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The transition to working from home caught employees across the country off guard, as suddenly couches and kitchen tables transitioned into makeshift workstations. But even now that a lot of the workforce is returning to the office, many employers are continuing to allow remote working opportunities. And while that flexibility is nice, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a home office. Perhaps this is why laptop desks are suddenly growing in popularity.
With a laptop desk, you may not even need a dedicated home office setup. These types of desks, which come in various styles to meet a wide range of lifestyles, are typically compact, portable, and often even collapse for easy storage. The best laptop desks allow you to work from your bed or couch with ease, or you can simply unfold your workstation and set it up when you need it. This way, you’re not awkwardly propping your laptop up on pillows or taking up valuable real estate in the kitchen.
If this scenario sounds familiar, maybe it’s time to take your work-from-home productivity to the next level. The best laptop desks are also great for gaming laptops and laptops for college. As such, we’ve rounded up some of the best laptop desks on the market to provide basic comfort and enhance your laptop usage:
- Best overall: SAIJI Laptop Tray Desk
- Best value: VASAGLE Laptop Side Table
- Best rolling: Seville Classics Height Adjustable Laptop Desk
- Best for bed: Sofia + Sam All-Purpose Laptop Desk
- Best foldable: GreenForest Folding Desk
How we picked the best laptop desks
To put together this comprehensive list of the best laptop desks for working from home, we probably eliminated at least five options for each laptop desk we included. Features we were particularly interested in were portability, compatibility, and versatility of use. We also wanted to make sure to include a couple of lap tray-style options for those who prefer working from a reclined position, as well as some tabletop style laptop desks that are better for working from couches or chairs and can be wheeled away or folded when not in use.
We also narrowed down the list by taking user ratings and reviews into consideration. None of the laptop desks on this list had fewer than a 4.5-star rating, and we likewise pored through reviews to ensure that none of the laptop desks had any inherent design flaws or other red flags that can sometimes fall through the cracks. Overall, we stand by these picks and think they are all fantastic options for full-time or part-time remote employees who need to carve out a modest home working area when space is tight.
The Best Laptop Desks: Reviews & Recommendations
Best laptop desk overall: SAIJI Laptop Tray Desk
Why it made the cut: Features such as adjustable height and angle, a no-slip PVC leather desktop, ergonomic armrest, and convenient storage drawer set this laptop desk apart.
- Material: Engineered wood, silicone, leather, plastic
- Dimensions: 23.6 x 17.7 x 1 inches
- Weight: 9 pounds
- Adjusts to five different heights
- Storage drawer for small items
- PVC leather desktop that won’t slip
- Not ideal for short people
- Accessories purchased separately
Work comfortably from your bed, reclining on the couch, sitting on the floor, and more with the best laptop desk, the SAIJI Laptop Tray Desk, which provides a portable workstation wherever you need it. Auto-lock buttons on each side of the table legs can allow the desk tray to be set to five different heights from 10.6 to 15.4 inches, and the surface angle can likewise rotate to four different angles from zero to 36 degrees. When not in use, simply fold the tray flat for space-saving storage.
Among the other great features is the PVC leather desktop that provides robust and no-slip friction, an ergonomic armrest, a book stand-compatible tablet groove, and a convenient storage drawer. In addition, the tray itself can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches in width, with enough space for a mouse, book, phone, and other small items. Unfortunately, extra accessories such as a cupholder and attachable light are not included but can be purchased separately.
According to some customers, the primary drawback is that the tray table’s legs are very tall, making it difficult for shorter people to use. Some customers who are around five-foot-two or five-foot-three in height find that the table comes up to mid-chest even on the lowest height setting. That’s certainly something to consider for those smaller in stature, and you may even want to measure before purchasing to ensure the product is right for you.
Best cheap laptop desk: VASAGLE Laptop Side Table
Why it made the cut: This side table laptop desk is great for working from your couch, joining Zoom meetings, and more with an appealing rustic design and price that can’t be beat.
