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5 Awesome DIY Tablet Mounts For Bed: Vote For The Best And We’ll Build It

James Bruce 10-05-2013

tablet mount for bedI love my iPad so much, I take it to bed with me – and I don’t think I’m alone (69% of British iPad owners also do, it seems). But resting it on my chest is far from ideal – I get neck cramps trying to look at the peculiarly angled screen, I certainly can’t type, and any attempt to move knocks the thing right over. Since my significant other usually doesn’t care for being face-palmed by an iPad while half asleep, it’s about time I did something about it.


Today, we’ll take a look at a few different designs for DIY tablet mounts; vote for your favorite in the comments, and I’ll try my best to actually make it, along with full instructions and build photos. Choose wisely!

Swing Arm

A simple, extendable arm design from Tom Gaurmond that uses lengths of 1″ timber with bolts to allow movement; holding the iPad is a fairly pricey mount with a ball and socket joint, but this could perhaps be swapped out for something cheaper.

tablet mount for bed

I like this design, but would need to think of an alternative to screwing it into the wall; an upright timber frame would solve this, but perhaps not be as stable, and would certainly add to the cost.

A similar design is featured here with a built-in charging cable and more solid timber, though it’s not clear what it attaches to at the other end. A nice, matching dark color finish on the wood gives this the professional edge.


tablet mount

Vote “swing arm” in the comments to choose this design!

Swivel Arm

A practical and professional design by Roey Leon – though very little DIY is involved  – that can be easily moved to a variety of positions. It uses an old drafting table lighting fixture and iPad mount bought from eBay, then screws directly to the wall.

tablet mount


There’s quite a few downsides to this design. Unless you have an old swivel light sitting around, this is going to be pretty expensive to source as new; and then there’s the iPad mount part which will presumably be new too. Added to which, not all of us are happy making holes in the wall.

Vote “swivel arm” in the comments to choose this design, but I doubt if it’s feasible on a tight budget, in which case commercial options would be best.

Headboard Boom

A simple “boom” design from eHandyMan which nestles over your headboard, extends and slants down. All parts are fixed, so there’s little chance of things randomly falling. The only weak point here appears to be the bungee cord which holds the actual tablet; I won’t know how weak this is unless we actually try building it – it might be worth integrating a more solid wooden frame than we’ve seen elsewhere in this round up.

tablet mount


This is my personal favorite for a few reasons. First, it’s at a DIY level I think any of us can handle, with standard parts I can grab from any hardware store and no complex wood cuts that you’d need specialized tools for. Second, it’s 100% DIY – there’s no “buy a tablet mount on eBay” steps here, so it’s probably also the cheapest.

Vote “headboard boom” in the comments for this design.

Headboard Easel

From Eduino77, this is a slightly more complex version of the fixed design above, apparently inspired by an artists easel. Affixed behind the headboard (we could easily adjust that), a single thumbscrew nut and bolt allows it to be angled in various positions. The iPad is held in place with a close-fitting wooden frame at the top and bottom.

diy tablet mount


I like this design too, though the flexibility adds some complexity to the wood cuts needed; and I’m not entirely confident about the wooden clips – it seems like the iPad would slide out or get scratched.

To vote for this design, enter “headboard easel” in the comments.


A number of other designs I found (but without decent photos) make use of a cantilever bracket / wall mount, typically used for LCD televisions and monitors – such as this one from Amazon.co.uk for around £12. It might be interesting to combine one with a wooden frame behind the bed, or epoxy glue a cheap eBayed iPad mount.

diy tablet mount

Anyway, vote “hybrid” to see what I can come up with, but this is more of an open design option.

Buy one instead?

In case you’re wondering on the commercial side, StandzOut offer a flexible, telescopic iPad holder that would also be suitable for a bedside; it retails for $99 with free US shipping.

tablet mount for bed

Anyway – the choice is yours. Let’s try to keep it as cheap as possible though, and at a level we could all manage. I’m certainly no expert DIYer! Remember to vote in the comments, and add your own suggestions and ideas. Here’s a summary of your options:

  • Swing Arm
  • Swivel Arm
  • Headboard Boom
  • Headboard Easel
  • Hybrid
  • Give up, James can’t possibly do any DIY 

Image Credit: ShutterStock, iPad in bed

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  1. matt
    November 16, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    swivel Arm

  2. Anonymous
    March 5, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Thanks for creating this post, it's very helpful.

