The uncomfortable sensation of my laptop searing my thighs (and possibly emitting enough electromagnetic radiation to render me infertile) has led this occupational nomad to look for a suitable laptop pillow to help deflect the heat. There are a lot of laptop "pillows" on the market, and it took some digging around to find one that seemed right.Intelligent laptop pillows with natural materials
The pillows by Intelligent Forms Design caught our attention because of their cool design and use of recyclable materials and natural fibre fabrics. They have three versions: the Log (pictured above) which is a series of organic cotton cylinders filled with buckwheat hulls. They snap together, forming a well-ventilated and comfy structure to place your laptop on (seems like it supports the wrists ergonomically too), and come in many colours.
The other pillows offered are the oh-so-cute Button (filled with buckwheat hulls and sewn with non-slip buttons) and the practical Terrapin, a "felt and foam sandwich" made of recyclable polyethylene panel and heat-reflective aluminized felt. All three laptop pillows are a little pricey, but you can always make your own version.
Napbook - laptop and people pillow in one
Another quirky laptop pillow is the Napbook designed by Icelander Hafsteinn Juliusson. It's a laptop pillow that doubles as a nap pillow, well-suited to hard-working students and business people in need of a well-deserved snooze. Unfortunately, it's only available in Reykjavik's Apple Store, but you can make a hacked, craftier version for yourself out of an inexpensive pillow and a plain or patterned pillowcase - just take out some stuffing and re-sew it - many possibilities here!
Concern over laptop-emitted electromagnetic fields
I also looked into getting a Q Series laptop shield from Winston Technologies. According to their website, these laptop shields contain a "state-of-the-art radiation shield fabric" that blocks up 99.9% of these radiation fields. Though the heat of the laptop is annoying, the thought of harmful electromagnetic radiation fields (EMFs) prompted me to consider other (less costly but not as nicely designed) options, even if they are a little vague on what these "state-of-the art" materials actually consist of.
EMFs are derived from our use of electricity and surround us. Certainly, many appliances emit EMFs: dishwashers, microwaves and televisions, along with laptops and cellphones. But it seems that EMFs are supposed to be harmless under a certain level of exposure and that intensity level drops off significantly with distance - maybe that means not working with the laptop in one's lap.
In recent years however, constant overexposure to EMFs has been linked to increased risk for cancer and other problems, which leads this laptop lover to think "better safe than sorry." We also welcome readers to suggest other possible tips as well.
Intelligent Forms Design via Crafting a Green World and Winston Technologies via Green Girl
More on Laptops - Products & Information
7 Portable Solar Laptop Chargers Worth Considering
The Owl 100% Recycled Laptop Backpack
BuyGreen: Laptop Computers
Voltaic Systems Unveils "Generator" Laptop Charging Solar Bag at CES
More on Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)
Spray-on Defense from WiFi and Cellphones
Ask TreeHugger: Can I Stand In Front of the Microwave?
Special Report on Electromagnetic Fields (Care2)
Can Electrical Appliances Harm Your Health? (Healthier Life)