When you’re working from home, you may be tempted to set up an office on the couch or even in bed. However, after a few hours, you may notice that your laptop is getting hotter than usual. This excess heat isn’t good for your legs, nor the laptop’s performance, battery, and hard drive. Not to mention the pain in your neck and back from sitting in a modified lounge position.
Does your sofa or bed provide space for a mouse, coffee cup, or phone? Raise your hand if you’ve recently lost one of these three in the blankets or cushions. Fortunately, this guide rounds up some of the best lap desks on the market so you can work comfortably without sacrificing important deadlines.
- BEST OVERALL: LapGear Home Office Lap Desk
- MOST COMFORTABLE: Sofia Sam Oversized Wood Top Memory Foam Lap Desk
- MOST PORTABLE: Avantree Neetto Height Adjustable Portable Lap Desk
- BEST WITH PHONE HOLDER: LapGear Designer Lap Desk with Phone Holder
- BEST FOR MOUSE: HUANUO Lap Desk
Despite its name, using a laptop in your lap isn’t exactly comfortable. Purchasing a lap desk, however, gives you the ability to transform your lap into an ergonomic, portable workspace.
Similar to traditional desks, lap desks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are built for comfort while others are designed for easy transportation. To ensure you’re getting exactly what you want and need from your lap desk, here are a few shopping considerations to think about before clicking the “checkout” button.
Before you begin browsing, measure your laptop. This way, you’ll know just how large or small you need your lap desk to be. A wider surface area means more stability for your laptop and extra room for a mouse or other desk accessories. Also, don’t forget to measure the width of your actual lap.
You should also opt for a lap desk that’s lightweight, just in case you want to take it with you when traveling.
How long you plan to use your lap desk will also matter. Using a lap desk for a few hours versus a full, 8-hour workday is quite different comfort-wise. Occasional laptop users can benefit from a platform-padded lap desk that will keep your legs cool and your laptop from sliding.
If you work from home or are on your laptop for several hours a day, consider purchasing a lap desk that allows for adequate air circulation, which will keep your laptop cooler and prolong its life. You may also benefit from additional features such as a cell phone holder, an integrated light, or a lap desk that converts into a standing desk.
Fortunately, lap desks are budget-friendly with lower-end models ranging from $20 to $30. While price does not always dictate quality, investing in a well-constructed lap desk can provide additional comfort, storage, and portability.
Lap desks are made in a variety of materials, each with their own pros and cons.
- Wood: Sturdy yet heavy and poor air circulation
- Plastic: Lightweight and cooling, but not always designed for excessive use
- Cloth: Lightweight and comfortable, but difficult to clean
- Aluminum: Lightweight and cooling but can be unsteady at its maximum height
Our Top Picks
The best lap desks are top-of-the-line in construction, function, and overall features. Taking into consideration the size, function, durability, and affordability, these recommendations check all the boxes.
Available in four design options, black carbon, silver carbon, espresso woodgrain, and oak woodgrain, this lap desk is both functional and stylish. A sleek device ledge keeps your laptop securely in place without hindering typing. An attached carry handle makes transporting this lightweight lap desk (less than 3 pounds) a breeze.
The lap desk’s flat surface improves air-flow, allowing for proper laptop ventilation. There’s also an integrated mouse pad and phone slot.
If you’re looking for comfort, the Sofia Sam lap desk does not disappoint. Its memory foam base conforms to your legs like a cloud, while the attached light and cushioned wrist bar make it easy to get your work done.
This lap desk supports laptops up to 17 inches and tablets up to 9.6 inches. There’s also a pocket to house the light when it’s not in use. If you do not need the cushioned wrist bar and light, there is a standard version that will save you money without sacrificing quality.
Whether you’re relaxing in bed, working on the floor, or sitting on the couch, the Neetto Height Adjustable Portable Lap Desk features a lower stand adjustment (8.3 inches in height) and can be easily converted into a standing desk. Simply place it on a standard size desk so you can stretch frequently and reduce body aches and pains.
A generously raised laptop rest holds devices in place as you adjust the surface up to a 35-degree viewing angle. The lap desk supports up to a 17-inch laptop.
It’s common for lap desks to include a cell phone holder, but the LapGear designer lap desk’s holder has enough room to turn your phone horizontal. This is crucial for watching videos, gaming, and more.
Another unique feature is the variety of fabric patterns to choose from. While most lap desks look like they belong in a bachelor pad, LapGear provides eight different patterns to add a little personality to an otherwise functional product. This is great for differentiating lap desks among couples, children, and co-workers. LapGear’s signature fabric handle also makes it easy to transport the lap desk from space to space.
This lap desk features dual bolster cushions that conform to your lap while allowing air to circulate. A large leather mouse pad, tablet holder, pen holder, and phone holder keep your office accessories close at hand. The attached wrist pad works both for ergonomics and to steady your device while working.
If your laptop is larger than 15 inches it may overlap the mousepad. You can gain room by placing your laptop to the left of the lap desk, but you may lose some wrist support in doing so since the wrist pad does not reach completely end to end.
The Advantages of Owning a Lap Desk
Laptops have greatly improved the flexibility of daily work life. They allow you to transport work from office to office, office to home, and even take it traveling. Unfortunately, moving away from desktop computers is not without drawbacks. Everyday laptop use can cause a variety of posture and pain issues, but a lap desk can help minimize them while providing a customized workspace.
- A lap desk can provide improved posture when working in bed, on the couch, or in a chair.
- An ergonomic fit means less strain on your shoulder, neck, and eyes.
- A lap desk allows you to enjoy an expanded work area without investing in a full-size computer desk or office chair.
- Bonus features, such as a cooling pad to keep your laptop running smoothly, a cell phone holder, and a cable organizer, make working from home easier.
- Easily move from space to space utilizing the portability of your lap desk.