Want to take better pictures with your iPhone? Stick it on something. Using a tripod and mount rather than holding your iPhone (or any other smartphone) in your hand can give you cleaner, sharper and more attractive pictures, while opening up new avenues for your photography. With the steady mount and flexibility that a tripod provides, you can shoot longer, from farther away and at different angles.
A tripod can also help you take better low-light pictures by keeping the iPhone steady, which prevents the camera shake that makes night shots blurry. When you are using the optical-zoom feature that the iPhone XS offers or the digital zoom of the iPhone XR, a tripod can keep your camera much steadier, which means cleaner, sharper shots. A tripod also means that you can hold the camera lower or higher or hang it off things. Want to take a shot of yourself jumping out of a tree from the tree's point of view? Get a tripod with bendy legs that you can wrap around a branch, so you can focus on not breaking a leg rather than framing the shot.
We've spent 10 hours picking the best combinations of a mount for holding your iPhone and a tripod for holding the mount and phone steady. We looked for the ones that offer ease of use without weighing you down and those that can make your iPhone more flexible.
You can use most of these tripods with other smartphones; be sure to check out our list of the best camera phones. And if you want to get even more out of your smartphone's camera, you may also want to invest in an iPhone lens.
Latest News & Updates
A Kodak-branded smartphone tripod will be available in October for $30. Made by Eye Caramba, the black and yellow tripod has a ball head and folds out to 8 inches. When folded in, it turns into a handle and grip, and comes with a detachable Bluetooth shutter button.
Simple, small and bendy
1. Joby GripTight One Mount & GP stand
Simple, small, bendy-legged tripod and mount won't weigh you down
Weight: 8 ounces | Max height: 6.5 inches | Other features: Optional magnetic feet
To paraphrase the old saying about cameras, the best tripod is the one that you have with you. Our top pick can go with you anywhere. The Griptight One Mount & GP stand weighs very little and folds down to fit into the same small bag or pocket where you keep your phone. The GripTight can hold even large phones like the iPhone XS tightly, while the flexible legs are equally at home sitting on a flat surface or wrapping around a tree branch. That makes this stand more flexible for taking interesting shots at home and abroad without weighing you down.
When extended, the tripod can hold your phone just over 6 inches high, and the legs are rigid enough that you can hold onto them and use the tripod as a hand-held camera mount. Now, this is one of the more expensive models out there, but its flexibility and features make this tripod worth the price. If you want even more flexibility, consider adding the $18.99 magnetic tripod, which can cling to metal objects thanks to powerful magnets in the feet.
Lightweight and customizable
2. Joby GripTight Pro TelePod
Lightweight, customizable tripod and mount includes Bluetooth remote
Weight: 14 ounces | Max height: 13.39 inches | Other features: Bluetooth remote
If you want a tripod and mount that can take your iPhone to new places, look into the $99 Joby GripTight Pro Telepod, our step-up pick. This is a more conventional, rigid-legged minitripod with features that more-serious photographers will appreciate. It can extend to hold the phone up to just under 14 inches high, so you get more control over how you frame your shot.
The GripTight Pro TelePod folds down into a compact package that is just over 7 inches tall, though, and can double as a hand-held camera mount. Extend the column of the tripod while it is folded up, and it holds the phone farther away, for more-flattering video. Combine this with the Bluetooth remote on one of the legs, and you've got a fully actualized selfie stick.
In addition to holding the phone itself, the TelePod has a small shoe mount, which is great for night shots when combined with a miniature light like a Lume Cube. Alternatively, this can hold a directional microphone for better audio.
Compact, portable tripod
3. Square Jellyfish Jelly Grip mount & Jelly Long Legs
Compact, portable tripod offers portrait and landscape shooting
Weight: 3.2 ounces | Max height: 3 inches | Other features: Rotating phone mount
The name may sound a bit silly, but this combination of tripod and mount is all business. The Jelly Grip is a small, compact mount that uses springs to hold your phone tightly and that can be rotated to either portrait or landscape mode. The Jelly Long Legs is, well, a tripod with long legs. Despite the wibbly, wobbly name, the legs are solid metal, with wide spacing that makes for a solid, stable mount, even with a heavy phone placed on rough surfaces.
Some tripods may tip over with a large, heavy phone on them, but the wide, low legs of the Jelly Long Legs keep it from falling and getting your expensive phone scratched. This combination is well priced and provides a simple, stable base for selfies or Instagram videos.
Small tripod with soft grip
4. Manfrotto Pixi minitripod with universal phone clamp
Small tripod holds phone with soft grip that won't scratch
Weight: 8 ounces | Max height: 9.72 inches | Other features: Soft rubber grip
Manfrotto is known for its expensive professional tripods, but the Pixi brings many of the features from those tripods to your smartphone. The Pixi has the same stainless-steel construction and matte-black finish as its higher-end cousins. A soft rubber grip in the clamp holds your phone in place without scratching it, and the low, wide orientation of the Pixi keeps the phone from tipping over. You can tilt the phone forward and back, but the phone can be held only in landscape mode.
The Pixi minitripod is affordable and folds down into a relatively small package. When the three legs are folded together, they can also be used as a hand grip for those travelogue shots.
5. Kobratech TriFlex Pro
Bendy-legged tripod can attach to tree branch or pole
Weight: 8 ounces | Max height: 4.1 inches | Other features: Bluetooth remote
The TriFlex Pro is another bendy-leg model, with stiff wire legs covered in light foam. So you can use it like a normal tripod or wrap the legs around a tree branch or pole to get the shot. With the mount's ball socket, you can tilt or rotate the phone to frame the shot properly, then lock the device into place with a turn of the clamp, which makes this mount flexible and rigid when required.
The are a couple of caveats. First, the TriFlex Pro doesn't feel as robust as the Joby, and the foam covering the legs can get torn and worn in use. Also included with this tripod is a handy Bluetooth keychain remote that you can use to snap selfies without relying on the timer.
Interesting tripod alternative
6. Moment S2 Shoulderpod
Interesting alternative to tripod offers comfortable grip and style
Weight: 4 ounces | Max height: 6.7 inches | Other features: Removable grip
The S2 Shoulderpod takes a rather different approach than most tripods and mounts. For one thing, it isn't really a tripod. Moment describes the S2 as a handle grip. With its one leg, you can use it in much the same way that you would use a minitripod, though, holding it in your hand, sitting it on a flat surface or attaching it to a tripod for more-flexible mounting.
The wooden handle makes for a more comfortable and steady grip on the phone, and the included strap means your phone won't go flying off if you run headfirst into a tree. The counterweight of this grip makes it sit evenly on a flat surface, so you can plonk it down and narrate your latest adventure in either landscape or portrait orientation.
If you unscrew the wooden handle, you'll find a standard tripod socket that can screw onto most any tripod, including flexible ones like the Joby GorillaPod. This accessory is a bit expensive, but those who prefer hand-held shots to static ones may like the different approach to holding the phone.
Tripod with great stability
7. Ravelli minitripod
This standard tripod offers great stability
Weight: 2 pounds | Max height: 51 inches | Other features: Pan/tilt head, quick-release head
The standard extending-leg tripod is a go-to gadget for photographers for a reason: It is damn useful. So, don't rule out a small, compact standard tripod as an accessory for your iPhone. This Ravelli model is fairly cheap, folds down into a compact package and includes the mount that holds your iPhone in place.
Unlike most other tripods in this article, the Ravelli Mini also includes a pan arm, which lets you smoothly pan and tilt the phone on the rotating ball head. That's a feature you will see on bigger, more professional tripods for a reason: It looks much better when you can pan around on a tripod and get smooth, steady video rather than turn your whole body and get jerky, bouncy video while holding the phone in your hand.
This tripod can also hold your phone much higher than its miniature cousins can, up to 51 inches off the ground. Again, that makes for more natural-looking videos. Of course, the price you pay for this flexibility is the size. This tripod folds down to be 18 inches long. It does come with a handy carrying case, though, and weighs less than 2 pounds. So, it might be a good pick for a trip on which taking better quality videos is a priority.
Fold-out selfie stick
8. Eocean 45-inch selfie-stick tripod
Fold-out selfie stick and tripod offer well-priced practicality
Weight: 7 ounces | Max height: 45 inches | Other features: Bluetooth remote
As the name suggests, the Eocean is a combination of selfie stick and tripod. When you unfold the legs, you get a pretty standard miniature tripod with three wide legs that keep the phone well balanced. When you extend the column of the tripod and fold the legs back, you get the selfie-stick mode.
The phone grip at the top of the column has a ball head that you can use to tilt and rotate the phone, so you can point the phone's camera in pretty much any direction, then use the clamp to hold it in place. It is possible to use the Eocean as a taller tripod by folding the legs out with the column extended, but be careful; it is top-heavy and rather prone to tipping over. With 45 inches of extension, that's a long way for your iPhone to fall. Also included is a small Bluetooth remote that attaches to one of the legs. This allows you to take photos or stop and start video recording without touching the phone itself.
9. ArgoHome flexible tripod
Octopus-inspired holder uses suckers to stick your phone up
Weight: 5 ounces | Max height: 18 inches | Other features: Suction cups
This octopus-inspired tripod is unusual, to say the least. With the single flexible arm topped with a camera mount, you can wrap this tripod around a tree branch or pole. Or you can use the suction cups on the arm to attach the ArgoHome to a window or other flat surface. Coated in soft rubber, it is available in green, pink, black and light blue. The camera mount can hold phones up to 3.3 inches wide, so the iPhone XS Max might be a bit of a tight squeeze in this one. You might also want to do some testing before you trust the suction cups to hold your expensive phone, as they don't always hold on that well.
Smooth but bendy
10. Xenvo SquidGrip tripod
Smooth but bendy legs offer flexible mounting options
Weight: 1 pound | Max height: 6 inches | Other features: Flexible, neoplastic-coated legs
The Xenvo SquidGrip looks like an ordinary miniature tripod until you grab one of the legs and bend it. Covered with smooth plastic, the thin legs look like those of any of hundreds of minitripods, but they are made of a flexible plastic that can be bent and reshaped with ease. The phone mount also includes a ball head that you can use to rotate and tilt the phone to find just the right angle. You do have to be careful to make sure that the phone mount is tight enough to hold onto the phone, though.
The combination isn't cheap; at $29.99, this is one of the more expensive tripods that we evaluated. But you do get a lot for the money; the neo-plastic coating of the legs and the metal phone mount are far more robust than what you find on many cheaper models.