- Material: Particleboard, steel
- Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.8 x 26 inches
- Weight: 11.2 inches
- Spacious tilted tabletop surface
- Eye-catching rustic woodgrain finish
- Sturdy steel frame and legs
- Desk height doesn’t adjust
- Tabletop isn’t solid wood
You don’t have to sacrifice style when it comes to VASAGLE Laptop Side Table the best cheap laptop desk. The large, spacious tabletop has a realistic-looking, rustic wood grain surface that looks great in any room. In addition, the top conveniently tilts so you can help keep your back straight and improve your posture, even when you’re working from a couch or easy chair.
Your laptop will also be very well supported thanks to the durable steel frame and particleboard construction, with adjustable feet that prevent wobbling even for the most vigorous typers. Likewise, the protective bar near the bottom edge prevents your laptop from slipping, even when the tabletop is tilted. Assembly is also a breeze. All you need is the included Allen key and no other additional tools, and you’ll be working from your new desk in no time.
According to some customer reviews, the only downside is that the desk’s height doesn’t adjust like some other similar models of laptop desks. A couple of other users have lamented that the tabletop is not natural wood, but really, you can’t do much better for the price.
Best rolling laptop desk: Seville Classics Height Adjustable Laptop Desk
Why it made the cut: Rolling caster swivel wheels allow this mobile laptop desk to be effortlessly moved around the home or locked wherever you need it.
- Material: Durable walnut laminate finish
- Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 33 inches
- Weight: 11 pounds
- Adjusts from 20.5 to 33 inches
- Easy assembly with all tools included
- Smooth-gliding caster swivel wheels
- Wheels don’t roll well on carpet
- Center post is positioned awkwardly
The Seville Classics height adjustable laptop desk provides the convenience of a portable workstation with rolling 1.5-inch caster swivel wheels that allow you to easily move it around but lock when you need the desk stationary. This best rolling laptop desk adjusts from 20.5 to 33 inches in height, which secures with the twist-lock knob, and is large enough to accommodate most laptops along with other small accessories such as a phone, keyboard, or mouse.
The low-profile base was designed to be tucked under furniture such as couches and easy chairs. However, some customers find that the center post is positioned awkwardly, which can get in the way if you’re trying to position the tabletop over your lap. Another minor gripe is that the wheels don’t roll well on carpeted floors, but weighing in at 11 pounds means that it’s easy enough just to pick up and move around manually.
All necessary tools are included for easy assembly, so it sets up in just minutes right out of the box. In addition to using it around the home, the portability of this rolling mobile laptop desk also makes it perfect for use in classrooms, doctor’s offices, and more.
Best laptop desk for bed: Sofia + Sam All-Purpose Laptop Desk
Sofia + Sam
Why it made the cut: Anyone who loves to lounge while they work will appreciate this lightweight and comfortable laptop desk made of polyethylene foam and polyester fabric.
- Material: Polyethylene foam, polyester fabric
- Dimensions: 16.2 x 19.3 x 4.1 inches
- Weight: 4.5 pounds
- Fits laptops 17 inches or smaller
- High-quality memory foam
- Built-in wrist rest and carrying handle
- Wrist rest isn’t quite wide enough for some users
- No removable or washable cover
Designed with a thick layer of high-quality memory foam, this Sofia + Sam all-purpose laptop desk allows you to sit comfortably and work for hours right from your bed or couch. The lightweight lap desk accommodates most laptops 17 inches or smaller, or even a 13-inch laptop along with a wireless computer mouse. Thanks to the built-in handle, this laptop desk is also highly portable, making it the best laptop desk for bed while traveling.
The built-in wrist rest also includes an extra layer of memory foam along the front edge for added comfort and support. However, some customers would prefer the wrist rest was wider to stretch from edge to edge of the lap desk’s complete width. But in addition to being supportive, the memory foam base also ensures that the desk will keep its shape for years to come.
Another minor caveat is that there is no cover, and unfortunately, the fabric is not removable or washable. This might make spot cleaning a challenge, especially for people who have been using the desk for several years.
Best folding laptop desk: GreenForest Folding Desk
Why it made the cut: The simple foldable design allows this computer desk to be collapsed and conveniently stored in a closet or corner when not in use.
- Material: Particleboard and metal
- Dimensions: 32.01 x 32.01 x 32.68 inches
- Weight: 23.9 pounds
- Convenient folding design
- No assembly required
- Sturdy X-shaped metal legs
- Bulky and heavy for small adults or teens to fold
- No removable drawers or storage
Transform any space into your temporary or permanent home office with the best folding laptop desk the GreenForest. The computer desk can be collapsed and stored in a closet, a corner, or behind other pieces of furniture when not in use, thanks to the simple foldable design. The X-shaped metal legs allow for easy folding while helping to enhance the overall stability of the desk.
And best of all, this laptop desk comes ready to use right out of the box. No assembly is required, simply remove the desk from the packaging, and you can begin to work immediately. As a result, it’s a very practical solution for tiny homes and apartments which might not otherwise have space for a dedicated home office setup. Alternatively, you can leave it open all the time and display books, plants, collectibles, a computer monitor, or other small items along the back shelf.
Though the desk does fold and unfold pretty quickly, some users note that the bulk and weight might make it challenging for small adults, kids, or teens to do on their own. Another slight drawback is that the desk doesn’t come with any kind of drawers or keyboard tray, so it may not be the best option for those looking for a long-term, permanent workspace solution.
Things to consider before buying a laptop desk
If you’re thinking about buying a laptop desk, the first thing you need to determine is where you plan on doing most of your work. Those who like to recline in bed or sideways on a couch should definitely consider a lap tray-style laptop desk. In addition to being lightweight and compact, these types of desks are also versatile enough that they’re great for traveling or even a good fit for people with conditions that might leave them tethered to their bedroom.
On the other side of the coin, you have standing laptop desks. These desks are ideal for people who might need a little bit of extra room when working from home. Foldout tray-table desks are great for people who don’t have a dedicated home office but have enough space in a living room, kitchen, or study to set up a temporary workstation that can collapse and easily store in a closet when not in use.
Then there are rolling or side table laptop desks that provide yet another option for those living in tight spaces. In addition to being used as a laptop desk, these versatile pieces of furniture can also be handy for placing drinks, snacks, or meals on when vegging out and sitting on the couch. They’re also great for playing games and doing small puzzles, or even for kids who need a small, distraction-free area to do homework.
Q: Are laptop desks worth it?
Laptops can be useful in a myriad of ways beyond providing a space to work from home. For example, many of them have the ability to angle the screen so you’re not straining your neck. They can also prevent heat transfer to keep your lap cool, as some laptops tend to heat up when they’re working hard and can quickly overheat your body. And they’re portable, allowing you to work in many locations, and less expensive than most typical desks.
Q: How high should a laptop desk be?
Elevating your laptop can help prevent neck strain and ensure good posture. Ideally, you should try to elevate the laptop from 5 to 10 inches above your desk by placing it on a stable support surface, such as a laptop desk, stand, or even a stack of thick books in a pinch.
Q: What should I look for in a lap desk?
Depending on what type of desk you’re interested in, you should look for a laptop desk that is at the very minimum wider than your laptop to give yourself plenty of stability as you type. It’s also a good idea to measure the area where you’ll be using the laptop desk to guarantee that it will fit over your lap and on whichever surface you plan to use it on.
All of the laptop desks listed here are convenient, portable, and versatile. However, our personal top pick is also our pick for the overall best laptop desk, the SAIJI Laptop Tray Desk. We love the tray desk’s ability to be used virtually anywhere from sitting and reclining positions. You could probably even balance the tray onto an existing desktop, counter, or other surfaces to be converted into a makeshift standing desk in a pinch.