft surface as the riser acts as a hard surface for your MacBook, allowing the fans to work correctly even better a riser elevates your MacBook providing more cooling. See the best options for a laptop riser on Amazon here.
Curious about how to charge your MacBook to make it last longer? See the complete guide on charging MacBooks in my article.
Is Using MacBook M1 on Bed Bad?
No matter which MacBook you have do not place the M1 MacBook on ba bed. The MacBooks thermal design requires heat to escape through the bottom which it cannot do on top of a blanket. Use a laptop riser for correct airflow when using an M1 MacBook on a bed.
In the photo you can see a laptop riser puts a nice cool surface between a soft surface like a blanket and your MacBook. I write blog posts edit and edit YouTube videos using this setup and NEVER does my M1 MacBook run hot.
Despite the M1 MacBook running far cooler than its intel cousins (MacBooks before 2020) I still wouldn’t use it on a bed without a riser or laptop desk as it expels its heat from the bottom which it cannot do with a blanket in the way.
Can I Place MacBook on Bed?
Do not place a MacBook especially an intel MacBook on a pillow or other soft material like a blanket when it’s powered on, the material can block airflow vents, in particular, the rear vents which can cause the MacBook to overheat. Use a laptop riser or lap desk in a bed the hard surface allows the MacBooks fans to work correctly.
I have an M1 MacBook(2020) it runs cool to touch and I STILL wouldn’t use it on a bed without a laptop riser or a lap desk if I had an older MacBook it is far more dangerous since the intel chips are not as effective as Apples own chips making the MacBook work harder & run hotter.
Thinking of protecting your MacBook in a case? Is it even a GOOD idea to use a MacBook case? Discover more in my article.
Is Using MacBook Air on Bed Bad?
Do not place your MacBook Air on a bed or any soft surface like a pillow when it’s powered on. The soft material can flow the airflows vents in particular the rear rents which can cause the MacBook air to overheat possibly causing a fire.