    I'm looking for something for my mom, who will be bedridden for the next two months due to a serious accident.

  3. Benke Eriksson
    May 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Swivel arm!:D

  4. Judith
    May 13, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Swing Arm. It seems to offer the most versatility over the others. I don't lay on my back at all due to joint problems. I need one that will let me read on my sides. This one seems to fit the job better than any of the others.
    Good luck with the build.

  5. Junil Maharjan
    May 12, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I'd either go for the hybrid or the swivel arm.

  6. null
    May 12, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Headboard Easel could be built. And height could be adjusted plus it swings.

  7. Rama moorthy
    May 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    my votes for Hybrid !

  8. dragonmouth
    May 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    My bed/bedroom is for other activities, least of all is sleeping. If I brought an electronic device to bed, I'd be sleeping on the couch. But, then, I have a life.

  9. macwitty
    May 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Give up, James can’t possibly do any DIY ;)
    (as our bed is not close to a wall.)

    StandzOut was nice but too expensive for a tabletholder

  10. Meidimi
    May 11, 2013 at 10:03 am


  11. yuitre_
    May 11, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Hybrid wins hands down

  12. Bala Murugan.R vicky
    May 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

    innovative and intersting

  13. Shail Hu
    May 11, 2013 at 4:16 am

    these all r cool but goshh....
    so many arrangement jus for reading an ebook
    definitely will make people more sluggish !!!

  14. Sean M
    May 10, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    swivel arm

  15. JonasEikeland
    May 10, 2013 at 11:47 pm


  16. Jurmy Chris
    May 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Give up, James can’t possibly do any DIY

  17. Charlie O.
    May 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    swivel arm

    first, you can pick up a variety of sizes to handle different weighted tablets
    second, you can counterbalance easily with different springs
    and 'D', these things are NOT as rare/expensive as one might think.

    Ikea sells them new for about $10 (US) and you can find them in thrift stores all over the place - usually with a problem in the electrical system, which you don't need. Chain hardware stores and good neighborhood hardware stores carry a variety of loop end springs.

    Also to consider, there are lots of tablet/phone holders out there, some universal. BUT there's a type of wire hanger that most of us have in our closets. It’s coated in rubber and usually made of a type of aluminum that is very easy to bend with your hands. It's generally safe for the screen (you should have a good screen protector or carbon fiber armor or better, a case) and in this way, you don’t have to account for the case with your holder. I have a 7" android, but I use a big leather case to hold receipts and mem cards, ect. With a little time, you could have it tweaked perfect and no contact issues with the device at all. AND, attaching rubber coated wire hanger to the end of a swing arm lamp is easier than making a connector for a commercial holder. Also, doing it this way is more DIY and we should recycle and (incoherent ranting continues and fades.......)

    • Charlie O.
      May 11, 2013 at 3:15 am

      I realise this is sort of a 'hybred' description, but I'm sticking with Swivel Arm, because that's really what I want to see.

    • Charlie O.
      May 11, 2013 at 3:16 am

      Also, I have to use a c-pap and this, as it already appears in the post, looks AWESOME!

  18. Darren Shipp
    May 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Swivel Arm

  19. Cathy Derouche
    May 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I like the swivel arm, my husband has M.S. and would love something like this

  20. Cordel Francis
    May 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    swivel arm!! (Y)

  21. Lora Kirk
    May 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Hybrid. It should be free-standing like the Standzout - no need for attachment to a wall or a headboard. It should be made of material appropriate for the size and weight of a tablet - not 2x4s and not metal made to hold a hundred pound monitor. It should discretely handle a charging cord being run along it. It should be able to face in multiple directions (think a couple watching porn), not just a static arm that faces the tablet towards the pillow. Frankly, DIY may not be able to beat the Standzout at $99!

  22. Lee Whitfield
    May 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Can I get an iPad stand like the one above the swing arm?

  23. Aleksandra H
    May 10, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    swivel arm

  24. Lynne McCurdy
    May 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm