Before we get into the best sheet music stands, let’s consider that we have had plenty of time to get the design and manufacture of sheet music stands perfect by now. They’ve been around a few years. You might think that sheet music stands evolved at about the same time as people started writing music down.
But that’s not the case. It took about 400 more years. Then some bright spark thought it might be a good idea to place the music score on something to read.
Back in ancient times…
We see the first written music around 600BC with the Roman and Greeks. That was not notation only instructions on how to sing the song. So just for the singers, really. But no music stands. It was the Chinese, of course, who seem to have invented the music stand sometime around 200BC. That’s a long time ago, so we should have got the design right by now?.
It is, of course, irreplaceable in certain musical situations. Orchestras, for example, and classical musicians couldn’t function without one. But that applies to a lot of musicians, especially in environments where total note accuracy is important, such as in a recording studio.
So, let’s go through the very best Sheet Music Stands currently available and find the perfect one for you…
Top 10 Best Sheet Music Stands of 2023
1 Donner Sheet DMS-1 Folding Travel Metal Music Stand
If there is one thing, a music stand must be, it is very stable. The build quality is, therefore, important. This is a fully collapsible music stand that has been designed to work for the traveling musician.
You can adjust the height from 19 inches up to 46 and a half inches. This does mean that if you play standing up and over about 5 feet 6 inches, you will be looking down. It will be better as a seated music stand for tall players. The tray has control to alter the angle of the bookplate. It will move between upright and completely flat.
Nice and stable…
It is large enough to cater for larger or heavy music sheets or textbook. And all the adjustable knobs are tight and well-fitted to ensure the stand remains stable.
It has a tripod style base that gives the stand some stability. The legs are fitted with rubber feet. The legs of the tripod, though are not individually adjustable. Uneven floors might be a problem. The bookplate is constructed using ABS, which is durable and also helps to keep the stand lightweight. The legs and main shaft are constructed from steel.
What’s in the box?
It is easy to set up and take down and comes with a carrying bag, a USB cable for a light, and a music clip. At the price point, it is a decent stand that might be best suited for seated musicians. The width of the tray doesn’t support double-page sheet music, though. It weighs just 3.5 pounds, so carrying it around isn’t a problem.
- Quite well made and sturdy frame.
- Affordable price.
- It doesn’t support double-width sheet music.
2 Kasonic Collapsible Music Stand
This is a very durable music stand that has a 20-inch open-backed tray width. That will accommodate most sheet music requirements. Although it is a sturdy stand, it has some height limitations. From its setting at the lowest height of 18 inches, it only rises to a height of 41 inches, that is not going to be enough for many players who stand. This then is most suited for seated players or children.
The open-backed design has ensured that the stand is very lightweight at the top end. This adds to the stability as do the balanced tripod feet, which have rubber caps that are non-slip.
It is a fully adjustable stand, and the bookplate can rotate to any angle to ensure easy reading. The bookplate itself folds away and has metal springs that hold the music in place. The main construction is metal, so it is able to support the weight of even large textbooks if needed.
A complete set of equipment comes with the stand, which includes an LED Clip-on Light, a music sheet clip holder, and a carrying bag. And it weighs just two pounds.
At a very affordable price, this is a decent music stand for players who are seated and children.
- Quite well made and sturdy frame.
- Affordable price.
- Really only for seated players and children.
3 Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand
Manhasset was set up in 1935 when a musician/inventor couldn’t find a music stand that he thought was suitable. So he made his own. They have become quite popular since and now are manufactured and distributed around the world.
This particular stand, or model 48, as it is known, has become their most successful stand. It has an aluminum construction that has a black textured finish that is baked-on to prevent scratches and chips. A nice design is a friction-tilt mechanism on the bookplate. That gives you a constant secure tension at any position.
Stand and deliver…
Moveable bearings are made of brass, and the inner shaft is chrome plated, making it is secure at any height, and it extends from 26 up to 50 inches. Unlike some stands, this becomes suitable for musicians to stand and play.
The welded base is solid construction and made of steel and offers excellent stability, but at the same time, it takes up the minimum of space. This is one of the most durable and stable music stands there is. Because of its rugged build, it is not the lightest, weighing just under 8 pounds.
Quality rigid construction…
It’s a little more expensive than some, but you are paying for a bit of extra quality. But if you need a stand that folds away and is put in a bag, this probably isn’t for you. It is not designed to be portable, and it is designed to stay in one place.
- Solid build with good materials.
- Stable and extends up to 50 inches.
- A little more expensive than some.
4 Hamilton KB90 Traveler II Portable Music Stand
This is a music stand that is built to be sturdy but also to be portable. It has a mostly metal construction but does have a plastic connector that does look a little vulnerable. That does let the build quality down a little.
The bookplate can be angled and is 18,75 inches wide and 13,5 inches tall. It should, therefore, be large enough for most music scores. The punched-hole design will help to make the stand a little lighter. It has a stable main column and a tripod base. The three feet of the base has rubber fittings to avoid slip.
Better sit down…
It extends from a low of 26 inches up to 47.5 inches. This is obviously enough for any seated use. If you are a tall person, it might not be so comfortable from a height point of view and will probably mean you having to look down a long way. It has a very solid construction and weighs just under 9 pounds.
It comes with a carrying bag, and the stand folds down to become completely portable. The bag is made of very heavy-duty nylon and has a shoulder strap that is padded, Inside the bag is separate compartments for the stand and the base. There is also a small pocket for keeping music. It has a black finish.
It’s a decent stand that is portable and is stable. However, it is a little more expensive than similar items.
- Well made with an attractive design.
- Functional and fully portable.
- The plastic connector brings down the quality level a little.
5 AmazonBasics Portable Sheet Music Stand
This sheet music stand is another product that is better utilized in a permanent position. It has a tough metal build that weighs around six pounds. It is built with a very heavy steel base with rubber feet making it non-slip.
The weight of the base makes it very stable, as does the fact that it does not fold away. This adds to the stability but, of course, reduces the portable aspect. Moving it between venues is not impossible but just awkward, especially as it has no carrying bag.
Not for giants…
It has an adjustable height from 30 inches to 42 inches. It will actually extend up to 52 inches if you want to take it to the maximum. The further it goes past 42 though the more unstable it becomes. As with much other music stands, this means a tall musician might have problems looking down at the music on the bookplate. It is, therefore, best suited to seated players or children, in our opinion.
The bookplate has a tilt that is adjusted by some knobs that are easy to use to get the correct and comfortable viewing height. A further useful feature is the friction-based sliding mechanism to raise or lower the height. No knob controls are employed here, and it just takes a little pressure to move the telescopic pole.
Built to last…
The construction is metal and therefore durable. All the parts that are potentially vulnerable, the connector and the fastening ring, are well-made and very solid.
As sheet music stand, it is stable and well-made. It is set at a very reasonable price point.
- Well made with solid construction.
- Has a very stable stance.
- Not really easily moved between venues, better in one place.
6 Gearlux Vented Collapsible Music Stand
This best sheet music stands has a rugged look about it. Despite its sturdy look, it is no exceptionally heavy and weighs only six and a half pounds. It has an all-metal construction with two knob adjustors above the tripod and on the center, shaft to adjust the height. On the rear of the bookplate is a further adjustment for the angle. It will tilt through 180 degrees but remain stable.
It has a height range that extends from 28 to 48 inches. This, as is with many stands, rather limiting for people that are above around five feet ten who have to stand to play. It is, therefore, best suited to musicians who are seated or for children. The stand remains stable when extended.
The bookplate is a reasonable size and is vented measuring 19 inches wide and 13.5 inches tall. This is large enough for two A4 manuscripts side by side but nothing more. An interesting and clever design feature is that the bookplate is magnetized. You can hold the pages in place with a magnet rather than a hook or clip.
The tripod base is foldable, which makes the stand portable though it doesn’t come with a carrying bag. The tripod has anti-slip rubber on its feet, and the tripod’s feet can be set at a space distance to allow for use in areas tight for room.
Well made and with a good strong build, it is a quality sheet music stand at a very affordable price. It is all metal with the only plastic parts being the twist adjustable knobs.
- Nicely designed with good stable materials.
- Magnetized bookplate.
- No carrying bag supplied.
7 On-Stage SM7122BB Compact Folding Sheet Music Stand
This music stand from On Stage is a budget level item that is easy to carry around and store. It is a very basic metal-based folding design that is probably best used for non-crowded stages. However, it has a few sharp points that wouldn’t do you much good if you bent down and caught one in the eye.
It has an adjustable bookplate that is really a series of crossed fittings rather than a plate. Care is needed when setting this up. These designs sometimes get a little bit out of line, and they can fold up or out and cross in the wrong places. They then become bent and difficult to use. It is quite a wide area, though, and will just about take three A4 sheets side by side. It has a tilt control, which can vary the angle.
Take the weight off your legs…
The two-section vertical shaft is adjustable with a cam locking mechanism. It can extend to give you a height of 26 inches to 40 inches. Again, not high enough to be used standing and be comfortable.
The tripod legs are a bit flimsy and have added braces for extra support. The width of the legs is adjustable, and they have rubber feet. It is very portable and can fold flat for carrying around. A carry bag is provided.
Basic, but very affordable…
It is very basic and not the strongest. It will be best used at home or in small groups. However, it does come at a cost-effective price.
- Affordable price point.
- Wide bookplate.
- A little bit flimsy.
8 Peak Music Stands Music Stand
Next, in our reviews of the best sheet music stands, we have one from Peak Music, which is known for making very stable stands that are suitable for most environments. The SMS-20 is one of their range of stands that will fold down and can be carried around.
It is made from tubular steel finished in black that gives it an attractive styling. The bookplate is a good size at 20 inches by 13 inches. It, therefore, holds ring binders and two pages of manuscript. There are two clips that hold the music in place. Important if you happen to be performing outdoors.
Quick as a flash…
The center pole is in two pieces with a turn knob for height control. It will rise to heights between 24 inches to 47 inches. Other adjustments to stability and position are through clamp levers. Clamp control is a good design, making adjustments quick and easy. It weighs just four pounds and nine ounces. The tripod is also made from tubular steel and has rubber non-slip feet.
Everything collapses for portability on this stand, even the bookplate, which folds up. It is a good design and as a sheet music stand, very functional. It comes with a carrying bag and is pitched at a reasonable price point.
- Good design that is completely portable.
- Tubular steel construction.
- Not high enough for a taller player to stand and use.
9 Audio2000’S AST4442PL Portable Sheet Music Stand
Another budget level music stand, but this time, an item where the designers ‘had a moment.’ That moment ended up with a purple stand. Some people will like it.
It’s not a particularly well-made stand. But you must consider the price point. It is a lightweight metal construction with Zinc joints. The center stand has three sections, which are slightly different from the usual two. This adds a little bit of extra strength and stability. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add much in the way of height. The maximum is 44 inches, which is still rather low if you are a tall person.
It stands on a three-legged tripod made of metal tubing. The legs have non-slip rubber feet. The design has given it a foldable bookplate with the crossed arms design, which in our view, can be very vulnerable. It only takes one to get a little bent out of shape, and it becomes very difficult to manage. And that can happen very easily on setup or to take it down. The bookplate has spring loaded extensions to keep the music in place.
It is not as stable as some stands are, mainly due to it being so lightweight. But remember that this is a budget stand and so it will not compete with more expensive models that have a tougher build. It comes with a carry bag and is an affordable option if you aren’t going to work it too hard.
- Affordable price.
- A little bit flimsy.
10 Ravel Ssravel Folding Music Stand
Another of the budget level Best Sheet Music Stands in this review that will be ok in some environments but not others. This particular stand has an advantage over some of the other cheaper stands. The Ravel will extend up to 52 inches. That is quite a bit more than many and will suit taller musicians who choose to stand.
It is made from a combination of very lightweight metal and plastic. Some of the adjustment parts are plastic, which does ten to make it rather vulnerable. It has a tripod design stand that has rubber feet. And the open arm bookplate, which we have already discussed as being vulnerable. There are two adjusters for height on the main stem.
Best for home use…
It is easy to fold down and comes with a carrying bag, but it is really not a very stable stand. And weighs little more than a pound, it is, therefore, unlikely to be suitable if used in a group or enclosed situation where it could easily be knocked over. But, at home in a controlled environment, it might be fine.
We must remember though this is the cheapest stand we have looked at, and therefore, the quality of the build is not going to be high. As sheet music stand, it is suitable for very lightweight music scores. Certainly not books, heavy folders or devices.
- Very affordable price.
- A bit flimsy and easy to knock over.
Best Sheet Music Stands Buyer’s Guide
There are some requirements, but it will rather depend on how the stand will be used. You will require different things if it is just for a child and will never leave the house. If it is for use in an orchestra, it is a different matter.
Possibly the most important issue. The purpose of the stand is to hold the music for you in view. If the stand is flimsy and not stable, it is likely to fall over or get knocked over. The stability of any music stand is achieved by some simple things. Good solid metal-based materials with a good design. A solid bookplate, not a wire-framed version, will help as it is heavier.
Good stability is also achieved by its contact with the ground. Tripod designs are fine, but they have to be good ones. Fixed legs are usually stronger and more stable.
This is also important because some musicians have to sit by virtue of their instrument, but some have to stand. Some people prefer to stand. Some stands are very low, and if you are 6 feet tall, then you are going to nee very good eyesight. But what if you play a clarinet or trumpet or another instrument that demands a certain position. Using a music stand can throw up a whole set of problems, so check the height carefully.
The size is important. Some players only use single or, at the most, double A4 manuscript. But some pieces demand the third page. The bookplate should be wide enough to accommodate that possibility. It should also be strong enough and stable enough to hold folders of music if you are in a long session.
Do you need it to be portable?
Some do, some don’t. If it is at home, or if you are orchestra or residency based, then probably not. If you are traveling around, then it has to be carried. You should make sure it folds down to a reasonable size and preferably has some sort of carrying bag. Though this last matter isn’t a decider on what to buy.
Only relevant if you are traveling. But it is still a good idea to check its build quality. A better-made stand will be more durable and more stable as well.
Quite a few issues to deal with to buy something so simple. The budget is probably not a concern as there is not a huge gap between the cheapest and most expensive. But be aware, the cheaper they are, the less they may satisfy what you really need. The cheaper ones are often good enough for home use, but that will be all.
So, what are the Best Sheet Music Stands?
We want as many of the factors we’ve just considered in our Buyers Guide included in any music stand we buy as possible. But, very rarely do you find a stand that will have them all. You, therefore, need to prioritize your requirements. We have therefore chosen the…
…as the very best of the Best Sheet Music Stands we’ve reviewed.
Stable, well-built, and with good adjustment options. It doesn’t reach a height to stand up for, but we would be using it seated, so that isn’t an issue.